A Bittersweet Melancholy

Watching the two people who raised me, held onto sticky hands as I took those first tottering steps on chubby legs, were the gleeful recipients of my first toothless smiles, become timeworn leaves me with a dull ache inside.  The people who loved me, cared for me, sacrificed for me, put up with my teenage bullshit, now declining in health, mobility, and cognizant functioning.  This is about watching the two once vibrant and youthful adults  who caused fear and trembling inside of me, especially my Dad, and how this saddens yet gives me hope about the future.

My parents are involved in many various activities back home in Florida.  They play cards, travel, are in the German and the Polish Clubs back home.  They both can still move around on their own albeit slowly.  This brings me joy.  I love seeing my parents fully enjoying their senior years.  They are not sitting around their home in some wooden rocking chair waiting to die. 

I watch the two people that were infallible in my eyes as a child, insufferable as a teen, and inadequate as a young adult become wise as a middle-aged woman.  We all understand that aging is a rite of passage that not everyone is blessed to pass through.  Sometimes our bodies mock us in the process, wrecking havoc on the mind as well.  They may walk with hesitant steps, for one misstep could land them in the hospital with a broken hip or worse.  I can close my eyes, though, and easily recall the times my Dad and I went on long bike rides.  I remember when he was strong and full of energy.  But now hair graying, thinning, and well, balding, the advance of time takes pity on no one. 

But no matter how we look at the transition from youth to agedness: a goal, a wish, a dream, or a gift, we all must pass through those darkened corridors, hopefully not alone though.  Aging can be frightening going it on your own, being a widow or a widower.  How comforting it is to have someone else along for the ride.  Yet I am thankful and truly blessed to still be able to enjoy my parents while, unfortunately, so many of my peers cannot.  We will all be bruised and battered by what life throws our way, but no matter how cracked and worn it becomes, we can call each day a gift at the end of the day and pray that tomorrow will be another new chance to make things better for yourself and for others around you.

 

Change in Direction

Okay, I’ve decided to go in a new direction with my posts.  I’ve written before about me having diagnosed myself as having Asperger’s.  I’ve decided I didn’t need someone ‘professional’ telling me what I’ve known for years was wrong with me.  And since there isn’t even an official test to determine whether or not someone has Asperger’s, I’ve read enough about traits in women enough to know that, yes, that definitely describes me. 

So I am taking this blog in that direction.  And how my life revolves around having Asperger’s and some very strange and neurotic things I am guilty of having done in the past that screams, ‘Wait!  This isn’t normal for someone your age!’.  So yes, I am putting myself out there and come whatever humiliation or embarrassment it might bring down upon my lovely little head, I will be open and honest.  Perhaps a bit too open and honest. 

So, here goes.  I have always been different.  In so many different ways.  My mother has told me that I was slow to begin talking, and that she never thought that I would, and then when I did, I wouldn’t stop!  Okay, and I’m left-handed.  Okay, that has nothing to do with it besides that fact that my dear, sainted mother used to bind up my left hand, so I would be forced to use my right hand.  I, being the wonderful genius that I was, and still am (well, not really), I would just unbind my left hand and go about my merry way!

Now, for a bit of embarrassment and utter openness about my past life(or, what normal people call, the early years).  Do you remember that adorable little alien called, E.T.?  Well, I surely do.  And I loved that little guy so much!  To the point that I watched that movie countless times and cried every time that little booger died.  And even more tears when he came back to life!  Oh the endless joy!  Well, let’s just say I had a rather unhealthy obsession with the little guy.  I had a stuffed E.T.  Remember them?  So cute, and soft, and ever so cuddly!  Here’s the sad part and how I know now that I had/have some disorder.  I treated that crazy thing like it was a baby!  I tucked it into bed next to me, spoke to it like a baby!  And guess the next sad, pathetic, and maybe cute part of the story:  I was nineteen! 

See?  Open and honest enough for you all?  That is not a ‘normal’ thing for a nineteen year old woman to be doing!  Oh, dear friends, I have  a lot of sharing to do with you all.  But I’ll just give you little bites here and there.  I wouldn’t want to stuff you full with all of my delightful foibles all at once!  Oh no!   Oh the wonderful tales I’ll share!  All my dark, little secrets.  All of my craziness.  All of my insanity.  Wait, is that the same thing or not? 

