Sunday, January 27, 2008

A job well done along with golden silence

There's just something about a job well done that makes you feel good. Or at least makes me feel good. I worked at the restaurant tonight and being there, being around my co-workers there, knowing that I am good at waiting tables and my tips reflect that, sent me home tonight feeling a bit more at peace with myself. I know that going on 38 is a bit past the age that is considered generally acceptable for being a waitress (the p.c. term is server ya'll) but dang it...I want to brag on myself because no one else does. I am a good server and proud of it! Granted it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but as a part-time gig it's pretty good. And it makes me happy. I've worked in a lot of restaurants since the age of 17, everywhere from a mom and pop place to a fancier almost high end dinner place, and I can honestly say that this is the best crew I've ever worked with.

It's nice to take a break every now and then and I'm enjoying a bit more quiet around the house right now. Actress is taking a forced break from speaking and singing. Yes, I said forced. We went to the doctor this week (me praying it wasn't strep again! This kid had her tonsils out in first grade and still manages to catch strep every year!) and found out she has a sinus infection and tonsillitis (with no tonsils even!). The infection has now caused her to have laryngitis....much to her dismay and my amusement. You see, Actress and Action do not know the meaning of the word quiet. They talk......ALOT!! And loudly! They don't realize that they are loud because that seems to be their default setting. Anime is a quiet child, which is lucky because she'd never get a word in what with the rate that her siblings spout their thoughts. I grew up in a very quiet household.....I like to say that I became talkative in self-defense......if I didn't talk in our house no one would. So I enjoy the noise and do not discourage their chatter. However, every once in a while silence is wonderful. It was just Actress and me home today and it was so incredibly peaceful! I'd forgotten what that was like. One day is good but the silence in the house last summer when they went to their father's just about killed me. I've become so accustomed to noise that it seemed as if everything I did while they were gone echoed throughout the house. I'm dreading this summer when they will be gone for a longer time period than last year.

If you are divorced and have to do the every other weekend thing with your ex......consider yourself lucky. There was a time that I thought I would hate to have to do that. But it really sucks it big time to have to let the kids go for weeks at a time and not be able to see them because he lives almost halfway across the country from us. I count myself lucky that so far he has not wanted to take them for the entire summer, which he has the right to according to our state's stupid custody laws.

Tomorrow we head to the big city for a visit to the dentist. Yeah Starbucks! Oh to have enough time to browse through Barnes and Noble! But not tomorrow. Tomorrow is reserved for tooth extractions (Action broke a front tooth which they're going to pull since it's a baby tooth) , a couple of fillings, some time to visit Mr. Irony, and possibly a stop off to visit my "little sister" who will be in the city also. We live in such a rural area that we have to drive 100 miles just to find a dentist who specializes in treating children.

My dreams tonight will be of Cinnamon Dolce Latte or possibly Gingerbread Latte or the brew of the day with soy milk and caramel syrup. (Gotta love Homer Simpson!)

Realizations & Choices

I'm realizing how locked into their small town worlds most people are. As the subject has come up over the past week and a half, I've had the opportunity to inform various people that I've resigned my job. The incredulous looks on their faces have been quite entertaining. Apparently resigning your job is a very shocking thing to do around here. The question that follows most often is "What are you going to do?", seconded only by "Are you going to move?". Both thoughts appear to be simply unimaginable. My answers to both questions are "I'm not sure", even though I am sure about the move. However, with each person I tell I feel more free and less bound by the small town mentality that abounds. It's becoming easier to think "Why not?" instead of "Why?".

How is it that we let life become a treadmill, simply repeating the same thing over and over? I'm realizing how much I want to remove myself from the "rat-race". It's much easier said than done, though. I want the children to be involved in non-school activities but it's amazing how much time those activities take up, especially when multiplied times three, with the addition of my own activities (mainly classes and 2 side jobs). I wonder how I got to this point in my life...the point where I feel like I am no longer in control but simply on autopilot. That is one of the main things I am trying to change about me this year. Instead of looking at my EMT class as another time consumer, I keep trying to remind myself that there is a method to this particular madness, that this class is something to help take us closer to where I want to be in life. As some friends keep reminding me, supposedly the kids will be happier when mommy is happier. And mommy has been downright miserable for a long time now!

On a happier note, I had my first exam in class this week and not only did I pass....I had zero wrong! Yeah! This class is pretty intense and it leaves me feeling like I'm taking a condensed version of medical school. However, it's interesting and I like it. Just the little bit of knowledge I've gained so far helps me feel a bit more empowered.

