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People thank me. They are appreciate me for "putting her in her place." Word got around about yesterday. I feel as though I acted immaturally and unproffessionally. They think different. It gave us pleasure to see her storm off angry. We aren't cold people and don't find joy in other people's misfortune. But, she has created this atmosphere of such dislike. Why does she thrive on people's hurt feelings? Oddly, she brought in homemade cookies and offered them to the entire department. Why? Insult or trying to make ammends? Not one person accepts. They wouldn't want to get "a gut."
Our staycation has officially begun. YEAH! We are sitting in their condo watching the Lake Shore Drive traffic. Joggers, walkers and bikers are out in full force. I love the city! We glance at the lake and see tons of swimmers. The lake is beautifu. But, there is no way I would set foot in that water - I find it hard to believe it is as clean as they claim it is. We'll have to settle for the roof-top pool - poor us. Even though it is early, the pier is alive & kickin'. We are anxious to join the fun.
Once again, we sit in Lake Point Tower watching Lake Shore Drive. Everyone is out and about. We sit drinking coffee and take in the activity of the city. Traffic is thick and I am grateful it is not me. I am grateful that my daughter & I are sitting with my ex-in-laws waiting for my ex-sister-in-law and her children to wake up. We will spend a few days talking, playing and seeing the sites - sites we often overlook. I love my family - a family that seems to have grown stronger since the word "ex" arrived.
Our staycation is coming to an end. It is such a treat spending time with my ex-family. But, it will be so nice to get back to my own house and my own bed. My own cozy place where we are surrounded by granny's furniture and great-great-great relative's pictures. My place for down time - my away from the world time. We had fun but, real life seems to hang in the back of mind, except when I am home. It is the best place to play make believe - to create. Our imaginations run wild - we love it!
"Help me write?" I ask. She smiles.
She says, "I like giraffes because of the spots, their long necks and because they eat leaves. We love lions because they are so cute, they have a mane around their neck and they like to roar. If you bother them, they will eat you up."
As she writes, she paces. The faster she walks, the faster words come.
"The fishes love to swim. Sometimes they are colorful. They like to eat stuff, like to swim with their tails and their fins help them swim very good."
I am a winner. I don't mean one of those ego boost phrases - "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and dog-gone-it, people like me." Nothing like that. When I say I'm a winner, I mean I win stuff. Today, I won 2 round trip plane tickets. I have won a variety of gift cards - Target, Itunes and various restaurants. I have won money - not in huge amounts but, I'm certainly not complaining. At a Sox game, of all 40,000 seats, they called mine. I won a grill, juicer and bread machine (I'm a Yankee fan). I win.
"What do you want to write?" Once again she smiles. She chooses Cailou.
"Cailou has to go to his skating class. He is going to see the zambonie. He is really having fun on his day & he has a friend called Leo. Leo is funny. He really likes all his friends, family & Gilbert (his scardy cat). I really like him because he is so special. He really loves to play jokes on everyone. He really likes the holidays and he really likes Christmas and Valentine's day and his birthday and everybody's birthdays. He really loves them so much."
I need to catch up. I review old entries and can't believe all the typo's! I am behind and get nervous at the thought of catching up. I get anxious and become absent minded - missing too much. Just wanting to get it done but, I don't want this to be like that. I write about anything - I want to put more thought into it but, don't. I guess I am not that far behind. I would never be good at a job that had deadlines - I'd go crazy! I am not good under pressure. Some people love it - not me!
It's Thursday. We count down the minutes to the weekend. We spend each day wishing it was the next. Until, Friday - 4:00. Then we wish we could freeze time. We need a day to recharge, a day to do chores & run errands and a day to play - maybe even another day to recharge. But, the chores alone take up the entire weekend. Where do you squeeze in the play & recharge time? That is what should have priority but, that is not the case. Maybe I should add it to my chore list. Recharge & play can take an entire weekend.
Today is her birthday. We've known each other since high school. We've been friends, then not been friends and then been friends again. I laugh about our summer vacations - we played kings in a corner while watching Welcome Back Kotter - what a silly show. I remember one time we bought an Enquirer - we laughed until we cried at a story about Liberace being spotted in a UFO. We would pull out our picks every couple minutes to tease our hair - trying out new styles. At the time, we looked gorgeous. Now those pictures make us laugh like the Liberace UFO.
Santa's Village is really fun. It is really really cool. You can go in the fun house. And I love the hot air balloon ride - it's my favorite thing to do. You go really high up. I really like the mushrooms because they are really colorful & nice. You should go there someday with your family. A little girl got a toy called Stinker. And, she really loves him. She went to a show because it is really cute. There was a skunk and her name was stinker. There was a spider named Rose. There was a snake, cockroach & a porcupine.
My brain is functioning on low. I have no idea what to write about. My grammar is completely out of whack. Fragments, run-ons, mis-used punctuation and dozens of spelling errors seem to take over everything. I think the only rule I can remember is I before E except after C. I am so grateful this isn't being graded. My mind is blank, I have 34 words to go and dozens of mistakes to make. Just like life, my mind is blank, I've got (if I'm extra lucky) 60 years to go and lots of funny mistakes to make.
Dreams are so real and so bizarre. Things I don't think I want become a desparation. I wake up trying to convince myself that I am back in reality and that reality is exactly what it was yesterday. I took such desparate measures to get what I didn't want. I would never really do such outrageous things. Do I really want this? What should I do? Hope? Try? Pray? Hope is okay. Try absolutely not. Pray? Not for this. I guess I don't want this. Life would be so much easier though. The worst dreams are those that confuse reality.
The managers were in a meeting this morning. We were all lighter and happier. We were silly. Not only did we enjoy ourselves but, the clients enjoyed themselves too. She tells me that I always make her laugh. He wants to sign up for my classes again. They are generous with their compliments to everyone. We talked about how good we felt - there was no threat of being insulted or demeaned. We reconsidered our efforts to find a new job. Then the meeting ended. The atmosphere changed. We came back to the conclusion that we need to find new jobs.
Many of our clients are camping or vacationing. It is such a significant difference. I almost don't know what to do. None of us feel that overwhelmed feeling. We are back to loving our job. So many ups and downs. Do we really want new jobs? Yes. I've been here almost 20 years. Leaving is going to be horrible. If it could stay like this - a reasonable caseload (with a reasonable boss) - there wouldn't be any question. They keep me laughing and smiling. I think they do more for me than I do for them. Still, I need to go.
Sometimes I feel embarrassed. Some people look me up and down, judging me. They leave me with a need to explain or justify. Some people don't care. Those are my favorite people. Some people try to comfort me - why? They tell me not to worry and that I'll find somebody new. Here kicks in the feeling of having to defend myself. I express a desire to spend some time for myself - "You're just saying that because you've been burned." Wow, that's such a nice thing to say. "You never spend time with us anymore. You never call." I wonder why.
He is perfect - the man of my dreams. He knows exactly what to say. He thinks I am incredible and can't believe how blessed he is to be with me. We always enjoy each other's company - enjoy the same interests. We get dressed up and have fancy dinners - clothes & dinners I could never afford. But, we can never be together. I won't sacrifice family time for him. Plus, I have to work. Is he married? No. Am I? No. I would never do that. As I drift off to sleep he appears - he truly is the man of my dreams.
The couch has convinced me to be lazy. There is so much to do but, I still sit here. I sit drinking coffee, watching a dvd and think about everything that I should be doing. I sit here feeling guilty for not scrubbing the shower. I have vegetables in the fridge waiting to become a salad. I have to make it to the library at some point today and pay a fine for overdue books. Yesterday, I pitched our tent in preparation for our camping trip. It has aired out and needs folding. I'm sure I'll get to it later.
I'm in a room. An attic room with an angled ceiling - small bright window. Itís all different hues of gray - no color, not even black or white. A twin bed holds a scratchy, wool, blanket. The blanket is intregal & compelling. It's a college student's decor. In reality, I donít know this room. I feel serene. Bittersweet? Those arenít the right words. I look around reflecting - I donít know what those reflections are. They make me feel happy & sad. I smile and want to cry. Iím oddly comforted. Safe, serene, cozy - these aren't the right words.
I'm trying to type an e-mail and my mind is absent. I choppily enter words but, the flow is lousy. Although its not necessary, I begin to edit. I have to stop and think. I realize that when I do this, I always look up. Is that common? I get stuck. I start to talk out loud. That has become common, my thoughts just fall from my mouth - meant for nobody's ears but, my uncooperative mouth shares anyway. I ask, "What was that word I'm looking for?" She gives me a silly look and says, "ribbit." She cracks up.
It just hit me today - I am a grown up. I have been a grown up for many years, I think. It's just that today it really sunk in. My father needs surgery. It is so odd and so strange. He is the rock. Suddenly the rock seems so frail. He plays it off as if it is no big deal but, we know different. It's low risk surgery but, they estimate a 5 day hospital stay. Does that sound low risk? I am worried. I cannot show that worry. It's time that I grow up and play the rock.
