Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Arena (and Life) Awaits

Life is full of tough days, hard times, and potential regrets.  A life well lived that is.

As I write and yearn for my bed (I'm currently in between beds, literally on and off all night long...believe it or not, the musical beds has helped with getting longer blocks of sleep...whatever works right?), I wanted to post something and reached into my day for some inspiration.  All in all, it was a day being a mama of a toddler (2.5 to be precise) and an on the go infant.  I am tired.  But I did get to read during nap time...and this quote brings me back to the center of it all.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."

-Theodore Roosevelt

At my best, I've chosen to live in the arena and depending on whose perspective is being expressed, I've known both high achievement and absolute failure.  This mama gig kicks my butt regularly and some nights, I think that I just can't do it again.  But there is no winning or losing here and everyday I somehow find the courage to get back in there.  Regardless of how the books say it should be, or how other mamas say it should be, or what bystanders watching me ringside think I should do...I know that I'm all in, giving all I have (and then some), and learning to love me for having the courage to do so.  

I was reminded of this in a small, insignificant, silly way as we were walking down to the beach...I saw a woman driving her gianormous SUV up the hill (too fast), waving her arms at me, and mouthing with an angry twist to her mouth "YOUR DOG!!".  I knew what she was talking about...Diego had gotten the leash stuck between his hind legs and was walking/being dragged backwards by yours truly.  While I appreciated her concern for the welfare of my dog, I knew quite a bit more about what was going on than she did or thought I did.  I happened to be navigating my double BOB stroller with one hand, while holding my precious 2.5 year olds hand with the other WHILST crossing a cross street (and watching traffic to ensure no one was heading our way).  Diego was attached to the stroller by his leash and was relatively speaking JUST FINE.  I fixed him as soon as we were safely past the street crossing, back on the sidewalk but there was no way I was going to put my whole family in jeopardy of some texting idiot driver to fix Diego's leash.  

 I got this, lady.  And anyone else who might observe and judge from their safe seats ringside. "did you see that wicked woman? waltzing across the street dragging her poor little doggie...I never" If you want to get down and dirty with me inside the arena, or commiserate about your mama/papa experiences...fine.  in the end though I know that it is me that has to answer the tough questions at the end of the day...from me.  And that I can answer wholeheartedly is all that matters.  I doesn't mean that I get it right every time, every day...I just am daring to live and learn together with my kids...and get everyone to the beach safely.  Just focus on living your life and driving safely.  Please.  In turn, I promise to be too busy and comfortable in my own arena to judge you in yours (and your huge luxury SUV).  Hee hee, at least that's the goal.  


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  2. Here's to being IN the arena! One of the quotes I live by? "I'd rather spend 8seconds in the arena than a lifetime in the stands!"