Thinking back to your elementary and middle school math classes, what was your least favorite skill to learn?
I don't have any hard data on this, but I'm betting if I asked, "Fractions?" I would hear a resounding YES!
Fractions are tough. The wholes and the halves and the denominators and numerators and the mixed numbers. No fun. (Except for me. I actually quite enjoy fractions and tend to put things into color-coded spreadsheets with percentages...)
So, since we don't like learning fractions, maybe we misuse them on a daily basis.
Our Life Story is made up over time. It's written bit by bit, experience by experience, event by event. It's full of good, bad and ugly. It's full of joy and sorrow, grief and rejoicing, and a host of emotions that play themselves out in a variety of ways.
If we look at it like a 10,000,000-piece puzzle, we're putting our picture together one piece at a time.
If we look at it like a pie chart, we're filling it in one itty-bitty slice at a time. One fraction at a time.
Our Life Story is made up in fractions. However, since we forgot everything we learned in third grade math, I think sometimes we get stuck and think that PART of our story is going to end up being our WHOLE story. But that's not the case. Basic math tells us that PARTS and WHOLES are very different, and that one piece does not define the whole pie. By assigning your NOW to your ALWAYS, you're projecting 10, 20, 30, 40 years into an unknown future.
Our here-and-there failures as a parent (raising our voice, misjudging a situation, using grown-up words in front of little ears) do not add up to being a whole failure as a parent.
Our here-and-there failures as a professional (saying the wrong thing, sending the wrong e-mail, conflict with a co-worker) do not add up to being a whole failure at our profession.
Our here-and-there failures as a spouse (snapping at one another, failing to recognize a need, forgetting a birthday) do not add up to being a whole failure in our homes.
Life is hard. We all make mistakes. We all wish we could change something we said, something we did, choices we made or didn't make. But those oops moments are just part of the fabric of who we are. They make up PART of who we are, but they are not all of who we are. Remember that.
And don't let part of your story define your whole story.