Giving Up

Seriously?  Sometimes I feel like just throwing in the towel.  Misunderstandings, offenses, you know.  Things intended to affirm actually offend and the next thing you know something like World War 3 is underway. 

Yeah.  I give.

Won’t do…say…that any more.

75 Degrees & Crazy April

See Cat Stressed
See Cat Stressed

Today it is a rockin’ 75 degrees outside.  This is the first in a series of really brutal weeks that will make up my April.  I’m calling it Crazy April. If  I make it successfully through this week, I will be nothing short of very impressed with me. If I make it through the month, I am going to celebrate.

First, grades are due this week, by the end of the day Wednesday.  I was busy straight through the weekend, unable to get much grading done and none today.  That means that tomorrow and Wednesday, are the only two days I have to get grades in and I can’t do this during school hours because usually I’m sitting back watching t.v. and eating bon bons teaching.  I say, usually, because I have a student teacher in my room who is doing her practicum and thus, I am relieved of most of my teaching duties, but none of my grunt labor supervisory duties. 

Today,  all by my lonesome, I had to make sure all the invitations to our Math After School Club for 140 students were printed, folded, labeled and delivered to classrooms so teachers could send them out today. breathe That Club starts next week and will run through the end of the month. I’m in charge of organizing it.  This means I’m scheduling nine teachers and four aides, coordinating schedules, gathering materials, training, communicating and basically running my butt off (this is a good thing) to make this thing happen. Oh, yeah, and I’m also responsible for coordinating the snack.  Yeah, this ought to be good!

Today, was the start of our After School Science Club which will run all week.  I am teaching a play with stuff and get pretty messy Hands On Science Inquiry segment.  This, like the Math Club, will take up all my after school planning time.  Fortunately, I can rely on my student teacher for some of that.  I’m glad she’s so competent.  This entire scenario would be a nightmare if she were not.  I must make a point to thank her and tell her how wonderful she really is.

The big finale is the Professional Development Class that I will crash and burn teach on May First.  This one has me in fits…well…it just does.  There’s nothing worse than teaching teachers.

Of course, in addition to all these things, life’s normal demands still exist.  For example, tonight, my second oldest daughter told me her play rehearsals changed from being over at 6 to starting at 6 and going till 8.  This completely wipes out the plans I made with my oldest daughter to go shopping for a prom dress after she gets off at 6.  Somewhere in all this mess I have to fit in dinner. 

So, it is a rockin’ 75 degrees outside and I am not able to be out in it grading papers.  Instead, I’m here, offgassing some of the stress of my week and celebrating the fact that I made it through Day 1 of Crazy April. 

tablesettingWhen it is all over, I’ll have a few additional dollars in my paycheck and this will be a great thing.  I’ve already decided that I’m buying 2 tickets to the Special Olympics Wine, Food & Chocolate tasting event on May 2nd which is the day after all this ends.  I’m going to treat a special friend ( identity yet to be determined) and I’m just going to go and celebrate a month well done.  But I have to get there first! 🙂

Ideas For Musings Submitted by Readers…#1

If you click on over to my page titled “Submit Ideas For Future Musings” you will see that reader Kip submitted several interesting and thought provoking topics for consideration.  All of them are good but after some thought, I’m choosing his last one, which I wonder if he suggested because he might have Google Earthed me or something and found out something he thought I didn’t already know.  Anyway, the topic for this reader submitted post idea is:

How about the Wild Mind’s response to a known sex offender moving in just a couple doors away from where she and her four children live?

Here’s my response:  Big Fucking Deal.

Now, before y’all go gettin’ sideways on me and accusin’ me of being the worst candidate for Mother of the Year, let me explain.  If you Google earth me, the house you come up with will not be mine.  Sorry, I’ve tried it.  Many folks have tried it.  You get the wrong house every time.  So, let me say this.  I do have a convicted sex offender living in my neighborhood, closer to me than I’m going to reveal, for his protection in spite of the fact that Google Earth has our locations off.

