Sadness & Remembering

I was on the 23rd floor of a midtown office building on 9/11. After the first plane hit the towers we all ran over to the south facing windows to see what was going on. At that time reports were that it was a small plane. Probably just an unfortunate accident. From our vantage point we could see everything south of 32nd street. Standing with my co-workers, staring at the burning tower in disbelief. Holding on to each other as we never had before. Minutes later I noticed a commercial airliner heading down the Hudson River. It was flying way too low and way too fast. Suddenly it made a sharp turn disappearing behind the other tower of the World Trade Center. Then a huge explosion. Then we knew. This was no accident. I never will, never can, forget that day. That terrible moment has been seared into my memory for ever and ever.

I was born and raised in New York City. Now matter how much I want to leave now, this is and always will be my home. I felt invaded. I felt violated. I know exactly how the people of Boston felt yesterday. I know how they feel today. And I know how they’ll feel 10+ years from now. It’s always with me and it always will be. I don’t dwell on it. I don’t relive it every minute of every day, but it’s there. Always. Things like the Boston Marathon bombing bring it back.

I don’t understand what people expect to accomplish with violent acts. No good can ever come from hurting others. None. I won’t get into the politics of this. I wish I could un-see some of the photos that have been posted and re-posted. I wish the news networks didn’t keep looping the same horrific videos and bloody still images. I wish there weren’t TV screens all over my office. I don’t want to relive yesterday just like I don’t want to relive 9/11. I’m sorry friends in Boston.

I hurt for our country. I hurt for our planet. Today, I hurt for the people of Boston.

 

Sending LOVE & LIGHT
-s

 

One and Done

Over the weekend the subject of having a second child came up again. We had one of the most open discussions we’d had on the subject (on any subject, really) and finally decided that A will be an only child. It’s weird because as much as I had already made the decision, actually having and finalizing the discussion made me sad. It was a long conversation that started in the bedroom and continued through A waking from her nap. When we were all settled in the living room I actually had to make my husband give me a hug. (Hello? Major life decision here and you’re futzing with your phone!?) That’s when I started crying. Not because it was the wrong decision, just that it was so huge. And, yes, I am a little sad.

I’m 41. I guess I always thought I wanted two kids, but why? I think a lot of my reasons were flawed. Because we are older parents I thought it was important that A have a sibling. Someone to lean on after we are gone. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got many many MANY years left, but I was 39 and J almost 45 when she was born; she will be relatively young when we pass on. I took a good hard look at mine and J’s relationships with our siblings. We get along, but I wouldn’t list either of mine as best friends. One of J’s sisters lives less than a mile away and until A was born we rarely saw each other. His other sister has yet to acknowledge Avery’s existence. She is 21 months old. (!!!) So, yeah, siblings are not even a little bit of a guarantee of lifelong friendship. Then there’s the question – does having a sibling help when dealing with aging parents? Who knows. My mom isn’t in need of help yet, but I have no idea of how me and my siblings will band together (or not) when the time comes. We can’t even throw the woman a proper birthday party. Sibling as instant shoulder to lean on? Not a guarantee.

Avery is the result of IVF. That’s a whole other post, but the short version is we got REALLY lucky. We tried for a year with no luck. After minor surgery to remove some Endometriomas we started IVF right away. We got pregnant on our first try. I know so many families are not so lucky. And I know that if we had to do it again, we probably wouldn’t be either. I honestly don’t know if I have it in me. The shots, the office visits, the potential for loss.  I’m not sure I can do it and I decided a while back that I wasn’t going to. If we got pregnant the old fashioned way, great. If not, no interventions, no doctors (no second baby).

Aside from being automatically stamped with “advanced maternal age,” there are all of the potential health risks that go along with advanced parental age. At 42 would I really be capable of raising a special needs child? My friend’s younger son was 10 weeks premature and has cerebral palsy. They are wonderful parents (almost 10 years younger than me) and he is getting 110% of what he needs, but will he ever be independent? Is it fair to bring a person who can’t live independently into the world and then leave them when they’re still young? Yes, I’m making assumptions and odds are if we had a second child everything would be perfectly fine. But it would be ignorant to not take these things into consideration. Accidents happen, but after Endometriosis and IVF i’m not really afraid of accidents. If it happens it was meant to be.

Now I just have to stop looking at pregnant women wistfully and get on with raising the amazing little girl we do have. She has a playdate with her cousin today and I’m really looking forward to pictures and hearing all about it. Going forward we and my sister-in-law & brother-in-law (hubz sis and her husband) are going to make sure that they spend more time together. They’re pretty much each other’s only local family and it’s important that they have each other in the future. Because who knows what the future holds?

Shit! Now I’m crying again.

love,

S

Why Not Start With a Wordless Wednesday Post?

even though I feel like these pics might require some words. but i’ll let her cuteness speak for itself.

Yearly Recap: 2010

This questionnaire was posted by Linda over at All & Sundry. I’ve been reading her blog for a few years now and she’s always made me laugh and sometimes think a little bit.

