Random thoughts & musings of a Michigan newlywed... Look out, I'm changing the world!!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Well, I just did it. I haven’t been this nervous/excited for a while now. “I’m like 90% excited, 10% nervous… or maybe it’s the other way around.” (NTM... I know someone out there can...)

I can’t stop getting up to check the fax, to see whether it’s come through. I stand in front of the copier/fax expectantly, punching the little buttons that bring up the queue of waiting jobs, just to see if it’s on its way. I haven’t seen it yet.

I just faxed my old college for my transcript. I may be going back to school. (I’m going to leave all the bad Tommy Boy jokes out of this for now). I don’t know how to feel about this thought in my head yet, save the excited/nervous feeling. I don’t know what I’m thinking. I don’t know if this would be a good thing or not. But I keep thinking about teaching lately, teaching high school students. I keep thinking about the sense of fulfillment and, let’s face it, nerdy pleasure that I get from correcting my little sister’s composition papers. I keep thinking about all the lessons revealed to me during that time, through reading of books that I still keep on my bookshelf, like To Kill a Mockingbird and the one with Holden Caulfield… what the heck is that called? Right, Catcher in the Rye. And most of all I keep thinking that maybe, possibly, I could make a difference.


But I know something is not right with me right now, the way things are. I am not fulfilled in what I’m doing. It could be my fault, that I’m not playing the game to the fullest, or it could just be that—hey, here’s a novel thought—it’s just not me. I don’t think that all this corporate stuff is really for me. I don’t get any satisfaction from this same thing, day in and day out. Would teaching be the same? I’m not sure. Maybe. But I don’t know, and I think I want to find out.

I’m nervous about the money end of it, what it might cost and the time involved and what will happen to my life. What would all be different, and holy cow, I would have to do homework again! But… that kind of excites me. I am a nerd like that and the thought of immersing myself once again in delicious-smelling new textbooks is very, very attractive to me. I can hear the siren call of the bookstore. It’s pulling me in.

I have a million thoughts, worries and prayers lolling about in my head and my stomach, and I’m not yet sure what to think, or what to feel. But I think this could be good. It could be just what I need.


Friday, May 19, 2006

what's rattling around in my head on this dreary Friday

I think today is going to be a good day.

It is cold and rainy out, but the radio promises that tomorrow will be a better, sunnier day for us all. Which is just fine with me, since it's Saturday and all. Horray for sun on Saturday! Maybe I will finally get out into the yard and pull all the many millions of weeds that have multiplied so profusely after this week of rain. I have been talking about cleaning out my flowerbed for what, weeks, I think, now? So maybe I should finally follow through. After all, Memorial Day is supposedly the official "safe" day to plant.

I'll be heading off to the World Expo of Beer tonight, to serve beer to the masses assembled to "appreciate the brew" (specifically, get incredibly drunk). So that should be highly amusing. You can find me at the "Beer, Bitch" booth. No, seriously. I guess it's a brand?

Thank goodness that I'll have some good friends there; I haven't seen them in a while, either, so should be really fun. Only sucky part about the evening is that Jimmy won't be there; he'll be working. Granted, he'll be right down the street, really, but it's not the same as having him right there next to me. That's the crap part about our new arrangement.

For the most part, I think we're both loving life. In general I've never seen him happier--he's fulfilling himself during the week and doing something that's mildly enjoyable on the weekends. But the weekends of work suck, and I know he feels like he's missing out on a lot. Just this weekend we are missing a 30th birthday party and a housewarming because of the crazy hours he's pulling. And I think he's kind of bummed about it today. I guess I probably didn't help with my multiple excited calls about the beer expo.

That's the thing--I miss being able to share silly things like this with him, along with Sunday afternoons in bed. But we knew we were trading that, I guess, and I know it will be temporary. But still... miss him. Like right now, I miss him, because I know he's home getting ready for work and I wish I could be there with him. But I guess that's part of the reason we work so well. I don't know about him, but for me, whenever he's not there I am feeling a pull toward him. He always said in hs that I was obsessed, and I guess he was right.


We also got our wedding album this week, and I'm so glad we finally have it. I had such major procrastination issues with it, but I'm glad I waited. It's absolutely gorgeous. Our photographer did an amazing job. I took it over to my Grandma's last night, and she loved it, although she laughed at the abundance of black and white photography we used. "When I got married, we actually had someone paint the pictures with oil to give them color." I guess it's funny how things change, but then she was married going on 56 years ago.

I wish that Grandpa had been there to see the album, but I guess that as wishes go I'm just grateful he was there for the wedding. I cried a bit on the way home last night, but as sadness goes, it's getting better. I guess I can calm myself down a bit more over it now, but what's making me sad lately is that summer is coming and there are going to be so many holes.

