This afternoon, my mother and stepfather arrived for a weekend visit. It has been a little while since they saw Daisy, and she grows bigger and smarter by the day. For almost two, she has a big vocabulary and an exuberant personality that is magnetic. Surprisingly, Daisy and my mother, “Grammy,” have become good buddies this trip. They sat at the table and ate blueberries, chips, cheese and sloppy joes together. Then, they played with Daisy’s farm toys and colored with her new crayons that Mom brought. It has taken Daisy some time to warm up: She and my mom have seen each other a handful of times since they met last year. While Daisy has allowed Grammy to be present, she hasn’t allowed much participation. Today, she opened her heart to my mother and has even begun calling her “Grammy.” To see my little girl begin to reach out to others for companionship and attention warms my heart. Maybe she will form true bonds with people and learn to trust. Maybe they will be worthy of her. While I know my grandmothers cared for me, I don’t recall ever sitting in their laps or them sitting on the floor to play with me. Perhaps it was just a different generation. But I appreciate that my mother sat in the floor tonight and played and laughed with her granddaughter and wasn’t afraid to look silly. Those moments today are some of the happiest memories I have of my mother and this day has been her best in a long while. Listening to the two of them talk at the dining table, watching Daisy share her new crayons with her Grammy, these are moments I will hold close on my bad days. I should’ve taken a picture, but I was so busy enjoying the moment that I didn’t want to ruin it. I wanted to live it.
She sat. With one weeping eye and a glass of wine she stared at the screen until her brow furrowed and her jeans strangled the paunch below her navel. This was torture, this empty screen, this blank space where nothing and everything had to make sense in a flurry of words. She bit her lip, took a deep breath, rolled her head around. 9:47 pm. She is no writer, no scholar, no one. Her only deadline is the inevitable end that awaits us all. It is silent save for the click and the whir of the machine. 9:54 pm. It ends.
It’s 10 degrees this Black Friday morning and I have no intention of venturing out into the shopping nightmare. Granted, we only have a handful of stores to choose from, but even the smallest of towns isn’t safe from the chaos that ensues on this day of greed. My plan is to sit right here with my family and enjoy the electric blanket. Christmas shopping will be there on a warmer day.
What are your plans today? Are you deal hunting or hiding out?
This morning I’m sitting in the bathroom, space heater blaring, and reading blogs. It is a small escape from the responsibilities of my life. Just for a few minutes, I want to be alone.
Suddenly, the bathroom door moves and in pops a fuzzy white nose. Norah. My little 12 year old pekepoo.
“Whatcha doin’, Mama?”
“I have to go out. Again.”
And with a last look that says, “Please hurry.” Norah leaves, the bathroom door now cracked open.
Just a few more minutes, just another moment of freedom, please. I continue reading, looking for new and inspiring blogs to add some humor to my day. Then, another nose in the door: This one is gray and of a feline persuasion. Nan.
“Hi, Mama. Just thought I’d stop in.”
“Can you open the other door, please? I hate closed doors.”
“I know. But not right now.”
“Maybe later then.” (She exits out the same door, disgusted)
Clearly, I need to improve my hiding techniques. I used to have a walk-in closet where I could hide for at least 10 minutes before they found me. Now, we’ve moved into a smaller place and there simply isn’t a way to escape.
I may never pee alone again…
I haven’t left the house today. I haven’t even left my pajamas. The temperature stayed below 40 all day, and I stayed hidden away under an electric blanket. We now have 3 electric blankets in the house and they are the best investments we ever made. Unfortunately, they encourage utter slothliness. But, I figure I’ve earned it for today.
It has been a month since I arrived in Colorado, and I have spent many many hours sorting boxes, cleaning, organizing, and, in general, fretting about whether or not we have enough room for our basic needs. As it turns out, we do have room, but we have had to minimize A LOT. I have donated numerous bags of clothes to the local clothing ministry, along with various other items that we just won’t use. Plus, there are still several boxes in the garage with miscellaneous this’s and that’s that I will probably get rid of as well. The upside? We are finding that a life with less isn’t all that bad. And living in a smaller house has its advantages. Besides being easier to clean, I can hear all of my family members in the house no matter where I go. With a mischievous 11-year-old and a 3-month-old baby in the house, that is a HUGE benefit.
We will be finishing going through the rest of the boxes tomorrow and Tuesday, just in time for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, my boyfriend has to work that evening so we will be celebrating, most likely, on Tuesday. Keeping traditions is tough on his schedule. I’m thinking that the girls and I will spend Thanksgiving evening putting up Christmas decorations – if I can talk myself into it. Whatever we decide, I hope to make it memorable. This is our first big holiday away from our Florida family and I want it to be special.
One thing is for sure, it will be cold. The forecast says this coming week is set to be a chilly one, with lows around 10 degrees by the end of the week. Thank goodness I have these electric blankets… I’ll see you in the spring.
Growing up, I had many dreams of what I wanted to be or how I wanted to look etc. We are taught as children to dream “big,” that we can be anything we want if we work at it. If you had asked me at 7, I would’ve said I wanted to be a veterinarian because I was thoroughly in love with and fascinated by animals. Unfortunately, my allergies kept me from dedicating myself to that dream. Over the years, my dreams changed from Oceanographer (turns out I’m scared of whales), to interior designer, to many other things over the years. I did not understand, at the time, that I am a person of whim and am basically interested, to some degree, in everything.
