Sad and Grateful

Drove back from Oregon yesterday and heading to work at the college soon. 

As I have shared, my mom is really sick and I needed to get home to see her.  Her doctors and hospice team had recommended that people come soon to assure that she would be coherent enough to communicate and connect with us.  My two aunts (her sisters) were there, too, so there was a lot of group family time spent talking, eating, watching tv.  My mom has a set-up on the living room couch where she stays and dozes off/rests as needed.  I didn't have the courage - or the space with family always around - to broach a meaningful conversation with her until yesterday before I left.  I knew I needed to take the opportunity. 

So, I bought a card and wrote a couple things I really wanted to tell her... basically, that I was sorry I wasn't more open as a pre-teen/teen when she tried to communicate with me (there are times I remember her trying and becoming upset when I refused to talk), and that I really appreciated her support at emotional times or times of crisis when she stayed calm and helped me figure things out or just plain helped get something done.  This includes when I was upset at my Dad and she stayed calm and helped mediate or talked to him behind the scenes to help him manage his anger.  Also, practical support like when I was a teenager and cut the hem of my skirt all wrong the night before a big trip, and she calmed me down and fixed it for me.  I also brought her a couple of magazines and ice cream. 

After she read the card, she thanked me and we hugged and held hands and cried a little bit.  I told her it wasn't fair and I was so sorry this was happening.  She said quietly, "these things happen," or something, which fits her practical Nebraskan character.  I was able to make her a simple breakfast before I left and we shared a long hug good-bye.

I am very sad, and also grateful to have shared that connection with her before I left.


So mad at myself! And some positive news...

Starting with the negative, I am so angry at myself right now!  And super sad, too.  I freaking left my traveling/teaching suitcase in front of the house yesterday, and it was stolen.  I remember being on my way in and stopping to pick up an extra coffee cup from the back seat.  I must have set the bag down by the car... either that or on the front porch.  Unfortunately, my street gets a lot of foot traffic, and apparently some loser thief walked by and snatched it up.  I left for my foster/adopt meeting a couple hours later and didn't realize it was gone until I got back around 9:30pm.  When I didn't see it where it normally sits, I started looking all over the house, then checked the car three or four times with gradually rising panic.  Pretty soon, the reality was clear that it was gone.  :(

I called the police and filed a report, checked the nearby market dumpster with the help of a kind young man, called all the nearby pawn shops and asked them to look for it, and posted flyers outside my house.  I even offered $100 for it's return on the flyer.  But nothing yet, and I know the odds are very low that I would get it back.  There was nothing valuable to anyone else in the bag - my class textbook, handouts, student papers - but the bag itself is worth several hundred dollars.  It. so. sucks.

I was so wound up and upset, I drank a stiff drink, then stayed up almost all night working on stuff for my business.  Several people received emails sent at 4 or 5 a.m.  lol  It made me feel slightly better, I think, to be working towards building an income after just having lost something valuable.

On to the positive news... first, the date last weekend with SB started pretty rocky, as neither of us were particularly grounded (same thing happened that one night at dinner).  I know this isn't sounding very positive but bear with me... I was in a bad mood after a difficult conversation with my housemate and was being a brat, and he got mad at one point when he felt I was unfairly representing his efforts to support me as, well, unsupportive.  We turned around from the event we were heading towards and drove back to my neighborhood. 

But... once we got back, we sat in the car talking and basically worked through it.  I suggested we just be affectionate friends right now - ha - and somehow that created a sense of freedom for both of us.  This wouldn't work with some people, but with me and him, I guess it took the pressure off of things needing to be "perfect."  We happily traipsed off to watch the Sup.er Bowl and eat lunch/drink beer.  Later, we came back to my place and ended up kissing on the couch.  It was very nice!  So seventh date ended up being a good one.  Funny side note: he happened to be wearing a t-shirt that said the word "Seven" in big letters.  I have my first date with the other guy to go dancing to a live band tonight.  Feeling pretty tired but we will see how it goes.

In another bit of good news, I attended the fos.ter/adopt orientation last night and learned some helpful information:

  • Confirmation that a child 0-2 years could be placed with me in my current living situation.
  • The mandatory 4-week training in Oakland fits perfectly with my schedule.  It starts in April - after my February/March client attraction weekend intensives - and will be Tues/Thurs evenings a couple hours after finishing work at the college.
  • One of the trainers told me that once I am certified to adopt, I can register and create profiles with different counties, which expands the number of possible children I might be matched with. 
  • It is nice to have checklists of tasks and steps so as to feel like I am moving forward towards the goal.

The one piece of bad news is that they do not necessarily cover all of child care, which they used to do.  There is a limited stipend, so I need to factor the remainder into my budget.  I did hear that headstart offers quality, affordable childcare.  Do you think that is true?

That's all for now.  Mixed feelings heading into the weekend.  Hope your weekend is starting on a high note.


Business and Pleasure

I don't really have time to write this morning, but still felt the need.  Later today, I am embarking on the seventh date with the guy I spoke about, SB.  We are attending a Sup.er Bowl party at the house of one of his co-workers.  I'm looking forward to it, but also it feels like too much is happening today.  I am going to leave soon to go to my Sunday morning dance group.  I would skip it, actually, but we are doing a "newbie night" soon at my Inter.Play theatre group, and I want to cross-polinate and give invite flyers to dance friends.

Part of my busyness is that I am also moving forward with actions to reach clients and build my career counseling practice.  These actions have included attending a small (very small - like 10 people) networking event last Monday and practiced my "What do you do?" spiel about the clients I seek to attract.  People responded well!  So that was encouraging and I have a few business cards to follow up with.  I have also been racking my brain for people and places with which to network and reflecting on the "package" I will offer clients.  Those of you doing coaching/counseling might relate to this.  I do not have teleseminars/video or a book yet, so my package is just made up of services:

  • 8 hour-long career counseling sessions
  • additional email coaching between sessions
  • and either resume/cover letter editing or a personality assessment (administering and interpreting assessment and providing career guidance based on results).  

My potential clients are "amazing women who want to make a difference but are stuck in dead end jobs that don't fit them.  I help them blaze a trail to sustainable, meaningful careers that are deeply connected to their passion."  What do you think?  I hope my package offers enough juicy value that they will be excited to sign up for that level of commitment with me. 

But back to dating, the topic more likely of interest to you!  We had the fabulous date last week checking out local artist galleries and having drinks/dinner.  Overall a really fun and connected time.  Then, Friday night, we went to the Oakland museum for a food truck/music event.  It was just okay... We seem to be kind of up and down and honestly, I think it's more me that is up and down.  I do think he contributes by being more or less engaged and grounded based on his intense work schedule and being an introvert, etc.  But I am still struggling at times with thinking that he not "my type" and focusing on what is not "perfect" about him - an oh so familiar struggle, blech!

I think it is true that I would prefer he was less lanky and more stocky, and that it would be nice if he were a little more "cute" in the way I experience cute.  Looking at the positive aspects, he is fit and strong and has sweet, friendly eyes and a nice smile.  I like his hands and how they feel in mine.  The kisses are yummy.  And personality-wise, though he is more cerebral, he is also very attentive and caring, intelligent, and can roll with my "direct" nature.  Whereas my last boyfriend was a runner, SB is a stayer.  If something comes up, he becomes more engaged and tries to talk it through.  I appreciate that very much.

Well, that's all the time I have to analyze today.  :-) I will write more later after today's date.  I do have a date with another guy for next weekend, which feels right for the stage SB and I are at.  I am not ready to commit.