Let the good times roll

I landed 2 gigs!  And one of them is a recurring part (at least 2 episodes I think) and I get to play an African nun!  Yay!  So of course, I now have a f****ing cough again and I’m on set next week.  What is it with me and working on set with an uncontrollable cough?!!!  This is like the 3rd time this has happened to me.

The in laws are arriving tomorrow, it’s Boo’s birthday weekend and I’ve got to work on my accent. And my shoot days just happen to be on the days I booked notetaking work (that’s never happened before).  I called my client and explained I couldn’t work for her, but I’ve been unable to find a suitable replacement for her.  She was really happy for me, but I feel terrible about leaving her in the lurch.

I am so freaking grateful!  Eeks, I haven’t worked in so long, I’m nervous!!

Microblog Mondays – Contagion

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it?  I was at a farewell party for some Buddhist friends of mine who are moving to Whitehorse, NWT.  I had to race back home, open a bottle of wine and watch the US election results.  Trump became the next president – WTF America?.  I’ve had to unfriend someone on my Facebook who kept leaving rabid anti-Hillary/conspiracy rants on my feed after I would repost certain articles.  I get it, not everybody has to agree with me, that’s fine, but I was beginning to feel reluctant to repost articles because I was afraid I was going to have to deal with the above mentioned vitriol from that person.  This person was also a fellow Buddhist though he wasn’t a personal friend.  Yep, surprise.   So bye bye, if you refuse to leave your muddy shoes at the door, you can’t come in my house.  I don’t need to be aggravated and engage in mudslinging over people I can’t even VOTE FOR.  Frankly, I rarely take a political stance on Facebook and I usually just repost certain videos that reflect my personal views.  I use it primarily just to keep in touch with acting colleagues and friends.  And watch funny animal videos – that’s crucial.  I would prefer to have serious social discourse in person as oppose to online, but you know, that’s how things are these days.

I’ve been at the hospital 3 times in a week visiting my acting teacher (transplanted American) who was beside herself after the election results. I’ve been reading how even here, children are being racially harassed at school and then yesterday I read this article in the neighbourhood newspaper. Not like this shit doesn’t exist here, but it all happened within 5 days after the election.  As if certain people felt like they have a certain social approval and impunity to unload their racist shit on people.

I also found out that the one last thing I need from the government in order to conclude my job as the administrator of my mum’s estate – despite them having my request for over 20 weeks, they have done NOTHING  on the file.  NOTHING.  After finally reaching a human being, she starts to tell me how understaffed they are and blah, blah, blah.  Bureaucracy.  Surely, if I owed the government anything, they come at you with hammer and tongs.  This  I know from experience and yet when they can’t do their job in a timely fashion, too bad for you.

Then this morning, I found out I didn’t get a position in a theatre workshop that would have been creatively invigorating (not to mention a steady income) after a dismal year in TV and film.

Things are getting a lot more stressful at home.  The dog needs expensive dental surgery, Boo’s birthday is coming up, Christmas season is upon us and my hair looks like shit.  (Feel my black woman blues.)  Seems disappointment and despair is in the air.  It’s contagious.  I’ve been chanting more these days in order to keep my spirits afloat.  I’m trying my best to encourage people when even in my heart, the tendrils of panic are stirring.  I’m in the midst of trying to make some major changes in my life, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’m already feeling the need to blunt the edges with another glass of wine.  Looking for a soft place to land and people are leaning on me.  How do expand my heart, how do I expand my life?

There will be times in life when you cannot succeed. Or times when hardship seems about to crush you. Such times are inevitable, yet we should not allow our spirits to be broken by them. D. Ikeda

Up late and wired on sugar

Okay, it needs to stop raining.  Enough.  We’ve had about 26 rainy days out of 30.  Happily, it did not rain Hallowe’en night so fun was had by all.  Boo was dressed as a combination Batman, Optimum Prime and Captain America.  He was great in the haunted house, protected me with his shield.  He was lagging near the end a bit, so it’s no surprise he’s sick tonight.  I may have to keep him home tomorrow, but we’ll see how he’s doing. A friend of mine had her 22 year marriage implode and it’s just heartbreaking.  I think she’ll be fine but sadly she’s not the first woman I know that was caught off guard and I’m doing my best to support her without actually telling her what to do.  I’m trying like hell to be neutral because as soon as you bring that stuff home, well, everyone has an opinion, don’t they and you tend to take sides consciously or unconsciously.   And frankly, it’s scary cause it’s one of those couples where you didn’t expect it.  I mean, how you can profess your love for your wife 6 months ago and now it’s done?  Oh, yeah, you know where my mind went.  I remember that feeling when you discover that unconditional love you really believed you had wasn’t so unconditional, after all.

