Archive for the ‘overwhelmed’ Category

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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I was excited all day about bringing Beloved to see the apartment.  All day long.

At approximately 2:30, I received a call on my cell phone from the mortgage broker I had spoken with previously, “following up.”  It went like this:

  • I explained to her that I am afraid of being upside down, and that I don’t want to force myself into high payments considering that in this town, I will be squished into a small house in return.
  • She said the market isn’t as scary as the media makes it out to be.
  • I told her that I have been following my small and unique town’s market like a hawk since March of 2005, and that I do know that there’s a slow down (although nothing at ALL compared to the national picture), and that I’m very curious about this spring, b/c things are finally – after a dead dead winter – coming onto the market again, but turnovers have yet to be fast and prices are being lowered.
  • She said I clearly know waht I’m talking about, and that she’ll send me e-mails with “interesting products”
  • and I said thank you, I am interested in receiving them.

I got off the phone feeling okay.  I had made the decision to rent for another two years with some pain and discomfort.  But I have come around to accept it and be content.


Then my work phone rang.  I recognized the number and felt a little worried – J’s best friend’s mom.  Is J okay?  She shouldn’t be there, did something happen?  Are the girls in a fight?  What’s going on.

“Hey, Z, don’t freak out, everything’s okay, but I just heard from that woman across the street, and they’re ready to sell.  She wants you to call her.”


It’s an old house, having been owned for years and years by an old man.  He passed away last May, I think, and Beloved and I have been dreaming since.  The house is relatively small (1400 sf), and the kitchen is far from modern.  It has 3 bedrooms, but from the outside and the square footage listed with the assessor’s office, they’re very small bedrooms, and there is no space for an office/study.

But it has potential, and it is a single family (hard to come by in this town).  If we got it at a good price, we could fix it up in phases, and live there forever.

We’ve been waiting for this house to come on the market for 6 months.

And now, just as we decide to be renters for another 2 years — it comes on the market.

Or rather, not on the market.  But instead privately offered to US.

I’m calling the owner tonight.


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And now, my life – my work load – my frantic-ness – actually matches that fact.

What happened?

I worked a LOT during the week between Christmas and New Years.  I was pretty much the only one in the office, because most people had taken the week off.

But working a lot worked.  We had no kids.  Beloved worked as well.  It was FINE.

But yesterday I got slammed.  A lot of dormant issues became live issues and “narrow research questions” became very, very broad.

I also decided back in September that I would take on a certain kid-related extra curricular role.

That started today.  I had a meeting in my town at 8 a.m., which ended at 9:30.  I then RAN to the office, where I worked for just over 9 hours before rushing home to pick back up on the duties for the new school-thing.

In the meantime, I had to coordinate my book group’s next meeting and take care of some details for another kid-related meeting.

Did I mention I have a lot of work to do?   I have a deposition transcript sitting on my lap right now.  (ha!)

Did I mention that my life rocks?   I mean  – Obama’s speech on t.v., my kids dreaming of their first opportunity to vote, exciting and engaging work on my lap, in my office, a vibrant community role that allows me to be reaching out and stretching and meeting new people, a fantastic husband, and the world’s best cat.

What more could I ask for?

[a house]  [shut up!]

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I should be tired.  I have done a lot today.  A lot of work, a lot of exercising, a lot of socializing, a lot of sports practice schlepping, a lot of cleaning, a lot of chatting, a lot of cuddling.

Work still gets an A.  Sometimes I wonder what happened.  Why am I so happy, when people talk about work environments that are supposedly similar to mine in this manner?   I know I’m not in the cut-throat city, but still.  I’m just not seeing it.  And tonight, when I walked down my hallway at 5:30 to talk to a more senior associate about holiday-gift-giving etiquette, I walked past many, many empty offices.

I know, I know.  “Give it time,” or “just you wait and see.”

zuska = optimist.

I believe that my optimism makes good things happen.  It creates a better situation.  All the time.  It’s even, in the past, caused planes to take off when flights would have otherwise been canceled.  I promise.

Tonight, we all did chores.  E took out the recycling, J dusted in the living room, Beloved scrubbed the kitchen floor, I did the bathroom and 2 loads of laundry and straightened and moved furniture to get ready for Friday.

The house is taking shape.

Tomorrow I buy wine, Beloved buys beer.  I then come home (after the girls’ performance and taking the girls out to dinner) and scrub down the kitchen counters and the hardwood floors.  Then we sleep.  On Friday, Beloved vacuums the furniture and makes salsa; I work all day and then stop at the store on my way home to get paper plates and plastic cups; I wipe down the bathroom; throw the bathroom rug in the washer (how does it get dirty so fast?  it gets dirty SO FAST that I know that washing it today will do NOTHING toward it being clean on Friday.  NOTHING); take apart the kitchen table and move it to another room, vacuum the girls’ rug and the living room rug; do a final sweep of the wood floors; set up drinks and snacks; set up all the extra chairs; and otherwise freak out.

