Category Archives: rant

i surrender.

I didn’t want to go there. And I’m not sure if I’ll actually publish this. If I decide to, I’m not sure when that will be. At this moment, though, I’m feeling it, so I’ll go with it.

In, well, let’s leave it at before the end of 2011, I’ll be without a job. I’ve been laid off. Frankly, I’m feeling grateful. We were given a ‘warn period,’ which means we got a few months of work before becoming unemployed. As that ‘warn period’ winds down, however, the reality is starting to hit me. In the foreseeable future, I won’t have a job. And believe me, it’s not because I haven’t tried. I’ve looked every day, and applied for every position I think I’d qualify for and then some. I get it now. It’s not that easy. I apologize for all the times I judged before, even if it was just in my mind. As I just said, I get it.

Before we get too far in, let’s take a little trip back in time. You see, I’ve officially been employed since the day of my 16th birthday, and I worked (Shhh.) full-time during summer breaks before that. In high school, I worked nights and weekends, and held two jobs during the summer – one with typical full-time hours (With an awful commute in Philadelphia traffic, to boot.), and a second job on nights and weekends. I worked around 20 hours/week while attending college full-time, and on college breaks, both winter and summer, I again worked a full-time, 40+ hour/week office job. Simply put, I’ve never stopped. (Okay, busted. I did take a 2-week break after graduating from college – frankly, I thought my dad was going to have a heart attack over it, and honestly, so was I. Needless to say, I don’t do free time well.)

So imagine how this concept of unemployment is weighing on me. What the heck will I do during the day??? Of course I know there are things to do, because people do this all the time, but honestly, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of being underwhelmed. I feel like I’m on an island where no one understands. Let me remind you … I simply don’t know how to not work. I don’t know how to let it all go. I don’t know how to take some time off for me. I just don’t know. I’m one of those people who can’t flipping stop.

I get how it feels to be laid off now. I feel the pain. I’m educated, hard-working, and facing a whole new life in the very near future. One I didn’t choose for myself. And I’m scared. I’m sad and feeling very, very alone. And I’m starting to feel the panic.

Without a doubt, I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of gal. Even when I’m griping, I’m smiling. Well, most of the time. I’ve been told a million times over that I’m too nice. But I’m starting to feel the stress of it all. I’m starting to worry.

My ‘happy go lucky’ side reminds me that it will all be okay. We have our health. We’re an amazing family. I have a daughter that I simply love to pieces. We have our home. And thankfully, we have a plan to move forward through this trying time. But that ‘plan’ won’t last forever. I work for two reasons. (1) Because I want to. It’s who I am, if I haven’t driven that home enough. (2) Because I need to. We have mortage-sized monthly school loan payments between the two of us. It simply is what it is without getting into the gruesome details.

We’ll be okay for a little while. But oddly enough, that doesn’t make this a bit easier. It’s all still there.

The worry.
The burden.
The responsibility.
The panic.
The feeling of isolation.

It’s all still very much there.

So forgive me if I say things that sound uncharacteristic. If I gripe about my dead battery, 5 quarts of leaking oil inside my husband’s truck, dog getting stung in the rear end by a wasp kind of day. You know, in my ordinarily chipper kind of world, it’s totally not that big of a deal. But these days, it is.

Forgive me if I quit focusing on my person, putting my #Mamavation commitment to myself on the back burner for now and instead becoming consumed by this new unwanted distraction. I’ll be back, Sistas. Promise, I will. I gave it my all in the beginning (And lost 10 lbs., thank you very much!), but I’ve got to be honest with you all – I can’t do it anymore.

And forgive me if I’m particularly hateful after reading articles about discriminating against the unemployed. Let me remind you that I didn’t ask for this, and neither did many of my colleagues. Because there were more than a handful of us who were laid off. Many more than a handful. We don’t deserve that.

I know there are many worse things in the world. Believe me, I think about them every single day. But to me, right now, this is a pretty big deal. Things in life are always relative, and I’m remembering that. But that doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly know how to do this. That doesn’t mean this is any easier, or any better.

Are you with me? And will you be here to celebrate when I tell you I have a beautiful, bright and shiny new job? Believe me, I’m going to need you along the way, whether for a celebration or a pick-me-up.

I’ve already needed you, I’ve just been afraid to let you know.

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life’s decisions.

Life is full of ups and downs.
Full of questions with no good answer.
Full of uncertainty.

One thing life is also full of is opinions and advice. While sometimes that advice is just what you need to make a leap of faith, other times it punches you in the gut.

I’m in the midst of a decision with plenty of both types of advice. While I’ve gotten some really good advice and reassurance, at the same time some people close to me have let me down – big time.

Thing is, I know in my heart what the right decision is. But a bit of uncertainty surrounding the future is making me question what I should do.

I said going into this that family is my #1 priority. I said I would not, under any circumstances, compromise that. Yet here I am, listening to people telling me otherwise. I know what I need to do to stay ‘me.’ Making this decision the way I know I shouldn’t would affect that, making me someone I don’t want to be. Yet I let them get to me. I let them get to me because I trust them.

This one decision is making me think about my relationships. And it’s driving me further and further into my cave. If I can’t lean on those I trust for reassurance when I need it most, why bother asking for reassurance in the first place?

I get the risk. I understand the uncertainty. And if I’m willing to deal with it, why aren’t some of my friends & family with me? I understand that they’re concerned, but truthfully, one outcome is just as scary as the other. They both have ugly endings – one long-term, and one that could end up being short-term or long-term. Me? I’m willing to risk it. I know things likely won’t be perfect, but I’m willing to let this ugly choice (and the first, may I add) go for a chance at the possibility of something better. Because there is better. And my family is worth it.

Opinions are just that – opinions. I guess if I can’t take all of what’s given to me without letting it get me down, perhaps I shouldn’t ask in the first place. Just seems that in this time when I feel like I need support the most, that support is causing me more stress than I already place on myself.

I know what I need to do. Now I just need to put on my big girl pants and do it. Without question; without hesitation.

grey’s anatomy.

I’m not happy. I think it was two seasons ago, though my timing may be wrong, that they did this for the first time. So many reruns that I’d forget what the storyline was from the last episode. I stopped watching, bought the DVD set on eBay, and watched the entire season in one weekend. Believe me, it’s much more satisfying during a season like that.

They’re doing it again. I can’t remember if this is the second or third week of reruns (Er, or maybe longer?), but it’s getting old again.

I don’t remember shows ever being like this. Then again, I probably don’t watch enough television to know.

flash cards on life.

Are there any volunteers out there? I’m looking for someone to follow me around all day with flash cards. On the flash cards would be reminders of life’s moments and things around me, and they’d be presented at just the right time. It would go something like this:

When I’m frustrated because our daughter is splashing in the dog’s water for the 7th time in an hour …
“You’re gonna miss this.”

When someone important forgets my birthday – again …
“You make mistakes, too.”

When I get frustrated because someone is taking too long to get ready …
“Slow down – life is short.”

When I don’t have time to reply to the emails and messages …
“You’re only one person.”

When the mix of work and family seems to lose its balance …
“Be thankful you have a good job and education.”

When I forget something, get overwhelmed, or feel I can’t do it all …
“Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

When I’m feeling like I’ve failed again – I didn’t finish my run any faster, couldn’t carry groceries and a little one, or wasn’t there when someone needed me …
“You’ll do better next time.”

When a promise of much needed help doesn’t come through …
“There’s always tomorrow, and everyone makes mistakes.”

When someone cuts me off, leaves me behind, or forgets to ask …
“Don’t let others decide what kind of mood you’re in – you control your own destiny.”

When I’m overcome with working mom guilt and feeling awful about my choices as a parent …
“You’re providing a good balance for your family. You’re a good mom, and you’re a better person this way.”

When I find a new hobby but haven’t followed through with the previous 25 hobbies …
“It’s okay to try new things. One day you may find the time to pursue everything you love.”

When someone doesn’t appreciate the things I do or the gifts I give …
“Don’t worry about the things you cannot change.”

The list could go on and on.

I know these things, and I reflect on them often. The problem is in the timing. I never stop and think when these things are happening – and I always say I’ll remember next time. Naturally, I forget.

Will you be my shadow … with flash cards?

just wait. be patient.

They say that good things come to those who wait,
but I’m not convinced.
Seems lately that good things are being blessed upon people
who aren’t waiting;
those who aren’t
asking
for these things.
Those who don’t need them.
(Well, that’s my perspective. It’s not good to assume, so I take it back. Okay?)

The unfortunate part is that I’m not patient.
I’m waiting for a few of the very same blessings
that have recently been unexpectedly bestowed upon
friends and family members, and that’s just the problem …
I’m still waiting.

One of these things is
absolutely eating me alive right now,
and though I’m trying my absolute best to remain positive,
I’m finding myself
increasingly
bitter.
I know,
not a flattering quality –
at all.

I’m trying.
Really,
I am.

The worst of it is that
he knows it upsets me,
yet he continues to make it worse.

Thanks.
I’ll be sure to return the favor.
Okay, I take that back.
That wouldn’t be nice, right?

Yep, he talks about it
and talks around my thoughts.
Ehem, as always.
I’m probably better off talking to
a
daggone
cardboard
box
.
Or maybe the dog.
Then there are no expectations.
Truth is, though,
I’m somewhat used to it,
and I knew it would never change.

Shame on me for expecting something different.

I know what you’ll say.
You’ll tell me to get over it.
You’ll say, “Be patient.”
You’ll fill me in on the fact that jealousy is not,
in any
way,
shape or
form,
a good quality.

I know.
I’m trying …
I promise.
It’s just not easy.
Not easy at all when it’s something I’ve wanted,
no, needed,
for
so l-o-n-g.

i’m saying goodbye to my green …

(Sorry – it’s long, but worthwhile … I think!)

Yep, I’m off to one heck of a start in 2010 – as promised! One part of this change is the commitment to see things in a more positive light. Typical me is to get started with one negative and let it snowball, leading me right to where I was at the end of 2009 – completely depressed and absolutely miserable. Instead of letting the negatives snowball this year, I am instead focusing on the positives and letting them snowball. So far, so good!

One of my biggest issues has been with this whole working mom thing. It’s absolutely and utterly exhausting. Dizzying, even. I had no idea it would be so hard – so busy, so tiring, so chaotic and crazy. Truthfully, though I envy stay at home moms for a number of reasons, I know I wouldn’t make it – it takes a very strong and dedicated person, and it’s just not for me. Ideally, something part-time would be perfect, but it’s not going to happen, so here I stay.

Admittedly (and rather embarrassingly), I’ve had some seriously bitter thoughts towards stay at home moms in general. I’ve been disgustingly green with envy. I’ve been downright, all out jealous. I know they have their gripes, too, and we all know that the grass is always greener on the other side for all of us. But seriously, I’d give my left arm for the opportunity to spend so much time with Peanut, to run errands during the week, for the chance to meet friends and family members for coffee and shopping, and to have time here and there for chores around the house. A nap from time to time? Heck yeah – I’m game! It’s sounding more enticing than my rat race life with each passing second!

Back to the point. I could continue on with comparisons from my limited and skewed perspective, but that’s not going to get me anywhere further along on my journey toward happiness – instead, it would only be two steps back in life’s delicate dance. Rather than thinking of the negatives in being a working mom, from now on, I’m going to focus on the positives. This life, even with the exhaustion factor, is incredible! I’m not even going to list the negatives or compare what I live with what could be because it’s pointless. Instead, and without further ado, here are many reasons why my crazy life as a “working mom” rocks!

(NOTE: This list is in no way a comparison of working mom vs. SAHM or any other situation for that matter, but is merely a list of positives for my particular situation. I’m sure some of these would appear on other’s lists, too, regardless of particulars.)

  • Believe me, I can get more done in a few hours than some could even imagine. It’s that thing called pressure, and baby, I feel it! There’s no time for slacking, and no off days! I always have a mission. Always.
  • Downtime certainly doesn’t exist, either. Eh, unless you want to consider those few precious moments before falling asleep downtime. No rest for this mama!
  • I can speed shop like it’s nobody’s business. There’s always a list and never time for perusing – that’s how it goes … All. The. Time.
  • Yes, I get lunch hour shopping trips … alone! In fact, much of my shopping, with the exception of groceries, is done during lunch. Always nice to get out of the office, too!
  • Functioning on minimal sleep is a mastered art, and I’ve got it down. That little girl has some serious sleep issues, and the hours between 10-ish pm and 5 am are in no way, shape or form restful for my husband and I. We play good walking zombies each and every day!
  • There’s a beautiful balance in responsibility. Though it took a while to iron out to our liking, both my husband and I have what I would consider fairly equal roles in our daughter’s care. That man truly is an amazing dad, and will play a huge role in Peanut’s future. Awesome!
  • Likewise, we both have household responsibilities because I simply cannot do it all by myself.
  • There’s no time for details. True, this is both a plus and a minus, but there’s no wasted time on that which goes unnoticed most of the time anyway.
  • Wow, what a great way to determine what’s important and what’s not! What has to get done gets done, and what doesn’t is left behind. There are only 24 hours in a day, right?
  • The separation anxiety factor is lessened because we are forced to share Peanut with others. I’ll never be 100% okay with leaving my little one with a trusted family member or friend, but it’s easier because I have to do it 5 days a week. In her nearly 8 months of life, she’s been overnight without us 3 times! (Sure, those days and nights away have been torture, but they are possible! I also believe that it’s a positive experience for everyone involved.)
  • Our time together is so precious. I appreciate every minute I have with our little Peanut because we don’t have 24/7 … the waking hours are more like 3.5/5 during the week and 12.5/2 on the weekends. Sad, but true. Though it’s so little time, that time is amazing!
  • Days off are utterly euphoric! Whether a surprise or planned, every minute of these days feels just like Christmas as a kid. I’m typically selfish, too, and don’t share these bonus days with anyone else – they’re our little secret, at least until they’re over!
  • I get adult time 5 days a week. Granted, it’s at work, involves little socialization, and is highly impersonal, but it’s adults!
  • My commute, when I’m feeling positive, is a beautiful time. It’s 45 to 60 minutes of thinking time for me. Quiet, peaceful, and relaxing (Minus the traffic!).

Wow, I didn’t know I had so many positives to this working mom thing – I am blessed! Funny – I’m feeling better already, and am pleased with the decision to leave the boring negatives and unnecessary comparisons behind. My life IS good, and my days of being green with envy are over! How’s that for sticking to a New Year’s resolution?!

If you are currently struggling with a similar negative, I challenge you to do the same – look at what’s good in your life, list it out just like this, and leave the bad behind. Unless you can change it, it’s not worth spending time and energy on. Who needs the negative anyway, right?

I’m not 100% back to me just yet, but this is one huge hurdle along the way – and it’s been overcome! Here’s to hoping the next challenge is just as freeing!

unproductive …

It always seems that the one night you’ve got tons to do and the motivation to do them does all go wrong. Peanut and I arrived home only to be greeted by a total mess left for us by our Siberian husky, Cody. He was seriously sick all day, it appeared, and I’d say the mess I had to clean up fully spanned 30 to 40 square feet. I won’t get into any further details, but it was the really not so nice type of sick.

Lily’s hunger, naturally, was super timely. As I cleaned up Cody’s mess, I had Lily propped up with a blanket under her bottle. Thank goodness that worked out; I’m not sure if the smell of my house or the satisfaction of my daughter would have been more important at the moment. About half an hour later, the mess was cleaned up. Justin arrived home shortly after and immediately headed outside to begin trimming – yeah, dinner was going to be late … again. Not more than 15 minutes after he started did I hear a knock on the front door. It was Justin, along with two unidentified men.

IMG_9266e1 Who were the men, you ask? Reps selling Verizon FIOS service – it was recently added in our area, so they were trying to sign up new customers. I’ve been dead against Verizon FIOS for a myriad of reasons, and there was some serious irony in them showing up today; I’ll save the details for a post later in the week or this weekend. Anyway, my husband agreed and signed us up for Verizon FIOS. Oh, fantastic. Just super. That whole escapade cost us about an hours worth of time – yay.

By the time Hubs finished trimming and showered, it was 8:30. Do you think I’m starting dinner at 8:30? Nope – it was a McDonald’s night! Ha! Naturally, the trip over there and back wasn’t without excitement. I almost t-boned this car driven by a woman who thought I should yield to her as she entered the traffic circle. Yeah, I had the right of way, but whatever. If I hadn’t noticed her speed and reacted, it would’ve been all over.

IMG_9262e1 On a happy note, I shared my Happy Meal with Lily, giving her the purple unicorn, Fable. I’ll post pics tomorrow; she held Fable the unicorn the whole time Justin fed her – melt my heart!

Anyway, it’s now 9:49 pm and I’ve just gotten the chance to sit down. There was dinner, a baby’s bath, and some organizing of this crazy house that needed to be done … sigh. So much to do tonight, and absolutely nothing got done. IMG_9271e1 Guess you could say it’s just one of those days! Sadly, I know I’ll pay for it over the next few days. This new life sure isn’t easy … but it’s SO worth it and so much more fun! And in the grand scheme of things, life is good and I’m blessed. I think I’ll take this okay day and move on!

P.S. – One of the things I wanted to do tonight was further research on PUL. I’m learning now that it’s not approved for food use, so I’m looking for more alternatives. We’ll see if I get a chance for some research while feeding Lily tonight – watch for a post either tomorrow or Friday!