Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is this Heaven?

Yup...that is what my almost 3 year old (Alice) asked as we pulled into the cemetery that my dad is in. So my 4 year old (Sally) quickly corrected her saying that no, this was the cemetery. That is where they keep the body and the bones. Only the soul goes to Heaven and that is in the sky. But you have to be dead. That is the only way you can get to Heaven.

OH says Alice. OK.

So we get to the mausoleum that my dad is in and I show Sally where he is. Alice says - can we see him? Why is he in the wall? Can they open it? Look! - that one is broken. So I had to explain that it wasn't broken, but that someone had just died and they were making the special stone with their name on it. OH ok.

Sally is still standing looking at the wall. So I say - do you want to say anything to Pop-Pop? She gets all quiet and says yes. I love you and I miss you and starts to cry. So I start to cry and tell her that its ok to cry and that I miss him too. I also tell her that she shouldn't be afraid to cry if she is sad.

So almost on cue, Alice comes up to the both of us and gives us a hug and says "I Love Pop-Pop". We smile and stop crying. Sally stops crying because she sees the silly grin on Alice's face. I stop because I know I have this amazing little girl with an old soul that just melts me. She has an uncanny ability to make me and lots of other people just feel good. She has a warmth that an almost 3 year old shouldn't have. She has boundless empathy and sympathy - more than most adults I know. I also smile because I realize that my four year old understands that love doesn't die just because the person did. You can truly love someone forever.

Then I look over to see Jack. He wishes he could have met my dad, but he is happy to be involved in bringing Pop-Pop's girls to see him. He is so warm and caring, knowing how important these little visits are.

So I may not have my dad anymore, but I am surrounded by tons of love and support from Jack, tons of life and excitement to learn from Sally and tons of something I can't even explain from Alice. She is just amazing to me. And yes Alice - maybe it was Heaven - cause I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else at that moment when you came in for that healing hug. I hope you never lose that charm.

"Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that." ~Golda Meir

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Lesson in Economics

So recently I read this interesting article about "Just in Time" economics (JIT) vs. "Just in Case" economics (JIC). Apparently Toyota introduced this JIT theory and this article explained how it could be applied to your everyday life. So the gist of it is that we live in a world of excess. With the Just in Time theory you order things as you need them rather than stock pile items for someday (JIC). So Toyota orders their parts as they are building their cars and whips them out "just in time" for the consumer. Costs stay down. They make money - everyone is happy.

OK, how does this apply to me you ask? Well, how many of you have bought 10 giant cans of corn at the can can sale (If you don't have Shop Rite near you this isn't nearly as funny as I think it is) because they were buy 10 for $10? What a bargain you say! I need corn. Its always good to have corn on hand. But do you really like corn that much? Do you end up opening the pantry door saying, ugh, I just can't eat corn again. And then the day comes when can are in the mood for the corn, but you haven't eaten it in so long that its expired, and you end up throwing out 5 cans, and effectively $5. You know you have all done this!!!!

So my next question is, do you expand this into other areas of your life, like say when Payless has their BOGO sale? You probably don't need one pair of crappy shoes, but if you can get the 2nd for half off, suddenly you can buy those "just in case" strappy sandals for that wedding you "might" have to go to this summer... or maybe you buy those clothes at Macy's cause they are on sale and you could always use another (insert article of clothing here)! Meanwhile there is stuff in your closet that still has the tags on that you bought at the last sale, but doesn't fit quite right. But you save it "just in case" you gain or lose 5lbs and then it will be perfect! Guess what. That dress from 1992 may actually fit now, but you look ridiculous in it!

Then there is the "well I want to impress people as much as I can" version of this. Otherwise know as "keeping up with the Jones'". It has very similar principles. While I am all for people living in nice homes and driving nice dependable cars, some people live in a world of excess or "just in case". For example, you may buy that nicer car, just in case people don't know (or think) you are wealthy, powerful, or have, well you know where I was going there...

So in this economy, I think people are starting to wake up to this. I mean what do I care if Joe Schmo *thinks* I have money based on my house, car, clothing label etc. Most likely they are in debt to their eyeballs. But that illusion has become more important than the reality. I'm by no means saying to sell your house and live in a shack. But do people really need 5 bathrooms when they have one kid?

And no, I am not better than anyone here. In fact I have fallen victim to this myself. I got very caught up in appearances and straddled myself with a crazy car payment for a very zingy German car. Then I woke up one day and realized that this excess or "just in case" lifestyle of compiling as much as a person can to keep up an image, was a major contributing factor to my dad's death. Money, or the thought of being poor again (he was a poor kid) tortured him. People saw him as a well known business owner in the community, thought he did very well for himself and he thought that is why people respected him. When in actuality people respected him because he was a nice guy that would help anyone out. He could make anyone laugh, he did anything he could for his friends, family and community. Nobody knew his finances. And if they did would he stop being my dad? No. And money is a stupid thing to die over. So, I went and traded in my zingy German car yesterday for an equally zingy Toyota. Its cute, smart, and reasonable. Just like the new me. And now I will have an extra $200 in my pocket - well actually my credit card will get $200 more per month. (And yes - the closet will get a clean-out as well, I can also admit I was a brand whore at one point lol)

And remember, we live in a world of excess. It will still be there when you *truly* need it. Its not 1600 anymore. We don't have to stockpile the corn just in case its a really bad winter. We can get plenty at the can can sale.

"The only baggage you can bring Is all that you can't leave behind... You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been, A place that has to be believed to be seen... And I know it aches And your heart it breaks, And you can only take so much ...
Walk on, walk on" -U2

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Fever!

Ahhh finally... I have been hit by spring fever! Work on my house is really getting done and I just want to be there to be part of the work and enjoy the beautiful weather today. It also makes me think about all the fun things I can do with the girls as the weather gets nicer. They are at such great ages (4 and almost 3) and they just love running around in bare feet. Maybe we can go to the shore (on the weekends I have them) so they can stick those cute little toes in the sand. I am looking forward to sitting on my porch reading a book on warm nights too and having friends over for some of my famous themed events!

My new home represents so many things to me. Not only does it represent a new beginning post-divorce, but that I am able to accomplish a purchase and renovation on my own. That I have the vision to take a home that was in pretty bad shape and breathe new life into it. That I was able to make it my own and be proud of it. And yes, it simply represents the hope of many good times ahead with my girls. A home that I hope they will enjoy as much as I for a long time to come. A place where we all feel safe and welcome and hopefully depression free.

Now if the next hour and 44 minutes would just fly by I could do something about that spring fever!

"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." ~Audra Foveo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jumping Back In!

Ok - so that was a shorter break than even I expected, but after a meltdown yesterday, I am actually feeling better. I spoke to my ex and we got some things out into the open along with some apologies for our behavior over the last couple of months. I also think that as far as our girls go, we will have no problem working with each other and doing what is right for them. It seems now that our relationship will be civil. It was actually one of the best conversations we've had in a very long time and we are both ready to move on, having learned a lot from our marriage.

So for now I can let my stress fester on all the stuff going on at the house. I have walls in my bathroom and my cabinets get installed in the kitchen tomorrow. I am hoping that the floors can be varnished next week and I can actually start moving in next weekend. At last - the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and I really may get into my house by the end of the month!!!

So as you can see I have been dealing with a bit of stress lately. Since August my dad committed suicide, I got divorced and bought and gutted a new (old) house. I probably should be having a heart attack right now. Thankfully I am the type of person that gets more done when there is more to do. Speaking of more to do, I do have a job that I have to keep though all this. Back to work!

And my favorite quote of the day...

"My mother said to me, If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso." - Pablo Picasso

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Little Break

I hope everyone had a nice holiday whether you celebrated Easter or Passover. I myself am having a very hard time dealing with my divorce. I just thought it would not be like this at all. I feel all of the guilt that I should have felt when I filed for divorce. I feel the desire to make things right and have my family back. I just feel lost. I hope it gets better. I hope the pain will fade with time.

So in the meantime I think I am going to take a little break to grieve a bit. To try to figure out how to get going on my "new" life. Until then I just need a little time to breathe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why Do I feel So Terrible?

I guess previous to the divorce being final I thought the hearing would just be a formality, a paper with a gold seal on it, giving me my maiden name back, allowing me to go on my merry way.

Well, it wasn't. Instead I have tormented myself with what ifs and the finality of it all. I'm grieving. Its something I can't undo. I can't turn back time. I can't fix my marriage. Its done. It was my doing and now I have to live with it. While in the end I am sure I will realize it was a good decision right now I just can't see anything. My brain is a big cloud.

I was so caught up in what I had done wrong and how I could not possibly be trusted or loved again that I moved on, even when other people weren't there yet. How could someone possibly want to stay with me? Why would I want to go through the immense pain of trying to fix things when I could just start over? Unfortunately I now see that maybe I could have started over with my marriage.

Don't get me wrong. This didn't happen overnight and I was very unhappy. After my dad died I was numb. I couldn't feel a thing. The excitement of an affair was something I could feel. And I did fall in love. Problem was I just could not see that someone else loved me.

