Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lessons Learned

I had a huge Aha! Moment last night while doing laundry. As load after load (until all 6 loads were done) came out of the dryer, I noticed how my three children folded and put away their own clothes without being asked.

I was tired, they were tired, they knew we had a soccer game early the next morning, but yet and still, they willingly helped me.

I began to think about the past year and some of the good that has come out of this...particularly as it relates to the children and their personal growth.

1. My children know that living in a household equated to being part of a team. It takes everyone to help with the cleaning, the laundry, and getting dinner on the table. When Mr. X and I lived together, he and I often did things so we didn't have to hear the other's complaining, not realizing that the kids needed to participate. Now, we know and respect the fact that if you live in the house, you do all parts of the job.

2. We don't take the work "family" for granted. A couple of Sundays ago, we were watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the design team was creating a garden with adjectives that described the family etched in stone. We decided to come up with our own adjectives and then created a list defining the members of our family. We weren't exclusive, and definitely included extended family members and friends. (And yes, we even included Mr. X and his soon-to-be Mrs.)

3. We are committed to community service. All of the blogs and books I've read about overcoming divorce has suggested helping others as a means of overcoming the loss of a marriage. I have volunteered at the kids' schools a lot, the children are proactive in donating old toys and clothes, the kids volunteer at the library during preschool storytime as story assistants (they think they are so big), and we are more involved in our church this year.

4. We understand that emotional trauma makes you more aware of the mind-body-spirit connection. CJ actively meditates on his own when he's under stress. Tyra wakes up early some mornings to do yoga. Jada reminds us everyday to take our multivitamins, get a flu shot, and have some Noni juice before we leave the house. And when we've had a bad day, we all unwind with a cup of chamomille tea.

5. We love fun! We've cried a lot over the past year. We are now determined to have a ball wherever we go and with whatever we do. This afternoon, we sat around watching tv while wearing silly hats. There was no purpose to was just fun!

What lessons for good have you learned from your trials?