Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where I'm At

So it's not been the greatest week for me. It's been about changes and ups and downs, and while I'm generally a big fan of the ups, the downs I could do without. Well, technically, with no downs, the ups would just be... well... flats? Normals? So while we need the downs, the ups are almost always better.

At work we rotate shifts every three months. Well, we sign up for shifts, anyway. Some people stay on the same shift rotation after rotation, year after year. Either because they have the seniority so they pick the shift they like all the time, or they have no seniority so they are stuck on the same shift every time. At any rate, I'd been working weekend day shift, and now I'm working weekday day shift, and I'm having some trouble adjusting to this.

What, you say? Are you kidding, Jen? You gotta be out of your mind! Weekends off? And you work during the day? Well, yes, it certainly has its benefits. I can get caught up with friends who have a similarly normal schedule without taking time off, so that's cool. But weekend day shift... what an oasis. It really is. Saturday and Sunday during the day, I think the criminals are probably sleeping in or staying at home planning whatever their nighttime shenanigans are going to be. The schools are closed (not sure if you've heard, but teenagers can kind of be a pain in the you-know-where. Should you doubt this just check out the blotter I write for my department sometime and see how much of the stuff on there has to do with teenagers!). Oh, and there are no detectives or administrative types there. And I'll just not comment on that last part except to say that this is generally a good thing.

So whatever, I could totally get used to this new shift. It's not a big deal, and it's only for three months anyway, and after that I'm back on weekend days for six months. But at the same time the shifts changed, so did the weather. Gloomy, gray, dark in the morning when I go in and dark at night when I come home. I feel like the sun left, and with it took my energy and my joie d'vivre. Just like that. And then there was the day with the crazy wind and rain and all that. And then let's just say that my hormones have been off-balance at precisely the wrong time.

All in all, it's been a rough week.

And there's the personal life. Ugh. Here's what I've figured out on that front.

Things don't always work out the way you want.

You can't fix people, even if they want to be fixed. They need to do that on their own.

You can't get someone to take responsibility for their actions if they are dead-set against it. You might have to face the fact that the only thing they know how to do is to blame you or others for everything that is wrong.

I've also figured out this isn't fair. And have long known that life isn't fair. Also, while I don't think nice guys always finish last, and that it makes more sense to be nice than not, I also know that nice guys don't always finish first, either.

This week has been a back and forth struggle for me, between wanting to wallow in self-pity, and wanting to snap out of it and embrace life and all its wonderfulness.

For starters there's this super cute, wonderful, fabulous, awesome, brilliant, exciting, hilarious kid who just walked in a minute ago and said, "Mommy? I loooooooove you." 'Nuff said.

I don't write this down for pity. Those of you who read my blog know me well enough to know that sometimes, just writing it down helps me sort it out. It puts it all into perspective. When I feel sometimes like it's too much, I write it down and think, "Oh, hey, it's not too much. It's just a couple of paragraphs. Piece of cake."

So I work weekdays. It's busier and I'm not feeling comfy-cozy with this new team of officers like I did with the last. On the flip side, one by one my weekends are filling up with fun stuff. There is already a weekend on the calendar that may have three parties. What? Huh? That's just nuts.

So the days are shorter and the weather will be more blustery. On the other hand, I'll get to use my fireplace and cuddle up on the couch with Kayla, and soon it will be Christmas, and I already have the perfect spot for my tree, right in the front window so everyone will be able to see it.

And as far as the personal life... even if some things will never change, I know that I can change how I react to those things.

And I just checked the weather forecast. Sun every day. Even one day next week when it might rain, there is still sun peeking through the clouds.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Notes from Tweaktown, USA

There are some things I just can't figure out. A whole lot of them. And most of them are about me and the way I operate.

If you know, for example, that the way you are currently functioning just isn't really working to your advantage you'd change the way you're currently functioning, wouldn't you? Well, of course! Unless, of course, you're nuts.


