Exhausted but Blessed

This has been a very hectic last few weeks.  Four of my five grandchildren all got RSV.  Both toddlers ended up in the emergency room.  Both of the three month old babies ended up in separate hospitals so I had sibling duty.  It was pathetic to watch these babies and having to put on oxygen and all.  The toddlers did better than their baby sisters.  As any of you know, it is hard to watch these normally busy, buzzing toddlers  become docile and just lay around.  After day two of this RSV crap the docile toddler who still feels bad but wants to play, is not necessarily a nice little person to be around.   Sure they still want to be cuddled and snuggled with, but…they can also be kind of well lets say um..well..mean.  A sick toddler is a terrible two-year mixed with a bit of a teenager, a woman that is PMSing, a little bit of of the pre-menopausal woman too.   It has been hard on all of us from the grandchild that is sick to their parent who is trying to juggle work, their other children, and the child that was sick, and the grandparent who is just trying to hold some sense of sanity together.  I am glad to say that hopefully this adventure is somewhat behind us.

I am blessed that all are on the mend and doing well.  We have had snuggle up time reading books these last few days, other than a few debates between the two year olds’ as to which book needed to be read first, I think we may be back on a normal track again.  I am back to being “grandmommy” the human tissue.  I usually wear my “frumpy”  and “comfy” clothes when I babysit as you could connect the spots of baby spit up, boogers, and whatever they decide that they need to wipe on me.  I don’t really mind as the clothes and I can be washed.  I help them through the day as much as they help me.  They help keep me and my mind active and to focus on their achievements.  They help me to not worry about the future ( at least while we are together), as they are our future.  I want to be able to make the best positive impact in their lives.  From my six year old grandson thru my 3 month old granddaughters and the two in between  and the ones to come… I love you all and you have my whole heart.  When I look into their faces I see bits and pieces of their parents and pieces of my late husband.  How could my heart not melt.

 

When You Are Snow Bound

What do you do when you are expecting the year’s worse snow? Living along the foothills of The Blue Ridge, we do get snow, but not very often do we get to see 8 or more inches of the wet fluffy stuff.  Relatives up North would chuckle when we would tell how residents in the Southeast react to snow.  I am from Michigan, so snow was just a part of our everyday life.  We enjoyed lots of Winter activities growing up.  We built snow forts.  We had snowball fights with all the neighborhood kids.  We built many a snowman, sometimes had enough snow for a whole snow family.  ( we didn’t use the snowman making kits either).  Our neighbors had a pond that served as the neighborhood ice skating rink.  The same neighbors had the best hill for sledding.  Have you ever tried ice fishing?  Kind of scary driving out on top of the lake and then drilling a hole in it to put a fishing line in.  But that is what we did “back in the day”.  Now children are scared to be children, simple, innocent things we enjoyed as children may not be carried onto our next generations.  Sometimes I feel simplicity has been replaced by technology to a point.

My 13 year old daughter and two grandsons went outside to play in the snow this morning.  They lasted less than 10 minutes.  It took them longer to get dressed and find their mittens.  Yesterday my daughter decided she was going to make “snow cones” with real snow.  I was impressed as it didn’t involve her using her iPad.  My daughter looked silently outside, then she looked at me, then went back to staring outside.  I asked her what she was looking at she said “nothing, but ya know what Daddy would have loved this storm.”  I just said “yep”, every now and again it still hits us hard like it was yesterday, not almost 2 years ago.  Stupid cancer.

 

We had decided to have a “snow party” of sorts at my house since we were expecting the storm of all storms.I am the one who has the fireplaces should the power go out.  Thankfully it just flickered a few times.  We got hot dogs, hot chocolate, and yes, bread and milk with the planning of being snowbound with a house full of people.  Firewood was brought in and loaded at the fireplaces and extra stacked to the side.  Then we waited…and we waited and boom the sky opened up and dumped 8-10 inches upon us.  The snowplows and scrapers ran all night, and the roads look so wonderful and safe.

As I sit here in my office at my desk overlooking my snow covered yard, it brings back all the memories I had as a child playing in the snow.  I believe I have reached the age that I see the beauty in the snow and not necessarily the amusement.  I am okay standing in the sidelines snapping pictures as my children and grandchildren are creating memories.  Hopefully I will live long enough to hear my children or grandchildren say “back in the day” because I will know a  memory was made.

Career Crossroads and Challenges

What do we do when we suddenly or not so suddenly find ourselves changing jobs?  What if we are switching to a totally different career?  We of course get stress out right?  Now after reality has sunk in, how do we compete in this younger job market?  Sometimes you have to turn the tables and think like you are the employer,  what makes you stand out?

