So. Here I am, again.

Lost a job, gained a home. Lost a friend, gained a family. Lost some weight, gained a conscience. Lost, gained…you’d think I’d come out even.

I’m not sure how I’ve come out, yet. I’m not sure I’ll know that until I die. For now, I’m happy and content and feeling kinda humble but excited. In other words, my usual, LOL.

It’s been a tough year. Losing two dear cyber-friends who were not just cyber-friends…losing a job…losing my apartment…and that was just me. Then you add in all that my friends have gone through, and all that total strangers have gone through, and this has been one hell of a year.

But I’m here, and for that, I’m very grateful.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in tonight, here, and just say that I’m glad to be here. 🙂

I’ve moved from NY to PA, moved in with my mom, and she and I are getting along great. Her two cats and my two cats, well…they will eventually get along great too (we hope). I love my room, I love the house, I love our community, I love being close to my eldest sister again, I love the fact that my other sister comes up to visit frequently…I love that I’m back in close with my family after years of keeping away.

I love that I have a new lease on life, a fresh hope of finding work (ANY work, please hire me!!) and I love that I have someone to shoulder the burdens with, while taking burdens off their own shoulders. Mom and I have a sort of symbiotic relationship now, and it suits us, right now.

Will it stay this way always? Not sure. Will she always need me to drive her places, remind her of things? Will I always need her to help me out financially and give me a roof over my head? Will she and I always laugh this way, and giggle and share? Will we always feel so comfortable and peaceful together, glad someone’s there?

I don’t know.

So, I’m just going to enjoy this, and make the most of this, and help her get back on her feet while she helps me get back on mine, and take it from there.

Life is good right now. So…I’m going to work on keeping it that way.

Anyone who wishes to share their thoughts on what it’s like to move back in with their parent(s) after the age of 40, feel free to comment. Anyone who wishes to share ANY thoughts, feel free to speak up. Anyone out there at all, I’m here. And…so is Mom.



6 thoughts on “So

  1. cmaukonen

    I do not know what takes more getting use to. Going from a metro area to one that is more suburban/country or the other way around.

    Metro areas tend to be more progressive and sophisticated. I read somewhere – on some blog or comment – that this was do to the very nature of cities. That people had to rely more on each other and trust one another more. That the guy running the bucket in the steel mill knew his stuff or the assembly worker or even the butter and egg man. Interdependency.

    Where those in the more rural areas were more independent and self reliant since neighbors could be miles away. And help of any kind would take a while to arrive.

    You are now in a situation where you can put a bit more time into expanding your horizons and attempt something new without the anxiety of it not working out completely.

    And this is a good thing.

    I have had to get used to the fact that there is no mega retail mart on every other corner. That the mail does not come until around 3 in the afternoon and sometimes later. And that there is no Great Clips in every mall or shopping center.

    1. My kid (age 44) decided to get follicular lymphoma one bright sunny Monday morning in late May, so we are currently focused on chemotherapy at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. (Half-way through six sessions, three weeks apart and told no evidence of the lymphoma in the PET scans – but have to continue the other three sessions. PET scans don’t report the DNA of nasty immortal white blood cells who are supposed to die off after 15 days. Still, great news.) But instead of each of us going to grad school he is experiencing a rather raw chunk of life and I am driving him to the sessions and tests. Leaves a lot of time to read for both of us. So I have been studying the theory of sociology.

      It seems that a century ago Emile Durkheim wrote of the division of labor. It is very different between rural and city situations because of the population density. In rural areas everyone does pretty much the same kinds of work that everyone else does. Social cohesion in low population density areas is created by enforcing everyone to behave much the same, and the method of social enforcement is primarily through religion. There is very little acceptance of deviant behavior or race or religion in rural areas.

