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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

It’s All About the Kids

How do you have a rant about women, children and work and not sound misogynistic?  I am going to try, but be prepared because my biases will pop out right and left here.

Let me begin by saying I like to think that I am a very open-minded person who is left-leaning moderate.  I believe that women should be paid the same as men.  I believe that women get the short-end of the career climb due to misconceptions and true responsibilities relating to childcare, elder care, etc.  I am very appreciative of all the women (and men) who have fought to gain women the right to vote, own property, handle our own finances and more.

Now let’s outline some basic facts about the new Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  She is a very smart, well-educated person.  No one disputes that.  She is a career-driven person.  You do not become a federal judge without having strong aspirations and political drive.  Her husband was a federal prosecutor for over a decade and now is in private practice in South Bend.

The children, in order of age, are Emma (19), Vivian (16) who is one of the adopted Haitian children, Tess (16), John Peter (13) who is also Haitian, Liam (11), Juliet (9), and Benjamin (8) who is the special needs Downs child.
Of the two adopted children, Vivian was born in Haiti and came to the family at 14 months.  She weighed 11 pounds.  John Peter is also Haitian and came to the family at age 3 after the earthquake that leveled Haiti.  Benjamin is the child with Downs.

Now with that background, let me rant. I don’t believe you can have it all.  I really don’t.  Either you have family or you have career but one will be sacrificed in order for the other to thrive.  That has been my experience.
Current advocates for ACB speak about her getting up at 4 am to get to the gym, her 3-hour roundtrip commute to Chicago for court sessions and they say this to emphasize her strong work ethic.  But what about the kids?  Where do they fit in?  Are they squeezed in between the gym and the long morning commute?  Being a federal justice is not necessarily a 9-5 job, so when ACB gets home in the evening how much 1-on-1 time is spent with the younger kids?

I think the kids are the ones getting short shrift of quality mom time.  They are being raised by others.  Since this is a conservative Catholic family who believes in traditional roles of husband and wife (I am basing this on ACB’s involvement with the People of Praise organization), I do not expect the husband/father (Jesse) to be picking up the slack on this.  He is no Marty.  He can’t be based on the teachings of the People of Praise.  

I have known, befriended and worked with my fair share of driven, Type A, highly successful women.  I mean highly successful including elected officials and women running companies.  I have observed their kids lose the battle of getting their mom’s attention.  I have seen the kids began trying all types of high jinks because any attention is better than none.  I have very, very rarely seen the kids of a successful mom come out OK.  Chelsea Clinton is one public example.  Sorry, Hillary haters, but she did do a good job.  Michelle Obama is another. Sorry that I am not balancing my examples with more conservative women, but work with me on this.  

Even when these kids (that I have known firsthand) have decent dads (although I will say some were single moms, some blended families, some with dads), the dads could not compensate enough for the mom’s absence.  I have seen older kids seem to be almost an after-thought for some women. 

A great, warm fuzzy news article around Mother’s Day showing a lovely photo of a mom with her daughter at the barn.  Nobody at the barn had ever met the mom.  They had all thought the housekeeper was the parent.  The mom had a very demanding, stressful leadership role and flew all over the country. The kid at 13 had a cell phone, credit card and was a whole lot of messed up.

Another kid pulled a huge stunt at school that got him suspended.  He did it the same day that his mom had a huge, huge presentation.  He did it on purpose to make her choose. To her credit, she chose the kid. She also began losing her hair over the stress of the two situations. She kept up the high-flying career for another 8 years before buckling under it all. Now she lives on the beach with her hubby. She looks really happy. One kid lives aboard, and I lost track of the other.

I can go on and on with examples.  I have watched from the sidelines for years.  I will admit that I am being quite judgmental.  I can’t help it.  This is about the kids.  This is about kids who do not get to choose their family or their parents.  Parents can really fuck up their kids.  It’s pretty easy.

I also have issues with high-profile women who seem to “collect” children.  I am thinking of Mia Farrow and Angelina Jolie.  I just think there are some underlying issues with those woman.  What empty need are they trying to fill with more kids?  How do you give the kids the attention and one-on-one time that helps kids thrive? I want to toss ACB into this category as well.

I could barely pull it off with two.  I was an occasional school volunteer, but oftentimes team mom, and always horse show mom.  I rarely if ever missed a game, horse show, award presentation – you name it.  I showed up.  Their dad was also good about showing up quite a bit. My kids really appreciated it both then and now.  It really makes a difference.  

