With Age Comes Wisdom

Have you ever reread a book many years after the previous time?

I’ve been doing that recently and I’ve noticed some interesting things.

For example, I just finished rereading the 1990 republication of  The Stand by Stephen King.  I read that book many, many times back in my late teens and early 20’s.  I thought it was a great book and my paper back copy got a serious work out.

I’m 41 now.  I still think it’s a great book, but I understood it in such a different way, that I was quite surprised by it.

In my younger years, I liked it because  the characters were interesting, the story was exciting and I could identify with the young pregnant woman, Fran, because I was young and pregnant at one time too.

This time, in my older years, I still enjoyed it for the same reasons but also because my years of life experience allowed me to understand concepts in the story that I didn’t quite get when I was younger.  I understand the workings of governments, conspiracies, cover ups and such things so much more now.  And understanding those things made the story far richer and deeper to me now than it ever did when I was 20.

It was a happy surprise.

Wisdom really does come with age.   Unfortunately, you have to get to that age before you believe that idea to be true.

The point of all this really has nothing to do with The Stand but with another book I’ve just started to reread.  It’s called She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen.

Now, I don’t really want to sit here and type out the synopsis of that book, but I will recommend it, especially to married moms.

What I will say is that it has two main characters, Ariel and Justine.  Ariel is a married mother of three young boys, as is Justine but with two young girls.  Ariel is new to the upscale neighborhood and spends a fair amount of time comparing herself to Justine (who appears to be the perfect wife and mother) and finding herself falling short to her chagrin.

Now I’m coming to the point of this blog post…

When I read this book the first time a few years ago, I totally identified with Ariel.  I spent a great deal of time feeling humiliated and ashamed of myself when I compared myself to other married moms (this was primarily with the women I knew at the church I used to go to back when everything went to hell for me).  They all seemed so perfect.  What houses I visited were, not perfectly clean and tidy, but far more orderly than mine was.  These mother’s coached sports teams for their kids and had them involved in all sorts of neat activities that mine never did (as for coaching, it was to everyone’s benefit that I never even considered involving myself in such a thing).  I was certain that their happy marriages weren’t just a facade they put on like mine was.  They dressed up like princesses for their daughter’s birthday parties.  I’d never even held a birthday party (with other children there) for any of my kids ever.

What kind of a horrible mother was I?

Or that’s what I thought for a long time.

This time reading She Makes It Look Easy, I’m only into the fourth chapter and I don’t identify with Ariel at all.  In fact, she kind of disgusts me.

She compares Justine’s perfect home to her own and feels embarrassed.  All I can think as I read is, “Seriously lady?  You have three little boys and expect to have a house that would cover a home decorating magazine?  Why would you care about that?”

She compares her pale skin and I-bore-three-children shaped body to Justine’s perfectly tanned and toned figure and feels self-conscious.  All I can think as I read is, “Please!  Why can’t women quit worrying about dumb-ass crap like that!”

Then it came to me as I was reading while having a cigarette on the back step: I’m a good mom.

I don’t have my children enrolled in a bunch of activities.  The main reason is I couldn’t afford it if I wanted to.  The equally important other reason is that busyness is one of the downfalls of today’s society and I will not subject my children to that.

My house is less than spectacular.  But I really don’t care.  There are things that are difficult for me to do for physical and mental reasons and that really is why things don’t get done quite like I want them to .  But in all honesty, I was always a shitty housekeeper.  The main reason for that is that I learned what was really important when I was going to college.  College leaves little time for anything other than studying and working on assignments.  Since I was a single mother of two young boys at the time, I chose to spend what little free time I had with them instead of working at keeping my house orderly.  Besides, trying to keep a house clean with young children living in it is like trying to shovel a sidewalk during a blizzard.

I’m 41 years old and weigh 175 lbs and I know plenty of mom’s who are lighter in weight than I am.  Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know where I stand on body image issues.  Besides, like an employee at a Safeway told me about 20 years ago, God only made so many perfect bodies and the rest He skimped on.

Have I made my point yet?  Not sure if I did.  Well here it is anyway:

I’m proud of me.  I am content with how I look.  I am content with how I keep my house (although if someone could invent a smart phone app that would wash the dishes, I’d be even more content).  And above all, I think I’m doing a pretty good job raising my kids.  I think it says a lot when a 16-year-old boy will say out loud to his mom and to other people that he thinks his mom is pretty good at being a mom.

So, yes, I am proud of me.



That’s all I wanted to say.



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I’m turning 41 tomorrow.

I’m starting to hate having birthdays.

And it’s not because of how old I am.  I honestly don’t care about the gray hairs that have been sprouting out of my skull or the wrinkles I’m developing around my eyes.  The southbound direction body parts are starting to take doesn’t really concern me either nor the extra pounds that refuse to come off.  This stuff happens to everybody as they get older.

