Baby Boomers Stuck In Traffic

We’re a generation of being stuck, not really here nor are we there yet, we are right smack in the middle. In the middle of what, you might ask? Well, we are still a little unclear about that too but we know a big change is coming soon. A big, big change. Now, we are just about ready to handle it and we are patiently (okay, not so patiently) waiting for it to find us. It will, I’m sure. We’re looking outside and within.

Thankfully, unemployment has forced many people to plan for the next step in their lives  a little earlier than they wanted. The early push, through, made us go through the stages: the terrified, freaked out, tearful, frenzied stage and we have now started to calm down and have a game plan. We have some sense of what we want to do in the future, which in itself, is a huge step and stress reducing too. We have no choice.

English: Trees and sunset at the beach in Coli...

English: Trees and sunset at the beach in Colington Harbour on Colington Island, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What to do, where to go? Aging Baby Boomers in a frenzy? Yep, I’m right there with you, I agree, “it’s time to figure out our path.” Let’s face it our children are now grown adults, very soon they will be college graduates, they don’t need us, in the same way, as they did before. I’m not sad about that anymore ( of course, I was) I’m proud of both adult children.

It’s time to focus on my husband and me and to start again. Living in the same place for many, many years has been amazing, seeing my children grow from babies to adults has been the best present anyone could have given me. I both love and like these two very different people. They have their own lives and are accepting that their lives will change too, not necessarily by choice but out of necessity.

We can’t afford to stay in the same, expensive neighborhood, (paying for school taxes was FINE and (that were worth every penny  when they were still in school !!! )  but they graduated and they don’t go to school here anymore. It’s time to think about moving on. Where to go? We are not sure just yet but we both agree it’s time think about it. Where to go? The million dollar question. Any suggestions?  One state, maybe one country at a time.

Having worked through the age issue, the comfort issue, I am now looking forward to our next chapter. I know one important thing, for me, I need to live near water and we will rent a town house or condo, not buy, at least not for a year or two. That’s in my comfort zone and it’s my turn to have a say. A strong say.

Picture us anywhere, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, off the coast of Spain? We’re not sure where we are going but we know for sure we are thinking about being on our way.

It won’t be easy, change is always bittersweet. But, overpaying for something you can’t afford just because of familiarity is certainly not the way to go. Change will present itself to us, I’m sure. Our eyes and hearts are open, we’re listening.

 

 

 

 

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All That Is Good: Roland Comtois

Angel Cloud - HDR

Angel Cloud – HDR (Photo credit: Free HDR Photos – http://www.freestock.ca)

I don’t idolize “celebrities” or “actors” like some people do, I need to know a person inside and out before I hand over my heart. However, there is one man who I absolutely adore and I have met him personally several times. His name is Roland Comtois, he is a Medium, receiving messages from the other side (those who have passed away) and giving them to those who have lost a loved one. I DON’T work for Roland nor do I sell his books or get a percentage of anything he sells. I just want you to know that I believe in him so much and that he is such an amazingly GOOD PERSON that I wanted to share his name with you.

He rarely does private meetings anymore but he so kind and gentle with a voice that sounds like angels playing their harps, like laughter in the heavens, like what pure honesty would sound like. I have never doubted him for a minute, except the first time I ever went to a gathering at Helen’s house (Starvisions) and he picked up on that and said out loud that I was there “checking him out.” So true.

Roland Comtois. He is a medium, with a heart and a spirit so open that I imagine dozens of white doves fly from his heart and pass his messages from those who have passed to those who are living. I was lucky enough to get two of those purple papers and Roland knew my name even though there were no name tags nor was he told in advance who was coming. He stood over me, with his soft, gentle eyes and addressed me, gave me a message from my father who had passed, and I burst into tears with joy and peace and love. I am the lucky recipient of two Purple Papers and I was the conduit for another woman in the audience.

His message is sweet and simple, we don’t NEED a medium to get messages from our loved ones, which I have always known. I do get messages on my own and have for years. But, for those that don’t, keep your heart open, ask for messages from your angels, from God, from the person you miss, directly, and be open to any sign that may come. Be patient and open and most of all, believe in yourself. The sign will may not be blatant like a photo or a picture, mine come in initials and numbers or music and birds. My first message, the most important one, came in the form of a luggage tag. Yes, it’s true.

Be aware of your surroundings and be open to love. I consider it an absolute privilege and honor to have met Roland in person. Thank you, world.

Special thanks to http://www.freestock.ca

Fibromyalgia And Flunking The Sobriety Test

Sunset Police Car

Sunset Police Car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calm down, it’s not what you think. I can’t handle alcohol on ANY level, never could. Way back in my college days my friends would order a pitcher of beer and a Coke for me.  My now 20-year-old son’s advice is that I didn’t try hard enough. I should have just kept drinking because “it gets better.”  I’m sorry. I’m apparently a disappointment to my daughter and husband too.

