Everyday A Blessing
When you have experienced certain events in your life, you come to realise the mortality of what is around you. When young you feel you can do anything, recover from anything, be indestructible and nothing ever ends. Gosh the naivety of youth makes me smile as I definitely think I was afflicted with this condition. I believed I could come back from anything, get knocked down and get back up regardless. Yes I was one that thought you could do anything to your body and mind and not pay a price. Well it’s a bit like credit; you can spend and spend, thinking the bill will never arrive. However, what is happening in reality is that the amount you owe is building rapidly and interest is being added liberally – it would certainly keep pace with these awful payday loan companies. But the bill is deferred and put off year after year, until a couple of decades pass and you get a demand for settlement in full.
The settlement is not 5% of the total each year, oh no, this is more like American Express than a store card, the bill is due, is to be paid in full and it is enormous. The really horrible thing about this deferred payment is that the interest on it has been as steep as a ski jump slope, and it hits you just as you are planning for post parenthood life with your loved one. Let me explain this last point as it makes me sound like I am about to kill my children, even though every parent has thought of shooting their kids at times, I can assure the reader this is merely metaphorical in nature – most of the time! It’s that time of life when your youngest is a year away from going to University and your oldest is on her way in life’s great adventure, along that twisting path of ups and downs, all those choices to make – not sure I would want to have my time over again. But my Angel and I are starting to plan our time, the last third as I call it:
1/3 being single
1/3 being a parent
1/3 for my Angel and I
Of course we are there for our children whenever they need us now or in the future, but this is the key to unlocking the final 1/3 of our lives. They may be our children, our babies, but they are life’s adults now and belong to an ever changing society, ready to find their careers and make their futures, with us as mere safety nets, friends (hopefully), and occasional mentors – NOT BABY SITTERS in case either daughter is reading this. We have raised them to the best of our abilities, acted as role models and guides in many ways, but hopefully made them strong, proud future citizens that have been cherished and loved, yes spoilt at times too. But they know they have to work hard and do their best to get on in life.
I look at them now and am proud of them and yes proud of the work Carol and I have put into them. Will they make mistakes and need us to bail them out, well of course they will, they are young adults trying to stand alone, except when they need to lean on us of course. I am happy to keep my arms open for them for as long as I can to comfort them, dust them off and set them free again. I don’t look back and feel we have done too much wrong, although as I write this I hope they don’t end up being serial killers, as it would make a little bit of a mockery on this blog. But this is time for my Angel and I, this is time for us to find out what we like to do, what we want to do, and to do it.
We have been, as many parents are, so engrossed in raising our children and working that I think we have forgotten what we used to like to do when we were first married. Hell, might even find we have time and energy to start doing what we want to do when we want to do it, I think we have earned it by now, 21 years of parenting is not a bad record, and pat on the back time for my Angel and I. We have to explore what we want to do together, the things we want to do separately as personal time is important too of course. We are planning to go visit this, a day out here and there, maybe even a drive round the coast of Scotland being photographers for a couple of weeks, so many options and we have the economic ability to do what we want when we want.
But then the reality sinks in, sinks as deep as the hole in my wallet after my daughters have been at it. Yes we return to the theme of this blog, the price one has to pay, the bill that has been building. Wheelchair user with a degenerative condition, diabetes and generally less healthy than road kill. My Angel tired and drained from her work, that sucks the life out of her at times, coming home emotionally spent. A pleasant weekend is one without drama just chilling and without the energy (mental or physical), to actually do much at all. But I wonder if it is about reorientation or refocusing ourselves to that new phase in life that we are embarking on whether we have the energy or not.
I wonder if it is not a matter if our credit is spent physically or mentally, is it a matter of finding ourselves and each other, and identifying where the intersection of our wants meet up. We are about to finally find each other again as Carol and Jonathan, rather than Katrina’s Dad, Janita’s Mum. Even though we are somewhat spent at this stage with regards to work, I think that actually the act of finding ourselves and each other pays the bill we have built up in full and we start over. For this reason I find that every day is more special than the last, and rather than seeing the finishing post, I see the start sign. Every day is a blessing, as parents and as partners, and now we can also explore (but hopefully no more damage to rather battered bodies now if you don’t mind!). Every day really is a blessing though, can’t really express how grateful I am to be with my Angel, regardless of the personal challenges that come with my disability, at least I have an Angel in my life.