Here is sit in front of the computer, enjoying a cup of coffee with Pumpkin Spice Non-Dairy Creamer. Trying to decide if I should have a piece of the Vegan Gluten-Free Mocha Cake leftover from a fantastic surprise party. Fuck it, who am I kidding? ...enjoying a piece of Vegan Gluten-Free Mocha Cake leftover from a fantastic surprise party. Musing about another year gone by.
What has a year brought me? LOTS of change. But really, when I look back, what has a decade brought me? I have the battle scars: stretch marks, acne scars, gray hairs yet to be dyed, wrinkles (laugh lines, they call them, sick bastards "they" are).
10 years ago, I was trying to lose weight in order to get pregnant, with what would turn out to be Princess. We were thinking about whether we would have enough love and attention to share with another child, whether it was going to benefit us, expanding our little tri-pod of fun. We didn't know that our hearts would grow along with my belly. We both worked full-time, Sky King commuting over 1 1/2 hours each way. In fact, he had just moved with his company, so now he came home each night, rather than stayed overnight 3 hours away for most of the week, coming home for a long weekend. I was working with school-age children, putting in 50 hours a week, plus drive-time. We lived in a little house in my husband's hometown. We worked on that little house on the weekends. No matter how much paint we slapped on, how much new trim we added, how updated that single bathroom became, we still couldn't get a pizza delivered, due to the reputation of the neighborhood. We were happy though, because our home had doubled in value, and the ceiling seemed limitless.
We didn't know it, but we were coming up on a big change in our lives. Within less than a year, we would be faced with having to sell our home. We would start a business and then pour the home-sales profits into a business that would fail within 7 years. My pain would increase to epic levels, and I would try acupuncture for the first time. We would hit financial lows, and struggle with the things many people in their first decade of marriage struggle with:
Trust, lack of maturity, growing older. We would seek marriage counseling by the year's end.
It would turn out to be some of the shittiest wonderful things that ever happened.
Marriage: The therapist would tell Sky King to quit smoking, and me to take my diminishing ass down to anger management classes. I would grudgingly go, and learn nothing.
Home: We sold that house-our first home. We worked hard to create a warm home out of that shit hole. We had put lots of blood, sweat and cash into it. It pained us-we had made 250% on the sale, and funneled all that cash into our new business. We moved in with my parents, who had retired to the Sacramento area. We had a new baby that had colic, and a son getting ready to start Kindergarten.
Work: I quit my job due to horrendous sciatic problems during my pregnancy. I was going to run the business we started, with Princess attached to my hip. Sky King would commute to Hayward for his regular job running a flight school, then come home for long weekends to help me at the business. (We made custom area rugs and repaired Oriental rugs)
Soon, we were running out of money. Actually, we were running out of room on the credit card. The money had gone long ago. Our credit score was about to take a huge hit, and I needed a job. I took a job teaching preschool at a local chain, mourning the loss of our dream: SK's to be our own boss and live on that alone, mine to leave Child Development-it just wasn't my thing.
I drudged through work, realizing that in order to eat regular meals, I would need to promote. Back to 60-hour workweeks for me. SK's flight job relocated to Phoenix, leaving us dependent on my pathetic hourly wage and the barely afloat business. Princess was be-bopping through life, Monkey Boy was floundering in the public school system.
Then, we took life by the short and curlies. We got our own place, if only to save our relationship with each other, and our relationship with my parents. We needed our own space, so did they. I promoted, and jumped into 60+ hour workweeks, running a failing center. Sky King plugged away at the business while trying to find side gigs flying. Monkey Boy got ripped from the public school system, and nestled into a Montessori charter school. Things were looking up.
Fast-forward six years-my body has taken a beating-so has my psyche. Our entire world has been flipped upside down-roles have reversed, adaptations forced upon us. And we are happier than ever.
Yes, we closed that first business. But that experience allowed us to make our next business a smashing success. And somewhere along the line I fell in love with children again. It felt like the first time though. The first time was more of a crush-I enjoyed showing things to children for the first time, hearing them say their crazy things, telling their parents' business. Now, I LOVE children. I have gotten involved in an organization, PITC, that would totally wipe away all ideas about children and child care. I would transform into a great trainer that knew instinctively the answers to the questions my staff would ask me. (Rather than trying to remember by rote the Piagetian INSTEAD. It took quite a while for a paycheck to become a habit, but the work was amazing and rewarding, growing a business with a group of people that continually amaze me on a daily basis.
Sky King has moved into a comfort zone of working for himself when he wants to, and working with an exciting start-up with some men he respects. Monkey Boy is flourishing in Montessori (despite his report card---it's a work in progress) and Princess is still be-bopping to the sound of a peppy internal soundtrack.
My health sucks. I know this, I accept this. I also accept that my health has caused me to pause, slow down, take on less, commit to less. I recommitted to myself, my children, my awesome husband. I have grown and matured, and I finally know what that therapist a decade ago was talking about. I have eased up on Sky King-I appreciate what he brings to the table, and the way in which he brings it. I didn't do that as much before. I was silently waiting for him to become the man I thought I wanted. Luckily for me, I figured that out before he got sick of me. Learned that the best thing for me was exactly what I had in front of me.
We have lots of free time for our kids. Lots of free time for our awesome groups of friends, new and old. Lots of time to do nothing, which is one of my new favorite hobbies.
I have made peace with the wrinkles, the grays, the stretch marks. Not the acne, though. That shit has GOT to stop.
I WILL be in a bikini next summer. Not because I will be at my goal weight. I may be, I may not be. But I ain't getting any younger, and I want to have pictures I will envy later. Have you seen a picture of yourself from the past and thought, "man, I sure wish I had known how hot I looked" or, "I wish I had shown more cleavage back then, when my boobies were so high and perky". So, come hell or high water, low boobs or gelatinous thighs, I WILL be in a bikini next summer. I want to look back when I am 49 and say, "damn, girl. I was one hot piece of ass." And regardless of what I weigh, I will say that. We all will. The grass WAS always greener, right?
Makes you rethink that venti frappaccino you were going to surprise me with, doesn't it?
I have a feeling this is the start of the best year yet.