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Archive for November, 2011

I have reached the end of the line at my job. My boss has made the decision to sell the business and retire, a decision not made lightly but out of necessity. He has cancer. He’s lived with it for six years and now things are getting serious. It breaks my heart, to see everything end like this, to know that one of the best people I know is being forced to hang it up before he’s really ready, to know that one day he’ll be someone I once knew.

Oh, and yeah, I’ll likely be out of a job by years’ end. Merry freakin’ Christmas.

Strangely enough, though, I’m not feeling terribly overwrought about it. I’ve got some other stuff in the hopper, true, and maybe that’s the reason. Or maybe it’s all a matter of perspective. I’m sure if I were the main source of income for my household I’d feel a little differently. But I’ve been getting by on meager rations for a while anyway, so I know what I can and cannot live without.

Over this past weekend, one of my dearest girlfriends came for a visit, and we indulged in the time-honored ritual of shopping, lunching, and gossiping.  I don’t get to do that sort of thing very often, which makes it all the more delicious.

Denise and I are good for one another in a lot of ways.  As a single mom in search for her next husband, Denise is my reminder to appreciate what I have and also my muse in keeping things fresh and new.  Left to my own devices I begin to morph into my mother.  For Denise, I am the sounding board she sometimes needs to make sense of her crazy life.  We’ve known each other since junior high and to say there’s been a lot of water under our bridge is something of an understatement.

Both of us are at the age and stage in our lives where our “careers” are looking less like a career and more like Act One.  And we know a lot of other women in the same boat, having worked 20, 30 years at a job and suddenly finding out there are other things to do in life.  Had we known at our college graduation that we’d be in this position in our 40’s, would we have invested so much of our souls in our working life?

We got to talking about Second Acts over the weekend, and while I know the economy is something of a mess and this isn’t a practical idea, something I would love to do is open up a coffee shop/bookstore in my little podunk town.

I even have a name for it:  R & R:  Read & Relax.  (Don’t steal my idea! I will hunt you down!)

Comfy chairs, tables, bookshelves, coffee, and pie.  Doesn’t that sound like a great place to be?  It would be another refuge from the world.  I think people need that.  It would indulge my need to share great books with people and also give me a good excuse to make brownies.  I know that running a business is not for the faint of heart, and it’s a lot of hard work. Which is why I prefer to just think about the idea.

Oh, in a perfect world…

 

 

— Mox

 

 

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I think it’s funny and a little bit bittersweet how the things that are so important to us as children are laughable to adults.  It’s a big small world most kids live in, and the things that happen there constitute the entire world for them.

While I laugh at the things that Spawn considers supremely important, I’m also reminded that once upon a time I lived that life, too.  I remember my elders sort of chuckling over the things I did and said and thought, and feeling sort of belittled by that.  And yet from this side of the street, I can see why my life’s foibles were so amusing.  Having a mortgage to pay whilst coming to a career end at the same time does tend to color one’s perspective about not being able to have afternoon recess.

I try not to get too carried away with my own life and its issues and have a little sympathy for the things that loom large in Spawn’s world.   Some things are different from when I was this age, and some things are exactly the same.  It’s the events that are the same in which I get to pull out the tried-and-truisms that were used on me and my generation, thus ensuring the same scenario will unfold for the generations coming.

I particularly am enjoying this period in Spawn’s life, because at ten years of age, there’s just enough guile in the kid to keep some information from me, while still giving me a pretty good picture of what goes on in the World of Fifth Grade.  It’s this age and stage where the boys begin to like the girls and the girls begin to like the boys, and the innocent assignations that come from this mutual discoveries, that just tickle me endlessly.  Oh, how I remember this.  All too soon the shade will be lowered on this window in my kid’s world, so I encourage as much sharing as possible while that window is still open.  I do love me some good fifth grade gossip.

Last night, Spawn gave me the perfect opening to say the thing I have been saving up to say, ever since the boys and the girls first got the notion that each was different from the other.

“Mom, Lucas asked Lauren to go with him.”

“Yeah?  Where are they going?”

You have no idea how long I have waited, patiently, to be able to ask that specific question.  I am sooo funny.

Spawn, however, never missed a beat.  “Nooo, Mom!  He wants to be her boyfriend!”

“Oh!  So that’s what it means?”

“Duh.”

“So what did she say?”

“Well, Ashley and Carly said not to go with him because he’s weird.”

“Ah.  Well, you can’t win them all.”

How I would have loved to launch into a soliloquy on how girls need to think for themselves and not try to tell their friends what to do, but that line of reasoning would have gotten preachy, and quick.  So I just let Spawn think that I had no idea how this boy-girl stuff works in this modern age, and that “going with” someone literally means to go somewhere.

Some day, however — with any luck — Spawn will get to utter that question from this side of the street.

 

— Mox

 

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