Monday, July 24, 2017

To plan or not to plan?

I've been wondering a lot lately about what's next for me. I mean, other than just working and being a mom. For so long, and I've probably said this here before, my world was all about singing. I was constantly absorbed with learning and training and performing, and other than working and family, I didn't have or make the time to persue much else. It's probably a good portion of the reason I'm single, and why I haven't finished my degree. I found my first calling and it took everything. Then I found my second calling - to be a mom - and that took, and will always, take everything, too. But now that we are living on our own again, I have discovered that between piles of laundry and dishes, playdates and swimming lessons, I have brain space again. I always have something to do, the "doing" for a single mom especially, is NEVER ending. But I don't always have something I have to do, at least not in that moment, or for a few moments at night. My life would be easier if everything was in order around me, but sometimes I am so tired that all I really can do is sit and watch Netflix or, if I'm honest, literally just sit in the quiet. Normally this would cause massive anxiety in me, that I wasn't getting something done - but right now, I feel okay about it. But I do wonder what's next. I'm looking into school again, just to know where I stand for going back, but mostly just to know what it would take. I have a moms group I sort of run, mostly just peripherally, but I have scheduled to host a few events this month. I would like to sing again, but right now I just want to not be committed to anything other than my family and my job.

Even with all of that, I've still made a plan, which is to have no real plan. I've committed to being okay with nothing very dramatic for the next 2 years, but also to bettering my physical health whenever I can over the next 3.5 years. I want to get my house in actual order and be super present for my son without the added stress of feeling "not enough" in the rest of my life. I won't deny that it will take a substantial and conscious effort, but I think it will be okay. I feel the pull of music, but don't want the pressure of it. I  just want to get outside whenever we can, or watch movies, or really, just read a book or hang out.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another move

Well, we've moved. It's been a rough few months, living in the chaos of both our move, and our roommate's, and dealing with a feisty 4.5yo. The transition has been hard for my son, leaving the house and our friend, but I think - slowly - we are finding our bearing again. I did ask for help with the move this time, and did GET help, thankfully. But even with that, I did all the heavy lifting of course, literally and figuratively. It's a lot to manage with two adults, so these are the life events that trigger a bit of self-pity for me, being a single mom. I'm over it now, but it does point out the double-edged sword of solo parenting by choice. On the one hand I have to make all the decisions, on the other, I get to make all the decisions.

Now we are living in a much smaller home, an apartment not a house, and in a different neighborhood. We have to make some significant adjustments to life as we knew it and that will take some time. But we're together and on our own, and lots of that is good for me, and for him.

One step, one day at a time.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taking back control

Now that we will need to move much sooner than originally planned, I am feeling pushed (finally) in the direction of taking back control of my finances. In other words, I'm becoming the grown up I've dreamed about being for years. To be clear, it's not painless. Each step, though a good step forward, is both unfortunate and beyond humbling. It's costing me to do it this way, now. And I should have done it years ago.

But I have gotten help with understanding it all, and know now where my credit, debt and finances stand. I now have a basic budget to work within. And I have the outline of a plan, for at least 5 years into the future, and, hopefully, also for when my son gets ready to go to college, and I (84 years from now) get to retire.

While I feel daunted by the enormity of it all, and stressed about the move, I don't feel quite as terrified. That's progress in my book.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Moving, again...

So my housemate sprung the news that he really needs to put his house on the market in the next few weeks. I was expecting another full year, so this is a pretty big shock. Financially, I'm not on sure-footing, so I'm faced with some big decisions, which may have to be temporary until I get a better handle on things. I told my boy what's happening, as gently as I could, but it obviously is already upsetting for him - which is upsetting for me. Luckily, we have a couple of months to figure things out, even if it sells immediately, it won't close until mid June. But I just don't know what exactly to do. Housing is incredibly expensive here, so moving out quite a way may be my only option, or to house-share again - this time with another single mom, maybe. I'm torn. I don't want to pull my son from his preschool if possible, but it might all work if I found somewhere else.

Being a grown-up is hard.

Finishing up 2016

A lot occurred between Halloween and the start of the new year, as it always does.