One would think with my distaste for alcohol I would potentially have NO trouble with the law. That might not be the case. I went to my doctor, months ago, because I had consistent tingling in my legs and my internist (of course) referred me to a neurologist. The appointment was made and I forgot about it while my husband and I vacationed in Rhode Island for a few days. We had bright, sunny skies, we dug our toes into the silky sand, and ate raspberry scones, home-made sticky baked french toast for breakfast every day with a bowl of fresh blueberries and inexpensive lobster rolls at night. We napped daily.

One day I remember walking towards our car to my husband and then……. I was down……. I was on the floor, lying down, face down and have no idea what happened. Did I black out? Maybe. My knees and legs were bloody and filled with gravel but luckily my face was in good shape, apparently at the last-minute my husband said my arm came up instinctively to save my face. I hadn’t slipped on anything, there were no stones to tumble on, there was no logical reason this happened. I hadn’t twisted my ankle or sprained any ligament. I just went down. I wasn’t happy. Nobody was happy.

Upon my return I was even more nervous about seeing the neurologist who had ordered a plethora of tests including a CAT scan. My brain was perfect, the tests were perfect. Except for one. I could not, literally could NOT, walk a straight line. He told me I flunked that one outright and he had no idea why. He also felt there was no need to pursue it after seeing my brain scan. It’s true that a symptom of Fibromyalgia is imbalance but drunken-looking imbalance? Let’s say I was tired and driving sloppily, imagine a police car pulling me over and asking me to walk a straight line, maybe they would even give me a do-over since my breathalyzer test was normal…. I swear I’d be in the slammer pretty darn fast. Hopefully, you can still make one phone call. Even better, do you think I should get a doctor’s note?

Simple Pleasures

English: Fireplace. For more translations SEE ...

English: Fireplace. For more translations SEE BELOW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like walking on the beach and collecting seashells. I love watching the ocean, any time of year. Sitting in front of a fireplace watching the orange flames flicker and dance in front of me; I sit so close that I feel the warmth of the fire on my cheeks, safe enough not to get burned. Familiar music playing that I sing along to, I used to burn candles but I don’t do that as much anymore. It used to be comforting and pretty but I’ve outgrown that. My dad used to buy me a candle for my birthday every year. Since he died eleven years ago, my mom and my sister try to do that, it’s so sweet but not the same. I love their intentions though, I appreciate it.

I’m looking forward to the special sweetness of a pit-free clementine, the happy, simple snack that I can just grab and peel. That is one easy part of the winter that I like. The winters are long here, way too long for me so I try to think of specific things that make it better like my home-made pea soup with smoked ham pieces and plenty of carrots so that it has a smoky-sweet taste. Or my home-made chicken soup that comforts us when we have colds and feel like eating nothing else. Our son used to crumble up Saltines by the handful and throw them into the soup so it was thick, the consistency of gruel but tasty. In the winter, I drink hot chocolate, in a steaming mug, sometimes with marshmallows for an extra treat and I bake my famous banana bread, with chocolate chips and raisins. I bake it for three out of the four cousins; my daughter will not try it.

I like having a flashlight right beside my bed every night and a tissue clutched in my hand. On my bookcase, along with many, many books I have photographs of my son, my daughter, my dog Lexi, and our deceased dog, Callie. There is our informal “engagement” picture of my husband and myself grinning so happily at the world. There is a basket of seashells that I collected from Florida and Rhode Island that I play with every now and again. I look at them all the time. Our dog, Lexi, lies on my bed, across my legs and sighs deeply and happily.

I have an anxiety disorder and recently I was so lucky to find a Psychiatrist who is lovely and gracious and someone who will not just dole out anxiety medications but will talk and listen. I told her today I picture her and her assistant as Glenda the good witch, all pink tulle and smiling eyes. I do not take this lightly having seen a couple of really creepy people. This is something I hold special in my heart, that there are still a few good people on earth, that do good things, whether you have the money or not. They will work with you to figure it out, there ARE a few people to believe in. I am grateful for you; thank you for helping me believe that there are good people left in the world. I am grateful and blessed.

Dedicated to M.E. and B.

Fall, No, Autumn

Late summer

Late summer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autumn just sounds so much lovelier than Fall, doesn’t it? Autumn is my first cup of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that I treated myself to today, it’s the addition of an extra cotton sweater tied around my waist, recycling an old handbag from the closet to get rid of that “summer bag.”Autumn is the name of a friend’s beautiful daughter, with her glossy, red hair and her bright, shiny, smile that I have seen in photographs. As much as I hate winter (and I do) when I think of Autumn, I can only smile.

