Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celebrating The Storm

It's New Year's Eve and the snow is piling up - ten inches and still falling. I took the time to get to the market yesterday to pick up my "I eat this once a year" food before I head back to the gym and salads next week. Easy Cheese, Triscuits and Wheat Thins with a side of Captain Morgan and Coke . . . it's my party! Life should be as easy as spray cheese . . . I will watch Rachel Maddow and groove on the possibilities of the new year ahead. Here's wishing you a serene closing to 2008. Wake up tomorrow in 2009 with a new glow of hope for things to come!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Get Out of Here, 2008!

Jeeeezzz . . . Doors closed, windows opened, new paths, endings, beginnings, changes, highs, lows. The past year felt like I was in some kind of crazy fun house maze thing. Both of my part time jobs are winding down with no hours. So, let's begin again, shall we? But I have skills, right?? Fitting my square skills into round holes is the new challenge. Wait . . . way too many metaphors here. I will just say that 2009 has got to be an improved year over 2008. Farewell 2008 - Hooray for 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Like The Cereal Box Says . . .

I am stronger everyday. Thanks Special K! I'm not sure that is really happening, but I will keep trying. I haven't been writing, I think, because the information about my daily life passes so quickly by me and through me that I lose it all by the time I sit down at the screen at night. It is time to start carrying a sketch pad again. It is time to start doing a lot of things again.

Christmas nearly killed me. It was devastating not to be with Ariel and Dane and Bob and the house. It was all I had known for 30 years. I think I cried every day in December. I had to change the radio station in my car from Christmas Carols - and then of course I'd change it back. I feel so brokenhearted - and I did it to myself.

I took my mother (flew, thank God) to my sister Tracy's house in Alexandria, VA for Christmas because I knew I didn't want to be here in the house of chaos. So, I hauled the oxygen and the oxygen bag of various cords, the cane and the suitcase and her winter coat and then the wheelchair at the airport. In the back of my twisted little mind I keep thinking I might earn cosmic credit for doing these things for my ailing mother. So far, I can't say my cosmic bank account is showing any gain. Anyway, it was wonderful to be at my millionaire sister's house and hang out in a fabulous kitchen and ride in a mercedes station wagon for a few days. We stayed in a hotel and the kinks that went with that are too enormous to even mention. However, I survived it.

I'm back to face myself again. Fewer hours at my day job and more work for the same pay at the fundraising job to fulfill the contract. . . I am not happy with the decisions I made and the life I ended up with. I can't seem to get myself and my desires and my surroundings into alignment. So, I will work on that. For now, I am still grateful that I am not living in my car.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Puzzling, Fuzzy Life

Well, yes, I have a part time job as Development Coordinator for the Providence Gay Men's Chorus. It's been a crazy path to get to this moment! So far, the projects I am working on - fall donor campaign, etc. - are going well. It has taken me several weeks to work on understanding the culture of the group. This video clip is from Monday night's rehearsal for the upcoming holiday concert.

As for my life in general. . . all I can say at this moment is "What the hell?" I promise to get back to the blog everyday to do the mental sorting I should be doing. Readjusting the axis. Finding true north. You know about this. You've been there.

Later . . .

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tangled With Nothing To Report

Nothing. No job, no new prospects. No lover. No good sleep. No money for wine to bring to Brad's dinner tomorrow night. There's a low coming on . . . as high as I feel physically - losing 26 pounds and going to the gym . . . it doesn't seem to be helping me move forward. I'm tired of rejections. I'm tired of this life. I feel tangled in something I can't get out of. There is nothing to report.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The New Me

So far, this is the new me! Okay, it's a terrible picture but it seems I am the only one here who can take a mintue to take my picture. So, Wow - what a difference I do feel! With NutriSystem, 20 pounds gone. I have been exercising - Yoga-like exercises - and have strengthened muscles I didn't even know I had. Amazing. I have many days of being arthritis hip PAIN FREE. This is the best part. I don't waddle anymore, I can walk through a store and not be tired. On Friday I had my first 6,000 steps day and my underwear is falling down . . . I wear my pedometer everyday, clipping it to my bathrobe when I get up, transfering it to my sock or pocket when I dress. It is my new best friend, for the moment :-). Let me tell you, you can change the way you feel by eating smaller portions of dairy, protein, fruits and veggies each day at the right time, along with fiber. Trust me. If I can do it, YOU can do it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

There Is Change In the Wind

I can't explain it. Something feels different. Maybe it is the turmoil in the household. Christopher (my sister's 17 year old son) dropped out of high school today officially. This is so sad. The relationships here are so complex. I try to keep my life clean and simple, but that is difficult here. It's difficult anywhere I suppose.

