When I was a little girl, I would visit my grandparents in Jackson Hole, WY. I would look forward to every trip to their ranch. Everything was new, everything was different from my home. The fresh smell of the mountain air mixed with the scent of horses made me want to live there forever.
The scenery was breath-taking! Bright blue skies with fluffy white clouds held the warm yellow sun. Sunlight bathed the mountains in soft light that made them look magical. We had home-cooked meals; every meal, every day. We played with kittens all day, and rode horses in the evenings. We loved to watch Grandpa down in the valley riding his horse in the midst of all of the cattle. He looked so strong and brave in his leather coat and gloves, pointed cowboy boots and cream-colored cowboy hat. I was sure there was nothing my Grandpa couldn’t do.
Some of my fondest childhood memories were of spending time with my Grandpa.
He was tough, but he loved life and he loved us. Grandpa never missed an opportunity to teach us what he knew about life. One of his favorite sayings was, “Do you have a wishbone or a backbone?’ He would ask me this question every time I would say I was afraid to do something I really wanted to do.
Wishbone or backbone? I didn’t really understand what Grandpa meant when I was a little girl. But when Ron went to prison and life came crashing down on me, those words echoed in my heart. I really wanted my family to make it. I really wanted my marriage to be strong and healthy. But I would was absolutely terrified when I thought about the future. I was lying in bed wishing for a strong marriage and healthy family. But I wasn’t doing anything to make that my reality. My wishbone was definitely overruling my backbone.
I could hear Grandpa’s firm voice admonishing me to find my backbone and use it. Now, I understand exactly what those words meant. Life can be hard. I now know that times are not always as they will be. Wishing my way out of a circumstance won’t change anything. In order to change my situation, I would need to do something; to find the courage to change my life. Courage gives us the backbone we need to change what we don’t like about our lives (read my story here).
Being the wife of a prisoner is not easy and it is certainly not the journey anyone plans for their life.
We often find ourselves wishing for a different, and better, life. A life where we don’t have to fight so hard for our family to make it. One where we aren’t battling against the world to prove our family deserves a chance to be happy and together. A life our kids can be proud of; but wishing alone doesn’t change anything.
Wishing is a good place to start, as long as we allow wishing to inspire us to take action. We can’t just wish our struggles away; wishing our life away is what builds a wishbone instead of a backbone. The more wishing overtakes action, the stronger fear becomes and the harder it is to take any action. Our backbone becomes weaker and weaker when we resign ourselves to just accept our circumstances instead of changing them.
If you have an overdeveloped wishbone instead of a strong backbone, it is time to do something different.
[bctt tweet=”Change is always scary, but it is also exciting! If you are not sure how to start getting your Backbone, here are some tips to rebuilding your life:” username=”CathyTijerina”]
- Define what you are wishing for.
- Encourage yourself. Look in the mirror every day and say “you can do this!”
- Ask for help. Find someone who does what you want to do and ask them to mentor you
- Set goals. One goal per month will make an amazing difference.
- Get up or stay up. Block 30 minutes of time in the morning or before bed to learn something new
- Get a job (or a better job). If you aren’t working, get out there and prove to yourself that you can support yourself!
- Keep your husband in the loop. Don’t move on, just move forward.
Doing these 7 things will help you on your way to developing a strong backbone to support the load you are carrying on your journey to make your dreams come true!
I am rooting for you!