Category: My Family’s Sites

Mom day, Melia Day

It’s the tail end of Mum Day now which, this year, segues neatly into my bday tomorrow. For those of you counting, I’ll be 37. Yep, 3-7. Three years away from the big 4-0 or as some like to think of it: death. Because 40 is just old.

Silly really. I don’t feel like I’m in my late 30s. I’m not sure how the late 30s are supposed to feel, but I know I definitely don’t feel old. I know I don’t look my age either which I guess is cool, but even if I did, I don’t think one’s age is something a person should be ashamed of. One of the fine actors in the Buffy Between the Lines phrases his birthday greetings like this: “Congratulations on your continued survival!”

I dig that. I’ve managed to live for 37 years. I’ve never broken a single bone or had a life-threatening health issue. Never been in a bad car accident. I’ve raised a child by myself (a pretty damn cool one too) and put myself through college and have been lucky enough to find a career in a field that I absolutely love. Plucked up the courage to transplant myself and Shannon in the UK for a while and I have zero regrets about that. I have a fabulous family that I love and who love me, had a great childhood free of trauma (unless you count the bell bottoms I had to wear in junior high when everyone else was wearing leg warmers and wishing they were Pat Benetar), and I have good friends.

37 years of that kind of life is pretty cool if you ask me.

Of course I’ve had bad times too. Pretty traumatic divorce followed closely with the death of my father (technically stepfather, but he was my dad. It’s hard to refer to him as stepdad but I always feel I need to qualify it to avoid confusion when I talk about my very much alive and well biodad that I’ve reconnected with and is part of the above-mentioned awesome family), a couple of other fairly hard breakups, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s damn hard to raise a child on your own. Then losing mom was.. Well suffice to say I’m still working on dealing with that. It’s been a little over 7 years now and I still can’t dwell on it. I can talk about her, and I can write about her but I don’t want to think too much about what happened. But couple that with losing my aunt to cancer shortly after mom and ugh. Hard.

So my life’s not been all roses. And no life is. It’s all of these things – good and bad – and influences and people and events that shape who you are. And that’s a good thing. But despite 37 years of good and bad, it doesn’t FEEL like 37 years. And so when I turn 40 I don’t think I’ll feel 40 either. It’s just a number, which is, I suppose what most people say when they reach these years. But to me, it does just feel like a number and isn’t really indicative of how I should think, feel or behave. I think if I want to go out right now, find a big rain puddle and jump in it, I will 🙂

So having said all of this, I’ve decided to quit letting it bug me when these young whippersnappers at work tease me about being old. It doesn’t bug me when my friends and family do it, so I’m not sure why it bothers me when someone I don’t know very well does it. Next time it happens, I think I’ll just yell at them to get the hell off my lawn.

ACT time

Shannon is taking her ACTs this morning. It feels like a bigger deal these days than it was when I was in high school (For those outside this area, the ACTs are like the SATs.) Of course, when I was in high school I had no plans to go to college so I didn’t really care about them. Oh I took the and everything but I didn’t try very hard and my results reflected that. What can I say? I was an idiot back then. School wasn’t important to me at all and I definitely paid for that line of thinking with years of struggle trying to find my footing.

All I cared about back then was hanging out with my friends. I wasn’t a bad student or anything – a B average with the occasional C or a dreaded D once (Math you know. I still suck at it.) I did well in language and arts classes. Not so well in Maths and sciences. And I wasn’t a “problem” student either. I only ever ditched once, got caught and learned my lesson.

But looking back, I realize I didn’t really take the whole school thing seriously. It was all about getting there and seeing my friends and having fun. It didn’t occur to me that you could take it seriously AND have fun. I dunno. I think I chafed a lot at restrictions my parents kept setting on me. Not that I blame them. I caused them a lot of grief. Was always grounded. At that time, my friends were more important to me than getting busted for sneaking out to hang with them.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to analyze my high school issues here. But it is interesting to watch Shannon go through high school. I always had some idea that she’d have her fair share of troublesome moments throughout high school. Hell, I had enough people get their rocks off telling me to “just wait until she’s a teenager” until I came to almost dread it. I think that sucks because at 16 – three years a teenager – she’s still a level-headed, smart girl. Not a podperson in sight. I try to give her opportunities to go out with her friends, but she rarely does. Her friends don’t seem to go out much either.

Not that there’s much for them to do around here. But they could think of something. I just asked her why she never goes out even though I’d let her and she replied, “Because none of my friends like to go out.” I don’t know what to make of that. The concept is alien to me.

But I’m not going to complain 🙂 And she takes high school a lot more seriously than I ever did. I’m probably a little to blame for that. I didn’t want her making my mistakes and wasting her potential and all those other cliched parental arguments. Because I see now, that my parents were right. I’m not a stupid person and I wasn’t stupid in high school either – but I did waste potential and I didn’t “apply myself” like I should have. I feel like it took me several years *after* high school to figure out what to do with my life.

Whoa. What an analytical post eh? Anyway, the kidlet just left for the test, all bright-eyed (considering it’s a Saturday and she’s up earlier than she’d like) and ready. I hope she rocks it 🙂