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Archive for July, 2006

about to take off for the annual retreat for the day job. and i have to say – i’m really looking forward to it. we (they) travel a lot, and some work from remote offices, so the fact that we’ll all be in the same cottage for almost five days is wonderful. i’m so looking forward to reconnecting with Our Man in Havana, and meeting Y, with whom i’ve only exchanged emails. and the opportunity to hang out with everyone else is wonderful.

yes, that’s right, i’m excited about being cooped up in a cottage with all my coworkers. 🙂 did i mention it’s on the beach? and there’s lots of yummy food and fun things to do, as well?

the only snag is, this will be the longest i’ve ever been apart from hubby since we got together. :/ so, in addition to my usual ‘house must be in order before travelling’, i’ve tried to make it as low impact as possible for him. laundry is done, fridge is cleaned, animals are taken care of… okay, i’d do all that anyway, but i also weeded the gardens, let our tenants know that they could reach me by mobile, made sure there’s plenty of good, easy food to make in the house, set up the fish with 5 day feeder pellets, and generally over organized.

plus? i got a bunch of cards for him, one to open each day.

*cracks neck* gah. on top of all this, MedSm is at sleep over camp for the week – dropped him off at his mom’s tonight, after a lovely family dinner at Skip’s. so we’re all scattered to the three corners for a week+, as MedSm is with his mom next weekend. he was with us this week, so it’s not unbalanced. but it does feel unbalanced, because there’s that whole week where he’s off on his own. and he’s 7! he’s not supposed to independent yet! *mom brain kicks in* such an interesting phenomenon, Mom Brain. remind me to write more about that later….

for now, it’s just hard sending him off for so long, and i miss him already. which fact, btw, i did tell him on the way up to his mother’s, and i don’t think that’s bad. it’s good to know that you’ll be missed, and also good to know that your parental units are excited for your adventures to come.

*deep breath* good, long conversations lately with my mom and hubby. not both at the same time, mind you. one, then the other, then back and forth. we’re in a bit of a crunch, hubby and me, in light of several emergencies (none life threatening, and we’re all fine, and will be fine). so money is tight for a few months. this is not bad, per se. seems to be that this is par for the course for new homeowners. (have i mentioned how very, very much i hate the TV ad that barks ‘homeowners! need cash?’ hate it!)

it just…it just seems odd to be coming to this point now, at nearly 40. and as i said to my dad, i feel sometimes stupid for being here. dad, of course, just agreed with me. yay, go dad! 😉 hey, he’s relentlessly pragmatic, and i rely on him for facts and figures and calling the shots just as they lay. we are who we are. mom, bless her, is always empathetic, and while she worries about saying the right thing, always does say something, which generally does turn out to be the right thing.

so i take something from talking with mom, sit with it for a bit, come back to talk with hubby, and somehow, something shifts in the conversation. where we’ve come to an impass before, now the road is open. we come to the next step for him, where we’ll sit down next week and hash out a business plan. he has the chops, and he has the goals, and we’ve finally found a way to work together, so i can help him connect the two. yay!

called mom today to fill her in, and told her how important she is to me. i count myself blessed and lucky that she is not only my mother, but also my friend.

the other part of this crunch (and i didn’t think i’d be talking about the crunch, but here it is, so be it) is this: i did the rally call to friends last week. sent an email to my closest and dearest, giving them the down and dirty. not complaining, not whining, not excusing. just giving them the heads up, and asking that they hold us in their thoughts, and send me their best and brightest wishes. well, yes, us, but mostly me, because these are people who count in my life, every damn day.

goddess love ’em, they came thru with all sorts of notes, and offers, and suggestions, and this, above all: trust. trust that the universe will take care of you. trust that you put out positive acts and energy, be grateful, and be open.

… and it always works out, altho never in the way you would expect. right, kate? 🙂

i had no choice (well, i did, but it wasn’t pretty) but to give it up to the powers that be. here was a big, nasty, black-scaled, green slime drooling, steamy icky monster of a nest of problems staring me in the face. instead of focusing on the green slime drool, i went outside, and gardened, and weeded, and took care of our space. i gave things away. i got things for free. i hung out with friends. i spent time with my family.

i was (am) grateful for who i am, and who is in my life, and made a point of thinking about what i should be grateful for.

i was grateful, and open to the fact that the universe does provide to those who are open to the possibility.

