Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last night:

5:56 Arrive home. Unable to open door. Handle broken.

5:57 Go in back door. Ask kids about door (dog did it).

5:58 Find screwdriver. Take off door handle thinking something is just loose.

6:03 Inside mechanism of door handle collapses into multiple tiny parts. Say bad words.

6:05 Gather outside of door handle and go to Lowe's

6:11 Arrive at Lowe's; find door handles; find one that fits; deduce that one has to buy an entire new lock set instead of just the handle, which is not sold separately

6:22 Self check-out. Spend $107.00 for a new door lock set.

6:32 Arrive home. Tear into box

6:35 Get handle out of box and insert into door. Screw in screws.

6:40 Outside handle works; inside doesn't. Say bad words. Take off. Find missing part and insert.

6:42 Screw in again. Door fixed.

6:43 Gather junk and put away.

6:45 Wash hands. Tell kids you love them. Accept their admiration and praise.

6:50 Get in car. Drive.

6:58 Arrive at "super suppers" to meet friends and make "6 delicious take home dinners" for my family. Two minutes to spare.

I F***KING ROCK!!! Bring on that tool belt!

*since this degree of efficiency has never existed in my life I thought I better document here it for my future viewing pleasure

Addendum: As I finished typing this my youngest called from the bathroom. "I slipped and grabbed the shower thing and it broke." Sure enough, it broke.
This handy man thing is quickly ceasing to be funny.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Busy Weekend....but productive!

I started the weekend out on a very negative note--just exhausted, overwhelmed, and burned out. But, today I had a pivital moment in home ownership. I changed out a light switch.

My daughter's bathroom light has not worked in almost a year. I thought it needed lightbulbs, which my ex never would replace, but when I pressed my daughter (who had long ago given up on it) she told me that "it was broken--dad was supposed to fix it but he never did". Sure enough, I changed the bulbs and it still didn't work. Well, I decided that it either had to be the switch or the fixture, and since the fixture was newer (and a lot more work) I would try changing out the switch. I mean, how hard could it be? A trip to Walmart later I had my switch. And, yes, I changed that sucker out and only got shocked once (flipped the wrong breaker--oops!) When those lights came on I actually cried. It was really more than just a stupid switch; it was symbolic of so much in my life. I had what seemed to be an enormous, insurmountable problem (I have put this off for 2 months) and in 10 minutes I fixed it. Without help. Just dove in (did I mention I am terrified of electricity?) and did it. God, I felt like a million bucks.

Which inspired me to finish the tax mess on the living room table. And to take stock of all that I got done this week:

1. The house is painted.
2. The taxes are ready to go to the accountant--I am sure there is more to be done, but I've gotten a great start--the ex cleaned every scrap of paper out of this house when he left--no receipts for anything--so I just did it without that stuff. It is worth losing a few deductions not to have him in control of that aspect of my life anymore.
3. The garage has been cleaned of junk and now holds stuff ready to go to storage.
4. The utility room is cleaned out and rearranged and the new, improved litter box is in there instead of out in the hall.

All in all, not a bad week. This week the carpet cleaners are coming on Wednesday, and I plan to get a storage unit on Tuesday (I have to work in the office all day tomorrow--horrors!) I will call a home inspector tomorrow and get an appointment--boy, do I dread that! At this rate, I really will have this house ready to sell in a couple of weeks. Go Me!!!

Best of all, I had lots of wonderful comments and support on that wretched, horrible Thursday. Here's to a better week for us all!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Was today really necessary?

Today sucked. Really. Totally and completely. Started out innocent enough. Two kids home instead of at their dad's, but that is not really unusual. They often bail on being at dad's on a Wednesday. Conner, the loyal, went to dad's. Morgan, who was home, had a headache--stayed home from school. Spencer, who feigned being ill last night so as to come home with mom instead of staying at dad's was fine, and had to be taken to school.

