Roxanne, South Dakota, USA



my Betty mug
Originally uploaded by

4ever30something.

I couldn’t resist adding my 20/20 to the pool.

What I would tell my younger self:

5) Pay attention to the details around you and don’t think that just because you are young today, you will never be afflicted of age tomorrow

4) When you decide that skipping that one day of class, or aerobics, or being a healthy you isn’t going to hurt anything, you couldn’t be more wrong.

3) Go after your dreams, and don’t be dissuaded by small bumps in your path; instead let them propel you to a new understanding and to heights you’d never have imaged for yourself before then.

2) Be a woman, mother, sister, first and foremost; in the end, it is your loyalties to family, friends, children and grandchildren, that matter most in this world.

1) One day you’ll look back at the time when, standing in your grandmother’s living room while her cold fingers press pins into the waistband of a skirt she was sewing just for you, you scoffed at her ignorance of the way things really were in this world, and how they would be in the future. It is on this day that you’ll realize that, even though you thought you knew it all, from the perspective of having lived she knew then what you are finally realizing today; experience trumps bold youthful zeal any day of the week.

Roxanne, 39, South Dakota

What are those snapshot moments that you want to be able to recall for as long as you live?

This is a marvelous posting idea! Though I wish we could list so many more than just 5, I realize the benefit of having to choose a “Top 5” list. So, here are mine.

5) The day I received my graduate degree – I’m the first one ever, on my mother or my father’s side of the family, to receive a master’s degree. Plus, I finished while a single mother with 2 grade-schoolers and 1 pre-schooler, and I was working as a consultant and traveling while I finished my thesis. WOW. To have THAT much energy again!

4) The first time my oldest daughter said “Mommy” – I don’t remember all the details, which is odd, but I do remember the enormous feelings that washed over me on this day. It was like this “infant” had become human, and now was depending upon ME to do the right thing, and be there for them. I don’t care how many high-pressure jobs a person has to accomplish in life; by far, this is the most scary and significant one there is!

3) Meeting my “signficant other” – This may seem odd, but I’d never really felt “loved” before this. It has taken some time, but he has shown me the true power of “unconditional love”. I have, over the years, made a special effort to make sure my children know this is always there for them, but it was this man who taught me that having someone love you (and showing you that they do) can be a marvelous, uplifting and necessary part of life!

2) The day that I realized I wanted to be more/do more, with my life. I was probably 23, or 24, and I was talking with this professor from one of the graduate schools I was considering. He said something to the effect of “that would be the most advantageous thing for you to do”. Using advantageous in a regular sentence (or any intellectual-type word for that matter) was just something I’d never done! Okay, this probably seems stupid, but I guess the point is that for me, at that moment, I realized that there was so much more in life that I didn’t know about yet! I wanted to learn! THAT was exciting! I see myself on that day, happier than I can ever remember, with a smile that just radiated energy and determination. Of course time and “reality” took its toll over the years and I lost touch with that girl; I anticipate that the next decade of my life, I’ll be that girl again… I’m ready for it!

1) The day each of my children were born.I know that should probably be 3 entries, but the idea of each of these events is so significant that there is no question in my mind that, combined, they deserve my #1 “most significant” moment. Each and every day as my children grow into adults, I realize just how miraculous each of them are! Of course there are times when I could pull my hair out, and I would LOVE to ground them to their room until they are 48, but that’s rare compared to the moments I am thankful that I was lucky enough to be mother to three marvelous girls who are not afraid to share their heart and be who they were meant to be. I look forward to seeing them mature into adults and tackle the world.  I guess for the first time, I see something outside of myself and think “how proud I am to have been a part of that”.

I’m not really sure that these are “snapshots” as intended by the posting challenge, but thanks anyway, for the opportunity to remind myself of how much I have to be thankful for, and how meaningful life can be!

Roxanne, 39, South Dakota

Since I have no “claim to fame” per se, I will have to blog on my famous person encounter instead, and live vicariously once again through whatever brief excitement it brings to my life. Several years ago (actually, come November, a decade ago) I was working as a political field representative for our Democrat gubernatorial candidate. In a small Midwestern state like South Dakota everyone knows that Democrats don’t have a chance in heck of getting elected to the governor’s mansion, but the idealist in us all requires that we try, right?