We prepare for our first camping trip together. I pull out the old two-man tent that has been packed away for over 5 years. I didn't realize how much I have missed camping until I pulled it down. In the driveway, she helps me pitch the tent. The air filters through in an effort to eliminate that cooped-up tent scent. Ick. We talk about camping, about bugs, about critters, about hiking, about campfires and smores. We talk about sleeping without the rain-fly and gazing at the stars. I already feel the serenity. I have missed this desparately.
Dad's surgery was postponed. The insurance will not allow the assisting doctor to assist. So, a new assistant must assist. But, that assistant is not available to assist until September. Does low risk surgery require an assisting doctor? Can't he do the surgery without assistance from an assisting doctor? He insists that he cannot perform the surgery without an assisting doctor's assistance. Dad insists he is okay and has no problem waiting for the assisting doctor's schedule to clear. We will assist dad with waiting but, he insists he does not need assistance. Our rock insists that everything is okay.
We climnb on a wagon pulled by a tractor. We ride around the nature center until we reach the campsite. We chose a spot, check for rocks and roots. We pitch the tent and chat with the other families. We immediately connect, as if we've known each other for years. Our group heads over to the farm and picks eggs for tomorrow's breakfast. We head back to camp and all the kids wash and chop our dinner veggies. We make foil veggie-burger wraps and roast them over the campfire. When we finish, the kids run around and we chat.
On our evening hike, the sun sets fast. The stars peek out as the insects chat. We hike to the dock where the kids sit down and the leader tells a story. He has such a soothing voice, I begin to feel sleepy. My daughter's head wobbles as she struggles to keep her eyes open. I carry her for the remainder of the hike which, is difficult but, heartwarming. Upon our return, the scent of the brewing fire awakens her. We roast marshmellows and make smores. The kids run-off their sugar high, we crawl into our tents and sleep.
We eat our egg hash and drink weak coffee. The kids waste no time and get right to play. We are worn and grateful this trip is only one night. We have our last meal chat and head to deconstruct our tents. We are challenged to force our tents back into the compact bags they come in. I am sad that it went so fast but, don't think I could go another day. Everyone agrees that a one night camping trip shouldn't be so exhausting. We climb on the wagon, say sad goodbyes, load up our cars and go home.
So sleepy. Gotta stay awake. So much left to do. Gotta get it ready. Gotta prepare. Coffee will help. Still so sleepy. Still not done. Still so much to do. Gotta focus. Brain dances. Gotta list of to-do's that feel overwhelming. To-do's are prioritized and I gotta get these done. How about some birthday cake? Sugar will help - for a minute. Then it will be worse. Bad idea. Just more coffee. Gotta focus. Get this stuff done. I'll finish some tomorrow. I'll get up early. I'll figure it out then. Nope. Not good at last minute. Gotta finish.
"Can we get a baby?"
"What?" I am surprised.
"Can we get a baby?" She asks again.
"Are you going to take care of it?"
"Yes. Will you help me? Mom, how do you get a baby?"
"Lets name her Sandra. No, not Sandra. Let me think about it. You can be her aunt and I'll be the mom. Who can be the dad?"
"Uhm.... You're only 4. Are you sure you're ready for that much responsibility?"
"Will you help me? < Pretty please>."
We feel the air quickly become thick. We can hear the thunder start to roll in. Then the rain breaks through. We go out anyway. We go out for pizza, which turns out to be awful. Still, it wasn't a wasted trip. The rain pouring and the thunder yelling makes for an invigorating evening. There is a raggidy division in the sky between dark storm clouds and clear blue sky. The thunder moves on but, the rain continues. When we arrive home, we open the sliding door so we can listen to the rain. The storm invigorated and now soothes.
It is a peaceful birthday. The best kind. I get dozens of facebook posts, some cards and a couple chocolate bars. I received other gifts from family - a purse, gift cards and tickets to see Shrek the musical. My daughter bakes me a cake and several imaginary pies. She makes one of her favorites, a pickle pie. I'm grateful it is imaginary! We have a nice dinner and curl up with a movie, Pink Shoes. She dances a little. We chat and joke. We are both tired and doze off. We wake up to another oridinary day. The best kind.
Sometimes a 24 hour period seems only like 10. I cram in as much as I can. So much needs to be done and not enough time to accomplish even half. But, there are times when a 24 hour period feels like 48 hours. Like today. I did a huge amount of rearranging clutter. I sorted through my daughter's out-grown clothes. I rearranged cabinets, rearranged furniture, went to the store to pick out flowers and potted them for our porch. I went through books and divided them between hand-me-downs and donation. And still had time to relax.
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