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Is Anybody Out There?

17 May

Right. I have a blog. People used to read it. Then I disappeared. I don’t really have excuses, per se. Just a lot going on – the normal stuff, like kids and a house and all that business. Throw in the rental property Hubs and I just finished building plus trying to build my business, and I just had to step away from the computer. And as it turns out, when you work for yourself, and your ability to make money depends solely on the amount of time you work/effort you put in, well, let’s just say that you’re A LOT less likely to spend normal working hours messing around on Twitter or blogging. Ahem.

I spend all day writing and sitting in front of a computer and that doesn’t bode well for writing for fun. But oh, how I miss it. And I have a lot to say. I’ve been working hard on me, and there has been a lot of navel gazing up in here and if anyone is still out there reading, well, lucky for you, you get to hear about it.

So let’s just jump right in, shall we? Let’s talk about all the things I want to change about myself.

No, seriously. I’ve written before about coming to terms with the fact that no one is going to change my life for me. Which is, of course, blatantly obvious for normal people, but it was a lesson I had to learn, and continue to learn. But 2012 has, so far, been the year of working hard to be the person I want to be, and I’m kind of proud of myself.

It’s an odd feeling for me, to be proud of myself. I still find myself constantly putting  down my accomplishments and minimizing the work I’ve done. But I am a person who responds to lists, so even though my fingers are attempting to type all of the ways in which I’ve failed and all the things I have yet to change, I’m going to talk about the things I’ve been doing.

Health

When I started working from home, I swore I wasn’t going to sit on the couch and gain weight. But did you know that yoga pants are very forgiving? They are. And it wasn’t until I put jeans for the first time in … well, let’s just say it was a significant period of time … that I realized that those days of yoga pants were hiding the fact that I had gained a lot of weight. I did not feel good. So I started doing something about it:

– I got a partner. Since the end of February, my sister in law and I text each other EVERYTHING we eat. Everything. If I have three chips, I tell her. That accountability is an AMAZING deterrent for dipping my hand back into the bag of chips.

– I stopped drinking soda. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m still mourning and it’s been 2 and a half months.

– I changed my diet. I cut out carbs and right now I’m on the 17 day diet, which has worked really well for me.

– I started running. I can now run a 10:50 mile, which I realize is laughable to some, but those three miles I run every other day make me feel like a rockstar.

– I started hot yoga. Let me tell you, Internet, I do not like to sweat. I would rather be cold than hot. I am not good at yoga. I thought for sure this would be a disaster. But I am completely, totally in love with hot yoga. The studio I go to uses a sequence very similar to Bikram yoga and it kicks my ass every time, but every time I leave there feeling like I can do ANYTHING. It also helps that I sweat out 1.5 – 2 pounds every time.

– I’ve lost 15 pounds. 15 more to go!

Work

I’ve got a few new, steady clients, which is awesome. I’m feeling more comfortable with putting myself out there and asking for what I’m worth. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I feel so lucky that I had the support of my husband and the guts to do this.

Kids

I’ve tried really hard to be present with my kids. To play more, to plan fun activities, to try to have activities planned. I need to do better, but I have improved and I’m so glad I get to spend this extra time with them.

My Style

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently, as in the past 2 weeks. I am not a very stylish person. I know what I like when I see it, but putting it together is hard for me. If you read the internet at all, you’ve probably heard about Elizabeth’s “Wear Fewer T-Shirts” project. I cannot even express how much I looooove this idea. The aforementioned yoga pants are wonderfully comfortable, but they don’t really make me feel good.

Caleb’s BFF at daycare has one of those moms who always looks great. You know the ones – skinny, perfect hair, great outfit, etc. She just looks good. And she works full time and has two kids and she’s super nice and I basically have a mom crush. I don’t think I’m ever going to be like that, but I do want to try to look like I didn’t just roll out of bed. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but it’s going to start tomorrow when I take a hatchet to my closet. Goodwill is going to get a large delivery of Old Navy t-shirts that are never going to look right on me and clothes that I refuse to let go of because I’m convinced that someday it will work, even though it has never worked.

So that’s where I am. There are things I want to change, and I’m heading in the right direction. I’m proud of myself. And I promise this time, I really intend to write here again. I miss it.

What is going on with you, Internet?

