The rails

My husband says that life is sometimes like a railroad track. On our journey, the rails of good and bad happen side by side simultaneously. Life is never all good or all bad. Sometimes the great and the horrible bombard us at the same time. I’ve never felt like that was more true than it is now. I don’t even know what to feel anymore..

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. My go to feelings these days are anger and a deep sorrow. I thought maybe a weekend up north in isolation would force me to reflect what my problem is. I am not a negative person, but right now the rose tinted glasses makes me want to gag.

What is my problem? Why can’t I have a light and fluffy blog? Is that even what I want? Probably not…

I consider myself a realist. But what happens when reality doesn’t even seem realistic?

The funny thing is that I achieved everything I wanted in life. I’ve worked really hard to accomplish my goals. I’ve turned out better than I even thought I would. That should make me happy, but it only leaves me wanting more. What can I conquer next? I already have a wall full of medals in my dream house.

Some things have really hit me hard…the terminal cancer diagnosis of a close friend…the death of a close friend’s child. I feel like I can’t talk to them anymore about the good or bad. How can I complain about my teen throwing a drinking party at my house when her teen daughter is dead??

There is a certain isolation of not knowing what to say beyond…I’m sorry this has happened to you..Life is unfair..You are in my thoughts and prayers..What happens after you said this a dozen times? What happens when words run out to express your grief for them? Do you go back to talking about every day ordinary life? I don’t know what to say.

The death of Lisa’s daughter stings. It was so unexpected and tragic. This wasn’t my plan for either of my friends. A child shouldn’t die, a healthy person in their 40’s shouldn’t get cancer…Whereas, I have never felt healthier in my life. My body is a lean mass of muscle from running and working out consistently for the last ten years. I still get carded to buy alcohol when some of my classmates are getting asked for their AARP cards.

My children are all healthy and normal. I worried for years that I would have a severely autistic child like my brother. That worry slipped off the horizon many years ago to be replaced by other worries. But they are all normal worries that every parent has..

I have a wonderful husband. I have a great job. I am reaching the end of actively parenting three teenagers.

Yet, I feel this isolation. Change is hard, even if it is good. I love my new house, but I don’t know who my neighbors are. My youngest daughter will be going to a new school and doesn’t have any friends in the area.

I feel estranged from my extended family. I haven’t seen my siblings in months. We rarely talk.

I feel estranged from my church family with all of the controversy lately. My best friend Cindy left the church and we might too. All of my kids were baptized and confirmed there. Must everything change all at once?

My husband, aunt, mother, and son have been on a school trip for the last couple weeks. I haven’t seen them in almost a month. I spent a week in Vegas and when I got back, they left. It almost feels like they are gone from me too. Is this what it is going to feel like if I, in the natural course of life, outlive my husband and mom? This emptiness?

I’ve spent a lot of time alone in reflection this past month. It’s really dark and messy in there. I want to clean things up but I’m afraid of what would happen if I disturb the cobwebs. I have to be really strong to go into the deep, dark ugly places. I just don’t feel really strong right now. It’s not the best time to poke at my demons.

My family will be coming home tonight. Maybe my mood will improve. Maybe I will find my way out of this sorrow. Maybe I will finally accept change, the good along with the bad. I’m on the right track, I just need to keep chugging along..

 

Journal 5, part 3

It has been a rough week of posts here, hasn’t it?? Here is the funny post that I promised…It is akin to my parents stories of walking uphill to school both ways.

10/10/1990

I am feeling tired today. Last night I watched a movie at my friend’s house. Her mom rented a VCR and we had to take it back to the rental place by 10 PM. We left her house at ten to ten. On the way there, the car broke down. We knocked on a couple doors, but no one answered. We walked back to her house which took almost an hour. By the time I got home, it was 11 PM. That sure didn’t help my cold any..

Young folks, times were hard growing up. Watching a movie wasn’t as easy as perusing Netflix for the perfect show. From this journal entry, I am going to assume that the VCR rental was for my friend’s birthday which was a few days before the journal entry date. We watched Gone with the Wind and Adventures in Babysitting (great old movie BTW). I had no recollection of this event before reading about it…the previous day’s journal entry mentioned the movies that we were going to watch. I vaguely remember walking back to her house on quiet country roads late at night.

You were pretty much screwed if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere at night if no one answered the door. Forget Uber. Of course, sometimes you were screwed if someone answered the door. As a teenage girl, it was creepy going into a stranger’s house to use their rotary phone. It was also creepy allowing strangers into the house to use the phone. I think it is something the kids of today are told not to do…allow strangers in your house or go into a strangers house.. Of course, kids of today don’t need to worry about taking rented VCR’s back or leaving the house without someone having a cell phone.

Even going to the movies was complicated. We had to watch the newspaper for the new listings. Or sometimes we would call on a Friday night to listen to a long automated message stating the new showings. Sometimes the phone was busy.

Remember having to rewind the VHS tape after viewing? That took almost as long as the movie. The rental tapes would be plastered with stickers that said ‘Be kind, rewind’ and other obnoxious things. Then upon returning the movie to the store, the clerk would always pop open the tape case while glaring at you with an eyebrow raised prejudging if you were an evil offender that didn’t rewind. If you were a few minutes late (probably due to rewinding) with the rental drop off, you would be fined a couple bucks.

I can almost imagine the fines my friend received for returning the VCR the next day. Maybe the cops were called. Uh huh, car trouble you say…I bet your dog ate your homework too..

I never had to worry about renting a VCR at our house. We always had at least 10 VCR’s in our house at all times. Unfortunately, none of them worked or they ate tapes. My dad repaired them as a living and was always doing favors for neighbors on the side. People would literally stop by with their junk…broken VCR’s, stereos, TV’s…Discombobulated machines laid on our table and were strewn all over our house for months. My dad was a procrastinator. By the time he fixed the broken machines, the people forgot about them or were on their third one. But he charged them next to nothing.

I wonder how much time we wasted on video tapes?? Almost as much time as we spent waiting by the phone…

How did we ever survive???

 

 

My magic wand

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When I was 34, I played the part of Glinda. I was given someone’s old ill fitting wedding dress to wear. I didn’t like it. So I dug out my wedding dress from the back closet and broke the vacuum pack seal that would forever preserve it. It still fit.

I was given a large magic wand, but the director did not like it although I did. The large wand was replaced with a smaller one and was held by some of the younger cast members.

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One morning I awoke to find my first magic wand in the front yard with a note attached. I felt young to be the receiver of pranks from a youthful crowd.

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Recently, I tried out for the part of a floozy at the local community theater. I didn’t get the part. The actor that was perfect to play the part of the floozy’s boyfriend is 18 years old, the same age as my daughter. Instead a young high school girl who never had a boyfriend was chosen to be the floozy.

What does she have that I don’t? Besides being 25 years younger?? Ha ha, oh well…hmm..

I was given the part of a homeless old bitchy hag.

I had to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror. I am not young anymore. I once was a beautiful flower, but now I’m at the end of my bloom. My petals are starting to droop…wrinkles…lines. My color is starting to fade…My hair a glistening gray…old hands…weird freckly dots..

I still like to think of myself as young. But I don’t glimpse much of that girl anymore in my self-reflection.

This past week I threw out my magic wand. It suddenly seemed a painful reminder of what I once was.

But if I could have my magic wand back and make one wish, it would be that I could feel young for just a little longer…

This year I will be 29 again…