Couldn't think of a cool title…

December 31, 2008

I’m not sure I trained enough for this particular marathon…

I love Christmas. And I have loved the Christmas-ness of this Christmas. Every night for the past week has been a joyous special thing that only the glittery soul of Christmas can create. My apartment is clean and sparkly with Christmas lights and candles and I’m hopeful that this little step of having a pleasing living space is a sign of more pleasing living to come.

Twice I visited my friends in the Christmas show I had been a part of for the 6 years prior. I miss it, and I miss them, but I guess it may be better in this season of change in my life to have had less of the running around that particular gig required. I needed the time. I mourn missing out on what was special there, in the same way I have mourned my leaving the Real Job– but I’ve been better for it, I’m sure.

I was part time through December 20th, and on that day a party was held in my honor. It was an odd collection of people but a very sweet little gathering that left me feeling cared for and more hopeful/less sad than I had expected. Not everything was done that needed to be done, so the loss was dulled by the fact that I still had my keys and a few files– it wasn’t like I wouldn’t be back. But I am coming to terms that I need to face this- finally, and really– and as I was driving around yesterday I found myself repeating aloud, “I don’t work there anymore. I don’t work there anymore…” My sleep has been filled with a sort of anxious self-loathing collection of dreams, in which I’m often late for appointments, unfairly accused of wrongdoing, and consumed with feelings of guilt. Apparently there is still shit to work out…

My week overall, however, as I mentioned before have been very special (if distracting,) and gratifying– but exhausting. An overview:

CHRISTMAS EVE

  • I did my very gift bag/candy run and then saw the Christmas show. HIGHLIGHT: Playing Santa handing out candy to everyone and my friend C’s reaction to his Christmas present. LOWLIGHT: I miss them.
  •  After a quick stop over at my parents’, I went to dinner with Soon- to- be- in- the- Navy-Cousin for Christmas Eve dinner, of which I only had time to eat a little bit before running off to be late for Church. HIGHLIGHT: Hanging out with Cousin. LOWLIGHT: There’s only so much I can take of one particular relative’s arrogant talk.
  • Church. HIGHLIGHT: The music and candles made the rushing back worth it, and my Minister’s grabbing my arm on my way out to see if I was working and how I was made me feel noticed and cared for.
  • Stopped back home and said hi to my landlord’s family, and then drove BACK to my parents, tossing presents under the tree and then sleeping in the guest bedroom upstairs. HIGHLIGHT:  Landlord’s son (who used to live in my apartment) was very impressed with my apartment, which I was so proud of . LOWLIGHT: I wanted to spend more time with them but it was hard not to feel like I was intruding on a family moment.

CHRISTMAS

  • I got to sleep in and Sister, Brother-in-Law, and BestNieceEver showed up sometime in the early afternoon, better than last year. I got a cordless phone I’d been needing and knew I was getting. BestNieceEver wasn’t real interested in the whole sitting around opening presents thing but otherwise it was a fun time. My presents were well-received overall.  I had gotten BestNieceEver a magnadoodle and her first pair of jeans, both of which seemed to go over well. My dad seemed simultaneously mystified and impressed with his new iPod Shuffle and my mom has been reading the books I got her, so those seemed to have been a hit too. HIGHLIGHT: Playing Let’s-Throw-Wrapping-Paper-in-the-Air with BestNieceEver. LOWLIGHT: Brother-in-Law was freaking out about being late for the party with the other side of his family so he spent most of the time there looking at his watch.
  • I headed back to my place in the evening and enjoyed a quiet night with my Landlords, exchanging presents and eating Christmas cookies. HIGHLIGHT: Peace and quiet.

