Remember the Good Times

    c.262w ah ha moment“Remember the good times. Have that life.” Just recently heard that and talk about an “ah-ha” moment.

    Between the years spent as not-the-most-observant (a polite way of saying oblivious to things around [and inside] me) and quick to beat myself up (metaphorically), I could easily have been an Olympic Gold Medal contender for self-flagellation (were that an Olympic sport).

    Say something nice to me or about me and I’ll reply “Thank you.” However, I’ll be tuning you out while tuning into the big movie theater of my mind. The lights dim. The credits roll. Then begins “I’m a Fraud.” There for all to see, in high-resolution, graphic detail, vibrant color and clear sound, are all my wrongs, errors, and wish-the-ground-would-swallow-me-right-now moments. “Evidence” which “proves” I don’t deserve the compliment (or anything good for that matter).

    Since the self-flagellation and “beatings” are automatic, accepted as “the way it is and has been,” and/or unconscious, breaking the cycle seemed overwhelming, if not impossible. With outright change appearing non-viable — at least for now — I asked myself, “What else can I do to have ‘that life’?”

    I decided to find a moment I’d classify as a good time. (I knew there had to be at least one, even if buried and unrecognizable.) Turned out though I’d traipsed this earth many years, I couldn’t find a good-time memory because I was immersed in the bad-time memories.

    Finally I remembered. My daughter was four. We were driving back from preschool when she asked to do something. I said, “No.” She said, “But so-and-so’s mom is letting so-and-so do it.” Here begins the “moment.”

    As soon as those words left my daughter’s mouth, I pulled over, turned off the ignition, yanked the keys out, faced her and said in a low, you-better-pay-attention voice,

    “You listen to me and you listen well. My life would be so much easier, MUCH EASIER, if I gave you what you wanted, when you wanted. But I’m your mother. I love you. I will do what is best for you, whether you like it or not. Whether it’s easy for me or not. And believe me, it would be MUCH EASIER to give you whatever you wanted, all the time. But then you would grow up to be a really rotten, horrible person no one would want to be around. Even you wouldn’t want to be around you. That’s not going to happen on my watch!”

    Sometime later we were at a park. She ran over to ask if she could do something. I said, “No.” Turning to the child standing next to her she said, “My Mommy loves me. That’s why she doesn’t give me everything I want.”

    c.263w That LifeWhile it might be a stretch to call that a good time (as it lacks sun, sand or paper umbrellas), it is a moment I am proud of. A moment of pure certainty. Of clarity and rightness in my actions. I felt good about myself and my role as a mother. I had purpose and felt worthy.

    I want more of that feeling. More moments like that to remember. For this coming week, each time I catch myself slipping into self-flagellation mode and/or screening the old movie, I’m going to change movies. At present I have one scene in “That Life.” It’s a start. I’ll be culling more of those well-hidden good memories and adding new scenes. Let the cameras rolls.

    Have you a good-time memory you’d like to share?

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    IR - April 23, 2014 - 11:15 am

    Powerful lesson for all, and so beautifully put: “Turned out though I’d traipsed this earth many years, I couldn’t find a good-time memory because I was immersed in the bad-time memories.”

    Ah-ha moments — although they sometimes feel more like a slap to the face than a warm fuzzy feeling — are so crucial to our continued growth and happiness. Props to you for a) recognizing your ah-ha moment and not shirking away from it, and b) being courageous enough to share your experience here to hopefully inspire readers. :)

    Tana Bevan - April 23, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    IR~Being of the doodler mind, I can usually tell when an ah-ha moment occurred because I see all the doodled pieces running from here and there, to go stand in their appropriate spot on stage. That’s when I see the whole picture. And while it is true there are times it’d be nice if the ground chose that moment to open up (particularly those less-than-pleasant Ah-ha moments), I persevere. Like you, I agree such moments are “crucial to our continued growth and happiness.” Thank you for stopping by and commenting. :-)

    Sheila Bergquist - April 23, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Ah, yes, why is it so hard to stop remembering only the bad parts? We are so hard on ourselves. What you said to your daughter was so perfect and honest and loving. I am impressed beyond words. Keep looking for the good memories…I am sure there are many more, but you’ve just lost them among the bad memories.

    Star - April 24, 2014 - 11:13 am

    Thank you, Tana, for being you and for being there. You are a great mom, and a great friend. (And no beating yourself up about it.)

    Tana Bevan - April 24, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    Sheila~Now that I’ve had my Ah-Ha moment I’m on a roll. “That Life” is now up to 10 scenes! Woo-hoo! It was a bear finding that first one, but so worth it. So very worth it. For years a close, dear friend kept telling me to “blow up the sound stage.” (Referring to all the monkey chatter and internal voices used to beat myself up.) That never worked. However just hearing that one sentence did! (Wonderful when that happens!) Another wonderful thing about “Remember the good times. Have that life” is that I am in control. Talk about empowering! Here’s hoping you happen upon your own Ah-Ha moment so your good moments rise to the top! Cheers.

    Tana Bevan - April 24, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Star~That was a good Mommy Moment, wasn’t it? Sometimes you get it right. Those are the ones you want to exploit and shout about from the rooftops. (Makes up for those oopses. *smiles*) So glad to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by and checking in. Hugs across cyberspace!!

    catherine gacad - April 27, 2014 - 10:23 pm

    you are a good mother, raising an amazing daughter. good for her for recognizing that!

    Tana Bevan - April 28, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Catherine~I admit, it was one of my better Mommy Moments. In a few short weeks you will be embarking on the adventure of motherhood. It is not a smooth path. It is not an even path. There are times you will doubt your sanity for embarking on it, realizing ruefully there is no turning back. And yet, there will be so many more moments when you will find yourself simply dumbfounded by the beauty and amazing miracle you are beholding. As you watch your child grow and mature day-by-day you will find your love growing and increasing in magnitude. Love is infinite. And while you will never reach infinity, love for a child takes you to its edge (or at least pretty darn close to it *smiles). Thank you for stopping by. Again, wishing you a speedy delivery.