How It All Began ….
It has been said that a simple phone call can bring you to your knees. Being brought to your knees can be the result of many things, most of them terribly tragic. I, however, was reduced to my knees as the result life changing news that hit me over the head like a sledge hammer. Joyous news, however. Akin to how tears can be wept for sadness as well as for happiness. It was my daughter, my only daughter, letting me know that I am going to be a grandmother for the first time. My first thought is that I will never know this grandchild if I continue to live the life I am living. After a 22 year career in education I bought a small, independent garage door company and owned it for the 8 years. My work not only consumed me but it dictated and defined my life. The ‘takeover’ was slow and insidious. In a matter of seconds, I realized how out of sync my life had become and how disconnected I had become from my three adult children. Children I lived and breathed for while raising them. How had my life become so out of balance, so skewed?
An only child of elderly parents who continued to try to have a family even after nine miscarriages, I was born into a home with enough love for a dozen children along with years of accumulated dreams, fears, and of course, high expectations. Headstrong, independent, and oppositional from the get-go, I never quite understood the parent vs. child roles, as well as the rules that are supposed to govern the relationship. Throughout my life I fought for recognition on my own terms and the right to make as well as learn from my own mistakes. I become an overachiever; determined to succeed and prove to the world, and of course my parents and relatives, that I can be successful in my own right, on my own terms. My parents loved me so much that they honestly didn’t feel I ever lived up to my true potential because, quite frankly, that would be impossible for anyone. But they did it in the name of love.
I graduated from college, married, raised three wonderful children, had a successful career with a school district, got divorced, and decided that working in the public sector no longer fulfilled me. I have always believed that owning my own company and working for myself would be wonderful. I love to work and work hard. When you own your own business the harder you work the more successful you are, right? Not always, but in my case, yes.
Decisions were made quickly. It’s time to spend ‘chunk’ time with my family; not a rushed long weekend with my phone at my beck and call, never fully present. It’s time to sell the business, find someone to look after my home, and find a ‘temporary home’, a motorhome, for the next year. It’s time to refocus and reconnect with my inner self as well as with my adult ‘children’ who are no longer children at all. Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Follow me as I throw caution to the wind and act upon my most basal desires and dreams; returning to what I’ve lost sight of in life. Family, friends and relationships. Join me on my adventure from coast to coast in my 33′ motorhome with my Labrador Retriever, Shadow, as my co-pilot. It truly is a coast to coast adventure as my three children, when I first began this journey, lived in Key West, Colorado Springs and Seattle. Motorhome living gives everyone the privacy, space and independence critical to all and to the success of this adventure. En route I stay in RV parks where what can happen, happens! The good, the bad and the ugly!
In each city I will not only reconnect with my children but I’ll meet and help care for one grandchild, watch a second being born due to serendipitous timing, and integrate myself into each community I lives in, albeit temporarily. I’ll make friends along the way, volunteer and even find temporary employment when I struggle with lack of structure that I’m so accustomed to. But most importantly, with the gift of time, relationships develop on a new adult level with all of my children and their spouses and I learn to smell the proverbial roses once again.
You can’t go back in time but you can stop, reflect, regroup, take a stand and move forward. By turning my life upside down and leaving the security of a community I’ve lived in for 35 years, I’ll realize that turning my life upside down is in fact flipping it back … right side up.