Getting Old Is Not For Sissies

thoughts and rambling as I get older

Enough Already! March 16, 2010

OK, OK, I give up!  I am over it.  There, now that I have that out of my system I will be feeling better in no time at all.  Sorry for the rant but it has to be done.  I am over feeling lousy, and I am off to a new day.

I have struggled with some depression recently and I have decided that enough is enough.  I remember a cartoon some time ago that fits my situation.  A therapist was in a managed healthcare system.  He was with a patient  in his office and just hauled off and slapped the guy and told him to “snap out of it”.  That is what I am feeling now.  I just need to snap out of it.  Crappy things happen and then you just have to move on.  I am tired of feeling lousy, tired of being depressed, and tired of feeling a total lack of accomplishment.  I am not the only person that has lost a job.  I am not the only person that is struggling financially.  I am not the only person that feels lost.  But….I am the only person that can do a anything about it. 

I have so much that I am thankful for and I have not been good about thinking of those things.  Why is it so much easier to dwell on the negative and just ignore the positive?  When I look at my life and really begin to put everything into perspective, I realize that I have a lot going for me.  I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, I have great kids, I have grandchildren who think I am “the best”, I have a roof over my head, I’m not hungry, I have friends all over the country, and folks who think of me daily.  Think of all the people who can’t say the same things. 

When life throws you a curve ball sometimes it starts to feel like everything is wrong.  I can see that there are lots of “rights” in my life and it is time I started to look at things a little differently.  I need to get back to my camera, my writing, and my goals.  No more moping around feeling sorry for myself…….PROMISE.


New Year…New Attitude (maybe) January 15, 2010

It is a new year and I am just now getting around to recognizing it.  I never have been good with time constraints.  I am really hoping that this new year is going to stand out as an example of things to come.  I was a litte down over the holidays and then my wonderful son-in-law called to tell me that he had made flight arrangements for me to fly to Chicago for a long weekend.  Because of our economic situation I had not done much for the kids for Christmas.  Basically I bought for the grandkids and that was it, but I had written letters to all of my grown children to tell them just how much they meant to me.  My son-in-law said that he wanted to do something for his wife (my oldest daughter) because the letter had meant a lot to her so there I was….flying to Chicago for an impromptu visit.  He had called my other grown kids so that they would also be there.  I had a fantastic time.  While the weather was cold and snowy, the feelings inside that house was nothing but toasty warm.  I visited with all of my kids, played with my 2-year-old grandson, and took lots of photos.  Once more I am reminded of just what is important and what is not.  The love of family is everything.  Things are replaceable, family is forever.

I am back in Clearwater and the weather here is warming up again.  Believe it or not it actually was quite cold here last week.  At least by Florida standards.  I worked out in the yard some today and it was enjoyable.  I also discovered that we have a stray cat living under our house.  She looks quite small and seems is enjoying the little goodies I have put out for her.  She won’t let me get to close yet but I am hoping she eventually will.

I checked on my resumes today and am waiting to hear something from several of the positions I have applied to.  I did hear from a job in Baton Rouge that is very interested.  Would hate the thought of moving again, but then again, I really want to go back to work.  I just wish companies would realize that there are real people behind those resumes and respond to them .   Word to corporate America……”we need to hear from you”.  Just acknowledge us.

I recently joined a new Flickr group called OUR DAILY CHALLENGE.  The object is to take one photo daily depicting a given word.  Some of the challenges have been MONEY, SOMETHING HOT, SOMETHING YOU WOULD FIND IN A BATHROOM, JEWELRY, SOMETHING GLASS.  I have had more fun looking for creative ways to depict these various challenges.  I have also come in contact with other photographers.  It is great to see all the different interpretations of the same challenge. 

