Friday, October 29, 2010

SHAGGY

2009... a blind mouse
Like I never used dressed up for Halloween as an adult. But, like this is my like third year. Like, why the change? Like, I don't know. Like, perhaps it is just like finding new ways to have fun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

IF I WERE TO BE ARRESTED...

If I were to be arrested, what would happen to my kids? Who would take care of them? This is just one of many questions you have as a widow. Where there is no back-up (spouse or ex-spouse) around to help out… what happens, especially when I don’t even live close to my family.

I am sure the ‘right’ answer here is that I should not get arrested, so I should not have to worry about it… but sometimes… that is not as easy as it sounds.

About three years before Chris passed I was driving along a highway in a small neighboring town. I was driving very slowly looking for a particular house number. After driving up and down through the town a couple of times, I ended up with a police officer behind me. I was certain he was going to ticket me for my slow speeds. Imagine my surprise when he instead accused me of being over the speed by ten miles / hr. Was he kidding? He had to have the wrong white van. But – none the less a ticket was written. After getting the ticket I happened to find the house I was looking for, finished my business and headed home. I told Chris about the ticket when I got back home. He guessed accurately that the person who wrote my ticket would be the brother to the husband of the lady whose house I was just at (did you follow that?). When I discovered he was right – I was sure to mention the ticket next time I saw my friend. She said she would talk to her brother-in-law regarding the ticket. I was told to re-schedule my court date. I requested the re-schedule and waited. I heard nothing. I waited. Nothing. I called and asked if a new date had been set. They told me it would be coming in the mail. Nothing. I called again. They told me the same thing. Nothing. I finally gave up. I don’t know how these things work… so I assumed my friend’s brother-in-law had seen the error of his ways and dropped the ticket.

Fast forward three years. My husband has passed. I received a letter in the mail stating that my license will be suspended in 30 days due to failure to appear in court. That is it. No info on how to contact the court, appear in court. Nothing! I call the court office. I leave a message. No one returns my call. I call again and again. No response. I call the town’s ‘emergency’ number. I leave a message. Finally, I get a call back. Court is on Thursday. I ask where. They give me an address. I show up at the address on the day at the time I was told. No one is there. My cell phone is dying. I start making phone calls to any person I know that knows anything about the town I am in, hoping someone can help. I finally reach someone who is able to tell me I am in the wrong location. They have built a newer building outside of town. I arrive before court is over and I am the last one called up.

The judge has no mercy. He doesn’t care about my story. If I want my case to be heard, I will need to reschedule. If I reschedule I will have my license suspended in the meantime and with that comes not only the loss of a legal right to drive (hello… single mom with kids here), but I will have to pay additional fines to get it reinstated. With all the frustration of the situation, I inquired if he could tell me what happened three years prior that caused me to not be notified of when my court date was. He looked at the paperwork he had and said it appeared the notice was returned. I asked what address it was mailed to. He told me. Their clerk had sent it to the CORRECT street address in the WRONG town. Well, it seems the judge’s wife is the clerk and he didn’t want to hear anything about her being wrong. And since the cop that issued the ticket was his buddy… a buddy that would never issue a ticket unless it was deserved, I was out of luck. I pulled out a check book and asked how much he would like to take from the widow and the fatherless. I wrote the check. He gave me a receipt. I left.

Fast forward three weeks later. I am driving to see Chris’ cousin. I am on a road I have never been on before. It is a country road by appearance, no lines on the road – just trees around. I am driving about 50mph. I look in my rear view mirror… a cop. I pull over. He informs me the speed limit is 40mph. He goes to issue me a ticket, only to discover that my license has been suspended. They are taking me in! I have the three kids in the car with me. He doesn’t care what my story is either. He calls for back-up so they can tow my vehicle. I plead with him to call the judge. I paid the fine, and I am certain I made a big enough scene that the judge will remember me. I should not have my license suspended (unless a certain clerk is again unable to perform the duties of HER JOB!!). I frantically search my purse for the receipt the judge handed me. I can’t find it. I am overwhelmed with emotion. Fear. Frustration. Anger. The cop requests us to get in the back of his vehicle. The kids are crying. My youngest who is playing his Nintendo DS asks through his sobs if he can take it with him. I tell him of course. Take everything you want out of the car with you. The kids start walking towards the police car while I am one by one helping them gather their stuff. I glance behind me to see my youngest sobbing and staggering with tears down the middle of the road. I chastise the ‘arresting officer’ that the least he can do, if he is going to take me in, is assist so that my son doesn’t get hit by a car in the process. He jumped in to help. We squeeze into the back of the car. They kids comment that there are not seat belts. I comment loud enough for the cop to hear that they aren’t concerned about us or our safety. OBVIOUSLY. We sit in the back of the car waiting for back-up to arrive so they can stay with my vehicle until it is towed (ain’t that nice of ‘em). My mind is spinning, wondering what I am supposed to do. I say a prayer. I search my purse one more time. I had it. I knew I had it. I never clean out my purse. The receipt HAD to be in there. It was!! I found it!! It was probably the tenth time I looked – but I found it!!! I started screaming for joy. I believe the officer was relieved as well. We were released. I left with just a speeding ticket, a very strong distaste for ‘justice’, and a realization that getting arrested is not easy when you are a single mom!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

FURNITURE

Don't feel badly about not sending my gift yet... I am sure you didn't realize that today would be my 17th wedding anniversary and the tradtional gift for 17 years of marriage is furniture. If you are still shopping, I'd like a sectional for my family room.

