Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2/13/08 The Screwup

I just can't get this right. Today, Melissa told me I could pick up Katrina from Tonya's -- always a boon for me, a lot less driving. So what did I do when I left work at 4pm? Drove straight to Melissa's!!! ARRGH!

Then when I tried to pick Gabriel up at the CDC, he had at least 10 minutes of cleanup to do. I had to leave him and come back, since it was 5:15 and Tonya would soon close and I had to get Katrina. More ARRRGH.

Dave and I had a heart-to-heart with our finances and decided not to move after all. No matter how we look at it, upgrading our current living conditions is going to cost us a boatload. With remodeling, the ultimate satisfaction will (probably? hopefully? be higher). Even if I have to work to pay for it, thus not actually being in my new home much.

Still, even talking about moving, or facing the reality of remodeling, is intensely stressful, and the cracks are starting to show. Why would that be? Things are basically good: I'm thrilled with the remodel plans (except the costs of course), I'm actually liking work these days, Katrina is walking and in an overwhelmingly adorable phase.

But something is rumbling underneath, like boiling lava just under the surface. Is it my usual love-hate relationship with change: I need the shakeup, but at the same time, it unsettles me? When we moved into our house over 8 years ago, I noticed the interesting phenomenon that while I embrace and look for change much more than Dave does, he handles change a lot better than I do. He's just not the sort to get rattled. But I am, and moreso, it's like I need to be rattled. Reminds me of many a daunting terrifying steep hill or rocky river crossing on many a dual-sport ride, that my riding pals all said they'd ride my bike through for me if I wanted, and yet, paralyzed with fear and dumbstruck with apprehension, and so not having fun, I tried anyway. These days the perils are more emotional than physical, but it's still the same personality trait that dogs me, drives me crazy, divides me, pushes me.

And at the moment, it's causing me to lose my mind. How many more screwups can I make? First Monday, I go through monumental effort to get to an appointment that very clearly was written for the next day. Today, I forget a fabulous time windfall and cost myself an unnecessary 25 minutes of driving. Countless other times during the day, I find myself looking into a closet or pantry or a room and don't remember why I'm there.

When I got home with all 3 today, I wanted to do the boys' Valentines with them. But of course, dinner preparations and Katrina care made that impossible. I was able to get them started, but what should have been a fun activity together turned into a drudgerous chore.

I did get Gabriel to start his Valentines a few days ago, and good thing, because with 33 names to write and his own to sign on each one, it took several iterations. After dinner, we taped chocolates to each Valentine and sealed them, and that was fun to do with him....or would have been if I didn't have to pester Julian to write his teacher's name on a Valentine. If I didn't have to make lunches and get everyone's clothes together for the next day, the evening wouldn't have so much pressure, and every other word out of my mouth wouldn't be "Not now, later." But then the morning would be awful.

Oddly enough, I'm starting to like work. I still don't like the actual technology I'm working on, and it's a complete career dead end, but the awful machine I'm working on is so quirky and difficult (thanks Cisco) that it's like uncharted territory. That puts me in my comfort zone: finding out how something works and boiling it down to something workable. But at the same time I'm liking work, I'm also feeling new pressure to perform -- and new pressures outside work at the same time.

Another nice moment today was when I took Katrina with me to get valentine's candy tonight (while the boys had dinner), and even though it was past 7pm (tick tick tick...), she found joy in the excursion and was cute as ever. I had fun making faces at her and making her laugh while I was putting gas in my ever-empty car. Having her funny little face in front of me turned an annoying errand into unexpected quality time.

I'm so glad I have Music with Katrina tomorrow morning, I'm really looking forward to it, to give me some much needed down-to-earth time. Provided I don't forget and take her somewhere else, that is.


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