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Archive for the ‘Musings and Epiphanies’ Category

Oh dear gentle reader(s), if there are any of you left. 2020 has been quite a year. And for me it marks my half-century. I look at my sons regularly wondering how they can be 15 and 17 years old, how does one of them have a driver’s license? And where did my little babies go? It’s natural as a parent to reflect on the passage of time for their children. And as I spoke with my dad today I realized as he said, jokingly, “50? One of my kids is 50?” that I am feeling what he has been feeling for years.

And as I am the type to reflect, I thought about hitting the mid-century mark.

First, I’m quite thrilled to be on top of the ground and not under it. Second, I am so glad to be with Hubby and sons to celebrate it.

I had planned to do a girls’ getaway to New Orleans to mark the occasion. Total Hallmark movie plans, rent a little house, be tourists, long talks till the wee morning hours about life and all the things that girls like to talk about when they gather in their little covens.

That clearly didn’t happen.

Tonight I suspect we will eat homemade Hershey’s chocolate cake made by Hubby. Then I think we will watch a Halloween movie because I have been derelict in that this season, much to Younger Son’s disappointment. The house is decorated, inside and out, costumes are almost done being sewn, but we haven’t read a word of Poe nor watched any scary movies. But it’s 2020.

And that is the fatigue I am feeling. I have gotten quite comfy with blaming the year. I haven’t accomplished some great project, written the great American novel, or even written regularly for this. What have I been doing this year? What have I been doing my whole life? And I realized, I’ve been living it. I’ve been enjoying it, the little things, the big things. I’ve walked through sadness and grief. I’ve laughed my ass off. I’ve watched in awe as my sons have grown up. I’ve loved and laughed for twenty years with Hubby.

I’ve lived with schizophrenia and not let it control what I do. I am fighting my fears about dementia and its history in my family. I’ve walked a path of advocacy that my sons can follow no matter what the reason they need to advocate for themselves. I’ve been scared, I’ve been relieved, I’ve been probably every emotion we humans have ever named.

I try to make sense of everything that is going on in the world. It overwhelms one. But I do try. I reflect inward to try to examine myself as that is where I can start change. I look at how I can shape my sons, I look at how life passes from one generation to the next.

And the soundtrack to all of this is from that last place I would have guessed if you had asked me back in 1987. But he wrote a whole album to help one reflect on 50, so I couldn’t ignore it. He would never, so I certainly couldn’t let him down either. Then he made another album to make sure I remember it’s a Beautiful Life.

And the album is amazing. The voice is even better than it was in 1987. My sons were introduced to Rick Astley because of the pinata in a Psych episode. The Older Son grew into his voice and is a baritone so he does a pretty mean impression of Rick Astley. And then we discovered the 50 album. And then Beautiful Life. And then he treated us to “Titanium” during this world lockdown, which I sing almost every day.

But the song that helps me each day, ok, there are several, but if I had to pick, ok, I couldn’t. Here’s the bare minimum line-up: “Try”, “Keep Singing”, “Pray with Me”, “Beautiful Life”, and then “Dance”. In general, these two albums, along with any and all Queen, have been this year’s soundtrack for me. And Older Son and I sing Phantom while Younger Son plays on his euphonium. But I digress.

“Try”. As I have been reflective during 2020 and approaching 50 like a bat out of hell, I keep coming back to this song. I’m half tempted to find a decent karaoke track and pop it up on Youtube, but I don’t know that the world needs me singing it. “Even if I’m broken on the inside…” And there have been times in my life when I felt that was so true. And there are times when nothing makes sense. And there are times I miss my brother so much and wish he had heard this song.

So as I turn 50, I know I need to try. Try something new each day, or do squats, or laugh, or do something to show myself that I have a beautiful life. Then try to share that with the world to add to the beauty rather than add anything else negative. I will try to lift myself out of the funk that started five years ago and has been haunting my dreams with sadness, death, rejection, loss. I will instead focus on my family, my blessings.

