2020 · COVID-19 · family · Julie's Journey

1970 – Just Call Me Vintage

Even before I was outside my mother’s womb my story had started. No this isn’t a post about creation, abortion or any such. It’s about a fourth child hitting a milestone birthday. When I was born the doctor barely made it in the room, I think the nurse or maybe the doctor caught me heading to the floor and my dad was busy watching a football game. My brother did not want a third sister so I was traded for a horse once the news was out I was a girl! Obviously he didn’t get his way, they kept me.

My story transpired over the years but one thing that stood out was that apparently I was born because my dad wanted another child. He was a drinker and my mother hoped he would stop, that did not happen upon my birth. Don’t pity me, it’s part of my story.

My story entails having a sister that nurtured and cared for me although she was only a child herself. Our mother worked full time and we lived in a rural setting, did I mention it was 1970? The horse trading brother I’m sure was too busy with cattle and horses to pay attention to another sister! The sibling, a sister that is closest in age was not thrilled to have a baby in the family. She is five years older than me so you and I both get it. I don’t blame her, I would have been like that too. Dad was working and well… I already listed his situation.

But here’s the deal.

The fact that my parents had me, they chose to have me, is enough to celebrate turning 50.

Since we adopted our youngest daughter I often think of God’s choice in making us her parents but in reality God has control in every child created and the parents that they are with. My oldest two daughters included. It’s kind of fascinating to me.

I grew up in a time that kids entertained themselves and if you got hurt you didn’t go running to Mom for a band-aid. You also didn’t share your feelings, do “self-care”, mouth off or pick what you wanted for supper. Time was spent playing outside and for me, talking to myself a great deal and just surviving. The situation I grew up in created in me resilience and so much more. I still use those things in my life on a daily basis. Of course it also created in me less than stellar habits. Do I or did I raise my kids in the same manner my parents raised us? No but I do use some of their parenting skills here and there. Sprinkling them about – even with my adult children. The key is learning from things and use what is good for your family.

My story changed when my parents divorced around my 11th year of life, my mother remarrying also changed my course around the age of 14. I didn’t leave my teens or high school without becoming a mother and found myself walking down the aisle at 19. Moving a few times, changing jobs and adding another little girl to the mix is how I spent my 20’s. Being a wife and mother and working mostly full time. As I found myself in those 30’s I was a divorcee with the world ahead of me but I didn’t know it at the time. Joy came back with a new marriage and another little girl later in those 30’s, with older girls on their way out of the house. The 40’s have been full of so many things, too many to list but becoming a Grandma is probably the best thing and the worst is losing both my parents. Everyone’s story is different yet we can all count on it changing and influencing who we become.

I had planned to do a lot of things to finish my 40’s but for various reasons I’m not leaving it the way I’d hoped. Just like when I entered the world my brother didn’t get the brother he’d hoped for and my dad didn’t stop drinking until I was an adult – it is what it is. Today at 50 I know my brother loves me dearly and I can celebrate that I had many years with my dad before his passing in which he was sober. I accomplished two of the things on my 40’s list and that will have to do.

Entering the 50’s I could have made a plan, but for once I think I’ll just sit and let it flow in. I’ve got some dreams tucked away. But with the current situations at hand they can wait. I don’t know why I am deciding on this “go with flow” attitude but I think it might be that I recall my parents at age 50. Both had health problems and died in their early 70’s. That’s closer for me than farther away and yes I am in better health than they were but I still have health issues. No one is guaranteed tomorrow here on earth, whether you are healthy or not.

Perhaps it’s because I feel like I can finally breathe. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the stage of life where looks aren’t as important, stature isn’t essential and I’m on my last child and she is half raised. I don’t know really why I feel like I do this birthday go around.

My husband made me laugh when he took this picture. He has always said the most beautiful thing about me is my smile. :_

I told my family I didn’t want a party, I’m not the party type and with Covid hanging around and my birthday falls in the Christmas season there’s really no point. My oldest was a tad miffed at me I think. And I’m pretty sure I heard my hubs sigh with relief! There was really only one thing I wanted for my 50th birthday and it’s not possible. So instead I am giving away a quilt on my personal social media page and plan to just chill on that stellar day after Christmas. (By the way I had ankle surgery on the 15th so no dancing for me although I love dancing!)

(insert) I spent the day with my immediate family, eating cake, seeing my sisters, opening a ton of cards and just chilling.

This post was mostly for the future generations to read in my printed version. If my 50 year old self could tell those younger folk a few things it would be the following.

Take better care of yourself while you’re young. No, really… do it!

Hug your family. I mean REALLY hug them.

Know that you can endure a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

Know it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, just don’t stay there for long.

Give to others and just sit back and just watch.

Have conversations with your elders, listen intently.

And although it’s new for me and I’m still practicing – just flow into your days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Julie

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