Monday, August 31, 2009

I might be crazy....

So, you may remember my anniversary was a few weeks ago. There may have been a fair amount of wine consumed that night, by both of us, and that may have led to a little bit of marital relations, which may have then led to a, uh oh, what day of the month is it calculation, which resulted in a realization it was day 15. Realistically speaking, I thought we were 'safe.' Day 15 hasn't proven to be a key day for us in the past, and sure enough, last week on Day 28 cycle started all over again.

And I was......bummed. Yeah, bummed. Like everyone else I'm clicking furiously at Niobe's and holding my breath and hoping for good news. And wondering, what about us?

Emotionally, I'd like to have three children. But I look around and think, am I crazy? First, not entirely sure the marriage could handle a third. Sleep deprivation is a tough, tough state. My daughter is down and out with strep and my son is going through teething, so we take turns in the middle of the night up with each of them. Who the heck would take care of a third? There are only two of us! Add in a fragile marriage, a small-ish house, an already manageable but tight budget, my age, past difficulties, not great physical condition, a desire to spend more one on one time with the children I have......why in the world would I want a third?

On day 28 my husband came home from work and told me friends of ours with kids roughly ours ages were going for #3. Husband said friend asked him if we were, and husband told me, I said I don't know, we never talk about it. I don't want to talk about it right now, because logically the answer is no. So I changed the subject to our own kid crisis of the moment, whatever it was.

And I wonder. Maybe next summer, breastfeeding over, me in better shape, still 41 not quite 42...maybe? Maybe? I don't know. Maybe I am crazy.

Meanwhile, I'll keep cheering on everyone else, and hoping for good news.

Monday, August 24, 2009

working dreams

The other night I had the weirdest dream, one that felt so real during it. The kind where you can feel the tablecloth under your finders, smell the room, feel the presence of the people sitting around you. And, it was about the job from which I was fired last year. I dreamed that I went to a meeting with two of my current colleagues, who took me to a meeting with the two people who fired me last year. We sat at opposite sides of a table, me between my two colleagues, just staring at my two former colleagues. I hadn't known we were meeting with them, and I felt surprised, but proud of my current work and current colleagues. I sat mostly silently as big issues were discussed. Then, there was a lull in the discussion, we were waiting for a decision or more information, so the 5 of us sat silently. I broke the silence and said, we can't pretend we don't know each other, how are you all? What is going on with the project I was on? The two of them looked uncomfortable and hemmed and hawed a bit, but never gave an answer.

I woke heavy with sleep, still feeling like I was in the meeting room and waiting to hear how things were on this old project. The feeling stayed with me for the entire day. The dream actually happened before I typed out my job history post, so it wasn't brought on by that. I don't know what did bring it on. The job had been to launch a new non profit. And since I left, there's not been a word of progress. Every once in a while I google the name of the organization, or key phrases, and nothing ever comes up. Did they decide to kill it altogether? Did they retool and did that slow them down? They were impatient when I was there, could they possibly have just delayed the entire thing over a year? Given that it's been over a year, and I have a new job, most of these questions don't matter in terms of how the job loss may or may impact my career. If I had been fired and they moved quickly and publicly without me, there might have been an impact. But now, it's mostly just raw curiosity that makes me wonder. Months and months ago, I e-mailed another consultant who had been part of the process. But I never heard back from him. I consider writing one other person who worked within the corporation, but I always decide better to leave it alone. This dream, though, brought it all present again. What is happening? Why do I care? Could I find out? Should I e-mail the insider, or just let it go? I had liked this person and she seemed to like me, so sometimes I think I could just e-mail her to let her know I had a baby and just to say hi and hope she is doing well, and hope she'd e-mail back some news. But then I think better to just let it go. The dream was so real. So real. I'm not generally a person who thinks much about the meaning of dreams, but it does make me wonder.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another one

Another year down.

And, once again, I turn to the if today is your birthday feature in the paper for inspiration and guidance*:

"This year is delightfully unconventional. By the end of September, singles find offbeat romance, and couples make novel choices to spice up their relationships. Your needs change as you evolve through the fall. The changes you make in October help your finances and lifestyle to improve all at once. Taurus and Aquarius adore you."

Hmmm. Horoscopes really are mindless crap, aren't they?

40 was a good year. Not as good as I intended, but good in its own way. But yes, I have the exact same resolutions this year as I did last, and as I've had, in some form or fashion, every year. I think being over 40 means you start to become more accepting of your place in the world. It is what it is, you know?

*not really

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Job update

One of the reasons I haven't been able to manage much posting is job related. I spent some time in my archives with the last two posts and wow, I posted A LOT about my job dramas over the past year+, so perhaps it's time for an update and explanation - and query for ideas, too.

So, when I first started this blog nearly two years ago, I had a full time job that I despised. We were going through a merger, my boss and company were clearly going to be on the losing side of the merger, I liked the other company better anyway, which could have been good, but the tensions were too high and I wanted out. So I searched and searched and searched and networked and landed something that seemed like it would be a dream job - an executive director position starting up a new non-profit for a cause that was important, and that also came with a huge pay increase. The new org was to be sole funded by a reputable company, but since it didn't exist yet, we worked out a gentleman's agreement and baseline contract, with the expectation the new org would be ready to go and funded within a few months. Gentleman's agreement means I trusted them - I didn't fully vet the contract with a lawyer (I did have a lawyer look at it, and she pointed out some flaws, but I didn't have her negotiate anything stronger for me), I let it slide. I started in January 08, and worked my tail off, against some fairly strong opposition. I had no idea that some within the company did not want to spin off a new organization, that there was infighting within the board, that what had been promised as settled was in fact no way settled. I was fired. And I was pregnant. And the jerks at the company wanted to can me with no severance or consideration. I fought hard to get what little was due to me, and after too much stress was finally paid off the small amount.