Who I Want to Be

9 Jan

My parents are very easy-going people. They are content with what they have in life and they count their blessings. These are great traits to have. But on the flip side, this contentedness, I think, sometimes bred a little apathy. While my brothers and I were always encouraged to try new things and they supported us (and still do) in all our endeavors, we were never encouraged to take risks or push the envelope. If we tried our best, gave it our all, and still didn’t like it or didn’t succeed, well, it was okay to just give it up.

So what my parents  inadvertently taught me, by simply being the people they are, is that things will happen as they will – you can’t do much about it, so just appreciate what you have been given. And that is true for many things in my life.

I’m not trying to say that is a bad thing – I don’t think it is. Many people are simply happy with their life – and that is great for them. They are thankful when good things happen unexpectedly, but they are simply content overall.  But what my risk-taking, always-striving husband has taught me is that sometimes, if you’re not happy, you have to just do something.

I’ve written about this before – and some of you are likely thinking I’ve written about this ad naseum,  but for me it is an ongoing lesson.

I found out last week that a friend of ours, who is a year younger than I am with two kids who are the same age as mine, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The prognosis is good, but my God. She isn’t even thirty. Life is so short. And so fragile.

There are things I want for my life that aren’t simply going to happen by wishing or waiting. I want more. Not in a selfish or greedy way, but when I heard about my friend, it was possibly the biggest wake up call I’ve ever had, at least in terms of appreciating that we are given one life here on Earth. And regardless of what awaits us after death – whether that is something better or nothing at all – we only get this one chance.

I want to be the person I want to be – the person I imagine but always think You’re not that person and you’re not even close. I don’t want to look back on my life in forty years and think I wish I had …

It’s time for me to get real with myself. No one is going to do it for me. I have to do it. And when I do it, and I can look back with pride at the changes I’ve made, it will be worth the journey.

*****

I want to make decent money. Since I’ve been out of college, I’ve never made good money and at almost eight years out of school, I’m not okay with that. I’m educated and experienced and I want to feel worthwhile. I want to do this through writing and editing and I want to do it in a way that allows me flexibility for my family.

But no one is going to market me. No one is going to hire me just because I’m nice. I have to market myself and convince them they need me.

I want to be the type of mom who doesn’t lose her cool. The mom who plays with her kids and doesn’t look longingly at her bed, or her book, or back at the days when she wasn’t so weighted with all this responsibility.

But no one is going to make me do this. I have to get down on the floor and play dirtbikes and castle and picnic. I have to remind myself that these days when  my babies are little are fleeting and when I do have time to do what I want, when I want to do it, I will wish to travel back in time. To right now.

I want to be the kind of wife who really talks to her husband – who doesn’t let the stress of everyday life get in the way of really seeing him, or sharing with him, or just loving him. I want to be the wife who doesn’t let us get lost.

But no one is going to make me put down my phone or my book or turn off the TV to just talk to him. No one is going to convince me I’m not too tired or too sick of people touching me all the time. I have to appreciate, every second of every day that a marriage is work and it is one job that I cannot slack off on. He is my future and my partner and we deserve to be as happy as we can be.

I want to lose twenty-five pounds this year. I want to feel comfortable and sexy and healthy. I want to know that I’m taking care of this one body I have.

But no one is going to exercise for me or yank the chips out of my hand. No one is going to cook me healthy food or push me down to the basement to exercise. I’m not going to wake up one day and look the way I want.

I can be judgmental of others and a little harsh. I hate that about myself. Other people’s choices are none of my business.

But no one is going to stop me from gossiping or thinking unkind thoughts. No one is going to make me choose to think something positive rather than something negative. I have to make a conscious effort, every second of the day, to change my thinking.

I want to have a better relationship with God. It’s pretty nonexistent right now and that is all my fault.I know that I need God in my life, but since my brother died, it’s been difficult for me to take that leap of faith.

But no one is going to pray for me or make me go to church. This is the most important one of all and one that I can’t wait any longer on.

I am an incredibly blessed person. There is so much in my life to be thankful for. But I’m not particularly proud of myself.  So it’s not easy to think about, let alone write about, all of this – these are big changes. Way beyond what I said my “goals” were in my last post. I have no fantasies of accomplishing all this in the next year.  I just want to know, in the end, whenever that may be, that I’ve done everything I can to be the person I wish I was right now. And I don’t have forever – I need to get to work. It’s all up to me.

