So that went fast…

It’s been awhile.  A supersonic fast year yet slow as freaking molasses.  It hasn’t been a banner year for sure, and for so, so many reasons I couldn’t possibly encapsulate in a blog post.  I am calling it a transition year (years?), but from what to what, I don’t know.  I feel like I am on the pecipse of the second half of my life being different, and hard, and maybe exciting after I get myself on track.  Nonetheless, I feel a little bit like a lost soul at the moment.  This is scary and a wee bit depressing.

I have some major career choices ahead.  I’m a consultant under contract for my old employer.  I like/love the job, but damn, I hate not being an employee.  Yeah, the freedom is great.  But the freedom in the contract world is an illusion.  I could be employed (or not) at the drop of a hat.  The money isn’t “all-that”… certainly not anything to keep me but more likely for me to wander. My resume is awesome, but I lack many of the networking contacts I need to move on. Would it surprise you if I said my mentors are now mostly retired?  This is decidedly not helpful.  Once in a while an executive recruiter will contact me, and the job is great but not anywhere within a 100 mile radius. My LinkedIn profile is growing dusty. I work at home, and honestly that is the biggest reason I am standing still.  I think I need a career counselor or a permanent job as wine-taster.

I will have a middle-school aged child in the 7th grade this fall.  This gives me heart palpitations.  It means we shift to speed-dating the local high schools.  Let’s just think about that for a moment, shall we?  Back when I was a kid, you went to school wherever your home address was on the map.  Since my son is in a private school, the possibilities become endless.  Some are expensive, some inexpensive, and then there is public school which still could be great.  Did you know they give scholarships to private HIGH SCHOOL now?  How awesome, so now you can enjoy a cheap ride though secondary school only to owe your life later to the federal government in the form of education loans.  Education sometimes feels like a bait and switch.

My home, ughhhh…. it needs an overhaul.  It looked great when we had it built new, but 15 years later I have the beginnings of a money pit.  Recently we had an epic hot water heater failure which resulted in a flooded basement.  That basement overhaul I had planned, well, it was moved up.  My husband and I hauled 15 years of stuff out of the house and into the rented dumpster.  It was exhausting and exhilarating all at once.

This is where the story goes off the rails.  I found the 5 plastic tubs of baby clothes that have been hidden in the darkest corner of the unfinished side of the basement.  Since we were cleaning out, I HAD to open them.  First plastic container in, unexpectedly, I got a waft of baby smell thanks to my overuse of Dreft before I carefully folded the clothes for the NEXT BABY.  Yeah, that baby.  The one that never came.

Do you know how long its been since I cried ugly tears?  It had been so long I couldn’t remember.  But there I was alone in the basement.  Sitting on a damp floor and crying my eyes out thinking of how my life would have been different if any of the 5 pregnancies had made it. I did an awful thing.  I put the clothes into dark plastic bags and flipped them right into the dumpster.  I didn’t give any of it away.  I didn’t want anyone getting my bad mojo from those clothes.  Worst of all, I didn’t want to think of any baby in the clothes I kept for MY baby.

At midnight, I went back into the dumpster and pulled out two outfits (my favorite ones) and put them in a small container for D to have when he’s grown.  I figured I should at least let him have the memory I didn’t want.

So, yeah, that happened. As much as I would like to think I moved on… well…. I have not.  I moved on from the reality but not the dream.  It occurred to me during my mini-breakdown of sorts that this whatever it is has weighed me down so much it creeped into the parts of me that I thought I had resolved. I am still broken.  This frailty had made me question the rockstar I once thought I was, because that I am not that person anymore. Pretty much the only glimmer of me I recognize is the career me.  But even knowing I am good at my job has made me question if I can summon the courage to do more and refocus my life.

If I searched this blog, I bet I have said I wanted to treat myself better more times than on my fingers and toes.  It’s been a persistent goal because I know I need to get right with the world before I am fit to serve others.

But I am failing.  Oh, how I am failing myself yet again.  The difference now is it is SO HARD to keep getting up when I am knocked down.  The knees are weak, and the will is waning.

Life Goes On

A lot of changes in the last six months, and a lot of right-side-up, upside down madness.

My little man, or should I say, almost pre-teen (ack!) is closing in on his 11th birthday.  I am equal parts elated and shocked.  I mean, really, how fast did those years go?   It’s such a cliché, I know.  I started blogging in 2002, the year before he was born, and here we are years later.  I still regret missing so much of his early years focusing on my inability to build a bigger family, but let me tell you–  I have made up for the lost years in the last three.  I am so happy that I was finally able to really be the Mom he deserved.  Someday, when he is older, I hope he knows it too.

