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Friday, January 16, 2009

A fictional short story

Sometimes you find things out that you dont want to. Sometimes information is left for you or falls into your hands and your whole world is turned upside down. Maybe you are overreacting to the information. Maybe you found out the information casually but now reacted so poorly you feel the need to respond. And that is why you have a blog.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl who was born in a far off land. People were slow there but she shined like a light, with a gorgeous tint of blue. She came into a family that loved her more than the sun and worshipped the ground she walked on. Everything they did, was for her and her sister. The Royal Prince and Princess worked hard in those days as they do now. They often sacrificed basic necessities such as food and clothing so those little princesses could have everything they ever wanted. And not just toys and sparkly crowns. NO those princesses were loved like no others with parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles who thought they were the two most special princesses in the world.

Circumstances took them away from the slow place far far away and returned them to their homeland where even more people got to shower the girls with love and toys and time. But something went terribly wrong. One of the princesses didnt think she was getting enough. She thought she should have more.

And when the mom and dad added two new princesses to the royal family, they knew they had more than enough love to share but that one princess started to feel like there werent enough crowns to go around.

As the pains of teenagerhood approached the kingdom, ogres and trolls and demons stoned on wild berries circled the castle and longed to take our princess away. We tried hard to save her from the perils of lying down with dogs. We said things like you are too SMART to be failing your princess tests and rejecting your upbringing. We said you are too SMART to throw it away on people who dont deserve your friendship, people who will hurt you and keep you from becoming the princess you are destined to be. We took some of these trolls into our home, invited them to our royal gatherings, fed them from our table, included them in our trips to far off lands. But as trolls always do, they rejected the beauty of our world for the darkness of theirs. They said things like your parents dont really love you or they would let you do this or that. They said those fuckin rents, they think you are dumb, they dont want you to have any fun because they are square. Come along with us into the clean clean jungle and lets get stoned and poison our body with berries and hate and defiance. And they put marks on her body and returned her late to the castle and came into our home and insulted all the princessed who lived there.

The Royal Prince and Princess were out of their minds with worry. Their beautiful, smart, princess that they loved and cared for and cherished had fallen into the hands of the wicked people of the world. She lied. She cheated. She stole. But mostly she lost herself. She lost the amazing, funny, smart, person that she was meant to be. She rejected love. She rejected family. She rejected princess sisters.

And so the story goes that the Royal Princess was broken hearted. All her life she had longed for the love and affection from her little princesses. Sadly the Royal Princess had no sisters and yearned everyday for the comraderie that being around strong beautiful smart women brings. She tried everything. She chained the wayward princess to her bed. She bought her new crowns and new gowns to make her see how much she was loved. She said she was sorry for the way bad things had happened to the royal family but they could get through it together. She tried to love the trolls and the demons and the ogres once again but they would never let her in because people like that are parent haters. They see no value in the experience of their elders.

Life gets in the way and steals time before you even know its gone. The Royal Princess thought there would be time for them to talk, time for them to share, maybe even a long car ride together where for once they could openly talk about the world they live in and how they all fit in. The Royal Princess likes to talk but she also likes to listen. She wants to hear if she is wrong and she wants the chance to defend herself against false accusations or just to say I am sorry.

The Royal Princess is crying now, getting tears of sadness and loss and dissapointment on her computer. A sudden realization of pain has taken over and kept her up all night while she was holding the hair of princess 4 while she puked her guts up all night. Yes even princesses puke.

Sometimes there is time and sometimes the time has gone before we know it. In our world time is temporary, unfortunately we have seen it be taken away without warning. The worst part of losing time is when you had the chance to make it better, make it right. Work on it to make your relationship with someone who actually loves you more than life stronger. It is very easy to blame others for what you are lacking as a person. It is always easy to blame the people who raised you because you know no matter what you do they will always come back hoping for one more chance to have you in their life again. You can whip them and scar them and abuse them to no end because that is what parents do, they come in at the end and pick up the pieces. That is the contract they signed with the stork.

And the Royal Princess is angry. Angry the little princess never thought I was important enough to have a conversation that could make things better.Angry that she searched elsewhere for that recognition that she was right and we were evil. Angry that she was willing to give up something that the Royal Prince and I worked so hard to create. Angry that in this world of divorce and pain and suffering the little princess chose to leave us behind and look away from us for love and support when that is all she ever got here.

Our royal family yearns for the return of our beautiful, smart, funny, amazing, hardworking princess. All of us. Seperately and together we long for the times when our kitchen table was the place to be. We told stories and played games and watched tv together, something that is apparently shunned in the ogre world.

