Friday, July 25, 2008

Disappointments a Part of Growing Up?

I was getting a little bit frustrated yesterday. I've been trying to learn how to say and properly utilize the word "no" but I never thought that I would have to use it three times in one day, particularly when I didn't necessarily want to say no to any of those things.

For starters - my parents are driving down to help Bruce and me move next week. They're going to get us settled and then drive down to Florida to visit Jen and Tim. My mom really wanted us to not only drive down to Florida with them, but then to also drive back to Connecticut with them to see the new house and then they would fly us back to Atlanta. I had to say no to both of those offers because Bruce and I just can't take the time off of work. We just don't have the flexibility in our jobs to do that and we can't really afford it - paying our bills depends on us working and taking time off really hurts us financially. I hated having to say no - it's another reminder to my mom that I'm no longer a college student running around and traveling on a whim. It's a reminder to my mom that I'm actually on the cusp of being an adult and of having my own life and my own family. I hated saying no. But I looked at things from the rational and responsible side of my brain and realized that I had no choice.

Then came "No" #3. R.T. (Tim's son) wanted to come up and visit Bruce and me. We had told him and Lauren that they could come up whenever they wanted, that it depended on our work schedule if we would be around, but that they door was always open. He wanted to come up starting this weekend and staying throughout the week and after a lot of agonizing, I finally had to say that it probably wasn't the best time for him to come. Bruce and I have to work and we wouldn't have been able to do anything with him. The fact is - Bruce and I just can't take time off a work because we've got friends or family coming into town. And I HATE that. Sometimes I think about my life and think about how wonderful it is that I'm really starting to become an adult and then there are other times when I think it just sucks - there's no better way to describe it.

When I was younger, one of my aunts lived in San Fransisco. She had some pretty high-powered jobs, so we didn't get to see her very often. I used to think that it was too bad that she had to work so much that she couldn't come back east very often, but now I realize that that's reality. I was lucky - my dad was a public school teacher and had all of mine and my sister's school holidays off. But that's not reality. The reality is you have to work hard to make a living and sometimes that means having to say no.

Growing up means having to say no.

I don't, however, want to leave this on a negative note. There are some absolutely wonderful parts about growing up. Waking up in the morning and calling you cat - the closest thing Bruce and I have to a child - onto the bed and having her listen and jump up and melt in your affection. Realizing that another month went by and we successfully paid all of our bills. Going to IKEA and dreaming about the house that you're one day going to own - and realizing that every day you're a little bit closer to that dream. Those are all the wonderful parts about growing up.

Disappointments are a part of it - but they're not everything. If we focus on the negative we'll be inclined to always see them overshadow the positives. So while I disappointed - and while I feel like I've disappointed people - when I said "No" three times in one day, I'm going to force myself to think about the things that I said "Yes" to in the same day. I'm going to force myself to think about all of the wonderful things going on in my life. I'm going to realize that I'm making a move that is hopefully going to help Bruce and me turn the page to a new chapter on our live in Atlanta. I'm going to realize that if I work hard maybe one day I'll have the flexibility to visit my parents more often than now and have people come visit me when it's good for them. I'm going to put one foot in front of other and walk forward.

And to be quite honest - I had to say "No" to people who either wanted to visit me or who wanted me to go places with them. A true testament to the wonderful people I'm surrounded by and who love and care for me and for Bruce. I should consider myself lucky to have those kinds of options that I have to turn down.

Maybe having to say "No" wasn't such a bad thing. It made me think about all of the wonderful things going on in my life ...

With Grace and Peace,

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