Now I will admit that I sacrificed a lot of me to do this.  However, as I wrote recently, I think it was worth it.  I don’t regret putting my family before my career.  OK, there are days I question that decision and wonder if it was the right one.  But my kids turned out OK, so I think it was the right one.

So my rant is that is ACB there for her kids? We don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t think there are enough hours in the day. How can you be a successful federal judge, active church community leader and all the other amazing things plus be a mom to 7 kids. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Primal Screaming

My September theme of new year, new beginnings also causes me to reflect.  One thing I have been thinking about is my lack of stress these days.  I don’t have any.  Seriously – my finances are fine, my living situation is lovely, my work is pleasant.  I have no worries.  When I say I have no worries, don’t get me wrong.  I think about the big picture stuff of mortality, retirement, how are my kids, pandemic, elections, politics and stuff of that nature, but it doesn’t give stress me out because I cannot control any of that.

Anywhoo, in the context of appreciating the simplicity of my life, I have been thinking back to my parenting, child-rearing days as a working mom.  Good lord.  How the heck did I do it?  I have no idea. What did pop in my mind were thoughts of the days I would frantically be driving to work and be screaming with primal frustration and anxiety. 

Yes, on my 45-minute to hour-long commute, I had more days than I care to admit when I would be screaming with all my might to release the pent-up anger, frustration, anxiety, etc. that was overwhelming me.  Once I finished my primal screams, I would then use my words to scream my emotions into the empty minivan.  I would fantasize of just driving away from it all. For context, I was good for a screaming about about 2-3 times a year, so it wasn’t a weekly occurrence.

What is somewhat funny is that when I thought of just driving away, I would think about driving to Orlando.  Why Orlando I have no idea.  It is 3 hours from Miami and I guess just far enough away from my insane life to feel liberated?  It definitely wasn’t for the attractions.

Perhaps this primal screaming in my morning commute was my therapy that kept me sane.  It was a release for me.  Was it a healthy one?  Who knows.  It seemed to have worked as a band-aid for me.  Somehow I kept it all together as I dealt with all of the activities of two busy, school-age kids, coordinated all the logistics of household maintenance, shopping (including gifts and clothes), social calendar, bill paying, pet care – you name it, I did it.  Where was the father of my children and my husband?  Working.  Going to Happy Hour with “clients”, working on Saturdays (I actually liked that).  He believed that working as the “primary” breadwinner meant that he didn’t have to carry any of the household load. 

Yes, he did drop off for a year or two off and on.  Yes, he handled the annual income tax because he had an S-corp and the accountant.  But he did little else. He wanted me to work 40+ hours and handle all the same responsibilities of a SAHM.  I did the groceries, cooked the meals, cleaned the kitchen, made the school lunches, did the laundry.  I had a weekly housekeeper to help control the chaos which was a necessity, not a luxury.  I bought clothes for everyone – him included, any gifts for family members.  I arranged medical care for the kids and me.  He expected me to do it for him, but I drew my long, overdue line there.

Plus I was responsible for our social calendar.  God forbid we had a simple weekend or two staying home.  That was unacceptable.  We had a full sports calendar for the kids including me being team mom oftentimes, we had family nearby so birthdays were frequent, we hosted many large (12-24 folks) holiday gatherings. Towards the end, we did a 30+ person Memorial Day barbeque.  It was just a very busy time of my life. I look back and wonder how I did it all.  No wonder I had some mornings spend primal screaming.

Now I look back and ask myself, “was it worth it?”  I have to say….yes.  My kids had a wonderful childhood.  We had an interesting, busy, fulfilling life filled with activities, family and more.  I spent too much money, drove myself to the brink of sanity, but I can accept that.  If I had to do it over again, I would strive for more boundaries, but I chose a partner who was never going to co-parent.  Shame on me, but man, we created some amazing kids.

My advice to you young un’s: be more like RBG when you seek a partner.  Go find your Marty.  I am blessed that Taz found her.

Family Tree Connection

I don’t have much to report. What is going on? Same stuff different day. I feel like I have my shit together which is such a relief. I need to move into my own personal Phase 2 and start getting back to a limited out and about.

My biggest push is to make some damn girlfriends. I need to have a social circle up here. One unexpected and potential is a first cousin once removed who lives 15 minutes away from me. My aunt suggested we connect, so after several months I finally picked up my courage and the phone.

This cousin’s father is my grandmother’s brother – make sense? She is only 10 years older than me and has 3 grown kids that live in the area. Her oldest is 46. Cuz is only 10 years older than me and surprisingly we have very similar jobs. We hit it off in our call and had a lovely 10 minute chat.

Her family is being very careful with social distancing, but we made plans to connect in October when the weather cools off. I have enticed her with the idea of sharing some of those old photos I have discovered. She is excited to see them and I am looking forward to meeting her and her sister — yes, more family. My fingers are crossed that we have some type of connection because it would be nice to have “family” of some form around. If it is limited, that’s understandable. I don’t expect to get gathered into the bosom of their family instantly, but …… easy girl, manage those expectations.

OK, secretly I am hopeful because the damn holidays are a couple of months away and I know that the odds of spending it my kids or my dad are very limited. Time will tell and once again I must be patient. Yes, patience which is never one of my top traits.

The many branches of a family tree,
Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash

A Little Anxious


I have not heard my internal drumbeat for quite some time. I had heard it in March and April, but then it thankfully faded. Now, this week, it started again, albeit softly. My drumbeat is my sign that I am anxious. I don’t feel too much in control and I like to be in control.

Perhaps this is a lingering PTSD effect of Isaias swinging past and we haven’t even hit active storm season. Perhaps it is a discussion board on a professional site about the gloomy future of business. Perhaps it is the hard conversation I had with my son about school expenses, my thought that his dad is struggling to meet his obligations, so my son needs to talk to the financial aid office about more money. Maybe it is a combination of all three and more.

One thing I know is that I am a trifle weary about my utter lack of social life. I am trying to dig deep into focusing on things I can control: diet, exercise, sleep and finances. I am holding back on my spending. That is always a false stress-reliever for me so when I want to buy shit, I now stop and ask why? My cozy apartment can’t hold much, so any purchase needs to be carefully analyzed. I am focused on saving, saving, saving and frugal living, but honestly, that’s boring. No razzle dazzle there, but I do like seeing my savings grow, so I need to savor that.

I need to focus on what does bring me joy these days. I need to embrace the simple pleasures. My Beachbody on Demand (BOD) has been a surprising happiness builder for me. Yesterday was rainy so I couldn’t go outside for my nightly walk. Instead I did 30 minutes of Country Western dancing. This was in addition to my morning 30-minute Barre Blend, which combines barre and Pilates. To know me is to know that I have 2 left feet, no flexibility or rhythm. BOD has been introducing me to my hips and teaching me about coordination, stretching and footwork. Plus I get to look ridiculous in the comfort of my home with no one judging me. I also get to do these workouts repeatedly on my schedule and I advance when I feel comfortable moving on. I really like that. Look out Shakira – when I find my hips, they won’t be lying!

The other thing bringing me joy these days is the simple pleasure of being able to go to an office and be around people. This week is a trifle boring because I am in a lull with most of my projects. I have a few interesting things to do and some not so interesting, but I am around pleasant people all day without pressure.

I am reading a good book. Finished another last night. I have listened to some interesting podcasts. I have a weekly Zoom Toastmasters and this week I have a Zoom bingo night with another professional group. I am sleeping well. I just wish I could go to dinner or brunch with some girlfriends. I wish I had some girlfriends up here. The pandemic quashed all my plans of developing a social network up here.

Part of my internal drumbeat of anxiety is what I am seeing and hearing out of my professional networks. A tsunami of more layoffs and shutdowns is coming. Companies are distributing boxes to employees so they can pack up and work from home permanently, however, as those employees drive off the company knows most will never return. Lots of companies are closing up offices as of the end of September to coincide with the end of the third quarter. More will close up in December so horrific write-offs can be done for 2020. This will enable companies to potentially salvage 2021 after shedding everything possible.

Add to that mess the fact that as a woman over 55 years old, if I am laid off, I will be the last hired. Age and gender discrimination ratchet up during times such as these. Don’t believe me? Go read the studies. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bye-boomer-the-coming-cull-of-workers-over-50-2020-07-29

For now let me be thankful for what I have. I am thankful for my job, my work colleagues, my cozy apartment, my growing savings, my health and much more. I am very lucky to have what I have.

Boring is Good

This week I have felt bored. Life is ho hum. Then Taz gave me a wake up call. We had a long chat and she was filling me in on news from friends and my Ex’s family. Wow – talk about drama.

This friend’s mom had two heart attacks. The friend is trying to finish school and her fiancé was transferred to an out of state job. Another friend’s grandparent passed leaving behind an autistic son with metastatic lung cancer. The friend’s mom is now nursing her brother while he battles pneumonia and lung cancer. The same friend is dealing with a boyfriend who has accepted a job promotion and transfer.

