I'm 8 days from turning 40 y'all.
The big 40!
I'm so excited about it. I'll never get tired of birthdays. I love birthdays and will always love birthdays and my hope is that I pass my love of celebrating life on to the kiddos. It's a big deal no matter what age we are turning.
I'm not sad or upset about turning 40. I feel like I've grown into myself, finally. I'm so thankful for all the years I've had and for how much I have grown up even more since adulthood. I still feel like a kid half the time, and in the past 5 or so years I've learned to act more like an adult. I've learned how to cope with the way I am treated by other people. I've learned that when people are mean it is all about them, not about me. That is a huge development for me because I am the worlds biggest peace- maker and after trying to make peace for years and years and years I have realized I can't make everyone happy. I know I know, even though I've known I still try. Insanity right??!?!
I can't make everyone happy and the only person I can make happy is myself. I'm putting on my big girl pants to say, this is the lesson I wish to pass on to my kids.
We can't control they way people treat us, but we can control how they make us feel. If we don't like the way we feel then take a leap away. We all wanna feel good about ourselves!
The kids have had lots of 'feels' making friends in various schools the last few years. They have both had random encounters with all sorts of kids. Kids that say mean things. Kids that have sad home lives and it runs over into school life. (in those cases i teach the kids about grace) Kids that show off and make bad choices. And I'll be the first to say my kids aren't perfect. I'm trying to teach the babies about how to deal with all types of people and BAM...I need to do the same thing in adult life. Adults say mean things too and sometimes those words sting 90 times worse than kid words. Sadly, adults should know better.
We all want to belong and feel part of a group. Even as adults it is an awesome feeling to make friends and feel part of something. We want to be included and accepted. Is it possible to feel included yet talked down to and belittled? Can you suddenly find yourself part of the wrong goup? Being included at the cost of feeling down on yourself isn't worth it and that goes for kids and adults.
How about an example or two...
Layla is great at nicely distancing herself from 'mean' girls. She makes friends easily and in our moving adventures she thought she had some besties, and then slowly learned they were not who she once thought. She can pick up on the meanies and skeedaddle! I have learned so much from helping and watching her and we are growing together. As a 5th grader she is great at standing back and watching and trying to decide which group to hang with, and I think her home life helps with that. She knows she is always safe here. This is a place in which she can pour out her feelings. She can get advice and I pray she will always feel comfortable coming to Gary and I and talking. Gary and I want to be that example for her.
Hayden is a guy in 2nd grade and thankfully he hasn't had too many issues. He once had little guy push him down a few times, serveral days in a row on the playground on purpose. He came home and asked what he should do. He also encountered a boy on the bus who didn't understand personal space. He responded "personal space dude!" and the boy completely got it and left him alone. Mostly with guys it's all about kicking the soccer ball, throwing a ball and/or running fast. Hayden has had a few sandpaper people to deal with, but he just wears his 'fast' running shoes and they leave him alone. ;-)
The year of 40 is going to be huge for me. I've been training for this my whole life and I am ready to hung up my peace-maker hat. I'm living and loving and growing for me. I'm ready to surround myself with all the positive people in my life that lift me up. Parenting and aging has made me wiser and MUCH happier. I hear adults say all the time how hard it is to make friends as an adult. I think maybe it isn't hard. I think we are too picky yet not picky enough. I think we should try harder and be more accepting of each other. I think we just be ourselves and attract like people. Dig deep inside and use the filter God gave us. Treat people the way we want to be treated. Listen and learn and realize friends can be a friends without pressure. We can learn something from every single person we come in contact with, soft or sandpaper.