On this very day, many moons ago, I was born. Recently, I read a someecard that said, “I find it strange that we celebrate you on a day that your mother did all the work.” In all the previous years of my life when my mom was alive, this never occurred to me, but today I’m thinking about it. 24 years ago, she was in a hospital room, very much in pain, and very exhausted (because I was one of those annoying twenty-three-hour-labor babies). Today, I sit comfortably in our house, a little tired (cause it’s late), but not in pain. At least, not in any physical pain.
This weekend, we got our first cold front of the season, which ushered in the beginning of fall weather. Because it was autumn when I returned home from California last year, because all winter she was so sick and then passed away, the cold weather ushered in a whole host of renewed emotions of the mother I loved and lost. I don’t know if I’ll feel this way every fall, but since this is the first return of cold weather since I lost her, I feel this way now.
Last year on my birthday, I was happily in AmeriCorps NCCC, and I had no idea what was in store for me in my 23rd year. I had a modest, but lovely, birthday celebration with my TL friends – in fact, at midnight, because another TL was born October 6th, and so we tag-teamed. My mom wasn’t with me, but she sent me a care package with an abnormally large and hilarious singing card. She was always so good with birthdays, holidays, and surprises in general. The last birthday we celebrated together was hers, last November. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and our friends Cathy and Brian came over for leftovers.
I’m not sure how I feel about turning 24. As I told my friend Jess, now that we’re 24, we’re officially in our mid-20s. Sure, I still have 5 more birthdays to celebrate being a 20-something, this is the beginning of the end of my youth. I don’t mean that to sound morbid or pessimistic, but it’s the truth. I was thinking as I drove back from Yorktown today about how much I know now compared to when I was 17. There was very little that troubled me at the age of 17, other than my grades and college plans. I wonder what I’ll be thinking about when I’m 31 about my 24-year-old self.
My mom always told me that she wanted me to be happy. She also made a real point of telling me that she was proud of the person I’d become. In fact, the term she used was “person I’d grown up to be,” but somehow that doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve done so much growing up this year, and I’ve got so much growing up left to do. There’s so much I haven’t learned, so many things I haven’t experienced.
I have big plans for the coming year. After today’s meeting, I plan to volunteer regularly with the National Park Service. I’m going to continue to get organized so that I can move confidently in the direction of my dreams. And I’m going to make sure the important people in my life know how much they mean to me.
It’s been so long since I’ve written, and there is a two-part explanation as to why this is the case. First, for quite a bit of September, NOTHING was happening. I was getting sucked into cycles of unproductivity, all of my long-term projects had hit plateaus, and I was generally frustrated. I almost titled a post “The Waiting Game” but couldn’t muster the motivation to write. And then, all of a sudden, EVERYTHING started happening at once. That happened this week. I would have titled a post “All of a Sudden” but I didn’t have the time. And now, as I reflect on the past two weeks and what’s been happening, I can sit down and write about it.
Life is so much about timing. You time your schedule to meet up with friends and family. You time your meals based on when you wake up. And then there’s the whole other realm of timing that is often used in reference to love (ie, the “timing” for a relationship – I’m looking at you, Barney and Robin of TV’s How I Met Your Mother) or to luck. If you have the timing right, you could be the millionth customer in the checkout line or the tenth caller in a radio giveaway. I’ve been trying to get the timing right on finding a job all year. When I started looking in April, all of the summer hiring was through. And when I tried to apply for an open position, I missed a critical phone call about an interview, and the position was filled before I got another chance.
However, sometimes timing works out just right. I have recently been in contact with a woman who works in my ideal job; she is an employee of the National Park Service. And the best part is that she’s looking for volunteers! Now, I realize that a volunteer position is not the same as a job, but from everything I have learned about the NPS, it’s the best way for me to get my foot in the door. To continue with the lower-limb metaphors, it’s a step in the right direction. I’m excited to get started, and I’ll be updating after our meeting on Tuesday.
Other things have been going on in my life! I recently got a new computer to replace my defunct PC. The new computer is big, beautiful, and faster than I’ve ever experienced. It’s so fortunate that I sold my car last month and had the cash to invest in this new machine right when I needed to replace my old one! I’m also in the process of moving my websites to a new server, which has taken some time but is finally progressing smoothly. I should meet my October 9th deadline. I’ve also had some work done around the house – a shelf built for the TV and a ceiling fan installed downstairs. That, again, was a waiting game and a timing issue, but it’s so nice to have the work completed.
Today, the season of fall arrived in my little town. It’s glorious to have such crisp, cool weather. The sky even looks more beautiful in fall, I think. So, to celebrate the glorious weather, I took a bike ride (for the first time since July) to my church, where I volunteered preparing meals to ship to countries in need. Of course, I would have gone even if I hadn’t biked there, but the good weather was a bonus 🙂 I had such a great time meeting people (I recently joined the church) and working on the meals. They’re all dry ingredients, and they’re set up in “ready to cook” format. The meals often go to schools, where parents send their kids, knowing they’ll get a good meal AND an education.
And, let’s see, tonight I had a great Mexican dinner with my Little, with a bonus dessert. She’s so busy now with school that I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. Still, I get to see her more than if she had already moved away. And presently, I’m baking cookies to celebrate the Doctor Who Finale! I tried to make them look like The Silence, but most of them ended up looking like blobs. At least they’ll taste good, regardless!
Anyway, I haven’t done a great job tying the title into this entry. I guess I’ve been waiting around a lot, but now I’m in the action phase. And the projects that I’ll be working on in my volunteer position have the potential to be really helpful to park guests. So, my waiting is done to a certain degree. And I’m looking forward to the coming month.