Monday, February 28, 2011

Tribulations of my friend- how to fix this?

My very dear friend J. is a stay-at-home-mom. This has been what she's wanted all her life.
She married a very kind man, had 2 adorable sons, has a lovely house in a nice neighborhood. Everything she'd dreamed of in life.
And it's gone horribly awry.
Her husband went to Iraq to serve our country. He was injured while there and he's probably seen and maybe participated in some actions that would be incomprehensible to us. (War is hell, I have no problem with what may have been done. Goodness knows, some terrorists have no problems beheading Americans on camera.)
But, he's no longer the man she married. Through a combination of factors, he is closed off and inaccessible to her and the boys. He has health problems and may not be taking the right tack toward addressing them.
Her boys are at a critical age, an age when they could use their Daddy's influence, and J. could use her husband to help her present a united front when disciplining 2 young sons.
And recently her husband lost his job. I won't go into too many details about this part of the story except to say he performs a job that is dwindling in our workforce. In other words, there aren't really many options for him if he wants to do the exact same job.
My friend J. never envisioned her life turning out this way.
We all run into hard times on the road of life, but this seems excessive, this run of bad luck.
I would wave a wand and fix all this if I could.
All I can do is be here for her and listen. And pray.

UPDATE: J.'s husband has landed a job. My hope is that it is everything he hopes for in a job. Does anyone get a great job anymore? Anyway.... congrats to the family and all my well wishes for your family!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Have you ever been caught up in a dream? You walk around thinking "This is unbelieveable, this can't be real!"
That was my trip to St. Thomas this past week.
Pastel buildings and homes, lush tropical foliage, the islanders speaking with that singsong lilt, warm and sunny every day.
The only decisions I faced were "where shall I eat?" and "which rum drink should I have?"
I probably appreciated this so much more since I live the typical American life, rushing here and there, always pushing myself to accomplish more.
So, this entire little 4 day mini-vacation with my daughter (she of the terrible attitude just prior to this trip) was a dream come true- probably more so because the St. Thomas lifestyle is so opposite to my own.
And while I can certainly appreciate the utter relaxation I just experienced, it's time to return to my regular life, stress, frustration and all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Daughter has returned

My daughter joined the Navy 3 years ago, just before her 21st birthday. Her Dad & I were quite thrilled, since we raised our children to leave us.
She has seen so many things, been so many places, had so many adventures. Beats her staying here in town, marrying too young, having children then ending up divorced and living at home with us again.
She just returned from her 2nd deployment. We flew up to greet her ship as it came in.
So, here's the problem:
Since my expectations were so high, I could only be disappointed with the homecoming. She has been obnoxious, and abrasive since her return.
She went out with her gays the night before we were to catch a plane back to Georgia, made a terrible drunk mess out of herself, and we had to try to locate her to bring her back to her apartment to clean up and get to the airport. We missed the flight we wanted to catch but did catch the next one.
So, there you have it.
This is what happens when expectations are too high. One can only be disappointed.
Tomorrow the daughter and I fly off to St. Thomas for 4 days of sun and sand.
No expectations on my part.
Perhaps this will be restful and fun.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Selling advertising in 2011

And not just any advertising..... PRINT advertising.
Can you begin to wrap your head around this?
I'm of two minds. I am relatively good at it, I don't know why. I suspect I gain trust with my clients because I truly want to do what is best for their business. I won't try to sell ad space to them solely to pad my paycheck. My conscience simply won't allow it. So I do this job since I can, and since my job is close to home. I'm there less than 5 minutes after I pull my car out of the garage.
There is a certain amount of freedom open to me as an outside sales rep. Getting too tense at work? Oh, I have to go see Melanie, I haven't stopped in to see her in a while- I'll be back.
That's a lifesaver.
There are no other jobs out there. I'm serious. Nothing that will pay worth a darn anyway. So, I have a job that pays a decent wage.
I have 6 years and 2 months left until I can draw retirement at the earliest age. And I think I will probably go ahead and begin to pull the social security then.
All I have to do is wake up approximately 18,050 more times and get dressed and drive on in to work, and then I'm free.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another year older.....

And...... now it's my birthday. I'm strangely disconnected from that fact right now.
Thinking about what I need to do at work, and how to best accomplish my goals there.
So, no time to freak out.
I think the weather will at least be cooperative today. I will be in & out of my car many times in the course of my workday, and I can at least pop out into sunshine. This always makes me happy.
I have a very kind and sweet husband.
Later this week, my trucker son will be home and I can see him for a few days.
Next week, my Navy daughter will return from her 6 months deployment.
And the week after that she & I will fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands for 4 days of R&R, just us two.
I think my life is one long celebration, don't you?
Looka here- I just talked (typed) myself into a little celebratory mood.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, my Son!

My son was born 26 years ago on Feb. 2nd. Tomorrow is his birthday.
In this crappy economy, he drives an 18 wheeler. This is a job that seems to be immune from layoff. And just in case he does get laid off from Company A, there are 26 other companies ready to hire a trucker. That is what he does.
This is who he is-
Michael is my heart. He is my firstborn. He was born with asthma and nocturnal epilepsy. We nearly lost him to pneumonia when he was 10 months old.
Needless to say, through all the sickness and earthquakes and turmoils of childhood and his teenage years, my son has always held my heart in the palm of his hand.
Really, until you become a mother, you will never understand the concept of "I would lay down my life for you."
That is how I feel about my soon-to-be-26 year old son.
(I have a daughter as well, but she deserves her own little story, to come later.)
So... Happy Birthday, Michael. I will love you forever and beyond, my big son.
Love, Mom