I was just reading some of my Facebook entries and came upon a young friend, commenting on going to a wonderful dinner of college friends who shared in her college major and being grateful for all she had learned while in college and how it had helped in her chosen career.
Amy, is a bright, enthusiastic, charming young woman, that you just love knowing. She attacks her life with gusto and writes cheerful and humorous entries on Facebook that always make me smile, and smiling has become a high priority this year. After writing about the above, Amy continued that she had helped her brother with an application for the chosen school at MSU, he wished to follow to his career path. Amy was grateful for being able to help her brother and for all the people, students and others through work, she has been able to give words of wisdom. Her last comment was if only she could be paid for some this wisdom.
Ain't it the truth? I have tons of wisdom, and I am more than willing to share, in fact, I sometimes think my kids hesitate to ask or even hint, because they'll get more than they bargained for. I have wisdom for Kurt and I give it to him every day. He tends to call it nagging and quit listening about 20 years ago, when he realized I would still cook and clean, and be a more or less permanent fixture in his house.
Because I remained in my house, raising kids, a husband and now dogs, my bits of wisdom have gone largely on deaf ears, or the dogs, who while they may get the picture of what I am telling them can't give me satisfactory feedback.
Every so often we come across one of those updated monetary charts stating that a full time homemaker would be worth something like $120,000 a year to replace when there are young children in the household. By the time they are my age, they are just dead wood, sucking finances and services out of that glamorous world known as approaching retirement. Yup, I've got tons of wisdom, but no one's lining up to pay me for any of it.
I know how to live on a budget. Heck, I made up the budget. I know how to make that dollar do some good things. I wish now I had made it do even better things, but we were the baby boom generation and we are also the generation who thought we would never grow old. We are now spending record amounts proving that we can at least look like it, and defy the body for a few more years, One of my wiser moments when just living long enough has taught me is that I am aging, and I no longer care if I look 49. I want to exercise and stay healthy, but I no longer feel the need to be sculpted, to be suctioned, or padded, added to or subtracted from.
I have spent an adult life time pursuing those things which were under my homemaker status. I learned to cook as a child and bake things like cookies and cakes from scratch. As an adult I learned to truly bake, breads and pies. I learned to make the dishes of my childhood, my way. I learned to cook Italian and expand and continue with the love of pasta. My kids developed favorites and I made them for them. Now, I love expanding on the Italian cooking I have accomplished and enjoy finding ways to freshen it up and use herbs and tweaks to excite my tongue. I devour cooking shows, and love the chance to tweak recipes my way. I could write a cook book.
I know how to spackle, to paint around a window, fix a bad float in a toilet. I know how to fix leaks, get a temperamental washer to run, set the dvr, copy and paste, and sew on buttons and mend a hole in a sock. I can read the directions to put together a new carpet steam cleaner and follow a pattern for a tumbling blocks quilt. I can saute', braise, roast, and blend. I know whipping, blind stitching, and cross trainers. I can clip nails, both human and animal. I have removed countless splinters and pulled leeches off small feet. I have picked leftover birdshot from a cleaned pheasant, and used duct tape for a 1001 projects. I have cut down a Christmas tree, decorated hundreds, (or so it seemed), and made the ornaments for that tree. I have strung miles and miles of Christmas lights and been exasperated beyond sanity that no one can make a light string that lights according to promises.
I have helped birth puppies, burped babies, and held my dying father's hand. I taken "art to the school", learned to read the weather like a true farmer, and driven tractors in a pinch. I can run a rotatiller, do a spreadsheet, and edit copy.
I can divide daylilies, propagate, and graft an apple tree. I have pruned, cut grass and learned how to soothe poison ivy. I have de-skunked a skunked dog, learned to remove gum from hair and given that same hair a good trim. I can sew an apron, a quilt, and a set of curtains. I have put in zippers, patched knees in bluejeans, and wallpapered and removed wallpaper in too many rooms.
I have kept the checkbook, wrote the checks, paid the bills and researched annuities. I learned to use our first credit cards, and after some prodding became proficient at banking online. I know my antiques and collectibles, but I still can't use ebay or Craig's List. I know many of my laptop's eccentricities, but can't begin to figure out the iphone. I know much but still have much to learn. And in the end that's a good thing, because as far as I know, no one's knocking on my door to pay me for any of it. It would be nice if the wisdom of just being around for so long was reverred and appreciated as it once was, but I think that mother ship has sailed, and I will just have to be satisfied with a grateful thank you over the cell phone from a problem only Mom could handle. And sometime that's enough, but still.......feel free to throw some hard coin my way, whenever....