Saturday, August 24, 2013

Happy 47th to Me!

Today is my 47th birthday.  It is a lovely summer day out, and I am stuck sitting here on my couch in sweats as I nurse a case of strep throat.  Thankfully, the fever has passed, though yesterday I was feeling double lousy and had a high fever throughout the day.  Funny how a 4-5 degree difference internally can make you so glassy eyed and completely out of it.  I hope my raw throat heals fast, as I am already a little sick of barely being able to swallow even soup.

47 seems old.  Really old.  I recall my mom being in her late 40's and early 50's, and thinking that was just so old, and now I am here.  Some days I feel it, others not so much.  But my 40's have been wonderful years, filled with joy, laughter and the use of the wisdom the first 30 took to gather.

As I look back on my 47 years, it would appear I haven't accomplished all that much.  I don't have a career of any sort, and in fact am currently unemployed.  I don't have a diploma from a university.  My bank account most often is in the tens at the end of the month, so I can't even fathom the 6 digit incomes of others.  My car is a mom style minivan, not some sleek roadster, and is really in need of tires...again.   I have little identity outside of my family.  I am not well known in town, I hold no positions of authority or prestige.

However, I am in a place I could never have imagined when I was younger.  I have been tremendously blessed with a rock solid marriage, amazingly kind and warm children, terrific friends, and a decent home with a car that runs :-)  Oh, there were times when just the "car that runs" would have been tops on my list.  As I said, wisdom increases with age.  I had no idea back in my early 20's what it really took to be happy, no idea at all.

The best gift I have received with age is this...contentment.  It is where I am at today at 47 years old, as I recognize the deep value to what I am doing and who I have become.  I never aspired to climb the Corporate ladder or become "somebody", though others at times assumed I should.  When I think back to my younger years, I realize that the thing I desired to be successful at most in life was being a wife and mom.  Wow, how 1950's of me.  Even as I was working my first job in our early years of marriage, I was planning on what my life would look like once kids came along, never imagining that would take 13 years to happen. I don't fulfill what many would think of as being a 1950's sort of mom, wearing the apron and baking fresh goodies all the time, but maybe I am the 2000's sort of mom, the one who blogs and photographs, who nurtures and hugs a lot, and who does not wear high heels and a strand of pearls when I serve dinner! Hahaha!

I wanted nothing more than what I currently have...a loving family.  That may sound like something small, but as I look at the world around me, I realize what a tall order that really was. To have achieved that thus far was beating the odds.

As old as I may be, I received the best "Hip and Cool Mom" gift from the boys, a total surprise.  You'd never be able to guess...

An Air Soft pellet gun! HAHAHA!!!  Isn't that rockin' cool?  Matthew and Josh have one, and they bought Olesya and I each one for our birthdays so we could go out and play with them.  Matthew looks like a SWAT team member with his vest and face mask, while Josh looks like a little SWAT mascot.  For the uninitiated, they shoot little plastic BB like pellets with some force, but not a huge amount.  If you are fully clothed and get hit from 20' away, you'll feel something, but not much.  This is not the same as a paintball gun, which can leave huge bruises.  We are wayyyy to wimpy for that!  We are mainly using them to hit Diet Coke cans and rotten vegetables from the garden.  Lame, I know.  They have been quite surprised to see how good a shot I am, as I share the skills my Dad taught me years ago.  Josh is a total eagle eye though, the best of all of us.  We have him on the waiting list for the shooting club here in town, and I have no doubt he will be quite good.  He's sort of a natural at it.

I recently did something just for me, when I started singing with the local Sweet Adelines group, called the DelRose Choir.  I am not officially a member yet, as I have to try out after learning some of their songs, and I am so hoping I am asked to join!!  I know...I know...Sweet Adelines Barbershop Music?  Isn't that old fashioned?  When I was a kid I heard a Sweet Adelines group sing in my old hometown at various events, and I loved them so much!  Four part a capella music and the blend of melody and harmony has always been a favorite of mine, geeky or not.  Maybe as I age I am more willing to embrace my inner geek, I don't know.  The ladies there are all so nice, and though most are older there are a couple of young girls singing with us as well, otherwise I just might be the youngest of the group.  I have been warmly welcomed, and if I "make it" I can see some friendships forming there as they are a bit irreverent, just like me.  Already in just one month, our 2 hour practices have become the highlight of my week and something I very much look forward to.  I haven't had so much fun in years, and I am so glad that I took my shaking knees in there the first night.  Never having had any training and not having sung in high school, I didn't have a clue if I could do it or not, but I quickly realized that I actually had been trained quite thoroughly with my stint in choir, as our talented Director worked diligently with us to learn the basics.

This year was a long and emotionally difficult one in all sorts of areas for me, but I sense that I have already turned the corner and that has just begun to change.  I think much of what we have been through the past 3-4 months with school has caused some growth in me.  I have come to realize that I need to fully embrace living outside the norm, and quit fretting about it...even if others do the fretting for us occasionally.   While we did have a little hiccup in confidence after receiving a couple of phone calls from the school this week, it was so clear that the weight had been lifted off our shoulders that we knew we had made the right decision.  All of us were so much happier and more relaxed as we did our school work this week.  We were using materials that fit us better and created the atmosphere we were missing from prior years.  I need to trust myself more, and not care whether we look "normal" or not.  We aren't normal, period.  Actually, I think I am quite glad about that.  The problem comes when you try to shove abnormal into a normal never quite fits right.  So maybe I am coming to accept there is no box for us, and that is a good thing.

My hope for my next year of life is that contentment grows, that faith grows, and that love grows.  A happy surprise here or there would be lovely as well.  Oh yea, and maybe new tires for the van...hahaha!  After all, practicality still must remain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I love barbershop but sing like a frog so I just need to enjoy listening to it.

Maybe you all are normal and were trying to fit into an abnormal box.

Hope you feel better soon.
Teresa F.