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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grown-up Role Models

True Story: I usually park and walk my child up to school- mostly because we're often running on the late side and I don't want to risk the drop off line being too long. Also, I enjoy the last minute hug and sendoff rather than the car drop. One of the teachers commented, "You always look like June Cleaver...." I literally laughed out loud and though, "Things sure look different than they seem."
I had a quite idyllic childhood, and other than a few moves, there were no great tragedies in my young life. I married my college sweetheart and imagined that life would have some ups and downs, but completely thought I had the next fifty years pretty well planned out. I was completely blindsided and unprepared for the losses and betrayals that came my way.
So now I enter the second act of life. I'm still adjusting to being a single mother of three. I work hard each day but struggle to make ends meet. I love to be social, but have trouble finding time to be with friends. My mind is more free and creative than ever, but I lack the time and energy to put plans to my thoughts. I don't even know how to live in this imperfect way that I never planned. June Cleaver is so far from my reality that she wouldn't know where to turn in my topsy turvy world (though I'm certain she would rock a string of awesome pearls while trying).
In my previous path, I had strong, clear role models- like the June Cleavers of previous generations. But in this new walk, I'm not sure where to look. So what is the new norm? Where do I fit into the scene of family, career, personal life? Who is our new June? And if I'm looking for a role model, who is looking at me?
It's a brave new world out there and we get to define our own limits. I'm still learning that I don't have to have it all figured out and that letting go is full of gifts. Someday, maybe I'll be the new June- it is my middle name after all. So this week I'll really put on my apron, jump in with both feet and fully engage in the life I have; The one with little darlings that adore and depend on me. I'll primp and put on pumps for a day at the office and then change to work out clothes and enjoy a four mile walk. I'll call a friend and schedule a get together. I'll make the budget stretch further than I thought possible, but I'll be fully engaged, fully living and it will be fully mine. What are you going to do this week to make your life your own? What expectations have changed?