Friday, April 11, 2008


My friend from high school left this morning. We had a great visit. We talked until both of us were tired of talking! There was lots of "remember when?" and "what ever happened to?" Then we talked about what our life had been this past 40 some years. We covered it all, the joys, the disappointments and misery plus what we wanted the rest of our lives to encompass. We groused about the health issues of aging and the expectations of retired life. You name it, it was on the agenda at my house. When the great white hunter asked her if there was something special that she wanted to do or see, her reply was, "I came here to reconnect with the two of you, not to sight see." We did reconnect, maybe in a way I have never reconnected with anyone ever before. We had time to just sit and talk about everything at length.

Our lives took really different turns. I married early, had children early and that has been my life. She went to college, married, divorced, remarried and divorced again. She has no children but has had a successful career that she just retired from a few months ago. She is fiercely independent, successful in a male dominated field with few responsibilities now that she is not working.

After she left today, I have felt rather punchy. The insecurity that I felt all through high school about who I was and what people thought of me, came rising back to the surface after 40 some years. I wondered how my life measured up. Then later this evening, I realized, it doesn't matter. What matters is NORMA is happy with the turns her life took. NORMA is happy with her job as a full time wife, mother and Nana. How other people look at me now, my life or what I have accomplished doesn't matter at all. If I had it to do over, I would not have done it any different. There are things I would have done SMARTER, but still done the same.

Getting old is not fun some days, but being able to be comfortable in your own skin is a great benefit of age. As Popeye used to say, "I am what I am" or something like that!


Carol Van Rooy said...

When you can accept yourself for being you... that's better than any comment a stranger can give.

Glad you had a great time.

It's always fun to re-connect to loved ones from the past.

Beth said...

I have had my own "I am not making much of a difference' funk. Then last week I had many things pointed out to me that I DO make a difference. I had not told anyone...and I dont' make a difference on a large scale, but to some people I'm important. Guess God just wanted me to put things in perspective.

Amelia said...

I know the feeling you have experienced. I suppose everyone has it when they think about the past 40 or so years.

I do believe it is a natural response. Even as successful as your friend is I am sure there are times she wishes she had some of what you have. ..a wonderful husband, adoring children, precious grandchildren.

Don't dwell on the past - just smile today and have fun!

Amelia in Oklahoma

Belvie said...

Boy do I remember Popeye!!! And the saying that "I am what I am..."

You made me think about how we each contribute. I think a stay at home mom short-changes herself many times and feels inadequate because she doesn't have a career outside the house. The home and kids is an important career too...just not a money paying one.

Guess we all have times when we think "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence." As for me, I'm at a stage in my life where I like the grass on my side of the fence.....the stay-at-home wife and mom side!!

Finn said...

The choir is singing!! Hurray, hurray!
The visit sounds like a lovely one, and if we can't tall our truths by this age, then when? I appluade you Norma, I knew you were my kind of people!!! Hey girl, hitch up your britches and sit back, you got it babe! Big hugs, Finn

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing your reflections. They made me do the same. All women work. Some are employed and others don't get a paycheck, but we all work. For many years I was a homemaker, mother and volunteer. Then I went to college and was employed. Then I retired and became a widow. I embraced each stage of my life. Sometimes each part of my life was/is hard and with hindsight I'd try do some things differently.. But I know I did the best I could at the time. And I feel great satisfaction with all the things I did right. It can be fun to wonder what if..., but also fun to remember the road we walked.

Katie said...
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Granny Lyn said...

I am so glad you had a chance to "re-connect"

It is a blessing when you can see your self, and share it all without any "guards" up. The real you, and it is awesome

I am what I am and that's all what I am.
I say it about every other day