Daylight hours are dwindling down to twilight after five o’clock in the afternoon, welcoming in the evening hour. It’s sort of the same thing when you grow older. With each passing year, the routine seems the same most days, but there is the increasing awareness that twilight is edging nearer. I reckon it is because when we are very young, reaching the age of sixteen is a triumph, associated with high school, dating, driver’s permits and the fact that soon you will be facing the work force or applying for college or a trade school. I always knew I wanted to be involved with singing, performing, being in a band, touring and grabbing the tail of the nightlife, so I could have a grand time with my friends. I also knew I wanted to work in the food industry after I learned how delicious French Food tasted. Ooh-la-la!
I dreamed lots of dreams and most of them came true. There were the realities that I would need to have something practical to fall back on. As my late Father put it, “When you’re tired of screaming over the drums and guitars you’ll need to rest your voice”. Practical advice and I took heed. I worked in the financial industry for many years and held down two jobs/careers; one by day and one by night. The point I tried to remember was to enjoy life and not stress. To balance my wants with my needs. All during this time I did not even notice the days were spinning faster with ever-increasing speed making the years turn quicker. When you’re in your twenties you feel invincible reasoning with yourself that you’ll stay forever-young.
A little history: In the month of July 1991, while I was driving home from work Saturday afternoon about 12:35 PM, my automobile was forcibly struck by a very drunk driver. Without going into the details, I experienced physical therapy for a good year. A year later, our car was struck (in the same place) by a driver who had lost control of her car on the slippery street, during a rainstorm. Just one week before a very drunk driver drove through my neighbor’s yard and hit our new home. It ricocheted and slapped the kitchen wall for the second time, destroying it, and ended up (landed) in my other neighbor’s yard. Minutes earlier, I had been in the backyard watering the lawn. Close call! So, when the lady hit our vehicle, I cried out that I didn’t feel safe in the car or in the home. It made me very nervous. We were shipped off to the hospital … again. Another round with physical therapists and you know, it helps but it doesn’t last. Ask most people who have been injured. They never feel quite right again.
Back injuries are not fun to deal with and until this day, I still suffer from back spasms. But back during the summer of 1992, my sustained injuries combined with allergies, adult-onset asthma, going to work everyday and trying to start a family, I decided to cancel the rehearsals I had set up to start a new group … in order to begin hiding myself away. Hiding from whom one might ask. From the world at large. I went to work, came home and started shutting out the visits to my friends, going out to clubs, attending parties and in general, truly adjusted to a stay-at-home lifestyle with my Husband, Mother and two kitties, Huxtable and Ripley. We were a family enjoying a sweet new home, plus we were ready to begin adding to our family. As cruel fate would have it, we only ended up with more feline children and we raised them as we said sad good-byes to our elderly kitties.
Eventually, we cared for my elderly and declining Mother. I attended culinary school and after two years of tortuous and grueling hard work at a major hotel in Washington, DC (not to mention being under the thumb of a demanding pastry kitchen and craziness of people in charge), I decided to transform myself once more and change directions.
Full Stop! Which way was I to go? I asked myself. I began searching the Internet and heard about writing opportunities and blogging. Blogging. What a funny word. A person who writes a journal, log … a web log. Crazy idea. I jumped in and I haven’t looked back. I wouldn’t want to. I can combine all the skills I have mastered and learned through the years and Poof! I am renewed. It’s vitally important to do this to yourself through the years. Renew yourself and change things up. Throw caution to the wind and follow your passions. I have gotten some fine writing jobs and met so many awesome people over the past five years.
But getting back to my subject, being a grown up is not easy. The responsibility is something I embraced early on, but rude awakenings like the dismal economy, can turn laughing humans into frightened ones. Why does it always come down to money? Why are most of us … the 99% struggling so fiercely? Where did the time go and how did I allow myself to eat all of those French Pastries and delicious meals? Why did I stop exercising? Is that really gray hair? Really? Another application of the brakes. Full Stop. Time to renew. Time to get real and do something. Time to write and record that CD that people have asked me to do but I always put off recording. I confess that I do multitask and I get loads of things done, but I procrastinate. Finally when I realized it was time to get back to my real self, I found I would need to be determined in applying myself and must work very faithfully in order to redeem myself, stop blaming the drunk drivers and jump back into the saddle.
I can do all things through God (Our Creator, The Universal Mind, The Source), who strengthens me. These are words that when heard deep inside your mind, can really help you get into gear and drive yourself toward your goals. It’s not over till it is. The end point here is no matter if sometimes we feel like giving up or that we are not in control, that is the best time to confess insecurities, stop hiding inside and look the dwindling twilight hours in the face. Refuse to give in. Refresh yourself … it is what I am in the process of doing and now that I have spilt the beans, there is nothing for it … but to do it. It’s not easy being a grown up even when deep inside you have the heart of a five-year old. Twilight might be heading my way, but I can handle anything … I’m a woman and I can change my mind anytime it suits me. It’s who I am.