Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sometimes


Sometimes I wonder if everyone loves wind chimes. Or if somebody out there is quite annoyed.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The Careerist

My job has its drawbacks, mountains of endless, unachievable objectives, surly co-workers and customers, low-grade professional rep building and the whole sudden fickle interpretations of my rights to my position, et cetera. But you know, when push comes to shove I am fond of the old gal. The cute corner office, the co-workers and customers (even when they are surly), the crazy 'just-do-it' pace of it all, the way they call me a goddess... and of course the children.

When I faced the option of leaving the my schools job I had to admit that going pretty much anywhere else would comparatively, completely, fry the social payoff I get. I have drunk the Oprah kool-aid, teachers are awesome! Working to support teaching and learning in a very tangible and active way has been the most rewarding work I have ever done, and the most maddening. Had to get that out.

When faced with the option of leaving the job I once again retreated to the math. There must be some perfect mix of time off I can set up with my banked vacation and gratuity time. They'll be flexible. I have heard about the mania for 'retention' and how employers accommodate really valued employees when asked. Hey, maybe I'm a valued employee.

Insert fading of the flex schedule fantasy... we have all heard so much about.

I think for the first few months of my return to work I was in denial. Sure, I had seen them out there, the working parents, but in the near 5 years before I was out/in/out so fast I didn't identify with them. Shopping at Safeway all hours of the night... taking kids along to catch more time with them... microwaving all the foods... and, of course, the requisite crying in the car. Those things will happen.

But to quit, to bail on work I want to do, to just take any job wasn't the cure I had plotted. How long do you think it would take till there would be more, if different, tears? And, those things matter. I was told by an older colleague that her generation was more willing to sacrifice things for their families than us parents today. I wonder a lot about that. I will, and do, ask myself everyday if I am unwilling to sacrifice myself enough. But work is work, mine with some rewards, sure, but still fundamentally toil. I'm not on a daypass from motherhood.

Let me put it this way, just because I consider work/life balance a misnomer doesn't mean my work is my life.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

There is no -- such thing as -- Plan B

I was offered a new job last week. And, I did not take it.

There is pretty large part of me that feels like a rotten mother to have taken a pass on a less stressful part-time job. After what I said I should have been grabbed it?

A little earlier than that post I was in conversation with a dad of a young child who outlined how his partner was at home since she was not, and I quote, a careerist. What the hell is that? A careerist? I got non-careerist envy right away. You know me, who can't quite hunt down a job with twelve resumes and a nanny. Me, who has only worked one of the last 4 years, well, now one and a half. Please don't get me wrong I'm not out to slag dads for their perceptions of 'careerism'.

I told the folks who'd offered me the job the truth. I am committed to things I just can't depart right now. So when? The hidden gift of the position was that it was a 3 year term. It made me try hard to picture where I need to be in 2012. I realize now that I really have a pile to sort out over the next 3 years. I am not sure where I need to go but at least I have a better idea of how long it might take me. Trying to transition to tomorrow in time for yesterday had been entirely soul-sucking.

I remain, yours, until after the revolution, Mo-wo

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The underwear holiday

Valentine's Day is considered the underwear holiday around here. We all get new underwear and this year, a repeat from two years ago -- different kid -- , my son lost his diapers/diapering.

Done babies.
Done diapers.

I should be happy instead.. I just feel old, eh? Well, perhaps the nuthatch will wet the bed again tonight and then I'll at least have a few more months of Huggies overnights on which I might hang my fleeting youth.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

La La La

I have learned. That when it comes to music I will inevitably love any album for which I can learn all of the words. I appreciate the unsnobbiness of me, a lot, sometimes.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love is...


ā€œLove is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and tender and compassionately attuned to other than self.ā€ ā€“ Intuition, R. Buckminster Fuller

Happy Valentine's Day to all my progressively exquisite friends


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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dry eye

A friend has a little baby, to go with her big one.

I remember what that's like. I remember for example begging to drive. Gawd just let me look in the distance. Just let me look anywhere than this 4 foot loop of me to toddler, to boob or hip, to toddler's danger zone to baby drop zone, and back and back and back. My corneas drying out from watchfulness.

