Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Welcome To The Grand Illusion

By Zen_sheila @BeZensational

So many times we have preconceived notions rambling about our brain of how things should be.  I think this is especially true around the holidays.  We try hard to construct memories of the perfect this or that. I remember once watching Martha Stewart and deciding I would decorate like she did.  Sprigs of holly and pine strategically placed here and there, delectable sugar cookies evenly cooked and perfectly decorated, and fruit painted with egg white then sprinkled with sugar would make an incredibly scrumptious looking centerpiece!  I followed her instructions to a T. Christmas in my house would surely be a beautiful memory for my kids!  The sights, the sounds, the enchantment!

Enchantment my ass.  What I wound up with was a house that looked like I forgot to clean up pine sprigs, crappy looking cookies and a very odd centerpiece with clumps of egg white and sugar dried on the fruit.  I was a little disappointed to realize I was not in fact — a mini-Martha.  In fact, my house looked a bit like Martha Stewart on crack.

Welcome To The Grand Illusion
I always used to do this though… try to construct memories.  What kind of mother doesn’t dream of having her children remember events and outings as absolutely wonderful and awesome?  It was something I was plagued with.  From big things like our cross-country road trip to little things like going for a hike in the park.  I had these grandiose illusions that we’d all share laughter and great times and there would be no arguing.   Each time my illusions were shattered with constant bickering and complaining.  Someone looked at someone funny; someones sense of humor offended someone else, someone was bossy or mean.  Oh sure, there was laughter in there… but it still didn’t wind up being that perfect scenario I envisioned.

The funny thing is that my memories of things back then are so much different from my kids memory of things.  Mine were busted up illusions with bits of fun thrown in and theirs are tons of fun and good times with a barely a recollection of any negative parts (and they even laugh about those!).

Welcome To The Grand Illusion

Photo courtesy of The Middle Child

It was probably around the time we returned from our big road trip that I started my quest to find my Zen; my self.  I think I realized it was time because we were looking through photo albums of the trip and my kids were going on and on about how fun the trip was… that it was the “best time ever”.  Meanwhile I remembered a series of mini-breakdowns and being pulled over for speeding – hoping to God they would arrest me and give me a night in jail to relax and get away from the incessant bickering.  What kind of nut plans a cross-country road trip with two teens and a pre-teen AND expects them all to get along perfectly.  Just stupid.

In the years since, I have learned to stop trying to create memories… to stop envisioning the perfect anything a head of time.  Turns out those memories are perfect just the way they turn out — all by themselves.  Sometimes you just have to wait a little while to see it.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog