Wednesday, April 30, 2008

bingo!

While sharing my love for literature with my son today, I ran across a passage I had underlined years and years ago. It speaks for itself.

"Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away."
— Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

the easy road and the high road end up in distinctly different places

There are people who prefer the easy road.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like to make things any harder on myself than they need to be (although it happens quite frequently as I tend to be drawn to people who take more than they give), but I'm usually willing to expend a little extra effort to stay on the high road.

Some folks aren't. They're looking for that smooth, easy ride that allows them to avoid all the potholes.

I've come to realize my husband is one of those people. He was explaining to me last night that he has decided in the world of haves and have nots, he is destined to become a have not. He was not speaking of monetary gain, but of the contributions he will make in this world. He figures he is a have not, who will not make much of a contribution and he is okay with that. I'm not.

During the course of the conversation it was also mentioned that he's just waiting on me to write that book and make a million dollars. I'm having a hard time being okay with this as well.

Earlier in the day, before that conversation arose, we were talking on the phone and he urged me to turn the radio station so I could hear a guest on a talk radio show. He said I'd probably want to call in.

I eagerly changed the station, expecting some sort of debate over the NAU or some other life-changing, earth-shattering matter. Instead I found myself listening to a guy claiming that men are better than women.

What the hell? Why do I care? And even more importantly, why does my husband not know me any better than to think I'd care? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that when we were working for the same company and I was his boss he once made the statement that he never wanted to work for a woman, that women made poor managers. I was offended.

But I don't go around burning my bra (I need that thing since gravity has taken over) and have often said I see nothing wrong with "traditional" roles of men and women IF the men would live up to their roles. I would be perfectly content as a homemaker, volunteering with various organizations, but I never had a chance to fill that role because I was too busy working to provide for my family.

I suppose I would be considered a career woman. I've served as editor of a newspaper and am now a political consultant, running a Congressional campaign. I even suppose it would be fair to say that I hold my own among professional men. While it is now fairly common for women to reach the top in the newspaper industry, the political machine, in this state at least, is still operated in large part by men.

However, my career is not an extension or result of some need to prove that I am as good as any man. I feel no need to prove myself, or break down any barriers. No, the success I've experienced in my career despite my lack of formal education, has arisen from the very basic need to provide for my family and my insistence to do whatever I do well, to make a positive contribution to my little corner of the world, to take the high road.

My husband can simply not grasp that and continues to slide along the easy road, clutching to his Master's degree as though it will save him, waiting for me to make a million dollars. And yes, I am offended.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

startled

It can be startling to suddenly become aware of his presence. To once again be forced to accept his role in my life.

It's as though some part of me has stood still, silent, motionless, all these years. Waiting, forever waiting.

Everyday, I see new reflections of him in The Boy. The movement of his body as he walked, toting trash bags. His hands as he wrote, ate or played pool. That smirk, and gentle dry wit.

I still long for his presence, as painful a reminder of his absence as it may be. Some would say that sort of clinging is unhealthy, a sign I haven't grieved well or completely. I simply remind them that when I love, I love forever and my forever hasn't ended with his death.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

there's always a catch

I have never been able to reconcile the very core of my entire belief system with a school of thought predominant in the study of psychology.

I am referring, of course, to the school which determines the "insanity" of an individual, in part, on whether or not they feel God has a purpose for them.

No wonder people are so fucked up! Damn psychologists running around here making folks feel like sociopaths because they believe God has a higher purpose for them.

Many would indeed believe it to require a touch of madness to believe so strongly in something that radiates from within your own heart.

It seems to me a given that, of course there is a purpose for us, why else would we exist? If we are to believe in our own existence we must also accept the purpose that existence fulfills, even if that purpose remains unknown.

And if some one's purpose is illuminated before them, who are we to tell them they're crazy?

Monday, April 14, 2008

I can't drive 55

One of these days I just may decide to slow down a bit.

I've spent my last few hours reading over the beginning of an excellent manuscript written by a friend of mine, read the first 150 pages of an examination of end-time prophecies, and worked on (in my head) the design and content of a tri-fold handout on my candidate.

I've also taken a bath, eaten dinner and sat here, in my desk chair, staring at the small corner where my arm chair and bookshelf meet. There's an extremely soft, distinguished, brown stuffed bunny lying on the back of the chair. (And yes, stuffed bunnies can most assuredly look distinguished.)