I took Monkey Bread to my students and residents today, because it was the last day of the rotation for the students and they have been great. Besides, taking food to the residents is a kindness that I will hopefully always continue, as I remember how seldom anyone brought me food back then. (Try never--we did have one Social Worker on the oncology service that once brought us the best chocolate chip cookies--I still have her recipe and think of her every time I bake them--thanks again, Suzanne).
Of course, getting up and baking added an extra step in the morning, which already had the extra step of carpool line (which, did I already say, I was not supposed to be doing? Thursday morning is Dad's turn)

Anyway, I made rounds, had lunch, and came home to clean the garage. It was a beautiful, beautiful day--sunny and 78 degrees. Liv and Peep came by for a visit. So far, so good. Time for carpool line at the High School--because Morgan is home sick, I have to go and get Conner from school, and HS carpool line is as close to hell as you can get. No orderly progression of cars--it is like one of those crash derbies--every person there in a foul mood and really, really ready to leave. Most of the cars being driven by teens, who are more hormonal than 45 year old women who live in the hell of "perimenopause"--whatever that is.

So, I get there early, secure a safe parking spot, and wait. And wait. And wait, and wait, and wait....after 30 minutes I am about to panic. No Conner. I call Morgan and ask her to go run the other carpool line for Spencer, since I am clearly not going to make it, and to call friends and see where her brother is.

My phone rings. The ex. "Oh, Conner didn't feel like going to school today. He's here."

Believe me, there are no words. After reminding him that it would be really polite of him to let me know where my son is when he isn't in school I hung up on him. And when the fuckwad dumped my kid at the house an hour later I unloaded on the kid. Because fuckwad was too chicken to hang around for the tongue lashing he deserved.
So, Conner took it for him. Hate it, but I pay for a cell phone for that kid (all three kids) for a reason. Their dad won't let them call me when they are with him, and as we can see, old crazy isn't exactly great with communication, so the kids have cells. The main purpose of which is so that I can know where and how they are. Can you tell that I was/am irritated?

So, back to cleaning the garage. I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned until my phone rang. "Are you OK?" My yoga class. The one I am supposed to be teaching. I forgot all about it. Fuck. They were very gracious, and "yogic" but I felt like crap. So, no yoga tonight.

I went to Burger King to get food for the kids. Got home and it was wrong. This is the third time in a row--yes, I should check it before I leave but I am always so trusting and hopeful....back to Burger King. Home again. New mop kit thing doesn't work. Back to store for another mop. Forget the clothes in the dryer, now all hopelessly wrinkled.

And did I mention one of my patients died?

I'm going to bed now. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Visiting this post

I was reminded of:

Why I don't shop at target...

It started innocently enough. Kids, shopping for their mom at Target 2 years ago. My daughter and older son waiting by the door with friends. My youngest checking out with his dad. He sees his siblings and breaks free--runs up to them and announces, in his loudest, most excited voice: "I got mom the greatest gift EVER!"

Everyone within range stops and turns, expectant, enjoying for just a brief moment remembering what it was like to buy someone a gift and to feel so great about it.

"What did you get her, Spence?" my daughter asked.


The entire store stopped in its tracks. Snickering. My older kids looked horrified. One of their friends asked," Dude, what about your dad?"

Spencer looked scathingly at him. "Its for the car. For driving to work."

Needless to say, everyone in Target (which was about half our town) laughed their way home that night.

He got me one of those lovely heated seat massagers, which I do love.

My daughter called me from Target to tell me about it. "Mom, I don't want to spoil your Christmas surprise or anything, but..don't be late for work."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Went to Massey lane today. For the uninitiated, it is the camellia headquarters of the world. My dear ones, the "Flying J's" persuaded me to leave my cleaning/packing and go for a picnic with them. It was lovely, albeit freezing. The mimosas (drinks, not trees, its too early for the trees) were divine, and we walked along viewing the thousands of blossoms and the blue, blue sky, thanking God that we live in Georgia in February.

Then home, to clean, but I just didn't have the energy. Feeling overwhelmed again, but I have made tremendous progress. Today I actually threw away MAGAZINES (from 1991, which means I actually moved them here from Virginia). For those of you who know me you know what a BIG DEAL this is. Books and magazines: I will die someday suffocated by the sheer volume of books and magazines I have accumulated. But not today; today I even tossed 24 issues of "Cooking Light", which is the nouveau Southern Living. I know, I should take them somewhere to be "recycled" but the hospital won't take magazines over 6 months old and giving cooking magazines to the homeless shelter seems a bit twisted.

