Monthly Archives: August 2015

So this happened.

marc & tracee kiss

I’ve gotten married three times now.  (Third time’s the charm, right?)  It’s  interesting to compare the three events, at different stages of my life.  None of them have worked out the way they were supposed to.

This ceremony was supposed to be a big church wedding with a fabulous reception, in July.  That didn’t work out, and now I’m glad.  It wasn’t a botched elopement like my first wedding.  It wasn’t a failed blowout (with the accompanying debt) like my second wedding.  It was low-key and impromptu.  We had the opportunity to get most of the Mister’s family in from out of state, so we invited close friends and family to join us.  We took about 5 minutes before the BBQ was served to share our vows with the people most important to us.  It was goofy, imperfect, and completely “us”.  I couldn’t ask for more. 

While there was a little pressure in coordinating the few things that needed coordinated, it was really fairly stress-free.  A slight case of nerves while Munchkin and her BFF were doing my hair and makeup was probably unavoidable.  However once the Mister and I were front and center, everything was good. 

If things had gone according to the original plan, we’d have racked up quite a bit of debt and the associated stress would have most assuredly triggered a flare of my rheumatoid arthritis which isn’t even under control yet.  So, as seems to be the case in my life, the Universe was looking out for me and while I didn’t get what I originally wanted, I got exactly what I needed.

Next will be the odyssey of changing my name for the last time.

My daughter is now 18, and says she’s not a Munchkin anymore.  But, since I only was blessed with the one kiddo, she’s Munchkin forever in my book.  She’s really a great kid, for which I’m grateful.  I don’t know how I’d have parented a problem child.  She’s been a good student (graduated Magna Cum Laude from high school), participated in lots of extra-curricular activities, and has been working for the last year for her gas and spending money.  Good kid.

I wasn’t exactly surprised when Munchkin announced she was moving into an apartment for college with a roommate – even though we live in the same town her university is in.  She’s an independent cuss, and I was the same way when I was her age.  Couldn’t get out of my parents’ house fast enough.  I told her I supported her moving out as long as she had the finances covered.  Plans ensued, donated furniture started accumulating in my garage.  (Though to her credit, Munchkin and Mister cleaned the horrific garage in order to make room for the furniture storage.)  Mister and I started planning the re-arranging of the house so that we’d each have our own office space – and each would double as guest rooms as well.  I started really liking the idea.

Then as things happen, the budget creep started for the girls.  The “all inclusive” apartment ended up not including electricity.  They would need high speed internet.  Munchkin wants a truck which guzzles more gas.  Then the roommate’s parents objected to the apartment complex as it was older and not in the best neighborhood.  Munchkin started realizing how many hours she was going to have to work at her multiple part time jobs in order to make rent, and started stressing about it.

Long story short, Munchkin will be with us at least her first semester of college, and likely through her first year.  I support her decision because it is the best choice financially, hands down.  She’ll have a chance to settle into the college routine, have a better history with her jobs to know what her income is.

But dammit, I wanted my office/craft room!

I finished the last assignment for my last course of the summer semester in my graduate program.  I struggled with letting it go and calling it done, because I knew I could have done better.  I’d met most of the requirements for the assignment, a certain number of posts to a discussion group, but hadn’t backed it up with enough research as I normally do.  I didn’t really have anything else to add, but I could have found something to research and posted more.  My posts hadn’t been fabulous, but they were mostly okay in my book.  There was no reason for me to struggle with this, it was done.  “Half-assing” it, my overall grade dropped from a 94% to a 93% so I guess good enough was really good enough.

Being a perfectionist can be helpful in some areas.  After all, I’m a nurse and I don’t think many of my patients would be okay with me “half-assing” medication safety and administration.  It has been a good thing for me when I was a data warehouse analyst and programmer.  “Good enough” really doesn’t do the job when you’re dealing with financial and insurance data.

Being a perfectionist in every area of my life has proved counter-productive, however.  Trying to perfect my resume’ meant it didn’t go out to some jobs soon enough.  Wanting everything organized perfectly as I’m trying to clear clutter meant the clutter didn’t get cleared.  Trying to remove every error in a knitting project means it will never be done.  There are a lot of things in life where “good enough” really is good enough.  Some cleaning is better than no cleaning.  Getting the assignment in on time but not up to standard is better than 50% off your grade.

The wisdom in life is learning which is which.  That, I’m getting better at.

I’ll be 46 this year.

I have to pause to let that sink in.

I don’t feel that old.  I wonder sometimes how many other people feel like they are perpetually 17.  You remember, that time when you weren’t really a kid anymore, but you weren’t really an adult?  When everyone around you seemed smarter, prettier, cooler, more “put-together”, while you felt dorky and awkward and completely unprepared for the real world?  Maybe it’s just me.

I have always felt like “the kid” in the office, even after I built up almost two decades’ IT experience.  Then I switched careers to become a nurse, and was definitely the “newbie” though I apparently don’t carry myself like one.  The ink was barely dry on my license when I had people telling me I came across like a seasoned nurse, and they couldn’t believe I was a new grad.  (That was probably the biggest compliment of my career.)  I never felt like I was “adult enough” (whatever that is) for marriage, parenting, home ownership, independent travel, or whatever came up.  I always felt like I was faking it.

So now I’m on what statistically is the downhill slide.  Chances are, I’ve now lived over half my life.  That’s sobering.  The party’s not even over yet, but I can feel it coming on.  I’m not trying to be morbid, but them’s the facts.  Health problems have started becoming a major focus in my life, and I’ve known for years that the warrantee period was over for my body.  Having to deal with problems I’ve always associated with “old people” makes me start wondering when the hell I became an “old people”.

After all, in so many ways I feel like I’m just now getting the hang of this “life” stuff.  I believe I have finally found the right life partner for me.  I have finally figured out where I am going with the rest of my career.  I’ve successfully raised a kid, now that she’s heading for college and her first apartment.  It’s like I finally got everything on the right track and I’m ready to start my life… but wait, it’s mostly over?

It’s okay, really.  If this is the half-way point, then I have another four decades or so to live the life I’ve finally pieced together the way I want.  That’s a long time.  There’s also no guarantees any of us will survive the day, something I’ve known intimately since I was a young teenage Paramedic.  So it’s about making the most of every day and not putting important things off.

It’s also realizing what you’ve squandered.  What the poor decisions of your past have cost you.  Making the choices to clean things up so you can have the best experience of whatever is left.

I’m not sure I like this part of life.  It’s a lot to deal with when you still feel 17.  But, it’s also not like there’s another option.  So it’s up to me to make the best of it.

There’s nothing like sitting down to a fresh, clean piece of paper and starting a project.  Everything is possible, the world is at your feet.  Once a mark is made, it’s a choice, and the project will never be pristine again.

In an insomnia-fueled late night introspective fit, I decided to wipe all my blogs and internet projects clean and start over.  I’ve had at least one web presence on the internet since the late 1990’s, and all of them were full of junk.  In my offline world, I’m engaged in a long term project to de-clutter, clean, and streamline my life.  My physical space is getting cleaned out, I’m reducing the amount of crap I’m dragging around.  It seemed only fitting that I’d do the same for my online life.

So here I sit at my fresh, new, clean blog and think… what exactly am I trying to accomplish here, what am I trying to say?  What will be my first mark on the clean page, my first choice down this new path?

I can’t predict where this new start will end up, but that’s what life is all about, right?

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”  -- Hunter S. Thompson