Saturday, March 5, 2011

Peace, and a Plan

[This entry is insanely long! Just think: when my life calms down, I'll go back to short, funny confections, rather than long unbosomings. Can't wait! Neither can you.]

OK, Becca, here's another pun: I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Saturday morning, and the phone is starting to ring. Proposed play dates; questions about soccer practices and ski plans. The day is taking shape. Simon is at work. I couldn't stay awake to blog (again!) last night, so I'll sneak a few morning minutes.

The adjectives are no longer being hurled. Peace reigns...well, not in my heart; but at least in the house of Diggins. This is good. I'm a girl who likes excitement, but even I was having a hard time with all the thrills and spills in my life right now.

Yesterday sucked, as do most Fridays. I was sad in the morning (as usual), and it lingered all fucking day! I was not consoled by work, nor by marble cake. The superlative new produce section in our renovated Smith's failed to heal me (but I have to say, zowie! Purple artichokes? Now if I could just find the relocated pretzels...). Whiskey and soda? Cooking with Sara? Thin Mints? Cute now undies? Radical cupcake-making plans? Anticipation of book club and a movie with Diane on Sunday? Argh. Nothing worked. It's funny how I take two steps forward and one step back. Does it HAVE to be like that? Or am I not reading the instruction manual properly? I found myself back on the rim of the bathtub, examining the doorknob directly opposite me like it was going to tell me something wise. All it said was, "YOU again! Aren't you supposed to be cooking supper?"

You would think that peace in my home would console me. Or having a plan. I love to have a plan: it keeps me future-focused. And I don't JUST have a plan: I have my own line of credit for the first time in my life. Next week, I will have a checking account. I have homework assignments. By next Thursday, I need to have a handle on all the finances; I need to know the balance sheet for the mortgage; we need to have a custody proposal drawn up on a calendar page. We're going to get all of that done over the weekend.

Simon is so busy with a labor-intensive group for the next two weeks that he won't be home much. He'll sleep at Snowbird for all the evening events. Then I'm moving out for a bit; then he has extended travel followed by more extended travel, so I will move back in. We are going to reconvene here on April 11: his schedule will be starting to slow down, so he can concentrate better; and we both need to be in residence when we file papers.

Actually, this is soothing. I've always said that Diggins, Inc. was a well-oiled machine when stuff needs to get done. Am I happy?

Are you kidding?



I hate to admit it, but I'm scared.

I'm scared of being poor. I've never been one for spending a lot of money, but will I have enough to cover basic needs? Healthy food for the kids? Truck maintenance? Luxuries like running shoes? Can I live with the fact that I may not ever afford another big vacation? (Sigh.) Bye, bye France. Bye, bye Napa! Well, I have been poor before. In Australia, I was broke. Like, what-will-I-eat-this-week broke. Like, wait-at-the-grocery-store-at-closing-time-to-see-what-produce-they-plan-to-throw-out broke. When we were first married, a car breakdown or a health problem would supplant Christmas gifts. We ate La Choy from a can. This is a throwback to the Spam years of my own childhood. It will be hard to leave my relative affluence.

I'm scared of being a stressed-out, overworked mom. Will I be the one who forgets when Nate's book report is due? Will my kids have to make their own suppers and go to bed while I work nights? Will they be calling me at Guadalupe to tell me that they are scared or that they are about to murder each other? 398-2751. That was my mom's number at work. Wanna know how I still remember it? I'll bet my little brother remembers it, too. I will need a lot of fortitude and organization.

I'm scared of dating. It's a jungle out there! I have heard chapter and verse on this topic from my single colleagues, and they are young and beautiful! Plus, my heart isn't into it. I mean, my heart isn't even in the building. Maybe that will be the reality: relationships that only go so far. Yesterday TWO men that I know out-and-out told me that they are interested in a serious relationship with me. Uh, sure; what the hell? First, see if you can find my heart. Last spotted careening among the parked cars at Smith's during the pre-supper rush. Gonna get run over if it isn't careful. I have been told to "do what I need to do to get on with my life", which includes this, but... [I'm wrinkling my nose.] No matter how little feeling there was in my relationship with Simon, at least I know that I had a date for a dinner party or a fund-raiser. I could count on a cup of tea after work. It'll be hard to leave that comfort zone.