I am not hopeful for her return. She is an avoider. Someone who chooses to walk away when there needs to be words said. Someone who looks into my sad pained face and asks for the keys to the car because she knows I would do anything to make her happy in hopes that she will love me again.

I have never for one minute thought that she was not smart. Never. I am not sure where that came from. I have always envied her easyness with others and her ability to make friends wherever she goes. Maybe I praised her too much for that and less for being smart. She is brilliant. Always has been. All the princesses are. All seperately. All with different strengths and weaknesses. The Royal Prince and I love our princesses but since he has no mind of his own he and I of course think the same thing about this. We are heartbroken.

This is a fictional short story, any resemblence to any persons real or fictional is purely by chance and is probably just the figment of the Royal Princesses mad cow disease. No animals were harmed in the making of this short story except for the damn royal dog who has insisted that we dont love her as much as the Good Dog we had years ago and who has asked to go out 3 thousand times in the making of this short story. I have to go let her out because she is crossing her royal puppy legs.

The End.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow much fun with a broken oil burner

I know you will be shocked to hear this but we woke up this morning with no heat and hot water. yeah its like a monthly occurrence. Maybe the oil burner has PMS or something. That's what we need, another temperamental girl around here on the rampage and with revenge on its mind.

So I am home this morning, partly because I just couldnt see driving into Nassau county without showering and partially because there is a freaking blizzard and while I have seen them cancel school on the prediction of snow they chose to keep school on today. I guess they were short on money this month and needed the federal funding.

In any case... I am using this time wisely... to catch up on reading all my blogs that I have gotten behind in. I am glad to see that like me, without school work threatening to shut down my life, no one else has blogged much either. I start school again this week and this semester will be intense. I just got the information for my Cheyenne Language and Culture Class. It is going to be hard and am I prepared to meet with fellow students and converse in Cheyenne? I am not sure I am up to the task, what with the mad cow setting in and stuff.

Anywho... the point is I have had a month off to blog extensively but instead have not come up with one decent blog idea yet. Now with class looming and time becoming restrained the ideas are coming back to me. What is that about? Procrastination at its finest I must say.

So I was catching up on all my favorite blogs and I have to say they all entertain me. But I read the blog of one of D#1 friends in college with a postcard about punching people in the face when they ask about senior year in college. Read Hot Child in the City if you want to see it.

Although I did not go to college and at the age that these girls are at I had two kids I still want to stick my two cents in. Are you shocked really?

My heart aches for what these kids and my own child have to go through with the future so uncertain. I think the benefit I had was that I got married so young, I didnt have time to worry. By the time I had graduated high school I knew I wanted to marry hubby and I knew I wanted to be a mom. I started college the year I graduated high school and I wish I had stayed and finished so I didnt have to do it now but I think I knew it wasnt for me. I didnt have the sense to look that far ahead into my future and worry about what not having an education would mean for my life.

So at least in that sense you girls are one step ahead of me. You will always have that piece of paper that proves that you survived 4 years of stuff that only you know how you made it through, and I dont mean just the education.

Would an education have helped me deal with all the tragedies that befell our lives over the years? Well obviously I could never know that. What an education would have meant to me then and what it means to me now are two very different things. I learned about things by doing them because I had to. I learned hard lessons about money and people that still haunt me to this day.

The fact is... while it is impossible not to do it... looking back and looking forward are big time wasters. You cant change either one. You can be prepared for worst case scenarios but lots of times if you prepare for a flood you will encounter a drought. If you save for a rainy day, there will be a tornado. Life doesnt look at your preparation and say Ok... they learned this in school, and here is the task to accomplish.

There is a great story about having a special needs child. I think it is called Going to Holland or something like that. The idea is that when you prepare for a baby it is like preparing for a trip to Italy. You learn how to speak Italian, you cant wait to see the leaning tower of Piazza???, whatever, you look forward to pasta, and prosciutto and cannolis. You get on the plane anxious to land in this place that you have longed for your whole life. And then when the plane touches down, the pilot comes on and thanks you for flying and hopes you enjoy your stay in Holland.

Holland you scream. No I wanted to go to Italy. But its Holland where you are and after you stop freaking out you realize Holland has tulips and wooden shoes and windmills and being in Holland is not so bad. You sometimes yearn for Italy but Holland has nice things too. And you get used to Holland and you even learn to love being in Holland and before long you cant imagine life without being in Holland.

Is this making sense to anyone other than me, because I am having trouble typing as fast as I am thinking and I think it might be confusing.

Reality is a hard blow to our plans. Man plans,God laughs. Have you ever heard that before? You can plan every detail and just know things will turn out like you planned and yet someday you land in Holland and you cant speak the language and you dont know where to go and you worry.

and that is why it is not what you learn along the way... it is the person you become along the way... it is the way you handle lost luggage at the airport or a broken oil burner at 5 in the morning or an unplanned trip to Holland.