Let me also say this.  I found this out because he and his wife (he never goes anywhere in the neighborhood without his wife) showed up on my doorstep a month or two after I moved in and told me the whole long sad story.  He is truly a convicted sex offender and earned the label.

Let me further say…he is the best neighbor I have.  I would go so far as to say he is the best neighbor anyone could have. 

I’ve lived in my home for 5  years now. The man has never done anything inappropriate.  He goes to work, comes home, drives up into his garage, the door closese securely behind him and he goes into his house from the garage.  He interacts with neighbors when necessary and is always appropriate in his demeanor and distance.  He lives with shame of choices in his past that keep him harbored away in his home with minimal contact with the outside world. He’s a homeowner, not a renter, and for someone with a prison record that’s quite an accomplishment.  He has two children and a wife and they’ve tried to give their children the most normal stable childhood they can, in spite of the laws of my area that say every single person must be notified of the residences of convicted sex offenders. This notification occurs by the local police force showing up on one’s doorstep each year with a flyer with the person’s picture plastered prominently on it.

This man is the neighbor who walks boldly up to strangers in cars who do not live in the area, asks what they are doing there, then gets their license plate numbers.  This is the neighbor who if I need help carrying in the big TV I bought three years ago came over to help me (wife was with him, of course).  This is the neighbor who helped me gather wood this summer.  This is the neighbor I can rely on to watch my back should strange people be hanging around my place. This is the neighbor I make sure I inform that I am going to be out of town so he can be on the look out for anything awry.  I do the same for them when they are out of town. This is the neighbor who’s kids come over swim in my pool and play with my kids.   His wife comes over and gives me hand me down close for my youngest all the time.   This is the neighbor, and the only neighbor I might add, that if I really needed help would be there for me. 

My kids know the score.  They never go over there alone, nor would he want them too.  He is all about changing his life and living right, even though he knows he has to deal with the consequences.  He doesn’t complain.  He realizes that he’s earned all the treatment he receives.  He only regrets what this means for his children and the shadow of shame and humiliation they have endured because of his folly. This is where our system in its great attempt to keep people informed and criminals in check goes wrong.

He’s lived in this neighborhood longer than I.  He didn’t move in after I was here. He’s been completely honest with me about his past and the public records validate this.  He and his family were the first and only ones to greet me in this neighborhood when I moved in , they continue to be one of only two households who are even remotely friendly to me.  If anyone has ever earned the clean slate treatment this man has. And if I ever move from this neighborhood, he and his family will be the neighbors I miss most.

Things Look Better!

Things look better today.  Nothing’s changed, really.  Maybe the 1 Riesling Day Monday helped me just off gas all the emotional discouragement or  stress stirring around in there.  Maybe it is Suzie Orman’s book, “2009 Action Plan” that did it.

I picked this book up just after the New Year.  It was on the shelf at WalMart just yelling at me to buy it when I walked by to get a prescription filled. I succumbed to the temptation and I’m glad I did.  She does not paint a rosy picture of where things will go economically in 2009.  Her opinion is that everyone’s job is in danger, the housing market is likely going to plummet further before stabilizing, the credit crunch is disastrous and going to become more so and investments have lost value and may continue to do so. It was dismal news to read in a way.

In another way it was great news for me.  She really laid out the sad state of our economy with the foreclosures, repossessions of vehicles in the auto industry and the credit crunch.  I’m not highly informed about any of this but I found out that according to Suzie, I am doing the right stuff.  I have miraculously (certainly not by my own brilliance in these matters) done the right things and avoided many of the pitfalls I could have been trapped in.  I’m not out of the woods, but I am not in foreclosure, not in danger of my vehicle being repossessed and I have no reason to have to sell my home, as long as I continue to make the payments, which I am doing with greater and greater ease each month as I continue to live like a Spartan and pay off bills.  Even though my home is valued below what I owe on it, and that difference is expected to increase, according to Orman, somewhat during 2009, I am not in a rental and at the risk of the landlord not being able to make their payments on the house and then evicting me with only 30 days notice.  That would be disastrous!  With four kids, finding a new place would be difficult at best.  The potential for me to get back into anything livable would be slim or none and I could run the risk of having the same thing happen again. 

