Thursday, December 01, 2005

When the drama isn't your own...

Funny, but usually it is my life that is full of drama. It follows me. I am the perpetual drama queen. Not that I like it, but it is always there!

But lately (and I'm knocking on every piece of wood I can find), most of the drama isn't mine! It is still surrounding me, but it isn't my drama, for the most part. Doesn't make it much easier, because unfortunately, I see many of the people I love deeply going through things, good and bad... But, it isn't my drama. It is weird! But, even though I wouldn't wish pain or hurt on anyone in the world, I'm not going to lie... It is nice not having it be me for once.

My mom is my biggest concern. Lord, how difficult it was to hear yesterday that her surgeon wanted to move up her knee surgery. But with her knee cap completely gone and him fearing a blow out, there was no choice. After almost losing her less than 6 months ago, I have imagine what used to be inconceivable for me... life without her. This weekend is going to be long ~ I plan to spend most in a drunken stupor, just waiting.

Then there is my best friend. It kills me to hear her in so much financial difficulty, to know she is in pain, questioning just about every financial decision she has ever made, having to change her lifestyle, cut out each and every luxury, strip her life to the bare bones. What has always drawn people to her was her sunshine. I mean, she WAS sunshine, pure and simple. But it seems like that has been stripped of her because all she can think about is keeping afloat. I don't know how to talk to her because we are in different planes of existance, I feel like it saddens her should I ever mention something I did or bought (though I try not to mention anything). I want to help, to hug, to hold her and tell her that this too shall pass... that she can get through it. My poor girl.

Then our friends who have worked so hard to have another baby, and finally, after so much prayer (and the help of a egg donor) realized their dream, only to learn that things were not going to come easy for them, even after getting pregnant. Persistant bleeding meant constant changing of her medication, yet no cause can be found for the bleeds. As time goes on with no reason they can find for the bleeds, the more dangerous they consider them. Thirteen weeks in and they are still too afraid to tell their son. Thirteen weeks in and she is still too afraid to tell most people. Getting pregnant was supposed to be the hard part...

My brother is up in Washington now, strongly considering, again, joining the Special Forces. He's said it before, but after some long talks with him, I think his head is actually in the right place this time. I've seen him in a different light recently, one that I really like and appreciate. He's my brother and one of my best friends. I have come to known and really like his girlfriend, who I am hoping will be my sister-in-law someday. He is doing well, but is going through so much inner-turmoil right now. I am trying to be available for him, but not be pushy.

I hear my other best friend dying at work, just so unbelievably swamped and exhausted (while I'm posting in my blog... HA!), a friend who is going back to work after having her first baby, a coworker who just went on vacation after finishing up chemotherapy for breast cancer. Family who are dealing with "empty nest syndrome", newly diagnosed heart disease, a pregnancy scare for a teenager, and a DUI. My husband that is so unbelievably swamped at work, but doesn't want to bring any of that stress home, so doesn't talk about it. My new house that needs some TLC, but who has time. :)

But, you know... we are all going to get through. I know this because I am writing this post about these people. And that means there is a lot of love out there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Who do I want to be?

I'm struggling... I guess I'm having an identity crisis, of sorts. I'm stuck between so many places and can't figure out where I belong, or even where I want to be. Problem is, I just don't think I can be all the places I want to be at the same time. Kind of stinks because I enjoy dabbling my toe in those places but don't want to... or maybe can't... commit to most of those.

Okay, motherhood I'm pretty firmly committed to (everyone laugh with me now), but staying at home full-time I would never do. It isn't in me. God, I love my girls. I see their faces, I play with them, even when I have to reprimand them, and I adore them. I enjoy thinking of fun things for us to do, I thrive on their changes and their development. I welcome each morning as I know that I get to spend time with them. But spending all day with them? No way.

But maybe part-time? Am I ready to stay at home part time to have more time with my girls?

But, if I do that, then I take my toe out of my job... and I love my job. In my job, I get to guide people through chaos, I get to learn about all sorts of strange fields, I get to hob-nob with influencial people, act like an adult, feel like I am important for a few hours in a day. I am crazed, I am stressed, but man... I love it. I like knowing what I know and doing what I do.