Mother's Day, the kids (that new, little generation I wasn't aware of and then there it was) were playing baseball in the yard and Jimmy and I sat on one of the swings he had built, rocking and watching. I remembered all the times I'd sat on that same swing with my Grandpa, his arm around me, all the times we'd played ball in the yard, the fact that he'd always been the first to start the game. I remembered, and I was sad, but I didn't cry. It was more an empty feeling, an awareness of what was missing, than it was profound grief. And with Jimmy there next to me, I felt okay. Sometimes you just have to say a little prayer, and appreciate moments for what they are, not what they could be.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

boring, boring, and oh! more boring.

You know you're getting to be quite a bit of dork when you get a good giggle out of life insurance. Well I did, and it was funny! Shut up!

I have been pondering the fact that Jimmy has no life insurance for quite some time now, and feeling highly agitated about that in my own OCD "a detail hasn't been attended to" way. I mean,'s wedding checklist totally had that detail on my wedding prep list, right around our sixth week of engagement!


So I finally took care of it today, eleven months (whoops, that was yesterday. Happy Eleven-Monthaversary to me!) into this crazy marriage experiment of ours. The laughing part came when the whole issue couldn't be simply resolved in an email--oh no, I had to ask many questions and create such a state of confusion in the emails I wrote that it caused an agent to call me. He started it, the laughing. He was laughing at me because I was so damn confused.

That's okay, because I've known him forever (he taught our class about stocks when I was in fifth grade) and he is also, as it turns out, great at explaining all the different life insurance types there are. And it seems there are many, and they are varied, and really I don't care anymore but it's done and I don't have to think about it. Not for twenty years, anyway, when I will be GAH forty-two years old.


Shutting that out.

So anyway... the excitement around here just never ends.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What I'm loving today... (my hibernation-sized self not included)

1. Sunny! & warm! Hoorays all around!
2. My sister, writer of fabulous and amusing emails, is coming home next Wednesday!
3. It's Thursday, which is so-close-you-can-smell-it to Friday!
4. Grocery shopping tonight--yea for food in the house! (or not... see below)
5. Lists! and exclamation points, apparently!

There is just something about a sunny day that makes me feel so awesome.

Except the fact that I have apparently hibernated a little too long this winter. Ahem. Which is basically a polite way of saying that I am now too large for all of my cute summer clothes of last year.

Which were a size we shall not mention that I didn't want to be wearing anyway.

So, it's time to behave myself and stop eating 15 Oreos at a time (sorry, Jimmy, that was totally me in the cookie jar) and pretending that not-moving-from-the-couch is an Olympic sport. Which, by the way, if it were... gold medal to me. My stamina this winter was incredible. Seriously.

I pretty much freaked out about all this last night. Jimmy and I were going to go get ice cream (yup, you see what happened to me, don't you?) and so I went upstairs to get some sort of summery shirt.

Attempt to put first shirt on. Boobs threaten to pop out, overtake world. "Hmmm," I think, "That's strange. Maybe Jimmy shrunk this and didn't tell me."
Next shirt... "Hmm. Possibly it is too warm upstairs to store clothing... this seems to be too small. Perhaps humidity is shrinking all my shirts..."
Next shirt... "WAAAAAHHHH!!!" and etc. Jimmy was understandably simaltaneously confused and amused by my hysteria. I am somewhat amused by it now, after the fact, as I am not much one to freak out about weight/clothing size. Because really, life is too short.

But now I am also of the opinion that life is too short to not be able to wear the plethora of cute clothes in the closet simply because one's ass has grown too large. And so my "summer shape up" has begun.

So far it has consisted mostly of not attacking (or even looking at) the box of cookies in the breakroom here in the office. But it's a start.

Wish me luck... I'm going to need it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

drunk on love & rambling

I had a great weekend. I am still drunk and sleepy with the contentment of it.

I have nothing really spectacular to say about it, either. It wasn't exciting by any means. I hung out with my family, which this weekend included my generally-away-at-school sister. I had a blast just hanging out with her, chatting like we used to be able to do late night when we slept in the same room.

(aah, memories. Mostly of the un-good variety... poor abused bedroom-sharing children).

But I also got to hang out and just relax with J, and that was great. I love it when we get to do nothing together--it's the most delicious feeling in the world. Last night we snuggled up together on the couch to laugh at the hilarity that is Jim Gaffigan (hot pockets) and I couldn't help but feel that everything in the universe was completely right at that very moment.

We've been married almost a year now, and so I'm reflecting a bit on what that's meant to me and to my life. Basically, everything. I can't nail it down to one specific change; it's a series of many little changes that being married has brought about in my life. But despite all these changes, all the upheaval and trials and tribulations of the first year, I have never been happier. I am so content most days, happy just to go home and snuggle on the couch and let the day drift away. My favorite place in the world these days is his shoulder, where I can bury my face in his neck and feel that I am home.

