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Cats

I’m angry with my cats right now. I have four of them. I am pretty frustrated with one of them in particular. This cat is obnoxious. Every night after midnight, until about 3:00 a.m., he decides to get active. It’s as though someone injected a high dose of stimulants into his bloodstream. It’s making me crazy and depriving me of sleep…a lot of sleep…for a long time now.

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When Society Breaks

I entered the lunchroom at the office complex where I work yesterday. I was reveling in the fact that it was almost quitting time. One of my co-workers asked if she could turn on the news. That’s never a good sign. My interest and my ears immediately perked up, but a sense of dread began its tell-tale churning in my stomach. Read the rest of this entry

Same Song, Second Verse Same As The First…Other Side

I must confess. I have not been up late at night…much…lately. I’ve been sleeping very well and feeling good when I wake up the next day. Never mind that I was sick for two weeks with food poisoning. My bills are paid. There is food in my cupboards. And there’s a wee little bit to offset the unexpected thing that might come up. It is amazing how having a little extra cash in the bank and a car that is reliable changes one’s outlook on life. It’s also pretty incredible how that makes it easier to sleep. It’s been a good month. Or rather, a good couple of weeks. I can’t complain. And I won’t start now, even though, life has turned on the proverbial dime for me, once again. Read the rest of this entry

Payday

On Facebook, it is the monthly ritual, for a great number of my “friends” to complain about how quickly the money they worked for all month disappears when they pay the bills. I understand this. I empathize with this sentiment, but this is not how I feel about payday. Read the rest of this entry

Freedom!

This is not a political post. While I am deeply committed to this country I live in, and am deeply grateful for those who’ve fought and sacrificed for the freedoms I now enjoy, this is not about that kind of freedom. The freedom I am speaking of is of a different sort. It’s the freedom that comes with being able to choose; to chart a course, set out on it and make it happen. I think fewer people experience this freedom than we might think. Read the rest of this entry

There’s No Place Like Home

Autumn was late in coming to my small corner of the world. Summer, with it’s wearing, energy-zapping heat hung around till well into October. We”ve had one night of frost, three days ago, and though the rain finally made an appearance, the temperatures during the day haven’t really dropped much below the mid-60’s. In fact, as I write this, it is pushing midnight, and I am sitting outside on my upper deck, in my anti-gravity lounger, wearing loungepants and a camisole, covered only by a lightweight comforter. The weather went from an Indian summer to late winter, verging on spring. I can’t say I mind in the least. It is cool enough to be somewhat reminiscent of fall, but not cold enough that I need to worry about winter. Today, the weather forecast accurately predicted rain, but the temperature remained in the 70’s.

At one point this evening, I decided to head outside to get the mail and turn on the one lonely, but very creepy jack-o-lantern light we have. I live in a neighborhood of townhomes, some of them connected to another, others are solitary buildings, houses, if you will. I happen to live in one of the larger ones, with three large decks rather than a yard. I am also not adjoining anyone else’s home. The best part is that my home is the remotest, most private in the neighborhood. I like i t this way. I’m one of the few in the neighborhood who have children, which kind of makes me an anomaly. Most people living around me are, empty-nesters, or not yet married with children. I also like this.

But tonight, as I returned from getting the mail, I noticed how many of the homes were dark and silent. I took a moment t to gaze around. I counted only two other homes that had lights on. It was uncertain if anyone really was home. I shrugged to myself, thinking this was an interesting thing. As I turned back to my own place, I noted how drastically different my place was, I  contrast. The decking above and below, combined with it’s unique and very private location in the neighborhood, set it apart instantly. But tonight, I noticed something else, something more. While all the homes in my neighborhood are well maintained, mine actually looked like someone lived there. I don’t mean this the way some might when they try to excuse the “kid clutter” or haphazard maintenance that characterizes their place. My home is as meticulously maintained as the rest of them. What was different was the element of warmth. My home appeared warm and inviting in a way that these other homes, even with their lights on, could not. 

“Someone who cares, lives here,” I thought. “And it shows.”

I walked back to my home, once again grateful that, in spite of all the challenges and difficulties I face, I have a warm home where I truly enjoy being. I have children who are great people, and I love spending time with them. I have four cats who annoy the crap out of me at times, but tonight I wouldn’t change a thing. There is just no place like home.

Illness and the Single Parent

Parenting is tough enough when there are two parents in the home.  It is even more challenging when a parent has to parent solo. There is no longer another person to help out with getting kids to various activities and events.  There isn’t another person to help with the cooking, grocery shopping and household chores.  By the time the afternoon taxi runs are done, dinner is finished and cleaned up, a single parent is often ready to collapse, but then, there is  homework to supervise, or television to monitor, or any number of things that require tending to.  The life of a single parent is often one of sheer fatigue and exhaustion.  And that’s if the parent is in good health.  Should a single parent come down with the flu, life then becomes impossible.

