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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Night Streets, Crow's Feet & B-Words, OH MY!!

The first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have one, right?
I thought my 46th birthday was the demarcation of middle age; King said I crossed over in 2005. I cloaked myself in denial. Until now.
Time to admit: I am middle-aged.
Given recent complaints (From Party, Scholar, Flower Child and King) about my night driving, I bravely gave full disclosure to our optician. Actually, the doctor was the brave one, since I went ballistic during last year’s eye exam when he mentioned the B-word. (Apologetically claiming it was "a legal thing to inform me of options, he'd make a little note in my file".) That B-word haunted me a full year, at least when driving at night or trying to name a face from 20 feet away.
Last week, I picked up a lovely pair of Cole Haan frames. Having worn reading glasses since high school - this shouldn’t be a blog-worthy event. However!
They call them Progressive lenses. As a marketing person, I like this re-branding of mature people’s eyewear. It makes the journey easier to stomach. (Progressive, as in gradual - not a political view)
I called my 89-year old Grandma. After we discussed the S.C. GOP primary and other world events, I told her about my progressive lenses. She scoffed: “They’re the same BI-FOCALS I wear and YOU know it!”
Thanks, Ma-maw. I love the way you’ve taught me to face my fears. Yes m‘am, I understand: we come from a long line of independent, pioneering, high-spirited women. Yes, I am a little vain. I will grow old gracefully – with eye creams, hair colorings, and my new progressive lenses.
So here I am – older and wiser. The best part?
I can SEE! Dark, shiny-rainy and even foggy roads! The words on signage are crisp and clear – at night! I can see skin and eye lash quality of people I interact with each day. I can see King’s individual greys on his fine head of hair.
It’s a mixed blessing, as I’ve also seen the eye cream isn’t working quite as well as I’d thought … progressives reveal signs of my over-developed character. (A well-lived life will do that to a gal, no?)
I spoke to a friend (since high school). Ironically, she picked up her progressives the very same day that I did! We agreed: it’s a trade-off, but worth the benefits. At least the world doesn’t see the actual Coke-bottle-like squares etched in the lenses to announce to the world we’re, um, our eyes are… growing up.
We decided it’s preferable to be older and wiser – we deserve to see our best. How else will we monitor the eye cream? We’re ready to take on our new hi-def world.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012: Another Year Forward

Daily, I enter our lobby and salute company archives: Margaret Mitchell’s typewriter; Lewis Grizzard’s portrait (southern comic/newsman). Then I report to an advertising post. Maybe I’ll get to write more someday. Now, I pay bills; blog a bit.
Happy 2012!
I don’t do resolutions; however, Preacher Child (first-born) and Preacher’s Wife, (new daughter-in-law) host an intriguing gathering today.
Flower Child calls it the burning-lies-you-believe party. How it works: Record a lie on paper. Ex: God is mean; only has rules. Next: Burn lie; move on.
Resolve to believe truth; it will set you free: you don't have the power to change, but God wants good things for you and He can change you. (I copied this from Preacher Child’s Facebook page today – good kid.)
I’ve pondered lies-I-believe and decided: how do I sort out lies? If I (currently) believe it - it’s true, right? Time to drudge the past.
10 ‘Lies’ I Once Believed:
1. I’ll have lots of money when I grow up, just like my parents did.
2. I’ll always be in good physical shape.
3. I will find the perfect man.
4. I control whom my children play/hang out/text with, talk to, date/love/marry...
5. By age 40, I’ll be old and wise.
6. I won’t worry about the kids once they’re 18 years old.
7. My parents will always be there.
8. I should tell everyone like it is.
9. I can talk my way into/out of anything.
10. Tomorrow, next week/month/year I will (fill in the bank).
Things I know to be true - thanks to the “Village” for helping over the years...
1.     I was 6 - my uncle & mom laughed how they thought their parents were rich when they were kids. I noted that conversation, yet believed we had what we needed so my parents were rich. Now that I pay for college, mortgage, insurance, taxes... I understand the concept of budget. (Thanks, Dave Ramsey!)
2.     How often did older, rounder women claim to my young, size 2 self? “I was tiny, just like you!” I’d smile, yet vow silently: I’ll die if my Scarlett waist exceeds 18”. Thanks, Mimi! She settled it years ago: “Honey, you can have a body or a face, but you can’t have both when you’re old.” I like food; I choose face.
3.    Thank you, my Jewish Mom, who revealed Mr./Mrs. Right doesn’t exist. “We all have baggage. YOU have baggage, Bubala. Ask yourself: Can you work with the baggage?”
4.    Speaking of Mr. Right-for-me... he says: “Control is an illusion.” Amen, King, amen.
5.    Sheesh - the older I get, the less I know. Mensa friend mused: The wise seek wisdom; the fool has found it. Thanks, Miss Winda!!
6.    In 1988, the Lamaze teacher said: it’s not one day of labor & delivery we should worry about, it’s the next 25 years. I say 87. They marry, have kids, it’s more family & households to worry about, I mean love.
7.     Nov, 2000: Kids were with Buzz; I almost flew to Miami to hang out with a friend, who wisely reminded: Be with your parents, enjoy them yourself – they won’t always be there. It was the last Thanksgiving dinner mom cooked.
8.     In youth, my motto was say it loud; say it clear. #1 Sis-in-law, big sis I always needed instructed: Everybody doesn’t need to know everything.
     Susan! I couldn’t grow up without you.
9.    Talking. I do it less now. A manager debriefed after a sales call: “Girl! Hand the guy an order and SHUT YO’ MOUTH”. He and his wife are best friends to this day. Gracias, Glenn! (Now, stop playing and go sell your cigars!)
10.  Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow!! You’re only a day away. Grandma shared:  tomorrow never comes. It took decades to understand the concept.
A favorite reminder from Tim Paskert, former colleague; now friend who creates faith-based movies & books. No more wishing my life away. He teaches: It’s about now. Every day is another step forward.
Thank you, Lord.