OK….the new attitude part.  I think that it is time for me to decide what I will be when I grow up.  After all, I will be 58 this year.  I love photography, and I love to write.  I really think it is time to take it all to the next level.  I have studio lights, I have a good camera, I have a nice assortment of lenses.  Maybe I should get serious with them.  While I am still somewhat mourning the loss of my job 5 months ago, I am realizing just how much of my life that job controlled.  I had no time for anything.  Not family, not photography, not friends.  My job was my life and I am seeing that there was a lot I missed out on.  Maybe what I miss more than the job is the feeling of accomplishment.  If I could build a photography business, I think that feeling of accomplishment would return.  We will see.

I want to share a couple of photos I took of my grandson.

His name is Finnegan James and he was 2 in November.  Who could ever have imagined that grandkids could be so much fun? 

Let me hear from those of you that are reading this…….

Until later,


Done for Another Year, Packed Up and Put Away December 26, 2009

Well, it is officially the day after Christmas and I have packed up the tree and the ornaments for another year.  Ran the vacuüm and put the chairs back where they belong.  While this year has been a tough one and I was not looking forward to Christmas, this one turned out to be a good one.  I think being faced with adversity is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. 

I lost a job that I loved earlier this year.  We decided to head to Florida.  Hey, it’s warm there and I am sure my arthritis will feel better in the sunshine.  How tough would it be to get a job.  I am a talented woman who has always been proud of my work ethic.  It would be fine…..yeah, right!  The job market is horrible.  Apparently there are lots and lots of middle-aged women with a great work ethic, looking for a job.  Oh and there are lots of young folks out there who are looking as well.  Companies have lots of applicants to choose from.  Well, that was 4 months ago.  I was dreading the Christmas season.  We had very little money for gifts and none for travel.  We decided that the 3 grandchildren would be taken care of but the rest of the family would just need to realize we loved them.  It was depressing.

I decided at the last-minute to put up the Christmas tree.  Going through all the old ornaments from my childhood started to have an effect on me.  I was reflecting on just what was important and what was just “gravy”.  As I tested the strings of lights I couldn’t help but remember my dad, stretching out the light strings across the living room.  I think I learned what the difference in boys and girls was from hearing my dad ask for a “male” plug and a “female” plug.  Seeing the paper mache orange that my brother made in the third grade made me laugh, as it was always called “Rance’s orange”.  When I put Angie the Angel on top of the tree, suddenly it was Christmas.

I looked at what I did have.  I have a husband who loves me.  A roof over my head.  I am not hungry.  I have children who worry about me.  I have friends who care.  I have hope for the future.  There is nothing else I need.  Christmas Eve, my husband Bill and I splurged on a bottle of wine.  We took our wine, some cheese and crackers and headed to the beach.  We sat near the water in the moonlight and talked about how much we truly did have.  It was a lovely evening.  The next day, Christmas Day, we talked to all the kids and listened to the grandkids excitement.  Would I have liked to have been there?  Of course!  But it was OK.  We went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant.  We had sushi and oysters.  We laughed about our day and we told each other how much we cared.  I could not have asked for a better Christmas.

Late Christmas night we drove through the downtown area.  The number of homeless is devastating.  They were on city benches with all of their belongings in a backpack.  It was misting rain, and getting cooler.  I thought about my day.  I had a bed to go home to.  I have hope for 2010.  How horrible it is to have no hope.

Here’s to a great new year.  As 2009 draws to a close….it really wasn’t so bad after all.


Sometimes Life Will Kick You December 23, 2009

I heard from an old friend tonight.  She wanted to let me know that one of our old highschool buddies had lost her daughter.  While I haven’t seen either one of these old friends in years it really bothered me because it made me think how quickly our lives can change from one extreme to another.  I don’t know the circumstances, and they don’t really matter.  A mom, someone my age, with grown children like my own, made a decision tonight,  to let her daughter go.  The mom that  brought her into this world had to decide when it was time to let her leave this world.  One day she was planning for a Christmas gathering, and the next day she is going to have to plan a funeral.   Burying your child must to be one of the most horrific events in a person’s life.  It made me ask myself if my children knew how much they meant to me.  My kids are all grown and married.  I have grandchildren.  But do my children really know how much I love them.  Yes, I tell them “I love you” every time we are on the phone together.  But do they know that I still worry about them, that there are times that I am scared for them?  Do they know how proud I am of them?  When they disappoint me, do they know it is their actions that disappoint and not them? 

