Thursday, August 20, 2009

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Some days I feel like "Scoop," the reporter, on assignment, covering the Highlowaha beat.  Those are some of my favorite days.

Heather, Cheryl, Katie, and I decided a few weeks back that we would devote a couple of days to topics related to back to school - thus yesterday's invitation to whack a fall tradition.  Struggling for a second topic, sure to be a hit, the four of us decided it would be wise to pick the brains of veteran moms.   If they couldn't come up with topics of interest, who could?!

Around the same time the four of us settled on a tactic, Judy - a local seamstress - called my house arranging to deliver a throw pillow. We were only minutes into our visit and... JACKPOT!  It seems Judy, and the five other women she meets with on Friday mornings all served on the PTA.  Discussions of students and teachers has since been replaced with talk of vacations and house remodelings, now that kids are grown and the nests are empty. 
 
Hands are not idol while these women talk.  Each year they take on at least one service project - usually sewing related.  It seems, my visit landed on the day they were committed to finishing the old-wedding-dresses-turned-quilt-project (donated to a local auction supporting a battered women's shelter).

I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I could attend a weekly meeting provided: (1) Judy could get permission from the other five women, and (2) I could be brief.  Time between these women is coveted and it has been for the 13 years since they have been meeting.  In fact, there is a standing joke among these women that, you would never dare die on a Friday, because no one would attend your funeral.  They would all be at the weekly Friday meeting, affectionately referred to as their SBC meeting.

Sure - In response to the prompt "If you knew then what you know now..." I got helpful tips to share.  Eagerly they gave advice such as: start at an early age making your kids get themselves up to an alarm; don't bail them out of every situation; the patterns they display in first and second grade will be the same patterns that persist in high school; book back to school medical appointments early; engage in activity along side your sons if you want them to talk, because face to face rarely works; make kids learn to use a calendar; husband and wife must be united; and pace yourself.

But...

But, here's what I really learned that day.  I learned the power of community.  Behind the doors of this unsuspecting house on Windswept Lane lives a network of friends who has gotten each other through everything from divorce to cancer, to angst with teenage kids, and everything in between.  These women are family.  In thirteen years they've eaten a lot of cinnamon rolls and shared a lot of coffee, but most importantly they have found a place where they can be candid.  They share trials with as much ease as they do tribulations.  Six women committed to sharing every Friday together.  It's a bond so tight husbands and children don't even try to get in the way.

I left Windswept Lane knowing I was just given a gift - mentoring by six incredibly wise women and a glimpse into the kind of life I could create for myself.  And, I will.  Slowly I will begin building my own SBC group.  My eyes are firmly fixed on the prize - a group of friends interested in traveling together on this journey of parenthood and growing older.  Just the idea of such a group makes the whole trip seem so much more like an adventure!

In some way, Highlowaha feels like the door to our own community on Windswept Lane. Meeting up with so many of you each day is like sharing our life journeys.  So, while I don't have cinnamon rolls or coffee, let me ask you...

If you knew then what you know now...

Signing off until tomorrow...

P.S.  I don't think I would be breaching confidence to tell you that, SBC stands for Stitch, Bitch, and Chatter.

12 comments:

Robin said...

If you knew then what you know now...don't wait, tomorrow isn't always available.

Claudia said...

A nice way to get us started, Robin.

I woke up thinking how nice it would be if each of you would pass today's post along to someone you might like to invite into your SBC group, if you were to start one. It would be a nice way of letting him/her know what you thought of them.

Jessie said...

I know now it's ok to rid yourself of the toxic people polluting your life and be honest (really honest) with your friends, they appreciate it.

Chaotic said...

If I knew then what I know now... DON'T live based on expectations of others. I spent several years trying to be what was expected instead of living MY life. Sigh.

Robin: wise words
Claudia: I will do just that! right now! (see Robin's post LOL)
Jessie... right on!

Peggy said...

Don't sweat the small stuff. (so easy to say, so hard to do). Those books and articles are soooo true... will it really matter in 10 years? Maybe not, but some issues, problems and complications affect how you think and feel... right now, and sometimes for a few days or even a week... but then you do get over (most of them) and realize how much precious time it took away from you!


I hate to quote Dr. Phil... but he has often said you can choose to be sad (miserable) or choose to be happy!

I'm envious in a good way for the SBC... what a great gift to have.

Cheryl said...

What a great group of ladies. They are very lucky to have each other. The dedication it takes to make that weekly meeting priority is amazing. :)

Katie K said...

If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have given my mom such a hard time when I was growing up. Turns out there is no manual on parenting and she was just figuring it out as she went. I think she did a pretty terrific job without my criticisms.

Cheryl said...

Oh! Good one Katie.

Okay, I didn't address the if you knew then what you know now...

I would have learned to control my emotions and not been so emotional about EVERYTHING. :)

I would have spent less time worrying about boys and more time learning about my grandparents.

I would have drank less alcohol!!! HA!

Danko Family said...

I find it SUPER ironic that this is today's topic. I just started a conversation with my dad today, while we were watching the boys play at the park, that started with...If I knew then what I know now...I would have gone to school for a 2 year degree like nursing, x-ray tech, dental hygienist..and then found a job that does tuition reimbursement and have them fund me finishing a bachelors degree. I'm 2 years away from paying off my student loans from my bachelors degree and not even working right now...that's what prompted my "if I knew then what I know now" moment.

Peggy said...

This for some is totally impossible.... but I would plan to have my children in Jan/Feb/March because they would be the 'right' age....Oct/Nov/Dec you have to keep them back when starting school and they are the first to turn 16-18-21.... and like my kids and others with a June/July/Aug birthday, they are normally the youngest in their class. I never realized how just mere months make such a difference. (at times)

And, I would marry someone with the last name beginning with the letters A-H.... the first part of the alphabet ALWAYS gets called up first... you line up by alphabet etc....or if they for some reason go backwards... if your name begins with the I-R you're always screwed.

j/k

but these two things I have noticed over the years.

Claudia said...

Interesting reflections so far.

Here's another one...

If I knew then what I know now, I would have allowed myself to enjoy my figure when I was younger.

I regret letting my image issues get in the way of having experiences.

IDEA: Today's post will become more valuable with every response to the prompt. CALL SOMEONE, ask an office mate, call your mom or a relative and get them to answer the question too!

Heather said...

Sorry I'm checking in so late...it is New Mav' Move-in so I've been out at move-in all day today!

If I knew then what I knew now...

-Family really is THAT important.

-Turn off the t.v. it is impossible to have a good conversation and you'll feel so much closer to those you love.


-I'd let myself matter more...I still struggle with this but I'm beginning to realize that "I" matter too...and I'm a much better mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, when I take time for me.

-I'd have gone even further away to school. 2 hours was good but I would have loved to experience somewhere in Chicago or New York when I was young enough to enjoy it.