I feel as if my life is so out of control right now. I’m kind of having a little panic attack as I do the bills.  I have no job. I mean it simply hit me that I am unemployed! My parents are aging and I am worried about that, as roles reverse and I feel the pressure. It almost feels as if my life is like a little “flip book” as all the years just flash before my eyes.

From riding in the back seat of my daddy’s car and watching the moon follow me, I remember falling asleep only to wake up as he carries me in the house, feeling safe and so content. And then all of a sudden, first dates and the ups and downs of falling in love for the first time and a couple more times after that. Of weddings and having babies, of miscarriages and parties and funerals and then more baby showers, a painful divorce and another chance and another wedding, in-between the pain of failure and the whirlwind of just living life and trying to survive with all the joys and heart aches that come with it. Never feeling that the good times lasted too long but looking back “now” and feeling that even the bad times were kind of the good old days.

I remember shopping with my daughter her freshman year of high school. We had a budget every year. My kids always got the first day of school outfit and some other new outfits, new shoes and a new backpack with school supplies. I guess it was so special for me because my dad always took me school shopping and it was this amazing tradition that I treasure more than I ever did when it was happening.

The year I remember most, my daughter and I were on a vacation with my childhood best friend. She was blessed with never needing a budget and her kids usually came out with a bag of something from each shop we went in. The girls had run ahead of us and when we walked in the store they were all already shopping. My friend’s daughters started handing their mom clothes they’d chosen, when  my daughter ran up to me with a jacket that made her eyes sparkle. I looked at the price tag and with a raised eyebrow said, “you know this one jacket is a third of your school clothes budget!” Without missing a beat she just put it back on the rack as my friend purchased more items for her daughters as they ran ahead to the next shop and my daughter happily followed.

Something kicked me deep in my heart, the way she didn’t argue or even mope. At that moment I felt richer than all the money I could ever need. It only took a second for me to grab that jacket and take out my credit card and decide that I’d just have to figure out how to stretch the budget  for that year. When I reached my daughter I handed her the bag and said, “this won’t count as part of your budget.” She burst into tears hugging me and said “Oh mama, thank you but it’s too much!” It was probably one of my best purchases I ever made. Later my stunned friend asked me, “How do you make a kid be so appreciative?” I knew that it was kind of a rhetorical question so I didn’t say what I wanted to, but the answer is  you don’t buy your kid everything they want so they appreciate the things they do get.”

Today my daughter buys her own clothes and lives her own life. Both my kids have little parts of me in them but they are mostly themselves. And I am happy they are strong and have their own personalities and are creating their own way. But at the same time I wonder where it all went? The time of buying clothes and setting curfews and driving them to this place or that place, well it sends me to a place where I feel the pages flipping by. In a way, I wonder where it all went. So fast? in my flip book of a life!

I remember my grandma telling me how in her seventies she still felt seventeen. Me too! Now as I look to my future I feel that flip book, remembering the box boy who called me Ma’am in my thirties! Or the woman at Ross asking me if I wanted the Senior Discount in my forties! I remember being size five! Where did it all go?! That little girl I once was, is just a ghost of me, but still deep down inside somewhere.

Like a flip book, I want to slow it all down, I want a do over! But then I realize that someday, these will be the good old days and that today is the oldest I have ever been and the youngest I will ever be again!

20 thoughts on “Like A Flip Book

  1. I feel the same way that our kids had little parts of us though they are mostly themselves. With five kids, I see a lot of that. I am happy to find your site 🙂

    1. I am grateful for your time! I just found some comments I missed and yours was among them. I appreciate you reading my ramblings and will have to go find yours as well!

  2. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for everyday.

    On Jan 23, 2017 10:54 AM, “The One Thing I know For Sure” wrote:

    coastalmom posted: ” I feel as if my life is so out of control right now. I’m kind of having a little panic attack as I do the bills. I have no job. I mean it simply hit me that I am unemployed. My parents are aging and I am worried about that, as roles reverse”

    1. Oh Jody,
      You my friend teach me everyday how to be young and grateful. My BFF that God put in my life in my twenties … the most generous and gracious person I know. Loving my babies. Being there for every milestone.
      I must have done something right in my life to be blessed by someone as amazing as you.
      I love you❤️

  3. Very good Diane, and profound. And it is a blessing to FEEL a lot younger than we are 🙂 Continue that feeling, that mindset, and it will help you to stay young and young at heart.

    Blessings to you Dear Diane!

  4. Love, love, love this. Especially that last paragraph. It helps when I’m also wondering what the heck happened and I wish to turn back time or at least slow it down. And thanks for buying her that coat. I’ve been there done that kind of thing and it’s so nice to be appreciated and make someone deliriously happy at the same time.

    1. You’re so cute! I agree I think just knowing someone else feels the same way is a comfort! And yep I’d buy that jacket for her all over again. It was an epic purchase!😉

  5. Wonderful story.
    Blessings to you as you journey on to the next chapter of your life. Hugs ☺

  6. Time does accelerate it seems as life passes by. Anxiety rears its head at the aging of our children, the passing of our elders and friends, our declining bodies, our declining minds…in the end you kind heart, your loving ways will counterbalance the anxiety….plus I just run as fast as I can from the reality of it all 🙂

  7. I love the image of the flip book for our life. It does seem like the pages of life are flipping so fast we only get a quick glimpse, barely experiencing the moment before the next image is in sight. Praying you land on your feet and are employed once more doing something you love. You’re an asset to anyone lucky enough to have you!

    1. You are too sweet. I am blessed to have such a base of the best of the best here. I will be okay. I am trying to reopen my Etsy shop and maybe do a few art shows. I would love to work for myself again. Still doing the interviews though. My boss gave me an amazing letter of recommendation so I am grateful. Your words Little Miss Wordy are epic as always and I am coming back to reread often as a great reminder of your wisdom💕

  8. Oh my dear sweet wonderful special friend. I so adore you. I know the panic it can hit you in the blink of an eye.. money.. oh yeah that stuff we need to live.. What was I thinking.. I feel it monthly at times.. Especially if I have been careless and spent a little too much on something we really did not need. My child is spoiled I know that. I guess I am over compensating for what I lacked growing up. I never had anyone to take me shopping for new clothes.. or to teach me how to pamper myself.. I still do not do that.. But I knew I was sure gonna make sure my child had those things.. We always want better for our kids.. I try to teach her we treat her well because she works hard and keeps her grades up and does what we expect her to do. Now that she works she buys most of her stuff.. but I still spoil her. Love your warm memories and remember God’s got this. Trust in him. He will see you have everything you need.. He makes a way.. he has never let us down.. I know I have disappointed him. Probably daily.. not perfect just forgiven. Love you sister!

    1. You my friend are a blessing. I feel a comfort in your words. I know God’s got this. I guess I just kinda feel that my future doesn’t have as many options as it once did. I do want to make my business work as I am still interviewing for jobs I really am not passionate about but going through the motions just in case God wants me somewhere else. I mean I can make all the plans I want but if He has different ones it kind of is a wash. Lol. Thank you for your support. Your daughter is blessed to have you as her mom!❤️

      1. You need to believe in you.. I know that is hard at times.. if this were your daughter what would you tell her? Yes I thought so.. so follow your heart.. do not take a job you do not want because you feel you have too.. you will learn what you can and can not live without. Your life will adjust accordingly. Most importantly try to be happy and enjoy this time.. Hey in case ya didn’t know I believe in you too..

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