Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

I worry.

40 Reflections #35: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season

Throughout this Lenten Season I’ve listened to Dynamic Catholic, a daily epistle filled with valuable lessons. A recent reflection titled, Why Worry?, echoed a discussion I had with our daughter relating to the common stressors of being a teenager: driving permits, GPA’s, friends, homework, sports, projects, tests, etc. The challenge, we agreed, lies in separating the worries we can control from those we must simply let go.

As a mother, I worried I didn’t play with the kids enough when they were young. So one day, I decided I would allot 15 minutes to play with each child individually after their naps, confident they would grow up reflecting fondly on the dedicated time we shared playing Candy Land, trains or dolls. This plan lasted about 17 minutes, and inevitably all toys merged as Thomas the Train bulldozed down the Gumdrop Pass, while “doll”  napped smack in the middle of the Peppermint Forest.

As a daughter, I worry I don’t visit my parents enough. For years, Mom and Dad would traverse from the west, to DC, Mexico, Luxembourg, you name it, wherever their daughters lived, they visited…because “You do for family” as Dad always says. Now they’re older and traveling is not as easy, nor as frequent. So it’s my turn to cash in my miles and see my loving folks.

As parents, we worry about it all when it comes to our children. Over-scheduling, too much homework, too little playtime, not eating enough, too little sleep, mean girls, cyber yuckiness, the list Never. Ever. Ends.

So when I stumbled across the pliable thought, “We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria” I first, posted it on the wall in the bathroom (captive audience), and then, bent it around my mind like silly putty refocusing my worry lens on the present and serving others.

Perhaps by stifling our worries, we can convert all of our restless energy into kindness toward the people who so desperately need to be uplifted, just like the lonely kid in the cafeteria, image their worries.

Dig Deep: On your run today clear your mind of worry.

Lenten Challenge: Say the Serenity Prayer –

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

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