Sunday, June 28, 2009

He's Out of My Life

"And I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I don't know whether to live or die. And it cuts like a knife." He's out of my life...

Well, that's a little dramatic, but still. Michael Jackson played a huge part in my tween and teenage years. I loved his music. I loved him. I tried to do all his dance moves and knew the words to all the songs. There were posters of him (and his brothers) on my bedroom walls. At 15 I camped out for tickets to the Victory Tour concert and got third row center seats in Atlanta Fulton County stadium (no small feat). During Billie Jean, when he threw the hat, I caught it! Then some adult male grabbed it away from me and I couldn't get it back. And, yes, I cried.

So his death DOES feel like a loss. Despite what has happened to him and his actions of the past 15 or so years, there is no disputing that he was a musical genius. There is no disputing that his music moved us all in one way or another. And there is no disputing that, unless you are musically retarded, his popular songs will evoke memories. Perhaps they won't be specific memories, but the music will bring you back to a time... hopefully a happy time. "We Are the World" meant so much to me, back in the day. As did "Thriller" when it debuted on MTV. I remember waiting for it, jumping up and down in anticipation. And some of my girlfriends and I choreographed our school dance class performance to "Beat It". There was no other artist's music we would have chosen. It had to be Michael.

Not only am I sad for the loss of MJ though. I am sad that a part of my life that was so happy is so over. I'm barely in touch with people from this time in my life, and (I think this has been obvious in my previous posts) my family doesn't seem to get me or know me at all. I know it's just the natural order of things (not the family part, but the moving on part), and I love the friends I have made as an adult. But sometimes I wish I had done a better job of keeping in touch over the years. (Even Facebook can't really help you pick up where you left off.) And then I'd tell my old friends from this happy time what I wish someone would have told me on Thursday, "I'm so sorry for your loss."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Do All My Good Posts Have to End with WTF?!

This fall I go back to work. I am a teacher. I can't really complain. I get summers and holidays off. I don't have to work in an office from 8 to 5 with only a few weeks of vacation per year. This is a good career for a mom.

There are a few problems, however, and this post has been years in the making. I knew that I wouldn't be able to be a stay at home mom forever. Well, if we had kept the lesser house, or moved into a lesser neighborhood, then I might have had a longer run. But as it stands, I've been on a leave of absence for about two and a half years, and I had another year of leave of absence when I had the Diva (the 05-06 school year). I had the opportunity to make something else happen, and I tried to do the tutoring thing, I dabbled with the pre-school Spanish classes idea, I searched endlessly on job sites, Craigslist and even interviewed for several different positions. I did get a job during this time, and I have been working, tutoring the Korean family in English, as you may or may not know. But sadly, this job only gives me a finite number of hours, and I don't make enough to stay home and just do this. My biggest obstacle is Drew, who, in his infinite wisdom, actually makes sense of our finances and knows that we just keep sinking deeper into debt - there's no place for me to go but back to work. Or do something that brings in the piddly 40K I make every year.

So, as you can imagine, I have a constant stream of what ifs running through my head. What if we had stayed at the old house? What if I had just worked a little harder on getting a part-time gig? What if I ran a business out of my home like so many other moms? What if I posted it on Twitter or Facebook and told everyone I knew that I just need to make x amount of money... isn't there some secretarial work I can do for them from my home?! But I feel like the opportunity has passed, my fate is sealed, and my children will be away from me for much longer than I would like. I'm too ashamed that I didn't make it happen. But I do know why it didn't happen.

Contrary to what you might think, I am not a super motivated person. I am not what you would call a go-getter, although when I jetted off to Spain and started my own tutoring business in my 20s, you would think that that was my middle name! I come by this lack of drive honestly. I don't think I was encouraged to follow dreams, and I certainly didn't have much in the way of vocational counseling. I knew my parents didn't have a lot of money at an early age, and there were always job issues with one of my parents (I won't name names). Teacher became the obvious career choice for a Spanish major, and I haven't had it in me to deviate from this course. I know that it's not too late for me to change career paths, but being that I've been home for two plus years and haven't figured it out or made it happen, I often wonder if I ever will.

I only cry sometimes, and the rest of the time I suck it up and face the music. Or look for a new job. But the reality of it is I love my daughters. I love them so much, I just want to spend a little more time with them. I think two is too early to go off to "school" every day, and the Diva has another full year until K, so I should get to spend some more time with her before she goes. I keep my spirits up by telling myself that the school will be good for them. They'll meet friends, have great teachers and constant planned activities to learn new things. It'll be fun! Besides, being a SAHM is hard! I'm not always happy when I'm doing it, and I often get annoyed with the girls. So it'll be good for me too. I tell myself this. It helps.

Then on Father's Day, I had a conversation with my father. Who said, and I quote, "You're going back to work full time. Aww. That's too bad. They're still so young. I hope the Li'l Rascal doesn't resent you. You resented your mother when she went back to work and you were four. She's only two."

I have no words.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Help! I've Shredded and I Can't Get Up!

I just started Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I consider myself in shape. Just need to shed a few unwanted pounds. But I work out five times a week, on the average. CLEARLY I am not doing enough. Or am old sack of potatoes. Because half way in, (a 25 minute workout, more or less) I was FEELING THE PAIN. Pain, I tell you. It was my body screaming, "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO MOVE TOMORROW IF YOU CONTINUE!" But I did. And I'm sore. And Drew has a sprained ankle. Not from the Shred. Can someone please come over and scrape us off the floor and watch our kids? More soon. (If I can lift my arms to type, that is.)