When I wake up tomorrow, I will be 59. I can’t believe I’ve arrived here so quickly. One day I went to bed 35 years old and now I am staring down 60. I am grateful for another birthday because growing old isn’t a privilege everyone gets.
It would be nice if the days and years would slow down. I’d like the time to dream again and figure out what I want in my future. In less than a year I’ll have one daughter on the West Coast and one daughter with her family living back East. Due to financial reasons I will be staying behind in central Texas. I pray I’ll be able to afford to take the time off to see those I love so much. My heart breaks at the thought of living here alone.
It is impossible to know how much devastation divorce can cause until it happens to you. It is time to start finding my way again so when 60 does arrive, I’m ready.
When I went through my preteen and teenage years, I found it utterly ridiculous that girls had mad crushes on actors and singers. Buying TeenBeat Magazine, putting posters on their walls all seemed a waste of time. I didn’t scream at concerts or get butterflies if I thought I’d see someone famous. Did I miss something? I think I did. The idea of dreaming and longing and believing in something wonderful like love with a music star, no matter how unlikely it was, brought joy and excitement to many girls’ lives. I spent too much of my time just worrying about fitting in. I find it so interesting that now, of all times in my life, I have a mad teenage crush on a book character/actor. Of course I realize he is fictional and the actor is too young and famous, to ever be a reality, but it’s enabled be to dream a little and believe a little that there is the possibility of love again.
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark on Masterpiece Theater/BBC
I long to live in a place which says goodbye to summer with bright flashes of color, deep scents of cinnamon, pumpkin and apple. I long to have a home where the windows let in a cool breeze for a night of refreshing of sleep. A place which offers a new experience for all my senses with the passing of each month. Will I ever be able to live in my wonderland?
I don’t know if you can tell from the photo but I’ve been sleeping on a very small and uncomfortable sofa for the last two days. I helped move my daughter to the LA area. I helped load the truck. I drove the truck and then helped carry boxes up to the second floor apartment. Thankfully she moved no furniture.
Without going into details the room she’s subletting and the apartment were filthy. She said, “Mom, how can people live like this?” I don’t know but working as a real estate agent a few years ago, I learned never to be surprised what was behind closed doors. So rather than unload the truck first thing, the next few hours were spent making the room clean enough to even begin. Once we unloaded the truck, I thought I had been hit by a semi. I don’t remember the last time I ached so much.
Then we ran a few errands including buying paint. When we returned I promptly set about painting the orange and blue room a soft gray. More unpacking and cleaning, finally crashing about midnight on the sofa.
The next day we made an IKEA stop, along with half of LA followed by Walmart then we set about assembling a bookcase. The room needed more cleaning. A lot was accomplished including cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Hopefully we will finish up today because I fly out of LAX this evening.
Maybe it’s the physical, emotional and mental fatigue which has caused the nightmares to return. They not only make for a poor night’s sleep but I awake feeling depressed and disheartened. I return to spend another week with my family and will go to chemo on Thursday. I will manage to see three high school friends before my cat and I hit the road again for two long days.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughters as long as I am able to help. I no longer have the ability to help financially even with anything small need. I wonder if their father, who acts as those they were never born, realizes he is missing out on the lives of two incredible women and the love of the three of us. Praying the nightmares leave so I don’t wake up feeling so down.
Everyone recognizes the universal symbol for happiness, the yellow happy face. I’ve been reading articles about the fear of happiness. I’ve often wondered if I am afraid to be happy again and if so why?
I’m afraid the happiness won’t be real. It will only be illusion. My life experience consists of giving love to an illusion. My happiness was an illusion. I don’t trust myself now to recognize what happiness is. I understand happiness isn’t a perpetual state of nothing ever going wrong but I thought I was happy. Now looking back, especially when I look at old photos I can easily see I lack the spark of happiness. It makes me sad. Will I make the same mistake again?
I know I spend too much time worried about what other people think. It keeps me inhibited. It makes relaxing difficult and I miss out on enjoying the moment. I could give a long list of reasons why I worry but ultimately none of them matter. The only thing which matters is I am missing out on fully embracing life.
I found a new app for my phone. It is called You. It is free and it speaks of micro actions. They are very small steps you take towards making changes in your life. There are prompts. You can follow people. I’m going to do my best to make micro actions and ultimately change my life in a big way.
Today I took a break get in sewing and turned on a Hallmark movie. The cast list said Willie Ames was in it. In the above photo he is the boy on the far right and if my memory serves me right, he was a teen heartthrob. And here he was playing the father of an adult daughter. He has gray hair and wrinkles! How could that be? So I looked him up on IMDB (internet movie database) and there in black and white it says he is 55.
