Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Finer Things In Life!

I've learned something about myself in the last couple of years, lol! It only took 46 years to aquire this tidbit of information. However, before I share it, let me backtrack a bit. I've been married 23 years to an amazing, wonderful, sexy, handsome, fabulous guy...I think you get the picture, lol! Anyhow, for most of those years, I've penny-pinched on my sweetheart's salary while staying at home with our 6 kids. During that time, my main focus was always making sure that our children had everything they needed...food, security, clothing, love, school supplies, etc.. This always meant sacrifices for Darren and I. For the first 10 to 15 years we didn't go out to dinner, travel anywhere, buy new clothes and sometimes forgo birthday, Christmas and anniversary gifts. Money that was given to us, usually went to bills or groceries. In fact we were married about 4 years before I splurged and bought our first piece of beef to roast and I love roast beef! These were just some of the sacrifices that went into being a stay-at-home mom. We made this decision together and we worked at it together. I'm pretty sure a lot of other SAH parents can relate. The point I'm trying to make is that years go by before you feel like you deserve to put yourself first. These last two years have been been hellish for our family but that's another story altogether. Needless to say, guilt was my best friend for a long time. I felt like a failure. I felt unworthy and undeserving of anything good. It took me a long time to believe good things can happen to me, to us. Having said that, Darren and I have made some decisions about the next phase in our life. We've realized that all those years of sacrificing guarantees you absolutely nothing when it comes to your children and as a result, have been taking advantage of his travel benefits. Working as an aircraft maintenance engineer for a major airlines has it perks. We are able to travel at a very low cost. However, many of my husband's co-workers refuse to take advantage of these benefits because it requires flying standby. This means you could show up for a flight only to be told there are no seats available. It's totally a hit or miss. The one good thing is, as an employee he can check online to see how many seats are available and take our chances. Long and the short of it, we have been doing a lot of travelling. Some out of necessity, i.e. dropping off your child at university. Whatever the reason, we've taken advantage of these fringe benefits. Consequently, we've spent quality time together visiting friends, meeting new online friends and making new friends. Just to be clear, we are not wealthy people, will probably always scrimp and scrape to get by and continue to have debt. However, life is short and waiting till we're retired to enjoy it, is a long ways away. Here comes the part where I've been educated, lol! You know how people say, if I ever win the lottery or inherit a lotta money, I would never buy a big house or a fancy car, I would still live simple? I'm one of those people, except I've learned something this past week. I was fortunate to fly down to Jamaica and visit my family alone. My husband was kind enough to stay home with our sons while I was off gallivanting. On this trip, I was given a first-class seat going and coming home. Just to be clear, I've always been grateful flying coach, heck I was just grateful to get a seat. However, I'm here to tell you that flying coach and first-class are miles apart, no pun intended! Flying coach requires being scrunched in with just about anyone. It could be someone who bathed in garlic the night before...have you ever smelt stale garlic breath, ugh! It could be someone a few sizes larger than you who fail to realize that you just might want to share the armrest or it could be someone who has a bladder control problem and happen to be sitting in the window seat which then requires you to unbuckle and shimmy out of the way so they can get to the bathroom. Btw, that could easily be me, lol! Flying first-class has so many wonderful upgrades that you can almost forgive stale garlic breath. You never have to share an armrest and rarely having to try shimming out of the way going to the bathroom. Oh, it means so much more! How about having warm, damp cloth napkins to wipe your hands before eating and a menu that gives you choices of meals, unlimited wine, beer and non-alcholic drinks.

Let's not forget the snacks of potato chips, dark chocolate bars and smoked almonds and cashews. Then there's the pillows, newspapers and ear buds free of charge, so much legroom that a short person like me have to unbuckle her seatbelt to reach the tv screen.

Of course there's the "boarding the plane first and gettin off first". I'm probably forgetting a few more things but I'm still riding that feeling of bliss and my memory is a bit foggy. The enlightenment part...I enjoy the finer things in life like first class. I like nice cars and one day I'd love a home that has bigger rooms and wide open spaces. I fancy expensive things and I would love to be able to buy a bra that fits to a T without guilting myself out of it because of cost. One day when the kids are gone, I want to get my hair cut regularly rather than spending a measly $17.00 to get a dry cut every 6 months. I would like to go out and eat at least once a week in a restaurant of my choice or my husband's because we can. I look forward to buying a beautiful blouse or dress that may actually cost more than $30 and not worry about it. I like nice things. I like traveling, I like the comfort and ease that comes with all the special treatment. Underneath all that scrimping and scraping is a woman who relish nice things. I think I always did. I just forgot that I did. I'm also liking this "enlightening" me. Let just hope it doesn't put us in the poor house, lol! The most important lesson I've learned is that a woman can have everything she wants in life. However getting everything comes in stages and for those who are looking for it all at once, they will be looking a long time! If one lives long enough, is patient enough and allows for time, you can have it all!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There's still time to...!