I did have to keep a few treasures, however. The magazine and newspaper articles about Princess Di, and Mother Teresa after their that's literature worth keeping and re-reading. Unlike that poor Anna Nicole chick, these women left a hole in the world when they died, and the events of their lives are worthy of remembering. I loved the headline when Mother Teresa died: "a journey of love comes to an end..."

I love magazines, but I decided that I should give up my magazine buying at the check out stand, so as not to feel too guilty about my Starbucks habit. Magazines rock. I never have time for books except in the summer, and not in the past two summers at that. And truthfully, I seldom have the interest. Books are too much of a commitment..when I get into one I like it consumes me and I don't want to put it down. Magazines? Browse, nap, look at pictures, whatever. Totally shallow and superficial. I just hope that is not to become a metaphor for my relationships--should I ever have another!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I bought myself a present today....something wickedly indulgent, totally hedonistic, and completely over the top.
No, not lingerie, perfume, or a convertable.

Not a $50.00 Starbucks card, diamond earrings, or botox.

Not even lobster, champagne, or chocolate

Are you ready for this?


litter maid plus self cleaning litter box

I have wanted this baby since last fall, when one of my friends at work was bragging about hers. But $90.00 for a litter box? I just couldn't. Until today.

Must have been the chakra workshop: yeah, liv gets her chakras spinning and she has guys from all over the country hitting on her. Me? I get an automatic shit scooper.

But, I am so proud of it--you would not believe how groovy this thing is! The cat uses it, and after a respectful 10 minutes a little rake comes out, rakes up the clump, and deposits it into the sealed, odor containing box--complete with carbon filter. Its amazing.

So, I set this thing up and I am dying to see it in action, because you all know I have nothing else I have to do, and sure enough, Taran jumps in immediately, ready to try it out. He does the business, dutifully covers it, and then: LAYS DOWN IN THE BOX! He licks himself, and purrs, and rolls, and carries on like he's in some sort of mattress commercial! He won't leave. So, of course, the box can't do the rake thing, which I am dying to see. I finally persuade him to get out with kitty treats, and resume my very important job of watching for the pooper scooper to work. Wonder of wonders--it does!!!! Amazing. And counting the trip to Walmart only an hour and half wasted. Isn't technology grand? I just hope GiGi will like it as well--she is a bit harder to please when it comes to a location to do her business.

Overall not a bad day. Hope you all had half as much fun as I did! And for the first time in a long time my house just LOOKS like shit and doesn't actually SMELL like it too!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What was it like when you......

OK, I guess its the popularity of Grey's Anatomy or something. Maybe just a long standing morbid curiosity that no one would dare to ask about before, but now that I am "older" its safe....What was it like...when you were a resident? Were you people really that crazy? that irreverent? that promiscious?

Keep in mind, please, that I have never seen Grey's Anatomy. Or Scrubs. The last medical show I watched was St. Elsewhere. Yes, that dates me some, but hey, I finished med school in 1987. Almost 20 years ago. God damn. I am getting old.

People ask: "did ya'll really sleep together and all that?" Define "sleep together." I trained in the days of shared call rooms. Not by choice, like it is now, but by necessity. Not on every rotation, but on most. One call room: 3 residents, 2 med students, 2 bunk beds. You do the math. And the kicker is: we didn't think a thing about it. I remember calling my mom one night from the call room at the "Sugar Shack" (Diabetes Hospital) and she heard my resident snoring in the background:

"Who is that?"
"Just Ron, Mom."
"Who is Ron? I thought you were on call?"
"I am, Mom. He is my resident."
"That black boy??!!! For God's sake, don't breathe a word of this to your daddy; it'd kill him for sure."

Never mind that Ron was brilliant, and one of the nicest gentlemen I ever met. I didn't have the heart to tell her that there were 2 other guys in there as well.

