Let me tell you, if I didn't think she was just the cat's meow, I'd be ignoring that tag and running the other way... But since she's THIS awesome... Here goes...
Here's the deal. Think back on the last 15 years of your life.What would you tell someone that you hadn't seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life? You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize about you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love.
Ten things about me during the past 15 years, hmmm??? Okay...
- First and foremost, 15 years (and a little more) with my husband. Those 15 years are 15 of the best of my life. How wonderful to spend that time with the love of my life. A man who loves me. A man I don't doubt in any way, shape or form. A man who puts me first over and above all else, although it is in addition to his kids... Knowing that no one will ever come ahead of me - what a feeling!! [Insert pretty white daisy.] He loves me. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me... Get the picture?
- Secondly, 15 years (and a little more) without my dad. 15 years of missing the first man in my life. Missing the dad who taught me what a dad and a husband should be. The man who taught me that nothing comes ahead of your family. The man who taught me not to settle for second best. The man who taught me that I could do anything.
- Thirdly, I've been a stepmother since 1999. I've known the kids much longer than that; their dad and I started dating in 1990. Being a mother has always been my #1, numero uno, top'o'the'heap goal in life. I still can't get my arms around the thought that I'm not ever going to give birth. Although I didn't birth my stepkids from my loins, I can't imagine loving them any more than I do. And I can't imagine any more pain than watching them suffer through the slings and arrows of puberty and young adulthood and the pride in watching them become adults in their own right.
- Fourthly, I was born in 1960, to two very traditional parents. I always thought the way to go was to find a job and stay there until you retire. In 2003 I got laid off from a job I'd been at for 15 years (love that number!) and had planned to be at until I retired. What do you do? You dust yourself off, wrongly assume the world is out there for the taking, and remain unemployed for a year-and-a-half, waiting for a job to come along that will pay the bills and not make you the most miserable S.O.B. on the planet. And guess what?! It most certainly did come along! I learned that there are companies out there who put you, the person, ahead of you, the professional. And that's actually part of their HR policy!
- Fifthly, for 15 years (and 37 more), I've been a sister and a daughter and an aunt and an in-law. As I've gotten older, I've watched my mom lose a sister, and then her parents. I've watched my sisters grow up and become smart, beautiful, loving women I'm so very proud of. (Sorry about ending that sentence with a preposition!) I have a handsome, smart nephew who just graduated from high school. I have a beautiful, smart niece who has a couple of years to go before she graduates from highs school. I'm mad about them both! And I've been lucky enough to gain a huge family of in-laws who I absolutely ADORE! They've welcomed me into their family, along with my small troup of family members, with open arms. They are so very loving and an absolutely wonderful group of people.
- Sixthly (yes, I'm going to torture you with those numbers...), I had the absolute best mother-in-law anyone could ever have. Losing her to colon and liver cancer in 2001 was horrible. I was lucky enough to be able to spend every day except 2 with her from her diagnosis in October 2000, to her death May 24, 2001. And I don't regret a thing except that Jack and I were married such a short time before her illness and her death that I didn't have a chance to learn how to cook from her! And another regret that ties into my relationship with her: she made me realize how much I regret my behavior when my dad was sick. He was sick from August 1986 and he died March 16, 1987. And I didn't spend the time with him that I should have. I was much younger. But I should have known better. I know you can't change the past, but I wish I could.
- Seventhly, I am so very lucky to have so many wonderful friends in my life. One I met in college, and we're still thisclose. A few were friendly acquaintances in high school, but we got to be friends when we worked on our HS reunions together. Some others are neighbors I met when we moved into our neighborhood. Others are friends I met at various jobs, who became more than work friends, who became important forever friends. My sisters, too, are my friends, as is my sister-in-law and my nieces-in-law. I'm blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.
- Eighthly, and I've blogged about this before. I've discovered a hidden inner bit of creativity that I never knew I had. I scrap. There, I said it. And I am happy with what I scrap. So happy that we're actually dedicating space to my scrapping in our lake house, by means of our combination guest room/scrap room. And my DH has recognized how important scrapping is to me, so much so that he's the one all gung ho about putting a really quality space together, not just slapping a few plastic drawers in a room and calling it done!
- Ninthly, I've discovered that even though I'm - gasp! - 47 years old/young, and currently on the down side of that hill, and only 2-1/2 years away from - bigger GASP! - 50, I am still a young, vital woman with quite a lot left to do in her life, even if she does them with a few more aches and pains every morning. I've started to make a list, a "Bucket List," if you would. Here are a few highlights - Things I Want to Do: travel; learn to cook; learn to quilt; get a pet; when I retire, work somehow/someway to help children learn to read and learn to love reading; be a good - no - great wife (okay, so I have some work ahead of me!)...
- Tenthly, and maybe almost as important as the nine that came before, I've learned in the past 15 years to really like myself. To believe I have a lot to offer. To recognize that I'm worth it (credit to L'Oreal).
Thanks, Miss Hope, for tagging me - I had barrels of fun doing this and it was a real challenge to me to stay away from the ole' "in 1993, I turned 33 and was driving a Honda Accord" format. I tried to rise to the challenge and describe the "me" I've been these past 15 years. Hope I did an acceptable job...