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19 January 2012

Life has been fairly big as of late. Epic proportions here and there, turning things on their side that you didn't really think turnable. And as usual, time has grabbed the hand of Life and has pulled it into fast forward. Shit.

I've been a terrible blogger for really, really, the past two years. Writing has always been cathartic for me, helping me sort out my life and times,to measure them into some sort of reality or fiction. And I have not been putting in the time or effort that it requires. Many times I have sat down to work through, something about motherhood or wifehood (??!!) or losing Andrea-hood, and suddenly I stop up short because all I have written was "i wasn't planning on any of this and holy shit here it is and now I'm supposed to deal with it and make it into something spectacular." And let's face it, I'm pretty terrible at it. But it's the I'm-pretty-terrible-at-it-but-really-i'm-ok-with-it-all.

So why am I sitting down thinking about this all now when it's 1am and the realtor is coming at 1130am to list our house and I still have 3 walls left to paint?? Why not. It's just one of those nights I need to sort out.

To get the whole picture, right now I manage a restaurant. WIth this position comes both the good and the bad. The good in seeing people happy and getting things done and what they want, the bad in that sometimes you have to tell people that perhaps, maybe, well, this isn't really their thing. Three weeks ago I talked to a young man about his working as a server and how it wasn't really working out. He asked me why it wasn't and for the simple fact that I lacked a tactful way of telling him, I simply told him he was terrible. Because he was. And let's face it, no one really likes to pull punches or walk around the proverbial bush. So tonight, said fellow dropped by to talk. He had a big decision to make and was struggling with the why's and how's and oh shits of how to make it. He was concerned that he was wound a bit to the point of being uptight (to which I laughed a good solid minute to and said "ya think?")and that the decision he really wanted to make was the one that would throw him off his predetermined plan. So we chatted and he said he always appreciated my honesty (pleasant surprise!) and that he wanted to know what my life has been like up until this point. And when I thought about it, it had been nothing like I had expected (because I"m not much of a planner) but filled to overflowing with things that I never regretted, which included good and bad. An hour later he said "I think I've made my decision". I asked him how he felt. He said, "light".

About a half an hour later, my phone rang and it was a voice I hadn't heard in years. It was a comforting voice... like when you find your old favourite pair of shoes from 10 years ago and all the amazing memories of the places they took you come flooding back. But when you actually try them on again, they just don't fit the same. Said voice told me they always loved me and that they were dying. I told the voice he was full of shit and he said he knew that, but it didn't change the fact that his time would be up sooner than later. So we chatted. We chatted about where we both were in life and if it had taken us where we had planned or strived or fell into without thinking. He said he wished it had worked for us, and while I was sad for him, I was glad for me in the fact that it hadn't. He told me I could come back to him anytime. I told him I appreciated the offer, but that I was pretty content right where I am. I wished him well and that he slept soundly and had good dreams. And hoped that tomorrow would hold more answers and that he sat in the sunshine because it's good for the soul. And that even though I don't believe I'm heard most of the time, that I would pray for him. And I hung up the phone with no longings for times long past.

I came home and fixed the dog's bed. I checked on my babies. I listened to my husband snore. And the only thing that I could really come to terms with was that you know, even with all the shit that's come and gone and the hard times and moments where you wish you could be anywhere but here, there are more moments of utter peace and contentment where I look around me and think you know, I would do this again in a heartbeat.

05 June 2011

I think the most beautiful thing about time is that it just keeps moving. And as a perpetually wandering soul, this is a comforting thing... to know that you're not on your own... sometimes wanting to be anchored yet shying away from the shoreline.

Usually I look at my last post before posting anew. To tell you the truth, I can't even remember when it was or what exactly it said, other than it was more about an unhappy me, going in circles, not counting my blessings... and while being very honest with myself, I was missing the parts that were prevalent and good.

April and May have been busy. Work has been fantastic, getting myself recognized, putting it out there and getting something back. Ava got registered for preschool, Sarah learned to say orange juice and ok and wuv you and in no particular order, but always at the right time... and usually sending out lofty kisses with it. And I think I may have found a husband that, somewhere through the rain and wind, found a wife that he loves and is putting an effort into her that she so desperatley needs. And in turn he has gotten a wife that's let up and realized that just because her reality may be what it is, it doesn't always mean that it's written in stone.

I have a story to read and a puzzle to make because right now, that's far more important then any griping I may have to do. And life really is better with less bitching.

:)

28 March 2011

I fell off the map for February and most of March due to necessity. I was on the cusp of losing my mind, clinging to the proverbial edge of my sanity, and while I question how far off the cliff I've actually moved, atleast both feet are currently planted firmly on some sort of solid, semi-solid, atleast-it's-not-quicksand kind of ground. I'm here and all faculties are working. All in all, that's a bonus.

