Midlife

Originally published on Kimchi Mamas (yesterday)

 

I turned 40 this year and I kind of am really liking the older me. I feel so mature! Can you tell?

 

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So mature! Right? =)

In all seriousness, I actually do feel like I am just barely starting to get this thing called life. And by “get” I don’t mean that I have figured it out and have the solution to all of life’s problems and have unlocked the secret to happiness. No. I do not have any keys to happiness here. And yet, I do feel a smidgen of self confidence and maybe a sprinkle of faith and a sliver of hope, that no matter what happens, that I will be ok.

And I know shit happens.

I have experienced the happening of the shit. Intimately. I have been through some shit and I’ve seen my friends and loved ones go through some shit. And there is a lot of it in my family history.

Ok. So, I’m going to let you in on a secret.

If you are a faithful follower of Kimchi Mamas, you might have read the series entitled Roots. (Search for Roots Part 1 to read the first part on the blog.)

Well, guess what? I wrote that! That family is my family. So yeah, a lot of shit.

As I get older, I am learning that shit doesn’t happen less when you get older. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that it is happening more and more. Would you like a list? Of course you’d like a list. Everyone loves lists, right?

  1. My friends’ parents are dying. TWO in recent weeks. One survived a heart attack, to die of another. Another’s father died of a stroke.
  2. I still have a lot of unrestored relationships. And imperfect relationships.
  3. My husband and I are “orphans” and are trying to do life without biological family around. Why! Are! There! So! Many! Soccer! Practices! I will not confess that I have considered having uber take my kids to practice.
  4. Terrible things are still happening in the world (Syrian refugees, mass shootings, etc. etc. everything on the news.)
  5. Lovely people on the blogosphere (that’s still a word right?) are getting cancer.
  6. My friends are going through divorces, sometimes very painfully. Authors I love, whose marriages I believed in, are ending their marriages.
  7. My friends are struggling with infertility.
  8. My friends want to get married but there aren’t any good guys around.
  9. I still have not achieved perfection. Just yesterday, I scared, I literally SCARED, my seven year old son because I SCREAMED at him SO LOUD when I saw him trying to stand on a watermelon that he started crying. He had to take a moment by himself in his bed to calm down because he was upset. (I think this episode is more funny than telling of my character but whatever. I mean, who tries to stand on a watermelon?)
  10. Do you need a number 10?

With all of this painful stuff whirling around me, it seems like it would be easier to shut my heart so that the pain won’t get it.

Stop caring! No one cares about you anyway, so why care about them? People suck, and they will always disappoint you. You are all alone. You don’t really know them anyway, so this shouldn’t really matter to you. Life really does suck. Redemption is a lie. Grace is a lie. Love is not worth it. God is not loving. God is dead. Why, why, why? There is no real purpose. Stop hoping, you’ll just get disappointed.

These are the voices that whisper in my ear when shit happens. These voices used to overwhelm me at times, and blot out my tiny sprinkle of faith, and my smidgen of confidence, my sliver of hope. They would leave me swirling. Doubting everything. Doubling Love and doubting myself. They tell me to close off my heart, let it get a little bit smaller so that it won’t hurt as much.

But as I get older, I am finding that I have more tools to battle these voices. I am finding that they don’t have much power over the 40 years of my actual experience of life.

Because I have gone through the shit.

And yet, here I am.

And I am OK. And I am alive. And I have a good life. And I am so so so blessed. And I am so grateful to be alive to experience this thing called life.

Yes, life hurts. But life also heals.

There is grace enough for all of us. There is redemption enough for all of us. Hope is abundant. And it’s free. Even for me.

I have discovered, in my 40 years of life, that I can do hard things.

Some of the days, I can do the hard things by myself. And some of the days, I cannot do the hard things. And that too is OK. The hard thing will be patiently waiting for me when I am ready.

And at rare times, I can even do the valiant and life-infusing thing of helping someone else with their hard things. We can do the hard things together. And at even rarer times, I can even do the courageous and vulnerable thing, of receiving help with my hard things. We can do the hard things together.

I am beginning to understand a teeny tiny bit, that this is the magic of life. In the space between two persons, when help is given and received, is where life happens.

Did everyone else know this all along? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

Maybe they tried, but I just couldn’t hear it yet.

Maybe I had to have the proof first, before I believed it.

 

lovin’ being 40,

Mary

Changing Someone’s Life

This is an old old draft post but I liked it so am finally posting it. It’s a bit outdated but whatevs.

