Tag Archives: high school

It’s not a vacation until someone pulls their hair out …

frazzled-lady1In just under three hours I leave my office behind and take off for what could be a glorious, sunny 10-day (well, 11-day) vacation.

It could be glorious, but I’m betting there will be more stress than glory.

During my time off I’ll be spending two days at freshmen orientation at an unnamed university in Ames; purchasing buns, pop, water, plates, silverware, napkins, beans and decorations for a graduation party; decorating, hosting and tearing down said graduation party; conducting 3-4 interviews (yes, it’s work, but it has to be done); and writing a story (see previous duty). Yes, my head IS spinning.

I’ve known this party was coming for almost a year. I’ve had the date set since I reserved the pavilion last August, and I think I put out the initial Facebook invitations to family back in February or March. You’d think that would give me time to be organized.

You’d think so, but you’d be wrong.

Organization has never been my strong point. I put important – and some seemingly not-so-important – reminders on my phone so I don’t forget. Like my daughter’s graduation ceremony. My weekly meetings. A reminder to take my anxiety medications (yeah, you’d think that’s one reminder I wouldn’t need, right? Wrong.) When to tune in to watch “Master Chef” or “Hell’s Kitchen.” I get reminders 15 minutes before each event, just in case.

Apparently I need to add tasks, like, “Buy the buns for daughter’s graduation party three months from now,” or, “Make decorations for graduation party so all you have to do is put them up.”

I always find myself in this exact spot – wishing I could turn back time and do things better, be more organized, get prepared earlier.

My one defense is finances: As a single mom on a budget, with a once-a-month paycheck and no credit cards (I gave them up during the divorce), buying “extras” isn’t always easy, especially when there are plenty of “extras” that seem to come up: oil changes, registration tags, parking tickets (hey, they’re pretty pricey at the hospital where I work!), birthdays, drinks with friends … you get the picture. Budgeting is also not one of my strongest points, but that’s another blog post.

A second, smaller defense I have is space: Teen Girl and I live in a modest two-bedroom apartment with limited storage space – and two giant dogs. Keeping 12 12-packs of pop or 35 packages of buns on hand is no small feat, and could result in loss of space for dishes or cooking or sleeping or showering or any combination thereof.

Defenses aside, here I am. Eight days from now I will be hoping everything is put together and the rains don’t fall and the skies are blue and the burgers and brats and beans and potato salad and cupcakes and mints feed the masses. I just hope I haven’t pulled all of my hair out by then.

 

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Dear Father Time: Bite me

For the record, I love my 40s. I’ve been saying it for, well, five years now, and it’s still true. I was a little intimidated by them before they got here, but once I turned 40 I realized the number isn’t the same as it was – or how I thought it was – when my mother was 40.

That was, until recently. Suddenly I feel old. Not put-me-in-a-nursing-home-so-I-can-chase-birds-with-my-walker old, but old all the same.

It started in March and seems to have made a monthly progression to now.

March – My son, then 19, started looking at apartments and for a roommate, found one of each and made plans to move out the first of April. <ding>

April – I met a great guy on Match.com, we started talking and decided we should go out. I was 44, he was 49. Both in the same decade, I didn’t think anything of it. Two days before we went out, he went and had a birthday. Suddenly I was going out with a 50-year-old man. Am I old enough to date a 50-year-old man?? (For the record, I am – and he’s fabulous. Even if he is 50.) <ding>

Oh! And Man/Boy moved out as planned. <ding ding>

May – The then-19-year-old son turned 20. TWENTY. <ding>

June – The then-44-year-old turned 45. Any time there’s an age that ends with a “5” that means you’re halfway to the next decade. So there I am. Halfway through my 40s. <ding>

July – July almost went without a hitch. Usual summer activities, got with friends, hung out with the Manfriend (hey, he’s 50), lived life and enjoyed it. Then my then-16-year-old daughter and I went on a whirlwind trip to Chicago, where she met with several modeling agencies and had three express serious interest. Suddenly, I saw her as her 3-year-old self living in Chicago – and wondering if she’d know what to do. <ding>

August – Now we’re here. Tomorrow morning that same daughter starts her last first day of high school, her senior year. She’s giddy, has spent the last week wondering what to wear (she actually contemplated sweats so it wouldn’t look like she thought it was a big deal) and is ready to get the year over with and start her life. <ding>

I, on the other hand, am ready to go whimper in a corner and wish the clock back 12 years.

Or maybe just five. Because I really do love my 40s.

**Disclaimer: Because I have guilt (hey, I’m Irish. Guilt is what we do). I by no means think 50 is old. I have many, many friends who are 50 and older, a few who will hit that magic number this year, and well, it’s just not old. Thinking of myself dating someone who was 50, though – that just seemed odd. Because I am, after all, still in my 20s. And 30s. And … well, you get it. Don’t you?

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