On Hiatus Inc.

 

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I’ve been quiet lately.  It’s not that I’ve run out of things to say.  Oh my – I’ve barely gotten started…  Lucky you.

I’m on vacation!  Or coming back from vacation. At this very moment I’m flying at 32,000 feet (that’s 9754 meters to the rest of the world) going 476 mph (766 km/h).  Zoom!  

Not that being on vacation is such an unusual thing for me.  I’ve been “on hiatus” since 2006.  That’s what I told the young man beside me on the plane when he asked what I did for a living.  On hiatus.  We agreed it would be a killer name for a company if somebody hadn’t thought of it first.  Just my luck. 

To entice me to abandon my adopted adult hometown of 30 years and move to parts unthinkable, my husband dangled the “you can quit your job” carrot.  Of the several jobs I’d had out of college, the longest running and the one I was in at the time was as an IT minion for an insurance company.  ZZZZzzzzz…  

All but the last two years of my minion life were spent working part-time.  Great gig!  Professional job, but still time to be a soccer mom and drive a minivan.  Perfect!   I  pioneered working from home in the mid 80‘s.  I really didn’t mind being a minion part-time.   But after two years of full time miniondom after my youngest son had the nerve to go off to college, I was fed up.  Forty hours a week is just uncivilized…

I bit the carrot.

Sweet was the thought of a non-corporate life.  One glitch – it was hard to leave my co-workers and friends.  Really hard.  21 years of shared day to day experiences.  People who knew about my kid’s last track meet, my obsession with chocolate in any form, my last bad haircut.  People I hugged through cancer and divorce.  Laughed with at stupid boss stories at lunch.  Cried with at miscarriage and death.  Celebrated with at births, new love, re-marriages.  You know – the stuff that makes up every hour of every day.  Life.  

I cried when I moved.  My son always says, “Mom, you’re such a girl!”  

But as the Reverend Mother told Maria, “When God closes a door, she opens a window.”  Okay, maybe that’s not word for word…  Not working eight to five was a revelation!  Fancy gourmet cookware store work, famous chef assisting, monastic retreats, massage school graduation, hospice work, running, blogging, travel.  Lots of travel. Like now… 

‘Cuz I’m on hiatus.  Lucky me!

 

 

 

“My name is Sally O’Malley and I’m…”

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Wait for it…

Sally O’Malley is my hero – still kicking and stretching and kicking at fifty.  It was a sad day when Molly Shannon left SNL and took Sally with her.  I miss Sally’s unique zest for life and her fabulous red jumpsuit.

BIG birthday for me in a few days.  60.  Epic.  I joke around with people, “I don’t how this happened!”  [obligatory smile], but the brutal and mystifying truth is I really DON’T know how this happened.

Just a few years ago I was part of the all powerful, forever young Baby Boomers right?  The Pepsi generation.  Sex, love, and rock and roll.  Tuned in and turned on.  A hot babe in hot pants on the prowl for a hot time.  Cue snare drum strut…

Now, apparently out of the blue, the Regal Cinemas ticket lady is giving me the senior discount (she didn’t even ASK me how old I was!), I have no clue who the guy is on the cover of the People Sexiest Man Alive issue and I’m still hot, but not in the good way.

What a mystery – the passage of time.  Small, subtle changes like the wearing down of bedrock by a small, but relentless stream.  Day to day you don’t notice any changes but come back years later and it’s a whole different story.  The Grand Canyon, you know?

Graying hair, acid reflux, sore joints, jowls (ick!), techno/pop impaired.  Bummer man…

As a young goddess, I rolled my eyes when “older folks” nattered on about how fast their lives went by, their regret for not doing more, seeing more, being more – blah, blah, blah.  Boring…  Of course my life was going to be different – I would have it all under control.

How’d that work out for you girlfriend?

So now what?  Like bedrock, change. Adjust. Transform.  No food after 7 PM, ice knees, hormone therapy, smile at the Regal Cinemas lady, Google Adam Levine.  Run some half-marathons, start a blog, road trips to visit old friends and distant lands, tweet with professional cyclists.  Blah, blah, blah.

