From Both Sides Now

It’s my favorite kind of spring morning. There’s a light drizzle outside, enough that I can hear it dripping from the eaves. I have a warm kitty snuggled next to me, gently snoring. On the other side of him is my daughter, curled in a ball underneath an IKEA throw, breathing deeply. In the living room, I can hear my dog snorting and making her weird sleep noises. The house is quiet, without any electronics other than my computer to ruin the silence.

I love these days. It’s the simplest things that I treasure, because I know they will not last. I don’t just mean that pretty soon my husband will be up grinding coffee, and the dogs will be darting in and out of the dog door. I mean I know that soon, my daughter will be off on her own, no longer curled up next to me. The warmer our days become, the less the cat will want to snuggle. For nine months out of the year, he can barely stand to be touched. As for Pinky, she is getting older; she is eight, which is about two thirds of her life span, if we’re lucky.

Life is fleeting, even though for Aubrey, her launch date can’t come soon enough. We have no idea where she will end up, be it in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York, but either way, she’ll be 2000 miles from me, once again.

I’m not so worried about her (or me) this time. She’s older, wiser, more mature, and is better about letting people know where she’s going and who she’s with. She does her own shopping, buys her own meds, makes her own appointments, but most importantly, she makes her own friends now. Before, she tended to isolate herself. Since she started working at TdB, she has blossomed into a confident creature, albeit a very messy one. I feel sorry for any roommate that is stuck with her, because she is still a slob.

This time, I know that I will survive and once again create my own new world. Thanks to Meetup, I have several groups that I have joined (though not attended) that guarantee I will find people who share my interests. I look forward to having Aubrey’s bedroom turned into an office for Ron as he returns to school to learn to be a database administrator. Most of all, I am excited to have MY room back, without Aubrey’s mess taking up half the space.

There will still be a place for her here, as I am turning the playhouse into a little guestroom/cottage, with a daybed, small dresser, desk, and shelves. A few weeks ago, Will helped me clear it out and prime away the green, pink, purple, and blue. Now it is a soft light teal, with white trim and denim curtains. With the ceiling fan and a tower fan, it will be quite comfortable, even on the hottest days, because it is in the shade of the neighbor’s tree. There is a mountain laurel right outside the door, already blooming its giant grape-smelling falls of purple. When it’s not being used as a guestroom, it will be my writer’s cottage, although I don’t know how much writing I will actually get done.

Aubrey and I have already planned to do lots of visiting. I’ll split my time between here and there; a compromise that will let me be in New England part of the year, while living in whatever state Ron and I can agree to. He finally said that he doesn’t want to live in New England, and because he’ll have spent 13 years of his life living in Texas to be with me, I feel like it’s his turn to choose where we live next. At the moment, New Mexico and Colorado are at the top of the list. I have no urge to live anywhere near Colorado Springs, nor do I want to live in the Denver metro area (or its suburbs). There is a hospital in Estes Park, which means there are medical groups that will need an accountant/analyst/DBA. I’m not stressing about it yet because it is still at least two years off, thanks to our sudden doubled debt due to all our dental bills.

This childless time around, I intend to work on me. The dental disaster was a catalyst for improvement. I’ve “let myself go” over the last five years or so, and now I want myself back. I will have straight, perfect white teeth once again. I don’t have a single wrinkle, but I did talk to my dermatologist who diagnosed me with a blechy skin condition that’s been bothering me, so I will no longer have a bright red, oily face. Next is contacts. Thanks to giving up soda and most of the sugary stuff Aubrey and I consumed, I have been losing weight, and I plan to help that along with exercise of some kind. If nothing else, dancing with Will a few times a week should do it. At some point, I will find a new hairstyle and start wearing makeup again.

Actually, to be honest, the dental disaster only spurred part of it. The other part is Will constantly telling me, “I love you like a sister, but…” That’s his way of not so gently saying he doesn’t find me attractive (which is a VERY good thing, and is what makes our friendship work…that, and my NEVER meeting any of the carousel of women that he sleeps with). I want to be 45 and gorgeous. I think Ron will be pretty happy with that, especially since exercise has bonus benefits beyond weight loss.

44 is creeping up very quickly (next month…EEEEEK!!!), but I am ready to meet it with open arms. I always said my life would begin at 42. I guess I was just off by a couple of years.

“But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost but something’s gained
In living every day”

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