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December 18, 2005 - Sunday, 11:57 p.m.

Sunday Night going on Monday Morning...

Oh my gosh!! Itís Sunday night. It was snowy most of the weekend. I got up late on Saturday morning, and wrote up my final. Not a stellar write up by any stretch of the imagination. But you know what? I am done!! Saturday afternoon and evening I spent with my family up at my parents. Lynn hasnít been down for a while, so she was down Saturday afternoon and overnight at my parents with her kids. We had dinner and we visited. It was such a nice evening. I almost didnít go as it was snowy and the roads werenít that great. I decided to go and was quite surprised to find that though it had snowed a little in Woodland Park, it was clear and the roads were dry. Again when I went home at 10 pm, I was even more surprised to find that it had continued to snow in the Springs most of the evening and then most of Sunday as well.

Today I had a meeting in Denver and then dinner and Ruhi at my parents. Again, snowy in the Springs and sunny and dry in WP. It was really a nice evening. I am home now and it is starting to hit me. I can read or do whatever I want for a few weeks! I am so looking forward to that! I can read or play on the computer. It feels nice.

You know what is really hitting me? I am getting to the end of my MBA. One more semester and then it is really going to hit me. I have no idea what my life is going to look like! I have spent so much of the last 20 years of my life doing all the things that I HAD to do, that Iíve never really thought about having control of my free time. The boys are grown up and they donít need me the same way that they used to. Iím going to be done with school in another few months and then I am actually going to have time to do what I chose to do. Iíll be in a place to make good or bad decisions about my spare time. Itís an odd thought. I can read dozens of books, or I can sit in front of the TV or computer. Itís a strange feeling. I suppose I am going to have to start dealing with the Ďempty nestí syndrome as well. Though I love time to myself and that is going to help, but not feeling necessary is going to take some getting used to and figuring out how to make each day feel worthwhile a challenge, ya know?

Just was talking to my sister online. GahÖ Iíve so thrown myself into making a career of something. I need to have this great career for at least the next 20 years. And really, this was so NOT the plan of my life. Still I have little great desire for an awesome career. Just like when I was 16 years old, all I wanted was to be a mother and wife. That was pretty much it. I like working, but I really wanted my home life to be the focus of my life. It never was to the extent I wanted it to be. I so wanted to be the Mom that was home when the kids came home from school. That had a clean house and dinner on the table at 6 pm every night. One that spent time being creative and helping kids with homework. Instead about the time they started to get to school age I went to work. We had to have insurance. I had to have security in my life. So my life was spent at work, and coming home and trying to fulfill all the mom and dad parts in my kidís lives. Unfortunately, I never quite pulled it off like I wanted to, I was tired a lot. I worked a lot, sometimes two jobs, and I never focused on school for them. But, I did love them like crazy. I guess that made up for some of it. Also I had some of the best family support anyone could ever ask for.

So often my sisters and I have talked. Itís like the 4 of us have raised 12 kids. I so love my kids, but I love my sisters kids a ton. Itís like our lives are so intertwined. Whenever I see Charís kids they are so happy to see me, I always get hugs and they often sit on either side of me. They even shift to sit between me and who ever I am sitting next to. It feels so nice and sweet that they love me as much as I love them. I feel like Camille and I really raised 6 kids together. Our kids are closer in age, and they act like 6 siblings, rather then cousins. Lynnís kids are sweet and always want to come and visit me. They too are glad to see me; Iím just around Charís kids more. It really does feel like we have all these kids together. I am so blessed to have a close family. I can not imagine a world without family.

I always hope that my boys have good memories of growing up. My childhood memories are pretty sweet. I really wanted to give that to them. Not sure I succeed, but I sure tried. They did have all these adults in their lives that loved them completely, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousinsÖ and a mom and dad. Even though Gary and I divorced when they were 4, 6 and 8, still they had both of us and we never talked bad about each other. They were allowed to love us both. In many ways I am proud of the fact that Gary and I managed to do that, even if we couldnít make our marriage work, at least we never took it out on the kids or each other. We have had an amicable relationship always. I am proud of Gary even. He has grown up so much in the last 15 years. Heís a good Dad to the boys. We did okay, despite it all.

Iíve been pretty teary eyed tonight. It is hard thinking about all this. Life just doesnít turn out the way you planned. I donít think it turns out the way any of us planned. (I certainly donít think I am alone in this). But still, it is hard.

I think I have a couple of three day weekends coming up. I am so going to get my house in order, and go to the movies, and read, and relax. I have a number of Dr Appointments between now and the end of the year. One with that endocrinologist, one for an ultrasound for all of this weird stomach pains. I have more blood work on Monday and an appointment with the Dr that did my surgery the following week. Ugh. And I have so much to do at work. I hope to get up and out of the house by about 7 am, to get the blood work done and into work by 8 am. The next two weeks should be pretty quiet. Lots of people will take time off. I know that I definitely need some order in my life. I hope I get over feeling tired soon. It would be nice to feel relaxed and well rested.

Tonight we talked about diversity and prejudice at Ruhi. It made me think a lot about my childhood. Those are stories that really need to be told. They are formulating in my mind already. I imagine Iíll explore them in the next few weeks. To say that I had an interesting childhood is an understatement. It was a wonderful childhood, and though it seemed perfectly normal and great to me, in reality, it was very different from most of the people that I grew up around. Itís a good story. In the next day or two I promise to dwell on it. It needs to be put down for my kids and grandkids.

Sweet dreams. M.

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