Tag Archives: goals

How Does One Make the Perfect Life Choices?

I’m sitting in an airport waiting for a delayed flight, wearing bright orange compression socks, thinking about the latest book I’m writing. It’s been harder to write.

The main character is divorced. She was pregnant when her husband left her for her friend and she had to quickly get a job. She goes back to school to get a secondary education degree because her bachelor’s was in English.  

She had planned on getting a Master’s and possibly a Doctorate in English but then she met John. They fell in love. He got a job and they got married and she didn’t get a Master’s. When she got pregnant with their first child, she kept working. Then the two of them together decided she would stay home with their son. After childcare costs, it made more sense. And he made enough. Plus, she believed her kids would be better off if one of them could stay home. He made more, so she stayed home. She often thought about getting her Master’s, but then a kid would get sick and she wondered how she would do it all. She kept putting it off.

Until the day her husband came home and said he wanted a divorce.

She doesn’t think much about her choices (Why bother? It won’t help) until she has to work with a graduate of hers who has just finished her bachelors and wants to go get her Master’s. But she met this guy….

So Grace looks over at all of her decisions.

And this is where I’m stumped.  

Of course women should get an education and support themselves. Of course they should accomplish all they want to accomplish. But what if the two spouses decide that one parent could stay home. They think it would be better for the kids. But then the spouse who stays home loses potential income. Loses years of experience. May pass up on education that would help because they put their trust in their spouse.

Is this possible anymore?

Do both parents need to always work because relationships seem to be so fluid these days?

I stay home. Yes, I’ve had different jobs and done different things, but when I thought of applying to be a substitute teacher and saw they wanted 3 professional references, I started to cry and didn’t finish the application. I couldn’t think of a professional reference. Sure, I had people who would give me a reference, but I hadn’t worked for anyone in years.  

At the same time, I think having one parent able to stay home is great for a family. I think I’m slowly going insane, but besides that, I think it’s a good idea. If possible.

I had a parent home until I was about 12 or 13 and then I would come home and be alone for about an hour. It wasn’t that big a deal. I would do my homework and watch Days of Our Lives. The worst thing I did was eat a whole box of Kudos and then throw up. I never ate another Kudos again and I’m not even sure they make them anymore. They probably heard my story and realized they didn’t have a future.

But I remember when I missed the bus and I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I was scared. I thought I’d have to stay at the school over night. My neighbor came and got me and it wasn’t a big deal except for the 30 minutes when it was.

I’m around if my kids forget their lunches or nice clothes for a presentation. I pick them up for appointments and make sure things generally run smoothly.

Except for those times when I mix appointments up and I show up at the right time a day late. Or when I give each kid a different kid’s lunch so when I see one on the counter and it says my youngest’s name but I know I gave him something, I just eat that lunch myself.

I’m not a very domestic stay at home mom but I’m a “I’m here if you need me” one.  

As I write from my character’s point of view, I wonder if this is still a good idea.

If I went back into the workforce and actually used my law degree, I would never make the money I would’ve made had I stayed working. I’m so far out of the game, I wonder if I could get a job.  

Some people volunteer and keep up their resume that way. I haven’t kept a file of what I’ve done. I think I was taught you don’t get credit for volunteer work. It’s a service. (And if it gets around that I’m a helpful person, people may actually ask me for help. No one wants that.)  

So what’s the answer?

Is staying home still a viable option?  

How does one make the perfect choices in life? And never regret them?

I would love to hear your views.

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Writing with Rocky and Bullwinkle

And now for something you’ll really like.

(If you know Rocky and Bullwinkle, that lead-in will be familiar to you.  I’m also wearing a blue flying hat with goggles.)

My wonderful spouse of 15 years took the kids to a dental conference this weekend so that I could stay home and write.  (The conference has kids’ activities like water parks and zoos and trampoline places and amusement parks.  It’s a great weekend.)

Not everyone is on board with this plan, however.

Ginny, the dog, is at home so that I could take her to puppy class.  I am unsure obedience training is sticking.  The phrase “Leave me alone. I’m writing” means nothing to her.  But she will sit for 3 seconds.

I walk her a couple times a day and play with her and work on obedience with her.  She is not an ignored dog.

This is not enough for her, however.

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You can even see toys in the background.  But those aren't good enough

You can even see toys in the background. But those aren’t good enough

She is eating the incredibly expensive pencils I bought after Leanne Shirtliffe told me to.  (She may have just posted an article on them and asked for opinions.  But I’m pretty sure she said all the cool people own them.)

This is my outline for my manuscript.  I worked on it last night while Ginny slept.  She woke up.

This is the outline for my manuscript. I worked on it last night while Ginny slept. She woke up.

So tomorrow there will be some kennel training occurring here.  And hopefully some writing as well.  There will definitely be a lot of whining.  I just hope it’s mostly from the dog.

Now…

Be with us  next time for ‘Avalanche is better than none.’

(Once again.  Look up Rocky and Bullwinkle.)

Happy New Year

I like the New Year. It always feels so fresh and clean. I feel like I can do anything during the new year. For at least 3 days. Then school starts and I’m back to running to catch up. But those 3 whole days are nice.

I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person. I blame every year of my life before I got married because I never had anyone to kiss. Or I never wanted to kiss anyone I was near. I never understood it. In the movies, people ended up next to random, yet extremely attractive people. And they’d spontaneously kiss. And then maybe save the President from hostages. This never happened to me.

