Last year, June 2016, my world changed dramatically as my life took on a whole new look. What began as my giddy "new life" excitement quickly moved to the back seat in the reality mobile?
I was unaware of the challenges I would face and had not anticipated the roller coaster ride of emotions that would accompany me on this journey. I began my blog Mama Tatuley in an effort to share, not only, my journey but with a goal to spread a little laughter along the way. For those of you who may not know, I had recently exited the world of “self-employment”, got my “sexy” on with a new do and embraced the role of “job seeker”. Unfortunately, the “job seeker” category is where fantasy and truth began to collide.
I had assumed, and yes, I am well aware of what happens when one assumes, securing a decent paying job might take a little time, but wouldn't be that difficult. I was certain that being technology savvy, possessing years of experience, expert level skills and being part of a large network of business professionals would ensure that job offers would just roll-in. To say I was naive would be a gross understatement. No amount of planning or preparation could not have prepared me for this journey, and I soon discovered that I wasn't alone!
With my goals set, my plan in place and my ducks in a row, I was ready to begin my search…. or so I thought! My search began with visiting websites of area businesses where I thought my skills, talents and experience would be a good fit. That made sense….right? I soon discovered that many business websites were not kept up-to-date, did not have a career link or simply did not have any posted openings.
No problem, I am Mama Tatuley and I am resourceful, if I am nothing else. It was time to move on to the infamous Job Boards. Job Boards simply ask What and Where? Easy peasy….right?
BAM! – Hello reality!
What I viewed shocked me! This was unbelievable! Companies, some of them big, multi-million dollar companies, advertising for positions that required EXPERT level skills in computer programs, communication and management with an annual salary of….wait for it…..$22,000 to $25,000, depending on experience. What? Did I really read that correctly? Are you kidding me? This was more than unacceptable, it was….detestable!
As I searched the list of "openings", I soon realized that this seemed to be the going pay rate in my area. Presenting a salary as annual income of $22,000 to $25,000 doesn’t disguise the fact that it equates to only $10 to $12 an hour? I made more than that in 1981 and, from what I had read, I could have flipped burgers for more than that. Of course, the cost of EVERYTHING is more than it was in 1981 and perfecting those skills required training, education, time, practice and experience to reach EXPERT level! Give me a royal break.
I was about to learn a lot and I did learn…….fast! Unbeknownst to me, I soon discovered that many of my friends and colleagues were also pounding the proverbial employment search pavement only to find the path riddled with disappointment, false hopes and defeat.
These women were from different walks of life. Some were highly educated and many held advanced degrees, but ALL had years of experience and a wide range of skills. Despite their achievements, past accolades and impeccable employment history, each had received the same unwelcome reception from the business community ........ NOTHING! With each application submission, they waited and hoped for an interview that rarely materialized.
As I spoke with each of them, I could see the look of sheer despair in their eyes. Their drive, motivation and ambition had literally been sucked out of them. As I listened to their stories, I could identify only one common denominator….. they were all women over 50; then it hit me, yikes, so am I! My mind was racing. I thought to myself, there has to be something else? This cannot be true, can it? This was unfathomable; no, no, no, I kept telling myself, this cannot be real, not in this day and age.
So, I did what I do best. I began to research the data and to my surprise, the results were staggering, and frightening. I discovered article after article reflecting the dismal hiring statistics for women over 50. One article even offered up a suggestion that women over 50 should consider starting a business! Whaaaat?
Apparently, this has been a serious issue for a long time, so why am I just hearing about this? Why wasn’t this information a topic of discussion during the political debates? Why wasn’t this covered in the news?
Let me put it this way, whoever penned the saying “50 is the new 30” must not have been an age 50+ female seeking employment. (Side note: Before any male readers get your big boy pants in a bunch, rest assured that I’m not saying it’s easy for men over 50 to find “make a living wage” employment, I am saying that from my vantage point, it appears to be easier.)
I wondered....now what? Obviously, the powers that be could care less, so do we, women over 50, cower and hide and say “oh well”! Hell no! It’s time to stand our ground, recognize our value and refuse to settle! Women have a tendency to accept less because we are afraid not too; and sadly, companies allow us to do just that. We fear the unknown and worry that another offer may not come along, so we settle.
