I think that my focus this new year is going to be letting go. Now before you start to get any ideas, I am not planning on letting myself go. I just finished an 18 mile run. Well, I think that it was 18 miles anyway. Twice during my run I accidentally hit the emergency stop button on my treadmill which upset me because I did not know my exact mileage at the time. The second time I almost got propelled into my TV. Nothing like being thrown into a crime show. LOL
Not only do I want to start the process of letting go of my past instead of outrunning it, but I am also faced with something that I never thought would happen. I am not needed as much anymore. My kids are growing up. My oldest will be graduating from high school this year. If everything works out as she has planned, she will be leaving our house in 5 months. She will become an adult. Gulp. Yesterday my middle child drove a car for the first time. He got his temps this week. Last night my youngest child babysat so someone else could go out for New Year’s Eve. I don’t even need a babysitter anymore for my youngest child.
When this whole process started, I never pictured in my mind that someday my babies would grow up. Some days I wished for it after sleepless nights with a newborn, toddler temper tantrums, potty training, math homework, etc.. When did time change from wanting them to grow up to wanting time to stand still for a little longer? In five years, I will be done with this job. I’m doing the best that I can so I don’t look back with regret. Despite some relatively minor teenage issues in comparison, the burden of responsibility is starting to lift. I will finally have time for the first time in my life to do what I want to do.
It’s time to start letting go…
I woke up this morning in a strange place, a different bed. I killed another house plant this week, my last living one. I justify that by saying that I spent one third of the month in hotel rooms like the one I am in now. Five different hotels, two states. Some for business, some for pleasure. My mind searches for the perfect excuse. I couldn’t provide proper care for the plant. Hey, at least I managed to feed my kids and pets.
When my daughter gave me the plant for Mother’s Day, I inwardly cringed. I have to manage to keep this alive! Once I got a chia pet for Christmas, I felt it was way too much pressure. So I took the plant to my office. I developed a watering routine. I watered it every Monday morning and every Friday afternoon. I put it in the sun like it said on the little tag it came with. It did thrive until the sunny days were gone. I didn’t achieve my seemingly easy goal.
It made me think of other goals I have had. It seems like finishing a marathon is an easier goal than keeping plants alive for me. Crazy!?! A few days ago, my husband asked me what my goal is for writing. That had me stumped. A goal? Was I supposed to have one? I started this blog right after I got my house plant. I am still going. It is still active and alive. But where is it going?
I like to write for fun, to share unexpressed emotions, to help others. I want others to know what it was like growing up with an autistic brother back when no one had autism. I want to share my own struggles and joys of parenting teens. I want to share goals and experiences as a runner. I want to make people laugh. I want to share life and all of its woven intricacies. But where am I going?? As a goal oriented person, do I need goals to write?
My husband said that I am a gifted writer, but he is very biased. He said that maybe I should consider chasing my own dreams. He started his own successful business. We work together. He said that I was riding his dream. He said he would support me if I decided to start a career in writing. He suggested that since I have a love for photography and writing that I should think about writing marina reviews or write a book. His words overwhelmed me. What are my goals? I have no structure, I just write about what I want to write about. Where do I go from here? Is this just another time consuming hobby? All I can tell you for sure right now is that my future does not involve gardening or house plants.
Today is the future day that Marty McFly time traveled to in the 1985 movie Back to the Future. I wonder if his character would be pleased to see how the future really turned out if he traveled here from 1985 today. We do have some pretty cool inventions since then like the cell phone, ipads, kindles, the internet, etc. Technology few of us thought would be possible back then. I can liken it to what it would be like going back hundreds of years and telling people about electricity or indoor plumbing. It would be hard to imagine. We still don’t fly around in cars, but can see the possibility of self driving cars for the future. Will we be telling our great-grandchildren about how we had to get a driver’s license someday? Maybe it will provide a solution to the problem of drunk driving.
I don’t think that Marty would like our hair and clothing today. Clothing and makeup do not reflect a neon geometrical style anymore and our hair is ho hum boring. If you were a teen in the 80’s, you would know what I mean. Big hair was fun! While the movie was right on with a few predictions, quite a few were way off. Where were you in 1985? Could you have predicted the future of the world much less the future of your own life? Were you even born? In 1985, I was younger than my youngest child is right now. My future life was a mystery. Who would I marry? Would I have children? What kind of career would I have?
The last 30 years have been a winding road. Most of it reflecting consequences, either good or bad, of the life that I have chosen. I became set in my beliefs over this time. I got married, had children, went to college, found hobbies, made and lost friends. Some things happened that I did not choose, this was also within the framework of who I would become.
What will happen over the next 30 years? My husband wants us to start planning for retirement. The next 30 years scare me. There are too many unknowns. I don’t want to think about getting old and declining physically and/or intellectually. I think I will probably have grandchildren. I will most likely enter into retirement. I will possibly face the loss of my spouse and have to face the possibility that I may not be a part of this future in 30 years. Sometimes I want to focus on the past instead, it is certain and known. But focusing on the past also makes me unsettled. Sometimes the good old days were not always good.
I try to focus on the here and now. I want to make myself the best person that I can be in the present so I can be a gift to those around me today and tomorrow. I am thankful to have all of you in my life as I am living it.
Where were you in 1985?