I never intended for this blog to be about me, about whining or complaining or longing. I wanted it to be uplifting and challenging. I planned on researching empathy and strength. And then I dropped into this funk. And I find that writing about it seems to help for a minute, so I apologize and ask for your patience. I know that this too shall pass, but right now it sucks.
I have always wanted, planned, dreamed of, living at the beach.
We devoted the first 24 years of our marriage, exclusively, to getting our children raised. I went gleefully, my husband had to be pulled out of his self-serving mode frequently, but we got it done. We thought. We have three children, all fairly successful, reasonably settled. We have 5 grandchildren, and one, ssshhh, on the way. All our kids have a life partner — maybe. the youngest is in a rocky relationship that may or may not work itself out, and our middle has a “baby momma” that makes his life sticky for he and his fiancée. The oldest, married to a “professional man” is in the calmest place right now. We are indelibly tied into all of their lives. INDELIBLY. The stress of monitoring everyone else’s “issues”, of caring for all those babies at different times during the week, of financially helping whoever needs it at the time, is literally sucking the life out of me. There, I said it, its killing me.
And, it kills me to say that.
My own mother refused to help much when I was raising our kids. My dad was available, but mom was perfectly fine with sitting on the beach while I lay on a cot in my family room, confined to bed rest for the last three months of my last pregnancy. Dad came up and down the coast to help, almost daily, but mom? her line was “I didn’t tell you to have a third baby”. So, I am very conscious of not being her. I worry that selfishness is genetic and that years down the line my kids will resent each time I said”no” to whatever they have asked. And, that I will be guilt ridden about wanting my time. But, truly, do I have to be home everyday by 4 in case someone needs to be picked up from child care? do I have to arrange every weeks schedule around someone’s doctor appt. or “charity dinner” or business trip. Why do I stay home every other weekend, when youngest child’s husband works nights, in case she needs us? So, I never, rarely ever, say “no”. And although I love every minute with those babies, I want to go to the beach. I want to sit in the sand and knit. I want to have morning coffee with the sound of the surf in my ears.
And I worry about being rash in decisions. A couple of years ago we bought land in Chincoteague that we cant afford, and now cant unload. I retired a year ago and cut our income by a quarter. I work part-time, but it doesn’t make it up, not by a long shot. I don’t want to regret another decision, but I want, more than anything, to sell this big house and move to the beach. two hours away. close enough that if there is an emergency I can get here, but far enough that im not asked to pick up some thing at the grocery store — when there are two adults in the house that could do it.
God, I hate this helpless feeling. I feel like my life is out of control and that I am just spinning my wheels trying to be everything to everyone. Is it selfish to, finally, want it to be “my turn”?