Last year, I concluded that the only way to make change is to make some noise, and I did. I wanted to make clear the value of employing time invested experience and here are just a few:
So, as promised, here it is, my journey update, one year later. I accepted a position at a financial institution last July and I must admit, I thoroughly enjoy a steady paycheck, benefits and the decreased stress (luxuries that weren't afforded to me as a business owner). That said, I miss certain aspects of my former "business owner" world, such as networking with other business leaders and the ability to control my own schedule.
What's my point! Regardless, of your age or your circumstances, celebrate and continue to move forward. Keep in mind that age does not determine success, mindset does! Understand that obstacles will continue to try and block the path; however, for me, I choose to jump over or crawl under them, but rest assured, I will get beyond them!
Stay tuned, as the journey continues................................................................................
WARNING: SAPPY BLOG POST AHEAD:
How did this happen? I blinked and here I am, 31 one years later, somewhere between walking down the aisle and today. As my grandmother used to say, time waits for no one and boy was she right!
I guess you could say Hubs and I had a whirlwind romance . We met July 21, 1985 and were married April 26, 1986.
Fate or coincidence, I'm still not sure, but I did catch the bouquet at my best friends wedding and met soon-to-be-hubs later that evening. After the reception, myself and a few other friends decided to go to The Executive Inn Showroom Lounge to see a show. The Showroom was known for bringing in performers, who…well, let’s just say, were typically fading in their popularity.
Hubs was the house drummer and during his break, he stopped by our table and introduced himself. He asked for my number before going back on stage, and I told him it was in "the book". (Anyone remember the days of a phone book?) To my surprise, he called the next morning, but I was half asleep when I answered.
“Hi, this is Greg (yes, Greg is Hubs real name), I met you last night?” I said, “Greg…who?” Hey, what can I say, I have a knack for making great first impressions. In my defense, I am not fully coherent when I first wake up, a fact he now knows, but didn’t know then.
I still can't believe he didn't just hang up, but asked me out to a movie for the following Saturday. I, of course, immediately said, “Does that include dinner?” (What were you thinking I said?) To be honest, I think he too may have been a little taken aback, but said, "Yes, I guess it can". Long story short, we set up our first date for dinner…..and a movie and to this day "Dinner and a Movie" has become our anniversary tradition, go figure.
Hubs, as I affectionately refer to him, was the first guy I dated who appeared to actually listen to me. (Although, one could argue that his listening skills have changed a bit over the years, but I digress.) At the time, we were tired of the dating scene, fix-ups and the like. We were in a no strings, no commitment relationship. We were casually dating and just having fun; at least that is what we told ourselves.
From our first date until now, we were and are still together most of the time. Hubs became my best friend in a very short time. In fact, I believe we were both blind sighted when our friendship turned to romance. It's hard to explain, but we just belonged together. After he said the first “I love you”, things moved quickly from engaged in October of '85 to married April 26, 1986!
Of course, announcing I was marrying a “musician” wasn’t the happiest moment for my parents, (although, over the years, they grew to love him as much as did). In addition, many of our friends did not have high expectations that our union would survive either; yet here we are, 31 years of marriage and two grown kids later.
As a couple, we have been through a lot, but then again, who hasn't? We have made a lot of mistakes and dealt with serious health and financial issues, but we have survived. Life is life! Deal with it and move on!
That said, I must admit, there are days when I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if we had moved to a bigger, more progressive city? We planned on moving “one day” but that “day” never arrived. Hubs talent as a drummer has been so underutilized, and trying to make a decent living as a writer has been next to impossible. However, complaining solves nothing, you can't go back and we have no one to blame but ourselves; we chose to stay. Rather than believing our creative dreams are gone, I choose to think they are yet to been realized. We continue to trudge along and persevere where opportunities lead.
So, again, the question begs, if given the chance, would I travel the same route? Probably not! Would I still marry hubs? Absolutely, and without hesitation! Any changes made, we would make together.