I’m going to try (again) to be more attentive to my blog this year and figured this would be a really good jumping off point.

Happy New Year!!!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Took a for real road trip (NJ to TX with stops in Memphis, New Orleans and Washington, DC on the way home). Started (and successfully completed) fertility treatments. This, obviously, leads to – got pregnant!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t really make resolutions. I like to take things as they come, but if I had to set a few goals for 2011:

  • Get our shit together – at least in terms of fixing up the second bedroom in time for the baby
  • Have a successful and healthy remainder of this pregnancy
  • Have a relatively uneventful birth

That’s about all I can think about right now. I’ve pretty much got a one track mind these days.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, a few friends lost a parent, and that was really sad.

5. What countries did you visit?

I guess Texas isn’t its own country anymore.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A job for Hubby. He graduated in May and the job market just sucks so much ass! For the security of our family and for his sanity I really hope something happens soon.

And I really really really want to be attentive to my blog. In preparation for this I looked at my page for the first time in MONTHS and saw that my last post was about blogging (again) and it was in JULY! That’s just shameful. I hope to do much much better this year.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Columbus Day was our egg retrieval and Christmas week was when we hit the 12 week safety zone and officially started telling people (well, those who didn’t already know). I initially thought our due date was July 4th (it’s the 5th) so we’ve been calling it our holiday baby.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I’d have to go with the pregnancy again. It’s pretty huge and otherwise I don’t think I accomplished very much this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I really hoped to get a little healthier this past year, but I didn’t get very far. I’ve started eating healthier, but with pre-conception surgery and the IVF process limiting my exercise abilities, I wasn’t really able to accomplish much.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I discovered I had Endometriosis and had surgery for that. I also developed tendonitis in my right hand. It hurts like hell, but I’m being treated and hope it goes away without too much medical intervention.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

With our extremely limited finances neither of us bought much this year. Our big splurge was the road trip. We rented a nice vehicle and stayed in nice hotels in NOLA, Memphis and DC.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills, bills. The road trip was all paid with our tax refund. Pretty much every penny earned went to living expenses.

13. What did you get really excited about?

We tried for about a year to get pregnant. It was pretty hard to find out I had to have surgery to confirm and remove Endometriosis, but it gave us hope. And now, after only one round of IVF, we did it! So I’m really excited to become a mom this year!

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?

I bought that Arcade Fire album because Twitter told me to. I liked it for about 3 days and then I just couldn’t listen to one more verse of one more song. So it wasn’t just one song, but the whole album that started making me twitch and had to be deleted.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier
– thinner or fatter? Surprisingly, only a little fatter, but I wish I were thinner before the pregnancy
– richer or poorer? About the same. It’s been four years since Hubby quit his job for school. This is the year we turn it around!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Nothing really, but if I had to say something it would be that I wish I’d been more physically active.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating junk. I’m better, but not as much as I’d like to be

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Running around. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at my mother’s which doesn’t sound like that much, but it’s about an hour of travel each way and that’s if we take cabs to the train. Had we waited for the bus it would have been 1 ½ to 2 hours each way, two days in a row.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

The only thing I can clearly remember reading is the first few chapters of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I don’t listen to a lot of new stuff. Other than Arcade Fire (see above) the only thing I remember buying was the Cee-Lo song, F**k You because I LOVED it.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I hate going to the movies in NYC (because of the people and potential bed bugs – ewww!) and there are no nearby theaters in our area. I think the only new movie I even saw was Alice in Wonderland which I enjoyed, but it was 3D and IMAX and we were late and had to sit in the front row. So all I really remember is leaving with a sore neck and splitting headache.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday is in January and I honestly can’t remember exactly what we did. I think we went out for dinner and I know I took the day off because I always do.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having two incomes

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

“Fashion concept?” do jeans and a decent looking top really count as a “fashion concept?” Especially when paired with Dansko clogs, I’m going to say no.

26. What kept you sane?

My husband…well, he at least tried, even if he didn’t always succeed.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

To be happy with less. We have enough stuff; not being able to buy more of it is no reason to be miserable.

I’m doing it again…

Blogging about blogging. I can’t help it; the one and only Bossy from iambossy.com left a comment on my last post (from forever ago) today and it hit me again that no one is going to read this crap if there isn’t new crap to read!

Many many moons ago the very first blog I ever read was iambossy. My friend (who is now a blogger herself) had been poking around the blogosphere and found a bunch of smart, funny (mostly women) bloggers and clued me in. And that was the beginning of the end for me. I was bored and a little bit miserable at my current job so I started reading Bossy’s blog. She had a blogroll and I got all click-happy. I found dadgonemad, Dooce and so many others since then. Let’s just say I found plenty of reading material to occupy my time at that boring-ass job (I’m no longer there and in a much happier place now albeit with much less free time for reading).