So, while I gripe and moan at times about the fact that I have a 30-year-old fixer, and I do mean fixer, and the fact that sometimes the routine repairs baffle me, I always come back to the place that I am grateful for this home and this roof over our heads.  If and when I am able to move into something nicer, I admit I’ll probably experience some bittersweet emotion at the prospect. I am even more grateful than ever that I am in this house and able to make my payments on time.  There are many, many people in much, much worse shape than I. 

 I’m sure that the realization that things are dire for many out there and I’m, so far, not in that place or headed there helped improve my perspective a bit.  I also think it may have been the fact that I simply got a good night’s sleep last night. Funny how fatigue can warp our perspective. Or, maybe, it was the fact that I’ve been eating healthier since the New Year and my body and mind are responding to the better fuel. Whatever it is, things looked better yesterday morning than they did the day before and they look really great today. It is Wednesday and I’m on the downward slope of the week.  Two more days and it will be the weekend and, not just any weekend, a three day weekend. 

Things look a lot better today!

Life Sucks…But I Can See Clearly Now!

Life sucks.  Have you noticed that?  I mean, okay, it doesn’t always suck, but a lot of it really sucks.  The older I get the more I notice that more of life simply sucks.  Just watch the news.  Most of it is bad, even deplorable.  Think of this.  You are beatuiful and energetic when you are young but but you are also hopelessly stupid, naive and inexperienced or else you are so jaded and calloused as to be well, no fun.  Then, just when you have life sort of figured out, or more figured out than you ever have, you die.  So life sucks. 

There is this one aspect of life sucking that I was thinking about today.  Life sucks because it is filled with change and often this change is accompanied by loss and grief.  Every little change has encapsulated in it some sort of loss.  Even if the change is good and positive, there is some loss of the old way, the way things were, the way things have been until this specific change however grand or minute it might be occurs. Even if it means one must part ways with some preferred way of thinking about things, the change can be dramatic and can range from being merely uncomfortable to completely life altering.  Today, I experienced one such change which inconsequential as it might seem on the surface refracted shades of larger changes and the dynamic of emotion contained within those changes.  Change and transition which happen to us on a small scale each and every day and on a much larger scale, once or twice in a lifetime, can be pivotal  points in our lives.

 Today, I had to go to my eye doctor and have my eyes checked.  Now, my eyes are fine, but I’ve had glasses since I was 17 years old and probably should have had them earlier, based on the number of car accidents I was in before I got corrective lenses.  Maybe I’m just a crappy driver, but since the carnage inflicted on the auto industry diminished greatly after I started wearing glasses and my driving did not, I’m thinking I probably needed them long before I was 17.  Anyway, since then, about every year or so I have to go to the eye doc to get the peepers examined.  Today, was the day for that exam this year. 

But the sucky part was that it wasn’t my usual eye doctor anymore.  I’ve been going to the same eye doctor for about 15 years now.  He’s a great little Greek guy who’s been practicing in my area forever.  Certainly, long before my first husband and I moved here in ’93.  He’s funny, personable and competent.  He also houses his practice in this old two story craftsman style home that has been turned into office space.  The place is warm, inviting and quiet when you walk  in.  Though there are other customers in the place, you don’t know it.  There is this feel that you are the only person there and the only one that matters.  There are also pictures of Greece taken when my doctor would travel back each year to visit his family.  The white of the buildings and the blue of the ocean mesmerized me.  I always liked going early and sitting in the lobby and thinking what it would be like to be in that place, Greece.  Would the sun be warmer, would I be tanner, thinner?  Yes, I was most certain I would be  warmer,tanner and thinner if I were there.   I really liked those pictures.