Today is the first day that I have only one activity scheduled, if you can consider a part-time job a scheduled activity. I've debated quitting but working at this restaurant has provided a bit of mental relief and stability for me. The people there don't care or even know the small town gossip and it's nice to be somewhere that I'm appreciated and I know I'm doing a good job. Not to mention that the tips really help us get through each month and would be sorely missed!

This year I need to do a better job of taking care of myself in order to take better care of my family. I received the unhappy news that my cholesterol is a whopping 274! As someone in my late thirties that's not a good thing to hear. I need to make better dietary choices and am leaning towards a more vegetarian/vegan eating style. I'm not ready to make the total commitment just yet, because every now and thing I simply CRAVE a hamburger. However, I'm gradually replacing dairy with rice and soy options, and am REALLY trying to increase the amount of fruits/veggies that we eat. It's makes it much easier that Mr. Irony is vegan and does well with pointing me in the right direction. I also need to make the commitment to get back into exercising. I used to enjoy doing Pilates but haven't since we moved last spring (never hooking up the DVD player has a lot to do with the lack of Pilates around here). If I make healthier lifestyle choices for me that equates into healthier lifestyle choices for the kids too. Bonus!

I'm off now to enjoy the rest of my afternoon before work. Did I say enjoy? Scratch that. I'm off to work on the mountain of laundry, straightening up the downstairs and maybe....just maybe.... getting the Christmas tree taken down and put away. For all you latte lovers, drop in at Starbucks and have a Cinnamon Dolce Latte for me! mmmmmm.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who knew that making a decision could be so FREEING?!

Life has held many changes for me as an adult. Looking back I realize that most of them were not my choice, but rather me simply following Mr. Ex-husband in the quest to be a blind, naive, trusting, ahem... scratch that..... loving, supportive, encouraging wife. Now free of Mr. Ex, it is up to me to make the decisions....a seemingly scary thing for me to accept. With three youngsters looking to me to keep their world revolving securely, making a choice to change things has been an extremely daunting task.

The decision to resign was not done lightly. I'm sure my mother thinks I'm freakin nuts to quit a "safe, secure" educational position. Never mind that fact that I'm sick to my stomach in the morning, struggle to make it through the work day, and am generally unhappy and bitchy the vast majority of the time. This job was something I've known for many years that I didn't want to do and am not good at. However, it provided the family with a much needed main income source that allowed Mr. Ex to follow HIS dreams. Now it's time follow mine. Although first I need to figure out what those dreams are. I've sublimated my dreams and goals for so long that I'm not really sure what it is that I'd like to do. Of course I have my little fantasy of owning (with Mr. Irony) a coffee shop/vegan restaurant in some coastal New England tourist town, in addition to publishing my writing. However, I am sane enough to realize that this dream exists only in Far Far Away Land and won't pay the bills back here in Realityville.

In addition to resigning said position, I have also reached the decision to move to another, larger town. A town that can actually be called a city! A place with all of the amenities that the word city implies! A place where cough syrup can be purchased at 3:30 AM when one of my three wakes up coughing uncontrollably and there is no cough medicine to be found in the medicine cabinet! Oh the joy! A place with after-hours clinics for those sore throats that occur outside clinic hours. A place that has not one, but several Starbucks! (Hang on for a moment while I weep from the joy that wonderful coffee and lattes bring!) Oh to live in an actual city! Granted, the children are not as overjoyed as mom. I don't think they even hit the scale for being underjoyed. Traumatized maybe? Not that they are exceptionally happy here in Rural America, it's the idea of change that upsets them the most. Only Actress has close friends here. Anime is in those horrid junior high years and does not fit with what the other girls around here are in to. Action has yet to find a niche and is somewhat enthusiastic about being in a place where he can actually join a soccer team. There are so many opportunities waiting for them that simply can not be found here in Rural America. Plus it's not like we're moving an extreme distance. The move will entail a relatively short 100 miles from our current place of residence. There will be many extended family members in this city, as well as the oh-so-special Mr. Irony.

Now I'm caught in the "in-between" hang time. It's too early to be looking for a new job, home, etc. At this point I have to continue with the same old thing. I'm counting down the days until March when basketball will be over. Between working both jobs, basketball, and the EMT class it seems that there is rarely ever any time at home.

All of this major decision-making has had an interesting effect on me. I feel FREE! I feel good about these two major life choices. I know it won't be easy, I know there will be many more hurdles to overcome, but...........I feel FREE!! Making the decisions and informing those around me was extremely hard. Okay, the decision was fairly easy, it was the informing part that was exceptionally hard. And granted, I haven't formally announced the move but have set the process so that family members are arriving at that conclusion on their own. (Yes, I'm a wimp).

So back to reality for now. Kids, cleaning, and studying are calling. Happy MLK Day everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Big Change of 2008

I did it! I made my first step towards changing my life in 2008. Today I resigned my job effective at the end of the academic year. A weight has lifted from my shoulders and left me feeling just a little bit lighter.
With the encouragement of Mr. Irony (and a lot of pushing!) I signed up and started an EMT course. This is something I've wanted to do for the last 15 years but have been able to find one excuse after another to not follow through.

Yeah me!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Really, there was a caucus yesterday?

I readily admit that I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to the upcoming presidential nominations and election. However, at least I knew there was a caucus yesterday and the rankings of the different presidential hopefuls. There were only two people at my day job who cared enough to follow yesterdays proceedings. A couple of co-workers fell into the category of "Oh yeah, Iowa does do that, don't they? That was yesterday?" It's sad when people cannot rouse up enough interest to take an active part in determining who may be our country's next leader. Granted, we don't all have to be actively campaigning for our favorites but would it hurt any of us to put a bit more interest into the country's current state of affairs and the decision as to whom we will be handing the country over to?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Caucus Results

With 95% of the results in for Iowa, Obama is in a solid first with Edwards slightly edging out Clinton. While my heart belongs to Edwards I'll still take Obama over Clinton. Someday this country will have a female leader but hopefully not after the 2008 elections. I'm not being anti-feminist ladies, I just don't think Hilary is the gal we want leading our country. Sadly, being a registered Republican and all, my vote next year is going toward the Democratic party as there just is no Republican candidate that inspires confidence in me. Why does no one ask the candidates "Why do you want to be President and what makes you think that you are the best person in the nation to take on this role?" Seriously. Why does someone want to be the leader of the Free World anyway? Most likely it's not to make this world a better place. Who is really so sure of themselves that they will spend millions of their own and other's money to persuade us, the mostly uninformed public, to vote for them. When did our nation become such a flock of sheep that with Oprah's backing, Barack Obama surged ahead to lead the Democratic pack? Not that I'm saying he isn't a good candidate but why does Oprah's support mean more than what Obama has to say for himself? Go Edwards.

Some basic info, a little ranting, and a little raving

Back to reality and oh, how it bites. (Anyone remember that movie...."Reality Bites"?) After two weeks holiday vacation it was time to head back to the job that produces our main source of income. Yuck. My brain feels dulled by the monotonous routine of full-time employment. I have come to the conclusion that 2008 will be a year of changes for this family.....good changes that is. We had our year of bad in 2007. I'm thinking that one of the changes will be for me in the form of a new career. Education is not the field for me. What is? That's the winning question. Any answers? Suggestions? Comments? I've thought about being a scab and crossing the picket lines of the striking writers but, hmmm, I don't live anywhere near California and don't think I'd flourish in that environment anyway.

I have 3 children whom I'll call Anime, Actress, and Active. Anime and Actress are my daughters; Active, my youngest, is my son. Anime is a teenager, while Actress is a teenager-in-training (God help us all when she actually becomes a teenager!). Active is in lower elementary and is really, well, active. Between the three of them we cover volleyball, basketball, wrestling, and soccer. We are a fairly noisy household, especially on piano lesson days (I teach). Joining us in our home is one lazy dog and one (currently missing) hamster. This is the third time the hamster's gone missing and I wonder if it will be the last.

Everyone is tired from starting back to school and jumping right back into a full schedule of basketball and wrestling. It amazes me how many activities one can actually squeeze into a day. I work at a restaurant part-time and although I say it's because I need the money, sometimes I think it's more because it's one of the few times I can escape from the "hamster wheel" that we run on during the school year.

My thoughts are jumping around and around tonight. People amaze me and yet irritate me at that same time. Take myself for example. It irritates me to no end that others are so willing to critique and criticize my life, yet here I am blogging about it on the web! I am better suited to big city life where your neighbors are people you don't know who don't care what you do as long it doesn't impede on their own life. Yet due to choices made by my ex-husband we currently reside in a town of roughly 1500. Granted 1500 people is better than where I grew up (a whole whopping 600 residents) but is still way to small when you prefer to retain some anonymity. I hate the fact that others feel it's okay to comment about your life (alright, my life dang it) and honestly think that I should care what they think. It is extremely annoying that they feel the need to gossip about my life (which has been fodder for many a local rumor this past year thanks to Mr. Ex-husband who now lives out of state thus avoiding all the rumors and local gossip mill). Yes, I'm venting I know. I am not a fan of gossip and simply don't care to hear it or be the topic of it. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"