Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to work

I returned to work yesterday after two weeks vacation and, believe it or not, I feel like I never left. After only two days back, that familiar twinge just over my right shoulder is back. My friend, Billie, and I call it our stress muscle. When things aren't going well, you'll see us reaching back and massaging the spot. It's not quite bad enough to bring out the eye-twitch but close (my mother can bring out my eye-twitch within an hour but let's save that story for another day).

Within an hour of arriving yesterday, my coworker, Wild-One (yes, it's apt) walked out the door in tears. Huh?! I don't know what the problem was but I'm told that we probably won't see her for the rest of the week (maybe longer). Unfortunately, this isn't new. She's got a lot of issues at home that she has no problem bringing to work with her. She even took three months of stress leave last year (are we heading back down that road now? ugh!). Don't get me wrong, she's a friend and I do have sympathy for her but even that is getting harder and harder. I mean, so many of her issues are solvable but she just can't seem to bring herself to the point of doing it. How long am I, and our coworkers, supposed to be sympathetic toward her and when are we allowed to get angry at her for the stress she's giving us?

Our coworker, Mrs. Byw, greeted me yesterday with stories of how Wild-One pretty much just put all the work on her plate while I was gone, totally stressing her out. I must ask, exactly was Wild-One doing at her desk that whole time?! Mrs. Byw was so glad to see me! I swear, the only thing keeping me from running away for another vacation immediately is the thought of her puppy dog eyes watching me go. I'd never be able to live down the guilt!

At times like this, I really envy those who can work from home. I know, it would mean the loss of that lovely(?) regular paycheque and benefits (what few there are) but at least the only person affecting my work would be ME! I don't know if I would have the discipline to stick to an efficient schudule if left entirely to my own devices but I still find myself dreaming about it sometimes. Office politics have never been my friend and, if given free reign to deal with some of the stupid s**t I see around me, it wouldn't be pretty. It's probably a good thing that I'm not the boss! I may not always agree with him but I surely don't envy his position.

My next vacation is when?!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

Thank goodness that today is a better day than yesterday. The high heat and humidity have broken and there is even a cool little breeze blowing in the open windows (phew!). What a vast difference twenty-four hours can make. Yesterday at this time, the air was so thick with humidity that it was hard to breathe, every movement guaranteed trickles of sweat down my back (eeew!) and tempers were flaring. It was one of those days, as a mother, when you can't wait to escape your children and belt down a drink or two or three, you get the idea.

Don't get me wrong, I love my children and would lay down my life for them but last night's escape from them for dinner was exactly what the doctor ordered. We've been on vacation together for a week and a half now, much of it with the above mentioned weather and the fighting between Scout Boy and Drama Girl hit a peak yesterday that had my eye twitching and brought out the Psycho Mom in me. Psycho Mom escapes from her cage once in a while when my little "darlings" manage to drive Normal Mom into hiding. Yesterday was just such a day.

Growing up an only child truly did not prepare me for being the mother of siblings. The competition over everything can be so intense (bring out the magnifying glass to count those sprinkles NOW) and the bickering can start at ANY time. Yesterday, it looked like they spent all their energy on finding things to fight about. Yet there are times when they play together like the best of friends. Sometimes the trip from friends to bitter fighting happens so fast that their poor mother is left with whiplash.

I like to hope that, as they mature, the friendship side of their relationship will prevail and that what we are experiencing now is nothing more that the normal growing pains of their slow trip to self-discovery and independence.

For now, though, I'll just be sure to keep Psycho Mom on a short leash and always keep an escape route to a good vodka-cranberry open.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beating the Heat!

Most of this summer has been kind of crappy, weather-wise; rainy, cloudy, BLAH! The only thing that I wasn't complaining about was the temperatures. With all that rain, most of this summer hasn't been nearly as hot and humid as it usually gets here. Did you notice that I say that I "wasn't complaining"? Just when I decide to take some vacation time with the kiddos, guess what........the clouds part, the sun comes out and the temps skyrocket! It's been so hot and humid that you break out in an ugly sweat just contemplating it. Ugh!

This means that I am left to find ways to beat the heat. I do have a small air conditioner so we have spent a fair bit of time just chilling out at home. Not really a bad way to spend vacation time but cabin fever does tend to set in. This usually manifests itself in the "delightful" sounds of fighting between my darling children. They haven't actually come to blows yet but my fear of that eventuality has driven me from my beloved a/c a few times.

One day was spent shopping; much to the chagrin of my poor bank account (& I do mean poor!). Back to school shopping for two kids who seem to have grown out of everything that they own is an expensive and torturous ordeal; especially when you need to have them with you to try things on since you don't know what darned size they've grown into now. Add to that groceries and car parts and my debit card was smokin! On the bright side, I did manage to buy a couple of paperbacks. Woo hoo!

We also spent some time at my (ex)sister-in-law's pool with her and her daughter, String Bean (you've never seen a nine yr old girl as long and lean as this kid). While the kids splashed around, calling out several "Watch me, Mom"'s, I sat back with DJ Chick and had a good old fashioned girl talk (ie bitch-fest). The only thing that would have improved it would have been a great bottle (or two) of wine. We'll save that for another time when young ears aren't around to hear (record) us!

I still have this week to go for vacation and am hearing rumours of thunderstorms to come which may just drop those temps a bit. Oh please, give me some rain for my vacation, I'm begging!!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Introduction - Part 2

Well, after posting my first blog entry, the sky did not fall and I wasn't sacrificed in the arena of public opinion for my amateur efforts so my first-time jitters have subsided. Phew! My mind has been filled with ideas for subject matter and creation of nick-names for my unfortunate (I mean lucky!) family, friends and coworkers who will be mentioned.

A lot of blogs that I see seem to have a particular theme: parenting, education, career, particular hobbies, etc. I see mine as being a mix of just about everything, just like my life. I'm a mother, office worker-bee (blech!), single woman looking for love, voracious reader, lover of good food (yes, I know, a bit too much) and so much more. Writing strictly about any one subject would give a very lopsided view of my life and make understanding my point of view on anything rather difficult. The easier I make it to understand how my poor, complicated brain works, the happier we'll all be!

In my first entry, I introduced my kids. I suppose that I should explain the names that I have chosen for them.

My son, who turns eleven next month, has just graduated from Cubs to Scouts and he absolutely loves it. He's not really into sports, although he does play soccer in the summer, so I'm glad that he's found a group activity that he really enjoys; hence the name Scout Boy. He just came back from his first week-long camp with a huge smile, a story of a dissected seagull (for ecology time), a bag of stinky clothes and his (destroyed) shoes duct-taped to his feet. If that's not what being a boy is all about, I don't know what is!

My daughter, who turns nine next month, absolutely shines when she manages to take center stage. Everything that happens in her day is something that she must relate to you with breathless enthusiasm; hence the name Drama Girl. Last week, at daycamp, she choked on her morning snack badly enough that one of the monitors had to help her. They called to inform us of this since it kind of shook her up a bit and it's a darned good thing they did. At least her poor father had some prior warning when he picked her up that night. When she got into the car with him and his girlfriend she very solemnly announced that "I almost died today" and "When we get home, we need to get out the calendar and mark it down so that we don't forget". Oh boy!

Speaking of their father, my ex-husband, you'll probably hear plenty about him. We are very much equal partners in raising our kids and are still a big part of each other's lives because of that. Besides, the big goof is always a good source for amusing stories which I'm sure that I'll pull out when I need a good laugh. He'll be known by his nickname, Stinky. Yes, it is a well-earned name (eew!); one that his softball team bestowed on him long before I even dreamed of starting a blog!

I think that I've managed to introduce myself pretty well in these first two entries and hope to entertain and inspire knowing nods from those who stumble across my blog as I learn more about this wonderful medium. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and engaging in a dialogue with those of you who do stop by.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My very first entry

Where do I start? I guess that I'll start with telling a little bit about myself. I am a single mother living in the Montreal area with two children: Scout Boy (almost 11) and Drama Girl (almost 9). No, these are not the names on their birth certificates (eek)! I have a full time job (more on that later) that leaves me with a decent paycheque but is not really all that fulfilling. You know, the whole work to live, not live to work thing. I am divorced and get get along with my ex and his girlfriend pretty well. The kids alternate weeks between the two of us.

As for the boyfriend situation, it's not exactly where I want it to be. I go on the occasional date and have met a few nice men but it seems that nobody is looking for an actual relationship. Have you ever gone on those singles websites? Most of the men are looking for a discreet relationship (in other words they're married!!!) or for casual dating. The one man that I have met who is different is from around here but is currently living in New York. I absolutely adore C and he is totally hot and sexy but the entire relationship is conducted by email. Not exactly ideal; I mean, I have NEEDS!!!

You see, I've been examining my life an awful lot lately and finding it to be lacking. I guess the fact that I'm closing in on forty is the main reason for this. Don't get me wrong, my life isn't bad. I mean, really, it could be a whole lot worse but I feel like I need to add a new dimension to it.

Since joining Twitter, I have been discovering many great blogs that I have started tracking and have been bitten by the bug. I am a voracious (sp ?) reader and have always dreamed of writing. Unfortunately, I have the imagination of a toad. I'm a whiz with numbers, hence my job in payroll, but not very artistic. This makes fictional story writing a bit tough. Blogs are different though. They are an expression of what is happening around us and within our own hearts; our experiences, opinions and our desire to share all of the above in hopes of enriching not only our own lives with the feedback from readers but perhaps the lives of others going through the same things that we are.

Since I am so new at this and have yet to tell my family/friends/coworkers about my new venture I, obviously, have not obtained permission from the above mentioned to use their names here. Therefore, I will use nicknames or initials for those that I talk about to protect their privacy as well as to keep from embarassing them with my amateur fumbling here. As I become more practiced and have polished my talent a bit, I may actually tell someone I know about this. We'll see......