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marbel

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    Suburban Philadelphia
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    reading, cooking, sewing

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  1. I understand the feeling of not liking where you live. Up until a couple of years ago, I hated the place we've lived for 15 years now. In that time, literally nothing changed except my attitude about the area. We had originally expected to live here for 4 years, so we had come here determining not to get too attached. Well the joke was on us, eh? I suppose now that I have accepted that we live here, and have come to like the area, we'll end up moving. 😉 The previous posters all said it - embrace what is good, and be thankful for it. You have a great house? That is a huge thing! You have a 16 year old who likes to hang out with you? Bonus! What helped me was deciding that I was going to start exploring more. I found that this area has some really wonderful natural areas, including one within 15 minutes drive that I had largely ignored all these years. My husband and I have started working on our yard, adding native plants and beautifying it while making it pollinator-friendly. There are a lot of gardens around here to visit, so we have been doing that. Last spring I made sure to enjoy the fleeting days between winter and hot humid summer, and when I was intentional about that, I found I did enjoy it, which made the hard summer easier to take. I am planning lots of time outdoors for fall. We live in an area with wonderful fall color and I am making lots of plans. As others have said, I have had to learn to focus. When I go explore the city, I can focus on the noisy streets, the rude people, the crowds. Or I can focus on the beautiful architecture, the historic buildings, the quaint streets. As a Christian, I know we are not to ignore the ugliness of the word, but we are not to focus on it all the time. If I can keep enjoying a sunset even with noisy rude people around me, and my kid sees that, that sets the kid up to focus on the beauty too. Maybe others will see my appreciation of the moment, and they will be quiet for a bit to appreciate it too. I've been enjoying the book Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. It is not a Christian book but it is not incompatible with Christianity, as we are supposed to be the most joyful of people! The author has a blog, The Aesthetics of Joy. She talks about different things that bring people joy, and how to find joy. It's interesting and I'm finding it uplifting and inspiring. I think it's worth checking out. I had it from the library but ended up buying a copy. That's rare for me! I hope you are able to find joy in the place you live.
  2. Ugh, that's lousy. I don't shop much at WF and have never used their delivery. Still, it's lousy when a benefit goes away. Extra bad when it's a true benefit, as for your son. But I'd stay tuned on this. If there is enough pushback they may rescind it, or lower the fee, or place a minimum order for free.
  3. Are you using the heat-resistant batting for the potholders? It doesn't sound like it from the post. I would not sell - or use myself! - something as a potholder if it did not include heat resistant filling. Early in quarantine, I embarked on making potholders and small table pads with my stash of fabric and bought some Insulbrite. That stuff is not fun to work with! But you may do better than I did with it. In general I think your things are cute but they are not the sort of thing I buy.
  4. Yeah, it can be surprising what kids remember. We went to England and Scotland when my kids were 6 and 8. We still talk about it pretty regularly - right now it looks like that was the trip of all our lifetimes though I hope my kids have bigger and better travel ahead of them - but it's funny what they remember vs what I remember. A lot of it has faded but if they go back, they will remember. Plus we have photos. One of my kids told me that I had failed by not talking about dating and relationships when they were in their teens. I was stunned. I tried to talk about it! Kids didn't want to talk about it! I talked anyway... they didn't listen. Or they did because they appear to be in healthy relationships now. ETA: re: that trip: one remembers strongly that I refused to buy the beautifully-wrapped, crazy expensive chocolates at Kensington Palace because I knew under that gorgeous wrapping was sub-par chocolate. We spent the money on a lovely tea in the garden. But the missed chocolates.... oy.
  5. One of the things I have been sure to make clear to my daughter (whether she wants to hear it or not, whether she listens or not) is that completely checking out of the work world for years to raise kids is not sustainable in the world we have today. My mother never told me that because it was a sustainable life for her, and lots of other women her age. Most of my aunts did not work after they had kids. Stay-home unemployed moms were the norm when I was growing up. So there is no reason my mother would have counseled me on the wisdom of keeping my hand in employed work. So my kids saw me go back to work at age 62 when their dad was laid off and I had to do something. They see me working at my crappy low-level job every day. At my age, yeah, a career change is not on the table and all I am fit for now is call center customer service work. BUT I might have been able to keep up, at least somewhat, with my previous career (corporate training) and the changes in technology that have occurred since I used to do training classes using an overhead projector and transparencies. Some of you probably don't even know what those are. 😁 But I didn't keep up. I walked away from it all, happily. And sure, there does come a point where certain things are off the table. @BlsdMamalovely post did not gloss over that. I do get the money worries, I truly do. 25 years ago I never dreamed I would be worrying about money, working at a crappy job when I should be reading, gardening, and hiking every day. But I own my decisions; I made them. I know some people had bad decisions made for them, and I know that's got to hurt a lot. ETA: I also share my regrets with young stay-home moms I know. Not in a "here's some unsolicited advice from wise old me" way, but in the course of conversations on the topic of life after homeschooling. I know a lot of young homeschool moms and many of them expect to be SAHMs forever. And, it may work out for some of them. But I do try to plant the seed of thinking about having some marketable skills in the back pocket.
  6. This is similar to what my kids reported when they started doing dual enrollment at our local CC. But, I think college, even CC which to many people is just an extension of high school, is different. I think in high school it is much more important to fit in, and the other students are watching and much more critical. Of course there is always the possibility that they lied about their experiences or feelings, to save face or whatever. I do remember one of my kids admitting that they forgot to put their name on the first paper they turned in in their first DE class. The instructor knew whose it was, both by process of elimination, of course, but also because she'd had experience with homeschooled kids. She was very nice about it and no harm was done. There was never any more forgetting that. But let me tell you, I spent years reminding that one to write their name on the dang paper! It just never stuck. I think it could be very different in high school. Heck, I didn't fit in at high school and I went to school from kindy on.