D knows SCIENCE!

D knows SCIENCE!

I have a new job.  An old-old/new job.  I am back at my corporate desk, working again from home in the land of big technology.  This time, my old employer is my client.  It’s the 2014 answer to going back to an old job.  In the world we live in, where outsourcing is the norm, I count myself lucky to find my way back in this non-traditional manner.  Turns out, I loved my old-old job and the people enough to jump back in.  I call it coming full circle. 

Where the MAGIC happens

Where the MAGIC happens

I’m trying to be a better version of me lately.  I fail miserably at times, but more often than not, I have little successes that make up for the failures in spades.  The thing about being in my mid-forties, you see, is a focus on spending less time beating myself up.  I was never quite capable of that in my thirties, and not until the last two years.  Sure, there are times when I grip the arms of my chair and have a serious WTF conversation with my inner self (trust me, it’s needed some of the time), but really?  I think something changes when you cross the bridge to the second half of life.  All that crap I focused my energy on… 90% of it was wasted.  I prefer to channel as much as I can to efforts that MEAN something, or will seriously impact the lives of my husband, my child, and me.  I call this wisdom.

Remember back in the day when there was that meme, writing a note to your younger self at age 20?  I never did it, but I could write the heck out of one now. Bygones.

We live and learn, and if we are damn lucky, we get a chance for do-overs.

I sometimes seriously dislike the Internet

Parenting is not a science. For every parent that judges another, “you’re doing it wrong!!” another parent can turn the conversation on end with equally crappy judgement.

Can we stop the madness and just be present and active parents in our children’s lives? If we all focused more on that, our children would already know how to direct their own moral compasses…

and we could stop calling out each other as lousy parents.


D ponders the meaning of life

So, we are in the throes of summer and not much and everything happens.  It’s a bundle of nice and sad and what?!  and omfg what have I done?

I write blog posts in my head at night when I am having an attack of insomnia and they fizzle into nothingness by the time the sun peeks through the blinds.

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately and a lot of over-thinking.  Yeah, I got the over-thinking thing down pat.  It’s really the worst case of cat and mouse in my head.  I am in my 45th year of life on earth and I wonder, ok, is this it?  This is the mid-life thing people talk about!   When everything is enough and not enough all at the same time.

The thing that is most troubling is I feel as if time is moving faster and faster.  I OUGHT to be spending my time with people and projects I hold most dear, but the time is just slipping through my hands.  I took my career detour to spend more time with my family, and darn it if I don’t second guess that every day.  Money should not equal happiness, but as anyone who has a dime knows… it’s a lot easier to have it.  I feel like I am shoving myself into making sure I don’t fall behind, or become irrelevant in career pursuits. I feel the need to constantly be on my game because I’m NOT IN THE GAME (right-now).  You see the quandary?  It’s maddening….  maddening I tell you!!  The reality is I am still working full-time for my family’s business, and yet I still don’t have time.  I want to be a SAHM in my dreams, but you know what?  I’m realizing that I love to work.  As long as it’s fulfilling.  And what the heck do I do now to be true to myself?  The thoughts are confounding and make my head hurt.

I blinked and my son became a 5th grader.  He needs me, of course, but a lot less of me as time goes on.  I refuse to be one of those helicopter parents, but I struggle with letting him fly…  even if it’s a solo bike ride to the other side of our development.  My baby carries an iPhone now! He thinks I am just a cool Mom for letting him have it at age 10, but it’s more for me than him really.  I like the comfort of knowing he can reach out.  Another thing I am noticing, he is maturing much faster than his friends his age.  I have not decided if that’s good or bad, so I am staying neutral on that for now.

And, for any parents of children around age 10…  chew on this morsel…  your child has already entered the spiral into becoming an adult and moving out from under your roof- at breakneck speed.  My D is less than 8 years away from college and dorms and parties and questionable behavior.  The questionable behavior may be just around the corner.  Pardon me for saying that this fact is a little terrifying for me (and hubby, who jokes about it but thinks it too).

I am also displeased with myself that I am not doing great with cultivating the healthy version of me.  While I have not fallen off the wagon, I have been pulled with the rope around my ankle down a rocky dirt road.  Right now the wagon has stopped and I am 2/3rd’s of the way to standing up and checking my cuts and scrapes.  And making sure my gym is still open (yeah, it’s been awhile).

So, yeah, life is dandy. If I could only beat Level 360 of Candy Crush, I’d be on my way!  You do play Candy Crush… don’t you??