Just in the nick of time before my head spins ALL the way around, my vacation is finally upon me. Tomorrow I’ll head out on Southwest, fly into Chicago..Chicago..Chicago then back out and into Omaha, Nebraska. I will be spending a few nights with my bestest girlfriend and her family. If you are casing my house… forget it … I have someone staying there!
Women need other women. I say this all the time, particularly in the industry in which I work. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the men are in our life, we need other women and so tomorrow night at this time, God Willing and the creek don’t rise, I will be with my girlfriend, laughing and catching up.
What happened to 2011? Where did this year go? It is so true, the older we get the faster time goes by. The holidays will soon be upon us and then…2012! Somewhere in between I will stand tall (and thin), and ring in my 50th birthday. 50’s are going to be good, no 50’s are going to be GREAT!
My dad visited the other day. It was wonderful seeing him. I am, however, haunted by the difficulties he was having, how aging is taking its toll on his body. I cry just thinking about this. My dad, the man who can do anything, fix anything, who worked long days and long nights to support his wife and five children, who built two homes from scratch for us to live in. My dad, the man in which I assess all other men. He told me that he was sad over my stress and financial difficulties. That he worries about me. All my life I have heard my parents say “They worry about me, about my siblings” only now the scales are tipped the other way. What I heard in my dads words, and in his eyes was “I want to know I am going to be okay when I am no longer here”. Being a true yankee, I poopooed the conversation, did what I have always done best in our family…make light of heavy air. It was as if he knew something, or had something else on his mind that he wasn’t sharing. I had just finished a painting named after and in honor of my dad “Don’s Lodge”. When I showed it to him he smiled, he was proud, he was happy. This made me smile. I smile today at this as I didn’t know he was coming, I was so glad I had completed it and it was very natural, matter of factly that I showed him my artwork in his honor.
Years before I had been frustrated, never feeling like I measured up to what I should be. My siblings are financially successful people who work very hard, have large homes and lots of toys. I live in my little two bedroom home, 2 of 5 rooms devoted to art, I barely make ends meet most months, I’m single, but I am very happy most days. I love my humble little abode, I love my work, I love the people that I meet and teaching. I am living my dream only minus several thousand dollars a year! Anyway, I digress. My dad visited and I was unpacking the car, I showed him my newest paintings and he just looked at them, didn’t say anything. I began to tear up and said “Am I ever going to do anything that you are proud of?” Now I know, that statement, that question was about me, myself. He looked at me so confused like, the face he wore was one of total surprise “How can you say that? I’m proud of you every single day Donna”. My father was never a verbal validator. He never really says much, except how much he worries and he makes suggestions on things but when it came to my needing his approval, I felt I never got it. Since then when he visits he makes a point to ask me what I’ve been working on, he spends time looking at my paintings, compliments me. What is so ironic about this is, I was judging myself seeking approval that today I no longer need, but it sure is nice to get it! Of course I wish to make my parents proud of me, they are both good people who worked very very hard to ascertain we had what we needed and more, I adore my parents. So when I showed him “his painting”, it was a very touching and moving moment in which little can compare.
I layed awake that night, thinking about the digression in my dads health, in his sight. I cried. To think of a world without my parents in it…saddens me. Yes, I will soon be 50, but I depend on my parents knowledge almost daily. I depend on their love, their life experiences to help me make better decisions for myself. I believe I said in an earlier blog this week “The older I get the smarter my mother gets”. Well that’s true for my dad too. At 18 I thought I knew it all. Today barely able to say I’m 49, I wish I knew half now, of what I thought I knew then.
Now I feel a switch coming on, one that has me pulling up my big girl panties and protecting my parents from my problems. They don’t need to hear what will worry them more. There is a shift happening that I’m not sure I like but that doesn’t matter, it needs to happen. I am a truth seeker by nature, I speak truths to my parents. But I am going to have to either get myself together or at least appear like I have so as not to cause them unnecessary worry or concern. I don’t want my dad to feel sad over my life, I want him to be happy. This is going to be hard, all of it. I now want to protect my parents, and I now worry about them in the manner in which they have always worried about me. I don’t want to lie to them, but I think I need to stop sharing with them the nitty gritty details of my struggles. I need to do more for THEM! I need to show them and tell them how proud I am to be their daughter! I need to validate their life, their efforts, their parenting. I not only need to do this, I want to do this….
Ain’t life something?