I don't know what I need to do next. I have spent the past 4 months in sanctuary making myself healthy and strong. Lost 20 pounds so far, have strengthened muscles I didn't know I had, and I am nearly arthritis-pain free. Now I need to find my purpose. I am ready. Time to cast the net another time for a job. I want my own life, my own space, my own purpose.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Am Legal Now

I have a valid car registration, license plates and insurance! Another step forward.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One More Time And Then I Am Over It

Things are getting dicey for me, living among my sister's family. I have now become the second wife. I have allowed her to have too many expectations of me - helping her run her household and take care of her family. Of course I accepted all of it out of love and certainly in exchange for her giving me shelter, food, gas money . . . but now it is a tangled ball of heart strings and train wreck. I am the sole caretaker of my mother's needs as my sister doesn't want anything to do with mom unless it is on her terms. The 17 year old has complete control over the household and his parents fight constantly about him. Shouting is the major form of expression. Then there is the neglected mother-in-law who doesn't get the care and feeding she needs - she is 90. I have become her daily touchstone, part-time driver and emotional support. I am facing my demon - the one that says I should have done this life change on my own without getting tangled. As I continue to apply for museum/arts management jobs - and the interview/hiring process seems to take forever these days - I often think I should have taken a job at Dunkin Donuts and applied for assistance and food stamps so I could say I lifted myselft up by my own bootstraps. On the other hand, I am soulfully grateful that I have a sister who took me in and gave me all that I DO have. I know that family is at the heart of living a good life, but not 100%. I also wonder sometimes if I made a cosmic error in leaving my Delaware family which included astounding friends and people who love me. . . I am in one of those dark valleys but keep looking towards the light anyway. My faith is strong most of the time, so I know that change is possible. The waiting is the test . . . perhaps. The action I need to take? Getting out of the darkness . . . perhaps.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Can't Cry and Drive At The Same Time

I got my rejection from Rhode Island School of Design today just as I was on my way out the door to the second interview at WaterFire Providence. . . The RISD job was MINE. All my life I've wanted to work at RISD. I am sad, angry, confused, faithless, and hopeless tonight. I had to stop myself from crying while driving down Route 146 with the AC on full blast so I didn't look like a strawberry when I got to the interview. I cried when I got home - until my face hurt and my stomach ached. If I had a wiffle bat and a bean bag chair, I would have gone at it hard.

For much of my life I have believed that if you worked hard, were kind to others, gave to those less fortunate, loved animals and nature, practiced good hygiene, had good manners and talked to God on a regular basis it would pay off, you know? Okay, not really. However, all criteria has now been erased. Life doesn't make sense - again. I've been working so hard to improve myself from the inside out. I look better, feel better and have worked to become aware and more conscious making each task sacred. I am grateful for everything I have every day. All bets are off now. I don't know what to believe in anymore. I don't know what to think about. I don't know what direction to go in. I'm sinking into darkness again. I feel betrayed.

That was today. Tomorrow I start over.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ariel Comes To Visit For Mothers Day Weekend

I am actually kind of nervous about this. Dane is not coming because he has to work. Additionally, Ariel did tell me that Dane took the divorce and my leaving very hard . . .


I don't ususally write about politics, but I have to say that I am so proud of Obama and his campaign people for sitting quietly yesterday and just watching. I feel sorry for Hillary because she has made such a public fool of herself, talking like a high school cheerleader in a patriotic beauty pageant. She is dragging so much baggage with her from her husband's years as President. McCain just doesn't have enough synapses left and he has no public personna. Anyway, I am looking forward to change -- as so many of us are. I don't need to go back to the way things were in ther 1950s, but things did seem to be working alot better for everyone, and the country back then. We do know how to learn from history, don't we? God, I need a job so bad . . . and Obama is woking for and understanding people like me, and you! Plus, he has such a wonderful, smart wife who will make a glorious first lady!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I Have a Ten Pound Bear

Nutrisystem sent me a 10 pound celebration bear with my food this month. Hooray! As of today, 14 pounds gone. Wow. Focus on me still in progress. Not a word from RISD this week after my interview last week - but I did call Ms. Chronley on Friday and left a message. The waiting is very difficult. When I feel aggitated, I go for a walk. I guess I could serve Dunkin' Donuts coffee through a window as well as anyone else, but I don't want to!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

I am waiting to hear something - anything - from the folks at Rhode Island School of Design. My interview was Tuesday April 22. The waiting is killing me. So many jobs applied for - often you just hear NOTHING. Not even a postcard stating receipt of the resume. I've interviewed for several jobs and never even got a rejection. I think that is so wrong. I can understand not wanting to spend time responding to 300 applicants. However, when you are one of 5 or 6, I think a rejection letter is the right thing to do. LIKE I NEED TO COLLECT MORE REJECTION DOCUMENTS. . . I am going to call tomorrow to see what's going on. Anyway, I am grateful for what I have. A place to live, food to eat, people to care about, clothes to inherit, a dog to walk.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I am on a rocket ship to mind/body/spirit rebuilding today!! I interviewed for a Painting Department Assistant position (also known as Command Central!) at Rhode Island School of Design this morning. Even if I am not offered the job it was a life dream come true for me. Since 4th grade, when I used to ride my bike to RISD Museum on Saturdays, say hello to the guards and just walk around and around in the galleries, I've wanted to work there. Outside Delaware my resume doesn't carry the "baggage" that nasty Delaware people attributed to me. Here, my resume glows. Wow. I am valuable. What I have done in the past is valuable. They were actually worried that I was over qualified and that I would not be challenged enough. Wow. No problem there. 150 undergrads bouncing through the office would be a fabulous challenge among all the other things that need getting done everyday. I felt like I really clicked with those who interviewed me, though they did much of the talking. They did ask me about my teaching experience, my diversity task force experience and my office skills and event management skills. Wow. I got a tour of some of the undergraduate studios, then the department's gallery spaces and offices. There is a window in my potential office! Hooray! I am so grateful. Now it's time for waiting and trusting the universe to do what is right for me and where I am in my rebuilding process. Wow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Missing Companionship

