Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reduction in Forces

Dr. Webster is on another overnight at the hospital which has left me feeling refreshed and organized. The last few months have been uncharacteristically easy for Myles - he's had minimal call and plenty of free weekends, and the added bonus of arriving home before dinner time on weeknights. Honestly though, I'm always relatively surprised at how thankful I am for these evenings alone.

My thoughts have been bent on the concept of self-change recently. It's put me in a pretty low, dark, shadowy place... I'm trying really hard to figure out what components of my life seem worth fighting for. I'm attempting to have feelings about the course of my 30's, rather than just following the path that has been carved out by my husband's career. And then there's the idea that I will scar my children deeply if I don't give them every bit of my attention. My therapist is trying to discern whether or not I have created the concept of "Perfect Mom" from my mother's example, or from societal impact. (I say it's both. And perhaps it's exacerbated by the latter. True ignorance might really be bliss... how sick is that?)

But does anyone really do a full persona-overhaul? Or better yet, an ego-overhaul? And at what cost? I mean, I'm only 33... I feel like I could be 50. There's plenty of time for change... it only took me 20 years to get sucked into my current mental status. All that being said, I love thinking that I have more to offer the world - and simultaneously that very thought terrifies me.

How to proceed?

(New mantra: Harvey Milk Harvey Milk Harvey Milk... or as the wise Eminem once proclaimed, "You betta lose yo self in the music the moment...")

I won't lie. My head is like soup... too many ingredients. I'm hoping if I boil it long enough it will reduce to something yummier.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

10 years later

I've been looking for appropriate words to describe my experience at the Wesleyan 10 year reunion... and last night Lyllah left me a message on the phone that said, "um, did we just go to our college reunion, or was that just a really bad dream?"

And she's kinda right. First of all, we just went for a very short period of time - and literally bolted out of the place on Sunday morning - but the entire thing was such a wacky onslaught of emotions and memories. Some flashbacks were very entertaining (same staff at Neon Deli, just more wrinkles and grey hair), others were just plain depressing (brand new Usdan campus center feels unfamiliar and un-cozy, the field behind West-Co where I spent some time hallucinating is now a huge set of new dorms). Oh, and how could I forget to mention the gorgeous young graduates? These kids wear next to no clothing... and they do it very very well. My wrinkles and sagging belly button felt entirely out of place... along with my wedding ring and collection of my kids photos in my iPhone.

Not everybody goes back to their college after 10 years feeling 100 percent happy. That seems normal. But I wonder how many of the people I saw there would have said, "Shit. I really didn't know what I had offered to me back then. Too bad I took advantage of NONE of it." What a spoiled, confused, misdirected little brat I was back then... an enormous waste of money! Really, part of me feels like Wesleyan is for other people - people who know how to complete their assignments on time and are politically active... but another part of me feels like I got to be a part of an extraordinary place (the kind of place that draws graduation speakers like Barack Obama, Anna Quindlen and Oprah) and I was supposed to find my "thing" while I was there.

It came as no surprise to see that none of my classmates have 3 kids. None of the women I saw had changed their last names after being married. And I didn't meet a single stay-at-home-mom (but I admit, I wasn't searching them out). What I'm getting at is that it has been difficult to feel like I'm attacking my life in a different pattern - to put my career off for later in my life. The thought of going backwards into an academic mindset seems nearly impossible, especially in the creative department, because I feel wildly outdated and old. There's part of me that feels ashamed for not continuing some form of work while dealing with my kids - as both a model for them and as a method to make the transition back to work or an advanced degree easier.

We all have regrets. I see that clearly every day. I just have so much doubt in my ability to tackle some of the regrets that might be lurking around the corner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Originally uploaded by mollieholliday
A double rainbow appeared in our back yard a few weekends ago. I have never seen anything quite like it. Moments beforehand, Myles and his dad were caught outside in a hail storm that dropped cherry-sized ice nuggets from the sky. Jim came in and said, "I bet this will blow over in 5 minutes and there will be a rainbow." But we got TWO.

This time of year seems about as busy as Christmas for me, with the end of school and outdoor maintenance, pending reunions, weddings and housekeeping galore. It's enough to drive me to insanity because I can't figure out how to feel good about putting my personal goals aside for a few weeks. And then comes true summer - where I kind of give up everything and my brain farts out to the fantasy land of Nantucket. All three kids are completely excited for our month long visit. They are obsessed with my mom and her grandmotherly magic, and they understand just how delicious that "faraway island" is... and I just adore sharing it with them.

But that escape is such an escape! And I very easily slip into the romantic side of my brain, filled with that nostalgia... the memories of being young and in love... tan young and athletic... entirely carefree and self-centered. Nantucket can be almost painful for me as a parent - and as a person struggling with the complexities of marriage.
It's hard to anticipate my time spent there, where my Mom takes care of us, and Myles is here in Norwich, working endlessly and begging us to come home (to share his boredom perhaps).

I still need to make it through June up here though. Tomorrow we are headed to NYC for our annual adventure with my entire family. Penny is so excited to take the subway... she shouts, "'Tain ride!!!! Penny!!" and jumps up and down, sometimes so vigorously that she falls over. Eloise and Ruby want to go see the dinosaur bones and get "a manicure with tiny flowers from those really nice ladies"... then there's lots of discussion about who is getting what color and what design on what finger. We had a big discussion about what kind of soaps they have in the hotel bathroom.

Maybe my next post will have some reflections on heading to Middletown CT for my 10th college reunion... wowzas!