2012

5 Jan

Man, I was so proud of myself for seeing NaBloPoMo through. My stats were up! People were commenting! I was loving it! And then … BAM. I started working from home and oddly, spend less time blogging, annoying my dear Internet friends, and losing hours of my life to Twitter and Pinterest. And then the holidays came. Also my kids are home with me from 11:00 on and they are heathens. Heathens, I tell you.

Anyway! I started to do the obligatory year-end post but found that all of my answers started with “I quit my job!” or “I’m working from home!” or “I’m constantly worried about finding work (of which I’ve found NONE – YAY!) and money!” so I didn’t think that would be all that interesting to read. In fact, I know it wouldn’t be all that interesting to read, so I’ve spared you a lot of pain and heartache, Internet.

I’m trying to not make any solid resolutions this year, as I pretty much suck at follow-through. But my main goal in 2011 was to start working at home for myself, and I met that goal. So maybe I can follow-through with one thing for 2012. I suppose I’ll just call them goals and hope that I can pull one of them off.

1) Lose 25 pounds.

2) Build my clientele so I don’t have to constantly worry about money or feel guilty that I’m not working enough.

3) Read 50 books.

4) Write here. Get published somewhere for something.

And that’s it. Sounds manageable. I hope.

Anyway, I’ve found myself fervently hoping that the beginning of a year is not an indication of how the rest of the year is going to go.

Because sometimes your husband will get sick the day before Christmas Eve and will spend the rest of December and first week of January fighting it off.

Because sometimes your son will start puking the night before New Year’s Eve, when you’re supposed to get a massage with your husband and have a night out with friends.

Because sometimes your daughter will start puking two days later and there is just no easy way to handle a puking one year old who cannot yet aim for the bucket.

Because sometimes you your dog escapes when it’s 20 degrees outside and you spend an hour and a half driving around and then have to go to sleep because it’s midnight and you can’t find him. Then you have to wake up at 6:00 the next (after not sleeping much, anyway) to look again and call animal control and still not find him.

But your husband pulls it together enough so that we can pull this off and give our kids an amazing Christmas:

(And this doesn’t include the two bikes that were hiding on the back porch!)

And your awesome parents still agree to watch the kids in spite of the puking so that you can get your massage and go out with your friends and eat way too much sushi and drink way too much wine.

And your daughter, who is sick and miserable, looks up at you and says “I o-tay Mama,” and gives you a hug.

And as you’re driving through your neighborhood for the bazillionth time, looking for the dog, and you’re simulatneously on the phone with animal control, you see a cute little boy in his front yard with your dog on a leash and because they are kind, good people, your dog has been in their house all night, not freezing to death outside.

So I guess it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the rest of 2012 shaped up like this first week.

My kids’ mom

28 Nov

Nolan was born to a mommy who was very, very different than the mommy Tessa was born to.

I feel like Nolan got the short end of the stick. I didn’t yet understand the cruelty of the passage of time, how instead of worrying about his feeding schedule and naps, I should have been memorizing his little face, taking time to soak it all in, imprinting those moments in my memory. I was also wrapped up in my grief and crying a lot, and constantly anxious. I was struggling to balance my happiness with the pain I was feeling and it was … hard, to say the least.

Tessa has a much more relaxed mommy, one who knows that it’s okay if her outfit doesn’t match everyday, as long as it meant we stole the time for one more minute of cuddling. I take the time to stare at her, to try to figure out what kind of person she is going to be, to talk to her about our day, to interact with her, rather than trying to anticipate every upcoming problem. I’ve worked on myself a lot in the years since I had Nolan – I’m in a much better space mentally and it shows in the way I interact with my family.

But no matter my shortcomings, with both of my children, I was given the blessing of just the type of child I needed at that time in my life. In Nolan I was given a child who loves so fiercely that you feel as though he gives a little piece of his beautiful heart to you with every hug and kiss. He is forgiving and accommodating (at least as accommodating as a young child can be) and wants nothing more than everyone around him to be happy. He makes everyone who meets him laugh and has a mind like a steel trap.