Til next time, I hope that you’ll enjoy snickering about my weirdness.  It brings joy to my heart to be able to add a chuckle to your day.  Even if that chuckle is at my expense.  No problem.  I am well aware of the absurdity of this bluntness and whether I am gaining anything from this or not.  Well, I am gaining writing time and a fresh awareness of who I truly am.  Love to you all.  

Here I am, in the midst of so much unimportant fluff weighing me down again.  Laundry, dirty dishes, working out, cleaning, worrying about my boys, even though they’re basically men now, I feel dragged down and exhausted.  Why is it that the little things, the really quite nonessential things, really tear us down?  Again with the guilt of not writing.  It weighs me down.  Do I feed off the guilt?  Does it make me feel like I have purpose in my life, even by not writing?  Okay, maybe I don’t even know where I’m going with this.

It just seems like I’m going around the same stubborn mountain.  Around and around I go.  And of course the winter weather monster isn’t helping my depression in the least.  Can I blame it on the weather?  Probably.  But probably not a good idea either.  I can come up with a long list of reasons why I put off writing.  But they’re the same excuses I constantly bitch and moan about.  So of course that is getting old.

Does writing pep you up?  Does it make you feel happier?  Give you a sense of self-worth?  Give you a reason for living?  It does for me.  Then why don’t I write, you may ask?  Trust me, I’ve asked myself that so many times that it doesn’t even phase me anymore.  And that is sad in a way.  If one loves to write, and finds sheer joy in the putting of words to paper, then why doesn’t one do it?  I can’t explain it anymore.  Is it failure or fame that I fear more?  Is it so that I can claim that I am a writer?  I tell my family that I have so many good story ideas and great beginnings, but they just shake their heads and tell me to go write them then.  And I should. 

But there is something hidden beneath the surface.  What it is, again, I have no clue.  Maybe I don’t want to know.  Maybe I like keeping it dead and buried.  But I am sick of continuing this life without meaning.  Without driving myself steadily towards my goals and dreams.  Okay, it does have meaning, of course.  But what I mean is that I feel that I’m coasting again through this life.  And I’m fifty now.  More than half my life is over, I’m sure.  One cannot keep sitting back and allowing the world to flash before them without at least attempting to go after what they want most in life.  So, dear reader, again I ask for your valued opinions.  How do you keep at writing even when you don’t seem to have the time?  I need some advice, please.  It sincerely aggravates me that I keep talking about the same issues without even trying to resolve them.  No one wants to keep reading about the same thing all of the time. 

So here’s to reading good books, for writing about what is on your heart and in your  head.  Without excuses.  Without fear.  Without apathy.  Without complaint.  Thanks, again, for listening.  Please comment with any sage advice, or any good books that might help me out of this funk.

The Joy of a Happy Marriage

Okay. Perhaps the title is misleading. I don’t believe that any marriage is happy 100% of the time. We fight. We hurt each other. But the good thing about marriage is that you have learned to forgive your spouse after being together for as many years as you have been. For us it is now twenty-three years of marriage. And I can honestly say that our marriage is stronger now than when we first said “I do.” How is that possible? When so many marriage crumble and end up in divorce court, and children are left to wonder what they did wrong, because that’s normally what happens(well, if there are children which resulted from the union). Marriage isn’t easy. When two very different people join together for, hopefully, a lifetime, it is definitely a struggle of wills and personalities. We tend to say that we fell in love with our spouse because of the things we share in common. But even though there may be a lot of hobbies shared, or tastes in certain things, in the end, you are still two very different human beings. And take the stress of raising a family, working, paying bills, getting out from under debt, maybe an illness, and just plain old living under the same roof with perhaps limited amount of space to escape for a couple of hours, couples are in for a very bumpy ride if they don’t understand what they are getting themselves into.

