Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Warning! Watch the roads. Don’t be afraid when you see a woman bouncing up and down, singing really loud in her car. But keep your windows rolled up.
Young chick is back in action. OK. So, it’s not some young chick. According to my kids, I’m 37 going on 38. I kept telling them I was 36 going on 37 but my daughter did the math with the year I was born and she was right. Boy, don’t you hate it when you lose a year you thought you had and at the same time have to tell your kids they’re right?
Also, according to my kids I’m just a poser. A mom with knees that crack as I go up and down the stairs who wants to be hip and cool. Some of their friends actually think I am when I turn the music up loud with them and dance and act silly. That is, until I tell them, “You can’t do that. Put sun screen on. Go to sleep. Get off of the computer. Get off the phone.OK, that’s loud enough, turn that music down now. Don’t bring creatures into the house.”
Then I’m just a boring, old mom again.
Now that I’m out and about again, you may want to hide. I’ve got a lot of making up to do, especially in the talking area.
Ever since I left the Salisbury Post as a full-time staff writer, my life has been a little different.
I slowed down ó a lot. I went from energizer bunny on Red Bull to a turtle on sleeping pills.
And suddenly I found myself living as a recluse, taking little naps in the afternoon with my Jack Russell, Lulu.
I took myself out of teaching fitness classes. Not because of want, but necessity. I managed to damage my big toe with an injury that I believe is permanent now, but manageable.
This new life was not like me. But for some reason I’m thinking many moms with kids active in many activities, and feeling they are a letdown to those around them if they don’t always say “yes” to everything, may relate.
Honestly, there were times I just wanted to pack up and get the heck out of town. Go someplace where not one single person knew me. But in order to run and hide, I would have to pack my things, my husband’s, my children’s and the dog’s bowl and food.
And that was just too much work.
So, I stayed home. I rested. I worked some still. And I still did those motherly things like PTA, chauffeuring, etc.
In the back of my mind, I really thought, “No one cares what I’m doing or where I am.”
But, on different occasions recently when I’ve been out, I’ve heard the same thing, “You are still around. I thought you moved or something. Where have you been?”
“I’ve been home with my dog,” I replied. “Eating, sleeping, barking (at my husband) and NOT begging to go out.”
But now I realize I’ve missed some things and some people.
Now that I’m rested (not really), I’m ready to take on the world. I’ve decided to try new things, meet new people, and write about them as I experience them. Some may get put in here but some may just be for my personal enjoyment.
On the list is: take tennis, golf and art lessons; get back in shape; make and try new foods; take a train ride; swim with a dolphin; parasail (I’ve already attempted this once and failed, details will come later); watch the taping of a TV show; try out for a game show; go up in a hot-air balloon; sit out under the stars with my husband; visit the Grand Canyon; teach my son to cook; raise money with my daughter to visit Paris; drive a race car (or at least ride in one); help out at an asthma camp or one for ill children and hopefully contribute lots of money one day; send a message in a bottle; stomp my feet in a huge tub of grapes (like Lucy did); run the steps in Philadelphia pretending to be Rocky; meet Jon Bon Jovi (hey, I’m old and married, not dead); go sailing; snow ski; ride a horse on the beach and more.
I’ll also continue to do things I am determined to do: raise a lady and a gentleman and thank God for my children and pray they will be happy and healthy; tell my daughter to demand respect as a young lady and my son to give respect to a young lady; let them know to always be themselves and do what they are passionate about; respect and praise my husband more; realize he hates to shop. (he’s loving this one).
Hug, hug and hug some more. Be a better wife, mother, daughter and sister. Sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” to my dad, “You Raise Me Up” to my mom, Sue, and “I’ll Stand By You” to my husband and kids.
Maybe I had better just play it for them. But then again, maybe I will sing it and face that I don’t have to be perfect and work on my fear of failure.
Laugh harder and louder than ever before because I know that’s what we need more of in this crazy world.
Teach my kids the importance of giving, kindness and hard work. Teach them the importance of simple things because most of the happiest people don’t have the biggest house, the fanciest cars, designer clothing. They have what is most important ó the biggest hearts.
And last, but not least, I will drive a convertible into Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, over the draw bridge, admiring the brilliance of the water, appreciating what God created, singing at the top of my lungs, “It’s My Life…”
Hopefully, everyone else’s windows will be up.