Monday, December 21, 2015

A Midlife Crisis

About 6 months ago, I woke up from an afternoon nap/dream in a sudden panic.  I never could remember the details of my dream, but the aftermath of this particular dream has haunted me ever since.  When I woke in that sudden state of angst it was because I had been hit with the realization that I will not be here forever.  I have an expiration tag.

Now, this knowledge is not something that is new to me.  I am very well aware that none of us are making it out of here alive.  But whatever occurred to me during and because of this dream, made me acutely aware of this mortal fact.  And it has effected me in such a way that I have since felt anxious, fear, and sadness.  Not constantly, but it's there.  I definitely feel it's presence.

It's weird, but Dale's death made me fear death less than at any other point in my life. Perhaps it is because Dale's death in someways defined death to me as a silence.  Dale was silent.  His memory lives on with us, but he was silenced from making any new memories and with sharing anything with us any more.  As horrible as that is, I also told myself that Dale was at peace. That helped to soften the blow.  Hell, I told myself anything and everything at that point to soften the blow, including the fact that everyone dies.  However, when I told myself that just 4 years ago, it was a comfort to my situation.  Now, it's the core for my midlife crisis.

There have been quite a few deaths in or close to my family in the past few years.  Obviously, Dale, my uncle and my grandmother hit closest to home.  However, I have seen a handful of my father's friends pass away in the past few years as well.  My father is 66 years old.  At one point, he had a lot of friends.  Now, there is just one left (besides himself) from his core group of friends that he grew up with and knew his entire life.  John's father is also 66 years old and lost two of his best friends in this past year and is coming to the same situation as my father.  Selfishly, I am happy that my father is still among the living.  But I can't help but to wonder what that does to a person.  Life is a game of chance, a Russian roulette.  And if you are lucky enough to escape sickness, an accident, or any other life ending event... at one point, you will find yourself left behind by so many that were once so near and dear to your heart.

My grandmother will be turning 90 in March.  One of my earliest posts was dedicated to her, "Inspiration."  Time when you are older, is much like time with a baby.  So much can happen is such a short amount of time.  It has been almost 4 years since I wrote "Inspiration" and since that time, my grandmother is near completely blind.  Her hearing is going as well.  Along with losing sight and sound, she has also lost her spunk.  She is still capable of living alone, but it's not so much that she is living alone (she has for over 35 years), but she feels alone.  Her inability to see and to hear well has closed her off to the world.  This summer, while she was at my son's family birthday party, I saw her break down in tears out of frustration because her body is not letting what her mind is still capable of doing.  Mentally, she is still all there.  She is amazing.  But her physical limitations are taking a toll on her mentality.  It was heartbreaking to watch this.  And it only fueled the flames of my own mortality issues that had only recently surfaced.

I have never been a numbers person as far as the number on the scale.  But I have always been a numbers person as far as age.  Two weeks ago, I turned 37.  (I know 37 is still young in the grand scheme of things, but I remember when my father was 37.)  As far as 37 goes, and looks, I am holding my own, quite well.  However, I can't help but to compare myself... to myself.  And I have noticed some changes that I feel really started about two years ago and that I have been in complete denial about.  The first one being my weight.  I've noticed a change in my body and how food effects me about two years ago.  I haven't done much about it, being in a state of denial, but I have gained about 8 pounds in the past 2 years.  That may not sound like much, but I have been a consistent weight my entire life.  And I am attributing the change in metabolism to aging.  While I don't feel like I have lots of wrinkles on my face, I am starting to see how I am going to age.  Do you know Droopy?  The Looney Tunes Dog?  I've always had "chubby" cheeks and I am quite positive they are going to droop.  I can see the very beginning stage of it, and my mother has it too.
I've also been obsessed with my teeth!  (Sounds like I'm a hot ass mess, doesn't it?)  I hate the dentist. Every time I go, I have a new cavity.  I'm at the point where I don't even think that's even possible.  But each time they find a new tooth with a new cavity.  Fortunately, I still have all of my teeth.  But I fear losing them.  I really do.  I have cut down on sugar.  I brush.  I floss. I use ACT.  But it's still the same every time I go.  It's going to be a very sad day for me with I lose my first tooth.  Unlike my six year old, I know there isn't one waiting to replace it.  Again, aging!

