Yeah, this. Because then there’s this.
Do you ever run out of them? I hope not… really, truly hope not. Because I’ve packed a healthy lunch, made a Green Monster Smoothie, and I’m ready for today.
Because it’s a Monday and Monday’s suck where I work. Really suck. Like everyone all around the world spends all weekend working on creating mayhem and trying to come up with the worst scenarios possible that we have to resolve in 8 hours. Or 10. Or 14 – like last Monday.
Every Monday I update my resume just a bit more, because I hate it so much. But every Thursday I think “this isn’t that bad” and it isn’t. Work as schizophrenia… or work is schizophrenia. One or the other. Who can say? But today it starts again. Today is the first day of the rest of my week. Today is what I have. Today. Make it count? Make it worth it? Okay… maybe not… let’s just go with survival.
I’ll settle for that.
sad, melancholy, whatever… you know what I mean. Well, okay, maybe not. So I’ll explain.
I bought my last school supplies today.
I know, I know… the “white people problems” I come up with to kvetch about. Right? Yeah, right. But still, this is the last semester. The last time I have to pick out folders. The last time I have to prepare to go back to class for this go-round.
And it’s really hard to look backward and figure out where the two years have gone. This time in 2010 I hadn’t even reapplied to start back. I wasn’t even thinking about it. It wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t make the decision until August 2010, the day I applied, and the day I told Bob I was doing this.
Yeah… he got no notice either. I’m communicative like that. You’ve been warned.
But anyway, yeah, I came home in early August, with the application complete and the acceptance already done, and I announced that I was going back to school. And now I’m one degree done and the second nearly in the bag.
No, make that double wow. Or triple. And add in a chorus of “time flies…” because it really does. And who knows where two more years will take us. How our lives will look then.
If you had told me ten years ago that I would be here, in Lakeland, married to someone else, with children, and living this life… well, first I wouldn’t have believed you. And second, there’s likely quite a bit I would have done differently. Or not.
But for now, when I look backward, I see so many changes, so much that is gone, and so much that is new. I don’t even recognize this life. Even though I love it. Even though it’s mine. Even though I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I really wouldn’t.
Without this life I would not be who I am today. I would not be so different. I like me now. Better than I liked me then. Really. I do. And I think everyone who has left me would like me today as well. More comfortable. More secure.
Me, only more me than I was before.
But today, it’s folders and notebooks and pencils, for the last time for this adventure, and I’m just a little sad. But I’m truly more curious…
I missed my Mom. Just like I did yesterday, and the day before.
And once again I realized that this new reality will not change. This is the rest of my life.
And tonight I cried.
But tonight I also thought about one of the life lessons that Mom hammered into me all of my life. Because she did. Mom was a big one on lessons. Her favorite was this:
I cried because I had no shoes and then I saw a man who had no feet.
And tonight, although I might be crying because I have no shoes (so to speak), there are most definitely people around me who have no feet (both figuratively and literally). But, of course, Mom met with abject failure when she first tried to teach me that lesson when I was a selfish and self-absorbed teen… back when the idea of pitying anybody was beyond my nature or ability.
Today, I’m sure that wherever she is she’s plenty pleased to know that she succeeded.
I miss you.
I could just call my Mom. Just once more. Just to say hi. And to tell her how much I still need her.
I do. So very much.
There seems to be no break in this hurt. No chance to get out of the pressure cooker and just try to forget. Nobody is giving me that. I’m supposed to “stay strong”.
I’m not strong. I’m not even sleeping at a Holiday Inn Express every night so I can’t fake it very well. I’m sorry, but I’m just not.
I’m just human. A girl. Scared. Hurt. And I really want my Mom. I need her. She was my entire emotional support system. I have trouble being as real as I was with her with anybody else.
Real, right now, is hurt. Tears I cry alone. Because I have to be strong. Because I have to stand up.
I just wish she would call. Would tell me that it’s going to be okay. Even if it isn’t.
I’m not sure.
I just know I hurt. And she is the one person who could always change that. Make it all better.
A cold washcloth on my forehead when I had a fever. A hug and a stern talking to when I came home from school crying because once again I had been bullied for being different. A popsicle when my throat was sore.
She was all those things and more. And now she’s not. Nobody will ever do those things for me again. Nobody.
I’m the adult now. And I have to be strong. For everybody. But I’m not.
I’m still hurting, but now I have to fix it myself.
PS I’m not sure how to do that. I just know I hurt. And it feels awfully bad when I think about it. So I’m trying to be strong. I’m trying not to think about it.
And it probably always will.