The last two months have been busy. I've been consistently averaging 6 days and 60 hours (more or less) a week, and that doesn't include my children. I've been burning all ends possible, and while I question exactly how far it is that I'm getting ahead, I can say that I am not going behind. It's not easy, but I'm doing what needs to be done for the time being. Or atleast I'm trying.

Nothing's been easy, that's for sure. Husband and I have been at odds, or I've been at odds with him in my own mind, or there's a silent fight going on somewhere, and I hate him and me and my life all at once, but really, who know's what exactly my reality is. I'm just so fucking terrible at being married. Is it bad that I've always been so darned content by myself??? Is it bad that I want that desperatley sought for solitude with me and my girls only??? Is it terrible that he feels like such an outsider to our trio... atleast to me? They say that the first three years of marriage are the hardest and then it gets easier. I hope the fuck they're right. But in all my bitching about my relationship with him, to watch him with my girls, you can't help but see that they are all in love. And it is that right there my friends, that is so darn hard to walk away from.

Towards the end of February I went to a Filapino wedding ... a young guy that I work with was getting married, and while they were keeping it small, I got invited. And I have to say that it was probably once of the most fun, intimate affairs that I had ever attended, and the sheer amount of joy that radiated from that particular race of people couldn't help but astound you. They laughed and danced (nothing but the Black Eyed Peas on rotation), ate and sang (they love love LOVE kareoke!) and rocked their own skin. They weren't worried about who was there or what was going on. They partied in the best kind of way. People were giving speeches and advice on marriage, does and don'ts and what works and what doesn't. And he asked me to say a few words and of course it was a day where I particularly hated the man I said I would contend with till death did us part. So I walked up and took the mic and said that I didn't really know what to tell them other then to remember this day and why you decided that this was the one person you really wanted to spend the rest of your days with, and that some days would be easier then others... a lot easier... and a lot harder... but in the end, if you made the right choice for you, it was worth it in the end... all the fights, tears, laughter and throwing coffee mugs. I never really looked good in white, so I'm not sure where that leaves me, but here I am, married and doing my darndest to make it work... or atleast thinking that I am. Let's face it, I'm sitting here waiting for it to get easier. Maybe I should stop getting ready to run.

I've been talking to God a lot lately. We usually have an ongoing dialogue of some sorts - good, bad and ugly, I figure, hey, if You made me, You knew what you were getting yourself into. While it's been an effort, I'm trying to be still. And if you know me, you know how hard this is. I'm waiting, biding my time, for what, I don't know, but I'm trying it out. It will be interesting to see what comes of it all, so see just exactly what I misinterrpret, or, perhaps, get right. Should be noteworthy. My dad's praying for me... along with a few others I suspect, and I will confess that it scares the heck out of me. Crazy things happen when people lift their voices. The Tragically Hip had a line that said "nobody cares about something you didn't do", so it will be interesting to see where this all leads.

On April 15th I'm heading to my sister's place, eight hours north. Slowly I've been compiling music for the ride because while my girls will have their dvd player, mama needs something to pass cars to. While gathering, I came across an old cd... a relic amidst one of my several boxes of books crammed together during however many moves ago. I used to spend a lot (a LOT) of time in my car and music was always vital and was before the era of the ipod. In classic Andrea style, this particular compilation was dubbed "Pop-it-in-cause-it's-gonna-make-you-feel-good! Produced during the May heatwave '03". So I popped it in and was taken back to the days of my old sunfire with windows down and sunroof open and cruising to God-knows-where, and all I could think was you know, I really nailed it with the title.

23 January 2011

Toopy and Binoo

It seems that my writing is always penned around these moments of seeming unconsequence that bring tears to my eyes for the silliest reasons. Tonight my 3 year old and I went to Toopy and Binoo. If you google them they'll point you to Treehouse and explain to you that they are a lovable cat and mouse duo that use their imagination. Many people think they're derranged or "freaky" and I struggle with how someone can judge so negatively the way they branch out and envision. They've been a favourite in our household for a long time. And today we saw them live and in person.. and if the tickets had cost us a million dollars, it would have been worth it to watch my daughter be so still, so enthralled, so there... They sang and danced for 90 minutes and through it all I found myself having to wipe my eyes... it struck me at just how richly I am blessed and it's no longer just about my moments... I was now part of her moments... her important parts of her young life... the things that matter to her, right now, in this place.

