I’ve been thinking again. I know, it’s going to be one of those kinds of blogs. It all started because I was thinking about the blog..and my blogging and not blogging and what I blog about or don’t blog about and I was thinking about my cousin Ira. (hi Ira) Ira is my cousin but he really is my mom’s first cousin. I mean he’s my cousin too but I did not meet him until maybe 5 years ago. He’s a few years older than my mom, looks so much like my Grandad to me, at least he reminds me of him, not sure he actually looks that much like him. Mom says when they were kids, she felt like Ira kept an eye on her, not too close, but kept an eye out walking to the bus stop that was miles away from the house for instance. And then when she lost her sight and needed help again he’s there. I mean doesn’t that make you cry just a little? To think about the people who come in and out of your life? Especially relatives. I’m thinking about Zachary and how much he played with my sister’s kids and his other cousin when he was a growing up and he has absolutely no contact with them now. I wonder if when he’s 80 there will be contact again? Ya know? I have/had a similar relationship with my cousins. I remember them from when I was little –like before 10 – and then nothing until I was about 20 – and then nothing again for maybe another 10 years, and then we had the big family reunion about 5 years ago. Well anyway, I don’t know my cousins very well but I love them because they’re family. At least that’s how I feel. But I digress because this wasn’t supposed to be about cousins. See how I am? I get so sidetracked when I type.
I was thinking about Ira because he reads my blog and when he comments he makes very thoughtful comments and has complimented me on being open and honest…stuff like that…and well lately I haven’t been sharing any heartfelt stuff. Not that my renewed interest in the male species isn’t heartfelt but I guess maybe I should share this whole being thrown alone into the wilds of Florida experience and update my 5 readers (down from 20) on how it’s progressing. I have met a few people on this path of mine that have commented on how brave I am to be here, all alone, knowing no one etc. I don’t know how brave it is but it can be trying at best. I attribute a lot of the success (for lack of a better term) of this experience on having so many different experiences. This is what I thought about today…let me be more specific…for your weekend reading pleasure.
I have always had a lot of friends. I didn’t come here to make friends, which is good cause that’s not going so well, but at this stage of my life I’m not feeling like I need to find new friends. Not that I don’t like new friends, it’s not that, but the fact that I don’t have any friends here yet doesn’t really upset me because I already have more friends than I can make time for. So like I’m not sad or worried about that.
Now work, well my history in the work-a-day world has always been one of confidence. I’ve never encountered a job I couldn’t do. Well…maybe…there was this time I had a temp job and I couldn’t figure out how to print – computers were new at the time…give me a break…anyway I did walk out of that job at lunch. LOL. That was a long time ago, obviously. I mean I know how to print now at least. But moving here, I wasn’t worried about being able to perform in my job here in DeLand. Now though, for the first time in my life ever, I am a little worried about it just because it’s too much..it’s literally a job that two people should be doing! But I sucked it up and brought home stuff and stayed up working until 1 am last night and again today until noon or so, so I just have to quit being a baby and get it done and just do it..for now.
Men, well men, I’m not looking for one. I won’t mind having one in my life again some day but for the first time in my life, ever, I’m not consumed with being in a relationship. At least today.
The town is great in the way that there is always something going on. Today there is a music festival on the streets, there is a big homecoming something going on (Stetson’s homecoming) everything within walking distance. On Halloween they closed the streets off downtown and all these people were out in costumes just walking around. Bunch of kids dressed up. I did walk through it just to check it out. There’s also sky diving, there’s weekend Stetson football games (when they’re home), there’s parades, there’s craft shows, it’s really a happening place. Of course I do none of it because I don’t have a friend…yet. (see above) I mean I’ll walk through a craft fair but mostly I stay inside on my weekend, or go to the beach. But just now I watched fireworks from my window. They set fireworks off for Homecoming. See? I’m entertained enough.
My apartment isn’t ideal but I really don’t mind. It’s ideal for me at this time. It’s kinda fun when I get all excited about buying myself a new pan, which I only do when there’s a recipe that requires me to have a different pan than I have now. I mean it’s stupid but to me it’s fun. I have everyone at work cheering me on with my pan purchases.
I’m fortunate to have a whole lot of time to think about this kind of stuff, that is when I’m not watching my shows. In education, in higher ed anyway, there is a lot of time after an assignment when educators are asked to “reflect” on their experiences. My job specifically has me building surveys for people to reflect on their experiences. This year I learned the word PREflection where you’re supposed to think about what you expect to learn before you reflect on what you have learned. Sheesh…a lot of thinking. Based on that mindset I am probably exactly where I need to be.