It’s been a strange week. I’m going through Step 4 in my al-anon recovery process. I’m on the topic of love. It asks, “How have you expressed your love toward others?”

I could barely think of anything. I searched my mind and my heart. I still could not list more than a few things. I told myself, “You are not a loving person. You don’t love anyone.” Sounds crazy, but sounded partly right at the time. I doubted if I could really love someone else… you know, the kind of sacrificial, self-less, unconditional, all-giving love. I also wondered if I am having any real positive impact on those around me.

So today, someone that I don’t know came up to me and told me that they went to a meeting. They said that I talked about unconditional love at that meeting, and that that meeting changed their life.

So yeah, that happened.

Be Brave

New post up on Kimchi Mamas on being brave.

 

Hello!

Hi! It’s been a while! What have I been up to? Well, let’s just say that work has been crazy.

For all of you out there who work 60+ hour weeks regularly. BOY! You work too hard! I am so glad that my work project is done. Yay.

It’s been an adjustment. It was easier almost to start working crazy hours than to go back to my regular hours… I wonder what that means?

Anyway, just learned that my dad is in jail and may get deported. I hope he grows up soon.

Also learned that my mom got a fat rock from her boyfriend. Hmmmmm.

Not much to report here, I guess. I feel guilty about not writing to my Compassion kids. GUILTY as charged. I will write them soon.

I also learned that one of them was supposed to be departed from the program this year, but it has been extended til the end of the year. I didn’t even know he was supposed to be departed… so what’s up with that?

Hubs and I ate at Taco Bell today. Hadn’t eaten there since, I don’t know… for a long time. I had two soft tacos. They were surprisingly good. No cheese. I think I am becoming more and more lactose intolerant as I age. It SUCKS. 

Alright, this is really bad writing, so I will stop now. Good night ya’ll.

Oh, forgot to mention that my shop is open again. Yay. http://www.perfect.etsy.com

Home

Our home got broken into last week. While we were at work/school, around 10 AM, the thieves took our computer, the x box and my jewelry.

I just finished making the list for the police report and insurance claim.

I thank the bank that they make us get home owner’s insurance. I hope the claims process isn’t too painful.

Things have been going really well. And although this bump in the road seemed like a bad thing, I’m actually not too bothered by it. Of course, it’s annoying and time consuming to deal with this. And costly. But all in all, it hasn’t disturbed my serenity or happiness too much.

I am thankful for the reminder to not be possessed by my possessions. That this world is not my home. That stuff is just stuff. That fleeting memories will be 100% accurately remembered in heaven (that’s a reference to the photos and videos of the children that are lost along with the computer).

The husband and I have been saying that we made an unplanned contribution to a disreputable charity.

I’m so over it.

Goin’ on with my life.

Meeting with the local gift shop lady

Went really well! She placed her order and my next step is to make all the jewelry. I hope I can make them all soon. I am facing some tax-related challenges that I have to figure out. How do people who start small businesses do this? I guess it’s a business expense so I can write it off… Need to consult an accountant. I don’t have the time to figure all this stuff out.

today’s events

Today, I took a mental healthy day off from work. I am thankful that I could do so. I had breakfast at a local diner-like place. I got a table and started applying make-up. The lady on the table next to me was reading her paper and finishing her food. She commented about how it was not right for people to talk about pee or to put on make up in a public place. She said many sentences about how she was displease.

I asked her if my applying make up was bothering her. She said more things. I asked if she is sensitive to scents. She said she was and said that it didn’t seem like I cared since I was now applying my make up “aggressively.” She said that I was rude for doing this. I asked her if she could please stop talking to me. She said again that it’s not right for me to put on my make-up in a restaurant. She said that even though I was smiling, that I was being aggressive and rude and impolite. She asked if there was anyone else in the place that was putting on their make-up. I ignored her.

She left. The people to the right of her looked at me and said they didn’t know why she felt the need to listen in and comment on their conversation. I took that to mean that they were the ones who talked about pee. The waitresses stopped by. They told me she was rude and was having a “bad day” because she did not get the type of pastry she wanted. My waitress commented that she should get up earlier if she wants a particular pastry.

I thought all of this was rather hilarious and sad. I did not take it personally, although I could easily have. Multiple times, I wanted to tell her off and yell at her. Reciprocate her rudeness with my own rudeness but I kept my smile on my face and used my please and thank you. Many snide remarks came to my brain, but I did not let them come out of my mouth.

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