No Matter How Old You Are, You’re Still Someone’s Baby

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These two will always be my babies, even though they are 14. (Bonkers and Osito)

I talked to my mom last night on the phone. As usual, she worried about me “freezing to death” in this RV of mine. No matter how many times I have told her I am ok, I have lots of warm blankets, and the animals to curl up with at night, plus two space heaters, she still worries. She worries about the heat and the money situation. She’s a mom. I’m 43, and she’s turning 77 this year, but I’m still her middle child.

After I hung up the phone, I realized I should have said to her, “Mom, don’t worry about me. You taught me right.” We didn’t have a lot growing up, and she ended up cleaning houses after my parents split, to make ends meet and also to be home when we got home from school. But what she taught me is that there is always a way to make things work. I may not make a lot of money right now, and it does seem frustrating when I figure out my bills for the next pay period and see “wow, I’ve got like 120 to make it through including my food and gas” but then I remind myself, it’s doable. I don’t need a lot. And I only have that small amount because I am insisting on putting some money into savings every month. I refuse to live, as they say “paycheck to paycheck.” It is very, very important to me to have a cushion. If there’s one thing I have learned over the past several years, it’s that I never EVER want to go back to that feeling of having pretty much nothing in the bank and a maxed out credit card to boot.

When I tell people that I think my fifth wheel is too big for me and my fur family, you should see the looks I get from some people. It’s quite clear that they think I’m insane. But what I see is a big trailer that has high ceilings, which, while I love their sense of openness, cost more to heat, and cool. What I see is that in the evenings, after I eat my dinner, we all hang out together in the bedroom portion of the fifth wheel (in my case, it’s a front bedroom so it would be the part of the trailer that would be hanging over the bed of the truck, if there was one attached.) We all hang out on my cozy bed, with a space heater cranking away, and either a good book or a TV show or something on netflix to keep us comfy. They tend to gather close to me, and I feel very loved. When I wake up in the morning, they are usually all still there.

So, we don’t need all this space. I don’t need the big closet that spans the width of my trailer. I have two dresses I brought with me from Boston, and have yet to wear them. None of my clothes need to be ironed. (In fact, I don’t even own one and plan on never needing one again.) I could fold them all and put them in bins and be just fine, which would most likely be the case in a smaller RV.)  My animals are all seniors (two turn 15 this year) so they don’t have all the crazy energy of young kittens and puppies. They like to be warm and to rest. (As I write this, one is sitting on my lap with his head on the table – if he could reach the computer keyboard to rest it there, trust me, he would.)

Making a lot less money than I ever have before in my life, I realize now what is important to me. The beauty of the natural world around me, good friends, the love of my animals, a great book to keep me company (currently reading Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl, which was  a gift from someone and I highly recommend it). Food that allows me to retain my health. Exercise to keep myself strong. Having my priorities straight for my life and trying to evade the negativity of others and the world when it rears its ugly head. Making sure I have enough food to feed myself and my animals. Knowing I will see family in just less than two weeks when my brother embarks on yes, another 100 mile race, and when my sister will be coming to visit in February. It’s these things I have been trying to focus on, rather than what I don’t have.

And yes, Mom, not freezing to death in the winter. 🙂

What do you focus on to ground yourself in this life?

As always, thank you for reading.

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16 thoughts on “No Matter How Old You Are, You’re Still Someone’s Baby

  1. Terri, It’s good to see that you’re back to posting more often now. I always look forward to your articles. They are so — from the heart. Like your mother, I’m glad you’re staying warm. Even sunny Florida is cool this morning. It will get to the mid-60s today, but I want it to get back in the 70s. It will in a few days.

    Keep in mind that by being in your cozy bedroom with your animals when you want to, and then living in the main area at other times, you have the best of both worlds. You essentially have a small RV when you want it and you have a larger one when that’s what you want.

    Hang in there Terri,

    • Thank you so much, Jerry. I appreciate your kind words. And yes, now that I have some time sensitive projects out of the way, I will again be writing more often. And yep, I love the coziness of our bedroom.

  2. Hello Terri. I always look forward to your honest and heartfelt posts. Is there a way thst we could talk over email? I am almost 51 and have two large dogs that still have quite a bit of energy but have dreamed of doing what you are doing. I have questions and could really use your guidance.

    • Absolutely! I will email you directly – if you don’t see it in the next hour or so, drop me another comment. And thank you for saying that about my posts!

  3. I remember years ago when my mom finally accepted we were all grown up. We all lived in different states, mostly far away from her. She said in a phone conversation after she found out that I had been traveling for business and she hadn’t known, that she guessed she had to accept she wouldn’t know exactly where we all were all the time. I think that was very hard for her. She lobbied until she died for all her kids to find jobs near their home. It never quite worked out, but 3 out of 4 of us ended up somewhat nearby. Moms never stop worrying.

    • Dawn, oh I so agree. When we are home, we tend to slip back into roles of mom and daughter. It’s gotten better over time, though. And yep, since my mom and I had a period where we didn’t talk, things got a lot better. She realized I was a grown woman and had my own mind and could actually make decisions and stick to them, ie. stay strong. I think it’s easier for dads to let go of the invisible strings.

  4. Glad you are doing good. Fur kids give such love and companionship, that it is hard to truly feel alone. I have and continue to learn to focus on God. He already knows the outcome of our lives and will never leave our side. Faith is difficult at times, especially for this control freak 🙂

    Enjoy the visits from your family.

    Take care!

    • Thank you! I am definitely looking forward to seeing my family next week. Even though for my brother it means he will be running, and running, and running…. I have not been working out like I should to be able to run with him for long but I will do what it takes and to help him with what he needs. 🙂 And yes, I feel like I’m doing pretty good right now, thank you.

  5. Hi Terri,
    Your observations reminded me of a quote from Richard Wagner: “Whatever I thought right, to others seemed wrong; what I held to be bad, others approved of.” Simply brilliant. You are an artist Terri, and you are creating a masterpiece with your life being the canvas. You are taking away the useless to project the true essence of what you seek in life. BRAVO! Not an easy task in the world of materialism where the more, more, more… philosophy reigns supreme and “bigger is better.” It doesn’t suit us and our ilk. However, you had better bet that we and others like us will be challenged on every front. As for the meaning of life? I read a few days ago that we should instead of searching for the meaning of life, we should give life meaning. I really like that. I haven’t read the book you are recommending, but am going to look into it. I Your post is spot on, once again, and a pleasure to read and ponder. I am happy to hear that you are getting ready to see some of your family. What a happy time for all! Take care and please keep those of us still dreaming of taking the leap informed of what’s out there where the charts only warn, “Beware, here there be dragons!”

    • Thank you so much, David, I really appreciate your thoughts, as always. I like that – give life meaning! I had a great time with my family and it really reminded me of what is important. Family is important. There is so much in life that people place importance on that really doesn’t make a difference in the long run, and I’m so glad I finally woke up and saw that. I’m going to see my sis for the first time in a long while, next week, and I can’t wait. I really can’t!

  6. Glad to see current comments here from you, Terri. I was beginning to worry with such a long time between your posts. It’s definitely a “mommy thing”! ;->

    Hope you are enjoying your family time.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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