My Year In The Rearview

As this year comes to a close, I have been stuck in my head thinking. I have been without my dear Pops for fifteen months now. The void he left difficult to fill. I feel ???… Everything has changed. I shop closer to home. I waste huge amounts of time in the guise of being tired after work. In reality I don’t have a clear idea on what I want to do with all this free time I now find myself with. My Pops always had a way of making me laugh or smile. I miss that. I still feel disconnected. How did I end up here? I feel like I have no sense of purpose. I have fallen out of love with the routines of my life. I am in a RUT, RuT, rUT, rUt…ERGH!!!

Lately, I feel like I am stuck in a sitcom from the 50s. The sameness of life, the lack of real JOY, no color, or maybe its more Pleasantville in style just before their awakening. I miss the innocence of youth. Trusting in the grown ups around my life that everything would indeed turn out okay. At some point in my coming of age I started to notice life wasn’t simple. Black and white really was a narrow way of thinking and living. Like the characters in Pleasantville I began to “live” in my surroundings, discover new and scary things about myself. I have come to understand, life is a series of successes and failings. What you do with those experiences is what makes life worth being a part of. I am not the same girl I was a short twenty years ago. I like to think I am a better person now.

I used to have a chip on my shoulder the size of a baseball mitt. I have always balked at authority. I hate to be told what to do. I have an vein of anger that runs just below my surface. It has caused me irreparable harm whenever I have wielded it in an attempt to get my way, or prove a point, or just to be an ass. I stomped about wanting to be left alone…life finally gave me what I always wanted and you know what? I was wrong! I know now that what I really craved was acceptance. I wanted to feel like I belonged to something, anything. I was seeking guidance.  My parents were too involved in their own messy lives; my sisters and I were left to figure shit out on our own. I hold my parents no ill will. They did the best they could to keep our family intact. My mother suffered with mental illness her whole life. Everyday was an adventure with her! Would today be a clothing optional day? Would we be play acting with the neighbors for pocket change so she could buy cigarettes? Would I find her at our local church crying to God in the hopes he would rescue her from being a housewife? Oh, the memories!

My Pops loved that crazy woman. His faith in her never wavered. I wonder how alone he must have felt? My Pops was old skool, never cry, never let them see you sweat. If he had resentment towards my mother I never knew it as a child. He only ever mentioned how bad things were sometimes after she had passed away, before his dementia turned her into a saint. He never gave up on her or any of his children. In my Pops eyes I could be anything I worked for, have anything I reached for, become something spectacular as humans go. I will find a way to keep working on a better version of myself because he never gave up gazing at his stars.

This past year there was very little sparkle. I am finally beginning to feel my age, with its wonderful assortment of aches, pains, and wrinkles. I will always have to be a WW. It holds me accountable for my bad food moods. I will not be taking anymore selfies. Every time I do I see this old woman looking back at me. She just does not match the beauty that lives in my soul. I will continue to sing even if no one hears me. It helps me to feel I have a reason to be. Every time I make a little kid smile or touch the heart of a person passing by, it makes me feel like I have a purpose. I do not like menopause… a roller coaster ride of screw you, my emotions taking me on a ride I am pretty sure I didn’t buy a ticket for. I am one of the lucky ones? no hot flashes, yet! I got heart palpitations instead! Oh JOY!

Hockey started up again this year as did my resentment for the amount of time it steals from me. In all honesty, because sometimes it is good for me to put my bullshit meter on pause, I have made some amazing friends at this frozen sport. I am trying to find something creative to do whilst hubby is preoccupied with his sport of choice. And by being creative I mean, stay away from the Booster Club table so I won’t eat my weight in anger. This should be an interesting ride!

I found my courage this year to adventure without my bestie by my side. No lies to be told. I missed her, terribly, but her children are at those ages where everything is drive them here, do this , do that, and adventuring just had no room in her busy life. I managed. I can now say that I have a small circle of women I enjoy going on adventures with = ) All because I took a chance and asked them if they would like to “hang out” with me.

Life is in the living. Good-bye 2017. Hello, to the mistakes I will make this year, to the adventures I will undertake, to whatever 2018 has in store for me. If I could take anything from the past year into the new year with me it would be Hope. She knows how to keep things light and filled with anticipation. I wish you  all the best things for 2018. Love the people in your life. Step out of your comfort zone. Embrace change.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To Be

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