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Archive for the ‘home’ Category

The Scene:  Harried working mom on her way home after a 12+ hour day, about an hour longer than she planned with.  The mom is wrought with guilt, feeling the pressure of months of a heavy work load.  She is concerned that her family is starting to get sick of it.  At the same time, said Mom is kinda tickled over her new iPhone, and is fussing with it in the backseat of the taxicab when she receives a text from her daughter:

E:  When are you coming home?

M:  I should be there by 7:30. Why?

E:  I just wanted to know.

M: Are you mad?

E:  No.

M:  Sorry that I’m running late.  It was a busy day.

E:  It’s okay.

M:  Are you sure?

E:  MOM!  I’m watching Heroes!  Stop texting me!

M:  So, here I am, feeling guilty that you’re missing me because I’m working too much, and in reality, you just want me to stay gone long enough for you to finish your television show?

E:  That about sums it up.  Now can you stop texting me?

Harumph.

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Beloved is in graduate school.  He attends a pretty cool low-residency program in Vermont specializing in children’s literature.  He’s doing really well, and is accomplishing VERY long-standing goals.  However, we (you may have noticed) do not live in Vermont.

Because it is low-residency, he only has to attend school twice a year, for 10 days.  January and July.

Last January, I was such a baby-lawyer, I could barely open my eyes.  I was a little busy, and it made me nervous when he was gone.  What if something comes up?  What if I get a new assignment?  But it was fine, and I think I left at 4:30 every day.

Last July – the girls were in the Middle of the Country with the Ex, and Beloved and I had already started our moving process.  There were no difficulties.

This January – total different picture.

I’m fully engaged in a case that is culminating this month in every way.  Discovery is closing, summary judgment is being filed, experts are being hired, court hearings are happening.  It’s insane.  INSANE.  And I’m heavily involved in every aspect of it.

I was already nervous – that getting out of work at a reasonable hour was going to be difficult.  Of all months, this is the one where deadlines happen.  I was nervous.

Then, ha ha!  What made me think I knew what nervous was?

It looks like I have the great honor of traveling to a very different part of the country to tend to one of the many aspects of the case that is my Life, even though it’s a bit beyond my seniority level.  It just so happens to be during Beloved’s absence (and over days that are (a) a national holiday, and (b) inauguration day.  Feh.)

At first, it looked like it was just one day, and it was a day that was a school holiday, so I knew that the kids would be fine with friends.  Then it ended up two days, and two long days – long enough that once you add in travel, it may affect 4 days.  Yikes.  Beloved’s only gone for 10 days — I’m having issues for HALF of them?  Unbelievable.

I was going to post about how my decision to make my community one of my many priorities with my time becomes oh-so-valuable in times of need.  I have friends that I can ask for a hand – friends who I’ve given a hand to in the past, and who know that I’m an active and engaged member of our community.

But now, it seems like my needs are too big, and instead, I’m turning to family.  I’ve begged my mother to (re)arrange her work schedule so she can come while I’m gone.

E is mad at me – she overheard me talking to a friend who is my back-up plan, and insists that I hadn’t told her the whole story about next week before telling the friend.  She is mad about the options I have considered for her while I’m gone.  Some friends are out of favor, and others are just plain old “annoying.”  Humorously, she thinks she should be left home alone.

It was hard not to laugh at that one.

All in all, the stress levels are high.  I keep thinking about how, in the past, I’ve looked forward to certain things – or dreaded them – and then they happen.  And before I know it, it’s behind me.

I keep telling myself … it will be January 22nd before I know it.  Beloved will be home, and this difficult time will have passed.  i have a lot of friends.  I am very lucky.  The girls are well-loved, and people are happy to be supportive.  We live in an awesome community, where people are nearby and hyper-willing.

It will be okay.

And I will miss my Beloved.

And I am sad that I should be more supportive, and excited with him about his exciting time, and instead, I’m kinda on the verge of tears over my own stress and fears.  He gives so much, and deserves better.

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Years old!

Today was my birthday.

Through fantastic home cooked meals, disproportionate investments by offspring, phone calls from loved ones, and yes, Facebook Wall posts, I felt as loved and celebrated as I wanted to.

And through 10s of thousands of documents that HAD to be reviewed today, and the ever-growing to-do list at work and at home (i.e., kids’ school commitments, which may or may not include, oh, i don’t know, producing a major school play????), I was reminded that 3 dozen is far from 3.  Or One Dozen.  I am old.  And my birthday does not matter all that much, except to those who are dear to me.  And I thank them for their love and consideration.

Onward !!!  (because tomorrow is Beloved’s birthday!  And I have gifts to wrap, and a cake to wrap!!!)

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Holy shit.Work is just –  INSANE.I feel like if anyone who works in a big firm reads this, they will just laugh at me:Oh my god!  I billed 67 hours this past week!Yeah, it felt like a lot.  I’ve admitted to the fact that I’ve been spoiled up until now.Work and kids were hugely intertwined over the weekend; but I got a lot done.It’s been crazy but good.I know my weaknesses – they haven’t changed.I need to slow the fuck down.  I need to double check myself.I need to take less on.It’s hard, though.  Especially as a beginner.  Us newbies had a hard time getting a full plate.   I kept getting assignments with the promise that it would be “oh-so-busy” and instead, the matter was stayed for one reason or another.  So I’d ask for another.  And that one would be stayed.So I ended up with a list of 6 or 7 cases that I was on.On about Christmas time, all stays were lifted.I’m now the world’s most busy-est woman.  [oh, i guess i know that’s not true.]I don’t really mind.I just wish my husband was home.I miss his adorable face, and his apple-cheeks, and his overall presence.