You know the saying, "Don't regret growing old, it's a privilege denied to many."?
There is a beauty in that saying.  It is very true.  I do hope that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to grow old.  However, I cannot deny what I am feeling at this moment.  This fear that I have stems moreso from aging than actual death itself.  So just this past weekend, I have declared myself in a state of mid-life crisis, at the age of 37, which if you ask Google, isn't so uncommon.  What may be odd is that I feel like I am going through a man's mid-life crisis (almost to a tee! ) as opposed to a woman's mid-life crisis (almost none of those!)

All I know is that whatever this is, it isn't stopping me from living my life.  Some of the fear and anxiety has crept in and has taken away some joy, I must admit.  But... I'm just hoping that  this only happens once in a lifetime.  I am paying my dues now.  I can't help but to wonder if this is hitting me at an earlier stage because I have been somewhat aged by my experiences.  

Good news for me... I think I am in the depression state.  Only 2 more to go!

Is anyone else going through something similar to this?  Please share.  Just reading that people in their 30's can go through something like this has made a huge difference... it's not just me!

Midlife Crisis Images taken from

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Right Now

Where do you begin when you have been gone for so long, only to reappear for an instant to drop a bomb before vanishing once again?  I feel like a character in a movie.  You know the kind of movie where the troubled child leaves home and then returns only when they need something.  Only in this case, I’d prefer to think that I am not troubled nor do I need something.  I just miss writing.  I miss the structure and routine that I created when I was writing on this blog.  Since “retiring” in January, I have since created two other blogs.  Neither of which I could commit to in a way in which I had originally envisioned when I first created them.  Needless to say, they haven’t turned into much of anything and more importantly, haven’t quenched the desire to express whatever it is that is in me that I feel needs to come out.  Although I have to admit, I have had a hard time expressing myself in any sort of written way in well over a year, which is the reason why I had left this blog to begin with.  I thought it was this blog’s focus.  But it wasn’t.  It was is completely me.  I have ideas, but cannot put them into words.  A complete writer’s block.  

So now I am here.  I am back.  At least I am at this moment, so what do I want to say?  (Insert shocked-faced emoji and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”.)  When I think back on all that has happened over the past 12 months, it seems so overwhelming to pick where to begin.  Do I start from the beginning?  Do I start with my last post, the lonesome random visit to announce my engagement?  Or do I start with the moment?  

A little over two years ago, I sat in this very same bar that I am sitting in… at this very moment.  A glass of Pinot Grigio and a pretzel accompany me, along with my laptop.  I think that I am sitting in the very same spot that I occupied while writing that post from the past.  I have not yet found this post to reread and to remind myself what was going on at that time.  I don’t have to.  I was declaring an end to online dating and was looking for different ways to meet people.  I was thinking about joining a book club.  I had wanted to join a board game “Meet-up” group, and I had just began or was about to begin a belly dancing class.  Well… that book club was canceled before I ever began.  I did go to a few belly dancing classes and loved it!  But I stopped going only after a few classes for the same reason that I never went to the board game group… I had met John.  

It’s amazing how today, as I sit in the very same seat…  Heck, in the very same shoes (well not literally) that I am here today with such a different head.  I guess that is what the future is all about, the wonder.  Two years ago, I was looking for the life that I have today.  And let me tell you, it’s a pretty damn good one.  But the details will have to wait.  This bar has become my Wednesday ritual while I wait for my son to finish his religion class.  (Whaaaat?  I know… that’s a whole story in and of itself!!!).  