I hope that my friend was able to tell her daughter these things.  I hope that they had the kind of relationship that allowed them to talk.  I hope that my friend will not blame herself.  Why do we sometimes wait until something bad happens before we think about sharing our feelings? 

I want my oldest to know that I am so proud of the way she and her husband are raising their son.  I want her to know that I remember that it isn’t easy to be a mom, and a wife, and have a career, all at the same time.  I want my son to know that the baby he and his wife are expecting will be the greatest gift he has ever received.  I want my youngest to know that she will always be my baby, even if she is 31.

So many times we think these thoughts, but we don’t go that next step and tell people how much they mean to us.  Maybe we just think they already know.  And, they probably do know.  Even though I knew how much my mother loved me, I would give anything in the world to hear her say it just one more time.  I hope she knew how much I loved her and how much I miss her still.

Christmas will be hard this year.  I lost my job 4 months ago and there is not much money to spare.  There will not be the big Christmases of the past.  This year I bought for the grandbabies and that was all.  What I did do was write each of my children a personal letter.  Some of it was remembering events from when they were little.  Some of it was talking about our future.  Mostly it was just a way to let them know how very much I love them and how lucky I am to have them in my life.  I hope my friend was able to tell her daughter.


Ahhhh…the Holidays November 25, 2009

They’re here! Kind of reminds you of the Poltergeist line doesn’t it? You remember that creepy kid sitting in front of the TV saying, “They’re back”. The holidays, with all the complications are upon us. Am I the only one that does not get all “misty-eyed” when this annual event overcomes our senses? I have friends who are all done with their Christmas shopping and have still found time to cook a 20 course meal for Thanksgiving. They brag about it like they are some kind of damn holiday superhero. They have got Christmas trees and lights up and ready to go on display just as soon as Uncle Fred gets up from the Thanksgiving table and announces that he is “stuffed like a tick”. The iconic image of the Norman Rockwell family sitting down at the table and giving thanks has been replaced with people making battle plans to tackle the BLACK FRIDAY sales. They have got their sale flyers on the ready. They have worked out a route based on store opening times. They have their gym shoes ready to run. Hopefully, they also have their health insurance paid up so that when they are caught up in the inevitable door opening crush they will be able to receive adequate medical care.

Before I get off on an entire Christmas tangent, let’s talk about Thanksgiving a little bit more. When I was a kid my grandmother would plan the meal and my mother would spend days cooking. Relatives that we did not see that often would descend on the house. My brother and I would begin hiding our “good stuff” in anticipation of these relatives arrival. We knew what we had to do based on past experiences. Our cousin Eddie, from Indiana, would swipe any toy he could make off with. Our cousins from St. Louis would just break stuff. They were all really good about appearing to be angelic just so that my brother and I would look bad when we complained. We recently had the privilege of attending a family reunion as adults and told each of these relatives just how much we despised them when we were little. If you ever have that opportunity, I highly recommend it. It feels really good. I now know why my dad would always make sure he told my mother, “these are YOUR people”. It had to make him feel good knowing that HIS people lived too far away to ever be a family dinner threat. Mom prepared enough food to feed a small village. Everything had to be made perfect. Great-grandma’s china, the Fostoria water goblets, the salt and pepper shakers shaped like little Pilgrims, and of course all the construction paper masterpieces made by my brother and I. I never remember my mom sitting down at the table with the rest of the family. She was pulling stuff out of the kitchen and refilling dishes and glasses for the entire meal. She cooked 3 days and the entire meal was inhaled in a matter of about 20 minutes. As everyone was moving away from the dining room to find a spot to lie down was when she finally sat down to eat. The sad thing is, no one ever thought anything about it. No one ever told her to stop fussing over them and sit down to eat.

