Friday, January 29, 2010
To recap: I'm not all that happy about the way I'm crawling thru my forties so here's how I'm planning on making the changes.
This week went well despite a prolonged period of solo parenting while DH was away on business. This week I was Back On Track after the distracting whirl of christmas. Since last Friday's post I've managed a 20 minute run while the Wee Guy was skating, a morning's cross country skiing (while he was in Jackrabbits), a 30 minute run at the gym (Wee Guy in childcare ...), 800m swim (ditto, lessons .... sensing a pattern yet) and I did manage to go to my fencing lesson thanks to some excellent childminding (by my guinea pig sitter, not kidding). Wednesday was my cool down (telecommunications and internet upgrading day - I completed my inventory logging while the tech worked around the house) and Thursday I swam again.
All in all, a good week .... and did you spot the goal achieved? Yes - childcare. A small step but one that will leave me less frustrated and a little more independent.
On reflection it is the loss of independence which frustrates me most. Pre-child I wouldn't say I didn't have a care in the world but dealing with someone else's total dependence was not on the agenda when planning late nights, spontaneous breaks, last minute treats or networking opportunities. Now it seems my whole waking life is muddled with interdependence. True, I wouldn't change it for the world since not having my little interdependent co-traveller would make my world a sadder place but ........ it does confuse even the simplest issue and I can't help but think wistfully of simpler times.
ps: currently reading "40 over 40: 40 things every woman over 40 needs to know about getting dressed" by Brenda Kinsel - wardrobe makeover next perhaps?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
On this day two years ago I caught a flu virus. I was visiting family back home in Scotland. My husband had just flown back to work in Canada and I was in sole charge of the Wee Guy. It sucks being ill away from homebase but I was lucky in that I was staying with my sister.
Everyone had been sick with the flu that christmas. I was just waiting my turn! Instead of fevers, aches and respiratory symptoms the virus made its way to my inner ear then proceeded to chew thru my auditory nerve (cranial nerve VIII; vestibulocochlear for the curious among you). At first I felt a mild sense of anxiety and with annoyance realised that my right ear was congested. Over the next half hour I lost hearing in my right ear . An hour later I was crawling along the floor unable to stand straight. The next morning I started vomiting everytime I moved position. This lasted for almost a month, including my flight back home.
Ladies (gents?), may I introduce acute viral labyrinthitis, an uncommon complication of influenza (yes, I get vaccinated annually now!) which rarely leads to permanent complications. In this case, "rarely" meant other people.
I miss stereoscopic hearing the most. I cannot tell from what direction a sound is coming. I cannot find my wee guy in our house if he yells for me. I have nightmares about losing him, hearing him and not finding my way to him. I get dirty looks from pedestrians I bump into who come up on me on my "blind" side.
I miss conversation. Listening takes a lot of energy, especially when you stubbornly remain on my deaf side. It sucks going in to a noisy bar or whatever to meet friends. I don't enjoy meeting new people cos I can't hear what they are saying, and permanent tinnitus smothers comprehension. Selling at craft fairs is exhausting!
I'm now immune to sideways looks when I sway or overbalance. Rollerblading isn't as much fun anymore but I can stay upright on ice skates. I've tried climbing again (seems OK) and have started fencing (a bit wobbly behind the mask). I'm not very good on ladders, changing lightbulbs or tipping my head back, but I can now lie down in bed at night without a wave of nausea spilling over me.
I miss hearing music in stereo though I can "feel" bass rhythms in my deaf ear. My singing voice sounds weird to me.
Pretty much the pity party, huh? ....... Not so.
- I'm much more aware of sound being a "felt" sensation which adds more depth to music. I've discovered that there is so much more to be gained from live music recitals; it's now more of a whole body experience. My deaf ear 'vibrates' when it is listening.
- I don't have to listen to people who bore me ......
- My balance is actually really good because I'm constantly working on it rather than taking it for granted. I'm very aware of positioning and movement.
- Under water I'm equally deaf in both ears
- I'm braver socially now (I think) - I really do have to pull back my shoulders, smile and walk into that room because once I'm in there I have a whole lot of work to do listening, positioning, leaning in, to join in with a conversation. It's also easier to be out by myself since I am literally in my own little world! While some shy people sweat over what they might use as an opening gambit, my small talk is, "Let me move you to my good ear so I can hear you" which is a great icebreaker! I've been given a recent ear-bashing (ho ho) on talking about my ailments but it's been a great way of connecting with others similarly afflicted. Partial deafness is invisible and permanent vertigo often misconstrued - sharing experiences with others is a great way of coping and learning.
- I think my occasional nystagmus is cool!
- I can't always hear the phone ring = less disturbance during the day (likewise can also 'answer' the phone with my right ear and quite truthfully say "I can't hear you".
Friday, January 22, 2010
Not too sure where this one is going but ....
