Well here goes nothing. Or something. We’ll see…
Starting a blog is the something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but kept putting off. I had all the right reasons: I worked full-time, attended college part-time, and was helping with the care of my father, whose dementia was growing worse. Combine that with shopping, cooking, banking, laundry, apartment cleaning, homework, helping my mother with things she used to depend on my father for, and I stayed pretty darn busy! What precious little time and energy leftover was spent with my adult children and significant other (when they were available), trying to relax and enjoy life.
This past year I graduated and my dad went into a nursing home (both of which provides plenty of material to blog about.) It also freed up time in my evenings and weekends. I promised myself the blog would be on my New Year’s resolutions list for 2015.
So, here I am. A fifty-something Baby Boomer with a newly minted Public Relations degree…and hot flashes. I’m in a transition period and menopause, all at once. Talk about fun! I’ve worked at the same company for 17 years and because there’s no room for advancement, it’s time for a career change. I want to find a job that fulfills me, while utilizing the education I’ll spend the rest of my life paying off.
I’m still trying to accept the recent changes that have occurred: the fact that my dad will never hang curtain rods for me again, among other things. My oldest son and daughter-in-law moved to Florida 18 months ago. They are doing very well, just bought a house, but I miss them a lot. My middle child (another son) is single, lives and works here in our hometown and is super busy. I don’t see enough of him and have concluded that it’s easier to get an audience with the Pope. My youngest, a daughter, is spending the upcoming spring semester in Washington D.C. completing an internship, and will graduate in May. She is a talented writer, a total introvert, and probably the only girl her age who wants to live with her mother forever. She thinks we should move to Florida to be near her brother and sister-in-law, who she feels will be starting a family soon.
“You will be near your grandchildren and we can be like Dorothy and Sophia on the Golden Girls,” she quips, referring to the popular late 80’s TV sitcom, featuring the mother-daughter duo played by Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty.
Honestly, though….I’m in a tough place right now with some big decisions looming. What’s my next move?
I despise the western Pennsylvania weather and have wanted to move to a warmer climate for most of my adult life. Stringing Christmas lights in palm trees is my fantasy; living by the ocean my dream. The job market here isn’t promising either. At some point my mom will need assisted living and my brother and sister live out of town. The situation with my SO (significant other) is complicated. He’s a wonderful person and very good to me, but he has a lot of his own issues. Looking ahead I don’t see much outside of a dating relationship. If I had a great job, loved the climate, had more financial and personal security and living space, then I’d be content to stay (or would I?)
But I’m not content and once my daughter graduates in May, I will no longer be location bound. Her graduation has been my deadline for making the decision.
So, how does one decide whether to stay or go? How do you prioritize who and what matters most in a descending list? How can I make the right decision based on what I want when that also means sacrifices?
And what about fear? Yeah, I’m scared of the changes, but fear kept me stuck in a bad marriage for too many years. I don’t want that to happen again. I don’t ever want to forgo a truly meaningful life simply because change is scary.