And I can make too. But for the record, we’re not talking thin vs. thick crust. Although thin always wins out, always. And in boxers vs briefs, after a whole first marriage of boxers now the second time around it’s briefs FTW. Likewise, in the battle over paper vs. plastic, it’s plastic, although I’d feel less guilt if I went with paper but those plastic bags get recycled for several lifetimes so maybe that balances out? And in the most important decision – Godzilla vs. Mothra – everybody with two braincells knows it’s Godzilla. Because, really, what other choice is there? It has to be Giant Radioactive Lizard FTW!!! But these aren’t the decisions I’m making. Sadly enough. Although I wish so much they were.
No, this decision is much harder. With an additional six month commitment attached. And I’m struggling. Boy am I struggling. Like a fat kid in the Kitchen, with a slice of cake on one side, and a pile of vegetables on the other. And although that might not seem like a tough decision, the missing fact is that the fat kid’s Mom told him right before she left that she raised him to make good decisions… oh, and that the cake might or might not have been accidentally sprayed with bug spray.
Just like that.
But the decision for me isn’t cake. Or vegetables. Or boxers. Or briefs. It’s far harder. It’s school. You see I am currently 30 hours away from Graduation. 30 hours. 10 classes. And the original plan was for me to finish in two semesters, Summer and Fall, going full-out 15 hours each. Ambitious? Yes. Aggressive? Yes. Doable? Yes… that is if having a life wasn’t a real priority, and it’s not really so yes, it was doable.
Until last week. Until my world fell apart. Until the other reason why I embarked on this crazy midlife education adventure left me for good.
And now I’m really struggling with focus and I’m really worrying about the idea of 15 hours of classes. I’m no longer feeling invincible. I’m feeling very human. And I’m feeling stuck in a decision I didn’t want to make. You see, I know the vegetables are best for me. And I know I should eat them fast, get it over with, and move forward. But I don’t know whether I can.
I just don’t know.
So right now I’m going to eat the vegetables, not the cake, but I’m going to eat them slower. Stretch them out. And that makes me hate vegetables even worse than before. Have you ever eaten the same Rutabaga – one bite at a time – over the space of a year?
I just want the vegetables gone. That’s what’s in my head and my heart. I just want this school thing to end. Give me the paper, tell me I did good, then let’s forget I was ever here. That’s what I’m feeling. But I’m also pragmatic enough to think that if I start the original plan and then fall apart I’ll have to retake those classes that I bombed in. And my GPA is sacred… I’ve worked so hard to repair it… I will be eaten up with teh failures if I don’t finish with a 3.5. Go ahead, laugh at me, but I am literally having nightmares at the thought of getting a C.
So with that thought looming in my head, I’m likely going to scale back and slow down a little bit this summer. In order to allow myself to deal with what has happened. Because if I don’t it will not turn out well. Not well at all. I need time. Time is my best friend. But I have to be patient enough to allow time to pass.
Newsflash: I am not a patient person.
And that slow down means that I’ll be adding on a full Semester in the Spring. And I won’t graduate until May, 2013. Can I just say that here, honestly, that I really don’t want that. But I don’t see many choices.
I need choices.
But I don’t see them. I see this. Loss. Failure. Missing her all of the time. Psst… these are not good choices. These are far worse than those vegetables. These are the cake. Frosted with buttercream and the possible hint of DDT. Oh so attractive on the outside. But it will kill you.
So please hold my hand as I make this decision. Because there’s no way to go backward once it’s made. I hope I choose correctly. But I’ve learned in the last ten days that there are no sure bets. No way other than the passage of time to know you’re doing the right thing. It’s all guesswork. All part of a celestial game of Darts, where you’re blindfolded and you pitch the dart, but only after you’ve been spun around about a million times. All you can do is hope for the best.
I’m hoping… as I make this decision.
Because, after all, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… right? Right?
Cough, cough, or cray-zay-zay, cough, snort.
Yeah, that’s what I thought too.
But, yeah, today marks the beginning of a new semester, which I started on 5 hours of sleep. The beginning of my “live better in ’12″ resolution, which I began by oversleeping and putting treadmill time off until this evening.
Not a roaring start.
But I’m also resolving to do better tomorrow. We’ll see how that works out. Because so far today appears to be a Monday. Yay.
But, there is the refrigerator, stocked with healthy food from grocerying last night. And I threw away the last of the Chex Mix last night… over half a bag. This morning my Green Monster Smoothie (made with Spinach for a change) is yummy. And there’s a box of Blueberries calling my name in the office right now. So, at this point I’m calling a draw.
Some good, some bad – isn’t that the sign of a well-balanced life?
Oh, and I also threw away half of a Heath Bar that I found in the car, and I didn’t get coffee this morning either.
Sleepy doesn’t begin to tell the story.
But if good intentions do indeed pave the road to Hell then I might be close to finishing 6 wide lanes with no tolls and lots of rest stops.
Need a ride?
Yeah, I thought so.