My brother and I laughed the other day that we were still sitting at the “kids” table until each of us got married. I guess that is what finally moved you from that shaky card table to the dining room. Of course I did miss seeing Cousin Eddie stuff his mouth full, and then when he thought no adults were looking, do his “pimple” imitation.

I don’t do the big meal. I don’t expect my kids to trek halfway across the country for some dry turkey. I don’t have to figure out how in the hell to get all of those leftovers into the fridge. My husband and I go out. I really don’t even care if it is a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I think that we will be going out for Chinese this year or maybe Mexican. Neither one of these restaurants will be crowded and hopefully cousin Eddie will not be there.


I need something to happen! November 22, 2009

It has been almost 3 months since I have been downsized  from my job as a Casino Manager.  I have sent a gazillion  resumes out in cyberspace.  These resumes show my casino experience as well as my previous experience as a social service specialist.  Gone, it seems, are the days of needing a job, looking for a job, and starting work.  It used to be that when you needed a job, you looked in the newspaper or talked to people you knew.  You filled out an application and were called in for an interview.  You put on your best business attire and set-out to land a job.  People that had the ability to hire you, actually talked to you.  You were able to show your personality and your strengths.  Now it seems as if all a company cares about  is what is found in your resumé.  Resume’s are cold and impersonal.  No matter how fine-tuned you have made your resumé, it is still just a piece of paper.  A resumé doesn’t show your smile, your empathy, your social skills, your abilities to make someone comfortable.  All it shows is the facts, and even those facts are  easily manipulated.  How do you make that connection?  You know when you just click with someone.  How does a resume show that?

Companies are receiving so many resumes that they apparently do not feel the need to follow-up on them.  No one seems to realize that there is a real person sitting out there, waiting to hear something back from the company.  I recently sent a resume for a position that I am very well qualified to fill.  I waited 3 days and followed my resumé up with a phone call to check the status of my application.  The company let me know  that my resumé had been received and that it was very good and that I certainly had the qualifications that they desired.  I was also told that they had received 157 additional resumes since receiving mine.  Companies can and do take their time going through each of these resumes.  In the meantime, I am running out of resources.  I am questioning whether or not I will ever have health insurance again.  I am looking into other avenues to support myself.  I am blocked by a lack of finances when it comes to most new ventures.  I am almost 58 years old and never thought that I would find myself in this position. 

I would like to do something with my photography.  Maybe I can specialize in senior citizen portraits?  Maybe I can sell some of my photo art pieces?  Maybe I can find a publisher for the children’s book I wrote years ago?  I need to find a niche and fill it.    I’m bright, I’m funny, I’m personable, I’m adaptable, and I need a job!


A Beginning November 17, 2009

First, before you ask.  I am not 55, nor was I born in 1955.  It is merely a convenience that I am going to be know as Kittie55.  That is my Fickr account name.  When I signed up for Flickr I was 55.  That was 2 years ago.  I do not want to have to be changing every year or so.  I have had enough changes to last me a lifetime so I am pretty much done with them for now.

My profile tells a little about me.  I am old and getting older.  I have done a lot of different things.  I have gone places.  I have come home again.  I have been married, single, married again.  I have had good jobs and crappy jobs.  I have kids and step-kids.  I have grandchildren.  I am happy, sad, content, confused, self-assured, lost, and found…all at the same time.

This blog will be basically an extension of my thoughts.  Usually I just keep my thoughts to myself.  I never really figured others would be that interested.  I make myself laugh at times with some of the absurdity that runs through my mind so I have decided to share it will all of you.

The world has changed so much since I was young.  Basically this blog will be about changes, the good and the bad, the smart and the moronic.  I will look forward to your comments as well as your advice.

Until later,   Kittie