Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year

Hello, Blog. You know what I like about you? You're like that old high school friend. The one you haven't talked to in years, but every time you run into each other, it's like time hasn't passed at all. Let's catch up over coffee, shall we?

I'm now into my third month of doing transcription. Some days I feel like this is amazingly awesome. Granted, I'm not making a killing at doing it, but it has really done a lot for my sanity, and J's sanity, as well. He seems to be thriving more in school, even though he still maintains that he hates it. I guess when you get off to a bad start, it's hard to overcome. But my days are less pressured, his days are less stressful, and we get to spend a lot of time together, which is something that was severely lacking before with all the craziness. It feels like we can breathe again, and every other word out of my mouth isn't "hurry up" or "we're late" or "let's go." I'll take the loss in pay, because what I have gained is priceless.

So, it's a new year. 2011. I'll refrain from all the 'where has the time gone' crap. I think 2010 pretty much sucked a big one, and I'm not the least bit sad to see it go. Sure, good things did happen in 2010, but I'm eager for this new start. Yes, I realize it's just a day, and nothing really starts fresh and new on January 1. There's no reset button that wipes the slate clean each 365th day, but let me enjoy my little delusion for a moment. If nothing else, it gives us a chance to realign our goals and actions, right? It's a time to reflect and maybe set some new goals in motion. Notice I don't call them resolutions. I think resolutions are sort of dumb, really. As if we can only chose to make them this one day of the year, and then set ourselves up for failure when we decide, somewhere in the second week, that we don't really feel like hitting the gym this morning, or that a danish does sound like a good breakfast after a month of plain oatmeal. Nope. Not going to make 'resolutions' this year.

What I am going to do is make an effort to live more simply. Don't get me wrong. A 5-minute glance around this house will show you that we aren't real extravagant people. What I mean by that is that I'm going to make more of an effort to really enjoy the little things that come our way more. Five minutes of snuggle time on the couch with the dog, or the 30 minutes of uninterrupted knitting time in the car loop. Simple things. They don't cost anything. They're there all the time for our taking. That's what I'm going to try to focus on more this year.

Hopefully I'll also find more time for spinning and knitting, which are some of those simple pleasures that I often don't make/find the time for. This year I'll let go of the guilt if I'd rather sit and spin for half an hour instead of fold the laundry. I'll read that book with Jonas rather than sweep the floor for the third time (yes, I have a very fuzzy, sheddy dog!) In short, I'll do my best to find the happiness that's already there, and not worry so much about the little things. It's really a pretty big little goal, isn't it?

So, what are you setting as your goal in this new year?


Friday, October 22, 2010

Bullets... or numbers really.

Hello blog. I realize that I have a lot to share with you, but since I only have about 10 minutes, we'll just do a quick list, then maybe I can come back and expand upon those things at a later date.

1. I started a new job this week. I'm now working from home doing medical transcription. It's not the glorious, quick money sort of job that the schools would lead you to believe, and the market sucks when trying to find a job, but I have one, and I'm loving it, even if young children in India are making more money in sweatshops than I currently am.

2. I still work at the vet on Saturdays until January, and might actually ask to keep that position for a while longer while I work on my speed and increase my production. Otherwise we won't even be able to afford the ramen noodles J is so fond of.

3. Speaking of J, being home with him has really allowed me to take some to the stress off of his little shoulders. He's already showing less anger and frustration, and we're getting school work done. He's even (finally!) learning to read and taking an active role in it. Makes it all seem like it's the right thing to do.

4. We took in a new dog about a month ago. He's a sweetheart, even if he does chew up anything in his path and seems to think the floor is a much more suitable toilet than the yard.

5. We still miss Kelli something awful.

6. Mocha's been not feeling well for a while now. We've attributed it to her arthritis, mostly, but when she started having diarrhea I took her in for a checkup. Her labwork looked fine, so we just sort of shrugged and figured it's just part of her getting old. After two really bad days we did x-rays today. It ain't good news. There's no fixing it. So, we'll begin preparing ourselves for another big loss here soon.

7. And so we don't end this on a sad note-- Jonas has joined Cub Scouts and is loving it.

All blogworthy things, and I hope to revisit these topics soon, but just wanted to get them all on here so that I'd remember and feel more obligated to come back.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Random bits of catch up

Hello blog. I won't even bother with the old 'long time, no see' crap that usually precedes my posts. Let's just agree to the fact that our relationship is a flighty one. Perhaps a numbered list will serve as a post today?