Without a doubt, our marriage has blessed us with our greatest treasure…our children. They are both grown and on their own. Our son married the love of his life five years ago and, in the process, added another daughter to our lives. We couldn't be more proud of them! I encourage them to continue to pursue their dreams, jump over life's hurdles, embrace the challenges and always keep moving forward.
As for hubs and me? Well, we keep on keeping on! We still laugh at the silliest things and we don’t really feel our age, at least not while we’re sitting down. He is, and always will be my best friend and I must say, I am looking forward to the next 31 years and beyond! Happy Anniversary Hubs, I love you!
The anniversary date of the loss of my mom is once again approaching; however, this year, I refuse to allow the date of death to be a defining moment in my life. This year, I choose to embrace the memories, celebrate her life and cherish the legacy of hope, perseverance and humor that dwells within me!
Peggy Lou McFarron was born August 11, 1941 and left us April 4, 2008. She married my dad, Tommie Burnett and she gave birth to three children, Tammie (me), Tommy and Terrie.
We didn't have a lot of material things growing up, but we also didn't realize it. When we were little, we lived in a little four-room house. My sister and I shared a room and my brother slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room.
We had one black and white television, no air-conditioning and the three of us would fight over who would get to sleep under the living room window in the summer time.
Thinking back on my younger years, it’s obvious that I have my mom’s sense of humor.
Here are a few things I remember:
Mom and I could talk about anything and everything. Even after I grew up and lived on my own, we talked almost every day. I would share my thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears. My mom could always make me feel like everything would always be okay. Mom and I would laugh at the silliest things and I think I miss her laughter the most!
So there you have it! When I remember my mom, I don't want to cry anymore! I want to remember her life, her laughter and her legacy. Yes, I still miss my mom and yes, I am certain that someday I will see her again. Oh and what day and a hug that will be!
I admit it, I am 56 years old and I am celebrating! Yes, you heard me right celebrating. Why wouldn’t I celebrate? Celebrating 56 is better than NOT celebrating 56, if you catch my meaning. It seems like only yesterday, I turned 21, so you will have to forgive me for being a bit bumfuzzled as to how this transformation happened? After all, I know they say that time waits for no one, but seriously….time flew by so fast that I missed my mid-life crises!
So why write about my age? Why not? I realize that most women wouldn’t admit their age, let alone put it in writing; but hey, it is what is. Is aging pleasant? No, it’s not. Bones creak, eyesight worsens, hearing is questionable, fatigue is a state of being and worse, the sags and bags and lines…oh my! Truthfully, it takes me so long to get ready to leave the house that I’m still not quite sure if general everyday maintenance really takes that much longer or I just move a lot slower.
So what have I learned in 56 years? Not enough, that’s for sure. I think everyone has a list of things they would change if given the opportunity, and I’m no different.
However, a do-over wish list where the focus is on the past just isn’t productive. It doesn’t do any good to pine for a life that didn’t happen.
Therefore, I came to the conclusion that I had two choices, either jump feet first into a world full of unexplored experiences or resign myself to a rocker style existence. I decided to choose jumping feet first and grasp everything life has to offer. Since I can only go around this world one time, there is no time for could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.
I have entered my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life. I catch myself saying and doing things now that would have been unthinkable 10, 15 or 20 years ago. I no longer worry about what other’s think, and I am simply having fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ramming a car of a rude patron at a shopping center (sigh of relief heard from my insurance agent), but I also do not have qualms about “telling it like it is”.
Rude people, no time or patience for it! The other day, I stopped in at the grocery to pick up a few things. At the checkout, some lady, pretending like she was “all that and a bag of chips” was berating the young cashier about something that didn’t ring up correctly.
The little gal must have only been about 16 or so and her face was a mix of embarrassment and hard to hold back tears. That was THE moment of truce. My Fried Green Tomato Season of Life kicked in full force.
Me: “Lady, what’s your problem?”
Lady: “This is none of your business.”
