Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bucket List

Seems when people tell you that did something off their bucket list or tell you what is on it, you are supposed to come back with yours.  Seems like everyone has a really long one...if I were to think of mine it isn't very long.  First of all, lists of things to do tend to cost you money...I am way to frugal.  I did get to go to a concert that I thought I would NEVER go to and yes it cost me big time. But it was my 25th wedding anniversary trip.  We went to Vegas and did the whole casino thing and typical Vegas shows.  The highlight for me (next to being with the man I love) was seeing GARTH! It was by far THE best thing I have ever done (ok after marrying said man I love.)  He rocked that show! We saved forever for this trip too.

Next on my list would be to travel to Paris.  I seriously doubt this would ever happen for a variety of reasons, but it is on the list.  Nothing in particular about the city just the romance of it.  Now, in Vegas we did go to the Paris hotel and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower .  Probably as close as I will get.

My ideal dream house is one with a wrap around porch complete with rockers and porch swings.  One day.

Here's where it gets a bit slow...I have nothing past that.  Spending the rest of my life with my husband and watching our daughters succeed in their lives is perfect to me.  Of course if they bless us with grandchildren, all the more perfect.  Does this make me a boring person?

I am sure my bucket list will grow as I age...after all once the nest is empty more time to do what I want, right?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Parenting...never over.

Not that I am complaining because being a parent has to be one of the top things to be in this world.  I wouldn't trade that job for all the tea in China or all the gold in the world.  When you are handed that bundle of joy you are glued for life.  Good, bad, happy or are a parent for life.

You never get a break...a vacation...or even a moment that you aren't a parent.  Even when  you carve out time for yourself, does your mind really turn off from being a parent?

I hear sometimes that parents turn their backs on their children for whatever reason.  Really? How? Because even when I am so angry I couldn't possibly do that.

I don't even know wishing for a moment that I wasn't a parent would be fun.  I think it would suck.

All that being said.  I do get tired of being "Mom." There I said it.  It doesn't mean I don't want to be one, just exhausted.  Yet, just in the second it took to type that I am back to being Mom.

Life goes on...and I have two awesome daughters.

Friday, May 20, 2011

For the love of a good book...

Reading has always been a passion of mine and one I have passed on to my children.  When I was young, Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet so I had to rely on good old fashion trips to the library to scour encyclopedia after encyclopedia not to mention claiming time on one of the microfilm machines.  This was our could view months of newspapers and magazine articles on the machines.  Yes, I have shown my age here but I bet if you are nodding your head you will not admit to that age! Neither do I!

I remember hours of reading and writing down the notes for papers I had to write.  I know I must have complained that it was "just too hard" but looking back now, all I can remember is how I enjoyed reading.  History, biographies, romances, and of course all the teen magazines with the latest gossip on Shaun Cassidy.  It was a treat for me to actually buy a book and the ones that I did I still have.  Mostly I checked them out from the library and went back weekly.  Nothing like a good book to take you away to places you may never go or to a time where life was simple.  Not to mention books passed the time when waiting in a doctor's office and most definitely occupied my girls' time while were waiting anywhere more than 5 minutes!

Free entertainment for the kids was the library or the local bookstore.  We would spend hours there and I had to drag them out kicking.  There was even a "book game" - one would describe the plot and the rest would have to come up with the title and author.  It was a perfect car game!  I preferred to buy them a book over a cheap dollar store toy, not to say we didn't have our share of those too but more books.  I made the them a promise once that I would never turn them down if they wanted to buy a book.  It's come to bite me a few times but I stuck to it.  We have our own library!  We all have our favorite authors and they do recommend their favorites to me and I read them.  Some are great and others left me saying, I wasted some time there!

