Wednesday, December 5, 2012


No, is...

Sometimes, I find myself scared to death of missing all the good stuff. I wander around, feeling sorry for myself, hoping (seemingly against hope) that I'll see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Well, I see it...I'm standing in it.

Mom got great news from her most recent blood results. The debt I've been chipping away at for 6+ years has been cracked for good. My daughter is doing so well in school. Christmas shopping has been started and I'm actually having fun looking for the right prezzies for my loved ones.

Hope. Friendship. Love.

The greatest gifts. They beat receiving fuzzy slippers or a magazine subscription any day!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One of Those Weird Periods of My Lfe

I've been reading the blog posts of friends and it seems we're all weary, yet on the cusp of something fabulous.

Life here is finding its groove again. School has settled into its routine, work is steadily crazy instead of manically so. All the extra-curriculurs are in full-swing, but they're not annoying yet. The weather is changing and it seems more glorious than in years past.

I find myself wondering why things happen the way they do. I'm wondering about this A LOT lately. I have words that were left unsaid, I have emotions I'm afraid to feel. I have discovering a well of faith inside me that I didn't know I had.

Yet, I'm so tired. And skeptical. And numb.And I hate feeling those things.I break through them when I'm conscious of it but I'm not conscious of it all that often anymore.

The Kid and I went apple picking this past weekend. Although we had fun and didn't even mind that it was raining, the car ride was the best part. We laughed and talked and renewed our bond. I almost pity Ex because his bond with The Kid is irrevocably broken. He's going to miss having The Kid's adoration.

I was just getting around to feeling sorry for myself here at my desk. My co-worker is out on vacation and in addition to the 2 full-time jobs I'm doing right now, I'm covering for her too. I'm swamped all the time and I hate it. It seems that all tasks are only barely done when the next emergency comes down the pike. And then...a patient presents with an emergency situation. Having patients in pain come down the hall past my desk always give me the perspective I need. I wish they didn't have to feel pain in order for me to learn the lesson. Maybe they'd feel pain whether I learned my lesson or not. Perhaps the lesson is all about timing.

As I put one foot in front of the other, I wonder when things will be easier for me. Or maybe this is the easy part. I hate not knowing.

Peace, that's all I want. I want to know that I'm doing the right thing. I want to not get headaches worrying about things. I want to know what it's like to be care-free, even if it's just for a little while.

I know something fabulous is right around the corner for me. Will it be a complete remission diagnosis for my mom? Or could it be that I'll be debt-free soon? Or will I finally be recognized for my work? Or will it be that I'll be able to finish thinking/speaking a complete thought before I'm interrupted?

Who knows...but I'm ready for the next thing. It's not that I don't want to learn my lessons; I just want to feel joy again...

Wondering What The Lesson Is In All Of This

So, the last few weeks and months have been a whirlwind of emotions.

Work is, in a word, complete chaos. The state slashed its budget several months ago and lay-offs were looming. The administrative coordinator of the unit in which I work was on the chopping block and she knew it. Like any hipster/networker/Gen X-Y’er, she began looking for work immediately. And she found a new job pretty quickly. So guess who gets her job. Guess who still has the other job too. And guess who gets to do 2 full-time jobs without a raise. Yeah, that would be me…sucker!!

The Ex is out on disability. Permanently. I know he’s sick and I wouldn’t want to be that sick for all the tea in China, but man, it pisses me off. This scenario could have been prevented…or at least postponed. He went unmedicated for 7 years, he drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney…even after 2 neurologists told him that drinking excessively (Ex can’t have 1 or 2 drinks; he has an extensive history of drinking excessively) and smoking would exacerbate the symptoms of his neurological disorder. He only has himself to blame.

And the real kick in the ass is that Mom was diagnosed with cancer. She was so weak from torn abdominal muscles, but they were the catalyst to get her to the doctor and the ER. She’s already started treatments and she’s already felt some of the side effects. I’ve sat and chatted with her like I haven’t done so in years. Being faced with her mortality is shocking us all into submission.

My friend, R, just had MAJOR oral surgery. My friend, D, is marking a year since her mother passed from cancer. My friend, S, is having marital turmoil. My friend, M, is dealing with financial discomfort. And my child, my sweet sensitive loving old soul of a child, struggles with wanting to love her father and needing to protect herself from his mayhem.

It just seems that everyone I know is bearing their private troubles very publicly. The stars and planets seem to be all out of alignment. I’m crying over the littlest things but taking Communion at Mass and talking to God helps like it never has before.