Anyway, take this sleep thing I've been going through lately. Any of you who read this (I love that when I write that in the back of my head I'm thinking, "That's right, the three or four of you who read this thing, you know who you are, I could pretty much just address this to you guys!) and follow my Facebook status changes will know I've been having a little trouble sleeping lately. For the past few weeks, I have no problem whatsoever getting to sleep. It's the staying asleep that's a bitch. Can I use bad words in my blog? Heck, I think they even use that word in primetime TV. Anyone else remember when they couldn't even say "damn," not even after 9 p.m. on a racy show like Three's Company? Yes, I'm that old.

So what happens is that I go to sleep when the kid does (because yes, she's sleeping with me, and yes, at some point I'll address that issue). Usually even before she does, because the stories and the playing with dollies knocks me out before it does her and she's usually mad I can't do one more story or make Chuckie and Tommy from Rugrats talk some more about whatever (she always gets to be Angelica, which should worry me, because Angelica's a little mean, but I guess I'll just keep an eye on her). Oh, and by the way, I love that she's loving playing with dolls that were originally for my stepdaughter from about a hundred years ago, and that she loves to watch the videocassette of The Rugrats Movie over and over again. Talk about getting your money's worth - I don't even think that video was purchased for full price, because I think that's from back when her father was working at Blockbuster. But oh boy, I way, way, way digress.

So I get to sleep before 10 usually, work or weekend night. Invariably around 2 or 3 a.m., nature calls. Now this has always been an issue for me. I'm usually drinking water right up until when it's time to go to bed. So there's the first thing I could change - perhaps curtail my liquid intake and not have to wake up in the middle of the night to pee! Seriously? Is this even possible? That seems so far-fetched I doubt I'll even check out that theory, but who knows.

Normally after I take care of business, I get back in bed and go right back to sleep. Or maybe it takes 5 or 10 minutes, but that's about it. But the past few weeks it's not working that way. For some reason, my brain wants to race. And race. And think about business that has to be taken care of, bills that need to be paid, checkbooks that need to be balanced, boxes that need to be unpacked. So there's all that run of the mill stuff. Then there's the Big Picture sort of stuff. What is something happens to my baby daddy, do I have to pay for a funeral since he has no life insurance (because we're still legally married)? What happens to my kid if I die? Why haven't I written a will? What if something happens to my mom? What if this economy never gets any better? What if the City of Pinole decides to have the Sheriff's Office handle the dispatching? What the hell else would I do to make this kind of money with my English degree? Why did I not finish my master's degree when I was this close and look at all that time and money down the drain because I waited so long and now I'd have to start all over again?

Oh, and it gets better: Why will I not stop eating so much when I know I don't like the way it makes me look or feel? Am I cruising toward a heart attack at 40? Why isn't the fact that I want to be healthy for my beautiful angel enough to make me live healthy? Why is that one week I can hit the gym every day, and the next week seem to forget I belong to a gym?

And the kicker: What if anything ever happened to my darling girl? Of course, that's the one I hate the most. Having the majority of my happiness eggs in this one beautiful basket, and wishing that I could be with her every minute of every day to somehow make sure she stays safe and healthy. Any mom will agree with me. It's scary. And it's a matter of luck, sometimes, and it all comes down to life being random and I hate the randomness of life.

So of course, I cannot do anything about the things that might happen. But obviously, it makes no sense to worry about things that might happen. Will writing this down and putting it out there for everyone to see make me do it less? Gosh, I hope so.

But look at all that other stuff I tweak about. All that other stuff I could change. How about the checkbook, for example? Yes, I can hop online and make sure I have money and at any given time I think I have a pretty good idea of what I've got in the bank. But ever since I became a one-income family, I've wanted to bury my head in the sand about some things, and this has been one of them. I know it would make me feel better to open my checkbook, and know, at any given time how much money I have, right down the the penny, as was the case so many months ago. So will I start balancing the damn thing? Gosh, I hope so.

Will I start taking better care of myself? Eating better, exercising regularly, that whole thing? Gosh, I really, really hope so.