and? out of, quite literally, thin air, Money Appeared. not “change on a sidewalk” kind of money, but “pay off a few bills” kind of money. plus i’ve negotiated a few other things out a bit, and also found that some bills are chances to cut down on payments. yup, they are indeed – combine some things, and y’all get a great discount.

mm, mm, mm. 🙂

it’s now nearly 2:30 am. i have to get up in a few hours, pack, and head out. listening to honey snore, and already miss him. *only four days, only four days, only four days…*

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Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God: your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

— Nelson Mandela

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i finally get where i am on the hamster wheel, and i see all over again why i love my hubby. and the two are related.

i’ve had a hard time waking up, lately. some of it comes from trying to live the Rock Star Lifestyle of late nights and hard partying… well, at least the late night part. 😉 and some of it… i haven’t really known. i wake up on time, and then… just lie there, thinking. and i’ve become immensely protective of my ‘me’ time, even more so than before.

and then i saw it: it’s the hamster wheel. i get up, and from the moment my feet hit the floor, i’m going. working, doing for others, juggling schedules, working, shuttling small child, running a home… just… going. and i stay up late to get alone time. and i resist waking up because i’m tired, and i don’t want to get back on the wheel.

all of this leads to realization #2: My Husband Is Outstanding.

because i see all of this, and i walk downstairs, and i ask him to pause his show. ‘i need to tell you what i’ve done today, and i need a gold star for it. i’m not doing this to poke you to do more, i just want a pat on the back.’ he paused his show, nodded, and listened.

‘i stayed up late last night, made pasta salad and egg salad so we have lunches for a few days, cleaned the bathroom, emptied the dishwasher, and talked to MedSm about schedules. today, i got up, packed his lunch, made sure he took his vitamin, took him to camp, got the schedule for field trips, went to work, negotiated schedules with TEW, made sure she had all the info about camp, went to a meeting for my second job, came home and answered messages, cataloged books for the library, and checked on the hermit crabs. i have done a lot of shit today. and it’s okay to be tired.’

hubby, to his credit, listened to the whole schpiel, got up, gave me a kiss, and gave me all the gold stars i wanted. goddess love him for being able to step out of his own head, his own space, and just *listen*.

the man, he is good. 🙂

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me: honey, if you’re wiped out, don’t stress yourself – i’ll get the rest of the groceries.
hubby: *wipes face* *turns grey* *heads back out door*
me: *low key muttering*
MedSm: beth, what does stubborn mean?
me: ‘i’m gonna do it my way! or else!’
MedSm: yep, that’s my dad.

me: MedSm, how is it that you weight a third of me, but make twice the noise going down stairs?
MedSm: because i have feet of *mumblemumble* [note: walking down stairs and facing away from me at the time]
me: whuhah?
MedSm: [pausing, and turning around to shoot me Austin Powers hands] because i have feet of steel! which are like buns of steel, but nicer!
me: *falls over laughing*
hubby: eh? what happened?
[subsequent re-enactment, and much more laughter. ‘buns of steel, but nicer’ may become a catch phrase.]

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it’s been ages since i’ve taken a road trip, and can’t remember the last one i did on my own – well, the driving part, at least. and it was a good experience, all around. and there were some surprises.

driving out, late Friday, i really, really dug the sunset. last time i think i paid attention to a sunset was last year, when we were at the cottage. but that was just a run to the beach to see the sun dip below the horizon. this – this was a full on whole body experience. i drove thru the late afternoon sun, and the traffic, to open spaces, rolling hills (clichèd, perhaps, but true), and the subtle shadings of changing light for two hours. the pictures don’t do it justice, altho, true to blogger form, i did attempt pictures from the car. 😉

(interesting side note: i only recently learned that dog days of summer refer to a celestial event. who knew? well, okay, maybe you did, but i didn’t.)

it was also lovely to be reminded that i am quite self-sufficient, thankyouverymuch. plunked myself in a car with directions, and went. don’t know why this ties in to mom, but… well, yes, i do, in some ways. she doesn’t like driving in new places, or cities. and also, one afternoon, she and i were talking about my divorce, and she said she admired how strong i was. whuuhuh? i never saw it as strong, just had to get the fuck out of Dodge. it was eye-opening to hear that someone saw that as strong, and i guess it was, in a way. where am i going with this…. not really sure, other than being open to the opinion of others sometimes lets us see the strengths we don’t always see in ourselves.

the drive home was equally good. not the marinating in the car for three hours because i have no AC part of it, but the choosing to not attempt pictures from the car and just Pay Attention. there’s a zen koan about ‘attention! attention! attention!’ – and in some ways, that’s just the answer. show up, be engaged, pay attention, tell the truth. more than anything, pay attention. because being engaged? useless, unless you pay attention. showing up? see above. tell the truth? hey, buddy, there are a lot more truths out there than just yours. and unless you pay attention *to others*? not so productive.

anyway, i digress. the ride back was filled with good music, and hawks riding thermals, and a woodchuck (or badger, not sure which) mosying around a field looking for lunch, and gardens in unexpected places along the road, and a small meditation spot, possibly at the end of a trail, but looking out over the road – lovely, green lawn, just big enough for a wrought iron chair, and sculpture, and a few plants. hills, wonderful, green hills, with layers of green on blue on grey – again, the pictures really don’t do them justice. also, a very funny and true bumper sticker that i just might have to get for Penny (my car, for those of you who don’t know my prediliction for naming damn near everything).

what else…. oh, yeah, back to the light. i wish i could remember where i read this recently – the observation that the night sky gets darkest just before the sun comes up. seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. extrapolate that to life situations… and it seems to be equally true. struck me as true about kate’s move (fargin’ dickweed landlord, begone!), and certainly about the last year or so in my life. the layoff seemed damned bleak, but in the end, i was given the gift to recreate my life, and find ways to nourish what matters to me.

i have a fantabulous husband, a great kid (who cleaned his room! the whole thing! of his own accord! just because! tell me *that* isn’t freakishly great!), a home and gardens that i love, warm fuzzy beings in my life, a chance to help with the library at MedSm’s school (and by help, i mean coordinate, and by coordinate, i mean help fund and staff, and what fucking school system doesn’t hire a librarian, you asswipes?), a day job that feeds *both* the creative and analytical parts of me, and a side job that feeds the foodie in me (no pun intended, and yes, bs, you nailed it – it’s alllll about the food). from darkness comes great light.

there was also the chance to meet new people, and find ways to connect and work as a team. fairly certain i reined in the control freak in me enough to contribute, not control, altho i’m sure i’ll hear if that’s not true. 😉 see above: pay attention. the job gets me thinking about that, my coworkers show me tools to use, and i get the chance to try them on for size.

also, much discussion about stuff, that got me to thinking about the organic nature of relationships, of all types. perhaps more on that later, but for now – it was surprising, and humbling, to get how unanchored i am these days when i’m away from hubby. not non-functional, but unanchored. he truly is the rock in my life, and the patterns that we build in our daily lives are important to me. keeping our home running, watching out for each other, curling up together at the end of the day – i was surprised, pleasantly so, by how down to the core i missed all of that. just two days, and i forgot where everything was in my kitchen, and rediscovered just how very much i am attracted to my hubby, in all sorts of ways that probably seem very dorky from the outside, and i don’t care. the way he laughs, complains, looks at me, burps, smells, argues, walks… i love all of this about him, and more.

truly, i am a lucky, lucky girl.

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or, more appropriately, you retrain yourself to think of events as posts. 😉

to wit: driving out to help kate move this weekend, it occured to me that capitalization makes all the difference. those of you who know my affection for both lower case and grammar are no doubt snickering at this point. however.

a whole lotta morphine and a bit of coke made the drive out easy. working thru dances and demons** and the cure made coming home even easier.

love and adore kate for letting me come and help – even more so because she let me show up in the middle of the night, and crash on her couch. kate is wonderful, beautiful, lucious, caring, serious, silly, funny, and dedicated. she has some amazing friends, who trucked over on a weekend to help her out. we got to move her from a place with tall, dingy, grey walls, hard spaces, and negative energy, to an absolutely perfect space for her and the kittens – bold, colorful, creative… and air conditioned. 😉 the kitties all found corners to hide/roost, the entire move took about 4 hours, and everyone pitched in, helped out, didn’t kvetch, didn’t complain, no one was hurt…

and kate has a lovely new home. home, as opposed to house. and it feels good.

wonderful and amazing, to be able to repay moving karma (ask me about our last move sometime, and i’ve only recently been able to stop flinching at the sight of Penske Yellow) and meet new and lovely people in the process.

liberty day has a whole ‘nother meaning for me, over the last few years. finding a new home, connecting with hubby, and being there for kate… yeah, baby. it’s all good. 😉

**an awesome mix tape from a friend, and i’ll post the songs at some point.

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