I couldn't help but think of my life and those who are a part of it... those within reach, or just standing on the edge, and how they move in and out. There is a kid, a 17 year old that I know. He's a good kid. Works hard in all parts, drinks some beer, but keeps it together. His mom died last fall after a 6 year battle with ovarian cancer and this was the first Christmas he went through without her. His dad works out of town is only home about five days per month and his older brother lives in the city, so this kid, for all intense purposes, is on his own. One night during a snowstorm he was on his way home from work and I asked him to call me to let me know that he made it. He gave me a funny look, said that he would, and prompty left. An hour later I got a text message that said he made it... and that I was the first one to worry about him making it home since his mom passed away and that it meant more to him then he could ever explain. And I thought about him today as I held my little girl... and as my heart swelled at how glad I was to be where I was, I couldn't help but think that if I were ever to have to leave this spot earlier than planned, I would hope that someone worried about whether or not the treasure sitting on my lap made it home too. Because she is the most perfect her and utterly irreplacable.

The closing line of today's program said Sing it loud and clear because every song is perfect. And today not only was my song perfect, the harmony provided by my kid moved mountains.

10 January 2011

Another January

I can, in all heartfelt honesty, say... with a great deal of honesty and put-it-out-there frankness, I will never, ever... ever get married again. Ever. Ever.

It's not that my marriage is so bad. It is what it is... ups and downs, mortgages, kids, important stuff and stupid shit. I have moments where I say thank god I don't have to date again and I can fart freely in front of this person and they know me and married me anyway... then I have moments where I'm like, seriously? I seriously fucking did this? Fuck.

Today would be one such day.

I never planned on marriage... or kids... or this, how should I put it because I don't want to say "ordinary", because it's not... but perhaps, typical? Would typical fit here? Ten years ago, could I have asked myself hey, guess what, when you're on the cusp of turning 35 you're going to have two kids, two kids, a mortgage, no time to escape and sit in the dark to listen to music that you don't care if anyone else likes or read books for the sake of reading books or have baths when you want to or worry that two little people count on you to make sure they atleast get some semblance of Canada's food guide into them... I would have probably laughed and said I doubt it. And I did. I doubted it. I had never planned on it... never expected it... never thought about it.

And here I sit. In my king-sized bed (because us and two kids didn't really fit the queen, and for the random night they end up here, this is far more comfortable and if I'm to continue being really honest, it's kinda nice thinking and feeling, which is probably the biggest thing, that I'm all alone in bed and that I'm surrounded by a house of me, with my shit... my hopes, my fears, my messes... the curtains I want and the vacuuming not done and not a care about it. Oh to dream. But I'm not. I have an incredibly bitchy husband downstairs who's pissed at me because I needed to borrow money to help pay my student loan this month... who berates and gets snarky and I could see it if I spent the mortgage money on fabulous new boots... but I didn't. And I could see it if I demanded to stay at home and not work, but I didn't. So I guess I don't see it. But atleast I've progressed to a point in my life where I can honestly say you fucking moron get over yourself and put some looser underwear on.

On one hand it's been good for me, this whole process. I've grown into a version of me that I never expected to have practice with - one who says you know, I don't like that, so piss off. One who says yes and means it, or no and means that too. There's something about this life that I never expected that makes sense to me... while I have days where it seems I will never feel the warmth of the sun, there are moments that are only found in the clarity of a very cold day.

But I suppose this life is full of good and bad and it's quite honestly not just about me anymore. And to a great degree I accepted to that. But there are definitive moments where I couldn't help but think if only I had killed him and hid the body.

05 January 2011

I've become very honest with myself. And it rather scares... and liberates.... the shit out of me all at once. I keep expecting the clouds to open up and the sun shine through on my face as if to say "well done good and noble creature", but so far it's more along the lines of "you know, that's true... and too bad you didn't figure it out a long time ago dumbass". Either way, the details are getting clearer.

Life has been busy. Sarah Doodle turned a year old in December, and Ava has mastered the art of never shutting up. It's impressive really, like she knows she's on the cusp of making your ears bleed and delving you into the place where you understand why some people shake children, only to stop you at the threshold to utterly endear you to her, to the point where your heart should explode from the sheer amount of love that you have for her. She is the mistress of making you fall in love with her, deeper than you ever dreamed possible... and always before you suscumb to fully shaking the shit out of her. Now now, not to worry. She is my joy... but it doesn't mean that on occassion I can't crave quiet. After all, she is three with the vocabulary of a 15 year old.

Sarah Doodle turned a year in December and is quickly following in her sister's linguistic capabilities. This morning at 4am she decided it was probably best that she sleep in my bed... while twirling my hair....and sticking her finger up my nose.... all the while saying "Ha-yo mom mom mom!" Ha-yo Sarah Doodle. Mama's gonna get you some tylenol... :D Kidding!... well... kinda.....

I've finally been able to get some teaching in after the arderous process of applying for a provincial license in a province that is not my own. Lord what an ordeal. All I want to do is warp your children, seriously, need we make this more difficult? Anyways, there have been a few schools that I get into consistently and I have to say that I quite enjoy them. This morning I arrived to said school to be informed that I was chaperoning the New Year's Dance for grades 6,7, and 8 which was about to take place first thing in periods one through three.