When I was in the midst of divorce proceedings and the visitation court battle, I learned to stop asking the rhetorical question of why, but to figure out the lesson in all of my challenges for myself. Sometimes, I’m more successful than others.

I wonder why good people are being stricken with cancer. I wonder when bad things will happen to bad people instead of to good people. I wonder why prayer sometimes works more than medicine. I wonder why Ex can’t realize that the mess he’s made of his relationship with his child will probably never be repaired.

I just want to learn from all that happening around me, but I’m too busy crying and numbing myself to the emotional pain.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Did you ever wonder if you're not meant to fit in?

I love my family and I know they love me, but I'm the black sheep on both my mom's and my dad's side.

Of the gang from the old neighborhood, there's only one other single mom, and she's a retired police officer (in NYC, you can retire with a 50% pension after 20 years) so I'm the only single mom who works full-time.

My neighborhood is VERY Catholic, and while my faith is unwavering, my belief in Catholicism isn't as strong.

I like to eat meat, I LOVE gluten and I don't believe buying organic food is better.

I never felt the need to drive a flashy car, or wear designer brand clothing (although I do loves me some vintage Coach purses), or eat in the fanciest restaurants.

Sometimes I just feel like I'm somewhere out in space, somewhat untethered.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Well, its January 9th...

...I guess it's time to write the year-end/happy New Year post, right?

As I reflect on 2011, I can't help but smile. It was a pivotal year, it was an exhausting year...but it was a wonderful year.

The Ya Ya's came to town in April and I'm still not sure NY has recovered. 3 from Manchester, England, 3 from Atlanta, 1 from Virginia and one from Montana. What a wild, loving, diverse gang of girls! They all feed my soul in one way or another.Montana Ya Ya came earlier and stayed later than the others and she made the most of every minute in NYC. I didn't have to "babysit" her, she was fearless. She got on the subway by herself a few times and always made it home ok. We ate Italian food every day as it's her favorite. We found a wholesale jewelry supply store and I picked out pearls and she made me a necklace and earrings that I will cherish forever.

The girlfriends I grew up with from the old neighborhood and I started going out for dinner every so often at a fun Italian and those dinners are really something to look forward to. 6 or 8 women, many of whom I know since my first day of first grade back in 1976, who can appreciate and even love the woman I've become. We're all so different, but we have the common blood of Sheepshead Bay running through our veins.

I went back to camp!! I'm the leader for my daughter's Girl Scout troop and we want to take the girls camping so I had to get "Camp Certified." The best part is that I had to do the certification course at the camp I went to from 1980-1987!! What an amazing experience!! To be able to share with my daughter the place that was so much a part of the person I have become is an deeply moving experience. So much of the camp is the same, yet so much is completely different. The Kid and I listened to "We Found Love" by Rihanna about 396 times on the trip up and back and that song will now always make me think of that magical weekend in the NY woods. The women I did the certification course with were so in tune with me; we were all doing the course for the same make a difference in girls' lives.

I upgraded to a smartphone and for the first 2 weeks after I got it, I felt sooooo dumb!I thought these things were supposed to make us smart...SMH...

I had a very low-key Christmas and I liked it. No casts of thousands all showing up wearing their fat pants so their circulation wouldn't get cut off, no family drama, no ugliness with the Ex....Just Chinese take-out and The Help on was divine.

The Kid and I were supposed to go to my friend's house for New Year's, but her poor son had pneumonia & the flu. We decided that we'd make everyone another New Year's by celebrating Chinese/Lunar New Year's at the end of January. My friends and I are always looking for new and exciting reasons to get together and hang out, so why not Chinese New Year?!?!?

If 2012 is half as good as 2011, I'm in for a great time this year...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's On My Master To-Do List? Cleaning Closets!!

I have a really nice 3 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor of a three family house. We moved there in July of 2003 when my parents bought the house and subsequently moved into the middle apartment.

There were 3 of us then, now there are 2. Me and a sassy, smart, sensitive and fashion conscious 9 year old. Sidenote - The Kid is starting a club with her little gang of girlfriends that promote the honor of friendship and for fashion styling. Heaven help me. Ok, back to topic: Even though there are only 2 of us, we have accumulated a LOT of stuff. The 3rd bedroom has really never served as anything but a room for all the extra crap that I can't get rid of but don't use. Some examples: the portable heater to be used while The Kid is bathing in winter, about 5 blankets (to be used in case of a Day After Tomorrow type deep freeze), an antique dresser filled with my sweaters and on top, my jewelry and perfume, boxes & boxes of books (I admit there are 2 boxes that are my college textbooks, I graduated in 1994) and a clothes drying rack.