“All I know is nothing’s certain
So I’m gonna try, I’m gonna try
It’s only myself that I’m hurting
If I don’t try, if I don’t try

When it feels like all my hopes and dreams are shattered into dust
I remember that the only thing I have to do is trust…” ~Rick Astley

So I try.

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This has been a soothing time for us, with ups and downs as anyone is feeling in these “unprecedented times”. Although, the world has lived through times similar to these before I am sure.

But I am writing about my life right now. It’s hard to let go and realize I don’t have to run somewhere…at any time right now. My body, mind, and spirit are slowly adjusting to it. Things are stressful, Hubby’s work has slowed dramatically, my work has had a decent share of stress. I had one my beloved vestibular migraines from April 9-April 29, so that was fun. But I finally don’t look like I’m drunk while I walk around my house. And happily did not need to drive anywhere because I can’t.

And in this time at home I have rediscovered cards. How did I forget about the joy of cards? Younger Son is mildly obsessed, has over a dozen decks. He has several from a company called Theory Eleven. The cards were so nice I finally broke down and bought myself two decks. Not that I don’t still have my trusty Bee Peppermill deck of cards that I’ve used since my college days.

But these new cards are art. I felt a little guilty when I first shuffled them, starting to break them in. They’re gorgeous. We’ve been playing Go Fish, Palace, Gin, Gin Rummy. I want to remember how to play Spit and War. We also played Uno the other night. And a coworker told me about Pit. I ordered it online, it arrived, and we played it last night. All I can say is our neighbors may think us insane. Shouts of “Trade One! Trade Three! Trade Two!” echoing out of our living room windows last night. We were loud, laughing, and having a grand time. May have scared the dog a bit. Older Son was thrilled to FINALLY win a game.

My goal once the world gets spinning again is to keep this pace as best we can. We usually ate dinner together most nights. We often played games. But there was always a lingering presence of The Things That Need To Be Done, at least in my mind, and then I would speak about The Things That Need To Be Done, removing all of us from the moment. Living in the moment has been a beautiful accident with the way the world is right now. I pledge not to let go of that. This is that chance to see what life can be if one chooses to slow down, appreciate what one has instead of thinking about what one wants, and focus on what really matters.

It’s the simple things, like a beautiful (old) deck of cards.

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Happily, my OTC allergy medicine arrived. My sinus may actually slow down their ridiculous levels of mucous production. Man, if I could find something to make with that I could retire.

And of course with copious amounts of free time, ghosts like to come visiting. They usually lurk in the dark shadowy areas of my mind and memory. But at the moment, they like trying to have a chat in the middle of the night.

To avoid them I wander down the random path of Google link after Google link. It’s interesting to see how different people and things are connected much the way we’re all connected to Kevin Bacon. Six little degrees, my friends.

Now I’m off to eat leftovers-mmmm, gumbo! And I’m attempting an Oreo cheesecake in my Instant Pot.

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Hello Gentle Readers

That’s right. I finally stopped playing Disney Emoji Blitz long enough to put pen to paper. I want to remind you of a simple fact.

Get off of social media. Stop comparing yourself to what so-and-so has done with these circumstances and do what you want to do.

Crafting-sick of people posting how much craft stuff they have done? This is the crafting I’ve done. I realize I never do it. I finally owned that I don’t need the clutter from an activity I do so rarely that I am lying when I say I like beading.

Cleaning-ok, I was cleaning like a banshee, you know getting rid of crafting supplies, but then my town announced there would be no bulk pickups. We just switched to a cart trash system. I can’t fit a couch in that. Now my driveway looks horrific. But I do keep adding to the pile.

But neatly.

My favorite thing about this has been longer family game nights. We have them regularly anyway, but without a commute, I can try to stay up later.

Confession. We played Cards Against Humanity with our teenage sons. I’m blaming that one on the desperate times.

So to be brutally honest, the misanthrope in me is doing just fine. I’ve got what I need and a lot of what I want-my family, my pets, health, and a chance to breathe.

