Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm not dead yet

Yeah *scratches head* so, anywho....Reader's Digest version - I left my emotionally draining job and took a job that is draining me physically.  I want to go back to school but now I'm not sure what I want to major in. And we've moved halfway across the country *deep breath* So how are you? You look nice, did you get a haircut?

After a rough go at things last fall, I decided I needed more support to get through things personally and as a family than my scattered family could give us.  So, we began making plans to move back to Florida with the plan that I would go back to school either for a master's degree in psychology/social work or a bachelor's in nursing.  I did about a month's worth of individual therapy sessions prior to our move to somewhat address some of the issues from my past that still haunt me today and it was helpful - I wish I would've continued it after the move because I might not be in the position I am now if I had.  His family was gracious enough to offer us a place in their home to give us a little bit of a cushion after the move.  Upon arriving here, we discovered that I would be stuck paying out-of-state tuition unless we waited a year before I re-entered the realm of academia.  So, I began looking for work to pay the bills until then.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much in the area we live in and I would've been looking at an hour commute to get to any jobs paying close to what I had been making before.  I had one interview in this area for a position similar to what I had done before but the job requirements would have burned me out even more than my last job.  So I turned it down and ended up accepting a physically intensive but lower emotionally taxing job at a national retail store...at a much lower wage and a slow rate of growth and advancement.  I was already familiar with the process of applying for government assistance and was not above looking for help to get us through until our situation improved.  Ultimately, I am hoping that this is a temporary stepping stone to something better but, at this point, I'm questioning what that is. 

Having family right next door has been wonderful for us as a family.  The kids love having their "Grammy and Papa" close by and visit with them everyday.  It's been nice for us as a couple because we've finally been able to have some time alone away from the kids.  2 of the kids have started school this year and, despite the initial hiccups, they are thriving and love school.  We've been spending about every other weekend with family, be it his grandparents or his son from his first marriage and their family.  I feel like the kids are getting the extended family experience that I never got to have.

I don't know what to do about the job/school situation.  My gut is telling me that I need to quit this job before it breaks me but I worry about letting my co-workers down...plus I've grown close to several of them, even in this short time, and worry that we won't keep in touch after I leave.  My head is saying that I need to keep working to keep some income coming in until I figure out for sure where I'm going to go from here.  One program I've looked at is at a campus about an hour and a half from our house so I have to consider that daily commute.  I have also considered a program closer to our home but I'm not entirely sure that I want to devote my future career to it.  I'm confused, angry, frustrated, and getting depressed about this.  I've been sick more times in the first 4 months of this job than I was in my first 4 years at my previous job.  I just don't want to risk my physical health through my current job and have it impact any potential career growth in the future.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Present and Accounted for

In some aspects, I've been busy lately and, in others, I've been avoiding.

There have been good days, bad days, and in-between days.

I've typed words and deleted them many times.

Some days, I feel like wiping this clean and starting over but I'm not quite ready to let go of some of the memories I've shared here. 

So, where does that leave things?  Here, there, and everywhere.


But, I am still here - and, on some days, that alone is a miracle and a blessing.

It's not all doom and gloom around here but it's not sunshine, rainbow, and glittery unicorn poop either.  It's a steady wave of ups and downs and we're just riding it out.

There's a new opportunity on the horizon that could really change things for us and give us a chance at a restart.  I'm looking forward to it but I'm also scared that we might crash and burn.  But, we'll never know if we don't try so all we can do now is prepare ourselves and get ready for another wave.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

I have never done a post about September 11th, 2001 since I started this blog back in 2007, mostly because that day held a different meaning for me at that time. 

Sept. 11, 2001 - I was getting ready for work that morning with the TV on for background noise.  I was in the midst of fixing my lunch when I heard the announcement about the first plane hitting the first tower of the World Trade Center.  I stood transfixed on the screen and watched as the second plane hit the second tower.   As I was working at a mental health agency, the first thing that crossed my mind was how our clients would react to this situation.  I quickly got my things together and rushed to work, where most of my co-workers already had TVs and radios tuned in to the news.  Since we were located far from all the activity, we didn't get as many calls or panic attacks as we were expecting; I'm sure they were all watching like we were, trying to figure it all out.  I went home at the end of the day to my apartment and watched all the coverage with my kitten, not remotely interested in stopping by the bar I usually went to every night.

Sept. 11, 2002 and 2003 - On each anniversary, it was me and my cat again, watching footage of that day and reliving the tragedy and loss.  In 2003, one of my former co-workers was serving in the Army over in Afghanistan so it was a little more personal that year.

Sept. 11, 2004 - I had just started dating my now-husband a few weeks before and we traded stories of what we had been doing that day.  He had been in the military at the time and, after the attacks, awaited orders to be sent overseas; unfortunately (fortunately?), he blew out his knee shortly afterwards while still in boot camp, which ended his military career.

Sept. 11, 2005 - We were engaged on this anniversary and living in Florida with his parents.  I was in between jobs while he was working at a local nursing home.  I had woken up early that day, feeling a little "off".  While sitting in the quiet as he slept, I thought about a little secret plan we had hatched and my suspicions were soon confirmed.  I waited until he woke up to tell him...on the other hand, he quickly ran out of our room to tell his parents and his grandparents, who had come over for lunch that day, that we were expecting our first child.  I felt a little weird celebrating on such a solemn day but everyone's excitement pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind.

Sept. 11, 2006 - We were married for 6 months by this point.  We didn't get to spend much time reflecting on the 5 year anniversary, as we were preparing to move from Florida back to my home state of Texas with our 4 month old son.