And of course I will KICK and STRECH and KICK!

What do a blog and a hairball have in common?

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My son doesn’t like the word “tapas”.  I don’t like the word “blog”.  On top of that, I found out I’m doing it all wrong.

The volume of blog coaching resources is staggering.  My head hurts.  From what I’ve read, I shouldn’t even have breathed the word blog until I had three themes, thirty days worth of “stuff” already written, and gathered abundant images and links.  Yikes!  My first post took about thirty minutes to create and publish. Bet you could tell.

The issue is….  I’m inclined to analysis paralysis.  If I get sucked into the black hole of the “how” right now, nothing will escape. In a perfect world, possibly nothing should escape.

But getting a blog to blast off is kinda like deciding to have kids.  You can’t think about it too much or you’ll never get off the patch!

“What, me blog?” I ask myself.

My history is in the practical, pragmatic and humble Mid-west of the USA.  My take on people writing blogs was, who the hell cares?  Seemed self-indulgent and egotistical.  Oops. Turns out that much of what I’ve read is beautiful, intelligent, honest and thought provoking.  Damn.

For you who have read either of my now two historic posts – this is the third – it’s probably become painfully clear that:

  1. I was a science major and
  2. I’m writing this for me.  Self-indulgence and ego gone wild right?

The joy of living and silliness and observation and wisdom and aging.  Gracefully.  My ass!

Wresting with nonsensical ramblings to condense them to small, digestible kibbles and bits is a challenge.  Poets do it so amazingly well!  So many ideas, thoughts and feelings packed into the economy of a few words.  “There was a young man from Nantucket…..”

The answer is…..my cats.  “Blog” is the sound that precedes the appearance of a hairball at our house.  Ack.

What Would Clarence Do?

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Today is the century anniversary of the birth of my father. 100 years.  Triple digits. January 3, 1914.  MY father.  Granted that he was older when I was born, but still….  Holy cow – a century!!

He journeyed from this world to the next at the beginning of the new millennium.  I’m so thankful that, until he broke his hip and died ten days later, he was relatively healthy, had a sharp, quick mind and memory, and lived independently.

He and his wife moved the two hundred miles in 1991 to relocate to our city, like so many other aging parents, when health issues forced their hand.  My step-mother had Alzheimer’s.  So we lived within 12 miles of each other for the last 9 years of his life.  A chance for redemption I thought.  I was wrong.

My father was not a nice man.  Any relationship he had spoiled like milk soured after not being put back in the fridge before a vacation.  He was simply incapable of loving anybody but himself and left a family of walking wounded in his wake.  My mother, myself and my siblings, our spouses, his grandchildren, his wife – we all bear or bore the scars of his extreme narcissism.

In the very last episode of the 80’s era TV show Dallas, JR was able to see how much better life would have been for most of the people in his life if he had never been born.  The same might be said about my father.  His really, wasn’t a wonderful life.  I wonder how Clarence would’ve handled that one?

So no redemption was found in proximity; in the naive idea that physical closeness would result in everything finally being made right and good and whole.   But it hit me this week – it’s there!  It’s tucked deep down in the DNA helixes passed on.   His children and grandchildren.

Happy 100th Daddy.

George Eliot’s 2014 throw down

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“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Chewy, hopeful words penned by Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880), aka George Eliot, British novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian Era.  I am all over that Mary Anne, you wild child you!  2014 – no resolutions – just being resolute.

The year to learn how to ride a bicycle.

The year to zip line for the first time.

The year to maybe entertain the notion of training for a marathon.  Did I say that out loud?

The year to keep the promise made when I started massage school in 2008.

The year to add a little bit of sugar to some not-so-sweet relationships – ouch!

The year to visit The Clermont Lounge and Johnnies Hideaway. Yeah – I said it!

The year of long hugs, thank you very much Linda!

The year to climb a bridge and visit Middle Earth.

The year to start blogging.

The year to enter a new decade of life.

Really nothing that would register above a 3 on the “Isn’t my life fabulous?” Richter scale, but the beginnings of throwing off and putting on and continuing to discover what is yet to be.  And you?