Sugar left a great comment on my last Disney post. I was intrigued by her name and bopped over to her blog, where I found this. Sugar and HP, along with 50 other top blogs are giving away an amazing prize package of over $6,000 in computer hardware. I KNOW! What an amazing gift! Sugar wants to know what the entrants are doing to make an impact on the lives of others and how we would use this hardware to better our own lives and the lives of those around us. I thought long and hard about my entry. What am I doing to make a difference in the world around me? How am I impacting others? So this is my entry, Sugar. I'm not sure it's what you are looking for, but it's the truth as I see it.
Some of you know me and some of you don't. Some of you have gotten to know a little about me through my blog. I started this blog because I wanted contact with the world outside of my front door, outside of my neighborhood, outside of my own depressing life. I wanted to connect with others in the world and share my thoughts and feelings with those who care to read about them. Little did I know how it would impact my own life, as well as that of my friends and family. I mean, it's just a blog. And not a very popular one...it's just a normal momblog. How could it have that big of an effect, right?
As I began to write, I found myself reflecting on who I was, who I am, who I want to be. And what I found is that I am not even close to the person I ever thought I would be. And so began the journey. I would write about my Dad, who passed away and realize that his impact on me was greater than I ever realized. I would write about my kids and all of their great qualities and find a new love and respect for how they make me want to be a better person. In sharing my family's everday life, I began to find that I was missing out on so much of the joy that comes from not only being a mom, but being a wife, a sister, a daughter, a person! Why was I missing out? Because I was so busy worrying about not living up to the expectations I had set for myself that I was miserable and...NOT living up to the expectations I had set for myself! Consequently, I was constantly mad at my husband and kids for not being better family members. I was mad at my mom and dad for not doing a better job in raising me. I was mad at life. I was mad. All of the time. And depressed.
So I wrote. And the writing brought some joy. And with the joy came awareness. And with awareness came openess. Next came honesty, then acceptance. Now I have hope. Hope that I will be able to let go of everything in my past that has caused me such deep pain and kept me from living a full and happy life. Hope that the multi-generational dysfunction that has held my family hostage is finally going to be cast aside. Hope that I can use the inspiration I have gained through writing to be the mom, the wife, the friend, the daughter, the sister that is needed.
So how has this impacted others? I think it has opened up a whole new level of communication among my family. We talk now. We didn't grow up talking about much at all. We just fought. We say I love you to each other now. Another thing we never did. After 35 years I was finally able to tell my mom I had been sexually abused without worrying about her reaction. And she was able to offer a heartfelt response. So we talk. Sometimes we cry, but we talk. And talking has been good for my family.
I think my blog writing has made me try harder to not take my boys for granted. It's made me realize that my time with them is short and that I need to be engaged with them everyday! That one realization changed how we interact. We are more patient with one another. My boys are starting to feel more secure about sharing their feelings with me. We play! We talk. We laugh! We sing (not very well, but we sing). We still have our bad days, but not as many as we used to have. I hope that my growing up emotionally has impacted them in such a way that they will be able to have much more loving, functional relationships with the people around them. I hope they will feel prepared and ready to go out and make their way in the world, without crippling emotional issues, because their mom took the time to pull her head out and start living without baggage. Have I had that kind of positive impact on them? Only time will tell.
I think I have impacted my marriage and my husband through my writing. How? Because when I write about him, I think about him. I analyze what is right and what is working and what is wrong and not working. There is a lot that isn't working right now. For awhile it really got me down. Then I realized I have some culpability here and that if I wanted to see change, I would need to bring change to the table myself. So I'm working on that. And in making changes in my own life, I can see my husband trying to step up and make changes too. It's painfully slow and I tend to think that I make way more effort that he does. But it's not a contest, right? No winners, but there could be some losers if we don't figure it out. How have my actions impacted him? Not very well sometimes. How has my writing impacted him? I have loved him more often, forgiven him more often, supported him more often. And now I am feeling more able to help him let go of his past so he too can move on. Everybody needs a support system, yes? And if he can move on and I can continue to move on, then my family wins and we can share our success with others who struggle.
So who have I impacted the most through my efforts? Well, I certainly haven't changed THE world, but I am changing MY world, which is changing my family's world, which is breaking a cycle of multi-generational dysfunction and that will have a very positive affect on my grandchildren. Maybe they will actually have a shot in hell of having a great, guilt-free, positive, happy life. And I hope that my efforts to change our family dynamic will create an environement that allows them to go out and give all they have to make the world a better place.
As to what impact those computers will have? I am going back to school to take some graphics classes to reinvigorate my latent graphics and writing career, which has been in storage for 15 years. Starting a blog inspired me to get off my butt and start using the talent God gave me to benefit myself, my family, my friends. I donate my lame graphics and writing talents whenever friends and family call...because I know that a little flyer will make a big difference for someone's fund-raiser. It would be nice to have the new hardware to go along with the newly honed skills and latest software.
Another area of impact the HP hardware will have? Writing a blog inpsired communication, which has forced us to sit down and talk about our future. We didn't like what we saw! So we are making plans for a better life. My 42 year old husband, who has no degree and can no longer do the physical labor he has always done is working on going back to school to get a degree in Water Treatment. He's not good with school. Most of his courses are online. It would be nice for him to be able to take the classes with a new computer so we don't have to fight our 10 year old ancient Dell that functions at the speed of nothing. It will be a great experience to see him succeed with school. I hope that by going back to the university, my boys will see that their parents value education and will be inspired to work hard and be successful in their educational careers.
The other computers? We would donate them to the boys' school or to the Phoenix Children's Hospital for the kids and their families to communicate with others outside of the hospital. Or maybe to a retirement home so the seniors can email their families and have some communications with loved ones who live far away. Maybe they can tell their adult kids how much they love them and help heal old wounds and diminish dysfunction so other families can come together like ours has started to come together. There's nothing more magical than that. (cue music - "All you need is Love, All you need is love.")