It’s prom day here in Oklahoma. I’m sitting here watching my husband on his hands and knees scrubbing the pool deck. We’ve spent the last hour sweeping and moving outdoor furniture since our backyard will be the backdrop for some very important pictures. A few hours from now, our house will be filled with teenagers excited about what the night will hold. I’m very emotional today. I can’t put my finger on what is hitting me so hard. Maybe it’s that in between of watching my baby girl go to her high school prom and my mom getting older everyday. Maybe it’s the balance of being the mom and the little girl and not knowing which one I want to be on what day. Maybe it’s looking back 27 years and clearly seeing the reflection of me in my own prom dress from afar and wondering where in the world did the time go? Why did it have to go so fast? Regardless, it’s a beautiful day and I am grateful for this blessed life I have.
I always say, it’s the little things that make you feel big but today it was one little thing that made me feel small. I’ve mentioned before that I volunteer at Hospice once a week. I started my day off pretty stressed today but eventually I got things under control. It’s amazing sometimes how we allow our minds to blow the simplest things out of proportion. The opposite is also true. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are for the smallest blessings that go unnoticed. Today that reality reached out and slapped me square in the face.
When I walked into the room today, my lady was slumped over in her wheelchair. Her neck was all out of sorts and she was leaning to the right. Her recent history of strokes had robbed her of her ability to take care of herself. She was no longer able to sit up straight. She could not use the left side of her body and had to rely on everyone for anything she may need or want. She asked me for a drink three times while I was there. I couldn’t help but wonder how long she sat there parched and thirsty. I sat down beside her chair and she wouldn’t let go of my hand. She told me about a lake she used to spend time at and begged me to take her there. Her begging and pleading was enough to break my heart.
It was in that moment that I promised myself I would be more aware of the simple things I take for granted. As I write these words, I am grateful I can hold my phone and use my fingers. I am grateful that I can sit up straight in this chair and that I am more than capable to get my own drink. Time has a way of putting everything into perspective and boy was today that day.
Count your blessings. Be grateful for all you have and help someone less fortunate than yourself. Remember that your life can entirely change in a single moment so in this moment close your eyes and give thanks.
Yesterday, I mentioned I was going to see Rick Springfield in concert. Could it be possible that I am the only person in the world who didn’t know he was 66 years old? Not only was he fantastic on stage but the amount of energy he had was truly inspiring.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because I think my time has passed. I guess I equated quality of life with the number of years of life. But last night, I realized that I am only as old as I feel. If I want it to be true, the best of my life is still yet to come. I realized that age is less about time and more about the state of mind. It reminds me of that sweet little lady I took care of in Hospice who didn’t even zip line until she was 78 years old. I want to be a combination of the two. I am truly inspired and excited to get on with living.
Don’t ever put a label on yourself. Don’t let anything limit what is possible in your life. You are meant to enjoy and be excited every single moment. That doesn’t stop at 52 or 76 or 97 unless you decide it does. Tell yourself it doesn’t stop until they finally lower you into the ground. Don’t be defined by your age, defy it.
We were riding home from food shopping today and I happened to mention I need to pick up some seasoning from um, that place with hamburgers. The one we used to go to over there on that road. Seriously, does this happen to anyone else? I just can’t seem to recall things right away. I was in the store the other day and the cashier asked for my phone number and I couldn’t remember it. I suggested my cell phone number and I couldn’t remember that either. Eventually it all comes back to me but I can’t seem to bring it to mind in a moments notice. I have to really focus to remember my zip code. I will give myself a little break because I have lived in many places and sometimes I get mixed up. I never forget the address I lived in as a kid or that phone number so I know my brain is functioning at minimal level. Is this normal or am I completely losing it? Does this happen to anybody else? I’d love for you to comment.
Here’s a laugh, the first time I posted this I forgot a title. It helps to find the humor in things.
