Don’t Settle!

I have struggled all day with what to write in my blog.  That is why it hasn’t been written until now.  Writing a blog every day is a great exercise, but it does require an endless amount of material.  Although my life is exciting and full of blog-able moments, I struggle with which thought should be blogged and which should be kept in my head.

And then I drove home from work today and saw the billboard pictured below. I am pretty sure that people passing me on Lyndale Ave N, where I had pulled over, put on my hazard lights, opened the sun roof, and popped up to to take the photo, thought I was nuts.  And maybe I am…but when you see the perfect material for a blog, you have to stop and take that photo!

Today was an interesting day.  My work computer decided that it wanted to have a mind of its own (think boiphren for those of you who know that my phone likes to type whatever it wants sometimes – same issue), and it gets to go off to the company for some warranty work.  I am so tied to technology for every move I make from tracking student progress to sending out the letters to knowing where I should be…that when my computer has issues, I have issues.   I met my new renter to exchange money for keys.   I attended a truancy intervention meeting in Hennepin County – but the kid did not show.  I struggle with understanding why there is such an apathy in this culture.  Why do people not take responsibility for themselves and their kids?  Why are people settling for less than the best?

And then I saw the billboard on my way home, and it made me think, “If people are not willing to settle when it comes to snow, why would they settle in anything else?”

It is an interesting thought, really.  What makes us willing to settle in any part of our lives?  Why do some women settle for jerks when they are beautiful inside and out and deserve so much more?  Why do some people settle for mediocre jobs when they have so much more potential?  Why do some students settle for failing grades instead of living up to what their brains can do?  Why do we settle?

And then the next question that came to mind is, “What is settling?”  Does one person’s excelling look like settling for someone else?  Are we settling when we prioritize our children over our jobs?  I do not think so, but someone else might see it that way.  Is it settling when we give to charitable organizations instead of buying a camero?  Again, I do not think so, but some people might see it that way.

Perhaps the concept of settling is somewhat subjective; however, I am willing to argue that we should never settle in our relationships with our families.  While some families have their issues (and believe me, mine probably has its ownsubscription) and these issues make having great relationships hard, we can always be striving to have better relationships.

The relationships that I have with my husband and my children need to be relationships where I do not settle….I want them to be excellent.  I want more than anything for my marriage to be the best that it can be.  Sometimes I let my own selfish ambitions or wants get in the way of this.  I need to re-evaluate and remind myself that this partnership should be the best thing.  The funny part about this is that my husband is the best part of my life.  He sees me in ways that I could not have asked anyone to see me.  He sees beyond my imperfections.  He believes in me.  He wants the best for me.  I need to reciprocate for him.  I will not grow old with a stranger; I want to grow old with my best friend.

I will not settle for a mediocre relationship with my children.  I want my children to grow up thinking that I was the best mom that they could have had.  One of the ways that I think I can do that is by letting them know that I am not perfect and that they should have other influences in their lives.  I need to hold them closely but loosely.  I want to be a major part of their lives, but I realize that they need other adults to influence them as well.  This is a concept that not all parents accept, but I believe it to be true.  Watching my children interact with other adults is a wonderful thing.  My husband and I have sought to build a community of other adults around our children.  It is easier to do when one is part of a church family, but there are other ways as well.  When those adults reinforce my values and say the same things that I do, my children realize that I am not crazy for having high expectations for their behavior.

I know that settling for me looks differently than it would for someone else.  I also know that I struggle with settling in different areas than others do.  The point, though, is this: why settle in anything?  Why not live life abundantly and to the fullest each and every day?

One thought on “Don’t Settle!

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