In today's day and age we are bombarded with so many negative issues. The economy, unemployment, wars, etc.
Is it any wonder that so many people are depressed, overwhelmed and just plain tired of the battle?
But what happens when we add past transgressions to the burden as well?
As you, my amazing, faithful readers might have noticed, I have been out of cyberspace for a while, a long while at that.
While a minor illness played a part to an extent, the bigger picture was a state that I call "What-the-heck-have-I-done-with-my-life-and-oh-my-goodness-I-ain't-getting-any-younger-itis"!
I have been known to come down with this dreaded illness every few years or so, but this time it really sent me into a tail spin!
I felt I was at a crossroads in my life's path. My beloved hubby Mel is nearing a place where he could feasible retire from police work in a couple of years when our youngest son graduates high school.
I guess for me that has been the challenge. I retired early from a career in law enforcement that I loved, a lot more than I realized, to be a stay at home mom to my blended brood of 9 plus kids. That was many years ago.
My hubby has repeatedly thanked me for what he calls "my sacrifice" of giving my career up to ensure some sense of balance to our children.
I really did not view it as a sacrifice but have now been wondering if it really was something that I needed to do.
Our family, as some of you know, is a blended family, who came together at a very challenging time.
I was faced with having to declare bankruptcy, signing over my home to my ex (who was MIA and let it go into foreclosure) and a mountain of divorce related debt that years later I was still trying to pay off.
Add to that, two teenage boys who were hurting emotional and as a result were acting out and getting into a lot of bad situations.
On my hubby's side he had gone through a nasty bitter divorce and as a result there was a lot of animosity between his ex and him.
He had the four kids who he adored but were constantly being used as pawns to "get him back". My hubby was like the walking wounded and he had shut down a lot emotionally.
Trying to bring a family together under these circumstances was the last thing on my agenda. But God and our hearts sometimes have other plans for us.
After almost two years of trying to anchor our fragmented families into one, while having two full-time high pressure careers going, we knew something had to give.
This decision wasn't based on the fact that I was the woman and therefore the stereotypical choice. It was a logical decision. I was the one with the time already vested so I could retire early and still receive some form of small pension. I was the one with the organizational skills to run a home with so many members, somewhat effective and I was the one who at times had the clearest picture of where this family could go.
With that said I went from rappelling out of helicopters, knocking down doors and arresting the bad guys to PTA meetings, baking cookies, sewing costumes and being the soccer mom.
To say I was in culture-shock was an understatement. I had never really been the homemaker type and when I say this I am not being disrespectful or condescending!
Being a full time mom is by far the hardest, most under-appreciated and demanding job in the world!
I had always place my value and self-esteem on the size of the pay check I was bringing home to my family. When the amount shrunk, so did my confidence.
When people asked me what I did for work they quickly turned away or changed the subject when I told them I was a homemaker. Ironically these same people would return, with renewed interest if they found out I was a retired cop.
Gee, wasn't I still the same person you shunned two seconds ago?
Invariably the rudest questions in the galaxy would be asked, "Why would you leave such an amazing career for this? What if your husband divorces you?";or my all time favorite, "Why would you do something so stupid?"
Excuse me; do I even know you for you to talk to me that way?
Really, honestly people could you be any more ignorant?
I would get so angry to feel that the average person thought raising my kids was such a colossal waste of time and that there must be something seriously wrong with me for making such a choice.
In my mind I thought that by being there, full time, my kids would grown up to be "normal", happy adults; who would learn to overcome challenges, no matter how bad, to become successful people, not some social psychologist nightmarish statistic.
This is where my "illness" mentioned above kicked into overdrive.
I had this vision of 9 college graduates, owning homes with white picket fences, 2.4 kids, a mini-van (okay maybe not a mini-van, I do not like mini vans) a SUV, with a dog, happily married forever.
They are professionals, cops, doctors, lawyers, nurses, oh my! The American dream!! Right?? Wrong!!
Instead I have three aspiring music rappers, a budding fashion industry insider, a dancer/singer/actress, who informed us that she is marrying a famous pop singer, he just doesn't know it yet!; an aspiring professional baseball player, a fledgling film director/screen writer/producer, a wanna-be criminal psychologist who hasn't even started going to school for this, even though he's in his mid-twenties!!
