Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A month's worth of transitions

That's what it's all felt like since the end of February. One big transition, with a thousand little transitions nesting within the big one. Ask me if my frontal lobes are tired.

I'm at work right now, and this seems to be the only time I can write. Which is to say, I suck as an employee. But I suck more as a blogger these days, so I'll preempt my good-worker conscience.

Status updates, in no particular order:

1) I really like soy lattes. It's a struggle not to stop by the coffee shop that makes good ones everyday.  I'm having one right now. Ah-mmmmm (as Gummy would say)

2) Work is going well so far. I am thankful for this job. I am thankful for my great co-workers. I am thankful to work in a place where my work is valued, and where I value others' work. This job doesn't have everything I need, but it has a lot of what I need.

3) The commute is killing me. Physically. Psychologically. One day last week I spent 3.5 hours in the car. Typically, it's closer to 2.25-2.5 hours, which is still way the heck too much. When I was in my early 20s, I promised myself that no matter what, I would never spend hours in the car commuting once I became a grown up for reals. I am disconcertingly breaking that promise.

4) In the car, I think of all the emails, thank you cards, books, household chores, and most importantly, TIME WITH GUMMY that I am not writing/reading/doing/spending. See third sentence of point 3.  

5) Because of 3, I look at the job postings everyday for something even marginally closer.

6) Because of 2, I continue to feel ambivalent, and I keep telling myself to find my peace with the commute and with the few things missing from this job.

7) Gummy had a very rough first day when I went back to work (as you read in my last post), and continued to be iffy for the week. The following two weeks, she treated me like I was a stranger. She displayed stranger anxiety with her own mother. Luckily, given what I know professionally, I was ok with it. Knowing that she needed a reliable caregiver, and that this caregiver was now dad, I was reassured to see her count on him to meet her needs. Personally, it hurt. A lot.

8) Interestingly, having children means you get to work on your conditioned patterns. A big one I got to revisit with Gummy's new way of relating to me was: At the slightest whiff of rejection, I walk away. And by walk away, I mean I am out of there emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically. That's worked fine in my life so far. Except, it quickly became clear that this strategy wasn't going to work with my own child. She wasn't actually rejecting me and she sure needs me to check IN, not check out right now. So, while I didn't have the time for a long, reflective journaling session at the local coffee shop to ponder the depths of this awful, previously useful pattern, I've given it a lot of thought (yes. in the car). My work is to stay connected to her no matter how she feels; Love her, no matter what she is doing; Support her, no matter who she is favouring as her primary caregiver. I need to be steady in my love and support, so that she can learn to feel steady inside. Small task.

9) I had booked off all the Fridays in March as a means to transition from being at home full time to working full time. I have asked and been granted an extension on that. I looked at how much I was struggling with what was happening, and decided that the responsible thing to do was to ask for more time.

10) Gummy goes for accompanied visits to the day care this week, and starts in earnest next week. Now that she's used to being at home with dad, we'll rock her world a little more.

11) To protest the impending change, she contracted a stomach virus and puked all over me last night (and was up from 2:30 to 5am. Poor peanut was feeling awful).

12) My dear friend Veronica just sustained miscarriage #4, with an added bonus of a hemorrhage for this one. Please spare any good thoughts you have for her.

13) After one too many night of stretching leftovers and eating toast for supper, I bought a slow cooker. Hoping this helps with our 6pm unhappy hour. If that fails, I'll just up my alcohol consumption.

14) Fuck, I'm turning 40. In less than a month.       

7 comments:

  1. 7 sounds hard, even with all the rational understanding of what's going on. I hope you both have recovered a little from this big transition.
    8 is interesting. I think I do that, too. Will need to take some time to think about it. Thanks for sharing.
    On 12, I'm so sorry. So very sorry.

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  2. Love you so much, and am with you sending support on all these challenges (and to Veronica as well). What a whirlwind it has been. I have lots to say on every point and am hoping we can talk soon to discuss further, especially 7 and 8. But I will say that regarding 13, C refers to our slow cooker as "the slow cooker that saved our marriage" and she just might be right. She adores the curried stewed sweet potatoes with chicken recipe I make, and so, it turns out, does little Miss Nora (she likes hers pureed, of course!) ... I will pass it along as it fits all taste buds. And regarding 14, I can't deny that 40 is a bit of a jolt. But after that, you get to turn 41, and it's so much less of a big deal -- a relief, in fact! Also, a) you are rockin' 40 and b) when you turn 40 suddenly everyone says "oh but you don't look 40!" and you can just relish all those comments and c) did I mention you are rockin' 40?! xoxo

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    1. H, I would also like that recipe! Augusta, things to do in the car on long commutes: audio books and (hands free, derr) phone calls with friends in far away states. Also, decompression. When I get home from one of those days, I am done thinking about it and have put it to bed. As for 40? Eh, rock on, y'know? The older I am, the more comfortable I am in my own head, so I pretty happily brag about my age.
      I wish I could have a few hours with both of you <3, Momo

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  3. What a lot to digest, Augusta. I am sending you love, strength, and light for these many transitions. I second Momo's suggestion of phone calls to faraway friends during your commute! :) Huge hugs to you, beautiful, strong, amazing woman. Talk to you soon (tonight, I hope!). -A

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  4. Ooof. I, too, can only write or comment from work, so I high five our work ethic. We are so productive and awesome that our employers can allow us a little time...

    3. So hard. SO HARD. The commute is so salient to me when thinking about you going back to work. It's such a saliently GOOD part of my setup and CRAPPY part of yours, and it matters because it affects EVERYTHING else. Just like you say.

    8. Oh god, me too, me too. As she was writhing on the ground this morning wailing WANT DADDY WANT DADDY (he's out of town) I was focusing every bit of my will on being kind and empathetic and comforting her rather than storming out of the room the way my adult brain suggests is RATIONAL. Because even if you don't have this conditioned pattern (mine is actually reject first so that there won't be any opportunity to get rejected!), there aren't that many contexts where we put up with this kind of treatment in our adult lives.

    9. YAY. I'm so glad. So glad you asked, so glad they granted.

    10 & 11. Oh god. Different flavors, but Oh god.

    12. I'm so very sorry, Veronica (and partner, if any). One is too many. Four is cruel. I hope for physical and emotional healing.

    13. Slow cooker! Mr. Bunny swears by it. We do that every other week for three days a week. I am contemplating a cookbook. If I buy it, and any of the recipes are good, I will share them.

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  5. Oh my, you have so much on your plate. Continue to find as much peace as you can as you continue to find the right rhythm and routine. I'm thinking of you and Gummy always. Huge, gigantic hugs.

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  6. Aaargh @ your commute. That is awful, especially when time has suddenly become so much more valuable. I hope you find a new job that is as nice as this one---you never know, sometimes life does work out that perfectly.

    I also walk away at the first whiff of rejection, but yes, the one person we would take anything from, where all rules fall by the wayside, would be our baby.

    I'm so very sorry about Veronica. Thinking of her, and hoping for healing and answers and more kindness from the universe in the future.

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