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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Somewhere over the rainbow....

I had a long overdue conversation with my sister yesterday.  It was so needed and so therapeutic.  There is something about talking to someone who knows everything about you and comes from the same place that is like a spoon full of sugar.  It never fails that every time we talk a cardinal shows up and that lets us know our mom is there.

Our mom was one of the many subjects we touched on yesterday but one that led to so many of those other subjects.  I've been missing my mom a lot lately still.  It is strange because I know if I had the opportunity to talk to her about my life right now she wouldn't be able to help.  Nothing she would say would comfort me, in actuality I probably would have gotten pissed off to be honest.  She didn't know how to give advice, she only knew how to feel badly for me and I am someone who despises pity.  She would also tell me how incredibly strong and brave she thought I was and how she could never do what I do.  Instead of making me feel better that usually made me feel worse.  Because, if I'm being truthful, all I ever wanted growing up was to be my mom.  She always seemed to have it together.  The house was always like a hotel, show room ready. Dinner?  Fabulous every SINGLE night (no, I'm NOT exaggerating).  She always greeted my dad with a smile on her face, no matter how she felt inside and she seemed happy just being home with her family.  That is me.  In a nutshell.  Or is it?

My sister and I discussed how much our parents missed out on by living this seemingly perfect life.  FUN.  There was no fun in their world, it was all about maintaining the perfect life and the way it looked.  Blech.  I got over that when I quit the PTA in 2001.  I realized then that the illusion of perfection truly took away from what was truly important....spending time with my family.  I suppose I continued the illusion as far as my marriage with a lot of people because when I got divorced a lot of people told me they had no idea that I wasn't happy. And the Oscar goes to......  But as far as my kids? I became the mom I would have wanted.  They tell me everything and I give them my real life experience as help, not just "well just do it! or NO! you can't DO that!"  Lately they've been realizing it all and they are too kind with the praise.  My daughter went from being too cool to hug me or basically talk to me when I'm at school to running over to me and hugging me in front of the entire student body.  Why?  Because when she's face timing her friends every day and they hear and see pretty much everything that goes on in my house they have labeled me as "cool" and her as "lucky".  I'll take it!  But, I digress....back to what the illusion of perfection makes you miss out on.....

My sister was here a few weeks ago and we went to the beach and even got my dad to meet us there for dinner.  After dinner we (OK I) said I needed to go walk down to the water one more time.  Our dad joined us!  He's never done that in all the years they've been in Florida (32 years!).  So sad.  We discussed how we wish they had enjoyed their lives more.  They could have been like newlyweds again when they moved in 1985---no kids, no grandchildren yet....in this beautiful paradise they dreamed of moving to since 1973!  But instead they continued the routine they had followed my entire childhood.  Never looking outside the box.

The other day I was at the Magic Kingdom with my youngest son and we were on It's a Small World.  I started to tear up because my mom loved loved loved that ride.  I remember the look on her face every time we'd ride it.  Then I thought about my kids and what they'd remember about me.....mommy was a roller coaster junkie 😋.  I see so many moms not fully enjoying the time at the parks with their kids because they are in mom mode, or they're afraid or omg the excuses I hear for them for not going on rides with their kids.  I'm so grateful that I don't have any fears and I enjoy the rides just as much (OK, sometimes more) than my kids do.  I'm actually not very sympathetic to fears and anxieties so I'm grateful none of my kids have them either.  That's a blog for another day 😉

My point in all this is that life is SHORT!  Way too short to be anything but happy.  I know I've said it before but it's true.  I know sometimes life gets in the way and you can't always control the negative feelings, but if you can and you choose not to just because "this is how I've always done things" that's just crazy!  We are all given the same 24 hours in a day and what you choose to put into those 24 hours are what makes your life worth living.  I've been working on a List book with a very incredible young lady that I'm blessed to know.  We do our lists and then share them with each other to keep the other accountable.  She's living in Turkey so it's done remotely, but I look forward to those days when we share them.  I love seeing her viewpoint on life, she's such an inspirational young woman.  Last week it was What always cheers you up.  It's funny how simple our lists were.  There was no extravagant things on either one of them.  It was the simple little things.  So....no matter if you're 25 or 52 you should always find time for the things that make you happy.  For some of us it's a challenge first to figure out what those things are.  I'm sure if my mom and dad were asked they wouldn't have been able to answer that easily.  Can you?  Try it....and than go out and DO some of the things on your list!  Because after all......it's just a day in the life

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