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!
Mid-sized city, Somewhere in the South!, United States
We are "C" and "V," two baby-boomers who have been through thick and thin--50+ years of best-friend togetherness.
C is a divorce attorney, separated from her husband of 40(!) years--at age 59 he ran off with a thirty-year-old-never-married-mother-of-two and has now fathered another--and we're not even divorced! A very hard time for C.
C has one grown son--no daughter-in-law or grandchildren yet! (Drat!)
V works in a community based instruction program in a public school, helping special-needs students learn life skills. Mother of three, grandmother of five!
For 50+ years we've laughed together, cried together, and we've learned a lot! We love, love, love writing and want to share with you! Please come share, too!
Check out our posts under the label "Stickhorses" for more, but suffice it to say that these cowgirls started their lives together riding stick horses. Stick horses have come to symbolize the power of dreams and imagination for C and V--besides, we love cowgirl spirit!
You and the mother of the man who done you wrong are going to raise chickens together? I love it. I hope you become international stars in the chicken-raising world, and when you (and his mother and your chickens) are famous, I hope he comes crawling back, pleading with you to take back his poor miserable, not-famous self. You go, girl!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! On to International Chicken Stardom!! C
YET ANOTHER STUPENDOUS COMMENT!
SimplyJoolz (see our blogroll for link) said these kind words about the travails of C:
I love this story -its like a well written novel. I can't wait until the part where C kicks the useless husband between his hanky and his small change pocket! Lol!
It's coming, Joolz! C
PS - thank you all for your comments. They so give me a lift--often just when I need it!
C's SINGLE AGAIN POWER
Below is a list of things I'm learning to do--wish I'd started years earlier! It feels so good to list my "Power Accomplishments" for you, and I'd love to hear about yours!
Replacing the back fireplace refractory panel. Who knew?
Jacking up the front porch with my new, red, hydraulic jack!!
Learning to shoot and getting my Conceal-and-Carry license! (Power rush!!)
Purchasing tires...all by myself!
Buying and installing (!) the lawn tractor battery! Again, not rocket science...
Putting a new end on a ruined looooong extension cord. One prong was missing, and we replaced the plug-in. (Who knew you could do this??) I feel so, well, powerful!
Cleaning Tractor Air Filter
Dealing with fire ants--boy, are those suckers tuff!
Gettin' that utility pole installed.
Ordering gravel (SB 2!)
Replacing hydraulic hoses
Learning about the lawn mower (engine stabilizer!).