August 7: The tears that wouldn’t fall


I usually try to post a “Gig Tip” on Tuesdays but I just don’t have it in me today.

I’ve had a hard day.   It started with a headache this morning and missing the kids.   And also thinking about some of the challenges that they are facing which makes me sad.

Then I had lunch with an ex-colleague from over 12 years ago.   It was wonderful to see her.   It was wonderful to TALK with her.  She has gone through a divorce and there is so much in what she was saying that was EXACTLY like how I have been feeling.  It was sooooooooooo good to talk to her.  To actually TALK and have a conversation and FEEL and feel sympathetic and understand.   She is wonderful.  Her outlook is wonderful.  How she expresses herself is wonderful.  And how she captured how I am feeling was eye-opening.  I am not used to talking to people who understand me.   I’m really not.  I was so pleasantly surprised today at lunch – even through the sadness – the connection I felt so strongly with someone whom I have not seen in over 12 years – I am not sure just how much we actually have in common.   There is probably close to a decade of years between us… she has no kids…. she is early in her career… yet we shared a connection and a conversation that resonated so strongly in me that I was almost swept off of the booth I was sitting in.

So it was a good lunch, but also a difficult one that opened me up leaving me exposed.

I tried to do some work – I actually had a really productive day.

Tuesday is trash day at home.  So my normal routine is to go through the yard and fill up that Green bin as much as I can.  There is so much in my place in terms of weeds and yard work that honestly I need more bins.  So I went around with my wheel barrel and started to pick up the piles of old branches and dead leaves from my hedge-clipping frenzy from several weeks ago.   I was sad picking up the dead decaying branches and getting them ready for trash.  Clearing out my space, my yard, getting rid of the branches that do not fit in this yard anymore.

I felt like crying.  I wanted to cry.  I even tried to force the tears.  My eyes would well up but the tears would not fall.  I need to get this out….

On my way to the bin I stopped at my compost tumbler and added the decaying leaves.   I then decided to take some of the leaves and crumble them on top of some of my garden – my garden that has yet to bear ANY fruit for me.   Am I watering for nothing?  Am I trying too hard with this new distraction/hobby?   Can ANY of these plants PLEASE create a freaking berry or something that I can eat?!?!??!?!   And then on my way crumbling up those leaves, I stopped when I got to my corn.  The 3-inch seedlings that my neighbor gave to me are now more like 3-4 feet high.  And I looked down and couldn’t believe it but there is this little corn-cob thingy starting to grow out of the biggest of the stalks.   I am amazed.   I then become hopeful, a little.

I feel like so much of what has happened in my life is such a waste.   I feel like those dead branches and I feel like those crumbling leaves being tossed aside but still I guess useful in some way for other things living.   I don’t know how I got here.   I don’t know how the essence of who I am got so misguided and depleted.    How can this happen to me?  When I try so hard?   How?   How did I let it happen?

And now the tears are finally falling.  So I’m glad I did not try to force a Gig Tip tonight.  I’m glad that I’ve had this chance to get this out.   I’m so happy that I had a chance to connect with my friend today at lunch.  I am so thrilled that she was speaking sentences that I could have said myself.  I am so happy that I found someone who understands.

I am thankful that I made a real connection today with someone.   But I am alone here now.   I am trying to see the potential for something new and something positive – like those damn corn stalk thingies.  But it is so hard.  So hard when you feel so alone and misunderstood by so many.

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May 10: The start…


Thursday is normally a day off, but I had meetings scheduled in the morning and also my Tuesday this week was all messed up so I took the kids into daycare today.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro made an awesome plane and car out of new Legos and he is totally improvising and creating new things out of the materials. I love that creativity in him.
  • I mentioned to Twin Husky that I needed to change his diaper and put on some socks, which I had ready in my hand. But he took off, ran upstairs, and picked out socks. That was the good part. The bad part is that he started to throw the socks over the balcony/banister of the house and thought that was a lot of fun. So he went back for more. And then Twin Crazy came over when she heard his laughter and started doing the same.
  • Twin Crazy wanted to wear stockings but had trouble putting them on over her pajamas pants.
  • Big Bro left on his bike and the other three were running around a bush in our front yard.
  • During the Twin drop off they were interested in seeing a flag so I spent some time with them outside, looking at it.
  • I forgot Twin Husky’s shoes so had to swing back to the house to pick up a pair for him. They go on a walk at 10 AM so she needed them by then.
  • Red’s drop off was great except we forgot her purse. I was running late at this point so I asked her to be strong.
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    Highlights of My Working Morning:

