My husband began tackling un-boxing books this past weekend, which is no small task given the quantity of books two bibliophiles compile. He set aside a couple boxes of my books, which I worked on last night.
Prior to last night, I had unpacked quite a few religion-related books, and donated some novels and work-related books – the lower shelves on my bookcases were nicely put together. Last night, the books I spent unpacking were all about grad school and clinical work. Unlike earlier this summer, when burning work-related papers was cathartic, my work last night was sobering.
I was facing my material success – the accolades I received, in the form of good grades, finished reports, projects successfully completed, and acknowledgment of the impact I had on families. Those are reminders of days gone by – my veterans I assisted in ensuring they were adjusting healthily to the civilian world, the families I helped reunify, the children I assisted in finding “forever homes,” and the clients I counseled in their own homes, whose lives colored mine with the antics of unhealthy behaviors, as we fought together to create healthy ecosystems within their home environment.
And, I found myself grieving – for the impact I had on others’ lives.
Until this morning.
As usual, I slept on my thoughts. I spent a bit of time quietly ruminating on my memories. I worked a little on reframing my thoughts because, sometimes, social workers learn a thing or two along their path of helping others, and are able to apply those skills to their own lives.
I realized my current lifestyle choice – to stay at home with my children – is still impacting others’ lives! Instead of effecting the lives of families which I will only know briefly, I currently have the opportunity to impact children who will take these lessons and skills, and have far greater reach, lasting generations. Because they are my own!
My accolades may not be the same as the past – but, they are infinitely more beautiful, and I still get them, if I choose to recognize them!
- They are in the smiles and the hugs I receive daily.
- They are in the memories of love and laughter we are creating.
- They are in the spontaneous uttering of my son – for example, yesterday, he informed me, “Mommy, you and Dad are the best parents ever!”
- They are in watching a baby scold herself, in an attempt to determine whether or not she should get into something she shouldn’t (like, the dog water).
- They are in the countless books we read, or the snuggles we have while we watch “Transformers” together.
So, today I am okay. I am choosing to reframe my feelings from last night, and focusing on the good I am being blessed to do for my own family, hopefully for generations to come!