White Girl Problems
Next month, I’ll hit a milestone (for me) birthday. I seem to be struggling with this more than I thought I would be.
So far, I’m very happy with my life personally and professionally. I look at some of my high school peers on facebook, and while their lives look amazing and something to be admired, I love my life-with-kids, husband, suburban, working woman life. I just don’t like it changing.
It makes me uncomfortable to live in such luxury, some of the time at least. We’re having a municipal election that includes my town, and all of the hopeful councillor candidates include in their flyers such lines as, ‘keeping your tax dollars in town’, or ‘saving our schools from the Big City’, or ‘commitment to tear down the barrier to progress of bureaucracy’.
While the man and I laughed a bit at that last line, it was difficult to know that really, those are, in a way, our lived-out values. We did move here from a downtown, much less affluent and much more community based, urban home. We moved because of better schools, less crime, less drugs (this is a slightly odd worry that’s rooted in my work, as well as my kids’ origins), more peace. We do pay higher taxes here, taxes which are mostly going to downtown causes. Yet the idea that we need to redirect those monies back to our own affluence doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t like our schools closing any more than the next person – both my elementary and high school have now closed down – but I can’t see how this is more important than the lack of basic community services in our less affluent communities. Yet.. I choose to live here, and I wouldn’t move for anything right now.
September is here, and apparently I was not ready for it. The youngest munchkin received a beautiful loft bed from our neighbour’s son (see: Reasons Not to Move), and I came home from a weekend away with work friends to see him so high up and far away, and I was surprised by how it upset me. I’m not okay with my kids growing up. It seems they only just moved in and we became a family, and now they’re hurtling towards independence before we’ve had a chance to really enjoy life together. I know this is in my head, because I have years of social media photos to show that, yes, we Did Things and Went Places, and we played stereotypical Brady-bunch family games like Jenga together, ate at big chain restaurants like Montana’s with kid antler hats and crayons.
We don’t own a scale at our house, for weighing yourself. So, at the doctor’s recently, I discovered for the first time that I now weigh the most I have ever weighed. Considerably more. I’d like to chalk it up to muscle mass and gluten-free diet, but I only just started yoga, and I’m fairly certain that my Snickers obsession has a lot more to do with my SnickersBelt than going gluten free does. (Snickers are celiac friendly, and I have gladly indulged in this friendliness many times over the past year. Many. Times.) It is now such that my coworkers regularly bring me back coke (cola) or Snickers after going for grocery or corner store shops on lunch hour. This doesn’t help my SnickersBelt, but it does help my mental health. For a short time, anyway. Until the reality of where those chocolate bars go – my waistline – sinks in.
I suppose that this is my new reality, and I need to.. perhaps not embrace it, but learn to be content with it. I apparently know myself too well, because at my annual trauma moms retreat this past spring, I picked up a tattoo of an infinity loop to remind myself during those anxious doomsday moments that God, not I, is in control. (I enjoy ‘picked up a tattoo’. It lends itself to an image of happening upon a tattoo in an alleyway, picking it up, and BAM, tattoo! Now with 75% more infections!)
Not sure what my 90-year old senile self will think of a magenta coloured infinity loop on my upper thigh, but hey. It is going to be my mantra for the next decade – relax and enjoy the life that’s in front of me, because there’s little about it I can control. I trust in Jesus, and I’m hoping that’s enough.