Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: The Story (page 1 of 3)

The road less traveled

My husband’s job is in outside sales. Because of that, he is on the road a lot. Most weeks he’s gone three or four days, traveling around southern California, into Nevada and Arizona. It’s a good job for him, because he’s a bit of a wanderer anyway.

It’s good for me too, because I get time to myself to do my own thing. That, and the toilet seat’s down the entire week. But there are times I like to tag along with him. And that’s what we did this week.

It was fun riding shotgun and taking in the views along the drive. Continue reading

I will…

The other day I was desperately looking for a specific photo I wanted for one of my blog posts. If you’ve been following along, you know I use my own photos for my posts.

It was written and ready to publish, but I was determined to find that one photo, so I kept digging. I was pretty sure it was on an old hard drive of mine, so I plugged it into my laptop and poked around.

I didn’t find it there, but I did find something else.

It is something I wrote years ago, when I was trying to sort out some emotions I was going through. Wait, let me stop right here and find my courage.

Deep breath in.

Continue reading

The perfect arrangement

Looking out my window I could see the top of a crocus poking up through the snow. I took a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief. Spring was finally here.

Still in my jammies and slippers, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to my computer to check my email. My little dog, Bella, reluctantly followed me knowing I would turn on the small space heater in front of her bed by my desk.

This had become our routine together. I was 46, single and my best buddy and roommate was a four-pound Chihuahua. She curled up with me each night, ate next to me each day, and loved me unconditionally.

It was a perfect arrangement. Continue reading

What if you found out, and judged me? That was my fear.

I stood on my front porch steps looking down on him. He had come over to talk to me. To talk some sense into me. When I saw his car pull into the driveway, I met him outside.

I didn’t want to invite him in.

This was my home, the one I purchased, by myself. It had become my sanctuary as well as my hideout. And I didn’t want to invite him in.

It’s odd, I can’t recall the words I said to him, but I know they were hurtful. Never in my life had I said such painful truths to someone so easily. But the words just came out without any hesitation.

“It was a mistake, and I want a divorce.” He responded with words like, ‘but’ and ‘what-about’ and ‘please’, to which I answered, “No I don’t want to give it more time.” Continue reading

What do you do, when you don’t know what to do?

Get busy. Just get busy.

Those were the words that kept me going when all I wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and hide. Hide from myself and from the world. I was so embarrassed to be where I was in life.

But there I was, 46 years old and wanting out of my three-month marriage. Not knowing what to do, I got busy. I’d just moved into a new project known as “my ‘70s house” and threw myself into remodeling it.

It was the day “we” were moving in that I realized I had made an enormous mistake and wanted out of my quickie marriage. He didn’t move in with me, but I was paralyzed with fear of what other people would think of me. What I really wanted to do was: Get a quickie divorce. Continue reading

No matter what

Have you ever had a moment of complete and utter clarity? Or maybe a time in your life, when you could see exactly where you were and what you were doing, and felt shocked in the realization?

That moment came to me the day I was moving into my newly purchased ‘70’s house with the help of my best friend, Estelle and oldest son, Adam. Oh, and my husband of five months.

I stood in the kitchen feeling like a giant weight had been lifted off me, only to be replaced by an enormous sense of dread. As soon as my girlfriend saw me, she went into action.

Sitting me down on a nearby box, she asked me in a very calm, quiet voice, “What’s wrong.” All I could say through my hyperventilation was,

“I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake.”

Continue reading

A dream come true, part two…waking up from the dream

I’m a bit snobby about myself. From the time I was little, I had this idea that I would be somebody, go places, or change the world. I pushed myself to do things other people wouldn’t and I kept going, no matter what.

We don't know what life lessons will come our way when we are so young.

We don’t know what life lessons will come our way when we are so young. Me in 4th grade, in my homemade dress.

Maybe we all feel that way?

Perhaps we are born with a sense of self-importance, and it isn’t until life lessons teach us that we are all basically the same, that we learn to accept our own insignificance? I wrote before that I never thought I’d be “one of those women”.

But there I was, dating a man who was verbally and emotionally abusive. You would have thought I’d learned enough from that experience to humble me, but apparently I needed another lesson…or two.

To this day, I am uncomfortable even saying his name.

Continue reading

A dream come true…

In 2004, my real estate career had sky rocketed, so for Thanksgiving break I took my sons on a vacation to Mexico. Just the three of us.

We had a blast.

It was the very first time I have ever taken a vacation when money wasn’t an issue. Growing up poor in Michigan, and struggling financially all through my marriage, money was always an issue, even on vacations.

This time, we did anything and everything we wanted to do. My oldest son had graduated and through his persistence and tenacity, landed his dream job on a top fuel drag racing team. He was making good money, and had nowhere to spend it.

I remember getting to the hotel in Mexico, and he and I putting thousands of dollars in the safe, both feeling like we had “made it”. That vacation will go down as an all time favorite for all of us. Continue reading

A series of events, part two

There’s a term used to describe parents whose kids have left home: Empty Nester. It is such a big deal for so many, there are Facebook and support groups to help parents transition to an empty nest.

