More lives than a cat.

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Have you ever wished that you had as many lives as a cat, you know, the proverbial nine lives?  When you think about it, apparently we do.  How else to explain the fact that we have made it to our age (of gray {have to throw this in some where}) without the extra lives.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has tales of fun times that when I’m telling them have to wonder how I survived (now that is a convoluted sentence).   Please do share a good one with me since I’m regaling you with my mishaps!

I know that I previously mentioned that most of my husband’s stories about his college days end with, “And then we took Jerry to the hospital.”   Now this is not because they were running from the law or had indulged in Evel Knevel type behavior but were just big boys being big boys.  We all know that the male form of our species does not grow a brain until somewhere in their thirties.  In fact, Nort has a huge scar on the right side of his belly from delivering papers as a youth.  That sounds like a pretty safe thing to do, right?  Weeelllllll, it would have been had he (18) not been sitting on the hood of the car throwing papers while his little brother Barry (14) was driving and took a corner too hard and fast.  See, hadn’t grown a brain.

And girls can be just as bad.  When Laura and I were kids, one of the favorite school yard games was tether ball.  For you who don’t know what that is, imagine a tall metal pole embedded in the ground with a ball about soccer ball size tethered to the top of the pole.  The object of the game was to wrap the ball around the pole by hitting it with your fist while your opponent tried to keep it from wrapping on their side by hitting it back to you.  We loved it but Mother and Daddy thought it was way too dangerous for us to play.  So being very smart girls we figured out a way to make our own.  We found a skinny tree with no low branches and tied a rope on it.  Since we didn’t have a ball we could use, we filled a Clorox jug with rocks (it needed weight to swing properly) and tied that on the end of the rope.  It was great fun that resulted in some pretty awesome bruises.

We also have matching scars in our eyebrows.  Laura’s is on one side from standing behind a swing I jumped out of and mine is on the other side for the same reason.  Poor Larry has scars in both eyebrows because he just wasn’t as quick figuring this out until he was whacked a couple of time.  Really, jumping out of a swing, do you allow your grands to do this?  And who doesn’t have gravel under the skin somewhere on their body from bike races.  Oh we did live in a time when kids could really be kids.

Another way we use one of our many lives is becoming someone else.  I’m not talking about growing up and becoming more of who we are as children, but deciding we want to be someone different.  A wonderful thing about being human is the ability to recreate ourselves.  Some of us find out who we are early in life and stick with it, while others of us take a lot longer.   Guess which one I am.    Often we run into someone we’ve not seen in years and exclaim that they haven’t changed one bit!  If you are telling me I’ve not changed physically, depending on when you saw me last, I may either give you a big hug or burst into tears.  (Kind of running into someone you know at Wal-Mart in the middle of the night and not being recognized.  Always a good thing for me.)  But sometimes I want to scream, but I have changed!  I’m not the person you used to know.

Some time it takes moving to a different town and leaving baggage behind you.  There is something so liberating about being able to present yourself to people who have no preconceived notions about you.  They don’t know if you were the town thug, beauty queen, bad girl or bully.  They don’t care who your daddy was, what your son did or how bad a cook you are.  New neighbors don’t care that you used to have a dog that barked all night, all they know is that you have a friendly cat now.

A new job can be also be freedom, though part exciting and terrifying.  There is the fear that you won’t like it or can’t do it.  But there is also the chance to be someone new.  There are no black marks on your record from lipping off one time too many or showing up late every day.  My penchant for arguing a point (my first lawyer and I would fight for days over the correct use of its and it’s in a pleading [I won]) can be conquered and they will never know how stubborn I am.  For a while.  Prone to tell waayyyyy more personal stuff than you should and then have to be around the people who know all about you?  Move to a different position or job and have a clean slate.

And now fellow babies (as Venus Flytrap would say) we are at a point in our lives we can reinvent ourselves again.  I have gone from a life in an office to making paint at Lowe’s.  Sometimes I look at my business proper closet and sigh, then realize I get to wear jeans and tshirts.  How much fun is that?  Granted, when I went back to school for a career so I could wear heels and carry a briefcase, I swore I’d never sweat at work again, but here I am.

Now we have the chance to show our charitable side, we have time to volunteer.  Instead of writing a check, we can participate now.  We have raised our children the best we can and now is the time to play with our grandchildren and not worry that what we do or don’t do will ruin their lives.  Never had children, now you can be the sweet little old lady who spoils other peoples kids, be the grandfather to a child who doesn’t have one.

One of my favorite old ladies (she must have been all of 40) told me one time she had earned the right to wear red lipstick if she wanted to.  I thought that was the coolest thing ever and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to wear red lipstick.  (Some how I missed the perfect point in time because now red lipstick just runs into my lip wrinkles.  Sigh.)  My biggest sale when I worked at Dillards was a woman who came in and bought a completely new underwear wardrobe, bras, panties, slips the works.  She had gotten a divorce and was starting all over.  I loved that.

You know what?  We have earned the right to decide who we are and who we want to be at this stage of our lives.  We can watch all the television we want and it won’t rot our brains (unless it is reality shows, they do rot your brain).  Want three different kinds of cookies for dinner?  Go for it, so what if it stunts your growth.  Never worn make up?  Hit a makeup counter and have a makeover.  Take up a hobby you always wanted to try.  Use the good china and silver anytime you want.  Embrace your bald spot guys and don’t worry about the gray in your beard.  Some of you know all the women I have been, some of you only know this woman.  This is my life now.  Which life are you living?

6 thoughts on “More lives than a cat.

  1. Absolutely loved this post! You had me smiling, laughing, and reflecting on the many “someones” we all are–thank you for a refreshing take on the lives we all lead 🙂

  2. Hi There Linda, I’m here from Badass and I just joined last week so I set a goal to read what everyone has shared this week. I really enjoyed reading your post and although we are from different eras I like your about me section, you have a great way with words. I’d love to see more pictures, even just one of you in the sidebar. I love to connect blog names with faces and you sound very wise.
    Thanks for sharing your post.
    Kellie from Princess and the Yard Ape

    1. Thanks Kellie. I’m working on reading everyone’s too. It is so much fun to “meet” people. And really, how can any one not love a blog with your great title. Right away I know you are a kindred spirit.

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