Then my Ex had some serious drama with his fiancée’s daughters. Long story, I won’t go into it, but I felt bad for the guy. Really bad.

It was just drama, drama, drama. Wow. I have never been so grateful to be ordinary and dull. Thank you, Karma. You won’t hear a peep of complaint from me. Not a single peep. I am ever so grateful for all I have. Now let me drag my ordinary self to bed in my cozy, simple apartment.

2020 Simply Sucks

Taz called today to check in. She had sent me a tub of banana pudding from the world-famous Magnolia Bakery and I had sent her a series of really funny pictures ending with one of me with my cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk because my mouth was full of that amazing pudding.

After we chuckled about that, discussed my health and lack of test results, she segued way to what she really needed to talk to me about.

“Mom, did you ever have a miscarriage or problems conceiving?” My heart sank. No, I had been blessed. Taz was not. She miscarried at about 4 weeks and had to have a d&c.

We talked about it. She is hesitant to tell a lot of people. She is not telling her dad. I told her that this is her story to tell and I won’t share it with anyone. I mentioned her aunts by marriage had struggled. I mostly listened. That’s what she wanted. No platitudes because they never work with her and I find them to be a trifle condescending.

This had happened about 2-3 weeks ago. She had felt a bit broken at the time and didn’t feel up to talking to me about it. She talked about having genetic testing afterwards and she’s fine on that front. Her doctor reminded her that a third of pregnancies end like this. She said twice that it had not reached the stage of having a heartbeat.

That hurt. When your strong daughter repeats something like that, you know that it is the mantra she is using to try to put it behind her. Her husband was crushed. My heart aches for them.

“2020 absolutely fucking sucks,” I spit out. “The only damn good news has been your fellowship.” Now, I know there are a lot more good things in my life, but at that moment I felt the searing pain of all that she has endured this year. The stress of fighting for her prestigious fellowship, working a COVID ICU when she had no training for it, the stress of the pandemic in general, struggling to keep her and her hubby safe from the virus. She has been through so much.

I knew that they wanted to try for a baby this year. I had not asked if it was put on hold due to the pandemic. That is none of my business. Now this news answered my unspoken question. They had hope. They have the love, courage and strength to bring life into this crazy world.

Tonight I am so sad. So sad that these two amazing people are going through yet another difficult time. It is always so hard to watch your kids suffer and only be able to wring my hands on the sidelines. I say a prayer for Taz and her hubby. May their hearts heal.

Birthday Reflections

My best writing and thinking takes place early in the morning with a cup of coffee for company.  I wrote all of this while on vacation and am just getting around to transcribing and editing my handwritten notes.

I had a lazy day on the couch during my vacation.  I simply vegged either in front of the TV or on the front porch with a book in my lap.  I think it was because my mind was examining some big questions and needed the time and space.  Here are some of the topics I examined:

  • The repercussions of being single with limited nearby friends during a pandemic.  This issue has resolved itself somewhat.  Friends, family and coworkers have stepped up to volunteer assistance should I need it.  I am blessed and thankful.
  • Now that cases are escalating exponentially, working in the office, even with a mask is a bit fraught to say the least.  No shit, Sherlock.  I wrote this BEFORE I realized I might have been exposed and before Florida hit over 15K cases in a single day.
  • Vacations for the next few years will be limited for many reasons.  I do not see myself flying anywhere unless there is a damn good reason.  Rats because I yearn to travel.
  • What and where will retirement look like for me?  That is always a question for me.  I like to plan and this is the biggest unknown for me.  My pragmatic side hates the uncertainty of this.  I just need to accept that I have limited control over this.  I need to identify what I can control and focus on those things.  A topic for another post.
  • Can I handle a decade of my boss who can be a handful on occasion?  This is looking like it will be my last full-time job if all goes well.  I believe the answer is yes.  Everyone has their moments of questioning their employment.  Will the company navigate this recession successfully and without major layoffs?  Too soon to say….

I wrote all of this as I sat outside on the front porch of my parents’ mountain home.  It was a beautiful morning.  I listened to the birds and watched the chipmunks scurry around the yard.  I turned 56 this year.  I am pensive because I am on the downhill slide to 60.  LOL.

I have a decade of full-time work left in me, hopefully.  A decade to save and plan my retirement.  A decade to make a home in my new community so I can decide if I stay or leave during my golden years.

I am happy having my free time be for just me.  I am happy to be doing little to no compromising these days.  It is a first in my life.  I have spent a lifetime compromising and letting loved ones’ needs come before my own. 