This picture makes me think about how much I miss male companionship. (And cats!) For all the things I was pissed off about, there is an equal list of things that I love about men and miss in my life. So much of the toxic activity that took place between Bob and I stood as a barrier between us. We both knew there was a deeper "forever" love there, but I couldn't seem to get back to that place. I don't know about him. He hasn't talked to me or emailed or written since I left. All of our necessary correspondence has been with Ariel or Dane as a go-between. I am adjusting to this new life slowly, which is good. It is not a life fix by any means. It is a sanctuary where I can be - to rebuild myself. To date I have lost 10.5 pounds on Nutrisystem, started an exercise program, got my haircut in a more feminine style, and have 2 job interviews coming up!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Update

Here's the update: I am still waiting for the third interview with WaterFire Providence. I am still living with my sister, (my mom's condo was sold) which is an emotionally toxic environment, but I have worked very hard to build relationships with everyone without the toxic spears getting through my "focus on self" forcefield . . . All the Eckhart Tolle reading I've been doing has done wonders for my ability to quiet all the negative chatter that was in my head all the time and understand that my identification with constant thoughts is so wrong. Ego thoughts can make me do crazy things. My friend Valerie has gifted me Nutrisystem and I have lost 5 pounds in the first week. I feel so much healthier already - though that may just be my enthusiasm talking. I started walking - just baby steps - but of course my sister outdoes me everytime by walking farther and eating what she thinks is healthier . . . but now I'm able to step back and let her ego do its thing. I am what I am in my heart and spirit and learning to do what I do on my own terms. I am surprised to discover how much like my mother she is in the world of being right and being "better than". I am seeing a counselor at the free clinic who is helping me get the focus back on me, to be gentle with myself after all I have been through, and learning to NOT work on pleasing others. It's been a long road just to get to the starting line . . . The last piece is money (and learning to face my horrible money issues) and a job, which is the tool I need to move forward. After all these years I was finally able to sit down and actually make a list of the things I want in life. That was very challenging. But I did it! I miss Ariel and Dane very much and talk to them every few days. Ariel is coming up to visit for Mothers Day weekend, and Dane said he might come with her. My goal is to have enough money for them to rent a truck to bring the rest of my stuff up here that Bob has packed up from the house, and send them back on the train. $1,000 for the one way truck, gas, one way train tickets and spending money. Money= Tool to move forward. Focus. Focus. Focus.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Still In The Running

I called Bronwyn at WaterFire Providence yesterday. I got a call from her today to say that I am "high on the list" and that they are trying to arrange the interviews with board members. This was a surprise. She said she thought she could learn a lot from me . . . Wow. I nearly wrote this one off, since it had been a week since the in-person interview. Weird that I am so used to not hearing from potential employers now - that is the way of things if they aren't interested. So, light a candle and dance the dance! This could be good.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Who'll Stop The Rain?

I need some sunshine!!! It's bringing me down - all this rain - everyday for a week now. I started my flower seeds and I am afraid that they got over-soaked. I have to accept that my new location is three weeks behind in warm weather and spring bursting versus the mid-atlantic. But I need some sun! I want to sit outside and listen to the sounds of spring! A good lesson in patience here, I suppose. Ready for renewal.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spending Time Looking At The Stars

A seemingly mindless activity - looking up at the stars and listening to the night sounds. For me right now, that is what it is meant to be: mindless. I have spent so much time over the past few months with myself and the ego/mind voice that stirs up all my past successes, mistakes, regrets, memories and anxiety for the future, that I am seeking stillness and wonder instead. Mental silence. Stargazing has always been an attraction for me though I can't name one star, planet or constellation. Even when I think I see the big dipper, I can't be sure! Stillness will hopefully generate internal energy and renewal of spirit. I need that. Life just is - and it is time to get control of my mind, body and spirit. Spring has the power to renew life and I'm taking full advantage of it. I have caring and generous friends who have gently fed me some reality doses about who I am and what I need to be doing. It is all good. Very good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This Could Be The One

I aced the telephone interview today with Bronwyn of WaterFire Providence and have a second interview on Thursday in person. I truly believe this is my job. It is a Development Associate position - managing the database, donor files, cultivation materials, the VIP tent at the fire nights and so on. They need my help to get organized and move forward. I've been there and done it at DCCA and I can do it here. I am calling on the universe to align whatever it takes to get me this job. I will do it well and succeed. Amen.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rejected Again . . .