Me: “True, but yelling like this? Get a life, whatever is wrong can be fixed"
Lady: “Well, I never”
Me: “I’m not doubting that”
Lady: She huffed out and left her groceries (no worries, she wasn’t buying that much anyway)
The cashier just looked at me and said, “Wow, thank you. We’re not allowed to say anything.” I smiled and said, “I know, I once worked as a cashier a long time ago too.” Although, I’m quite sure the manager was not overly happy, I did receive quite a few nodding smiles from what I could only perceive were fellow Fried Green Tomato Season of Life people. Let me tell you, that felt good!
I’ve accepted that aging is simply a part of life. I can either embrace it or mourn it, but I still have to live it. So I guess, for me, my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life is a rebirth of sorts. A fresh look at the world around me, recognizing the thorns I’ve walked through, scratches and all, and chasing the rainbows of my future.
Where will this season take me? Who knows, but I’m wide eyed, jumping in with both feet and taking on every adventure with enthusiasm and a just a tad of carefree whim.
That said, today arrived just like any other day, without fanfare or excitement; just the busyness of what has become my existence. One thing is certain, my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life is just getting started, so you can either join me or get out of the way, because this mama is on the move!
Love is in the air, romance abounds, restaurants are booked and vintage love songs fill the air on my favorite radio station; no doubt about it, Valentines Day is just around the corner!
As I sit, at yet another stop light, singing at the top of my lungs to the sappy '70 and '80 love songs blaring through the speakers, I can't help but laugh at the undeniable looks of judgement and smirks of condemnation from fellow highway motorists. I'm not quite sure if their obvious disgust for my behavior stems from the fact that I'm not "acting my age" or rather, they are simply allergic to "morning" people.
You see, I am very aware of the stark differences between "morning" people and well, people who are NOT "morning" people! Case in point!
THERE'S A SPOUSE IN MY HOUSE!
After 30+ years of marriage, one would think that many of our differences would have merged to form a somewhat meet in the middle, marital evolution, if you will.....NOT even close!
Hubby is definitely NOT a morning person. He would much prefer to stay up late and sleep half of the day; whereas, I am quite content calling it an early night and up before dawn.
I have to ask, what's up with you "non-morning" people anyway? Seriously, you really have to have a good 45 minutes alone with your coffee before someone can say "good morning" to you?
30+ years ago, I had no idea that saying "I do" and pledging to "love until death do us part" meant that I was embarking on a lifelong learning curve! Before the end of the reception, the dynamics of my little world and routine changed. I would soon realize that learning to live with a "non-morning" personality was simply one of many idiosyncrasies that would surface !
Like all young couples, we faced and endured many challenges, from children and jobs to finances and schedules. Over the years, I have discovered that there is something to be said for the solace found in a relationship that is comfortable, but remains fun! Relationships weather life's storms, trials come and go and disagreements or, dare I say, arguments happen. LOVE is constant, while LIKE, on the other hand, is subjective and depends on the day. Oh, c'mon, you know it's true.
Ah, but I digress. The subject is Valentines Day; the one day set aside each year dedicated to celebrating love. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but somewhere along the way, commercialism crept into our expectations and inflicted a steroid induced guilt trip if one failed to shower their love with flowers, candy and/or gifts of shiny baubles intended to proclaim to the world their undying love and affection. It is important to remember that true love rarely depicts the romance glamorized in greeting cards.
YES, THERE'S A SPOUSE IN MY HOUSE
Here are just a few things I've learned over the years:
Everyday is an adventure of sorts; so move forward, jump over (or crawl under) life's hurdles and quit agonizing over reality. Accept the fact that knees creak, bifocals are necessary and uttering groans when getting up off the couch are just part of the aging journey.
This year, preserve the budget and celebrate Valentine's Day the right way...with pizza delivery, a box of chocolates, cuddle on the couch and enjoy a classic movie....or two!
There are moments in time when a single, ordinary comment can send a person into a complete tailspin...so with that said, here is my story.
It was just an ordinary day, just an ordinary comment and just one little word that changed my perspective. At the time, my children were very young and I was employed part-time.
Although I don't remember where I was, at the time, I do remember the question and my respone that day. My response forced me to step back and take a second look at how I viewed myself.
Actually, the question itself was innocent enough. "So...what do you do?"