But in the early 2000’s Facebook wasn’t around. And I still had my youngest son home, so I thought everything was fine. I was busy with my real estate business and he was busy with school.

I don’t think I recognized the affect the process of having my sons leave home was slowly having on me. They say once your kids hit high school, it will feel like a moment has passed before they have graduated and are off on their own.

I have to agree with that.

It was 2004 when my son was in eleventh grade, preparing for entry into the Naval Academy when things started unraveling for me.

Continue reading

A series of events …

Looking back, trying to piece together how I got to where I was in life, isn’t easy. So many little things happened, but put together they created big things…or maybe a better way to put is, big consequences.

I left off with my story, telling you I had finally realized I needed to end an emotionally abusive relationship. And it would be easy to just leave it at that, but nothing is ‘easy’ about that kind of relationship.

Getting out takes some finesse. If you have experience with emotional abuse, you know what I’m talking about. I had to wait until the time was right. Continue reading

Finding courage

My oldest son graduated from high school in 2002. Which was the same year I got my real estate license, and the same year things started to change for me.

Recovering from divorce takes time, and money. I had spent the time healing from it, taking care not to drink or do anything destructive. That is except date a guy who was destructive.

How I missed the signs of emotional abuse from the beginning is beyond me.

He was an angry controlling man who lashed out at me and his daughter. What a complete mess I was in. I wrote before that it would take three events for me to finally break free of him. Continue reading

A calendar of emotions

Have you ever associated an object with an emotion?

I hate desk calendars. I just recently bought one to pull the pages off and stick to the refrigerator. I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my schedule with diet and exercise.

But it didn’t take long to realize it was a source of contention for me. Let me back up and explain. Continue reading

Finding my way

When 2000 rolled around, I was a 40-year-old single mother of two teenage boys, starting over with no education or career. My job had been, stay-at-home mom, helper, maid, taxi service, farmer and wife for a lot of years. Starting over was not going to be a cakewalk.

At the time I thought 40 was old, or at the very least on the verge of old. I was embarrassed to be starting over at such a rip old age. Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back and tell that young lady a few things. Now I’m closing in on 60 and trying very hard not to see myself as old again.

starting over at age 40

Continue reading

Pieces of the puzzle, part two

…continued from Pieces of the Puzzle

After yesterdays post it took three siblings and me to piece together the sequence of events from that time. I was off by a year. The years following our mother’s death was a blur of disappointment.

But it was 3am Christmas morning, 1971 that our father called my sister Janet downstairs to take him to the hospital. She was just 16 and the only one at home with a driver’s license.  Continue reading

Pieces of the puzzle

I’m learning that my life is analogous to a big jigsaw puzzle. All of the pieces are there, but not together. And to make it even more difficult, I don’t have a picture to go off.

Photo by Hans Peter Gauster

Photo courtesy of Hans Peter Gauster

You are helping me find the picture. Continue reading

I can fix it

Just before my 40th birthday, I got a job in sales for a local furniture/interior decorations store, in a big two story building in the heart of downtown Bend.

It was a bit surreal to be working downtown after all of these years. The last time I’d worked there, was in 1978 when I was 19. Part of starting over after a divorce is taking a step backwards. For me, this was a giant step backwards. Continue reading

How I became one of those women

I’ve written before that 1999 was a difficult year for me. I moved, divorced, lost friends, changed jobs, had surgery and turned 40. It was a big year.

When I moved from my farm into town I went from 20 acres, a 3,000 square foot home, a shop and barn, lots of animals and spectacular views, to a 900 square foot home on a tiny lot, a carport and one dog. We split the dogs up when we got a divorce, but the kids came with me.

So I learned how to share a bathroom with teenage boys, make the best of our small house and go for walks in the park that was just a block away. I was finding my way again in the world, and it was exciting and scary.

Continue reading

A different sort of crutch

When my husband and I made the decision to separate and divorce we agreed we were going to be the couple that could do it the right way. What we hope for and what becomes reality can be quite different.

I’ve heard it said that whatever you are fighting about during your marriage is also what you fight about during the divorce. I had no idea just what a fight I was in for. We couldn’t agree on anything. Continue reading

Picking up the pieces

Getting a divorce after 18 years of marriage and having two kids is not an easy thing to do.

                          And it hurts. A lot. For everyone involved.

For that reason, it was extremely important for us to try everything we could to repair our marriage. I’m proud of the fact that we tried to find the answers, for years. It was no easy decision to end it and wasn’t taken lightly by either of us. But once the decision was finally made, a new set of problems arose. Continue reading

In sickness and In health

In my last post, Change is in the Air, I left a question unanswered. In March of 1998 my husband of 17 years had just proposed to me…again.

When he asked me to marry him years ago, it was days after my brother’s death and I think he felt sorry for me. I was a mess and I can understand how difficult it must have been to see me like that. I said yes then, but all of those years later the answer was different.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2018 Countdown to 60

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: