The Kind of Person I Want To Be

A few things have happened in the past couple of days that have inspired me to think about the person I am and the person I am becoming.

Earlier this week I met with two of the staff at my son’s new school. I was immediately impressed with their sense of genuine caring for others and equally impressed with their ability to be so calm under pressure. At the time I interacted with both of these women there was a great deal of responsibility, potential chaos and distractions taking place. Yet both seemed to make the world stop for a moment while they visited with me or my son, made us both feel important and cared for. There was no rush, no hurry and no feeling that you were a burden, in fact they were the great calming influence for all those around them. This struck me because I’ve been to a lot of first days at various schools and I’ve never felt anything quite like this, at least not this strongly. It got me to thinking about how much I want to be like that. How much I want for people to instantly feel relaxed, comfortable, safe and cared for in my presence. The world is full of busy, stressed and self-important people. You run into them almost daily and you can feel the vibes that come from them, they leave you feeling unsettled at best. It was such a pleasant experience to feel just the opposite in a matter of mere moments. I was so impressed that I wrote e-mails to both of them expressing my thoughts and both responded with resounding warmth and enthusiasm for caring. They both said that in their experience kids learn far more and better when they enjoy coming to school and their goal is to help kids want to be there. It worked for me…I didn’t want to leave! *laugh* At any rate, I determined yesterday that this is the feeling I want to share with others and in my home. I want my kids to WANT to be here and to feel that same peace, safe and loving influence. The trick is what every parent out there already knows…this is far easier said than done.

Then I got a call from my daughter’s teacher and it got all my thoughts going again. All last night I contemplated the things that matter most to me for my daughter – the dreams and values I want for her to have. At the end of the day, it is the most important to me that my daughter have that loving and compassionate heart and spirit. I want her to be firm in her convictions and beliefs because she’s found those beliefs and answers for herself. I want her to be kind, to be safe, to be healthy and to be successful. And then I thought again about the two women I met that emanated those qualities. I began thinking about the traits and skills they must have in order to be this way.

At first I was discouraged. I started thinking about all the many mistakes I’ve made, the hindsight that makes me wish I’d done something different somewhere along the way and all the other stuff that comes from the daily life of muddled mortality. But as I thought on it today I realized that the foundation stones are already in place for critical steps to being this type of person. I just need to recognize them and build off them.

I started with one of my great loves – organization. I’m actually pretty good at this generally speaking. But organization is a skill, not a talent. Anyone can obtain it, for some it’s easier than for others. For my daughter, she needs more personal coaching and help with this. For example, this week I had her help me create some signs for the days of the week with her choice of font and color of paper. She helped cut them out and attach them to a hanging organizer so we could lay out her clothes for the week. This was a wonderful way to channel her excitement and energy about wearing new school clothes and it was a great way for me to reinforce some organization skills. The real beauty of this is that it gave us time talk about things including skills she’s been working on like coordinating outfits, style, modesty, etc. Additionally, it helps me because I can clearly see when laundry needs done and I don’t have to spend valuable morning minutes over choosing what to wear.

By itself, this skill is nice but not inherently valuable. What makes it valuable is the intangible results that come from the peace of mind accompanying being prepared. And then it hit me. The women I met this week have to be prepared to obtain that necessary element called “peace of mind” which they have learned to turn outward into “peace of presence.” And that is the key I’m missing. I haven’t been incorporating the results from my skills and daily processes to help me become a more relaxed and giving person. My goal has always been to get things done, keep things done in order to get and keep more things done. And as a wise man once said, “It is NEVER done.” So I’ve been wasting some precious fuel! I need to start absorbing and converting the good things that come from these skills and simple daily processes into the feeling and environment I want so much to share with my kids and others. I have to use that positive energy into developing the skill of putting people above tasks and to do lists.

I’ve spent the majority of my life training myself to do more, to become more efficient and all in an effort to have more time. Now I see the value in less, at least as it pertains to my ability to slow down and enjoy life with my kids. I’ve learned what you feed is what grows and I want to feed the right stuff! Parenting is so much harder than I thought it would be. It is so easy to spend so much time and energy on all the problems and struggles related to it. But I don’t want my kids to feel that the focus is always on what they’re doing wrong or not doing well enough. I want them to feel from me all the time what I felt in a few minutes from the two women I met this week. That is the kind of person I want to be.

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9 comments on “The Kind of Person I Want To Be

  1. I think that you have well though out issues that many simply ignore. I too want that in my life. It is far to easy to get so consumed by what we consume it comes to own us. To whom much is given much is required. I am so happy to see your introspection. It is in seeing who we admire we define often who we are becoming. Life is that process of becoming.

    Thank you Donetta! You are right that where much is given much is required too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Good for you! I want to be like that too, but I’m always focusing on things that needs to be done. As a result, I end up bumping my kids down the list instead of putting them first.

    I SOOOO know what you mean!

  3. Once again, you have been running around in my brain, writing way more eloquently all the stuff I think about all the time. I think it’s a strength that you can see qualities in others, that you want for yourself.

    What a compliment! Thank you! I love how in tune we are so much of the time. 😉

  4. Great post! Mostly I look at my mother and try not to do that, LOL!

    One thing I try to do is to be grateful that I can do things for my family… To have a joyful heart even when doing their laundry, because I love them.

    I’m not saying I do this all the time but I try. Sometimes the mundane gets the better of me, but I do try.

    Finding the joy in the mundane is excellent!

  5. I think you’re already like that. Your words always have a calming effect on me. :-)

    Yay!! What a nice thing to say!

  6. Thanks for participating in the Carnival of Family Life: Colloquium in Paradise. It will go live at midnight (PDT) tonight.

    You’re welcome! Thank you for hosting it.

  7. What are you talking about? you are just like that. One of the things I admire in you is your calm and the attitude that the Lord will take care of it.
    So, you see. you are there already…

    Awwwww….thank you!

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