Thursday, July 26, 2012

40 Is The New 30, Right?

As 40 is breathing down my neck, I have been thinking a lot about life. Where I am. Where I want to be. How to get there. What needs to change for me to be happier.

The present and the future.

I've also been thinking a lot about the past. About the people that have come into my life and have stuck around. Or not. You can read that whole Reason, Season, Lifetime poem to get the down-low on that. I'm a firm believer in it.

I've also come around to the idea that no matter how bad a relationship was, friendship or a love, some good came from it. I learned something, even if it was to not make that mistake again. It may have taken two or three or four times to learn the lesson, but in the end there was some good from it.

The thing that has had the most impact on my last 39 years was losing my Dad almost 12 years ago. You already know what a great guy he was, so I won't bore you with those details. Let's just say that my life was forever changed on August 19, 2000.

I have been fortunate because I pick up friends from every job I've had. Two of my very dearest friends came because I met them in the workplace, Kathy and Mary. You know those friends that you call for anything and they are there. The ones that throw your wedding and baby shower. The ones that don't particularly enjoy children, but love yours because they are a part of you. Friends like Nancy, that your kids call, "Grandma" and want them at their birthday party, even though they live in California.

I've got friends that I made when I barely able to walk. Paula and Stephanie. Paula and I have remained friends for 38ish years. Holy moly, Paula, that is just crazy!Stephanie left this earth over a year ago. For many years during college and after we lost touch, but our moms remained friends. I was lucky that she came back into my life a couple of years before the kids came along. They were lucky, too, because she loved them a lot.

I've kept friends I've made in elementary, middle school and high school and I've been lucky to find two of those friends that I had lost touch with, thanks to the internet. It's so good to have Beatrice back in my life. I've talked to Heidi once since hooking up with her sister on facebook. It was good to catch up.

I think of some wonderful men and women I had as teachers in my life. From kindergarten to high school, I was really lucky to have some people in my life that really cared about their job as a teacher. Mrs. Hamrick (kindergarten), Mrs. Vaughn (4th grade), Mr. Burns (8th grade), Ms. Gauvin (high school) and Mr. Hace (high school.) These individuals really made a difference in my life and I am lucky to still be in touch with, and consider some of them my friend. I also think of the ones that were really awful and did horrible things to students that didn't deserve it. So, to my 2nd grade teacher, Charlene Yohe, who taped a boys legs to his chair because he wouldn't stay in his seat, you left a mark on me, too.

I think of Joey. He was my Dad's son he never had. He and I became friends and I turned to him a lot back in the day. He could always cheer me up. I remember our trip to Vegas and how I was sure we were going to miss our flight because the craps table was hot and he just could not leave. He also introduced me to in-room Keno. He was there for me when Jim and I broke up. I had "forgotten" most of my friends at that time because I was young and in love and thought I didn't need my friends anymore. That couldn't have been farther from the truth. I needed them more than ever and he was there for me. 6-pack in hand.

I think of Candi. We had some laughs in our teens. Laughing so hard that you are crying and literally rolling on the floor. We had a couple of really fun trips to Punta Cana and Mexico, too. Sadly, we are no longer friends. I've reached out through her mom, but got no response. It's hard to lose friends like this, but there comes a point when you can do no more and just hope for happiness.

I think of failed relationships. As Adele says, "regrets and mistakes, they are memories made." That they are. They were all learning experiences in one way or another. Sure there was a lot of heartache and wishing things could be different, but it wasn't what was meant to be for me. It wasn't all bad, I had a hell of a lot of fun in my "youth." I played demo derby driver and was a giant inflatable sub thanks to my past boyfriends. All fun memories.

The fun times. Oh, there were lots of those. blending drinks in my travel blender at company outings, stealing a barstool from the Brickhouse, baaaaaa, hanging out under tables, have a nice day cafe, Cindy's flophouse, Sunday "church" at BW3, wanted to be a tugboat driver, Indians World Series games, boobies on the freeway, No Doubt concerts, Painesville Speedway, The Vagabond, Mexico, Punta Cana, Hurricanes (weather and drinks), New Orleans, Dallas, Brickhouse, Key West, Hellabama, Here Kitty Kitty, Cebars/Abby Normal, Big Wolf. Jen, T-Love, Cindy, PorkChop, Ed, Doerner, Kathy, Tracy, Billy.... those were fun times.

Lots of memories, but the here and now is what is most important. I am blessed to have some wonderful people in my life right now. I've never met people like John & Jan Ross. When someone says they know someone that would do anything for them, then they must know John & Jan, they are part of our framily.

The Framily, you ask? Friends that I consider family. Having such small immediate families-more on them later, we really need our friends. I have some great ones. Sam, Deb, John, Jan, Mary, Kathy, Barb, Fred, Linda, John ,Joy, Connie, Mike, Sheila, Kelly and Shawnie. All are surrogate Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents to my kids.

My family unit might be small, but I love them to pieces. I can't imagine life without my twinadoes. They make me laugh every single day. I so love being their Mom. We have taught each other so much in 5 years. You can't explain loving someone so much until you have a child. I always thought that was a cliche. It's not. Your heart truly walks around outside your body once you are a mom.

I wouldn't have those two awesome little people in my life, if I hadn't fallen in love with my best friend, Billy. We've have had lots of good times and did lots of partying in our "youth" and I'm so glad we got to do that before becoming parents. It has given us a foundation of friendship to fall back on, when life throws curve balls at you and times are tough. Honestly, I'm surprised he still married me after I spent so much time sitting in the fireplace behind him while he DJ'ed at the Brickhouse though.

When my Dad passed, I never thought I'd see the happy, jokester Mom I grew up with. There were lots of years of sadness, but she stood by us and helped us when we had so many problems conceiving. Once those kids were born, my mom got her happiness back. She and I may not always see eye to eye, but she will always be my mom, the one I can count on to always be there and love me. I am so glad my kids have their "Gram."

My Uncle Bob is a pistol, but he has a soft spot in his heart for me, and I for him. He and I shared a lot of fun times when he first moved to Dallas and I would go to  stalk Troy Aikman  visit him often. Thanks to him, I can never drink Goldschlager or Yukon Jack again, but I also got to do some things a lot of people never will get to do; like having drinks literally ON the star  at the 50 yard line in Texas stadium at midnight.

All of these people are woven together to form the quilt of my life. Each person it's own square. Comforting me from storms, warming my heart, and sharing life's joys.

I can't believe I am 40, but looking back, it has been a life filled with love and mostly, joy. It could only be better if my Dad were here and we could raise a glass at Beanie's together.

May there be 40 more years and I can blog about what brats my Grandchildren are because their Grandmother spoils them rotten!

So Happy Birthday to me...

1 comment:

Nancy Heller said...

Happy Happy Birthday to You!