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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!

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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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