I just got my rejection letter from the daycare center for the position I applied for and did 2 interviews for. I think it was because I sat on a little chair with the kids instead of sitting on the floor with them . . . I was in competition with a 20 something who did that. I copied what the lead teacher was doing and I thought it was a way to maintain authority. Hmmmm. It wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


"Accept the is-ness of the present moment."

"Now is the foundation for the rest of your life."

"The present momet is the point of power."

Still reading A New Earth. I think I crossed some kind of transitional bridge yesterday towards acceptance. Learning how to separate that voice in my head - my ego - from the "I" - the essence of me - has been so helpful in dealing with my sadness and unhappiness. I just couldn't seem to resolve the fact that I did what I wanted and it didn't make me happy. I didn't get what I thought I deserved. Big wrong. Expectations for the future. Also a big wrong. If all I live on is what I hope will happen and ignore the present, it can't possibly happen if I don't participte. Hopes, dreams, wishes - all not relevant to the here and now unless one of those dreams is what launches me further towards who I really am inside. Always living "ahead" is a big wrong. Today is the only thing I can change, and be in, and take responsibility for. Sounds like psycho babble, I'm sure. It is hard to explain.

"Accept what is, then action will come."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A New Something

Still thinking about Nemo. Thinking about him playing at the Rainbow Bridge. I received so many nice notes from people with their condolences. Thank you friends!

I interviewed today at a day care center for an assistant position in the infant room. This is different for me. Way different than the jobs in the arts I kept believing I deserved. Have been thinking alot about separating the I from the ego, and yes I am reading A New Earth. This can only be good for me. I have been angry, depressed, sad, crashing and feeling like I should just try to end the madness. Well, they say you have to get to the edge, or just over it, before you can make change. So, here I go. Not over the edge, but towards something different. I don't feel as much like I am running around in the dark hoping to make a right decision. Today. Trying to stay present.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Now Is The Time For All Good Things . . .

Sixty-four degrees here today. Last night I smelled a brief but powerful scent of Spring in the air. All indicators point to improvement and light. The overall message seems to be "Let Go."

The big questions to ask, according to "The New Earth" is : "What does life want from me? How do I fit into the whole? What is my purpose?" So - okay. Send me some answers that I will recognize as the right thing to do~~!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Get A Freakin Job

No moon, no stars, no rainbows, no yellow brick roads, no wishes, no fortunes, no lucky numbers, no messages from the planet, no hopes, no dreams, no triple red sevens, no desires, no discoveries, no powerball, no connections, no trip to Disney World and no flying pigs either. It is time to get a freakin job.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

How Many Times Can One Heart Break?

Ariel just called me to tell me that Nemo died today. He was my soul mate dog. He was almost 14 years old and I knew his time would come this year. That is why I brought him to Rhode Island with me. But that was a decision for me, not for him. It didn't work out well for him. When I brought him home to Delaware, I told him I'd always be with him. Cried and cried, hugged and hugged. I knew he would be happier there and that is where he belonged. He had people and cats there that loved him as much as I did. He loved standing in the cold wind. He loved the snow and nuzzled in it and rolled around and leaped like a dolphin when it was deep. He loved playing with the ferrets. He loved eating cat food. He loved Christmas day and was there laying down in the midde of everything, waiting to open his presents too. He loved going to PetSmart to look around and pick out treats and toys and meet other dogs. He really didn't like other dogs. He was an only dog. He thought he was a lap dog even though he weighed 53 pounds. He loved to scrunch in the middle of people sitting on the couch. He loved riding in the car with his head out the window and the wind in his face. He was cuddly like a small bear. He often slept on the bed with me, with his head on the pillow. I will miss hugging him. He will always be in that place in my heart along with others that I love and miss. I am happy that all dogs go to heaven but I am sad and feeling broken hearted.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama Phone Calls Tomorrow and Sunday!

As part of my new get up and get out strategy of relocating to RI, I am making phone calls tomorrow and Sunday morning at the local Obama Headquarters! I missed the deadline to vote in the primary here on Tuesday, so I can make an impact by making calls. Not willing to do the door to door canvassing thing - leave that for the 20 somethings. Rhode Island counts!!!! I am certain I will meet some interesting people, and perhaps create a new network for my job hunt. Cool. I will report in tomorrow night :-).

