On June 12th, my mom turned 67, so we took her to Tupelo Honey, a local restaurant, the weekend before because she would be out of town for our family reunion the following weekend. My mom is a person who doesn't require anything; however, she is grateful for everything. Tell me why she was ready to cry as soon as we sat down and put our napkins on our lap. She said I can't believe how much you'll have grown up. I said to my sister; I need a drink already, lol. I was not joking because I know how my mother is, and baby, we were all about to have waffles full of tears. In our family, we have experienced many things, from happiness to pain, so she was basking at the moment, but what she said that pierced my soul was that we 'Grew Up' I digested that as I drove home because it impacted me. My mama could see us from where we started from her womb to 2023, and I know the work it has taken to get to this point. So I thought about how she admired our growth chart as a mother.
Doctors check the baby's growth when a woman becomes pregnant, from the first appointment to birth. They do ultrasounds in the womb and can see the baby's size. The first thing they do upon delivery is disconnect the umbilical cord attached to the mother, which is how they get their food and oxygen, and waste. The checking of vitals follows, weight and height measured, along with a first bath. The doctors do all of this to establish the history of growth. Tracking is to see what's going on and as a guide for the many doctors who will treat you throughout your life. They are documenting to know where you started to where you are going so they can address anything that needs to be on track for growth. I hope you didn't think that when your 30-plus self went to the doctor three months ago, and they questioned your weight gain, it was for discussion at dinner. The doctor asked the question because they needed to know what had changed to get you back on track, not for your height but for your health. After all, you were no longer growing in size but in width. My mother's observation was primarily about mindset. Myrtle has lived through our bad decisions, perseverance, the high moments, and the lows to appreciate the moment.
Growth is not just about going up in height but also about your mind. Just because you turn another age doesn't mean you are wiser because many seasoned fools are roaming this earth that has not mentally grown. I come across people in my age group whose mindset is still stuck back when we were teenagers. The same thoughts, ideologies, and things they did over 20 years ago are the same. When you channel them to think a little deeper, they become defensive because they think their way is the only way to do things. I've experienced this with peers and mostly with family.
The family wants to keep doing things the way Grandad and Grandma did in 1950, which is why the version of the family in 2023 is a hot ass mess. The look of confusion on their face when the one person comes around who calls it out and now that person is toxic, but the truth is they are just that and are continuing the generational toxicity. I've seen businesses not grow because they think the old way of doing things is the only way when they could tap into something that will help them tremendously. I've seen churches not grow because the Pastor thought that hearing from the congregation and applying morally good things was not beneficial. I've seen marriage fail because growth was needed and identified, but no one or only one person wanted to do the work. During change, be teachable and get out of your way to grow. Growth is simply elevating and moving past things that keep you in the same place to become a better parent, friend, Pastor, employer, hell neighbor. Growth is okay and may be scary, but it can be the best thing to happen to you.
In conclusion, no matter your age, someone will continuously track your growth, and you will have moments you get off track. The people in your corner will be happy about it and always let you know when you are off track. The people who are not will try to diminish your growth, so they keep seeing you for who you once were. Don't allow others to hold you to who you used to be but appreciate where you are now, but you have to do the same for them as well. Embrace those becoming the best versions of themselves and those who want to be but haven't figured out how to. Mama, thank you for appreciating our Growth Chart.
I challenge you to ask yourself these questions.
What areas of my life need some growth?
Have I grown, or am I stuck in my ways?
Do I see others for who they are present-day or who they were?
If the area of growth you need is within your relationship with your spouse, significant other, or partner, check out a resource below that has been very helpful for my marriage: Love Minus Limits, which has a Public and Private page.
Love Minus Limits Facebook page
Love Minus Limits- Maximize Your Relationship Connection-Private Facebook Community