I guess if you were going to have sex you would have had to find some privacy somewhere else. Any many people did. The parking deck was really popular (still is, I hear)--unfortunately, now there are security cameras. I did hear of one couple who were going at it in a car--unfortunately her very long bond hair was caught in and sticking out of the door. The security guards thought there was a body hidden in that car, so they assembled what amounted to a SWAT team to check it out--giving new meaning to the term coitus interruptus. Of course, at Children's where I did the majority of my call we did have private call rooms. I think that made it worse, because suddenly there was the opportunity to be bad. And many people were. Bad. Or good, depending on what you were judging. And judging from some of the night noises there were some really---good---folks having a great time. They did put locks on the doors finally, after several of us complained about surgery residents showing up in our beds uninvited...of course, the philosophy then was "well, why were you in bed--I'm sure there was work you could be doing..."

I woke up one night in our NICU call room with the respiratory therapist in bed snuggling up against me--he had to give me a blood gas report on my patient and get orders to make the ventillator changes. Good old Tom just snuggled in and made himself at home until I woke up; he then flashed a laryngoscope in my face so I could read the blood gas slip and whispered "whadda ya want to do now, baby?" to which I replied "go up on the rate to 40 and on the O2 to 60%--check another gas in 30 minutes" and promptly went back to sleep. He got up and made the changes I ordered. Did I feel threatened or violated? Hell no, I was glad he didn't turn on the overhead and wake up my upper level resident, who was in the bunk above me, going through a divorce, and was testy as hell.

We trained before the days of work hour restrictions. I got my first day off after 4 straight months--every day, every weekend, every 4th night on call. And they had to make me take that day. I was scared not to come in--afraid my attendings would think I was a slacker; afraid my patients would miss me or somehow not do as well without me there to supervise their care. Not that I, as an intern, was some brilliant doc-in-training. I was simply there. You see, we knew our patients. We were their doctors, and if they crashed, even if it was after after 5 pm, we stayed with them. We knew if they were allergic to a med; we knew all their weights. We knew if they liked purple or red tylenol and what foods would make them puke in protest. We made rounds on them every day--not just when we were on call for the weekend. If they had a great day we celebrated. If they crashed we stuck them with needles and tubes and found out what was wrong--and sometimes cried with their parents when it all just seemed to be too much. There was none of this "checking out" after 24 hours. I once had an attending call me when I was on vacation because one of my patients had been hiding his new meds in a drawer since I left--I hadn't told him about them and "he just wanted to be sure it was ok with me". Is there any higher compliment?

We worked hard--they told us the first day that if we were married the odds were against us--I don't know how many of us actually made it through still married to the same person we started with. I know I didn't. We played hard when we weren't working, but that was so very seldom that we also played hard while we were working. And we developed some really sick senses of humor. Face it,we were a weird bunch. We went by our nick names, to the point that even the hospital operators used them: "Paging Dr. Rabbit. Dr. Jack Rabbit, Please report to the emergency room." It cracked us up. We had call every 3 to 4 nights--some of us more if we were big moonlighters. Our work was our life. And WE LIKED IT THAT WAY! It was what made us special; convinced us that we made a difference; gave us the guts to stick large tubes and needles into tiny bodies and hope--no, demand that they got better. If I hadn't had to make hard RIGHT decisions when I was too tired to think I don't know if I ever would have been able to trust myself to make decisions when I was awake and able to think too much.

We became callous, and jaded. But not with our patients: with the system, the parents, the world at large. We saw unimaginable horrors, and true miracles. I will probably share some of these stories in the future if for no other reason than to keep them alive in my heart. We lived through so much--births, deaths, and every high and low in between. We made a difference to a lot of kids; and they made a difference to us.

