Sometimes I want to go back. To the summers of sliding down hills on the tops of pieces of cardboard, cut from moving boxes. When you live in apartments, someone is always moving in or moving out. To learning to ride a bike. With one foot propped on the concrete curb, the other foot sitting unsteadily on the bike peddle. To Barbie Doll birthday parties in the apartment complex game room. To moving into our newly built home when I was seven years old and unknowingly about to spend all of my growing up years at the best place in the whole world.
Major life changes bring uncertainty. They bring intimidation, can take away confidence, and breed anxiousness. The minute they announced the closing of where my husband and myself work, I could feel my life spiraling out of control. Down into darkness. It's hard to explain how those words feel. It's almost like receiving news of a death. That may sound exaggerated to some, but I have spent twenty years of my life going to the same place, down the same roads and doing the same thing.
What will I do with myself now? I'll be fifty years old this November and I thought I was through proving myself, my value, and my worth. It seems like you have to spend the whole first half of your adulthood doing all those things and I'm tired. I don't want to do it again.
I suppose I could get just a "regular" job. Where I'm told what to do every day, do it, and go home. But I think we all know, that I am not one to be "told" what to do. I like being a Manager, I like guiding and teaching people, and I like the freedom. But with that freedom comes massive responsibility and quite frankly, I'm also tired of being in charge or responsible for the outcome of everything that passes my way.
Here within lies my problem. What in the world am I to do. Live freely, but on a budget much tighter than I am comfortable with, or live responsibly with too many calls and emails after I get home and not enough time to enjoy my extra earnings or my family.
Once more, I'm life sick. I want things to be like they were before. I want to get up and go to work facing problems, but at least they are familiar problems. I want to see the same faces everyday that I have seen for twenty years and I want to go home at the end of the day bitching about one thing or another, but loving what I do just the same. I want every day to end knowing what the next one will bring. I wanted to end my life of working simply, with the people I have grown to love, their families, their children and grandchildren. Not starting over with strangers.
I despise change. And yet change must happen all through our lives in order for us to grow. I miss tee-ball Saturday's something fierce too, but if we never got past those, or high school and college, how would I ever see grandchildren? As I sit back and consider these things, my mind says, I'm not not the only one life sick right now.
My husband is about to turn sixty one years old, and he too will have to prove himself again. His plans of retiring at sixty two may be put on hold, he's tired, he's angry and I don't blame him.
I have one son trying to burst into the writers world just as hard as he can, slinging words and thoughts in every direction hoping something sticks and his dream will come true. But in the meantime, he must have a job, so he too is subjecting his soul to strangers every single day hoping someone sees his value.
And I have another son who is about to embark on his college career, leaving a part of his childhood behind, wondering if the same laughter and joy will follow, and anxious because so many people still expect something of him, and wondering when that will ever end.
Life sickness. It probably never stops. Through jobs, marriages, divorces, children, grandchildren, aging parents, nursing homes and death. Life sickness, someone is always experiencing it. It's not letting it drag you down into it, that's the secret. It's keeping your head above the water, paddling as hard and fast as you can, and reaching for the lifeline that is being thrown your way. And it's looking for the rainbow full of life, color and miracles instead of dreading every new step you take and believing it's quick sand.
I don't know what I will decide to do. It's a fight to stay positive, a fight not to lay down and cry, and a fight to remember I have others who depend on me. But I'm tough. My Daddy likes to tell the story that when I was a little girl he would tickle me and tickle me, telling me that as soon as I hollered out "Please Boss Man" he would stop. Story goes, I would turn blue and stop breathing first, because that would have been giving in. Even at the age of four years old, I knew that to do what he said, just because he said so, to make something easier, was not the right way.
Don't look for me to be giving in any time soon....even if my face turns blue.