My eye doctor is retiring.  He will not be practicing anymore after tomorrow.  I tried to get in to see him one last time and was unable to.  Instead, I had to book an appointment with the new offices that my doctor sold his practice to.  This is what sucks.  No more warm, cozy, two-story craftsman style home office building with mesmerizing pictures of Greece.  I now must drive to the other end of town to go get my eyes checked at a trendy, upscale Eye Center. Ugh. Flourescent lights, office carpeting, a big, huge waiting area that rivaled the Department of Motor Vehicles and pictures depicting the cross section of the eye instead of the coast of Greece.  Like I said, life sucks. 

So, after filling out my customary mountain of  insurance paperwork, which I guarantee is going to create more work for me in clarifying the transitional screwups that always happen when you change service providers, I sat and looked around.  I thought about this sucky part of life.  My eye doctor was really awesome.  I didn’t want a change here.  I wanted things to continue just as they always had.  I did not want my doctor to retire.  I mean, what’s he going to do to keep busy anyway? Go to Greece and take more pictures?  Well, he can’t hang them in his office anymore, so what good is that?!  In addition, I began to ponder how weird it is to get to know new people in settings like these where everyone is a stranger, in spite of the fact that I’ve lived in this community for 15 years.  I looked around and I realized I knew no one.  The folks in the other office all knew me by name and greeted me by name. They didn’t need to ask who I was, they just pulled my file when they saw me check in.  They knew me.  These people didn’t know who I was from Adam. Well, I’m sure they probably figured out I wasn’t Adam, or John or Harold either, but they didn’t know me, not really.

I also didn’t know how this system worked.  I mean, go here, fill out this paperwork, return it or don’t, or should I eat it after reading?  I had no idea.  Whatever, I filled out the paperwork.  I had a momentary urge to put some really hysterical off the wall stuff on the form when they asked about family history, alcohol consumption or smoking habits and what sex I was, but I decided to simply stay with the boring straight answers this time.  As if the paperwork wasn’t enough of a puzzle, just trying to figure out the layout of the place was a challenge.  I wondered if I were to start at the check in desk and someone were to shout go, how long it would take me to dodge down the first hallway and go through the whole place till I found my way back to the starting point.  It was a good thing that the assistant came and rescued me from my reverie at this point.

She led me back to the interior of the building, past a little additional waiting room and millions of little examination rooms.  This was not feeling comfortable at all.  Too sterile, too professional, too impersonal.  I was feeling kind of sad by this time. I know my doctor wants to retire, but why did this change have to feel like losing my home on some levels?  It reminded me that this town is growing so quickly and there is less and less personal interaction anymore.  I do not like this part of life.  The part where the people you love and care about leave and move on or, worse, die, really sucks.  Sometimes when someone I love leaves my life the pain is so real I feel it on a physical level, right in my chest.  It physically hurts.  Now, okay, I wasn’t this torn up about the retiring eye doctor, but it did feel like that when my marriages were disintegrating or my parents died.

