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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Joy.... I'll take it!

 There is an undeniable thrum of joy pulsing through my body. I can feel it with every breath, every beat of my heart. Maybe it IS finally my heart, fluttering and tap dancing its way through these days. And before you vomit glitter and cabbage roses all over, understand that these days are as ordinary as they are wonderful. We sleep, we wake, we go to school and we go to work, we do things together that need to be done, we deal with random and non-random shit thrown our way. But it is just so, well, you know I have to say it, LOVELY to have a bond, a connection, with a man I can count on to understand me, put up with me, hand me kleenex when I need it, make me laugh when I need it, talk to me about all things imaginable, even asking me consistently how my day was, then listening to the answer. He loves me, he loves The Boy. He gives me kisses and buys fresh flowers for the foyer. He does laundry and cooks, for criminy's sake! He bought me a car that he knows I'll be safer in, and that he can fix himself. He takes care of me, and I want to take care of him right back. This is how it should be, and this is how I suspect it shall be, for the rest of time. Nothing has been so easy, nothing so completely seamless. Fights last 98 seconds, while all the talking and laughing and cuddling and just smiling like fools at each other take up so much more time. We are not perfect, just perfect for each other. And things are not just good, they are escalatingly awesome, even in areas I had given up for over, gone, hang it all up and put it away. OMFG and Huzzah, or as he puts it, we are Not Bad for 111.

So yeah. Hit me with a hammer, I am just filled with joy. It beats against my eyelids when I sleep. It turns into an earworm, especially when we sing out special reconfigured showtune medleys. The reimagined Godspell is the latest... "I shall call the pebble Fred...." or the irreverent West Bank Story... "Muhammad... I just met a man named Muhammad......." We got a million of them. We giggle through them like eight-year-olds, and I can't fathom life any other way. I am so lucky. I'll take it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

You Hear That Train?

It is coming up upon a year since Chuck died. A year since the phone call in the middle of the night, his boss missing him at work. Just a year since I had to wake his parents and his kids up with the most horrible news they could have imagined. A year since I picked my son up from school early so as to make sure he heard it only from me and not from his friends on Facebook. A year since I walked my mother-in-law through those days afterward, she so fuzzy with grief and Xanax that she would ask me later to fill in most of the details of what we did and where we went. Just a little while since the surreality of it all. I watch the date on the calendar, and then ignore it. I can hear it approach, but I can't quite bear to look into its glare, like some freight train on a country track.  It's not like I don't know it is bearing down on me, but I don't really want to feel the weight, the impact. I don't know that I will, actually, because, you see, I've moved on. And somewhere in the lower soup of my psyche, there's a toad attempting to make me feel guilty about that. But you know, the very fact of the tragic accident, the here today, gone tomorrow part of everyone's lives, is the very reason that I can move on and squash the toad singing in my gut. I waited a long time to be this happy. I am not going to put it off another day, because of the grief train that passes through shortly. And please, don't get me wrong, I do get on the grief train every so often. I am sad that this man, who did the best he could to live his life honestly, just like we all do, died in such a way.  I miss him being able to watch his son grow up. I know his parents and his other kids miss him, too. I can't let the sadness engulf me, nor can I let my son be taken under. Yes, we will remember, we can't help mark the time, that is why we have calendars and clocks and phones that ring in the middle of the night. But we will live and be happy. It is what we do. And occasionally we get stopped by a train.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Deliver Me from Excel Spreadsheets