I used to think, when I was married, that moms were never able to get sick.  My husbands, when they got sick, collapsed and could have cared less about what went on around them.  And I, being the dutiful wife, made sure they were unable to sleep undisturbed until whatever it was passed.  Sadly, I have never had these kindnesses reciprocated.  During the few times I did get sick, I was not allowed to sleep, I was constantly interrupted by children’s demands.  I was still expected to cook and clean as if nothing was the matter.  In my second marriage, I contracted walking pneumonia and had just been told by the doctor that I was ill enough to be admitted to the hospital.  She left the choice up to me and I went home.  My sensitive husband, having just heard the doctor’s diagnosis, decided to have all of his relatives (some 23 or more) over at our house for an afternoon. Imagine it.  23  people, most of them loud, obnoxious children, in our 1400 square foot home.  I should have taken up the offer for hospitalization.   This is just one of many reasons why he is now known to me as “The Evil Ex”.

This weekend, I was sick.  Not just runny nose, coughing kind of sick.  I was flat-on-my-back-couldn’t-move sick.  It started out as a sore throat, and the next day every muscle in my body hurt so badly I was nearly paralyzed with pain.  I was a little congested, but not much, and no cough.  No nausea, except for a few hours one evening.  I just could not move, and I had the worst headache ever…for three days.   I haven’t been that sick in a very long time.

Needless to say, everything in my world stopped.

No laundry was done.  No groceries shopped for.  No housecleaning happened.  Nothing.

In my world, if these things don’t get done during the weekend, they don’t get done until the next weekend, and that creates problems for us in getting through the week. Since my dryer is still not working, I had to wait until I had enough energy and strength to haul the wet laundry down the stairs and into the car to go to the laundromat and dry them.  Then, of course, there’s the return trip where I haul the dry laundry up the stairs and put it away. Fixing meals?  Thank goodness I had some of those quick microwave burritos on hand or my kids would have starved.  That combined with the fact that it was a weekend where my kids were all at their other homes made it possible for me to get some rest and sleep it off.  I’m feeling better now.  Still weak.  Dizzy.  But I can move.  I have some energy to do small tasks, if I rest in between.

At times like these, I truly wonder how we single parents make it through.  I am grateful my kids are older and can do most things for themselves.  They understand that I’m not up to par and they pretty much leave me alone. My heart goes out to those single parents dealing with younger children, and fewer resources or support systems than I have.  I wonder how they make it through.

 

Interviews

Back in the day, when I was younger, squeaky clean, freshly stamped with that Bachelor’s Degree, and looking for work, I had to go through the arduous,  intimidating, and emotionally exhausting process of interviewing.  I hated it.  I hated the way I was often scrutinized, picked apart, rejected.  And that was if I even got the interview.  Because I was able to present myself well on paper, and because I legitimately had some decent grades, a fair amount of extracurricular campus leadership involvement, and held down a 30-40 hour job, I usually got any interview I sought.  The problem is, I’d crash and burn on the interviews.  The only time I didn’t crash and burn on an interview was the interview for the job I have now.  Of course, by the time I interviewed for this job, I was in my 30’s, had a bunch more education under my belt, and was far more confident in my abilities to do the job I was seeking. Looking back, I was so terribly frightened and unsure of myself  in those wide-eyed, innocent days, that it is amazing that I got the jobs I did get, when I got them, that gave me the experience which ultimately landed me a position in a nationally recognized and cutting edge training program for the profession I am currently in.

I was young and unsure. I felt inadequate. I was afraid to fail. All of this showed through in those early interviews, I am sure. Like I said, I’m surprised I ever got a job to begin with. Read the rest of this entry

Dating and Democracy

I love the area I live in, for the most part. It really is beautiful country, the weather is mild most of the year, and there are plenty of opportunities to do things outdoors whether you like the river, lake, mountains or coast. We have it all. The problem is when it comes to dating, there’s a dearth of  educated people.  There’s an even greater lack of people who have beliefs similar to mine and this is never more obvious than when we begin the discussion of politics. Read the rest of this entry

Bad Day

Today started out all wrong.  The problem is, I didn’t know it was going badly until it was too late to correct. Today I arrived at work 30 minutes late. There is nothing like walking into a meeting full of people, when your company has called in a consultant and designated you as a leader, with your boss present…and you are a full 30 minutes late.

I would have actually been on time, however, the competent individual who sent out the information via email stated an 8:00 start time.  Everyone else got the follow up memo with the time correction.  Everyone except me.

You know it is a bad thing when you are walking down the hall to a meeting, thinking that you perfectly on time, maybe even a few minutes early and your boss is texting you, “Are you coming?” That awkward moment when you feel the dread thickening in the pit of your stomach as you open the door, take your seat and discover, everyone else has been there for 30 minutes.

Embarrassment.

Anger.

Sudden, overwhelming insecurity and paranoia.

I, did, in fact check my memos.  All of them listed an 8:00 start time. There was no follow-up memo, at least, not to me.

How is it that every one else knew of the change in time, but me?  And then my next thought, Was this an intentional set up?  Who would do that?  Why?  Read the rest of this entry

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