I'm 56 years old now, live in my own house that I have been working on repairs and improvements for over 7 years now, and still have a long way to go. I have worked at the same pork processing plant now for over 9.5 years and am more than 2 years back to work after a very serious car accident.
Emotionally and financially I am more stable than I was 20 or 30 years ago, or 40 years ago when I was 16.
I know there are a lot of mistakes in my past, way too many stupid decisions and bad choices. But I have grown a long ways from the girl I was at 16 or 20 or 25. And I cannot change the past, no one can. It is done, you learn, you live with the changes and the growth, and you work to keep growing.
I am not as self centered or narcissistic or devious as I have been accused of being by my oldest son but his message to me on Face book did have me doing some hard and long thinking about the past, and where I am now with my life.
I am very glad I do not let the poor choices and mistakes I made 30+ years ago be the choices and mistakes I make today. And I am glad that I no longer let anyone try to guilt trip me or tear me down with my past.
2 immature, badly suited people got married, made each other miserable for a few years and had a child, that marriage ended before that child was even walking on his own. Both of those people have gone different directions and locations in their lives over the years. That child is an adult and has been one for many years. And the choices he makes in his life are not the choices either of his parents have made for their lives.
I do know I was a better parent for my younger 2 children than I was with my older 2 children. I was also more mature, more financially and emotionally secure and had learned that I was far more capable than I was raised to believe that I could be. So, I did a lot of 'growing up' and my younger 2 children benefited from that.
But my older 2 children got the best parent I could be, at that time, and over the years they have also benefited from the more stable and 'improved' person that I was growing into. So, they didn't get cheated, and they didn't get abused and I was not the terrible parent that they tell others I was, nor was I perfect.
Now, I have 4 adult children, all of them capable of supporting themselves, and living with the decisions they make in those lives. I am enjoying having my youngest child back home after 4 years of military service, he's heading to college when the spring term starts and he and my over sized and very active dog have really bonded.
I cannot change anything from the past, and I do not hate my older 2 children, I want them to have lives they are happy with, and I want them to have quality of life, but my idea of quality of life does not have to be theirs and is far from the lives they lead or want to lead.
I am content in central IL with my old house, a debt load I am working down 1 month at a time, a dull job in a pork processing plant, and a very quiet dating relationship with the same man I have been dating for over 20 months now. I have some solid friends, a job I like going to every day, most of the time, a financial situation that I can live with and that works for me.
And I won't fight with my adult children over their choices in the past or mine or their mistakes, in the past or now, their lives and their right to live those lives. I also will not pay for the results of those choices, and I don't expect them to be paying for the results of my choices.
I am not blaming them for the distance that is between us, nor am I taking the blame, it is a choice of their making and mine. I do choose to step back, to choose to run my own life, my way and to pay my bills and not hand them money, they are adults and will do what works for their lives, by their standards and are not subject to live by mine.
I like having a steady job with insurance benefits and I like knowing I can keep the roof over my head and the heat bill paid, especially as it's cool and wet today, I love that new metal roof and the insulation and I like knowing the last window on the north side of the house is waiting to be installed and will be this month.
I like having the same address and same phone number for years, and seeing that old house slowly improve and my debt load creep down a tiny bit at a time. And I like having wonderful windows up in the attic space to look out, to let in great light, both in my north studio area and my south 'nest' area.
I admit I am very fond of my iPad and my iPods and my knitting and dolls and the latest book by David Weber. I like living alone or with my youngest son, while he gets started back to school. And I like not having to live up to any one's expectations of who I should be.
Yes, this post is all about me, and this is my blog, and on Face book, it's my 'page' and gee, if that makes me self centered, ok, so I am self centered. I can live with that and I can live just fine with being called shallow.
Yes, I do have the newest iPad and also an Apple tv device I am still making payments on, I also have a 2013 Honda Metropolitan scooter I am making payments on and a vintage 1981 Honda Passport scooter that I am going to be working on this winter. I do 'waste' money on books, yarns and dolls, and I can afford to turn the heat up when I am cold or the air up when it's hot.
I have never been arrested or done jail time and I do not have bill collectors looking for me, I am late with a payment now and then, my accident or carelessness and I have over-drafted my checking account in the past 6 months but am working on getting back to keeping my finances in order and my check book back to being used and balanced.
I don't flirt with men at work and it is not my business who is playing with who. at work or elsewhere. I am not in charge of values or morals for anyone except myself, nor am I willing to push my values and choices on others. I also am not willing to clean up the messes they make.
It has taken me a very long and very hard road to get to where I am in my life and to grow into the person I am now, today. I am not going back, I will not battle anyone over my past or theirs, nor will I let anyone drag me down, over the poor choices and bad decisions I mad 30+ years ago. And I will not indulge in petty, nasty head games.
I don't even know if any of my adult children read this blog, but they can, it's public. I do know I keep them all in my prayers and hope they are happy in their lives, I am in mine and like who I am and want that for everyone. But I do know it has a lot to do with choices and living with the choices, fixing the results of poor choices, so go live and prosper in your choices.