Archive | November 2013

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Sweet spot

Well, my baby turned 4 on Monday!  We had a party for him on Sunday at a friend’s place because they had an amenities room and a bouncy castle!  And it was free! I was kinda hoping to find a children’s entertainer if I didn’t have to pay for a room, ie. Spiderman, but there were none to be had in this city. (Yes, I have peers who hire entertainers and face painters for their 4 year olds. Oh, the pressure.  )  He has been Spiderman obsessed for years, and I thought it would be fantastic.  4 is such a magical age and they believe in just about anything, how cool would it have been to have Spiderman come in the front door! All he really needed  though was his friends and a cake.  So I found a Safeway to make a Spiderman cake.  It was cool – they had vanilla and chocolate cupcakes under all the icing! Boo cakeI decorated with red and blue balloons, and picked up Spiderman themed table cloth, Spiderman pinata, birthday banner, goodie bags, cups and napkins at Walmart and dollar stores.  If you want to know how to plan a birthday party for 9 adults and 5 kids (and I had planned for 20 total) for $120, including food and booze, let me know.

Unfortunately his two little “cousins” could not make it. One of them had the chicken pox and so they were both in quarantine at home.  And another little friend who we thought couldn’t make it due to fever made a recovery and made it after all.  It’s at this age, that we have really noticed the gender split happening.  Girls are into fairies and princesses and boys are into running around and well, running around.  If I wanted a fairy princess to show up, apparently there are lots of choices in the Lower Mainland.  Superheroes? Nada!  And yes, I considered getting a Spiderman costume and convincing a friend to wear it but really they’d have to be prepared to role play and have a program for an hour with kids.  Not for the inexperienced.  We played musical pillows, yes, there were tears upon losing, but that was resolved with a private chat with Daddy and Boo presented his friend with a special Spiderman sticker.  The pinata was also popular and brought out the competitiveness of the 8 year old  girl attending who sought to get all the goodies.  Her dad lifted her upside down and shook out her loot.  My friends are awesome parents, eh?  Inflating and deflating the bouncy castle with the kids inside was a hoot and so was the wine for the mummies.  Well, maybe just for me, my friend and mother in law.  This is one of the benefits of having a private place to hold a party.  Boo had so much fun.  All he wanted was to have his friends there and have cake.

As usual, I did all the shopping and planning but my dear mother in law came over early enough to help me get everything together.  I shall not be stopped in my yearly quest to give my child a party.  I think it’s because my mum always made sure we had a party for our birthdays and always made a fuss.  Hubby doesn’t see the big deal about it but that’s because he doesn’t particularly care for attention on his birthday.  I, however, appreciate lavish attention on any occasion.  If I were rich, I would end up on that Party Mama show where the obnoxious mum hires a circus for her 2 year old in her huge backyard.  Well, maybe not…..

Sigh.  What I would do to put see my Boo smile!

 

Restless

Alright, universe, let’s have a little chat.

I just had more auditions and callbacks in the last 2 weeks than I have in a year.  And not one booking.  Not even for the one liner.  I need a hit, baby, I need a hit.  Christmas is coming and I need someone to do my makeup and put me in clothes I hate so I can do what I love.  And get paid, cause if I do what I love, I will be successful, right??????   It’s so frustrating to do auditions for such great parts and not get them!  I did find out that a dear friend of mine did get a part I auditioned for.  Though supposedly written for a tall, black woman (that’s me! that’s me!) they went Asian.  Apparently they couldn’t have 2 black women together in the same scene. I just need something to give me a little ego lift every now and then.  Something new to talk about that has nothing to do with my kid.  I’m jonesing to spend money on myself.  Some fancy makeup or shoes or a leather purse.   It’s a bit of an effort to not look like a hobo these days.  I look like I have a dead squirrel on my head.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t get  a part.

I’m hoping to get away with my BFF to the Whistler Film Festival for a night of fun!  Being a film festival, there will be lots of beautiful but casually dressed people (it’s Whistler after all), but I know to expect the blank stares when I get introduced and I’m currently not starring in or producing a film.  One hopes that this is where the free booze comes in.

And now back to regular life.  Toured the local elementary school with dozens of other parents and doing another one today.  Somehow I’m supposed to figure out where the best place for my son to enjoy his early years in education through these things.  I just talked to another friend tell me about where her sons go to school – one that is currently undergoing construction so the info session is at an alternate site. She seemed quite happy about it, but of course, it’s out of our catchment area so who knows if we’ll get in.

Good news is that I woke up NOT in pain!  Seems like the latest session of IMS (intra muscular stimulations) has finally worked!  I’ve had a fair amount of hip, pain lately which has made me SEVERELY CRABBY. And my darling almost 4 year old has turned off the nasty cheekiness of the summer behaviour and is back to being a delightful child. I can tell he’s bored silly and needs more friends to do things with but everyone we know is in school or daycare.  He’s recently boycotted taking the dog for a walk which means Mean Mama or Bargaining Mama has to pay a visit.  I don’t want him watching TV all day while I try to write posts or catch up with housework.  We’re off to figure out something. He wants pretzels, so we’ll see what he’s willing to do for them…..

