The Best Decisions

For right now, the best thing I’ve been doing is not putting pressure on myself to write here.  I expect that it will come back again, but right now I have to let myself off the hook a little in terms of needing to write.  With that said, I am also allowing myself the freedom to get all inspired and want to write here and there, and Amy’s post today did it for me.

The Five Best Decisions I’ve Made in my Adult Life

1. Leaving my PhD Program

Sometimes we are on a path and we let that become our identity.  I was 19 when I decided to major in Sociology and I knew that that path would lead to grad school and a PhD.  It was a huge lesson in learning to trust myself and trust that I could change my mind.  I remember the day I decided to leave the program.  I was walking to class, feeling miserable, thinking about how I used to adore sociology.  I spend most of my undergraduate career talking the ears off of anyone who would listen about all the amazing things I was learning about (criminalization of drugs!  gender inequality and power in marriages! marxism and the bourgeoisie!).  Grad school took all that joy away.  On that walk, I was playing with the idea of leaving in my head and when I did a weight lifted.  The simple idea of a life outside of academia was the happiest thought I had thought in weeks, so I went towards that.

I still got my MA, so that's something.

2. Moving to a new town, with no friends but my Grandparents, and living on my own.

I still can’t believe that I did this sometimes.  Have I ever mentioned that I picked my grad school based off of the relationship I was in?  I picked my college based off of (in part) to its proximity to my boyfriend.  I was developing a pattern of making huge decisions for the wrong reasons.  This decision was my own.  I went to the store and picked out my new bed alone.  I signed the apartment lease alone. I could decide to drive to LA Friday after work and not run it by anyone.  I could stay out late Thursday night and no one cared.  I learned about myself.  I learned about boundaries.  I learned how to connect the wireless internet, kill spiders, and hang wall art straight.  Most importantly I learned that I could do a hell of a lot more than I thought I could.  This was the period of my life that I gained ALL THE CONFIDENCE and I walked around feeling like I could handle pretty much anything life threw at me.

3. Forgiving my Mom.

Having a parent battle any addiction is hard.  (duh?)  It took my mom years, and one serious relapse, to get her life back. At the time she was going through everything, it was really crucial for me to put distance between us.  I could not be responsible for her sobriety, and that was incredibly difficult.  In a lot of ways I lost my mom during those years.  When she had been sober for a couple of years, I had a really hard time trusting the permanence of her sobriety.  I was also really angry.  I would recoil when she tried to hold my hand.

Miles changed everything.  Since the moment he arrived, I got it.  I understood my mom better.  I know she loves me as much as I love Miles.  Love heals a lot of wounds people.  My mom is the best Grandma.  I call her almost every day, because I genuinely want to.  Miles was a like the off-button for all of my anger and resentment… all I feel now is forgiveness and the desire for her to live closer to me.

4. Keeping the Baby.

Mike and I had been dating for a whole of 1.5 months when I found out I was pregnant.  An abortion could have been a real option for us.  We’d be crazy to have a baby after such a short time, right?

We chose Miles instead.  Of course this decision is the biggest decision I have ever made, but it’s also one of the best.  I am a better person because I am his Mamma.  My priorities have been adjusted to include a large amount of building obstacle courses for Miles to climb over.  He is so full of joy and mischief.  Life is better with him by about a million points.

 

5. Marrying my Baby’s Daddy.

Life is hard sometimes.  Sometimes we both get stressed out and we clench our jaws until we can just get through that day.  Most of the time, though, he’s a treat.  He’s my best friend.  I look forward to Miles falling asleep at night because it means I get to hang out with Mike.  I have full faith in him and us.  I want to have more babies with him and to spend my vacations sipping wine with him.  He’s hilarious and a good dancer and he adores me.  We chose each other and haven’t looked back since.

 

What about you guys?  What are the best decisions you’ve ever made?

New Things!

Today is my last Monday at this job.  I have been here for almost 3 years and most of the time I have absolutely loved it, but then things started changing.  I work at a non-profit and every six months there were layoffs and budgets crises.  There was no where to be promoted to and there was no funding for anything even looking like a performance based raise.  But I got pregnant, so I knew that I had to stay put.  So I commuted the 1.5-2 hours every day while I was pregnant.  I tried to make the best of it and took the train, trying to convince myself that the train was a blast!

