Monday, November 27, 2006

After the Holiday

This month is flying by. I hope you all had great Thanksgiving weekends and dinners with family and loved ones. (I didn't mean to separate those two but then realized that it's probably appropriate since they may not necessarily be one in the same for all of us. Gasp!)

We had a quiet weekend with family that included a lot of driving. OH's parents hosted us for two nights, and his two brothers were there. His dad was doing well, his throat becoming annoyingly sore but he's not nauseous from the radiation yet.

I made sure to call my family and wish them a happy day. My mom and two sisters were all spending time with friends and family as well, so no one was alone and that was good to know.

I went to see my grandma, aunt and bio-dad. It was not as weird as it could have been. Bio-dad was actually talkative. Of course, everything he talked about was in the past, but what else is new? I sat there like a lump and couldn't think of a darn thing to say most of the visit, because I couldn't think what with all the screaming inside my head. It was a short visit, gracefully.

Saturday, we drove to Bend to scout a high school football game. That turned out to be moot since the team my husband coached for lost in their round of the playoff games and won't be playing that team next week. Oh well. The pass was crappy but there were no incidents, and I did console myself by picking up a lovely pair of shoes for $13.50 (regularly $45, thank you very much) and a nice lunch complete with beer at the Deschutes Brewery. It's my first pair of clogs, and they are embellished with beads and sparkly things and are enough of a heel that I can tromp around in my new town in a little bit of snow and still be warm and dry.

We will be living in Redmond, which is pretty close to Bend, and so I count that I have a new cool shoe store in The King of Sole. It's cute, independent (I think) and carries good brands as well as having an awesome selection on the clearance table. OC liked the store, showing me every purse they had and admiring them herself. She especially liked the one with the butterfly on it. Of course.

Today, it is snowing. Sort of. It's snow mixed with rain. I have to go out in it too; OC has gymnastics and after that I have to drop off my car for regular service. The check engine light came on while in Bend. I almost got freaked out by it until I remembered that the check engine light coming on is like getting a postscript error: it could be anything. I knew I had this appointment so I figured, why worry about it when it's Saturday and there's nothing I can do? It'll get fixed today. Voila.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Small World

It really is a small world. Every time I mention to someone that I am moving to Central Oregon, the person more often than not tells me that they know someone who moved there and oh my god they totally love it, it's so sunny and warm! It's all about the climate. Has scaly, dry skin become something desirable? Because I wasn't told. I hate the desert. No, I don't hate it. The desert is actually quite beautiful and I'm glad we have it in the world as a unique ecosystem. I just don't want to live there.

Have I mentioned that I'm a contemplater? A ponderer? Do you know what is perfect accompaniment for that? A good, heavy rain beating against the window, making pretty streaks, dots and patterns with a complementary strumming noise as it falls on the roof. I have always liked the rain and found it to be immeasurably soothing.

Moving on. What we need is a change of subject, unless the crazy girl decides to keep talking about climates and ecosystems, or mentions anything else weather-related...

I am not buying the whole Lorelei/Chris marriage on Gilmore Girls. What is that? I can't get down with that. After all those years of ignoring her and Rory, his child, Lorelei marries him without so much fanfare as an episode or three? Oh sorry, he did take her to see Funny Face. An old movie in an old car, THAT'S enough of a foundation to get married after everything else. Bleh. Not buying it, new CW.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

OH: OC, are you old school?

OC: No, I'm a Kindergartener!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I attended a princess-themed birthday party today with 11 5-and 6-year olds. They were pretty well-behaved and adorable in their princess garb. Every major Disney princess was represented, from Mulan to Jasmine. It's sad to think we're leaving these nice people.

*Quick! Think of something positive to say!*

Um, but, I'm sure there will probably be nice people in Central Oregon. At least I sure as hell hope so. *smile*

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's Not What I Had Planned, But What the Hell

Thank you for all of your supportive comments.

It is with great pleasure (and to all of your great relief because, enough with the complaining already, Complaining Girl!) that I announce that I have entered the phase which I I like to call Getting The Hell On With Things, Already.

I want you to know that I would not be at this stage if it weren't for you and your comments. Knowing that I am not alone is immeasurably consoling.

