The last year has been a hard one in my circle of friends and acquaintances. With them, whether deeply involved or just knowing from the sidelines of this crazy little town I live in, I've experienced the death of a child, cancer treatment for husbands, death of pets, cancer diagnosis for a child, death of a husband and the possible, if not probable, deployment of a husband to a war zone.
Lots of dark stuff for a town the size of mine.
Lots of heavy stuff for the relatively small circle of friends I have.
But you know how a pebble in a pond causes ripples that go out? That is how my circle of friends is. I have very few close pebble friends. Farther out are the preschool family friends. Then come the elementary family friends, middle school family friends, neighbors, friends of friends you meet at parties, etc etc.
Those concentric circles bring people into our lives at different times, offering glimpses of the burdens others carry and providing you the opportunity to look at your own life and appreciate the things that are in it- even if those things drive you crazy. (Can you say never-ending-laundry-pile?)
My pebble friends and I talk just about every day and each conversation always starts the same:
How are you doing? I'm fine. What'shername is about to drive me up a wall because they aren't doing what I asked them to do...blah blah blah
But lately those talks have inevitably turned to more serious talks. Talks about life and death. How life is going by and that we can't believe we are where we are right now.
That is the point of this post. I've had lots of thoughts about what I thought my life would look like and what it actually looks like.
Here's what I've found.
I figured I'd be a super duper mom. Heck, I babysat all through high school, was a nanny in college and taught elementary school. Wouldn't you think that those would be the trifecta for "Good Mommy"? Well, let me be the first to bust that bubble. I have so much more patience with other people's kids. My own children, however sweet they may sometimes be, can push every button I have. The stuff that has touched my life these past few months has made me want to be better and work on having more patience. Let's hope the Good Lord can help me with this.
I always thought I'd work outside my home. When I was teaching, I had friends who were SAHMs and I asked them what they did all day. (First, how rude does that sound? But I was genuinely curious.)
Turns out I work twice as hard at home as I did when I worked as a teacher. Who knows why. Maybe it is because I don't have a set schedule. Maybe I'm lazier (that is a distinct possibility) or maybe it is because I want my house to look like something out of a magazine. Who knows. What I do know is that I need to get the silly stuff done so I can have more fun with my family. So if the dust is on my furniture, I need to learn to let that go. Won't be easy for me, Type A Queen, but I'm actively trying to relax a bit.
I never thought I'd be this old. And it doesn't matter what age you are. You know what I'm talking about. It's that age that you and your friends talked about when you were 18 or 21 or whatever. You'd be in high school or college, chatting with friends about what you'd be doing when you would be THAT age. I can't remember what THAT age was for me, but I'm sure it is close to where I am now. (I'm 39. Thanks for asking.) I guess I can't believe I'm the age I am because I don't feel older. I know I look older. I know I'm not the late night person I once was.
Wait, who am I kidding. I was never a late night person! But you get the idea. My friends and I don't feel the age we are. We are just us and that's good.
So on this Friday before the glorious weekend, let's get the boring stuff out of the way. Let's not act our age. Let's appreciate our health. Let's hug our families a little tighter and say a prayer for those who are struggling with family issues of their own. Let's NOT dust the house and instead run around outside.
Let's have an adult beverage and toast our fortunate lives. Because it is awesome to be whatever age we are wherever we are.
And to my sweet pebble friends---I'm so glad you're both a phone call away.