Monthly Archives: November 2013

Me Time

I made it out yesterday, and I socialized. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for that one.

I’ve found myself in the possession of a weekend with an empty calendar. Work yesterday barely counted… just a short evening shift, which was spent mostly in the effort of making the new knickers display look nice and chatting with my part time associate about her retail career. She’s an old pro in the retail sector, despite her young age, getting her start in apparel at one of the “one-stop” shops here in town, and we were able to chat easily and swap stories about stores in which we have worked. Sort-of but not-really related, the part timers make me feel old. I was running my first store in 1997, about the time the youngest of the set was starting preschool. I was a training manager for a tuxedo chain when my other keyholder was entering high school. I relate much better to the management staff, even though I was born the year my SM graduated high school. At a certain point, age doesn’t matter as much as experience, and she and I and the ASM have that in spades. The three of us, plus the long-time retail PTSA, have an impressive list of big names in small-store and department store retail. And, I think when you walk in and one of us is working, it shows.

But anyhow, I’ve gotten off track, I think. This wasn’t going to be another post about work.

Free time.

Mr Awesome is out all weekend, at the coast with Velah for her birthday. He scheduled a grandparent visit for the kids, and I have the house to myself. Wash is busy with his family and a work obligation. And I’m free.

Like I said above, I got out yesterday. I visited a friend who was doing a craft show in Vancouver, and it was lovely to chat with her. I got myself lunch at Trader Joes and then went for a Goodwill wander, scoring an awesome argyle wool sweater vest. I came home and wrote for a while and took a bubble bath. I worked and came home and texted til early morning with Wash and slept deeply, covered in blankets and cats.

My coffee is gone now and I’m considering my day, trying to decide between a trip to Powells or a wander through Saturday Market, or both. The family won’t be home until dinnertime. I should write some more… I have the first three chapters of my novel drafted, and my goal for this week is to finish chapters four and five. It’s brightly sunny today, and I think it will feel good to get into the city and go for an adventure…

I’m going to be 100% honest here. It has been a hard, hard road beating back the Bitch this time around. I’ve had days recently that simply getting dressed has been a huge victory. The weather doesn’t help… cold windy days make me ache all over and make my joints stupid and clumsy. My kids are having a hard time with me back at work, even though they love the time they have with their dad. My breakup with the Boyfriend has been hard to process. For all that he wasn’t really there for the last several months, I still miss him terribly. And heading into the holidays without his family at our side feels weird.

But, I’m doing what I can, taking each moment by itself and doing my best. I’m writing again, which feels awesome. But I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for gentle pokes from my friends. If you were one of those who sent me a text or other direct message, asking if I was ok and when would I write again, I want to say thank you. Knowing that someone wanted to hear what I had to say is the whole reason I started this blog. Writing helps me process things. Processing things helps me heal. Life moves on, looking brighter and better and healthier.

Thanks to you all, for listening. And all the loves I have to offer.

More about my Bitch can be found here:
The Bitch is Back
The Boy With the Sad Eyes

And as always, I welcome your thoughts and comments below. ❤


Merry

I’m Free!

I’ve re-entered my retail career running, it seems.

Starting a new job during the holiday season is crazy enough, on it’s own. Starting a new job in the retail sector during the holiday season is a special sort of self-abuse, especially if you have worked retail during Holiday before and know what you are getting into.

Decorations went up on Halloween night. Christmas music – awful warbly pop songs about missing your baby and mommy kissing Santa – started the first of November. As an aside, I think I may have spent too much time in certain circles; the song about tying your baby up in red and gold ribbons and leaving him under the Christmas tree has a whole new meaning this year.

I went from two years of not working to working six days straight. It’s Mongolian Death Flu season… we had a girl out and the manager was taking time off before the holiday blackout period.

Surprisingly enough, I’m happy. I like my new position in my old store. I like my co-workers. Most of my customers are pretty darn awesome. And I still love the product we sell, even if it’s not always the style I would wear. The little old ladies love the shop girl with the short hair and tattoos and slightly edgy clothing sense. The department I’m responsible for is Intimates, and I’m finding I actually like dressing up the mannequins in snowflake printed jammies and red knickers.

There is some adjusting to be done. The crazy day where I worked and Mr Awesome took the day off so he could drive my mom to the doctor. Our daughter went to a friend’s house after school, and I opened the store for the first time. Mr Awesome is learning again how to cook for our family, and on days I work, he comes home from his job and starts dinner so we can still eat together. He’s also helping the kids with their homework and my mom is helping us with the babysitting. Grocery shopping gets done when I have time, and writing time has happened barely at all. But I’m still going to write the awesome poly romance novel, it’s just going to take a little more time to get it done. We’re learning again how to be a two-income family with school-age kids, parents that need cared for, and outside relationships that need caring for. Mr Awesome and I are dating each other again, which has been fun and wonderful and so very, very amazing. We’ve rediscovered Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and have been watching it together. It’s fun, and a good way to relax in the midst of our busy day.