With the age of the e-books it seems everyone is getting a Nook or a Kindle.  Ok I admit, I thought I wanted a Kindle for a few moments.  I mean I could carry a thousand books with me at once and not walk like the Hunchback!  So before I asked for one for the next holiday, I downloaded one on my Droid.  Yes I know, it was not the size or anything like a Kindle but it was similar and it was just a test.  The book I chose was The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister and I loved the book.  I read it on my lunch breaks and for a moment I thought a Kindle was in my future but the moment was short-lived.  I felt something missing...the feel of a book in my hands, turning the pages (electronically turning isn't the same), the smell of a new book and even the stink of some not so new.  It wasn't the same at all.  Now I know, some will disagree with me on that but that is what makes opinions - opinions!  Perhaps in the future I will have one but there is nothing like snuggling in your bed with a good book or on a cold rainy day cozying up with a good cup of tea and book.

Tomorrow is a New Day

Have you ever stopped and dropped everything and thought "This isn't what I want to be doing anymore!"  I have never had that moment until about two weeks ago.  I work in the education field and when I first started this job 9.5 years ago it was to pay for braces for my two girls.  Over the years I have had several jobs within the job and my current position is one I truly enjoy doing.  I love seeing the faces or hearing the voices tell me they achieved their goals and that our program and all that work in it were their support system when they had no one else at times.  I love telling potential students what our program can do for them, their families and their future.  I love working with the people there (well, most of them!)  I even have learned to appreciate certain aspects of management and take their negativity and use it to make something positive for others.  No matter the kind of day I had (and some were down right horrible at times) I would end the day living up to the quote by Emerson, which I have posted on my desk.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."

Starting each day on a positive note worked for a very long time; until two weeks ago.  I got up as I usually do and set about my morning routine.  Heading into work with my medium coffee with a hazelnut shot, 2 Splendas and 4 creams I had this fear that I would have a not so good day already.  I shrugged it off and went about the day, which did indeed have a wrong turn. A very good friend quit her job that day.  It was something that actually made me stop and think about where I was working.  I went on as I did with the students and left my day as I usually do, leaving the issues there and thinking about what was waiting for me at home.  You know...what to make for dinner, what chores needed to be done, waiting to hear from my girls about their days and seeing my wonderful husband.

The next morning I woke and for the first time in forever, I truly dreaded to go to work.  Not that the rewards of helping the students got to me but because I knew the certain dynamics of the workplace changed and I didn't like it.  I saw certain people in a different light and it was not flattering.  Even a few of the students seem to annoy me and that is something that doesn't happen often.  Speed through to's a bit better but I still wonder if I have overstayed my time there.  Is it time for me to move on?  I have good reasons to stay, the rewards from the assistance I provide, the extra money that pays for things for daughter number one's college expenses, and the extra dinners out from time to time.  Without the money, and with daughter number two heading to college in a few short months I don't know if I could easily give up the job.  Other jobs are rare to find these days and giving up one isn't a smart thing to do.

I have always been told you should love the job you do or it will make for an unhappy life.  I don't really believe that but it does have a certain bit of truth to it.  You should like your job since you have to go to it each and every day but if you don't like it as much as you should, you can still have a happy life.  You make your own happiness and of course, you make your own crap for a life too.

So - here I am.  Loving what I do yet dreading going to work more often now.  Things are going to be changing in the department in the next month or two and I already feel that it won't be good for me...more work with an already full plate.  You see,  I have developed a rep for being dependable, reliable, hard-working, and a team player.  All very good qualities, except when others fail to have some or all of them and you are handed their plates.  Kind of reminds me of the classic Life cereal commercial - "give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything."

I have to make up my mind - stay or leave.  My husband told me to quit and we would figure it out financially until another job came along.  Do we really want to go back to living paycheck to paycheck again? I mean yes there were some rough times living like that but there were good ones as well.  Generic mac & cheese in the "yellow" box and a grilled hot dog made a wonderful feast back in the day.  A grilled steak was for special days only and even then we didn't buy one often.  Now, we have a grilled steak a few times a month (if they are on sale hahaha.) Anyway, back to the dilemma.  I can see myself leaving just fine, however; I also am a bit scared to do so.  It's the only job I have known for the last 9.5 years and I am set in my ways and hate to start over on things.  Change is hard but essential.  Change isn't something I do easily.  If I had kids   that needed me at home, the answer would be simple.

Life as I know it is about to change ...