Sunday, September 30, 2012

Never Say Never

I promised a post about the new job. Problem is...although there are only like 12 of you who still read this blog...I don't want to go into detail because I don't really want my employer keeping up on my latest neurosis.

But, the short story is that I am returning to the corporation that I left 7 years ago and to which I said I would never, ever return. (cue Taylor Swift)

What can I say? Things change. I don't want to say I'm an entirely different person than I was 7 years ago, but I'm definitely not the same. Back then I had twin 2.5 year olds. I was just coming off a prolonged legal battle over my deceased father's estate. I didn't realize how traumatized I had been by both my babies premature birth and my father's death.

I was actively fighting the loss of my former self...because, honestly, before I had kids I used to be kinda like an obvious way. (It's not totally gone, it's just a lot more subtle now.) And I could not reconcile my former life and my current life, with what I wanted for my life.

Not that I've got it all figured out now, of course, but at least I've come to (mostly) terms with the fact that the life I want cannot be afforded by two parents being starving artists. Also, I can admit that it's a lot easier to work places with resources and infrastructure. It's nice to accomplish things. It's nice to be able to go on vacation. And it's really fucking nice to have health insurance that actually covers things.

It should also be noted that although I'm going back to the same corporation, it's not the same job. And I'm really excited about this new job and this new team and kind of getting a chance to go back and do things differently this time. And it doesn't hurt that I still have a slew of friends who work there. Do not underestimate the importance of friendly faces at work.

I don't start for another week, but I've got that back-to-school nervous excitement vibe happening. And this song is on a loop in my head...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All Aboard

I’m writing this from a train. (I’m hopefully posting it from the train too, but the wifi has been spotty.) I am making the trip from Manhattan to Philly in the final leg of East Coast Baby Tour 2012. Did I even tell you about the baby tour? Sigh.

You know how Ani Difranco has that lyric about wanting to be like Duke Ellington and travel around in her own railroad car? I totally agree. I’d like my own railroad car…maybe there could be a way to buy your own and then have it hooked up to a train when you want to go places? Train travel is just so pleasant in a way that air travel can never be (unless you’re flying in a private jet, but sadly, I am not on the track to becoming a billionaire).

So yes, East Coast Baby Tour 2012 was originally a trip to Philly, but it got expanded upon learning that one can fly from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh to New York, take the train to Philly and then fly back to Minneapolis for roughly 40% less than one can fly round-trip from Minneapolis to Philly. It makes no sense, but it did allow me to line up visits with all of my East Coast friends – including several who have gained children since last I saw them.

I’m not going to go into all the details of everywhere I’ve been and the babies I have kissed, but what’s been interesting to me is just getting to pass through people’s lives this way. They’ve all generously welcomed me into their homes and I get a glimpse of the way other people live and the way that couples interact with each other – it’s super interesting, I recommend it.

I think it’s easy to miss all the nuances that your particular relationship with your spouse has acquired over the years (especially when it’s been more than a decade) – things that you take for granted, ways of communicating, even just evening routines. Observing other people gives insight into them as well as yourself. And I love insight.

So anyway, I’ve been traveling all over the place for the last 5 days, with 2 to go. It’s been weird traveling alone like this, although I haven’t really been alone, of course. It’s nice. And also I miss my family. It’s a good mental health break from work and family life though. No worrying about taking care of anyone or anything but me. (On that note, I got a spontaneous midday massage in Manhattan at Bunya Citispa and it was possibly the best massage of my life.)

This trip was both well- and poorly-timed as it turns out, as I got a new job (!) pretty suddenly last week (I’ll have to write a separate post about that), so this mental respite is much needed and yet it leaves me with only one more week of doing my current job before I start the new one, which will ultimately be fine, but isn’t exactly the ideal way to hand things off…but, like I said, it will ultimately be fine. Actually, the trip is a lot more than fine – it's been pretty amazing getting to see so many people and places in such a short time…I’m already plotting a family train trip maybe for next summer.

All aboard!

Monday, September 3, 2012


The (former) teenager turns 21 today. That seems both impossible and...well, mostly impossible. I am hoping that this year will bring him happiness and maturity. The degree to which he embraces common sense will likely dictate how that turns out.

All in all, life is pretty good. Summer is ending, school starts for the boys tomorrow. They are 4th graders, which is almost as impossible as my stepson being 21. They are excited. We are hoping this year will be better for Owen and that Aidan will find his people in his new gifted class.

Now is the time of year that I question all my life choices and crave change even if everything is fine. I'm trying to ride it out until winter suppresses all motivation. Pretty soon we'll wake up and tomorrow will be Christmas.

And I have an inexplicable urge to watch The Wonder Years.