When Ex moved out, I was merciless at erasing him from MY apartment. I discarded 5 contractor sized garbage bags of junk that he left behind. He would notoriously open a bill, save all the moronic advertisements that were enclosed for me to look at, "in case I need to buy something," When I opened a bill, all I saved at were the bill and the envelope. Everything else was trash. I found a pile of these advertisement that was 3 years in the making and 6 or 7 inches high. I wanted to have a ceremonial burning of his collection, but I got a good enough amount of satisfaction of tearing every one of them in half and throwing them out. Another thing, He always had an extra 3 or 4 bottles of dish soap under the sink, but never managed to ever purchase a sponge.

Needless to say, over the years since he moved out, I got lazy. There are now cracks and crevices in my apartment brimming with junk. I'm good at cleaning off flat surfaces, but the clothes are where I'm weak. The whole if-you-haven't-worn-it-on-a-year rule is broken in my closet. The Kid's closet/dresser are up-to-date, but I really, REALLY need to clean out my clothing. I need to part with a few sweaters, but most of them were hand-knit by either my mother or her friend, Natalie. There's one sweater in my dresser that my mom made for my grandmother. When Grandma died, I took the sweater. I've never worn it since since i took possession of it in 2003. can I get rid of a sweater that my mom made and that belonged to Grandma. See how I trip myself up all the time? I focus on one article of clothing.

I'm embarrassed that I have a 6 room apartment and I only use 5 rooms. I harbor fantasies of  making that 3rd bedroom a reading/relaxation room. Or making it a tv room. Or making it an exercise room. If only I could fantasize about cleaning the damn room out!!

I'm good at getting rid of shoes that are worn out, because then I have an excuse to buy new prettier ones. 

My friend, Lisa, says that when things get difficult or when she's in a period of emotional turmoil, she cleans out a closet. She says it gives her perspective and a sense of balance. I think I need to try it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm helping? Really?

Two friends in as many weeks say that my positivity is helping them, that they're gaining something from it. I was shocked both times. This is notoriously a tough time of year for me. I'm crazy busy with The Kid's activities and this is a nutty time at work too. I'm too tired to expend lots of thought or energy on anything frivolous. But, there's always time for sharing something that works for me, someone else might be able to use the same thought or prayer or process to help themselves along a little bit.

It's not that I'm not happy. Generally, I am a happy person. I do sometimes get mired down in financial worries, or work-related stress, or answering The Kid's seemingly never-ending questions, but for the most part, being happy feels better than the alternative.

I have had a few dark moments: just today, I got paid, I paid my bills and I balanced my checkbook. I actually broke out in a cold sweat. I'm not broke, but I'm not wealthy. All the bills got paid, one even got paid 3 weeks ahead of schedule, but there's not a whole lot left over. Then there's the time when someone asked me what I was so tired about. My eyes crossed with anger and then with exasperation. Seriously? You need an explanation?!?  Ex doesn't take The Kid overnight all that often so I haven't had a weekend off in over 2 months, I do all the household chores, make all the decisions, work full-time, volunteer with The Kid's Girl Scout Troop, and have to keep a happy face on. You'd be tired too, but would you be as content as me? I doubt it.

As John Lennon once wrote, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." Life can be bright and life can be dark. Sometimes it's shaded. Ok, enough metaphors. Honestly, I just want The Kid to grow up happy. I want to save a little money so I won't have to work until I'm 94. I want to wear clothes that don't look like they came from Good Will (although the top I have on now is from Good Will and I love it!). Although I like to cook, sometimes I want to eat Chinese take-out from the cartons and not get any grief about it.

We need to find that stuff that makes us happy and stick with that. For me, a major part of being happy is keeping in touch using Facebook. I'm lucky to have friends scattered across the US and a few in Europe that I converse with on an almost every-day basis. These people carry me through the dark times and on occasion, have unknowingly pointed to the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, I only have enough in me to stare at that little twinkle. Other days, I'm doing the Snoopy Dance, pointing it out to others.

We all need to help one another out. We need not carry the burdens of someone else without rest, we need not apologize for our own feelings or beliefs, but we must help one another find that little light.

This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine...