The Meaning of Life is over

That is, I’ve turned 43.  I’m now truly into my 40s.  I started a new job near the end of my 42nd year.  This time last year, I’d sent off some resumes for teaching positions.  But the job I currently have had not been posted yet.  It would be another month before that would happen.

For 43, I feel pretty damn good.  I feel lucky to have been able to shift careers and to so far, be somewhat successful.  I have much to learn, but that’s keeping me young.

I keep having these nagging dreams about my weight, which isn’t bad, but I think I’m subconsciously worried about it.  I dreamt that I stepped on a scale and it zoomed up to well over 200.  And then I dreamt that I took off my clothes and my body just expanded, like one of those expanding animals you add water to.  I took my exercise clothes to work a week ago.  A colleague and I have been planning to work out together, but neither of us have managed it yet.  Friday is about the only day we don’t end up in an after-school meeting and we don’t feel like  working out on Fridays.  Sigh.

I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a local story about motivation to lost weight.  The main thrust of the argument was that if you’re doing it for vanity, it’s less likely to work.  Sadly, that’s where I am right now.  Intellectually, I can discuss the health benefits, but emotionally, I’m in it to look good in my clothes.

I’d make it a goal for the next year to lose x number of pounds, but I think I’m too focused on other things.  One day I’ll post here about going to the gym every day, but until then, I’ll settle for the way I look at 43.  It’s not so bad.

Weekly Update 1: Birthday Edition

Yeah, so I couldn’t even hold back for a week.  🙂 But seriously, I think once a week will work for me.  This time of year is always insane.  My kids’ birthdays are two days apart, Geeky Boy’s tomorrow and Geeky Girl’s two days later.  There are parties to plan, family dinners to cook, and often visitors to host.  When I was working, it was even worse because it was also the beginning of the summer program I ran.  No matter how much in advance I tried to plan things, there was always a lot of rushing around at the last minute.  This year, the parties and visits are postponed a week, but we are still doing nice family dinners plus dessert on the kids’ actual birthdays.  A few years ago, I had a kind of mini-breakdown on Geeky Boy’s birthday.  Though I didn’t say so in that post, I was stressed beyond belief.  I was basically doing everything I could to minimize my work load.  My job was sucking the life force out of me and that year was the beginning of my thinking about leaving.  I had begun to cry every once in a while over stuff at work.  I also cried over stuff at home.  I had some issues.  I am much, much less stressed today.  Yes, I find this time of year semi backbreaking and yes, as usual, I’m trying to do too many things at once, but I’m stepping back from it and not worrying.  I’m making sure that we at least have a nice celebration for each kid, that they get to feel special for a day, that they know we love them.

Today, I bought herb plants and a nice box planter to hang on the deck.  I spend almost every afternoon out there, sipping on an adult beverage.  Mr. Geeky joins me when he returns from work.  I’ve almost finished painting.  I’m suffering from some pretty bad back pain that I hope will be resolved during my massage tday.  It has, unfortunately, hindered me from working too much at anything.  I am in the process of learning all kinds of new things and honing my old skills in preparation for the fall.  I’m sure I won’t accomplish everything I want to, but I’m happy with the progress so far.  Yesterday, Mr. Geeky and Geeky Girl were away at a field trip all day.  Geeky Boy and I held down the fort, but then he went off to a pool party.  I skipped dog training class so that I could relax a little, have a beer and watch tv.  Just what my back needed, quite frankly.

Next week the inlaws descend to participate in birthday celebrations.  It’s always nice to see them, but of course, preparing for the visit is a lot of work.  I’ve started the Fly Lady baby steps.  Don’t laugh.  I need someone to just tell me what to do.  My sink is ridiculously shiny, and she’s right, it made me happy.

They say it’s my birthday!

My friend, Laura, and I would play this at full volume on our respective birthdays. I was a huge Beatles fan in high school. Mostly everything I really, really liked music wise was from the 60s and early 70s (Led Zeppelin, The Doors, etc.). But I liked the Beatles because no one else my age really did. People would get in my car, hear The White Album in the background and roll their eyes. But who doesn’t love The Birthday Song, really.

And here’s another Beatles song that makes me smile, from the movie, Across the Universe:

It is indeed a sunny day today. Finally. After days of gray and rain, it’s supposed to be just lovely the rest of the week. Mr. Geeky is out of town starting this evening through tomorrow, but we’re having lunch as soon as the basement cleaning people show up. The basement is dry-ish now. My plan is to get it cleaned and then get it waterproofed again. Water is coming in from somewhere. . .