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I am lonely.  It is 9:53 p.m., and I don’t know what to do with myself.  Where is my HUSBAND?

And seriously, this morning, when I was woken up by weird lightning and thunder in the midst of a snow storm, and woke up a little later to drag the kids out of bed so I could take them to a friend’s house (a la school cancellation), and then when I had to yell at J because I discovered in a most inconvenient way (snow boots full of approximately 2 inches of water as we’re ready to walk out the door so I can make it to work on time and I instead have to remove the wool insert and put them in the dryer for 40 minutes so the child can leave the house in the midst of said snowstorm) that she 100% disobeyed my very very very clear instructions on her way out the door to the park with a friend on Saturday

– [deep breath] –

I was fine.  Really, not sarcastically, FINE.  I could handle it.

But now, at 9:53 – I don’t know what to do with myself.  Do I watch t.v.?  But I don’t watch t.v.  Do I read a book?  But I don’t usually read until I am tired, and I’m not tired.  And I usually read until Beloved comes in and scratches my back, and there’s no back-scratching happening this week (or next, really), and it makes me lonely.

But at the same time, it makes me happy that I am lonely.

Once before, I was married.  He used to leave town a lot.  It was nothing but relief.  I was not lonely.  I was happy.  But then when he came home, I was sad.  I was sad because life felt no different than when he was gone, except I felt rejected.  Dejected. The kids didn’t have anything in their day that they didn’t have when their father was out of town.  I had no more help, no more companionship – no partnership.

Even when he was gone for (literally) 7 months.

My life was the same.

Not anymore!!

We all have a gaping hole in our lives.  The girls are lonely for him, too.  They comment on the quietness of the house.  They ask every day if he called, if he’s okay.  They want to send him stuff.  J is concerned my slacker-self won’t get on the ball before he leaves for home.  [She may be right.]

They never ask to call the X.  They never ask to send him stuff.  They NEVER say they miss him.

And I don’t think it’s because they’re afraid to share with me, because I try so hard to be open and to talk with them and to let them voice their feelings.  Maybe I am not as good as I think I am, but – even when he does call, they don’t want to talk to him.

Beloved fills our lives; his absence is felt.  We are okay, because we are strong people – but we miss him.

And we love him.

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There’s more snow forecast for Thursday day through Friday night.  I think I’ll be okay again.  I’m most worried about the fact that I’m supposed to be driving to my folks’ house on Friday evening, and we’re slated for the Lion King on Broadway on Saturday.  I can’t NOT drive down on Friday.

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I have a wicked sore throat and all over achy-ness. Beloved and J were suffering from this over the past week – we let J go into school late because of it yesterday, and she put herself to bed early all week. Beloved earned “sleeping in” rights in the mornings.

And now that I have it, I’ve earned an afternoon to myself. But do I want it?

I feel kinda lonely.

But when they were all just home, I was grouchy and cranky and whiney and pouty.

So maybe they have all earned my afternoon alone.

Ha.

The girls met friends at the sledding hill, and Beloved is helping out with the pre-Christmas insanity at work.

I am blogging.

And whining.

And I think getting ready to watch some Heroes episodes on Hulu, thanks to my friend Sue.  She posted some episodes for me previously, but now, thanks to her, I have independent viewing rights, and can watch from Episode 1 of the current season.  It’s so good to see my old heroes again.  Sweeties that they are.

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I guess I haven’t blogged about the fact that I’m having potentially 30 people at our house on Friday night.

Wow.

It’s a large gathering of parents in E’s grade. We are creating a support/information-sharing network for parents of middle schoolers. I somehow ended up on the planning committee for it, and although someone else (someone with a house) was going to host, they found themselves double-scheduled. I think the group will be infinitely important, useful and positive. An amazing community-builder, that will help our kids to understand how a community contributes to their development and their lives. I didn’t want it to evaporate just because no one could host.

So I decided that I could move my table out of my kitchen – like I did when I studied for the bar exam – and fill the open space we have with borrowed folding chairs, if that is what is necessary.

Look at what this requires:

I will take the kitchen table and move it into the girls’ room.

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(This photo was taken from the kitchen area – see the ugly linoleum?)

I will then make the green chair and the ubiquitous “green thing” flush with the bookshelves:

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(See, I already have some folding chairs, borrowed from mom and dad). I will put our kitchen chairs, and the comfy chair from the girls’ room, in the living room, making a circle with the couches.

And then, if need be, the entire entry/dining area can be filled with up to 3 rows of folding chairs. Or it can just be an extension of the circle.

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And then maybe … just maybe … I’ll be able to fit everyone.

Obviously, this endeavor also requires a lot of cleaning. I was going to hire someone. But I feel like it’s just too hard to do so for this small space. We have so many space-saving techniques employed, and I think it’s a lot to ask someone to work around those. So I need to find a way to fit it in around our week. Our week that not only includes full time working, daily school and Wednesday evening basketball practice, but also two bookgroups, a potluck dinner, and homework projects. Oh yeah, and my swearing in ceremony. Oh, and it’s our town’s “welcome to the holiday season” celebration, which means the girls have to perform on Thursday night.

So I made a chart:

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The girls have very little to do, which of course is only fair. I have the most to do, which is of course the way of the world. I am, after all, the person who agreed to do this. Beloved never would have done such a thing.

Not on the chart is my trip to the liquor store, where I must buy wine and beer for potentially 30 people. Huh? Also … snacks?

I just remembered I had asked Beloved to make his outstanding guacamole and papaya salsas for snacks. Isn’t this a sweet way to remind him?

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