New stories of infertility struggles

Just wanted spread the news about an infertility project is in the making by Rebekah South who is going to write a book about the goofy things that people say to those struggling through infertility and give people insight as to what it’s really like. Go to her site and if you’d like to contribute an experience or anything else, please do so. 

My infertility experience is in the past,(not forgotten, but I’ve moved on), but I can’t really contribute anything she hasn’t already heard before.  I’m more in the crowd of what not to say to an adoptive parent.  Yep, those things are still fresh in my memory.  Now if she’d like to say how to write about about fluctuating hormones of a perimenopausal woman and raising a smart mouthed 4 year old……now then I’d have something to say!

Midnight

I need to go to bed.  I have a very busy day tomorrow.  Another callback and and other audition.  And yes, I’m running to the first one while Boo is in pre-school then rushing back and hoping to catch the sitter to drop him off after school so I can go to the other one (or else he can go to hubby’s office or I’ll take him – he’s old enough to behave, right?  Right?).  I’m trying to be calm and all cool despite all these callbacks and no bookings.

I mentioned once on Stirrup Queen’s blog how much I hated going to bed.  Hubby thinks it’s ridiculous, but seriously, I hate going to bed.  Unless I’m terribly exhausted, angry or sick.  Otherwise, I hate going to bed.  I’ve been that way since I was a kid.  I used to stay up late listening to the radio on retro Saturdays and they played episodes from the The Shadow.  And I also used to drag my Brother typewriter into bed and type stories underneath the covers with a flashlight.  My mum would push open the door and tell me to go to bed.  I’ve taken Nyquil, Advil, wine- all in poor efforts to slide me willingly into sleep.  Nyquil, bless its syrupy nasty soul is only good when you’re down with a nasty cold and you can only take it for a few nights anyway.  Advil, well, that is not good for your liver and I save it for when I’m premenstrual or in serious discomfort.  Wine, well, that just ruins my sleep quality even if I have just half a glass.  I’ve tried melatonin, nope, doesn’t work for me. Sleep-eze pills, horrible hangover feeling, this must be for people who sleep like 9 hours a night. Best method of course is exercise which I have not done in so long and I miss it.  But my back woes have conveniently gotten in the way.

To be frank, it’s not that I don’t fall asleep easily, I just hate going to bed.  It’s like…. here’s all this quiet, this peace, this exquisite aloneness and I’m GOING TO SLEEP.  What a waste!  I’d clean the house if I wasn’t so darned noisy.  I’m truly a night owl, but the life I am so fortunate to have demands a more typical schedule. I can’t just get up whenever I want (which is what I grew up believing adulthood would be like – THEY LIED!!!!) so it’s necessary for me to pack it in and call it a day so I can function when I get up.  And you know what, when I wake up, I’m a beast til I get my coffee.  My Boo just wakes up (usually in our bed these days) and thrashes around til you get up.  And he goes from 0 – 100mph in like 5 seconds. Mummy!  Milk!!!!  I live for the day he can make me coffee. I’ll be 80 right? Well, I’m going to bed now.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Any suggestions?  I know, I know, shut off my damn computer, phone, TV.  Then what I am supposed to do?  Pick up knitting?  Sensational book?  What?????!!

Staying in the moment

I’ve had the craziest time recently. I had a back spasm a couple weeks ago that left me feeling like 150 yrs old.  So on the advice of friends, I decided to do physiotherapy instead of chiropractic.  Now, I’m all about the quick fix, folks, cause my life is busy and always changing and just when I think I can predict my day, things change.   But no, I decide, I’ll give this physio thing a try. It’s gotten so bad that I can no longer sleep on my side due to pain in my hips.  My hip flexors are so tight, my hips are out of alignment.  So off I went for a consult and then off to do IMS, intra muscular stimulation.  Like acupuncture, this involves needles being inserted into your muscles.  Not for the faint hearted, but let’s face it, I’ve done IVF, so bring it on. Painful?  Oh, yes!  But nowhere as uncomfortable as a some of the stuff I’ve had done, so whatever.   Now, the therapist warned me I’d feel worse, but holy moly, I felt like crap for 2 days and just wanted to cry.    And then simultaneously I start auditioning like crazy.  I haven’t been this busy in years!  The result?   2 callbacks, one for a lead part, one for a one-liner, one I made the shortlist for a lesbian trucker and one I haven’t heard back from yet.  Of course, the callback for the lead part, I think I friggin’ sucked, and because I got so invested in the part, it’s hard to let go.  I’d like to get the part for validation but also because I could really use the money.  Christmas is coming.  So I beat myself up about it of course while trying to just put it behind me at the same time.  Yes, I’ve been replaying it in my mind like a freaking nightmare.  You’d think being a Buddhist I would have mastered not getting attached to things, but noooooo.  This is the bad part of being an actress and one I’ve always hated.  The lure of the part you really want versus all the other factors you cannot control and have nothing to do with you that results in you not getting the part.  And it was my 12th wedding anniversary.  I made cranberry scones from scratch  for my in-laws to show them appreciation (and chocolate cake for hubby), cleaned up, ate a fast dinner, then went downtown to run my lines with my friend, then came back at 9pm so I could wash the cake pans (grrrr) and retire early. II could think of nothing else but what I had to do the next day.

