Friday, December 27, 2013
Trying to Get the Feeling Again
Money has been a struggle. EDC, my main employer, after years of financial growth and stability, suffered some huge cutbacks and had to do massive layoffs — which means that my special service, editing, is now seen as a luxury; few clients are willing or able to pay my hourly rate, and they're also simply producing less to be edited. Today's paycheck from EDC will be something like 30 bucks.
But I had a job this week, and though I usually prefer to avoid work right before the holidays, I had to grab it, given my impoverished state — and it was a deeply stressful job, requiring me to install a new software program, which caused my computer to crash every 10 seconds . . . I cried a lot. But it's done now and it's money, and that's something.
Clearly I need a new computer, as mine is ancient. As is my car. As is Husband's. Our children's computers are old too.
Big big bills, tiny tiny paychecks. Time for Mommy to bite the bullet and become a substitute teacher in January. I will also call the temp agency that ignored the resume I sent them. (I did apply for two actual jobs, as a freelance Medical Editor and a temporary Oral Historian, but haven't heard a peep re: either.)
The other main struggle has been mental health, chiefly my daughter's. I'm not sure I've ever said this out loud on my blog, but Mimosa has Asperger's syndrome, she's very shy, and social stuff is always a challenge for her. She has succeeded in making a couple of friends that she can "invite" to do things with her, but the invitations are always initiated by her; no one ever calls her, and she doesn't have what I think of as "hang out" friends. We haven't had a girlfriend just hanging out at our house since Mimosa was in elementary school.
(And I kind of laugh when I remember my own teen years; I had a wide circle of all-occasion friends, but my favorite thing to do with my two best friends when they came over was to read. We would lie on my huge antique bed, the one Mimosa now sleeps in, and read our library books. Possibly I am not the best role model for teen social dates.)
I dream of the perfect best friend for Mimosa — a quiet but fun-loving girl who likes books, movies, TV, and pop music, isn't too sporty or outdoorsy, and doesn't have a ton of other friends competing for her time and attention. I absolutely know that this girl is out there . . . but maybe Mimosa won't find her until college. I dunno. My own strategy for finding my junior high BF was to watch the girls who spent a lot of time in the school library and then to simply stalk one of them until she became my friend. (Mrs. Cynicletary will recognize this approach.) Mimosa says that she tried talking to a reader girl once, but the girl looked at her like she was crazy.
But the hardest thing is that my daughter is now part of three groups — the Madrigals, her church Youth Group, and the Into the Woods cast — and it's especially hard and lonely-making when you're technically part of a group but really just outside of it. These kids are all perfectly nice, but they don't necessarily go out of their way to include Mimosa (16 year olds are not prized for their social skills), so she teeters on the outskirts, wishing desperately to be nearer the center but completely stymied as to how to get there.
And in the meantime, a local teen girl just committed suicide, and all of us mommies of sad girls are drawing our daughters closer (metaphorically — my teen usually keeps me at arm's length).
It has been a hard, wrenching time.
Husband is having his own struggles; after years of enjoying the most collegial academic department ever, he's now enduring a new department chair, an outside hire, who has chosen Husband as his personal scapegoat and whipping boy. The situation has finally come to a head, so there's a meeting with the Dean coming soon, which, I think, will be good in that there will likely be some resolution to all this — but it has been awful to live through; my cheerful, easygoing sweetie has been glum and preoccupied, prickly and put-upon. Not fun for any of us.
In the face of all this Sturm und Drang, weight loss feels pretty incidental, I must say. But I haven't gained any weight, and lately I've been getting tons of compliments on how thin I look — which is weird; I promise you I haven't lost an ounce. Perhaps the stress of daily living is repositioning my fat pockets . . . ?!
Sorry, I know this isn't one of my funner posts. But I haven't felt much like blogging, and now you know why.
One day at a time, you know?
Today will be a good day — Mimosa and I are seeing Saving Mr. Banks, and it looks like one of M's church friends will come with us (this girl is awesome and adorable, but she has a thousand friends and is giddily flaky — not a good or reliable BF candidate, I fear), and tonight we'll eat up all the delicious leftovers in the fridge (our Christmas dinner was teriyaki steak tips, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and red-hot apples — YUM) and make popcorn and watch The Heat, which is coming from Netflix, and possibly play a round of (slightly edited) Cards Against Humanity, which Martini got for Christmas and is hysterical, and tomorrow I'm seeing a movie with Brunie and attending Sister Hart the Elder's swelligant holiday party, and on Sunday Mimosa and I meet up with Blogger Dawn for our annual outing to see the Family Trees in Concord, Mass. — in other words, nothin' but good times ahead!
All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.
Cool Yule, y'all!
—Lady C, breathing in, breathing out