17 years. When I think of 17 years I think that in four years I will reach the center point. The day when I will have been married to him for as long as he has been gone.

Happy Anniversary. It is a happy day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

REFLECTIONS.... QUESTIONS...

It is late.

Autumn is in the air tonight. I celebrated with a fire in the fire place. I find peace in this spot. Sitting in front of the last few embers and hearing the crackling. The embers remind me of my promise. I want to look forward with faith. I want to take the embers and leave the ashes.

My emotions are strong this evening. Reflection of almost six years. My decisions and the consequences of them. Was I wrong? Was I selfish? Have I made decisions that have harmed my children? What could I have done better? Why have I not been stronger? Wiser?

Six years is a long time. Have I respected that time by making the most out of it?

I am not who I would have been. My children are not who they would have been. Perhaps there is a purpose in that? Were we meant to be the people we have now become or the people we were on the path to becoming before?

My boys do not know the things their father knew. They want to. I see in them that internal desire to have his knowledge and wisdom. To be a source of help to others, to be able to fix one of the hundred things that have and do go wrong around the house. But, who is there to teach them? So, days and years pass.... many of those broken things go un-repaired. That is not the kind of home we once had. I see their yearning for yesterdays now gone.

Which part is mine? Which part is God's? I spend so much of my life surviving... sometimes I feel as though my kids have lost their father and their mother.

I reflect on years of wanting the insanity to stop. Wanting to just breathe. Those moments came (as moments only) - but life still has a void. A void that was not filled when the insanity stopped. I wanted to be still - but by being still, did my children miss out on learning and opportunities for a full life?

We live life 'my' way now. I miss the life that was 'our' way. But, I have strove to make the present a good place to be. I stretch myself physically and financially sometimes to give my kids other things. Things they may never have experienced in 'our' life... buy in 'my' life they exist. Perhaps it is my way of attempting to compensate... to fill their lives to cover the void. I don't think that is all a bad thing, is it? It is not like the void was going to go away... why not fill it with new adventures?

What will my final reflection be? Have I chosen wisely?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SPRUCE UP

I have mentioned before that when life isn't fun, ya have to have fun accessories. Perhaps life has been fun, or I have been too busy to think about it - 'cause I haven't bought any new accessories. But, my friends did convince me that I needed to pay attention to my look and freshen it up some. So - that was my evening... color, trim, and eyebrows. I am certain it was worth the $100 (or so I keep telling myself). But really... it took WAY too long. How am I supposed to keep this up? How am I supposed to have the time for such indulgences?

Before

Pick a color... hmmmmm..


getting started

In process

Eyebrows too!


Ta-Da!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

IF I KNEW...

“If I knew at the beginning of my relationship with my husband that I would be widowed at such a young age I would change only one thing. I would have kissed him twice as much.

The heartache of the end will never replace the joy that was the journey.

Now it is time to take a new journey instead of being afraid of the end. “
-My friend J

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WHAT ELSE TO MARRY...

Don't take yesterday's post to be too sappy... like I want to marry someone just like Guy #2. That is not true. Because there are other things of importance.

I have been assisting in conducting a training at work the last few weeks and one of the things we discuss is goals and the impact of declaring your goals. It makes us more accountable. So, I will continue the thoughts of yesterday... with thoughts and internal commitments I have made to myself.

Marry someone who makes you laugh like Guy #1 and someone spiritual like Guy #3. Marry someone like Chris who wholly supports your standards and sees who you are.

So, with the list I have created... and the specifics I want to see... Does it surprise anyone that I have not re-married?

Friday, October 15, 2010

WHAT TO MARRY...

Over the past several years I have had thoughts on what type of man I should marry if I were to re-marry. This particular thought I wrote in my journal exactly one year ago today. I capture it here, to make myself accountable for abiding by it.

"Marry someone who is as honest with you as "Guy #2" was and that embraces honesty in return. Someone who looks in my eyes with the softness that he did. Someone who is just fun... like he was."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

REAL

To my fellow widows:

Your trial is real. So are the blessings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TIME, TIME, TIME

Is it possible that I would ever NOT be a single parent again... during the years the hands-on daily parenting exists?

Don't read that line as if I write it with some sort of longing or loneliness. That is not the case. I am honestly just curious. Because in order to re-marry... I would have to date. And I have learned that dating takes TIME, something a single parent has very little of. And beyond dating, if one were to look to build a relationship that could lead to marriage... well that takes even more TIME. What single parent has TIME? And when you have time, is dating the way you want to spend it? There is so much to do in such a little amount of time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RETURNING TO FAITH AND FORGIVENESS

It has been time to re-group. How often do I need to do this? Could someone review the data on my blog and try to determine if I end up here on a regular cycle? I really have felt everything crashing down on me in the last couple weeks. Crabby kids, realization that the kids need much more than what I am able to give them in terms of time and assistance with homework, bad habits returning, worrying about my job, big bills coming in… I think I get a little weaker with every bit that comes my way.. and sometimes I feel that my children see my weakness and attack. I know it is not true – but I don’t know why they need to act-out when I am feeling tremendous weight on me. It just drills me into the ground even more.

I really would like to see a study done on children of single-moms. I think there tends to be some common attributes that many of them develop. Not all… ‘cause I see moms whose kids don’t act that way – but others I see a very common theme. Why? What is it, psychologically, that causes them to essentially turn on the very one who is sacrificing everything for them? It is a safety thing? Do they have their own hurt and anger that they need to work through, and mom is that safe person they can take it out on, who will still love them when they are done? I really don’t know… but I do know it can be exhausting.

We have made strides here… the kids behavior does not fit this profile as often as it once did. In fact, we visit this place so much less often, I forgot how incredibly draining it can be.

As I prayed and pondered over the many needs I felt I needed this past week… I started to see answers come… one by one. I felt myself sinking… and I felt God giving me a hand, pulling me back. A friend took my kids on Sunday afternoon, giving me a much needed mental break. My job has been extended, another friend has offered to come in everyday to do homework with the kids before I get home from work… I see the hand of God in my life. I chastise myself for those times of ‘sinking’ as I feel it represents a lack of faith. I know God lives and loves me. I know He watches over my every need, and that although I am tested, my needs are always met. So, I just ask Him for forgiveness for allowing myself to sink. And He does... He will forgive me, just like I forgive my children.

Monday, October 11, 2010

GOTTA DO IT

One thing I have learned in the past five years is that the old adage “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is true. So, I need to take care of me. So much easier said than done... especially ‘cause I am a needy person. I have through trial and error determined the “must haves” in life. And on and off I do pretty well at making sure I am getting what I need… I don’t know why I DON’T… but sometimes I don’t.. and that is not a pretty thing.

This is what I have learned…
1.Exercise daily
2.Get enough sleep
3.Eat healthy food (and a little chocolate too)
4.Take time weekly for just me (get out and don’t watch the clock)
5.Go to the temple monthly
6.Read my scriptures and say my prayers daily… spend some time pondering.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

YES, I AM BETTER

Parent Teacher Conference was tonight. The news... sadly, was not so different than what past years has been. It is usually a very draining evening that has me in tears by the end - because I feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to make things better.

As I was headed out this evening, I stopped by the Guidance Counselor's office to discuss an issue. He is very familiar with my situation, as he has changed positions in the school and as a result has been the guidance counselor to one of my kids for about four years. He is very familiar with the oldest and all the history that goes with it. He asked how my evening was, to which I reminded him that I had just finished parent-teacher conference... and the news... was much like news I would have received a couple years ago. I thought we were going to be past this. BUT, I am NOT crying! The Counselor smiled, and acknowledged that at the very least I was handling it all better.

The child may not be better, but I am better.

And, on a positive note... said Counselor has offered the kill the kid for me~! (darn, there we go again with that killing kids thing that is going to get me in trouble!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

DEFINE GET SOME EXERCISE?

This is what I fondly refer to as "Conference Weekend". It actually kicked off last weekend with a Broadcast from Salt Lake for the women - and wrapped up today after eight hours this weekend of being able to hear from the Prophet and Apostles. I enjoy it - but it can also be a challenge to keep the children engaged. In between the last two sessions of conference today - the kids were crowded around the laptop watching videos of babies laughing. I cringed, because I thought this was the worst way to spend their time - when they would be sitting for another two hours after just a little longer. I sent them outside. Told them to run around the block and get some exercise. I picked up my video camera this afternoon to show my friend something on it... and found this. I guess they didn't go around the block. And sadly, I was even HOME when this took place.
video

Friday, October 1, 2010

WANTED: ONE PERFECT FOR ME JOB

The company I work for has been sold. Due to the nature of my position (I assist the owner, who as a result of the sale, is no longer the owner), I need to find a new job.

I don't know how long I have left where I am, but I have been urged to start looking for a job.

So, how do I get a job doing something I have no work experience in? And where might I find a job?

I have done sales... but I don't like sales when I HAVE to hit my quota or else. Too much pressure.

I have been an Executive Assistant... I am sooo bored.

So, this is what I need. I would like to do training. One of two kinds would be my preferred. I would like to be a trainer for sales OR an employee development trainer.

The other option is for me to be the next Rachel Ray. I don't cook - but I would like to launch a little empire like she has. I love being on TV. It makes me happy. I would promise to entertain you all! I think you would like me. What should my show be on? And then HOW DO YOU DO THAT? How do you get THAT kind of job? Alright - I have posted the question for the world to see. I will be awaiting the response. It's time. I need a new job. Can I get a fun and fulfilling one this time?

On "P.S. I Love You", she had the job of her dreams within a year of her husband's death. I am coming up on six years. It's time. Who can help?