Simply by coming into this world he saved me from myself. He allowed me to make mistakes, to be sad, to worry… but with the ferocity of his love and his gorgeous smile, he was able to pick me up, dust me off, and push me to carry on. He is an old soul, who seems to understand when I am sad and need a hug. When I cry, he rubs my arm and tells me “It’s okay Mommy, don’t be sad.” He healed me, and he is the reason I pushed myself so hard to overcome my grief and depression.

In Tessa, I was given a child that embodies the traits that I feel I am lacking.  She is a girl who knows what she wants. She loves to be cuddled and she likes her binky. She doesn’t throw a fit unless fit-throwing is called for, but watch out if she decides it’s time. Nothing deters her from accomplishing her goal – we always joke that she is either going to rule the world or end up in lots of trouble. She is showing me what it means to be your own woman.

As hard as I have worked to make myself better, I still struggle with figuring out who I am and what I’m supposed to do with myself. Tessa is showing me that the lesson I want her to learn most of all – to be comfortable and proud of who she is – she is already learning. She isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants and doesn’t let up until she gets it. I am so thankful that she has such a strong, forceful will about her.

As much as every mommy in the world says it, I wish I could stop time right here. I wish I could guarantee that I will never forget a moment of their childhood. I wish I could bottle up the way they smell, save the softness of their skin and the chubbiness of their cheeks. I want to record every giggle, every sloppy kiss, the hilarity of a toddler’s excitement for the world. I wish I could memorize every change in their face, and remember how they looked every day of their lives.

Parenting is such a Catch-22. For every moment of joy there also comes a profound sadness, because you know that moment is fleeting. It will be gone soon, a wisp of a memory that 20 years from now you may not be able to recreate. Of course every moment of joy makes way for another, but there is something to be said for all the lost moments, all the things we can never get back.

I can’t articulate how full my heart is, how grateful I am for my two babies. I wish there was a way for them to understand how much I love them, how they have made me better, how if I didn’t have them, I would be a shell of the person I am today. I will never be able to make them understand, at least until they are parents themselves, what they have meant to me.

The best I can do is let go of some of the baggage I still cling desperately to – the anger, pain, sadness, and anxiety bred from the years I struggled so hard to just be normal. For them, I will figure out how to let it all go, to live in the moment and not cling to the past, to embrace the lessons life has taught me. If I can do that, I just might be the kind of Mommy they deserve.

I’m beat

19 Nov

I loaded my kids in or out of the car seventeen times today. Seventeen. That’s one 28-pound one year old and one 40-pound four year old. The four year old mostly gets himself in and out, but still. My shoulders are screaming, my back is sore and my feet hurt.

The only part of me that’s not incredibly tired is my fingers, so I’m giving them a rest today and reposting something I wrote on my first blog (this is my third, if you’re new here.) I thought about skipping today, but I’ve made it so far with this NaBloPoMo that I really don’t want to leave a blank spot on that little calendar over in the sidebar. OCD, much?

**********

I don’t like to admit it, but I am a little judgmental. Just a little. Not really in a mean way, and not about petty stuff like someone’s appearance (Ok, that might be a stretch of the truth. Sometimes I judge people’s appearance. But just because your one-piece swimsuit has an attached skirt that goes over your ass that does NOT make it proper attire for the grocery store (especially when said skirt does not cover all of said ass). Sorry, it just doesn’t.), but when I think someone is making stupid decisions, I tend to pass judgment. Not to their face, mind you, but just in my head. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? Sigh. It’s not something I’m proud of.

Other people’s decisions are none of my business. I try to remember that you never know the real story behind someone’s behavior, that there is probably a perfectly good reason why they are a raging bitch every single day or why they spend money like crazy on themselves with seemingly little regard for their family or what in God’s name would possess someone to stay in a marriage that makes them miserable …

ANYWAY. All of this to say that I know it’s a fault of mine and I try to work on it. And it always leads me to wonder … what do people really think about me? Do they think I’m weird/funny/awkward/nice/mean/annoying? I just don’t know. I would hope people think that I’m friendly, compassionate, and … blech, I don’t even know. Most of the time I just worry about the bad things they may think about me. And obviously, no one would ever explicitly list all of my faults to my face, so I honestly wonder what goes through a person’s head after they meet me for the first time, and especially after they’ve known me for a while.

