Postcard from the guilt trip


Final offspring is within 3 months of graduating high school and turning 18.  He is a good kid.  He’s bright and geeky and alarmingly attractive (as evidenced by his many female admirers).  He has a strong sense of right and wrong and has avoided many of the pitfalls that tend to attract the underdeveloped male pre-frontal cortex.

The big issue is that his grades are in the toilet because he missed a bunch of school due to the flu and he hasn’t gotten his act together to make up the work.

Consequences have been discussed and he knows what he needs to do.  I am trying mightily  not to nag.

As valiant as my efforts have been not to nag him, I cannot seem to get away from being nagged by my inner Queen of Guilt.


guilt trip1

The Queen taunted me for years that I was not a good enough wife.  Now that she can’t use that line, she is taunting me that I am not a good enough parent.  She’s trying to tell me that if I had stayed married, this son wouldn’t be struggling.  She smugly reminds me that I worked too much and was not available enough for my kids.  She shows me examples of kids who excel in everything because their mothers were better than me. She tells me I have failed.

I have paid for enough therapy to recognize this bitch for the fraud she is.  Yet every time I try to smack her down, she keeps coming back.

The sad truth is that I have become lax in maintaining the basics that keep me in my happy place—writing, feeling all my emotions, being mindful and practicing affirmations.

Maybe the Queen Bitch has done me a favor by forcing me to refocus.  I hate it when that happens.

Yultide Joy


This is my very favorite Christmas tree ornament. I love taking it out of the decorations box each year and I love looking at it every day on the tree. It always makes me smile.

The photo was taken during my son’s Sunday school class, 23 years ago. There were no digital cameras back in those dark ages.  I understand the poor teacher snapped half a roll of film in an attempt to capture an expression worthy of the happy star and joyous time of year it was to represent.  However, she had other 3 year olds to photograph and she couldn’t waste any more film on my one increasingly distraught child.

I love the ornament because it is so honest.  I love the contrast of the happy yellow and glitter against the sad eyes and tear stained cheeks of my son. He had clearly had enough and was ready for his blankie and a snack.

I love it because it reminds me that it’s OK to be sad, especially when everything around you is pressuring you to feel happy.  I love it because it reminds me that, just as my son was happy again within 5 minutes of leaving that class, any sadness I feel will also pass. It also reminds me that a fuzzy blanket and a snack are wonderfully therapeutic.

The young boy is now a strapping young man of 25.  He is still a sensitive soul and I am grateful for the lessons he (and his siblings) taught me as I was growing up.

It’s Eric!


Generally, finding dead things in my house does not  make my day.  However, the discovery of this partial apian corpse reminded me of one of my favorite Monty Python songs.  I’ve been smiling about it all day.

I got hooked on Monty Python as a young teenager.  At the time, most of the “R” rated material went right over my head.  I remember being shocked when I rediscovered this song and realized how poor Eric came to his unfortunate state.  But it’s just too absurd to be offensive.

Now I just need to find a dead parrot.

It’s called longing, Part II


Really, I am doing just fine.  Love my life, glad to be independent, yada yada yada.

Until I sat behind a sweet older couple at an outdoor concert.  He put his arm around her and she leaned in towards him.  They were tender, comfortable and intimate.  My inside heart parts ached.

They ached again as I posted the picture a few minutes ago.  I long for a relationship that is deep, connected and based on trust.  Some great sex wouldn’t hurt either.

I’ve reluctantly attended a few singles functions with a friend.  It’s not pretty out there–desperate men and women looking for a quick fix.  I’ve heard it’s the same online.

Of course, the real issue is fear.  I fear getting hurt again.  I fear that, if I meet a good man, I’ll somehow screw it up.  I’m afraid to offer the level of vulnerability I would expect from the other person.

Bottom line is that I’m just not ready yet.  Too bad my achy heart parts never got that memo.

It’s called longing


I really do love my new, post-divorce life.  I love my house. My new job is going well.  I have a solid network of friends that provides social and emotional support.

Yet I have been experiencing a periodic current of emotion that has left me unsettled.  It’s not sadness, but there is a tinge of melancholy.  It’s not really physical, but there is an achy-stretchy feel deep in my chest.  It’s like I’m trying to have a memory of something that never happened.

Tonight I decided that it is longing.

I have neither the desire nor the energy to date or look for a new romantic relationship.  However, on nights like tonight-when there is a beautiful blue moon in the sky-I wish I had someone to share it with.

I have been told that I will “know” when I am ready to date.  Right now, that feels like such a foreign concept.

When I was 13, with a mouth full of braces and an uncool haircut, I longed for the “perfect boy”.

I longed for him during my marriage. I thought it was R, but I was sadly mistaken.

