Recently I heard a question that made me ponder:
“What do you attribute your place in life, your success, to?”
Of course I thought of defining moments in my life, graduations, marriage, and the birth of my children. But this was asked in a deeper sense than that. It is one of those questions that should be given careful thought.
For me the answer came swiftly.
I was raised in a military family. When the word “ORDERS” was mentioned around my house it meant we would be moving. I remember waiting for my Dad to come home from work and running to see if he was carrying the yellow envelope; the one that held the name of the location of our next home.
He would walk in, cocooned in his military green uniform and black shiny boots, whistling and smiling as if he held the secret to the universe in his hand. Once the location was revealed my small bare feet would jump on his shiny boots. He would dance me around the kitchen while the family chattered about dates and logistics of the move.
My Mom, a tiny powerhouse of a woman, was a working mom at a time when most moms weren’t. With every new set of orders she orchestrated movers, house sales, school transfers, 3 unhappy children and travel. She was tuff, strong and not afraid to stand up for what she believed in.
For me, dancing with my Dad was the only fun part. Orders meant leaving friends and starting over. I thought for sure that this was child abuse. I remember cleaning out my desk at school; walking to the school office with my Mom to fill out separation paperwork; and saying goodbye to teachers and classmates. I can still breathe the smell of the manila paper and packing boxes the movers used to wrap our belongs before loading them into the moving van.
I can still feel the place in my stomach where fear boiled as I walked into a new school, met new teachers and filled a new desk. Yes, I was certain this was child abuse.
It taught me a valuable lesson--- make friends on the playground or stand alone.
I attribute the place I hold in life and any success I have to this lesson. I may not have a best friend who has held my hand from preschool to midlife. I may not have a house to visit where I was raised with a wall chalked with my height measurements as I grew.
But, I learned that some lessons come wrapped in pain and discomfort. I learned how to accept change with a whistle and a smile. I learned how to be tuff, strong and not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. I learned how to talk and communicate. I learned how to tell my story. I learned that relationships are important. I learned friend building.
Now here is the question for you to ponder:
“What do YOU attribute your place in life, your success, to?”
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Pennie's Life Lesson:
Make friends on the playground or stand alone.
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