Monday, February 25, 2008


This is not a good time for me. I am feeling so faithless, hopeless and caught in a life crash. I know it is a reflection of the greater difficulties in the world that I can't find a decent job, but I also know that I made the choice to be where I am. A bad combination of bad decisions and bad times. I see nothing ahead of me, and I can't stay here. As my sister said "If you don't belong here, then where DO you belong?" Well, I'm not certain of anything except that I just want this life to be over. My inward search for the right thing to do has only resulted in bad choices. Listening to my intuition has caused damage for my Delaware family and my Rhode Island family. Listening to my head has gotten me nowhere. Listening to my heart just makes me sad for everything I left behind. I can't help but think that the decision I made a year ago to quit my job to take care of my mother was a bad one that started this chain of events. Why did I think that doing something good for someone at the expense of others would encourage more good to come my way? Was it an ego thing instead of a heart thing? I guess good doesn't happen in the world if you haven't earned it in the right way. I guess I haven't earned anything but heartache and hopelessness. I am wreckage from the crash.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Can Do Better Than This

After my interview today at the Providence Children's Museum I know that I can't work part-time for $10 an hour. I also know that I can't be an underling after accomplishing what I have accomplished in my museum career time. It was a milestone moment when I was able to say thanks but no thanks during the interview. I can do better than this. That was very hard, nonetheless. It is an awesome place with amazing potential. Ahhhh, well.

I did the right thing - needing to pave my path with functional money instead of good feelings. I am having a hell of a time trusting this survival mode. It doesn't seem to want to provide the food, clothing, shelter and transportation. But neither has following my heart. Hey World, see this picture? The person who painted this road probably still has a job. Whats up with that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Where Am I Now?

I know Mercury has been retrograde, and it's about to end. That explains all the little tiffs around the house and the bad word choices and the fact that I can't say what I mean without someone feeling hurt. For the past few days when I retreat to my room at the end of the day I get the big message "I just don't belong here." My heart is sad and beginning to ache. I am definitely at a crossroad and none of the road choices feel right. Each week seems to get harder instead of easier. I am often just at the edge of tears and many things pull me over that edge. Songs, tv commercials, greeting cards . . .

I have more than I need compared to others: food, clothing, shelter and a place to sleep, a hot shower, people who care about me, two dogs to bond with, a cell phone to communicate with, a laptop connected to the internet, an upcoming appointment at RI Free Clinic, a job interview at Providence Children's Museum, a possible second interview at EDS, friends to meet for coffee and talks, and more.

I don't have an income, so I'm not independent. This is a horrible feeling. I don't have a insured car anymore. I am using someone else's car. This is a horrible feeling. I don't have anyone to share life with - the heart-based, daily challenge, goals for the future or I need a hug stuff. This is a horrible feeling. Most distressing is that I just can't see beyond this. I don't see anything there. When I turn around and look back all I see is the chaos I created and the wreckage those I loved are trying to clean up.

So. . . where am I now?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Missing Nemo

I had to take Nemo back to Delaware last Saturday. It was a weekend full of sadness . . . It was the right thing to do. He missed his way of life; his freedom and his cats and his fenced in yard and other people who love him as much as I do. My sister's puppy was annoying him, and they finally had a tiff over a chew toy, and Nemo snapped at him. Since I am essentially a guest in my sister's house, her puppy rules the way of life here. I cried all the way back on Sunday through the blizzards and the rain and the fog - one of the most difficult days so far. I saw my son for about seven minutes as he met me in the driveway of the house to do the Nemo transfer. He had brought out some plastic bins I previously packed and then I was left. I never went inside. I was going to go in to get a photo album but I couldn't do it. I spent dinner and the night with my daughter and was off again the next morning. No one said this was easy. The memories and sadness for what is left behind sometimes overtakes me. Sometimes the past tells me I should go back. That I should not have left. I know I can't go back - I would not be welcome back. It just isn't the right thing to do. It hurts. I know the hurt and sadness will pass. I also know that there is a place in my heart where all of those years will live forever. The wonderful days, the loving times, the memories, the holidays, the work days and the day to day of raising two wonderful kids who have become amazing adults. A day at a time . . . Baby steps forward.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Floating Pile of Crap

Inside and out, I feel like crap. A big useless pile of it. My fallopian tubes ache and I need an ob/gyn exam. I have been sleeping on a futon and my back is falling out. I've been piling up the blankets like the princess and the pea. I feel like I am a pile of crap floating in nuclear sludge and I can't reach the shore because I don't have arms or legs anymore.

Each day as I do the job update for my sister, she continues to remind me that "you can't make a living in the arts and you need to keep looking at other things." She told me that a colleague's son is not doing well in high school and came to his mom's workplace today (a foot surgeon's office) to observe, and he nearly fainted. (She had to add the fainting part - for reasons soon to be revealed). She said he is involved with "The Blackstone Players" - a community theatre group, and his mom was trying to convince him that he could not make a living in the theatre. My sister said to her colleague "I've got one of those at home - my sister - who thinks she can make a living in the arts too." Haven't we been having the conversation about "translating my skills and abilities to other industries???" Who the xxxxx have I been talking to???!!