Tonight, that wave of longing hit me again.  Instead of fighting it or wallowing in it, I just sat with it.

I looked at the moon and just longed.

And instead of sadness, I felt peace.

I’ll take it.

A Season and a Purpose


Two months ago I was in limbo, hoping for an offer from Awesome Job but preparing myself to accept the offer from Back-Up Job.

At 9:30 p.m.,the night before the Awesome Job hiring deadline, the phone finally rang. Ecstatic relief and gratitude ensued.  As a bonus, I had two weeks of glorious freedom before training began.

I had the best intentions of organizing my garage and office, of updating years of photos and of losing 10 pounds.  I ended up on my couch binge watching House of Cards while mastering multiple levels of Candy Crush. Ah-well, even though my house remained a mess and the 10 pounds linger, I was very rested.  I also had a major epiphany.

The job I had just quit held so much promise when I started. It seemed to be a good fit for my background and skills.  As it turned out, I ended the job in a demoted position on half the salary.  I wondered why I had felt so good about taking it at the time.

The flash of insight  humbled me.

I had just spent two years in an office environment.  It was the first “desk job” I ever had–everything prior had been home based from which I worked some type of territory.  I realized that If I had been home based for those two years, I would not have had the emotional energy to leave the marriage. R is a teacher, so he was often home early in the afternoon and, of course, for summers and vacations.  During those final two years, as the marriage went into its final death spiral, there was nothing but tension whenever we were in the house together.  Going to an office every day was a refuge for me.  I didn’t get that job for the career benefits.  I got that job in order to have the strength and energy to file for divorce. When I worked from home, I was in the mire 24/7. I had lost perspective on how bad the situation had become.

My new job is Awesome.  I am again working in a territory from home.  I hope that this will be the job I retire from but if not, there will be a reason.

I am so grateful to have been reminded that God’s timing is not my timing and that if I wait in faith, it will be worth it.

Preemptive misery and my own special hell


My life is ruined.  I am a failure. I’m going to have to start selling plasma and aluminium cans to survive. I’m going to have to practice saying, “Would you like fries with that?”

I am waiting for “the call” from the hiring manager for a job I really, really want.  I know I’m qualified.  I beat out 20 other candidates to make it to the final round.  I endured 5 intense interviews.

Even though the hiring manager likes me, he does not have final say.  His boss does.

I had a grueling 2.5 hour interview with The Boss, during which I was grilled on every detail of my resume. I know he had concerns regarding the number of job changes I’ve made over the years.  I explained that the changes were due to a personal decision to maintain a flexible work schedule while raising my children.  Now that my kids are grown, I am able to dedicate my full energy to my career.  I’m not sure he was impressed or convinced.

So now I wait.  I was told that next Tuesday is the deadline to fill this position. The hiring manager said he’d get back to me before then.

The longer I wait, the more convinced I become that I somehow blew it with The Boss.  My insecurities have been parading around me, taunting me with their snarky jeers.

Maybe The Boss told the hiring manager to dig the discarded resumes out of the trash. Maybe he thinks that even the rejects would be better than me.  I’ll bet they are re-interviewing them right now.

My poor little inner Buddhist is making a valiant effort.  She keeps trying to say, “Breathe. Relax. It will all work out just fine. If this job is not meant to be, it’s for a good reason.”  But The Insecurities are so shrill and persistent, they overpower the voices of patience and reason.

Isn’t Limbo one of Dante’s circles of hell?

I Need Patience and I Need it NOW!


I started job hunting in December. I am dizzy from the roller coaster.

The cycle begins with the thrill of finding an appropriate position. In several cases, I have had connections and have had a good word put in for me. From these good words I have gotten several interviews. From the interviews I have gotten high hopes. And from the high hopes I’ve admired the view. I’ve felt the wind of disappointment rush over me as I careen back to the bottom when I learn that “many qualified candidates” are applying or that “we appreciate your interest and will keep your resume on file.” The worst is when I hear nothing at all.

I wrote the above a few hours ago. I got distracted first by laundry and then by the little container garden I started a few weeks ago.

My spinach and kale are doing great. The seeds which I hoped would become squash, cucumbers and cantaloupe looked like duds, so I brought those containers inside to start anew.

I pulled out the little identification sticks and started dumping the soil into a big tub. Aack!! In the dirt pile I found little seeds that had begun to germinate.

I gingerly replanted the aspiring seedlings, apologizing profusely for disturbing them. I don’t think I killed any of them, but now I have no idea what I have growing since I separated the sticks from their containers.

Which leads me back to the above tirade on my seemingly fruitless job hunt. I know I am doing all I can do. I know that my application and resume will eventually land in the best soil for me to continue my career. Just because I don’t see any results now does not mean that I am a dud.

I just need to wait a little longer.