Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pressure people

How well do you work under pressure? Do tell.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The WAHM: Pro vs Con edition

Now that I've established my new getting-a-business-up-and-running-from-home-in-less-than-3-months gig since I got laid off (can you say crazy?), quality time with the kids has taken on a whole new meaning. Now you must know that I have been working outside the home before and after my first son was born and thereafter still. So go run and get the smelling salts, k?

You get to see your child all day long.

Your child thinks you are the big toy that he/she can play with all day. And why not? You're home aren't you? Hooray, mommy's home!

I no longer sit a few steps from a vending machine full of candy.

I now live and work in the same home with a whole pantry full of food.

I can sleep in if I want to.

No paid sick day for "sleeping in".

I can facebook anytime I want.

I can facebook anytime I want.

I no longer have to suffer fools in the office and during Christmas parties.

No more free booze at the Christmas parties.

I no longer have to wear makeup or shower during the day if I don't want to.

I will smell.

I no longer have to fight traffic in the car during rush hours.

Will somebody get me out of this effin' house!!

OK, so I actually like the work at home gig. But most of the day today had no rhythm, no mojo, no nothing. Just one incomplete task after another because a particular 3 year old was either constantly hungry, needed me to play with him, was tired, wanted to go outside, wanted to come inside, wanted to type on the computer, or just plain needed. Thank God for my friend Barb or I would not have completed anything today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A precious little post: the new Rick Springfield CD

I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but when the folks from Rocket Science contacted me about reviewing Rick Springfield’s new CD full of lullaby’s I thought it sounded kind of neat. I mean, anyone growing up in the 80s knows Rick Springfield, right?

So you’re like, Rick Springfield? Jessie’s Girl? A lullaby CD? Yep. And it’s good! What’s good about it is that it is soft, soothing, and when you’re done with the classics like Rock-a-bye baby (and why is the kid in the treetops?), it is a nice diversion. The first track, “Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting” is the best, followed by a close second to the last song, “Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire”, and track 3, “Another Rainy Night”. What’s also interesting about this CD is that these are all original songs. Yes, original. While most artists will re-do the classics, Rick Springfield’s new CD is full of all original songs written by him while his children were babies over 20 years ago. (Rick Springfield has kids over the age of 20? Man, we are all getting old.)

I must admit, these songs are also pretty adult-friendly, too. Regardless of the fact that the lyrics are for babies, they are likeable. The melodies are peaceful and warm, and the songs flow one right into another for a relaxing trip into dreamland. We all know how hard it can be to get a baby to calm down after a long day of stimulation, any soothing thing you can find helps! And you might just get relaxed, too!

The new CD is called “My Precious Little One” by Rick Springfield and is not in stores until May 5. So, I have one copy of this new CD to be given away to a lucky reader. Even if you don’t have a newborn or one on the way, perhaps there’s someone you know who would like it? Just leave your name and email in the comments. Contest will be going on for 2 weeks. Your name will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Celebrating the unknown and the infinite possibilities

Thanks to everyone for such encouraging words both here, on facebook, email and in person for the recent turn of events. As I read over my post, it seemed a little dark, and I want to assure everyone that I'm doing OK, and while I know there will be challenging days ahead, as this week has progressed I've been feeling better and better about it. I think it's just a matter of moving forward sometimes without truly thinking hard enough about the current situation. When I think hard enough that's when I have the panic attacks. While I never was one of those incurable optimistic types, the time is now to adopt that kind of attitude. When you're starting your own business in an economy that has been dubbed a "depression" I think you need to be.

Quote for today (from
When you live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, you connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities.
-Deepak Chopra

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rebirth, reinvention...take your pick of "re's". It's time for me to have one.

You know that saying, "This is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well, Friday was that day for me.

The day was cold and dank. Slightly sprinkling, it was a dreary spring day. In and out of the office most of the day, I walked back in the building in the afternoon with my sons and my husband to retrieve the last bit of my belongings from my cube. My boys helped me carry out the boxes, and I cried when we got into the car. But as we drove away and my husband put a gentle hand on my knee, we both knew they were tears for fear of the unknown, rather than for what was lost. I was happy to be leaving "corporate America". I am just scared for what is ahead. This had never happened to me before. He looked over at me and said, "Well Beez, look at this as the first day of the rest of your life."

Last month I was told at work that my position here in Columbus was eliminated. I worked as a production specialist for a marketing team. What that means is, I worked on collateral materials. Not brain surgery, but it put food on the table.

But I don't want to get into the job itself. This whole wretched experience of losing a job is about more than the job itself. It can feel like a failure of sorts. And a loss of identity. Evoking moments of imagining what a loser your kids and your husband must think you are that you can't provide for them anymore. It's like vacillating between moments of sheer panic and serenity. Moments of accepting what has happened and moving forward, to literally puking my guts out.