I’m just a mom.
Later that day, that single phrase hit me like a ton of bricks! Just a Mom! JUST a Mom! What was the matter with me? Did I really say that! Yes, I work part-time and I AM a Mom. A BUSY Mom, a TIRED Mom, and often a FRUSTRATED Mom, but JUST a Mom?
Where did that come from? I mean really, is someone JUST a Doctor, JUST a Lawyer, JUST a Nuclear Scientist? Oh, well, I digress. Why on earth would I use the word JUST to describe my career, my destiny...my life?
When one accepts the role of Mom, it is the most important job in the world; therefore, how dare I, or anyone else, demean the status of such a vital position? A Mom’s day begins before anyone else awakes and ends long after everyone else has retired for the evening.
A Mom’s responsibilities are endless. Breakfasts must be prepared (even cereal, after-all, someone has to get the bowls out and pour the milk), pack lunches, do the laundry (every day), ensure the kids leave the house “appropriately” dressed for school, teeth are brushed (can’t assume), hair is combed and see that the kiddos arrive at daycare, school or the bus...on time!
Then it's time for the mom, who is employed outside of the home, to hurry and get ready for work, hoping her shoes match (who among us hasn’t arrived with two different shoes of similar styles) and double checking the seams on clothing (you know you have worn that blouse inside out before). For the Mom who is not employed outside of the home, the routine of household responsibilities must be tackled.
Whether employed outside of the home or not, Mom inevitably has to pick up dirty clothes that have been left wherever they were removed as children and some spouses have difficulty seeing things on the floor. They look at it, walk over it, around it or even through it, but will never pick it up.
Meals, whether baked, fried, crock-potted or micro-waved must be prepared, dishes have to be washed or loaded into the dishwasher, carpets require vacuuming, linoleum demands to be swept and pre-fabricated furniture will not dust itself.
Multi-tasking is a must when juggling homework, after-school activities, ball games and band practice. A Mom may not be a doctor in real life, but definitely plays one at home. A Mom’s responsibilities never end from doctor appointments and picking up a sick child at school to dropping off forgotten homework and paying household bills. Oh let us not forget the responsibility of ensuring that the last roll of toilet paper or all of the shampoo has not been used.
There is JUST one simple moral to this story; a Mom works full-time, regardless of employment status from a world view. As a Mom, you are never JUST a Mom! A Moms work is hard, heartbreaking at times, and the pay is lousy. Being a Mom encompasses many things, it’s just that JUST, ain’t got nothin’ to do with it!
There is no reason to continue to delay the inevitable; therefore, I will make this brief and to the point. The time has arrived for us to severe ties and move on with our lives.
Although it doesn't seem like we have been together for more than 10 years, we have. Why did things have to change? The first few years, were great. We had very little need for communication and yes, that was a good thing. I have to admit that I have no idea why you had to take my kindness and good nature for granted, but you did. Month after month, you tried to disguise the fact that you were taking more and more from me, insisting that your demands be met. You failed to consider me, my life or circumstances.
Change is difficult, but at times necessary. Your words, apologies and reconciliation attempts are futile, so please don't make this more difficult than it is. I made the effort. I tried to talk to you over and over during the past several months to no avail. I left messages that were never returned. Yet, I continued to try to keep up with your increased demands. I was comfortable with our relationship and really didn't want to go through the hassle of change. I accepted your lame excuses such as, ...weather, power outages, and technical difficulties, as valid reasons why you couldn't work. But no more... those days are over!
Yesterday was the final straw. You had the nerve to send me notification that you want even more! I can't take it any longer, I just can't. A good relationship requires compromise, something that you are incapable of delivering.
I need to tell you that I have found a new Cable Company. My new Cable Company has made me a number of promises that, I admit, sound too good to be true (and I'm sure they are). However, I am no longer naive. Should my new Cable Company try some of your tactics and tricks, I will swiftly move on.
Going forward, a cable company, or any business, that wants to be part of my life, must understand that I choose them, I don't NEED them! It's time that my needs are met and if not; well, so long, good-bye, arrivederci. What more can I say, except, WOW, I can't believe I actually called it quits, and it feels pretty good!
