Friday, May 29, 2015

Dear Future Self

With that title, I've forced the Meghan Trainor song into my head. But by the time the kids make you read this post, that song will be considered ancient and the link might not work. So trust me, the song (Dear Future Husband) is pretty catchy, but it's not your favorite. What is your favorite song? You don't have one, but you lean toward 80s pop (I know, I know. I can't believe it, either.) and you love Pachelbel's Canon (good choice, by the way). Ask the kids anything else about you, or go back and read your blog posts. You're pretty much an open book. Especially these days.

And that's because you've got a lot going on in your life right now. You teach, you write, you edit, you mom, you read, you're trying to get back into running after that seemingly harmless injury (in which you really have no idea what you did wrong), and most recently, you're trying to take care of your folks. From your home four hours south of them. In fact, Zoe said today, "You're always on the phone these days, Mom." And she's right. Thank goodness for unlimited long distance. (Who knows what they'll have in the future. I'm curious about all of that. You just switched to a phone that allows you to text, but you still have to buy the minutes. Just thought I'd tell you.)

Anyway, back to the task at hand. I'm here to tell you that Dad's diabetes is causing problems and he's also been diagnosed with ocular shingles. Add to that mix the worries you have for your mother, and the summer of 2015 will go down as one of the most-traveled summers you've had in a while (you got back here yesterday from a quick trip to help your parents and you're headed up for the weekend tomorrow). I'm not writing to you to tell you what a great daughter you are (you could be better). I'm writing this post so that someday, you can help out your kids by not doing what your folks are doing.

And what are they doing? Nothing. They're hiding their heads in the sand, so to speak. They refuse to acknowledge their health, and they're making life harder than it should be. They are, in your opinion, at the point that they need help with some daily activities. With cooking, cleaning, bills, and healthcare. Making sure the filing gets done properly and that Dad is eating a healthy, diabetic friendly meal. Dad can't drive right now, and Mom has trouble writing checks. Both are confused and Mom's memory loss is quite pronounced. They are behaving like Dorothy and Guido (remember them?), afraid to change, fearful of embracing a new life.

Yes, you and I both know that change is difficult. I know you're set in your ways. That you will most likely like the life you lead (and least I hope you're happy with the life you're leading there, future self). But you must remember (or trust what I'm telling you now if you don't remember) that life is a cycle (cue the Lion King music). Parents take care of kids and after many years, kids take care of parents. You want, right now, to take care of your parents, but they refuse. Life would be easier on everyone if they would accept your help (or your that of your sisters, as they are also willing), and move on. The bottom line? If the kids are asking you to read this, you're doing exactly what your parents are doing. All the things you said you'd never do.

Don't do that. Don't make the situation harder on everyone. Trust your kids. Trust your younger self. Learn again to accept the things you cannot change. Learn to look at new chapters in your life as an adventure. And in case you're too confused to understand what all of that means, I'll just say this: MOVE IN OR MOVE CLOSER TO YOUR CHILDREN. EVERYONE WILL THANK YOU FOR IT.

By the way (and yes, I am leaping from a very heavy topic to something a little lighter, without a good segue), no matter what happened with your writing, right now, you're making yourself and your kids happy (they like to read your stories). And you're having fun editing. As of this moment, you've only published a few profiles and short stories, but you've finished several manuscripts, and that accomplishment is more than some people can say. Plus, your kids are fantastic (you aren't one to brag about your children, but what I'm saying is that you all have a great relationship, I think). All four of them are very much the sort who go with the flow far more that you did at that age. And that Timmy is a dirty old man and always has been. So if he's sitting next to you right now and trying to get fresh, his behavior hasn't changed. You should thank him for his consistency.

That's all for now. If I need to write more to you, I will. Hope you are well.