Number one on my list is your appearance.  You may be  content with how you look and all, but kick it up a bit.  Look online at different business fashion styles for the 30-35 year old.  Try to duplicate the look if at all possible.  We both know that we are not 35 years old anymore but that seems to be the ideal age employers are looking for.  I am not saying to and dress like your 18 year old daughter or act like her either.  Just have a little younger mindset, even if it is temporary.  Spruce up your hair do.  Get a cut, style, perm or dye whatever makes you feel good about you.  There is no crime in dying your hair and no crime in keeping it gray.  Try for a little modern style.  Don’t go into an interview in your comfy Sunday Grandma outfit.  ( Come on you know we all have one).  That is not going to be what a potential employer wants to see, regardless of how much expertise you may have.  Go ahead and wear those uncomfortable heels or dress shoes, save the flats and loafers for after you are hired.

When you write up your resume, break a few standard rules of resume making.  You will need to acknowledge the schools from high school upwards thru grad school.  But,…you do not necessarily need to specify the dates you graduated.  You can explain that at the interview.  Same thing applies to former work experience.  By all means put your experience down, just do not put how long you were employed .    If you were an employer looking at a stack of resumes and you came across one that a person had over 28 years of experience at one job, his first though is going to be “he / she is old”.   It may make a difference between it being put in the call for an interview stack since they are just looking at the facts about your experience.  Again you can explain the amount of years at places during an interview.  Example being my 16 year old son asked me when I was born and I replied in 1965.  His immediate response was “Wow…did you realize you are an antique.”  I thanked him and asked him then if I was a valuable antique…he never did answer me.  This is what we are up against, it is up to us to prove we are valuable antiques.  Sometimes there is some truth to “it is all in who you know”.  It may not be someone you know directly.  Ask your clergy, fellow parents or grandparents that your children and grandchildren play with.  You could say something like this ” Hey, if you hear of any job openings please let me know” it cant hurt.

Lastly approach your career crossroads with confidence.  You are a strong willed person do not let them beat you down.  Even if you have been turned down ten times in the last two weeks, walk into your interview like it is your first.  I have walked away from nursing after 32 years.  It is basically what I know, but my body was rebelling the long hard shifts.  I have arthritic hands.  I watched as my husband of almost 30 years pass away from cancer and I just lost the lust for the nursing path.  In two years, I also will be thrown out into the job hunting wilds, but for now I am taking care of my last two children living at home and helping my adult children with my grandchildren.  I plan on using these helpful hints when the time comes for my hunting too.  Change is scary, no getting around it, but how we approach it can make all the difference in the world.  I am sure you all remember the story of “The Little Engine That Could”, that is how I try to conquer challenges.  It may sound a bit lame but it is true, the more you say it to yourself the more it is believable.

Come on now all together, “I Think I Can…I Think I Can…I Think I Can and I Did”!

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About Me

Well first off I am a fifty-something person too.  Actually I am 52 with 53 peeking around the corner.  I am a widow with two of my five children still at home.  I have five grandchildren and will have my sixth in June.  I am currently taking a hiatus or an early retirement from my job in the nursing field after 32 years.  I left on a good note, but felt I couldn’t compete with the younger nurses.  Sometimes my arthritic hands would slow me down.  I also watched as my husband passed away rather quickly from cancer and I just decided a change was needed.  I live in Virginia near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I live in a rural type town so I get a lot of “creative energy” just sitting on my deck watching the wind blow.

Welcome to the Fifty Something Cafe

Hello and welcome to the Fifty Something Cafe.

This website is for everyone who is fifty something or even a bit younger or a bit older.  We are husbands and wives.  We are widows and widowers.  We are the parents of adult children as well as some children still at home.  We are  grandparents.  We are the children of our aging parents.  We wear many different hats.

Some of us are still climbing the corporate ladder eagerly achieving our dreams.  Some of us are the victim of corporate downsizing.  Some of us  have been “let go” for no other reason than we are getting closer to retirement.  Some of us are facing career changes due to our health or a loved one’s.

It is hard to admit that we are not as young as we used to be.  We all try to stay active and eat right, right?  Our metabolism has slowed down some.  The diets hard to stick to and the weight just does not fall off anymore.  We are all on board for this crazy ride called life.  But, you are not going thru it alone, as we are the “baby boomers”.  (That means that there is a lot of us).

Stick with us here at the Fifty Something Cafe, our topics will involve being the best grandparent that you can be clear through assisting your parent through simple activities in their daily lives.  We will touch a few subjects in between all that too.