And I’m learning to let go. To let Mr Awesome be the awesome dad that he is. To let my mom get Lil D off the bus, and let my neighbor sometimes get them on the bus. To know that Mr Awesome doesn’t load the dishwasher the same way I do, and that’s ok, because at least he did the dishes….

I suspect that, when I have time to write again, my writing will be that much richer and more relevant. Balancing the lifestyle and our family and our careers is challenging, and I am looking forward to sharing any insights I glean from this experience.

Meanwhile, I’ll be listening to Winter Wonderland for the umpteenth time and selling people coats made of genuine “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Leather”.  You’ll hear from me again, next time I emerge from a box of knickers and industrial-strength shapewear…

And I hope you all have a lovely, lovely week.


The Bitch is Back

Mr Awesome asked me yesterday if I was still writing. If not here, which is a place I haven’t been in a month, then was I writing elsewhere? Somewhere?

The sad answer was no.

I have a lot of excuses, and a few very good reasons. They can all be summed up easily. The bitch is back. Or at least she was.

I fight depression. That is something I am frank and open about. It’s as much a part of me as my brown eyes and freckles. And my depression is often triggered by huge life changes.

Let’s just say there’s been some of that going on, lately. And my bitch likes to take away my craft and my muse. And when I add the creative paralysis of depression to the exhaustion of starting a new job and stir in the bare fact that some of the stuff going on I simply cannot write about out of respect to the other parties involved, I’ve hit a bit of a dry spell.

So, in a nutshell, here’s where I am at:
I started a new job. Kind of new, at least. It’s at the dress shop I worked at a few years ago, only in a new position, one a little higher up the management food chain. It’s retail, at the Giftmas season. No mall for me -thank Bob!- it’s a stand-alone store. Room for advancement, the hours are good, the pay is more than I expected. Back with a manager I like and who likes me. It was hard for Mr Awesome to ask me to return to work, but he had to do it. Ends weren’t meeting, and prices are going up at astounding rates. But it’s been hard. I’m missing soccer games again, and bedtimes, and my muse hasn’t visited with me in a while, just when she and I had been getting nice and cozy. I’m closing the store a lot, and it’s hard to get to sleep after a late shift, so I’ve been tired during the day. I’m dealing with the uncertain schedules that are part and parcel of working retail, and getting the store and myself and my staff ready for the holiday season.

And that’s about all I can write about it. I can’t post much about work, or my staff or my customers, because I can get fired if I get caught. So there you are.

But wait, there’s more!
I ended things with the Boyfriend. We had grown apart, communications were breaking down…. All the standard excuses that get dragged out when two people just aren’t in sync anymore, and never will be again. It was sad and awful and heartbreaking and it hurt like hell. I know I hurt him, and it kills me to think that this gentle man that I love very much is hurting because of me. Wash had some very tough words for me, though, that ultimately led me to the decision of breaking up… Hard words to hear, but needed ones. Sometimes the hard truths need to come from someone outside the situation to be heard. But still, I’m mourning what was. I miss my friend and lover. I miss his family, and I feel like I failed his daughter in some way, by not being able to fix what was broken between her dad and myself. Mr Awesome is no longer seeing the Other Woman, either, which is a very very good thing, but still a sad thing at the same time.

“There’s a light…”
I can’t type that without thinking of that song in Rocky Horror… Brad and Janet, searching for the house with the phone… Anyhow.
I’m starting a new relationship. And I’m nervous and scared and giddy. There’s this wonderful guy I met. He has two adorable kids, and he coaches their soccer games on the weekends. He loves the same books I do, and loves hiking in the Gorge and going out for dessert at bookstores. We’ve talked about it, and we think we’d like to start dating.

I’ve started dating my husband again.

I realized that I was getting hit with jealousy like I had never experienced. The tiniest things would trigger me, and that just isn’t normal for me. Mr Awesome would go to do stuff with Velah and it would hurt me, not because I don’t love her, but because I felt him drifting away from me.

We have been together two months shy of 17 years. Literally half of my entire life, and all of my adult years. And it started feeling like all we had in common was the house and our kids, and our history. There have been some hard conversations… The other night we agreed that this whole relationship thing was hard fucking work. But it’s worth it, to have my best friend back. I feel closer to him now that I have in ages and I think we are on a really good path.

I tweeted, some weeks ago, that depression is a bitch. Later, I amended that it say depression isn’t a bitch, she’s my bitch, and I’m winning this round. Which is completely accurate. She’s still sulking in the corner, and sometimes her voice is louder than others. Sometimes her voice is loud enough to drown out all the other voices, and sometimes, like lately, it’s harder to get her back in her corner and force her to stay there. But she’s my bitch, and I’m calling the shots, and she’s not going to push me around, not this time, not ever.

I have written about depression before. Please read my post “The boy with the sad eyes” for more of my thoughts about depression.

Thank you for your time. As always, feel free tool comment below, and like me on Facebook or follow me on twitter for regular updates from me.


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