I guess I just don’t have a very clear picture of how people perceive me. Probably because I have no real idea how I perceive myself. I have never felt like I’ve known exactly who I am, what makes me, me. This stems from a life-long struggle to have any confidence in myself at all. My lack of confidence causes me to question my opinions, my feelings, my actions and it makes for a very distorted view of what I really stand for. A view that relies much too heavily on my obsession curiosity about what other people think of me. Maybe if I could figure out who I want to be, and not worry so much about what other people think I should be, it would set me on the path to figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

But how, at 27 years old, do you figure out who you are? If I’m lucky, I’ve already lived a third of my life. Isn’t this something I should know by now? Why do I feel like I need to have other people’s opinions in order to figure out who I am? So I’ve been thinking a lot about what is important to me, what makes me happy, who I want to be. I figure I need to start off with what I know for sure.

These things I know for sure about me:

-I am a good mom.

-I hate it when things aren’t fair.

-I really enjoy helping people, especially people who want to help themselves.

-I have a horrible memory.

-I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people who won’t take responsibility.

-I love the constant companionship of marriage. Even when it’s hard.

-I worry unnecessarily about money, and I’m starting to think I always will, no matter how successful I am.

-Reading is my greatest escape.

-I have a hard time giving my honest opinion about a lot of things. Not because I think I’m stupid or wrong, but because I’m worried about what people will think.

-I don’t like to argue, but I will when I have to.

-If given free time to do whatever I want, I would most likely use that to do something by myself.

-I don’t have a lot of willpower.

-I care deeply about my friends and would spend hours listening to their problems and providing support if they needed it.

-I have always wished I was prettier, trendier, smarter, more cultured.

-I tend to minimize my own struggles, because I always think that there is someone out there who has it worse than me.

-Sometimes I get overwhelmed by everything I want to learn, everything I want to do, that I end up taking no steps forward to learn or do anything new.

-I am calm in the face of crisis.

-I enjoy other people’s drama. That sounds bad. But I do. Hence my obsession with reality TV.

-I am a jealous person. That one is hard to admit, but there it is. I try SO hard not to be, and I really, really don’t want to be, and it is the thing about me that I would like most to change.

-I like giving advice. Not in an annoying ass-vice kind of way (I hope), but I really try to use my life experiences (especially the negative ones) to empathize with others and provide support. I hope this is not annoying to other people.

-I am stronger than I give myself credit for. This is the one that I need to remind myself of. Everyday.

-I am good enough. I might not be the best at anything, I might have A LOT of room for improvement, but I am me and I am good enough.

Quiet

6 Nov

Yesterday I caught about ten minutes of MTV’s True Life. It was about people who have an addiction to texting. I stopped watching because this chick was pissing me off. She had a baby and was a student and she texted constantly, at home, in class (and her grades are suffering because of it), in the car, at dinner, everywhere. And her boyfriend was begging her to just stop and live her life and she maintained that it was her only form of social interaction and I just … NO. For one thing, WHO ARE YOU TEXTING AND WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? I don’t have enough friends to text that much!

Anyway, it got me thinking about how constantly plugged in we are in today’s society. I see families out to dinner who aren’t talking to each other, but they’re all texting. Women in my subdivision walk and talk on the phone. Next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, try to count how many people are on their phones as they drive by. It’s one of my favorite games. Usually, the average is about 3 out of 5.  I’m not excluding myself here. I love to text. I get email, Facebook, and Twitter on my phone and I use it a lot. Too much, really.

I’ve talked before about how grief is my constant companion. One of the (many) fallouts from that is that I never let my mind go still. Ever. If I have a moment to sit down, I read, or check Facebook or Twitter, or find something mindless on TV. If I’m in the car, I have to have music on. If nothing is on that I like, I call someone. If I’m doing some boring task at work that is mind-numbing, I need music or news in the background.

I suppose it’s a defense mechanism – my brain knows that if I stop, the grief might silently slip in and catch me off guard. So I don’t give it a chance. The shower is the one place where I’m defenseless (Kelly at Temerity Jane swears she reads in the shower, but I’m still trying to figure that out), so I usually compose novels in my head that I’ll never write.

It’s exhausting. The same way it sometimes seems exhausting to have the constant pull to check Facebook or Twitter. My mind is never quiet. I never just think.

