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A Symbolic Cling/Sandwich Post

porcupine clinging to a tree

Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

So this is one of those symbolic posts with a somewhat symbolic picture.

I saw this image in the hub’s Flickr feed and thought, oh wow, that’s me.

I’m hanging on for dear life and I might have a few prickles out.

I’m a hermit who is often nudged out of her comfort zone by Life.

And to be honest, sometimes I emerge because there are Life things I want to do. But there’s always a bit of the “wild eye” around the edges, even for the things I want to do. Because I’m a hermit. Possibly with a bit of coward in there. lol

For instance, this post is bookended between two Life events. Interestingly enough, one was a wedding and one is, well, more related to end-of-life Stuff.

My sister and I were talking about Where We Are In Life and realized that mostly we’re in this Great InBetween. We’re not young parents anymore. We’re not dead yet (unless you believe Goodreads). We’re sandwiched between our adult kids and our aging parents. It’s not a place we saw coming. And I can’t say I really prepared for it.

Maybe it’s not possible to prepare for this particular Unknown.

I try to think back to that young mom, or even that not-so-young mom, but the one with kids still at home. What did I think the future would be like? What did I think this time of my life would be life?

Being a grandparent is ever better than I hoped. I love spending time with my grownup kids, too. They’ve turned into amazing people (despite me!). I have a grownup relationship with my parents (mostly).

So what is my problem?

I’d would have to say it is the…advanced warning, or view into what it is like to get older. Being able to suddenly see further down the road.

Honestly, I never ever wanted my parents to get old. The kid hiding inside my also-aging body still wants my dad to be my dad, my mom to be my mom. Parents aren’t supposed to get old. Even though logically I know they will and have.

Unless Fate takes a hand, their “end date” will happen sooner than mine. I realize they are still teaching me (and I am, and hope that I will be still teaching my kids up to my end date) about this last great adventure in this Life.

My siblings and I are trying to age gracefully (I did mention I’m delusional, right?), while trying to help our parents in ways that don’t take away their agency or sense of self or, well, parentness. Because they are slowing down, we have to pause and think through things, have to act slower than maybe we like because, well, parents. Because we can see this is hard for them, too.

Because adventures ARE hard. They always have been.

So yeah, I’m kind of clinging to that tree (with the illusion there is a fixed point I can cling to) and looking around a bit wildly. While trying not to look wild-eyed for my kids.

Mostly I guess I’m learning that the learning never does stop. Every time I think I’ve got “things” figured out, “things” change. Life Happens. A Lot.

So, it’s Monday. Are you clinging to anything today? Harboring hopes for something possible or delusional? Caught trying to balance two different times of your life? Care to share how you’re managing? Could use some tips here!

Besides, I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. I seem to have a lot of characters caught between past, present and an uncertain future, so it was hard to pick just one today. But I think Sara always wins that one. Lol And you can always try the first part of The Key for free!

covers for the key series

THE KEY – as a four-part series!