Family Time

Forty has brought with it, a 16 year old step-son, an almost 16 year old daughter and an almost 14 year old son who doesn’t know if he wants to be 5 or 35. Many folks think blended families are hard, but this one, just fits. Even though they are close in age, they are all so very different that there is rarely any competition. We share more laughter, jabs at one another and conversations that would turn some sailors red-cheeked. But, we are real.

When we blended this family in 2013, one thing my husband and I agreed upon was that we wanted our kids to be real with us. We wanted them to be the same person when they are with us on a lazy Sunday afternoon as they are when they are with their friends on Friday night. While, I admit that there are times we don’t see eye to eye, I can almost guarantee you that I know where my kids are, what they are doing, saying and even sometimes feeling. There are very few secrets. We talk about things before they happen. Random conversations on sex, racial divide, animals and why Donald Duck only wears a shirt may spontaneously erupt at our dinner table. This is one thing about forty I LOVE. These priceless moments of family together and raw emotions will keep me happy long into my elder years when I simply no longer know where I am in the current day, but will always remember these days of being forty and loving the family God gave me. The family that is full of second-chances, grace and forgiveness.

It used to bother me when I was first divorced, that now my children had a mom and a sometimes dad. I soon realized we were more “typical” that our society likes to admit. So once I remarried and these two small families became one, I realized again that most of the families we knew were “hers”, “his” and “sometimes ours” type families. It made leading a blended family far less scary for my husband and I once we realized we were not an anomaly. We went about our business building our family rules, just as a traditional family would do. And, you know, it worked! And, it still works today.

I am not saying that we have not had hard times, please know that there have been days filled with fear, anger and tears. Again, just like a typical family. We just got the second chance to create it in a very intentional, untimely, new fashion.

Until tomorrow,

Unapologetically yours….

Not Myself….

Have you ever felt invisible?  Your body is full and present, but it is as if no one notices you there.  Yes, some days, you just feel “Invisible”.

She stood, invisible to herself

Paper-thin, spindly

Reedy to the touch

Weightless in her

Fleshy, ample body

 

Colors streaming

A veiled frame

Starkly weeping spirit

Creating unseen waves

Against an ebony sky

 

Imperceptible to her own

Spirit, power, light

Unstoppable force

Speaking truth to her

Strong

Beautiful

Woman

 

 

 

The Race

The race to be better has the same

starting line every morning. Finish line

and obstacles change daily, sometimes by the hour.

The terrain of life provides challenges

beyond any wild imagination.

Jumping over toddlers, sliding down steep

marital slopes and climbing the literal career ladder, just

to name a few. Training is every day. Same Time.

Different Places. Every day you train, along with the races.

Sometimes simultaneously, sometimes back to back. One truth remains,

There is no time for slack.

 

No time for losers, slackers or even the occasional lazy day.

Life moves on. The racers charge full force into the great

unknown, ready to knock you over, set the toddler to the side into

a new realm of safety and climb that career ladder while stepping

firmly on your perfectly coifed bun. Telling you that this just isn’t your time.

Maybe next time. Maybe never. Who knows? You should have tried harder,

trained better, taught more to others or simply been someone else.

Love wasn’t yours to obtain. Family was not in your future. Picket fences, dogs,

and babies never came your way. Well, chin up buttercup,

Life is not for the weak. The race continues on. With you.

Without you.

Who is GenX Girl?

I will be 40 years old in 3 months.  Wow!  It is so odd to think about being 40.  Typing it out as an affirmative statement is even more odd!  I remember thinking that 40 looked and sounded so very old.  Yet, now, it just feels like me.  I feel like I make 40 appealable to the younger generations.  I feel like I make 40 look good.  As a matter of fact, I know I make 40 look better than the last generation.  Right?  The Baby Boomers were just not hip.  Or, are we just simply so different that there is no comparison?

You see, I am the epitome of a GenX female.  We, as a generation, were called GenX because no one could really describe us.  We were the “X”, the “unknown”.  We are sandwiched between the Boomers and GenY.  We are smaller in number than both generations surrounding us.  We were not all about money like the Boomers.  Nor were we a generation of entitlement, like GenY.  We had no major defining events in the early years of life.  However, we experienced a multitude of social events that changed life’s direction at every turn.  We watched with excitement as Christa McAuliffe boarded the Challenger, only to be in shock as the bight lights of the explosion lit up the TV screens in our classrooms.  We remember being afraid of this disease, called AIDS and this new controversy of homosexuality.  And, who could forget the Rodney King trial, the videos of racially motivated violence and the riots that ensued afterwards?  The only thing that we came to expect, was the unexpected.  We understood social uncertainty.  We knew that parents did not always stay married.  We learned that to be successful, we must use technology.  And, just like every generation before and after us, we loved loud music that made our parents cringe!  Our parents all agreed that MTV was bad for us.  But, we loved it!  In fact, I think only my mother thought it was bad.  I am pretty sure my dad would sneak-watch the Spring Break shows when mom was not home!  As we got older, we began to feel motivated to change the world we live in, mainly  because we understood change.  And, we believed in it.

Now, as I stare the fourth decade of my life boldly in the eyes, the X represents even more “unknowns”.  Today, we celebrated my daughter’s 15th birthday.  I sat quietly on my bed this morning and contemplated the very real possibility that during the next 10 years, I could be a grandmother.  My husband and I will most definitely be empty-nesters by then.  Our parents will be in their 70’s.  So, topics such as healthcare, nursing homes and even funerals could become a very real possibility.  All of these conversations will be occurring simultaneously as we move our children into their own homes, walk daughters down the aisle and hold our grandbabies for the first time.  As all of these thoughts are floating through my head today, my instinctual thought is that I want time to stop.  But, deep down, I am ready for this next chapter.  I want life to slow down.  I want to enjoy life.  I want to cherish my marriage (it is the second, you know).  And, I kind of like it!  I want to work at a job that is not in the rat race, but one that is changing the world.  I want to give back to this life I have been given.  I want to be the solution to the world’s problems.  I want to do great things.  I want to BE great things.

So, you may be wondering where the dilemma is in all of this, right?  It sounds quite “Pollyanna-esque”, don’t you think?  So, let me tell you the dilemma.  The dilemma is all in the X.  The “unknown”.  I know what I want, I just simply don’t know how to accomplish these things.  Or, even how to define what I really want.  I can’t describe what I am or what I want.  Therefore, I am  GenX Girl!