Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Equally Important

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend any service members or their families. It is in no way a generalization of service people.

I was off yesterday, and the Mister asked me if I wanted to tag along with him. Sounded better than doing dishes and laundry, so I quickly dressed and headed out the door with him. I love days when it's just the two of us, and even if we're doing nothing more than feeding cows and tying up odds and ends, I love tagging along.

Toward the later part of the afternoon we ended up at the shop, and they were swamped. I took my place behind the desk and worked for a little while until things became less crazy. While I was sitting there, an older man sat down and started speaking to me in Chinese.

I gave him the "ah ha ha" smile, and raised my eyebrows, unsure of what the point of his yammering was. He was clearly NOT Chinese AT all, so I didn't know if he thought *I* might be Asian (because my stark white skin is so misleading?) or if he was senile and reliving his war days, or what.

Finally he broke the awkward silence and revealed what he'd said (I can't remember now, it was some kind of phrase like "I don't give a damn" or something). He then proceeded to tell me about how he was a retired Marine and had been all over the world, spoken to all kinds of people, taught younger soldiers how to prepare for life over-seas, and about many of his travels. I listened as I always do when customers feel like chatting, and though he was a little hard to understand, I carried on conversation with him the best I could.

Then he asked me how old I am, and I told him. He called me a 'whipper snapper' and told me about how the younger generation these days has no respect, especially for women. I agreed with him, and we talked some more about racism and bigotry. He then went on to tell me what a rat-hole this area is, and that he would NEVER raise a child here.

I didn't say anything. I'm not going to get into a debate with some old vet.

Then he turned to me and said, "I've been all over the world and done so many wonderful things. What are you doing with your life? You just gonna sit on your can and work an office job?"

And I became greatly offended. In my irritation, I replied, "Yep. That's the plan."

He soon left and I was glad to see him go. Then I began wishing I'd said more. I wished I'd told him that my life was important and that just because I'm not fighting a war or traveling the world doesn't mean I'm worthless.

This little farm life is the happiest I've been in my whole entire life! This community may not be much to some people, but to me it's a close-knit place where people know my name. Chloe has a school where she may not have the newest technology, but she has teachers who have time to focus on her, who know her well and care about who she becomes. She has friends whose parents aren't child molesters or alcoholics. People who live close by and help their neighbors out.

I have a job that allows me to work whenever I want to, to back-talk my boss (hehe), and wear jeans and t-shirts every day. A job that allows me to give mothering my full attention, yet still have some spending money.

 I have a home that is cozy and warm, and a husband who provides for his family. I am a wife and I take pride in being a good one. I am a mother and love that job more than anything in the world. I have a daughter who believes that without me in her life there is nothing. She may only be a child, but to her I am the world.

I may not have a big beautiful glamorous life. I may never leave the country or get a job that is considered "important," but the things I do every day are important. They help my family run smoothly. When I die, I may not have medals and badges and the title 'hero' etched on my stone, but I know that I have loved hard and made a difference to the people around me.

And that's enough for me.

Besides. I kinda like sittin' on my can ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Accepting what it became...

I was living my life, minding my business, when I logged into Blogger and came across this post. You don't *have* to go read it, but it's all nifty and comes up in a separate window, so you might as well.

Usually I read someone's blog and think, "ooh she's so right," or "oh that's awful," or "I can't imagine..." but reading this blog ignited something. Maybe because it hit me so close to home.

Friendship is a beautiful, wonderful, fulfilling thing. It's also a tragic thing. It's much like a boy/girl relationship, but almost MORE complicated sometimes. With boys we date, we court, we mend a few breaks in our hearts, then find that special someone who seems to fit and make us happy, and usually we commit to one guy. One at a time at least.

Friendships are different. It's ok to have lots of friends. Different relationship levels. But sometimes you find that friend who just seems to click. Like she might be "the one." The one you spend the most of your time with. The one who gets you. The one who is like you in so many ways (or at least seems to be). The one who feels like a sister to your soul.

The one who breaks your heart.

With "regular" friends you can drift quietly away and move on with life, never realizing you have diluted them out or vice versa. You can still smile and say, "It's so good to see you! How are you?" in the grocery store, and though it may be a little awkward, it's usually not a bad thing.

But THAT girl? The one you broke up with? Or the one who dumped you? She's the one you had a blow-out with. The one that took you through a range of emotions from love to enraged to sad to indifferent to crazed to numb. The one you see in the grocery store and duck behind the pyramid of tomato paste to avoid making eye contact.

Over time, though, you heal. Even though you remember what she did and what she said, you've come to a point in your life where you're over it. It's moot. You've come to a new place in life and all the junk that was SO! IMPORTANT! when you fell out, suddenly has no place in your life whatsoever.

Suddenly a song comes on the radio. Or you go to that place you always had lunch together. Or maybe there's a crispness in the air that reminds you of that season of life when she was your world. The smell of a certain food, or a show on tv. Anything that makes you remember the perfectness of what was, and helps you forget the tragedy of what it became.

And you pick up the phone. You write an email. You creep her Facebook. For just a moment you long for the comfort and ease of what was, and think just MAYBE it could be again. What it became doesn't have to matter anymore, does it?

The sad truth is that it can't be what it was. It won't. No matter how much you forgive and forget, just as soon as you start reliving the past, it comes back to remind you what happened. The only options seem to be making amends, and keeping a safe distance, becoming generalized acquaintances, or going back and doing it again, only to find that the good brings the bad back with it. Almost always.

The best thing to do? Love the good memories. Relish that smell or that song for just a minute, then move on. Don't let yourself forget for too long why you came to be without her. Call it a life lesson and deal with it. Accept what it became, and know it became that way for a reason.

Didn't it?