Move over Stella…

I’m throwing in the towel in terms of being a reliable and regular blogger. Too many times I have “restarted” this thing, swore on my favorite stuffed animals life that I wouldn’t disappear again, only to go into hiding for an extended period of time. Then, like some twisted whack a mole game, I appear out of depths of the internet to offer you a moderately interesting commentary on what would otherwise be a mundane situation. I know I am not alone in this vicious writing cycle. I would venture to say that 65% of blogs on the internet operate on this type of chaotic schedule. Do I wish I was a more dedicated writer? Yes, but some Jennifer is better than no Jennifer, right? 

So, where have I been these past seven months? I’ve traveled quite a lot. I roamed the streets of Boston in search of lobster rolls, Paul Reveres house and baseball. I Traveled from Indianapolis to the Grand Canyon and back and I even managed to fit a few trips to Chicago (one of my favorite cities) in there as well. 

I was promoted to ‘Worlds Best Aunt’ which is a title I take rather seriously. My nephew Curtis is only 5 months old but we have already made great plans for the next 20/30 years. I’ll push his stroller now and later he can push my wheel chair. 

“We ride at dawn!”

I also spent more time in Indiana than I have since I moved to Texas in 2012. In January we started the process of packing up and selling my childhood home. It had sat empty for three years since my mom moved to Texas to be with us and it was time that I FINALLY cleaned under my bed. My mom has only been asking me to do it for the last 30 years. I can finally get my allowance now.

How did I spend that 30 year old allowance with interest you ask? (jk there was no allowance)Well, you will be happy to know that my introverted self still managed to make it to 3 MLB games, a Jimmy Buffett concert and a Billy Joel concert! 

Between all the traveling, packing and baseball, I have been reading. A lot. Goodreads had my 2019 ‘Year in Books’ at 110 books and over 35,000 pages. For someone who only read when it was required in high school and in college (sometimes not even that..Sorry Ms. Duley) that is a big accomplishment. 

This next section of my year is the hardest to write about and not because it’s sad, although that is an acceptable feeling, but because I just don’t how to write it. At least not in my funny writing voice I tend to use. So, I’ll just get serious for a moment. Sorry.

My mom passed away on November 20th and if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t experienced the traditional kind of sadness/grief one would usually go through when dealing with the loss of a parent. Don’t get me wrong there has been lots of crying and moping. I miss my mom very much, and I always will, but when you have been caring for a parent with a chronic illness for a considerable amount of time, you prepare yourself for that inevitable pain and emotion (at least you try too). In my case, we have been playing hide and seek with ‘death’ on and off for 13 years. She fought so hard for many years. She was tired, and if not having her here to make me mashed potatoes or sing with me anymore means she is pain free and at peace, I accept the trade.

 I think the part that tends to hurt the most and usually hits me out of nowhere, are the moments when I catch myself feeling like a 32 year old ‘orphan’. My grandparents passed away when I was in High School, my dad passed away in 2012 and now my mom. I know that I am far from being alone. I am close to all my moms siblings and my cousins. My brother now has his own little growing family that I am lucky to share in, and I of course have my wonderful husband and his whole family who have loved me as one of their own since day one. It still feels weird though and some times I let my anxiety get the best of me and I worry that I won’t be as much apart of my moms extended family as I used to be because that connecting factor is now gone. I know none of my Aunts or Uncles would ever let me disappear even if I wanted to, but as we all get older and people drift apart and that scares me sometimes.

So, whats next? I’m not sure what my next move is in life. So much of my world the last 3 years has been ‘mom centered’, especially after I left my job in spring of 2018.

(Side note: I don’t want to sound like a martyr who has devoted every minute to my moms care. It takes a village, and because of help from my husband and our amazing aid and friend Denise, I have been able to do things such as travel and read 24/7 that I would have never been able to do if I had stayed with my regular job, but those trips and activities also involved a heavy amount of stress, planning and scheduling to make them happen).

For right now, I think more reading, writing, traveling and then eventually finding a new career is in the books. I haven’t felt like ‘myself’ in such a long time so I am looking forward to finding my new groove in life. So, move over Stella, it’s my turn. 

Published by Jennifer Shidler

I am a Hoosier at heart who has moved to the heart of Texas with my husband Matthew, our cats Rowdy & Mosby and our dogs Lucy & Wrigley. Matthew is a Chief Flight instructor at a flight school in Austin and I care for my mother full time and write random thoughts and posts in between. I started writing this blog as a way to keep people back home updated on our lives here in Texas, and has turned into a way to relax, think and to make others laugh!

4 thoughts on “Move over Stella…

  1. This part of Matthew’s extended family loves you. Enjoy finding you again. Be sad, be happy. I pray the happy moments come more often than the sad. 💜

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