The New Normal

July is going to be a busy month for me. I have 2 different pet/house sitting jobs, my son is getting all 4 of his wisdom teeth out. I’m going with 2 friends on a 10 day vacation the last week of July, my mother has 3 doctors appointments (nothing unusual about that though) and my daughter and grand baby are moving to their own apartment.

I’m having mixed feelings about my daughter moving out. I’m excited for her. I remember how thrilling it was for me to get my first place.

I’m a little worried for her. She’s kind of clueless on so many aspects of homemaking. But then I remember being that way too.

One evening, I was going to make potato salad to bring to the office potluck luncheon the next day. The recipe called for “new potatoes”. So I called my mom and asked her if I should go out and buy some new potatoes because the potatoes I had there were bought a week ago. She was playing scrabble with a friend when I called and they both laughed  hysterically. And I just kept saying, “What? What’s so funny?”

Even though over the years I have taught my kids how to cook, do laundry and basic house cleaning skills, there are a lot of things you just don’t learn until you get out on your own as an adult and experience it yourself.

I know it’s time my daughter moved out. After all, she’s 23, a mother herself and has a good job as a manager of a hair salon. She makes more money than her father does. She is an adult. And as an adult, she wants to be her own person, have her own life, separate from me.

I understand this is normal and necessary but part of me thinks she just can’t wait to get away from me.

My mother was always very controlling and wanted to be in every aspect of my life. It was suffocating. I promised to not be like that with my kids and for the most part I’m not.

I do keep my mouth shut on most things unless it’s something that may affect my granddaughter’s life. It hasn’t been that often I needed to say something but I know my daughter resents it when I do. That’s probably not going to change whether she lives here or not. Maybe  I should  just keep my mouth shut no matter what, but as a mom, I just can’t. What would you do?

MayMay

Isn't this just the cutest baby ever??? My granddaughter

Life will be changing for all of us. Not only will they no longer live here, once the baby turns 2 in a month and a half, she will start daycare part time. This is something we planned from the start. I would watch her full time until she was 2 and then she would go into daycare/ pre-school part time.

I will still be watching her but instead of the 60+ hours a week I am now watching her, it will be more like 30. I will still have her all day Saturday and Sunday. And Monday and Friday evenings. But now I will have Tuesdays through Thursdays to myself.

Part of me is really excited about this. There is so many things I have let slide the past few years, simply because my time was so limited. The other part of me wonders if my little granddaughter and I will lose the closeness we now have. But this change is for the best for her. She needs to socialize with other children.

I sound all sad about all this and like I said several times, I have mixed feelings about it. But isn’t it that way with any change in life, both the good and the bad?  Even with wonderful changes in life, you are usually having to give up something to get it.

There are many positive aspects about this move for me. I will have more time to focus on my business, my home and myself for a change. The house will be a lot less cluttered without all the toddler toys and paraphernalia all over the place. My daughter is somewhat of a clutter bug and to keep the peace, I usually just let her clutter up all the surfaces in the house with her junk, even though it drives me crazy. Now I can have a clutter free home!

It will be an adjustment but that’s what life is right? Nothing ever stays the same. I’m looking forward to the new normal.

I guess I will end my rambling. It has been more therapy for me to write this all out then it has been any actual information for you. Thank you for reading it.

Cathy

 

 

My Favorite Summer Memories

beachI have this cool thing in my google reader that pops up every day with a writing prompt from Social Moms. It gives you ideas of things to write about if you are needing some new ideas. Here it is if you are interested: Social Moms.

Most days I have no trouble coming up with ideas of what I want to write about but then there are some days….like today. I have been sick, but still have to take care of my granddaughter and my mother, so I’m exhausted and having trouble thinking straight. So the Social Moms writing prompts was a god-send for me today.

And today’s prompt was “What are your best summer memories?” Now, I’m taking this to mean memories as a child so that’s what I’m going to write about.

Summer is such a special time for kids. Except for Christmas and their birthday, it’s probably the best time of year for kids.  I know it was for me. No dealing with the pressures of school. Just long lazy days to play or dream.

Tonight I saw a firefly in the sky and it brought back memories of chasing lightening bugs in the yard and then putting some in a jar to be our “lanterns”. To me, they seemed like magical little fairies.

I also remember the parents in our neighborhood sitting on our front porch talking while we kids played hide and seek.Sometimes we would spy on them but they were always talking about boring grown up things.

One of the things we loved to do, and in retrospect, was really stupid, was what we do when we would hear the Mosquito Truck come by.