My depression tore my marriage apart. I had such bad bouts that I was rendered useless. I have finally gotten real help and I can see how exciting life can be. I am just sorry I was such a burden at one time.

I hope I can learn from this. I hope I can communicate with my new partner, I hope I can feel the joy that he can bring to me, I hope I can realize that all relationships need some work sometimes, and that sometimes we just need a little space to catch our breath. Yes, my new relationship will be full of life that I can actually see.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On a New Path

Yup. Its official - I am divorced. The big "D". I thought I would feel a bit different, but I still feel like me. I think I was more emotional yesterday than I have been in a while. I guess the finality of it all really hit me. Its really over. No turning back. Not that I want to turn back, but a girl likes options and now I don't have any :) I guess it was just hard for me to admit that I could not keep the biggest promise I ever made - I think that is the most difficult thing I have had to come to terms with through this. But I am feeling a bit better today.

I really just could not handle reality yesterday. Unfortunately the world doesn't stop and kids don't necessarily realize when mommy is having a bad day. Speaking of the girls - they were so bad yesterday!!! Maybe they realized I was on another planet - but gee - they were cookoo-doodle. I'm going to have to put my authority mommy pants on and straighten those girls out! I guess I just feel so bad for them though all this. We share custody 50/50 so they are back and forth. They are also young so I am not quite sure they get what is going on. I did explain to my daughter that mommy and daddy were not married anymore. She got sad and asked, well what happens when I have kids? Will they have extra grandma's and grandpa's? I said - yes - they will be very lucky cause there will be so many people to love them! She seemed to like that idea. Why she is worrying about having kids when she is 4 - well that's a whole other story!
So no, there will be no divorce party with champagne and drinks. I don't believe in celebrating an ending such as this. I do look forward to putting to use what I learned in this process. Like how to better communicate with my partner, how to control my depression so that it does not affect my family so drastically, and most importantly how to love life and the people that are so very important to me.

Just because the first path I took was wrong, does not mean that I will not find the right one, or at least a new exciting one :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tomorrow is a big day...

...tomorrow my divorce will be final. I know this is the right thing for me, but I am sure I will leave the courtroom a mess of emotions tomorrow. I am exhausted emotionally and physically. I feel like my mom and brother have no idea what I am going through and think its just like any other day. My mom seems to forget that I have a demanding job, am playing general contractor at my house and am going though many emotions with my marriage ending. I am also trying to be the best mom possible through all this as well and it is just taking a toll on me.

Hopefully things will be better when the divorce is final. Maybe I will feel a big sense of relief. It will also be great when the house is done and I can have a home again.

Wish me luck. Luckily I do have a wonderful boyfriend supporting me though this :) I love you baby.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Something Fun!

I can't talk about depression and suicide and divorce all the time! What a downer! I am actually in a pretty good place emotionally right now. Pretty stable - so I figured I'd do something fun to make me seem a little less anonymous and a bit more human. So here are some interesting things to know about me:

1. I'm 35, will be officially divorced on Monday and have two little girls aged 4 and almost 3.

2. I am not at all graceful but can be quite charming :)

3. I'm a goth girl grown up. I still have a bit of a quirky sense of style, but can totally dress it up or sport a business suit if I have to.

4. I have a nose ring and giant tattoo on my back and a small one on my shoulder.

5. I just bought a house that I am gutting. This is added stress but the fun kind. If I could do it over I'd be an interior designer - so this is like having my own design show.

6. My boyfriend is a hottie artist geek.
7. My most prized possession is a little teapot that was my grandmother's. It was the first thing I took when I decided to move out.
8. Alice in Wonderland is my youngest daughter's favorite movie - hence the theme. She is an old soul that just melts everyone she meets. There is just something so special about her. Maybe I will refer to her as Alice for purposes of this blog.
9. I love wine. I have a wine fridge and I use it. Yummy yummy wine.
10. I never in a million years thought I would blog. But here I am. Though I suppose I never thought I'd do a lot of things...Life is funny that way!
11. I believe in ghosts.
12. I love to travel, love photography and am the biggest U2 fan on the planet. I've combined all those loves by seeing them a lot of times in 5 different countries and taking some great pictures.

13. My brother and I are in "competition" to get to all the continents first. We have both been to North America (obviously), Europe, Asia and Australia.

I guess that's a good start!

I hope you all keep stopping by!
And my quote for today...

"The only difference between tattooed people and untattooed people is that tattooed people are way more cool and can kick your ass." Jack Rudy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

August 19, 2008

That day feels like it literally marks the first day of the rest of my life. The day my world was shattered, the day my priorities shifted and my strength was tested. The day that changed every thought process I had, the day that grounded me. This was truly the worst day of my life.

