Thursday, January 28, 2016

When the cat's away...

the mice will play.

And oh will they play!

Gary is on his first business trip with his new company. He flew out on Sunday, pretty much right after the snow stopped falling. Miranda and I have been left to our own devices ever since.

Here is what I have learned:

1. We work better with Dada here. Potty training has all but ceased to exist and it takes me much longer to put Miranda to bed by myself. She somehow always gets "one more book" and "one more song" when I am in charge.

2. Without Dada here, we act like there are no rules. We eat dinner in the living room while playing games on the iPad or watching someone find Nemo for the thousandth time. 

3. Double ear infections, an allergy to medication and a rash on an almost 3-year-old are brutal when there is only one adult in the house.

4. When that one adult also gets sick, all bets are off.

We are a family of four to us, but a family of three to most of the world. When we shrink to a family of two, chaos is sure to follow.

We have enjoyed our girl time, though. We tried out some new nail polishes and some new hair do's. Miranda begged me for the "Superman" when I was brushing her hair this morning. She was quite mad when her hair looked the same as usual. WHAT THE HECK IS THE SUPERMAN? You know who would know? Dada.

Growing up when and how I did, I was not sure that I wanted to have children of my own. That is no secret. When I met Gary, that changed pretty quickly. When I got pregnant with Allie, I knew I was meant to be a mom. When Miranda was first placed in my arms, I knew I was going to really enjoy it.

We have our ups and our downs. We have our smiles and our tears. We have each other and I feel so lucky and fortunate for that.

I can't remember what my life was like before my girls. I am glad I do not have to.

I can remember, though, what our life was like up till Sunday when Gary was here and all I can say is that his plane can't land fast enough tonight!

 
Face Time with Gary

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Blank Slate

A blank slate is defined as ..."someone or something that is still in an original state and that has not yet been changed by people, experiences, etc."

The best part about a new job? You are a blank slate.

I went into work with a different attitude this week. I changed my perspective and saw the job as a way to pay for daycare and groceries, a way to have some grown-up time, a way to rediscover who I am and a way to start anew.

It was MUCH better. I met a lot of people. I observed some training classes. I got to go on two site visits. I learned how the company was formed and what makes it different from other companies like it and I got some basic understanding of what will be expected of me.

I can so do this for 24 hours a week! Three days a week is not so bad...and it means I get four days a week to be home with my rainbow.

No one knows me there. I am not the woman who used to do this or used to do that. I am not fat or thin or somewhere in-between. I am not a grieving mother. 

Eventually, I am sure I will meet someone with whom I want to share my past. There will be people that I want to get to know me. I hope there are people that I want to get to know as well. In the meantime, though, I kind of like being anonymous.

Someone down the row from where I sit went into labor this week. Everyone was telling birth stories and labor stories and I just sat there and nodded my head and listened. No one stopped talking because I was there. No one tilted their head because I was there. No one even noticed I was there, actually! It was bliss.

I love my life. I really do. I also love that every once and a while, I can blend into the background and just "be". There is something to be said for that.

My birthday is this week. I doubt anyone will decorate my desk or take me to lunch. I doubt they will even be aware of the date. But my family and loved ones do. We have already started celebrating. That is more than enough.

In elementary school, our report cards had lots of spaces for grades. I remember one marking period, I got 42 A's. My dad, who was rarely around, make such a big deal out of the 42 A's. He was so proud. I decided then that 42 would be my favorite number.

I will be 42 on Thursday. Will my favorite number now be my favorite year?

Fake it till you make it. Day 2 with my head held high!
From Gary and Miranda for my new desk
In the company limo heading out on a field trip!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Full Disclosure

I made a commitment when I first started to blog. It was not a written promise nor an oral one. I am not sure I even knew I was making it at the time. I told myself that if I was going to write my story and share my life, I had to be honest and transparent and truthful. No matter what.

I have shared so much in this sacred space. My loss, my love, my hopes, my aspirations. It has been invigorating for me to discover that I not only like to write, but that people want to read my words. Writing is a powerful way to communicate and I do not ever take it for granted. Writing gives me the freedom I need to express myself.

So why this disclaimer? Well, I went to work last week. My first new job in 10 years. I was nervous and excited and way too early. When the time arrived, I walked in with my head held high and could not wait to see what opportunities were just behind that door.

It did not go well. In fact, it went pretty badly. They were not ready for me. No computer, no phone...and they kept asking if I was the new assistant. I stayed there until about 3:15 and then hightailed it home and went for a run.

Here's where it gets interesting. When faced with free time, I decided to exercise out my frustrations and not grab a Big Mac or a chocolate bar or both. That is still new for me. Next, instead of just throwing in the towel, I talked it out with Gary and my family and decided it was in my best interest to give it another shot. Bad first impressions are not ideal, but they can be turned into good second impressions. After all, what do I have to lose? Nothing. What do I have to gain? A lot.

This experience has opened my eyes. I am only working three days a week. Can't I do anything for that amount of time? It will pay for Miranda's daycare and then some - and isn't that the bottom line? Do I want a job or a career and how much am I willing to sacrifice for either?

Ugh! I just do not know! I do know, though, that I love my days home with my daughter and I am not prepared to give those up. So that means I can only work part time. I have not been able to find any writing jobs that pay what I want so that means I need an office job. I think this office job could be the right one, but we all have to get on the same page first.

Everything is a struggle. I do not know what that is the case, but it feels so true. Does that mean I appreciate the wins more when I work harder for them? I am not sure.

Tomorrow, I will pack my lunch and put on my grown-up clothes. I will give this gig a second shot. I think it's the right move to make. I hope it is. One thing is for sure - if it is or if it's not, I will be back here to write it out and figure out what to do next!

Day 1

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Many Faces of Me


Everywhere I look, there are sayings and signs reminding me to be good to myself. Facebook, Instagram, billboards at the mall...everyone wants me to start out the new year right. I buy into the hype every year. I start a diet or as is the case this year, get back on track. I resolve to be better, do more, be the best I can be.

But wait, don't I already do that?

2015 was a great year for me. I learned more about who I am than in any year in recent memory. I know what makes me succeed and I know what makes me fail. I know how I feel when I succeed and I know how I feel when I start to fail. I learned how to juggle many responsibilities and tasks and while I dropped the ball more than once, I feel like I was able to successfully pick it up again.

2016 is going to be a challenge. I am never one who has shied away from challenges, though. I am curious (and a bit anxious) to see how it plays out. I am starting a new job and although it is part-time, it will still be bumpy to figure out how to make it work. I am excited, though, and think it is a great opportunity for me.

I started to think about how I will present myself to my new co-workers. I got laid off from my corporate job in 2013 and started to write freelance so I could stay home with my daughter. That worked for a long while until the budget for freelancers was cut and I needed to find something else. This job might be that something else.

At the end of the day, who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, a friend? The truth is I am more than any one label. We all are! I am a runner. I am a writer. I am a blogger. I am a survivor.

There are many faces of me. It will be interesting to see what face I present at my new venture.  Interesting and very exciting!

Probably my favorite label!

A Letter to My First Daughter

My Dearest Allie, It’s been a while since I have written to you. I find it easier to write about you than it is to write to you. ...