Mom, it's the ONLY thing I want for Christmas! In my house, this seasonal mantra typically began shortly after Halloween and continued through Christmas Eve. These "more than anything", die-hard requests always seemed to be attached to the most elusive, hard to find, toy of choice on the market. To this day, I can still recall the echo of desperation in the tiny voices of my children.
As a mom, I dreaded and despised the non-stop, commercial driven antics of the toy industry. HOT item lists and anticipated shortages plagued my very existence. How could I let my kids down? There could be no exceptions or mishaps, Santa had to deliver! Mindful of a limited income and armed with determination, Black Friday became my ultimate challenge...my mom badge was at stake and I had to emerge victorious.
Admittedly, my first Black Friday escapade was a colossal failure. As a newbie, I learned very quickly that Black Friday shopping was not an exercise for the amateur or an adventure for the fainthearted. Black Friday shopping success depended upon strategy, expertise and a fierce desire to beat the competition.
After Thanksgiving festivities would end, my Mad Woman on a Mission personality would surface. As a Black Friday shopping guru, my strategy began by gathering sale ads, mapping out Early Bird Specials and Door Busters, making a detailed list of which sales were at what stores, set out my clothes and went to bed early.
The alarm would ring at 1 a.m. and I would arrive at my first store around 2 a.m. The specials were very limited and I had to be first or second in line if I were to have a chance at getting that "must have", "hard to get" item.
Thinking back, I have to laugh remembering how easy it was to distinguish between Black Friday professionals and first timers. First timers just didn't seem to understand the consequences of drinking too much coffee or the hassle of returning lawn chairs to the car. Let's just say that depending on the crowd, getting out of line wasn't always respected. First timers would experience a Black Friday boot camp of sorts. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately describe the brutality that could sometimes accompany Black Friday shopping. Once the doors opened, rules disappeared and the shoppers that, just moments earlier, appeared to wait patiently, transformed into raging mobs brandishing fisticuffs, pushing and showing displays of ruthless hostility.
Over the years, I became very skilled at Black Friday shopping and my BFF and I incorporated team shopping into our ritual. Team shopping made it even easier to secure more of our "must get items".
The era of Cabbage Patch Dolls®, Ninja Turtles®, Power Rangers®, Tickle Me Elmo®, Power Puff Girls®, Nintendo®, PlayStation II®, Fur Real Cat®, and Holiday Barbie® are now gone, but the memories remain. Black Friday shopping became a quest I conquered and now it's over! Well maybe? Times have changed and while I still love Black Friday shopping, I admit that I enjoy it more from the comfort of my home computer.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not saying that I will never suit up again to once again tackle the crowds and experience the rush of adrenaline while zigging and zagging my way through the frenzy of sale chaos. While I cannot predict when or if nostalgia will once again release my Mad Woman on a Mission personality, one thing is certain....should that day arrive, I highly suggest that you move on or move over!
No doubt, the 90's birthed the era of the minivan phenomenon. At that time, the minivan was the most sought after automobile for moms everywhere, and I was no exception.
As the popularity of the minivan grew, I was determined that I could not, would not be persuaded or affected by the advertising industry. I was an independent thinker and believed my purchasing habits and decisions were solely my own. In my mind, I had perfected bargain shopping, embraced the gift of haggling and even strategically participated in re-gifting. (Yes, dear friends, now you know.)
1997, I remember it well. That was the year that I subconsciously succumbed to the hype of an advertisement, and without much hesitation, purchased a forest green mini-van, complete with sliding doors on each side.
Unbeknownst to me, this vehicle would change my life....and the way my life was viewed by others! Throughout history, there has never been a vehicle that has stereotyped its' owner quite as effectively as the mini-van.
Within a few short months, the silent metamorphosis had begun. I hardly recognized myself. I had become the epitome of domesticity. How could this have happened to ME? After-all, I grew up during the late seventies, chanting women's lib mantras and refusing to make coffee as part of my job description!
