Sunday, June 28, 2009

My absence

It is nearly the end of June and have I really only posted one entry? Lots of reasons why and here they are:

1. The A/C Adapter for my laptop broke. Unfortunately two attempts to get a new one have failed thus leading me to believe it has something to do with the laptop. We still have a plethora of other computers to use at the house, but nothing beats writing in my bed on the laptop. I have discovered that is where I get my best writing done.

2. School ended. I know, it sounds pathetic, but seriously, it has rocked my world. The little straw that broke the camel's back was the decision that the kids should be on the swim team this summer. Being novice aquatic parents we had no idea at the time what this little endeavor would involve. I thought I was being smart by planning all camps, vbs stuff, etc. in June, but didn't know that adding swimming would mean swim practice every day and meets that last a minimum of 4 hours! It has been a "good thing" as Martha would say, but good gravy what a time commitment!

3. Jay has been traveling what is a ridiculous amount for us and for him. He has been home about 7 days in the last 21 it seems. We are out of sorts without him. I am not geared to be a single parent for so long and neither are my kids. We have all suffered with the snippy and snappy and backtalk from a frazzled me. Without him, there is no uninterrupted time to ponder through blog entries, let along type them. I spent the better part of church this morning praying to God to give me more strength and patience with the children during a sermon about trust.

4. Sick kids. Step invaded our house. First, Ethan, then Sadie. Ethan's was never diagnosed, but Sadie's was. Talk about tough on scheduling when 2 have swim practice and VBS and one needs sleep and rest.

5. Funerals...death of a friend's mother. This will be a blog entry in itself, but in an overview, I have relieved a lot of those first weeks after Ansley's death in order to impart what little wisdom I have to my dear friend. My heart hurts for what she is going through and what is to come. But, I praise God for allowing me to use my circumstances to possibly bring comfort to someone else.

6. Wedding of my (step) sister at which I was the matron of honor. A flurry of pre-wedding activities (including that age-defining weekend in Boone) made for a very hectic 2 weeks prior. However, it will go down as the best wedding I have ever attended. Maybe it is age, the music (the band rocked), the food, the family? I don't know, but it was just great!

Regarding the bloggy world...I have about 5 good posts that have been swirling around in my head for weeks now and I have promised myself to get them out this week. I need to clear out the clutter in my brain as it appears these thoughts have infiltrated the part of my brain that holds short-term memory causing quite a bit of damage. It makes me feel very congested with emotions when I don't write, too. It is good for my soul.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Numbers Game, part 1

We live in a society that defines us by numbers. Social security numbers, driver's license numbers, passport numbers, bank account numbers...all assigned to us, giving us a set of unique identifiers. But, there are two number groups that for women stand out above the rest. They define our roles, they place limits on us, attempt to tell us how we should behave. They even try to control our self-worth and definitely impact our self-confidence.

This weekend, the reality of these two sets of numbers smacked me in the face. One number tells me how many years I have lived on this earth, otherwise known as my age. The other number that tells me how well I have been treating or not treating my body, otherwise known as my weight.

Age and weight. At any point in my life I could tell you these numbers without hesitation. My guess the same is true for most women. Age is obvious, although I did have a friend once whose husband convinced her that she was actually a year old than she was. But in my mind, the two were and continue to be inexplicably linked. I always know exactly what they are. Precisely. In fact, my life and all its experiences are wrapped up in those numbers. It is crushing to recognize now how many times my major moments in life have been impacted by what those numbers were whispering to me. And, more poignantly how they continue to weave themselves into how I view myself, what I am allowed to do and how I present myself to the world.

I have been particularly reflective on the large presence of these digits in my life because of how I spent my weekend. I took my stepsister, 15 years my junior and another bridesmaid to the mountains for a pre-wedding girls' getaway. Not quite a bachelorette party, but still a weekend of bonding and sisterhood. Let me extol upon you a little nugget of wisdom I gleaned over the past couple of days...nothing brings the reality of your age more to the forefront than spending a weekend with "girls" who are a generation younger, recently graduated from college with their whole lives in front of them.

What occured on this weekend to have me suddenly face with the fact that the grim reaper's visit might be closer than I think? Well...I spent a good portion of my weekend trying to figure out my new cell phone, only to have to solicit help from the younglings. Just trying to find the ring tone seemed more perplexing than figuring out the shoes selections on the show, "What Not to Wear." Or, if I really want to date myself, more perplexing than solving a Rubik's Cube (pre-solution publishing). After years of being somewhat technical, I realized that technology sped past me a few years ago, leaving me in the dust. I vowed when I was younger to a) never have this happen to me and b) if it did, to know that it was time to move into a rest home which also dates me as they are known now as "long-term care" facilities.

The girls had a conversation about when they received their first cell phone, as in they got their first one when they were 16, though their brother was able to get one at age 10. Hello? They didn't even have cell phones, the internet on a wide-reaching level, laptops, etc. until I was in my mid-20s.

Continuing on the technology junket, I experienced and survived high school and college without the internet, specifically without myspace, facebook and no cell phone. To complete research on a paper, I actually had to step my foot into a building called the library. I learned how to use a card catalogue rather than a search engine on a computer. Did they ever sift through reams of microfiche for back issues of Newsweek or the WSJ? Nope. None of my weekend companions endured that - do they even know what microfiche is?

Later, we went out on the town and the one semi-bright moment was when I was asked for my I.D.. Yes, I know it was out of pity and more of a pack mentality that led to this request, but it was an official "carding." At another night spot, the waiter asked for the id's of the group, but didn't ask for mine. Instead, he actually said out loud, I don't need to see yours, you look old enough. Fine. No tip for you, my friend.

However, the icing on the cake was the discovery that the father of one of the girls in my group was just ONE year old than ME. I could have dated her father...I could have been in classes with him...heck, I could even be her mother! When we were out, did people think I could be their mother?!?! Smacked, slapped and stunned.

Can my perception be that totally skewed to think I have not actually aged in 15 years or so? Well, actually, yes. Of course, I knew that I had aged, but did I consider myself mother hen or a den mother to the college class of 2009? Ummmm, no.

We have all read the articles surmising how your age is all a state of mind. How many gift shops have, "You are only as young as you feel," painted on a piece of chintzy home decor? Not very inspirational. So, for now, I think I'll just continue to flirt with the number 29 while I try to figure out the blue tooth wireless headset my husband gave me tonight.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Why are transitions so incredibly difficult for me? We are on day 5 of summer break and yesterday I thought I was going to go crazy.If I were really honest in my writing each of you would question your friendship with me. That is a bit extreme, but you would at least reconsider any parenting posts I have written. The bottom line is that the transition to summer and three kids at home as not been smooth.