I am at the midterm of my life and I’ve been given this chance to reflect on what I’ve experienced so far. Kinda like “go to your room and think about what you did Missy!!” Kinda like that. I don’t know that I’m being punished, I mean I really do know that I’m not being punished, but I did have to have things taken away from me in order for me to just stop and think. I think about the big picture things now like permanence. I think about permanence a lot, and how fleeting and fast time is. I am surprised that I am so nostalgic for many things. I’m sure empty nesters go through that a lot. I surprise myself though missing my kids, missing my dogs, missing Fair Oaks, missing living in Moon Township and the fall sounds of Robert Morris sports that I would hear at my apartment or living downtown and walking around the Point on the weekends. And of course I miss Palm Harbor and Treasure Island and floating in the Gulf and walking on the beach and everything that went with that. Well I could go on and on but I wonder if I miss things so much, why do I leave? Why do I change? Why did I leave my apartment in Moon Township? Obviously there are circumstances that are inevitable and we need to change with them. Kids grow, dogs die, but there are a lot of other choices that I’ve made that I question now. Not so much regret, but just reflect on 🙂 That’s probably the first essay question on the midterm the universe is offering me now. Question #1. Why don’t you stay put? (PS – there is no right answer)
I think about what kind of friend I am, what kind of friend I want to be. What kind of new friends do I want to hang out with?
I think about what kind of house/home do I want? Do I care about a “home” like I used to? I’m down to what I would call the bare minimum, the bare minimum for me, but do I even care? Ya know? Like what do I care about in a home?
This is the gift I’ve been given. The gift of reflection. Sure I’m lonely sometimes, not really though, I mean I’m back to talking on the phone a lot, but I wouldn’t mind having someone to hang out with on occasion…but back to now, now I’ve been given the gift of time. My job keeps me busy enough that I don’t wallow in this stuff and my detachment from any outcome gives me perspective. I have time to think. Sure thinking at the beach would have been nice too, but…I digress once again!
I think my purpose here in DeLand, my goal in the short term is to get back to being self-sufficient. Apparently not too quickly, but still. That’s what I gave up in my last chapter. Not my independence. I never felt I gave that up, but I did give up being self-sufficient. I’d give that up again in a heartbeat, BUT for now I need to get back on my feet on my own. That’s what this chapter in my life is about (I think). I mean that whole issue is a reflection question in itself isn’t it? Being self-sufficient or being financially supported? I reflect on giving back too. Like how to pay those times back? Not will I ever get the money to pay Chase bank back, or send money to people who gave me money (although won’t that be nice someday?) but more specifically how do I pay the world back for helping me get through that? When I get back on my feet do I donate to charities? Do I go online and give $20 or $200 to a random go-fund me page? Maybe a 3 bedroom house on the beach where friends and family can come stay is a pay back option? More reflection and savings needed there for sure.
I really do feel like something good is coming up – at least something new and possibly big. Retirement is only a heartbeat away. I think about that a lot. I mean A LOT. I am weirdly excited to get there. I don’t want to wish away these times, like I am so apt to do, but I just have this feeling that the best times are yet to come. It’s my PREflection. I expect that I’m going to be having a lot of fun when those days come but for now I will just be happy to reflect on what I’ve done to this point.
So that’s all, some soul-searching stuff to share. I’m not sad. I don’t hate my job on most days, sooomme days I think wtf, but most days I’m fine, I’ve got the beach, I got my friends at a distance and I have my new pet lizard.
Seriously I have this lizard that I kinda like having around. It started with me trying to figure out how to get him out of the house but he got away from me of course and then was hanging on the window blinds and I told him that we would figure it out in the morning, just stay out of the kitchen. The next morning I checked on him and he was still on the blinds but after my shower he was gone. Sooo, I figured he got out. A couple of days later I get the mixer out to make banana bread (for work) and there he was on the mixer. We were both stunned. When I told him that I specifically said to stay out of the kitchen and he didn’t listen that now I guess he had to go, but I couldn’t catch him. So I’ve decided to keep him. I’m hoping he eats bugs because that’s what I’ve heard lizards do and I’m not feeding him, although I did put some water out for him the other day. I’m not sure if it’s too much water and he could drown so I’ll have to research that. He hangs out with me now in the kitchen although he still stays to the edges quick to run under that cupboard so I don’t drop something on him (I did that the other day…felt really bad) and now it’s like having a dog or a cat or a roaming baby again. I’m always looking down so I don’t step on him. HA!! I haven’t named him yet.
Well anyway, I kinda like having him around. And I’ll just let you all reflect on that!!