Thoughts On Aging

DailyPrompt: Mind Reader

Who’s the last person you saw before reading this prompt? Whether it’s a family member, a coworker, or a total stranger, write a post about what that person is thinking right now.

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 Well, it likely defeats the purpose of the whole mind reading assignment, but it’s easy enough.

The last person I saw was me.

Yep…looked in the mirror about 10 minutes ago and thought, “Man this aging business sucks.”

Things are starting to sag that never sagged before, and I used to pride myself on things being firmly packed into place in my 20’s. A push up bra? Pffft. I never even owned one.

Not to mention the occasional grey hair that I used to find that has now turned into 6 dozen or more. As I was gazing into the visor mirror busily plucking them in the car the other day, grumbling each time I’d find another, my husband and daughter told me to just quit while I was ahead. “You’re going to get 2 for every one you pull”, my husband advised. Yeah, right. It’s more of a 10 to 1 ratio these days. “But why are they all thick and wavy?” I asked. I don’t even have wavy hair! Are these someone else’s grey hairs and God just made a mistake by giving them to me?

My only saving grace now is that I don’t have crow’s feet…yet. I have a 25 year old face on a 40 year old body. Thank you, Mother Nature.

I swear my freckles have at least quadrupled over the years, too. Once upon a time, you could take a pen and play ‘connect the dots’ on my face, arms, and shoulders. Now, after half an hour in the sun, you can’t even find my face under the mass of orangey-brown freckles. At least I hope they’re freckles. Could just be liver spots.

My memory is slowly going. My husband can tell me something 50 times, and I won ‘t even remember it the next…wait…who are you again?

When I was a kid, I swear I had a cast iron stomach, too. People would dare me to eat things, and I, being the ever vigilant attention seeker that I was, would gladly oblige them. Tin cans, earthworms, failed math tests…you name it, I could ingest it as my peers looked on with open-mouthed fascination. The way to everyone’s heart seemed to be my stomach, and I could trot off down the road afterward without a care in the world.

Yesterday, people… I ate grapes. Nothing out of the ordinary, just some plump, sweet, juicy, burst-when-you-bite-them red seedless grapes. An hour later, as I was curled up in the fetal position wishing for death, wondering exactly what I did to bring the wrath of God down upon my intestines, I realized that those “eat anything and pay nothing” days were long gone.

Now, if I just get a whiff of pizza, I have raging heartburn for the next 3 days. I can’t even drink orange juice without a cherry tums chaser, and I absolutely love orange juice! And tacos? Tacos are like death wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. Even the mild ones are like a stroll through hell.

Why oh why does my body have to do this to me?

Oh, that’s right…because 40 is only 3 and a half months away, that’s why.

Welcome to adulthood, sweetheart.

Maybe you shouldn’t have been so eager to wish for it when you were a kid, hmm?

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The Journey of You

1001659_589403451081918_1815348475_nSlow down, my dear,

don’t be in such a rush.

Stay a little longer as a child.

Just yesterday I held you,

now your hand is on the door.

Tomorrow you will be off running wild.

 

 

To my daughter:

May you always know I’ll be here when you need me, and may God bless you more than you could ever dream.

The Journey of You

A blink ago my star was born.

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At one you held my heart.

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At two you were my little light.

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At three a work of art.

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I took a breath and you were four.

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Exhaled and you were five.

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At six I couldn’t love you more.

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Then seven had arrived.

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I turned around and you were eight.

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Turned back and you were nine.

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At ten you were my silly girl.

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Eleven you did fine.

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Age twelve had come and gone again.

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And So did age thirteen.

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At fourteen you were tomboy.

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At Fifteen a beauty queen.

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Sixteen is almost over now.

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And seventeen is here.

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When I blink again you might be gone.

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And that’s my greatest fear.

Welcome to the Nuthouse

crazy-peeps

So here you are, and here I am. Are you prepared to step into my crazy world and embark on an adventure of mediocre proportions? You see, here in my world, if things aren’t completely mundane and routine, they’re just too insane to make up. There is no in between. Crazy is the new normal, though, so let’s embrace it together.

As with anything that requires a certain degree of thought, one must wonder when it comes to blogging: where does one start?

Well, I suppose THIS one will start with an introduction. That would be the logical choice, wouldn’t it?

I’ll save the family introductions for the next dose of insanity. There’s way too many of them and you’ll be here all day caught up in my household drama if I bring the fam in at this point. No, there’s plenty of time for that later, and in the words of the great Toby Keith, “I want to talk about me!”

My name is Shawn. Now, that’s not your stereotypical tall, youthful, manly version of the name that you’d imagine regaling his friends with dirty jokes and tales of girls gone by at the local pub, with a dart in one hand and a mug of something cheap and frothy in the other. No, you can picture me as more of a 5’2, frumpy (or any other politically correct term for ‘fat enough to snore like a cave bear’), pushing 40 housewife with a head full of creative ideas but absolutely zero ambition, and legs in such need of some razor attention most days that Chewbacca leaves me love notes. But hey, my house is spotlessly clean thanks to the OCD that I really do suffer from. So, I suppose I do manage to muster up some degree of ambition when necessary. Just not for anything important.