On the dog front, Gracie has developed some cute and not-so-cute behaviors. On the cute front, we’ve taught her to sit, which she now does spontaneously in hopes of treats. She’s also a real Hopper. She’s named after Grace Hopper, but she can leap from sofa to bed and back again like a rabbit. I think doing some agility stuff with her (jumping over hurdles) would be fun. Yesterday, I took a bubble bath and the bubbles freaked her out. She barked at them. And then, she jumped into the bathtub while it was draining, and rather than jump back out, she barked at the bubbles. Crazy. Her worst behavior so far has been nipping/biting at us when she’s playing. Sometimes she gets so worked up that she bites, we correct and then she barks and runs in circles. These are not hard bites usually, but she doesn’t know her own strength and we’re trying to keep her from doing it by making a loud noise and then not playing with her and/or redirecting her to her toys. The latter seems to work better. But we certainly don’t want her biting. And we’re still having some house training issues, but mostly she’s good on that front.

Though I mostly plan a regular day–laundry still needs to get done, after all–I’m mostly hanging out and relaxing and appreciated being at the age of the meaning of life (my favorite number).

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Today is Geeky Boy’s birthday. He’s 14 and about to go into high school. He’s had a very up and down year and I think he’s looking forward to a new environment and new things. I’ve had a very up and down year as his parent. I feel certain at times that I’m just doing it wrong. But we still muddle through pretty well. Geeky Boy is a generous soul, very forgiving and kind, though I think being that way weighs on him at times, especially when he’s the one getting hurt. I’m proud of that quality in him though. He’s a great kid in so many ways, smart, athletic, sensitive. I worry pretty constantly, though. In part, I know what a minefield my own teenage years were, and I hope he has fewer mines than I did. In part, it’s just that I know I have so much less control over his life now than I did 5 years ago. And that feels really weird to me.

Geeky Girl turns 10 on Sunday. Double-digit midget she calls herself. She, too, is a great kid, though very different from Geeky Boy. While he is quiet and reserved mostly, she is bold and enthusiastic. When she was younger, we used to tell her to use her inside voice all the time. She had what we called a “stadium voice.” She seems to not be afraid of anything. Most of the time, she exudes confidence, though she has moments where she’s unsure of herself.

If someone had told me 14 years ago that I’d be as proud, anxious, excited and terrified about being a parent as I am now, I wouldn’t have believed them. This has been an interesting journey, and in some ways, what’s been interesting about it is how much it’s becoming their journey and not mine. I’m trying to get used to that.



Run for the hills, I have a teenager

As of 1 a.m. today, I am officially the mother of a teenager. Geeky Boy turned 13. Holy cow, how’d that happen? Wasn’t he just 2 last week? People ask me all the time if he’s a “typical” teenager. I don’t think so–mostly. He does a few typical teenage things, like sleep until noon. But so far, he hasn’t been mean or rebellious or surly or any of the so-called “bad” traits of teenagedom.

So far, he’s at core a good kid and will remain so even if the road gets a little rocky in the next few years.

Conversation happening right now.

Geeky Boy: “I want to catch up with George Lucas.”
Mr. Geeky: “What? Why?”
Geeky Boy: “I want to pass him in age.”
Mr. Geeky: “Why? It’s not a race.”
Geeky Boy: “Yes, it is.”
Mr. Geeky: “You know each year you get older, the closer you are to death.”
Geeky Boy (staring incredulously from the doorway): “That’s a nice thought, Dad.”
Laughter ensues.

Yep, that’s how we celebrate birthdays–reminding ourselves how much closer to death we are.

The Big 4-0

The Big 4-0
Originally uploaded by lorda.

Yesterday I turned 40. It was fun to see all the Facebook greetings wishing me a Happy Birthday. 20 years ago, that never would have happened. My birthday always falls over spring break, so no one is ever around for it (not that I care now, but in college, it was kind of depressing). The family did it up right, taking me out to lunch and then shopping for presents. I was showered with WoW related gifts–guides and books galore. But Mr. Geeky outdid himself by getting me the gift that took this picture–an iPhone. My dad laughed when I told him because he didn’t think I needed another gadget. But, of course, I live for gadgets. It really is as cool as they say. I love having my email on here and I’m looking forward to getting calendar syncing working. I’m completely geeked out, which is of course the perfect way for a Geeky Mom to spend her 40th birthday.

It’s my birthday, so I get to be queen

LLA* from Bad Fortune Cookie sent me a lovely tiara for my birthday. I have no idea if I’m wearing it correctly–not being a beauty queen in real life, but for what it’s worth, here I am. The card that came with it was funny. It had two little girls with purses on the front and it said “and in their purses were candy bars. How happy were they?” It reminded me of when we were in high school and we’d go driving in the snow. We’d always make sure we had provisions in case we got stuck. The provisions were usually hershey bars.

I’m hanging out by myself right now. My kids and hubby are out shopping for me. Yay! It’s actually sleeting here and the kids got out from school early. I took the day off–for my birthday–but then they sent everyone home at noon anyway. Crazy! I think it’s going to be a low-key day. Just with a tiara.

*For those of you who don’t know, we went to elementary school and high school together, but not middle school.