I came back to work part-time.  Still commuting.  Still stagnant career-wise.  So I started applying for new jobs in January.  After three rounds of maybe’s and interviews with companies that didn’t work out, one finally came through.  Proving right the thing I kept telling myself “The right job will work out.  If this one doesn’t work out, it wasn’t the right one for me.”

A week from today I start a new job.  Full-time, but only 8 minutes from my house.  The pay is significantly better, the perks boggle my mind, and I am pumped.  I will be doing Marketing Operations for a team that is part of Boston Scientific.  Miles will stay in the day care he is at now until summer comes, then Mike gets to spend the summer 1-on-1 with Miles.  In the fall we’ll be able to afford to send him to the best damn day care I could find.  It’s so nice that when I saw pictures online and thought to myself “Miles could really go here”, I cried.  This job is huge for our family.  A career change with so much room for growth and promotions.  I am so excited and nervous and mostly pinching myself that it’s happening.

Mike and I have been saying that AS SOON as I get a new job we wanted to turn a corner of our living room into a space for Miles.  His things have been haphazardly hanging out all over the apartment, mostly in the way.  So we celebrated the new job this past weekend by moving my desk and computer out of the living room and getting a few things to make the corner “Bubs Corner” (We call Miles Bubs, I’ve mentioned that right?).  When I got back from the store with the supplies Miles was napping so we got to set it all up without him knowing about it.

All it took was a mat and a mirror.

And Miles loved it.

 

Holding My Breath

I have been feeling like I am in the weeds lately.

I don’t even want to acknowledge that I took pictures of Miles for his 3 month-a-versary-of-life and then didn’t post them.  Little dude is now 4.5 months old.  (Which means I also have his 4 month pictures on my camera.)  You see, he got sick around 3 months, and I went back to work.  That was a lot to deal with.  I’ve been back at work now for almost 2 months, and the adjustment has been hard.  Not because work is hard, being away from Miles is hard, which duh.  When I get home I want to smother him in kisses and then I generally collapse on the couch and try to snuggle my husband because I HEAR THAT’S IMPORTANT and then we’re asleep by 9pm.

Miles is amazing, by the way.  His new thing is rolling on purpose and blowing raspberries.  Very cool.

Every part of me loves being a mom and wife, it’s challenging and rewarding and so much fun.  Now I just need to figure out what the hell I am doing professionally.

And while I am waiting, trying to figure out the details I am having a really hard time writing.. or really talking/doing things.  I am constantly perusing job listings, applying, waiting, interviewing, waiting, not getting jobs, crying, drinking champagne in a bathtub and feeling sad, applying some more.  Something needs to change and move.  I just don’t know what or when it will happen and the waiting thing has never been my strong suit.  Rejection is also not super high on my list of “Things I am Good At”.

So, I have momentary tunnel vision until I get this all sorted out.

It will all work out.  It will be worth it.  That’s what I keep telling myself.  I will find the perfect situation for me and then I will continue coming home to this little face BUT hopefully by then I will also be able to write again.

Weekly Intentions

I'm pregnant. I'm tired. I'm tired of being pregnant.

Katie and I decided a few weeks ago to be accountability partners, we’ve been sending each other our weekly goals and then checking in on each other throughout the week.  This worked for a while, but then I started realizing that I was getting SO. TIRED.  I feel like I am first trimester tired again, that lovely phase of pregnancy where I napped under my desk on my lunch break.

Sunday Amy wrote about how she was going to set a weekly intention, and I loved it because I could see it taking some of the pressure off of me by removing the long to-do list, but setting myself up to feel like I’ve accomplished something.  She used Rowdy Kittens‘s steps and I love it, so I am doing the same thing.

Here we go:

1. Think about what you want to work on and write down your ideas.  I have a ton of things I could be doing all the time for freelancing and blogging and baby-prep.  My brain feels full of lists.   I want to work on balance.  I have been making my to-do lists, and when I feel overwhelmed by them I give up on everything window in favor of sitting on the couch watching reruns of The League in front of the air conditioner.  I need to shoot to set goals a little more manageable for my ALMOST 8 month pregnant self, while allowing myself plenty of sleep and snuggle time.