FRIDAY

  • Friday afternoon my friends J&J came over with their 3 kids and we had ice cream sundaes and played Apples to Apples. The kids seemed to enjoy the books I got for them but it was clear they weren’t as cool as the seven million other presents they’d gotten in the past few days. J&J are probably going to hate me for the Joke Book I got their middle child– she has taken to reading aloud from it nonstop and the jokes are, well, pretty bad. HIGHLIGHT: It was wonderful just to be with my friends.
  • My parents came over later that evening before heading off to see the show I had gotten tickets for them to see, and then I was off to a Christmas party with the Christmas show people. HIGHLIGHT: My dad called me later just to say he loved the play. I rule!

SATURDAY

  • The Big family party at my Dad’s Cousin’s house. HIGHLIGHT: BestNieceEver was the hit of the party. LOWLIGHT: My Great Uncle cried– he has lost 3 siblings and is so depressed… and no one really knew what to do.
  • After I got back I turned around and went back out to see Urbanblight and some of our old friends from high school. HIGHLIGHT: It was great to talk to them. LOWLIGHT: I wanted more time, and one of our friends seems particularly depressed.

SUNDAY

  • Sunday was my friends J&J’s daughter’s 13th birthday. HIGHLIGHT: The little time with them I had before running off to the next thing. LOWLIGHT: The holiday was really beginning to wear on my at this point.
  • After that party I was off to a reunion of sorts for my high school at a local bar. HIGHLIGHT: Talking to people I really haven’t talked to for ten years. LOWLIGHT: Wishing my Life’s Transition wasn’t the main story I had to tell.

MONDAY

  • Went back to the office and did a bunch of stuff I wasn’t paid for and won’t be sufficiently appreciated for. Cynical? Maybe. But it was my choice and I still feel if I hadn’t done it I’d be worried about those things.
  • Sleep deprived and barely functional I did  something truly crazy. I had the kids I used to babysit– now 12 and 15!– to sleepover. We watched THREE episodes of Quantum Leap, played Scrabble and Apples to Apples, and I somehow managed to stay awake to just past midnight. HIGHLIGHT: They fell in love with my favorite TV show.

TODAY

  • After the girls left I fell back asleep for several hours, despite really needing to tie up a bunch of loose ends at the (former) office of mine. OldBoss sent me an email officially announcing my Replacement, who had confidentially told me of their offer last week. Still sorting out how I feel about all that.
  • Went off to a Holiday Dinner for a scholarship foundation that gave me an award in high school. HIGHLIGHT: Good food. LOWLIGHT: Not really having much to talk about to anyone, except the kid I used to babysit– who’s now more than a foot taller than me and in seminary school. I feel old.
  • And now, back at my parents’, where BestNieceEver is sleeping over as well.

 

So yeah. Kinda tired. Somehow supposed to go to two parties TOMORROW too. We’ll see if the weather– and my stamina– cooperates.

October 13, 2007

Programmatic Victory

Filed under: Business, Friends, Personal, The Arts, Workaholism — me @ 5:45 am

So we have a good show. A really good show, actually. With high production values, a talented cast, and a minimum of amateur hour moments. The less-than-pleasing number of people that have seen it so far are universally thrilled and have offered their congrats. It’s a bit of a mixed blessing because most of them aren’t really sure if I have anything to do with the fact that a good show miraculously appeared– but a less-than-altruistic side of me is secretly relishing contact with a few who probably came to gloat at what they fully expected would be a failure.

It’s hard to talk about work without specifics– even if no one but friends really encounters this little blog I’m just paranoid enough to avoid that. Cuz who knows. Anyhow, I am thrilled to have a show here that I can point to and say SEE!! THIS IS WHAT WE’RE CAPABLE OF IF YOU LISTEN TO ME. I am not entirely confident that THAT will be the result but it can’t hurt.

In another personal victory (I suppose) I am tearing myself away from work tomorrow to go see BestCollegeFriend and her new little girl. It’s killing me a little to contemplate leaving while the show is up but I’ve got to let the place fly without a net and babies are only a few days old for, well, a few days. BestCollegeFriend needs me, and I need a day off. I hope to enjoy myself and not spend the whole day obsessing about work. We’ll see.

