Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thinking like an Olympian

Like our Olympic hopefuls, I am putting my best foot forward when performance is most critical (or in my case, the waking hours) in order to be my best self, keep the wheels of life turning (earn money, pay bills, taxes, have insurance, a roof over our heads, a car in the driveway, food on the table and recycle). Add in my job, family matters, community service, exercising (something I like to avoid unless it involves walking or swimming) and having any kind of social life- well, I am in awe of these talented individuals who have committed themselves tirelessly to training, regimens, goals, personal sacrifices and likely getting up early most days, concerned with their bodies, their talent and their nutrition, addressing their psychological ability to compete effectively by hiring the right coach, nutritionist, massage therapist, and agent to help them on their journey all the while traveling to compete in countless events to attain the status that has led them to be at the Olympics as a participant.

I'm not trying to get to the Olympics. For years I was happy to see my kids grow and mature to young adults capable of navigating the world on their own most of the time.  And like many empty nesters, my role has morphed to helpful bystander from full time caregiver.  So what is thinking like an Olympian for me now? Maybe it's doing what I dread at times, being responsible at all times and the grace to accept my self despite my shortcomings and pressing on no matter how nutty the going gets. 
Maybe an Olympic medal in civility, perseverance and clarity. That's a medal I would chase for sure.

with credit to the amazing Chang Lee of the NYTimes for the photo

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Looking back

Hardest year ever. After putting things in perspective, I must re-frame. Compared to the awful events that transpired in 2017, my problems are snafus of personal difficulty I will ultimately resolve or not. My three offspring are all able bodied, with some means (if only part time) of employment, can prepare food, use a car legally, understand the limits of a credit card and how to behave when a true authority figure crosses their path. One could say that while I am still their financial rock, they are on their way to adulthood and my job is winding down. Yet with two kids currently at home and only one vehicle, we are bound by necessity to coordinate our daily activities.  Our biggest source of mutual concern- other than food and when are you shopping next- is the car's availability.

During the throes of marital demise, you imagine the day when you feel less pain. Seated across a table in the county courthouse aside our respective attorneys was a surreal send up of whatever forces drew us together all those years ago. The person with whom you once shared your life is now your greatest adversary. 

There are lots of residual hurts. Emotional hurts, financial woes, and house problems that all need attention. After my ex's departure, I spent the year taming the chaos and shaping the landscape anew. Now the next set of tasks jump out at me. Fix me. Paint me. Restore me. Listen to me.

I'm allowed right? To be dismayed as I remind myself to feel lucky because we were both in agreement that we go our separate ways. If lucky is the word for it.

Well suited we were not as neglect became our management style. Not a happy state of affairs no matter how you spin it. Back to my studies then as I have a lot to learn.
Wish me luck.