Sunday, May 28, 2017

Going To Hate To Leave Tomorrow

What a great vacation!  So far exactly what I wanted.  Quality time alone with my daughter.  Check.  Quality time alone with my son.  Check.  Tons of fun time with them both and my daughter-in-law check.  Good meals together. Check. Catching up with old friends. Check.  Late night gaming session with my oldest friend.  Check. And even a surprise Pat McCurdy concert and friends I haven't seen in over three years.  There was dancing and singing and so much joy yelling out lyrics and teaching virgins 'stupid dance' steps.  Always a fun time if you know his songs and if you don't the crowd that does, is part of the show.   I have brunch plans later with another friend and my daughter and then checking on a sick friend.   And possibly one more late night gaming session before I leave tomorrow.  I'm slightly hungover and tired but happy.   I may need a nap later.   I'm glad I have Tuesday off to rest from my vacation.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Would I Do That To Myself?

So remember those times when your mom or dad used to say to you "If you're best friend jumped off a cliff would you do it too?"  Or the ever popular "What?!  Are you gonna do everything everybody else does?"  Remember hearing Vive La Difference for the first time and wondering not only what it means but how to spell it?   And then remember when you were just small and being taught how to be tolerant of people different from you?  I must confess my parents were very prejudice people.  I am not. I was taught tolerance by my most favorite baby sitter, and her perfect,  to my four and five year old eyes, family; Carol.  Hearing someone say "Wouldn't it be boring if the world was full of only people like you?"  And to hear the answer 'Of course.' Ring out inside your head along side another voice that whispers, 'would it?  would it Really?'  I haven't always liked myself enough to answer "No. I don't think it would be that boring at all. In fact I quite think it might be a perfect world if everyone in it were like me.  I'd never be bored or feel out of place anymore.  Nor would I find it difficult to make friends.  And I know for sure that there would be no suffering in the world because I would never want to hurt myself like that.

And then it hit me.

Like a switch going off inside my brain followed by a computerized voice saying "LEVEL ACHIEVED".   That's why the world is so fucked up.  We all say the right words but no one is actually doing them. We aren't following another one of those important phrases from our parents, and our clergy; or in my case both, "Practice what you preach".  And boy does it show in the way we treat our homeless and working poor.  And it's made itself perfectly clear in the type of people we rally behind in the political arenas.  And the ones we don't and why.  Our country is as divided over the class that needs help and protection against the class that has everything.  This, historically speaking is a growing pain.  We are still a very young country, globally speaking, and this separation of class has always been here.  It's just that this time the Roosevelt's didn't win. This time, Hitler won.  And I get to watch it all happen again.  Watch democracy fail.  Why does it not feel like the first time I've witnessed this?   Oh I know. Because I remember my parents talking about World War Two, or WW2.  As my uncles called it. The stories they would tell me of heroism were always edited for young ears; and even in my wide eyed interest, they managed to impress upon me how horrible and scary it all was. But in their eyes it was also necessary.  For each side truly believed in what they were fighting for. Just like now.  Humans are fighting for their lives not only a lifestyle but a way of life and basic human rights which are protected by our constitution.


Let that sink in.  Just let it soak in your brain a minute.  While you realize on every level of government this president and his cabinet are destroying and dismantling our basic human rights; while we march and yell carrying signs of physical and mental frustration.  Our fear turning to anger will only ignite flames of an already volatile situation. Or as that famous generation that is almost gone from our planet, would say "Like a match to a powder keg."

Something's gonna blow!  You can feel it in the air.  There's an extra electrical tinge in the air.   As if the very trees are holding their breath.  As if all the humans emotions are so high you can actually feel the tension in the air when we gather together in groups.  As if the earth itself, were waiting to exhale.  I find the times I live in to be both fascinating to my observation skills, and  horrifyingly real to my heart everyday. I feel more paranoid regarding my fellow man than ever in my entire life. And at the same time more desirous of wanting to help who I can, as not only a lifetime member of the working poor, but a human.  I was taught that we are all humans.  All connected.  All made of stardust.  All created in his image out of clay.  Or dirt.   By his breath.  Yes I was BUTB. (Cue RUSH song). I was taught a simple golden rule, and I bet most of you were too. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Seems legit.  Seems like just a good way to be.  And the only way to really have it is if everyone were like me.  But that's impossible.  Right?

So what's the next best thing?

To really look at each other as if we were looking at ourselves.  How would we want to be treated?  Judged, or accepted?

I know I'd rather be accepted.  Cheers. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Life Leads On And I Stumble To Catch Up

I skip one day of allergy meds and I sound like I'm dying.  Not happy that I've grown into such horrible allergies.  Couldn't I grow into thin thighs, or a flat tummy?!  I had that once, when I was young.  Thought I was fat then.  BOY you just don't know what menopause is gonna give you.  At least I still have a waist.

My bad knee, the left one, always pops and cracks and tells me in no uncertain terms, when its going to rain or if the barometric pressure is right for a storm.  The more the precipitation the more it hurts.  The right knee hurts too now, but I think that's because I've been favoring the left one up and down the 17 flights of stairs I walk (I walk the escalators too) every day just to get to work and home.  Two trains have lots of stairs and my apartment building is half of it.  Its either that or a tumor. 