Since I'm a couple of years away from the big "f_____y"' I've been thinking about a whole lot of stuff. I realize that I haven't invented anything big, I wasn't the first to discover stuff, I don't have a bucket list and I'm not sure if I can claim to be any more wiser than I was in my thirties. In fact, I'm not sure that I've made much of a difference to life itself. I'm not even sure what my purpose is in being here on earth. That's not to say I feel insignificant. In reflection, I realize that I've figured some things out that would have probably made things a bit easier earlier on in my life. However, I also feel more content in my physical self and am still working on the emotional and spiritual side of my inner child. I am liking who I am more and more. I've shed the need to constantly apologize. I've discovered that the "people pleaser" that I tend to be is pleasing less people and gratifying my inner-self more. So many women forget themselves in their hurry to take care of others. I want so much more for myself now that it's winding down to me and the hubs. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the number "f___y" and ever will because in my mind I'm just turning thirty.
I'm still feeling that thirty-something person wanting to try new things, rediscover old passions, discard tired routines and spring into action with zest and ardor. For all that, I creak a little when I ease my way out of bed, I slowly unfurl myself when I get out of my chair and I sometimes need an ibuprofen or two when I've had a particular vigorous workout. The mind and the body aren't always on the same page. Having said that, I realize I can still invent something, discover plenty, create my bucket list and still gain wisdom. Whatever the reason for my being here on this incredible, big, beautiful planet, I'm just turning thirty in the body of a forty-eight year old. It doesn't mean I'll be gracing the cover of a magazine in a teeny, tiny bikini...hahahahahahahahahahaha! Sorry, just had to get that out at that vision in my head! On the other hand, I'm working my way up to looking fairly decent in a modest tankini, lol!

Turning "f___y" doesn't have to be frumpy and boring. In fact I don't think I know any boring and frumpy "f___y+" women. Everyone in that age category are smart, strong wise, funny and incredible! Maybe that's why I'm not ready for that amazing club!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Time & Season!

It's been an exhausting week for me. A bit of a downer considering I was determined to make 2014 a year of making the most of every day. Some would call this a resolution, I'm calling it a life change...I don't make resolutions, lol! However you look at it, this week is a write-off! Having all teenagers at home has become more of a battle than a joy. What makes things even more difficult, is being surrounded by people who have small children, no children or empty-nesters. This leaves you feeling completely alone. The last 8 years have been all teenager angst! The demands, the quarrelling, the "it's all about me" attitude, hormones, testosterone, the long list, have left me feeling like a wrung-out dish rag.

It is this feeling that left me with a determination to enjoy this new year. I don't want to finish my forties off in a state of perpetual trepidation. I want to feel energy, excitement, anticipation, life! I want to make every moment count for me and for my husband. I'm tired of hearing what I didn't do, what I've failed at, how strict I am being or what a terrible mom I've been! Over the years, I've tried to grow a thick skin but lately I feel as if I'm about to crumple. Who wants that? I've always believed a woman can have it all, just not all at once. With everything, there's a time and a season! Well I'm in the season of ME! I spent the last 23 years looking after my family.
More than half those years were as a stay-at-home-mom! I did the usual "mom" stuff. Made cookies every week, coupon shopped, baked bread, did laundry, attended school meetings, school games, created traditions for every holiday, changed diapers, you know "mom" stuff! I also did the "working" mom bit and I'm still doing it. When my husband decided to leave his dreadful job, I was 100% supportive! I hated seeing him unhappy. Of course quitting your job meant 0 unemployment and yet somehow it all worked out! Somehow during "pre-teen and teenage" years, life became about them, less of us and definitely very few "me" moments.

With only a couple of kids at home, it's time to look to the future and see what could be in-store for me as an individual and as part of a whole! There's so many places I want to see, so many things I want to do. This is the season to build myself up and repair what was damaged. I am a woman first, a wife and mother second. There was a time when being a wife was first and a season when being a "mom" was #1. I will always be a wife and mom, it will never change. However I came into this world an individual and although I'll leave it with many titles, I'm still an individual!