I like writing about big turning points, where professional and personal lives coalesce, where the boundaries are coming down, and you’re faced with a set of choices which will change life forever. Tana French
My mother is a smart woman. She doesn’t always know it — who does? — but as I get older, I realize she possesses a wisdom I have yet to find. I hope I get there. I have been critical of my mother often over the years, as if I knew better, but possessed with her history, I am not sure I would ever have done so well. At 83, she is pretty impressive to me. So is my Dad. They are upbeat embracers of life. They remind us that despite our age or circumstances, we can be formidable advocates of a well-lived experience and that attitude has a lot to do with it.
I was sharing with my mother in a recent visit about my stress. Things get pretty busy with life. I’m sure you know that. We all want to do our best. We strive for perfection and probably more times than not, fail to hit the mark, at least the mark we think we should hit. Sometimes we over-correct, try to do too much, as if to make up for some deeply perceived failing.
We are our toughest critics. Sometimes it feels like we are in a corner. We feel trapped and want to fight our way out, not realizing that we are trapped in the perceived walls of our own doubt.
So, as I was expressing my fears, the feeling that I might never rise above them, my mother paused and looked at me and said. “Lesley, you have to learn to manage the corners. Those borders are constructed by your own thoughts. Corners don’t have to be traps. They can actually be turns in the roads that lead you to better perspectives and richer opportunities.”
A tear falls. I feel a little out of control. I consider that I need to slow down and balance how I approach my life. I think of all the people I know through work and just everyday general living. They are faced too with similar moments. We are not alone actually. We are doing the best we can, trying to see beyond the bend, trying to give our best to the moment. We stumble. We fall. It isn’t perfect. It’s our life. If we pause, just enough, we can see the beauty of the corner. It’s not a trap. It’s actually a new path. If we think on it how we approach that path can change our lives forever.