So, why the xxxxx did my sister tell me she told this to her colleague - about me? She is the reigning champion at one-upping and placing first class passively agressive slaps to the psyche. She is a raging member of the Mother Forces and now joining my mother - the woman who forged the welcome mat at the door of hell by delivering psychic slaps - who taught her to do this. Apparently they both now perceive me as a pathetic, third class loser who needs among other things to be guided, prodded and insulted back into "reality." Declaring everything I've accomplished in my past as frivolous and useless is not helpful. It only makes me want to repack the car and keep driving. Maybe I will after my face stops hurting and my eyes clear up from crying so damned hard. Today is one of a series of days in this week when I have felt profound, multi-layered regret and sadness for so many things about my life . . .
(Phone rings here)

Fran Daly from EDS just called, and I have an interview on Tuesday . . . it's a xxxxxx miracle. Maybe the universe is reading my blog too.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why Am I Such A Misfit?

I accept the premise that things happen for a reason. I accept the theory that the right thing will come along. I accept the notion that I am right where I need to be. I accept the requirement that I must be patient. However, I am agitated and feel like a misfit toy.

Today I interviewed for the Macys position that has been frozen. I made my first insider phone contact with EDS who told me the women in charge of RI and MA are looking at my resume to find a fit according to the openings they have. "But you do have a background in the arts, so we are trying to find a fit." I told her that I was looking for an entry level position, not a glorious position. She perked up a bit. I said that I'd like the opportunity of an interview so I could discuss my skills that lay underneath my titles and job duties on my resume. She told me the RI woman in charge would be calling me soon.

Well, yes, I DO have a background in the arts. That doesn't make me stupid, flighty, insignificant, frivolous, temperamental, unreliable, spoiled, unintelligent or unskilled! People are sooooo very quick to judge and make assumptions about anything with the A R T word attached to it.

Mmmmmmm . . . maybe I SHOULD be teaching private drawing lessons to kids. . . which is what I shook off last summer as being impossible. Today, the possible looks impossible even within the rules of proper engagement and nepotism. Perhaps it is time to step outside the rules.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

An E-Mail Worth Repeating


A poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. The grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." The grocer told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store. Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you a have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir." "O.K" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed. The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with great amazement. It was not a grocery list; it was a prayer, which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs. I am leaving this in your hands." The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. The woman thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it. Only God knows how much a prayer weighs."

THE POWER OF PRAYER: When you read this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do . Just stop right now, and say a prayer of thanks for your own good fortune.

What A Difference A Day Makes

The days off made a difference. I knew I was "out of alignment" and needed to step back and eliminate my anxiety. . . Sometimes I actually have to write myself a permission slip (in my journal) to stop the escalation and just plain stop. Stop doing everything for a moment.

So, like turning the canvas upside down to work on a problematic painting, or turning the cuff on a kaleidoscope, the whole picture looks different, and the working elements are changed. I have an interview on Wednesday for a part-time job evenings in, of all cool things, the fine jewelry department at Macys. This opportunity came along through my sister's neighbor's friend who works there. See???! It's who you know. So get out there and know people. I always wanted an engagement ring. Now I can float gaily among them and revel in their beauty - celebrating those who are buying them. Confirming for me that love is not a lost cause. I will have to practice not crying for joy in front of the customers.

AND - My other sister's husband has a huge account here and said he can get me a job - data entry - okay cool, full time with benefits - right now if I want it. Yes, I want it!!! More cool. Sent him the resume and the interview is in the works. I wondered where the hell he was 3 weeks ago when I needed a job . . . but you know what? I wouldn't have been ready. I was a mess three weeks ago and needed this time to settle in and adjust, taking the first albeit shaky stop on the road to my new life. To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven . . . Amen.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rats. Bats.

Inteviewed with Jenn at MERI this morning. Of course, I had this moment of "Cool, I am the only candidate and she's going to hire me immediately so I can get going! It's great that I had Bobby's personal introduction." Idiot. She is interviewing other candidates this week, but hopes to make her decision soon. Would I have earned extra credit if I were a lesbian? Well, I'm not one. Rats. The new sentence of the week seems to be ". . . make the decision soon . . . " and then I get tossed into the round file. That's how I'm feeling anyway. I am taking the day off from job hunting tomorrow.

I stopped and got a sandwich on the way home (with my last few dollars - note to self: print more) at Jim's Deli and there was a help wanted sign in the window. I asked for an application (I was certain they didn't want to see my resume!). I filled it out with a whole new twist. I did include my name, address and phone number, my college education info and my affirmative action/whatever signature. . . however, I did NOT include my job history. I wrote a note instead, similar to "I have over 25 years work experience including being a mom which included preparing and serving food. I am taking care of my sick mom and need a small income. Please interview me. I will do whatever job needs to be done." For references I used my sister, my nephew and my friend Valerie. So there.
So, as I take baseball bat to bean bag - let it be known that I'm having a job hunting anxiety episode and I need some divine intervention.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Interview!

Well, there you are. Landed an interview at Marriage Equality RI thanks to Bobby who knows Jenn who has this vacant position she needs to fill as soon as possible. Cool for me. Director of Development and Communications. Qualified? Yes. Available now? Yes. Description says salary and benefits. Very cool. Current income? $0. Small non-profit salary with benefits? At this moment, priceless.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Know it is Still Who You Know

In stepping up my job search, some frustrations must be dealt with. Many jobs are posted as "apply online" and this obviously removes the person to person connection which used to be so valuable and productive. This is frustrating. It has been years since I have actually had to apply for a job and the arena has changed drastically. This is frustrating, but I think I've figured out the new way of presenting myself for consideration. Advice and strategy from friends indicates that people are still hired because they were friends with someone who works there, or more directly, friends with someone who does the hiring. This is frustrating because my circle of people in RI is still very, very small.

In that light I have applied for a job as Director of Development and Communications at Marriage Equality RI through a tip from Bobby. It seems he is friends with Jenn, the Executive Director. I have sent my cover letter and resume, highlighting my development and communications accomplishments to Jenn. Hopefully I will land an interview in this upcoming week.

I have also applied for a beautiful position at Providence Children's Museum. I don't know the Director of Education, but I did call her to make a connection. Hopefully, this will help land an interview too.

Come on Job Gods - do your stuff on my behalf!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back Into the World For a Moment

I had a job interview today at Jenny Craig. I'm still not entirely sure who Jenny Craig is/was, but now Queen Latifah is her good friend. So, aside from the fact that I'd make an excellent client, I could certainly be an excellent consultant too. I am working on migrating my non-profit world skills and abilities to the FOR-PROFIT world. It requires taking a few steps back to look at what I actually did all those years. Since I've never had an assistant or a secretary this translates to Expert at multiple computer programs as well as Guru of office machines. Ha! Yay! You get the idea. So - I will hear from them either way in a week or so. However, it was superb practice for more interviews and I personally think I kicked ass.

Nemo note: To date, he has been by my side day and night - car, bathroon, laundry, outside . . . everywhere. Today, I left him in the house - I went for the interview - and he did just fine. Helen gave him a treat, he relaxed on the couch, watched The Price is Right and waited for me to come back.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Landmark Moments

They say that there are 5-7 landmark moments in life. Each of us can recite them without thinking. They are moments that became the catalyst for a different life direction. Sometimes we created those moments by choice, sometimes they just happened.

My first one was the day I realized "this day, date and time will never happen again." I was 10 years old and messing around in the backyard, digging up the terrain around a huge pile of red ants who were gathered around some food thing on the concrete pad at the bottom of the drain spout. I always did my deepest thinking out in the yard. Looking at the sky, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, digging, climbing the rocks or just walking around.

The second landmark was my dad passing away. The third was going away to college. The fourth was the birth of my daughter and the fifth, the birth of my son. Those were the cruising years - 27 years of doing the work of living and working and playing and sleeping. The sixth landmark was the cancer illness of my mother. That caused change in many directions, on many levels.

Friday may have been a new landmark moment. Pulling off the highway after the 9 hour trek with Nemo in his bed in the front seat and my things - all the important things that I could fit in the car and not taking so many other important things because it would hurt someone if they were gone - was like suddenly being part of the snap of a rubber band. I could literally feel it in my stomach, in my head, in the music and in the universe. I passed through the threshold of something I can't identify yet.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Leaving

I left a large part of my life behind on Friday. Have arrived at my new physical destination. But my emotional destination will be a long time coming. My daughter sent me an email with her honest feelings about my leaving. I knew it was coming, but it hit my heart so hard. The mistake I made was being honest with my kids (in their 20s) and offering too much information about what was going on. What I wanted to do with my life now was probably something I should have kept close to my own heart. Well, it wasn't going to be easy no matter what I did. And now life is a day at a time, a step at a time. Thank God for sisters who feel the connection - no matter what. I am part of a new household now, with the dogs, the jobs, the mother in law in residence, the chores, the 16 year old son skate boarding his way through high school . . . definitely a different way of life. I am here to face all my demons and grateful that I don't have to live in a women's shelter, or in my car. I am also grateful to have Nemo with me. Something that is directly mine to care for. Aaahhhhh, the reality is astounding. I will handle it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time To Collect Some Good Stuff

So, today was the day I told Bob I was leaving on Friday. The conversation then filled up with all the reasons I will fail and never find any other happiness than what is here. Added to that , the reasons I am such an unhappy person. Added to that, how horrible and dysfunctional the family I am going to stay with is. Added to that, how horrible the world is and there is no hope. Added to that, how important it is for people to stay together and work things out.

So, where was the carrot here? What was the outcome supposed to be? What was I supposed to say next? "Okay, I'll stay. You are right. I am a blob of ridiculous, female fantasy." Essentially, I surrendered. "I can't have this conversation," I said. "I have nothing to tell you. Yes, I am unhappy. Yes, I am probably fantasizing. Yes, I can't tell you what I want because it wouldn't make sense to you. Yes, I understand that the world is a horrible place now and everyone should just stay put." Yikes.