This made following through on my dreams difficult since colleges don’t let you major in “everything.” And most jobs don’t have enough variety to keep a person like me interested for very long. You can imagine that this has presented its challenges in my adulthood. At 34, I have had numerous jobs including house cleaning, CNA, plastics factory worker and tux shop employee. Currently, I work from home as a virtual assistant and have been doing that for 2 years, though my level of commitment wavers at times. The only other job I have held for a significant amount of time is working at McDonald’s. Though I left and returned a time or two, I think I totaled about a year and a half at that venture. Funny thing is, I really enjoyed it. The fast pace kept me going and I had no time to think too hard about anything. (For anyone who knows me, they know thinking is my worst enemy… but that’s another entry altogether.)
The one dream I remember always having is that I’ve wanted to have a family of my own. For this day and age, and with women’s lib and all, that probably seems a little too simplistic. After all, women can be anything and everything they want to be these days, and they can be all of it at the same time. But, for me, I am a little old-fashioned about family: I actually enjoy managing calendars, cooking meals, washing clothes, and doing all of those “June Cleaver” duties.
I have spent many years in and out of the work force, and have always found myself feeling guilty and plain out miserable when I couldn’t be home to cook a meal or play with my pets. I am simply happier when I am able to care for my home and those who live in it. But finding this happiness has come at a steep cost. Those “dreams” of my childhood have been put to rest and I have spent many years of my life in depression because I simply couldn’t find a dream that I wanted badly enough to sacrifice my family life.
I cannot describe the conflict I have faced with this dichotomy of working woman vs. traditional woman-hood. For starters, I am an intelligent person: I made straight-A’s and could get a degree in anything I wanted. Society tends to burden intelligent people with the responsibility of getting a thorough education, and my parents were none too lenient on me about attending college (though I have yet to finish). Society also tends to burden women with the task of being everything all at once: mother, wife, bread-winner, slut, and super hero.
As women, we are given numerous roles to play and the challenge of playing them all at once. Many women may not feel this as a burden; they may be perfectly capable of filling all of those roles with panache. I applaud those women. Myself, I am simply unable to focus myself in that many directions at once. The times I have tried, I felt as if something were pulling at all of my limbs all at once, threatening to split me down the middle. I simply am not built to be a full-time career woman as well as a home-maker. And, as I have gotten older, I have spent many tears and moments of desperation trying to make the decision on which road to take.
As a result, I have decided to land exactly where I am by no mistake.
Yes, I am divorced. No, I don’t have any children… yet. But I have a dream of having a family, and that has informed my life choices thus far. You may think that getting a divorce was counterintuitive to having a family, but I knew I couldn’t have the family of my dreams in that relationship. And, while that relationship had numerous problems, when he looked at me and said he was pretty sure he didn’t want kids, I was done. It took a lot for me to walk away from that marriage, from the comfort and the dependability. But I had this one last dream, and I knew I wasn’t living the rest of my life without it.
I haven’t changed much since I was 7: I still want to grow up to be something different every day. However, in this seemingly goal-less life I’ve led, I have discovered that I do have the ability to follow through with something if I want it bad enough. As I continue my journey towards a family, I hope you find that one dream that is “worth it” for you and that you have the courage to give it all you’ve got.
Well, I’ve given up. On day 4 of my antidepressant cleansing, I gave in. That day, my boyfriend was off work and we took his daughter to the movies to see the new X-Men movie. And I don’t remember much of it. All I know is, my face was tingling and numb-ish, and I felt like the world was swirling around me. So, after the movie, I took a pill and a half. It took a couple of days, but it finally leveled out. I feel better now, but the idea that I need medicine to be “normal” makes me sad.
I hate that I am chemically dependent, or dependent on anything for that matter. At this time in my life – divorced, building a business, and wanting to get back to school – I am dependent on so much, from antidepressants to alimony. For now, I rely on my monthly alimony payment to help make bills, though it runs out in December. Then, for college, I am hoping to get some grant money so I can afford it. I know that it’s okay to lean a bit while I go through this phase, but it doesn’t do much for my self esteem. Basically, I feel like pond scum.
On the positive side, I’m on my way to being independent – for the first time in my life. For 13 years, I basically depended on my husband to provide, and my father provided before that. Sure, I had some jobs here and there, and I bought some cute clothes and kept my nails done. But essentially, I did not provide anything other than “fun” money. That behavior, however, has created some difficulty for me now because I am not in the habit of “regular” work and basically have no marketable skills. I have 3 years of college, but no degree of any sort because I changed my major so much. Soooo… I have to teach this old dog some new tricks. Hmpf.
Lately, stress has been my constant companion. I am expecting checks from clients but, due to a move, my mail has been held up. Now, it is almost the 1st of the month and I am still broke and waiting. This situation forces me to call on some serious meditation and pinot grigio. I am not a patient person, and am even less so when I am waiting. With every tick, I get a new grey hair. (You laugh, but I can count them.) Of course, when the checks arrive, they will be instantly deposited and then sent to bill collectors. But nothing makes me happy like knowing I can pay my bills… unless it’s knowing I can pay them and still have enough left for Starbucks. Now that, my friends, is bliss. 🙂
For tonight, I am watching Netflix and enjoying a glass of cheap wine before I hit the pillow. Maybe tomorrow the checks will come and the bill collectors will be held off for another month. And, with any luck, there might be some Starbucks in my near future. Here’s hoping!