Like the Hobos of the Sea
February 6, 2014
I just read an article called Secret Tourism: Traveling the World on a Freight Ship and it seems so awesome. I mean- the idea of a cruise, where everyone is stuck on the boat and maybe the food is included but isn’t it all the same and everything is social but do you really WANT to be social with all those people? And forced gratuities…. just didn’t seem like something I was terribly interested in except for the fact that it would be an experience and something I can say I’ve done. SO I still might do it. But this, THIS sounds so much more adventurous. I’ve bookmarked the three websites she links to for more information but I’m saving them here mostly for my reference, but you can check them out too:
Moving to the City, Dagnabbit
January 30, 2014
Right now we’re living 2.5 hours East of Seattle and 3.5 hours NE of Portland. The town is called Yakima. Maybe you’ve seen the episode of iCarly where Carly’s Grandfather comes to visit from Yakima. Yes, that’s us.
I’d like to move to the city.
For the past eleven years I’ve been holding out hope that eventually we’d move out of this town but so far it hasn’t happened yet.
Not for lack of trying, though. In 2008 I actually signed a lease on a house in Tacoma and paid a deposit and we never moved in. That decision was made by my ex husband, who thought it would be better to build a third restaurant without a contract and not get paid for his time and energy. Instead of moving to a bigger city, we ended up moving to a dilapidated house in the country, 12 miles from town. In his defense, he didn’t know that the lack-of-contract would have such disastrous results.
Renting Weird Spaces
January 10, 2014
Surely you’ve heard of AirBnB.com, right? This is the website where you can rent a furnished apartment in <insert name of city> just for the night or a treehouse or a log cabin or a house on stilts or even a private island. Just for the night, or the weekend, or the duration of your trip.
If you’re not into traveling, you can use these websites as a second (or primary) source of income, by hosting travelers. I have a friend who lives in Portland who keeps her studio apartment listed on AirBnB and whenever she gets a renter, she just packs up her son and spends the night at Grandma’s house.
Learning to love yourself
January 9, 2014
It seems like such a sissy topic. A few years ago, I would have wondered “What the hell is that all about?” That sounds like the mumbo jumbo of someone who also might need to “find themselves” As if anyone could seriously be lost. Or the self-absorbed meanderings of a person who claims to “not know who she is” in spite of the fact that she doesn’t have amnesia. There was a time when all of these words seemed to be the epitome of selfishness. Until they came out of my mouth.
It turns out that spending too much time striving to be someone else’s version of you is really exhausting. When mundane daily decisions like ”What will I wear today” becomes “Which outfit is least likely to piss him off?” then you might be in danger of forgetting who you really are. When you’re invited to stay after the tupperware party for a chat and you decide not to because you don’t want him to accuse you of cheating, then you might be losing an opportunity to love yourself.
Are you “me enough?”
January 8, 2014
I’ve been tossing around the idea of “being me” for a while now, ever since I first realized that I didn’t know who I was anymore. Aside from the technical fact that you can never really be anything other than who you are, it’s really stressful to feel like you’re detached from your true self.
When I was a kid I knew who I was and who I was going to be. I was going to travel the world, I was going to wear lots of hats, spend a lot of time on the beach and always go to cocktail parties where I’d get to talk and laugh all the time. I was going to raise money for charities and help the world somehow. I’d have a bunch of kids, have friends over for dinner all the time and never worry about money. My dream-husband and I would be a powerhouse team, working together to make sure we planned ahead and retired comfortably and that our kids had every opportunity they needed to be their best. Our home would be a lovely haven where anything was possible and friends loved to come relax and visit.
Looking forward to looking back less often (Also, divorce doesn’t HAVE to be ugly)
December 31, 2013
I’m sure you have noticed that my return-to-blogging has been uncharacteristically introspective. I’m OK with that. People who know me and love me know that sometimes I don’t even know what I’m thinking ’til I write it down. Somehow having an organized and mostly-edited stream of thoughts feels good. Sure, things change. But it’s all timestamped and generally, I write just as much that I don’t publish. In fact, even as I’m writing this I don’t know if it will be left in draft (written just for the sake of writing) or published. I think the reason I’m publishing more lately is because I’m finally at a point where “It is what it is” and I’m gearing up to move forward in life.
What, No Presents from Santa?
December 27, 2013
I haven’t really told many people that we didn’t do Santa presents this year, but I’m sure that’s the reaction I’d get eventually. The truth is, for the first time in our lives my kids aren’t really pining away for anything they want. In the past, Christmas was the one chance I had as a mom to spend irrationally and get them something I wouldn’t normally be able to get. For kids who were used to never getting the things they wanted, Christmas was a chance to let my kids feel abundance, let them feel, for just a minute, that this was a special day. As a mom, being unable to give hurt like the worst kind of stabbing pain. Even as I saw them opening presents I was reminded of all the things I couldn’t afford to give them. I think that my pain of not being able to give the way I wanted to definitely influenced my kids’ Christmases.
Countdown to Skid Row
December 22, 2013
It turns out that the idea of delivering gifts to Domestic Violence shelters is a little more difficult than I imagined. In order to protect the victims, they won’t tell you where the houses are. Some abusers can be very persistent and malicious. To protect the victims, we wouldn’t be able to take photos and we wouldn’t be able to hand the gifts directly to the recipients.
That’s not exactly the giving experience I wanted to share with my girls this year. Dropping donations off at a random location without a connection to the humans it will help is really a nice thing to do and we ARE going to be delivering children’s socks to the shelters, because hopefully we won’t find many children in Skid Row.
The Best Christmas EVER
December 20, 2013
That’s all I can think of when I see this picture.
But anyway- imagine you’re a child in foster care… what do YOU want for Christmas? Chances are, you probably want to go home. You probably miss your parents and your siblings and you probably just want to go home.
Also, you’ve probably had some hard times in life. Maybe your parents treated you poorly, maybe they were in trouble and you didn’t even know about it. Maybe you did know about it, maybe you’ve seen things no child should see. Maybe your mom is single, maybe your dad is a widower and maybe you have a dog names Fetch.
I lit my kids’ toys on fire
December 20, 2013
It’s true. In 2005, I did this. I was severely depressed and exhausted and sick. I wasn’t getting help at home and my husband was working 7 days a week, up to 16 hours a day at the restaurant. I was so frustrated that my kids weren’t putting their toys away that I bagged everything up and threw it into the fire pit. I remember staring, nearly catatonic as the faces of Barbies melted and coloring books turned into black, then ashy sheets and eventually dust.
At this moment, it’s the #1 most traumatic memory of my life and I can barely even write this. Seriously. I’m so NOT the me that did that. And yet, apparently, I did it.