Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chamber of Horrors

Some months ago, eight to be exact, I wrote a blog post about finally being able to close the book on our terrible years (that would be three) of unemployment.  I stated how thrilled I was to finally be able to not only close that book, so to speak, but to place it high up on a shelf and to never 'read' it again.  Well, last night that same terrible book fell off the shelf and hit me square on the head, opening to yet another chapter but with the same theme.  Yes, my husband is unemployed again. This time it was the unfortunate combination of budget cuts coupled with last man in, first out syndrome.  Regardless of the reason, we are once again thrust into the job search journey...endless reworking of the resume, non-stop networking, hour upon hour searching job boards and the overuse of the phrase 'when daddy gets a job we can fill-in the blank.'  I am going crazy as I type this bracing for all that 'fun.'  Trust me, eight short months is not nearly enough time to forget three years of financial and emotional hell; the wounds were too deep and the scars are still too fresh.  The over-whelming sense of guilt I feel because my children have not known any sense of stability for more than a few brief months in close to four years is truly incomprehensible.

Of course we have no choice...per usual..but to forge ahead and do the best we possibly can, but I must admit that this time it is ten times harder than the before.  Perhaps I will feel differently next week though I sincerely doubt it, but at this very moment I am beyond angry, tired of paying dues, and longing to just feel settled and normal for a change.  Thankfully, Halloween is around the corner because at least I can look like I have some spirit plus I don't need to spend money on a costume.  I am just going to go as myself this year, after all, zombies are all the rage, no?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I have recently become somewhat obsessed with fashion bloggers of late. The typical elite fashion blogger travels the world representing certain major fashion brands.  Not only do they only accrue frequent flier miles, but they are 'gifted' large amounts of free items from said brands and others who might be trying to lure these bloggers to represent their brands as well.  As an offshoot obsession, I have become intrigued with the plethora of photos these bloggers post of their gorgeous homes on Instagram.  The thing that intrigues me the most is not only their beautifully decorated rooms and wonderfully organized huge closets, but the fact that these rooms are devoid of 'stuff.' You know, the kind of things one accumulates in life like papers, knickknacks and paraphernalia from parenting--yup, a lot of these bloggers have children to boot.  Granted these fashionistas have not been married as long as I have but if memory serves me correctly, when I did get married and we moved in together, my husband brought his 'stuff' with him, some good and some (in my opinion) not so good.  Since some bloggers have children, I am constantly thinking about whether or not these children get a chance to play as there seems to be no evidence of such frivolity in the pictures I have seen.  I have even taken virtual tours of their homes and have seen nothing more than an errant high-end play kitchen in the play room, no brightly-colored plastic pretend groceries strewn about either.

I have been told by many that I am a great housekeeper thanks to my mom and grandma's impeccable example and, coupled with a drop of OCD-like tendencies--labels must face forward, milk container's handle to the left, if you try on an item of clothing, it goes straight in the laundry basket to name a few--I try to run a tight ship.  That said, I would not be able to photograph any room in my house and have it look like it belongs in the pages of a magazine.  All of my closets colorized by style, but none look anything like those I have seen on Instagram and I work hard at keeping them in order.

I suppose some might say that the fastest way to feel better about my home would be to stay off Instagram, get back to reality and focus on what we have as opposed to trying to attain a seemingly unrealstic level of perfection.  I could, but, honestly, I would not find that fun at all.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No Gifts

I love preparing for birthdays (definitely not my own though) and with my son's just around the corner, I am in full-on party and gift mode.  I am certainly spurred on by his non-stop infrequent reminders about the upcoming event, too.  Heck, I have been in possession of his 'master birthday list' since August.  This boy takes his birthday very seriously.  Today, I was discussing birthday planning with a friend whose child has a birthday coming up soon as well so I had asked her what was on her daughter's list.  She replied that not only did her child not have a list, but that she had been eschewing gifts for the past couple of years in the hope of embracing simplicity in her life.  Really?  A teenager looking for simplicity--this one I have got to see. Though I was surprised by the concept in general (but to each his or in this case her own), I was even more surprised by my friend's seeming condemnation of the fact that my son had a list at all.  She thought that he was overly materialistic and by this point--the teen years, he should be looking for other ways to celebrate his birthday beyond 'tangible gifts.' Well!

I honestly don't believe that wanting a couple of birthday gifts makes a person materialistic as my friend implied.  As an adult, I still love getting birthday presents and Christmas presents, throw in an anniversary gift and I am a happy camper, too.  I hope my friend's daughter enjoys her simple and gift-free birthday though I hope that as she grows up she realizes that it is wonderful to choose to live simply, but it is more important to not sit in judgment of other people just because they want to open some presents on their birthday. That is a gift.