Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who's big idea was this summertime thing anyways.

Thought I'd stop by and leave an update or two on my life these days. Things are so busy and I absolutely hate not being able to write.

School let out and I suddenly found myself with all three kids all day long with no break, no freedom or flexibility that I am used to (that already isn't enough to get it all done). I honestly wasn't sure we'd all make it out alive the first week. At nighttime, I could still hear their little voices ringing in my ears "We're BORED! Can we go _____ (insert place that costs money or activity that involves me leaving my work)".

And then today I overheard my 3 year old playing dolls. One doll was telling the other that she couldn't play because "she had to work". Ouch.

And then later on today after my son tried to guilt trip me for the millionth time about not going out to eat, I had to actually sit him down with a calculator and show him how income and bills work and how little we have left after all is said and done. 'Twas fun.

I miss the summers of taking the kids to the pool every other day, going on summertime adventures, and eating popsicles in the front yard. But the restraints of single motherhood are choking all of us right now. I miss my babysitters, my assistants, my crazy nanny who used to insult me but also did all of my laundry (WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE TO HAVE HER BACK).

On the brightside, to combat the boredom, my daughter has begun to enjoy reading chapter books in her room, my son is attending football camp, and my youngest continues to terrorize me. And the house. (As I type my son tells me she has written on the wall. Again.) All three have watched hundreds of episodes of iCarly and SpongeBob (God help me, I hear "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea" in my nightmares) and for right now, that is just going to have to be ok.

Back to work.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happiness is...

One of my friends sent us a list of 100 things that make her happy, an assignment given by a therapist. Reading through her list made *me* happy, so I thought I'd give it a shot here.

1. Kisses from my babies
2. Listening to my 3 year old sing
3. the sound of a text message coming in on my iphone
4. having a client sincerely thank me for my work
5. the sound my camera makes when I take a picture
6. my neighborhood with all of it's gorgeous trees and greenery
7. Watching my 7 year old dance joyfully to her favorite song
8. Seeing my son dance like Michael Jackson
9. the feeling after an awesome workout
10. the hot shower after an awesome workout
11. getting dressed up with full hair and makeup
12. cheesy pop music that reminds me of my childhood
13. seeing an amazing band sing the songs I love live
14. the relaxed feeling after a glass of wine
15. seeing my two youngest follow their brother around like ducklings
16. cooking a meal for my sweetheart and him loving it
17. seeing Mr. W's sideways smile
18. Mr. W's arm around me or a kiss on my forehead
19. watching my baby take Mr. W's hand or reach for him to hold her
20. laughing with my friends
21. seeing my body morph into that of an athlete
22. peanut butter and chocolate anything
23. getting onto an airplane knowing I'm about to experience something totally new
24. traveling with Mr. W, anywhere
25. showing my kids something they've never seen before and the looks of amazement on their faces
26. being a single mom and owning this house on my own
27. thinking of a great gift for someone
28. hanging out with my brother and my sister in law
29. singing along to Michael Jackson songs with my kids in the car
30. seeing a really great movie, especially one that makes me cry
31. reading a book so good I can't put it down and finish it in days
32. getting a pedicure
33. massage
34. play fighting with Mr. W
35. the look on Mr. W's face when he's impressed with me
36. falling in love with an album and listening to it non-stop
37. Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper
38. pizza
39. curling up on my couch and watching tv, snuggled up in a blanket
40. taking myself out to eat alone and seeing a movie alone
41. the fact that all 3 kids still call me Mommy
42. a quiet house
43. waking up and seeing Mr. W smiling at me
44. the sound of the ocean waves
45. an amazing restaurant experience, with great food and atmosphere
46. making my Dad happy by visiting him
47. lunch with my Mom
48. going for a run in the rain
49. watching my kids' sports games
50. baking at Christmas
51. watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade with my kids
52. walking through Central Park anytime, but especially in the fall
53. Fifth Avenue at Christmas at nighttime
54. having people ask me for directions in NYC and being able to tell them
55. learning French
56. the smell of baking bread
57. making a snowman with Mr. W
58. rollercoasters
59. singing
60. having a close network of girlfriends who have my back and who I can go to for anything, anytime
61. knowing that I have met my soulmate
62. liking the way I look
63. liking who I am
64. admiring who my kids are becoming
65. Lakehouse
66. hot yoga
67. my baby making up stories
68. my baby's funny faces
69. taking the kids to see Santa
70. knowing I can do this on my own
71. sleeping late
72. making a new friend
73. reconnecting with an old friend
74. riding the subway and knowing what I'm doing
75. GNO's
76. dancing
77. Buzzbrews
78. Epic nights out with Amy
79. laughing til my sides hurt
80. my bedroom, especially my comforter
81. bookstores
82. a new haircut or color
83. wearing a new outfit
84. pictures of me and my friends, me and my kids, me and Mr. W
85. watching football
86. Fall evenings
87. Mr. W's car
88. my house after the housekeeper leaves
89. playing soccer with the kids
90. taking the kids to the pool all day long
91. doing my own yardwork
92. knowing that I have the power to change pretty much anything for the better
93. running the Brooklyn Bridge
94. running a 5K
95. going to baseball games
96. popcorn at the movies
97. The State Fair
98. the F word
99. driving with the sunroof open on a beautiful day
100. staying out all night and feeling like I made the most of every moment of the night

Honestly I could do a hundred more...loved this!!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

War Wounds Reopened

Sometimes it feels like it's been a million years, another lifetime, since I was married to my husband.