Anyway, here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to not doing my two ten page term papers on the same long night, right before they’re due. Here’s to having a better plan. For today, and tomorrow.
Here’s to me.
Now, can I take a nap?
As in “there’s a very large Rodent living at Casa de Weiner”. As in, “no, I’m not kidding”. See also “we have a new pet”.
And now, knowing how big this thing is, I’m thinking that Little Dog isn’t as mental as we previously thought. Because we thought she was getting into fights with her blanket during the night but now I’m wondering whether she was seeing our other Roommate… or perhaps it tried to steal her covers.
And before you suggest it, I bought traps. Those big ones, with lots of glue, and put them right beside the Chupacabra Door under the Dishwasher. And you would not believe the grief I got from Bob over that. He said it was like something out of the Holocaust. He also got all sad when I put said trap down last night, and basted it liberally with Ketchup… because we hear rodents like that.
And then, after a pretty restful 5 hours of sleep, there was this morning, at 4am, when I found the trap, with quite a bit of fur in it, some extra whiskers laying on the floor, a couple of ketchupy footprintsl… and nothing else.
The damned thing is big enough to get free from the glue trap.
And when we saw the size of his feet… ohholyshiz!!!!!!!And that’s when Bob started channeling his inner murderer too. He said that we don’t have a rodent issue. No, according to him, something that big getting into your house qualifies as a home invasion.
Complete with orders to “shoot on sight”, you know, because Shiz is getting’ serious, yo?
And to my friend who told me that this wasn’t Mickey Mouse in my house… sorry but you might be wrong. From the size of his foot it could indeed be Mickey… but I’m damned certain that our house is not going to be “the happiest place on earth” for him. Because we found “evidence” behind our couch yesterday that’s making us think he might be living in that vicinity.
OHMAHGAH!!! He’s everywhere!!!!!
So today I’m sleepy, squidged out, and studying all the rodent literature I can find to determine the best possible way to kill him.
The Rat, that is.
And after he dies, I intend to hang his ginormous carcass outside, where the other neighborhood Rats can see him, as an example of what happens to creatures that come into our house illegally.
Unless he gets us first.
For today his Door has been duct-taped up… but by tonight there may be wire and a board nailed over that hole. After I throw poison down the hole.
Yes, I am indeed serious. And we’re going mano a ratto…
May the best sentient creature win. (ps, that’s me.)
Yep… that’s us. Well, one of us anyway, the other one might indeed be a hostage…
Who’s to say, right?
And, by the way, I know Don Pardo isn’t dead, but either he’s retired to Florida and moved in with us or he’s channeling himself through Bob. Because, seriously, all he’s done for the last two days is mutter “a brand new car” as he meanders around my house.
Of course, he’s not doing it with Don’s amazing elan, but still… every time he says it I feel like I should be spinning a wheel or picking between a brightly decorated box on a table or the curtain that Carol is standing in front of.
And with all that, I’m pleased (?) to announce that yes, Facebook and the Twitters have been telling the truth, we do indeed have a new car.
Yeah, anything that big needs sound effects… don’cha think?
Well, okay, maybe not, because we’re not driving a Lambo or anything quite so “exotic”. Instead I’d say that this car purchase has put us solidly into the category of “damned near old” because we bought the perennial favorite of the 60+ crowd- a 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid. And before you say it again, I know it’s “practical and reliable”, and I also know well that we’ve taken a huge step toward saving the planet with our “greenie” sensibility.
Yeah yeah yeah.
I’m well aware of all those stellar qualities. But, I think we can all agree that it’s not, how shall I put it? Exciting? Fun? Moving faster than either of us after an extra dose of Metamucil? Yeah, it’s none of those.
And about the last one? No, I’m not that far gone yet… but Bob is.
And I’m also pretty sure that this car is going to sic the AARP Recruitment Team all over us… that is if it doesn’t come with an automatic membership included. Hey AARP! Pro tip right there. Send me a check later.
But, yeah, despite my grumbling, it was time to make the change, what with the XTerra having 194,000 miles on it and me commuting 120 miles every day in an SUV that gets 22 mpg. So, finally I got serious about researching, then found “The Old White Mare” at Toyota of Lakeland on Friday, and on Saturday we bought it.
Exactly that fast. Wow.
And on a sidenote, can I just tell you guys that buying something like a car simply terrifies me? I have no problem dropping $200 at Coach or $4 at Starbucks for my precious Mochas but get me into a car dealership and I start having panic attacks.
And I know that panic is directly related to my knowing that- despite my extensive research and pretty decent negotiation skills- I’m going to get screwed… and I’m not getting dinner or flowers, forget about jewelry!
And you in the back there can quit laughing, because you were too. Yeah, you were, trust me, they always win. It’s like Vegas… if they’re doing so badly then how do they afford to build new casinos?
