Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Saturday, October 16, 2010

V: I'm Singing the Baby Boomer Blues

This is NOT me, but it could be!

I'm frustrated! One day recently I should have been at work, but had just found my glasses--I am so myopic I cannot go anywhere without my glasses! It's embarrassing to call in because you can't drive to work because you can't find your glasses! Apparently the cat knocked them off the vanity and they blended in with the wood floor. I had been been on my hands and knees all over the house searching for them! I used to wear contacts, but no more! Just one of the "benefits" of getting older! I suffer from dry eye syndrome and I cannot use Restasis drops--they make my eyes ache so bad they are not worth it! So no contacts for me--just the ugly glasses that make me look even more matronly! It's not fair I tell you! lol

My hand is still recovering from surgery last month and I am in a hand brace. It hurts to type so I am REAL slow, mainly using my "good" hand. The custom made splint is better than the bulky cast I had to wear for two weeks during which I threatened to get out the carving knife and cut it off myself! Wearing a bulky, heavy cast in 95+ degree weather is no fun!  I have difficulty with housework too--My husband is keeping the dishwasher loaded and doing most of the cooking, but you should SEE my house!  NO, actually you shouldn't!!!

There is lots I can't do at my job right now and it frustrates me and makes me feel lazy. I AM naturally lazy, but I resist it. lol
Of course I've pitched in when my coworkers were disabled by an injury or surgery, but I hate for them to have to help do my job. I wear myself out at times about it. Do "normal" people do that or am I just hopelessly neurotic? Tell me!!!

My sister calls to tell me that my mother is calling her 8 to 10 times a day about her hairdo woes. For 8 years after my dad died, and when my own three kids were young, my mom depended entirely upon me, especially since she never learned to drive. The trips to buy hairspray and go to the hairdresser are legendary in our family.  She has been obsessed with her hair for as long as I can remember! Suffering from the dementia of Alzheimer's disease, mother has exhibited obsessive behavior which is not uncommon in this disease. The past few months her obsession has been feeding her cats, insisting that there is no food for her or the cats. The very nice assisted living facility where she resides is being paid a hefty sum to prompt her to go to meals and administer her medications. She has plenty of food for snacking in her apartment and all her meals are provided in a lovely restaurant quality dining room. My poor sister finds almost all the food she has bought for mother in dishes on the floor. It's for the cats who have no interest in eating things like orange jello or peanut butter crackers! I had to chuckle when my sister told me that! They counted 17 dishes with odd bits of food that no cat would eat on the floor, and mother insisted she did not know how they got there ! Alzheimer's is a cruel disease and no laughing matter, but if you can't chuckle every now and then about the craziness of it, you will crumble for sure. Mom lives 7 hours away from me now, so I feel pretty helpless to offer any tangible help.

I work with disabled students in a public high school and it is often rewarding, but sometimes stressful. We teach life skills (such as shopping, cooking, etc.), and go to work sites in the community.  We also participate in Special Olympics. I like the kids, and the variety of what we do everyday, but at times it can be exhausting.
 I've worked in Special Education for years and  in such a classroom you sometimes experience emotional outburts, students with seizure disorders, or just the noise that accompanies the nonverbal who struggle to express themselves. Most of the students do have language ability, but believe me there are ways to express yourself loudly without words!
Just a typical day! When I left yesterday afternoon, my head was pounding! I enjoy the work and my colleagues are friends. Retiring at this point doesn't seem like an option for me. For years I was on my husband's medical insurance, but it became cost prohibitive--ridiculously so! Also, if my husband were to go on MY plan at work, my policy would cost over $500. a month more! Three years ago I left the preschool teaching job I loved because I needed a job that provided health insurance! Doesn't that suck? Tell me!!!

Some days I wish I could  just stay home and work on this blog, pursue some  quiet creative pursuits and explore how to build an online business for my retirement years.  I could help my youngest daughter by keeping her toddler son part-time. He is the first "day-care" child in our family and it weighs on me. I can still remember in the sixties my mom telling us that the little Russian children were taken away from their families for the entire school week and were only allowed to go to their homes on weekends while their mothers were made to enter the workforce. We thought it was the most terrible thing we could imagine, but are we that far from that reality in our own country now? Now this sweet little boy seems to be thriving in his church run daycare center, but...
Who wouldn't want to keep this little guy!

Yes, I know many would tell me that this is NOT my problem, but I remember what it was like to be home with three kids and my mom and all the women I knew worked outside the home.  After raising us, my mom joined the work force when I began college!  I loved being home with my kids, but at times I felt like the lone ranger!  Conversely,  my daughter has NO backup when her little one is sick and cannot attend daycare, because ALL the women in his family work outside the home.  Work places are not very sympathetic--I can see both sides of that issue, but the reality is that--- it sucks for women and children, doesn't it?

