I have been meaning to do so much in my life, but never get around to it. Now life has caught up to me. I am in my sixth decade now. I have three grown children and two small grandchildren. I have not adjusted to being almost old yet.
The biggest disappointment in my life was that my children grew up too fast for me to adjust to life without them. I wanted them to stay little longer that I could hug and kiss them more and be a part of their lives. I just loved spending time with them. Being a mother was the greatest gift of my life. Having children allowed me to enjoy childhood again from a different perspective. I delighted being a part of their lives so much so-that I did not create a life of my own. They are grown now and so complicated because of what life has taught them. There is little need for me anymore. I confess. I feel forlorn,useless, misunderstood and helpless. It seems I have lost my aim in life. I am too old to use my degrees, am too young to retire and not enough money to do what I want. Terrible, huh?
As children get older they create their own lives-which indeed is what parents want them to do. Our kids pull away from mommy and daddy; yet, find the need to question their parents in preparation to take over their care later. Now, there are many more arguments when I try to offer them suggestions. “Mom! Things just are not done that way anymore!” Since when have the basics of living changed?
The older I get, the more I feel the need to apologize to my mother. I understand what she went through raising us especially without a husband. I thought I was being a pest calling and checking on my mom so much. Even though I lived four hours away, I always took the kids to visit with her frequently. My children knew their grandmother well. Loved her deeply. I was the only child that did that, even though my brother and his family lived only twenty minutes away. I realize now that my mother must have been lonely in that big house alone; therefore, she really enjoyed our company. Enjoying our lives allowed her to do what she loved the most cook, knit, and love her grand children. She was happy. I was happy enjoying being with her.
Now, I must learn another lesson from my mother. How to go on living creating a life for me that I can enjoy. I find I get depressed. When I say things, I am always corrected. When I try to help, I am not needed. I am not allowed to have my own opinions anymore certainly not to be expressed. My children control access to my grandchildren. I find I am more stressed now that my children are grown than I ever was when they were growing up. Life is not fun anymore, but I refuse to give up on making it fun. I keep trying. I stop trying to help. Often I just stay away. I picked up knitting and crocheting again-anything to keep my mind occupied.
I am really not alone. I am married to a wonderful man. I rarely spend time with him. Not that I do not want to spend time with him, but I have been unable to find a job in the area we live even though I have a Masters’ in education. Thus, my husband feels it is necessary to cover my slack by working two jobs. He teaches all day, sleeps a few hours, then goes to work afternoons cleaning a restaurant until two or so in the morning. He sleeps a few more hours and goes to his teaching job.
Intellectually, I understand it is not my fault, but I still carry great guilt that I cannot help more. I do work, but nothing like what my degrees dictate I should be bringing home. I do not want for much. However, I would like to do a few things on my bucket list. I finally realized, “I ain’t got no bucket!” Still, I would love to travel with family and friends. Not gonna happen anytime soon!
Thus, to make my everyday life better, I set small goals for myself. I am going to read a certain book at Starbucks today or work on my novel. Or, I am going to reorganize my bedroom. Or, I am going to watch the entire series of NCIS while I knit. Basically, I am going to stop having expectations that involve other people. I can only plan for me. I cannot control my children’s attitudes about anything! I cannot force my children to spend time with me; or, allow me to see their children. They are busy. I have no control over that. I do control if I am busy.
Lastly, my husband’s entire goal in life is to live comfortably. I see that life itself is getting in the way of that goal. He has to not let life live for him. He must learn that for himself. I want him to enjoy more of those people who love him-me! I want him unstressed and looking for the joy in life. I have been meaning to explain that to him again. But first, I must understand and practice that myself.