  • I had an internal team call about the follow up we need to do for the client presentation and work we just completed. There is some more work but not much.
  • We then had a call with our partners on an effort we are trying to sell to 7 potential clients on Tuesday. We needed this meeting to get on the same page as to what we were offering and what each party is bringing to the table. This effort has started so long ago that the people around the table now (including me) are uncertain what the overlay and committed effort is for our partner. This is a problem but hopefully something we can figure out after talking with the clients on Tuesday.
  • We immediately went into a debrief call with the client regarding the meeting we just had. We received some feedback that will require serious re-working of the document and I simply do not have time. We promised them a revised Executive Summary for Monday but I cannot do it; I offered up commentary on two pieces which I will need to work on over the weekend and then send off to them.
  • I then sent out a survey for our sales call on Tuesday to get more background and expectations from the participants.
  • I then called it a day….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I picked up my keys to my house at 1:30 PM this afternoon. The sales agents gave me big hugs. It is hot out there and the grass is already turning brown so we notched up the sprinkler system. I opened the door and the place actually seemed much bigger to me. We talked for awhile but I was anxious for them to leave. When they did, I peed in my toilet (it works) and walked around. I called my mom. I took pictures. I don’t know how exactly I feel. I think a bit scared. I want so badly for this to be home and I guess I’m fearing that I’m pushing myself too hard. I walked out back and climbed the stairs and walked the grounds. I walked over to my neighbor’s fence and counted 9 chickens. Two came over and squawked to me. I looked around at the weeds. I’m not sure what to do with this backyard. I have some ideas but all are a bit unorganized…. moonlights, pulling weeds, citrus trees, blackberry bushes… I went back inside the house and took measurements of the walls of all rooms (except for mine) since I will need to get furniture. The refrigerator space. The washer dryer space. I can buy these things now. And bar stools. I’d like for there to be bar stools at the counter for when the kids come to visit next weekend. Everything else will be unfurnished but that’s OK. I somehow thought I would be happier…. liberated…. but I didn’t really feel that way. It will be a home, I know, but I feel cheated that I can’t share this feeling with anyone. I should have brought a friend or something. I emptied out the mailbox which was STUFFED with mail. Some of it for me. The mailbox is metal and kindof gross. I looked around at the other mailboxes. I need to add “mailbox” to my list. I knocked on 3 houses and introduced myself to one of the neighbors – who also recently bought and is officially moving in tomorrow. The house next door to me has “children playing” signs outside so that was very encouraging. When I went to the door I saw a pair of girls shoes probably Big Bro’s age or slightly older. I found that I was paying so much attention to how the houses were set up on the outside to make them feel inviting. Again I have some ideas with my front space too but I’m not exactly sure how to pull it together. I felt strange not having cried or anything. I thought I would. Why didn’t I? I wish I was experiencing this feeling, this “first time homebuyer” feeling with someone. I feel cheated for having to do this by myself. Now it feels like just another set of activities that I need to get done and squared away. I’m hoping that as things settle, as I feel like I’m stretching into my new space, that it will feel like home and I will get that sense of elation that I am hoping for. Please?!??!?!? I backed out of the steep sloping driveway without ANY incidents…. that must be a good sign. I headed to my next destination.
