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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a January thing...

Here we are, almost officially halfway through the month of January already.

How did that happen?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that time doesn't pass us by at the same rate all of the time. OK, maybe officially it does. But it certainly doesn't always seem that way.

Over the past few years, January has become a very ..... memorable month for me.

January 12, 1998 - The day that I set up residency in Kansas after a 5 day cross-country trek from Long Island with all of my belongings in the back of a Ryder truck, my car on a dolly behind it, and my cat on the front seat beside me. (Someday, I'll spill all of the details as to why that move happened, but for now - that's something that I keep to myself and very few people know the full story.)

January 7, 2005 - My divorce from Ex1 was final.

January 17, 2006 - Jared was admitted to the hospital with a very severe bug. He was so very sick, and it was so scary, so I planned to stay with him that night and one of my best friends came to stay with us. I was still 3 weeks away from my due date with Alex, but I went into labor that night...

January 19, 2006 - Alex arrived - big, strong, and healthy despite being early.

About 2 weeks after that, Jeff proposed to me - and I said yes. I honestly don't remember the exact date on that one.

January 7, 2011 - The date that my divorce from Jeff could have been final (see the coincidence there?)

January 13, 2011 - My 40th birthday, and the day that my divorce from Jeff was actually final.

January 21, 2012 - The Dude and I made our first road trip together, and he got to meet some of my friends. We decided on that trip that if we could survive the weekend without killing each other, then we could probably get along for a while (I guess we were right).

January 27, 2014 - I bought a house. I bought a freaking house. (Sorry, that one's still a little surreal.)

So yeah, January has historically been a month of ups and downs for me. I'm not generally one to live in the past or to remember a ton of dates - I actually had to look at a calendar to remember some of the dates that I listed. And even though I might remember them, I don't usually make a big deal about them. I used to semi-celebrate January 7 as the date that the first divorce was final, but this year? I didn't even remember it. At the time, I was thrilled when the second divorce was final on my 40th birthday and I planned to celebrate it yearly - but that was short-lived when he passed away less than 3 weeks later.

Over the past few days, I've caught myself dwelling on some of these dates more than I usually do. I don't know why it happened, but maybe because I was sick for the past day or so and didn't really have anything to do other than sleep and think.

More often than not, I've thought of January as a month of losses, mainly because both of my marriages were officially over during this month. For the longest time, I thought of those as failures - and to a point, I still do. But at the same time, admitting that I failed both times has set me up for some new beginnings. Some turned out to be not so good (hence Divorce #2) but some have turned out to be pretty awesome (hello, having a baby and buying a house?) and I wouldn't trade them for the world. And seriously, my birthday - the one day of the year when it is honestly and truly all about me. (Except for yesterday. Yesterday was all about the plague for both me and The Dude. So I'm calling a do-over for my birthday yesterday.)

I know that everyone's situations are different, but I see so many people who seem to be content living in the past. They focus so much on the bad stuff that has happened, and while they're looking behind them they're tripping over what's in front of them - or worse yet, they're pushing it out of their way so that they can continue to look back.

Looking forward doesn't mean that the past didn't happen.  It doesn't mean that the past isn't important.  It doesn't mean that you should never look back - we can only see how far we've come by seeing where we were - but in order to get anywhere without tripping and falling flat on your face, you've got to look ahead.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that too.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My office

Like most people, I'm in a few groups on facebook. There's one group in particular where it seems like we end up inadvertently having a "theme" day every now and then. Someone will post a ridiculous selfie, and then we all do it. Or video updates. Pictures of our kids. Whatever.

Today, I was too busy running around to really pay attention to how it started, but pictures of everyone's offices were being posted. When I saw it, I was actually on my way out the door to the grocery store, and so I posted a picture of my cart as my "office for the day".

When I got done at the store, I had to rush straight to the schools to get the kids, and then home to unload the groceries and start supper. At the same time, I was helping with homework and signing agendas and starting a new grocery list for everything that I forgot to get today.

I was making a mental meal plan for the rest of the week and occasionally pulling out my phone to look at my calendar to try to remember everything else that had to be done. Then I got the kids who were home started on supper while I ran out to pick Emily up from basketball practice, and then started cleaning the kitchen and baking some snacks for lunches and after school.

As it turned out, the kitchen was actually my main office for the day. Or at least for the afternoon and evening.

For whatever reason, I managed to actually be more organized than usual tonight. I got all of the dishes done (putting them in the dishwasher counts as "done" in my book) and made the pancake batter for morning. I put the griddle out so I literally just have to plug it in and start pouring batter for pancakes instead of fumbling around to mix it like I usually do. I packed the majority of the kids' lunches so that all I have to do is make their sandwiches and toss their string cheese into their respective bags and then chase them out into the van.

Theoretically speaking, as long as everyone gets up on time, the morning *should* be fairly easy....although I'm sure that it will fall apart somewhere.

Of course, in the middle of all of this, it was pointed out to me that the bathroom faucet was messed up again. I just replaced the stems in it a few weeks ago and was super proud that it wasn't dripping constantly anymore, and now it's jacked up again. I hope that it's just something that needs to be tightened, but I won't know that until I can shut the water off to the house (because no shut off under the sink) and pull it apart again, so depending on how that goes, my "office" tomorrow will definitely include the bathroom and possibly one or more hardware stores.

Until then......yes, there are bricks putting enough pressure on the handle to keep the water from running all night long.

Don't judge. It's working for now.

And yes, I know, the sink is filthy. Again, don't judge. I'll deal with that later.

I used to have an actual office job. I had to get up early and get dressed every day (luckily girl clothes weren't required, but I still had to look human) and drive 30 miles each way to sit in a cube and push papers and run around the state visiting people to make sure that they were getting the care that they needed. I got paid a decent amount of money and enjoyed what I did for the most part.

Sometimes, I miss that life. I miss getting out and seeing people (even if I didn't like ALL of the people I had to deal with on a regular basis) and having a regular routine.

But then again, I wouldn't trade my "offices" now for any of that. I love that I can be home with my kids at a moment's notice when they need me and that I can go to school functions during the day without having to rearrange an entire work day and get permission from the boss. I can do laundry and grocery shop and fix busted sinks while they're in school, and spend the evenings with them (even if I'm in the kitchen for most of the evening).

The money's not as good, but the value is incredible.