Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Wheel of Fortune

A while ago I read a post on Metro Mama's site (I'd link to it, but for some annoying reason, Blogger in Mac doesn't have that handy button to create links, and Charlie will be ready for pickup at preschool soon, so I don't have time to code it. That and I'm lazy.) about the wheel of fortune. No, not the game show, but the Shakespearean (Elizabethan??) concept that our lives are wheels that turn around and around: sometimes our fortunes are up, sometimes they are down. (See also: Dan Zanes, Wonderwheel) In her post, Metro Mama noted that things for her were definitely up and she wanted to take note so when things are down she will remember all the good she has. I was touched by that idea, and when I was reading this (back in December), I noted that things at Chez FOO were definitely up. We were moving back to Toronto. Preschool was going well for Charlie. Work was manageable for HS. I was working too, and that felt good. We were going to Florida. Our families and friends were in good health. I was so happy, I was even thinking of calling it quits with my therapist. We were plannning another baby.

And then 2007 came along.

There have been lots of little things (and a couple of big ones) that have cause the wheel to shift for us lately. And while I recognize that comparatively speaking our downswing is NOTHING compared to what others have to deal with, there's just been a lot of shit. So, as I threatened, here's my Oprah Gratitude Journal. Please forgive me for this (you lone reader out there), but here is a list of Good Things to Think of When the Bad Stuff Seems to Take Over:

1. I have a good marriage. Despite all this awful stuff, HS and I talk. We love and support each other. We have figured out a flaw in our relationship recently, and we are aware of it now and working to fix it.

2. I have Charlie. Despite the fact that three is kicking my ass on a daily basis, he is wonderful. And he is potty trained. Whoo-hoo!

3. Speaking of serious flaws, I realized a pattern of behaviour that I need to change. It's a pattern I learned from my parents, and I'm horrified that I have only recognized it now, at the age of 35. But it isn't too late. I can learn from it and do something about it.

4. I have a great family. Yes, they drive me crazy. But my parents are both still around. They are relatively healthy and independent. When we move back to Toronto I will be a ten-minute drive from my sister. I like my in-laws. I have two sweet neices that Charlie adores. I have a good relationship with my MIL. My brother-in-law's new girlfriend is awesome. My nephew is doing well at school.

5. I have good, supportive friends (who are finally having kids). There are so many people who are happy that we are moving back. I can have a girls' night out once and a while. My good friend is having a baby in September. My other good friend will be off for the summer. I won't be so alone.

6. I can work part-time, at home, while Charlie transitions to his new school and adjusts to the move.

7. Our new neighbourhood in Toronto is safe and family-friendly. Charlie can walk to school. I can walk to Tim Hortons, the library, the boardwalk, Shoppers, the bank, and the grocery store. I am looking forward to saving a ton of mony on gas.

8. I can take some courses at Ryerson this fall.

9. We are safe, we have a good roof over our heads, we are in financially decent shape.

10. It's summer. I can wear flip-flops. And this afternoon, Charlie and I will get popsicles.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

HS and Charlie gave me two of my favourite things for Mother's Day: sleep and a large Tim Hortons coffee. Ahhhhhh. That would be enough for me, but I also got flowers, homemade oatmeal pancakes and bacon, and a family nap in the afternoon. Sweet.

Alas, HS had to leave for Toronto last night, so Mother's Day ended a bit early in my opinion, but HS's work beckons. I hate being alone, especially since I'm alternating between freaking out and freakish calm. I'm in a huge downswing o' crazy, and I don't like it. I'm trying very hard to dig out of it, but even though I've upped the therapy and started the SJW again, I'm still a mess. And why? I feel like I've made a huge mistake. I should have spoken up and I didn't. And now I have to deal with the consequences. And who knows? Maybe I did make a mistake, maybe I didn't. I won't know for a while. I feel like I need to start a Gratitude Journal a la Oprah to remind myself that the life I have is actually pretty awesome, and this crazy is temporary and whoa baby, you have a lot of good things going for you, etc.

I'm stuck.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A couple of things that took a long time to figure out but in retrospect seem quite obvious now

1. You cannot make a child poop in the potty if he/she doesn't want to. You can't bribe, cajole, force or beg either. He will do it when he is ready. It will be sudden: one day, no; the next day, yes. And you will be so very, very grateful.

2. I am turning into my mother.