Far from it. In fact, I make a lot of mistakes. I don't always make the right decisions or say the right things. But I try, really, really hard. I do my best every day to be a good person and to have a full and productive day. Most nights I go to bed satisfied that I've done just that. Some nights not so much. Every morning on my way to work I pray for patience, guidance if I've got something I'm struggling with and I thank God for the wonderful day he has given me and for all that I have been blessed with. I do feel that I am truly, truly blessed and I am extremely grateful for all that I have and all that will have.
I love my children so very much and I am so proud of the young ladies my girls are becoming and all that they have accomplished so far. I hope and pray they have bright and healthy futures ahead for them. That I have done enough to give them a good start in their adult lives and taught them well, not only how to take care of themselves, but how to treat others as well. I pray for my son that he will be able to heal inside and some day will decide to return to his family, but have also had to accept that it may never happen. It has been a long time and unfortunately I just can't fix everything.
I don't expect perfection from my children. I don't expect it from anybody, but what I do expect and (admittedly) demand is courtesy and respect. Like anyone, I too want to be treated well by my family, my friends, my co-workers, even complete strangers. So every day I work on being kind, courteous, respectful to everyone I encounter as I move through my day. Some days it is harder than others, but I still try. Even if I don't feel like it. I do believe you need to give it in order to receive it.
I confess I don't like everybody, but I really do like most of the people I encounter. I never like to give up on a person and will try for a long time to make a relationship work regardless of how small or large. insignificant or important. I know I am guilty of giving some people far too many chances to redeem themselves only to take on more hurt or anguish until I cannot do it anymore. But when I've had enough, I've had enough and I am done. My biggest flaw may very well be that once I've hit that point I will no longer allow them into my life and I completely shut them out. Friend or family member, it doesn't matter. The walls are up and you don't get back in. The only exception to that I think would be with my children. There are no walls. I love them unconditionally, no matter what.
The other day the guys at work told me they know I have a tough as nails exterior but inside I am all "warm and squishy". They love to tease me that I'm just "a big softie" and constantly threaten to hug me. I'm not a hugger. I'll hug my kids and my pets all day long, but that's about it. My friends know this about me too. They like to push the issue and I hate it, but I forgive them. Those that know me best know I'll always go the extra mile, lend a helping hand if I am able, I'm not afraid of hard work, will stand up for myself and others, I love and I am loyal to a fault. They also know I'm not the person you want to piss off and I have my limits.
It has taken me a long time to be willing and able to set boundaries. Figuring out what you are willing to put up with and what you are not is difficult. In the past decade I've been able to do
that and while my boundaries haven't pleased some people I have no regrets about setting them and maintaining them. Sadly, some of the people in my life have not been able to handle that, but I recognize that isn't a reflection of me, but rather a reflection of them. Boundaries are really hard for some people.
I don't know it all, I don't understand everything, I make mistakes, I screw stuff up, I say it wrong, I lose my temper, I'm slow to forgive and even slower to forget. I am far from perfect. But every morning I get up and start my life again. Every day is a new beginning and a reason to try harder, to do better and be better.