A Long Time Coming

Things have been very quiet here on the blog for the last several months. It’s been a conscious choice on my part. There were things I wanted to write about but it just wasn’t the right time to share them. Events are finally pushing forward now and the time has come for me to be able to share them.

Scot and I are divorcing.

This has been building for many years and it has finally come to a head. We are broken. We cannot continue on this course; we cannot continue to be married. For the sake of our children, we must divorce.

I never thought I would have to say the words, “I want a divorce.” I never thought we would be a statistic. I never thought that we would be That Couple in our circle of friends that didn’t last. Everyone who knew us when we got married said we would be the kind of couple that would last.

And yet, here we are.

We still have a lot of details to work out. For the moment, we are still all living in the same house; a circumstance that is not very comfortable for anyone involved but it’s what it has to be at this point. We are working with the appropriate parties to figure out how to separate our lives after 15 years of them being entwined. We are trying to do this very difficult thing as peaceably as possible for the sake of the children we both love so much. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for the kids and I, but I know that it HAS to be better than where we are now.

I only hope that I can manage to walk this path with dignity and grace. I know there are times when I’m so angry it’s awfully hard to find any grace much less dignity. But I continue to pick myself up and put one foot in front of the other because I don’t know what else to do. I try to remind myself that the definition of grace is not that we never stumble and fall but that we get back up, we keep trying, we work to make each day a little better than the last. Breakdowns will come but I can’t let that mean that I give up.

A new life will rise from the disaster of this year and I can only hope that when I get there, it’s better than where I am now.

And so all of this is why I haven’t been blogging. There was too much to say and too much chance I’d say the wrong thing. I still won’t be sharing too much about the details of all this in this space (I’m sure you understand why) but I hope to not be such a stranger.

Having a Sally Field Moment

This morning my friend, Dawn, published this post. About me, of all people! When she told me that she wanted to turn her list into a blog post and asked if it was ok with me, I said sure. I admit, I was curious. But more than anything, I was really flattered. She likes me! She really likes me!

I’ve spent a lot of years of my life feeling like an outcast. Heck, I think there’s members of my family that don’t like me all that much. I feel like it started way back in first grade. I switched from public school to private school that year so I knew no one in my class. I also started school about two weeks late due to health issues. So, by the time I got to school friendships had formed and I was the weird kid. I went to that school with the same 40 kids for the next 12 years; I never stopped being the weird kid who no one liked and the popular girls picked on. When I got to be a teenager, I was the girl that no boy admitted to liking because that was social suicide. I got called ‘ugly’ a lot so I never thought I was pretty at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a few friends and my best friend is still my best friend to this day. But the people I became close to – none of them were people in that first grade class I walked into two weeks late.

I had high hopes for college. I was a single student on a campus of 40,000. Surely I could find My People there! I thought I did for awhile but then it turned out they didn’t like me all that much after all. I can’t even really say WHY the friendships fell apart but they did.

After college, my life went through a monumental upheaval and in the 18 months after graduation, I moved 3 times, broke off an engagement, met someone new, got engaged again, and settled in Pittsburgh. Where I knew no one but Scot.

Slowly my circle of friends grew, first through Scot, then through work. Eventually I found Twitter and lo and behold! THAT is where My People reside! I started venturing out from under my rock a little bit to meet people in person.

One of the first people I met was Dawn. I don’t know how to explain it except to say that Dawn’s friendship means the world to me. She is the sister of my heart. After so many years of feeling ostracized, to know that someone I love and respect so much thinks that I’m a good person – well, that’s just the best feeling in the world.

Pretty Lady

Pretty Lady

Changing For The Better

One of the upsides to being on Zoloft is that I have energy again. And motivation. I used to have a couple good hours of work in me in the morning and then it was all downhill after lunch. The mid-afternoon malaise set in and it lasted until the kids went to bed. Ridiculous.

I constantly castigated myself that I had all this time and couldn’t seem to get anything done/keep up with my life. It just made me feel worse about myself.

Everything has changed and if I could bake a cake for Zoloft I would. Then I’d offer it sexual favors.

I’ve spent the last week or so cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I’ve tackled projects that have sat for MONTHS because I just couldn’t get started. My house is the cleanest it’s been for a very long time. The only rooms that are in disarray are the kids rooms and, well, you’ll have that.

I’ve got some more long-term projects to tackle – cleaning out the pantry closet, unearthing the breakfast nook in the kitchen, finding all the old magazines and getting them recycled – that kind of thing. The weird thing is – I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. My state of mind is much calmer when I’ve ordered the space around me. I seem to becoming something of a neatnik.

Best of all, I’m not embarrassed to let people come into my house anymore. People dropping by? No problem! Kids want to play with their friends? Sure! I cannot find the proper words to express what a titanic shift this represents for me.