Birthdays are a great time for reflection.  50 years ago I was a young girl living about 2 hours from this mountain home.  My parents were in the midst of splitting up.  My mom had a breakdown and was hospitalized for a few days.  My dad was having an affair with his now current wife of almost 50 years. It was 1970 and all the adults in my life were acting in self-centered ways to the detriment of me and my older brother.  My mom was a borderline personality.  She claimed their psychiatrist labeled my dad a sociopath.  Let’s not get hung up on labels and let’s just generalize it and call them both selfish.

The result of selfish parents, for me, was to counter balance with over-giving.  I have always given too much.  Too much time doing for others, too much time putting others before me, too much time for futile causes, too much money for others rather than saving for myself, too much, too much.

Now I am learning to value myself and my time.  I am learning the value of no and boundaries.  It is a bit uncomfortable to express those boundaries, but each time I flex that muscle, it becomes stronger and easier.  I look forward to it becoming more effortless and less guilt and anxiety producing.  When I first wrote out the previous sentence, I wrote it as a limiting belief “I am never going to think…”.  As I transcribed my handwritten notes, I recognized the limiting belief.  That is a minor victory!

I feel safe these days.  I feel like I have navigated my little lifeboat into a tiny, safe harbor while a storm of catastrophic proportions rages around me.  I feel small when looking at the vastness of chaos all around me. I know this single year of 2020 is a turning point in history, yet I will carry on having normal days of work and home.  I am very fortunate.

I also feel incredibly fortunate to have my little boat safely anchored.  I now longer strive to have trappings of success like expensive clothes, car and a fancier home. Minimal suits me far better. I am happy in my cozy oasis of an apartment.  I may decide to redecorate.  I need to do something with my grandmother’s dining room set.  I think I will get it refinished.  Maybe change the seat covers even though she needlepointed them all.  Perhaps I will frame them instead or just store them for the kids. Fewer belongings mean fewer ties and responsibilities.

I have led an incredibly interesting life compared to many.  Yes, I know many others who are even more interesting and that’s fine. I am no longer competing.  I am content to realize I will always have a story, an experience, an understanding for almost any conversation.  That is an accomplishment.  I also have learned to be a good listener and appreciate the stories and experiences of others.

I have kids who are simply amazing.  I listened, on vacation, to my son’s friend tell him how amazing my son is for living in Asia for a year.  What an accomplishment that few people have achieved.  My son felt and looked rejuvenated and recharged from this vacation.  He needed it as much, if not more, than me.

My daughter is in a league of her own.  Finding her soul mate has made her journey easier.  Their communication with each other is light years ahead of my relationship communication.  She is still wrestling with conforming to society norms.  I continue to encourage her to follow her heart without guilt.  What do I mean by that?

For example, she has discovered she doesn’t like to teach.  I get it.  Her patience is a precious commodity.  She feels guilty because her residency program has encouraged her to teach others, but it is not in her DNA.  I asked her how many doctors of her specialty teach and she responded less than 20%. I replied that her mentors knew from the beginning that the odds were against them for her to teach.  I said she shouldn’t sweat it. 

Perspective – perhaps that is my best gift to friends and family.  I offer gentle perspective when appropriate.  Blunt, but I also hold back at times.  It is a nuanced diplomacy that I have been blessed with.

There you have it.  Maggie’s morning reflections on a porch swing with delicious coffee….

Photo by Jeb Buchman on Unsplash

Vacay – Part II

I was being lazy after my son left and hung around the cabin. My birthday was the final part of my trip. My son had guiltily left the day before (I didn’t need or want guilt about his departure). My dad and stepmom planned to hang with me for the birthday afternoon and evening, then we would all leave the next day. A short, but sweet visit with them.

Until I got the Happy Birthday text from my GF at work. She called me. She may have COVID. However, I have been directly exposed not only through work, but she gave me a ride to the car rental and we didn’t wear masks. Sigh.

I immediately cancelled my afternoon rendezvous with the parents. My dad then said what I was thinking. Go home. Immediately. So much for my birthday. Fortunately I don’t get hung up on that type of stuff. My poor dad had gotten me a cake. Sweet thing.

There were multiple reasons for immediate action. I didn’t want to get too sick to drive. I didn’t want to further contaminate their house. I had to pass a Florida checkpoint, so I needed to be reasonably healthy for that. If I am going to be sick, I want to be home.

