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The Moose and Me

There's been a moose wandering around the neighborhood for several days. It's an adolescent according to Fish and Game. Looks to me like a female but I haven't wanted to get that close to find out for sure. They said she was no doubt recently kicked out of her home because mom's getting ready to have another baby. They said she'd wander around for a while before she finds her way and fits into a new life. But poor thing looks lost and lonely. I can sympathize with her. I've been feeling much the same way.

In March, I left a job I'd had for a long time. I didn't get kicked out, but might as well have been. They eliminated  the job for which I have certification and reduced it to something any entry level employee could do with little or no training, and attached an entry level salary to match. I got the message - I'm 63 and made almost as much money as the highest paid employee. I was old enough to be everyone's mother or grandmother. The woman in the top position was my daughter's age. The organization was looking to make budget cuts. So it came as no surprise to me that my position was eliminated at the end of last year. I tried the new one for a couple of months, thinking that any job was better than no job. But I was wrong. 'Mother' didn't really want me anymore. It was time for me to go.

Like the moose,  I found myself in strange territory. I worked full time for many years. Now I'm semi-retired, trying to get some classes and clients of my own together. But the real change is taking over the every day workings of our extended family from John while he expands his own business. I have a tough time being Suzy Homemaker. I hadn't done grocery shopping in years, or all the laundry, or cooked - or really looked after the 3 boys who have been in our care for 3 1/2 years. That was all John's doing. I'd raised a family. Actually, I'd raised two families. I took care of two younger brothers until I went off to college before I had children of my own. So why would I want to do it again?

It's now June. I've spent a fair amount of time wandering around my new situation, wondering just how to fit in to this 'new' life. The needs of John and the boys have helped me put it in perspective. John's art is winning awards. Hopefully it will become popular so he can make a new career for himself in the jewelry field. He shouldn't have to try to do it and take care of the boys. And the boys - they really need a mom. I can't keep saying 'That's not me.' If not me, who else? They are my kids, just like my brothers and my own kids were mine. Maybe not what I thought I would be doing for a job when I retired, but it's good work - and necessary for the well-being of those boys. John has done a wonderful job. Let's see if I am up to the task.

Early this morning, the moose was walking by the bay window. She stopped and looked over at me. Her ears went up and forward as if to say 'what do I do now?' I knew the feeling all too well. But it looks as though I've found where I fit in. I hope it won't be too much longer before she feels the same way.