I think this is normal, going through a kind of grieving stage when it comes to major change. It is a kind of loss. Like any kind of loss, life goes on and you have to figure out how you're going to go about that now that what you didn't want to happen has happened. I've been reading a lot about concepts such as moving on and letting go. Laugh if you will; I understand the propensity to scoff if you're not in the dark night of the soul for yourself, but I am in the dark. Night of the soul, that is. Deeply. Or maybe I'm just going through some major inner changes. That's what the Dark Night is, I think.

There was a comment from someone who said what I wrote (what I should say is not 'what I wrote' but 'what I plagiarized', really; but I outed myself in that post so there's no scandal) seemed to apply to their own life right now, and they thanked me for it.

Isn't that what this is all about? Expressing ourselves, becoming better writers, and connecting? I feel so satisfied to be a part of that. I cannot tell you how many times someone's blog post has affected me personally, made me feel uplifted by the simple knowledge that at some X, Y coordinate there is a soul out there who knows what it feels like to go through what I am going through.

I think now that I might not die from this change.

I might be okay.

Dare I say, I might even like it?

What I have to do now is to find the good, and go from there. There's plenty to be thankful for.

It's really kind of funny how you can plan and plan your life, but Life will not be deterred from steering you where you need to be. Even when you don't think you need to be there. Even when you're pretty damn sure you don't want to be there, much less need to be, thank you very much. Still, the persistence of Life reaches even the most thick-skulled, resistant to change human being there is. Like me.

I have the opportunity to live in a new town, to meet new people and make friends. We have found an older house in an established neighborhood that is in walking distance to most everything one could need: school, library, grocery store, shops. At least, that's about everything that I need. This will be the first house my husband and I have chosen and purchased together. We never would have picked to live closer to town where we are now, and the house we live now is the house my husband chose on his own back when he was single.

The process to get us here has been pretty horrible. The fighting, the stress, the anger. I wish that had never happened. I don't feel good about that.

Looking forward, this is my opportunity to experience living in town and I'm looking forward to that. The neighborhood has big trees, quiet streets, and the houses lots of character.

I don't know how to end this post. That's it for now.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ending Chapters in Order to Begin New Ones

I was sorting through some papers last night and doing some serious recycling when I found a paper containing some wisdom appropriate for right now. It was computer generated so I either copied and pasted it before printing it out or retyped it. It's been long enough that I don't remember where it came from and I neglected to cite the source so I can't credit the author.

I did not write this; however, I am not getting paid for this blog so I feel okay to share it uncredited. I abridged it slightly, and added one phrase at the end.

Whoever did write it was one smart cookie.

* * * * * * * * * *

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.

If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

Such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved; friends, family; Everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things hat happend to us. What has passed will not return; we cannot forever be children, late adolescents, children who feel guilt or rancor toward our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is important to destroy souvenirs, move, give things away. Everything in this visible world is a manisfestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and is getting rid of certain memeories also means making some room for other memories to thake their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss. To do so is only to poison yourself.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting what Is. Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished. Tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable; a habit is not a need.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance; but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were and change into who you are (and who you were meant to be).

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Unwelcome Move

I don't know what to say.

I've been dealing with the reality that we are moving, that I haven't been happy about it and therefore haven't been positive about the changes it will involve. Needless to say my husband is unhappy, I am unhappy, and the unknown lies ahead of us.

I am happy here. I moved here only one year ago, and before that, dealt with much turmoil in my existence. I imagine that the things that are good here (OC's school, our home, nice town, friends & family nearby) can only get worse if we change anything.

We fought for weeks and weeks in the late summer before we called a truce because we didn't have any concrete information about his job offer. We got the offer earlier this month; he negotiated it to be what he wanted, so he took it.

Now we are fighting about concrete things, like where to move and when: to the town he will work or a nearby, bigger town? Will he move before us - in January - and then my daughter and I moving at the end of the school year? Or is it better to move together? Should we rent or buy? Buy a dividable lot and live there temporarily while we do the partition and sell it for a profit? What about schools? What about security? What about finding a nice house and settling in? What about moving twice? Is there value in the things I want? What about value in choosing something because it makes life easier?

It's true that Life has made changes for me and I haven't liked them at first, then they turned out to be good. Like when I got laid off. I was at my very first professional graphic design job for two years before budget cuts forced me out and to decide (within a 48 hour deadline, mind you): bump someone with less seniority in another office and take their job, or be out of work myself. I chose to keep working because I had to. The transition was terrible.