So, with all this deep, philosophical introspection and musing going on I followed the pretty young lady assistant with a diamond stud in her nose back to the examination room.  I put my purse in the place she motioned to and sat in the big blue…or was it red…chair with the eye apparatus near it.  As she takes my chart and pulls up my information on the computer screen, we talk and I size up the place.  Okay, so far so good, no weird stuff here.  I figured out quickly why they hired her though, she could input that data fast! She was also personable and friendly and pretty.  Now, in spite of my fairly melancholy and somewhat negative musings, I’m a bit of an adventurer and though I regretted being forced into this particular change in this particular area of my healthcare at this particular juncture of my life, I’m usually up for a bit of adventure and I do like meeting new people and going new places.  There’s something about new and different that is good every now and then to change things up a bit.  So, before I knew it we were chatting away and she had figured out what my prescription should be and she had me fitted for new contacts.  Well, it wasn’t exactly that instantaneous.  I was there for three house, but it really didn’t seem that long even though I had to go to the little waiting room, get put in front of the refraction machine and then go back to the little waiting room then back to the original room and all that before I even met my new Eye Doctor.  But the assistant and I had a great time.  We determined that the monovision correction I’d been using for the last two years, which required I carry a pair of granny glasses around on a chain around my neck in case I should ever need to read a book or a menu while I had my contacts in, was not the most effective method of correcting my distance vision.   Duh!!! Instead, she suggested I try this kind of contact lense with multifocal correction in it.  It essentially operates like the old bifocal but corrects for distance, mid-distance and near.  I looked at her stunned.  “This is possible?” I asked.  She nodded.  I asked about pricing, and it was only slightly more than the contacts I’d been using.  I mean, the idea of not having to have a pair of reader glasses in my purse, at my bedside table, at every location in my classroom and in my home where I might need to read something up close will not only save me the extra amount these contacts cost, but just the freedom of not having to pack around granny glasses on a chain around my neck floored me.  I was ecstatic.  By this time I was beginning to really be glad my eye doc was choosing to retire. 

Then they dilated my eyes and I met my new Eye Doctor.  She was personable, professional and competent.  She looked nice but I had a hard time seeing her since my eyes were dilated and I thought she was kind of cruel to blast my eyes with that bright light thing but other than that she was alright.   I mean, I wondered what I was expecting, that she’d be some kind of monster? She wasn’t.  I would have much preferred that she be male, attractive, and single and really into me but, hey, I can’t have it all my way can I?

Well, I left the doctor’s office today with my eyes so dilated they hurt.  I stumbled, sort of, out to my car and put on my sunglasses and sat and thought for a moment. What things we can learn from the most benign events in our lives if only we pay attention and observe. Four hours ago I was bemoaning the sad but normal changes we all experience in life.  Four hours later and I can see perfectly, both distance and close up and I’m not having to reach for my granny reader glasses.  Life is funny.  It’s downright strange and bizarre.  Life does suck.  There are parts of it that are so painfully sad that I’d almost rather not live it.   (Okay,  I’m not suicidal, please, even though when given the option I will usually choose to avoid the pain rather than face it head on…I hate pain so much I could never do myself in…it would simply hurt too much, besides, it’s a fairly permanent solution to what, I’ve found, are mostly temporaray problems.)  I hate goodbyes.  Having my eye doctor retire, not being able to go to his office in that nice craftsman style home with the pictures of Greece on the walls and where everyone knew me by name felt a bit like what I’d imagine being shoved out of my home as a kid before I was quite ready to go would feel like. It sucked.

But there’s an up side. The up side is this:  I now can see clearly and I don’t have to use Granny glasses and I’m not in pain.  I’m so going to love that!  I mean just the thought of it, let alone the reality of it, is enough to make me feel twenty years younger.  In addition, I’m not fumbling around half the time trying to adjust from one visual task to another.  And I don’t have a headache.  This is the best part of it.  I am not experiencing pain like I was before.