I'm currently about halfway thru my forties which, according to some persistent myths (designed to deflect attention from the menopause I guess), means I'm sailing thru my prime years ..... except I'm not particularly happy with the route being chosen for me. Thanks to a steady diet of "having children is a waste of your time and talents" in my youth I'm now navigating my own uncharted waters as an older mother while coping with a son at elementary school. It's
I'm tired of whimpering thru what should be an exciting decade and, thanks to some thoroughly depressing e-counselling this Fall, have realised it's totally down to me to introduce some forte in my life. Helpful suggestions from the e-counselor included take more exercise, get out of the house more, make more friends, and think about employment to increase financial independence.
Great advice ...... but ..... my main frustration right now is childcare. And most of this list requires ... childcare! I cannot automatically rely on my partner for this. For example, last week he didn't let me know that he would be late home one evening so I missed my meeting. With no family living close (or even on the same continent!) an emergency call to grandma was out of the question. It was too short notice to ask friends to babysit. He's usually home too late anyway for making evening plans and it's not the first time this has happened - the exotic world of work outside the home can usually divvy up at least one extended work day or throw in an unexpected business trip every week or so. It's getting difficult to plan ahead these days.
I could of course just throw in the towel, abandon career/business dreams and surrender to SAH-motherhood ... or I could be more proactive in masterminding my independence. Paradoxically this will be achieved by increasing my reliance on others! I need to improve my network of childminding support and identify the situations where I will need it, eg. an hour or less cover till DH comes home, or longer during an evening when I'm teaching a class; sleepovers for later night functions (and thanks to the amazing G who has come to my rescue with this one a couple of times already!) or perhaps even whole days when craft fair season looms. Instead of being at the mercy of my husband's employer, I may be able to plan my life out semi-independently .... and roar thru the rest of my forties with a little less frustration.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
.... and that which was empty is suddenly full!
Blackberry Gift Shop at the Port Moody Arts Centre is now fully stocked and will be re-opening this evening.
All are welcome to come along between 6 and 8pm on Thursday 21st January. Complimentary refreshments will be served.
This is also a great chance to view the Wearable Arts Awards 2010 entries and some of the past winners in exhibition.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Just a little sneak peek at some pomo mama design goodies heading to the Blackberry Gift Shop in time for it's grand re-opening on Thursday 21st January (6-8pm at Port Moody Arts Centre, all welcome, complimentary refreshments available).
Monday, January 18, 2010
... but for now, the Blackberry Gift Shop in the Port Moody Arts Centre is looking a little forlorn following a fresh coat of paint and revamp.
The boxes on the floor are from the various members of the artists' cooperative bringing their work back to be displayed for sale on the shelves.
The grand re-opening of the gift shop coincides with the gallery openings at the art centre this month. All are welcome to view the new displays, including this year's Wearable Arts Award.
So come on down and be part of the celebrations on Thursday 21st January, 6-8pm. Complimentary refreshments will be served.
PS: Valentine's Day is just around the corner ......
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
OK ... so I'm mildly ticked off right now.
No, I'm really ticked off right now. It's not completely that my planned evening out has been cancelled. It's not totally that my partner is home late. It's not that I've been sole parent for an additional hour or so this evening.
It's the automatic assumption that I WILL be present as caregiver for my child when my spouse is late leaving work.
Emergencies do come up. Projects require extra work into the evening - true. A working day can overrun - I am well aware (in my dim and distant past I too worked outside the home).
... it would have taken very little time, loss of face and effort to have called ahead to inform that a delay was inevitable. Two hours of notice could have been enough to arrange a sitter and I would have been able to go to my meeting.
My major grievance is that this wasn't done. It was automatically assumed that I would be there picking up the childcare needs cos apparently my 'work' is just not important. FYI I 'just' missed a meeting with the local artist cooperative - nothing life or death but they are a great bunch of people to network with and I was looking forward to hearing about plans for the giftshop where I sell.
As well as this degree of personal ire I feel there are also wider implications for the world of employment (all hail the salaried world outside the home). What would a working mother have done in the same situation? Unless otherwise arranged, would she have sat silently past her childminder's deadline? or would she have excused herself to either make that phonecall, or even politely absented herself? Since I've never been a salaried motehr working outside the home I have no idea what working women do when they are faced with demands to stay late (perhaps someone could educate me?). Do 'working' fathers face the same dilemma? How are women who 'play' the motherhood/childminder card at going home time viewed by their colleagues and employers?
I'd love some answers! As a non-earning SAHM I can be prickly about my status and perceived insults but am I really delusional?
Saturday, January 09, 2010
A very belated Happy New Year to all.
I've been busy with a guest over the festive season - we've been out and about (despite some very watery weather) doing 'lots of stuff', keeping me away from navel-gazing on the internet.
This morning I did manage to install a retweet button into my blog posts so here's hoping it doesn't wreck my template.
I also managed to upload the festive batch of photos to flickr - they're here in this set if you'd like to peek at a soggy lower mainland christmas!