Today is my 33rd birthday. I know I should not say things because I always get "you're not old!" from friends who are older than me, but dude. I feel old. How is it that I'm 33 already? Nearing my mid-thirties. In two years I will technically no longer be a "young lawyer." Boo.
It's been a pretty good birthday despite the fact I feel old. Friday night I went shopping. On my own. It was glorious. I had a Kohls gift card and coupon and I added to my wardrobe for the spring. I cannot even remember the last time I went shopping like that. We're talking pre-Aubrey if not pre-T. Maybe dating T. But it's been a long time. Saturday we just kind of hung out, having a cookout and fire pit in the evening, and then Sunday the family came down for a party. Lasagna and cake. Can't beat that.
So it'll be a low key kind of day....work and dinner at home, but you know, that's alright with me. As long as I have T and Aubrey with me, I have all that I need.
So here's to year 33! May it be a low key and drama free one!
This should not bother me. It's just a tree. I'm supposed to get over these things, right?
Twenty years ago this Saturday my family planted this beautiful flowering pear tree in our yard in honor of my Aunt Linda who died just two months earlier from ovarian cancer. I know I've talked about her before, but as a kid, I was very close to my aunt who was just like a big kid herself. She passed away when I was 12-years-old, and...let's just say I didn't handle it well. Up until the very end I thought she'd be just fine. It wasn't until one week before her death when my mom sat me down and told me she would not survive that I fell apart. I don't remember being at her funeral or only just a little bit...I blacked out. I blacked out when we saw her in the hospital that last time, and I blacked out at her wake and funeral. I don't remember much of it if at all.
I made her a Valentine's Card, and I was to put it in her casket. I couldn't. I couldn't say good bye and I couldn't put it in there so my Dad (his sister) did. I didn't handle it well at all. Months afterwards I told my parents I didn't want to live and journaled about how I hated my life. Granted, I was a teen but still....it wasn't until I had a dream of her that I got back to normal. I dreamed she was in her mother's house where she lived until her death, with long reddish hair (which I later discovered was the way her hair was when she was younger which I had no idea) and she told me that God sends certain people in your life to be there for certain reasons. And I woke. And I was fine.
I should say this was my second dream of her. The night she passed away, just around 11:30, I went to bed at my grandparent's house and I had a dream she was in the hospital bed and said good bye. So when I woke I knew she was gone.
Yeah, I'm like Patricia Arquette in Medium. I have some pretty vivid dreams of loved ones.
Our neighbors paid for this tree, and it meant a lot to all of us. My oldest nephew when he was five or so pointed at the tree and told us it was Aunt Linda's and that "he would have liked to know her." I wish you did too, kid. And I wish she knew my child. She would have loved playing with Aubrey.
Okay, so where does this tree come in? Well, my parents told me this weekend that apparently the trunk has split into two. It's at risk of falling into their house and their neighbor's house so they have to take it down.
That made me tear up. What the hell? Twenty years. Twenty years, and I should be fine. I should not be crying over some tree, right?
But I still miss her and her laugh.
And I'm going to miss that tree. As silly as that sounds.
Over the course of the past year, T and I have had quite a few downs about money, with the Mary Kay debt and that whole drama behind that. It's one of the reasons why I started freelancing as much as I did, working hard to pay for extra things we could not afford because of it and also making some extra money to throw towards the debt I incurred because of that whole mistake. Well, I'm proud to report that just last week we paid off one half of that debt, closing the Mary Kay credit card that I used to purchase inventory. We still have more to pay off, but calling that credit card company and cancelling the card was one of the most liberating feelings. And I did it (with T's help, of course, because he's the financial genius here) but each month I would bring in extra money so that we could do that. And we are almost there. By early next year it will all be gone. And that is one hell of a feeling.
While I have had to back off some of the writing because my new job is a lot more demanding and I'm starting my studies officially to pass the U.S. Customs Broker Exam for this job, I'm still keeping up with my writing with ModVive, as well as a couple other publications that pay enough to make it worthwhile. Now in a perfect world, I'd still want to write full time. Oh if only I could make enough money for that. Sadly, that's a pipe dream but I can dream, right?
I have been busy writing, and if you hadn't caught it there was this - you know, that whole thing about PeeWee Herman picking up one of my ModVive stories and posting it on his Facebook and Twitter feed this week? I have gone viral!
I also write a story about a teacher who put out a "hit" on one of her problem students, getting older students to beat him up.
And most recently about an attorney who was kept out of a courtroom and could not represent his client because he was wearing shorts.
Going a little off my norm, I've recently been published in the National Association of Mutual Insurance Company's IN magazine, writing a story about the importance of mentoring.
The beauty of all of this is I get to do something I love to take care of something that has weighed me down and my family down for so long. And it oddly enough costs nothing to do. I love writing and I love the fact that I am able to make life a little easier for my family and make up for past mistakes. And I have every intention of continuing even after that last bill is paid!
I get an email from my ModVive editor that a story I wrote on beer delivery by drones a month or so ago apparently was found by someone and posted on their Facebook site and Twitter account. That someone? PeeWee freaking Herman.
I kid you not. That email made my day. My week. Yeah, it's not an A-list celebrity or something, but as a kid, I LOVED PeeWee. And it's just cool as hell. I've gone viral.
Driving home today, after picking up a happy and excited Aubrey:
"Aubrey, I'm so happy you love your new big girl school. That makes your Mommy happy."
"I too, Mommy."
That. That says it right there. She's happy, and that's all I care about. No incident reports, no biting or hitting. The kid is napping. She hasn't done that in forever. She is excited to go and so excited to tell us what she did that day. And she's more verbal. So did we make the right decision? You tell me - I haven't seen this little girl so happy in forever.
It's kind of hard keeping up with everything these days. With my new job, I have very little to no down time, and with my new schedule to work around Aubrey's daycare, I either work out or work on writing during lunch. I am still writing for several publications and just now starting to study for the Customs Broker Exam in October. Oh, and the personal life - you know, T...Aubrey....family.....friends...
I can't complain because I am more than blessed. I just feel like I have bitten off way way more than I can chew, and sadly this is not the first time I have written about this on my blog. You think I would have learned by now, right? But my very little free time is being spent doing...well...everything but relaxing. Or just spending time with my family.
I'm trying to figure out what exactly I can cut out, and one of the things I know I have neglected is this blog. I'm not sure if I should put this blog to bed or if I should figure out something, some way to juggle it. I don't know. Regardless, I think I need to do some thinking and some prioritizing and get....well....get my shit together.
But, I am super excited about something that isn't going to happen for six months but it is well over two years in the making. T and I, wait for it, will be getting an entire weekend - kid free! Yes, it is true. We have scheduled a vacation early October, and I could not be more ready for it. If we could do it sooner, we would, but with the new job and everything, it's all strategic with the days off. But it does give us something to look forward to, and honestly, it gives us the time we so desperately need to focus on one huge priority that is all too often being neglected - each other.