But I miss my girls. I miss most of their waking hours. There are the times that I do feel like someone else is raising them, that if I was only with my preemie more, she would be doing better. If I was only with my 3-year old more, she wouldn't be acting out. If I was only with my girls more, I really would be the SuperMom that my friends call me.

Ahhh... my friends. Do I have time for friends? Friends used to be so important to me. Remember in junior high and high school when you felt that you had to have so many friends in order to survive? Now there are times I wish most of mine would go away. Not all... just those that I feel like I am putting up a front around. My friends should know the real me. But I feel like I have to act a certain way. There are those friends that don't like that I've become more conservative as I've gotten older. Those that don't like that I'm still a bit wild. There are those that don't like that I'm now thin. Those that don't like that I work and those that don't like that I have kids. I feel like no matter where I go and what I do, I am working to please someone... that my toe is dabbling in some area.

Funny thing is, I usually like the arena I'm dabbling in, just a little bit... but don't tell anyone.

But screw it. It is hard work dabbling and worrying and wondering. I feel sometimes like I always am planning for the future and wondering and waiting. That I can't live in the here and now. Despite our problems... and I am a giant ball of "issues" so we will always have problems... my husband accepts me for me, 100%. He doesn't care that I dabble, that I'm constantly changing my mind. He likes that I am a little liberal, a little conservative, that I might be a mom, but that doesn't mean at night's end, I could end up on the bar dancing. He knows I like to work, but that I will stay up until 2am planning a class party if it will make my kiddo happy.

Maybe I'm just supposed to be a flighty person... maybe I'm not supposed to be a person with one hat. Hell, my hair isn't one color, why should I know what I want to do with my life? Why SHOULD a girl only have one 9-5 job? Why not have 3 or 4? Makes life more interesting, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Internet Conspiracy

My life is sad, I've decided. I work for a company that tracks the Federal government via the Internet, so I'm obviously online a lot. Yea... that's is for WORK during the day. Then there is all of my non-work related activity during the day. I usually don't have a lot of time for it, but I do check my email, instant message occassionally, of course, check my Board out.

So, what do I do to relax in the evening? I go home and get on the computer. I check my email, I start blog posts (that I never finish), I jump on my Board, I instant message.

This brings me to the topic of this post ~ Internet dependency. Have we become a generation of Internet junkies that can't live without connectivity? I mean, I now relax on the Internet, I shop on the Internet, I look up directions and phone numbers, recipes and sports scores, all on the Internet. We keep a laptop in our living room for easy access, always booted up so we just need to open it up and we are instantly connected.

When I started college, the email and Internet craze was just starting. It ws so cool that we all had email and email addresses, computer banks where we could all email each other (for no apparent reason because we lived in the same room or right next door to each other!). Such a small number of Web sites were out there, but we hit them all. 10 years later and we have RSS feeds, blogs, Web-enabled BlackBerry's, wireless Internet you can use in cars, walking down the street so you are never, EVER alone.

But, is that a good thing? I think of the people have been shaped by throughout history that have left civilization to be alone, completly alone (I'm not talking about the Unibomber, folks), to treasure nature and to... think. To think unassisted by technology. I've forgotten that you can do that! Wait, did I ever know that you can do that?

I was taught that you have to research to write, that just about everything is research-oriented. In our school systems, creative writing has such a small focus. Creative anything has such a small focus. Everything is research, research, research. Sure, MY job is mostly research based, but I cansee that the creative part of my brain is lacking behind the research side and I think it is because that is what I was taught.

And I think that with our Internet dependency, that creative side is getting even more repressed. With each and every Google search I do, that is more research and less creativity. I could find a creative way to get an answer, but nooooo. Easy cheesy. I could think of something fun to do for a Halloween craft project, but I just type in "Halloween craft preschool" and BAM! DONE! Yea, lazy... but I am a very busy working mom of 2. Sure, millions of moms were busy working moms of 2 before the Internet, but sucks to be them.