You know, I think I'm facing the same challenges that other babyboomer/sandwich generation women are experiencing.  We feel caught between caring for our elders and the youngest in our families.  We often want to "fix" things for everyone and don't take care of ourselves so well.  So, having vented,  perhaps I should feel better now!

 Just want to add that "C" and I are exploring some new ideas and we want your input on it. You'll be hearing about it soon! I'm going to make some changes in my life--just looking for the courage to take the first step!


Tamara Jansen said...

Hey, nice to meet you here in blogland. You sound like a busy woman with a good sense of humor. We all need one of those.

Now, about the daycare......I used to work in a daycare and I just loved EVERY ONE of those kids. I bet your wee one is very loved in HIS church run day care. Why don't you go in some day and volunteer, just to see what fun it really is :)

Ayak said...

Daycare for children is a problem everywhere. My daughter was manager of a Montessori nursery school before giving up to have her first child last year. She has subsequently registered as a childminder (a lengthy process) so that she can look after other peoples' children in her home. Now she is pregnant with her second child and it's hard work. My grandson has been poorly over since Friday and my daughter is saying thank God it's the weekend and I don't have other kids to look after. She loves the job but sometimes it's hard on her. I feel guilty about not being there to help...so I understand your feeling so well.

Betty said...

Thank you for dropping by to visit!
Lately, I've spent very little time on the computer and I've missed visiting around blogland...

I can commiserate with you about Alzheimer's Disease. My brother, seventeen years old than me, has it. We helped his wife care for him at home as long as it was possible but now he is in a nursing home. He is visitied by family every day but he wants to come home. It's heartbreaking. Such a cruel disease for the patient and family.

Hanging out clothes is a lost art now a days, isn't it? So many things have gone by the wayside.

I kept our twin granddaughters from age two to four when our daughter returned to teaching. It was a wonderful time for me and them. Now she has six and they live next door...she homeschools. They are a well organized, loving family, such a blessing to us.

Thanks again for visiting....Betty

Anonymous said...

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. “So what. “Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” –Mark Victor Hansen

Sharon Lovejoy said...

OH yikes, all this stuff about your Mom is hitting too close to home for me. My Mom became obsessed about her hair too, she had it sun streaked (150.00 each time) and I swear the hairdresser didn't touch it, there were no streaks. Also, she wanted diamonds. Eight seven and she "needed" diamonds.

So much here to mention, but being with young children is a salvation. So think about what Tamara said.

Sending good wishes,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Zuzana said...

I can just picture you looking for your glasses, that happens to me as well.;) At times I find them on top of my head, hehe.;) Luckily I can wear contacts, so I only wear glasses in the weekends.;)
I too sometimes wish I would have a more creative occupation and I could imagine blogging all the time. But then again, I think perhaps if I knew I had to make a living of it, it might loose its appeal.;)
Hope you are having a lovely Sunday,

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, challenges, we've got 'em--who doesn't? It does seem like a "pile-on" lately, however. We'll work out of them, you'll see! C

Jody Blue said...

Step out girlie!! Laughter at the hard stuff at times is all that gets one threw. I just relived the 10 years I worked(past tense)in special ed, it seriously drains one physically as well a mentally. My last year was spent relying on others to do most of the job I had once done, the hardest part was the unfairness for the kids who needed 200% and received 20%. It is so much easier to give than receive help from coworkers. The working mama thing is never easy. Our daughter tried it and has gone home, the financial struggles are as hard as the opinions of others who think staying home is a sign of weakness. There are some who thrive in the work force and as stay at home moms and their children do also, but the opposite is also true. It is an issue that has to be slathered in prayer...lots of prayer.

Vee said...

Oh I hear you. I hear you on so many levels today that it is scary. I also hear the hope that weaves its way through your words and to know that you and C are "working on something" makes my day.

P.S. God bless your sister.

Melissa said...

I just wanted to stop by and say hello.

It's Melissa from the former Sunbonnet Cottage.

I miss you guys.

I closed the Sunbonnet blog because it became just too darn depressing.

I hope you come visit me at my new blog.



Sandra said...

V -- I'm so sorry I missed this at the time. I looked back at the calendar and see that you wrote this less than two weeks after we got together for dinner. It shows me how different our friendship is from "normal" friendship" because of the distance. We had a wonderful evening together, but it was just a "snap shot" because we didn't really get to talk about all the things that were going on in your life right then. So, at this late date, I've said a prayer for the stresses in your life and wish you peace and resolution for some of these challenges in 2011.

(I wish I had addresses for you, C and Katharine. I would have liked to follow-up our visit with some thanks, especially for the beautiful little Arkansas bird you gave me.) So, a late thank you. I so enjoyed our evening, and the little blue bird is a reminder of it whenever I look at him. :)

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