Just be you, do what you want/can/need to. And don’t compare with others. You’re doing exactly what you were made to do.

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A long time ago

in a galaxy far, far away, I, like millions of others, started a journey with George Lucas. 42 years later it will come to a close for me tonight. I hope I like where they take the story. I hope I feel it is the right ending to a 42 year journey.

I’m not the “#1” Star Wars fan, would never claim to be. I don’t know every little detail, every nugget of trivia or lore. But I love the world of Star Wars. And a part of me is quite sad to see the end of the three trilogies. What a massive universe to enter into as a seven year old to finally skywalk out it as a 49 year old.

May the force be with you.

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Oh my lanta

Second (or connecting) flight is delayed almost 2 hours. I wanna see my kid!

Older Son is gaining so much independence and knowledge of how to handle life stuff.

And I’m slowly (and I mean slowly) learning that I have to let go of control.

That’s gonna take a shit ton of work, and learning to let go.

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While Older Son has about another decade before he has the PhD, I am a paleontologist’s mom.

A sample of his patience with my ignorance.

Lifelong learners. 🙂

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Older Son had a safe flight out to Montana yesterday. He is out there with GeoDESLA2019. Super proud of this kid. He’s in his element and I know he’ll learn a lot. Follow the adventure at www.geodesla2019.wordpress.com.

And so it has begun. He flew by himself. He worked his first job this summer. It was at a sleep-away camp so we only saw him on his day off. He’s jumping leaps and bounds in the gaining independence category this summer. Two years…and he’ll be at college.

And so it has begun. Some of his days off were spent with friends, and I barely saw him. He’s learned quite quickly different spending habits when it’s money he worked for. He independently handled the airport, a flight with strangers that at the end of the Montana trip will be friends.

This is all joyful and what parents hope will happen for their children…but, dagnabbit, it flies by.

And so it has begun…Younger Son has started a transformation as well with the change in summer norms. He’s been doing projects around the house, enjoying full control of the PS4, went to both sailing camps, and is in full swing with marching band.

And so it continues. They are both still my babies, always will be my Squid & Jellyfish. Always those two sweet mischievous boys. They know their sappy, emotional mom and so they give hugs when she asks, pose sweetly for pics (and sometimes goofy). They are putting it all together and making connections about this thing called life so beautifully.

And so it has begun that in the not too distant future I will be obsolete from the day to day little things and shift to the bigger picture conversations and questions. And I will embrace that as I have every other moment of their lives. And hold them in my heart always.

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So Our House of Chaos has been going along at its normal clip. Marching band has officially started up again (but does it ever really stop, I think not). Older Son started working at his first job (kitchen staff at the camp!) a couple of weeks ago. Younger Son is there this week for sailing camp. So the house is quiet other than the menagerie of animals.

But the thing is I seriously am being haunted by my bro and I wish I could figure out what he’s trying to tell me. Had a dream we were having lunch together, but my mind must have been scared because I got hung up on condiments in the dream, and then realized I was missing time to see Bro, realized it was a dream while in the dream, and woke up.

Heard “Landslide” in the hoagie shop with Younger Son yesterday. Burst into a giant ugly cry. Yes, people noticed. Younger Son was super, cleaned everything up so I could ugly cry my way quickly out the door. Haven’t heard that song on a radio station in over a year.

And then he’s just so in my head and I can’t get him out of it. Still in a bout with the dagnabbit vertigo. Not sleeping well, not eating well.

Just want to have a good night’s sleep. Hoping the mental dump to you, my five or so Gentle Readers, will help.

Debated putting this under “My Lunch with”…but went with Musings….

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So I see these pop up now and then. Posts about being an adult. Often about basic skills of life, cooking, laundry, the day-to-day tasks that adults have had to do since there were adults.

I will tell you the hardest part of being an adult.

Not laughing when the person farts in the stall next to you. Especially at work, but really anywhere.

That, Gentle Readers, is the hardest part of being an adult.

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