Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Wishes

Normally, I take a little time around my birthday to take stock of what the last year has brought and what I want from the new year.

Here is what I hoped for last year and how things turned out:

That I step up my research efforts.
Yes and no. I am behind as usual, but I have a relatively light load next semester and I intend to finish two projects and start a new one that I am excited about.

That I make getting more sleep a priority.
Oh my goodness, no. I failed miserably. I think I will have to write an entire post about why I can't seem to get to bed at a decent hour and how my children think 6 a.m. (or earlier!) is a fine time to rise.

That my girls are healthy.
Yes, thank goodness. Very few illnesses this year other than the horrible flu last January.

That I find ways to deal with my children's tantrums without losing my cool.
I'm still working on this. I will say that life with E is getting better. I feel guilty for admitting this, but I really did not enjoy most of her three's which made the two's look like a day at Disney. Luckily, she seemed to turn a corner around her fourth birthday and is (generally) fun again.

That J and I continue to work on better communication.
It is hard to assess right now as I'm still smarting from the birthday thing last week.

That we have another healthy pregnancy.
We certainly tried, but between two miscarriages and upcoming spinal surgery, it seems highly unlikely.

That we are able to retire our debt and start saving beyond what we are putting into retirement.
Yes! Real progress here. We will be able to pay off our car in the next few months and will have no debt other than house debt after that. We have also been building our savings a bit and hope to ramp that up.

That I work on becoming better organized and home and at work.
In progress, but I'm improving.

That I take time to take care of myself.
Not so much.

That fewer stray hairs show up on my chin and jawline.
I've discovered the beauty of the epilator. I use it once or twice a week and I'm pleased with the results.

That my growing-out hair gets past the awkward stage quickly.
I found a great hair stylist who eased me through this. I now have a chin-length bob that I like.

That I see my friends more often.
Yes! I went away with my friends in November and I've been having lunch dates. I neglected friendships for far too long.

That I keep writing in this space.
Though I post infrequently, I'm still happy to be posting here.

Here are my wishes for 2009:

That I close out old projects so I can start a study of differences in social support systems between stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. (Note: I am not implying that mothers who aren't employed outside the home aren't working. I am just interested in variations in the social organization of support.)

That I make getting more sleep a priority. This is a huge problem and I think my health is suffering.

That my girls are healthy.

That I lose my patience less frequently when my children are trying.

That J and I continue to work on better communication.

That I am happy with the family I have and don't mourn the family I thought I might have.

That I work on becoming better organized and home and at work.

That I take time to take care of myself. I need to work on nutrition, sleep, and getting strong before my spinal surgery so I can have a quicker recovery.

That I continue to make time to see my friends.

That I keep writing in this space.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Now, I'm a forty something. That went by so fast.

J seems to have completely blown off my birthday. Except for a brief "happy birthday" this morning, there wasn't so much as a card for me today. No wonder little E recently told me that mommies don't have birthdays. I don't expect much, but damn.

This was the warmest Christmas Day in the books. 80 degrees. We took the girls to the beach this morning and let them go barefoot. Tomorrow we leave for four days to celebrate with the families. I'm not looking forward to it, but it seem unavoidable.

Hope you are having a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, super Kwanzaa, or festive Festivus or whatever you celebrate this time of year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I suppose I'll need to come up with a new title for this blog

But I'm still in my thirties for one more day (23 hours, anyway).

All in all, I must say that turning 40 beats not turning 40.

And I'm happier now in many ways than I was at 20 or 30.

I have tenure. I don't feel the need to please other people so much. I have two beautiful children. Relative financial stability. I can occasionally say "no" without feeling guilty.

The only thing I really miss from my 20s and 30s?

My perky butt and boobs.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A quick update

What a month. The delicate life-work balance I have worked to establish has been smashed to bits and I've desperately been careening from one responsibility here (student projects!) to one here (sick child) to one here (new program director) back to this one here (happy kids). I can't say that I'm doing anything well, but I'm doing it.

I have 20 more 30 page projects to grade by Wednesday, a final exam to grade Wednesday night, and course grades to compute on Thursday. I'm sure that something will go wrong and I will be finishing up ten minutes before the deadline Friday morning. Saturday I will be shaking hands at graduation and that gives me Sunday through Wednesday to get Christmas together, clean the house and pack for our visits with families.

Complicating all this is my increasingly bad disc problem. It has certainly affected my productivity. Three epidurals over two months have brought no discernible relief so surgery is in the cards. Today, the surgeon seems shocked that I want to wait until May when school is out, but if I had it just after New Year as he proposed, being able to function at work during the critical time of the new semester would be highly doubtful. Then there is the small problem that my girls share my break so I would be attempting to recover from heavy duty surgery while caring for the girls. Basically, unless I start having motor symptoms, I can just tough it out a few months (using a judicious amount of drugs, of course).

All of this brings me back to the trying to conceive issue. This is my last month trying. I'm in the two week wait and I actually think a negative next week (just in time for my birthday) will be OK given all else going on. In fact, I think we were idiots not to use birth control this time given the spinal issues. J has been receptive to getting a vasectomy and I hope to have him in for that shortly after New Year.

Ah. The medication I was given today finally seems to be making a difference. Bed time.