I know that medication isn’t always the first and best answer but it has made such an enormous difference for me. I’m so, so grateful. I don’t think I had any real idea of how long I’d been feeling bad until I suddenly wasn’t anymore.

A Post I Never Wanted To Write

Yesterday, I got a call from Scot at about 11:15 a.m. and he told me he’d lost his job.

I’m not going to go into details here. The important point is that he was our only source of income. I haven’t worked in 8 years which is going to make getting a job problematic.  Complicating things is the fact that Scot made about triple what I used to make so my earning potential is small, especially compared to our bills.

We’re doing all those things that people do in these situations – Jamie has been pulled from daycare; Liam has been told there will be NOTHING extra besides TKD; I stopped shopping at the expensive grocery store and switched to the cheaper one.

We have one paycheck coming at the end of this week and another in mid-April and then we’re out. Scot has applied for unemployment. Our health insurance runs out at the end of April so I’ll be applying to get the kids coverage through the state while Scot and I will have to remain uninsured.

Scot is looking for new employment and we’re praying with all our might that SOMETHING comes through quickly.

I’m scared out of my mind but trying to ignore the terror and function anyway.  This is only sometimes successful as I find myself bursting into tears at the smallest things.

Our lives are suddenly full of uncertainty.

Punxsutawney Needs To Fire Phil

I know it’s ridiculous to put any faith in the weather predictions of a rodent of unusual size, and I don’t.  Not really.  But it is hilarious to me just how WRONG Phil has gotten it the last two years.  Last year he predicted that we would have an early spring.

We got this.

This year, he predicted that we would have 6 more weeks of winter.  Wrong again, Bozo!

You guys, the weather this week has been AMAZING.  Sunny, perfect temperatures, no humidity.  The kind of weather in which you throw open all the windows of the house and let in delicious smelling air.  In fact, the whole winter has been exceedingly mild.  We’ve had two major snowstorms that I can think of and Jamie got to play outside in the snow exactly once.  We had some cold days but we seemed to avoid that bitterly cold section of time in February that always makes me want to stab things.

So here it is, the middle of March, and we have weather that wouldn’t be out of place in May.  Tomorrow’s high? 77 degrees.  Sunny.  Perfect.

July and August are going to be BRUTAL.

PodCamp Memories

This weekend I attended PodCamp Pittsburgh 6.  Despite wanting to go for the two previous PodCamps, I wasn’t able to make it until this year so this was my first PodCamp.  It turns out that I wasn’t alone and about half the attendees were also newbies.

I was so nervous heading into this.  Everyone assured me that I should stop stressing out about it because people were going to be welcoming and fun.  Still, I felt a little (ok, A LOT) like the new kid trying to sit at the popular table in the lunch room on her first day.

Except it turns out there isn’t a popular table.  As they say at PodCamp, we’re all Rockstars.

The festivities kicked off Friday night with a Meet and Greet.  In spite of getting into a minor accident on the way there and a paucity of parking, I arrived only about a half hour after it started.  I chatted with people I already knew and met a bunch of new people as well.  I felt so much more at ease about showing up to PodCamp the next morning after going to the Meet and Greet.  It was fun!

PodCamp itself was informative, interesting, funny, social, and (most of all) FUN.  I learned a lot.  I met awesome new people.  From the perspective of someone who had never been before, I can’t say enough things about how great it was.  There were sessions I wanted to be in but couldn’t (because I was attending other sessions) and I’m looking forward to watching them once the video gets posted.  Beyond that, everyone there made it a point to be friendly and helpful to one another.  If you have to be in a roomful of strangers, this is the roomful of strangers to be in.

In short, if you’ve never been to PodCamp and you want to go, DO IT.  Don’t follow my nervous nelly example and be scared.

Last, I leave you with four words: Vegan Death Metal Chef.  You learn about all kinds of things at PodCamp.

Loose Ends

I find myself twiddling my thumbs a bit today.

Today, both of the kids are at school and Scot is at work and I am home alone for 8 hours for the first time since Jamie was born.  (I think.  It’s possible I’m lying about that but my memory isn’t what it used to be.)  I decided that I was going to enjoy this first day of relative freedom and take it easy a bit.  After I got the kids off to school, I did the grocery shopping.

ALONE.

Once I came home and unloaded everything, I sat down and made a list of chores to tackle today.  It wasn’t very long but it was also a list that I would have had trouble finishing a week ago when the kids were home all day.  I didn’t think anything of it, I just figured it was a decent list to tackle.

It was done by 1:15.

I didn’t rush.  I didn’t run around like a crazy person cleaning my house.  I had a leisurely lunch.  I played around on Facebook and Twitter.  I even watched ridiculous middle-of-the-day television.  (By the way, there is NOTHING on TV in the middle of the day!)  Still, I managed to complete that list of tasks two hours before Liam is due home from school.

It seems I am a little out of practice with this thing called “free time.”  I’m sure I’ll get back into the groove with it soon.  But for now I’m at loose ends.