Were we like the TV residents? I don't know--I'd have to watch. But probably yes, just MORE so. Our system had very few restrictions on how we lived and worked. Is it better now with the current resident work hour restrictions? I don't know. Interestingly, a recent poll by the ACGME (the folks who came up with the work hour restrictions) reveals that the residents themselves feel that the quality of care they give has decreased as well as the the continuity of care. They also felt that while fewer errors were occuring due to fatigue, more errors are being made now as a result of continuity of care issues, and that there is a definite "shift work" mentality. The doctors in training now definitely have a life outside of the hospital--which may be healthier for them, but they don't report that they sleep any more than we did--they are expected to actually participate in life outside of the hospital--something we didn't do. I don't think they are better or smarter, or even "better rested". The evolving "shift mentality" scares me. There is a difference between taking care of YOUR patient, and writing orders on the patient in room 316. The degree of detachment and the ability to "leave it at the hospital" frightens me. The chasm between doctor and patient is wider than ever before, in my opinion. Not that they don't care--it isn't that exactly--but its just a job to many of them. A well-loved, and usually well-done job, but a job nonetheless.

Can I imagine myself doing anything else? Although I very much want to get out of medicine, I do have to admit that it has shaped my life and who I am perhaps more powerfully than any other force. Hell, it has been my life for the past 20+ years. And I am proud of who I am, what I am capable of, what I have done....Am I like the TV docs? I don't know; do they have any middle aged divorced women doctor yoga teachers with three kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a trashed house to sell on TV?
The curtain falls....

Ever have one of those days when you're going along just fine then "BOOM"...out of the blue you're in a bad mood? That's me today. Get up--an hour later than usual because the kids are with their dad and I don't have before school duty--get dressed for work, think things are fine. But, the clouds were evidently gathering. As I went through the house all I could see was the stuff to do: the laundry, the garage, the taxes spread over the dining room table (another day, another post), the enormous piles of kid junk, the clutter, the litter box, the unpaid bills, the shoes, the coats, God, I can't possibly do it all. Not is this lifetime or a thousand others...and BOOM, the curtain fell.

My mood went south, and I don't mean to the Caribbean. I mean to hell. In a hand basket. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed, useless, worthless, and totally unable to cope. Illogical, but very real nonetheless.

I know, I should get the kids to do more, or at least SOMETHING...but the reality is they won't. I'm not talking white glove here. I haven't willingly made a bed in my whole life (hey, you just get back in it, right?), so I'm not exactly a stellar role model. They just don't see it as a problem, or at least not theirs. They had a nanny taking care of that stuff for 10 years; they saw their dad sit home and do nothing--and I mean nothing--for years after that. So, why should they? And that is largely my fault: I don't have the energy or the will to nag. And for the most part, if I totally lose it they will try to help. But, not really. They just don't get it.

So I seethe. I pout. I rant. I threaten. I cajole. I rave. I decompose. I nut up. I go to work. And come home. Convinced that someday soon I will get organized and get this house under control. But, I know it won't happen.

The big kids think that moving will help. When they don't have as much space to mess up they will somehow be more inspired to keep it clean. Ha. I spent 4 days of my Christmas break cleaning their rooms because I COULDN'T STAND IT ANYMORE and you can't even tell it now. Amazing. What about the 17 large black garbage bags of stuff I tossed? Evidently, the spores left behind have generated more stuff.

Tomorrow someone is coming to give me an estimate on painting inside. And hopefully, he doesn't mind stepping over the mess. Because I AM GOING TO GET THIS HOUSE ON THE MARKET. If it kills me, and it just might.

I definitely want a smaller house. Something I can handle. Something I can clean in say---a week??? This house is a monstrosity--14 rooms not counting closets, attics, garage, baths...and every room a disaster. I am drowning in my previous affluence.

I know that this is a problem I created and one I have to solve. Basically, I am just no good at confrontation and MAKING my kids do anything. No good at all. Thank God they are good kids, and I am not dealing with drugs, promiscuity, reckless behavior....just good, old-fashioned junk. In my floor. Everyday.

My "once a week" housekeeper comes tonight. And when she leaves, the downstairs will be presentable. There is that. And tomorrow the kids are out of school and it is supposed to be a "CLEAN YOUR ROOM DAY". Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Another Valentine's day. Can't I just stay home and sleep? I could easily hate Valentine's Day--another crass commercial opportunity to feel pressured into buying shit. It is so bad that all Valentines recieved have to be scrutinized through the lens of "did you really mean this or did you know that if you didn't give me something I would be pissed?" Still, I have several that warm my heart. Sweet little crooked cut-out hearts with misspelled "valintin"--sometimes glitter--cards made with the purest of intention. I have saved them all. They make me happy just thinking about them.
This year I am delighted to report that I have the best Valentines ever--the three coolest children in the world. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sadness in our house...