And I have to say that immediately upon entering the gym where the dance was to be held, I was even more quickly reassured about just how glad I was to no longer be in junior high.

You saw it all. The self-conscious girls that wanted to dance with boys and the boys that wished those same girls would ask them... the ones that didn't care... the cool ones, the chubby ones... the athletes... the tall ones that couldn't keep up with their feet yet and the short ones that were dying to get into the next shoe size. It was interesting to watch from the outside because I could so easily recognize their pain, joy, struggle and loathing at being there. The nervous tugging of clothing, the hands shoved deep into pockets... the nervous giggles... it was so easy to ascertain what was going through most of those kids' heads at any particular time. You couldn't help but wish them well on the years that were quietly coming upon them... cheer them on to become their best selves, wondering if they would get a chance to see the forsest outside of the trees or appreciate the wildlife therein. I hoped for them. I hoped that they get it all. And immediately as soon as someone opened a door and stirred the air, I hoped they discover deoderant... sooner then later.

I would say that so far this has been the best year yet. I stopped taking so many stupid things to heart, which is easier said then done on my behalf. I stopped thinking I was always in the right, which is good, because I'm not. But neither am I wrong all the time either. I started having an honest voice and letting the proverbial chips fall where they may as consequence of that voice. I've let go of the extra 15 lbs that haunted me... and as soon as I let go, noticed that I lost 10 of them. I guess you could say I'm starting to feel like me and I'm enjoying it.

I've released myself to the world, but protected the important bits while listening to Ava tonight before getting into the bathtub. "Mom, Sarah tooted!".... "Nope, she pooped!"..... "Aw mom, she shit and it stinks."

I appreciate that Ava is acquiring a similar batch of honesty.

"There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him to sleep." Ralph Waldo Emerson

05 March 2010

Ahhhh.... quiet. 

I have to say that while I considerably suck in the strict structure department, I do love a consistent bedtime.  My babies are in bed, not only sleeping, but resting from a day spent out in the sunshine and doing this and that with mom and dad.  Funny, a lot of times I couldn't really tell you specifically what we do each day, but we seem to land on our pillows exhausted from the activity.  Sarah Doodle is sleeping like a trouper, usually in bed each night between 8 and 8:30.  Ava is a little more a stickler, not getting there until 9, but I just can't seem to worry about it, simply because we have a quiet time to rock and talk about our day.  Or rock and watch Toopy and Binoo.  Or rock and discuss all the reasons why it IS bedtime, while she argues that point that it is not.

It's been a big week with me working all of Peter's days off, leaving him to sort out the details of bedtime with his daughters.  A feat never attempted until Tuesday of this week.  And it worked out perfectly.  I had told him before that he needed to spend time with his youngest girl.  He was still scared of her crying, scared of her starting and never stopping, scared he wouldn't know what to do or if he did then not doing it right anyways.  So I told him that he needed to get over himself, that she could feel his anxiety, and that she, and really, he, had to learn to trust him and his ability to be a great dad.  Because I knew he could.  He just had to see it for himself.  And they made it.  And they giggled and talked and discovered that Sarah has this great big laugh just waiting to come out and pounce on whoever is nearby.  And through it all I think he finally figured out that he could take care of his family outside of a paycheck.  And really, that's worth more than all the money in the world.

My friend Sarah was here visiting from Cuba.  She works for immigration and her next stop will be Cairo for 2 years beginning this coming summer.  Ava was confused by all the "Sarah's", and Big Sarah, versus Sarah Doodle didn't always clear her mind, but we managed.  Big Sarah was actually part of Sarah Doodles naming.  While she is named after my great grandmother, it was the spirit in my friend Sarah that sealed the deal.  She has lived life with gusto and fearlessly... or if she was frightened, she did it anyways.  And I can't help but think that's a good lesson to pass on... that it's ok to be scared, but never let it stop you... see the world.... explore the nooks and crannies.

I'm really hungry and watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and thinking that the banana bread I made earlier is in short order in satisfying my great desire for a burger.  Ah well.  I guess I'll sort that out too.

Tonight we tried out my 2 year olds new rubber boots in all the puddles we could find around the neighbourhood.  She told me that she was wet and tired, but that I was a "tan-tastic mama" and that she knew because she was a smart cookie.  I a smart cookie, mama and you tan-tastic.  And she told me she loved me.  I wuv you mama.  A wot.  And I am reminded in all my inadequacies and short-falls that somewhere along this wandering road of my life that has been both overgrown and barren sometimes all at once, I got the important things right.  I'm not perfect, but I am tan-tastic.