My daughter was two at the time and in a daycare in my office building. She had been there since she was four months old, and I had access to visit her all day long, so I was able to nurse her and feel somewhat secure in being near her. Since it meant moving to another building, it meant being away from her physically like I never had before. My brother had been diagnosed with Leukemia the previous summer and had been in and out of remission. At the point of my layoff, his aggressive form of Leukemia had returned and he was a month away from dying, although I didn't know it at the time.

I felt pulled in more directions than I thought were possible. I needed to take care of my daughter; spend time with my family; stop at the hospital after work to visit my brother and then later my parent's house when he decided to move there to live out his final few weeks; drive the ridiculous 1.5 hours to my ridiculously far-away house; and learn and fit into a new job.

The new coworkers didn't want me there, as I was bumping someone out of their job completely and someone else down a level. I hated to do that, and I totally understood their feelings.

I nearly died from stress, guilt, grief, and self-loathing.

Anyway, it turned out that after a long transition time when they couldn't help but succumb to my charms, we formed a pretty tight work group. Not that it didn't take a while. We were Tech_Services, made up of two graphic designers and three GIS persons. All smart (-er than me), interesting, funny people. We started going to lunch together once a month. We talked a lot about travel, our families, funny stories, whatever. Three of us got married in that time. One of us had his kids leave for college. Several took amazing, unusual vacations. There was a lot to talk about, and it was fun, interesting, technical, and often challenging work.

It was a great job that I thought long and hard about leaving before I finally did this summer to stay at home with my daughter. I miss it very much. I never thought I would say that about that job the first year I was there. I am glad now to have time with my daughter now, and it was good that I stuck with it and let it grow to the point where it was good.

I sense a Life Lesson in there.

Stupid Universe with your stupid Life Lessons!

I am having such a hard time with this.

My husband will be a partial owner in his company's new satellite office, the base branch of which is growing rapidly. He will be a boss and manage projects and people rather than simply be an employee. He hopes to get to the point soon where he can delegate a lot of work so that he can work reasonable hours in order to spend more time with his family. He sees it as an investment in the future not only financially, but also in gaining more time to be with us. He is willing to put in a lot of hours up front to make the new office successful so we can all enjoy the fruits of that in all its forms. He is a hard working person, and his company is lucky to have him. He's trustworthy and ambitious, and he'll do a great job for them.

We're lucky to have him, too.

He's lucky, you're lucky, we're all LUCKY...HAA HAAA HAAA!!!! (That's a "Rocky Horror" reference for all of you non-cinephiles/weirdos.)

We're moving. That is what is happening. I am slowly accepting that and seeing the value in being more positive about it. There could be many good things.

Now if we could learn to treat each other more gently, to handle one another's insecurities carefully and not create so much distance, (Myself included. What? You thought I was faultless?) we might actually get through this (and maybe then I wouldn't cry so much).....

Monday, November 06, 2006


I bought an extra large package of english muffins and then kept them frozen, getting them out one at a time when needed. They're very hard to split when they're frozen, so instead of using a fork I took a very sharp serrated knife then stupidly held it with my fingers positioned underneath the knife.

The satin in the photo? My daughter's Jasmine pants.

This weekend OC and I went to see "Flushed Away". It was very cute. Sunday, the three of us went out for a nice lunch, then headed over to the Schnitz to hear the Oregon Symphony play Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."

OC made me laugh during the symphony when she put her fingers up as though she were conducting. My dad used to do that. We'd be in the car listening to music and if things were quiet he would pretend to conduct. His eyes twinkling and a smile on his face, then a glance at us to see if we were watching. It was his way of connecting with us, and it was sweet.

To see OC do that made me feel dad's presence, and a continuity. She didn't know that what she was doing meant so much.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Princess Jasmine Bringing Home the Candy

We escorted Princess Jasmine trick or treating this year. She endured a cold wind in order to fill up her purple pumpkin to the brim and then share with her mommy and daddy like the good girl I raised her to be.

It's all about quality control.

I made her costume, as well as an Ariel costume for my niece, because I am nuts and also because I obviously love them too much to buy a costume at the store like regular, normal, healthy, non-crazy people.