Vacation?

The boys and I are headed to Florida in a couple of days – for a couple of days.

It started with “I need to get back to Florida.”

Then, “I really need to get the boys to Florida.”

Then, trying to find dates that work for all three work schedules, which included contacting one boss and working out a schedule with him while the child was on the river.

Then, the next one, trying to figure out schedule and getting permission from the parole officer to leave the state.

Because that’s our new normal.

Then, trying to schedule a trip over a weekend so that someone doesn’t have to cover me for a full work week. But that didn’t happen.

Flights?

$2300 to go to Florida for 5 days.

Plus a rental car.

Then I had to find a house sitter – someone with whom Elvis will bond not bite.

All of that taken care of and suddenly I realize…

I’m going on vacation with my children.

Holy shit, it’s been years.

It’s also been eons since I’ve gone to see my folks when no one is in the hospital.

Vacation.

VACATION.

Granted, August in Florida might sound a little torturous, but it’s the beach and the ocean and snorkeling and my mommy and daddy and my amazing boys, and their birthdays, and dune grass and palm trees and sea glass and chocolate milkshakes.

And no smoke.

After all of that squeezing in and finagling and coordinating I get to sit still, do something fun, relax, read a book, and hang out with my favorite people in the whole world.

Yay Florida in August.

 

I need something

Besides sex, I need something else – a purpose or a change – something to get excited about, look forward to, to ponder, to wonder, to wish for – something positive to occupy my brain.

I am depressed and lonely – not horribly so, but it’s there enough that I have to consciously fight against it to get out of bed and do the day.

After sleeping most of the weekend away, I forced myself out yesterday and went on one of my go-to adventures: a trip to Silverton.

Silverton is where I had some of the best times of my life, where I felt strong and competent and light. Plus, it’s so fucking beautiful and feels like home. Going there usually helps any negative feelings wash right off and all I am left with are elation and joy.

It didn’t really work yesterday. I spent most of the day driving around crying; loud crying that just wouldn’t stop.

I was going to drive up one of the passes and hike along a ridge above tree line to get to an old haunt that I haven’t visited in years, but on my way up 550, it rained a bit and I resigned myself to not hiking above tree line for fear of lightning.

The day just fell apart from there. I got in my head that there was going to be lightning (danger) everywhere so hiking as an activity was off the list.

Then I decided that I would still drive the pass but after dealing with one mildly rough road and a bunch of OHV’s I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to go four-wheeling either.

So I chose to drive up into a gulch that I remember as beautiful. The road was more narrow and steep than I recalled. I got a few miles up and then hit a turn that would have sent me plummeting had I made one wrong move and I turned back.

What happened Sally? What happened to your ease and comfort in the mountains? Where’s your badassery?

I used to drive HUGE F350 cage trucks up, down, and over way worse, fearlessly, and yesterday I couldn’t make it around a simple bend.

And, the skies were clear.

Why did I sabotage my own day?

Because I am sad and lost and directionless. My self-esteem has been shot to hell.

I need something to which I can look forward; but it needs to be ongoing, not just a one day event. I’m going to Florida with my kids next week, which is great, but I am already dreading coming home to the humdrum.

Recently there was a possibility (again) of moving to Utah, and there was a not-boyfriend in the picture who had the potential of becoming a boyfriend.

Neither one happened. The stars did not align for the move (this town just will not let go) and the not-boyfriend became a not not-boyfriend, which is fine.

But those two things gave me reason to get up every day: I had something to anticipate, get excited about, hope for, and it helped.

Now I am left alone with my grief, my lack of direction, the weight of it being one year later and not feeling like I’ve landed on my feet – at least not yet.

It could be worse – my son could be in jail. Someone could have died that night. I know enough to be eternally grateful.

But with all the friends in the world, I am lonely. And not necessarily in a “I need a man” kind of way, but there is a hole in my world, in my heart, that still exists; it hasn’t filled itself in yet.

Part of me is thankful to have life be back to normal, uneventful. I keep saying “Boring is good” after this last drama-filled year.

But back to normal is relative. I no longer have a normal to return to – my normal was obliterated.

And I’m not the same person. This year has made me feel old, weary. I don’t have joy in my world like I used to, daily. I wouldn’t necessarily say cynical and jaded, but worn down?

Yes.

Less enthused. Sporting a blanket of sadness. Heavy.

I want something to bring me back to joy, excitement, enthusiasm, lighthearted happiness.

Any suggestions?

 

what’s next?

It’s time for me to figure that out.

Now that the Era of the Accident has drawn to a close, it’s time to return to normal.

But I don’t have a normal any more.

It’s not like my life pre-accident still exists.

I’m going through this bizarre let down – the denouement, if you will.

This is the time, after the crisis, where things are supposed to shake out.

But nothing has shaken out just yet.

Limbo

It’s like I’ve suddenly realized that there is no going back – not one thing is that same. I can say what doesn’t exist any more but I’m having a harder time saying what does exist.

I have a fucking empty nest.

I have a job that I can do blindfolded and I’m no longer crying every day so no more excitement there.

Both my parents are holding steady for today.

In a way, I’m feeling purpose-less. Everything was about the accident and making sure my boys were okay. I couldn’t focus too much on the rest of my world because every bit of energy was going into the family. I couldn’t plan anything because I didn’t know if my son was going to be in jail or not.

And now, he’s not in jail and is doing everything he’s supposed to be doing, his brother is rowing boats in Utah, and number three is holding down a steady job and he’s my drama-less kid so he’s not going to be my cause.

I’m not needed like I was a month ago.

What’s a girl to do?

I feel aimless.

And…

Another way to look at it is that I have no strings attached. I’m free.

And I don’t know what the fuck to do with that.

It’s a good thing – don’t get me wrong. How many mothers of three, at fifty-three, get to do whatever they want; no kids to monitor, no husband to please, no pigschickenshorsessteers to feed.

It’s a big wide world out there and quite honestly, it’s a bit disconcerting.

There’s a time in a young mother’s life when the kids become just a little more independent and self-sufficient. Mom has a bit of time on her hands and suddenly, she is faced with the question, “Who am I?”

That’s often when women have another baby.

I am not going to have a baby.

But, I do get to ask myself the same question and answer it however I want.

And the weirdest thing is that I feel like I know myself better than I ever have before – I really like myself right now. But I still don’t know the answer.

I’m going to say it out loud…

I think I’m having a midlife crisis.

I just got another tattoo. I pierced my nose but didn’t stick with it. I moved. I’ve smoked a ton of grass. I’ve already dated the much younger man.

I have not purchased a sports car, nor have I cut off all of my hair.

But if it looks and smells like a midlife crisis…

Gawd, I’m a fucking cliché.