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More Than a Misunderstanding

I’d been stewing with anger for months. Every little thing she did amplified more in my mind. If she coughed, she coughed too loudly, if she spoke, then she must be badmouthing me. My existence was limited to a handful of square footage that wasn’t even my own. My sanity crumbled, my marriage strained, I became increasingly unhappy and stressed by the minute. I felt that I was drowning more and more each day.

I live with my brother and his wife. In any situation living with another adult is hard enough but living with a Davidson can be trying in itself (although, I do strongly believe that it’s the pairing of both my father’s Davidson and my mother’s Gillies that makes my brother and I tick in the ways that we do). My brother and I have always been close. Growing up we were each other’s occasional best friend and constant companion. My brother is the one person who I know I’ll always be okay with. No matter how hard things get, in our adulthood our relationship has blossomed into one that is deeply rooted in our days of playing Atari and Nintendo, Rambo and Barbies, Laser Tag and Teddy Ruxpin. When my husband and I decided to move back to our hometown area last year I knew that my brother, who had more than enough space to accommodate us, would welcome us in without question. The three of us fell into a routine that required little discussion and just seemed to work. My brother and I are cut from the same cloth but are also quite different and so while I didn’t think that living together would be a big deal, I also was not thinking about the likely eventuality of what that dynamic would become when his wife and children moved back home. Read the rest of this entry »

 

About Time

I can be a bit of a sad sap when it comes to certain movies, a hopeless romantic. Last night I found myself re-watching a movie I’d seen some time last year. We all have those movies, when we see them on television, no matter where it is in the movie we stop everything and watch. This movie, About Time is not only a nod to my romantic side but also one that reminds us of the passage of time and the things that we unintentionally allow or not allow to happen within it. We take so much for granted and we also lose track of time.

Sure, sometimes losing track of time can be good. When we’re in a boring meeting and we allow our minds to wander off or even when we’re spending time with family and friends. Where it is unhealthy and tragic is when we become so absorbed in our jobs that everything else starts to blur. For as many years as I can remember my immediate family have always joked about how many hours my mom works. She rebuffs our attempts to have her see just how much time she spends in the office, but instead she reminds us of how we’ve all benefited from her long hours. But there is a fine line. My mom is my Superwoman. She manages to do so much. She works long hours, cleans the house, cooks daily meals and is there for everyone in our family. She’s the post office, the bank, the “Responsible One.” However, mom is also the person who, when we have our weekly dinners, opts out of playing family games. Instead she goes off to her room to watch British series’ on Netflix. Read the rest of this entry »

 

A View From the Top

It’s been hard. Really hard. Life seems to have an uncanny ability to beat you when you’re down and then tease you with moments of respite that are all too brief. After years of having a lot of life go predictably well, I was reminded that I too am human and will suffer the slings and arrows that comes with occasional defeat. However, no matter how truly bad life gets, if you hang on long enough it’s destined to turn around.

In the past year I’ve had to learn about humility and to humble myself and my expectations of life and where I was in its journey. I’ve cursed life, I’ve cried and on some rare occasions I’ve even screamed. My husband noted that unlike dealing with depression, being financially poor is a lifestyle that is can often be almost impossible to break free of. Having been at the top of the mountain and now near its base, I can more clearly see how that’s true. I look up at its peak and wonder how to make the climb and whether or not the top of that mountain is where I am to be. Let’s take depression out of the picture and focus solely on what it is to be financially poor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Bailout not Handout

Since the economic downturn I have tried to not become overly bitter about the mismanagement of our funds. Whether you blame it on a person, an administration, or whatever, there’s nothing we can do to change what has already happened. However, what continues to give me pause is how the individuals most impacted by the fallout have continued to be punished. While Wall Street and others still got their golden or even silver parachutes, the American people still continue to foot the bill. I try not to watch too much of the news. What I mean is that I like to filter my news by picking what I want to read about rather by being continually inundated with the reality of the human condition. However, it’s virtually impossible to ignore the continuous financial shortfall for those of us living on Main Street, USA. Despite an improving unemployment rate, so many Americans are still in need of some sort of government assistance.

Let’s talk about student loans. President Obama has said, “higher education cannot be a luxury…it’s an economic imperative.” On those points, I agree. I think that as a country all of our citizens should be provided with the opportunity to better themselves and our economy. There is no major downside to becoming a more educated population. Whether you want to achieve this through learning a trade or by continuing education, I firmly believe that doing so is a right and not a privilege. The issue, the one that many Americans live with every day, is that college has turned out to be among the worse decisions they’ve made. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

The Assurances of Life

I’d fully expected this Memorial Day weekend to be like most others, spent with extended family and friends at the annual cookout. I always look forward to the holidays. It is always spent with family. I’ve grown to love and appreciate how fortunate I am to have a family that I love and ample opportunities to remain connected. A smile spreads across my face when I think of my aunt’s macaroni and cheese that she always makes me believe that she’s made just for me. We were guaranteed to play dominoes, engage in conversation and assuredly some sort of game would be playing on the big screen television in the background. On the deck there would be several generations of family and friends enjoying the beautiful weather, admiring my aunt’s green thumb and basking in the calm of the day. That was not to be this year.

The day before our Memorial Day celebration my mother sent out what I thought would be a typical family group text reminding us of the next day and telling us how much she looked forward to spending that time together. However, that was not the text we all received that evening. Instead we all looked down to learn that her oldest brother, my uncle was admitted to the emergency room of his local hospital. Granted that it had been several weeks since I’d last seen him, but at that time there was certainly no inclination that he was sick. We’d all gone as a group to see a Rain Pryor performance and delighted in conversation going and coming from the event. Read the rest of this entry »