I notice that my oldest son, in times of change or crisis, gets very concerned about sustaining normalcy, with things like meals and laundry and who is dropping him off at school. When my husband was really sick last fall, he looked at me like I was an alien in the kitchen who couldn't muster up the where-with-all to put together a plate of mac 'n' cheese. Granted, I don't do the cooking, but I have noticed there is a deeply rooted relationship with his dad that represents a sense of security that I have no business treading into. My husband has been the stay at home dad for almost 3 years now, and with my job situation, it's likely going to change.

So where do I go from here? Stay at home mom? I wouldn't hesitate to say that the role of full time caregiver may be a ship that has sailed for me, but I would bet it will be one that will be fulfilled in some form or another over the coming months.

My husband is looking for work, and he said to me that he almost welcomes the thought of getting out of the house. Part of me thinks it may have been to assuage my feelings of hopelessness at the moment we were discussing the "next steps" of our situation. He'll be turning 50 years old next month, and I can't imagine someone who has been out of the active workforce for a while could be enthusiastic about the kind of prospects that are out there for employment. But, we continue to remain optimistic.

One thing I do know, is that I'm going to seize the opportunity to develop my new business, Revelry Press.

(**Shameless plug:**)

I am going to give this business a try. It's something I've done before, and so it can certainly be something I can do again. It's just a little odd to be thrust into having to change things when you didn't ask for them to change. Even though a large part of me wanted change, wanted to get out of the daily rut of an unfulfilling job, the change can be scary. Like someone kicking you out of a nice comfy bed, even though you know sleeping your life away is bad for your health.

Ten years ago I would have thrived on this fear. Now, with a mortgage and 2 kids later, the fear is really that... fear.

(*Note: Photo above was taken by me in 1993 and the layered effect was done in camera... before Photoshop! I worked on this in college and printed it myself.
Specs: Ricoh manual camera, 52mm lens, Kodak T-Max 100 speed black and white film.*)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Grandma's Memories

I was rummaging through my closet for something this morning, and found something completely unrelated to what I was actually looking for. Have you ever been looking for one thing, and found something else, and then you get so wrapped up in the thing you actually found that you totally forget the original thing? Following? Yeah it's called Adult-ADD.

Anyway, onto the point of my story.

In my closet this morning, buried deep in a box, I found this little book that my maternal grandmother had given me in 1995. It is a Q&A type of book about her life. It is so goddam fascinating. I hadn't read it in years. It's both an irreplaceable family heirloom, as well as a wonderful time capsule.

It's amazing to me that in a relatively short period of time in the earth's history, we have come from no running water and electricity to the major technological breakthroughs we experience, like right now, enjoying the internet. Other things that seem to be common experience right now for us all are overblown kids' birthday parties, too many cars, enormous houses, overpaid CEOs, greenhouse gases and texting. And I can't say these advances are something we can be proud about. (Except for the texting thing. That is pretty cool.)

Reading something like her memories can't help but make you long for the simpler times. Without the lack of running water part. But seriously, would your kid look at you like you were stark raving mad if you told him to go outside and shoot marbles? Only if it had a turbo-blast, electronically infused shooting tube that glowed in the dark would kids these days even give it a second thought. OK. I just used the phrase "kids these days." How sad is that.

Anyway, here's a sampling of some of the questions and her answers verbatim.

Q: Describe the best birthday you ever had. Why?
A: I don't remember celebrating birthdays, except my 16th. I met your grandfather.

Q: When you were given money, what did you spend it on? What could you buy for a quarter?
A: You could go to the movies for a quarter, but I never had any money of my own until I went to work.

Q: What was the naughtiest thing you ever did?
A: Smoked corn silk with some of the other neighborhood kids.

Q: What was the worst spanking or punishment you received and why did you deserve it?
A: My father threw me on the bed probably for getting in his way.

Q: What was your favorite outdoor activities?
A: Playing on the street corners with the other neighborhood kids and shooting marbles with my younger brothers and roller skating

Q: Did the kids ever tease you? What about? Why?
A: Yes they used to tease me because my parents were foreigners.

Q: What kind of appliances did you have to cook with, wash clothes and light the house?
A: We had oil lamps then we got electricity. We cooked on a coal stove in the winter and gas in the summer. We used a wash board then had a water power washer.

Q: Were you ever on a school team?
A: We didn't have sports for girls.

Q: What do you remember most about being a teenager?
A: Meeting my friends on Main Street and walking up and down while the boys were on the other side of Main Street.

Q: What attracted you to Grandpa the most?
A: He was always a lot of fun. And I guess I just needed someone to like me.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I always wanted to go on to school and be a teacher, but I didn't get to go to only 2 years of high school. (I was told by my mom later that when my grandmother was in school, she was pulled out by her parents so that she could help her mother out at home with the rest of the younger children.)

All of these answers were written by Rose Agnes Matty Cooper, 1913-2002. The 7th child out of 10, born to John and Anna Mattey in Zanesville, Ohio.