Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Being the Best that You Can Be

Are you watching the Olympics?  I am.

Are you amazed what the athletes can do??  Me too!

Are you in awe of the dedication it must take to become an Olympian???  You better believe I am!

Do you gasp out loud when an athlete wipes out going nearly 100mph?  OMG…YES!!

Do you want to cry when an athlete falls and yet gets up to continue their program?  *sniff* Yup.

Do you get goose bumps when the National Anthem of the Gold Medalist is played?  Absolutely. *shivers*

Watching all these athletes compete at the Olympic Games ("…considered the world's foremost sports competition…") is nothing short of, in my opinion, someone trying to be the best that they can be

There are articles out there with Tips for Being the Best You Can Be or How to Be the Best Person You Can Be. But what exactly is being the best that you can be and is it the same for every person??

Does being the best that you can be mean being the best athlete in a particular sport or being the best doctor/lawyer in a certain profession?   
Does being the best that you can be mean doing the best you can to the best of your ability?

I will leave you to ponder these two statements and in the meantime share my thoughts about both.

In the first case (best athlete or profession) I think it would require a person to work hard, be dedicated and hopefully have a passion for what they are doing. Yet what if, for reasons beyond their control/means, they were unable to pursue any of these options. Does this mean they are not being the best they can be???

In my teens I will admit being the best athlete would have been pretty awesome. The best athlete was usually popular and uber-cool. I was neither of these. Shocking I know. Haahaa!

In my twenties…I dreamt of having a successful career. Not all that unusual. Luckily back in the olden days a degree wasn’t as necessary as it is today and a person could have a decent career working for one company (usually until they retired). It worked alright for me.

Then came my thirties (and beyond). Becoming a parent changed my idea of what it meant to be the best that you can be. What I wanted for both boys was for them to be kind, confident and happy. Mostly happy.

And then I became a special needs parent. Being the best that you can be took on a whole new meaning.

For 15 years now I have watched Riley grow and develop into a kind, confident and happy young man.

I have been amazed at his ability to draw people into his world with very few words. His warm smile and gentle personality goes a long way.   

I am in awe of his perseverance (not to be confused with perseveration although I am in awe of that too), his determination and his resilience to cope and overcome some of the more challenging aspects of his autism.

I have gasped. Boy have I gasped. The first time he screamed “DON’T HIT ME!!!” out in public. The first time he shouted out “BASTARD!!!” in a crowded McDonald’s. People around me gasped!   

I have cried happy tears, sad tears and downright ugly tears over the years. As Riley has gotten older the ugly and sad tears have been replaced with…well…not so much happy tears…but happiness just the same. And laughs. Lots and lots of laughs. Otherwise I would be crying. Sad and ugly crying. Laughter works better for me.

And I still can get goose bumps when Riley does something new and/or unexpected. Whether it be eating a new food, mastering a new skill or yelling out that new swear word expressing himself verbally…he IS being the best that he can be at his own pace and that makes my heart swell. 

What does "being the best that you can be" mean to you? 



  1. Good golly gosh how much do I love this post! I think about this a lot... sometimes it takes courage to focus your goals on what 'being your best' means for your kids and not somebody else's. You know? This has given me much food for thought. Thanks :)

    1. Good golly gosh...I am giddy all over like a teenage girl again! ;) And yes...I absolutely do know. Thanks Bec!!!

  2. Aw, man, what are you doing, making me think deep thoughts? ;)

    My initial instinct is to say "be the best you can be" is poppycock. Perhaps be the best you can be at this moment would be better. We should always do our best, in whatever it is we are doing at the moment, using the skills and knowledge we were both born with and learned over time. While doing our best, we will fail. We will make mistakes. This is where we can learn, so the next time, our best will be better.
    Sometimes, we have to choose not to do something at all because we CAN'T do our best. For example, I stopped teaching when I had my first child. I knew without a doubt that I would never be able to be the best mom I could be AND the best teacher I could be at the same time. Instead of doing a less than best job at both, I stopped doing one to be the best I could be at the other.

    1. you never thought you would ever have to think deep thoughts coming here eh?? :P

      I absolutely agree with you...being your best changes depending on where you are in your life and like you said sometimes it means having to make hard choices.

      BTW...when I asked that question you weren't supposed to make me think deep. ;)

  3. Love this!!!
    personally, I believe we were all created for a reason. Every single one of us - whether others believe we are capable, worthy or entitled to live, in order to fulfill that purpose, or not. It may be a big moment, it might be a small moment -- or even a series of moments seemingly unconnected. But we are most definitely meant to be: there are no accidents.
    So obviously I think fulfilling that purpose to the best of your ability - whether it be athlete, teacher, doctor, mom -- is being the best you can be. Just walking faithfully in that plan, no matter the obstacles in your path.
    To go deeper into thought, I think those that usually are sucessfull at achieving that life plan, are also the ones who on a more personal level have balanced their inner conscience - with their outward actions. If that makes sense.
    wow - some deep thoughts on a hump day for sure! :)

    1. Totally makes sense!! It's trying to find that right balance though sometimes that's not always easy. Thanks for your feedback Les!!

  4. I think we all have a purpose in, we all have many purposes in life. But what they are and when they are to be vary. We can't know what we're to be or when, just let it unfold as it will. I'm tired - this is probably blabbering. But I just loved this message tonight.

    1. have insightful blabber! ;) Furthermore...I totally understood what you were saying and couldn't agree more! "Being your best" can be different things at different times in your least that's how it seems to be for me. Thanks Lisa!

  5. Love Love Love this post! Beautiful! (And I totally LOLed at the perseverance vs perseveration bit.) Truly relatable observations.

    1. Thanks Gabs! Of course you could relate. :D