1. J-man continues to grow and do lots of amazing things. This year has posed many new challenges to my role as a parent. Most notably, the fact that school absolutely sucks for him. He's a smart boy. Exceptional, really. But school isn't his bag. It's become apparent that he learns differently than most of the other kids, and the classroom is not his ideal situation. I've spent these first 9 weeks in and out of meetings and conferences with the ex-ed department discussing his services and we seem to be getting nowhere fast. The system is designed so that it takes nearly a year to get the appropriate steps completed so that he can receive the things he needs- namely, a reading coach. Meanwhile he continues to struggle in class, or simply do nothing at all, and then bring home nearly his entire day's worth of work to be completed at home. It leaves me struggling with whether I believe that mainstream school is where he belongs. Yet, with our busy schedules, I also doubt my ability to dedicate enough time to education to even entertain the idea of homeschooling. And have I mentioned that working the system requires a degree of its own? It's baffling, and no one can provide me with a schedule, timeline, or roadmap. *sigh* So we press on, me butting heads with a lackluster teacher, and trying to encourage my boy to do his best while secretly wondering what value can be had by him cutting and pasting and coloring worksheets at home when what he really needs in order to learn is a solid foundation in reading. A skill he has yet to even begin to master. Math? No problem. The concepts of science, social studies, even story comprehension, he gets it. But unless he can read the questions, read the stories, read the damn instructions on his work, none of it really matters. He can't do the work.

2. The above situation has caused me to take a long, hard look at our home life. The world, and the economy dictates that I HAVE to work. We, along with most of America, don't have the luxury to allow me to quit my job and be home with munchkin full-time, living the June Cleaver life of wholesome meals, bake sales, and sparkly clean houses. My job has, for the past several years, allowed me to work only three days a week, plus occasional Saturday shifts, which has been a blessing. But those days are long. I'm gone from 7:30 in the morning until after 8:00 in the evening. By the time we get home, it's already past bedtime. That, of course, means that no homework gets done on those nights. Or, if it MUST be done that night, we have to skip bedtime, which sets the next day up for complete failure.

I've been resenting my job, and the long hours, for a long time. And now that I can clearly see the way it affects Jonas, I've made the resolution that it's time to move on. I love my job. I love what I do and where I do it, but J is my first priority, and if that means eating Ramen noodles exclusively for the next few years, I have to believe that it's worth it.


3. I landed a new job as a transcriptionist. I know, right? All these years later, I'm finally going to put that education to use. I started the transcription training program back when J was just an infant with grand hopes of breezing right through it and working blissfully from home before his second birthday. Now, finally, I'm going to be doing that, and no one could possibly be more excited and nervous about it. I wasn't exactly the star pupil in my studies. I squeezed by the final with the lowest possible passing grade-- an 85%. Not the stellar grades that make companies jump at the chance to hire you, or even give you a second glance. After nearly 100 applications and company testings, I finally found one willing to give me a chance. So, in about a week I'll begin a new chapter of my working life, after 8 long and mostly fabulous years at the vet's office, I'll be a work-at-home mom.

4. New jobs are scary things. I don't feel the need to expand on that. We've all been there. We all know.

5. J is now officially in cub scouts. This is a fun little adventure for us. He seems to be enjoying it much more than he did Karate, which was a big expensive failure. Note to self: Do not commit to a contractual sort of thing when a 5-year-old is involved. They are fickle and their interests are fleeting.

6. My knitting mojo has flown the coop. I've got a project stalled on nearly every pair of needles I own, with no real hopes of finishing any time soon. I still love knitting, but when I have 10 minutes to myself and the option to either knit, or just sit and breathe. I usually choose the breathing thing.

7. After gaining something like 30 pounds in the last year or so, I've gotten back on the healthy eating wagon (pay no attention to that cheeseburger behind the curtain) and I'm about 1/2 way back to my goal weight, and to fitting my fat ass in my jeans again. I refuse to go buy new fat girl clothes after finally donating them all to Goodwill.

And that's the last few months in a nutshell. Not very exciting, but good to get them all back into the open. Now, when I decide to pop in here and rant about something, at least you'll have some sort of idea of what the heck I'm talking about.

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