Thursday, October 02, 2008

Breathe Breathe Breathe Breathe Breathe Breathe oh and Breathe

• Nicole made a joke other night about losing her job. NOT funny. Her company is going through its four? Fifth? round of layoffs, two thousand this time. While we are fairly certain she will be safe once again, one can’t help but to panic in these times, when we are facing the worse economic crisis and massive uncertainly and new Wall Street headlines every day. She works at a bank, for the love of god. No one is safe. The bank could lay off anyone at this point, and just shrug its massive shoulders and say “it’s the economy. Sorry. ” And why not her? I would think it is advantageous to get rid of those who make higher salaries and get bigger bonuses. If I ran the bank, that’s what I would do.

But Nicole’s innocent joke rankled me: The me that worries about stability; the me that was raised by a single mom who never got child support or alimony and who always worried about her mom’s financial stability and will we need to sell the house and move?; and the me who is a daughter of a woman who cleaned houses and did anything she could to support her daughter and herself. There was one winter when my mom couldn’t afford to buy me a new winter coat, and a growth spurt rendered last year’s completely unwearable. Her aunt and uncle took me to Burlington Coat Factory and bought me a fancy red wool coat and a matching red plaid scarf and red gloves and I felt SO special. I remember walking through the aisles with my mom, trying different ones on, not realizing the distant look in her eyes was sadness and defeat. I remember hanging the new coat on my door, in excitement for wearing it the next day. It wasn’t till years later that I realized WOW, we couldn’t afford a coat.

• Speaking of no alimony and child support, my dad is in town from China. With his much younger girlfriend (my age). He’s been here since Monday, but I haven’t spoken with him yet. Guess I am not on the top of the To Call list. I act like it doesn’t bother me but oh how it does. His visits always cause lots of undigested emotions to burble up in me.

• And back to the economy. I feel like we need to stop spending money now. I don’t’ think we are extravagant by any means, but it’s the little things. Like today, I am going to Bed Bath and Beyond because I can’t get through the day without buying a new picture frame, shoe stretchers, new electric toothbrush heads, and at least one impulse item. And then off to William Sonoma because I NEED kitchen scissors. But when I am in the shower, I think “I need to use less shampoo because we could be heading into a depression.”

• My left shoulder hurts. I have to get an MRI for my hearing loss (this has been on my medical to do list for two years), and a sonogram of my thyroid (doctor-ordered a year ago). And Breast Cancer Awareness Month has me freaked out because I do breast exams exactly never.

• My patience is fraying at the seams. Waiting for Word to launch sometimes pushes me over the edge. Waiting for water to boil seems like an eternity. Toddler activities can get repetitive after thirty seconds. After the seventh reading of the same book, I start flipping the pages really fast and reading really fast. By the tenth reading, I don’t even bother to read the words. I even, on two occasions, threw the book ACROSS the room and said “Enough!” in too loud a voice, like a five-year-old, and ran out of the room. And when the girls start acting like that I guess I have no one to blame but myself. After all, what are children if not tiny mirrors that reflect your best and worst qualities?

• The girls both have runny noses, so I suspect this is either the start of a cold or more crazy teething. But the way Avery has been throwing around her toys this morning and complaining, I suspect it is a cold.

• We need to find a babysitter, but I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t imagine walking out the door and saying goodbye and leaving my girls with a stranger. No no no. But we need to learn to do just that.

• My friends and I are getting together this Sunday for brunch, and this always stirs mixed feeling. I am happy because these are people I have been friends with for decades and it is always good to spend time together. But then I am said because I can’t help but to think inside Why Can’t We Do This All the Time? Obviously, we all have our own families and careers and obligations and we no longer live in the same town. But it always makes me long for that simpler, younger life when we were all so, I don’t know, carefree? When I worried about finding the right lipstick color and we wondered how t spend a Friday night. One of these friend’s toddler daughter left a message for me on my voice mail yesterday and I made me ache in a way I just can’t describe.

To sum up: Father issues, mother issues, career stability fears, economy fears, health fears, need a babysitter quandaries, missing my friends, patience issues, and where oh where is my serenity?

If I make it through the day without eating a box of Junior Mints and a bag of pretzels, it will truly be an accomplishment.


Truck Driver Wife said...

Oh dear. HUGS to you.

Lynnbug said...

Wanting simpler times - that reminds me of that song by Trac Atkins "Your Gonna Miss This."

Hang in there. I think there are a lot of people that are having the same feelings.

jeannineomalley said...

I'm right there with you on the stress and worries. And eating badly to try and soothe myself. What a viscious cycle.

I just found a good babysitter from a local university. I posted the job on their career web site and got a few bites. You'll be surprised what quality candidates you can find - ours even has twin experience. My husband suggested it when I was exasperated at how to find someone, reminding me that's how I made money in college.
You could even specify you want an education major (to find someone who will really WANT to play with and engage your girls). Hope that helps, and hang in there!

meanmama said...

Your coat story was beautiful and sad. I always enjoy your writing style - and your emotional honesty.

Moira said...

babysitters - try Barnard college. I think you have to register, but the school maintains a list of interested students who can contact you. They don't screen them, but it might be a reasonable place to start.

And the patience thing ...we get it. Hope the girls don't tag team you with colds..

K J and the kids said...

I have felt this same way in so many ways :) Well except my dad didn't run away to China with the babysitter. no wait, you used to babysit your dads new girlfriend. no wait ;-)
I love the way you write.

Good luck making sense of all of these issues.