  7. Ya know, there is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to have their own rooms, a little more space, etc. Nothing wrong with upgrading furniture a bit. There's a line somewhere, I guess, when wealth becomes an expected thing, and delight in being able to move to a bigger space turns into the expectation that one deserves a bigger space, and then soon comes the need for more space... and then all new/better furniture... When I worked in Silicon Valley, people were all about their BMWs. Nothing wrong with owning a BMW (though at the time I drove a Pinto - what did they all think of that I wondered). But so often conversations turned to their next BMW, or the custom seats they were looking at for the current BMW, and the sound systems, and... gah, were they ever boring. But it was just their expectation that the natural progression of their lives would lead to bigger and better and more expensive/desirable things... and their kids were growing up with that. That's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.
  8. There are a couple of ways to look at this. Many people have everything they want because they are content with what they have, even if it is not much (or not as good) compared to others. That is not a bad thing. I believe the trouble comes in when every desire is satisfied immediately and without questioning. Like, upgrading to the newest model phone, car, tv, whatever, regardless of the need for the new thing.
  9. This is where I am, without the chronic illness. It is very clear to me that God brought my husband and me together, and everything fell into place with homeschooling pretty clearly. Even the decision we made which messed up our financial life was clearly the right thing to do at the time, though in retrospect it appears monumentally stupid, and appeared stupid to most people at the time. (Husband left great career as an engineer to go to seminary, was a part-time pastor for a while, 12 years later realized he is an engineer after all, and has returned to tech, though not in the way he had been before all this.) So I can be bitter about the lost income and tough years, or I can be thankful for all the good things that have come out of it, not least of which is not having my kids grow up taking affluence for granted. Several years before I even met my husband, I finished my bachelor's as a working adult going to school at night. One of my professors encouraged me to apply for a Masters/Ph.D program at another university in our area. At the time, I had a decent job, a car payment, and a regular adult life, and did not have the imagination to see what could be if I followed the grad school path. Every now and then I think about that, and how that would have completely changed the trajectory of my life. But maybe I was meant to stay in my mundane job/life, saving money which was much later used to help fund the seminary adventure. (Re: affluence - I know many wealthy people manage to bring their kids up not taking their wealth for granted, often not even knowing that they were wealthy. So please don't anyone think I am throwing shade on affluent families in any way. This is a benefit I see for my family, that's all, based on other families we knew during our fat years; this has nothing to do with anyone else and how they live.)
  10. I don't regret it really, because I don't know how things might have gone if I hadn't done it. Having kids in school can also be a lot of work, as far as I can tell from people who do it. Overall I enjoyed most of it, though the high school years were rough for me with one of my kids, who basically wouldn't do anything they didn't want to, but happily did it for an "outside" teacher. I think I can honestly say that dual enrollment saved our relationship. I did love being a stay-home mom. When my first kid was born, my husband had a great career and I was happy to be the home support. I was good at it and it was a good trade-off for me. Unfortunately, due to some decisions we made as a couple, I ended up needing to go back to work after 20+ years, and that has not gone well for me. I feel like I should be enjoying my retirement (I worked for 20 years before I had kids) but it is not happening. It is very easy for me now to say 'oh, if only I hadn't homeschooled but had kept up my career, look how much better things would be now' but I can't know that that's true. In general I try not to look back and say "if only I had done [whatever] differently." Because there is no way to know if it would have been better.
  11. Prime has become a utility for us. I'd actually like to start moving away from dependence on Amazon, but we do use it a lot for shipping and movies; I find the "standard" (not premium) music to be sufficient for my needs; one of my kids signed up for prime reading for a while and enjoyed the selection of books. For buying small electronics it can't be beat.
  12. Anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, depending. Probably an hour is rare. Sometimes I am just running in for a quick thing, but then I end up remembering this and that, and then I check the day-old bread, and then I'll see if there is discounted meat, and if there is some specific meat discounted I might go in search of some vegetables to go with that (pork tenderloin, hmm, how about asparagus or brussels sprouts (depending on the season). If I go to Walmart it feels like about 3 hours but is likely less than 30 minutes. 😁
  13. Yes, like people asking about smoking when they hear someone has died of lung cancer. It can make people feel ashamed. I know it's human nature to want to find a way to be different from the victim ("she smoked, I don't, I'm not going to die of lung cancer like she did).
  14. This is so good I had to repeat it. I often wonder why it is so hard for some people to view their adult children as capable adults and respect their decisions as parents. Better to be a good mom than a good daughter. You are doing fine!
  15. My experience with a career counselor was not super helpful. I came across one viia a program at the public library about finding work after age 50. They gave a coupon for a discount for some personal consultations. So I went. The most helpful thing was interview clothing. I also sought help at a state-run career/employment center. That was somewhat more interesting as they had some good seminars, but ultimately not super helpful. I found I liked going to seminars and could pretend I was being productive. Also, I had had experience as a corporate trainer in the way back past, so I enjoyed critiquing their methods in my head. What I found, though, was that because of my long break from paid employment for homeschooling, they all pointed me toward tutor, substitute teacher, going back to school for credential. None of which I wanted. I was happy to have homeschooled (most of the time) but I was not going to be teaching other people's kids, end of story. (Corporate training is very different.) So, for me, it wasn't all that helpful because I could not convince them I could get out of the "teacher" box. Which seemed weird to me, but 🤷‍♂️
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