No “Bones” about it

I’ll admit it.  I have watched the television series “Bones” since the beginning, and am going to be sad to see it go.  Along the way, it’s been  interesting to see all of the different characters views on life, work, family, etc. No one takes jobs as seriously as Bones and Booth!

In “The Radioactive Panthers in the Party”, (air date March 14, 2017), Bones asks Wendell, the intern, how he’d feel if he couldn’t work at the Jeffersonian anymore.  He replies that he’d be mad and confused.  Brennan says, “I couldn’t breathe if I didn’t do this anymore.”

It made me question how I’d feel if I couldn’t do my job anymore.  How would I feel?  What would I do?  More than that, I began to ask myself — what is my passion?  I know that’s a question that is asked often these days, but I mean my real passion, not some pat answer like, “I love working in local government.  I feel like I’m contributing and giving back to society through my work.”

On any given day, do I really feel like that? I don’t wake up each day, and think how lucky I am to have THIS job, and how excited I am about what the day might bring.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do like my job.  I’m just not passionate about it.

How many people actually work in their “dream job”?  I am in the job I considered to be my “dream job” at one time in my life.  I’ve been in it for almost six years.  It’s not the dream anymore.  I’ve achieved the goal.

I haven’t focused on my dreams in so long that I don’t know what they are.  I watched an episode of CBS Sunday Morning with Melinda Gates.  I told my husband that I would work for the Bill and Melinda  Gates Foundation any day.  They make a real difference in the world, and use data to evaluate needs and how to effectively deliver solutions.

Then it dawned on me.  My passion hasn’t changed.  I am still passionate about helping people.  As a person living in the world, I feel deeply passionate about helping others.  I work in a job that allows me to help government evolve, but my passion is my life outside of my job. My job affords me the ability to go help in times of great need – after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, collecting shoes for people in Haiti following an earthquake, and feeding the homeless at the local mission, among others.

Make no bones about it, my passion is my life.  It’s not what would make me stop breathing if I had to stop, but it is what keeps me breathing and sometimes takes my breath away, regardless of my job.

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”  -Jon Bon Jovi







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Lucy the Elephant —

Lucy the Elephant --

We visited Atlantic City, NJ in August 2012, and made a point to visit Lucy in Margate while we were there. I had been fascinated by her history and had to see this unique, yet kitschy site. I thought she was great.

In September, we stayed at the Boardwalk Villas during a trip to Walt Disney World, and over the mantle of one of the fireplaces is a statue of Lucy. We loved it.

This weekend, we went to see “Les Miserables” and featured in the movie setting was the Elephant de Bastilles, which looked amazingly like Lucy.

I think I’m being haunted by Lucy. Do you think elephants bring good luck, because I sure could use some!

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There’s Something About Girlfriends

I have been surrounded by great women my whole life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, and he is my best friend.  But great girlfriends are special.  Maybe even more to me because I was an only child.

My only female cousin, on my mother’s side, is the closest thing I have to a sister, and has been huge part of my life from the day she was born.  We understand where we come from, and treasure our family, but also marvel at our dysfunctionality.  We share a love for wine and song, and can tell what the other is thinking at a glance.  I would not trade this woman for the world.  She keeps my insanity in check by reminding me that we are all truly mad.

I have friends from elementary school that I still try to catch up with a couple of times a year, and friends from high school and college that I treasure.  We share a common past that led us to our lives today.  You can’t magically create that with someone you just met.

I have good friends that I’ve only known as an adult that also mean the world to me.  We’ve shared good times and bad in our work, our marriages and losses of family.  We’re getting older together, and certainly experiencing middle age and all those lovely things that come with that.  We’re going through cycles of life together, daily.

As I’ve gotten older, there have been two special groups of women that have warmed my heart.  I went to a Women’s Circle meeting from my church last night, and just being in the presence of these women made me feel loved and safe.  Our ages vary by almost 20 years, but we share a common love for Christ, for our church,  and for each other.   Our worldly missions are many.  Most of all, though, over the years, we’ve prayed for each other, both separately and as one group.  We’ve discussed the things that really matter and helped each other see what’s truly inconsequential that sometimes consume our lives.  We’ve watched families grow, and grandchildren be born. Most of us don’t run in the same circles in our lives, or have many mutual friends othen than this group, but walking into that room last night, I realized how truly blessed I am to have known most of these women for 20 years, and how they continue to feed my faith.