**I did recall that post quite well. (Climbing Back on to The Turnip Truck)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hello Old Friend

It is weird to be back here.  When I left in January, I stayed away for quite some time.  Months.  Then every so often, I would check in and read some old posts.  It usually began with the curiosity of what was going on in my life at a certain time and a desire to reminisce.  Ironically, I found this blog to be much like the appreciation for a dead artist... more popular now then when I was actually writing, lol.
But I have been thinking about a revisit for a while now and today just happens to be the day I have actually clicked onto "New Post" and am actually typing.

I am getting married.  Married.  Yes, I am getting married.  In less than a year, I will be getting married... again.

When I left in January, I was only a couple of months moved in with John.  In the past 10 months very little, yet so much has changed evolved.  Perhaps blossomed would have been a better choice of word to use since I feel like I have rooted myself during this process as well.

I am getting married.  It became official just this past week, that on October 8, 2016... I will say "I do" to John, the man that I had referred to on this blog as my amazing so many times before I had ever even known his name or his face.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Moment's Glory

For the past three years, "Glimmering through Aspen" has been my heart and soul.  It has been my comfort and even a companion.  However, I cannot deny that the focus and purpose of this blog has faded.  Life is not stagnant and it has moved forward bringing inevitable change.  The best that we can do is to keep up and to live a happy life is to adapt to that change and to evolve.  I've faded from this blog over the past year because I've been evolving.  And that is a good thing, a very good thing.  :)

When I finally came to accept that where I am job-wise is exactly where I need to be at this moment, that opened up many doors for possibilities as I mentioned in my last post.  And when I took a step back and a deep breath, I realized that what I want to focus on at this point in my life is writing and photography.  If you have followed me at all, neither one of those may not come as a shocker.  To me, writing was something that I have always toyed around with.  In my early twenties I wrote children's books (unpublished).  I used many of those stories in my classroom and during that same time I really started to develop my curriculum writing, again unpublished, but for my own use. Writing turned to therapy after Dale died and thus this blog was created.  Writing is something that I am not ready to let go of...

I have been thinking about writing a book.  A memoir perhaps.  A realistic fiction perhaps.  I am not sure.  I have yet to type a single word but my mind and this blog are both full of them.  The idea at first frightened me.  The truth is scary and is painful.  But as time passed, I found it easier to share more deeper and darker details here and I also found myself sharing my experience with other widow's on their blogs.  I am also unsure of the purpose for this book.  If I were to ever share it with a publisher or with anyone for that matter, what is my reason?  My best friend said my story is one about hope.  She also added in that it is about the love and sacrifice that Dale had made for myself and my son, which she believes to be true. I like that story, but I do fear the other angles that could possibly be taken as well.  However, at some point soon, I am going to type my first word.  I am going to throw it all out there and if it stays in my computer only, so be it.  It wouldn't be the first time that I have written something for anyone other than myself.  But, it's an idea.  Terrifying and enticing at the same time.

Photography... This is an aftermath from Dale's death.  It began with my solo trip to Las Vegas in 2012.  Since then I actually bought a $4000 piece of work (thank God it was damaged and I was refunded!!) and even planned an entire vacation around a tree that I wanted to see (the one in the damaged artwork).  I've been finding such joy in taking pictures... of nature.  I love landscape and architecture and in the past (almost) three years since my trip to Vegas have collected some beautiful shots.  I just got a brand new camera (from John, which makes him all the more amazing as he paid attention and bought me something that he knew I really wanted without my ever disclosing to him my new found passion).  I am excited to take some classes (cameras are really complicated these days!) and even more so excited to capture the beauty that surrounds me on a daily basis and to go on more inspiring vacations as well.

"A Moment's Glory... Capturing Life Before the Moment Passes"...  This is my new blog.  I just created it yesterday and I am going completely out of my comfort zone by sharing my lens and my thoughts using my true identity.  So just in case if you were ever wondering if I was real... check me out!  But you won't find me on Blogger.  I also decided to expand my knowledge and use something new, Wordpress.