2. After you write out the list, look it over.  Commitment to balance.  Sleep when I need to.  Follow through with the things I commit to, but be less willing to commit myself to much of anything.  (I have enough commitments, thank you.)

3. Make an active effort to focus on your intention. This will be interesting.  I think it will translate to a little more motivation AND a little more relaxation… not feeling like I’m being a bum while I should be doing something.  If I manage to get SOMETHING checked off of my to-do list so I can relax without guilt.

4. Continue to reestablish your intention throughout the week.

What is your intention for the week?

Summer Mornings

I have been becoming increasingly aware of how much our lives are about to change, again.  In 2.5 months we will have a family of three, and I am so very excited for it all.  I am also so very grateful to have had a summer like we have had.  I love that life ebbs and flows and I try so hard to be aware of when I am in the restful period of life so I can really make the best of it in preparation for the next phase.  I feel rested and ready.  I feel so incredibly in love with my husband and our life.  Our summer has felt like a safe period for us so we can be rested for another round of adjustment.  Summer mornings, in particular, have felt so insulated from all the changes we’ve had and have coming I am a little sad to see them go.

Every morning Mr. A and I walk to the local coffee shop together.  We hold hands.  He generally wakes up along the walk, transitioning from one words sentences to rambling musings.  They know us at the coffee shop, there are generally laughs exchanged as Mr. A gets his large coffee and I get my vanilla latte.  4/5 mornings involve Mr. A singing a silly song as we’re leaving the shop.  I’m trying to remember what song it was this morning but all I can remember is that it was definitely a song sung by a woman because I can still hear the pitch shift in his voice as I laughed.  My mornings are blissful.

We talk a lot about Baby M on our mornings.  We also talk about music or freelancing or whatever thing one of us read on the internet that was fascinating.  When Mr. A goes back to school next week, I am going to miss these summer mornings but mostly I am just so grateful they happened the way they did.  I feel refreshed and ready for the next wave.

Next summer Mr. A will have another summer vacation and we will be able to walk to coffee together in the morning, but we will be carrying our son with us while we go.  Awesome in its own right, but totally different.

Do you guys ever get super aware of being in a lovely fleeting stage of your life?

 

26.

26.

Twenty-six.

I spent my 24th year figuring out who I was.  My 25th year seemed to be about enjoying who I am.  Apparently it was ALL because by the end of my 25th year, I would be married and pregnant.  Before I could be where I am, I had to go through all I did.  Before I could become another’s, I had to become my own. I feel closer to my family.  I feel understood and loved on in friendships.  I feel secure and blissful in my marriage.   This time next year I will have a 7 month old child.  Life. Is. Good.

On my 25th birthday my mantra was grace.  I wanted to be more full of grace in my relationships with people: more understanding, more forgiving.  I wanted to be reminded repeatedly that I am on the receiving end of unearned love and acceptance with an insane amount of regularity.  Last July I got “grace” tattooed on my wrist to remind me of all of this.  While I wasn’t nearly as good at this as I hoped, I know that having it in my mind made me better that I would have been.  A start towards grace has been made.

My 26th year is going to be all about Joy.

I want to find joy, be joy, seek joy.

26 is going to be an adventure, this I know.

And I can’t wait.

25.

24.

State of Life

Whew!  Things have been a little on the busy side the past couple of weeks and the longer I go without updating, the harder it is to get writing again.  So today’s post is brought to you by the bullet point.

  • Mr. A and I moved into our new place 2 weeks ago.  We had the best help ever from friends.  I was basically not allowed to lift anything heavier than a broom….  we already have things on the wall and it feels like home.  I still can’t get over how much SPACE we have.  I have been in such tiny little places the past few years; having two full bedrooms, a dining room, and a long hallway feels very luxurious.  It’s also AMAZING to have a baby’s room.  Where baby will go.  Cause we’re having a baby.
  • We spent the first week snuggled on the couch without internet or cable watching Gilmore Girls.  It was his first time watching it, and he is OBSESSED now.  We’re well into the 2nd season already.  Mr. A says he better understands my snarky banter after watching it.
This is a face of joy as I finally get to brulee with a TORCH.
  • Last weekend was my bridal shower.  It was amazing and beautiful. (We each got to brulée or own Creme Brulée!)  My bestie was in town and so were Mr. A’s parents.  I basically love his parents to death, I am definitely getting lucky on the in-law front.  Bonus: His parents got along swimmingly with my family.  This is going to make life way more enjoyable (not that I thought they wouldn’t get along).
  • We are getting married in NINE days.  Nine.  Nine days.  Single digit.  I have all the things I need, and I am so freaking excited to marry him.
  • Baby has a new due date!  11/11/11 which means I am currently 14w5d.  I also started taking Gummy Prenatal Vitamins instead of normal ones, and my life just got way more happy.

