Monday, August 22, 2011

Passages ~

When I was a freshman in college, I remember reading a book that even to this day...some 35 years later I think about...
The book is entitled Passages - Predictable Crises of Adult Life.     

Gail Sheehy, the author of Passages, wrote about each decade of adult life--gave it a catchy name, often incorporating alliteration and examined some of the general life crises that occurs when one reaches such a milestone in life.  

I don't really know why I remember this book so vividly.  At the time I was 19...I guess I was interested in why she labeled my upcoming 20's, "The Trying 20's"!   Yet, I remember pulling it off my bookshelf again when I became a mother.  In some ways, Ms. Sheehy while using a general brush stroke in describing the various phases of life--for me, she seemed to capture the essence of each decade...a 20-something generally is breaking away from home and a trying to discover where he/she fits into the world.  There is Catch the 30's, the Forlorn 40's and the Refreshed 50's.  The phase for 50-somethings is expressed as the best of life for those who let go of old roles and find renewal of purpose.  Hmmm... 

I see our kids going through "The Trying 20's"...all at a different pace, which makes it so wonderful, because each one is so unique...but I am trying to decide if I feel Refreshed at 50!  This whole "letting go" thing...letting go of the old roles I am struggling with right now more than Joe is...but I don't know if that is because he is 10 years my senior and entering a new passage of his own.  

Oh, I know it's is an overstated cliche' "We've done our job when we give our kids wings"...but there needs to be a disclaimer with this overly familiar theme..."as we give our kids wings, it stings!"

We have given our kids wings...and I am trying valiantly to grow up and be a Refreshed 50 something...but for over half my life, our children, my husband...they have been my purpose.

So...this week our oldest daughter prepares not only her third grade classroom for the new school year, Sara and her husband Ryan are making preparations for having the family 
together for their son, Landon's Baptism!

Sunday morning at 5:30am our son, Adam packed up his Xterra, a U-haul trailer and dog Ducati and headed on a three day drive to Boston where he will be attending grad school for Trumpet Performance.  

Boston University

Heather and Adam celebrate the day they met
which was their first day at Baylor University, their freshman year--5 years ago!
Heather is headed to Toronto for Culinary school in September. 

Jenna's energy is contagious!  A new Mary Kay Consultant

Jenna at the Mary Kay convention in Dallas a few weeks ago!  
Our youngest, Jenna is finishing up her degree this fall, and has just become a Mary Kay Consultant--and if that's not enough, she always seems to have a dog-sitting, babysitting, house-sitting job on the side.  Wish I could bottle her energy!  

I love spending time with Joe--I am really looking forward to doing more traveling with him.  I also enjoy our time at home.  I have also been blessed to be volunteering my time on our church parish pastoral council.  We have been members of St. Ann for 26 years!

So these passages we go through--while our kids continue to explore the "Trying 20's"-- I think I will cherish the roles I have had and will finally let go...give those old roles I embraced for half of my life--the wings, and start to truly embrace a new purpose for myself!  

Oh, I can't close out this blog entry without mentioning how life has changed for our four-legged, canine family members.  My Aussie, Ellie, is an only "dog" at home now.  She is missing our beloved Pirate, who died earlier this year and now is starting to miss Ducati--since he left with Adam for Boston, she confused right now and a bit of a cling-on...but she knows she is loved!

Ellie, Pirate, Ducati waiting for the OK to come into the house!

Kathie and Ellie November 2010

I Lasso trying to truly embrace
The Refreshing 50's!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Growing Old Ain't for Sissies 
~ So I am Working on Staying Young!

Daddy and (me) Kathie
I am a wife, mother of three adult children, and a NEW grandmother of one--and in the matter of two weeks time I have seen my stage in life through two very different set of eyes...what do I mean?

In the past two weeks I have spent one with my Dad and one with my grandson!

I recently spent a week with my 81 year old Daddy.  My dad lives in Tampa--I live in Dallas, Texas. He is currently recovering from a fall and an terrible injury!

Dad and my husband Joe

Joe was able to visit 
The one-on-one time I had with my dad was wonderful, but exhausting.  I spent from dawn to dark helping my dad in and out of his wheelchair--(I have the bruises to prove it), getting food for him, assisting him changing his clothes, meeting him for doctor appointments--(Please note:  I know there are caregivers who do this 24/7 and I have a great deal of respect for the commitment.).  It was a blessing that I was able to go and to help him, and keep him company too!  

My dad has been sedentary most of his life--and due to his recent injury he is now required to "work out" in Rehab, and at times I found it painful to watch.  

I became his cheerleader, and at times comforter--especially in acknowledging that what he was being asked to do, while painful and stressful, would make him stronger.  I often just listened to him express his exasperation with his physical situation and how he relied on others to do every day things for him.  

The week AFTER my visit with my Dad, I had the good fortune of spending three days with my daughter, son in-law and new grandson Landon!  I babysat Landon during the day, while Sara went to a two-day teacher workshop.

Kathie (me) and Landon

While Landon is only two months old, I had forgotten how much I had to be "on my toes" while watching him!  
At times I truly felt like I was competing in an Olympic event--rocking, swaying, lifting wrapping, changing, washing...then he fell asleep!  

Tip-toeing to the  bathroom to take care of "nature's call" I suddenly hear a high pitched cry coming from the other room, so I sprint out of the bathroom.  By now my panties were hovering around my knees, while leaping into action I tried valiantly to pull them up while dodging the baby swing, baby floor gym, dog crate and coffee table before reaching the finish line...I mean before reaching Landon!  But the hush that came over him when I picked him up made the baby obstacle course worth it!

So, what did I glean from these two experiences? 

I want to stay in shape to enjoy Landon, and any other grand babies that may come along.  I also want to be active, which means as I age I need to continue to exercise.  I want to be able to look at my Golden Years with a little bit of zest and life!

Betty Davis said it best, "Growing old ain't for sissies!", however having two experience that span a spectrum of time and generations has helped me have the resolve to continue to exercise my body, mind and spirit--every day!  

I  Lasso being in the Sandwich Generation--helping Daddy and helping Landon!

I Lasso being active too!