The greatest of disadvantages is that we are too prone to welcome everybody else’s wrong solution to the problem of life. Thomas Merton
Last Christmas I was given the opportunity to see how much I had learned in the last 38 years. Our youngest son, Michael, had to work and could not come home for Christmas. Oh boy was I sad. It didn’t matter so much to me that he was being a responsible adult, honoring his commitments to his employers and taking responsibility for his own life. I wanted him home for Christmas!
Eventually, I rose up out of my stew pot and decided to take responsibility for my life. I looked around and considered who would be here for the holidays. I thought about how those of us that were here might enjoy our time together. I decided to practice what I preach.
I don’t know – I hope it helped Michael in some small way to have a mother who wasn’t weeping and wailing and gnashing her teeth into his ear for weeks on in. I trusted that if I took responsibility for my life, it would be a decent model for all my children to do the same.
But no matter what my family did or did not take away from my experience, I had a fabulous Christmas. I missed my boy AND I enjoyed the friends and family I was with. Yes, those old song lyrics “Love the one you’re with,” can mean more than what I THOUGHT it meant when I was 19!
There is no greater gift we can give to ourselves (and perhaps others) than to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives.