Monday, November 12, 2012


It started on Monday.  Just an ordinary day eating an ordinary dinner, but the conversation triggered it.  Danny asked whose house they were going to be at for Christmas to which I replied it'd be mine.  Henry immediately declared that he was sad about this.  He was very matter-of-fact.  He wanted us all to be together.

Ouch.  Ouch for him.  Ouch for me.

Out of nowhere that little nugget became an avalanche of emotion.  Completely caught off guard, I found myself buried thinking only of the death of my forever dreams.  And it was an incredibly hard couple of days.

At some point I realized it was exactly a year ago that Mike decided he was done and called it quits.  I remember the timing exactly because it was the Friday before the Eukel dinner, a charity event we had been attending together since 1995.  But last year I attended alone.  It was both sad and surprisingly enjoyable.

And of course everything is all about Thanksgiving (now that the election is over - yay!).  Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving as a family, minus one very important person.  It was awkward.  It also was very sad.

And here I am today.  Thinking about all this.  Realizing how completely altered my world is now.  Imagine if you will, the house that was your home destroyed by forces of nature - wild fire, hurricane, earthquake - whatever disaster comes to mind.  Luckily you lived through it, but all that remained was a huge mess.  Even though you were overwhelmed by the loss, you still managed to put one foot in front of the other and eventually had a tidy pile of rubble.  And then it was time to rebuild.

Here I am.  My new house is framed.  The walls are up, but bare.  There is a smattering of furniture, the minimum really.  It's rather nondescript inside and feels hollow.  It doesn't feel like home.  Not yet.

Somehow I managed to get through last week.  I mustered up the energy to do dinner with great girl friends Friday night.  Saturday morning I did my first race in what feels like forever, and then basically spent the rest of the day in bed watching a bad movie.  It was awesome.  Sunday was golf and I cooked a dinner enjoyed by all, something that always makes me happy.

But what I did that mattered most was writing this post.  I didn't hit publish on Friday night.  I was too exhausted.  The post was too raw and full of the emotion engulfing me.   But writing those emotions out, making them make sense on "paper", it helped me process.

By the time I was done spilling my "whoa is me" I was done with being "whoa is me" and instead could see things differently.  Yes my life is completely altered from what it was, but look at where I am today compared with a year ago!  I'm not in limbo.  I am not on the precipice of destruction and the unknown.  I am no longer waiting for the hurricane to hit and instead I'm rebuilding.  It's okay.  I'm okay.  I think I'm better than okay.

And also, now I know why I write.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a little bit boring

Time keeps slipping away and this space remains stale.  It's not that I don't have the time - I can find the time to do what I want.  It's not that I don't want to write - I just can't figure out what to write.  The divorce is done.  The moves are done.  Life is moving on.   Kind of boring actually compared with all the heavy stuff in the months (okay years) prior.

So, to keep things boring, let me share with you the top ten discoveries of my new life.

1.) Keeping the house clean is really easy when there aren't kids around.  Ridiculously easy.
2.) I can go an entire week without washing a single dish when the boys are at their dad's.  In fact, I can go an entire week without even filling the sink with my dirty dishes.
3.) Laundry can now be done in three loads (or less) per week.  Kind of boggles my mind but it's true.  And that includes all the towels.
4.) I tend to feel like I'm forgetting something when it's not my week with the boys.
5.) Not having the boys every other week does not correlate to increased exercise, reading or writing.  Ahem.
6.) I actually don't mind making the boys' beds when they leave for the week.  Makes me feel good that their rooms look tidy and they're nice for when they return.
7.) Garbage and recyclables need to go out whether or not the boys are around to do it.  :/
8.) The cat is far more sociable when the boys are not around.
9.)  Every other week the TV belongs exclusively to me.  I can watch whatever I want exactly whenever I want.
10.) I really miss the boys when they're not here but also manage to occupy my time in a fulfilling way.

Anyway, like I said, a little bit boring.  But it's my new life.  And I'm settling in.

P.S. - bonus points if you can find something a little different about this page.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

today is day two

While all the chatter yesterday was about the horrible tragedy of 9/11, it was only a footnote to me.  You see, for me, yesterday marked a much more personal event.  Yesterday was the date I became officially divorced.  Officially a single woman.   Officially beginning a new life.

What, you might ask, did I do - if anything - to mark the occasion?  I did fun and exciting stuff.  I got the kids off to school and went to work.  I met up with a friend for a cocktail (okay two) after work.  I went to Tuesday night pool league.  And then I went home and went to bed.  Exciting I know.

And today, day two.  I got the kids off to school and went to work.  I'll go home and make the boys dinner.   I'll unpack two boxes (that's my unpacking goal - two a day).  I'll watch some TV.  I might do some fantasy football research.  Exciting I know.

I expect the rest of the week to be more of the same.  But, I will say, changes are coming.  More reading and writing.  More golfing and regular exercise.  I've even signed on to do one of those mud run events.  Exciting I know.

Friday, August 31, 2012

a heavy heart and sigh of relief

I've been good at moving forward.  It's easy really - there is no choice.  The divorce will be final in less then two weeks.  September 11th to be exact.

The mountain that was selling our house, the last obstacle and final severance of our material ties, is now in the rearview mirror.  The roller coaster is parked on the platform and it's time to get off the ride.  

Hence the sigh of relief.  Hence the heavy heart.

I'll be moving this weekend.   Into my own house.  Into my own space.  It will be, as the saying goes, the first day of the rest of my life.

I set some goals back in January about how this year would be the year of growth.  I reviewed the list and still feel they are true to my heart.  I'll keep that post handy as a reminder and a tool to focus.  I am eager to start a new routine - a much healthier routine.  I am eager to see what this next chapter will hold for me.  But it would be a lie if I were not to say I'm scared as hell.

Friday, July 27, 2012

i've been waiting

I've been a bit quiet around here quite intentionally.  Lots of stuff going on and I didn't want to jinx anything.   Well, keeping quiet hasn't helped anything so let me fill you in.

I got into a terrible legal mess at the beginning of June.  I will not go into details but let's just say I'm retaining a lawyer and it is what it is, but it is not good.  Boo!

We listed our house at the end of June and immediately got an offer.  Yay!

We countered; they countered; we countered; they inspected; we were surprised (in a bad way); they countered; we countered.  Finally we agreed to terms.  Yay!

And then I realized I had no place to go and only four weeks to figure it out.  Boo!

But then I found a place - the perfect place (well, as perfect as buying a house can be when you're low budget).  Yay!

And then I started thinking about decorating and realized I have no skills in that department.  Boo!

And then my boy's cat went missing.  Boo!

And then we got word our buyer may not be able to perform.  Boo!

And then our neighbor found our cat, dead.  Double boo....

And we had to bury him on my oldest son's birthday which pretty much removed any desire to celebrate.  Triple boo....

And then my realtor called and said that our buyer definitely could not perform and we need to go back on the market.  Quadruple boo....

But through all of this, I feel okay.  Actually I think I feel better than okay.  Does all this all this blow like the sands of the Sahara?  You bet.  Will I get through it?  You bet.  Every trial I've been through just reaffirms my faith in myself and my ability to overcome adversity.  More to the point, isn't this life? Everyone has ups and downs.   Doom and gloom, worry, blame, negativity - none of those things are going to help or, more significantly, change anything.  When I didn't fall to pieces this morning after I read the email from my realtor, I realized I'm making great progress.  Yay!

And now, a picture of our lovely Tucker.

One Cool Cat 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a little respite

It's been almost three weeks since I last posted. Eh, what do you want? Summer is for little routine and lazy days although I think I've been anything but lazy.

I took two of the three boys off to Hawaii - Oahu actually. The firstborn was unable to attend due to a prior commitment (read summer school). It was my first trip anywhere in that great state and it did not disappoint.

The kids all slept late and the peaceful quiet were all mine to savor. I got to wake up to this view every single day.   This picture was snapped at about sunrise (also known as the latest I could sleep!)

Boys played in the sand and worked on their tans.

We visited the land of "Lost" (supposedly though I don't know for sure).

They jumped off Waimea Rock.

And played in the surf.

We visited a piece of history.

And Danny was asked to drive the boat!

We capped it off with a luau.  The boys (and me too!) enjoyed themselves - can you tell?

Best of all, I can home with a lot of these:

I hope everyone is enjoying a nice summer.  More news later....just waiting for things to settle down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


It's a seesaw - up then down, up and down again.  And again.  And again.   There are times when I am up so high only to come slamming down, jarred into rude reality.

A common theme for me around here is perspective.  I've written about it time and time again.  In fact, I write about it so much, I'm slightly amused when I look back on all the posts I've written and cited on multiple occasions.  If you've been around awhile - you know.  If you're new, take a peek.

The past few months (years perhaps) have been a bit foggy for me.  It's crazy to think how long I've had turmoil in my life.  But maybe that's just life.  Some people have it easier then others - apparently I'm not one of them.  I saw a quote recently that sums things up well:

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”  — Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

I am experiencing major upheaval in my life.  Divorce, buying and selling houses, and moving are huge.  Pile on top some major teenager drama and hurt little boys and it's amazing I even get out of bed every day.  However, even with all this, I thought I was beginning to see the light.  I thought I had hit rock bottom and was climbing out.  No, I knew I was climbing out and it felt good better.

And then - BAM! - something major happened to me a few weeks ago and it made me realize that what I thought was rock bottom was merely a ledge on a cliff and I silently slipped off.  It'll be awhile before this free-fall is over and all I can do is compartmentalize and hope for the best.

It made me realize how truly fragile I am; how uncertain and lengthy this recovery will be.  I can only keep my perspective.  I have my boys and we have our health.  I have a great job that motivates me to get out of bed every day.  There are many people far worse off then I.

And hey - at least I'm falling and haven't gone splat (yet).  Can someone throw me a parachute, please?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

the great paradox

Every once in awhile I stumble across a great piece of writing that speaks to me, causes me to think and reflect.   Tonight I was watching an episode of the show Touch and it had such a piece.

  The universe, from atom to galaxy, is in a perpetual state of flux - but we humans don't like change.  We fight it.  It scares we create the illusion of stasis.  We want to believe in a world at rest - the world right now.  Yet our great paradox remains the same.  The moment we grasp the now - that now is gone.  We cling to snapshots, but life is moving pictures.  Each nanosecond different then the last.  Time forces us to grow, to adapt, because every time we blink our eye, the world shifts beneath our feet.
 The timing of hearing this piece is uncanny.  Things are moving forward here.  Last week we finalized our marital settlement agreement and signed the listing agreement with the real estate agent to sell the house.  Everything is very real - for everyone.  And it's hard.

The teenager is acting out.  The attitude is distasteful yet rationally understandable.  The behavior suspect and, in some circumstances, quite obvious.  In all cases, not good.  The venom spewing is hurtful.  It hits me at my core.  And yet somehow I am supposed to remain unemotional and understanding.  Teen years are tough - nothing compared to the "terrible twos" - add to that a divorce and a move and all the uncertainty to which that translates - of course it's a volatile situation.

And last night, as I'm tucking in my youngest who is now aware, the tears start flowing.  He doesn't want to move.  He doesn't want to leave our house.  Of course, you know it's not just the house.  And I hold him and he sobs.  And I do what I should - what I know I should do.  I reassure my love for him and that everything will be okay.  I explain how he's too young to remember that we've moved many times before.  I recount all the moves his brothers have been through.  I hold him and tell him that it'll be a new adventure - he'll have a new house and a new room.

And still he sobs.  And all he can say is "I just want it to be the same."

Yeah baby, I do too.  But nothing will ever be the same - and as the above passage states so rightly - it never could be even if you carry the illusion that it will be.  But that's a lesson difficult for even an adult to grasp.

Monday, May 21, 2012

i can't do that

I'm not sure if there is anything I can't do.  That is such a strong statement and one I don't think I want to utter.  Something I've heard repeatedly throughout the years is that if you say you can't do something, then you won't be able, and so I try to avoid that line of thinking.

There are things I find hard to do:

  • keep my cool when I'm hungry
  • leave the kitchen messy
  • drive the speed limit (aka slow!)
  • lower my expectations
  • relax and just live in the moment

There are things I won't do:

  • jump out of an airplane (have you seen the statistics on that?!)
  • settle for less then I'm worth
  • take unnecessary financial risks
  • stop worrying about my kids

"Can't" makes it seem like the subject is out of your control, as if you are a victim.  I'm struggling now to think of something, anything that is truly out of my control.  There are plenty of things that I choose NOT to control and may even convince myself that I have no control.  But if I am honest to myself, deep down I know that these things are in my control.  It is a function of my action or inaction whether or not I can or cannot do something.  Right now, I will choose to believe that there is nothing I can't do.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Arms Crossed

This piece of memoir comes via The Red Dress Club’s challenge this week to begin a narrative with the idea of “crossed arms.”


I walk in and drop onto the brown leather sofa, arms crossed, knees touching and my feet turned in. 

"Hi Cathy.  How are you?" she asks as she always does.  Her opening line superficial compared with the looking, studying me for the non-verbal answers.

"Oh I'm fine.  And how are you?" I pleasantly reply.  I've got a smile on my face but I know she doesn't believe me, and this session isn't about her.

"I'm good," she replies with a quick, all-knowing chuckle.  It's the beginning of the dance.  Her eyes are probing and I drop my gaze.  With the pleasantries behind us, the standard inquiry is presented. 

"So, really, how are you?  What's going on with you?" she asks.  Such a loaded question this week.

I sit quietly, arms still crossed, head bent down looking at the crisscross pattern, an elongated letter X my arms make being folded into one another.   And still I remain quiet.  Moments pass without a word but there's no pressure to speak.   She will wait for me.  It's too difficult to speak and she knows.

The tears fall silently and finally I must unfold my arms to reach for the tissues.    I grab a few and dry my eyes.  I stall by continuing to dab at them repeatedly.

"It's been a really hard week." I manage to say, my voice hard to hold steady so it comes out barely more than a whisper.

And still she sits in silence waiting for more.  She knows it will come and it does.   I sink in to the sofa and begin to relax and release a flood of emotionally full words.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Five for Five: Listening

Did you listen to me?
Did you listen to what I had to say?
Or did you go about your life
In your own selfish sort of way?

How could I be just some background noise
So easily dismissed, easily ignored?
Was listening to what I have to say
Only going to make you bored?

Was it really so hard
To care what I'd say?
Why, oh why
Did you treat me this way?

I was so lonely here and
That's not how it was meant to be.
Hearing just isn't the same as
You listening to me.

I gave so much of myself,
As much as I could.
All in support of us,
I thought I was doing good.

Together we were supposed to stand
The ultimate test of time.
But you wouldn't take the time to listen
And therein lies the crime.

You want to sail away on a boat
Play some poker, put a ball on a tee.
So we've met with the lawyers,
And divided our property.

To hell with the marriage.
To hell with the kids.
But breaking our boys' hearts,
That I cannot forgive.

Today we are divided
Only to fade away.
If only you had listened,
There might have been another way.

But you couldn't listen.
I don't think you know how.
I am alone with my blog
At least some people are listening now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Five for Five: Age

I am cheating a bit today.  I am reposting something from November 2010 - something about age, something about feeling older.

I constantly profess how young I feel compared to my chronological age.  For years I was twenty-six.  It didn't matter what the calendar said, I was still twenty-six.  Within the past year or so, I've bumped my age up to twenty-eight.  Not quite sure why, but it feels right. 

Before today, I could not speak to the reasons that made me feel older or younger.  Today, however, today I did one thing which has caused me to feel older.

My Uncle passed away at a very awkward moment - it was literally less than 48 hours before I was to get on a plane with my three kids and head to Disney World for an extended Thanksgiving vacation.  My husband had separate travel arrangements and was meeting us there having been out of town all week on business.  My sister and brother-in-law and their three kids also were flying in for the holiday.  Being a practical person, I had no idea what his death would mean to the immediate plans.

My Uncle's wife, Karen, knew of our planned combined vacation.  She knew that sisters living 3,000 miles apart having the opportunity to spend a holiday together, with our families, cousins playing with cousins, was something that didn't happen often.  Karen, the beautiful, giving woman that she is, recognized the importance.  She knew that with the death of our Uncle, we'd need each other more than ever.   Being cremated and with no particular religious requirements, there was no rush for services.  Karen, as usual, gave of herself and gave my sister and me the precious gift of time.  Time for sisters to be together, to share in our grief.  Time for our families to enjoy what we could of our long-planned vacation.  And so we carried on with our plan.  We went on vacation.  

Now vacation is over and it's time to do what must be done.  Being the so-called "writer" in the family, I offered to Karen, no, I suggested, that I help write my Uncle's obituary.  There was a basic one put in the local paper back East, but I wanted more.  I wanted more of Uncle Mike in it because he was so much more to me.  I have never thought about having to write an obituary.  I don't recall my mother's obituary at all.  But today I wrote an obituary.  Today I feel older.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five for Five: Pictures

Picture me, picture  me, 
picture me this.
Skies of blue and
grasses green,
California poppies
in full orange bloom.
The warmth of the afternoon sun
Politely interrupted by foggy breeze.

Picture me, picture me,
picture me this.
Blonde and fuzzy,
soft and curly.
Eyes with long lashes,
Open wide and brightly blue.
Delicious chubby cheeks
both pale and pink.

Picture me, picture me,
picture me this.
No need for photos, 
Forever etched in my mind.
The beauty of things
In this so-called life.
The wonder and feel of
true treasures.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Five for Five: Words

Softly spoken in my ear,
The sweetest thing I'll ever hear.
The power to move me, to make me whole.
The sweetest gift I'll ever know.

What are these words you ask?
What is it that they say?
It depends on who.
It depends on the day.

So many opportunities to look at things anew.
You need be present to know what's true.
All you have to do is open up and feel.
And listen to the words that are so real.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Five for Five: Change

Brother, can you spare a dime?
I am weak to drink.
Voices keep shouting in my head.
A cup of coffee, a loaf of bread.
Whatever you can spare.
Can you help me out?
No? God bless you.
We're just trying to get by. 
Thank you brother.  Thank you.

Sister, can you spare a nickel?
Been beaten and beaten down.
And I need to protect my baby.
The street is hard and the nights are cold.
Anything really.  Anything for a room.
I need to buy me and my kid some food.
No? No worries.  God bless you.
We're just trying to get by.  
Thank you sister.  Thank you.

People can you spare some change?
I used to play with the best but been down on my luck.
Lost my gig and got bills to pay.
Life's been hard but I will play you a tune.
What do you fancy? 
A sweet song, a blue melody.
Brother, sister, can you spare some change?
No? God bless you.
Maybe next time. 

This post is inspired by Momalom's Five for Five.  Todays' topic:  Change.  Come link up!

Friday, April 13, 2012

what do you think?

I've been so inconsistent in posting these days.  Part of it is the inability to make the time.  I have the time. I'm just not writing.  Part of the "not writing" bit is my concern about "how fucking depressing do I come off?"  I mean really.  There's only so long people remain interested in reading downers all the time.

I am not all doom and gloom but it's an urge I constantly fight, given the circumstances.  And, in an effort to break out of the rut, to focus on other things, I've started collecting a list of post ideas as things flit through my mind.  Some of it might be parenting, some of it might be professional, some of it might be....I don't know what.  But who cares!  Onward!


Twitter provides me with a stream of links to interesting reads.  (I follow, therefore, I must find interesting.) A Tweet that caught my eye the other day read something like, "Pro Golfers Struggle To Balance Work And Time With New Babies" with a link to the story.   I'm not sure what I was expecting to read.  Likely something along the lines of managing a new family while traveling so much.   I love golf and I know the efforts surrounding a "normal" job and work and was curious as to how their lives might be similar to my own (or different too).

Instead I found a little piece that started me thinking.  It seemed to me that the author was poking fun because Bubba Watson has yet to change a diaper on his one month old newly adopted baby. Like it's a bad thing.

So my question to you all is, do you really need to deal with the shit (no pun intended - well, yes it was) of parenthood to make you a good parent?  Gosh I don't think so.  I think about all the shit I deal with as a parent and I know that if I didn't have to deal with half of it, I'd be so much happier and a much better parent.  Why do people feel that you have to slog through the unpleasantries to earn a badge?

I say give Bubba a break - he did win the Masters for cryin' out loud.  I'm sure he can afford to hire someone to change those nasty ones.    And, any parent out there knows that there will be plenty of opportunity to change diapers over the next few years.  No one in their right mind would NOT want to get out of that if they could.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

all grow'd up

Okay - maybe not all grow'd up but seriously, look at this picture and you tell me.

Here is my oldest all dolled up ready to go to his junior prom.  Together with his hot girlfriend.  How can this be?  How has time gone by so quickly?

Honestly it doesn't feel like it went by quickly.  It doesn't "feel" either way.  But if I sit back and think of all the things that have happened in my life since he was born, I question if it hasn't been forever.

Things in my life since his birth:

  • Moved cross-country twice (moved three times in total but once was before he was born).
  • Lived in six different houses.
  • Had two other children (one of whom almost died).
  • Got my first grey hair.
  • Held eight different jobs.
  • Had four different careers.
  • Competed in pool tournaments on regional, state and national levels.
  • Learned how to golf (not well I might add).
  • Owned seven different vehicles.
  • Managed dealing with 12 consecutive years in the same elementary school (three more to go).
  • Survived teaching one son to drive (so far).
  • Buried my mother, grandmother and uncle.
  • Left my husband, reconciled and then have been left by my husband.
Like I said, maybe feels like forever.  And I'm not old!  Really, I am not.  Unless, of course, you ask my teenager.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

perspective, yin yang and moving forward

More and more I am feeling happier.  It's a good thing.  I have my moments, but really I am seeing the sun instead of the gloom.  And it feels good. 

I noticed the cloud between the good and the bad and it made me think of yin yang.  Would I even notice the good in my life without the bad I've been living?  I've written time and again about perspective.  I revisit this theme again and again and again.    It is true to my core.

Yin yang feel related.  Different from perspective, but similar too.   The philosophy of yin yang is, in  brief, that there are opposing forces of energy and one cannot exist without the other - how light cannot exist without dark.  It explains the irony of my divorce papers being filed and served on me during my first week at my awesome new job.

I feel like I am rounding a bend.  At the same time, I'm afraid to feel hopeful but that doesn't mean I don't feel some hope.  Does that even make sense?  I am moving forward.  Now that the papers are filed and served, the clock is counting and there will be only six months until it's officially blessed by the state.

True to my word, this will be my year of growth.   Maybe since I've been enveloped in the yin, it's now time for the yang.

I know there is not a lot of new content in this post.   I just want to put something out here so my friends virtual and real know that I'm doing okay.  And week one at Twitter totally rocked!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

these weeks

These weeks gone by.

These past few weeks have been interesting.  Several key events passed by - events with former meanings now needing to be redefined.  And I've been trying.  Trying to figure out how to be, what it all means.  Trying to not get overwhelmed with racing thoughts that have no purpose for they cannot change a thing.  But they might be able to paralyze me and that's not what I need.  I need control but only in a manner that steadies me.

I've had some firsts these past few weeks.  The first birthday celebration knowing we are not a whole family anymore.  My first Valentine's Day with the understanding that I don't have anyone. My first birthday where I had to take my kids out, rather than let my family do for me. 

They were all awkward and there were missteps to be sure.  But it wasn't all that bad and I made my way through it.  I managed.  I've kept my thoughts from swirling down a path of depression.  Not quite hope though.  I'm not sure I have it in me to look to the future.  Sure I can move forward, but cannot (or do not want to) see a future.  I don't care for that - it sets expectations and I cannot do with more disappointments.

We've come to the point where we've pretty much finalized our settlement agreement.  We've been going to a mediator and so far it's been relatively smooth, hardly any antagonism at all.  We should only have one more meeting with the mediator if all goes well.  Then it will be a function of time - six months to pass until we can declare it officially complete.  Doesn't it always come down to time?  If you make the time?  If you find the time?  Time will ease all wounds?  Surely it will if you grieve appropriately I think.  It must.

These weeks ahead.

As the saying goes, when one door closes another shall open.  And it has.  These next weeks ahead mark my departure from my current gig.  I've given my notice to pursue an opportunity.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  I will have to perform. 

You see, I'm moving on to Twitter.  As in - I am starting a job at Twitter!  The Twitter!  I wasn't looking for a new gig.  My current position was going quite well.  But someone at Twitter tapped me on the shoulder.  I interviewed.  And interviewed again.  And then interviewed some more.  Grueling really.  But in the end, they liked what they saw, what I had to offer, and  so made me an offer.  I couldn't turn it down.

So it's interesting how these things work.  Truly in the midst of one door closing, another has opened.  In the middle of all this sadness and uncertainty comes promise and opportunity.  And I need that.

Monday, February 6, 2012

my how time flies

Today my baby is eight.  Not just my baby, but the last baby.

He hangs with his brothers.

Eats huge jawbreakers.

And is now an expert skier.

I've witnessed his first kiss.

He hangs out at Raiders games and loves football.

But will still ride the merry go-round.

And leave his mother love notes.
Happy birthday Henry. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

status report

So last time I posted it was about my year of growth.  Time to measure up and be transparent on my progress towards those things.  You all have to keep me honest, keep me looking forward.  Sometimes it's tough keeping my head up.

And here's the list:

I picked up an additional night of pool in an effort to bring up my game a bit.
      Okay, played my first week.  I was nervous as heck even though I know my teammates.  Too much pressure on myself but I know I'll settle down.

I will start going to the driving range and get my swing on.
     Fail.  But I'm going to cut myself some slack on this one.  It IS winter (ssshhhh - don't look at the weather in the SF Bay Area as of late because it hardly feels like winter.)

I will exercise more. 
     Fail.  No excuses.  Oh well.

I will write more.
     Fail, although I will say that I have been practicing better writing habits.  In fact, the other night when I was trying to drift off to sleep I had a post whirling around in my thoughts.  Instead of being lazy, I grabbed my notebook and wrote it out.  Even in draft form I liked it.  It was abstract and poetic, not my typical style but one which I'd like to explore.  Unfortunately I took the notebook with me on an errand today and misplaced it!  At least I have good intentions.  Working on it.

I will read more.
     Sort of.  I've been picking up the pace in general with more free time but haven't increased since this last post.

I will have time to be available for those who might need me.
     Yes!  Tonight I am having one of my oldest and dearest friends over to toss back a few and relax in the hot tub.  It's not just me having a bad time. 

I will focus on my career.
      Not sure I have much choice on this one.  I've been going about 100 mph and I don't see any signs of it slowing down. 

I will get some new clothes to help me look good and feel better about myself - one article a month.  (I already did a little shopping spree!)
     Okay - I'm not counting January because I did my initial shopping spree the day before New Year's Eve.  February is right around the corner and my personal stylist (yes, I do have one!) sent me an email the other day asking what I had in mind.  This is such a trip.  I've never done anything  like this.  And, for the record, my personal stylist is someone I know from a bar I frequent.  I'm not that posh.

I will purge and reinvent and learn. 
     This is a bit vague.   I definitely haven't purged like I need to.  I guess I am in the process of reinventing myself and that will just take time.  As for learning, I am definitely learning more about myself and it's a good thing - if I can handle it.


On a completely separate note, my last post was my 100th!  I don't really pay attention to my stats but when I went to write this one, my summary page said 100 posts.   I actually clicked the new post button before it registered and I had to go back for the double-take.  I started this mainly because I wanted to participate in the blogging community.   I had been reading blogs for awhile, first foodie and then writers and moms.   The community was supportive and friendly and convenient.  I wanted a piece of that.  Now I write more for myself but I'm glad to be here with all the friendship and support.  Now I just need to remember to renew my domain name!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I've seen lots of posts over the past week.  Most are reflecting on the past year or choosing a particular word or phrase to define their new year.   Personally I'd like to pretend that the year 2011 never existed so I think I need to look forward, but a word on the first 11 days.

I rang in the New Year alone.  It seems very appropriate considering the year I have in front of me.  On one hand it was perfect, on the other it was depressing.  Immediately following the new year (January 2nd) was my nineteenth wedding anniversary - now a hollow and meaningless day. 

The first work week of 2012 ended with my primary project getting pulled.   This was disappointing on a number of levels.  I enjoyed the project and the project team.  The work was new and varied, significantly complicated and really kept me busy (which I desperately need).  It also meant that I would not be able to travel back east on the company's dime depriving me of a visit with my sister and father that I hoped to squeeze in.

January 9th marked the 10th anniversary of my mother's death.  Every year I always think it's going to be notable.  Most years it is not and this one was no exception.  The thing is, I feel her loss every single day.  The passage of time is irrelevant.  The sadness doesn't go away, the pain doesn't lessen.  I have simply learned how to push the sadness down and away.  It works for me.  My therapist might disagree.

