Saturday, 15 September 2012

Where Does it Come From??

Determination.  Where does it come from and what makes one person more determined than another? 

Lately...well...within the last few years or so I've noticed that I seem to be a lot more determined than most people.  I haven't really known why that is.  I'm no better than anybody else, I don't believe I'm stronger than others...quite frankly I find myself quite weak in the grand scheme of things.  Don't get me wrong...I'm strong, but I find that I'm not as strong as I know I can be, definetly not strong enough to have done the things I have done.  Sometimes I think I've gotten through it all from sheer fluke, rather than any real talent on my part.  I don't think much of myself, not in the low self-esteem type way but more in the realistic way.  Realistically speaking, I'm not all that.....and really I've had a long time to become ok with that.

But underneath it all..the weakness, my inability to handle stress or pressure all that well....I have this determination, that, I guess, have gotten me through.  I guess you can say it's a talent of sorts...I didn't create it, I don't think.  I was probably born with it I guess.  I must remember to ask my mum what she thinks about it...I'm sure she would say that I was stubborn.  And I guess stubborness has hindered me in some ways but not others.  I've noticed that stubborness has helped me in the important things.  I'm not one to quit easily...I fight.  I have too much pride to just give up on something....but then the 'something' has to be important to me and/or an actual decision rather than a pie in the sky idea.

I guess I should explore examples....

Losing weight!  Ah the master of all 'mountains' to get over for most people.  And just like most people I failed at that a few times.  I quit way too soon.  Which would give one the impression that I mustn't be very determined at all...I most certainly don't have any will power.  I stopped and started so many times!  But this is where it changed from this 'pie in the sky' ideal to an actual decision.  Once I actually made that decision THAT WAS IT!!!  I was determined.  I pulled out all the stops...I quit making excuses.  Trust me I had a lot of excuses and I could have formulated excuses anytime throughout my I had in the past, I was not above excuses...especially valid ones....oh they were all valid excuses!  Really they were!  But I was determined to do this.  I was sick of being a fatty.  I was sick of feeling down on myself and I was sick of seeing my self body issues dwindling...I WAS going to become healthy again and I was willing to do all that it took, as long as it was get there.

Isn't it funny to have that switch go off and suddenly you go from 'meh' to 'that's it I'm doing this'!  What makes this happen I wonder?  I had so much will power!  I went to the gym almost every day....I HATED THE GYM but I kept going anyway.  I wasn't going to allow my hatred for the gym or the inconvenience of the gym to get in the way of my goal.  I had a goal and I was going to reach it.  End of story.

Ok that's one example...

Another example would be Tupperware!  I used to be a tupperware lady.  I was good at it too, I was beginning to rake in some cash...or pocket money, if you will.  But then I fell pregnant and between morning sickness and tiredness (being pregnant with 5 other children to take care of was no easy feat) I just couldn't do it anymore, I became complacent, and would make a few mistakes....that ordinarily I wouldn't have made.  In the end I quit!  Now where was that determination then?  Yes I had an excuse...but I also know that there are many women who have been pregnant and had other children and worked full time and somehow managed.  They were able to do it...why wasn't I?  It came down to determination...they had it...I didn't. 

Perhaps Tupperware wasn't all that important to me at the time...perhaps that's why I didn't fight as hard...but then getting fit was important to me and yet I stopped and started that many a time. this is a big one.  I don't know where or how...but I had the determination and stubborness of a Bull!!!  I didn't realise it at the time...but over the years from talking to other mothers and watching them struggle I've realised that I must have been one hell of a stubborn old cow!!

I had EVERYTHING going against me!!!  I have had more 'issues' breastfeeding than a lot of other mothers (not all).  And yet they quit...and I didn't.  What made them quit and me succeed...not just once..oh no...but SIX TIMES?  I'm no stronger than them...seriously I spent a lot of my early motherhood falling apart, mainy from not having enough support in my life more than anything  And throughout all that, I never ACTUALLY fell apart...and I never ACTUALLY quit!  Breastfeeding was not easy...and I was not 'lucky' as I've been told must have been the case, in fact being told that I was 'lucky' felt very condescending...ok maybe I was lucky once....or even twice but to be lucky 6 times??  If I was so lucky how come I haven't yet won the lottery?? wasn't was determination, attitude and my management skills that got me through it.  But where did I get them from?  And why some things and with other things?

This brings me to daycare.  I've never been one to think much of daycare at all....although my opinion has since changed slightly since my aunt, who I admire and trust as a person, started working there.  Whilst understanding my concerns with childcare, she was able to share with me the positives that can come of it too.  So I'm not all that against it these days.  Nevertheless...I'm very proud of myself.  I don't know how...and I don't know why...but somehow I've managed to go almost 16 years as a mother...through having a husband that was never emotionally present...go through an awful and bitter breakup and divorce, being a single mother...hooking up with someone new and dealing with the adjustment that miscarriage and moving and depression and all that...and....NOT ONCE...have I EVER resorted to sending my children to daycare!  Not for any much as I may have needed a break or whatever the situation may have been...I never actually did send them. 

