The other day I was talking to Miss L — She is in middle school, and those are simply hellish years. The freedom and confidence of childhood is leaving and being replaced by the over acting, self critiquing mind a teen; and the metamorphose appears as painful as transforming into a werewolf. They lash out, they get bullied, they hurt, they are ashamed and confused by all the changes that are happening all around and inside of them…
… there are more demands on them than ever before, they begin to feel the weight of the world. That stress is overwhelming. She lashes out at her siblings and occasionally me… and so we talked.
Life is stressful, it will never be stress free again, if anything the responsibilities and demands keep growing. But it is a mistake to confuse unhappiness with responsibility, and happiness to be the lack of it. Hell there is even a study that shows that busier people tend to be happier. I told her I find that I am most happy not when I am resting, but when I am creating something beautiful, be it in art, a meal, nurturing my children, or contributing to a positive experience, especially for those I love.
And beyond my own enjoyment, that is what I want my kids to take out of these adventures we go on. Not simply that we are going to beautiful and interesting places… but that we always work together to make an amazing experience.
Today we ventured to Nelson’s Landing with a brief stop at an old mining town. The kids dug in the mud, climbed the rocky hills, swam and lunched by the Colorado River… in to which V and I jumped… off a cliff… that was freaking scary and awesome — check her post on the experience!