And then something happens and the pain feels as if it all went down yesterday.

One of my closest friends discovered a couple of weeks ago that her husband had been unfaithful to her over the course of their marriage. This couple is part of my innermost circle of friends, and I love them both.

I wanted to blog about it when it happened, but I just couldn't. Actually, when I found out, I couldn't do much of anything. I tensed up so much over the next couple of days, that my back actually went out and I was stuck in bed. My stomach was sick. I'd love to tell you that I'm that great of a friend, but in reality, it was like reliving my entire "atom bomb" all over again but with a muffled scream instead of a voice.

Today my stepfather had a major surgery at the same hospital that my father had his brain tumor removed and then subsequently spent the next half a year at trying to recover from it. I could not make myself go, even though I knew how much my mother probably needed me there. I have panic attacks just driving by that hospital, I can't imagine ever setting foot in it again. But my brother went for the both of us. He struggled just parking in the parking garage; the garage where we would aimlessly search for our cars after horrible news and devastation. Then he had to walk into the same surgery waiting area that we had spent that fateful day waiting for Dad to come out of surgery, the one where the doctor came out and told us our father would never be the same. It was the little details that got to him, things he forgot, that triggered panic attacks. He sent me a picture of a computer screen where you watch your loved one's surgery progress, and I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. It was this screen we stared at helplessly when he did not come out of surgery after the 5 hours we were promised, but 12. Re-living all of those little horrors....I don't know how he did that.

But this is exactly how it feels to watch my friend go through this in her marriage. She tells us things he has said, things I've heard before. She feels torn, like she wants to kill him but yet loves him and wants to help him. Things I've felt before. It was so disturbing to me and brought up so many of those feelings again that I spent the majority of my couples counseling session in tears over it. I was angry all over again and felt so outraged and hurt, and I couldn't let go.

And tonight I'm writing about this because I decided for some reason to read my private blog I kept in the months after I kicked my ex out. The pain in those unfiltered words is so pungent and profound. I look back at that time...a time when I was forced into doing this job of motherhood all by myself, running my business all by myself, and somehow doing it all while feeling like I was going to die. How did I even do it? I don't even remember that period that well. I remember little moments, like sobbing in my closet, physically shaking constantly from anxiety, not being able to eat or sleep....God how did I get through this?

All I did was put one foot in front of the other, and each day tried to do it a little better than the day before. I was not always graceful, I was not always smart. I drank a lot of vodka and took plenty of Xanax. I slept when I should have been watching my children or working. I obsessed over my ex. I secluded myself and didn't let anyone help me. I would blow up over nothing. It was not a pretty time.

But here I am now. The happiest I've EVER been in my life. I'm physically, emotionally, and mentally the healthiest I've ever been. I love everything about my life and am so glad that I went through that pain, if it means I am able to be where I am today. I feel lucky to have gone through a situation that catalyzed growth and enlightenment for me. My therapist pointed these things out to me, and reminded me of something very important:

I wouldn't change a thing.

I hope that no matter what happens with my friend's marriage, that the same will happen for her. Actually, I already see it happening and I'm very optimistic for her. It sucks that it seems to take such dark times to wake us up to our truths, but sometimes it just does.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Need To Remember

I was once 22 and already a wife and mother, while my friends were single, partying, finishing college, and at a totally different place in life than me. One by one I watched them fall to the wayside as we had less and less in common. What I learned: the good ones came back when we were back in the same place. And not only did they come back, they apologized for leaving in the first place. The others? I don't miss.

I need to remember that it has taken me 11 years to adjust to the absolute craziness of being a parent, and I did it one child at a time. Each baby step was hard, but it was a natural process that developed gracefully over time.

I need to remember that I lost myself to parenthood and marriage. I forgot that I loved music and exercise and friends and laughter, and that I was full of anger and rage and resentment most of the time, and didn't understand why until I found myself again through the divorce. Finding myself again and holding onto it was the most important thing I ever did for myself and everyone around me, and is what I now want for those around me whom I love, more than anything.

I need to remember that even after 3 kids and 11 years of parenthood, I am still completely and utterly overwhelmed by schedules and functions and planning and providing and balancing. As a VETERAN.

I need to remember how hard it is to look at my life and realize that as a parent, I cannot do all that I want to do and please everyone around me.

Because my sweetheart has only a few months experience with it. And as great of a job as I think I did with the transitions over the years, he is showing me how it's done. I am so proud to call him my man, and we are so lucky to have him in our lives. Someone who cares so much about the people in his life-that is hard to come by.

Imagine going from having no children to three, from having the same lifestyle as your friends to completely the opposite, having the pressure to bond and nurture a relationship with your three possibly future stepchildren. He's doing it like a pro with class and love and I am so very proud of him.