Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It’s been an interesting week or so for me.  In addition to the ongoing fun/drama/challenges/rewards of living with two late teen-age young men, there’s been the following:
·       My dear hubby was away from Thursday morning until Sunday night near bedtime. He re-packed, slept, and left again early Monday morning to return late this Thursday night.  We believe this makes our longest period apart in the entire 26 years we have known each other!
·       One of my co-workers absolutely cannot get along with our new boss, and the situation is near the breaking point.  It has been a simmering drama since June, and it is pretty much boiling over now.  There will certainly be resolution of some kind soon, but for now every day is filled with the conflict. I can’t even find words to describe how much I prefer my work environment to be drama-free.
·       In my role as Committee Chair of my son’s Boy Scout troop, there’s been a big issue involving a set of angry parents that has dragged on for the past two weeks.  It finally reached its denouement last night, with a formal meeting with them.  There will still be some additional chapters before the story completely wraps up, but I think we are on the downhill side now. It’s one of those situations where mistakes were made by many parties, and I have been in the position of trying to apologize for my part and mediate among the others.  That is to say, pretty much in a no-win position.
Then of course there is the drama surrounding the young guys. Not to put too fine a point on it, out of respect for their privacy, but their lives are, shall we say, never boring.  They are on somewhat different paths at this point, but both struggle on a daily basis with making peace with where they are today, finding their right path to the future, and just figuring out how to be their best selves and function in the world.  Oh, and girls.  The perpetual struggle of girls.  I never cease to be amazed at the power of girls, as evidence by the havoc they can wreak on my young guys. 
When I was younger, the point of telling all this would have been a complaint.  Today, I have come to realize that this litany of dramas and struggles is the stuff of life.  If I get hit by a Mack truck one day, people will care that I loved my husband deeply, tried to mediate conflicts, and was there for Sam and Warren.  They probably won’t care so much about my professional resume, my never-quite-clean-enough house, my depleted savings account, or my unfulfilled ambitions.  That doesn’t stop me from obsessing over any of those things occasionally.  But I realize that it is the people in my life, and how I relate to them, that make life worth living. And a sweet life it is!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bob and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary yesterday and today. (Yesterday was the actual date, but our life was so hectic with mundane routines that we waited and went out to dinner tonight.) I usually write about both the boys and my work more than I do about Bob, but this seems like the moment to change that. As I said on my Facebook post yesterday, every good thing in my life is either directly because of Bob, or is better because it is shared with him.  He is the source of most of the joy and laughter in my life, and keeps me in the headspace that makes me laugh rather than cry in the vicissitudes and quirks of daily life.  I have always described Bob as a funny combination of class clown and Eagle Scout -- he's an irreverent cutup, but when the chips are down, he's the one people call.  He is smart, funny, affectionate, stable, generous, sexy......in other words, he rocks my world!

Those who have been reading me for a while may notice that I spent a little time cleaning up the appearance of my blog.  I had been using an out-of-date template, and everything just looked a little off.  I think I have fixed that, as well as making it easy to like my blog on Facebook if one is so motivated.  I have been putting out some feelers for new freelance writing (could use both the income and the challenge!) and it seemed like a good idea to make my blog look like I know what I'm doing.  Next, I need to put some attention into my website. I figure it's like the old story of the shoemaker's children always needing shoes. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

One of the more surprising effects of living with an almost 18-year-old and an almost 19-year-old in the house is that it makes me think about Big Topics that I used to think about a lot, but put on a shelf somewhere along the way. I remember being their age and a little older and having long, meaningful discussions about philosophy and theology and politics. I remember the intellectual thrill of exploring all those various ideas and constructs, about sorting through them for myself and debating them with other intelligent, articulate thinkers who were exploring them for the first time, too. Over time, though, I kind of settled into what I chose to believe in those arenas, and got caught up in the business – and busyness – of daily life.

So now I find myself sitting across from either one of them and they launch into their opinions on one of these Big Topics, and I feel at such a disadvantage! They are both very deep thinkers and very articulate, so both are apt to launch into one of these discussions.  One day this week Sam expounded on capitalism vs. socialism vs. communism vs. fascism; with Warren it was recently existentialism and nihilism. Either one is likely to launch into comparative religions at any time. I really, really enjoy talking with them and hearing their views, but I haven't read the supporting literature in 30 years and in many cases, have only a vague, partial recall of the definitions of all the terms. So I have this sense that I am not really holding up my end of the discussion!

These discussions are also a wonderful counterpoint to the lunacy that also accompanies having two teenagers in the house. Both are so very smart and in many ways, responsible. They are gaining mastery of the big things. But the little things in life can still totally mess them up. Like keeping track of a cell phone. Or a credit card. Or getting themselves to where they are supposed to be on time, with everything they need, without parental assistance. Somehow, I think this crazy dichotomy – Big Ideas one moment, lost shoes the next – is what is unique and wonderful about this age. They are both socially conscious and totally self-absorbed; generous and selfish; hopeful and cynical; up and down, fast and slow, wise and stupid..... They are a crazy mix of the child they were and the man they will be.

And so the fun continues. This weekend has been a very full one. It has included calling hours at a funeral home, a problem with Sam's Eagle project, a financial setback for Bob and me, a flare-up of the drama between Warren and his parents...There have definitely been some not so good moments, and yet I stand by my recent statement that my life is so sweet I am awed by it. I come home every day to one wonderful mature man who loves me and fills my life with joy, and two young men finding their way to fulfilling their potential for wonderful. Life is not only never boring, it is inspiring and challenging and downright fun!