I’ll Have The Living My Life: Hold The Fun

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I don’t remember time ever flying by so fast in my life but, this month has flown.

I wanted to get so much more done for Breast Cancer Awareness than I actually did. Isn’t that how life works though? It keeps right on flying by while you are trying to savor a moment or two.
I learnt a long time ago to slow down and let life flow naturally. My natural flow is faster than some and slower than some but, it suits me just fine. At least I thought it did anyway.

After Jess died, I knew what I wanted to do with the remaining years of my life and dove head first into it. When I found that lump in my breast; I climbed out of the water, wrapped myself in a towel and sat waiting under a giant umbrella. It was during that ordeal and the mammogram, that I realized life was moving at warp speed around me and I was just sitting there on hold again.
How did I wake up one day to teenagers? Why has my life with them been great but, not what I wanted for them? Are they too old now for me to make it all up to them? And for the love of monkeys, when will I be able to afford to do the things I have always wanted to do with them?

A lot of people would like to step into a time machine and go back in life and fix things. I want to freeze time. I want to stop the kids from getting any older until I have done all the things that a mother should do with her kids… Disneyland, vacations, spa days, shopping, Six Flags, road trips, family reunions, Zoo’s, Festivals, etc… Time is flying by and these things have been on hold. Why on Earth are they on hold? Because money, although made of paper, does not grow on trees. That statement was a wee bit too cliché for me, I am most definitely above that but, it is true nonetheless.

I grew up in the fiery depths of Hell and still managed to do a few of those things as a child. Does that make me a bad mother? They say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” (Yes, again… another common, beneath me cliché) Well, my intentions have always been good and I swear… I have been a good person (yes, I know… famous last words of a psychopathic serial cannibal) most if not all of my life. Have I been a Saint? Well, no, who is? Should I fear the day my children are grown and scream at me that I “f@cked up” their lives? I don’t know! What I do know is, that in an effort to protect them from the nastiness of the world I have also managed to teach them a rather common and painful lesson… People with no money, live life on hold.

My kids understand that bills come before all else, it is the way life is for everyone, except those in constant debt I imagine. But, how do you explain to your kids/teens/young adults that no matter how much work you do you will never have quite enough money to enjoy life? Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy life because I do. I enjoy life over death, health over illness, and having happy kids over sad ones.

Ok, maybe I should rephrase that question… How do I explain to myself (at 36 years old) that no matter how much my husband works or how hard I try to get a writing gig, we will never have enough money to be a “vacation” family? I guess we are just one of those families who despite our good intentions, good deeds, or perfect Karmic standing, this life will always be below average. I don’t know if my kids are disappointed by this life, I do know that I am to an extent and I know they are when I have to say, “Sorry I don’t have money for that.” That happens way more than I ever expected.

I need some Karmic relief in my life. How long exactly, does it take to see Karma seeds grow into a fruitful tree? I could have sworn I used Miracle Grow on those puppies but, alas nothing. Just another wasted tactic, another get-rich scheme, another typical day in the life of an atypical yet broke mom. Ok back to being on hold, thank goodness for call waiting!

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By the way, I do know this isn’t a Breast Cancer Awareness post per se . I figured I would shake things up a bit by showing how life has a way of screwing with your plans, which is exactly what an illness does. There is a week left for the Facebook event and to get in your B.C.A. posts on Blognostics. Please make sure you do that and I will be asking for everyone’s links shortly to link to my final Pinktober post next week.

 

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12 thoughts on “I’ll Have The Living My Life: Hold The Fun

  1. rimly says:

    Loved your post as always Jenni. Neither am I or my son a vacation family. We dont have that kind of money. I worry about sustaining him even through college but then god has a way of pulling us through the worst. And I am sure our children will grow up valuing things more than those who get things easily.