But enough of all that.  It is, after all, a new year.  In the spirit of my "life is how you look at it" attitude, I'm going to focus on the positives. 

My life is what it is and I have to make the most of it.  I have to get used to having an entire week where I have nothing to do except what I want or need to do.  There will be no kids to feed, reprimand or bathe.  No homework to monitor.  No arguments to referee.  No dinner to cook if I don't feel like it.  It's really quite an odd feeling.  All this free time after 16+ years of doing stuff for everyone else.

Therefore, 2012 will be my year of growth.

I picked up an additional night of pool in an effort to bring up my game a bit.

I will start going to the driving range and get my swing on.

I will exercise more.

I will write more.

I will read more.

I will have time to be available for those who might need me.

I will focus on my career. 

I will get some new clothes to help me look good and feel better about myself - one article a month.  (I already did a little shopping spree!)

I will purge and reinvent and learn.  I (almost) have a blank slate.  I can make myself what I want to be.  Bring on 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

i'll tell you what i did

It's a new day.  It's a new year.  Really it's a new life or will be soon for me.  I could be all dark and dreary about how awful 2011 was for me.  Or, I could sit and try to pull out any strands of silver to line that cloud.  Or I could just tell you how I spent my New Year's Eve and maybe you can tell me how you spent yours.

But first I will begin by telling you the traditional New Year's Eve.  Tradition had lots of people coming to our house, kids in tow, overnight bags in hand.  We would laugh and drink, half watch the random NYE special on the big screen.  Little ones would run around and play like mad - even they could feel the excitement in the air.

At 9 pm, we'd call up friends and family on the East Coast and do teleshots.  (Teleshots, in case you're wondering, are where we're all on speaker phone toasting and drinking a shot of whatever our favorite flavor happens to be.)   We would munch on the table full of treats, some homemade, some bought.  We would crack more beers, open more wine and have a few more toasts. 

At some point we'd gather the little ones in the master bedroom.  We'd setup the bean bag chairs and sleeping bags and pop a movie in the TV.  Little little ones would be put to bed in one of the front bedrooms and the rest would be allowed to stay up til midnight for the celebration, as long as they behaved. 

Shortly before midnight I'd scramble to find enough champagne glasses, and there never were enough.  Corks would pop and glasses filled.  Even the little ones had their sparkling apple cider.  When the clock struck midnight, "Happy New Years!" would be shouted, hugs and kisses making the rounds, adults and children alike.  Glasses would clink as we would drink our sips of spirits.  Music would blast and we'd all get our boogie on, at least for a few songs.

At some point soon thereafter most of the kids would be put to rest.  The hot tub would be fired up, if not already, and the night would continue on.  I remember several years of being up til 4 am.  But eventually we'd all crash.

The morning would start with someone staggering to the coffee maker and getting a pot on.  People would trickle out of their sleep and join those of us already awake gathered around the center island in the kitchen.  The guys would make their way to the living room in front of the big screen and put some movie on - usually one of the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Sometimes a game of Risk would be played instead.  The girls would tend to the kids, making them breakfast as we'd clutch our coffee.  The hot tub would be fired up again and perhaps a mimosa, bloody mary or two would be consumed.  Somewhere around whenever, people would eventually make their way out the door, invariably leaving something behind.  And the clean up would begin.

These memories are golden.  I cannot think about them without a feeling of warmth and smile upon my face.  For me, there could not have been a better way to ring in the new year.  Until this year.  This year I did something totally different.  Many people thought I was crazy but it just seemed like the right thing for me.

This year I farmed out the kids to their friends' houses.  The going-to-be-ex left on Thursday and went up to Tahoe for the weekend.  And I stayed home alone.

In the afternoon I watched three movies.  None were particularly good and, in fact, I dozed off during one of them.  Later on, I opened up my laptop and chatted online with some friends.  Feeling slightly cheery I pulled out a bottle of champagne I found tucked in the back of the garage fridge.  I simultaneously sipped and chatted, watched movies and then read.   I think I was asleep before 11:00 pm.  Definitely not the traditional NYE but it was pretty much perfect and exactly what I needed.

To all of my friends near and far, Happy New Year!  

What did you do for NYE?  Was it your norm?  Was it better or worse?  Do you have traditions that you could imagine skipping?