    Totes an adult guys.
  • I got an email this morning that it was time to check-in to my flight for Vegas.  I might be 100% regretting my decision to sit this one out.  I am totally going to BiSC next year, and I’ll bring baby too.

Ok, so I think I want to open the floor up for questions. What do you guys want to know about that I haven’t talked enough about? Suggested topics: Mr. A, pregnancy, wedding, my thoughts on The Voice, my opinion of the season finale of Vampire Diaries, my favorite color.

Whattup March.

February was a BLUR.  I’m not even talking about the whole “February is a short month” thing; February felt like it last three days, tops.  Apparently falling in love speeds up time?  What?  Who said love?  Stop looking at me… 

What’s happening this month?

Beyond a wonderfully exciting wedding this weekend, not a whole lot.

Thank God.


I have been so busy every single night of the week this past month, I am exhausted.  I’m a repeat offender of over-commit-till-you-break-rinse-and-repeat.  It goes a little like this:

I hope to spend March: sleeping, writing, running, snuggling with Mr. A.   Doing more things that I need and/or LOVE to do, and less time doing things that make me feel “meh”.  I want Ashley to come spend a weekend with me drinking wine and dancing to boy bands.  

I can’t wait for the temperatures to warm up and the sun to stay out longer.  I can’t wait to wear dresses and sandals.  I want to smell like sunscreen and ocean.  I am over winter. It doesn’t help that all the stores are busting out that airy, sunshiney, spring time clothes.  Like these from Banana Republic:

I think I need a hat. 

What are you looking forward to in March?

More of this, Less of that.

Ruts.

Ruts are lame.

However, perhaps worst than the rut is the fact that I could tell you FIVE THINGS right now that would change the way I feel about my life.   It is time to snap the fuck out of it.  (She says looking into a mirror.)

See, I called my bestie last night as she was wrestling with some possible life decisions, and she said she was making lists of things she would like to do more of and things she would like to do less of.  She did it while coloring in her planner with colorful markers and singing (I am assuming) at the top of her lungs to Disney music.  She’s figuring things out WITH DISNEY MUSIC.  She is totally going to be just fine.

It’s so basic we FORGET it’s not that complicated.

Want your life to be different?  How?  Write it down.  What do you want more of?  What are the things you would spend your days doing if you could?  THEN, what are you doing that is bullshit?  What is wasting your time and energy?  What are you doing every day that is giving you NO JOY?

Do more of what makes you happy.  Do less of what makes you miserable.

Figure out what those things are.  Start doing them.   Schedule them in.  MAKE TIME FOR YOUR HAPPINESS.

Here’s what I have so far:

More:

  • Connecting with friends.  Dinners, champagne dates, skype nights?  My calender is about to get a whole lot happier.
  • Running.  (Why is this ALWAYS the easiest mood booster and the one we skip?)
  • Eating good food
  • Reading
  • Extended mornings of coffee and dancing around my apartment

Less:

  • Laziness
  • Television watching
  • Eating crap
  • Saying yes to things that fill up my calender with stress

What could you do more of and less of RIGHT NOW that would change your life?

Maybe I will be outdoorsy…

There is a ton of really beautiful hikes around the San Francisco Bay Area.  Last week I went with a few friends to Point Reyes, and it was amazing.

A super easy 4 mile hike in to be greeted by this view.  I died.

The best part was that you could hike down to the beach, and then do a little scary rock climbing over a waterfall.  I don’t know if I’ve felt as bad ass as I did bouldering above rushing water.

When have YOU felt bad ass so far this year?