As you start this week, may you be courageous and bold enough to do the things that are good and healthy for you, the things you know make you a better grownup and more in to who you’re made to be.
I distinctly remember this one evening after visiting some family friends late into the night, when I was soundly sleeping in the backseat, my head propped on the side of the car and my body rolled up in a self-made cocoon. I’m guessing I was about 8 or 9, and we had just pulled up into our driveway; my dad turned off the ignition and my mom gathered my younger brother, also sleeping, in her arms.
“Tsh. Tsh. Time to wake up. We’re home,” my mom said, and then she turned toward the house with her arms full. I wondered—if I sat still long enough, would one of my parents return to the car to carry me, too? Maybe they’ll think I’m sound asleep and didn’t hear them. Or maybe they’ll have pity on my too-big body and schlep my dead weight over their shoulder.
A few seconds passed of stillness and silence, and no one came back for me. This is when I realized: I was too big to be carried in any more. I was growing up, and part of that meant not getting to be a baby. Most of the time, that was cool. But at 11 p.m., when I wanted someone else to do the getting out, the walking up the driveway, the clothes changing, and the teeth brushing, I was bummed that I didn’t get an official memo when that part of my life ended. Somehow, I blinked and missed that phase between being small enough to be babied and big enough to now do some big things myself.
This still continues all the time in my life—the kids are in bed, the kitchen is a mess from dinner, and I wonder where the grownup is who wouldn’t mind cleaning it for me. The bills come, and no one but Kyle or myself can make sure they’re paid. If I want to do well in work, I have to crack open the laptop, make the necessary connections, and teach myself new things.
Slow and steady, I’m learning to be the boss of me.
I don’t mean that in an irresponsible, selfish way, where I raze down anyone in my way, or I disregard any form of authority in my life. I simply mean that part of maturity is owning up to the fact that I own my choices, my actions, and my ideas, and that I can’t blame them on anyone else.
And if you think about it, there’s a lot of freedom in this. In tandem with my husband, we can choose what to spend our money on, how to fill in the calendar boxes, and what to put in our fridge. If I choose to sleep in or wake up early… well, either one is my choice. I decide how to start my day.
This also means I have the freedom to say no to the things that just aren’t best for me and my family, and yes to the things that are. Being a grownup means we technically could exit the freeway and head to the airport to board the next flight, bound for wherever. But because we love our kids and want them to eat, we choose to spend that allocated money on groceries instead. There’s a time and place for the airport, of course, but we have a clan to nurture, and those needs take priority.
I’m the boss of me. No one else forces me to make my choices. There’s a lot of responsibility in that. But it’s also pretty darn freeing.
How will you be the boss of you this week?