It makes me wonder what we’re all missing. Before the age of smart phones or TV, what did people do? Read, go to bed early, talk to their families, I guess. But don’t you think they also had time to just be still? To think? To decide where they stood on issues, to come up with new ideas, to just learn about themselves? And sure technology helps us do all those things too, and some may argue that we are able to do those things better than if the technology wasn’t available to us, but I’m not so sure.

I know for me, it sometimes feels like I’m on sensory overload, filled to the brim with other people’s ideas or the media’s perception of something, or just too mentally stimulated to make sense of how my personality and my experiences shape my views of the world.

I’m just wondering what might come out if I stopped everything that was coming in.

Chasing Dreams

3 Nov

Well, that lasted just about as long as I thought it would. I made it through day one of NaBloPoMo. Go me! BUT! I was sick, so I’m going to cut myself some slack there.

Today, Amy at Just a Titch has a post up that literally took my breath away. She talks about how she went back to teaching because it was the thing she knew she needed to do with her life. But that it was hard, the hardest year of her life, but still the right thing in the end.

I’m struggling right now. Things at the duplex are going slowly and much, MUCH more expensively than we thought. Money is tight. I’m still not getting enough freelance work to compensate for me taking this part-time job to focus on my freelance career. It’s hard to know that I’m putting my family in a position where we have to worry about money (and when I say worry, I do not mean that we’re in danger of losing our house or not eating. I know that my worrying about money is nothing compared to what some people are struggling with in this economy) so that I can pursue my dreams. And yes, in the end, if this works out the way I hope, it will result in good things for my family – more money, more time together, a better mom and wife, etc. But right now? It almost doesn’t seem worth it.  

When I made the decision to pursue this dream of mine, I had no illusions that it would be easy or that work would just fall into my lap. But I knew (and still know) that working with words, that writing them and editing them and surrounding myself in words, is the one thing I’m good at, the one thing that I can enjoy getting paid for. But it feels like, amid all of the rejections and potential clients not returning emails and more rejections, that the universe or God or karma or whatever, does not feel the same way. That maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, that I’m not good enough, that it’s a pipe dream … that I’m going to fail.

I should say, amidst all this whining, that I have been incredibly lucky. I have one steady client, who will hopefully have enough work for me in the near future that I can quit my part-time job, who is teaching me more than I ever hoped to learn, and who is a really great person to work with. I have worked on some really interesting projects and, at the very least, have beefed up my resume a little bit.

But what struck me about Amy’s post is this:

When we “follow our dreams” it seems like it should be easy—that the clouds should part and obstacles should dissolve and the world should bow down because we are doing what our heart wants. It seems so easy to put something on a list or to blog about it and feel like things should fall into place simply because we want it so badly.

Freelancing is something I want so badly. I’m not the kind of person who takes risks – and quitting my secure, full-time job was a risk. So a part of me does feel like this should be falling into place – that I’ve already done the hard part – that me stepping so far out of my comfort zone should be enough and now it’s time for this to just happen for me.

But I know life doesn’t work that way. That all of this struggle and longing and rejection is teaching me valuable lessons and will make it that much sweeter in the end, when it hopefully does work out. But for now, after almost six years of facing struggle after struggle  the prevailing thought in my head is that it would be nice for it to work out sooner rather than later.

I did it

23 May

So guess what guys? I did it. I quit my job. Friday was my last day. Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be working part time somewhere new and spending the extra 15 hours a week focusing on my kids and my writing career.

Right now there is a part of me that wants to let it all out. I want to tell you exactly how horrible it was to work there. I want to tell you stories you wouldn’t believe. I want to name names, I want to talk about how the managing partner didn’t give me so much as a good-bye. But I’m not going to. Not because I care about them finding this space or finding out what I really think of every single self-absorbed, judgmental, and narcissistic person I worked with. I won’t because I don’t want to be that person. I want to move on and walk away with the positive lessons I learned. Suffice it to say that if I had had any doubts about leaving (which I didn’t) they all would have been eradicated by the actions of a few co-workers in my last week.