The day runs through my head like a film reel. I know what I was wearing, I know who I called first, I remember having to tell my mom and I remember seeing my brother cry. I remember him hugging me and not wanting to let go. And now finally the numbness is wearing off and I feel like I have to talk about it.

My dad was your typical goofy guy. Loved to travel, love to spoil his wife and kids. Loved cars and his granddaughters. He was young (only 59) with energy and health to have a fun retirement. But really underneath all that he was depressed. Really depressed and he fooled us all. I was his girl. Even at 34 he still spoiled me. He loved my daughters so much - he was their pop-pop. So why did he leave us? Why didn't he say good bye? Well I suppose he said good bye to the girls in his own way - but he didn't say good bye to me. Did he think I would understand? Did he think I could handle it? Or did he think I was too self-absorbed to notice he was hurting? Unfortunately at the same time I was in a deep depression myself and couldn't see the world around me. I didn't care about most things - maybe he thought I didn't care if he wasn't around. I wish I could tell him wrong that is - how much I cared about him. How I would have done anything I could to help if I only knew.

I really "woke up" after that. I realized there was a family history of depression and that I wasn't alone. I realized that people are afraid to ask for help. I realized that I was miserable and I had to make some changes. It was quick and drastic - but I had to save my own life. I didn't want my kids to find me hanging in the garage one day. I want to be there if my girls need help. Now that I know the strong genetic component I know to watch for it. And I knew above all that I needed help.

So I saw a therapist and then a psychiatrist (and still do). I am on some medication now (not much - but enough to keep me steady). I left a marriage that was going nowhere for a better life by myself. I have so much more interest in my children and what they do now. I feel alive. I also left the big house and bought a cute little one. Retail therapy no longer consumes me. My outlook on what is really important has totally changed. I have 2 beautiful, healthy daughters, a roof over my head, a job I love and a great boyfriend that has gone though a similar realignment of priorities.

I just wish I didn't have to lose my dad to gain some focus. If anything good has come of this, at least in his death, I was able to truly live. Thanks Dad. I miss you.

"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life." Jack Kerouac

Why? Why? WHY?

I am so frustrated today. I have gained about a pound a day this week. I am not eating an extra 3500 calories a day here! Can stress really do this to you? I must have some major cortisol problem if that's the case - lol. But I still squeezed myself into my 15lb ago jeans so I do not get comfy in the bigger ones. This weight MUST go away. It doesn't help that I was responsible for the office bagels today. I mean how can I go to Panera and not eat my most favorite bagel (the assiago cheese one) today? Looks like its salad for lunch :)

My body image has always been a major problem for me. I know my depression plays a major role in this, but I just can't seem to shake it. I was doing so well and then my dad died and for reasons beyond my control had to stop going to the gym. I had to get home earlier because my mom had to go back to work and could not watch the girls while I went to work out. It was all downhill from there. But even without the exercise I should have been able to keep my weight at least stable. This weight gain has really gotten me down and I just feel so frumpy lately. I really need to turn this around. I need to find some time and get motivated again - even with all the other stress swirling around me.

On top of that I forgot my blackberry today! How could I forget my crackberry??? Its usually attached to me at the hip. It would be like me forgetting to put my feet on in the morning. Oh wait - they come pre-attached. Maybe THATS why I always remember them. I don't know why I can't remember to do basic things anymore either. It drives me nuts. I pride myself on being pretty smart (wicked smart in fact), yet I can't remember to make a reservation (which reminds me...) Maybe I have to start tying string to my fingers and wiring my jaw shut. Maybe that would solve some of my problems ;)

Maybe I'll take a nice walk tonite. If I remember.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The April Fool

Well I have decided that today will be my "New Year's Day". I suppose that makes me an April Fool, but I think it will have positive consequences. With all the stress in my life around getting divorced, losing my dad, finding a new place to live etc., I have not focused on my own health. I've gained 10lbs back and its time to lose it. So starting today I will watch my diet, try to get in more exercise (now that the weather is getting nicer), and take my vitamins!

All of these things should also help my depression. I know when I was actively exercising my depression was definitely more in check. I have been in a funk lately and I need to shake it. I can't let myself slip into another bout of depression right now. I have to many things to do and too many things to be thankful for. I also have to have the strength to get through these tough times ahead with fixing the house and getting the girls adjusted.

I will also use this time to get more done at work. I have caught up a lot, but we have a few big projects that I can take on now and I think a sense of accomplishment at work will help me. Maybe I will do some spring cleaning in my office today to really get things on track.

So happy April Fool's Day - may it be a good start for all!