Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pacing Myself to the Indigo Girls and Miley Cyrus

I've been listening to the Indigo Girls quite a bit lately.  And while my friend Wolfie thinks I've transported myself back to 1992 because I'm in denial about turning 30, it's actually because I really like the Indigo Girls and I enjoy their music.

I've been fixated on one song lately, "Watershed".  And the ironic piece about my fascination is that I've listened to this song a thousand times over the years but the lyrics are just starting to make sense to me lately.

I feel like I'm being smacked in the fact with a ton of crap all at once.  And, truthfully, I have a roof over my head (granted my ceiling is caving in), I have a husband that loves me and that I love, my children are healthy (except for that double ear infection and nasty asthma rearing their ugly heads), and I have a job that I ADORE.  I should not be so consumed by these things that will, in time, pass and I will be able to deal with.

But I am.

Tomorrow I turn 30.  Consuming crap #1.  (That sounds gross, like I'm actually consuming crap but really I mean that turning 30 is consuming my being right now).

About two weeks ago I received a call from my doctor that my mammograms actually were not all clear.  Consuming crap #2.

A few of my students are dealing with things that no child should EVER have to deal with and they have turned to me.  I am MORE THAN HAPPY to help them, but it is taxing.  Consuming crap #3.

We're having some interior issues that are being dealt with but I have a hole in my ceiling and it's sometimes disconcerting.  Consuming crap #4.

And finally, I am being offered a possibility that could help my family exponentially and we could finally be financially more comfortable but I'm not sure that it would make me happy.  TOTALLY ALL CONSUMING CRAP #5.

And here is where the Indigo Girls come in. 

Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road.
you can stand there and agonize until your agony is your heaviest load

And I have done an AWESOME job of making my "agony" my heaviest load.  I have allowed the possibility of what could MAYBE happen to overwhelm all of my senses. 

I have, as they say, put the cart before the horse.

When you're learning to face the path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while.

Right now, there is no choice to make.  Well, that's not true but the major choice doesn't have to be made just yet.  But I have allowed myself to become all consumed by the 'what-ifs'.  The uncertainties make me crazy and give me that feeling in my tummy that Miley Cyrus sings about in her 'Party in the USA' song. (Yeah, I just referenced Miley Cyrus and Indigo Girls in the same post!)  

When all of this gets bunched together I feel like I'm being repeatedly smacked in the face.  Not knocked down, just annoyed repeatedly by life's interruptions.  I have quickly come to realize that the path I am on has to be taken as a reasonable pace and maybe, just maybe, I was moving or I am moving a bit too quickly.  

And, thus, overwhelming myself.

In the end, each of these things is something I can easily tackle.  Together, I've made it a bit much.

But 5 years from now when I look back, it will all be dealt with and done.  And I'll be turning 35.  


Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh.
So, now, I put the horse back where he belongs in front of the cart and I tackle one thing at a time.  
First, it's 30.
Tomorrow, I turn 30 and while it may not seem like more than a number to some of you to me it's more than that.  And tomorrow, I deal with that.
Then we move forward.  And I'll make my choices one by one and find my own pace.

Every tree limb overhead just seems to sit and wait.
Until every step you take becomes a twist of fate.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Ring

My husband wears his wedding ring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is something about that fact that I really love.

Last night as I lay in bed and he snored, quite loudly, I felt his hand under my pillow and his ring was there.  It's always there.  At night I like to run my finger along it or play with the ring while he sleeps.  Knowing that he has it on all of the time gives me this warm feeling, a feeling of love and devotion.

There is something special about that to me.

Now, there is a VERY good chance that he wears his ring all the time because this his second wedding band.  The first one, which I designed using stones from his mother, is gone.  It's been gone since about a year and a half into our marriage.  Lost, never to be found again.

But I like to believe that he wears this ring all the time because he wants to, not out of fear of losing it.