Marriage is NOT playing house. There are real problems. Repairs need to be done. Maybe new appliances need to be purchased. Or you may have recently lost your job. You worry about losing your home, losing your health, losing your loved ones, losing your sanity! The stress builds up and then suddenly your lashing out at your spouse, your kids, or maybe even your neighbors. You wonder how you can hold it all together to make things work out. Especially true if you’re a man. I understand how important your work is to your sense of worth. How you may feel like less of a man if you cannot provide for your family. It is a tremendous amount of frustration piled up upon your already sagging shoulders. But I’m sure women can feel the same way. We should at least try to encourage our men. Let them know that we are in support of them 100%. That whatever happens, you’ll survive; you’ll get by. And all that matters is being together. Yes. That may sound like a cliché but it’s the truth.

In marriage, you must be on the same team, so to speak. Financial decisions must be mutual. Raising the children must be mutual. There must be an understanding on all things when it come to marriage. It is hard work making it all work out in the end. But work out it will if you both just hang on. Yes. It is much easier to quit and get divorced. But if you think it is better on the other side, you would be mistaken. Also, I am talking about marriages where there isn’t any signs of abuse. I would never tell anyone to stay in such a situation, just to make it clear this is about ‘normal’ marriages, if there is even such a creature that exists!

Now, about faith. I think that this is a very important part of a marital union. If one person is a believer, I feel that the spouse should be too, just because of the complications that can arise out of not being on the same page when it comes to faith issues. My husband and I share the same faith. We pray together every weekday morning, asking God to bless our day, for protection for ourselves and our loved ones, and thank Him for the many blessings He provides us on a daily basis. This is very important to us, as a couple. Perhaps you enjoy mediating together, or working out together, or some other hobby that you both enjoy. You both need that time to spend together, especially once you have children. Don’t let the craziness of life draw you further and further apart. You need to be unified. And, here I go, do not postpone the sex part. It is a very huge element to a happy and healthy marriage. There is nothing wrong in enjoying it whole-heartedly, ladies! I don’t care how old you are, go after it with gusto! Read up on all the great health benefits to both men and women that a healthy sex life provides. Having sex with definitely bond you two even closer together; trust me on this one.

So, do not let frustration, day to day living, and children make you resent being married. It is not greener on the other side. You will still have heartache, and anger, and pain, and grief, and bills to pay. Make it work. Get help if you need to. Be patient with each. Forgive each other. Love each other more each day. Don’t take each other for granted. Look into your spouse’s eyes and tell them each day that you love them. Give them an unexpected kiss or hug when passing by them. Have fun together. Play! Tickle each other, works for us, since I’m awfully ticklish. Okay, perhaps that was too much information. Just please, love your spouse. Above all, keep an open line of communication. Talk often. Respect each other. Take interest in what your spouse enjoys doing. And give them space when they need it. So to all, I hope that you have many, many years of a happy and healthy marriage ahead of you. Perhaps you too will discover that you have fallen in love with your spouse all over again.

Just To Let You Know I’m Still Alive and Kicking

I got to see some dear friends yesterday.  We had a little party at our office for Valentine’s Day and it was fun.  I baked some cookies; some that were gluten-free and some that were not.  It’s alway good to see people you may normally not have the chance to see other than at holidays and what not.  It’ll be eleven years in August since I started working with them.  And honestly this is the longest job, besides being a mom, that I’ve ever had.  And you know why?  Because these are good people to work with, not for.  We’re a family.  And they treat us as such.  We work well together a team, as a job should be.  Working on the same side, not against each other.  I won’t say the name of the business, but it is a janitorial/carpet cleaning franchise that has been around since the mid-ninteteen forties.  This is the only job I’ve ever had that I felt accepted at.  I have good leadership which I will follow gladly.

There’s something to say about being happy to go to work each day, glad to be employed and content with what you do.  It’s rough out there.  I had tried to get a few church secretarial jobs but it’s hard to come by.  The last church I interviewed at had 87 people interview for the position.  I didn’t have much of a chance because I am not very computer-literate.  I know the basics, and that’s about it.  But yet I still return to the flock where I started out at when we moved to this area ten and a half years ago.

So to my fellow co-workers and partners, thank you for all that you’ve done for me in the past and what you still do today.  You are a breath of fresh air to the employment industry, actually caring about your employees and their families.  Thank you for providing me with a job and the ability to help support my household.  God bless you, John, Kathy, and Marilyn.