I’m trying to stay in the moment instead of jumping seasons like I usually do. I may like Autumn but I don’t like what follows; Winter devastates me. Physically, everything hurts more, my joints and muscles cringe as if attacked, my body always feels cold no matter how many thick layers I have on, my low energy level plummets even lower. It is an accomplishment just to get out from the warm down comforter in the morning. I am going to have to take it day by day and not anticipate a problem. Maybe we will have another mild winter…

I’m looking forward to the changing leaves, dancing in the sun like a ballet performance, skipping back and forth on the stage. Hues of orange, gold, red, yellow, earth tones that make me want to slip in to nature like a groundhog. When my children were very young, they played in the leaves and covered themselves with the dancing leaves in a huge pile, my husband and I took photographs of them one year and used one as a Holiday card. I can still remember what it looked like.

Summer is slipping away, slowly into the night. We had a few extra days of sunshine and water when we vacationed together in Narragansett, Rhode Island, a beautiful place to visit. It ended the summer with wonderful memories of fresh blueberry scones and inexpensive lobster rolls and Brickley’s ginger ice-cream eaten ever so slowly so that it would last a long time.

I dread the winter and I am trying not to, I am trying to think of things that I can look forward to this winter but none come to mind. Perhaps I will pick up reading that I have completely dropped this summer, I have many dusty books on the shelves to read. I will make my fabulous pea soup that is heavenly and I will learn a few new recipes to add to my old classics. I will learn to bake a few more things too. I will volunteer somewhere or do something for others and give back to my community in some way and instead of dreading the upcoming winter storms I will feel grateful that I am alive to be going through them.

I’d Be Lost Without You

2008-10-22 - 010 - Kona, Hawaii, snorkeling, f...

Image by cfinke via Flickr

Every morning I am greeted with a smile, a hug and a freshly brewed cup of coffee. He even sniffs the milk before he pours, knowing I have a super-sensitive nose and will gag if I even think something has gone sour. Today there was a small fruit cup with blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe, sliced with love from a steady, beautiful hand. My hands shake so he carries the full cup of coffee to me, so I don’t feel bad and so there will be no spills on our fake linoleum Spanish tiles in the kitchen. In the middle of the night our feet or hands search for each other for reassurance and comfort. I don’t even mind when he snores loudly, though I do punch him lightly in the arm. Without protest he turns over. I used to say “turn over” but with our marriage code I have shortened the phrase to “apple” as in apple turnover and he knows exactly what I mean.

We have our own language, he and I, built on twenty-five years of togetherness, love and friendship. We are each others’ best friend.  I am not saying we have always had the perfect marriage because no marriage is perfect. We have had our rough years, our tough times but we struggle through it together, knowing that home is not just a place but a feeling. I sat through a Gordon Lightfoot concert for him, he came to see Neil Diamond for me. Sometimes he blurt things out that are supposed to be secret; sometimes I reveal my feelings when I shouldn’t. Sam Adams for him, Diet Coke for me. His Scotch is my Yoo-hoo, his dark chocolate is my milk chocolate.

I want our children to see that our marriage is strong, loving, yet not without flaws. I want them to know that marriage, like any relationship, needs work, a strong commitment and loving companionship. We help each other when difficult situations arise, and in life, they always do. When we were first married, we went through the infertility process together; it breaks many couples apart yet it brought us closer together. We share pain and joy, I am more emotional, he is more practical. We balance each other like a delicate balancing toy, sometimes tipping over, always able to right itself to startling precision.We try to laugh even during hard times. He has taught me to be less pessimistic; I have taught him that it is okay to be vulnerable.

Through the 25 years of our relationship we have grown closer together even after we have grown apart. He likes skiing, I like sunshine, he plays racquetball, I need to write. For a little while we thought it was odd that we did not share activities in common but we adjusted and compromised. We trust each other so that if he wants to go skiing, he goes with a friend. If I need sunshine in the middle of a gray, cold winter, I have flown to Florida for a few days. We can be independent of each other yet always happy to reconnect. We share the joy of traveling together, France, Australia, Amsterdam,  Aruba, Rhode Island. We held hands when we snorkeling on our engagement trip in Hawaii, my most favorite memory. While he would prefer to stomp through old ruins, I would rather walk on the beach finding seashells; we compromise.

He is an atheist, I believe in G-d. We have two amazing children, a boy, 18 and a girl, 16. We share their triumphs and their pain; we help each other deal with our ever-changing reality. If the children attack us, as teenagers often do, we immediately look at each other. The silent language of marriage is a subtle one, but we speak it fluently.

I fear the day that one of us is left alone. I pray it won’t be for a very long time yet thinking about it frightens me. He is the one person that I trust with my life, that I can count on without question. He feels the same way about me. We know the best and the worst of each other and accept and acknowledge both. If I had to, I know deep down, that I could survive without him; I just don’t want to.