Yet, somehow I changed. Behind the steering wheel of a mini-van, I reeked of the word MOM. I soon discovered that a minivan is a vehicle that is constantly traveling without ever really identifying a true destination.
Minivan mamas could typically be described as coupon clipping, financially challenged, laundry sorting, meal preparing females who proudly displayed stick family, honor student and band decals on the rear window.
While most minivans could seat seven people, that just wasn't enough! Minivan mamas always seemed to add passengers, not through labor and delivery, but via pick up. Minivan mamas would often moonlight as transportation liaisons for school activities. Yes, minivan mamas could often be heard yelling, "Don't make me pull this van over..........", from the front windows that were always rolled down for some reason.
Minivans were, and I guess still are, a modern day "Let's Make a Deal" caddy on wheels. Through the tinted back glass, an array of "necessary" items lined the cargo space. These items often included but were not limited to: Sports equipment, instruments, bicycles, strollers, diaper bags, groceries, lawn chairs, stuffed animals, blankets, snacks, books, umbrellas and so-on.
Beyond the obvious, I think the most amazing transformation was the persona transfer that continued outside the vehicle. Minivan mamas could typically be spotted at the area discount store, sporting a hurried look, wrinkled brow, dressed in sweat pants or jeans, no brand name tennis shoes, make-up free, have at least two children tagging along and always had keys in hand at the register.
Time passes quickly and the heyday popularity of the mini-van has since been replaced by the SUV. It's all in the advertising, and I am a firm believer that the advertising industry failed to expand upon the minivan's greatest attraction! The secret golden egg mystery of minivan advertising continues to be the little known fact that 16 year old's would rather walk to school than drive a minivan! Now THAT’S an advertising concept!
Fall has arrived! There is just something soothing about the sound of a steady, set-in-for-the day rainfall pleasantly splashing against the sidewalks. As I gaze out the open window, watching bubbling pools of water transform into a mini-stream running downhill, a cool breeze drifts through the screen and suddenly the worries of the day are removed.
Still mesmerized by the sound of each raindrop, my mind travels back in time. I find myself reflecting on the "Good ‘ol Days”; wait a minute, did I really use the phrase, "Good 'ol Days"? Anyway, I digress, but.......ah yes, memories. Back in the day, I was a hard-working, ambitious 20-something dreamer. I had big plans and yet, I can't help but snicker as I recall that my biggest worry back then was whether or not I would have a date on Saturday night. Oh..........if I only knew then what I know now.
Over the years, many changes have happened in my little part of the world. For those of you that grew up in the Evansville/Newburgh area, I thought you might like to take a walk down memory lane with me. C'mon, admit it, you can almost see the fuzzy cloud and hear the 70’s music fade in, can't you?
As memorable as these things are, it is important to note that the next generation will have their own reflective moments; so…why blog about nostalgia? As humans, we tend to remember the good things and forget the bad. Thinking back, along with a little research, the reality of the 70's were not all puppy dogs and roses. Like today's world, the 70's were a time of turmoil, suffering and mistrust. They were also filled with anxiety, worry, fear, violence and uncertainty.
It's important to understand that action taken, not wished is what impacts outcomes. When we begin to see beyond the smog that clouds our vision, just think of the possibilities. If we would simply learn to appreciate the positive happenings that occur each day, strive to make a difference in our community and the lives of others, complain less and be determined to move forward.....imagine........really IMAGINE....how much greater YOUR reflection will be 20 years from now!
Mesmerized by the sound of each raindrop, my mind travels back in time; how far back I travel is determined by the day…………..
With Labor Day just around the corner, I can't help but laugh when I recall my very own "labor day's". Those times were filled with excitement, anxiety and fear of the unknown
Labor Day received official Federal recognition as a national holiday in 1894 and celebrates the economic and social contributions of the American worker.
I am sure that most will agree that childbirth. the nine months preceding and the 18+ years that follow certainly exemplify the word, “work!”
The time as arrived to dispel the Misconception of Labor Day expectations.
In today's world, family planning is particularly popular among many young couples. These somewhat naive, soon to be parents, are intent on making their mark on the world, starting careers and having their “ducks in a row”....before starting a family.
