Struggling with getting our life back together I often feel only an inch tall. I often kick myself about not doing it sooner or being smarter about everything.

I wanted to be Xena (a tv series where she is a strong person wanting to change her life) but always felt like I was Joxer instead. I could never decide whether or not it was a good thing to realize this though, is it enough to be aware of your limitations or does understanding how far you need to go help you get there... I loved this series and whenever I needed to feel strong I would watch an episode.

We had a moment of beauty when I thought my husband had actually started doing what was right when he said he had bought us a house. Like everything else it was just a lie though. That house was on a street called Chirikof and I often use 'Maria de Chirkof" as my online name. It is not a symbol of lost dreams or failure but holds all our hopes and dreams we had when we moved into that house. I kick myself that I was not smart enough to figure out a way for us to keep that house. It is one of the things that make me feel just an inch tall.

My daughters have a favorite movie and when we got this apartment I saw a special collectors edition of it had come out. It was a movie they watched once a week when we had the house, they liked it that much. I splurged on it and brought it home saying this is for our new start and when our new dreams begin. The girls never watched it though so finally I asked them about it. They said it was so special they were saving it until we got our own house again. I suddenly felt an inch tall again and like such a failure.

I mean, I know that I presented it as a special start and understand they want to save it for a special celebration. I know that it is just in my mind that I am some awful useless person who can not even buy them a new house yet. I always try to find a positive way to look at things so I can feel I am actually getting us closer to our goals.

So now I tell myself that yes I am an inch tall and to be proud of it. It was remembering a beautiful moment in a movie called V for Vendetta where the main character female is reading a letter from another female prisoner in the next cell that is passed through a tiny mouse hole. I am pasting it here:

Valerie: It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An inch. It is small and it is fragile and it is the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must NEVER let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the worlds turns, and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. Valerie.

That thought that it is small and it is fragile and it is the only thing in the world worth having is what I tell myself now when I feel that I am only an inch tall. We worked hard to get this far and I should not be ashamed of maybe looking or feeling like a ragged dusty woman since I did just fight for our freedom and won it. This is not the end but the beginning and we have the whole world to look forward to.

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You're right, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your daughters are lucky to have such a loving mother and strong role model. Thank you for sharing your very personal story here on PulseWire with us. Your words reach many other women who can gain strength from you and I hope that you are able to connect with women here that can offer you some strength as well.

Warm regards, Jade

Hey Maria, I sympathize with the high (tall) expectations we hold for ourselves as parents and with the feeling that maybe we are not doing enough for our children. We women in the west are bombarded every day with pictures of what we should be doing and providing, what we should and shouldn't be like as a mother - as well as a woman, a wife, and a career person. It all gets a bit much at times trying to live up to it all. Sometimes my son asks me if we have enough money - I try to reassure him, and myself, by concentrating not on what we don't have but on what we do instead.

I am blessed with two beautiful children whose joy just bubbles up out of them when they play and cuddle and laugh. Its effervescent and its contagious! I did that! Somehow I helped to create a life that created joy in them. Maybe one day we'll also have a house, a college fund and a car! Shh! Don't tell anyone we don't have a car; Its a shocker I know.

Being content to only be an inch tall? That sounds good to me.

Blessings Maria, I've seen you over at The Storytelling House. I look forward to reading more.