Then on Saturday, the girls have basketball games at 10 and 11.  This is okay.  Because basketball is played at the highschool.  The high school is like, 6 blocks from our house.  We do not need a zipcar.  Hell, E doesn’t even need us to walk with her.  And the games are at 10!!  And 11!!  Not 9.  Not 8.  It is downright civilized.

Then I have to make a key lime something or other ….

Anyone have any recipes????

Because that night, we’re going to an early Hannakuh party.

Sunday, I wanted to go out for mine and Beloved’s birthdays (Tuesday and Wednesday).  But I don’t have a babysitter.  😦  Woe is me.   While my kids are able to have spurts of time home alone, I’m not too keen on leaving them home in the evening while hubby and I go out on a date.  That’s a bit much.  Too much.

I really need to go to bed, or I won’t make it to Sunday.

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This is the third trip I’ve taken wherein I’ve returned home with regret because of a lack of photographs.  I brought my camera, at least, this time.  But Sunday was full of outlet stores and then today was overcast, rainy and foggy (man, was it foggy).  There weren’t many opportunities for photos.

But we had a good time.  Vermont was lovely – not as lovely as it was this time of year 2 and 3 years ago, but lovely nonetheless.  The cabin was fun, and it’s nice that the girls are as familiar with it now as I was when I was a kid.  They have their favorite bedrooms, and favorite out and indoor activities, and best of all – great memories.

There was some stress.  We met up with my parents on Sunday, and I felt a bit rushed so that we could get there early enough for my dad not to pick on me.  I also had to deal with the typical stress that comes with my parents:  food.

My parents like to eat.  My dad likes to Cook For Those He Loves.  He declared on Saturday afternoon that he wanted to make breakfast when we arrived in Vermont.  I had already told them that I wanted to take them out for lunch – for their anniversary, which was this past week.  He has no problem eating breakfast at 10:30 or 11 and then lunch at 1.  But we do.

And so, I felt myself gearing up for that dance of mine – the guilt/getting what I want dance.  I can’t be too assertive, or my dad will pout and make me feel like I hate his cooking, or I hate him, or I hate being with him.  I have to find a way to take a little bit of what he’s doling out, and still have some of what I want.

So instead of pancakes, eggs and bacon at 11:15, I instead had AN egg, and a strip of bacon.   I tried to get my family to do the same.  My dad was happy that we ate his food, and I was happy an hour later when I felt far from full.

And they loved the lunch that I took them for.  The pot roast cheddar melt that we discovered in August was a hit with both mom and dad (and even E, who would not try it last time, even though her sister wolfed it down).

They left for home from the Gap outlet, and Beloved took the kids to the bookstore while I went to the Ralph Lauren outlet – the only one where I found stuff I actually liked.  I met them in the bookstore – the one where I discovered a purse that I loved, and browsed.  Sadly, they did not have the purse in Olive.  Only orange, tan and purple.  None of which made me smile.

It was 7 p.m. when we left there, and we realized that we had zero hunger, and zero energy.  We went to a grocery store to buy bread and cheese and some bell peppers and carrots and fruit – in case we got hungry at the cabin – and then went and played hours of board games, and had a lovely time.


This a.m. I woke at 8:30, and kept myself awake so that I could sleep tonight.  We got going by 9, and were out of the cabin shortly after 10.  We went to a cafe (the same one we went to in that earlier post) and had coffee and hot cocoa, and then decided to drive east for a little while.  We came to Bennington, Vermont, which seemed not to care that tourists were invading the state – unlike every other town we had been in – and refused to install a million outlets and country stores and restaurants.  Geez.  So we spent yet another hour in yet another bookstore which I had trouble prying my peeps out of so that we could go next door to the chocolate store.

While in the book store, I found a book that had something to do with Hikes in New England.  I went through the Vermont section, curious if it would highlight the hike we’d gone on in August, when it wasn’t foggy and drizzly and humid.

IT DID!!  It was the third hike listed in the book!  That was fun.

Then we drove home.  Which was fine.

We also decided that if we find that any investment in land for us will need to be outside of the pricey town we rent in currently – it cannot be the town where the cabin is.  It’s just too far away.  An hour too far.  Three hours just won’t work for a weekend trek.  We are going to look around in the areas which are closer to 2 hours.

Perhaps in the spring.

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I overdid it.  I pushed myself too hard, ended up too tired, too raw.

I am a relatively young person, and I forget now and again that despite my youth (which all of my local friends are constantly reminding me of, as I’m typically 10 years their junior), I am not, literally, Super Woman.

I cannot go camping for 4 days, some of the time spent as the only adult, and come home fresh-as-a-daisy ready to go out and play on a day trip with friends.  I come home tired, and I need to re-coop.

But yesterday, I had made plans to go on a day trip with friends.  It sounded like a fun outing – heading to a local county fair.  I knew when I woke up, however, that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to just be home.  I wanted to put away the sleeping bags, which are still strewn around the living room floor.

