Friday, January 25, 2008

The Lamp

I tell this story.. its a true story... about a lamp... and it goes something like this:

Sometime during the divorce, one of the not so pleasant times I decided a good thing to do would be to wire my entire house with ethernet cable. I had a couple friends help me and I learned a lot about the process. After the cabling was all done, I had to put the face plates on and I hadn't purchased enough the first time. So a week or 2 after the actual work had been done, I pulled my office apart, my desk away from the wall and sat on the floor and started putting the face plates on, it was late probably around 11 pm or so and Sunshine was asleep in her room.

I was getting frustrated by part of the process, I couldn't get the right angle with the screw driver or something and I was loosing my patience and I moved and the lamp from the top of my desk fell on my head.

To put this in perspective, the lamp sits about 4 1/2 feet above the ground, is marble with a metal base and it was my Grandmother's so it has to be 25 plus years old.. its sturdy and big and heavy.

Needless to say I was in an enormous amount of pain but couldn't really yell out or I would wake up Sunshine, so I covered my mouth and sat and cried.. no I sobbed, and what I realized was that I wasn't sobbing because of the lamp.. I was sobbing because of everything else. It was also at that moment that I realized.. you know.. slow down.. every thing has been trying to tell you to slow down, but it takes a blow to the head for you to actually listen.

Since that moment I've been trying to be better about noticing the subtle signs and not waiting for the lamp to come flying at my head, I'm getting better, but I've got room for improvement.

So, as long and difficult as this week as been, as I lay down in Sunshine's bed to read to her and lay with her while she fell asleep, I was on the edge of sadness and tears from being so overwhelmed and I let a tear slip out.. and she saw it and she said what's that, and I said a tear, and she said "I Love You".. and well more tears came and this time I couldn't control them.. and she said.. You're My Best Mom, and I said, I'm your only Mom and smiled and she said, no... You're the best Mom in the whole world and I said thank you I love you very much too followed by a huge hug.

And really, when it comes right down to it, in the chaos and insanity of this week, I've made some really tough decisions, put my heart out there, been honest with myself and with others, and taken a couple giant leaps of faith, and I'm proud of it all... but most of all.. I am loved and I am the best Mom in the whole world (along with lots more of you)... it was a kinder and gentler sign this time- or I am now paying better attention.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Elephant in the Corner

Isn't there always one? Some big thing that everyone sees, but no one really wants to openly acknowledge?

I've spent a lot of years of my life being afraid. Most people don't realize that about me, because I have the outward facing powerful force to be reckoned with, but on the inside, those who I let in, get to know that I'm really pretty timid, sensitive and easily bruised.

I can't really tell you what the breaking point was, but sometime 2 or 3 weeks ago, I started openly acknowledging to other people the big elephants I saw. At work, I brought up personnel issues with appropriate managers. I had tough conversations with people about their expectations of me, and my expectations of them. I called people on the carpet about their statements and asked for details and more info.

But more important to me I had tough conversations with people in my "real life". I had a conversation with Sunshine's Dad about how we parent differently and how we need to be more on the same page for Sunshine's sake. I didn't back down, I didn't make excuses I just made my point and listened.

Today, today I did something that I am really proud of, I told someone how I felt about them, that I had romantic feelings for them. I knew going into the conversation that his feelings weren't going to match mine, but I needed to uncover that big elephant that followed us around. It was scary, very scary, but I did it, I survived, it hurt and we're okay, I think if anything our friendship will be stronger for the conversation. I think my proudest moment was when he indicated that he hasn't meant to give me the wrong impression and I said, well of course you did, you knew what you were doing, it was making another part of your life easier.

Feels good to start to really be on the inside what I have pretended to be on the outside for a very long time, still sensitive, and easily bruised, but not so timid and afraid anymore.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I don't know if its the cold weather, the time of year, the impending full moon or just life, but I'm feeling unsettled.

I've been working an inordinate amount of time. I put Sunshine to bed, run and then log on, I'm working on the weekends, I'm in at 7 or 7:30 the mornings I can be and I leave at 5 and of course, I don't take a break for lunch. I'm frustrated with some happenings at work, but am trying hard to express my opinion and then let go.

My friend over at Stella and Thomas wrote about some frustrations with her work place and balancing being a Mom. This weekend I was at Target and thinking of her, I picked up Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul.. and it sits on my night stand waiting for me to actually read it.

