I sat down at my desk and opened my daily calendar. Suddenly it hit me. Today is April 4, 2019, and I am turning 70 years old. Most of the people I know, who are my age, seem to have their act together. Several friends own lovely cabins up North. People I graduated from High School with have substantial pensions and retirement funds. Others have retired and are traveling and seeing the world. I always thought I would be enjoying these things too. Instead, I was still working at the bank and as much as I enjoyed helping others reach their goals, working at the bank was no longer one of mine.
When I was a little girl, I always felt like I didn’t have any friends. I was raised in a neighborhood of all boys. Play revolved around playing cowboys and Indians and other games that involved me being the only girl. I must say since I was the only one with cowboy boots and a holster set, I often played a lead role. I would pretend to be Roy Rogers or The Lone Ranger. Most of the boys were younger and smaller than I was so they didn’t argue with me. They followed my lead.
“Have you heard the one about…?” You hear that phrase as someone passes and if you’re like me, you want to hear the rest of the story, all the way to the punch line.
I’ve had a tough time writing this post. I’ve erased and started over multiple times. I wrote it to the end once and when I read it back to myself. I wanted to gag, so it too was deleted.
The truth is, I don’t remember being complimented. It is much easier to remember the snarky remarks and yes, even the insults. Compliments? Not so much. Continue reading
My attempts at “parenting” have taken many forms. My first hint of what parenting looked like was at a distance with my two nieces. I lived out of state. I always made sure birthday gifts were received on time and was always available by phone but unlike the real thing, their parents did the heavy lifting. As the girls grew older, I had the wonderful experience of being a confidante and a mentor. I enjoyed this relationship with all my heart and still do. I do understand that this was not “real” parenting. Continue reading
I resisted having a cell phone for years. The thought of having a phone “on me” all the time gave me the creeps. Then I took a job out of town that took me away from home at all different hours and in all different seasons, rain and snow and I gave in.
Before I knew it, I had just the “right” cell phone. My blackberry even had to match my glasses. In no time at all I was hooked. I couldn’t leave home without it.
Somehow, in life, I was born a pleaser.
I was the youngest of three girls and I quickly learned how to act so that my sisters would be pleased with me. The other side of this spinning coin is, I have often been devastated when someone close to me says mean things to or about me. I can never understand why they would want to be hurtful. This results in me wanting to do something or try something, but being held back by the abuse I allow myself to suffer in the opinions of others.
I have a confession to make. I don’t cook very often. My husband was raised in the restaurant business and started scraping gum off the bottom of tables with a putty knife when he was too little to remember. One thing led to another and he started food preparation when he was very young. Being around food and people who cooked well caught on with him.
What is my favorite drink?
This sounds like an easy topic…not. My answer is, it depends.
Do I walk my talk? Do I follow through? Do my actions match my words? Do I do as I say? Sadly, in many cases, I would have to say NO…I feel kind of creepy admitting that because my intentions are always good. If I get down right honest, I often think out loud. I try out ideas like I try on clothes. When I speak my words and I look for reactions. My need to please is strong, so if the reactions to my thoughts out loud are too severe, I may go another direction.
When I think of Christmas, I remember all of the joy of being a child and feeling the magic of Christmas. There was the night I heard footsteps on the roof and I just knew that Santa and his reindeer were there. As I dozed off to sleep that night, I was sure I saw Rudolph’s bright red nose leading the sleigh onward and upward.
Another memory I have is the annual occurrence of my sister Sandy stalling to come to bed. She would stay in her bathrobe and I would finally give in to sleepiness and close my eyes. At the time, I didn’t realize that this always happened a few weeks before Christmas. The very next morning, we would go downstairs to see the most beautiful Christmas Tree ever in the living room. The tree was part of our Christmas surprise as long as we believed.
Sometimes I get really down and crabby. This has been one of those times for me, so tonight when we decided to express our “Gratitude List”, I felt like the timing was perfect. Coincidentally, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I think the “Universe” is telling me to be grateful and thankful.
I realize that my greatest lessons have actually come from the most challenging and difficult times in my life. I am truly grateful for my resilience and my ability to be strong and to come back even when circumstances feel like I’m drowning in despair.