That’s Life!

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Sometimes the easiest thing can be the most difficult.

I took a reprieve from blogging mostly because of some technical difficulties. But the technical challenges I was having almost seemed symptomatic of other struggles I was having personally; namely, remembering that everything in life can’t be controlled and that’s often the beauty of it.

It’s been 3 months since I left television news and took the leap away from my career for very personal reasons. I was gung-ho and ready to be the ever-present mom I had not been for most of my son’s 12 years of life. I set the bar high for myself in that respect. I was going to become a familiar face at his school, the team mom who went to every baseball practice and game and the mom who was going to be so present and helpful with homework my son would get his best grades ever.

Well, that bar was too unrealistically high and when it came crashing down, so did I. A few weeks ago I just lost it. I expected this smooth transition and that everything would just fall into place the way I thought it should and then it didn’t and I felt like a failure. So much so that I didn’t want to blog because I felt like I wouldn’t have anything uplifting to write about. But in retrospect, I think that’s exactly why I should write. I’m such a proponent of telling women to cut themselves some slack and not try to do it all and to give ourselves pats on the back for what we accomplish rather than what we didn’t  – and here I was NOT practicing what I preach.

The light bulb flashed for me when my son injured his arm in a baseball game a few weeks ago. He had been working so hard for months to improve his game and when he took the mound during a school game for the first time this season, he was energized and excited which probably numbed him a little to the pain he was feeling in his elbow. By the second pitch I knew something wasn’t right. After the first inning he came to me complaining that his elbow really hurt but I don’t think even I considered just how honest he was being. He threw another inning and it was obvious, this was no joke.

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When I finally got him in to see a specialist and he was asked on a scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being worst –  how severe the pain was that day on the mound, he told the doctor it was an 11! My shoulders sank. How did I not know it was that bad? What kind of mom was I, I thought?! The doctor then dropped the bomb neither of us expected. No baseball for 6 weeks. He had an elbow sprain that, if he continued to play baseball, would result in a tear that would require surgery; the same surgery his dad had so many years ago that ultimately led to his retirement from professional baseball. He would need several weeks of physical therapy if he intended to heal properly and continue to play baseball. Now, in the grand scheme of life this might not register on the Richter scale. But for my son and me, this was a huge blow. It was a setback neither of us expected and after I dropped him off at school following the appointment, I sat in my car and cried because on the drive between that appointment and school, Def Leppard came on the radio and my son and I silently acknowledged that his dad was communicating with us. I don’t know what he was trying to say but I sat in my car alone and told him repeatedly how much I needed him. I needed him to say the right things to our son because I wanted to be encouraging, yet all this was so new to me.

In the weeks since, my son has followed his doctor-prescribed regimen and his physical therapist is encouraged by his progress. If at any point he started to take baseball or his ability to play for granted, this setback has certainly awakened his sense of gratitude. It also jolted me out of my funk, being reminded that we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we deal with it. Nothing is ever as smooth as we’d like and when it’s not, it’s a ripe time to grow. My technological problems got solved. My son’s grades are better than ever and he accomplished that with less of my help than I thought he’d need. That’s a good thing! Remembering to loosen the reigns and roll with the punches are lessons he and I have been reminded of these last few weeks. Nothing is absolute and life can change on a dime.

I opened up my horoscope this morning (my son and I actually share the same sign) and it summed everything up perfectly for us: You weren’t born with the attitude that makes you a success. You have to chose it and then get up the next day and choose it again.

Cheers to another day in this journey we call life!

17 Comments

  • Anna S 3 years ago

    You made a good chose!! Life is short and children grow up too fast. Take care..glad you are doing well…

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Thank you Anna, I appreciate your kind words and support :) I apologize for the delayed response. Thank you for taking the time to read!
      All the best,
      Catherine

  • Lou Ann 3 years ago

    Hi Cathy…so happy to see your blog today but sooo sooo sorry for the baseball hurt Christian has. Glad there are some plusses coming out of your changes with your kids. I remember always telling Dave…just don’t get hurt. I know he was overdoing it at times trying to try a new throw in pitching. Am sure Christian has experienced that. Is he still wanting to go back to baseball when Dr. says ok??? Hope so…but am sure his grades coming up and other things are due to your showing him how much you care. Glad you are taking your friend Pam’s advice (above) Has always been hard for me too.
    Checked out the latest from Briana….who’s the guy? I will send her birthday $$$ soon and maybe she’ll find time to drop me a line…..e-mail the same?
    I may have some good news to write you about in a couple days….do you know what Publishers Clearing House is (just a hint)
    Jessica and Denise are doing well. 4th grade Math is not so easy to help Jess with as previous years!
    Chat withyou again soon.
    Love, Lou Ann

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Always great to hear from you Lou Ann! We are all doing better and you sound good too :) Lots of things are happening – good things! Please email me (maybe you didn’t get the email I sent you after the last blog?) at catherine@catherineanaya.com.
      xo and love!

  • Mary Krell 3 years ago

    I am sure you made the right decision to spend more time with your kids. You are missed on the news Katherine but as you say life is short. My kids are 48, 46, and 42. I have enjoyed them more than I can put into words. Congratulations!

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Thank you Mary – I appreciate that. I had an amazing career and couldn’t have enjoyed the longevity without the support from viewers like you! I appreciate it :) Catherine

  • Pam 3 years ago

    This gave me Goosebumps Catherine. One day at a time.

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      One day at a time. Love your support – and you! xo

  • Tom Ethington 3 years ago

    They mean so much to us…
    Good choice!

  • Diane Billings 3 years ago

    Success comes in so many different forms. If our children are successes we are considered to have been “good” parents. if our children are not so successful or are trouble ridden is it because we are bad parents? I belief we all, as parents, do the best we can with what we know at the time we are raising them. And then, if we set good examples for our children, they have the option to follow those examples or not. We are all human with human emotions. The end of your horoscope says so much. We all have the ability to choose. Good or bad choices – we get to make them. We also get to reap the benefits of good choices and suffer the consequences of bad choices. It is called learning and that is what it is all about. And, fortunately, if we so choose, we go on learning! Namaste Catherine.

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Namaste! So well said. Thank you :)

  • Jill 3 years ago

    What an amazing mom and roll model you are for your kids. They are lucky to have you.

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Thank you so much! They are my world and I’m so fortunate to be in a position to have this time with them. I haven’t regretted my decision for a second :)

  • Georgiann Serpe 3 years ago

    Hello Catherine! I understand how very difficult it is when we feel we are ‘failing’, even though, of course, we are not. We are mere humans and, as you said, we need to cut ourselves some slack. Both you and your son’s ability to realize that his father is ever-present really resonates with me and I am so glad that it gives you both comfort and strength.

    Remember, we don’t always need to utter the perfect words to our kids…our love, devotion, hugs and encouragement speaks volumes.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Georgiann, your support and encouraging words always mean so much!
      Catherine

  • Benjamin Groff 3 years ago

    Great perspective on you and your son’s challenges. I want to let you know that as a parent, employee or friend family member, no one becomes a failure as long as they are still trying.

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Amen to that, Benjamin. Wise words. I appreciate it :)

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