The trip went well, the girls had fun, it was FINE.  I could not focus on anything, however, except the misery.  The misery of the fair workers: their missing and blackened teeth, their grouchiness, their interactions with each other.  The patches on the game awnings, the nastiness of the food.  I couldn’t imagine how these settings used to be magical to me.  When I was a kid and the carnival came to my small town of Southbury, Connecticut, I was thrilled.  I had the best time.  The smells were great, the rides were great, the games and food!  Oh, such happiness!  Yesterday, the wilder rides were set to heavy metal, and the less wild ones left me picturing my head snapping around on my neck in the most painful way.  I only went on the Ferris Wheel with J.  We were in one of two cars with people in it, and were able to listen to an argument amongst 3 of the fair workers the entire time.  Since no one else was in line, we missed out on the benefit of the stops at the top, or near top, and I missed it.  We had planned on looking for E and her friend from up there … but didn’t get the chance.

It also freaked me out that the day cost me $100.  I’m really freaking out about money right now.  I keep telling myself to calm down, it will be fine.  No, I don’t have much spending money between now and paycheck #1, but I have enough to cover the bills.  It’s hard, though, to not stress.  Even though this is likely the last time in a long time that I’ll have to worry like this.  Even though it’s been my life for the past 3+ years.

Then, at 11:20 p.m., my sister called me.  She’s been trying to plan a trip to come to the east coast to see my nephew who was born in May, right around J’s bday and my graduation (yeah, that was a wild week – planning a bday party, finishing exams and getting ready for graduation while driving down to Connecticut twice in a week … woo hoo!)  She has thrown a few dates out there, and all I can really say is, “I’ll do my best,” because they all came after I started work, and I just don’t know.  I don’t know.

But last night she called with good news, and as we were getting off the phone she told me she finally bought her tickets.  We had last talked about a date in mid October, and I said, “for the weekend we talked about?” and she said, “No!  I chose a different weekend!  I’m coming for dad’s birthday!”


Dad’s birthday is 2 days before E’s birthday.  E’s birthday is the DAY after I start my job.   Because I could not fathom planning a birthday party for E during my first week of work, I planned it for the weekend before – Dad’s birthday weekend.  It’s a sleepover.  The invitations were designed and glued by E while we were camping.

If Sis was coming mid-October, it would be “up in the air” as to when or whether I could drive down and hang out with her.  But I know that it would be likely that I could do so.  Perhaps something would be going on at work, and I would have to get up early on Saturday and go in for a few hours before getting on the road – but we’ve done quick turn around trips in the past.  It could have been done.

But the weekend that I have 4 (or 5?) 11 year olds sleeping at my house?  Impossible.

But I think it gets even stickier than “I won’t get to see my sister.”

It’s my dad’s birthday.  Fine.  No big deal.  My dad’s birthday has been overshadowed by E’s birthday since 1996.  But this is my dad’s 60th birthday.  Sort of a big one.

This has not been made a big deal of by either of my parents.  My dad knows I’m starting my job the next day, and that E’s bday is the day after that, and that we’re having her party.  I’ve never gone down to CT for his birthday (although I did for my mom’s last year, but that was just because I didn’t know what else to get her).  I call him.  I send a card.  If it’s a good year for me, I get him a gift.  My parents are currently on a  2 week vacation celebrating the event.  That’s how they decided to do it – no big party.  A vacation.  So it was FINE.

But now my sister is going to be there from California.  My brother lives around the corner.  There’s just 3 of us.  So now I will be the only one NOT there.

I guarantee you that NOW, it will be an issue that I can’t be there.  Now that it’s a “family gathering.”

So, two resulting emotions.

  1. I’m upset (as in mad, irritated, frustrated) that I can anticipate a lot of guilt and “problem-solving” from my mother.  (Problem-solving:  Wherein my mother tells me what to do, how to rearrange my life, and what phone calls to make in order to make HER idea of “what I should do” happen).
  2. I’m  upset (as in sad, disappointed, feeling left out) that I can’t be there with my family for this day that will NOW be a family gathering.

Then I woke up and realized I forgot to move the car from the street to the parking lot (no on-street parking allowed in our town, all violators will be ticketed and fined $30.  I’m paying $40 total for a parking space for the entire 2 weeks that we have the car … so this was very stupid, and does not coincide well with my stresses over money.)  Update! Beloved just texted me on his way to work to say that we did NOT get a ticket!  Phew!

Then I got an e-mail from E’s friend’s mom saying that E was still awake at 4 a.m.

4 a.m.

What the fuck?

Before I left there last night, I had a conversation with her. I told her that she has to SLEEP on sleepovers.  Sleep.  Not stay up all night and be a problem for her hostess.  That she will no longer be invited if she keeps staying up all night, and that honestly, before that happens, I will not allow her to go on anymore sleepovers.

Because she’s done this before.  Not until 4, but until 1.  And because E is not really a sleeper (ha!), I feel confident that she is the impetus for the lack of sleep on these occasions.   I don’t really know what I’m going to do with her when she gets home.  She will be grouchy and exhausted.

I’m mad.

This is not a good day thus far.  I am not a happy Zuska today.  It’s not a good way to start an at-home day, where J is having a friend over, and I am required to take care of all the camping gear.  Preferably before she gets here.  At one.


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