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Archive for September, 2010

I feel like I am doing enough green stuff.

For about ten years I felt like I wanted to be doing more than I was, because my job, though technically green, wasn’t particularly productive or helpful. So I wrote and volunteered etc. Now I work all day every day and very hard on green stuff, and that, plus the green blogging, is enough. Quite enough. Hey, I even get death threats for the cause. It’s time to take the rest of my life and make it something else.

In fact, now that my colleague is back and I am no longer the only PM at work, it’s time to erect a few barbed-wire fences around the rest of my life so that work doesn’t suck the whole damned thing right out of me, which it might do since we are chronically understaffed.

I am stressed just thinking about what’s waiting for me tomorrow after a few sick days.

Anyway:

The green’s good. It’s time for the rest of the rainbow. And it needs to be something very different. After long work days reading technical and scientific reports and writing documents to regulatory specifications, I’ve had about all the non-fiction I can handle. I’m not sure I can even read it outside the office right now, let alone write it. Need some more art.

I sew and bake and cook. I mother. I weed the garden. I don’t mow the lawn, which is a separate issue, and am unlikely to start at this point in the season. But I sat down to try to write a story and realized that it’s been so long since I’ve written fiction, I don’t know how to start.

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Protected: a long hard sad day

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another mystery

Can I just say again how awesome it is that PP has good friends who are nice girls on our new street?

She comes home from school/daycare and ten minutes later there’s a knock at the door. They come in and play while I take care of bills or do some tidying. We have supper. There’s another knock on the door, and she’s off for an hour to play at another friend’s house. They play pretend; they get dressed up; they glue rocks and flowers onto paper and make nature pictures. She is happy and excited to see and play with them and they are happy and excited to play with her. Their mothers are lovely. None of the girls make any issue over her size (she was worried about this over the summer, that someone would ask her if she wasn’t too small to be in her grade. It happened all the time at her old school).

I don’t get to see her as much as I would like but she is having such a wonderful time and is so happy with her playmates that it is hard to be upset about it.

School is coming along more slowly because, as I have just learned, she is like me. She likes to meet people one on one, or in small groups, not in a big class full of kids she mostly doesn’t know yet. So she wants me to wait with her in the morning until the bell rings, and she stands there quietly by the doors watching the other kids play, not brave enough yet to try to join in. It’s only the second week so I’m not worried, but it’s hard for her, and it’s hard to watch it being hard for her.

But. Every day she comes telling me about how she played with her new friends at recess, which never, ever happened at her old school. I don’t know why. But I’ll take it, and grab hard with both hands and hold tight. I didn’t even know how badly I wanted this for her until she had it.

We are living in a nice little house. It’s not ours but we could afford to live in this neighbourhood on my salary. I have a job that is challenging, that I believe in, where I get to do good work on an issue that matters to me. I get to buy organic milk from a local dairy in glass bottles, organic fruits and veggies from local farms at the weekly market, free-range grass-fed beef at the local butcher’s, all less than a five-minute walk from my office. There are parks and trails all over the place. I work with other bike-riding trail-hiking leftie types, in a lovely restored heritage home, with a desk near a garden window. I get to write for money in my spare time, also on issues I care about. I have a boyfriend who really cares about me and who works hard to make me happy. Our neighbours are fabulous. I live fifteen minutes from my office on foot. I have a wonderful little girl. And lest my unlooked-for good fortune be tainted by her sadness, in fact her school is wonderful, her teacher is sweet, and she fell right into the lap of a nice group of friends her age. It’s such stupendous good luck I can hardly fathom it.

And I won’t try. It’s nicer as a mystery, I think.

I’ll admit that the occasional threat of armed violence we get on our projects at work can freak me out from time to time; but the package deal is still, on the whole, an excellent bargain at twice the price.

I am still, mind you, exhausted and depleted from my summer of overwork and undersleep, to the point where I intend to call in sick tomorrow,  just to mow the lawn and take a freaking nap. Still. I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t taken this leap.

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Lessons Learned

A long time ago now, I divorced a sex addict. That relationship destroyed me. It destroyed my faith in myself, my estimation of my own value and what I deserved, my belief in what relationships are and could be. I sacrificed my career prospects, my education, my finances, my personal autonomy, my goals, and my values to be in a relationship with someone who couldn’t even give up fucking other girls for me.

I left him, and landed right in the lap of someone ten times worse. A married man who told me point-blank that I would never be more than second to him. A person who could never be a real partner for me. Someone who had no empathy for my pain and did not value my happiness. For nine months I walked around asking myself how in god’s name I could have left the Ex only to end up with someone worse, how it could be my fate that my life would be this way, how I could participate in something like that after everything the Ex had done to me. I considered suicide, more than once, standing on the subway platform. I felt evil, disposable, and utterly worthless.

That my friends stood by me through that meant more to me than I could say. I didn’t expect them to. I expected them to tell me what an awful horrible life-destroying thing I was doing and how could I even think of it after everything I’d been through? They didn’t. They seemed to still see something good in me when I saw nothing good in myself, and it helped pull me through one of the worst times of my life.

That time, as dark as it was, turned out to be the catalyst for so many amazing and positive changes that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My job–because I finally started paying attention to what I wanted to be and do with my life. My house and neighbourhood–because I actually did a cheesy vision-board (book) about the kinds of places I would want to live in, and lo and behold, here it is. My relationship–because I was so completely fucking terrified of the horrible choices I’d made that I checked and double-checked and triple-checked every impulse through books and friends and experts and broke my heart a half dozen more times, before ending up with someone who really loves me for who I am and is not like the ones who used me so badly before. It’s not perfect, but hey, what is? It’s really good, and it challenges me constantly to be a different person than I was before.

The past 2 1/2 years–it’s hard to believe, sometimes, who I used to be and who I am now. I have a lot of work left to do. I’m not done. Far from it. But there isn’t a chance in hell that I would make those sacrifices again, nor that I would put up with that kind of behaviour in a relationship. That part of my life is done.

I’m not sure I would have got here, though, without that post-marriage dip through hell. And I still feel so stunned and grateful that my friends did not turn their backs on me. Some would have.

I am now watching one of those friends go through her own post-marriage dip through hell, and it’s not exactly the same as my situation although there are many many parallels, and I can only hope that I can be as good a friend to her as she was to me.

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My colleague is back on Tuesday, and he gets to take the bear project that has been so miserable for the last couple of weeks. Nothing quite like dealing with clients who are sure they’ve been screwed and are much more interested in assigning blame than in fixing the situation. Anyway. There will be a transition period, but I’m quite gleeful at the thought of passing this one on to someone else, and getting back to my other twelve projects.

Also, I had a couple of nice work victories last week. It’s wonderful to tackle something challenging and have it come out your way. This could completely go to my head.

But mostly:

the summer schedule is over! Hallelujah! No more 50/50, no more weeks without PP.

Last night we giggled, hugged, kissed, snuggled, she played with her friends, we saw deer at the park, I laid with her while she fell asleep; this morning there’s been scooping, more hugging and tickling, and will shortly be grocery shopping for her lunches and snacks at school next week. I will make her a new nightgown. She will play with her friends more. It is bliss.

This place does not feel like a home when she’s not here. Now that she’s back, it feels right.

I know the situation is not the same from her perspective, but I can’t help loving it when she’s here and hating it when she’s gone.

Now we’re hatching a plan to help the mother duck stuffie save her baby stuffie from the Zoo. Mother duck stuffie (Duckie) misses baby duck stuffie (Pipi) something awful.

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