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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking stock at the beginning of year number 38

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.


Lonicera said...

I've found that when people are facing a shall-I-shan't-I in their relationship and feel themselves to be at stalemate, sooner or later it sorts itself out by the arrival of a better partner, which gives them the courage to seize the day and change. I think if you're asking yourself these questions - and clearly you've been doing this for a long time - then (in my opinion only, and I hope you don't mind my being this blunt???) it's already too late, and all you need is a push. As the father of your kids he'll always be special, but maybe it's time to think of yourself...

Dawnya said...

I think your 38th year is going to rock!!! You are going to find a way to end (if you desire) your current relationship. You are going to get the benefits you deserve on your job. Hell you may even find a job that will allow you to help your mom.

Visualize it, claim it and it shall be yours.

You took charge of your weight. You can take charge and accomplish anything you so desire. You are got this!!!

Dizzy Girl said...

Welcome to life- you basically just recapped my life- only I'm 33 instead. And I don't have kids or a relationship. But the economy has dealt some blows- to everyone like you said- and I am currently working as a massage therapist though I DO have a college degree. My mom is almost 60 as well and has nothing- and faces the same as your mom. My sister is pregnant with their second kid and her husband just lost his job. But despite all the hardships- I do believe there are still so many things to be happy about. Like you- my body is in decent shape and I'm not obese. My health is also in decent shape. I still live somewhere gorgeous and everyday I'm grateful for my apartment and my roommates. It's beautiful. I could still meet a non-douche at any moment. :) So cheers to our lives!!



Dani said...

Hi Amanda,you know you are only 38, you have a lot of time to get it together, I am 47 and still fine tuning-but don't waste your time either!Like Dawnya said, you were able to take charge of the weight aspect, you know you have it in you to do what you need to do, plan it out and do it!!:)

MandaPanda said...

I had this exact same conversation with myself as I turned 30 (minus the relationship part...that's the ONLY part that seems right in my life). I DO think things will work themselves out...we have to cling to that hope because without that hope...what do we have? Hang in there chica! And happy belated birthday!

Amanda said...

Sorry I am just getting to this now! Insane week. BUT...

A lot of the time I find that I am just not on the path that I was SUPPOSED to be on. I am not making the money that my degree was supposed to get me. I don't have kids like I thought I would and I am just worried about my future. (which means my entire familys future)

It is so hard to sit back and not sweat the small stuff. I have not great comment to make you feel better but what I do know is this moment, this mood, will too pass! You do what you do for your kids. Find some happiness so you too can sit back in relax some!