Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have A Sandwich

So, like most of my friends, I spend a great deal of time trying to help my children and my parent. I have heard us called the sandwich generation. It’s not something new. Every fifty something since the beginning of time has had dealt with this situation.

Grog – “Ugh, Mom shouldn’t live in her own cave anymore. Should she move into the cave next door?”


Grog – “Ugh, kid no able to feed self out in the world. They move home.”

It’s not a problem and I’m not complaining, but it is what it is. We juggle our time, we listen to the problems that they are going through and we try to help. Of course most times they don’t want our help, just our time.

A friend of mines mother had her license taken away recently. It sent her and her mother into a tail spin. My friend, for the sake of anonymity I’ll call her Trudy, works long hours as an RN and now has to juggle her life to include doctor’s appointments, grocery trips, and outings. When she suggested using a local group that “Drives Ms. Daisy”, her mother had a conniption. She had taken care of her mother, why wasn’t my friend able, no, “happy” to do the same for her.

Maybe it was because Trudy’s daughter had just had her first baby and didn’t want to leave the child with a sitter. Trudy was babysitting her granddaughter twice a week on her days off. So now she has to put the car seat in, load the baby and baby paraphernalia and drive her mother, sometimes at a moment’s notice.

When we’re out for our weekly round of drinks and dessert we listen patiently. What we want to say is, “Tell your daughter to get a good babysitter and stop bouncing that poor baby weekly between mother, mother-in-law, sister or any other family member available. And tell your mother to schedule her appointments for one day a week so it’s convenient for EVERYONE.”

We don’t mind helping out, in fact most of us consider it a privilege, but there has to be a mutual respect for our time. It just makes things easier.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What do you see?

I was looking in the mirror today and was surprised with the reflection looking back.

When I look out at the world through my eyes, I look out through the eyes of a teenager who loved sports. I see the girl that loved to ride her bike around town with friends, who enjoyed being out all day, but remembered the five o’clock curfew to be in the house and washed up for dinner. I see the high school girl who dated the assortment of guys, searching for that special someone. Who found that person my junior year, but took a few years to realize how extraordinary that relationship was. I see the young mother, scrambling to make sure the family was happy and healthy. That each child got his or her equal shares of kisses and hugs. I see a young woman working hard when necessary and playing hard as much as possible, planning trips, making memories.

I look out through the eyes of a young woman who laid her head down on her Father’s chest the night before he passed and whispered, ”I Love You”. I look out and see the hurt that comes with losing that one person that has been a constant in your life.

I look out and see all those people, the girl, the young woman, the mother and wife. But what do you see? Perhaps a slightly overweight older woman with laugh lines that have turned into wrinkles, with grey roots framing her face.

It's okay. I’m happy with my journey. But now you know that what you see is not all there is...and all there is is wonderful.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I’m fully loaded

It used to be that when I went to the grocery I just had to grab my purse and go. There was no thought as to what other necessities would accompany me on my adventure. Now it seems that I pack as if going on a long trip.

I grab my reusable shopping bags (don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk). Then comes my iPod. As much as I don’t take pleasure in modern technology, I do enjoy having my own play list plugged into the radio jack as I run my weekly errands. It’s always good to start the morning with Brad, Toby, Kenny and Martina. (All country, look them up). Next, I make a travel cup of coffee. I bought this really nifty mug that has a top on it that resembles the ones you get at those high priced coffee shops but has paid for itself in one week’s savings. Sometimes I grab my OSU (OH-IO) tumbler with lid and fill it with soda so I’m not driving through and wasting another couple bucks on a drink I can make at home.

I head to my car, arms full of bags, drinks, music, shirts for the cleaners, and purse. I pack the car. Back seat, shirts and bags. Front, coffee or drink in holder, plug jack in, purse on passenger’s seat. Adjust mirror as the kid had the car last night and nothing is where it should be. Reach to turn on car and remember that the keys are on the counter in the kitchen next to the coffee maker.

Once the keys have been retrieved, I’m out the door. On my way, I think back to those wonderful less complex times when a set of keys and a purse were all I needed for the shopping experience. But as Kenny serenades me with, “Have another beer in Mexico”, it just feels right.