While talking to one of my best friends this last week, we laughed about some of the crazy shit that has happened to us this last year and somehow we made it through, again. While half heartedly laughing slash crying... we decided that this year our theme is going to be “Surrender”. Surrender to the madness, the chaos, the highs, the lows, etc. Whatever it is in our personal or professional lives... we are going to surrender to a higher power. The more we try and control the things that happen in our lives, the more shit keeps happening. So why not surrender?
Surrender by definition means “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority." So who is my enemy or opponent...? Life. Life is my opponent... enemy sounds super cynical so I will go with opponent. We try to control/balance so many things in life... kids, spouses, work, friends, extra curricular activities, etc. and in the end, once we have a plan and a road to follow, we find the universe laughing back at us and putting a fork in our road. Stop fighting and surrender.
Now, surrendering doesn’t mean giving up or throwing the towel in. It means we set out with intention and when those intentions don’t come to the expected outcome... we surrender, become flexible, find an alternate route and let the universe take us in whatever direction the higher power has intended. The intention can be anything... a new job, your children seeing that a college education is important (this one was one of my hardest lessons this last year), having a kid, buying a new house, a new hobby... really anything. My goal is going to be to set out with the best of intentions, try to stay calm and surrender to my higher power, which is God for me, that "whatever is meant to be, will be."
I surrendered to an enormous challenge for the first time in my life this last year. My oldest was in his freshman year of college, living on his own for the first time and he just YOLO’d the whole time. YOLO-ing in college means that you barely pass any classes let alone be bothered with attending classes, you spend all of your parents money and some of your own on bullshit, you eat out every meal, never go to bed before 3AM and you are a know it all dick that treats your mom like she didn’t birth and raise you. The entire first semester I rode his ass hard along with my mom and dad. Our relationship took a turn during this time because sweet little boys that graduate and go off to college turn into know it all asses that don’t ”think” they need their mother. So after the first semester he failed and treated me like dirt... I decided to surrender. I was done fighting with him. Done feeling like the worst mother ever. Done with it all. So I surrendered to the fact that my child is an adult now and he can learn to do adult things. So the next semester, I introduced him to student loans, a job and paying for his own shit. I decided that I was overly invested in his outcome and trying to control the situation because it was my money he was wasting and I had shown this kid the importance of college his entire life and he wasn’t listening.
Our relationship got better, since I wasn’t paying for anything, I could just listen to his YOLO-ing ideas about wanting to make millions, be rich or an actor and how he didn’t need college and was going to take a few years off... I still wanted to choke him for not caring about school but it stung less that I wasn’t out 6K for it. Long story short, he didn’t do any better the semester he paid for it and wanted a break from school so I said ”great, get a full-time job because if you aren’t in school full-time then you are working full-time and maybe school isn’t for you right now." He got a construction job with his Aunt and Uncle‘s company and decided to stay living in Saint George with them (which has been a blessing). This all began in April of 2018. Fast forward through months of hard work in extreme heat, him paying off his own bills from the previous semester and all his friends coming back to school in the fall to start the next year... he told me in November he messed up and that he wanted to get back in school. WTF just happened? I sat back and did nothing and somehow he came to the best conclusion on his own.
This was a perfect use case for surrendering. I could have continued to fight him all year because I felt like me paying for everything was my duty and that it somehow gave me the means to control his life... this would have also severed our relationship even more. I chose to surrender, not be in control and in just a few short months this kid of mine knows what he wants to do. I am not naive to think this is going to be free sailing from here on out... but for now, I am proud of him and so excited he is going back to school.
Moral to the story... surrender! I know this can be a hard concept for those of us who are controlling, have type A personalities, etc. however you want to justify/explain yourself :) but we need to remember the simple and cliché saying... “what is meant to be, will be." Again, this doesn’t mean you leave your 8 year old at home alone and what is meant to be, will be... common sense folks. It does mean to set out with great intentions, but know that everything in life doesn’t go as planned and be ready for the curve ball.
Happy New Years!!!