The other group is a group that I’ve never met in person, which makes my bond with them suprising.  We started out as part of a larger “Childless Not By Choice” group on iVillage many moons ago, and when the iVillage format changed and the board became less active, one of my friends created a private group for us on another platform.  There group is small, and although there are times when some of us don’t participate as often, we’re always there for each other.  Our circumstances for not having children are different, but the impact on our lives has been tremendous.  Years past the “right” age for motherhood, we are still dealing with it.  But we celebrate our friends’ and relatives’ kids and grandkids together, and share our joy of buying gifts for them and watching them grow.  We also share the pain as we get older of figuring out what lies in our future.  Who will take care of us?  How will we be remembered?  The posts are less and less about being childless and more about our lives in general, just as chats with old friends should be.  I miss them when I “unplug” for a day or two, and I am so glad to be friends with some of them on Facebook now too.

There’s something about finding the right girlfriends along the way that makes your journey joyful.

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Just Older

Being a Bon Jovi fan, I was thrilled when they released “Just Older” several years ago.  I felt like they were speaking directly to me.  I cranked up the radio volume and sang my heart out to it on the way to work this morning.

I like the bed I’m sleeping in
Just like me it’s broken in
It’s not old, just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans,
The skin I’m in is alright with me
It’s not old, just older.

That’s the thing about this age. I’m not old, but am certainly not young anymore! (And I’m certainly not aging as well as Jon Bon Jovi, but I can still appreciate the view at a concert with the girls half my age! And my husband doesn’t mind.)

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A Place in this World

I just finished reading “Can I Get an Amen”, by Sarah Healey, which I loved.  It made me laugh and cry, and laugh again.  What drew me to the book, however, was the teaser for the book, which said that the lead character’s husband left her because she was infertile.  It was a story of moving on, or at least that’s what I thought in the beginning.  It turned out to be not only about that, but about a woman finding her place in the world, in her family, and with her friends after an infertility diagnosis.  It was also about a really messed up family that could be anyone’s!  No family is perfect that I know of at least.

I try really hard not to let our inability to have children define my life, and I honestly thought I was over it.  Then, about two years ago, someone shredded my sense of self-worth and my knowledge of who I am, and where my place is in the world.  It was a situation in which I would normally have fought for myself, but with that one phrase, “You don’t have kids, so you can’t possibly relate to them.  You don’t know what you’re doing!”  she destroyed me.  Prior to that, I had been a Youth Advisor, a Sunday School teacher, a babysitter, a licensed (non-practicing) middle school teacher, and had worked in a day care center as my first job.  With one sentence, that was all taken away from me.

I am still trying to find out who I am, and where I belong now.

So, I went to the bookstore, and much to my surprise, one of my very favorite books is on the required reading lists for schools this year — “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”.  I feel certain that my favorite book by that same author, “Joy in the Morning”, will never be required reading.  However, I found that Betty Smith wrote another book, “Maggie-Now” , which is about another woman, in another time, settling for an unconventional marriage, and finding her fit in life.

And suddenly, I realize, that we are all finding our place.  No one fits the picture of normal in all aspects of her life, and it doesn’t take a “slice and dice” like I was given at church to change your vision drastically.  Things happen that leave holes in our lives all too often.  Jobs are lost.  Friendships are broken.  Marriages begin.  Marriages end.  Children are born.  Children aren’t born.  I’m not sure it’s so much a circle of life as a spiral of life.

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How Did I Get Here and Where Am I Headed?

It’s a funny thing when you realize one day that you’re really not young anymore. You’re not old, but definitely not young either. I looked at my face in the mirror one day and saw the beginning of crow’s feet and laugh lines, and the big old circles under my eyes couldn’t be covered as easily as before. I saw an aging, overweight woman that I didn’t know. How could that be me? I certainly didn’t ever imagine this as a young girl!

Those thoughts led me to ask, “If this is me, what’s next?”

I have a friend whose blog is Both of us are childless, not by choice. Sometimes, for us, it seems like our main road ended the day that the finality of not having children hit us. That has defined a good part of my adult life, and the friends becoming grandparents now brings on some unhappy twinges and “what if”s, but I’m not the young woman with that hope anymore. I am a woman with a chance to be happy and enjoy life in a different way.

I am truly blessed with a husband who is the eternal optimist, although I do try his patience in this area! He tries to keep my glass half full, and my feet on the ground. We are blessed with wonderful friends and good careers, and a love for travel and exploring new places, especially kitschy roadside attractions.

So, where AM I headed? I guess wherever I want to go.

To be continued…

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