I don't know if this blog is me hitting bottom with this sleepless thing. I'd love to think that, but it could also mean that I was done checking in on Facebook, the kid's still sleeping, and the next thing to do would be chores, so I decided to come write instead. But really, writing for the three or four of you who read this is quite cathartic and hopefully, in this case, I'll change some of my ways as a result. Heck, you never know. If not, the party's at my house at 2 a.m.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Kid

The kid is endlessly entertaining. This goes without saying. But this morning she is especially so, and she's warming my heart like crazy.

She wakes up and looks at me, her big brown eyes sparkling as only hers do, a big smile on her face. This is why I call her my sunshine. I remind her from time to time that I used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to her when she was a tiny, itty, bitty baby. I can remember singing to her, my eyes welling with tears, because I was so overwhelmed and amazed by my love of this brand new human.

And yes, if you are wondering, she still sleeps with me. Is she ready for her own room and bed? Yes, most likely she is. Would I terribly miss reading stories and playing dollies with her until I can no longer keep my eyes open, and waking up to her gorgeous face next to mine? Yes, I absolutely will. Do I need to get over this and let her move on because it's probably what's best for her? I'm undecided about that...

Anyway, she wakes up and says:

KAYLA: Mommy, I had a dream last night...
MOMMY: What was it about?
KAYLA: I had a dream and... Mommy, can you tell me what it was about?
MOMMY: I can't, sweetie, only you know what you dreamt about!

Kayla thinks about this for a minute.

MOMMY: So you forgot what it was about?
KAYLA : Yes, I forgot.

Later I'm getting her dressed so she can go play outside with her new Diego gardening tools in the patch of dirt we have in our big backyard. The big backyard that will be so much better when that patch of dirt is not surrounded by weeds as far as the eye can see, and when that patch of dirt is something cool, like maybe grass, or the spot where a sandbox goes. But for now she really loves her dirt patch. So I'm dressing her, and out of the blue she says:

KAYLA: Mommy, I love you.

It never fails to kill me when this comes out of nowhere and it totally unsolicited.

MOMMY: Oh, honey, I love you, too.
KAYLA: You are in my heart.

Oh my God, are you kidding me???

MOMMY: Oh, baby girl, you are in my heart, too! You fill up my heart with so much love, I can't believe it! Where did you get that?
KAYLA: It means we are family!
MOMMY: It does, but where did you get that from? Where did you hear that?
KAYLA: I don't know, somewhere... maybe I heard it on the TV.

Sigh. Just when I think I can't love her anymore. I swear she gets better and better. I know, those of you with icky teenagers or kids at some other funky age are going to laugh when I'm talking about how she drives me nuts and I wish I could legally lock her in the attic for a number of years. But for now, I mean it with every fiber of my being that she gets better and better, and each day I enjoy her more and more.

Oh, and while I'm writing, I might as well share something I've been thinking about the last couple of days. Single momdom. I want to give a major shout out to all the single mommies, all the single mommies, put your hands up, put your hands up. Seriously, any of you who are or have been at any time in your life a single mom, I salute you. And here's why. First of all, I have an awesome support system. Pretty much, when I need them, my mom and Kayla's father are there to back me up and take care of the kid when work does not allow me to do so. But even if you have this, it's the little day to day things that we do, that parents with partners can sometimes pass off to the other partner, that make me say SINGLE MOMS ROCK. Single dads, too, of course, but I'm coming from this particular perspective. Like, say you've had a rough day at work, and you really do not feel like dealing with bath time. Or wiping someone's butt. Or taking out the garbage. Or whatever. You don't get any passes. No passing this job off to the other guy, just for the night, just because you need a little break. It's on you, Mom, you're the only grown-up here, and it's on you.

Granted, having a kid who is able to do so much for herself now and who, in spite of the fact that on a recent day she earned three time-outs, is pretty much a super good kid, makes the whole thing a lot easier. She likes to get her dollies and play in her room, so she gives me plenty of breaks (hey, like the one she's giving me now so I can write this). And I never feel resentful of anything I have to do for her. I just get these flashes of being able to say, "Hey, how about you handle this, so I can get in an episode of my show from the DVR?" You know, stuff like that.