I am not completely sure of what will become of this.  What I do know is that I do not want to stop writing.  I also know that I need to move on from this blog as well.  I know too that I need a purpose in the things that I do. It was not okay for me to just take pictures to add to my thousands of other digital images that sit in my computer.  So, my idea for now is to post once a week.  I will use either a photo as inspiration and compliment it with words or vice versa.  My focus will be on enjoying life.  I am in a happy place now and I want to celebrate it and hopefully encourage others to share their happinesses as well.

(I haven't posted yet, but you can now find me at

I reserve the right to come back to this blog and post at any given time, lol... But, thank you to anyone and everyone who has visited "Glimmering Through Aspen" over the past 3 years.  <3

Friday, January 2, 2015

Options and Decisions

For some time now I have had the nagging feeling that there is something more out there for me to be doing.  What I have been struggling with is determining what in fact that is.

I thought perhaps that I was in need of a change in my job.  This is now my 14th year teaching (WOW!) and prior to moving to NYC I had taught in three different school for two years each.  Although each a challenge in its own way, I loved those schools and was happy in each of them.  It was other factors in my life that made me move so often.  Here in NYC for the past 7+ years, it has been the opposite.  I never ever thought that I would still be at the same school that I started in because I have never been truly happy there.  It was never my intention to stay there.  After my first year, I applied elsewhere.  I decided to stay however because I was given the opportunity to obtain my permanent teaching license if I completed a master's program within a year.  So, I took that option and challenge.  Staying where I was made the most sense and made a very busy year just a bit easier, so I stayed put.

Completing my master's would give me some more opportunities to expand my marketability as well as alleviate the pressure of knowing that at some point I had to complete it anyways.  However, I finished my master's literally weeks before my son was born.  My son was born in September, not the most ideal time for a teacher to start at a new school, so again I stayed at my school.  However, my master's did grant me the opportunity to take the newly opened technology teacher position at my school that year.  The change was a welcome and a blessing in many ways.  

Only twenty months after my son was born, Dale died.  And for the past three years, I have tried to keep the changes in our lives to a minimum.  My job was a constant... it was a part of my life that I did not have to start all over again, and for that, I was thankful.  Again, I stayed.  

In the past three years, although I was not ready to make a change job-wise, I did look for other avenues.  I looked for part-time jobs and  I looked for freelance curriculum writing jobs.  It wasn't about the money, it was about a new change and a new challenge to spark that side of me.  However, I never found a fit.  

This past summer I actually decided to apply for a different position within my school district.  It was something completely different from teaching.  It was a peer observing position.  During the application process what I realized was that everything that I felt made me a good candidate came from things that I accomplished in my first six years of teaching, prior to coming to NYC.  Needless to say I did not even get called for an interview and what I was left with was a low feeling of what I already knew and what I feel so strongly in that I need a change.  

What I know right now is that I still enjoy teaching.  I work hard, enjoy the students, and am effective at what I do in the classroom.  I know that right now is still not the time to make a change, again.  So I have tried to challenge myself by trying new methods and projects with my students.  That along with a few other tactics have made me content in my classroom for the time being and that allowed me to come to a different conclusion...

What I want to change doesn't necessarily stem from the career side of me.  However, I know that it doesn't categorize with me in my role as mom, partner, or friend.  It is also more than just a hobby as well.  I have a difficult time doing things that do not serve a purpose.  (Perhaps that's the introvert part of me.)  So, why did I go into such lengths and details about my job if this is not about a job or career change?  

It's about what's looking right at me and making decisions based on the choices that I have made which have led me to where I am and the options that lay before me.  My life is set up in a wonderful way and my job plays such a critical role in that.  I live and work so closely to one another.  And even thought I am antsy and feel the need for a change, what I was overlooking for so long was the opportunity that I was given with time.  Being a mother and being in a new relationship is time consuming.  That time is precious and it is time that I am not willing to give up.  However, I do have time because of  the comfort that I have in my job.  Time that I can use to fill up that need to do more.

I left my last post sharing my feelings of being at a crossroad.  This is where and why I feel that way.  For months now I have felt this way and even though I am not certain where the path will take me.  I feel as though I have an inspiration to get me started.