I suspect most folks know what a mosquito truck is, but if you don’t, here is an explanation. In areas where there is a mosquito problem, the city will send out trucks that will go up and down the streets spraying a fog of thick, smelly mosquito poison.

As kids, when the truck went by, we would run out into the foggy trail the truck left and play in it until it dissipated.  Not too bright, filling our young, growing lungs with a pesticide. And what was our parents thinking, letting us do that? But it was the late 60’s/early 70’s and America was blissfully unaware of many dangers.

When I was around 12, our neighborhood built a large swim and recreation club down the street and my parents joined it right away.  I spent many hours there every summer, hanging out with my friends, dreaming about the cute boys, and practically living in the water.

Once I was driving and had my own car, I spent much more time at the ocean front since we live just a few miles from the beach.

One of my favorite memories was when a group of friends went out to the beach at night. We went to a part where there were not any tourists and had a campfire on the beach. We roasted marshmallows and told ghost stories and just the way the moon shone in the sky, the whole night felt magical.

Later we went out in the water which wasn’t the safest thing to do that late at night. I felt something humongous hit me in the back of the legs and knock me down. I was sure it was a shark. But my friends told me that sea bass come close to the shore at night and they can get quite large. So it was probably one of them.

We also spent several weeks every summer with my maternal grandparents in the mountains of West Virginia. I hated that. My grandmother was literally crazy. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and so she thought everyone was out to get her. And us.

My parents usually stayed a few days and then left us with my grandparents for a few weeks while they went on a cruise or some other adult vacation. Once they left, we were at my grandmother’s mercy. She wouldn’t let us outdoors most of the time and often locked us in our bedroom with nothing to do. It was made worse by the fact that they lived in a huge, old Victorian house that I swear was haunted. I still have nightmares about that place.

My grandfather had made us an adorable little playhouse, complete with our own little hedged in yard. But we rarely got to play in it because of my grand mother. Ok, I’m supposed to talk about my best memories and those are hardly good memories. But they were a big part of my summers so I felt the need to include it.

Summer is my second favorite season, next to Spring.  I’m a warm weather kind of gal and don’t do well in the cold so I’d be fine with having just those two seasons all year long. I probably should move to Florida or Hawaii.

Thanks if you stuck it out with me through this long diatribe.  I hope I didn’t bore you too much. I’d love to know what are some of your favorite summer memories!

My Bucket List

bucketI was driving my mom home from her weekly Bingo game today and we passed a cute bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle. I immediately said “My Car!” I have wanted one of these since I was literally a baby. My mother said when I was just learning to talk and she would be strolling me down the street, if a VW Beetle went by, I would get all excited and yell “cah cah”.

Later when I could actually pronounce my “R”s and other words, I would always say I wanted the “baby car”. I guess I called it baby because it was small. Specially next to the huge cars of the 60’s

Anyway, today my mother said, “I guess you have one of those on your bucket list, huh?”  I thought about it. I really don’t have a bucket list but I think it’s time to get one.

In case you don’t know what a bucket list is, it comes from the movie by the same name. You can read about it here: The Bucket List. It’s about 2 guys who are dying from cancer. They decide to go out and do all the things they wanted to do all their lives but never got around to.

I think it’s a good idea for all of us, no matter our age or our health to have a bucket list. I know I don’t want to get to the end of my life and think about all the things I wish I had done.

So here is mine. Fair warning, some of these are kind of personal. Please don’t hate me for being honest, okay?

 

