Friday, September 27, 2013

Great Wars Like Ours

Every now and then I read something I just can't forget. It percolates through my brain and I can't let it go.

My current obsession:

Ok, we didn't work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren't good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours.

--- Sandra Cisneros
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Adventures Past & Present

I'm a little jealous this weekend. No, jealous isn't the right word. I'm envious.

Two young ladies are on an adventure this weekend. They are young and free and chasing after what they want.

I envy that.

When I was their age I was married already. What was my rush to get married so young? I didn't know who I was at 20 years old or what I really wanted. There were other things I wanted at that age, other places I wanted to be. But getting married felt expected. It felt safe. I was afraid to take a risk and chase after the unknown.

I can't regret the choices I made back then. They were the beginning of six amazing beings that I can't imagine my life without. And I certainly had some adventures of my own these past 25 years that I'm forever grateful for.

But my unknown future is pretty scary. Everyone keeps telling me I am getting a "do over". My life is a blank slate and I can make it anything I want. Sounds nice.

Except I only have a slight idea of what I want and absolutely no idea how to get there.

Any adventure I'd like to embark on now takes a small army behind me to take care of everything I do in a normal day. Any risk I consider now is very calculated constantly weighing the potential good vs potential bad outcomes.  Adventures now come with risks to not just me, but to many people around me.

And I will never make a choice to hurt them.

So I play it safe. I'd like to say I play it safe for now, but I'm pretty sure my times of just getting in the car and taking off are over. I miss it, but at the same time it's OK. Next week I'll listen to every detail of their adventure. I'll smile and laugh and maybe even cry along with them.

I'll be a little envious. And I'll be a little hopeful that maybe there is still an adventure or two left for my future.

The Divorce Chronicles

Divorce sucks.

Even if you end up better off after the ending of your marriage, (please dear God I pray I do) it still sucks.

Many times during my divorce I couldn't write. Sometimes I couldn't not.

Looking over my posts this past year I can see the progression from despair, to hopelessness, to anger, to fear, to hopeful and to happiness. Now that I'm a year out, other people are turning to me asking me how I did it, how I made it through it all.

I have no freaking idea.

But people keep asking me. So I've compiled all the divorce-related posts onto one page to make it easier for anyone who wants to read them. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How Did Mom Do It?

I'm not sure how old I was when my mom went back to work full time. Certainly I was still in elementary school. Maybe once my sister got into first grade? Which means I would have been in fifth grade. I'm not totally sure.

I do remember though we always had access to my mom. We could call her at work and she would always answer. She was at every school function. If there was an emergency, she immediately got up and left her job to be with us. I can only imagine how fast she must have been driving when she got the call I put my hand through the window and was in need of 50 plus stitches. (Now that I think about it, how I put my hand through the window would make a good post. It's totally all my sisters fault. Totally.)

My sister and I were very involved in sports, dance, Girl Scouts and anything else we could convince my parents we just HAD to do. My mom was the primary chauffeur.

I was thinking about all this recently as I struggle with my new role as a full-time working mom yet while still trying to be the chauffeur mom, be-there-for-my-kids mom that my mom always was.

How the hell did she do it all?

I have given this a lot of thought. I can recall very few times we had fast food for dinner. How did my mom work all day, get us to our activities and still  make dinner? And when I say dinner I don't mean the Tyson frozen chicken crap my kids have gotten used to. It was a real dinner. With real vegetables. Eaten at the table.

I don't ever remember either me or my sister standing in the kitchen crying and screaming "I HATE YOUR JOB YOU'RE NEVER HOME ANYMORE" to my mom. Yeah, that's been heard around here. Actually it's been heard around here a lot lately.

But the thing is, I'm pretty lucky to have a flexible job for now. I can't keep the job too much longer because soon I will lose my ex-husbands insurance benefits and I have no retirement savings. So it's time to start thinking more long term to take care of myself in my job search. So really, my kids have it pretty good right now and have a lot of access to me all day. I can only hope, but can't guarantee, this will continue in a new job.

But for now, I can get up and leave at a moments notice. And I have.

My kids can call me anytime. And I answer. If I can't answer my fabulous staff know to answer for me when they see it's one of my kids calling me.

If I can't drive the girls to dance myself I have an older son who helps out when he's not working himself. Or friends to call when I'm really in a bind.

As for dinner, well, I definitely haven't been as successful as my mom there. Chick-fil-A and Lenny's Subs are on our rotating schedule. We pack Lunchables for dinner on our really late nights at the dance school. Meals eaten together at the table are a rare, yet special, event.

I wonder if my mom felt like a failure as often as I do?

I hope my kids forget my failures and remember me in the way I remember my own mom.