Have you ever come, undone, unglued? I feel like I have spent years building a life that is slowly starting to slip away. I peeked in on the kids sleeping last night. There was a time not so long ago that it wan’t easy to find their tiny bodies in bed and now it’s so odd to see them fill the length of the bed. It didn’t happen over night but I feel like I missed it maybe. Was I too busy stressing over the things that never mattered or was I overwhelmed by the challenges having small children brings? How in the world did I get here so fast? Count your blessings. Be grateful. That’s what they say but no one tells me how to work through this pain. Letting go of the grasp I have on my kids and the years of my life is a difficult process. For me, it presents itself as depression. I can’t deny it anymore. It is time to make friends with it and figure out a way we can coincide in this life, this body together. I have to find a way to silence the panic and come to some kind of peace with the fact that time keeps moving forward and there’s nothing I can do to make it stop. I used to think raising kids and being mom would last a lifetime. In a way, I guess it will but not the same as when they were little. It’s exciting to watch my teen drive down the driveway but my heart also breaks a little each and everytime. Sometimes I listen to my sons contagious laugh but the smile fades from my face as I realize that beautiful sound will eventually fade from the background. We are all living in these walls together that one day at a time built our little family, but how much longer will that last? I look back and think, where did all the years go? My bones and joints are stiff and sore but inside I don’t feel any older. But when I look back, when I go to that place, its like a blow to the side of my head. It’s a reminder that I am 44 and at the very least my life is half over. What if the next half goes just as fast? I walk around with this deep, dark sadness that haunts the hell out of me from time to time. The years, my life falling away, spinning out of control with no way to slow it down. I don’t think we talk about this much with anyone else. I think we think, if we ignore the feeling, it will go away. But it’s there. Sometimes time visits me in the middle of the night. It taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that it’s there lurking , ready to rob me of another day. I have a great life and I am so very blessed. Sometimes, my excitement for the future is stifled by my loss of the past. I know there are so many moments ahead that will fill my soul with happiness that I can’t comprehend in these dark little moments. I have to allow myself to feel the pain so I can move on. The old me, life as I know it is gone and I know more than anyone else that you have to feel the loss to heal the loss. It also reminds me to live in the moments and to pay attention to them as they are happening. It urges me to focus on the details so they will always be fresh inside my mind. It reminds me to be kinder, to worry less and to live better while I’m blessed with the opportunity and still can. Everyday is a gift. Unwrap it and celebrate this journey that you are on. No two journeys are the same and there is only one you. Don’t waste your life, love your life and inspire others to do the same thing too.
I met someone yesterday. She was a sweet old lady that lived every second of her life. I asked her daughter to tell me a little about her so I could know her better. She pointed to a picture on the wall. I saw two people zip lining in the woods. When I looked a little closer, I realized it was that little old lady laying in the bed. She went zip lining for the first time in her life right after her 92nd birthday. I couldn’t help but wish my own kids would tell similar stories about me as I reached the last few days of my life. She is amazing, courageous and smart enough to not let age ever hold her back. I hope to be just like her. What about you?
I can deny it all I want. I can ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. I can never ever say the word again but it will never just magically disappear. I’m not sure when it happened. Maybe it crept up on me slowly or perhaps it showed up in full force one very sad day. One thing I know for sure is that miserable F word, fatigue has become my new travel companion. I just can’t seem to shake it. No matter what I eat or how much I exercise, there are certain times of the day I feel completely exhausted. I can’t help but wonder if it is just a typical over 40 thing. I fight my way through it mostly but it is really starting to catch up and slow me down. Anyone else feeling it too?
I learned something from my visit to the casino today. I learned that people really can see me and I am not completely invisible yet. So many days, I wander around town running errands and no-one seems to notice me. No hello. No smile. No eye contact, just nothing. But today, many elderly people looked right at me. One man even spoke directly to me. I often dread the gap of time I spend wasting as I release my mom to the money gulping machines of addiction, but today I am grateful that I do exist and that in a world where people don’t look past the device in their hand, someone actually saw ME, the person who secretly longs for a kind word and attention. Maybe it’s because most elderly people I know aren’t completely run by their cell phones and many still don’t have laptops. Maybe, that wonderful generation of people are the only ones that still know how to acknowledge another human being and understand the importance of making a connection even with a total stranger. Maybe my mind has a tendency to think too much and it’s just a silly coincidence or maybe it’s a reminder to me to practice an art that too soon will be forgotten, the art of acknowledging and appreciating another human being for the perfect being they were once created to be. We can’t stop noticing the miracle of life. We can’t stop noticing the significance and worth of the people waiting there all around us for a sign that their existence matters to someone. Will you be that someone for another today or will you be the person who only notices his cellphone?
You know you’ve done something pretty stupid when:
1) You show up at Starbucks and realize as you are getting out of the car, you forgot your shoes
2) You wonder why your arms are sticking to the side of your body, and then you realize you actually grabbed the hair spray in place of deodorant
3) You try and dial the TV remote and wonder why your call won’t go through
4) You’re call is lost driving down the driveway because you are talking on your land line and left you cell on the counter
5) You are mad at the idiot beeping at you, only to find its your own hand on your own horn
6) You are rushing to get out of the house and search all over for your cell phone, and realize you are talking on it
7) You search frantically for your keys at the local supermarket, when the friendly clerk reminds you they are hanging on the neck of your sweatshirt
8) The person behind the register asks for your phone number, and you ask them what the local area code is to help you get started
9) You can’t find your sunglasses because you can’t see them on the top of your head
10) You have an argument with the front desk person at the doctors office because you are not in their appointment book and when you show them your calendar they remind you your appointment is Tuesday and today is Monday.
11) You start the car and ask yourself where the hell was I going anyway?
12) your heart starts pounding because you hear a mans voice in your room and you realize you just sat on the remote
13) you accuse everyone in the room of hiding your purse and then you realize it’s right there hanging on your arm
14) you lock your keys in the car 2 times on the same day while it’s running
15)You back up in the morning to take your daughter to school, only you forget to open the garage door
16) you shower and hurry out the door, only to find out hours later you’re still wearing your underwear from the day before