Monday, January 16, 2012

You Said You Would Go, Now Do it Gracefully

Another 'my mother used to say' catch phrase, only this time I don't really despise it like the majority things my mother said through my childhood. This one I kind of appreciate. I have even used it on my own children, without that terror that usually presses down on me when I find myself sounding like my mother.

I remember the first time I heard her say it, she was sitting on the edge of her bed staring into the mirror, brushing her hair or putting on mascara. We were getting ready for an old lady party.The kind where they serve cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and everybody smells like lilacs. I was 13 or 14 and I really, REALLY did not want to spend my Sunday afternoon sipping tea and eating gerchins. I was complaining profusely. (I know that now because I have a 14 year old, that's how they complain) At some point in my objection my mother put down what she was doing, looked me straight in the eye and said it "You said you would go, now do it gracefully." She had me and I hated her for it. There was no rebuttal that could knock that line off it's podium. I had said I would go. I was locked in for the afternoon.

Motherhood has taught me that my Mother didn't want to go either. However, she said she would so she was going to do it gracefully. Her survival technique was to drag me along with her. (why should she suffer alone)

While at the time I shot daggers at my mom for so skillfully putting me in my place, this really is a line that has gotten me through (and to) a great deal in my life. For someone who suffered immobilizing anxiety for most of her life, getting to things is challenging, getting through things is critical. Even now that I've over come 90% of my anxiety issues I lean on this line for those social engagements that I'm still working to overcome. But conquering mental illness is a story for another day.

For today I am grateful that "You said you would, now do it gracefully" got me through the weekend. The reverberating line got me through dog sitting (well, this line,a bottle of Prosolve and a healthy dose of Advil). 'You said you would' got me to the ice rink for a skate with my son and my husband. 'Do it gracefully' prevented broken bones. 'You said you would' is getting me dressed for the office today when I would much rather be curled up with a hot coffee, my thoughts and my keyboard. 'You said you would' got a less than great feeling Lula to work on Sunday, 'Do it gracefully' got her to the end of her shift with a smile on her face. 'You said you would' kept KJ on task catching up with her studies and studying for exams. 'You said you would' got the dog for a walk and the laundry done. 'Do it gracefully' got me through a stranger encounter this weekend and will coach me through the death claim calls I will have to make this week.

Of all of the things my mother has given to me in my life, this line may be the most valuable. I'm grateful for that.

Gratitude, Hope & Smiles are meant to be shared.