We are still struggling. We still fight sometimes. But more often than not the fights end in laughter, and they're certainly not the scary variety that they were when we were first married and my thoughts were tinged with the panic born of a lifelong decision made. The panic has been replaced with a calm in my heart that I am grateful to know. And I am grateful--I am so blessed.

This is all I can think as I drift off to sleep. It's my prayer, my lullaby--that I am so lucky to have this man beside me, so blessed to know this feeling.


i carry your heart with me
ee cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Feeling Naked

Blogging is an intensely personal thing in an incredibly public forum.

I see this as both practice and therapy: practice, because it keeps me writing, and therapy for the obvious venting option. I also like the idea that someday, possibly someone will read what I'm writing and either relate to it or just flat-out like it. When I wrote for Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, the very best part of it all was being IMed by that eighth-grader who had gotten something from what I'd written. As teensy as that was, I felt validated--like what I had to say mattered.

And yet. Despite the enthusiasm I feel for this forum, I catch myself censoring what I want to say, what I'd like to say, simply for the panic-inducing fact of "what if someone knows it's me?" This has not ever been more obvious to me than it was last night, when my husband told me that he'd told a friend about my blog. I swear I felt my life screech to a halt right then and there.
"You what?"
"I told him..." he sees my indignant look. "Well, what? He thinks it's cool."

Cool indeed. Well, then of course he wanted to know my web address. I didn't tell him; I couldn't bring myself to. It's so darn personal here... and what could make that more obvious than my reluctance to share it with the person I am closest to? I mean, he's my husband... he knows everything. There is nothing I could share here he wouldn't know about. So, I may as well take the plunge and bare my soul to him... since I've decided to share it with the world at large! ; )

So I am posting this, and then I will email him a link because why hide it? So babe, if you're reading... be careful with me, as this makes me incredibly vulnerable to you. Enjoy what you see!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Don't Worry, Be Happy

What is happiness worth? Is happiness worth sacrificing “prestige”? Neither really has any tangible value, so which should a person assign importance to?

This is the question I have been faced with several times in my life, most recently concerning my husband’s career. As we always have, we chose personal happiness. This will probably come at the great skepticism and worry of our respective families and friends, the wonder of why we’re “wasting” our lives.

My husband worked for a somewhat large manufacturing corporation. He was a welder, and he made decent money doing it. But he was not happy. He was unhappier still when the company announced its new “2 days off per year” program—this was for sick, vacation, all of it, with or without doctor’s notes. Impressive, is it not? He was unhappier still when the people around him started to be written up for going to the bathroom. Rumors of layoffs started to fly. Then it was required that they be at their line fifteen minutes early, unpaid. He fought all of this at first, then began to laugh about it.

Then they wanted to move him to second shift.

This was a concept he would not accept. To move to second shift would be to forfeit all his time coaching. It would mean a total end to the entrepreneurial work he is doing. It would mean a marriage that was, essentially, two ships passing in the night: me working 7:45am—5pm, he working 3:30pm—11:30pm. This would be second shift, seven days a week. This he would not accept. This, after much discussion between us, he turned down, leaving him jobless for the second time in our short marriage.

And I am glad. I am so glad. I am proud to be married to a man who will not accept something that is less than what he’s worth, something that is less than the sum of his dreams. We are too young for that.

More than likely, the solution to this problem will be found in part-time work. My husband is going to go back to being a bartender. And I couldn’t be happier.

It’s not prestigious, and it’s certainly not going to make a lot of family members happy. It’s really not going to satisfy those confused well-wishers we meet occasionally who can’t understand why we aren’t in school, why we didn’t finish those degrees. But it satisfies us; it takes us closer to the life we’re working for. That’s not something that we can expect anyone to understand. And that’s okay.

I am putting my time in now, working, so that my husband can do the work he needs to do in order to allow me to come home and stay home when we have children. And that’s okay with me. I am glad to do this work now, to be able to get that awesome gift of time home later. I want to be able to give to my children what my mom was able to give me: undivided time, attention and love. Even now, I know that she is always there for me, no questions asked. I want to give my children that same security. That’s what we’re working for… that’s what, strangely, bartending will help to accomplish. A means to an end. It’s really just another detour in this journey we’re taking together, this journey that has been full of surprises, good and bad, but still more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever attempted.

And yet… How do you explain that to others? What do you say when others look and see only a life that has drifted far off course from where it should have been? Is that my own, self-imposed judgment born of the awkwardness I feel when I have no impressive answer for the “What are you doing now?” query?

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, only the faith that what we’re doing is right, regardless of the view of others. This is just another leg in the journey that we are taking together. It is an unexpected detour, yes, but one that will ultimately take us to the destination we can’t yet see. We don’t know where we’re going yet, but we know that God has a plan for us that is greater than our own.