“The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.” Elizabeth Gilbert
I have to admit, most of my shit has been working out right now (I say while knocking on every single piece of wood I can find anywhere nearby). I’m happy. I’m (mostly) healthy – just dealing with the usual pitfalls of being a woman in her 40s.
I never knew how true the saying is – youth is wasted on the young! Here I want to go and explore and adventure and run races and hike mountains and stay up late reading! But the reality means I have to pace myself – while kids just want to play video games and wander around saying, “I’m bored!” If I knew back then what I know now, I am sure I would never have let myself be bored.
Work is challenging at times but good, and I’m content with where I’m at in life. Of course, I would like to be retired, but that’s a subject for another time. I miss dad, but the raw ache has subsided for me.
My mom has been living her shit show lately though and she’s been handling it. It’s been 8 months since dad died, and a roller coaster of all the minutiae of what you have to do when someone dies. Finances, investments and tax professionals are very few people’s idea of a good time. Add to that mice in the crawl space, then yellow jackets in the crawl space, and handling all the house stuff that dad used to do.
My uncles have been here a few times and have been wonderful with knocking out a honey-do list of chores. It has been a godsend for both my mom and me. But mom is the real superhero. She just keeps tackling the things that need to be done. One thing at a time. One day at a time. Over and over until the pendulum finally swings back towards the easier times in life.
I know she misses my dad terribly. I know she feels cheated out of years with him – it’s a reasonable feeling, she was. She got the short end of the stick. It isn’t fair, and it sucks. And there isn’t anything anyone can do to change it.
My mom instilled in me the sense of getting back up when you get knocked down. She famously told me, “you can do anything for 90 days,” during my divorce. It ended up taking a year and a half because my ex was being so difficult, but I’m not holding that against her. As it turns out, you can do some things for a year and a half too, if you need to. Some days are harder than others, but you just keep doing what needs to be done and maintaining the upward trajectory.
So here’s hoping that the pendulum keeps swinging back towards good. I love you mom.