I know men, my grandfather was one, who couldn't wear their rings.  They worked jobs where there was a possibility that their hands could become permanently damaged if the ring were to stay on.  That did not make their rings any less special.

I also know men who do not wear a ring at all.  Ever.  This is something I find upsetting.  I understand that sometimes it doesn't fit.  Sometimes it's lost.  Sometimes it's forgotten.  But there is something about not wearing it, ever, that bothers me.  I don't know why.

But at night I lay in bed and I feel the cool metal around my husband's finger and it reminds me of our devotion to one another.  It reminds me of our wedding day and our days since then.  It reminds me of the unbroken circle that we have and the strength that the circle possesses.  And I realize that I don't need a ring to remind of all of those things because I have him to remind me.  And it's in that strength I find love, friendship and, often, my own strength.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chef's Hours

My husband's family owns a restaurant and for a very long time my husband worked there.  He would work part time, sometimes full time and sometimes full time in addition to another full time job.  It was a lot.  And if you know anything about the restaurant business, the hours are not kind to those who are close the workers.

When we became engaged and then when we got married we discussed right away that once we started having a family chef's hours were out of the question.  In the early, early infant years maybe it wouldn't be a big deal.  But once our kids grew older and started becoming involved in things, chef's hours would become quite a detriment to family time.  We agreed that one, MAYBE two, nights a week to help dad out was enough.

And that's what it was. 

Yes, there have been spurts- because of emergencies- where my husband has worked constantly.  There was a point where my brother-in-law, the head chef, had to take a leave of absence from the restaurant and my husband worked 8 to 5 at his then day job and then 5 to 10 or 11 at the restaurant.  THOSE were long days for everyone.

But, we thought that we were past that. 

The husband was just working Sunday afternoons/evenings and even those were starting to slow down a bit.  Having the extra cash was nice and it gave the husband a chance to be with his dad and brother and cook, something he enjoys, and be in a place where the memories of his mom are still pretty strong.

Plus, the chef's hours were not present.  It worked really well.

About 3 years ago the husband left his sales job to head back to retail management because, really, he enjoys it and it pays SIGNIFICANTLY better than sales- if you can believe that (and he was a top performer in his sales position).  Initially, we were really happy with the move.  He was loving the job- and he still does.  He works with some really great people.  And his company, well, his company takes care of their employees in an ethical and fair way.  They are wonderful company to work for.  Truly.

But the hours.  Oh, the hours.

The husband has recently been transferred to a new store and he's one of the guys in charge of opening up this new store.  The company just bought this store and are in the process of turning it into "their" store.  The amount of work and effort is astounding.

I haven't seen my husband for more than 10 minutes in the last two weeks.

Sometimes, I'm a little ok with weeks like that.  Recently, not so much.

Last night he wasn't home before midnight.

This morning he was at work at 6:30.

Tomorrow, who knows.

Those chef's hours are starting to look pretty good.

One of the other pieces about working at his family's restaurant that my husband didn't enjoy, besides the hours, was the tension that was often present.  He is the "baby" of the family and often his ideas and suggestions were and are discounted.  My father-in-law and brother-in-law, not unlike my husband, are quite stubborn and want things done their way.  Unfortunately, they don't like to take too many chances and my husband will.  So, there was always tension.  Not bad but not great.

When the husband took on this new job it was as if a weight had been lifted.  He left a crappy ass sales job where the company was terrible and paid quite poorly.  And went to a job where he was listened to and appreciated.  He would come home from work tired and sometimes stressed but his days were far more enjoyable.  No longer was he was stressed working for his family and a terribly unfair company, to boot.  He was finally in a place where he was happy.

He still is.

That, his happiness, is the ONLY thing keeping me from freaking out right now.  I find these hours to be ridiculous- especially since he's not paid hourly.  I think it's unfair that my children rarely see their father, now.  I hate that haven't seen my husband in days.

But, this too shall pass.  And it will get better.  And we will see each other. 

But, seriously, chef's hours....not so bad, right now.

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