And I like sleep. A whole holiday devoted to keeping me from sleep seems overrated. Maybe it’s just me.

I do wish all of you a Happy New Year! May you feel shiny and new for at least 3 days and kiss someone at midnight you’d like to save civilization with. (Or kiss someone at 10pm after you’ve turned the clocks ahead to fool your kids and get them into bed)

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My Half Marathon is Almost Here

Well, I’m leaving on a jet plane.  I’m unsure if I’ll come back again.

My half marathon is Sunday.  This week I’ve had a pinched nerve and my lower back hurt so bad my nickname became “Icy-Hot.”  (Icy- Hot patches are incredibly hard to put on your back by yourself while sitting in your car in front of CVS by the way.)  (But the CVS checker didn’t seem to be the type who’d do it for me.)

I have very simple goals in three different levels.

Level 1 = Do not get picked up by the sweeper van (this van picks up people going too slow to make the time cut off)

Level 2 = run 7 miles straight then walk and run until someone yells “You’ve crossed the finish line”

Level 3 = Win $1 million in quarters from a slot machine

I’m still thinking about the last one.  I only have a carry on and that cost me $30 with Allegiant Air.  I’m unsure I’ll be able to carry that many quarters home.  I may just buy a new pair of shoes instead.  It’s hard to know at this point.

I’m a little nervous, but I’m fairly confident I can achieve goals one and two.  My biggest problem with running is boredom.

I’m thinking of downloading a movie to my phone to listen to while I run.  Suggestions?

I’ve Made a Rash (and yet Delicious) Decision

I’ve made a rash decision and I’ve done so without discussing it with my husband.  I hope he understands but if he doesn’t, it’s really too late.  I hope it doesn’t do any permanent damage to our relationship but I feel as though it was a personal decision and I was ready.  It’s taken a few years to get here but I feel as though I’ve matured enough now and it’s time.

I signed up for the Fruit and Cheese of the Month Club.

I’m kind of excited.  Fruit of the Month seemed like a really big decision and I couldn’t do it.  But then I saw that I could get it with cheese and it was as though the whole world expanded.

With cheese, Fruit of the Month becomes educational.  I figure Harry and David will do all of the work matching what cheese goes best with what fruit and all I have to do is blend the two.  By the end of the year, I will know how to eat cheese and fruit TOGETHER.

I also feel as though this gives my children a hand up in the world.  They will grow up knowing what cheese goes best with what fruit.  Something I didn’t have at their age. Who knows what doors this may open?  I’m pretty sure it will help with the Harvard applications.  (Although truth be told, I’ve been flirting with Stanford lately.)

I will keep you updated.  I promise to share my new knowledge.  Otherwise it would really just be selfish.

I hope my husband understands.

Does it come cut up and dipped in chocolate too?

Does it come cut up and dipped in chocolate too?

TV Teaches All Essential Life Lessons

Here is the completely unnecessary background story:
So on Friday, my training was to run 7.1 miles.  I had the whole season of Rizzoli and Isles on DVR.  But I turned on my cable and it didn’t work.  I had to get a new cable box which meant a clean DVR.  So I decided to buy the season online, because I can think of few things worse than running 7.1 miles without destraction.  But then my Blue-ray didn’t work so I couldn’t watch it on my TV.  So I balanced my Ipad on the treadmill for 7.1 miles.  And I tried not to run too loudly.

 
Oh.  And background, background story: My husband thinks the microwave is broken but it works for me which makes me think it likes me more.
And before I went running I was on an ichat for 40 minutes to be told to plug my blue-ray into a different TV (which we don’t have.)  I was told this twice and then the helpful person ended the conversation.  And then I called and was told it was broken.  After 40 more minutes.  So I was in a bad mood.  And that was BEFORE I started running.

 
And then I watched Rizzoli and Isles and Rizzoli’s mom told her to think of 3 good things for every bad thing she thought.
And this is what I thought:

  1.  I don’t have to run 8 miles for one more week.
  2. I have chocolate in my freezer.
  3. TV shows solve most of life’s dilemmas in less than 45 minutes.

You should try this next time you have a bad thought.  It really works.  Until the microwave won’t pop a simple bag of popcorn.

I Had a Perfect Plan Until I Went to my Kids’ School Open House

OK.   I’ve planned 2-3 hours a day to write.  I have an amazing schedule. It has different colors.  And a place for everything.  It’s an amazing schedule. AMAZING.

Then I went to my kids’ school open house.

And I signed up to bring snacks for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.

And I signed up to volunteer in the classroom.  Because supposedly it shows I care.  And it helps my kids succeed.  And having a relationship with your teachers is supposed to be a good idea.

And I told the PTO I’d help in any way they need.

And I told my son’s 5th grade teacher that I’m not as flighty as I seem.  (Seriously?)

And all three kids are in piano.

And 1st grade means reading really boring books every night.

And 3rd grade means working on math facts every night.

And there’s dinner.

AND THEN I SAW THIS:

I am doomed.

I am doomed.

So we’re gonna see what happens in September.  And if men in white coats take me away, we’ll know my plan didn’t work.

(When times get really tough, I figure I’ll just remind myself that at least I’m not dancing on a stage half nude surrounded by giant teddy bears and Robin Thicke dressed as the Hamburglar.)