And guess who’s 15 year wedding anniversary is coming up next week?  Yup,and though I would love a romantic getaway being spoiled rotten, that’s not going to happen.  In fact, the idea of even going out for dinner is slipping away cause Boo is not feeling well which means once my tired husband comes home from moving his parents (who had not anticipated moving this soon and therefore his mother won’t be able to come over to babysit), there is no way he’s going to want to go out.  He wouldn’t trust a sitter and it wouldn’t be fun for either of us anyway.  So I’m preparing myself that it will be postponed.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t really plan anything special anyway.  The dog needs dental surgery and the estimate is sky high.  See?  This rain is making me negative.  Where’s my Vitamin D?

In the meantime, my mind is on Boo’s life book and it’s just about done, except for one photo of course and that photo was a gift and our printer is broken so I can’t scan it now.  Of course.  Working on Plan B.

While I was on my way to visit my acting teacher who is in hospital with a broken ankle for almost 3 weeks (it’s complicated), I get a call that my friend’s daughter is in hospital (long story) and in the end, I could only chant with her for 15 minutes before I left to pick up my son from school.

Okay, I gotta get to bed.  I ate too many Rocket candies (who brought them in the house???) and I’m on my period (my god, go away!!!) and I need to just let it all goooooo.

 

 

 

 

A new story

I have a confession to make.  I still haven’t done Boo’s life story book yet.  I was supposed to. I swore up and down I’d do it 2 years ago.   I just kept meaning to and had it all sorted out in my head and  I always had some excuse. And now the questions are starting.  And we’re filling him in on more and more.  We told him about his birthmother a long time ago, but as he’s getting older, the explanations are getting longer and longer and now he knows he has 2 brothers.  And though he often just wants a short answer before he changes the subject, I sense that his lifebook would come in handy right about now.

He’s always been the kind of kid that would make a great big brother or little brother.  Pretty much where he fits in the life he could have had.  He remarked recently that he would like to have a younger brother to play with; just like his friends/cousins who share a room. Recently, hubby split with his best friend/partner in business and since they’re not really on friendly terms at the moment, we haven’t seen a lot of his boys.  And for the first time ever, the ex volunteered to have Boo over for a sleepover so they could spend time together.   Sigh.  I really wish we could have had another child but life just didn’t turn out that way.

I think the reason I just didn’t do the book was I started out being so insecure as his mother.  When he was tiny, it was it was all I could do to  concentrate on just the mechanics of being a new mother, creating new family traditions, building our family unit.  Then came the toddler years of just trying to keep him alive.  Then school started and new routines were established and the engine of family life just shifted into high gear.   Oh, I read him adoption stories and told him he was adopted but he  just wanted reassurance that he was ours forever.  It wasn’t until he became older that he became very curious  about his origins.  His questions are quite random but persistent as he navigates through his world.

While we were in a dollar store the other day, he sat down in an empty carton and I joked oh, my how much is this little boy and he joked he was $10.  Then later in another store he asked me how much he cost.  Like, when we were in the dollar store, $10?  No, he said, when he was with his birth mother, how much did he cost?  Who asked you this?  Nobody asked me, I just want to know.  You didn’t cost anything, I never paid for you – you’re priceless!  He smiled shyly and then we looked for marshmallows.

Some days he asks about the nature of death, how long will I live, or how tall he will be or why I have bumps on my face. He asks why was he born black though people say he’s brown.  He wants to know a lot of things.

I started his book tonight and instead of trying to make it perfect, I’m just going to do the best I can.

Microblog Mondays – Time flies

I know,  I know, where the hell have I been?  I didn’t have that much to say (well I did but all in my head) and I had to readjust my morning schedule, so that left blog reading and writing in the dust.  Once all of my productive energy was used up, I had scant brain cells left in the evening to actually write coherently.  So, a quick summary.

My little boy entered grade 2 and with it, came a lot more concerns about his learning skills.  He is receiving learning assistance support but hubby and I are right there helping him with his homework.   I actually told his teacher that he was adopted which isn’t something that I normally do, but I felt really insecure about not knowing his biological history in regards to any learning disabilities.  And I also felt a little helpless.  I always had a really easy time at school, and it really made a difference in how I felt about school. I also don’t want him to think he’s stupid and we’re working hard to keep up his self esteem.