Oh, yeah and a future professional soccer player, who despite the fact that he is of Latino heritage, can't seem to pass Spanish class!!
Where did I go so wrong?? Honestly I left my career for this??
This way of thinking people, is what is really wrong with America at times!! And the reason my "illness" flairs up!
My hubby and I created free thinkers! We always encouraged them to follow their dreams, no matter how far-fetched the world thought their goals were.
Now that they were doing that, I was feeling like a failure for not spawning what I thought was "normal".
My hubby once again was the voice of reason.
We took a bunch of so called "broken people", my hubby and I included and somehow with God's divine intervention, turned us all into a family.
We are a Latino family with 6 kids who graduated from a college preparatory private high school, with the youngest still there.
The other two boys got their GED's and some form of specialized training.
All our kids have attended or are going to be attending college in some shape or form.
None of them have children out of wedlock, no teenage pregnancies, no one is incarcerated, or on drugs, no drug dealers, no car thieves, no junkies, no alcoholics, no welfare mothers or fathers, no deadbeat dads or moms, no Department of social services involvement, no probation officers to report to, no unemployment slouchers, no spousal abuse or neglect.
Oh yeah and they aren't illegally in the country, they pay their taxes, one has served in the military and while we are on the subject, we can't go back to the country we came from, because we are already here!
No I did not lose my train of thought I mention all of the above because according to main stream American media and TV, isn't this the only things all us Latino people are about? Apologizes to my readers who are progressive thinkers and understand how ridiculous stereotypes are!
Our only married child dated his wife for 8 years before they tied the knot in their late 20's.
They now have an amazing 8 month old baby boy who is loved and taken care of by two hands-on parents. My son works hard so his wife can work on her Master's degree and take care of their son. My grandson's eyes light up every time his daddy walks into the room because dad is very involved with his son.
One kid plays baseball at his division 2 college, one daughter played softball at her college and another daughter is on the competitive traveling ballroom dancing team at her University!
Another is working on his own cable access TV show with his brother and is a regular on "You tube" and news websites, video blogging about hot button topics like the economy and breastfeeding! Did I mention he was 20?
The rappers have their duo album out, (self financed) and are working on their individual albums.
One kid works for a major clothing chain and has already worked up to assistant manager and is earmarked for upper management at the ripe old age of 24. Oh, yeah she's female, Latina, single and with no kids!
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as where these kids are headed!
This summer my son, who has already written various screen plays, did I mention he is only 20, will be directing and producing one of his short films with the help of his siblings.
The younger daughter will be recording her debut album, (did I mention she sings too) which is being produced by her older brothers.Does this mean they are superstars and wealthy? Far from it. They are striving to get there and struggling along the way!
So as I sit here feeling like a failure because none of my kids have graduated college yet, or have claimed their corner office yet and wondering what we did wrong and why did I leave my job behind; something has become really clear.
The kids have become everything we wanted them to be, just not in the cookie-cutter way we thought they should as dictated to us by mainstream stereotypes!
So I guess the real question here is, now that the kids-excuse me our adult children, are creating their worlds, what am I going to do about mine?
Do I sit and wallow in self-pity because I am not the head of the state police?
Do I sabotage myself by not writing for weeks on end because I feel that my words are of no value, because I am writing about family instead of firearms?
Do I refuse to finish my stories because there is no publisher waiting with a fat check, yet?
Or do I reassess the situation and forge ahead onto my next mission.
I can say without a doubt that so far our family has been mostly a success, so why can't I go and pursue my dreams now?
The answer is yes! I can go out and pursue my own dreams!
But I can't go forward if I am always looking backwards!
As a matter of fact if I don't get going quickly, pretty soon my kids will be on me letting me know that I am slacking!
So with all this said, I am here to say I am back!!
Stronger, faster, better...no wait that was the Bionic man! But I guess it applies to me as well!
To all my beautiful readers thank you for your kind thoughts, words and prayers. You are all really extraordinary in all you do!!
And to the rest of the world watch out! Cause ordinary woman is back in the extraordinary saddle again!!!
Now if only I could find my glasses I would be all set!!