For Halloween, we carved a pumpkin, went to preschool as Lightning McQueen, and then, together embraced the Dark Side:

Then, this little guy turned 4 in November, and continues to be the light of my life. He is sassy, whip-smart, funny and sweet. I love him just so much. For his birthday, we went to a LEGO Cafe with cousins, had a pizza/cake party/Cars theme at home with family and friends, then went and saw Trolls with friends and family. It was a really fun day.

Then of course, there were all the winter and Christmas holiday festivities! It was all very nice.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Finding a partner

I've been thinking about dating recently. For several reasons I guess; 1) I get quizzed on my love life by a few of my family more than I'd like; 2) I'm getting older, and K is getting a tiny bit more independent of me, which means I could potentially go out more often than before; 3) some of the moms in my group talk about dating or relationships they're in - while being solo moms by choice. And it's triggered some of the longing I have hidden pretty deep down, that someday I will find someone to share my life with, but now along with the most important consideration - who will also be great to share my child's life.

No matter how hard I try, and I do sometimes, I can't figure out how I would incorporate dating into my current world. My time with my son and his well-being are paramount for me, meaning, really, that as a full-time working mom, I don't have extra time yet to spend with someone just to get to know them, in the hopes that they might be eventually deemed good enough (a VERY HIGH BAR to clear) to ever even be introduced to my son. The people I spend time with away from my son already have to be very well worth it, and even they get put on the backburner if I haven't had enough 1:1 time with him recently.

The other part of this is I was never very good at "dating" before, either. I struggle with superficial contact and conversation. I jump pretty quickly from, You like me? to Let's have a relationship, forever!Truly, it's unintentional, but I get ahead of myself and also duped a lot. So the trust I may once have had in the process and others, is pretty much nil at this point. There are things I'm doing to build it back, but it's a pretty tall order.

I'm paying attention to friends who are on a similar path, other solo moms who have the courage, or crazies, to get out there even against all odds. And, keeping myself open for the possibility of meeting someone just by, you know, meeting them. Not by forced circumstances. At least not yet. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lonely, or lost?

I am both an extro- and intro-vert. Very extroverted in situations where I am working, in charge, or have some comfort, control and/or knowledge. Very introverted when I don't. Even though I struggled for a performance career for 20 years, I have never been very comfortable in the spotlight or as the center of attention. So when I made the decision to have a baby, I struggled with the attention around my decision, and then the attention while pregnant, and ultimately when I had the cutest baby on the planet. But while I struggled with too much then, I find I am frustrated with too little now. And maybe it's not so much attention, in the "Look at me!" sense, but more in that I just don't feel very visible to those around me. Maybe it's more that time is just passing, that my boy, while still adorable, isn't a baby anymore; that I am getting older, am frequently frazzled, and am not performing in a way that is impressive to anyone, any longer. I seem to have lost any shine I once had, and capture no one's attention. This is not to say that the people I see everyday aren't a little curious about or interested in my boy, mostly they are. But he's just getting more independent every day, and when babies turn into somewhat self-sufficient preschoolers, the world's interest shifts.

All of this to say, quite inelegantly, that I am struggling with my loss of self and career and artistry, and my lack of true and near friendships. Until recently, I believed this huge family of mine, many of whom live nearby, would replace my need for external friendships. I have been expecting more friendship and togetherness from them for most of my life, but realize now that isn't exactly what has evolved. We are family, and love each other of course, and we do a lot of family things together - mostly birthdays and holidays. My sisters and nearby (girl) cousin are all married with families, and have pretty solid groups of local friends, and my brother is pretty independent with his own friends. While it's disappointing that things have turned out this way, at least I'm finally starting to be free from that expectation. But because of my introvert self, I still am unable to figure out what to do to build my own community. Other than having a really beautiful, smart, funny little boy, I don't have much to offer or bring to the table, or at least it feels that way right now.

So, hobbies? meetup groups? mom clubs? I am told by mom friends, that once my child gets into school there will be playdates and from playdates often come parental friendships. I hold out some hope there, and that sometime soon I'll figure out what makes me creatively tick, now that singing and performing are no longer a part of my regular equation. And the current season brings lots of family events, so we'll fill our time with those. Lots to consider.