Someone asked me the other day if I ever sit back and think about where I am and how I got here. Not here in a geographical sense, but here as in the person that I am. I paused at the concept and then said, every once and awhile briefly, but I should probably acknowledge it more. And today, someone asked me how a gift I made went over with my family... I told her they liked it, everyone keeps calling me and thanking me and telling me how wonderful it is... and I'm like.. yeah, okay... nice talking to you, and I couldn't put words to it.. I just said I'm not good at that and she said.. at taking a compliment? I said yeah.. that.

I was talking the other day with one of my friends who is getting a divorce and asking how it was going and he said, its hard, you know.. and I said, yeah I know.. there are days during the process where you sit up in bed and you say, please just let me get from the beginning to the end of this day today. And he said, yes, but I don't like that, I live for the moment and think every moment is precious, so to just try to get through is really hard for me.

Where am I going with this? Its a bit scattered, but as I said earlier, I'm feeling unsettled right now. These are the concepts that are floating around in my head... I sense some sort of connection between them all, but I haven't put all the pieces together...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I'm not a really touchy feely person. Never have been, but today I got on this kick about hugs.

It all started yesterday when I went to pick Sunshine up after school. Because we had a snow day and Sunshine was with her Dad for the weekend, by the time I got to see her yesterday it had been almost 5 full days I hadn't seen her. We have this "tradition" when I pick her up that she comes running and jumps into my arms and holds on. It is truly one of my favorite moments. I wish I could some how bottle that feeling when she's just holding on snuggled into me.

Last night was a fairly rough night at our household during bedtime, lots of big tears and yelling. I remained calm but stern and when I finally got Sunshine to lay down next to me she reach over and just held on to me and snuggled into my shoulder and the whole world seemed to slow down for her.

I know there will come a time when this won't happen, and I hope that I can keep the memory of what it feels like in my heart forever.

Work has been pretty tense the last few months and right now I'm in charge of a project that has some pretty monumental tasks to handle in a very short period of time. People are on each others nerves and tense and angry. I feel helpless at times, unsure of how to make it better. Today what I wanted to do was walk around and offer hugs. But you know I would have ended up in HR for sexual harassment.

Its like that new Applebees commercial where the apple tries to get people together and not just on the phone or texting. The human touch is a powerful thing, I've felt it, when someone has just put their hand on my back or grabbed my arm when I needed support, no words could do, just knowing that person was there for me... through touch.. knowing that Sunshine just wants to snuggle up to me, that being near me gives her comfort... this non-touchy feely person just wants to hug my entire team and say we'll get through this together... but alas I can't.. and so I will do what I can to send non-physical hugs.

And this, I think is why one of the things I miss most often about being single is not having someone to spoon with...

Hugs to you all...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Been a Bit...

These last 2 weeks have been completely crazy, and I am both physically and mentally exhausted. I think its that post holiday let down, and doing everything that you didn't get to do over the holidays- catch up. Also we had 2 short weeks over the holidays at work and well, we all had to hit the ground running when we got back and we haven't stopped yet.

I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love and I loved it. It was a wonderful book. There were chapters that I read where I could literally hear a couple of my friends talking and then other chapters where I looked around the room to see if someone was standing there because I felt like someone was reading my mind.

There is a point in the book, and I'm doing A LOT of paraphrasing here, while she is in India when her friend says, you know what Groceries... if you stop moving, the whole world won't stop moving too. What poignant words for me. I get in this rhythm where I become a ball of perpetual energy- I get overwhelmed with everything I must do and just go and go and go. I don't know if I think that the world will actually stop.. but I'm pretty sure I believe somewhere that if I don't keep moving, something will fall apart. The thing that happens when I get in these cycles is that I let important ME things go, like running, or cleaning my house or reading or just doing nothing.

I'm in one of these cycles now, and I sort of knew it, but last night a friend came over for dinner and we chatted for about 3 hours, about life and work and love and loss and whatever. Granted a had a few beers, but I slept better than I've slept in weeks. I realized as I put my head on the pillow I was relaxed, I stopped spinning around like a tornado and just sat and enjoyed being with a friend chatting. And you know what, the world didn't stop spinning yesterday when I slowed down, as a matter of fact, I think my world got righted a bit, it had felt a bit off kilter.

Hard to realize and accept that its okay to have some ME time. Hopefully I get better at recognizing I'm spinning out of control earlier and earlier and make me time.