I turned 38 last week. Damn. I remember when my mom was 38 and I thought she was SO OLD. Hell, she already had her first grandchild by then, thanks to my older sister. I think most of us do a bit of reflection around birthday time. So how are things thus far? Have I done what I wanted and accomplished what I hoped?
Hmmm....Maybe some questions shouldn't be asked.
When I was in my 20's, I was so optimistic about the future. Although money was tight and I hadn't finished my education and I wasn't settled into a relationship, I was confident that I was paying my dues and stability would come as I got older. I thought if I worked hard, things would work out. Is my life the way I pictured it would be? I know I've lost a lot of that optimism. I now realize that even when you work hard, there's no guarantee that you'll have security. Oftentimes things just don't work out the way they should.
This recession has really done a number on me and so many others. My fella was out of work for all of 2010. He now has three part-time jobs, but is only contributing about $400 per month to the household. Who knows how much my home is now worth. What I paid for it? Probably not. When my grandfather passed away in 2003, he left his property to his wife (my step-grandma) and his four children (my mom and her siblings). After a year or so, they put the property up for sale and it sold for 3.5 million. The buyer had two years to finish paying. He paid $750,000 altogether and then the economy went in the toilet and he bailed. The realtor was the only winner in the transaction because a good chunk of the money they did receive went to pay relator fees on the entire purchase price and taxes. Everyone else got a small chunk, but they each expected that more was coming so I don't think any of them were especially frugal with that money.
I didn't stand to inherit anything, but my mom is very generous and I figured she'd give me some money. I was hoping for enough to bulk up my savings account, pay off my car and take my family on a nice vacation. I was disappointed that it didn't happen, but my biggest worry is for my mom. Through a combination of bad luck, bad timing and bad decisions, she has nothing. She'll be 60 years old in November. She deserves to live like a queen and instead she's facing a future of being unable to retire and constant financial worry. It really sucks. I'm sure the property will eventually sell again, but for a much lower price and who knows when it will happen?
I'd have to say that the element of my life that is the best right now is my weight situation. I have struggled since childhood with food issues and later with weight issues. I know I'll never be "normal" with food, but I am hopeful that I have the tools to be okay. Thank you, Lap-band!
I did finish my college education in 2006. I have a decent job with crappy benefits. I hope to see some improvement in that regard in the future.
I have two beautiful children, but being a parent is hard. I didn't know that before I had kids. There's no guarantee that they'll turn out okay. I make mistakes all the time as a mother. They screw up as children. But I love them very much and I'm doing my best. I hope it will be enough.
I've written before about my relationship with their dad, Matthew. It is...complicated. I feel like the adult and he is another child. I am the one who works full-time, pays the bills, saves money for back-to-school clothes, coordinates the kids' activities, lessons, etc. He is a difficult person with a difficult personality. He makes my life difficult at times. I don't know if having a relationship with him is worth it. I also don't know how to get free of him or even if I want to. It is hard. I don't know what else to say about it. I do know it isn't the relationship that I imagined I'd have at this point in my life.
So that's the stock at the beginning of year number 38. To recap, the economy sucks and has dealt some big blows. My kids are challenging, but wonderful. I am skinny and feel good about my weight. My romantic relationship is a headache. I have a college degree and a job.