About Me

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50ish gal who views the world with a bit of cynicism. Our world is full of hilarity at every turn, and I feel the need to express my views on it. Others may think it, I say it.


Monday, October 25, 2010

What is really important?

I was watching a news piece last night about unemployment in our country, with the focus being on Silicon Valley. I live in California, in a small town and while I know lots of people who have lost jobs, I don't see the same devestation.

Every one of those people had a college education, many had master degrees and Ph.d's. They had been working some very high powered and high paying jobs that were associated with the high tech or financial sector. Some directly, some indirectly and all very well paid. Along with the good pay were very long work hours.

With the money comes things. Houses, cars, clothes, vacations, etc. For most people, if you are making upwards of $400,000 a year, you are not going to be living in a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. We are conditioned to spend every last cent we have on material possesions. Do we really need these possesions?

Consuming is a mask for our real discontent with where we are in life. I went to college, got a good job, got married, have 2.5 kids, a big house, new cars, lots of toys and go on vacation every year. I am leveraged up to the hilt. The American dream right? Now, I am unemployed. Bye bye savings, college funds and 401k's.

So what are the new job prospects? Target, Starbucks, Walmart, etc. Other that the huge disparity in pay, I don't see this as a bad thing. You meet people from every walk of life and that in itself is eye opening, and you may learn a few things about yourself and others. It will give people a chance to reconnect with family and friends. These are the times when you find out who is who.

Having to give up our lifestyle and live outside our comfort zone is very scary. Less is more is a hard concept for most people. Life is all about change and new experiences, although we would like to be the ones making those decisions. I hope some of these people will embrace the change and it will be a positive experience for them.

We all need to do our part to make sure we are all taken care of. If this means volunteering, donating to our local food bank, or any number of other things, then do it. But for the Grace of God Go I.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where did you expect to be at 50?

WHEW! It's finally over, my fiftieth birthday. Come and gone without too much fanfare. Just as I wanted it. I got a great card, some candles and my favorite Crabtree and Evelyon Rose Lotion from my little boy. I heard from my adult children, my sister and my Mom, so that made it a good birthday. Is my life where I expected it to be at 50?

When we were little girls, we were going to be princesses. There was no age requirement for this job. We were also going to be a bride someday in a big, white, poufy dress marrying a handsome and wildy successful man. Dreams die hard don't they? Somewhere around thirteen or so, real life starts to creep in and you realize that the princess route is probably not going to happen. I don't think Grace Kelly enjoyed it much either. My Grandparents weren't fifty yet, it certainly was not on my radar.

High school was a tortuous experience for me. An unwanted pregnancy, and adoption, at fifteen was not my idea of heaven. To my parents, this made me damaged goods and when my boyfriend proposed to me at sixteen, they were grateful. I was too young and stupid to realize this wasn't a good idea. Never did they encourage me to go to college or anything else for that matter. As far as they were concerned, one bad decision would steer the rest of my life. Fifty was still a long time away.

I graduated from high school early and left home to try to decide what I was going to do. Had a few relationships, joined the Navy and had another baby. This one I got to keep. The love you feel looking at that little face for the first time, nothing like it! My high school sweetheart came back into the picture and we decided to make a go of it. We moved to Hawaii for the last few years of his navy career, and it was fun. We had nothing and life was good! I was still in my twenties, who could think of fifty?

We came home with a new addition to our family and I was a stay at home Mom while my husband worked and went to school. I finally ventured out to the real world when my daughter started kindergarten. It was great having adult conversations and interaction. Really liked my job and was there for a long time. The kids grew, we grew and eventually grew apart. I don't think we realized then how important it was to keep a family together. Only now, as my kids are adults, do I get their feedback on this. I royally fucked it up for them. Still not thinking about fifty.

I found out alot about myself after my marriage ended. I found out that I am intelligent, and while not formaly educated, certainly self educated. I discovered lots of things I am interested in, let go of alot of shit I'm not and try to spend as much time as I can helpng others. Starting to think about fifty.

My kids grew up and started their own lives. It's fun watcing them venture through young adulthood. I got married again and while it's not always peachy, we are friends first. We also have a little one who came to us in an unexpected way, and I don't care if it kills me, we will keep our family intact. I already learned that lesson. Thinking of fifty.

So here I am, fifty. I have a great family, a fairly sucessful business in the town I live in and some very good friends. It's not the destination, it's the journey. It's been a pretty good one. Now for sixty........