Epiphany

28 Aug

A little over a year ago, The Dude and I were on our front porch. We were sitting in a double rocking chair, holding hands, rocking away and discussing the changes we were doing to our landscaping in the front yard. It was just like any other day. But all of a sudden, I had a moment of clarity that has rocked my world ever since. My epiphany…

All my adult life, I always strived for bigger and better. The “finer” things in life. A nice, big house. Decorated to the T. The best minivan. My cherubs dressed in the finest clothes. My clothes, purses and shoes (oh, the shoes!), I wanted the best of the best. I wanted THE LABELS. I would swoon and kiss my mailman when he put my happiness in my mailbox. Catalogs. Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware, Horchow, Land of Nod, etc. I would delight in these days. Pouring over them with the thirst of a lion making it’s kill of the day. I would circle items, tear out pages and walk around my home, decorating in my head and planning where each of these beautiful things would go. I wanted to be the envy of all. A picture perfect, beautiful, modern family. Sounds pretty delicious, right? One problem…

WHO THE HELL CAN AFFORD THIS SHIT?

We certainly couldn’t! I have always been a frugal gal. I always shopped the sales. Any store I went into, I would immediately walk to the back and pour through the clearance section. In the early 2000’s, eBay was my best friend. I remember the first auction I won. It was for a set of Pottery Barn Kids flannel Christmas Santa sheets for then 2 yr old X Girl. I screamed in delight when I won that auction. Paid $44.00. I became hooked on eBay. Buying “Lots” of name brand clothes. Name brand home decor. NAME BRAND EVERYTHING. LABELS. LABELS. LABELS. I had completely fallen into the “Keeping up with the Joneses” trap. Except, I WANTED TO BE THE JONESES THAT EVERYONE FOLLOWED. Didn’t have the money? Phew, just put that on a credit card, baby! Remember this commercial?

Yeah, this was us for a while. Over the years and with maturity and age, it did get better. But, I still had that yearning. That desire to show off my pretty stuff. Here’s the problem…WHO THE FUCK WAS I TRYING TO SHOW OFF TO? My true friends didn’t care. Acquaintances? Neighbors? Hell, I didn’t even like those people!

Then, about two and a half years ago, the shit got real, y’all…

X Boy has severe ADHD with Asperger Tendencies. His medical bills, which most were not covered by insurance, started going up. At the same time, The Dude’s paychecks started going down. His company started cutting back hours and changing his pay scale. Add that to the fact that he had not had a raise in over 2 years, things started getting VERY tight.

We started making MAJOR lifestyle changes. These changes I will blog about on another day. But, as difficult as it has been, it was a blessing. Let’s go back to the porch…

As we were sitting there talking, my epiphany hit me. THIS is all I want out of life. The Dude and I, sitting on a porch together, holding hands. Hearing our children inside the house, playing together (oh, who am I kidding, they were fighting at the time, but still). What the hell have I been doing and wanting all these years, when what I TRULY wanted was what I already had. A family. A husband who adores me and loves me dearly (still thinking he needs to be mentally checked out at times). A man who is, seriously, the most amazing father, who cherishes his children and family. Three FANTASTIC children, each with their own unique personality, that are growing up healthy, happy and loved. A home that is filled with laughter and love. All of a sudden, the materialistic bullshit slipped away and I was left with a calmness and peace in my soul that I had never known.

This moment changed my life…FOREVER.

Seriously. I walked off that porch a new woman. I could care less about labels. I could care less about THINGS. Because, that’s all they are, THINGSPossessions don’t define who I am, I DOHow I speak to people. How I love those in my life. How I try to care for those I see in pain. How I try to be a friend to all and smile to everyone, hoping that their day is a little brighter. I started telling everyone about my epiphany. I was shouting it from the rooftops! Fuck the Joneses! I don’t care about them! I don’t want to be like everyone else! I am GEN X MAMA! I am my own person! I am my own wacky, silly, goofy, loving, caring, honest, thoughtful, unique individual! The catalogs that come in the mail are thrown into the recycling bin. They don’t define me anymore. I don’t NEED anything in them. All of a sudden, the world around me looked very different.

Now, I crave a life of simplicity. Of calm. Peace. A life filled with family, friends, love and laughter. The Zac Brown Band (love them!),  has a song called Homegrown. There is a part of the song that has become my mantra:

It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want

It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you need

I’ve got everything I need,

And nothing that I don’t.

These lyrics now define me. I don’t need fancy shoes, purses, clothes, NOTHING. I need my family. This amazing family that The Dude and I created. Literally, we created HUMAN BEINGS! NEW PEOPLE! When we met 21 years ago, they didn’t exist!

When you let go of all the bullshit and look around at the most important things in your life, YOUR FAMILY, life gets a lot less complicated. 

It saddens me that it took 38 years for me to realize this, but at the same time, it comforts me that it didn’t take 68 years to realize this! My life is content now. My heart is filled with love and peace. I count my blessings in my life and let me tell you, that number is high!

I’ve got everything I need and nothing that I don’t. 

family

PS The front yard landscaping? Instead of spending thousands of dollars, we simply cleaned out shrubs that were placed too close together, replanted them in other areas and ended up spending about $20. 

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