There will never be a way to make sure nothing goes wrong... but there will be a way to learn from every single one of those life lessons and make better choices every time.

Here are my suggestions for the future...

1. Teach people how to treat you and never accept less than you feel you deserve. If someone repeatedly disrespects you as a friend, a boyfriend, a parent, a sibling, a boss, an employee, whatever they will continue to do it as long as you allow it. And it doesnt have to be rude or hurtful, you just need to state in no uncertain terms that you feel you are being mistreated and you will not allow it anymore. But you have to be prepared to walk away because people just dont respond how you might want them to. They may feel embarassed by your confrontation of them or they may feel that you are wrong or they may just be people who are not willing to learn anything in life. It is up to you then to make that decision as to whether you want to continue the relationship at the level it is at or walk away. It may be equally as hard to choose but feel good about the way you leave it. Dont burn bridges. Leave or stay on terms you find acceptable.

2. Save for a rainy day. Start as soon as you get your very first paycheck putting away a percentage. 10% or 20%. Get used to living without it. You will never regret this decision. trust me on this one. A savings plan is something that I have just started now that I have turned 40. And for me its a little too late. I have tens of thousands of debt I have to pay off with that money. it came from years of saying... what the hell, lets charge it. Save save save.

3. Ok now this is going to sound like a contradiction to number 2 but try to put this in perspective. When hubby had cancer I decided everyday would count. If we couldnt afford to do something fun, we took the money that should have been for the electric bill and spent it on the FUN. Looking back, yes, I have a lot of debt that is haunting me, but heres the deal, I never regret one day that we took the money and spent it on fun. Not one. Those memories are what makes me smile right now as my toes are freezing from the cold because the heat is off. They will make me smile as I hand the oil burner repair man my secret stash of cash that I have been saving so we can go to Europe. And then I will probably charge the trip to Europe anyway because what is another 10,000 dollars worth of debt at this point. this may very well be our last trip as a family because D1 will have to eventually get a job and then D2 will graduate next year and go her own way. D3 and D4 will go off to college and life will just get harder to control. Its our last chance for this kind of life changing memory. Are you seeing my point here? You can put money in a cracker box in your pantry for Europe but when the oil burner breaks you have to take it out and give it to the man who holds the wrench. He has all the power.

4. Be willing to change plans mid stream. Dont ever feel stuck in a decision you made. D1 never like BU but she stayed. Maybe it was right, maybe not but the point is that at anytime that you feel that you have made the wrong decision, it is never too late to change it. This includes the person you marry, the job you land, the city you move to. I believe many people realize at the time right before they walk down the aisle that they have made a bad decision, But the guests are there, the band and the flowers are paid for and it seems like an impossible task to walk away and change your mind. You can!! I am telling you, I know people who stay in unhappy marriages and people who stay in terrible, mindless jobs because they dont know how to get out of it. Seriously, it is hard.The task may seem too enormous to even consider. When I turned 40 and thought about going back to college, I thought holy crap, this is going to take me forever. Or at least 4 years maybe 10 at the rate I am going. But here is the deal. 4 years will come and go either way. so will 10 years. You can start the change now and in 4 years you will have at least made a dent in your change. Or you may surprise yourself and be done sooner than you thought you could. The fact is nothing is so permanent it cant be changed, oh except for a tattoo with someones name on it. seriously think about that before you make that committment. You could end up trying to turn your I love Billy Bob tattoo into an I love Brad Pitt one and frankly that could take forever to turn Billy Bob into Brad. For serious!!

5. Always listen to your mother. Ok not always, but always be willing to listen to advice from people who have come here before you. It is very easy to deny that older folks like me have any value to what they have to say but really sometimes something may stick and you may be able to use it later. As a mom I never want to see my kids go through trauma. I wish I could tell you the right thing to do and how to avoid sadness. I cant... but sometimes I can say... seriously if this guy is a creep now, he will be a super creep when you are sitting in the cold waiting for the oil burner repair man or when you cant find your golf clubs at the airport. Listen and use what you need. That is what advice is. I advise you what I think and you decide what is of value to you and what isnt. Listen carefully though, there are hidden gems in the experience of your elders.

Ok... I think that is enough advice from me now. Dont stress about the coming years. there will be great stuff, there will be good stuff and there will be stuff that sucks the life out of you. Just know that you will get through each one because of who you are and the person you have become on this crazy road we call life.
What is it that they say? come into this world crying and all the people around you smiling and leave this world smiling with all the people around you crying. then you have truly made your mark here.

You are on your way... Its the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every minute of this moment because it will not come your way again anytime soon.