      But in the city jobs are very specialized. Your steel worker as he deals with molten steel depends for his survival because others are doing jobs he knows nothing about. Social cohesion depends on the trust you develop because the people who provide the materials you work with do their jobs right even if you don’t understand what they do. It doesn’t matter what church they go to as long as they deal with the molten steel you pour into their molds. It doesn’t even matter what race or gender they are or what country they were born in.

      My kid and I have been depending on nurses from Thailand, Mexico, the US, the Philippines, and so on. There’s a reason why MD Anderson has a reputation of being the finest cancer hospital in the world. These people are the best, and the doctor supervising spends half the day with patients and half doing research on Lymphoma and Myeloma. Rather a narrow specialization compared to general practice in a smaller town than Houston. No one in rural communities can afford that level of specialization. But he and his team are superb because all they do is lymphoma and myeloma.

      As I have followed the politics over the last decade it has become clear that the conservatives are rural in attitude and the Democrats are urban. Go look at the red/blue map of vote by county in the 2008 election to see it very clearly. The cultural differences between rural and urban are massive. If you are going to trust someone with a foreign accent with your life – or even with just preprocessing the work product you will work on – then you are going to have to trust them based on things other than similarity of religion or accent or dress or educational background.

      That kind of trust is what we call progressive and sophisticated.

      It’s been a very educational summer, and I have figured out why after three years teaching in a town of 10,000 I ran like a panicked scalded cat. There was nothing there to do in my off time that wasn’t controlled by Southern Baptists or Methodists who really believe that crap that gays and lesbians choose their sexual orientation (not my problem but damned sure not my understanding, either.) .

      We left our home in Fort Worth and shut off the utilities. My neighbor has been kind enough to mow the lawn, but we haven’t seen the place since June. Won’t be back until November. I am trusting my mostly Mexican-American neighbors for more than I could ever have asked for. It’s been an interesting experience. Mike got accepted into the hospital, we are staying with my sister and brother-in-law and the feeling of being in control of our lives is a vague memory. But you do what you have to do. Sometimes there is nothing but family, the people around you and luck.

      1. cmaukonen

        Thanks to the reply. You stated the differences between rural/suburban and city attitudes and their origins much better than I.

        And my best to you and your son.

  2. Every change of pace is, perhaps, just that. A change of pace. And I think that all change is good, even though I sometimes butt my head against it. So, I’m going to embrace it all, and enjoy it.

    But then, my mother is going through changes that she ISN’T embracing, and some are not just due to getting older. And these changes are scaring my sisters and I, as well as Mom, and we need to embolden ourselves and learn to fight back and ask doctors for second opinions and answers.

    So…there is this feeling of contentment, and discontent, all at once.

  3. She once drove school buses. Worked as a phone operator. Typed 70 WPM after graduating from Katherine Gibbs. She’d wake us up at 5AM and have us in the car by six, and would drive us down the interstates to Virginia from NY in just under six hours in time for Thanksgiving.

    She golfed, bowled on the green, swam, sang, partied, laughed with friends, socialized, did favors for friends on a regular basis, played piano and painted our kitchen white and pink.

    She bought all our clothes every fall for school, baked cupcakes, drew pictures, wrote poems and stories, did crosswords in ink. Regularly jumped to the Almanac for facts, worked in doctors’ offices and in school offices and helped special children.

    She still helps addicts and visits rehab every week. Speaks at AA meetings and supports my sisters and I. She’s still doing a lot. But my Mom is not quite feeling like she’s doing a lot. And I don’t know how to help, but I’m trying.

    It’s a learning curve.


  4. After living the country life for 25 years, we are thrilled to be on the outskirts of a bigger city now, and w/i 2 hours of San Fransisco. There is as much to be said for the amenities in city life, as there is for the slower pace of country living. It’s a matter of adapting, and being happy in spite of one’s circumstances.

    I think you will end up extremely glad you made this move, Lis. You may wind up back in the city some day, but for now, it sounds like this is where you are needed. I am very happy for both of you. I think WIllie and Wallace will work out their issues, too.

    Love you, Lis…janet

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