Life as seen through my lens…
Category Archives: For my family
I know I’ve been missing in action here for a while now. I struggle to come up with something worthwhile to say, but every day I don’t post here I feel a little more guilty, so this is as much to ease my guilt as it is anything else.
On paper this year is a big one for my wife and I. We both turn 50 (she does so first), and we also celebrate 30 years of marriage. All big numbers, but at the same time this is “just another year”… another year that we can enjoy life, another year that I am getting to spend my life with the one I love, my best friend, and another year where we will be taking time to enjoy this beautiful world we live in.
It’s also another year we get to spend with some of our loved ones living with us when my wife and I would be more than happy if they could finally manage to stand on their own two feet and move into places of their own. Instead we get to play supplemental parents for our two youngest grandkids, and get to be taken advantage of by two adults that should be capable of living their own lives without us.
My wife and I like to get out of the house and visit places that are special to us – partly because we enjoy doing so, but partly because we want to get out of the house and away from the noise and chaos that we thought we’d seen the end of when our youngest daughter became an adult. We’ve done our share of child rearing. While we love our kids and grand-kids to bits, the constant strain of having them living with us is pushing us close to breaking point.
In a similar vein, I’ve now been with my current employer for 14 years, which means with our economy the way it is I’ve seen that company have to do painful things to remain in business three times now as our economy cycles through good times to bad and back again… Each time I’ve been relieved to have kept my job, but each time I’ve felt guilty when I’ve seen some very good people have to go look for new employment at at time when good jobs can be hard to find.
Other members of our family back in England have seen our moderate success as an opportunity to take advantage too. Knowing we won’t say “no” to a family member in need, we have found ourselves digging deeply into our own contingency funds to help out folks who would rather turn to us to help maintain their over-committed lives than deal with their underlying problems themselves.
… and then there’s my photography. I love taking pictures, and technically I think I am getting better at it – I’m able to capture scenes that I actually enjoy looking at, and that other people enjoy looking at too, but while many tell me I should take this ability of mine to the next level and turn it into a means of generating income, a part of me doesn’t want the pressure, the hassle, and the possibility of failure, and is happy to keep photography as a hobby. Deep down I know I could make something more of it, but while I’m dealing with all the stresses of our home situation while maintaining my current position where I work, knowing that it is my income alone that is really supporting everyone in our house, I don’t want to risk all of that to pursue the possibility of commercial success with my photography… and so I remain trapped as a hobbyist photographer.
Is it bad to feel trapped by my kids and family? Knowing that my life, and more importantly my life with my wife, could be so much more were we able to live it without their constant presence has me feeling resentful towards them – not something I like to admit, but it’s where I am mentally right now.
My life is one where it really should be feeling half full, but right now it feels half empty, and it’s draining fast!
As if all the cr*p with our two youngest daughters isn’t enough to deal with (see last post), we find out today that our eldest daughter is separating from her husband, saying “we just don’t work as a couple”.
Being stuck the other side of the Atlantic Ocean makes it difficult to talk with them real-time, and while we don’t want to be trying to take control of their lives, we also don’t want to see them go through this without the ability to get the support from their parents if they feel they need it.
The good thing about distance is it stops you from meddling in the lives of your adult children… they are adults after all, and they need to sort out their own issues. The bad thing about distance though is that you can’t be there when they need you.
So as parents separated from our children (two of them at least), we have anxiety about their pending separation, and hope that they are able to “do the right thing” for all concerned.
Take the beautiful Pacific Coast scenery of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel, Add a splash of sunset, a romantic inn, mix in a whale watching trip, some good food and drink, and top it all off with the company of the love of my life, then bake it all in the warmth of the California sunshine, and you have the recipe for a perfect Valentine’s Day weekend getaway.