Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Motherhood & More: Loss provides gift of time*

I’ve recently been gifted extra time at home.

I say ‘gifted’ because for the past while I have been sad and upset about the loss of my job, but I would like to stop being quite so negative because it’s bumming me and everyone around me out. So, thus, I am focusing on what I gained instead of what I lost.

I gained more time to be available for my children. I can cook more and bake more and spend more time getting household work finished during the day so that when the kids are home I can pay more attention to them. I can volunteer more at their school. I do not have to worry about summer childcare.

I’ve gained more time to work on our wood floors, which we have been in the process of refinishing for a few weeks now. This means that they will be done sooner and my house will be put back in order sooner, and my brain also will be put back in order sooner because it doesn’t like it when the house is in this much disarray. A little bit is ok. What we are living with is ridiculous.

I’ve gained more time to focus on things I enjoy, such as sewing for myself or the kids, and making jewelry for my Etsy shop, or knitting because everyone needs wool hats right before summer. And maybe, possible, I will sew things to sell, as well. Anybody need a dress?

Or I can write more for enjoyment rather than employment. I can focus more on being a creative person, which is where I find the most joy. Maybe I’ll attempt to write a book.

Nevermind. Books scare me. Maybe I’ll write a short story.

I can have more time for running. Running makes my body hurt but keeps my mind from self-combusting, so when I don’t have time or motivation I feel worse. And then I don’t run because I feel worse. And I feel worse because I don’t run. Vicious circle and all that. So I can be better about running most days, and be stronger for it, mentally and physically.

I can plan more things to do with the kids, other than just letting them watch television until dinner time. I can have actual activities to keep them entertained until they beg to watch television.

So. Good thoughts. Budget cuts are a horrible thing to the people they affect and I am not the only person this has ever happened to. I have wallowed for a while but am working on my attitude. I will find another job, but in the mean time I plan on enjoying not working.

Because not working can be awesome. Just look at all I’ve gained.

(P.S. I've gotten freelance work since this was written. So nevermind!)

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on April 22, 2015.

Monday, April 13, 2015

It will get better

I try not to complain.  I really do.  Or rather, I may complain but I hope it's in such a way that people know I'm generally not a negative person and don't let my complaints ruin my outlook on life.

But this month has been hard, y'all.  Like HARD hard.

It started in the beginning.  I found out on April 2 that I had two weeks left of work.  My job has always been sort of up in the air, which is a horrible way to work, actually.  I never knew how long it would last.  It was part-time temporary, but was a new position and frankly, one that not everyone saw the value in.  So when it was time for budget cuts my job was seen as not important enough to keep.

So that put a black cloud over everything.  I stopped running as much and I've been eating my feelings with Easter candy and wine and staying up entirely too late because I'm not sleeping well.  Which made me feel even worse.

Plus our house is in incredible disarray because we are in the process of ripping up our carpet to sand and refinish our wood floors and everything everywhere is covered in this yellowed glue that was under the carpet.  Tiny pieces find there way into everything - everyone's socks and shoes and clothes and it's even in rooms that didn't originally have glue.  Which is stressful enough.

And last Wednesday my cat got sick.  I had Susy since before we had Sebastian.  She wasn't the friendliest of cats, but she was my cat.  She loved me, and I loved her and she was kind of my first baby.  I got home from picking up the kids Wednesday afternoon and found piles of, well, bloody stuff.  I searched for her and tried to make her comfortable, not really knowing what was going on.  And then that night she went missing.  Since we're redoing the floors there are some holes where boards are being replaced and she crawled in one of them and got under the floor.

Chris managed to find her on Thursday morning, but she wasn't really moving around.  I tried to give her some water with a syringe, but she wasn't all that interested.  But then she started moving around more and seemed better.  But it turns out she wasn't.  Chris took her to the vet on Friday and he said she more than likely had a form of blood cancer and had to be put to sleep.  It was awful.  I didn't really get to say goodbye to her.  And then we had to tell the kids.  Adele still doesn't understand.  She thinks Susy is sleeping and will be back sometime, when she's done.  But Sebastian took it really hard.  This is his first real experience with death.  He cried and cried and has said over and over again that he wishes Susy was still alive.

Me, too, buddy.  I keep expecting her to walk in and jump on my lap, or jump on our bed at night and curl up, or come downstairs and meow for her "Susy snacks."  

So, I'm still processing that.  And on Saturday, while I was waiting to pull into a parking space by the redbox at McDonalds, an elderly gentleman decided that backing into the driver's side door of my car was an excellent idea, in spite of my honking and waving.  And my children were in the car.  And he drove off without stopping.  And I had to sit there and wait for the police to come with two children, the older of whom was still dealing with the death of his cat and who was convinced that we could also have died in that car incident.

Good times.

So, I've complained.  I've been and still am pretty down.  I am trying and trying to get out of this funk that I'm in, to be positive, to be happy.  It's so very hard.  But I will get there.  I know I will.  I'm planning on running after work, which is a good start for me. And I began preparing the gardening beds and planted some seeds and weeded.  It always makes me feel better to have my hands in the dirt.

But what I really need to do is take some time and sew, because that allows me to only focus on what I'm making, or on the next stitch.  But as I mentioned before, my house is a disaster and we don't currently have a dining room table set up, which is were I like to sew.  But I think I'm going to have to improvise because I have to do something.

Three more days of work and then I will sew.  And I will feel better.

Adele and sunglasses and a worm.  It made me smile yesterday.
(If it weren't for my anniversary this month or my sister's birthday, I'd give the month of April a giant middle finger.)