Now, silly as it seems, this little routine somewhat undramatic (or maybe a bit overdramatized)  change in vision doctors revealed a timely lesson for me.  Sometimes the pain, loss and corresponding grief we go through in life are necessary for our greater growth, development, ultimate maturity and improved vision.  (If I were writing to a strictly religious Christian audience this is where I’d insert any number of Bible references and there are many which would apply.  Those folks will know what they are so I’ll skip that part for now and let them provide them if they are so motivated.)  Any one of the maybe eight or ten people following my blog regularly will note that I’ve bemoaned my dating fate of late with folks going silent and perfectly good candidates opting out.  True, I haven’t shared the number of times I’ve opted out first, but, be that as it may, the dating life has been sucky and painful just as the eye doctor thing was painful and sucky…at first.  But here’s the thing that crystallized for me today.  The pain I experience or the sadness or, better, the disappointment I experience, only serves to help me clarify for myself what it is that I’m about in this journey we call life.  People opting out, aren’t necessarily a rejection of me, though it does feel that way for a few minutes.  It’s life.  My eye doctor didn’t retire because he didn’t want to provide services to me anymore.  How ludicrous is that thinking?  Yet that is exactly the logic behind the woe is me mentality that bends us up into knots when something we thought could really be great or was really great doesn’t work out.  Whether it is a dating relationship, a marriage, a career or a healthcare provider, all these things are just other people making choices that impact us.  Our value is not determined by their choices.  It is  painful to lose something that was wonderful, fulfilling,  warm, cozy, beneficial and positive.  It is painful to lose the familiarity of someone knowing my name and having a cute, cozy office with Greek pictures on the wall.  It was wonderful pondering the possibilities that might have transpired had any number of those wonderful men not gone silent. But it was simply not to be and because of it my vision is improved.  My vision is improved because I now see more clearly what I’m about in relationship and I see much more accurately the great qualities that I do hope Mr. Right, if he appears, will possess.  I also see much more clearly and with less pain and effort physically because I was able to change doctors and benefit from improved technology and service. 

I think there are greater lessons to be extrapolated here.  Simply put, sometimes we have to wade through some misery to figure out what doesn’t work so that when we come face to face with what does work, we recognize it.  One of my Christian friends was talking to me the other day and he said, “Check it out.  God gave Adam the task of naming all the animals before He brought Eve into the picture.  After looking all the animals over, Adam probably had a really good idea that none of those were a good fit for him and he was better able to recognize/appreciate  Eve’s beauty and fit for him because of the process God took him through”.  Now, I know, sounds a bit churchy, at points, but the idea still holds.  If we pay attention, we learn.  We learn what works and what doesn’t.  We learn how to be better people.  We learn to recognize those things and people that  are healthy and positive for us and those who are dangerous and toxic and we are able to make this determination with increasing effectiveness, accuracy and efficiency…but we must experience some pain in order to get there. 

That’s the part about life that sucks the most: going through the pain to learn how to avoid it, but, to be honest, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because, guess what, now I can see!!!!  In so many ways beyond just my physical vision, I can see!    I love the freedom, the confidence and the convenience that this improved vision brings.  For example, I’ve been at the computer for hours now and no headaches and I can see perfectly, without taking out my contacts or using Granny glasses. It is worth enduring the suckiness to benefit from the lessons.  Of course, I’d never say that while the lesson is being taught.  I, like many others, will drown in the misery, but, unlike many others, I’ll be watching, listening, thinking and learning all the while.  I’ll be glad when I’ve finally aced the test. So, while life sucks, I guess it isn’t completely for naught.  I’ll take the suckiness to gain the vision. 

I’m still going to miss those pictures of Greece though.

Negotiating a Divorce And Trying To Read The Crystal Ball

Today I tasked my students with attempting to begin their personal narratives in an interesting and creative way.  Now, it’s my turn and I am stuck.  How to begin? 

It was a dark and stormy night….na…taken, overused.

On Wednesday I was talking to a friend of mine….boring.

Hmmm, it is easier said than done.  It’s always easier to tell others how to do something and to give examples, but when it comes down to doing it yourself, it can be a much more challenging task.

This is how it is for me when I talk to my friends who are going through divorce.  I’ve been through divorce twice myself, but I also went through a custody trial on behalf of my second ex before he was my ex.  That means three times, I’ve needed to retain attorneys to resolve affairs of the heart that went bad and involved children and houses.  Once I settled out of court, once I experienced a two day, very tense and humiliating trial at the end of which I had no solutions and $30,000 less to my name.  The third time, the opposition never showed up so the judge ruled in my favor and  my attorney still stuck me with the bills.  None of these experiences was what I’d consider fun.  I never want to go there again. 

I hate to see my friends go through the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the tension, the complete range of unhappy emotions that come with negotiating anything in the legal realm, especially in family law.  It is so agonizing to stand by and listen and watch my friends knowing that I didn’t like what they are experiencing when I went through it.  It is painful to care for my friends and to see them experience such doubt, uncertainty, and angst.  It is hard to not be able to help in any way other than to sit by and listen.  Giving advice based on my experiences wouldn’t even be relevant because every situation is different.  The stakes are always high, as are the emotions but the nuances and possible consequences of all the negotiations are never just a simple black and white.

Even so, there are some things I’ve learned that I wish I would have known before going into the process and while enduring the process.  These are the things that are on my mind right now.  I’m airing them as much for me to revisit and clarify what I’ve learned and where I’ve travelled and why as much as to put it out there for anyone who might benefit from it.

I am not an attorney and none of this is intended to in any way replace the counsel of a good attorney. I am not a psychologist and I cannot give that kind of advice either.  All I’m really doing here is sharing what happened to me, what I wish I’d known or done differently.  Maybe it will help others maybe it won’t.  I’m really not all that concerned about that.  I just need to sort out for myself the jumble so I can be clear about the paths I chose and where they are now leading me.

One thing I wish I would have done in every case is wait and not panic.  This is not always possible.  When you are in the legal battle with someone you used to be very intimate with but with whom you cannot bear to be allied for a moment longer, waiting is especially hard.  Waiting is especially difficult if the person is abusive, dangerous or volatile.  Until you have that signed document you are still linked to that individual to some degree. It makes waiting nearly impossible, especially when the longer you still have the married label the further and more thoroughly the other person can destroy you financially, emotionally, maybe even physically.  When this is the situation, and you must wait, panic can eat you alive and prompt you to make decisions you may later regret. In my case, I made many good decisions, but there are some that I wish I’d waited on.  I wish I’d asked more questions of my attorney.  I wish I would have considered negotiating some other areas more thoroughly.  It might not have made a difference, but then again, it might have.

I also wish I could have seen more clearly how the deal I was negotiating then would affect my future which has become my present.  I think I did a very good job of this when considering the children.  I think I should have thought through it all a little more on the financial end.  I wish I could have seen a little more clearly then how it all would impact my future in post-divorce life.  How closely will I be connected and for how long will I be linked to this individual in the years to come? How much communication will be required between the two adults in question and is the amount required even going to be possible given the nature of the relationship?  As long as there are kids and money involved the chains still linking me to my past relationships are there even if they are invisible most of the time.  This sometimes negatively affects my present peace of mind.  Sometimes I wish I would have done this differently, though I’m not sure even now what that “differently” would be. 

 And this is the trouble with divorce, especially if there is a huge breakdown in communication, which it seems there usually is.  Because there are so many unknowns, so many possible and probable different outcomes, trying to see how my present decisions will impact my future life was a lot like gazing into a crystal ball and seeing nothing but formless shapes and figures among the misty haze. It simply isn’t possible to anticipate the future in every instance.  I think the people who are really good at computer programming could come up with a program to identify all the potential variables, courses of action and potential outcomes, but who has time or patience for that?

The best thing I did (and maybe the best any of us can do) is to  listen carefully to my attorney (get a second or third opinion if we need to) and try not to let our emotions rule.  The best we can do is to do the best we know how to do at the time.  In the end, I just had to move forward in confidence, knowing that I couldn’t know all the possible outcomes.  I had to forge ahead making decisions based only on the pieces of the puzzle that I could see and that my attorney could see. I forced myself to believe that it would all turn out okay, even when I was plagued with fears of the “what if’s”.  What if I lose the house?  What if I can’t make it financially?  What if, what if, what if…. There were nights I tossed and turned with the angst.

As it turned out, as most things turn out I’ve learned, most of what I feared never came to pass.  It ended up in some ways, in most ways, far better than I could have asked.  It ended up in a few ways more difficult than I imagined.  I simply did the best I knew how to do at the time.  It has to be good enough. This is the biggest lesson I take with me as I move forward into each day: I will be okay if I just do the best I can at the time.  When I get down and discouraged and starting thinking “I wish I would have” this is always the place I end up.  I did the best I could.  If I’d have known better, I’d have done better.  I just wasn’t able to read that crystal ball clearly enough, but it’s all turned out okay anyway.

Who Says Real Estate Is an Investment??!!!!!!

I am ready to sell this freaking fixer upper at a loss just to get out of it.  I am sick of all the little crap that goes wrong that I have no idea how to fix.  To figure it out takes days, weeks, and costs millions of lives.  I can’t do this any longer. 

I had a friend come in and fix the freaking drip in the kids’ bathroom which is the larger bathroom in my home.  Now, the hot water won’t freaking even turn on.  I am pissed.  Shuffling four children through my bathroom in a day (and my bathroom is the size of a broom closet and the shower alone only holds half a human being) is completely unrealistic. 

I’m thinking I want a rental, that I sign a forever lease on which keeps my rent the same, protects me from them selling the friggin’ property out from under me and requires the landlord to do the handyman work. 

The other option is to find and marry Prince Charming.  He only has to be good at three things:  home repairs, sex, and conversation.   Okay, it would be good if he picked up after himself and had a job.  Now, what the hell odds are those? 

I’m doomed!

Spinning

Stupid title.  I can’t sleep. My mind is spinning. I can’t concentrate or stay awake enough to get the papers I need to grade graded and yet, when I try to relax my mind keeps working.  Ugh.  This is what purgatory must be like.  You can’t rest but you can’t work either.  Ack!!!  I hate the end of the grading period…and election day and bill paying day happen to coincide.  Sometimes I just dont’ want to make any decisions.  Today, well, tonight would be one of those times.  So, I’m going to head to bed and hope that I can grade all the papers tomorrow afternoon/evening and still meet my deadlines.  I swear, I’m cutting it real close this time…but my mind is spinning and my heart is racing.  Sigh.

With Gratitude I Hear My Neighbors Fight

I wrote this poem as part of a writing assignment the same summer I separated from my ex.  Summer 2007.  The assignment was to take the first line of someone’s poem and create your own poem from it.  I, for the life of me, do not remember who the author is to credit this beginning to…but, I’ll figure it out and post it soon.  In any event, I certainly don’t claim the title or the first line as my own original work and I am greatly indebted to the original author for their inspiration.  I’ll do my homework and post the information soon.

With Gratitude I Hear My Neighbors Fight

 

With gratitude, I hear my neighbors fight

Two campsites over

I didn’t know what it was at first

The music of muffled comments

floating through the air

gradually growing in intensity but not too loud

Short staccato vibrations in the otherwise

still summer night.

There syncopated beats

Sneaking in through the window of the travel trailer

I borrowed from friends

 

Looking out, my eyes see the silent, lifeless shapes

of an RV park asleep

A place for happy families vacationing from their real lives

A make believe journey they can escape

by simply packing up

and going home.

They can choose to stay or leave.

 

But not me…for now,

for me this is not vacation

This is real.

Late at night,

in the deep, dark, noisy night

Semis rushing by, air brakes blasting

Their noise chases sleep when it tries to land nearby

Disturbing the silence

Not a hundred feet from my flimsy door.

This is not a vacation, it is my real life.

 

For now it is my escape

From a living nightmare

A nightmare I thought would never end

It is a refuge from hell

A halfway house for my kids and I as we flee Hades

This this is where we live…for now

But this is not our home.

 

With gratitude, I hear my neighbors fight

Two campsites over

the music of muffled comments

Sneaking in through the window of the travel trailer

I borrowed from friends

 

And for now, I know we are safe.

And I hope we will soon be home.