I really wish I had another outlet to relieve stress. But I don't really have a hobby. I go to the gym, but that is in the morning. We've already established that I'm not creative, I don't do anything spectacular. I'm just... boring. Guess being online is better than smoking, drinking to excess, or having an affair. So, I'll just type away, stifle my already non-existant creativity even further. And maybe, just maybe, get a great deal on Ebay in the process.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pissing off the general public

I find that there are days in my life that I am just a complete bitch. No matter what comes out of my mouth (or my fingers, since I am always online, both in my personal and professional life), I just piss people off. I don't mean to... or somedays, I guess I do. But, I just rile people up.

Today, for instance. Started out, I got on the phone with one of my best friends. Just couldn't shut up. Me, me, me. Now, she said she wasn't mad, but damnit, I would have been. Got to work and for some reason, the fact that my assistant thought it terribly amusing that I had large dark circles under my eyes today really pissed me off, so I got pissed at her and told her to remember who she works for. Fine managerial moment.. and my day was off to a raring start. It kept on like that.

But then the debate in my online forum has come to life about vaccinations. Now, I am living this debate right now because one of my best friends is on a "alternative schedule" vaccinating her kids. Okay... I'm not going to get TO into this because little steam pockets will start to flare out of my ears. But the debate on my board is about the flu vaccine. When the darling 3 year old was in the hospital for RotaVirus at 5 months old, a baby in the PICU died of influenza. A breastfed, nanny-cared for baby. Yea. Died. Since then, I'm pretty addicted to the flu virus for my kids. But, chicky on my board first says, "there is proof the vaccine isn't effective for kids under 2." I basically said, "where?" So, instead of responding to that, she pulled the mercury debate out. The tried and true of the anti-vaccination camp.

Everyone is allowed their opinion, I'm not knocking it. I just am tired of the debate. But, I've already posted about that. So, I'm not responding to her again.

Then, terrible news about a friend of ours. SO happy to hear right after my baby girl's baptism that they were finally pregnant. Well, just found out that they are 90% sure the baby has Downs. And they are pretty sure they are terminating. My first instinct was horror that they were terminating. We had to go through the "what if" with my now 3-year old when we were pregnant, so I've been there. And I did judge too quickly with my horror instinct. Luckily, best friend (who I had already pissed off today... read above), who I probably pissed off again by being horrified that they are going to terminate, snapped me back to reality. Now I'm not horrifed... just sad. Very, very, very sad.

So, I'm just pissing off the general public. I think my problem today is that I'm not thinking before I act or speak. I've been doing it all day. It is like that internal off switch is broken.

Maybe I need a drink.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Is it just growing pains?

It's kind of sad that it took a dark car, a long drive, and 500 miles of nothingness for me to finally learn, after 6 months what my husband does for a living. But now I know. A long, dark night... kids sleeping (or zoned out to Cinderella) in the back. But now I know.

It's really sad. B and I have been together since we were 18 years old. In that time, we have known just about every aspect of each other's lives; our likes and dislikes, the things we've wanted and obsessed over, our friends and enemies, our coworkers. But as our lives have grown more complex, I don't want to say we have drifted apart, because that isn't true, but we are definitely not as involved in the minute-to-minute details of each other's lives.

I wonder... is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Or is it just a thing?

We have two kids, we both have demanding jobs... both very different jobs, but demanding nonetheless. Mine is demanding because I try to fit a ton of work that my coworkers spend 12-14 hours a day doing into 8 hours and 8 hours only so that I can get home to my girls. B's is demanding because it is very high pressure, very stressful, with a ton of responsibility that, well, we all rely on him to get right, the first time.

The more I think about it, I guess we just need each other to be around, to be there, to be stable, to be a warm body that helps the other one to laugh, is there when the other needs to cry, that is the buttress when the other waivers, and is the cheerleader when something goes right. But what happened to the confidant, to the journal? He is gone so much and has so much else on my shoulders that I often feel so bad adding to that. I know he would drop everything in a heartbeat for me or for his girls, but I hate adding to it.

In college, when all of my girlfriends were still all playing house with each other, as close as can be with each other, I had already moved on to living with my boyfriend. He was already my one and only, and while I had other very close friends (who I still love dearly), there has never been anyone I was closer to. So, I guess it is just strange that there are others now that probably know more about my day-to-day life than he does. But, from what I understand from other women, that's normal! REALLY???? How strange! What a bizarre concept!

