About Me, Change, Memoir

Finding a Life Plan

For the last several months, I have had an ongoing debate about this blog…

Should I keep writing or give it up?

I blog for purely selfish reasons — writing helps me figure out what I’m thinking and feeling.

That’s it.

No product to promote, no message to shout or cause to advance.

I just like to write.

The most common comment I receive about my blog posts is, “You always write what I’m thinking!” Knowing my posts resonate with others motivates me to keep writing.

Lately, however, I’ve wondered because I seem to be thinking about different kinds of things — things that indicate a new stage of life, so I’m not sure whether they still resonate.

Here is a partial list:

  • Funerals. I’ve attended a lot of them lately, mostly parents of friends. That says something, doesn’t it?
  • Making new friends, keeping up with old ones.
  • Missing my mom every single day.
  • Parenting adult children — How do you do that? What is my role now? How do you know when to stand back and when to jump in?
  • Planning a high school class reunion when for the first time, my brother’s name is on the “deceased” list of classmates.
  • What it’s like to retire or semi-retire or whatever we call what we’re doing.
  • How strange it feels not to have a template for what’s next in life.
  • Living in the belly of the beast in terms of religion.
  • Selling our home on the Outer Banks, our last toehold on the east coast.
  • Going on a church mission — when is the right time to do that? And, how do people just up and leave their homes and lives for two years?

And, that’s probably not everything.

Are these relatable topics?

Maybe the crux of this dilemma is not in the specifics of what I’m wondering about, but the overarching theme that I’m in a new phase of life, and I don’t have anything figured out.

Ironically, at this stage of my life, I have less figured out than ever before.

As I write this, I think of Norman Thayer in the movie, “On Golden Pond.” (I realize that’s an early 1980s reference that may be lost on some.)

When the movie came out, I laughed at Norman, who at 80-years-old, perused the want-ads, hoping to find a “career opportunity.” (I do that!)

I understand now that he didn’t really want a job, he just wanted to feel relevant and have a well-defined daily routine and path because he was in a new stage of life, one that frightened him in some ways.

I’m not 80 and I’m not lost like poor Norman, but I get the larger point of him trying to figure out his life when everything seemed to be new and different.

Now, the point of this blog is not to have my friends tell me I’m relevant, well-qualified for a job or to solicit comments about my capabilities. It’s just to point out that new phases of life bring new questions and challenges.

Does anybody else want an accurate GPS for life that says turn right, go three miles, turn left, make a U-turn or even “rerouting?”

If only Siri or Alexa could help us with that!

In all stages of life, there are unanswered questions and we have no choice but to walk by faith, believing that the answer is just around the corner or that the path is about to appear — if not the entire road, at least the next step.

When you’re traveling in the ruts, you want the freedom to move out of them.

When the ruts are gone — like Norman Thayer’s — you might not want the old ones back, but you want new ones to reappear because having your feet on a path toward your envisioned destination brings peace, security, hope, and excitement.

In the end, maybe all the things I think about are the same things everybody else thinks about (with some variations on the theme)– change, what’s next? Where are the ruts in the road? Where is this unseen road taking me?

Maybe, no matter what stage of life we’re in, we never really have it figured out.

I guess it comes down to that elusive concept of faith.

We have to believe we’re on a good path, leading to a beautiful place — even when, from where we stand, we can’t see the path, where it’s going or where we’ll end up.

So, maybe you don’t miss your mom every day and you don’t wonder about how to be a good parent to adult children or how to retire well or any of my other concerns. But, I’m sure you have some questions you’re asking about your future and your path.

Am I right?

And, maybe I just keep blogging because even if nobody else learns something, I do.

About Me, Friends

The trouble with fashionable friends

I have two dear friends who are total fashionistas.

I won’t say their names, but one starts with a C even though it sounds like it should start with a K; and, the other one starts with a J and ends with the word ann.

Shopping is their hobby, their passion, and their expertise.

I also have a daughter that might be morphing into one of those too.

They exude style and good taste.

I love them. I really do.

But sometimes they just aggravate me to death with their wear-anything bodies and perfect head-to-toe ensembles.

It’s annoying.

They have that mix of good taste and love of shopping, but it’s not so much what they buy, it’s what they do with what they buy that is impressive.

Then, top all that off with the obnoxious fact that everything looks good on them.

And, they make it look so effortless like they just threw on a little something and left the house.

Yeah right.

This is my sense of style -- practical, right?
This is my sense of style — practical, right?

Sometimes I get tired of their stinking fabulousness.

I went to Georgetown with one of these friends this week. She wore white skinny jeans, a striped t-shirt, perfectly coordinated necklace, earrings and bracelets, ankle strapped sandals and oh, just a little pink Prada bag she found for a real bargain.

She’s tall, willowy, and, I’ve never seen her wear the same thing twice except when she was pregnant and shockingly, she may have repeated an outfit once or twice.

I’ve known her for about 30 years.

That’s a lot of perfect outfits.

Like I said, annoying.

A N N O Y I N G.

What I love most is when J-ann says, “You should get some of these because they are sooo comfortable.”

Ah huh. I should pour my round little 5’2” self into something a 5’8” Heidi Klum look- alike wears.

My favorite thing from C was when she kept sending me links to beautiful dresses to wear to Annie’s wedding.

Like. I. Could. Fit. In. Them.