The word “trying” is often used in reference to starting a family. Regardless of whether you're “trying” or shouting to the rooftops, “whoops” or "WHAT"; grab a life jacket and hang on tight, because you're in the same boat. That's right, the same rocky, wave riding boat; so lift your head from your porcelain paradise and remember that meals are always temporary!
Initially, the giddy excitement of knowing that you are the vessel that carries another life is overwhelming. The desire to learn everything possible about this nine-month journey is exceptionally strong and soon-to-be moms endeavor to read every book and article ever written about this expedition. Detailed explanations are sought about everything from mood swings to delivery. This information, along with advice from friends, relatives and strangers, should be taken with a grain of salt. No pregnancy is book perfect and the likelihood that your baby will be the next Gerber® Baby, is slim to none.
First time expectant moms document weekly changes, know the exact week and day of the adventure and treasure each moment; second and subsequent babies, not so much. Ironically, while excitement abounds around the first time expectant mom, the enthusiasm fades quickly with each additional announcement.
As a new mom, with no previous babysitting experience, I was totally unprepared for the responsibility I was about to accept and created the following list based on my experience.
Daily if possible! For the next four to seven years, it will be necessary to tote a bag full of items everywhere you go. This bag will contain a variety of items based on the child’s age; some of which may include: bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby oil, baby lotion, wet wipes, toys, coloring books, rattles, baby nose aspirator and so on. In addition, it will be a long time before you will be able to enjoy a dinner out without saying the following statements:
LABOR DAY ARRIVES
It will seem like an eternity awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy and you will soon learn that birthing classes didn't tell you all of the facts. The classes actually made labor sound bearable. The phrase “you will feel discomfort” had to have been written by a man. Discomfort, DISCOMFORT; try anguish, torment, agony or torture, as these words better define the pain.
The popular thing today seems to be “natural” childbirth; personally, “natural” is overrated. My advice is to begin asking for drugs before you really even need them to ensure that you avoid being told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.” Actually, I see no reason NOT to be knocked out like they did in my mother’s day. Having my baby cleaned, powdered, diapered and then handed to you doesn’t sound half bad.
Last but not least, recognize that your spouse has absolutely no clue what to do, what is happening or what to say. Totally insensitive comments are inevitable, so brace yourself.
Hubby: Do you want to watch TV to take your mind off things?
Me: Do you want to retain the shape of a TV?
Hubby: Just breathe.
Me: Great advice Einstein, the one thing I didn’t have to think about.
Me: I am focusing, on the PAIN!
Hubby: It’s almost over.
Me: Yea, right, that’s what you said 6 hours ago!
Hubby: I love you.
Me: Yea, yea, like that’ll ever work again.
Hubby: I see the head.
Me: Well, Hot Diggity Dog
Me: You’ll think push when I push you out of this fourth floor window
Hubby: The doctor is on his way
Me: Here or does he have another golf game?
Hubby: Do you want some crushed ice?
Me: Yea, stick a block under my fist and I’ll crush it!
When everything is said and done, you will have experienced the ultimate human achievement and will take home with you a beautiful, dependent little life that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state. Years later you'll discover that successful parenting results in a beautiful, dependent teenager that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state.
Happy Labor Day!
Traffic is buzzing, sounds of youthful yelling, laughing and running around the neighborhood have ceased and Facebook is eerily silent during the day. This can only mean one thing….summer hiatus is over and a new school year is in session!
Social media popularity has catapulted First Day of School photo rituals to a whole new level. As I view the many Back to School pictures posted, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic reminiscing about my own kids’ and their “first day of school moments”.
Sitting here at my computer (yes, a real computer, not a phone), thousands of memories flood my mind and appear as a time warp of sorts, somewhere between yesterday and eternity.
Things I miss:
Things I do NOT miss:
As a card carrying member of the Empty Nesters Club, I want to remind young parents of a few things:
Lastly, while social media is a great way to share your photos, please remember to print or BACK 'Em UP! Should your favorite social media site disappear, a computer virus wipe your files or your handy dandy smart phone dies, your photos, along with your memories, will be gone...FOREVER!