I get an unexpected and awesome week off this week which I plan to use doing whatever I want (which will include writing here-next post will be part three in the sorority story, I promise!) and relaxing.  The weight of the world is off my shoulders. Since I walked out of those doors on Friday, my stomach hasn’t dropped every time my phone rings. I haven’t had one moment of panic when I thought of a project on which I might have made a mistake. This weekend, my blood pressure didn’t start rising on Sunday at the thought of facing another Monday there.

This road I’m venturing on won’t be without its difficulties. We might struggle with money for a while. I might be a terrible writer. I might not like my new job. But it will be worth it to me, to finally give myself a chance to do what I love to do. If I fail, at least I tried.

It’s only been three days, but already I have laughed more, smiled more, and thanked God more. I have played with my kids more, kissed my husband more and I have just simply been present with them. I have made plans for how I’m going to do this writing thing and I even have a couple of clients already. I’m looking toward the future with hope and promise and excitement.I am content.

For the first time in 5 1/2 years, I am content. It feels amazing.

We interrupt this broadcast…

5 May

First of all, if you’ve followed me here, I owe you a big fat thank you! Seriously, thank you so much. I know it’s annoying when someone inexplicably takes down their blog with no explanation. Sorry about that. Seriously. But I’ll be able to explain in a few days.  

It seems like some of you were really interested in my sorority story and then I just up and took down my blog and left you hanging. I’ll continue with Part 3 this weekend or early next week.

But I’m here to make this place my new home. To be honest, I never really felt like the No Mom’s Land blog was my home here on the Internet. Also, if I’m going to make this writing thing work, I wanted a space that is a little more neutral, and a little less about being a mom. I have no illusions about becoming the next Dooce, but I do want a space I can be proud of, that I make into exactly what I want it to be. So the name might change, the layout might change, who knows? I’ve got lots of plans for this space, once I have some more time to devote to it (which, to foreshadow very sneakily) will hopefully not be too long.

So! Thank you again for following me here. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Can't even think of a clever title…

16 Apr

So are we all sick of hearing about how much I hate my job yet? No? Great. Let’s jump right in then, shall we? I’m in a funk. For no good reason other than it’s Saturday night and I’m already crabby thinking about how I only have one day left of the weekend. It’s ridiculous. And I’m going to go ahead and let the cat out of the bag here but that new job I was hinting at? I want to be a writer. I don’t have any grand dreams of writing a book (although if I had to pick one life career goal, that would be it) but I want to freelance. I want the flexibility of deciding where, when and how much I work. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have to take time away from work to visit my kid’s preschool. I don’t want to spend 45 hours a week living for the hours I’m not at work. I don’t want to squeeze a week’s worth of errands into two lunch breaks. I want to do what makes me happy.

But tonight, looking at another rejection from one of my proposals on Elance.com and seeing the tweets coming from the successful bloggers attending  Mom2.0 this weekend I’m overwhelmed by the number of truly talented writers out there. Not to mention the surprisingly high number of blogs I read whose authors are consistently offered freelance positions but whose writing is often sloppy, full of errors and generally nothing impressive (not to say that what I write here is stellar–but I just think, if they can do it, surely I can!). These people are already getting paid to do what I want to do. But what I have no real experience doing. No one is going to hire me just because I want this really badly.

So I sat down at my computer tonight, intending to work on more proposals, but I couldn’t come up with anything. And then I get more frustrated because if I can’t come up with anything now, how the hell am I going to make this a career? How am I going to find the time to build up a clientele when I still have to work full-time?

I’m not fishing for compliments here. I just need to write this out. I’m nervous and scared because starting my own business and taking a leap of faith like this isn’t the type of thing that comes easy to me. And if I’m being totally honest, I’m not sure I’m good enough.

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Have I ever told you we live on a lake? Well, we do. Tonight Hubs and I were walking down to the dock so he and Nolan could fish for a little bit. I was pushing Tessa in a stroller and Nolan was walking along side her, reaching out to touch her head and making funny faces to make her laugh. I felt Hubs’ arm around my waist and knew he was thinking the same thing I was.

“We have  a really special little family, you know?”

“Yes, we do.”

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I am so lucky. I have so much. I know this. I don’t want to be in a funk. In the face of everything I have dealt with in my life, this job thing is nothing. But in spite of all my attempts to make the best out of the situation, it is dragging me way down. I don’t want to jump into another 9-5 I hate.  I guess I just need to find some confidence buried deep down somewhere and get this show on the road.