M.E. and M.B. have broken up.

Broken hearts all around.

The two of them for obvious reasons--"forever" simply....wasn't.

Me because I hurt for them both: My sweet, brave girl, following her heart and doing what she knows is right and Michael because I know how it feels to lose love.

Young loves are so intense, so passionate, so f***ing is impossible to believe when they are over. But then, are they ever really?

I still remember my first love. He is still the gold standard. No one, and I mean no one has ever treated me as well. Should we have married? Absolutely not. We have both had rich, full lives without each other, and I know in my heart that it wasn't meant to be. Maybe if we had met later in life? I don't know. I just know that things work as they should, and painful as it is, sometimes right now isn't the right time, even for a perfect love.

My heart breaks for them both because I love them and I know how they feel. But, I also know that there will be more in their lives than this, and that hopefully, they will always carry love in their hearts for each other. Maybe be friends again. Grow up, and look back at these times and smile. And know, it was a special time for them both.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Here I am, ready to go out to a party. A rare incident, indeed. I really have been out of the social scene for the past several years, so I am having to get used to fixing up and going out again. More on that below.

In reading my dear liv's post, I realized that the Valentine craziness is ubiquitous. I have found my self wondering in the past few days just why I have not been besieged by prospective suitors. I am asked constantly: "are you dating yet?" "are you seeing anyone?" "I can't believe you aren't dating yet"... to which I smile and sweetly inform that "I'm not ready" or "I'm not looking" or some other truth. And it is true, I'm not. But, I've also not been asked, if you don't count the psycho at Kroger or the usual married men that just don't get it (I don't do crack, and I don't do married men...duh). It has started to bother me. Just why haven't I had at least one suitable inquiry?

I confess, I decided that something must be wrong with me. So, I decided to enlist an unbiased opinion: the eharmony personality profile. I thought, "well, you should do this online test and maybe get some insight into who you are and why no one is attracted to you--after all, its free and it covers a thousand and six different personality traits" (did I mention I have had a couple of really rough weeks and very little sleep?). So, after an exhaustive questionnaire--those guys weren't kidding about the million personality traits-- I had my profile. Gee, I sound nice enough. Put away the computer and get some much needed sleep.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that you have to tell the eharmony folks that you don't actually want them to search for a match for you. The next day, I had an email that 6 (yes,six) men had been selected by the computer for the dubious honor of potentially corresponding with me. And with eharmony's very regimented, foolproof standardized questions I would be sure to find--shall we say--harmony?

Shit. It's amazing how fast you can type when you need to get into a site fast and figure out how to get yourself "unharmonized". I quickly found the tiny discrete dot to check that said that I didn't want to be considered for potential matches and checked it. Then I had to deal with the Dirty Half Dozen. Interestingly, of the 6, 3 had the same first name as my ex. Weird. Block immediately. One had already nixed me because I didn't provide a picture (no duh, I was doing it for me, and I already know what I look like). I blocked the other two as well; however, one had already decided I was worth "getting to know better" and had picked five questions from the
list of 30 or so that eharmony provides as the "next step to finding compatibility".
My curiosity was aroused, so I decided to read the questions. Keep in mind that these are the FIRST CONTACT WITH A POTENTIAL DATE. Are you ready?

1. Where would you prefer to spend a week for a dream vacation? (its multiple choice, so you can't get too creative here)
2. How much time do you need alone each week?
3. something inane that I don't remember...
4. How do you feel about public displays of affection?
5. wait for it.....How open are you to premarital sex?

OK, so I admit that I find many of today's dating standards least what I hear of them. I am one of those Southern-bred ladies who gets offended when the bank teller calls me by my given name (hey, she doesn't know me, what ever happened to common courtesy?). But, my God. Asking about "you know what" before you even know things like "what is your ideal date?", or "how do you like to spend your spare time?" or "when was your last complete physical and did they do adequate testing for diseases I could catch?"--now that is just too much for me. I somehow think (hope) that this guy will be looking for a while.