Okay, so at work, we have this CRM system to keep track of things -- donors, contributions, campaigns, etc. You know, keep track. Now, in theory, you can ask the system to give you a report in an excel spreadsheet. You simply name your parameters, and voila, the thing spits out the information you're hankering for. In order, in cells as requested. In theory. In reality, in practice, for some godforsaken reason I have yet to figure out, it never populates the same cells in the same order with the same stuff. For instance, I have these two, no three membership lists to merge and purge for a mailing going out later on in October. I asked for one part of it and got it as an excel spreadsheet: First name, last name, address, you get the picture. Well. I tried to get the second part of the membership list into that format, and even though I set up the cells, it just would NOT lay it out as a table. It stacked all  the addresses in a cell and gave me some extraneous crap about donations made etc. in other cells, which I so did not need. So the easy merge and purge cell, stock and barrel I envisioned for this is out. Instead, I am retyping the whole bloody damn thing into the first spreadsheet, and merging and purging manually, as I go. Gah. Mindless data entry exercise. Not much better to cut and paste because of all the back and forth, and I feel more confident in my ability to retype the chunk of data into four separate cells than to highlight and click back and forth that many times. I am screaming obscenities in my head. Actually, I am screaming them physically, but with my lips tightly clenched together so it might sound more like I am having some sort of seizure than expressing my annoyance with the system. Mfffphghgh.


Sometimes, you just get time off from purgatory for the things you have to do, but deliver me from Excel spreadsheets.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grief Sneak

It was foggy this morning when I stepped out to the patio. It made me think about Chuck. I still get a little sad and feel sorry that his life ended as it did. I wish things could have been different, and that he hadn't suffered like he did... in life and in death..

Is it Friday Yet?

FL and I have been married seven weeks and five days. We still agree this getting married thing was the total best idea either of us has had in, oh, thirty-three or so years. Now, he moved from the Large Cowtown he lived in to the small one-horse podunk town I live in back just before we got married. He did, however keep his Large Cowtown job, which means he travels to the LC at least two days a week. This leaves a sag in my week, and this week it is especially saggy, because instead of the two days and a little I usually have to wait for him to come home, there are THREE days (72 hours! 4320 minutes!! 259200 seconds!!! they should never give me a calculator. I depress myself.) and a little until I see him again. I am trying valiantly (read: failing miserably) to buck up about this whole thing, as I do agree that getting a paycheck for a couple days away and home the rest of the time is not the worst deal in the universe, but still.

I so feel like whining. And not just that irritating half-hearted whining most amateurs adopt, no. This is professional serious full body whining. It starts from the roots of my hair and emanates down through my form and even rattles my mermaid-green-painted toenails. The only problem with this is -- if I start whining, I literally will not stop until FL is back home. And even I cannot stand 4320 minutes of professional serious full body whining. Besides, this would illustrate to my new husband the depth and breadth of my whining capabilities, and probably would take a notch out of the newness magic.

I also feel like sleeping. It would be just lovely to put the blanket over my head and not come up to the conscious world until my Prince Charming arrived to kiss me awake. That would be so so nice.Yeah right, dream on Sleeping Beauty. Bills don't get paid like that.

And then there's the feeling like eating thing. It was bad at work yesterday, kolaches and doughnuts, full on press. So of course I did have some, and my salad for lunch. And a steak and potato for dinner. So I did not emulate pristine food consumption in any respect. Ergh. I shall attempt to do better today, and look forward to the resumption of the exercise routine we have in place when we are together. Oh yeah, I love my exercise.

All I know is that I feel especially pitiful this week-sag, and all I want is to look into FL's sweet beautiful eyes and know that he is home, here, in the flesh and I can keep him warm in our bed until the next sag rolls around... Until then, I will endeavor to keep the whining, sleeping and stress eating to a minimum. While holding my breath. Until Friday. Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

For Every Action, There is an Equal and Opposite.....

And then, the pendulum swings back. Thwacks me on my generous, cellulite-ridden nether posterior parts. Oof. I thought I could do this motherhood thing, why? I'm going to get him through all this stuff, how? Who is this unmotivated dark, emo kid and what am I supposed to do with that? I am at a loss. I am supposed to think of things to motivate him to do his schoolwork and get excited about things that have never excited him. Add into this a few teachers he just happens not to like, and boom goes the dynamite. Oh, and have I mentioned he doesn't listen to me seriously? Oh, I know. Let's take away the video games, the TV, and the computer -- the things that he clings to as his lifeline to All That Does Not Suck In Life. Yeah, THAT might work.

Then there are the FL ex issues. She is just going round the bend. She tried to friend me on FB. No, honey, you don't get it. I am not interested in you having any more intimate knowledge of who I am other than what my last name is and whom I have married and am making very happy. As a matter of fact, I would not mind at all if you moved to Timbuktu and disappeared from our lives permanently. So I blocked her. She is also trying anything she can think of to get a rise out of my unflappable FL. Like finding excuses to show up at his house in ridiculous inappropriate outfits and rumble around looking for stuff she wants... or wants to sell on eBay. She makes outrageous pronouncements and embarrassing requests. He is so much nicer about it than I would be, or actually than I really want him to be. I would dearly love to have him tell her to run up the street, but they were a family once, they had children together, they have history and grief and Christmases together, and he wants to be as kind as possible. In my part of the world, the kindness is getting stretched verrrrrry thin, but this is not my circus.

She is desperate on so many fronts, and she doesn't have a road map for any of this. I understand this, and in the beginning, I did sympathize with her. She did time in a relationship that is no more, and five years ago, made a break that she seemed to want. Now she has had second thoughts, the wind knocked out of her, the final knell of nope, there is no more marriage. It is too late and it is just sad. But nobody can help her but her. I have to admit, she makes my smacking hand itch. To tell the truth, I would smack her, but it would make only me feel better for a second, and not give her any good insight other than I can be violent when aggravated for prolonged periods of time. But wait... you know, a restraining order does limit contact, and I would be okay with that. (speaking only hypothetically and all in the spirit of the Interwebs, where no one knows you're a crazed ex-wife...)

Still no handle on ultimate solutions to all this. Seems I can only work from the gut, grit my teeth when it gets oppressive, and count my numerous and lovely blessings. On the list, awesome friends and family who have stuck with me through thick and thicker. The Boy all in all is a good kid. He is totally mine, I love him and his dark emo side. He does have a sense of humor and away from me, people say he has lovely manners. I know he has a good heart, and somewhere under that non-haircut, a good brain. Topping the list, FL is the love of my life, and this marriage thing was such a good idea. He makes me happy and fulfilled and just damn glad to be alive. Yep, a decent cadre of numerous and lovely blessings. I will just have to quell the itching of the smacking hand and instead count on those fingers, upon one of which resides my lovely wedding ring.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nice ankles there, St. Joe.

I am becoming cautiously optimistic about the Boy and High School. Emphasis on cautiously. Gingerly. Hesitantly.  One eye open, one squeezed tight shut looking through the splayed fingers of my hand. You know, the all digits crossed, rabbit foot, horseshoe, salt over my shoulder kind of a thing. Oh, and St. Joseph buried upside down in the front yard. (I don’t really know about this, I hear it is a Yat sort of a thing when selling a house. Full shrug on that, but hey, if it works….) We all may even survive Freshman Year. And maybe even with decent grades. Are extra-curricular things next on the horizon? I can only hope.  A huge part of this is the team concept. For the first time in a very long time, I. Have. Backup.  Another fully-engaged adult to play good cop (or wait, bad cop?) to my counterpart.  An enforcer of rules, a setter of limits, a watcher of boundaries.  While this does not stop my vigilance or replace all the time this was missing in our lives, it is still such a relief to know that there is a unified front being put up and (dare I say it) it is working!!!!!! The Boy seems less belligerent (slightly, he still is a grumpy bear in the morning…) and his grades are going in the upward direction. YAY, I whisper. Good job, I send to his brain telepathically. Things are going to be okay, I breathe into his body. 

Don’t worry, I am currently digging the hole. St. Joseph will be standing on his head in my yard before you can flip that salt over your shoulder.