Oh, it all sounds easy, doesn’t it? “Let’s pretend we are starting out in life instead of ending up.” Can you name the quote from what 90s film starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman? We have internalized this quote.
Life changes are exciting but simultaneously painful and nerve-wracking, as well. Selling one’s stuff. Dismantling a home in search of another. Has it really been August since I’ve posted? I look forward to finding our home in Virginia and beginning a new job at a new school. Once the dust settles, I do hope to post and complete novel 3. Thank you for your patience. I wish you well!
Time repeats itself through the transference of one role to another. To experience wisdom has become the reward for growing older. Let me explain:
My daughter is thirty-three. When I spend time with her, there is an invisible mirror raised. Time places her on one side while I stand on the other. The younger version and older version of shared DNA stares at each other. Vanessa cannot see my side of the mirror. She does not know what it feels like to be fifty-eight, carrying the decades of experiences that molded me into what I am today.
Her sight is fuzzy; she cannot see my wisdom from arriving at this plateau where I stand, forged from my mistakes and accomplishments. All my dreams and disappointments. The anxiety of raising my children until now they have their own. The price paid is evident by my wrinkles and gray hair. Meanwhile, at thirty-three, she is blonde with a smooth complexion. Her body parts are firm and mobile. I miss that younger version of myself, but that’s a different story.
I’ve got the advantage. I confess it is a lot easier being fifty-eight than thirty-three.
When I was thirty-three, life was ahead of me. I wondered and planned and strived for my goals with a determination that they would come true. Now at fifty-eight, I am able to look back at my life and feel grateful I survived the dark holes and worrisome stress that causes one to smoke, drink too much, and cry rivers. It’s my daughter’s turn to wiggle through the angst of life; there’s not much I can do but…well, buy her some clothes.
When I was thirty-three, my mother occasionally took me clothes shopping at a local department’s store. I knew our trips were a way to bond. Just the two of us looking in the sales rack. I didn’t have much money because I was a single parent which means any extra money for clothes goes to the children.
That’s why she would buy me something to help out my limited wardrobe.
My heart ached for my mother today. Without thinking about it, I called up my daughter and asked if she’d accompany me to the local boutique in town. I bought her a few pieces of clothing to vamp up her limited wardrobe.
In that moment, I was connected to Mom. I was myself. I was Vanessa at thirty-three, and we all swirled around as one person in the present.
I like being fifty-eight.
What will I feel like in twenty-five years at eighty-three? I don’t have the perspective yet.
Some summer breaks are uneventful for weeks at a time before an international trip happens. Weeks go by waiting for the big bang of adventure far, far away. Other summers, little trips happen–two days here, five days there–throughout the whole summer. This was my 2021 summer. You might recall a recent post at the beginning of June when Jim and I went to Cerritos Beach outside of Todos Santos, Mexico for a week. That was a great kick off to the summer.
Nothing eventful occurred until the end of June when I had rotator cup surgery which required three screws and nine sutures. Ouch.
Covid had kept our family members away from each other. A joy, then, to reunite with my daughter-in-law and grandson who stayed for a ten day visit. Whenever friends and family visit, we become tourists which is important. Seeing one’s neighborhood through the eyes of others is a perspective that keeps me grateful. Jim took his daughter on the Williams, AZ train to the Grand Canyon. We revisted Montezuma’s Castle, an ancient Anasazi monument in Camp Verde, AZ.
My son visited for a weekend. It had been a long time, so I tried something special and booked two nights at a Phoenix resort, so I could visit with my grandchildren and two sons at a fun location. We spent the days in the pool and had a blast.
Jim and I reconnected after the kids left, and we took Ruby with us to San Diego. We tried staying in a sailboat for a few nights at the harbor. What a fun glamping experience.
Atop a ridge overlooking San Diego on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other was a somber final resting place for veterans. It felt like visiting Arlington National Cemetery with manicured grounds and white marble headstones symetrically placed over many acres.
Always ready to fish, Jim and Ruby spend the mornings in the ocean.
It was pristine and quiet in the marina. Our boat was just right for two adults and a dog.
After exploring several beaches on the coast, we headed back home to our Arizona desert. The water followed us as monsoons hit the Phoenix area with great force. Up north where we live, it has rained for days now. Our drought-suffering region needs it.
Now I’m done with summer adventures. The school year starts up on August 2. I did not write much in July. I’m hoping to spend the remaining week getting a chapter out of the way. Thinking kind thoughts of you all.