I also had the pleasure of attending a benefit last night for the local Ronald McDonald House. I hate to go to these things unescorted, but I went with my dear friends Dawn and Roger, and Gena. These Galas are basically to see and be seen, so I had to fix up a bit. I realized about 4pm that my hair was unacceptably gray at the roots, so a touch up was in order--then had to rush like a crazy person to get ready. I left my hair "undid", so it was a bit wild. The theme was "Denim to Diamonds" (what the hell does that mean?) so after consulting Dawn I decided that skinny jeans, boots, and a sparkly top were in order. And I looked OK for a "forty something divorced mother of three". True to form, there were lots of useless auction items, which I refused to bid on, and the usual assortment of "married but still looking" guys. It was rather unnerving. I don't think I looked like a hoochie momma or anything--I definitely blended in with the crowd--but you would have thought I was a naked table dancer from the way a couple of those men looked at me. I decided again, that going out "unescorted" was really not a good option. I did feel the need to contribute to the cause so I made my donation at the raffle table with the guns (hey, this is Georgia, and there were some cute guys standing around playing with those things). I flitted about, dismissed a couple of married men (have these guys no shame?), and realized it was time to get home to my little darlings. I left my raffle tickets with my boss's wife--he had bought "gun tickets" too, so I knew they would be staying for the drawing.

And, you guessed it, I won. An hour later they were knocking on the door with my prize. A shotgun. Not that I don't like guns--like I said, I am a Southern-bred lady and I do know how to handle a gun. Still, it struck me as funny. I just wish I had been there to claim it myself in front of all those he-men who were standing around the table snickering when I bought my ticket. And, it wouldn't hurt a bit for the married guys and other weirdos to know that I can handle a gun!

As for the dating, I really am not ready. I know that. I was married for too long to suddenly (is 8 months sudden?) jump back into the dating scene and feel comfortable. I also know that when the time is right the universe will send me someone interesting with whom to harmonize. Let's just hope I can still remember how to sing!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Well, here we are, 11 months ago, with Rodney: THE stud muffin of yoga. Liv is there now, enjoying his every move, and I am here, being jealous! Have fun, liv!
I love this picture, love looking back on 11 months ago and knowing now all that we didn't know then. We were still relatively new friends, although I have to say, liv is one of those people I feel like I have known for a long time--family that just didn't meet until later. We were both married, albeit not necessarily happily, and neither one of us had a clue that within less than a year we would be divorced (or almost there). For me, there was very little hope that my marriage would be "ok", but a great determination to "stick it out and make the best of it". I really had no idea that within 3 months I would be telling my husband that it was over. I am amazed at how different I am now from the person in this picture, and how very much my life has changed in 11 months. Not just job changes, but life changes. I did it. I broke free. I am facing my fears and learning just what I am capable of doing. For the first time in my life I am alone. And I am making it. And my kids are better: happy, more secure, able to enjoy each of us as parents instead of having to take sides or worrying about what was going to happen next. And my ex is better. He is creating a life for himself, and he is so much better with the kids now that he--not me-- is responsible for his relationship with them. Accountablilty is a good thing. Its amazing how your life can change in a year, or a moment.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Driving Miss Daisy...

"if you trust your driver, it must be powerful..." Thank you lu for this one; it has haunted me all day. "if you trust your driver..." I have to confess, I hate to drive. Hate it, to the point that my close friends refer to me as "Miss Daisy" and chuckle at the thought of me being chaffeured around in my old age. Its part of my personality, I fear, this total readiness to relinquish control of the wheel and let someone else negotiate life for me.

Now, before liv blows a gasket, I do admit that I am a control freak about most things. I like sameness, and order, and things MY WAY...but as far as the big picture goes I prefer to settle in and knit while the miles roll by.

I remember in school feeling sorry for the kids who didn't know what they wanted to do--I knew that I wanted to be a doctor; therefore, a decade of decisions were made for me. Take these classes, make these grades, be in these clubs, go to this college, take these classes, make these grades...the path was clear, and although not necessarily easy it was a total "no-brainer".