I’m totally okay with the fact I’m getting older.

What I’m not okay with is where I am after 40 years of life.

Of course, I’m pleased to be mom to my kids.

But, a lot of the time, it feels like having my kids was the only 3 things I did that I didn’t completely screw up.

I’m 41 with two failed marriages.  Still over $15000 in debt to the government in student loans for a degree I failed to get.  And now I sit here with a mental disorder that keeps me from keeping a job or dealing with little things like head lice.

Where I am at 41 is a sad, sad place.

My life is a pathetic venture of watching TV and knitting.  Day in and day out.  I can’t even keep my house in order.

I’m 41 with no skills, no ambition, no life.

What does one do when you’re me?

I know I dreamed about some sort of future when I was young.  But I don’t remember what that was anymore.  I can’t even remember what the point of majoring in psychology was when I went to college – which I crapped out of after two and a half years.

Where do I go from here?

The legacy I’m leaving my children makes me want to puke.

I shudder when I think of what my children may say if people ask them about their mother.

“What does your mother do?”

“Oh, she sits on the couch.”

What does one do when one is me?

I feel like I have failed completely at just being a human being.

I would love to make some resolutions about going forward in my life, but I don’t know where to go.  I look into my future and I see nothing.  I’ve asked myself what I would really like to do with my life.

I have no answer.

I envision my life in 10 years when my youngest moves out of the house.  There I am, sitting on the couch watching TV and knitting.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t see a point in living.  I’ve only got about another 10 years before all my children are gone.  Then there will be just me.  Still metabolizing oxygen into carbon dioxide, but otherwise a 175lb slug.

Where is the point?

I love my children very much, but I feel like I’m useless to them.

I wish I could find some point to my life.

I’m 41 and probably over halfway through my life span.  What do I have to look forward to?  Another 30 years of the same thing I’m doing now?  Why would I want that?  I have no friends (and by friends I mean people I spend more than an hour a week with), no man, no life.

Now I know some would be thinking that I just need to make changes.  But change what?  I live on nothing.  I can’t afford to take classes.  Besides, what classes would I take?  I have no ambitions.  Nothing I greatly desire to do.  I have no talents that are worth anything.

There’s really no point to me being here.  I’m a waste of skin and bone.

I’m 41.

I’d rather 42 never come…then I could at least make room for the next man.

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Today my youngest boy turns 16.

I’ve written about him before (click here) but things have changed a lot in 3 years.

He has been in the he-knows-everything-and-his-mother-is-clueless stage for some time now.  He’s entered high school and broken the law; twice.

He’s often in a sullen mood; has spoken of killing himself, quitting school, and not caring about anything in the world.

He’s added several gray hairs to my head.

But he’s also been very helpful.

He’s been talking to me in ways I feared he never would.

He’s maintained some friendships that have lasted since junior high.

Sometimes I’m afraid for him; that his ideas about life will never be based on reality.

Sometimes I’m so proud of him I could burst.

As I’ve said before he is a carbon-copy of me.  I was just one year older than he is now when I left home…which was a quick way for me to enter into reality.  But it was not a good thing either.  I never tried to reach my potential.  I saw no point in it.  Instead I settled for marriage(s) and child-raising.  Not that those are bad things, I love my children dearly, but there’s so much I could have done with my intellect and creativity.

I’ve been trying so hard to teach him to not do as I did.  That there’s so much he could do with his life; his possibilities are virtually limitless.

Sometimes I don’t think I’ve done enough for him.

And I don’t know what else I can do.

All I can do is make sure he knows how much I love him and give him as much support as I can, and leave him in God’s hands

I wish that felt like it was enough.

But anyway,

Grade 9 grad June 2013

Grade 9 grad June 2013

Happy 16th birthday, Geoff.  I love you so much.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Crashing part 2

Crashing part 2.

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Block writer

I call myself a writer, though I probably shouldn’t.  I don’t get paid to write.  No one’s “read me”, as far as I know.

But since writing is the only form of expression I have that I can actually express myself through, I call myself a writer.  I have been doing it all my life, too.  So, yes, I will call myself a writer.

The thing is, right now I can’t write.  It’s not writer’s block, because I’m not stuck in the middle of writing project.

So I’m calling it block writer.  I need to write.  I have the urge in my chest to express something and it keeps getting stronger.

The problem is, I have nothing to write about.  No muse is striking me.  It’s like being constipated; you just gotta take a dump, but it just won’t come…

Okay, sorry for the gross analogy, but it’s kind of what it feels like to me.  Stuffed full and no way to unstuff.

So I’ve got a block.  Now, how to unblock is the question.  Why am I so blocked is the other question.

I wonder if Walmart carries mental fiber?

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