I started this blog with the idea of 'simplicity' as being 'the secret in the sauce.' Over the last several weeks, however, I felt as though there was something more to it. I guess I was pushing away from the simplicity of just keeping things simple. Ironic, isn't it? But, the overarching predecessor for the mantra of simplicity came to me the other night after my husband and I had a 'discussion.' We broke the very important rule of "Do not discuss anything of weight when it is late." After our tiff - that usually ends with him going to bed and me being all spun up - I came down to our office and pulled out a book "How to Make a Good Marriage Great," by Victor B. Cline. I read about how to communicate, what a man needs from a woman, the issues facing re-marriage and blended families and setting goals as a couple to move forward. The one thing I wrote down on my scratch paper in capital letters and underlined is, "I CHANGE FIRST."

This goes along with what I have been having drummed into my head at the therapist's office for the last six months and with the alcoholic anonymous prayer that reaches out to every soul on this earth: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." That's the meat of it, but the line that follows is of equal importance: "Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace."

I can only control myself. This truly is the 'secret in the sauce.' How I react to life is what will make or break me and will certainly have an unprecedented affect on those around me. As a survivor of divorce, mother to a child with depression, ADHD and ODD, step-parent in a blended family and simply a woman who has struggled with her self esteem and body image, this idea of "I have control of myself and myself alone" is monumental; and I can happily say, finally taking root.

This is the secret to my sauce. I am learning on a daily basis how to apply it to every facet of my life. My goal is to be happy, to learn and progress and to love and raise my kids right. My marriage is my first priority as it is the foundation of our home. My relationship with my kids is more important than most of the little battles I have been choosing to fight with them and if they know that our relationship as mother and child is more important than anything, they will have a greater propensity to trust in me and what I am teaching them. They also are in control of only themselves and they will make decisions in their life that they will live with; I am not accountable for the road they CHOOSE. But I am very much accountable for what I teach them and the example I am. I can olny pray that I do the best job possible and that they will choose a life of happiness and progression as well. "Do your very best and forget the rest." More than anything, "I change first."


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