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Rimly. I hope that they grow up to value things although I really didn’t understand that until about 3 years ago. And I grew up working my ass off to buy my own clothes from age 13. I most definitely did not get handed anything so when I got married and he offered me the world I held my hand out and kept it there for a good portion of our marriage. Now I miss all of those things but, I also realize that those things didn’t make me any happier than I am right now at this very moment. Here’s hoping your son will be thankful for everything he has to work for. xoxo

  2. Jessica Mokrzycki says:

    We have definitely found ourselves struggling, quite considerably, in this shifting and uncertain economy. We are blessed to be able to go each year to the Cape for a week, only because we have relatives that have a place up there in which we can stay. There are so many experiences I feel my children will never have that I wish they would…so many things I’d love to see with them…But I guess all we can do is hold on to each moment and make the most of it. It’s all about perspective. To see each moment as a miracle and to find creative things to do that don’t cost anything…a hike in the woods, some time learning something new at the library…they aren’t the grand vacation we might be aiming at, but they will help our children grow deep roots in the relationships we have with them. And that’s better than any big vacation 🙂

  3. jan says:

    I family was not a vacation family either, nor could I afford the trendy clothes “all the kids had”, but I was always there, they knew they were loved and they always ate. The kids learned how to take care of themselves depending on no one to do it for them and were able to participate in sports band choir drama ect. I went to every performance I could. Each one (except Kenny), has said thank you for that. They value the time we shared as a family no matter where it was. Don’t worry, you will be fine and so will those little cherubs of yours. Having mom, dad and love is the most important thing for a child.

  4. sulekha says:

    jenni, kids understand even if they don’t say it out loud. They know how much their parents love them and want to give them the world. Hang in there and god bless.

  5. Martha Orlando says:

    Jenni, when my kids were young, even into their teens, money was always tight. I was a single mom not getting financial support from their dad to amount to anything. I couldn’t take them on vacations or do many extras for them and was so grateful for my parents who did take them, and sometimes, me, too, on some memorable ones.
    Kids do understand. When bills come first, you are teaching them the invaluable lessons of responsibility and frugality. It won’t hurt them in the least. Life is hard and full of tough choices. You are making the right ones.
    Loving them is what matters.
    And, yes, sometimes I felt my life was on hold. That’s okay. Let it simmer. Knowing you, it won’t be on hold for long!

    Blessings, my dear!

  6. Mary Hudak-Colllins says:

    Jenni, let me get my oar and row along with you. Your post hit home today but let me share with you something I learned a little over a year ago.
    We used to be that family…the family that could afford to do anything that we wanted. My children were pretty much raised with a silver spoon in their mouth. Then one day we woke up, and it was gone. Not literally…it actually was a slow, painful process, but nonetheless it felt like it was overnight.
    Growing up, I have been on both sides of the fence. But I will tell you this…as little as we have now and as much as we struggle month to month, I would much rather be here than where I have been. Money is great and sure, you get to do a lot of things, go places, see stuff. But somewhere in all that ‘fun’ you tend to forget the true meaning of life and your family. You begin to take things, particularly your family and friends, for granted. Your circle of acquaintances, for the most part, are superficial. if you are a down-to-earth person, you become lonely no matter where you go or how much money you have.
    Now, things are different. I am right back where I started about 30 years ago only now I have a husband and children. I think my children had the most difficult time dealing with the change. It’s hard for them to understand that we don’t have the extra money for them to go to the movie this weekend with their friends, etc. But, without the vacations, I try to find other things to do with them. We walk and talk together. We have movie night and popcorn. We play music and dance goofy-like. Well, you get the picture. I have learned to make our time quality time and I don’t have to spend money to do that. Actually, these are better times than anything we ever spent money doing 🙂

  7. Savira says:

    Jenni.. I have been on both sides When enjoying the good things and times I would encourage the kids to learn or understand the haves and have nots. We always kept them in the loop… We grew up with strong foundations from our parents and I try to do the same.
    When things went down …. we made choices and involved the kids.. For us our kids were glad that we kept things real and honest about finances etc.
    Kids are resilient and far more understanding than adults…as for the karma change it will come I am sure of that but not int he way you expect….

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare. -Voltaire

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