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.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Getting back on track

About 8 years ago, in a period of about 6 months, I lost 3 people incredibly dear to me. Right after that, I was laid off from my job of 5 years. For much of that time, I was a wreck, and I found myself crying randomly and a lot. I've always dealt with some level of depression and social anxiety, but with the skills I learned in therapy, could usually find my way back to the surface. This time though, I was so deep into my sadness that I could find no way out on my own, and I knew it was time to get help - so I went on an anti-depression/anxiety medication for the first time in my life. My plan was always short-term, a year or so, along with therapy, to get back on track. I did get back on track. But for sure 1 year turned into about 3. Then I decided I wanted to have a baby, and figured with the odds already stacked pretty high against me I needed to try to get as healthy as I could and part of that was to go off the meds if possible. All of this I did with medical and therapeutic support, and it worked, and I felt fine.

Now, 3.5 years into being a mom, I've faced some of those feelings again - for a few months now - and have been considering going back on the meds. Until recently, I've been able to bring myself out of the deep, so I reconsidered. But in the last couple of months it's gotten increasingly worse, and deeper, and is much harder to bring myself back to the surface. So, again with the guidance and support of my therapist and doctor, I have made the decision to go back on the meds.

I write all of this here not for any reason other than this is part of me and my life, and as a mom now, I am responsible for so much more than just me. I need to be the best possible version of myself for my family, and to be clear, that is not who I've been over the past few months. I do not want my son to remember his childhood with an impatient, angry, shrew of a mother, and I've slowly devolved into just that. Part of it is that he is living his crazy 3's, but my responses have been far more reactive than he deserves or than I want. Another thing I am becoming increasingly aware of is that as an adoptee, I have lived much of my life unknowing certain things about my genetic history. I know a lot more now than I used to, but I think I have always felt that my depression and anxiety have been fixable, and self-induced rather than being genetically predisposed. I have a different idea now, after having had some kind of contact with various members of my bio family for the last 16 years. I am looking at things differently this time, and possibly considering the longterm. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Broken

On Friday night last week, after a seemingly normal pick up from preschool and dinner, my son came limping out of his bedroom and told me his "foot wrist" (ankle) hurt. I didn't really give it much thought and sort of figured he was making more of it to get a bit more of his cupcake. By the next morning we were headed to the ER, where they determined he has a broken ankle. No obvious trauma, and I have no idea how it happened, or when. And, apparently it's typical for the x-ray to not really show much in kids his age, because the foot isn't totally formed yet. But that since he refused to put any weight on it, they consider it a high likelihood of a break. He charmed the staff at Children's, got a boot to immobilize his foot - and some stickers - and away we went. 4 weeks of boot wear ahead of us, and by day 2 I was already exhausted. He has enormous amounts of energy normally and I keep him really active to burn it all off by bedtime. Now, however, he is overwrought by the end of the day and all that extra energy is keeping him from sleeping well (and me too, as it turns out).

I have an elevated sense of stress and anxiety about him right now, partly because my baby is broken, and that's just no good; and partly because it throws a wrench into our already fairly precarious routine. He's ornery and not sleeping well, which always makes me the same. I am hopeful that he'll get used to the boot, and I'll get used to him in the boot and we'll move through the next few weeks with ease.