I'm scared of where I will end up. A ratty little apartment? A condo? It has to be at least two bedrooms... I need to stay in this general part of the valley, where the kids are. Sara wants to know: will she have to share a room with Nate? (Uh...) Can we paint her bedroom door with blackboard paint so she can draw on it? (Maybe...) The big question: could they have a pet? (Well...)

I'm really scared of loneliness. I'm a gregarious person and I thrive on companionship. I have had very lonely times in the past, so I know some good coping strategies. Still, I'm not excited about a return to yesteryear. About coming home to an empty house. Being on my own when I have a fever. Or a joke I want to tell. (Of course, there is always my student, Victor, for that) Or a pressing concern. Neither would I fill the emptiness of anyone else. Care for someone with a fever. Listen to a joke. Soothe a pressing concern.

These fears take the knot of heartache and tighten it with worry and stress. I look in the mirror now and think, you need to do better. Sleep, please. Run, but don't run away. Stop mooning. Eat, but not Wild Grape Pop Tarts. Will I be disciplined enough to take proper care of myself? Will I ever recover from all these worries and go, "Whew! Lets have some fun!"

Which gets me to an idea I've been turning over in my mind and discussing with Moira for a long time. And it is timely right now. I want to start a sort But what to call it? How to organize it?

Here's the basic idea. There are things my friends and I want to try. Things that we don't know how to do, but want or need to learn. Skills we lack. And now there will be things that I will only be able to continue doing if I have another willing adult or two to come along. I love doing things with my friends, but we won't all have the same interests. Plus, I want this group to be a real clique-buster featuring a more fluid membership. The cohort who wants to take Salsa lessons will be different from the ones who want to go to spinning class, as opposed to the ones who want to learn more about roller derby (yes, my butt bruise leaves me undaunted), who want to try making homemade cheese or would like to master their sewing machines. Or learn to change their oil. Or play poker. See? Sounds fun, huh?

I can take my kids camping on my own. And I will. But I wouldn't mind some non-wussy, back-country-loving company. I am committed to the idea of taking them on a canoe trip on the Stillwater section of the Green River this summer, come what may; but I really do need at least one other adult for that. Several companions would mitigate the costs and the single-mom-ish-ness. So, yeah: learn new skills; try different stuff; regroup in ways that will heal my kids and my heart. Build new ways of getting people together.

Membership? Maybe interested parties from book club, PLUS each of them invites another friend that other folks don't know yet? Or other folks that come to me and say, "Hey, I heard about that idea of yours..." What we want is a mix of old friends and new. It needs to be free-flowing, but cohesive enough that people can build close friendships and we know who the hell is on the e-mail list! Some things will be expensive - others free. Some things will need a host - others not. Some things are one-afternoon activities; others might be every week for six weeks; others would be long weekends. Some things need to have only a limited number of people- others not. I get a little tangled up in the logistics of it. If any of you have bright ideas for pulling it together, share, please.

I think we'll start with a poker party, since Moira knows a guy who would be willing to teach us how to play. Pot luck at my place, followed by poker? Eight novices? Total novices - no hustlers! Moira! Should we smoke cigars? Yeah! Only problem is that I may be living in a one-bedroom apartment that smells like mildew. Better do it soon. Aw, shit. I am going to miss entertaining! Hadn't really thought of that.

And, I need to get our annual book club camp-out organized before I can do another thing. If I can't do THAT, I can't do THIS. I need to get on that today! Tony Grove, maybe? Up and at 'em, Kate. Chores await. Day by day, until I come out into the clear.


Anonymous said...

I like your club idea, although it does seem at an early stage. I wanted to share with you what helps me dream of better times, adventure and a happy life: They have a group for families and a lot of the members are single parents. I am not a single parent, although just like you for a long time I sometimes think it would be for the best, and have the same fears you do at other times. Anyway, don't forget you may not be young, but you are definitely smart and beautiful.
Best wishes, Kate

Kate said...

@ Kate: I will check it out. Thanks! You are always so knid to me.

Kate said...

@ Kate: K-I-N-D! Kind.

JY said...

Still sending good vibes your way.

sleep deprived said...

I want in the club. Maybe not the poker part, but the skiing or canoeing or whatever.

And I'll help anyone who wants to get acquainted with their sewing machine.

Kate said...

@Kristen: You're in!

Amrita said...

Dear Kate, this doesn 't sound good. Could Si an d you try and work thing s out?