Friday, August 27, 2010

But What I SHOULD Be Focussed On

It hasn't been so awful the whole time.  It's just felt like it!  Here are some things going well:

  • No matter how intense or heated our conflicts have gotten, Stella and I always come back to the place of mutual respect, love, and support.
  • I continue to expand my knowledge of the world through my work.  Recent issues and incidents have prompted me to research Kurdish history in Turkey, the education system in Mexico, violent military attacks on civilians, the aftermath and eventual healing in Mozambique, rural doctors & public health in Vietnam, domestic abuse shelters & system in Russia, human rights abuses in Russia, civil rights movement in Brazil, and lots of hot international soccer players.
  • D. and I are more in love than ever.  It's been over 3 1/2 years and I'm finally experiencing the gradual shifts in depth of emotions, riding the highs and working through the lows, and learning more all the time about compromise, respect, and honoring my partner.  I feel incredibly lucky that I met this man at a time when I REALLY wanted to explore this facet of the human experience.  In many ways this is my first truly adult relationship and I am so glad I waited until my 30s because I am grateful every day for this man who loves me, loves my daughter, makes me laugh until my stomach hurts, has a gift for relating to animals, has a sharp analytical eye for politics and current events, and loves my friends. 
  • D.'s mom and I have been making jewelry together (or, at least, we DID before my summer turned inside out), chit-chatting, sipping champagne, and playing with pretty stones.  That's good stuff.  
  • We finally instituted chore assignments for D., Stella, and me and we each know what we're responsible for and it's really helped keep some small level of order in this hurricane of chaos.
  • Peppers, tomatoes, and basil in my garden.  
  • Silly as it sounds - Facebook for keeping me in touch w/ my friends all over the world.
  • A Friday night last month when my friend Hannah had me over for dinner.  Although we usually have tons of people around us for big dinners, get-togethers, etc. this time it was just the two of us.  We ordered in pizza, made cocktails and watched Greenberg.  Perfectly awesome night.
  • Speaking of good movies - I am grateful for Winter's Bone and The Kids Are All Right - two of the best films I've seen in ages.
  • Which also reminds me - Netflix streaming through the Wii.  What an obnoxiously yuppie thing to be grateful for.  But I mean it.  
  • Colombiamex.  Taquieria that might be a front for heaven on earth. 
  • When Django the new dog and Rocket, the newish cat, have their daily make-out session  Man do they ever loooooove each other.  Video coming soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'm not sure I'm ready to get into all the stories that contributed to making this summer so stressful and draining.  But here are a few:

  • Stella dealing with the transition from junior high to high school.  She couldn't find (read:  didn't really even look for) a job so she was pretty much left on her own while D. and I worked six to seven days a week, often until 8 or 9pm.  This is a dangerous combination for any teenager.  I feel like she had too much freedom and then started to expect it or believe she deserved it.  So then I had to pull in the reins, but was physically not able to make sure those reins stayed pulled in....because I was still gone most of the time.  
  • Our household is now made up of more animals than humans.  It feels like a circus because it IS a circus.  We love them to pieces...but it's a lot to maintain. 
  • Out of the three programs I oversaw simultaneously, I grew very close to one of the groups - the teacher training program for teachers from Mexico.  When this happens I WANT to do a lot of extra things for them, because they are such incredible people, but that stretches me even thinner and makes me feel guilty for a.) not giving as much to the other programs and b.) not giving that energy to my family 
  • Several couples with whom I felt really close split up, leaving me confused, sad, and searching for proof of the value in longterm committed relationships
  • I now weigh more than I ever have in my adult life.  That sentence killed me to type.  I am not exercising and....probably just as important,  must have extremely elevated and sustained levels of Cortisol.  That ain't helping.  I feel like a loser, unattractive, out of control, and full of self-loathing.
  • I made the decision to turn over Stella's dad's refusal to pay child support (two years with not a dime) to the prosecutor's office.  The arrears are now in the five figures.  I don't like anything having to do with this situation....I hate bringing lawyers in, I hate knowing how this does and will affect Stella later in life, I hate working NONFUCKINGSTOP and still being broke all the time.  
  • I have been making mistakes.  Lots of them.  I can't stay focussed on any one thing long enough to ensure that each detail is accounted for.  I'm making mistakes in my home life and professional life.  This kills me.  My mind is overfull, scattered, overstimulated, and spastic.  
  • I don't get to see enough of the people in my life who recharge my batteries and remind me what is important in life.
  • I planted a garden (from seeds - a real garden!) and although I made a point to water twice a day, didn't make time to harvest and weed like I needed I watched as green beans, cucumbers, and lots of herbs either got ignored, went to seed, or rotted on the vine.  I have longed for garden fresh vegetables for many years.  And I worked to make it happen....and then couldn't take advantage of it.  The better news is that I still have tomatoes ripening, lush basil patch, and some jalepeƱos looking good.  
  • Hottest summer ever.  More than two total weeks  of 100+ temperatures.  Plus 100% humidity and no rain.  
  • No outlet for all this.  I can't vent to D. because he's just as stressed out and this would add to his stress and make it even worse.  Not enough time to find or $$ to pay for a good therapist.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Dog!

This is Django! She's adorable, awesome, terrible, and hilarious.

Operation Reclaim My Life begins tonight! From here on out I WILL put my family and self before my job. I will not sacrifice my health and sanity in orde
r to make others happy. I will not, however, stop trying to make others happy. Balance is my goal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It Usually Takes Learning The Hard Way

I guess it's occurring to me that I can't keep going on like this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hot and Bothered

(I couldn't find the Royal Trux original. I love this song so much. This is a great cover, though)

My daughter started high school last week. HIGH SCHOOL. The same high school I went to. What a complete mindfuck. Pardon my French. That phrase makes me laugh. Why is "French" the euphemism for potty mouth?

Today was also the first day of our fall term. Usually we get a little break in between terms but not this summer. This summer didn't have as many programs going on as in the past but that didn't seem to matter. The programs I did have took all my energy and what was left over was vacuumed up with parenthood. This was an intensely challenging summer for me as a parent.

We also got a new dog. She just showed up and decided we needed to be her new owners. She's adorable. But a little shit. What were we thinking???

I'm still reeling from the past few months and thinking that I'm a failure at everything. It's one thing to devote all your energy to your job and succeed at it...but I don't feel like I am. I'm certainly not succeeding in the patient, understanding, effective parent arena. Nor the loving, attentive, charming girlfriend one. And CERTAINLY not the boundary-respecting woman who takes care of herself. Everything has failed because it is physically impossible to try to do everything I've tried to do.

Meanwhile it's been over 100 degrees for weeks. No rain. and I'm finally writing for the first time in forever at 1am on a work night. I'll never learn.