Guess I'm just missing my husband. Good thing he is on his way home. I need a hug.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Am I a mom because I work?

I'm wondering if anyone reads this... But I think it's theraputic for me, kind of fun, so I'll keep it up for now.

Anyway. On my parent board, there is an interesting discussion that I started to read but haven't finished yet on the comment "everyone could be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) if only they planned better/sacrificed more." A lot of women are really mad about that, but I only laughed. In my case, I probably could be. Ohmigod, but I don't want to be. Let's see what that would mean for me... First, let's talk about the superficial things:

* I would have to cook every night, every night because we would have no extra money to eat out.
* New shoes ~ never (that's a CRIME!)
* Internet shopping ~ limited.
* Spontaneous shopping ~ SEVERELY limited.

See, life for me is about convenience and spontaneous shopping. I'm really simple. I like to be able to do things when I feel like doing them. You take that away from me, I'm not a happy camper. I can't imagine being home, kid(s) being bored and me (not being the most creative person in the world), not being able to think of something to do, and not having any money to buy something to do... Sad, isn't it?

But, beyond the superficial, there is that creativity thing. I would be FREAKED that my lack of creativity would mean that my kids would suffer. I have seen my oldest daughter have these creative genius teachers around her that are able to stimulate her little mind in so many ways. Then there is me, "Hey kid, here's a crayon. Go at it." Aren't I a hoot?

But, when I read that thread, I kept thinking, "Do some SAHM's think that we working moms have it easy? Do they ever question our Momminess?" There are some SAHMs that I know don't. They respect working moms kind of like I respect SAHMs... we all have our reasons, sometimes they wish they were in my shoes, and vice versa. I get mad when I hear comments putting down SAHMs and vice versa. But those others... The moms that stay at home and can't understand why I take out my laptop some nights to send a client something, or have to run to an early meeting. Why I actually really LIKE to work, think I'm a better person because I work. Why, despite the fact that I could stay at home if I decided to, I don't want to. I wonder, do they think I deserve the title, "mom?"

I want to be with my kids for everything they do, but I also want to my girls to see that they can balance things. I juggle a lot, but I think I juggle things pretty well. That is how I want my girls to grow up. If they one day choose to be SAHMs, GREAT!!! I will support them 100% because I think it is admirable (but they must have more patience than I!!!). But, they will also know that they can be moms and have a career outside the home.

Damnit... I AM a mom, and a full-time mom, at that. Because even when I am at work, busting my butt, my girlies are never out of my mind.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today...

Have you ever had a day that, no matter what goes wrong, everything just seems right? My day started with a huge headache, a daughter who was just running so slow, loads of traffic, a best friend who missed our normal phone chat time (her son was cranky), a meeting with our CEO which is always stressful... but everything just seemed right!

Then I got some of the best news in the world. Some of our closest friends found out they are pregnant after an agonizing IVF/donor egg process. I am blessed to be going through this with them and just feel so beyond belief relieved that the first hurdle has been passed.

Maybe that's it. Maybe today is a blessed day that no matter what happens, everything is right in the universe because today we know that we are soon going to welcome a blessed new baby into the world.

Why is it that hearing that someone is pregnant, no matter WHO it is, is cause for celebration? Seeing a pregnant woman always brings a smile to my face. What is it about pregnancy, or just the thought of a new life, that makes us happy? Reproduction is as natural and normal is eating and breathing... so why don't those things elicit the same kind of response?

One of my best friends got me one the coolest birthday presents, a subscription to this great magazine called Brain, Child. Lord, can you believe it is a magazine for moms who (sit down... this might shock you) THINK? In the last edition, there was an article about the drastic reduction in birth rate, especially in developed nations. In fact, France, which has one of (if not the) lowest birth rate in the world, just this week passed an insane tax incentive for parents having a third child.

Yet, pregnancy still makes us smile. And I'm celebrating today that my friends are pregnant.

Isn't that funny?

(funnier still, that when my 3 year old was having a very whiney evening, and decided it would be fun to roll my 5 month old down the hall tonight while I was in the kitchen, my first thought was, "Yea, and to think they spent a lot of money to get pregnant. All they had to do was ask me. I would have given them one of mine for free.")

All is still very much right in the world tonight