Cathy’s Bucket List

  1. Swim with dolphins. I don’t know why but I have always wanted to do this. And when my daughter got to do it while on a cruise to Mexico, I wanted to swim with them even more. She said it totally changed her life. She even immediately got a dolphin tattoo when she returned home.
  2. Ride a jet ski. I live a few miles from the ocean. As a teen, I spent my summers on the beach and that’s where I first saw someone riding a jet ski. It looked like so much fun. I don’t know why I haven’t tried one out for myself yet but it’s something I do want to try.
  3. Go skydiving. Another thing that looks like so much fun. This one is kind of scary, so I don’t know if I’ll have the nerve to actually try it but I have added it to my list too.
  4. Visit Europe.  Just one of the places I want to visit before I kick the bucket. England, Ireland and Scotland are definitely on the list. As is France, Italy and Greece.
  5. Visit Australia. I just love the Aussie people. I love their friendliness, love their accents and I’d love to visit their country. Heck, I may not want to leave!
  6. Visit Hawaii. I almost married a guy who lived in Hawaii. He was my first boyfriend when I was 15. He went into the military after high school and wound up in Hawaii. He loves it there. He actually came back a few years later with the intention of taking me back with him. It was really tempting but I turned him down. I  think I made the right decision but I’d still love to visit the place.
  7. Make 5 thousand dollars a month consistently! Hey, if I’m going to visit all these places, I need some moolah to do it right? Seriously though, I’m just so tired of having to rob Peter to pay Paul. I have made that much before in a month but it’s definitely not a consistent thing. I want to be able to breathe a little and not be so worried about how I’m going to pay the bills. And I want to have some fun once in awhile too. Like go on trips!
  8. Get down to a normal size. I am so tired of being fat. I wasn’t always overweight. I didn’t start putting on weight until I had kids. With each one, it threw my thyroid a little more out of whack and the baby weight didn’t come off. Now, I do have a legitimate claim with a thyroid that no longer functions at all. Even with medication, I have a  very slow metabolism. But I sure don’t help it any by eating the wrong things (sweets). So I want to feel normal again in my body. Am I asking too much?
  9. Go ghost hunting in an actual haunted house. Yes, I’m a junkie of those ghost hunting shows and I’d love to actually go on a real ghost hunt! I don’t think I’d be that scared. After all my grandparents house was haunted and I spent lots of time there as a child. If I could handle that, I could handle it now as an adult.
  10. Fall in love. This one I have mixed feelings about. Part of me says, I really don’t feel like fooling with all the love stuff. I’ve done just fine all these years with out the true love stuff. I don’t need it. The other part finds it incredibly sad that a woman my age has never experienced real romantic love. Of course, I have been infatuated before. But never  the real thing. And yes, I have been married before but I got married for all the reasons. Although I cared for my husband, I never actually loved him. And I’m very sure he didn’t love me either. I’ll never actively  pursue love and either way, if I do or don’t experience it, it will be okay.
  11. And last but not least, I want to finally get my “baby car”. I want my cute little bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle. I even have a name picked out for her. I’m going to call her Buttercup. Yes, I admit it. I’m pretty corny.

 

So, there you have it. What’s on your bucket list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

planet earthA few days ago, I was coming home from a rough morning at my mothers with my toddler granddaughter. Lately, it seems anytime that I’m dealing with my mother, it’s rough. But that’s not what this post is about.

I was at a stop light and  like most people do, I was reading the bumper stickers on the cars around me. The one on the car directly in front of me said “Don’t Believe Everything You Think“.

I thought about that phrase all the way home. Not to sound too stupid, but at first I didn’t get it. But to be fair to myself, I was tired and frustrated and not totally thinking clearly.

The phrase intrigued me and it only took a few seconds before I understood what it meant.

We fill our heads with so much stuff. How much of it is actually true?

I cannot tell you how many times I thought I had been snubbed or thought someone was angry with me only to find out later that the person actually hadn’t seen me or the one who I thought was angry just got some bad news and their mind was on that.

It’s not all about us. I would bet that a lot of the stuff we think about ourselves or about others isn’t really true. But it might as well be if we are thinking it.

I can give you a real life example. My mother was always very technically challenged and I guess I just got it in my head that I was that way too. I’m not sure why I thought it but I did.

Well, when home computers started to get popular in the early 90’s, we decided to get one. I was totally fascinated by the computer and internet but at the same time, I was afraid of it. I was so afraid I was going to break something or even, gasp, mess up the internet. Silly, huh? But after all, I was technically challenged.

At first, I would make my husband load programs on the computer for me. Back then most programs had to be loaded by disc. And of course, I couldn’t do it myself. I’d just break it because I was just so tech challenged.

As the years went by and I got more comfortable with computers, I learned to do more and more for myself. And I even tried experimenting with code and such. And guess what? I didn’t break the internet. I didn’t even break my computer.

Now, for a woman in her early 50’s, I would be considered an “early adopter”. I have built close to 100 websites for myself and others. I’m no programmer but I am comfortable with css and html, ftp servers, dns servers, and so forth. I know next to these young kids out there today, my skills are probably pretty basic, but for my age group, I’m very tech savvy. If you had told me 20 years ago, I would be making a living from my online skills and building websites, I would have told you you were crazy.

So see, my thoughts were what was holding me back all those years. I wasn’t really tech challenged. I just thought I was. It makes me wonder what other limitations I have put on myself that are not really there.

So, now my question to you is: What are you thinking that really isn’t true?  I want to encourage you to question your beliefs and thoughts about yourself. You might just be surprised to find what thoughts are holding you back.