There can be endless reasons why you can’t; I want you to find just one reason why you can!
During my Divorce, I had many sleepless nights, the to-do list was endless, trying to fit it all in after my 9-5, which by the time, when I picked up and dropped off the boys, was more like 7:15 -5:50. There were many I cant’s, and one day someone said to me, “what if you can?”
What if you can? This time, that simple phrase, “what if you can”, changed; my thinking, my career, my ability to provide as a single parent and my children’s lives! That change didn’t happen all at once, it was slow, just like my self-confidence. What if you can, flooded my mind, every time I felt doubt, every time I thought I couldn’t. That simple phrase, “what if you can” came to mind, each time I thought there is no way!
What if you can? Soon thereafter occupied my brain; it fueled me, energized me and gave me a good swift kick in the pants. What if I can, was the first thought that came to mind as I dreamed about the future, the future I never thought I would have.
What if I can? I reminded myself, while I monitored teeth brushing, packed school lunches, checked homework, read to my boys before bed, checked the next day’s busy schedule, laundered the kids clothes and sports uniforms, cleaned our home and took out the trash.
What if I can? Still on my mind as soccer season ended and baseball began, a safety net for this Single Mom’s self-doubt, a phrase that was on replay throughout my day; my motivation, a source of energy and my life line.
What if I can? One day- the phrase that I now relied so heavily on since the day my friend asked me, would be replaced. It was a late Thursday evening, a hot Summer night, I reached in the mailbox and pulled out the mail; no bills, just junk. I thought, what a relief, and on that very night, my mind-set shifted for good. I stood frozen, my hand extended, and with my hand extended, heading for the garbage can, it stopped on it’s own. Before I even comprehended what I was reading, my mind was saying, “You can do this”.
“You can do this!” I argued with myself, this super-single-working-Mom I brainwashed myself to be, was going off the deep-end. “NO!”, I sternly corrected my inner voice, “you can’t”. “What if I can?” I fought back, my thoughts punching back, my mind having a conversation separate from my body, “You’ve made it this far”. Walking back in the house with the piece of mail in hand, I dropped the Fall Community College schedule on my kitchen table next to the box of Cheerios and cereal bowls ready for the morning and went to bed.
Rolling over and reading the big red numbers on my clock, 2:00 AM, “what if you can” rattled my brain. I rolled the other way, trying to dismiss these insane thoughts. The next morning my youngest, poured his Cheerios and like every new reader, started reading the back of the Cheerios box, the same box he had read many times before. Then he said, “what’s a comedy college”, my older boy walked out rubbing his eyes and said in his normal dead pan voice, “it’s where people go to get funny”. I chuckled, grabbed the mail and put it on the counter. “Let’s go we are going to be late!”
Waiting at our first stop, again, my son, asking, “what do you learn at a comedy college, jokes?”; his older big brother, getting out of the car for the bus, and rolling his eyes said, “duh”! The youngest was always a talker, we had 10 minutes to get to his school for Before Care, so, I quickly corrected him and said it’s a Community College and it’s the place where the Planetarium is. He wanted to know if he could go back there, I proceeded, “Mommy was thinking of going to the school there”, he quickly responded and said, “that is cool, you should go”. He was always an optimist.
Drop off consisted of a hug, a kiss and my boy running to his friends, this time he turned around and yelled, “Don’t forget to sign up today, you know for school; you can do it Mom!” That was my reason.
Kerry Porter is a Certified Divorce Coach and the Founder of Divorce Response Team www.divorceresponseteam.com