Again...I'm not better than anyone else but I think the difference with me is the way I think about things.  I think it's easy to blame the children for how hard your life is...that you need a break.  I don't mean blame in a negative sense either...more so see the children as the reason for XYZ.  I guess when I felt the most pressure in wanting to send them to daycare is when I changed how I saw the 'issue' itself.  So instead of thinking to myself 'Well maybe if I send such and such to daycare then things will be better because I can have that one day to myself blah blah blah" I thought "'s not the child that's the's how I'm dealing with said child/situation".  So in the case of wasn't the breastfeeding that was the enemy...breastfeeding was not causing my issues and my tiredness and the fact that I felt drained 24/7 it was my management of my management of my management of my tiredness. 

I guess I have this ability to ....eventually...cos lets face it initially I'd be all blaming of whatever until I actually stopped and thought about it LOL....see what the real problem was and rather than quit...try and see the situation and manage the situation another way. 

Take my son for instance....Rhys!  For a few years, probably from about 7/8 years (and on a smaller scale earlier than that even) till about 12ish...I had nothing but problems with him.  His behaviour at school...his behaviour at home.  My fear for him was that he was going to become a criminal by the time he hit his teens...and I was deadly serious.  I got it from every which way...I had people telling me that perhaps I should send my son away to live with his father.  I had it from his father.  I had it from Aaron.  I had it from my grandfather.  I had it from my mother.  I had it from friends.  They were all saying...."Hey maybe you should send him to live with his father!"...each person giving their reasons as to why I should.  But you know what?  I KNEW that that wasn't the answer!  I KNEW that quiting and sending my child away wasn't going to be the cure here.  I just KNEW it was worth the fight...HE was worth the fight.  And rather than look at HIM as the problem....rather I looked at my management of the situation.  Again...quitting would have been the easy thing to do...stopping breastfeeding would have been easy...sending my kids to daycare would have been easy....quiting weight loss would have been easy ....and sending my son away would have been easy too. 

To me...all those easy way outs just seemed such a copout!  Yes I could of stopped breastfeeding, it certainly would  have made my homelife better...maybe...but then what?  How would I feel about myself if I just quit...why?...because it got hard??  Hello!!!!  LIFE is hard!  Everybody has hard.  You don't just give up because it got hard!  You don't just send your kid to daycare cos it's don't just quit the gym because it's don't just send your child away cos it's hard!  What kind of a presedence does that set when you start quiting important things because it's hard?  What kind of a message would that have sent to my children?  To my son?  "Oh I sent you away because you got too hard".  I KNEW that if I had done that, it would have done way more damage to him...and I think also it would have sent a message to my other kids that they can be sent away too if life gets too hard.  That I can give up on my children...that I can give up on what's important...just like that! 

In the end, what all this detemination and stubborness has gotten me is a sense of pride and empowerment beyond belief!!!  Look what I've done???  I lost 25kg in 6 months...with 6 children to boot!  I breastfed 6 children for 6 years!!! (one year each was my goal)  I never resorted to dumping my kids into daycare just so I can have a 'break' (and God knows I needed one) and best of all I NEVER resorted to sending my son away because he became too hard. 

Things are so so so so much better with him now.  I don't know what's changed but it's been almost sudden, it's been almost an overnight change, that's how quick it was.  Our relationship has grown considerably!  I believe there's a few factors at play because he was slowly improving once we moved to Toowoomba and he started spending more time with his Dad...that was the beginning of the change.  But the vast improvement has come this year.  As much as I feared him starting highschool and thinking that if he can't cope with primary the hell would he be able to cope with highschool...he has thrived!!!  The change in him has been phenominal!  He is a different kid. To have his SOSE teacher call me and tell me "Rhys gives me the impression that he's got it all together"...yeh wow!  None of his primary teachers would have said that...NONE!

 I think that it's partly because he's matured and grown into himself, perhaps how highschool is structured and how he's treated at highschool (like an adult?) is better for thim.  But mostly I'd like to think the change within our relationship has come from knowing that I stuck by him and never gave up on him.  I just knew that it'd be the wrong thing to do and a copout and the message he would have gotten from me would have been that I give up when the going gets tough and he would have lost his trust in me something shocking.  I think he appreciates and trusts me more now.  Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect by any means and he still has his moments...but now days these moments are easily dealt with and probably no different from any other teen whereas before it was almost unbearable and beating me down.  But I'm glad I stuck to my guns because we are so much better off because of it.  He even has goals now for when he leaves school...we've both sat down and worked out plan A, plan B...etc etc  And for the first time he's showing enthusiasm for school work to the point where we are down to him only failing ONE subject!  And because he's showing all this promise now, I'm willing to hire a tutor for him for next term to sort that out.

So yes...stubborness and determination can be bad sometimes but it can also have good outcomes...where the hell it comes from in me? I don't know.  I'm really not all that...but somehow I dig deep down and I find this sense of determination and go like a bull at a gate and do not quit!  I may want to...I may come very close to but somehow my pride doesn't allow me to!

I just hope this gets me through Uni bahaahaaaaa! ;)


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