Sept. 11, 2007 - We were in Texas and had moved into a bigger place, as we now had our 16 mo. old son and a 1 month old girl.  I was back at work part-time from my maternity leave while he had left his job about 6 months before to stay at home to raise the kids.

Sept. 11, 2008 - We had moved again into a bigger place because we had just added another girl to our family the month before.  While remembering the events 7 years before, a new era appeared to be around the corner with Obama running for president.

Sept. 11, 2009 and 2010 - We no longer had cable by this point so we were not as inundated with all the 9/11 coverage.  Instead, we were focused on keeping the little ones entertained and all the everyday minutia.

So, that brings us to this year, the 10 year anniversary.  It's amazing how so much as changed in that time, both in my personal life and the world at large.  Our son is starting on his first soccer team, our oldest girl is losing her first tooth, and the youngest one is being potty trained.  Our sense of security as a nation has been rocked to the core and we're still recovering from it.  I've been avoiding most of the coverage this year because, for me, it is time to move forward.  We do plan on educating our children about 9/11 once they get old enough to explain what happened without giving them nightmares in the process.  We will definitely never forget that day but it is time to move forward to a hopefully brighter future. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oh happy day(s)

This has been a pretty good week for me - halle-freaking-lujah!  I have been catching up on a lot of stuff at work, the kids haven't been complete holy terrors, and we're finally getting back on track with our finances after me being really sick in May and going out of state for a funeral in June. 

On the whole work topic, my supervisor invited me to go to the major state conference for our field, which was a huge surprise.  I ended up having to pass on going because it would have set me behind on my work and I've really been making an effort to try and get a little bit ahead.  Due to major changes in our budget, there are going to be some staff changes coming down the pipeline.  I'm hoping to still be around for a while since I do have so much experience but I'm also hoping that passing on the conference doesn't come back to haunt me later on.  I knew that I would be in trouble and get behind otherwise.

I've been doing computer time each night with the kids to work on their phonics and math skills.  They have been really excited about it so far so hopefully we'll start to see some results from the effort.  We are getting ready for the girls' birthday coming up next month.  We're heading down to my hometown to hang with my mom and little sister for an extended weekend.  She has volunteered to use her AARP discount to get us a hotel room...mainly because she doesn't want all 5 of us crammed in their little apartment and because my sister wants to go swimming in a nicer pool.  We might exchange pool time for babysitting time so we can run away and do dinner and a movie :) 

My decluttering efforts have come to a bit of a standstill with most of my energy being split between work and the family.  I've been getting better about taking care of the mail as it comes in, which made it easy to find some paperwork I needed earlier in the week.  I've almost gotten all of our financial papers taken care of so the next area after I complete that will be working on all the things I've gathered for homeschooling the kids.  Arts and crafts stores are my downfall because I will grab all kinds of supplies with grand ideas in my head but they don't get executed.  So, I will be going through our storage tote of craft supplies to see what we actually have and make a list of them.

Tonight I'm going out with the girls and I'm very excited about that.  We usually will go out drinking about once a month or so.  Most of my girlfriends are single and childless so it's a little weird going out with them but we make it fun.  One of my girlfriends and I are planning on getting season tickets to the women's basketball games this year because we had so much fun going to the NCAA playoff games this past season.  I'm trying to take more time out for myself this year and doing things that I had pushed aside, like sleeping and reading.

So, that's what's new over here...until next time :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cleanup cleanup, let's do it together

That's what our kids sing when they pick up toys at night before bed.  I tried an experiment this week of separating the toys out by which kid plays with it the most and putting it in their designated backpack.  2 of the kids dump their toys out on a daily basis, the 3rd (our middle kiddo) has kept all of her in her backpack since I first separated them out.  While doing this has helped us to see which toys they're actually playing with, it has backfired some since the living room is still a royal mess most of the day.  I'm half tempted to go back to using a toy chest that the kids used when they were younger so they can just dump all their toys in there and pull out what they want.  Daddy worked on cleaning up his workspace today so he can get back into some of his craft projects later this week.  I worked on going through some of our old financial papers today and cleared out a lot of paper clutter...the shredder (and the grill when we use it) are going to be busy!  I decided on a decluttering plan this weekend - I am going to only work on paper and physical clutter on the weekends when I have time to separate it out and really focus in on it.  During the weeknights, I am going to start working on my digital "clutter" after I get home from work.  We were talking this weekend and realized that we are starting to run out of space on our hard drives (yes, plural).  So, I'm going to start looking over what is on my computer to see what can be deleted and what needs to be dealt with/reorganized.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Cleaning


I have been on a cleaning and purging spree this summer.  We've gotten rid of several boxes of stuff that I had no clue we had or needed.  It started out with clearing out some of the kids' toys as our oldest's birthday approached.  We anticipated several new toys coming and realized that they don't even play with half of the toys they already had.  From there, a massive clean-up happened in anticipation of a family visit that never happened (but that's a story for another day).  Oh, the dust bunnies we found around the house...we could've created another cat out of it.  I have to give much credit to Daddy for clearing out a lot of his old hobbies and "projects" that have been lingering around the house.  I've been reading a lot of minimalism/simple living blogs lately and they have been a great inspiration to get us on track. We've been talking about the possibility of moving into an RV at some point but we would have to drop a lot of things to do that.  Hopefully, once we get things a little more organized and decluttered, I'll post some pictures of our progress.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A new day, a new post

I took a bit of an unexpected leave of absence.  I thought about dumping this blog and starting anew but that wouldn't be right...there's history here that needs to stay here.  However, I did decide to weed out some of the older entries that were mainly just mindless blathering to see myself writing.  So, what does this mean?  It means that there will be some gaps in my blog but I think I may finally be ready to do this thing...whatever it might be. 

Here's a little mood music for this time of year down in the South...