Letting go…with confidence and the Wonderful 70’s

Days go on with a Pandemic that seems to linger more than anyone would have thought-or wanted. There is so much information AND misinformation out here, causing people to be so divided in regards to vaccines, masks, mandates for certain employees, Government heads and CDC rules and recommendations… it is all one big hot mess, with conditions varying tremendously between countries.

Even though we all got vaccines at home, as many others, we still live with that uncertainty: the possibility of getting sick or of seeing this Virus change into something else that could be more dangerous. I wonder sometimes of wearing a mask to the store or to a concert is here to stay…

I find myself feeling muted in a way when I try to express my attitude while half of my face is covered. Body language sometimes is not enough or inappropriate with strangers. Like smiling at someone so it doesn’t look like you are staring. Or giving someone a dirty look because they are standing way to close to you at the bank line. I feel myself exaggerating with my smile or eyes to get the message across. I might need more wrinkle cream soon!

Also, I feel like my skin is absolutely gross after 10 minutes of breathing in and out with the mask, so I have great respect for all those who HAVE to wear it 8 hours to work. No wonder it takes months to schedule a facial these days.

Most kids are back in school; I went back to work and things have taken a more “normal” course for a lot of people. A lot of companies that have survived so far, have allowed or implemented the “work from home” model; I guess they finally realized that working remotely is not a crazy idea after all. For many, it is actually more productive than being on site.

I called a Medical office a month or so ago to schedule an appointment, and the lady that answered, had a parrot in the back ground, making very loud noises- probably attempting to mimic its owner. It was hilarious. Some other times, I hear toddlers talking or kitchen pans clanking in the background. Just the echo of the call tells you if the person is working form home. Not to mention the zoom calls, where you can see everything from family members in the background, pets, or even worse , someone changing or getting undressed in the back. There is definitely some etiquette and fine tuning to be done by some.

At least I don’t feel so bad when our dog decides to bark non stop while I am on a call. Thank goodness for the Mute button.

Last year my son started riding his motorcycle with my husband. Just short rides, here in the neighborhood. It took me months to relax and think positive and not be sick out of worry. Now, he is 16 and a half and after months of practicing driving, he got his drivers license.

A day which I was looking forward to and also dreaded. The drop offs and pick ups at 2 different schools with two different schedules meant that I had to spend at least 2 hours a day doing just that. So now that he can drive himself to school, that cuts my “soccer mom” time in half. It has only been a week of this new way of moving around, so I am still living with my cell phone glued to my hip in case something happens. Then I remember I started driving at 14 and realize that 16 is ok. Except in Mexico we didn’t have freeways where people drive 70 – 90 miles an hour. So I try to relax and show confidence. We have discussed all the things that can happen when you speed, when you text or talk while driving, etc. My daughter can’t wait to start driving too; she just enrolled in Drivers Education, and I am still processing that her brother already drives.

Letting go, that’s what these years of being a parent to teenagers is about. Oh but it is hard sometimes to no longer feel needed! A sense of freedom mixed with emptiness. This too, will pass.

My daughter had her very first Home Coming Dance at school, an event much awaited, since Freshman Year pretty much disappeared from that class (2024), when students really looked forward to the many experiences that one lives in High School.

Dance, makeup, and a whole look that makes girls look so grown up, and my son driving on his own- all on the same weekend. I felt like I aged 10 years in 2 days.

And speaking of aging…I turned 50 on August this year. Considering vaccinations have been available for almost 6 months now, I decided to celebrate my Birthday with a small party- girls only.

Our back yard is perfect for entertaining and I hired the catering and the music, so there was little to be worried about. Also, I hired my daughter and 2 of her best friends to tend to the guests and make sure things were tidy and running smoothly. They learned how to make grapefruit margaritas and how to pour wine -with measure, haha.

The theme for the party: the 70s. A good friend asked me “why the 70s? We grew up in the 80s…”

The real answer was so long, I decided just to answer “the clothes were way nicer in the 70s”. But here, I can spare the time and provide more detail about why the 70s represent some of the best times of my life: I have no more than 3 memories of my mother when she could still walk without aid, and speak loudly. Those few memories, all took place in 1973 and 1974. My most innocent years when I played with a small oven (that made the most gross cakes, with the heat of a light bulb), I learned how to ride my purple bike, and mostly, when I pretended to be a DJ and recorded many many tapes with my double cassette boom box, all happened in the 70s.

My favorite childhood shows- all in the 70s:

The Bionic Woman, Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, The Little House of the Prairie, The Six Million Dollar Man, Land of the Giants, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Gilligan’s Island, Cometo-San (Princess Comet), and of course- my beloved Mexican Novela “Mundo de Juguete”. My favorite cartoons of all times: The Smurfs, The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

It was also the time when I made my first true friends, some of them which I still have in my life, very close to me even though they are thousands of miles away.

In 1974 was the year that my mom had a stroke, but I was only 3, so for the rest of that decade, I really had no idea how that event would change our lives, my Dad’s and my siblings, every one of us. I never knew her life was in danger until many years later. I don’t even recall what it felt like to have a mom that walked and talked like everyone else one day, and the next have her in a hospital in Intensive Care for days completely paralyzed and speechless. They were happy days, I adored her and probably missed her, but thats is all I remember. Not the pain or sadness.

I remember spending many holiday breaks in Chihuahua with older cousins who were in their teens. Watching them get dressed up and putting on their make up and curling their hair (Farah Fawcett style) was so much fun. That is when I started discovering ABBA, The Bee Gees, Journey, Earth Wind and Fire and Supertramp. That’s what my cousins listened to and I just loved the music. I added all those bands to my Mixed Tapes and boy where they mixed! In those tapes you could find anything from Parchis ( A Spanish kids group that I absolutely loved), to Mexican Balladists that my Mom loved like Camilo Sesto, Napoleon, Emanuel, as well as the American bands that teenagers listened to.

So the 70s to me are all memories of fun, naivety, true friends, afternoons playing outside at the park across the street from our house, making prank calls, and really, not a care in the world. I was such a nerd back then, that even homework was never a burden.

The few weeks I spent planning my 50th Birthday party, every single day was flooded with all these memories and realizations of the huge influence the Disco Music had in the 80s Pop Music, and the 70’s gorgeous fashion still has in today’s trends. It was a very happy day, I spent it with friends I care about, and that have known me for many years, some of them even met my parents when they were still alive. My brother and sister in law surprised my the very day of my birthday – despite the US-Mexico Border closure to land traffic, they managed to fly in and just appeared on my doorstep on August 20th. I cried of joy, of surprise and of so much love felt through their embraces. My husband supported my “All Girls” themed party and made our back yard look amazing. He was smiling big whenever I looked at him.

These (almost) two years of non stop bad news and disease, have definitely changed my perspective about the value of life, health, of waking up every single day feeling grateful for all that I have, not the things, but the people that surround me -near and far- and that make me feel so loved and appreciated. And when things get tough or too dark I remember…like they say in AA meetings. ONE DAY AT A TIME :).

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