In marriage (or should I say marriages?) I relied heavily on the husband du jour to make all the messy decisions: the budget, the taxes, the cars, the life insurance, the investments: all the grownup choices that weren't fun. I had lots of input on the fun stuff: the house, the kids, the food, the nanny--I played house like a pro--but the big stuff I pretty much deferred to the man of the house. After all, he was the designated driver. When he wasn't able to or proved himself incompetent to drive--the ride was over.

So now, I'm behind the wheel. And this car has some pretty precious cargo: the kids. Furthermore, I have to teach them to drive as well (and just ask M.E. how much fun I am in that role!) I'm faced with the realization that this is my journey, my life, and dammit, its time for me to drive! I'm realizing just how much of my life I wasted trusting someone else to be the driver and sitting by and knitting, while those miles and years rolled by.It is time for me to learn to trust myself to be the driver. I am not exactly sure where I am heading, but it will be a better and healthier place, and I look pretty damn good behind the wheel in my Fendi's.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Moving on and moving out....

Well, decision made.

It's time to move.

This is not an easy decision. I am not easily transplantable. I cry when I repot my ferns--the part where you have to "cut off and discard about a third of the root ball"--it just kills me. I know it "helps to foster new growth", but it still hurts. I put down roots. Deep roots. My mother still lives in the "family home". I live in my "dream house", my family home. This is the house where my children have grown up, where we take the annual Christmas picture, where the tooth fairy came (well, when she remembered--we'll discuss mother guilt in another blog), where we entertained, redecorated, planted trees that now actually provide shade, added to as we could afford it, planted cuttings from moms and grandmoms, played baseball in the yard and had so many class, team, and birthday parties that I can't count them all, THE place where all the kids hang...I live in my HOME, for God's sake. And now, it's time to move on.

And, believe it or not, I think I am finally ready. I have fought this for years. Even before the divorce--years before the divorce, when my husband decided he could no longer work--I fought for this house. It represented so much to me, but most espeically it was symbolic of the family we were supposed to be. I just couldn't give it up. Now, though, things are different.

I don't actually have to sell it; financially, I could pull it off. Life would be easier with a smaller mortgage, but I could do it if I wanted. The fact is, I don't want it any more. It has become a symbol of what was, but now isn't. And, I'm actually glad it isn't any more. This house has become too much work, more trouble than it's worth, like my marriage. And I want out.

My older two agree--this house holds great memories, but lots of sad memories for them, too. They see the stairs not as the place they waited to run down every Christmas, but where they sat and tried not to hear the fights. The treehouse? Three years of begging and serious nagging by mom, then 6 months of misery while Dad struggled to build the treehouse of HIS dreams. The kitchen? That's where mom slammed cabinets and pots when she was so angry she wanted to scream and couldn't. The master bath? Where mom went to cry. The master bedroom--where dad slept; mom slept over the garage. The den? Where Dad sat, day in and day out. So, out with the old and in with the new.

The baby Spence? You've got to be kidding. No way. He isn't buying it at all. This is his home, and he doesn't want to leave. I think he has also had the hardest time with the divorce. I have lots of theories, but mainly I think it is because the "bad" marriage is all he ever knew. He wasn't around for the "good marriage"--so has nothing to compare to. The older two have memories of laughter, fun, family "warm fuzzies"--his memories have that too, but it was different. Those times were more like treats than the norm, so he doesn't feel the loss like the other two do. For him, the family never changed--until the end. This house, for him, I think is symbolic, too, but it is symbolic of the family he thought was perfect and secure. Life sucks, doesn't it?

We will manage. We always do. For now, I have told him that we will not make any decisions without everyone's input. We will not move to another house without a pool. We will not move into the neighborhood where a former friend that he doesn't want to play with any more lives. We will take all 5 pets (yes, I am crazy). And we will have a house as full of love and laughter as we can possibly make it. And I will go slowly, as slowly as I can, and try not to rip his precious baby roots to shreds. Hopefully this repotting will give us all room to grow.