My in-laws had come over to relieve us of kid duty and I had to blow them off to go work on this part.  Luckily hubby planned for us to go to Whistler the next day.  After getting the kid ready for preschool and my morning audition of course.  And another audition scheduled at noon.   I called my friend (on bluetooth) as I worked my way back home to just blow off some steam.  I just needed to vent to someone who truly understood and was willing to take the time to listen.  I just need some good news to affirm that all this hard work and juggling has been worth while.  And then I threw some things in a bag and headed to Whistler with hubby. 

Having gone what we have gone through, this anniversary’s expectations were pretty darn low.  Money being somewhat tight, I really appreciated hubby’s efforts to take me away for the night.  The last time we went to Whistler for an anniversary, I was lucky enough to receive sapphire jewellery and a spa visit and I’m pretty sure shopping was on the agenda.  This time, I was just happy to go for the drive on a beautiful day.  We have a friend in the hotel industry who got us a screaming deal on a luxury hotel room and the change in scenery really did us some good.  We just kept it light and got tipsy and took a breather from all things intense.  We reminded each other of all that we did have. 

The thing with your body feeling all fragile and achy and responsibilities piling up, you just want to feel secure and safe and that someone will be there for you to hold your hand and let you know they have your back. No pun intended.

 

Why I chant

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I always have some awesome post to write about and then the day begins and it goes and when I do have time to write, I find I just want to vent.  I used to write a diary for years and I just wrote all my thoughts down.  Good and bad and I just didn’t judge it.  I don’t even look at them anymore like I used to.  I probably wrote about longing for romantic love and wishing my life was more exciting that it was.  Yikes, that’s scary cause I’d probably write about the same thing now. No one warned me I’d return to those lovely teenage angst moments at my age. Living in the moment is so challenging for me because I’m always thinking of what I would be doing if… or oh, yeah, I forgot to get to that – or I don’t really want to do that so I’ll distract myself by doing this.  Most of the time I’m actually happy and content and but those pre-dawn anxiety thoughts seek to sabotage all that.

The extra chanting has been quite helpful to me lately.  We’ve got some new additions to our Buddhist district, strong practitioners who are quite shocked at our comparatively lax schedule in our neck of the woods.  Traditionally we’ve only held one general meeting in the month of November to celebrate Soka Gakkai founding day.  They have graciously offered their place for extra chanting and study every week so I’m going to take advantage and get out of the house to concentrate on my practice.  Sometimes I envy Buddhist couples who are on the same page about their practice and really center their lives around it.  When you’re husband does not practice, you have to constantly juggle everything so as not to upset the balance of everything else. It’s wonderful to just have a group of like minded people who constantly encourage and appreciate all your efforts.

Back in the day when I was a newly minted Buddhist, I’d have all these youth meetings,  hanging around young women brimming with energy and light and I’d always return home with such joy and enthusiasm, despite my skeptical partner.  Once he understood that these people weren’t religious wingnuts nor did I actually have to follow some strict  or strange dogma; I was actually happy and positive, he was so encouraging and accommodating.  And yes, at times, he even came to the occasional meeting and chanted (or so someone told me).  I had so much benefit.

Then life just got complicated.  We had our  – ahem – challenges.  About a year after we got married, my mum moved out here and had a stroke, had dementia, and had to be put into a care facility, those lovely years of job loss, trying to get pregnant, infertility, depression, the stress of waiting to adopt, blah, blah, blah. And then after a spectacular victory of our son, more job loss, financial stress, marital breakdown, moving 3 times in 4 years, we’re just in the thick of all things challenging.  And yet I am still here, breathing and drinking lattes.  Frankly, I’ve managed to hold onto my marbles when at times I thought they would roll away.   I have an amazing son who is the light of our lives, a dog who is a big scaredy cat around skateboards and traffic, but  who is so full of love and licks and sleeps in. I also have a husband who is still committed to our life.  Trust me, we’ve BOTH wanted a giant fucking break from one another. Tired and worn out does not even begin to come close to how I was feeling.  And I still do every now and then.

And so…. this is why I chant.  Not for deliverance from life’s problems or a magical solution, but for insight for a better way to lead my heart and life.