Saturday, November 22, 2008

On My Mind More Than I'd Like

1. My health.
A vague abdominal ache became full-on pain midway through class yesterday, debilitating enough to force me to hand over the reins to my TA and run to the nearest urgent care clinic. I felt 80% better a few hours and several bottles of water later, and 90% better today, but abnormal lab results will require follow up. Probably nothing to worry about, but still... worry.

2. Babies or Not?
Closing in on thirty-nine years old, the writing on the wall says: Not.

To be fair, I'm more focused on improving my overall health these days than on procreation, but the underlying fantasy is that I will become vibrantly healthy, have a child, and live happily ever after in mommy-land. Toward that end, I confess, I do occasionally find myself combing the internet for encouraging stories of recurrent miscarriers who eventually have babies, especially those that credit yoga, wheat grass, and positive thinking (as opposed to drugs and doctors.)

3. My work.
I'm a juggler these days, publishing a little writing, preparing for an art exhibition, planning for a commissioned painting, freelancing as a designer, teaching a college design course and pitching classes for future semesters. There are more projects in the wings, and some serious thinking to do about how I truly want to allocate my energy. It is so easy to gravitate toward the work that satisfies the ego, making me feel important and impressive and powerful (the things that look good on paper), rather than make time for the work that really feeds the soul. There is no ball in this juggling act that I don't value. But there are a few favorites that I keep dropping.

4. My stepson.
The situation, and my feelings about it, are so snarled and twisted I don't think I can tease out all the threads. But here are some of the contributing factors: Your typical teenage boyhood exacerbated by perhaps more than your typical social and physical awkwardness. An unstable mother/ex-wife who keeps backing out of commitments and then insisting she should be trusted with even greater commitments. A father/husband who works long hours away from home, and bends over backwards at times to keep the aforementioned parties happy. And me, the sometimes reluctant stepmother, trying increasingly to stay out of it, while working from home. Not that I don't care about the boy, not that I don't want the best for him, but it's hard watching what he gets put through, and there a times when, I'll admit it, immature as it sounds, I'd like to have my husband to myself.

5. My ex-husband.
I'd like to think that I'm over the whole cheated-lied-and-dumped caboodle , but in spite of three years and a happy remarriage, I'm not. Not quite. Not yet. Once again, the impending holidays bring up my nightmare worse-case scenario: that he is dramatically happier, feeling glad to be free of me and without remorse for how he got that way. Perhaps my underlying fear is that the problem is me, that I am destined to drive away everyone who attempts to love me.

Longtime readers may recall A~'s brief reappearance in my life (via email) around this time last year. Everything he told me then should have dispelled my fear, but apparently the wounds were still too fresh.

Just now I reread that old email exchange, which felt much more difficult and convoluted at that time than it appears to me now. Strange. And yet the fear remains.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Okay It's Back

The WRNI (Rhode Island Public Radio) web site has my This I Believe essay recording up for mass consumption again. I promised I would repost the link, and I, for the most part anyway, keep my promises.

Without further ado, here's the link.

Click it. I dare you.