I've had a hard time smiling today, so I decided to go through my drawer of photos to find old family photos. It worked. I smiled:
My mom had this photo taken sometime in the early 60's for my dad who was stationed somewhere in the Maharastra. My little and big brother came along a few years after this photo was taken. It would have been interesting to be part of this family in the photo -- having a younger, somewhat happier and less-stressed mom and getting to enjoy more time in Air Force area of Bangalore. I think it's probably the one place that BOTH my parents enjoyed.
What the photo triggered is something I needed to see and to know -- I'm giving myself some grace and relieving myself of some of my own absurd expectations. I'm acknowledging that change doesn't happen overnight. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all. I remember when I figured this out years ago, in a different context, and it was such an epiphany -- to be OKAY with things the way they are and to find ways to thrive and be happy -- that is, just make the assumption that while the situation won't change, my attitude about it can.