Friday, November 23, 2012

Getting to Know Me

I am starting to notice certain changes as I evolve into my 47 year-old self.  Yep! I said it...forty-seven.  I know for sure the things that I like and the things that I don't.  I have a great deal of patience for my kids, but very little for some adults and things that I simply do not want to do.  There are too many things in my life that I do on a daily basis not because they are my favorite thing, but because I am a responsible adult, a mother, a wife and caregiver.  When it comes to choices where there really is an option...I may very well choose to opt out if it's not something I honestly want.

I know for sure that am very spiritual, but not religious.  I believe in God.  I believe in prayer.  I believe in following the example of Christ.  I do not necessarily believe in following people and/or churches who claim that they are following Christ.  Not all of them are really.  Many are self serving, selective, and judgemental.  I will only be judged by God...not men. I am thrilled that my boys are choosing faith and following their own path and relationship with God.  I am pleased that their faith is authentic and not forced by anyone, including me.

I believe in freedom of choice in all aspects of life, including your path to God.  I strongly believe that all people despite religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, or different ability, are entitled to certain inalienable rights.  I believe in living my life in service to help others, especially those who are less fortunate than I am.  If I can touch a life, help someone financially, make someone smile or feel less alone in this world...I am successful.

I have come to treasure simple pleasures like peace, quiet, time alone, art, music, things that make me laugh authentically.  I love a good glass a wine or three, a margarita or two, and a great martini.  I love and treasure the true friends that I have.  They really do mean the world to me, including some of my friends that I have truly connected with online.  I think about them daily.  I think about their children.  I cheer with them on their journey, and cry with them when they are in pain.

There is just nothing like someone whom you love and trust with your most treasured secrets...that you can talk to, laugh with, share your truths and receive the truth in return...without judgement.  A couple of weeks ago I got to spend time with my one of my treasured girlfriends, Beccy.  She was my first roommate when I was in my 20's.  We took a girls-trip together, along with another good friend of hers Lilli.  Beccy and I  are different in so many ways and yet, we have so many things in common.  It was interesting to see how much she has grown and changed life as a wife and a mother has allowed her to blossom and mature into this wonderful, bright, articulate, strong woman.  

We were able to share our stories and laugh at the craziness of what has become our lives.  We are both kind of artsy fartsy.  We love writing, movies and books.  She, unlike me is very focused and organized where I am a bit of a scatterbrain.  She was smart enough to have only one child, a precious little girl, where I have 3 wild and crazy boys...hence, the scatterbrain.  We reminisced about the days when we were young, partying and carefree ...about some of the crazy escapades and guys that we dated.  There was never any, "I can't believe you raise your kids that way." Or any, "Why did you make that decision?" It was just love, laughter and support.  If feel so lucky to have this woman in my life 23 years later and still be able to enjoy each other's company so much.
Me and the girls hanging out drinking martinis
At the same time, one of the best parts of my trip was the final day.  Beccy and Lilli left early that morning. I got to wake up to silence and solitude.  I drank hot coffee and sat like a cat curled up in the window seat of my hotel room, staring out at the view of the city.  I listened to a little music, did a little writing and just reveled in the silence.  I took a long, hot, steamy, aromatic bath.  I took my sweet time getting dressed.  I walked to a little Italian cafe, had a leisurely glass of wine and a yummy, light lunch. I basked in the glory of the warm sun and the cool California breeze on my walk back to the hotel.

As much as I love my friends and being social, I also have come to just love and treasure time by myself. In my 20's I was afraid to spend time by myself.  I hated it...probably because of immaturity and insecurity. Now...I love not having anyone to check in with,  having no-one to negotiate with over what we are going to do next.  I love not rushing...taking my own, sweet time, enjoying my own thoughts instead of constantly being bombarded by the thoughts of others, requests and even simple conversation.  Sometimes I just want stillness.

Being a mother to these children, a wife and a daughter, caretaker has created this person who has truly come to love a simple life.  I love to dance, go out and have a few drinks, but I don't have to do it every week.  I can have my very own private party in the privacy of my own home.  I can have just as good of a time, drinking wine and painting, or writing at home.  I love a really good party, a concert, a good movie.  Actually, it's become hard to get me out of the house unless I feel that the movie is really worth my precious time and money.

I love time alone with my husband...especially when we can get away from the hustle of this house. I love to travel with him ...where we can really get into pleasing one another.  As I grow more into myself, I realize that he is a big part of my world, but he is not my entire world.  He is a part of what makes me happy, but he is not my happiness.  My happiness comes from comes from every once in a while, doing something that pleases me...despite how everyone else feels about it.

Every one is not going to be happy when you do things to please yourself.  In fact, sometimes when you step out of the box and chart new ground, many even those you are closest to will look at you like you're crazy.   It's because you're doing something that they would never do. They don't understand it. It may also be because they know in some way, it will divert your attention away from them.  My children are definitely guilty of this.  In their eyes, my life should be all about them all of the time.  My mother and sometimes my husband are guilty as well.  They really loathe and do not trust social media. They hate that I spend so much time on it.  Hubby does information security for a living so he has a different insight.  Mom has always been the most paranoid person on earth.  I don't really care.  I can't live my life in paranoia over what might happen, or who may be reading what I write.

When I first started this blog and noticed readers from all over the world, my mom said, "It's probably the terrorists reading it."
To which I replied, "Well, they must have children with autism.  I hope I can help them."
Writing this blog and my Facebook page has been one of the best decisions I have made in my adult life.  I love it!  I love the connections I have made with people all over the world.  I can not allow how others feel about what I am doing stop me from doing what's in my heart.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  We shared our dinner and our day with good friends who live nearby.  We had plenty of wine and plenty of food. Overall, it was a great day.  A few hours in however, I was done.  I was all talked out.  There were several generations in the house and at a certain point, all of the elder generations went home...except my mother.  Since she moved to Texas, she has no life outside of this house.  This was a social outing for her, and she was not about to cut it short.

Oh My God...the conversation went on and on with my girlfriend, her daughter, me and my mother.  We talked about raising children, movies, college, health, name it.  Only I could not freely let go in this conversation because my mother was sitting there, with her judgement about my life.  I was bordering on trying to have a good time, and trying not to tell her to mind her own freakin' business.  I raise my children the way I see fit...not the way she sees fit.

The whole time I kept thinking,  boy...I'd rather be home in my P.J's writing, or zoning out watching a movie.  Geez Christmas is only a month away and I will have to do this cooking-all-day and socializing all-night thing afterwards!  I'm pooped!  Overstimulated!  Give me a break...please! I love to socialize, but at a point, I get tired.  I am done.  I know I am blessed to have my mother in my life...but I really don't want to socialize with her for extended periods of time...especially when there is wine drinking involved and she looses her filter.

When I was on my girlfriend trip a few weeks ago in San Francisco, I have to say my favorite night of the trip was not when we were out at fancy restaurant, although that was great.  It wasn't hanging out in the bar drinking martinis... and that was really fun.  My favorite night was when we came in after a long day of walking through Chinatown, and shopping.   We put on our pajamas, ordered room service, drank wine, shared a few laughs, watched a funny movie and went to bed by midnight.
Tired feet after a day of walking around the city
What I know for sure about myself  is that I am growing, changing and evolving daily.  I don't have to have glitz, glam and party-all-the-time atmosphere.  I know what I want and I want what I know.  This is the girl that I have become...and I think I kinda love her.