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  • The elementary school is zoned to a town in the area known for its excellent schools. I called in advance so they knew I was coming. I brought the Closing Statement and my license so Big Bro is registered there for the Fall. Our child custody mediator suggested to register the kids in both locations since we don’t know where they will be going. I asked her about pre-schools and got a list. That will be one of my projects over the summer. Scoping them out, inquiring over price, and seeing if there is a way to get Red and the Twins in the same pre-school. The Twins deserve that kind of environment and having one drop off for the three of them would be ideal. I have time to work on that. But again, I felt a bit lonely on the winding streets in this new area. I had much higher hopes for this next phase in my life and I feel disappointed that things went the way they did. But I cannot change people and I tried my hardest to be understood. I feel excited and sad at the same time. At peace but thinking about the things to do. Excited for the opportunity for the children but crushed about the impact on their feelings and sense of security. We are going to talk to them on Saturday morning about this and come clean with them. There is a part of me that want very much for this to happen since it’s hard for me to keep this secret from them. I feel so close to them but feel like a liar most of the time. So it will be good to “come clean” but I am going to see their faces when their worlds fall apart. I can see Big Bro’s expression and Red’s expression. I can see Twin Crazy and Twin Husky not really getting it, but then looking at the older siblings and then getting upset too. I need to keep it together for them. I remember when my mom told me about my parent’s divorce and I remember it very clearly. I was nine at the time, so older, but I have a feeling that these kids will somehow remember their feelings from this upcoming Saturday morning for many years to come. Even if they don’t remember the words, they will remember how they make them feel. I’m dreading that part.
  • I picked up take out BBQ and went through the mail while I was waiting for the food. It felt really strange to see other people’s names on the address. I feel like there’s so much that I don’t know about that house but it is mine and it will be my home. It’s been there for 70 years. Who’s lived there? Who else has called this place home? Was it a happy home? Was it filled with laughter?
  • I picked up the kids and Red had to go pee. We went at Big Bro’s school and had fun running across the stage acting silly. It was a good time and completely out of our normal routine which was fun.
  • We played with Batman and fed him a carrot. Big Bro wants to give him a choice of an apple, carrot, and orange and see which food he goes to first. Sounds like a fun experiment. Twin Husky almost flooded the kitchen again but I was listening for him and got to him before he started to play with the refrigerator water spout.
  • We played upstairs together; it was hot so I dressed the Twins in short PJs which was fun. I read to all four of them at the same time which I love to do. The Twins both in my lap cuddling up to me and Red on one side and Big Bro on the other. The best is when it’s time for the kids to kiss each other which they all do. Even the boys.
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    So I’m in the hallway listening to them sleep. There’s a part of me that will miss this house even though it represents the failure of my marriage. I will miss watching over the kids and yes, I will mourn the feeling of hopefulness I felt when I first moved in. That was 2 years ago and it seems like yesterday yet also a lifetime ago. There is also the packing process that I have not written about – it’s very emotional. Things and “stuff” that you sift through and keep and then the stuff that you decide to toss. I’ve been doing a lot of tossing. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse. Like the 100 or so “tea lights” from our wedding ceremony. And all of the RSVP cards that I saved. And the wedding cards that I saved. All tossed. At one time it all meant so much to me and I guess they still do – but I needed to rid myself of it all and not bring it forward into this next step. The only part of that that I want to keep and cherish and celebrate are the kids. Someone the other day replied to me when I told them I was with him for 10 years and they said “what a waste” and I was so offended. How could it be a waste when I have these four amazing kids? And I am stronger now. And I know more now. And I trust myself more now. I’ve learned what I can do and what I desire. And I know what to fight for. And there is more that will come and I need to experience it in its fullest. Even though it may very well be the ugliest that I have been through. But I know that I will come through and hopefully be a stronger, better, wiser person because of it.

