SHE Wouldn’t Change a Thing

This past week, I was chatting a bit with one of my former neighbors and good friends. We talked a bit about our kids, as his oldest of several children is headed to college in the fall. We compared notes as to what the “best age and stage” was with kids and he shared a short story about his own Mom and her philosophy. She had told him recently, “Every stage I thought was THE one best stage and no other could beat it, only to realize now that my sons are grown and I have grandchildren, that EVERY stage truly was THE BEST stage.”

Shortly after this conversation, I was leading one of my Women in Business Networking Socials and commented to one of the WIB’s who has become a good friend about her recent 3-week vacation and all of her travel in the last year. Her response? When her husband was given the C-word diagnosis 2 years ago, their life perspective changed dramatically. Still having elementary/high school aged children and now that he is recovered, they decided to spend their money traveling and giving their boys great adventures as a family. She said, “We probably won’t have any retirement left, but you only live once and life can change suddenly, so we are living each day to its fullest.” Yes, friend, you only live once.

These two brief encounters and conversations really had me reflecting this weekend on my own “first 50 years,” and asking myself…was every stage truly the best stage? What would I change if I could?

I used to think, after my ex-husband’s FBI arrest well over a decade ago, that I would change the pain that situation caused my children, not just at the time but even more so as they met chronological and developmental milestones as they grew and had to try and wrap their brains around those events of 2005.

But on my son’s 23rd birthday and after a few conversations with both of my adult children this past summer I had an “aha moment.”

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Now for those of you who have walked this life-journey and mom-journey with me from the outside looking in, this statement might take you a bit off guard.

You might even ask…

Even when your son was hospitalized for two weeks at the age of 7 and in ICU for a part of that time fighting for his life against a staph infection in his lungs?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Even when the rug was pulled out from under your children and family and you had to find a new career and a new normal, not just for yourself but also for your children 12+ years ago?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Even when you had to work your way, guided by faith, into the best version of marriage and life with the man you are fortunate enough today to walk thru the rest of your life with?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

You see, in hindsight, every set back, every struggle, every hurt made a difference in me and, whether they realize it or not, made a difference in my children.

So what did I learn? What is that one big message I want my children to listen to, understand and embrace?

Life happens. There are no coincidences. In every jolt, if you look hard enough, there is a lesson that leads to joy.

A life that isn’t always easy, but a life well lived.

A life in which, 50 years into it, you can look back and say, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

How about you, SHE friends? What say you when it comes to what YOU would change in your life?

Me? I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 

 

Notes from the SHE Files: Life is not always easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing