don’t worry, be happy now.

This morning Cole walked out the door in shorts and a down jacket.  It is half-way day, and this was his mix-and-match summer-winter ensemble to honor it.  He is, exactly, half way through his sixth grade year.  One half of the way from kindergarden to twelfth grade.  His school is marking the event for the 6th graders with a massive science test, followed by bowling.

Last night at my book club we played a game called ‘save the last word’.  Our supreme hostess, Amanda, had picked Carol Dweck’s Mindset.  {get it, leap frog it to the top of the bedside pile, read it}.  We were all required to write down on a note card the one quote from the book that spoke to us most.  On the reverse of the card, we were to explain why.  One at a time we read our quote, then passed our card, face up, to the left.  Each woman in turn then surmised what it was about the quote that spoke to us, how it most resonated in our lives.  As the quote circled around there was lots of laughter.  Lots of thoughtful insight.  Even a few off-colored jokes (that would be blogger-in-crime Kelli).  But what fascinated me the most was that it became a celebration of who we were.  Who we are.  Today.  Now.  There we all sat.  Some in our late 30’s, some just on the other side of 40.  We are, I hope, slightly shy of our own half-way.  And so it was, in its own way, a half-way celebration.

Celebrating half-way honors the journey, not the conclusion.  Celebrating half-way says what you are doing right now matters, even though you are not yet at the end.  Celebrating half-way means pausing, taking time for joy and reflection in equal measures.  It is a bold choice, to celebrate when the second half is yet unknown.

We don’t need to know the end of the story to say we love the book.  We don’t need to know what high school will bring to have said our time with our children mattered.  Celebrating half-way does all of those things.

And it does one thing more.  It reminds us to set aside worry.

Worry lives in the dark shadows of parenting.  We grip our worries with white knuckles and clammy hands, hoping that our vigil will sway the outcome.  Yet there is no scientific link between worrying and the hoped-for better outcome.  Worry gets us, well, nowhere.  If something concerns us, and there is a way to take action upon it, take action.  Be bold. {and sometimes action is being silent, and watching.  Observing and gathering information so we know what the next action step will be}.  If there is no action, set aside worry.  For when we worry, our energy is being drained, our focus is on the negative, and we’re not allowing all possibilities to unfold.

It’s January.  It’s cold outside.  But if you look carefully, you’ll see the sun is rising a little earlier each day, and setting a few moments later each evening.  Spring will arrive, no matter how much we worry about ice or snow in the meantime.  Where else are you or your child half-way?  What worries can you gently let go?  What actions can you take?  And why not celebrate?  We’re nearly half-way there.



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