But at the end of the day, with it being just the two of us, I think we are closer than ever. And of course, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I've not yet done a blog about moving. I'd planned to blog about the experience and the emotions and perhaps I will at some point. But for now I just need to do a quick post about George.

George is my cat. I guess I'll still refer to him in the present tense, even though I don't know where he is or what happened to him. I got George from work - he was one of several cats who had taken up residence in the back lot over the years. Many people fell in love with him because he was adorable and friendly. At the time I decided to adopt him, it was not because I needed a cat. I already had a cat, Chief, and I'd already had him nearly seven years or so at that point, AND I was pregnant. So what I really didn't need was trying to get two cats to make nice with each other while dealing with my pregnancy. But threats were being made that George would be taken to the shelter if someone did not take him in, so I took him.

The first little bit was bumpy. My other cat was not thrilled to say the least. And even four years later, I'm not sure they ever really became friends, and instead tolerated each other.

Shortly after we got George he got this gaping wound that abscessed. I can't even remember exactly where it was, but the vet had to put one of those wonderful cones around his neck. Ever work graveyards, be sick-as-a-dog-pregnant (this was before the doctor figured out I needed drugs for the constant nausea and vomiting), have a husband who travels most of the week, and deal with cat with a cone around his neck who can't seem to figure this out so he keeps on licking the cone? If you have never had this experience I don't recommend it. I think he had to wear that thing for at least a week. The longest week of my life, I'm pretty sure.

George was a hunter. He loved to bring home what he caught. Mostly birds, but sometimes mice. While I appreciated that he was in tune with his primal side, I was not a big fan of this. I had been spoiled by having a cat for years whose idea of hunting was looking for the best person from whom to beg. Though I'm sure George meant them as gifts, headless bird carcasses are pretty low on any of my wish lists.

He grew to tolerate Kayla - maybe he even liked her at the end. And even though he'd scratched her a few times she pretty much had it coming. She would tell people, "George doesn't like you in his face or he'll scratch you." And there was no comparing him to Chief when it came to the kid - Chief is like a dog cat and Kayla is nuts about him. He is extremely tolerant of her and loves the attention. But even now Kayla says, "My job is to take care of my kitties, Chief and George, except now George is lost."

And how did I feel about George? Well, shoot. It's like this: Even Chief got majorly redheaded stepchild treatment after the kid came along, and I used to act like he was my baby B. K. (Before Kayla). So George came right before Kayla came, and we never bonded the way Chief and I had. Also he was always outside, looking for adventure, so it just wasn't the same. But ever since I split from my ex, George had become more a member of the family. This is going to sound weird, but it's almost like he knew there was some kind of void, so he tried to be more patient and more loving or something.

And he was a really a good cat, basically. Even though he was often dirty and wounded and loud - oh gosh, could he meow so loudly, and it always seemed he was the loudest in the dead middle of the night - he was still a sweet cat. He had this funny way of moving his head around when he wanted some attention... This is what I keep picturing when I think about the fact that I'll probably never see him again.

One week and two days after we moved in, he was gone. He'd been in and out several times at the new place and had always come back. What bothers me is that he was so street smart, and he really did love us - in spite of our ability to fully embrace him like maybe we should have, he was happy for what he got from us, so I know that if he could come back he would. Which makes me think that something bad happened to him, either accidental or intentional. As much as I hate to think anyone would hurt an animal on purpose, I can't help but have it cross my mind.

It really bothers me that the memory of losing George will always for me go hand in hand with moving to this new house, which is kind of like starting my new life. But then again, this beginning is filled with endings, isn't it? I just don't like that just like that, he's gone, and he's part of the bad stuff that goes with the new start.

Things happen. Life is about love and loss. So in the end, this is just to say, George, we loved you, even if we didn't show it enough, and you'll be missed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Motherhood, and How It Feels When You Don't Do It Right

Is it really a good idea to blog about feeling like you're a bad mom at 2:56 in the morning? No, it's probably not a good idea, but I think I'm going to do it anyway, just because maybe it will make me feel better, and maybe someone will read it who's also feeling like they didn't have their best day at Motherhood, Inc., and will know they're not alone.

I don't want to go into specifics, because I'm too tired and the specifics are a little boring anyway. But let's just say that I felt like last night, when it came to my kid, I was a bonehead and a failure.

I feel like as a mom, I'm always supposed to know the right thing to do and when to do it. I'm always supposed to know when to hold 'em, fold 'em, walk away, or run. In other words, I should know those things to which I should react sternly, negatively, and hot-headedly (I know, it's totally not a word) and those things to which I should react with love, caring, and understanding.
And last night I felt like I dropped the ball.

The happy ending is that after I had the blow-up that I shouldn't have had, and wiped tears that shouldn't have come, I was able to bond with my sweet girl and make it all better. I'm lucky in that I have laid a pretty good foundation, and the kid knows I'm nuts about her. She knows I'm the one who loves her best and loves her most and always will. And even when she won't say it or she doesn't want to talk to me when I call her from work, badly in need of a Kayla fix, I know she loves me best and most, too. After all, I am Mommy.

You might not believe me, but right now I'm starting to cry. Heck, if you know me at all you know it's true. If for no other reason than you know I'm a little bit of an emotional wreck, so if you put that together with three o'clock in the morning and writing about the kid, ding ding! You've got tears.

After this little fiasco in parenting went down we had a wonderful evening of cuddling and giggling. So much giggling - I took one of her dolls and was patting it on his back, pretending to burp him and then having him say, "BURP," and the kid was practically rolling on the floor. Three-year-olds are hecka cool in that they are a very good audience for silliness, and when my three-year-old giggles with delight, well, frankly there's nothing better. But even though we had this wonderful evening, I am still kicking myself for being a bad mom, and wishing like anything morning would hurry up and get here so I could spend more time with her, showing her how much I love her, and trying to make up for being such a bonehead.

So in the meantime, I write. And I take consolation in the fact that I learned something last night and hopefully that will make me a better mom. As long as I keep trying to get better at it, at least I'm going in the right direction.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Coastal Hospitality

I am a lucky person. I just returned from a wonderful, restful night away on the beautiful Sonoma coastline. Now, I don't get around much, but for my money, this is some of the most beautiful scenery one could ever hope to see.

I met my friend Cinnamon at Dispatcher Academy. Dispatcher Academy was this mostly fun place in Windsor, CA to which I got sent for three weeks to learn about dispatch stuff. The downside was that I was about seven months pregnant at the time, and if you follow my blog at all or remotely know me, you know I was sick the entire time I was pregnant. You might also know that the longest stretch I went without getting sick were the first five days I spent at Dispatcher Academy. I actually went from Monday morning until Friday night when I got home without a single puke. Amazing. If only the next two weeks could have been that way.

Pregnancy woes aside, the upside of Dispatcher Academy (in addition to all the stuff I'm sure I must have learned there) was that I wound up sitting near Cinnamon, and my other two good buddies, Janel and Adrienne. The further upside of this, aside from the fact that they are lovely, fun people, is that when either Janel or Adrienne are working the same graveyard shift that I am, it is nice to know there is company in what is sometimes misery. Also, Cinnamon, (who was a dispatcher until she got pregnant with Easton and put on bed rest) is married to Brandon, who, in addition to being a great guy, is also a Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy. His beat is 150 square miles of beautifulness, including the coast, and he is stationed in a lovely home in Timber Cove, on the woodsy side of Highway 1, up the hill from the Timber Cove Inn.

I have to come decide he may just have the best gig I've ever heard of. I am sure that others of you in law enforcement are thinking this sounds like a pretty sweet deal as well.

Though I was aiming for a 12:30 p.m. arrival time, I didn't actually make it until about 3:15. I know, shocking. And I can't even blame it on Kayla, because she was a little under the weather so I left her with Baby Daddy (who very graciously offered to come stay with her so I could go). I can't blame my tardiness on bad directions, either; I had ones I'd written down from Cinnamon, a Mapquest map, AND a brand new GPS (courtesy of Baby Daddy, someone paid for a job in GPS units so I was able to reap part of that benefit). Pretty much, if I ever have plenty of time to get ready to go somewhere, I am usually going to be late. Something perhaps I'll try to work on because I don't like it.

After greetings to everyone, including Cin's boys (Devin is 5 and Easton is 2, and they are a couple of cutie pies)....

... we took the tour inside and then checked out the view from her deck.

I know. Gorgeous.

As if all this beauty and good company weren't enough, Cin also has a Wii. I happen to be obsessed with the Wii, ever since I bowled and played tennis on it at my brother's house back in December. For someone who so clearly remembers playing games on the Atari 2600 and thought that the graphics in Pitfall were mind-blowing, this Wii is pretty much like magic. We got our bowling on, taking tips from Devin (quite the little expert), but I kept veering to the left. Here's Adrienne in action: I know I told her that her butt would be prominently featured on my Facebook page; not sure if I gave her the same warning about my blog, but she's a good sport! And a good bowler, she beat me by three pins.

We decided it was close enough to 5 for it to be cocktail time. Janel and Adrienne were quite chagrined to find that though they planned to make Cinnamon's favorite drink, a Midori sour, they had been led astray by the lady at the store. She told them some Midori and some bar syrup (I think that's what it was called) were all they needed for the drink. WRONG. Midori SOUR. Not Midori SWEET, lady. So without sweet and sour this drink really did not work for them. I think Adrienne settled on champagne, Janel had a beer with me, and I'm not really sure what Cin wound up with, as I was too busy with my beers. I was planning to enjoy some beer with Brandon. But the poor guy is on-call every single night through mid-April. This would be the downside of his sweet gig. I even brought three twelve-packs of his favorites and had to work on them all by myself. I did not drink three twelve-packs, not even one twelve-pack, but I did play Oktoberfest (as Brandon named it) and alternated among the three flavors (Corona, Pacifico, and Sierra Nevada).

Both Janel and I were pretty amped to see the sunset over the ocean. All of us decided to walk down to the Timber Cove Inn to check it out (though later there would be much debate about whose idea this was and whose fault it was that we endured a painful trek back, but more on that later). The trip, though a little longer than it seemed in the car and not a great one to make in the shoes I was wearing, was worth it,as we got some fabulous pics.

Yes, I know. More gorgeous. If we thought the walk down the hill was a little rough, we hadn't seen anything yet.

Umm, that's an 18% grade right there. May not sound like a high number, but imagine your body is at the same angle as that truck. And imagine you've had a few beers. And imagine you are carrying a lot more weight than you should. Then start walking. Walk. Ouch. Rest. Walk. Ouch. Rest. It was cold and windy, and poor Adrienne recently shaved her lovely brown hair off for charity, so she needed her hood. I'm sure the champagne in the red cup was helping to keep her warm also. Janel was pretty much as happy as a clam, because that's how she rolls.

Poor Cin was pushing a double stroller up the hill. No fun.

At least Brandon did show up... first rolling code two-and-a-half (that means really fast) down the hill, on his way to a call. Moments later he came back up the hill and rescued Adrienne. He could only take one person at a time because his dog, Odin, took up a space, but that was fine with me. I wanted the walk under my belt and I did actually make it up the hill. Eventually.
Our reward was some of the yummiest lasagna I have ever had in my entire life. After that, we were all pretty tired so we hit the hay early. I was lucky enough to score a lower bunk in the boys' room (afraid to room with anyone else because of my snoring, which everyone reported the next morning they did not hear, excellent!).

Morning meant Cin was in the kitchen again. She cooked up what was literally the best waffle I have ever had in my life. Here's a shot of mine, covered in whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate chips.

And turkey bacon on the side. My hostess does not eat red meat. Was this the trip from Heaven or what? (Nodding head enthusiastically) Yes, yes it was. Oh, and the coffee I had as an appetizer was scrumptious, also.

I ate and ran, as it was almost 11, and I felt I'd better get home rather than keep Baby Daddy away from any more hours potentially making some money. We all hugged goodbye with promises to see each other real soon on Facebook and in person. On the way back home, I just had to stop. I mean, it was silly enough that I was only up that way for one night, I had to stop somewhere on the coast and get some shots. So I finally picked a little turnout at Gleason Beach.

There was some beautiful rocky coastline so I snapped a few pics:

While I was figuring out the best vistas to capture, I felt something on the back of my leg. I realized it was the bumper of my car, because I'd forgotten to put it into "park." So my advice to you is if you are going to get out somewhere and take pictures, and you plan to keep your car running, be sure to put it in "park," otherwise you could have a real problem on your hands, especially if you are standing near the edge of a cliff.

Girls, I had the best time. Cinnamon and Brandon, I cannot thank you guys enough for your hospitality, and I can't wait to take advantage of it again soon. All this beauty just a little over two hours away from me? Trust me, I don't plan on going two years before I see it again like last time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One Singular Sensation

Long time, no blog. Goodness gracious. I'm not sure if it's been laziness or lack of something to say. I always have something to say so it's gotta be the laziness. Didn't I say back in December that it was more that I didn't really want to share or talk about what was going on in my life? Well, that's probably still it, too, that and the laziness.

So I'm just firing off a quick post to say that I really enjoy being single. It's been eleven plus years since I could say I was single, and this time around it is sooooooo entirely different, in a good way. Well, in a good way and in a bad way.

Eleven years ago, I was twenty-seven-and-a-half, and felt like so many possibilities stretched out before me. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up (I had a job, but it was most definitely not a career!), and I didn't know who I would marry, or if I'd ever marry, or what my kids would be like or if I'd ever have kids. I also weighed about one hundred pounds less than I do now, which is to say, I had more energy and felt better in general.

So now, eleven years and almost one hundred pounds heavier, I've found a career, and I have a completed marriage under my belt... glad that I do, it's for the best, but like most of us who get married, I kind of thought it was going to be an "until death do us part" sort of thing. That may be what bums me out the most - that I didn't achieve what I set out to achieve in spite of my best efforts.

Also, all these years later, I have this wonderful, fabulous, fantastic, awesome, amazing, funny, entertaining, brilliant, gorgeous daughter named Kayla. Had I not married who I married, I would not have won this fabulous prize. For this reason I'll never regret all those years that sometimes feel sadly misspent. It all happened as it should.

I never thought I'd have a situation in which I'd have to share my daughter. I am sad for her that she won't grow up with both parents in one house. But luckily, strange jobs and strange hours sort of accustomed her to the idea of having one parent at a time, and at the age of three, she can't really get the bigger picture, which is good. Actually, she may get it more than I think she does, but she doesn't seem to be any worse off for it. She has a mother who is happier than she was before, and I think this is probably the most important thing.

I do not like that I have to put the garbage cans out on Tuesday night and bring them in on Wednesday. But I do like killing my own spiders and changing light bulbs I have to get on a chair to change. I don't like being the only grown-up in the house at night, but I love spending that special time with Kayla, just the two of us, either reading a book in bed or watching a show or "playing dollhouse" or doing a puzzle. It has always been special to hang out with her, but now that it is really just the two of us, there is something extra special that is hard to explain unless you've been there.

The emptiness that being single brings is not the same when you have someone like Kayla around. With her, there is not much room for emptiness (or anything or anyone else for that matter!). Between Kayla, my job, and my wonderful friends and family, it is next to impossible to have that same sort of loneliness I felt eleven years ago. Somewhere down the line, possibly, I may want to find what I have been telling my friends would be a "once a month on Wednesday... friend." You know, for going to the movies or just chatting or whatever. Come on, people, I'm only human and though I've only been living as a single person for three weeks, emotionally it's been a very long time!

So now, at the ripe old age of almost thirty-nine, being single still means life is about the possibilities that exist, they're just different. And I'm quite okay with that.