I went away to a Buddhist conference last month for 4 days in Toronto.  It was awesome.  As it happened, hubby had to work out of town for a few days and had to take Boo with him.  His brother was supposed to take care of him  but he ended up having a minor heart attack for which a stent was required.  I got the email while I was away and as Buddhists do, we chanted for his speedy recovery.  I had a wonderful time and it was awesome to just immerse myself in study and chanting and talking to an array of women from across Canada.  Heard many stories of women trying to recreating their lives and overcoming cancer.  The last time I was there, the dream of a child was still that, a dream. One thing really bugged me though.  There was a woman there that expressed that she still had a regret that she never had a child.  A couple of women just sort of joked about it, like oh,  I wanted one too but then  realized how noisy they are.  They was insensitive and it pissed me off.  I didn’t get a chance to tell her that I had heard her and that I understood that that kind of grief doesn’t ever really go away.  I forwarded my email to her but I haven’t heard anything back.  Hmmm.

Then I went to Toronto to visit my sister for Thanksgiving (quick 5 day visit).  That was a little weird.  Nice, but weird.  My sister is 3 years younger than me and yet we have very little in common when it comes to the way we do things and how we move about in the world.  No, I did not see or talk to my older sister.  Also, Boo came with me and unlike the first time we travelled together, he was a bit of handful.  He’s going through a phase where basically he challenges me on just about everything.  If I say the sky is blue, he insists it’s red.  And being an only child is really tough on him; he likes nothing better than being with kids his own age and barring that any other young person.  So it was good he spent time with his cousin, but his cousin is now 13 and getting a bit moody.  I think my son exhausted him.  It was great spending some time with friends though.

I’ve been super busy with auditions lately. Right after I declared that I was ready to just tell my agent not to call me for 6 months.  But of course, no bookings.  I am so over show business.  I’m tired of having my ego trounced.  I’m tired of doubting myself and worrying about things that I can’t change, like my age or how I look.  I’m too old for that shit. Literally.   Looking for f/t theatre work so I can recharge my batteries.

Good news is that my hormones are finally under control.  And with that, my mood.  So all the DHEA, estriol  (bioidentical estrogen) cream and progesterone pills have done their job.  Had a recheck of my hormones and I’m doing much better, more balanced.  The testosterone level of a 22 year old, not sure what the heck that means, I’m still waxing my chin.  My energy level is pretty high in the mornings and  fades by mid afternoon so I move like a tornado in the mornings.   I participated in a photo shoot for the city rec centre so I’ll be getting a 10 visit pass so I’m going to take advantage of that.  My shoulder is not 100% yet, I can’t fully rotate it, but I have to do something.  My mid section is about the same size as my bra.  Not good. Ah yes, there’s something humbling and terrifying about turning into your mother.

Hubby and I are in a better space.  We’ve reached a solid partnership.  Oddly there’s more insecurity about his work, (his partnership with his best friend fell apart) but he’s less stressed than usual.  I’m the one that’s way more concerned about our future.  The housing market here is nuts, and the thought of continually putting thousands of dollars into someone else’s equity is nauseating.  So that means making more money without selling my soul to a brain numbing but stable job (which is exactly what my mother did).

Time is really flying by and I definitely feel like I need to make the most of it.

 

 

Microblog Mondays – Wheelz

So exciting news – I bought a car.  Used but practically new.  It’s the first and only car I’ve ever owned.  It feels so good to be able to buy a car outright, no car payments pending. Thanks, mom!

It’s a 2016 Hyundai Tucson and I’m pretty happy with it.  We  also test drove a Mazda CX 5, Nissan Rogue and a Rav 4.  Honestly, they all drive about the same, plus or minus this or that.  But they’re all super popular in the small SUV market.  I actually was looking for a used Mazda CX5 but the Tucson was a lot cheaper and it had what we needed. It has enough room for my family and the dog and it’s so great to have air conditioning!  Yay!  It has a back up camera, which I must say is a little weird to use after decades of twisting and turning my neck.  It’s a relief to not have to drive that gas guzzling pickup anymore or struggle to find parking. And I’m so happy to have Bluetooth so now with a flick of a switch on my steering wheel, I can say call so and so and boom, I’m connected.  Very cool.  We’re all enjoying our new ride.

 

 

 

 

Friendship and motherhood

They say confession is good for the soul.   Since becoming a mother almost 7 years ago, I’ve come to admit that 1) I should have stayed working (had I had an actual job/career that required me to be elsewhere most of the week) 2) I’m crap with toddlers and 3) I’m quite good at keeping another living being alive.

Here’s a new one.  Over the years, I’ve made friends with many other mums (mainly stay at home ones) because our children go to the same school or activity.  But I can’t honestly say we’re real friends.  Do you know what I mean?  We’re more friends out of convenience. There’s a certain lack of depth and it’s bothering me.

