How Our Childhood Memories Mold Us as Adults

"If you are too busy to enjoy quality time with your family, then you need to re-evaluate your priorities." -Dave Willis

We are all busy. We all have priorities and obligations. Life can feel overwhelming at times. But if we are too busy working or don't carve out time to make memories, then why are we so busy in the first place? The season of life I am currently in is different for a lot of people, I'm sure. And in ten years, my mindset will probably have shifted. However, I know that at this time when I'm trying to build a new business and grow a family, I have to carve out time for the moments I want to enjoy and cherish. This does take effort. It may sound crazy to "make time" for your family, but it's true. We can let the days and the chores swallow us, but if we intentionally make time for quality time with the kids in the floor or out at the makeshift tree house, we can go to sleep at night guilt-free knowing we were fully present in the moment. I have talked before about putting "zeros" on the calendar. I do this constantly. I write them in at the beginning of the month AND throughout the weeks. We need down time. We need time to do nothing. I am a busy-body and will get up and start a task and not quit until bedtime. Our routine for years was to work until midnight and get up at 6 or 7 a.m. and start again. I know that's just life, but I also want to be more intentional with my time. We only get 24 hours in a day, so I want to be sure the hours I have with my family are maximized. No one will ever have a completely balanced schedule, but we can aim to be aware of how we are spending our time and try to focus on who means the most to us. 

Growing up, my parents were hard workers. They were very busy. My younger brother and I lived with my Mom and I can remember how she worked in the kitchen until bath time every evening. I used to wonder what the heck she was doing in there, but now I totally get it. But she was always THERE for us...homework, meals, games, you name it. And on the weekends, she wasn't scrolling Facebook for hours or dumping us off on other people. She was playing with us, taking us to Memphis to shop until we dropped or to ice skate at the Mall of Memphis. She got us ready for church by herself on Sundays. She made sure we played outside, understood the friendships we needed to form with others, chauffeured us around, took a MILLION photos, and was always so happy. I remember a trip we took one time where she swam with my brother and myself in the pool at the hotel. We would each hold on to the edge of the concrete pool on 3 different sides. We would count down and on "3" we would each kick off the wall and dart to the opposite side of the pool swimming over each other. I have no clue why this stands out to me, but I just know she took that time to play with us. I remember how pretty I thought she was when she would just kick across that pool without a care in the world. (Meanwhile, I'm over here trying to get a tan and not get my colored hair in the water.) My Mama....she's the hardest working person on the planet. She has the biggest heart and is always doing for others with herself coming in last. As she gets older, I wish I could give her more of those carefree moments. I know her life as a single Mom wasn't carefree, but gosh, she made it seem that way. She made it look so easy. She'd rise before the sun to curl her hair and apply her make-up with her make-up mirror (as she still does). She barely has to wear any make-up because her skin is perfection and who would want to cover up all those freckles!? This woman continues to work her butt off while putting others before herself. She is the best Mom and Nana I could imagine being in our lives. I could go on and on, but I just want to convey how important our childhoods are and how precious memories can be for our entire lives. We just never know which memory will stand out to our children as they grow older. I think about that sometimes....when we are just laughing about something silly or those moments when my son says, "this is the best day ever," I want to be sure I'm fully present and be the best I can be for him for his sweet memories. I have a wonderful step-father who has been in my life for over twenty five years and I am so thankful my Mama has him to do life with. He really is like another Dad to my brother and myself and the best Papa to our children. The memories we have all made are my absolute favorite. We have laughed until we have cried, traveled many places together, celebrated all nine of their grandchildren, danced at weddings, and anniversary parties, and we have all had the best time just being with each other. I'm thankful we have always made each other a priority and carved out the mid-week dinner dates, weekend fun, and the vacations. Because my parents made the effort to create incredible memories for us, we continue do the same with our families as adults.



And I cannot leave out my Daddy. I had him on Earth with me until I was 20 years old. I'm 35 now and cannot believe that soon I'll have lived without him longer than I lived with him. Time and cancer are such thieves. We saw him every other weekend and during the week when he'd come watch us play sports or perform in the band (shout out to the woodwinds). From the time he picked us up in his navy blue T-Bird on Friday afternoon, until he dropped us back off on Sunday afternoon, his attention was on my brother and me. We would watch out the living room window to see his car whip around the corner and run outside because we didn't really know exactly what time he would be arriving. How did we survive without cell phones?? We'd hug him so tight and I couldn't get enough of that Aramis smell he always had. My brother and I were his top priority when at his house. He tried his hardest to make us laugh, he fed us constantly, and took us to the movies, or the "show" as he called it, almost every weekend. I remember how tan and strong his hands were. He'd always set his cruise and hold the steering wheel with one hand right at 6 o'clock mark. Such a perfectionist and always aiming to be a good driver. He taught us how to drive on Weakley County backroads. Those were the days!! He traveled for work around west TN for the state of TN as an auditor and CPA and still drove to our games and events during the week. I hated seeing him walk away in his nice, navy suit alone to get in his car for the ride home. I didn't understand divorce. I may never understand theirs and that's not my place. I just know that they made US the priority and gave us everything and more to have the best foundation for life...a wonderful childhood. I just hope to be doing the same for my children and my family.

 

Fight for your time. Fight for your family. Fight for mental health. Fight for peace. Fight for finding the love God gives us. Fight to get through the tough days. Fight to hold on to the good ones. Life is short....slow it down and enjoy the ride. And like my Mama always says...."don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff!" (and she thinks I don't listen to her!)

 

 

 


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