I remember the desire for aloneness and the hydration through the previously unknown extremities of my eyeballs that would elude me. The moments to look away from them and see in front of me.

I have forgotten a lot of it, it's true. But it's funny what I remember.

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Poor Materialist


I went shopping today. Ah, dismay.

Don't get me wrong. I bought stuff. Good sales, new coat 70% off, shirts, child garb. I even stopped by the jewelers to check out how much replacing what I've lost would cost. Owie.

I don't know if I will replace it. Could I face losing another expensive little thing? I can't say I am anti-materialist but I am a poor materialist. I suck at owning things. My husband is good enough to say I keep track what is important but it fails to excuse what slips through my fingers.

Consider my record of losing little things others would meticulously track. The very first 'real' jewelry I got, that star sapphire ring. How about the vintage rhinestone cuff bracelet my Mom had kept across two continents and 20 years you know the one I didn't even ask to borrow. Then my principal MIA the fine silver bracelet bought to celebrate my first performance pushing a human out of my body. I am a woman letting herself go in all the stuff I don't mind while conducting this life.

Now, I have the operations manual for every kettle I have ever owned. I can produce the minutes of a strata council meeting I attended 14 years ago. Downstairs find a photo of a friend from grade 6 who's name escapes me. I have a Tube pass from London vintage 1987; in my hope chest you'll find a salt shaker and an empty mickey from a tequila adventure at Spanish Banks one year later. How can I justify that stuff? Do I have no sense of value? There seems to be some whiff of a vacuous socialism on my part here. In a manner I do not really want to be fully associated with the abundance I enjoy. But at this advanced age it seems, frankly, stupid.

Ruminations like these often validate my career history in libraries and museums. I really do like things but it seems too much responsibility for me to own them myself. I wonder if I can solve my problem by changing scale maybe I should go out and buy a nice new suit 'at regular price' for once. Or perhaps we will buy a dining table for the first time in our lives instead of relying on hand-me-downs. It would be pretty hard to misplace those!

What do you think my problem is? If you have precious odd item archives yourself? do tell.

ps.. for the source of that darling image at the top of this post you gotta check out belle and boo. Thank-you Rachel Loves. Which reminds me we all have to talk about how to help save handmade soon... You won't believe what CPSIA means for libraries!

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lemming



Yeah, I'm in.

Off to the kitchen.

*****

And for the uniformed, after a time away back on the blogroll miles, etc.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Ring of Truth

A long time ago a young man went to the bank and cashed that bond from grandma. The store was on Granville Street and they'd been there together. You would have thought the bond would cover it but no the deal could only be done after he crawled past the mushrooms growing in the floor of the Camaro to find those last few dollars among the spare change slipped beneath the bucket seats.

Credit cards were something unknown.

Almost immediately he went to his girlfriend to ask she excuse herself from her 4th floor office. She scowled harshly and they took the ride down in the freight elevator. "What do you need money?", she asked.

Out came that ring. You asked me to marry you.

In that moment you shattered the myth that I'm the sensitive one. A good start to this marriage, I'd say. That you would transform that bitchy girlfriend into your wife is always with me, I know you didn't know that. I'm not one to say marrying you has made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, thank god. Marrying you gives me what I need, counterpoint. The opportunity with each day to save myself from myself.

I am one to put on airs, for sure. Sensitivity, intellect, responsibility. All those years ago I chose a diamond ring in an antique shop that I thought was a good choice. I loved it, especially that first day, but I never wore it. It seems diamonds are something I admire but not something I wear. A few weeks ago I checked the black velvet box and it wasn't there. I can't remember when I last had it but despite that I'd say I'm heartbroken. It screams callousness to have lost track of something most women guard with their lives. It saddens me to be without this piece of that day. As a talisman of lives together I most comfortably sit, instead, adorned only by the plainer gold band from our wedding day. But I'll keep looking as, apparently, I just never seem to know where things turn up.

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