It’s difficult to have deep, meaningful conversations when you’re watching out for hazards to your kids well-being on the playground, or when you’re constantly interrupted, or pulling out treats, bandaids, kleenex for snotty noses and the like.  There’s nap times, grocery shopping, dinner, laundry, whatever always pulling at us.  I’ve noticed a certain desperation, loneliness that comes with motherhood.  At first,  I thought I was the only one.  I used to hang out with this  one mum in our old neighbourhood and she always seemed so blissed out, so content with her days.  I admit it.  I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND.  She was always telling me to leave Boo with her if I needed to, always talking about what her kid ate, his sleeping habits, his developing personality.  Hell, it was a while before I got out of her that she was a botanist!  Not that I would have understood a bloody thing about that, but it took months to get to know her.  And then I moved, she had another child and that was that.  I was supposed to go visit her and the new baby, and en route, she texted to say she didn’t get any sleep and was cancelling.  Considering it took weeks to arrange it to begin with and I had dropped my son off at preschool and driven like a crazy woman to even attempt a short visit before I had to return, I was a little miffed.  Not in the how rude of her way, but in the omigosh, there is no way I can maintain this relationship with a woman who lives 40 minutes from me.  I now have to deal with her new schedule.  And I didn’t hear from her again.   So what was the point of that?

These friendships are not usually based on the things the things the women have in common.  They’re more about whether the kids get along, proximity and similar parenting values.

Another example.  I’ve been friends with a woman who lives nearby and she actively sought out my friendship a couple of years ago.  Our kids became great friends. I liked her, she was funny, we had dinner at their place, the husbands got along.   Late in the school year her son was having trouble with the other kids at school and I was getting pulled into that.   I actually had to pull the plug on their playdates because I was tired of hearing about what went wrong and she thinks her kid is always blameless. (On a side note, I also stopped having playdates during the week because some kids were just plain problematic to have over and I had to drive others back home at the same time dinner had to be prepared and it was not working for me. I actually had a play date with one kid and though I adored the mum, my kid did not want to hang out with the boy anyway.) I just told her bluntly that I was tired of their play dates ending in tears or recriminations and sometimes kids aren’t friends forever.  It happens.  It doesn’t mean they’re enemies, it just means they’re moving on. I was sick of hearing about who took whose marble or rock or whatever.  She’s a good mum but she’s bit of a helicopter parent who prides herself on her kid telling her everything.  Yes, I believe the term “tattle-tale” applies here.   At this age, kids start to tell lies or don’t tell the full story and their parents don’t always see it.  I dislike kiddy drama.  I refuse to be dragged into little boy shenanigans like it’s the Cold War.  Trying to “parent” another kid is a losing battle.  She also has a delightful little toddler.  So she has her hands full.  I understand what it’s like to be sleep deprived, I get it.  She certainly has taken my kid when I was running late or had to go to an audition; I tried very hard not to overuse her kindness. I’ve taken her son when they had to take the baby to hospital and I’ve also tried to be a good friend to her.  But let’s face it, when you have 2 kids entertaining each other, it’s easier cause then they don’t bug you!

So I have only seen her once this summer when she took me out for my birthday.   I keep trying to arrange a mum’s night out with her, but it hasn’t worked out.  I do get the occasional text from her saying she misses our chats and I am truly fond of her, but it’s another one of those situations where I feel like I’d be sad if she moved, but life would go on.   I’ll be seeing her soon enough when school starts up again in a couple of weeks, I guess.

I met another mum who had adopted as well and the one time we had a playdate, I felt like we could really be friends and I was always so happy to see her, but you know how that went.  Her kid went into another class, she got a job and that was that.  She’s also incredibly sporty and I am well…not.

I swear it’s like dating!  Oooh, I really dug that guy and we had such a great first date, we bonded, made out and then he never called me.  Or this guy keeps calling and so we go out occasionally but I’m not that into him.  Or he likes me more than I like him.  It’s crazy!

So what makes a true friendship?  Shared experiences and on ongoing regard for one another despite life circumstances?  A 50/50 give and take balance of exchanged baby sitting?   What if your husbands don’t like one another or one can’t stand the other?  What if you don’t like their kids?  What if you rarely see one another? And the more important questions, what if they don’t drink?

I’ve found that as a grown up, it’s already difficult to maintain a good friendship over the years.   Then factor in if you’ve moved from one city to the next, if you have children, if you live far apart, different religions even.  It always takes time and effort and time is at a premium if you’re the one who is taking care of the kids, the dog, the household, and a job.

As Boo is getting older, the playground politics (among the women anyway) is getting a little more complicated and I’m not really digging it.  As much as I’m ready for school to start again, I’m not missing the gossip about that family or that kid or how well their kid is doing in school or whatnot.