Maybe “Safe” Is A Better Word Than “Stuck”

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest li...

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest living orange tree in Northern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often refer to my husband and myself as Empty Nesters, stuck between two worlds. We still live in the home where we raised our children,  paying outrageous school taxes even though both kids are in college. My mother and sister both live nearby and my husband’s parents live close by as well. But, I know, deep inside, this is not where I want to end up for the rest of our lives.  I’m sure you have heard the term  “The Sandwich Generation” before, it defines us as it does most of the aging “Baby Boomers.” I shudder when I even think of the term “Aging Boomers.” Us? Really?

I have wanted to move to the West Cost for a long time since I was a kid and my dad mentioned he had a possible job interview in California. For someone who is not good with change, I was so excited about the prospect.  I imagined a little white house and garden with bright red flowers on the boarders, an orange tree in the back yard and a red dog named Rusty.

Here, in the Northeast the weather is too cold and I’ve always hated cold weather. For those of you who enjoy the cold and love its sparkling freshness, enjoy it. For all you skiers out there, have a great time racing down those sleek, icy hills, I would be in the chalet drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream anyway. The cold weather makes me hurt all over in general and  living with the chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, the cold, bone-chilling weather makes my bones and muscles hurt even more. There is nothing I can do about that except accept it.

I admit, I used to feel closed in not knowing when and where we would move in the future but now it feels alright, in fact it feels safe. Chaos will surely occur if there is any major change and for someone like me, change is always hard. For me, ” A Good Change” is an oxymoron. For little things, I need 24-48 hours to get used to change that is even mildly disturbing, imagine a huge change? The mere thought of moving away from my sister and mother brings tears to my eyes. My children will come visit when they can, it is their turn to live now. So maybe being “stuck” is not so bad, maybe being stuck is just being “safe.” If I look at it that way,  I’m doing alright. Actually, pretty good. I’m enjoying nature in the suburbs, the sweet red cardinals chirping in the trees, the changing of the leaves, the different seasons. Change will happen by itself, there are things we can’t control, health, employment, our children moving away, us moving away, sickness, death. Life brings us one change after another, so right now where we are “stuck” is really a time to rest and appreciate. Whatever comes next, will be very, very different; we will get used to it in time but it won’t be easy to call that place home with all the pieces in the puzzle fitting right into place for a long time. I’m just going to appreciate what I have now, not look backwards and not look forwards, be in the present. Sounds good, right? I’m trying the best that I can.

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.