55, he can’t be 55 because I’m only …. wait, I’m 56. How did that happen? I could have sworn I was 36 or maybe 46, but no. Right there on my driver’s license it says I am 56. I’m no fool. I know I look my age but I definitely don’t feel my age. Now I don’t feel like a teenager but I certainly don’t feel 56, whatever that is supposed to feel like. I know I don’t feel old enough to get a senior discount or an AARP discount.
I will admit that sometimes I will use age as an excuse. It’s a feeble one. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at 65. Grandma Moses started painting at 70. Julia Child didn’t begin her TV career until age 51. Vera Wang didn’t enter fashion until 40. Carol Gardner of Zelda Wisdom a $50 million greeting card business didn’t start until she was 52. And there is a long list of people that were busy succeeding and living at 90 and beyond.
So I have to remove age from the table of excuses. It is no longer a card I can play. (Unless of course I can get a discount). 🙂
Yesterday I received a survey from Austin Trail of Lights asking me about my experience. There was one question asking who I came with and how many people there were. They had one HUGE error. There was no selection for anyone who might have gone alone. It was assumed that to go you wouldn’t go alone.
I find this mentality is pervasive in our society. Even when you go online to book a room at a hotel, it is automatically set to 2 people. Restaurant hosts look at you odd when you say just 1. The movie ticket booth isn’t any different. I’ve taken to buying my tickets online to avoid the odd stare.
There is a difference between being alone and lonely. I was lonely when I was married. Even though someone shared my bed, my home, my life it was hollow and empty. I wasn’t alone but I was desperately lonely. I don’t mind going places alone. I have traveled alone because I didn’t want to wait to see places and experience new things. That being said, I do get lonely. It’s not easy making friends especially at this age. I have no home which means no neighbors. I have no children in school so no classmate parents. I don’t have a spouse’s co-workers or a job of my own with co-workers. Churches aren’t generally friendly places. I know they like to think differently but typically there is nothing more than a nod or a quick handshake. Very few are willing to go the extra mile and reach out.
I pray I don’t spend the rest of my life alone but I can guarantee you either way I won’t be lonely.
Why do I always feel a little sad when I finish a good book? I should be happy to be finished and ready to move on to the next good read but unless it’s a sequel I never feel that way.
A good author can make the characters seem real. I become involved in their lives, sorrows and joys. Time, life situation and age are immaterial. I connect as much with a thirty year old single female trying to make it in New York City as much as I do with an angry Englishman in 1779. Then there is the love longing Mexican girl and the post World War II single, female author seeking the place she belongs, so different but I identify with both.
I wonder what happened to the newly divorced woman who gave herself and her soon to be ex husband a divorce party in a failed effort to save her marriage. Did she find love again? Or what about Demelza? Does she become a grandmother and Ross a grandfather? Did the abused wife heal her heart and soul once she was free?
I can go places I will never see and meet people from the beginning of time to present day and even people from the future. I wonder could I possibly write about and share a story, a world and people? I just know my life would be one dimensional and gray without books.
I read this book years ago and then watched the movie. I needed a third foreign language film to fulfill the Experience Passport task. I decided to see if I could find this movie and lucky me, it was available on Amazon Prime.
It is an interesting love story between the youngest daughter of a traditional family and a young man. Tita is forbidden by her mother to marry Pedro because as the youngest daughter she is required to stay unmarried and care for her mother until she dies. In order to stay near Tita, Pedro marries her sister. Of course she is broken-hearted.
She puts all her emotions into her cooking and in turn the food is filled with her emotions. The diners are affected by some mystical connection to Tita’s emotions. Strange things happen. Some sad, some funny.
In today’s busy world I think we often times forget the power of food. The power that a homecooked meal shared with family and/or friends can hold. It offers a chance for conversation and connection. Real connection and not a quick text message. I even have fallen into the trap of texting rather than actually picking up a telephone. Being in the midst of a major life change, I think the lesson I can learn from Like Water for Chocolate is that it’s important never to give up on family and love.
I am a collector of books. Typically I read every book I buy but sometimes I buy a book that requires interaction. This summer I purchased the above Experience Passport from Chronicle Books. It gives 45 ways to broaden your horizon without going anywhere. Since my life circumstances have changed, it is unlikely I will be doing any extensive traveling again. I thought this looked like a way to have fun and push myself out of the cocoon I have created for myself.
Some of the suggestions are easier to accomplish than others but all will open up my life to new possibilities. You don’t have to do them in any particular order. I’ve done #2, #7 and #26. I will share some of the things I learn while using my experience passport. Care to travel with me?
#26 Favorite quotes from an award winning piece of fiction. I will share one quote from Still Life by Louise Penny.
“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead.”