This year marks the fifth time I am facing a cancer scare within a two-year window of time.
When I heard the news from my doctor, grateful and exhausted are the two words that bubbled up from within me. I recognized all my biopsies and surgeries from the past have come back benign but I am a bit tired of having to do this again. My doctor believes I am fine but it is better to ensure my “health career,” he said, stays in tact.
This news helped me realize I have received a bigger gift now.
When you want to live really well when you are raising your children alone, it is time to make change. A shift. A new beginning for the better for the long haul.
For me, these are the kinds of changes I read about but have not had the courage to do.
When the Burden Outweighs the Blessings
Children are not a burden, but the responsibilities of caring for them sometimes feel overwhelming no matter if you are a single parent or not. They are little people who need guidance, love and direction each and every day.
However, if your quality of life is rather obsolete, and your health is getting tossed to and fro, what can you do?
I cannot even utter, here is the game plan, because life is not a game plan. It’s life. It was given to be enjoyed abundantly. So with great intentionality, we are embarking on a new journey to remove the clutter and let the good stuff in.
I put together a list for us and this is what I came up with:
- Sell everything you do not need.
- Live simply.
- Trust God to infinity and beyond.
- Stop worrying.
- Stop apologizing.
- Stop procrastinating.
- Start believing.
- Play a whole lot more.
- Find your anchors.
- And yes, to borrow the phrase from the hit song from the movie FROZEN, Let it go.
In the time spent here on earth, we are really only accountable for ourselves and raising our children. This is one guideline for what I believe to a life better lived. And I know I am not alone.
Find Your Anchors
At my son’s baseball game over the past weekend, I spoke with another single mom who is going through a divorce. She and her children moved to be home with her family. We both talked about feeling the sickness of stress and how it took its toll on our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our souls.
She told me she felt as though her DNA was dying, and emphatically denied she was not a dramatic person; she needed to come home and feel well again. I have felt the same the past few years, I told her.
“Peace,” she told me. “I have peace, finally. And I wish this on everyone.”
Baseball has been a big anchor for us. When my son plays, the world just seems right again.
Lean on Others
Just because you are a single parent does not mean you have to do everything yourself. Any guilt that comes to the surface does not originate from a place of reasoning – trust me. Join a support group for single parents. Call on trusted loved ones or even ask friends or neighbors for help. I have, and they have been incredibly supportive to me.
Love on Your Kids
What you give to others you will strengthen within yourself. Loving on your children and being paid attention to in the moment is I think what our children really want. When life is out of balance, this will feel like a burden. When your life is in check, this will feel like a gift.
Be Honest With Your Kids
It is okay to tell your children if you are having a bad day. I remember a few years ago Liam saw me crying after I received some bad news. Sometimes Mommies cry, is what I told him, and left it at that. He gave me a hug.
To reduce your stress and truly live well, how might you shift toward thriving rather than just surviving? What would you do?