To say these writers have been an inspiration is an understatement. Reading about their lives I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I really felt like I’ve gotten to know them. For all these years I’ve wanted to start a blog. Not for anyone in particular – my family doesn’t even have my URL – just for me and for any strangers and potential future web friends out there that feel like reading my ramblings.

I’m not in this to be the next Dooce or Pioneer Woman. Really, who could ever dream of such success on these here interwebs? I just want to share and to feel like I’ve connected to people like A Little Pregnant who keeps my mind from spinning too fast while Hubby and I try to start a family. Or Linda at All & Sundry who tells about her life with two wild boys with such honesty and humor that she makes the scary a little less scary.

I’ve never put up a blogroll because I always feel like I’m leaving someone out. Someone whose writing I love. And there are so many blogs in my bookmarks that I could never ever list all of them. Those linked here are just the very tip of the awesome iceberg. So check ’em out and if any of them have blogrolls on their sites click away. You won’t be sorry. I haven’t been.

Happy Monday Interwebs. I’ll try to post more about everything and less about blogging.

xoxo,

-s

Update: I felt so bad when I looked at my bookmarks after writing this post that I went ahead and started a dang blogroll. It is by no means complete, but it’s a start. If you’d like to be added to my blogroll, just leave a comment with a link to your blog.

Delivering Happiness

My first book review!  Tony Hsieh and the Delivering Happiness team offered me a review copy of his first book and I jumped at the opportunity. I’m glad I did…

From his first attempt at worm farming as a young boy to the billion dollar sale of Zappos to Amazon in 2009 Tony Hsieh has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. Tech savvy and naturally hard working Tony (failed worm farm notwithstanding) has a sense for what worked in business.

Delivering Happiness – A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose is part autobiography (with a narrow focus) and part business manual. Hsieh talks about his early businesses selling burgers and pizza in college, his small business investments and attempts leading up to investing in and becoming CEO of Zappos.com.

It seems the biggest success at Zappos is the company culture. Zappos would hire the second or third most qualified candidate (though still highly qualified for sure) if they were a better personality fit into the Zappos culture (to many employees it seems to be a way of life). This book made me want to work for Zappos.com – too bad they’re in Las Vegas!

This is not a “how to make money” manual by any means, but any business owner could learn a lot from the story of how Zappos went from the brink of failure to their billion dollar sale to Amazon by focusing on making both customers and employees HAPPY. It’s a “bottom-up” not a “top-down” culture that really believes every employee is as important as the next.

A great, quick read for anyone – you don’t need to consider yourself an entrepreneur to get something out of this book. It contains not just business lessons but life lessons as well. It’s no wonder that both Tony Hsieh and Zappos have become as hugely successful as they are. It’s about people, not profits; a lesson 99% of business owners could learn a lot from.

To learn more about Delivering Happiness please click here:

http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com

Or to purchase your own copy go to Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/deliveringhappiness

I also have one extra copy available for my very first blog giveaway! To enter just leave a comment on this post. Admittedly I don’t have a lot of readers so I will leave entries open for a while.

ROAD TRIP!


Hubby graduated from college a couple of weeks ago. He was fortunate enough to have help with tuition and went full time while I worked to support both of us. It was an exhausting and trying few years, but we’ve made it through (now he just needs to find a job…).

To celebrate his achievement (and my saintly patience) we decided to go visit his friends in Texas. Only problem was getting there since neither of us has any desire to fly. I thought about taking Amtrak, but with sleeper cars and still having to rent a car once we got to Texas cost was an issue. I budgeted renting a car from New Jersey with gas and hotels. Adding a few fun “let’s see America” stops along the way we were just able to make it work with our income tax refund. Since we’re trying to have a kid this was likely to be the last year we’d be able to blow our money like this so why the hell not go for it?!?

The original plan was to stop in Memphis on the way down and Washington, DC on the way home. In looking at the maps, I noticed that one of the options for driving from Austin to Memphis took us right through New Orleans. I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans so we added another detour.  We also decided to hit Texas first then make all of our stops on the way home. I’ll write more about each stop later.

The guy at Enterprise hooked us up with an almost brand new Hyundai Santa Fe (only 7,000 miles on it and XM satellite radio!). We hit the road at 4:30am the day after graduation planning to stop for the night in Nashville (right off the highway – no time for sightseeing). Hubby did 90-95% of the driving (thank goodness! I’m not a bad driver, I just prefer not to) so I sat in the passenger seat with my camera.

We saw a lot of this:

lots and lots of highway

And some of this:

cows!

Your browser may not support display of this image.

But mostly this:

Crop Duster

Nothingness

I tried to get the welcome sign for each state we entered (there was so much construction in Texas that there was no sign, so I got the Texarkana water tower)…


More details to come; I just wanted to let my zero readers know where I’ve been for the last two weeks. Sorry for the lack of updates…hard to find a hotel that doesn’t charge eleventy-million dollars for really slow internet.

Happy to be home

-s

ps: McDonald’s for breakfast almost 2 week straight is a very bad thing

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