Our wedding anniversary was this week. We don't really celebrate it anymore other than to say happy anniversary to each other and maybe buy a card, if we have extra money. The reason we don't celebrate it is because the kids and their needs usually came first and so there was no money in the budget to celebrate. However, we have been married for thirty-two years (together for 33), and we have survived the death of a child (which we understand that 9 out of 10 marriages don't) so I guess you could say we are survivors. And it sure hasn't been easy, either. Sometimes he would make me so mad and sometimes I would make him so mad, but when we stood before God and vowed til death do us part, we meant it. And when we said through richer and poorer, in sickness and in health we meant that, too.
Earlier that day I got a call from my daughter. She wanted to take us to dinner for our anniversary. She called her brother to invite him, too, but he had to work. So we did end up celebrating and having a special dinner. My kids have not only grown up, but they are maturing, too. This was the first time they initiated doing something for our anniversary. We ended up dining at the Cheesecake Factory. We had never been there before and it was a real treat.
So since the children have left the nest, I have been feeling a need to change my life. It's been really hard to feel good about doing something for myself since I have always done stuff for everyone else. I was in the book store one night, well, the husband was there, too and I was waiting for him and I happened to look behind me. There on the shelf was a book entitled A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson. I picked it up because I like the beach and so I read the back cover. Basically, Joan had left her husband to spent time with herself in their cottage at Cape Cod. She describes how women never give themselves time to be with themselves and to find who they really are...or...how they were someone interesting in the beginning of their adult life but because of all the years of doing for others women have lost sight of themselves and their passions. Joan has written four books pertaining to this and she is so right on. It's especially true for women in their mid-lives, but for those who are widowers, divorcees, etc. The second book in the series is entitled An Unfinished Marriage--her and her husband reunite at the beach cottage and she talks about readjusting to each other but not losing herself and for her and her husband not to be the same as they were before. The third book is entitled A Walk on the Beach. She had met the wife of the famous psychotherapist Erik Erikson who helped her find who she is and the next to the last books is A Weekend to Change Your Life. I have never read a book that was so dead on where I am in my life today. I am now working on A Weekend to Change Your Life and I am already surprised with the results of the activities she is having me do. So I'm hoping that these books will give me a better sense of myself and help me to get out of my comfort zone. Now this is where I'm at--learning to get out of my comfort zone and find out who I really am because I have lost myself.
I don't know about you, but with each of the kids' birthdays I always find myself going back to the day of their birth. I always replay the day I went to the hospital to give birth to them. I might even tell that child a repeat of that story they've heard so many times before (and really don't seem to care how they came into the world). But that's what made me a mother. My first born made me a mom for the first time and so I was a mother of one child. The second born made me a mother of two and I really wasn't sure I could love another child because I loved the first one sooo much. But I did and knew the love in a heart expands. The third one came along and she made me a mother of three and I felt like a mother with ducklings in tow. It was wonderful. Each with their own personalities, thoughts, behaviors (one boy with ADD!), but I loved and love them all so much. And so I celebrated her birthday on Labor Day of all days because it was her birthday. We went out to eat then went back to her apartment to open presents. I'm always so glad to be able to spend time with her.
Friday was a great day! My daughter is starting another class at college and she needed to go pick up her books. I sorta invited myself along, but we had a great time. She didn't want to be out done by her big brother and took me out to lunch. So, I went to lunch with both my kids last week. I couldn't ask for anything better. She is studying to become a CPA. She currently works for a firm as the Director of First Impressions. She has also taken on the task of the company's webmaster. I'm so proud of her!
Monday I had a wonderful surprise.My son showed up at the house to take me to lunch. Since I am a night owl I was still in bed when I heard his footsteps racing down the hallway, then a knock on my bedroom door. I am very proud of my son. He has served two tours in Iraq and is now serving the public as a police officer. He recently moved out of the house, hence the empty nest and I miss his presence, but I think he stayed here at home as long as he did because he didn't want to leave me. Well, at least that is what I'm gonna believe, anyway. After lunch we went shopping; his sister's birthday is coming up and we were getting some ideas. I was thinking afterwards one just never knows what a day brings.