I packed up, washed the sheets, wiped down the house with my Clorox bleach spray and hit the road. Shortly after midnight I was tired, but home and the car was unloaded.

Today I slept in, returned the rental, picked up some groceries, made an extra key to my apartment. I am ready. I received official notice from work (via my GF who is HR) that I am not to return to work for another week. I am to work from home.

This will be interesting. I am waiting to speak to my boss who does not like WFH at all, even though she does it successfully when on a deadline. I have my laptop with me and I don’t need much else.

With the logistics all in place, let’s talk about me. How do I feel? No fever, my neck is a bit achy, I have a mild headache and a slight dry cough. Sounds ominous doesn’t it? I called Taz. Not much to be done at this point. I am scheduling my own COVID test right now. No sense in waiting if I already have mild symptoms.

Am I scared? Not yet. I do want to know if I have it. I am very worried for my GF. She donated a kidney to a family member a couple of years ago.

Like Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. Sigh.

Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

Vacay – Part I

Vacay has been nice. I enjoyed the company of my son and his friends. They are smart, well-mannered guys. We sat around with a beer and discussed adult stuff. I enjoyed their opinions and stories. I think they enjoyed listening to my stories and thoughts as well.

We did a couple of low key hikes ending with a picnic. The boys took one day to hike something more strenuous while I hung around the cabin reading and relaxing.

They all left a day or so before me. I spent most of one day home alone. Initially I thought I would go walk around my favorite lake, but instead I have puttered around the cabin.

I am feeling a trifle blue, but at first I didn’t know why. As I thought about it, I think my minor funk is more about this never-ending pandemic. Before I left, two work colleagues reached out because they lost their jobs. I have tried to ignore the real world, but I see the surge of COVID cases in Florida and sigh.

How long will I have to abstain from activities, restaurants and the like? I think it will be 2 years. Taz agrees. I don’t want to be one of the first getting a vaccine. I want someone else to be the guinea pig.

Two years of limited socializing. Two years of probably not expanding my social circle with new girlfriends. I am doubtful I will be able to do any group lessons for any activity.

So that is why I have a funk today. It’s OK. My dad is popping in to celebrate my birthday.

Not my hike, but we saw similar beauty…

Here & Now

What’s missing? That is the feeling that has been rattling around in the back of my mind.  It didn’t materialize until I put pen to paper.  What is missing these days?

The answer for me is social occasions.  Forming new friendships with women in my new town.  That was my top 2020 goal and now a formidable one.

I am not lonely, but I do want to broaden my social circles.  My Zoom Toastmasters helps.  I did a pleasant Zoom Meetup with a women’s group.  We had 5 on the call and it was nice.  I had been seeing the Hunter every weekend. I talk to my kids frequently and check in with my dad and BFF weekly.  Plus I have an office of friendly coworkers for idle chitchat and lunch. I cannot complain.

However, I am looking 10 years out to my retirement.  Holy shit, I only have about 10-14 years to go.  Crap, I am getting old.  What is my retirement going to look like?  Will I move close to Taz to help her with the grandkids?  My dad advocates for that.  I am happy to help.  I would love to do something like help run the marketing for her medical practice or help oversee the management side of things.  That would keep me busy, but that is the future.  What is here and now?

Here and now is no Meetups, no clubs, no concerts, no festivals, no beach, etc.  Here and now is a brilliantly beautiful day with cool air wafting on my bare legs.  Birds chirping, traffic humming past.  Here and now is a delicious cup of coffee.

Instead of searching for the missing, let me have a moment of pure gratitude.  I am so grateful for everything I have:

  • My kids – they are wonderful, accomplished and a source of joy, not grief or angst.
  • My cozy apartment – it’s cute, perfect for me.  It has nice, upgraded appliances,  granite countertops, a nice balcony with a pleasant view.  My apartment is filled with decor and furniture I selected.  It is a trifle eclectic, but very comfortable and I like it.
  • My job and steady paycheck – something I will never take for granted.
  • My health – I am strong, healthy with absolutely no issues other than my weight.  My thyroid may be a bit wonky, but I am taking no medications and feel great.
  • Friends and family – I have people in my life who love me and who I love in return. No drama – what a blessing.

I am so incredibly lucky and blessed.  My only debt is my car, which is very manageable and soon to be paid off.  This time last year I was in such a panic.  I had over $40K of debt and little income.  I was praying night & day that I would get this job because there was nothing else in sight.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  All I know is that today is a blessing and I am happy with all that I have.  I need to remain present and not fret about the future.  I am missing nothing, not a damn thing.

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