A not nearly as distinguished looking fat cat lies in the seat of the chair. She's extremely soft too, and while she does not move much, she is not of the stuffed variety. Another live creature, a stocky shepherd-mix with coarse fur, rests on the floor in front of the chair.

All this work to do, yet here I sit, eating 3 Musketeer minis, rambling, as though I didn't have a care in the world. Oddly enough, I really don't. Life is good.

the fruits of my efforts

I smell fruit. The scent of berries follows me from room to room. I finally realize it's coming from me.

I started the freeze-dried black raspberry concoction last night and actually remembered to take my super potent, high in anti-oxidant fruit supplement this morning.

Between the two, I'm sure the bees will love me. Sure would be nice if it worked!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

a single line

A single line, a thought well-formed, all-encompassing.

It floated though my mind, from some unknown source, the other day as I brushed my teeth.

I scribbled the words in the upper right corner of a yellow sheet of paper taped to my mirror in order to place the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi before my reflection.

"If nothing else, I am consistent in my madness."

puberty and endurance

I can't put it into words. It's not quite fear, yet still a heightened sense of cautionary alertness.

As puberty begins to creep in, my seizure alert mode intensifies and I steel myself for the possible onslaught.

A voice from within some dark recess of my mind tells me not to worry, that God would not ask me to endure it twice, but I laugh. I know better. God has demanded that people far better than I endure much worse.

chocolate

My teeth hurt. And I am craving chocolate. That's me, one giant contradiction.

Luckily I'll be covered by dental again soon, they make toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and they make bite-sized 3 Musketeers that you can eat and enjoy simply by pressing to the roof of your mouth. Life is good.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

yesterday

It seems like yesterday I was a complete basket case, sitting on the floor in my living room, tears of frustration and uncertainty streaming down my face.

I was hungry. I had been cooped up in the house since the baby was born and there was nothing left in the kitchen to eat, unless you counted baby formula, and I didn't. If I wanted something to eat, I had to go get it and if I left, I had to take my baby with me.

I reminded myself I was a grown woman, a mother, perfectly capable of putting her baby in the car and going through a drive-thru for some food. I told myself that. But I still wasn't capable of doing it.

Every time I pulled up to the microphone, before the speaker came on, the baby would start screaming. I moved the car to a parking space and checked on things in the back seat. The baby was quiet, his diaper slightly soiled. I amazed myself at being able to swiftly change him in the back seat of the car and headed back to the drive-thru. The instant I came to a stop before the speaker, he began to scream again. I left and decided to drive for a bit.

I was stopped by a train on the way out, but all was quiet in the backseat. I stopped at the next drive-thru speaker, and again, before the speaker even came on, there were shrill baby screams coming from the backseat of my car. I moved the car into a parking space and checked on things. The baby was quiet, his diaper clean. "Aw c'mon, give me a break and just let me order my food, please," I begged the tiny creature.

I couldn't tell you how many different places I tried. I couldn't go inside to get something to eat because I couldn't carry the baby that far. My stomach was cinched in knots anyway. Every time I lifted anything, my panties flooded with blood.

I finally gave up. Then, just yesterday it seems, there I was, sitting in the middle of the floor in a drafty old trailer, crying. The baby slept quietly in his crib as I cried and bled and begged God to tell me how in the hell I was going to take care of a baby when I wasn't even capable of feeding myself. "But I'm not ready for all this!!"

It seems like yesterday, but it couldn't have been yesterday. I distinctly remember yesterday.

My son, who will be 12 in a couple of months came into my office yesterday and plopped himself into my arm chair, announcing, "Well it's happening."

"What's happening?"

The beginning of the end? The second coming? An earthquake, an alien invasion? What?

"I'm starting to get man-hair."

Oh shit.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

when the bubble busts

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies by, especially since it so often seems to stand completely still.

I'm still in the process of switching gears on the career front and find that, although I spend a good 6-8 hours at headquarters every day, I ind myself being most productive in the middle of the night. Luckily my candidate isn't an early bird either. Plus it's tax season and he's an accountant so we won't be hitting the campaign trail hard until April 16.

Meanwhile, day and night, there is a continuous, nagging reminder of all that has been lost perched in the upper right-hand corner of my computer screen. I'm waiting for that damn Instant Messenger box to start croaking "Never, Nevermore" any minute now!

Time passes, yet I am still not accustomed to his absence and find myself about to message, momentarily forgetting that I am no longer welcome in his life. I miss my friend and finally realize it was never meant to be any other way. Now if I can just accept that. Nevermore.