Oh! And I finally got my washer-dryer fixed– we think– so life is looking up all around.

August 25, 2007

Ruminating…

Filed under: Business, Friends, Personal, Talks with the Doc, Workaholism — me @ 4:56 am

Today was So-Awesome-Office-Manager’s last day. It was sad. I’m glad she’s still going to be in town weekends while she’s at grad school but it will be very weird not to see her every week. I’ve always said, she was the emotionally healthy one in the building. Now I guess it’s me– but with the stress I’m under it makes me hope that New Office Manager has a good therapist at least.

Speaking of therapy, I guess mine is going well. It’s hard to judge these things but I’ve had some insights recently that either surprised me or suddenly clarified a lot of the reasons I am the way I am. Those insights are good because at least then I think all the money I’ve thrown at this for a year and a half (not to mention on and off for almost four years starting in college) might be going to something of use. This week I realized that part of the reason I’m such a good planner is that it’s a strategy to avoid conflict and pain. Sister was always an unpredictable factor in my life and family– she can seem perfectly fine and then blow up violently as though she were an animal being attacked. So many times in the life of my family has there been an image of my parents and I tiptoeing around her after one of her explosions. My parents never handled these explosions with any competence or were of much use in giving any reassurance to me in regards to them. So, being the dutiful Parentified child that I am, I set out to protect my family’s emotional life and in particular to head off explosions before they start. This is why I work so well with unreasonable people. My mother and I have strong suspicions that my Maternal Grandfather was manic depressive, and she tells me that her mother was also prone to a different kind of off-the-chart intensity and unreasonableness at times. So my mother must have had her own experiences putting up with unreasonable people by being perfect and then turned around and taught me. I can’t think of a time my mother was angry in the first ten years of my life. So I didn’t learn how to be angry– or to misbehave, or to have faults. Because protecting them from each other was the biggest priority in my life, and being a person myself didn’t really figure into that. And when I think of my workaholism and how lately I keep obsessing about all the people this addiction has let down in my life– I realize that it is more the opposite. I may not call back a date or show up to see BestCollegeFriend or get out to Aunt and Uncle’s house on the beach and say, “I meant to… I had so much going on… I hate that I let people down…”– but it is most of all (and FIRST of all) myself that is being let down, over and over again. I consistently put myself last in all the many choices I encounter throughout my week, because, as a very young child, I practiced taking care of my caretakers until I didn’t know how not to. Time for a Selfish Phase, I guess…

June 20, 2007

Eleventh Grade, in which I become something of a teenager three years late

Filed under: Friends, Good Moodiness, Memories — me @ 8:22 am

Junior year was the year I swore for the first time. Actually, there are three times I can remember swearing– it happened so rarely that I actually remember them individually. The first was at Friend’s Party after a Semiformal for the Arts School. I didn’t go to my regular school’s prom but I went to these semiformals junior and senior year and I’m sure loved them more than I ever would have the prom. At any rate, at this particular after-party, I was being teased for never swearing and someone said “Just say shit.” To which I responded, “I don’t have anything to say shit for.” Suddenly realizing my mistake, I collapsed to the floor embarrassed while everyone else laughed.

The second was a particularly intense day of Tech week for that revue I was co-directing. I remember gathering Urbanblight and some friends cermoniously in the hallway, totally stressed and wanting to blow off steam– to utter the word “Fuck.” I guess you had to be there.

The third was extra special. Friend was graduating after having spent the year together in classes and performing, and I had grown pretty attached. He said that what he wanted for his graduation was to hear me say “Eat shit you motherfucking cocksucker.” Uccellina was a witness, so she can attest that I am not making this up. Suffice it to say, I said it and it actually made him cry.

Eleventh grade was also the year I saw my first R-rated movie– Pulp Fiction, no less– with all my “legal” friends on my 17th birthday. No I’m not kidding. We made an event of it and I was only slightly traumatized by it.

After that I pretty much returned to my Puritanical ways until college, but those incidents, in highlighting my abstinence in all areas of being less-than-perfect, helped to solidify my identity in a way, in that “innocence” was an identity. I was never moralistic– I had no judgement on how others were living their lives, but for some reason my expectations for myself were just this side of Amish. But somehow I had found a way in my artsy group of misfits and counter-culture loving teenagers who made a point of being “different” that that just happened to be what was different about me, and as long as I was sweet about it and didn’t tell them THEY couldn’t sleep around, it was cool. Having taken on that identity I became more comfortable in my own skin around then, and really started to care as much about hanging out with friends as I did about school or shows.

And hang out I did. I spent a lot of time hanging out in parking lots, which is what you do in a state that doesn’t provide much else for teenagers to do with their time. (I actually also remember we were so bored one night that we wandered around a grocery store. Our communities were so lucky to have such good kids like us that were turning to produce rather than drugs and looting like normal unstimulated adolescents.) The Ground Round Parking lot was our favorite but it was soiled as a hang out the first time a major fight erupted. There was a time when driving through my fair state that I had a memory of some fight my friends had at practically every fast food restaurant parking lot I came across. Usually the fights were spearheaded by the girls, who were jealous of each other a good deal of the time.  I by no means mean to imply that Urbanblight was faultless but I think its fair to say that he was often a victim of his own 16 year old guy idiocy, surrounded by women (who knew?) that sometimes just totally baffled him.

But that aside, my social life was now, and for the first time, a really important part of my to do list. I was still working hard in school and spending my summers working at theatre camp followed by three hour rehearsals in the evenings– but now afterwards and each weekend I was off to eat Cinnamon Dippers and salty popcorn for as long as we all could get along. I convinced Urbanblight to audition for the Arts school and he was accepted, and I happily looked forward to the socializing and academics, if not the college searches and finality of Senior Year.

March 5, 2007

on babies

Filed under: Friends, Sister — me @ 12:20 am

SilliGirl had her baby yesterday. Her third child on March 3rd at 3AM. Wild, huh? I’m so happy for her. It’s got me anxious though, because it has reminded me that it is March now, and Sister’s baby is coming very soon. She is due in 25 days. Being sick so much this month, it’s all snuck up on me. A year ago today we held her bridal shower, and today she went to a baby shower at the School where she and her husband live and he works. The past year and a half has been among the most amazing, difficult, wonderful of my life thus far. Every time I stop to think about all that has happened I am staggered.

I feel so much for Sister, and I’m finding it difficult right now because I can’t see her as often as I’d like. I’m having a lot of dreams about babies and pregnancies lately. I imagine some of what she may be feeling and long to find some way to be what she needs me to be. Like with so many other monumental events in her life, I look on this new arrival with an intense mix of delight and dread. Babies are messy. Life is messy. And my role in my family has always been to try to create the cleanest path for everyone else’s journey. I’m nervous for her. About labor. About parenting for the first time. About navigating through her relationship with her husband. About dealing with the in-laws she doesn’t trust. About it all. Maybe because I have never carried a child inside me, I feel terribly inadequate. Maybe as Silligirl might say, my culture has made me so terrified of the birthing process I don’t fully appreciate its beauty. Maybe my nerves for her are also the nerves for myself one day.

Anyway, I love her. To pieces.

December 31, 2006

Holiday Catch Up

Filed under: Christmas!, Friends, Personal — me @ 9:10 pm

Christmas was sweet and low-key this year for me, and I really appreciated that. My finances limited the amount of spending I did, but I was able to get some very special people some gifts that came from my heart, and that meant a lot to me. My sister bought me some new clothes for work, which I had been sorely needing but couldn’t afford. My apartment is clean for once and that inspired me to have people over for ice cream and Christmas cheer– I don’t invite people over often enough I think.  I’ve gotten and given a lot of kisses, chocolate and otherwise the past couple weeks, something else I should be doing more of. There has been a lot of music and reflection in my past couple weeks, and plenty of sugary cookies to flavor the energy of my life. And while I have some trepidations about some details of embarking into 2007, it has been nice to focus on the rest of my life for a little while.

So the holiday show that has taken up some of my time has come to a close, and I’m mourning my friends’ moves to new projects, the growing-up of four great kids in the show, and the impending reality of going back to real work very soon. I was fairly happily drunk last night, two mudslides– which with my pathetic tolerance is a few steps away from a coma. It was a night to be drinking.

If I drink at all tonight, supposedly THE night to be drinking, it will be very little. I’ve never had much affection for New Year’s Eve the way some people do. I have two invitations to spend quiet evenings at friends’ houses, I imagine I will end up at one or the other, watching videos and eating pretzels late into the night.

2006 has been quite the year. Moving, attacking my depression, marrying off my sister, surviving (and occasionally thriving) at a job that I only recently felt like I fully knew how to do, two funerals, CollegeBestFriend’s move, a couple nice crushes, a car accident, and my first Christmas tree of my own. And that is just some of it. I hope 2007 has a little less struggle and a little more joy, but I have had a fondness for this year and all it’s roller coasters. Last night someone very special told me that I was the best human being he knew and that I should be impressed becasue he knew a lot of human beings. Pretty tall compliment. I’m so lucky to have so much, and to have connected so deeply with so many.  Tonight I toast to the privilege of having so much to be grateful for.

December 17, 2006

Long strange couple of days

Filed under: Friends — me @ 7:20 am

But good. I feel nice these days, with holiday music on the radio and random get-togethers every other weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time with a good friend the past couple days, talking late into the night– and that seems to have shaken up my perspective on some things in (I think) some very positive ways. I’ve actually been going out with friends more, for drinks after a show or a couple rounds of pool– and I feel so comfortable in it, I don’t want these artists to leave. I saw a good play tonight and it’s been so long since I’ve been able to do that. And I feel loved this week and it makes all the difference..

 Sister is actually starting to look sort of pregnant, she’s gained 18 pounds, but when you were only 92 to begin with it doesn’t seem like much at all. She seems– content. We went out and bought a Christmas tree together last night, very good time.

I have an enormous pile of work to face this next week, but I feel better about it all than I have in awhile. I think my Boss is going to hire some Competent Friends of mine to fix somethings at work that really need fixing. And ultimately it is almost the New Year and I’m definitely ready to clean the slate on this year.

How do you all feel about the advent of 2007?

November 5, 2006

Yay happiness

Filed under: Friends, Personal — me @ 5:57 am

Today was a pretty good day:)

I saw my CollegeFriend and her husband and we window shopped around and I bought great books for not one but two 2-year old birthdays in my life coming up this week. I like buying children’s books as presents, and try to do it as often as possible. My future nephew will definitely be well stocked when he gets here.

So yes. It will be a boy. Sister is not very pleased with it, I think she was pretty hung up on the idea of having a little girl to dress up. Part of me does honestly hope that she is making a clear distinction between the job of  mothering and the job of playing with Barbie dolls. But in all fairness, we had one of the nicest times we’ve had together in quite awhile and I talked her into walking around a BabysRUs while I tried to convince her that boys do, in fact, have a few nice qualities and that cute clothing knows no gender. She suddenly had a lot of questions for me about kids and stuff because of my experience with them and it was nice to be a Big Sister for a little while. She actually was kind of into it and I was so happy, because after all the trouble brewing between us lately I thought it was going to be a long while before we would have an outing like this.

Later in the evening I did bring up the Deeper Issues that have been worrying me and she evaded the subject as masterfully as she could before finally declaring a mutiny against the conversation. But I did get to say what I needed saying and I know she heard and absorbed it– and maybe she will consider my advice. And there was something satisfying, just knowing that it was heard.

So today turned out quite well, I finally feel like I’m embracing a vacation relaxation. And now off to dreamland for a sleep-in-Sunday-of-vacation to look forward to…

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