Saturday, December 6, 2008 I am...

Here I am at work. Plenty of time to write. What to write about. I've decided to have a blog because I like to write. If you think what I write is crap, please feel free to tell me, just try to be kind. I bruise easily.

So...what do I do? I'm a mother of 5, wife, dog and cat owner, and part time worker at a hospital. I don't do any of the heroic jobs, I'm just a lowly switchboard operator. But it helps. It helps me because I cannot feel good if I am not contributing to the financial security of my family. On an intellectual plane I know that being a stay at home mother has it's own contributions, but I think I just have it ingrained in me to not be a financial burden. I also think that as much as I hate the idea, I DO use money as a measuring in, how much do you make. Not that what I make is all that much, but at least I am attempting to create some reserves and not just be a drain. But back to helping. I think that being a switchboard operator on a per diem basis helps my children to see that everyone can contribute to the safety and stability of the family. I also think that it's important that I help the heroes and heroines of the hospital to connect with those that are in need.

My ideas of where I'd be in my life are so different than they used to be. When I was a wet-behind-the-ears graduate from college, I thought that when I grew up I would have a profession. I would "BE SOMEBODY." Maybe an obstetritian. Maybe a teacher. Maybe a journalist. Maybe a childcare provider. Maybe a theologian (yes, that WAS a consideration at one point). But now I'm just struggling to BE. I don't understand where people who do the full-time work and being a parent thing get the energy reserves. I just don't have them. I give what I have to my family, and not very well. Whatever I have left is given to my friends (mostly on Facebook) or my per diem job.

I suppose I should tell you a little bit about me. First, I am one of six children. The six of us are spread out across the country like jewels on a blanket. I am a middle child. I fill the role of peacemaker, avoider of the proverbial waves. I don't want to upset anyone. I am not particularly close to any save one of my siblings. Perhaps further down the road I will talk about that, but just now I don't feel I know you well enough to tell you about that stuff. I'm not at all sure that you want to hear it anyway.

But let me tell you about the sibling I AM close to. His name is Rob. Rob has been a real inspiration to me. When we were kids, he was a bit of a wild man. Always a good guy, but did his share of partying and did not want to go to college. That was for bookworms.

Well, Rob discovered that he couldn't get where he wanted to go after highschool unless he went to college. So after working in the blue collar world for a bit, he did indeed go to school, earn his degree and now he has the life he wanted. He's a go getter. He's willing to do what it takes to get to where he wants to be. He has the tenacity to get what he wants and no one is going to hold him back. I admire him deeply for this.

Believe it or not, I have that tenacity too. I just don't know what I want. It doesn't come quite as clear to me. Being a middle child I was taught not to worry about what I was more about making those around me happy so the boat did not get too rocked. I'm not sure I can break out of that. It has become a real hinderance to be a peacemaker, but it's part of who I am.

I'm not whining here either. I'm only describing. Maybe, at some point I will indeed whine, but for now, I am only describing things to you so you will know where I am coming from. When asked the direct question: What do you want? I cannot answer that. I have tried to think about what I want. I want world peace. I want a flower. I want a happy life. I want to live a good life. I want friends. I want music. I want funkyness. I want a left turn.

What's a left turn? A left turn is spontaneity. A left turn is an unusual experience. A break out of the hum drum ho hum life. A chance to not be plodding along, sheeplike, after some unattainable carrot that someone else tells me I should want. I want so much not to be like all the other 40-something women out there who are living lives of quiet desperation because that is what they are supposed to do if they are good girls and want to get into Heaven.

When I think about the people and faces in my life, they are diverse in some respects. Christine with her love of Shakespeare, Ellen with her devotion to hedonism, Brenda, my neighbor who is a single nurse and who seems so interesting in an earthy crunchy sort of way. I have friends that are public servants, who are self-servants and who serve God. Some of my friends are gun-toting, right-wing Republicans, and some of them are dyed-in-the-wool liberals who balk at the mere suggestion that a life growing inside a womb might have rights too.

I would like to think that I am an open-minded person. But I find it curious that I have no friends that are black. I have in the past, but not now. I have no friends that are gay, never have. Not because I would shun them, but it just never seems to have happened. And I wonder why. Do those who live alternative lifestyles have some kind of instinct that tells them to steer clear of me? Hmmmm...

My sister lives a quite funky life (from my perspective anyway). She and her boyfriend live in the midwest. They go to drag clubs. They go see Zepplin cover bands. She left New England after high school and has never looked back. She is carving out her own niche and I am proud of her. But she doesn't like me anymore. We had a falling out, and that was it. She kind of calls once in a while, but it isn't the same. I disappointed her and that is that. But I admire her from afar. She waits tables. She walks dogs. She takes classes. And she takes no prisoners. She is who she is. Thank God for that.

I have another sister. I haven't spoken to her in several years. Not because I don't want to. She just doesn't want anything to do with me. I don't really know why. Maybe I remind her too much of all the things in New England that hurt her. But I miss her. I hear second hand about how she is doing sometimes. She seems happy. I'm glad for her. I just wish she cared a little about me. As I said in the beginning, I bruise easily.

I have children. I told you earlier that I have five. That's kind of true. I had five pregnancies, four live births and currently have three of those children living with me. Our firstborn had some serious congenital heart defects and he died. I think about him every day. His name was Thomas.

After Thomas died I did a lot of advocacy work in his memory. I got so wrapped up in the advocacy that I started to neglect my surviving children, so I backed off. I hope to go back to it some day. We'll see.

I'm new to this blog thing, so if I am all over the place, forgive me. I want to say something meaningful and funkadelic, but I probably won't. If I keep reminding myself that I am writing because I like to write maybe it will be better writing. If I remember that others may read this, I get self conscious (like now) and write garbage. But even if it's garbage, I suppose I am still writing. Shame on you if you keep reading garbage.

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