Adulting

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I was going to write something snide, or deep, about being an orphan at the holidays.  Plucky, I’m not.  I’m just a problem solver who choses to focus on what’s ahead, vs. mourning what’s left me behind.

However snide I may be from time to time, though, I’m not particularly deep.  Trust me.  I’m not.

I’m just very, very practical, which gets me compared to Mr. Spock.  Alot.

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Last night’s conversation with a fellow adult orphan was an exercise in futility because she thinks I’m some robotic, Spock-like being, and was focused on her own unhappiness as she dwelled on the fact that her life was what she made it.

Exactly what she made it.  Seriously.

No matter how many times I’ve told her that my health relies upon me being cool, calm, collected and avoiding stress and drama, she refuses to acknowledge that it doesn’t mean I don’t feel all these feelings.  I just deal with their emotional turmoil and upset by owning my hurt feelings or upset and moving on.  I don’t dwell on upsetting topics as it does no good AND doing so can wreck my health.  Seriously.  The first thing to get messed up when you’re crying is your breathing, and I don’t want to risk an exacerbation or a potentially expensive hospital stay simply because I refused to accept what life is showing me.

I’m also channeling Sheldon during some of these conversations, and it’s all I can do not to snap !

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We’re both now orphans 24 x 7 x 365 as our family trees have moved on without us, leaving the older deadwood behind.  You know, just like real life.

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In my friend’s case, she’s 53, never married, and again is worried she has nothing to show for it.  No partner.  No kids.  No big house filled with friends and family at the holidays.

But, if you’ve lived your life as you chose, how can one be upset over years-past decisions coming home to roost?  If you want a husband, you had to be willing to compromise to achieve that goal.  If you wanted children, you had to be willing to give up your role as the baby of the family.  If you wanted a house, you had to be willing to save and do without until you achieved that goal.  Life will always throw a monkey wrench into your plans, but if you were willing to try real hard, you might have accomplished one or more of those goals.

I wasn’t willing to follow the conventional path of partner, children, home = security.  My experience was that none of those things were without sorrow, violence and risk, so I made different choices in my life as a member of a very large family, and confident that I would always have that family.

What a folly !

People marry to continue families along new branches, and my choice to forgo that aspect of life meant that I became an adult orphan with no family willing to share their lives with me because I was no longer part of the core.  As the family tree continued to grow and branch out, I was left with bare branches and stunted growth.

While I accept the consequences of the choices I made, I always expected to leave the party early, and not be the one left behind, assessing my losses and missing people who are no longer here.  🎶  You’re missing 🎶

Last year was hard, having been informed that I was no longer part of the family due to my NOT being invited to a nephew’s wedding.

Spending Christmas in Jamaica and the Caribbean certainly helped to asuage my feelings of hurt and rejection, especially considering how hard I worked through the years to remain close to all the kids, providing vacations together, and visiting at least once a year.

However much one wishes that investments in people and time spent together results in a life-long connection – both through blood and shared memories – there is no guarantee that life is fair and that people will love you back.

When branches of the tree die off, leaving deadwood and islands of growth, one must learn to accept that one has also been left behind and is not considered part of the family anymore.

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I refuse to be the beggar at the feast, humbling myself when I am the slighted party.  Why do I bring this up now, though, ruining an otherwise Merry holiday?

Because sometimes life sucks, and one has to accept what is.  Not what we hope.  Not what we think we deserve based on status or hardwork.  Just accept life the way it is, and continue on the path you’ve chosen that otherwise fulfills you the remaining 364 days of the year.

If you’re lucky, people will accept the fact that you may be an orphan but you are not a waif – an object of pity in need of comforting.

You’ll make some favorite food you were wanting, you’ll fill your hours doing things you enjoy or which keep you too busy to think about what you’re lacking, and the holidays will pass.

You’ll be left in peace to do what you wish, and spend your life how you prefer.

If that doesn’t work for you, then please make new choices today, tomorrow and thereafter until you have achieved the quality of life you desire.

But, please…  don’t come crying to me about how abandoned you feel and how you thought your life would be more than what it is.  Don’t give me a hard time because I’m a stoic who chooses to find joy in life despite its reality, vs. crying over things I cannot change.  🎶 Life has killed the dream I dreamed 🎶

I’m a problem solver,  and I’ll only aggravate you by my decision to accept what cannot be changed and moving on.  We have it better than at any other time in history, so I refuse to dwell on why my life isn’t perfect.  I’m a big fan of adulting.

🎶 “The Dream I Dreamed” 🎶  from Les Miserables

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in times gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed, that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream
I dreamed
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Except when you fail to make a family of your own…
🎶 You’re missing 🎶 Bruce Springsteen’s 9/11 ode
Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall
Mama’s in the kitchen, baby and all
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you’re missing
Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, but you’re not there
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you’re missing
Pictures on the nightstand, TV’s on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you’re missing, you’re missing
You’re missing when I shut out the lights
You’re missing, when I close my eyes
You’re missing, when I see the sun rise
You’re missing
Children are asking if it’s alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?
Morning is morning, the evening falls I got
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls
How’s everything, everything?
Everything, everything
But you’re missing, you’re missing
God’s drifting in heaven, devil’s in the mailbox
I got dust on my shoes, nothing but teardrops

2 thoughts on “Adulting

  1. One of my favorite videos. I haven’t seen the lyrics before and how appropriate. My own opinion is that some people must grouse. If they don’t or can’t, I believe they have nothing else at all. It is sad and perhaps their lives are a sort of hell. Personally I gripe more than l ought to. But I also realize l made the choice, long ago, and I am the only one to blame if I find my choices have made my present a solo journey. Maybe your griper hasn’t come to accept that hard truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, as much as I love my former Roomie, R, she will NEVER accept that things are what they are. She’s a feisty one, and thinks (like any born salesperson), that she can debate any topic to death to get people to see things her way.

    Gotta love her, even if she just makes me smile and shake my head.

    As for you grousing – me, too ! The water is warm, so jump on in and purge all that crap in the back of your head, allowing us all to have a better day while moving on.

    Merry Christmas, Mel.

    Liked by 1 person

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