And I started job searching all over again, while pregnant. And had a ton of leads and good interviews and strong networking. I had only once in my entire career interviewed for a job and not received it. But this was rejection after rejection, and not because of the pregnancy. And not because of the economy, either. Just because. Slow decisions, not quite the right fit, just nos.

In August I learned of a part-time contract position with an organization I had worked with previously. They wanted someone to do some outreach education, which was a good fit for me, and they were fast tracking the application. Ha, hahaha. I'll never hear fast tracking the same way again. I interviewed in late September, and then the wiffling and the waffling started (honestly, it's too exhausting to link to all the ups and downs). They asked for references in December, called references in early January. And finally, I was notified I got the job in January, starting in March.

So here we are, 5 months down. It's going well so far, I think. I had a 4 month review that was very positive and they guaranteed the position for thr full 12 months. Fundraising in this climate is no easy task, though, so while they'd like it to continue a second year, we'll just have to see.

The hard part is the 20 hours contract. I'm paid monthly, for 80 hours, so it's 20 hours on average. And they've said it can even be a two month average. This matters because there is no paid vacation. So we've gone away a fair amount in July, but I worked 99 hours in June, and still managed 75 hours in July, so ahead of the game. I have a hard time constituting what is work. At a salaried position, you take a break and read some blogs and write a post and 30 minutes have gone by and that's fine and you just get your work done. But if you're on contract, are those 20 hours work only hours? I think mostly so. If I read news or catch up in my field, I count that as work. But blogging? Or general surfing? A little harder to justify. I'm a slow writer - when I have a writing assignment, I mull it over, pace around, work it out in my head, then eventually sit down and blow it all out. So. The mulling counts as work, right? Or no?

That's my biggest struggle right now. Finding discipline to get work done and over, then being ablet odo what I want to do. So for example, I needed to go to the grocery yesterday - I finished my project with enough time to do so. But on Friday, I didn't finish my particular task and worked on it Sunday night. I spent time Friday mulling it over, daydreaming, I guess. I counted those Friday hours, but not the Sunday night.

How would you count hours? Would a position like this force you to be more disciplined? How disciplined are you at work? How do you find that discipline? When do you find time to blog?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time heals all?

Thanks for the well wishes. It was....nice. Flowers showed up at the door, dinner was delicious, we talked about our favorite memories from that day and from the honeymoon. All in all, it was what it should have been.

Though I do wonder, does anyone actually get that diamond anniversary band? Kidding! But come on, I like shiny pretty things as much as the next girl.

So did anyone see this in the NY Times? Happily (so she thinks) married woman's husband tells her he doesn't love her anymore and wants out and she.....ignores him. Gives him space. Lets him work it out until, 4 months later, he's back in the family fold (upon which there are lots of hard talks and working things out, it's not as simple as it appears). Fascinating. It's essentially the same advice in the various prevent divorce books (divorce busting, etc), and mirrors other advice I've received or read. And it, sort of, is the strategy that worked for me, too, except I was more in his face about it than is recommended.

I don't know how sustainable my marriage is over the long term. But the truth of the matter is no one really knows for sure, either. It is what it is, for now. I do know there is a deep and lasting scar, and I don't know if we'll transcend it. I don't think, right now, it's healed particularly well. But it is definitely still in the healing phase.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Long time readers (hello-ooo-oooo? Anyone still there??) may recall that my wedding anniversary is this month. Tomorrow, in fact. Ten years.

Which means that yesterday was another anniversary of a date that never was. And I'm just realizing I didn't spend any time yesterday thinking about the baby who wasn't here, who might have turned two yesterday in another universe, though in yet another universe we might have celebrated a birth followed, at some point, by a death due to the myriad of problems this baby would have had, had he survived to be born.

Two years is some sort of a marker in grief time. Far enough out that it's become an event of the past. Life has changed and other events have overtaken.

Last year, during this week, I was a mess. A weepy mess, a pregnant woman who took to her bed not from any doctor's orders, but just from crushing pain. One year out and crying every day, multiple times a day, beaten down but not yet out. It's hard now to remember it all, to remember the intensity. Two years out is a different place.

I bought a card. We're going out to dinner tomorrow night. I wonder what he will want tomorrow to mean. How am I supposed to view this anniversary? I rejected so many cards. I swear this has to be a business model for simple cards that just say Happy Anniversary and not much else. That skip the poem and flowery crap. Even in the best of circumstances I'm a pretty straightforward gal. And these still aren't the best of circumstances.

We honeymooned in Nova Scotia. Given various family schedules, we sort of had to schedule the wedding for August, even though I dreaded the heat. So we wanted a honeymoon someplace new, different, that was a little cool. It was a great vacation, and we talked about how fun it would be to repeat it for our tenth year. Earlier this summer, actually, my husband brought that up, but it was just impossible given finances, obligations, kids. Maybe someday we'll go back.

Where was your honeymoon? If you've been married that long, did you do anything special for ten years?