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Archive for November, 2007

Mondays are Hard

I don’t wear a bra on Mondays. Or brush my hair. Or wear deodorant.

I creep out of  bed around 5:15 am and get myself into whatever clothes I can find (sometimes inside out and sometimes my shirt is on backwards) and feel my way out in grogginess.

Every other weekend, the girls are with their dad, but they stay until Monday morning before school. Due to the ridiculous time change of school beginning at 7:40 am, I get up at 5:15 and get myself dressed and in the car and drive nearly an hour (depending on traffic) to pick them up at their dad’s at a 6:45 am. And then drive them back too school, by 7:40 when the bell rings.

I also have to mention that on the “off” weekends, I still drive on Monday mornings to get them because they have a Sunday night overnight with him. So this is “my every Monday morning”.

I have a few things to say:

1) I curse that I agreed to this arrangement, back when the kids were little and I could pick them up at 9 because they weren’t in school yet. Without legal council (and money) it will not change because Ex husband would never agree to it.
2)I curse that even after a night or weekend without my children, I feel I hardly have the patience to deal with their meltdowns as they transition back to me.
3) I rejoice in that Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are all on my route and open at 5:30 am.
4) I am grateful the only job I have to commute to is my Monday mornings to gather my children.
5) I am glad the girls live with me most of the time. It is worth the early morning Monday drives to get them back.

and finally:

The worst is that the kids are always in transition on Mondays. When it isn’t summer or a holiday, they get picked up and driven directly to school for the day. And they never want to leave me. And then when they come home at the end of the day, all they seem to do is fight and whine and complain and don’t eat and don’t sleep, at least until Tuesday.

Monday nights, I need to go to sleep around 8, just to recuperate.

Sorry for all the whining, but it IS Monday.

The good things is, by Tuesday, we’re usually “good”.

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1. What were you afraid of as a child?

The dark. I was terribly afraid of the dark. And moving out of my comfort zone. Speaking to adults. Change. When I was an early teenager, my mother would drive up to the door of the market and hand me money and tell me to run in and get her some milk and an onion (or whatever random thing she needed) and I would refuse. I would sit there paralyzed. I was terrified of walking into the market and finding the milk, finding the onion, and going through the checkout line and having to interact with the checker. I wasn’t a shy kid, I just had anxiety over doing something I wasn’t used to doing on a regular basis.

2. When have you been most courageous?

Leaving my husband. Fighting him. Leaving physically abusive relationships. Getting hearing aids last year.

3. What sound most disturbs you?

My four year old screaming.

4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in?

Child Birth. Being kicked in the stomach. Being hit in the face, was not quite as bad as that, but pretty bad. Having Wisdom teeth pulled is probably the lowest on the list.

5. What’s your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don’t have some of your own.)

I hope I am raising two young girls into strong women. I fear that if I don’t teach them right, they may repeat my history. I hope I am setting a good example now, as I have become stronger.

6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved?

Running 15 mile trail run to the Continental Divide in the rain in Buena Vista, Colorado…and back down again.

7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?

Oceans.

8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?

Stop and listen to my children. Stop and listen to myself.

9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?

My grandmother. She had Ovarian. Went through two surgeries and then decided not to carry on anymore. I was pregnant with my children both times and about to deliver Blue when she died. I am grateful she met Red and grateful to have had her a daily presence in my life growing up.

10. What are the things your friends count on you for?

Fun. Not judging them. Creative help.

11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship?

This is hard for me. I have been in committed relationships that haven’t been good. If that makes sense. I think, the best part about being in a good committed relationship is knowing there is someone there who unconditionally loves me, without judgement, supportive. That being said, not all committed relationships are like that. 

12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship?

Communicating and remembering to love unconditionally when we hurt.

13. Summer or Winter? Why?

Summer. Work slows down. We have 6 beaches to choose from in our town. Daily non-agendas, where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Outside.

14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened?

I was in first grade and a bully boy pushed me on my face in the snow. I was living in Evergreen, Colorado for the year. He came out of nowhere and I am not sure why he did it. I remember getting a bloody fat lip and then going into music class and having popcorn in class because it was Friday and crying because the salt hurt my lip.

15. Why blog?

I like that I can be randomly funny, thoughtful, or crazy. I like getting it all out on “paper”. I like the folks I have “met”.

16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents?

Hell no! When I learned how to use the card catalog at the library, I snuck over and looked up sex books and read them in the back of the stacks. I was probably around 13.

17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety?

I have NO idea. I have a few years before I get into the real details. But I do plan on talking about it in great detail, openly and honestly. Because my parents never did and I don’t want them to think it is a taboo subject, to be ashamed or to not ask questions.

18. What are you most thankful for this year?

That we are healthy. That I feel satisfied. That I feel safe. That there is balance in our lives. That I have wonderful friends and people in my life. That I appear to be in a healthy loving relationship. The one bump in the road is being taken care of. And if it isn’t, I will be strong enough to make a change.

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Safety

I went over to the shop today which is in our “downtown area”…the place where the group of artisans (me included) are doing a two month co-op. I went in and discovered the door unlocked.

I have thousands of dollars of merchandise, paintings, t shirts, prints, hand painted step stools and some hand painted quilts that I make and sell. Sitting there for anyone to take. I was pissed. Mainly because all of us have keys and we have had endless discussions about the importance of locking the door.

I’m not exactly in Los Angeles (where I grew up with homeless on nearly every corner), but our little town here does have some homeless folks roaming around. It has plenty of drunks wandering the streets, rough fishermen just off the boats, finding places to sleep because they can’t go home for one reason or another. I read it in the paper all the time.

But still.

I felt safe going in, the place is small, and no space for anyone to hide, once the door is open, you can see the whole room, but still, I was cautious. And of course, I locked the door behind me. We are still setting up for our opening on Thursday night. But still. What if some weirdo was lying there wrapped up in one of my baby quilts, drinking out of a bottle of whiskey? Or worse? Okay, maybe I am a little paranoid.

Some of my fear, that I carry with me, stems from dangerous situations I have been in, not with strangers, but with people I knew. Growing up in Los Angeles, my dad used to warn me to a) never walk the same route at the same time, more than twice in a row and b) always have my id on me. Nowadays, an added rule would be “always have your cell phone”.

Just tonight, I was on the phone with “D” and we discussed a 5:30 walk tomorrow evening because I won’t be around at his lunch break. And then I stopped short because I realized it would be dark at 5:30. And I realized, I would never walk after dark, alone. I would with someone else, but never alone. No matter where.

I also realized that I never leave my doors unlocked. Even though everyone I know in my neighborhood does. All the time. Even at night.

That just doesn’t sound right.

I feel I am always aware and looking when I leave my house, when I park my car somewhere, even here at home, in the mall, in public restrooms, with or without my kids, even with another adult. Always aware of my surroundings. This awareness (hopefully not paranoia, I don’t think it is) is what keeps me feeling safe.

Oh. Having a big manly man around makes me feel safe too.

How about you? What makes you feel safe OR unsafe?

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