But, to be sure, it’s that total dread of the entire process that explains why I did most of the research online via cars.com and other sites, got pricing and made an appointment to drive the car Saturday AM via email, and we then showed up at the dealership IN THE CAR WE WEREN’T GOING TO TRADE IN. Yeah, we drove the other car. Because I really didn’t intend to do this deal. Instead, I intended to put it off for another 3 or 4 months, just like I’ve been doing since we first started discussing it in July.
I had a plan. Ignoring things is a plan, right? Right.
But anyway, despite my best subconscious efforts to sabotage this deal, we did it. Mainly because they gave us exactly what I wanted in trade for Bob’s car, and they came down on the price of the new car by $4400, and they threw in the free floormats.
I think we did pretty well.
But in spite of that negotiation success I can’t get past the mental picture of the car I really wanted from their lot- a 2010 Mini Cooper S with a 6 speed manual transmission oh, and the standard option of more fun per square inch than three barrels of monkeys! When I looked at it I could visualize Mabel riding shotgun, with a nifty pair of Doggles and maybe a jaunty hat. Somehow, though, neither of us could visualize Bob sitting in there with us. So, because it didn’t work for Bob, it’s still there on the lot and we’ve got “The Old White Mare”.
In white, with the beige interior, because that’s what old people in Florida buy, because it’s practical.
And just to add to my aggravation, while we sedately motor down the road to TED socks and Tri-focals, according to the dealership Bob’s old XTerra might finally be having the time of it’s life somewhere down in the jungles of south America or the middle east. Possibly it’s going to become a member of the Cartels, maybe running drugs or guns, or something exciting like that, until of course it either hits a landmine and gets blown to smithereens or dies in a shootout with the other bad guys.
Wow! What a way to go! Maybe Bob should have made a package trade – me & the XTerra for the Camry and a spot at the best Assisted Living Center in Lakeland?
And that in a nutshell is the problem with living with me. Inside the mild-mannered Soccer Mom disguise lurks the heart of a forever-young and reckless revolutionary… who isn’t really moving all too gracefully into her old age.
So, while Bob won the battle this time with his “practical and reliable” bull-shizzle, you can bet that next time I’m not giving up gracefully. I want cute, fun, and fast. And I really don’t care about the order. After all, isn’t a life well-lived the most important thing? Quality, not quantity.
Even if you can’t tell that from the outside, that’s me – Supergirl – thwarted for now, but plotting her next big move.
But for now, since I’ve always been the “Lemons to Lemonade” type, if you’ll excuse me for a bit I think I’ve got some customizing to do. I’m thinking some tasteful flames on the sides, maybe a few pinstripes, finished up with a neon undercar kit and a nice set of two-tone Spinners.
Yeah, I did. Amazing, huh? But, truly, all I wanted to do was get up and out and in the office by 8… is that too much to ask?
From here it looks that way anyway. Because first there was the OMGWTF moment I had on the scales this morning. Apparently there’s more to this water retention I’ve been feeling for a few days than I thought. Or there’s someone else standing behind me on the scales.
Brrrr… suffice to say that I’m officially back on my diet and exercise plan.
Then, of course, there was the “forget half your stuff when you leave so you get to go back in and get it all” dance I did in the driveway. I’m sure the neighbors would have been amused, if it hadn’t still been dark outside. And they weren’t all slack-ass college boys who don’t get up until at least an hour after I’ve already left.
And then there was the epic fail that was stopping at Starbucks on Beacon Road.
that’s a whole post all on it’s own. Seriously. Bethany possibly should look into other employment options, just sayin’. Because if you’re already getting chewed out about a totally ridiculous policy about not allowing the convenience of App purchases in the drive-thru, the best thing you can do is smile, apologize, and MAKE SURE THE DAMNED DRINK YOU GIVE ME IS CORRECT.
Yes kids, after I told her that their customer service was seriously lacking she up and proved me right by giving me somebody else’s drink.
And with that, I figured out that God is really mad at me for succumbing to the siren call of caffeine… again. Because suddenly, when the taste of THE. WRONG. COFFEE. hit my mouth, my commute of one hour was lengthened to 1.5 hours, and more bitching at the same Starbucks flunky.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
You know, maybe there are people who have easier mornings… but I think they all live in Assisted Living. And yes, before you tell me, these are all first world problems. Thanks for pointing that out. There are indeed people with real problems.
But these are mine. And after a morning filled with them, my goals today are pretty low. All I hope for now is to not have to kill anyone. Even if they desperately deserve it.
Bethany? I’m talking to you. And the Jackwagon in the blue Corolla on I-4 who cut me off three times. You too.
Not killing anybody. Sounds like a lofty goal, if I can pull it off. But right now it’s looking pretty iffy.
Keep that in mind… and don’t make eye contact. You’ve been warned.