So, I've decided to gather some good things people have said to me. Encouraging, kind and wonderful things that make me think I am not an ugly troll under a collapsing bridge. My friend Sherman wrote this in an email this morning:

"Hi Roberta, I saw/read your blog last night just before I went to bed and I had to write you to tell you I am impressed. I always knew you were special, and I was right. Pretty as a picture and tough as nails. As unsure as you may be about your plight and future, I am confident you’ll persevere, prevail, and succeed in whatever you decide to pursue. You are the true definition of the term “Renaissance Woman”. I am honored to be able to call you my friend."
Thanks, Sherman, for seeing me through a sad day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Financial Summit Tonight

Tonight is the night. We sit down and do the Debt management plan together. Yikes. This is is for him. Mine comes next, on my own time. My friend Liz told me in an email today that I am brave. Catherine told me that same thing. You know, I think they are right. It is brave to extricate oneself from a toxic relationship and be willing to take the consequences. Walk through the fire to get to the other side. My one hope is that my children will not hate me for this. In time, I think our relationships will be much better. My heart wants it that way. I am just beginning the process of aligning what my heart wants with what I, me, and only me can do to make it real. That is hard. Really hard.


Make me crazy. I will be better about proofreading from now on.

Local Sanctuary

I spent some time on Thursday meditating in the place I've gone to over the years when all was lost. There is a monastery nearby and I've always found the door open. It is small, quiet, very medieval feeling and extremely sacred and safe. I'm not sure monks live there anymore. They used to walk the neighborhood. One in particular used to wave at every car that went by him. Once I walked knocked on the door to the large stone house. No one answered but the door was open. I went in and turned right down the hallway. There was an office, and a beautiful library on the way to the chapel. I was looking for someone to talk to. No one seemed to be there. I spent time in the chapel, and on that day, went to visit the beehives they keep behind the house.

Anyway, I was seeking my last bit of strength to face the departure. I found it. Now my task is to talk with Dane and tell him. Then Bob. It's going to be a difficult but necessary course of events. I will leave for the final time. I can certainly come back to visit Ariel and Dane, but I can't think about that right now. For now, I go.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Men, Women and The Mirror

I have a theory about men, women and mirrors. I have this theory because I have recently spent time looking at myself in the mirror, asking myself what I really want at this new stage of my life. At first it was creepy to stare into my own eyes in the mirror and it took practice to stop looking away. I felt like I was looking at someone I didn't know. Surprise, surprise. My theory is about a delve into the inside, through your own eyes, and how men and women, approach it differently. I realize that many cultures already have this down but this is my world and I'm still working on things.

Men at the mirror are generally there each day shaving off the beard growth. Taking something off their face. I believe that men don't delve in too far while doing a quick shave. They are cleaning up, casting things aside, washing things away. In theory, starting the day with a clean slate. Bring it on. Hear my roar. Ready for any occasion. At the end of the day a man's face has collected beard growth, food, job dirt. Next shave, get rid of it all. Clean and ready again.

Women are at the mirror adding make up to their face. Covering up, balancing the colors, settng the boundaries. I believe women delve in very far, making a visual version of their inner goings on as they approach the day. Different make up for different occasions, work and leisure. At the end of the day a woman's make up has deteriorated reflecting the activities of the day. Job dirt on top of the make up, eye liner smudged from crying (maybe), color gone. At the end of the day the beauty has been worn away. Then, washed clean and ready for more additions the next day. Added again. And again. And again.

So - the questions are: Do women or men spend more time looking in the mirror to learn who they really are inside? Who learns more? Does one take more time than another on the inner investigation or the outer presentation? Are men or women more comfortable staring into their own eyes in a mirror? And my best idea? Set up a public Shaving/Make Up lab and do a time test.

So, try this: Look in the mirror at yourself and ask some questions. Start easy, such as Hey, what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Answer yourself. Move on to medium, such as Do you think you really need to get Starbucks coffee everyday? Answer yourself. And finally, hard, such as What and where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Answer those too. Understandably, you may have to get back to yourself on that one.

I think this activity is profoundly therapeutic for anyone - at least once a week. Did I mention that I am all about a well-groomed man in a clean, white t-shirt?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Doors Opening

It is early January, 2008 and the past year has been one of the most challenging times of my life. I spent a year taking care of my mom who went through cancer treatments and then a broken hip. I left my home, quit my teaching job and lived with her to provide daily care. It was a hard decision, yet I knew it was the right thing to do, and I also knew there would be life-changing consequences that I believed I could conquer as they occured. During her illness I painted for the first time in a long, long time. I painted in the middle of the night - part of my brain concentrated on the art, the other part constantly aware of mom sleeping, waking, getting sick and needing me by her side. Mom is back on her feet and my sister is on duty for the time being. Now, I am starting life over again. Seeking a new job, divorced, turned 50, needing a place to live, need an income. What life challenges were presented to me this year! So, 2008 is a new beginning in so many ways. I welcome the friendship and support the community is providing.. Thanks, for giving me this safe haven to explore. Peace.