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Please make yourself at home on this blog
as I chat about normal life with a family
of teen boys and full time jobs!

1
Family Roots
2
Feeling Downs and Out
3
MidLife Creation

Family Roots

Staying Grounded

Today marks an intrigu­ing mile­stone in my life. I’ve lived 42 years and this is the longest I have ever lived in one place.

10 years.

Ten years ago, J and I were sweatin’ our booties off unload­ing a mov­ing truck to a house I had just seen. We had to make this move pretty quick so he bought it with­out me being here. I trusted him. He did good.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would plant fam­ily roots in this town. Both of my kids have grown up in this school dis­trict. For a Third-Culture Kid, this is almost painful. I won’t lie, I’m in com­plete angst that both my boys have never stepped foot out of this coun­try. It’s on my bucket list to fix…someday.

When we moved here, Old­man was 4 and super excited about start­ing Kinder­garten. Now he’s in High School.

Grem­lin was an 18-month crazy boy who wouldn’t stop peel­ing card­board pieces off the mov­ing boxes. He was still try­ing to mas­ter crawl­ing off the couch with­out face-planting. Now he face-plants oth­ers on the Ju-Jitzu mat.

It hasn’t been a very secure 10 years…I’ve felt the need to “run away” time and time again. But I didn’t. I just changed the color of my hair! ;)

I’ve had a week to think through this and I’m com­ing to terms with it. The Ozarks is a great place to raise a family…but I don’t want to lose sight of the road headed out of town, over the horizon.

Feeling Downs and Out

I saw a post come through my Face­book feed that showed sev­eral friends of mine that “like” Sev­enly. This com­pany does an incred­i­ble job of help­ing orga­ni­za­tions raise funds through clothes and print. In this par­tic­u­lar ad, the aware­ness that Sev­enly was high­light­ing was for peo­ple with Down Syn­drome. For every pur­chased item, $7 was donated to Let­ter­Case which would give an edu­ca­tional book to fam­i­lies who have recently found out their expected child has Down Syndrome.

DownSyndromeShirt_Sevenly

I haven’t researched who came up with the design for the aware­ness, but I’m sure it was approved by some­one who is in charge of some­thing. As you can see, it’s a pretty cool shirt. But appar­ently, not cool enough. Not polit­i­cally cor­rect enough. So what I kept read­ing in the com­ments was basi­cally, “I’m not buy­ing one because of this”!

Do you see it?

Love and Sup­port for Chil­dren with Downs”

That was it.  ”…with Downs”

Here’s my rant.  And it’s only a rant because I’m tired of peo­ple miss­ing the for­est because of the trees. It’s only a rant because I feel like I need to speak up for those with Downs. The one’s that don’t care about any­thing being polit­i­cally cor­rect. I also feel like I have the right to speak on their behave since I’m lived in their world my whole life.

I get the offen­sive reac­tion to the r-word. I under­stand peo­ple get­ting upset when oth­ers refer to their child as “being autis­tic” vs “hav­ing autism”. But get­ting all up in arms over the ter­mi­nol­ogy  ”…with Downs”? Don’t get it.

I have a prob­lem with “Syndrome”…it sounds harsh. It sounds fatal­is­tic. It feels hope­less. “Downs” is a name after the per­son who dis­cov­ered this genetic dis­or­der — John Down.

When Hulk­man sees another per­son with Downs, he perks up and proudly says, “They’re like me!” He’s very proud to be in a club of indi­vid­u­als that look alike and a lot of times, act alike. He feels sorry that other’s don’t get to be in that club. Other than wish­ing he could get mar­ried and have chil­dren, he’s never expressed con­cern or anger over hav­ing Downs.

Years ago, dur­ing one of our con­ver­sa­tions, he said, “I’m not retarded. Retarded peo­ple drool. I have Downs…me and my friends.” Way to make me feel left out, man! ;)

My anger is not towards how peo­ple pre­fer to use the lingo. It’s the fact that they didn’t donate to an incred­i­ble aware­ness for fam­i­lies who are going through anx­i­ety and con­cern for their child’s future. They were more con­cerned about how it’s worded.  Instead they could have donated/bought a print and in turn donate that to a local Down Syn­drome Group or give it to some­one who has Downs. Bet they would wear a t-shirt with that design/text with pride!

I just wish inten­tions counted for some­thing. Since when did we become so perfect?

 

Hulkman_Jen

MidLife Creation

Mid Life Crisis

I’M HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS

I have come to the real­iza­tion that I’m offi­cially *there* and I’m not sure when I crossed that thresh­old. One minute I was doing my thing: spouse-ing with my hus­band, rais­ing boys, run­ning a busi­ness, enjoy­ing family…you know — the usual. Then I stopped mov­ing for one week­end and real­ity touched me like a bad Benny Hinn service.

J and I went to this year’s World Dom­i­na­tion Sum­mit in Port­land. It was an Anniversary/Business trip. There were 3,000 peo­ple that gen­er­ated enough cre­ativ­ity to make my head spin. J was in his ele­ment. I, how­ever, was feel­ing lost.

Part of this is because I have done a HORRIBLE job at bound­aries lately. I was feel­ing used by every­one. When you feel like peo­ple are tak­ing from you vs. you giv­ing of your­self, there is a bound­ary issue. There is also a heart prob­lem. I was feel­ing depleted and ready for “my” moment. The “what-about-me” syn­drome. “When’s my time to shine?” “What hap­pened to my youth­ful out­look on life?” “When am I going to see the fruits of my labour?”

So, not feel­ing like myself, I came home real­iz­ing that:

  • No amount of age-erasing beauty prod­ucts was going to stop my skin from los­ing it’s elasticity.
  • My metab­o­lism is no longer what it was in my 20s and 30s.
  • Good genes can only get you so far, then age takes over.
  • I’m no longer the ever effi­cient, multi-tasking fool I once was.

…and I cried for my youth like a bloom­ing idiot. Me! The 20 and 30-year-old in me was com­pletely embar­rassed. I used to make fun of peo­ple who were like this.

It was jar­ring and a wake up call.

I’m not sure I’m to the point of an actual cri­sis. I think that comes from con­tin­ued denial of the state you’re in. Although a nice lit­tle hot rod would be ok with me!

So what does this mean for me now? Not sure really. Time to make some changes in regards to bound­aries. The boys are already feel­ing that. (MWHAHAHAHAHA!) But I also need to make some bound­aries for myself.

I’m find­ing that a wake-up call is good for the soul. It reminds me that I’m very much alive and have a lot to offer. I’m good at things that might not come nat­u­rally for oth­ers. I love shar­ing my gift of laugh­ter and have found I do have a lit­tle bit of crafti­ness in me after all. That was a surprise.

I’m start­ing to get excited about who this new Jen is and who she is blos­som­ing into. What has started as a MidLife Cri­sis has become a MidLife Creation.

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