    And that’s probably the most I’ve dwelled on me in a long time. I have to save up energy and strength for this Saturday morning.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    November 22: First love notes


    Chocolate Tuesday! And the kids set out their clothes the night before! This made the morning relatively easy compared to others…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I woke up to see a magnetic board of more of Big Bro’s sentences. I couldn’t believe it. I guess he was working on it as he was going to sleep the night before. This was an AMAZING way for me to wake up.

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    • Twins were up and we all said our good mornings to each other in Big Bro and Red’s room. Red asked me to help her get dressed. She ran downstairs for Chocolate Tuesday.
    • After I showered suddenly Twin Husky appeared in my room saying “Mommy! Mommy!”. I’ve really noticed a difference in our connection since I’ve been staying home on Thursdays and Fridays with them. I feel like I’ve been able to strengthen this relationship just by being there. Then Twin Crazy made her way up. As I was getting changed, both were in my closet talking about belts, shirts, scarves. Twin Husky is talking up a storm. Twin Crazy understands everything but still talks in a slurry time of language and it seems like Twin Husky understands.
    • Downstairs, things were easy schmeasy. I got my coffee ready. Red rejected her pants so I got her a different pair. I helped Big Bro get dressed even though he doesn’t need help (but needs me). He was really excited about “day camp” at Red’s school – especially I think because one of his friends is also there. He is adamant for some reason against bringing a jacket. I don’t know if this is some sort of peer pressure or if he really is very hot blooded.
    • Twin drop of was great; Red and Big Bro drop off was great. They mentioned to me that Jackets are a rule so I went to the car to bring out a sweatshirt for Big Bro. He did not cause a fuss. He was busy playing with pine cones with his friend.

    They all seemed really happy this morning. I wish I could say the same for me. For some reason I just feel empty. Maybe its because we’re going into Thanksgiving which is normally one of my favorite holidays – but there’s so much going on at home and also with my step dad (pancreatic cancer) that I feel like I’m not where I need to be right now. I feel the need to be back on the east coast with my family who is hurting now. And as a family here we are also doing hurting of our own. I love the 4 days with the kids but am not looking forward to this upcoming holiday. I feel empty and tired and not in the right place. I need to put my best foot forward to make it nice for the kids.

    For work, I have a lot of meeting scheduled for feedback from our forums. I am started a second round related to the second forum I am managing. I am going to take the opportunity during these calls to try to sell the members extra reports that are available to them and also drive up our revenue. I would also like to work on my client deliverable and FINALLY break the curse of procrastination.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    I was busy but not terribly busy. And of course I didn’t get to the deliverable that I’ve been procrastinating over.

    • I had two debrief sessions over two different forums and received some great perspective on moving forward.
    • I had an interview with a market player for my client project and learned some new things to help inform our work.
    • I lead a go-to-market meeting for another forum we are trying to develop and coordinated with folks internally to figure out who was going to “own” each potential contact.
    • I also looked at some of the services and associated prices for these services that we charge one of the forums. There are some questions I have that we will need to figure out.

    And no work done on my deliverable!!!! Ugggh!!!

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Pick up with the kids was fine; Red was proud of her Thanksgiving hat and also her placemat where she made little turkeys out of her handprints. I missed her class’ Thanksgiving feast – I do feel badly about that but I needed to be at work today. I’ll make it up to her during the 4 day holiday weekend. But to look at her little face with that hat on just breaks my heart…

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    • I came home to a house smelling like cooked food; Hubby was home early and cooking. While dinner was cooking the Twins were being adventurous with their little chairs again. I repramended them and put their chairs in the closet. Kids ate well. I lit a Pumpkin Pie candle and had a beer.

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    • After dinner the kids had a great time having a parade and using my legs to go “under the bridge”. I was doing this with Red on my back, Big Bro pushing around a rocket ship scooter, Twin Husky pushing a toy stroller, and Twin Crazy pushing a toy shopping cart (with twin babies inside…). We had a great time.
    • At one point Big Bro was blocking a path and to get through the Twins had to give him a high-five. They caught on quickly. My password was a kiss. Twin Crazy gave me a kiss each time, but Twin Husky said “NO”.
    • Bedtime was fine; kids enjoyed their books; I enjoyed having them in my lap and snuggling in close to me… asking questions about the book and observing new things from the pages that we have not noticed before, even though we’ve read the books 100+ times.
    • I just returned from checking on the kids upstairs and I passed by a surprise that he left in front of our bedroom — oh my goodness this is just too cute. One day I will miss those nights of checking on them and finding these little love notes from a son that is learning how to read and write:

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    It was a good day. I love my new candle. I feel like I learned new things at work. I feel like there’s still more to do, but I’d rather feel a bit under pressure than bored. I love that I have a day with Big Bro tomorrow. I love that he is learning to read and write. I love that I have more of his notes to look forward to in the very near future. I love that after that we will have four days together. I love that Thanksgiving is coming up – it has always been my favorite holiday. I am missing my family though. The best we can do is take pictures of the food and send them to each other; or Skype. Or FaceTime with the new iPhones!!!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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