Me
Me

She asked me what shoes I planned to wear to the reception and I said I hadn’t found any that were comfortable.

“Who cares whether they’re comfortable? Do they look good? That’s all you want!”

Actually, no…

But, shoe love is true love, right?

She’s the one who talked me into getting both pink and orange shoes.

Because those are practical, right?

That’s where the problem lies.

I think, “What could I wear with this? What else would go with it? How often will I wear it?”

They think, “This will be perfect for this… dinner, party or ballgame or whatever.

They buy outfits for every event.

And every day is an event.

I buy comfortable, seasonal basics.

IMG_3263

That works fine for me except when I go places with them.

Can you say frumpy, lumpy and boring?

If I didn’t love them so much, I’d de-friend them both just to keep my self-esteem in tact.

I’ve learned not to compare myself to them in the fashion department because that sucks the joy out of being with them.

Instead, I embrace a little healthy envy, marvel at their style quotient and appreciate the fact that they are helping the economy and teaching me the power of class and elegance.

They live the truth of the Pinterest quote that says, “Life is too short to wear boring clothes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Me, Memoir, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

Exploding Head Syndrome

I’ve ignored this poor blog a lot lately.

I could say I’ve been too busy, but that seems shallow.

Not too busy to buy Lucky Charms and comb my troll doll's hair to help us win at Beach Bingo
Not too busy to buy Lucky Charms and comb my troll doll’s hair to help us win at Beach Bingo

Writing is something I love. It’s therapeutic for me.

So, when I’m not writing, something’s up and I know I need to stop and figure out what is going on with me.

Happily, I’ve figured it out.

I’ve been suffering from Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS).

This happens when I take on too much and my brain gets so full that it feels like it’s going to pop.

Really — burst like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Except, not pretty fireworks.

I can’t write if my head is too full.

It’s like trying to knit but not being able to find the beginning of the yarn ball.

I can’t access one thought and follow it from beginning to end because my ideas are tripping all over each other.

I wish I could say this doesn’t happen very often, but that would be a lie.

I give myself massive headaches from this Exploding Head Syndrome.

One of my greatest strengths is that I am a creative idea person.

That also is one of my greatest weaknesses.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one whose strengths can also be their weaknesses.)

I fall in love with good ideas, and I hate to let them go.

Idea: plant more of these beauties
Idea: plant more of these beauties

I get attached to my ideas.

They are like embryos with amazing potential and they beg to be nurtured.

But, how many ideas in embryo can one human being nurture at a time?

I mean, really? One, two, ten, a hundred? Forty-two million?

At some point, it has to stop because I have more ideas than time and energy.

It’s humbling and embarrassing, because you see, I want to do too much.

I hate limits, time constraints, and boundaries.

To quote my Mom, “It gripes me to death.”

(That means it makes her really annoyed.)

Yes, it gripes me to death that I can’t keep up with myself.

To that, my mom would say, “You wear me to a frazzle. When are you going to learn to slow down?”

Never, apparently.

I wear myself to a frazzle, and that too, gripes me to death.

I told Doug the other day that it’s hard being me. (I probably said it in a whiny, tired voice too.)

He didn’t sympathize. He said we all have things that make it hard to be us.

That was a weird sentence, wasn’t it?

But, I like the concept… we all have personality quirks and core characteristics that make us crazy.

It’s not just me, right? Please tell me it’s not just me.

You have your own ways that make you crazy, right?

Is anybody out there? Come on, fess up. Make me feel better.

Is it as hard being you as it is hard being me sometimes?

I was cursed with a “go-go-do-do” personality according to my mother.

That can be good and bad, but right now, for the purpose of this blog, it’s bad.

Very bad.

It leads to neglected blogs, headaches, indecision, and having to have a serious sit-down with my overactive mind.

EBS symptom: after searching everywhere, you find the salt and pepper in the fridge
EBS symptom: after searching everywhere, you find the salt and pepper in the fridge

Imagine the comedy in my conversation with my brain.

Me: Enough already. You are driving me mad. Stop with the ideas.

Brain: I can’t. The ideas are so good. I won’t let them go. You can act on all of them. Trust me. We can do this.

Me: No. Trusting you leads to migraines and endless to-do lists that I could wrap around the globe in long, messy, unkempt strands.

Brain: We’ve got this. Just get up earlier, go to bed later, quit exercising. Forget about healthy eating. Why do you need to file all those papers, pull weeds, do your laundry, talk in coherent sentences anyway? We don’t have time for all that nonsense. We have IDEAS that demand our time and attention.

This could go on forever, this back-and-forth debate with my overactive brain.

Bottom line is a neglected blog means a cluttered mind and a stressed out woman.

Stressed out women need new pink shoes.
Stressed out women need new pink shoes.

A stressed out woman leads to decreased productivity, and probably decreased popularity because people don’t like being around or working with a nonsensical, I-have-another-idea but I-can’t-keep-up-with-myself-woman.

And before I have yet another thought for this blog, I’m going to stop writing.

I am going to think of my ideas like city buses.

They come and they go.

I don’t need to hop on every bus in town and ride it to every random place it’s going.

So if you see me standing at a bus stop waving, you’ll know I’m practicing my new let-it-go approach to life.

And, now you can start singing that Frozen song —Let it Go –because that is what I’m going to do because…

That is one good idea!