Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Year of Me

Art.Com United Airlines: Disneyland In Anaheim, California, C. 1960& (Google Affiliate Ad)
The last ten years have been tough ones for me.  I managed to get through a cross -country move to North Carolina,where I knew no one — all by myself unless you count the two dogs and one cat.  I survived my son’s deployment to Iraq and his four years in the Marine Corps.  I started a new career at fifty-five years old, moved back to California (now with three dogs), the loss of my cat of fourteen years, another new job, the loss of two of the best dogs ever, the shocking loss of my son’s father at fifty-three years old, frozen shoulder, a horrible flu, several bouts of shingles — too many to count, and my already poor hearing has recently tanked. I’m not whining though, I’m glad I have lived to tell the story. 

Throughout all of these bumps in the road, I haven’t done much for myself in the pampering department. I get my toes done every few months when the weather is nice, my hair done once a year and I don’t buy myself much of anything, except books. No vacation since 2007 when Nick came home from Iraq and I spent nine days in Palm Springs, (waiting for him to step off that bus.)  at my Uncle’s house. The nine months leading up to that “vacation” was so stressful that the stay in Palm Springs didn’t really have the affect itshould have had on me.

Since I turned sixty-one in February, I have gotten my hair done, I’ve gotten a facial (a gift from my nieces) a pedicure and manicure, started taking Taiko (Japanese drum) lessons, and today I went for a reflexology massage.  Suddenly, I feel like I deserve to do something for me. I realize now, I need to take care of myself a little bit more than I have been.

(see link for
Taiko drum performance)

Many moms are like me. They walk around with holey underwear and tattered bras while their kids are wearing 200.00 shoes and taking three trips a year to Disneyland or some other fun-filled place. My son was always better dressed than me, but that was mostly because his grandparents liked to take him shopping. 

Now at 61, I can do a few things for myself without the guilt. I’ve worked hard, really hard, in the last few years and I’m proud of myself for not falling apart when things got bad, not giving up on life, putting one foot in front of the other and staying remarkably hopeful. Sometimes, I didn’t know where that hope came from, but it always prevailed. 

In the past I have offered one piece of advice to new moms, (or dads) and that was always have a hobby, have a life outside your kids just for you, so you are not devastated the day they leave you.  

Now, I’m adding to that advise and hopefully taking awaysome of the guilt. Pamper yourself from time to time it’s okay, really.