Bill Clinton was president during this period, and our small-state senator, Tom Daschle, was pretty chummy with him. He convinced the president to hold a small invite-only fundraiser in D.C. to raise money for our candidate.

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So no matter what a mother does, ultimately children learn how to make their own way, even if its not the best path.My 18 year old has decided to move out; she’s still in high school. On the surface this seems like not a big deal, however she’s also have several other ‘issues’; moving out was a way of not having to deal with the serious nature of the problems she’s having.

So everyone has told me, she’s 18, you are not responsible, liable, or obligated to worry, stress, intervene or otherwise change her course of direction in her life any more. I’ve accepted that, though my sub-conscious is still wrestling with the idea.

Honestly though, I think I’m more surprised that the “tough love” attitude I’ve taken hasn’t been harder than it has. I mean there’s the worry (she has a place to stay, food to eat, etc., so she’s safe), and the wishing it would be a different way, and knowing that years down the road she’s going to regret the decision (there’s just no doubt in my mind) but she’s an adult now. She’s free to choose choice A over choice B, AND to suffer any and all consequences that may or may not result from the decision, just like all other adults.

Is this like when they’re 2, and you’re watching them with wobbly legs try to get their balance, and you can see the foot, moving in the wrong direction to keep balance, and you have to force yourself NOT to run over and move their foot in the right place? My guess is its exactly the same, only 16 years later!

I had a wonderful job interview today where they asked me a question I’d never thought of for an interview before: “If you could talk with any one person, living or dead, who would it be and why.” Well this interview was going so well that I didn’t think it was odd, but later I realized just how significant a question like this could be.

My answer, as may be obvious, was Abraham Lincoln, though as I told my interviewers, Aristotle was a close second. But the significance of the answer seems relevant from the perspective of this: how do the people in your world that you respect, living or dead, influence what kind of person you are and want to be?

I have spent so many years just trying to make sure I could come up with rent money for me and my girls, that I’ve lost sight of the “idealistic me”. The part of me that wants to be part of something bigger, brighter, important for others around me and maybe the world!

So, it is armed with this new insight, and a reinvigoration of my idealistic side that I will forge ahead and not settle for the first thing that comes along, but will wait until that PERFECT job, that fully engages and challenges me to be a better me and make a better world, comes along! I’m hoping it might be the one I applied for today, but if not, there WILL be one. THAT was worth the 2 hour interview alone!

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Falls Park

Originally uploaded by 4ever30something.

It has been some time since I’ve posted, but I thought I would add something to the posting challenges 🙂

I live in southeastern South Dakota. I was also born and raised in northeastern South Dakota.

Living in the midwest has many advantages (LOTS of wide open space and beautiful sunsets) and disadvantages (culturally insulated). Luckily I lived in both northern and southern Illinois for over 10 years then moved back to South Dakota over 2 years ago, so I’ve had some outside perspective.

This photo shows beautiful sky and natural beauty that we have everywhere here in Sioux Falls. We’re also close enough to “the big city” (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area) to have some cultural influences that offer beautiful artistic opportunities. The city tries to be culturally diverse, but its difficult when 96% of the population is white (I would imagine Canadians don’t count for cultural diversity? hehe).

With a population of about 150,000 people, Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state (yes you read that correctly). I always laugh when I think of the fact that the entire state population could fit into one Chicago suburb! Though less open-minded than other areas I’ve lived in, Sioux Falls has warm friendly people who would never think twice before stopping at the side of the road to help a stranger.

Also, though this may be the same elsewhere, Saturday’s are “come meet at the Wal-Mart” days, Sundays are church days (South Dakota has one of the highest per capita Catholic populations in the country), and a hard day’s work still means something significant.

I sometimes wish I had more of the determination that my kitty does. Between the front door and the back, her ears are always perked for the possibility that one of us with open it and take her with us.

It isn’t that I don’t have this kind of determination.. I’ve been known to do some extraordinary things on occasion, but what if we could harness that determination and pull it out of our pockets anytime we needed it? Now THAT would be something marketable!

Roxanne, 38, South Dakota, USA

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