I love to laugh and make a joke out of everything, mostly at my own expense. As if you hadn’t already noticed, right? Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you might as well pack it in early and get started on your one bedroom hovel and extensive cat collection. No one loves a sourpuss.

If I’m being honest, though, I’m not giving myself enough credit here. I’m pretty artistic. If you told me to draw a fly, squiggly line, or family of frolicking squirrels mingling with a herd of geese while a Golden Retriever is about to give chase, with the New York City Skyline and a glorious sunset in the background, you’d at least be able to tell what it is once I’m finished. Artistic ability is just one of my 2 God-given talents, though. The other would be my organizational skills, which happen to be legendary in certain circles. (See? You’ve heard of me already, haven’t you?) We can accredit those to the OCD, too. After that, I’m just your average mom of one of the most obscene words in the English language: teenagers. I’m looking toward middle age with dread, packing way too much junk in my trunk due to my affinity for junk food and carbs (hello, pasta!), and as I believe I’ve mentioned, suffering from a severe lack of ambition, motivation, drive or whatever tag you want to stick on laziness. Exercise is the dirtiest word in my arsenal of things that should never be mentioned out loud.

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I wasn’t always this way, though. I was pretty cute back in my younger days, which is how I managed to land the former husband number one, and the man currently holding strong in the position of husband number 2 for the past ten years. I have to give the man credit, too. It’s a tiring job, I assure you, and the benefit package isn’t that great. This crazy little thing called ‘love’ ends here, though. Should anything go wrong this time around, I’m not dipping my pole into THAT pond anymore. I’ll get a dog. A small, male dog that I can totally emasculate by carrying him around in an oversized purse while wearing large, floppy hats, flowered dresses, and slathering on way too much of some hideously colored lipstick. Call it my back-up plan. Let’s hope it never comes to that, for your sake, and mine.

Now, as far as work goes, I try to stay actively involved in my church and do a lot of volunteer work. I run a thrift store there on the weekends, which comes complete with a whole plethora of crazy stories due to the unbalanced people in ‘the hood’. I’ll save those stories for another post, though, so that you’ll have to come back for the sake of curiosity. The job does have its rewards, though. We have a food pantry and I get the honor of handing out food to the homeless and needy on a regular basis. Take this sweet old widow named Betty for example, who will come in and see me maybe once a month, and she’s too proud to come right out and ask for help. So, we have our usual routine where I’ll say, “It’s good to see you, Betty. Could you use some groceries?” Then she’ll tear up and say, “If it’s not too much trouble.” Then I just can’t help but hug her because she’s so sweet and adorable. (Awwww)

I also recently did a short stint as the Media Director and contributing writer for a bridal magazine. By short stint, I mean bent over backwards and worked my tail off from October to April until the magazine pretty much exploded into a glorious hailstorm of drama and accusations worthy of any rivaling high school girl gangs. If you like a good jaw dropper, stay tuned for that story, which will come soon. It was a nice dream, full of promises and hope, but in the end, it won’t break my heart to see it go. I have plenty to keep me busy. Like my part-time ghetto apartment painting job at the property my husband manages. I say ghetto, not because I’m terrible at it. In fact, I’m quite good at painting and the apartments that I paint usually get rented out quicker than the others. No, I say ghetto because if a cockroach crawls across your hand while you’re painting due to the disgusting way that the people in the community treat their apartments, yeah, you’re in the ghetto. I’ve made a game out of it, though. I’ll paint their little butts white or put a white stripe down their back so that I can identify them later. I’ve tried to break it to my husband that he’s a slum lord, but he’d much prefer looking at his job through rose tinted glasses. It pays the bills (barely), though, so I can’t complain about his job too much other than the fact that he’s grossly underpaid compared to what a certified property manager should be making. How grossly underpaid? We live at poverty level with 5 kids. His company does take us on a nice cruise every October, though. I consider it a consolation gift for the fact that my husband works for peanuts when he should be making pistachios.

Come fall I’ll also be putting in a couple hours a week teaching high school art the co-op that our gaggle of homeschooled children attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m looking forward to corrupting…err…molding young minds and sharing my love of art and color with a room full of the ‘I’d rather be texting and probably will be when you aren’t looking’ crowd.

I believe that pretty much covers the colorful life I lead. I’m sure you’ll learn more about me as time goes on, but for now, I’d guess that you have a pretty good image of me painted in your mind’s eye.

I hate to say ‘the end’ so I’ll just leave you with what my daughter likes to point out as one of my favorite sayings: “Quite frankly, it is what it is.”