Some weeks my back screams at me from my daily back packs to work and back, and some weeks its all good.  But the way my body feels past fifty is not the way my body felt past forty.  And I get why older people get angry at their bodies lack of performance.  The mind might still be sharp as a tack but the body slows down, even when you use it and are super fit.  Which I am not, and if I can't breathe any better than this, never will be.  Asthma sucks.  And that is something else I've grown into.  Instead of thin thighs or a flat tummy. 

But with all my physical flaws, I can still look in the mirror and like most of what I see.  If I concentrate from the waist up.  And only my legs.  Just skip that tummy part.   Or only check out myself walking away.  Which is just impossible!  Believe me I've tried.  I've been told I have a pleasing backside.  But damned if I can see it! 

Don't you wish, sometimes, that the you you see in your head, when you envision yourself, is the you that the rest of the world sees?

I didn't used to, because I used to hate myself.  I used to blame myself for what had happened to me.  If I hadn't smiled at him.  If I wasn't wearing shorts.  If I hadn't let him hold my hand.  If I hadn't innocently asked for company when grieving.  Maybe I can prevent it from ever happening again if I get fat.  If I dress like a boy.  If I stop flirting.  If I stop being vocal and intelligent.  If I carry my straight supporter umbrella EVERY time it rains. . .

SIDE NOTE:  Its amazing to me how EVERYONE leaves me alone when I carry it.  It's like they are afraid of rainbows.  So the more afraid they are the more I want it to rain.  And Beatle Boy and Flower Girl LOVE my rainbow umbrella and they say "It's God's promise."  outta the mouths of babes.  You see why I love being around children as opposed to adults?

. . .Maybe if I become invisible. 

After decades of doing that, and being mostly happy raising my kids, mostly alone.  (I miss you mom, everyday not just today.)  I'm tired of doing that, and have recently stopped caring if I ever meet Mr. Right.  Or if Mr. Hopeful ever leaves his wife.  Or if I ever meet any friends in Chicago.  Or of most anything except my own company.  I wrapped myself into an emotional cocoon and healed as best I could from my pain and karma circa 1985-1995. The decade of epic breakups.  All meant to wake me up, which it did.  But it also caused me to hide for 15 years and focus on kids and career.  Did so much better with kids that it became my career.  Life leads on and I stumble to catch up.  But the minute that I stopped caring, I found friends in Chicago.  And that's a step in the right direction. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Find Something You Are Passionate About And Do That

In a past life I must have been one of idle rich and childless. . . and hated it.  For in this life I have been showered with children to love and raise and had to work for everything I have.  And I love it.  I wouldn't trade it.  Not a single day of the satisfaction that I feel after juggling a months pay to cover everything and still have food to eat.  Of knowing that I can face the challenge, alone, and succeed, something the privileged rich never feel.  Not a single day of the little giggles and wide-eyed explanations of something they just figured out.  Or the endless stories or performances they put on for me.  Not a single minute.

The children I've been blessed to raise, both born of my body and all the godchildren and ones I've nannied for, or just loved because they love me, are the bright lights in my world.  I feel most comfortable and at home with them.  They don't lie to me and they don't have ulterior motives for being nice to me.  They love without prejudice and without judgement.  And their quick minds, full of questions, keep me young.  They have all kept me moving in my life when I might have just stopped and given up.

To all my children everywhere both little still and grown, I know you are the future and the saving of this world.  And I'm honored to have helped mold more than one generation on this planet.  To introduce you to the books and movies that will spark your imagination.  And the games that will challenge your logic and thinking outside the box (D&D anyone?) To nurture the interests you find on your own and discover a whole new world of things I never might have tried.  I hope to be able to do what I love, raise children, for many more years before my body won't allow me to try.

Yesterday I had the honor to experience with Beatle Boy and his mom, the matinee performance of his very first musical, Cinderella.  And it was the most joyous thing I have done in months.  It brought tears to my eyes, and I'm sure his mom is grateful to know that they chose a nanny that loves their children as her own.  He was wonderful.  He stayed in character, until he saw me, then he smiled a little, but covered quick.  And didn't look over at us again until he was taking his bows.  A real professional, knowing he'd smile he just took the temptation away.  Smart kid.  And one of only three kindergartners in the show.  He had two parts, 'little boy' and 'horse'.  He had the only spoken funny line in the opening song, and he was a very focused horse.  He was the only one that did all of the choreography, and didn't mouth the other persons lines.  A hard thing at 6.  I was so proud.  And I can't wait to see what he and his little sister show me as they grow up.  I know I wont be with them for too many more years, perhaps one and a half more before they may not need me full time.  I've watched them grow for the last three years now into respectful and polite children.  But I try not to think about the time we might have left and experience every day.  And I try to stay confident that when it's time to move on, much like Nanny McVee, or Mary Poppins, I'll find another family that needs me as much as I need them.

"Hey! Miss Jill, Who's the greatest Nanny in the world?"
"I don't know, Jude, Mary Poppins?"
"Um...Nanny McVee?"
"Maria from the Sound of Music?"
"NOOO.  YOU!" 
"Awe...thanks, Jude."

I am so blessed.  And apparently the greatest nanny in the world.