Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wow, What a CRAPPY Day I Had!

It's funny how life works.  I've been reading a lot of status updates and comments on Facebook about how crappy 2010 was for a lot of people.  And I would I have to say that I am in the category of people who had a crappy 2010.

I am aware that I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband and three mostly terrific kids.  I say mostly, just because two of them are teenagers and one of them is heading in that direction at full tilt.  No teenager is always terrific.  But blessings...I have a beautiful home.  My parents are alive and doing extremely well.

But somehow it seems like no matter how much you try to count your blessings, if you're the kind of person where the glass is always half empty (like, say, me), you dwell on those things that have been going wrong and not right.    Instead of seeing how well Ben is doing in college, I fret over the fact that he still doesn't want to talk to me much and is pretty much this silent person that eats our food and leaves me his laundry when I'm not looking.  (I try to think of him as being away at school.  It keeps my blood pressure down.)  Instead of seeing Jamie as being only a couple of assignments away from having pretty damn good grades, I focus on the weekly report that comes to my email detailing each bit of homework he hasn't done.  He's a great kid who hates school.  Can't I focus on the great kid thing?  And speaking of great kids, shouldn't I be thrilled that Joey, who has autism for God's sake, has almost straight A's, except for the B he has in the advanced math class?  My second children's book is slowly but surely heading towards being ready to go to a publisher.  I've even managed to put Christmas together for my kids and pay Ben's college tuition without the help of my former employer.

You'd think I'd be doing okay.  Um....well...

Yesterday, Jack took me for a walk all three times I took him out to "use the bathroom."  Because we had a couple of inches of snow on Thursday, the lawn is slippery and the first two times, he merely managed to pull me like a sled down the small hill of our front yard and I was able to catch him before he dragged me halfway to downtown Winchester.  On the third pull (yes, I was having a great day), our next door neighbors came home while we were out and, being a 70 pound golden retriever puppy, he decided how much fun it would be to go visit.  Whether I wanted to or not.  The leash got loose from my hand and I was yanking it with both hands, feeling the muscles all down my right side screaming in protest as he steamrolled me across the yard and into Linda and Sean's driveway to "tell them hello."  As he was loving all over them, entire body wagging, I slipped on the ice and went down hard in the driveway, landing on my right hand and hip, and knocking my glasses off my face.  I have never felt so much like Ralphie in A Christmas Story as I did at that moment, when I put the glasses back on my face and realized one of the lenses was missing.  Luckily, Linda saw it and picked it up before I could pulverize it, but the glasses were bent and there was no way I could get them put back together on my own...

Leading to a trip to the eyeglasses repair store, which has always, in my experience, been open on Saturdays.  I pulled out my old glasses to get in the car and Justin said, "I wouldn't go down Pleasant Valley if I were you.  Traffic is horrible."  Which made total sense, being it was the Saturday before Christmas and every idiot living in our area was out trying to figure out who to cut off in traffic.  So, I decided to go the back way, taking me right past my old office building.

Boy, you think you're over something...

I started getting light headed about three blocks away and, by the time I had come up on the building, I was seriously contemplating an act which would most certainly lead to jail time.  It wouldn't be too big a reach for them to figure out who had thrown the bricks through the windows or spray painted the word "ASSHOLES!" across the front of the building.  It can't be coincidence that there is a paint store right across the street.

I managed to take a few deep breaths and keep driving, immediately getting behind someone in a Honda who was either (a) completely lost or (b) looking for a drug deal.  He proceeded to stop and start all the way down the street and I was already not in a good mood.  My side hurt.  My hand hurt.  My hip hurt.  I was furious about having to drive by the place where they fired me in October.  And this jerk was busy looking to score.  By the time we got to the stoplight before the eyeglasses place and he hit his brakes at the green signal, I laid on the horn for about 30 seconds (which is really a long time, if you actually are sitting behind a potential drug dealer who could possibly have a gun), having completely reached the end of my rope.

Luckily, he appeared to be just lost and he went on through the light and it opened up to two lanes.  I pulled into the Pearle Vision and.....NOOOOO!!!!!  How could it be closed on a Saturday afternoon?  But it was.  I sat there for a moment with the engine idling, trying not to cry, and realizing I was going to have to go back the way I had come.

It was at that minute that every single bad thing in the past year that happened to me coalesced into that moment when a lot of people lose their minds and take out a post office with an AK47.  I managed to keep it to a few deep breaths and decide to go the busier way home.  After all, I have no desire to spend the holidays behind bars or in a mental institution.  At this point, the anxiety had become of epic proportions and I was wishing for a Valium prescription.  I managed to make it home (a little shakily) and decided that a hot tub would be a really great thing for us to consider purchasing at some point in the future.

I think I held it together pretty well.  I didn't do anything illegal.  I didn't come home and empty Justin's Jim Beam bottle (even though that seemed like a Really. Good. Idea.)  I didn't even come home and kick the dog who was responsible (from my point of view) for this really rotten day I was having and the fact that it was going to be three days before I could probably walk comfortably again or turn my head without screaming.  I got out the treats and proceeded to do a little training with this ill behaved animal who pays no attention to the woman at the other end of the leash screaming "STOP JACK!!!!!"  Because, after all, if I hadn't fallen down on the training to begin with, my day would have been nothing but reading, sewing, and laundry, all in the comfort of my own home.  So I put the blame where it belonged.

Does this mean that I missed the lesson I learned when I ventured out yesterday?  Not at all.  I totally get it that I am so not over what those people did to me two months ago.  I find myself periodically infuriated that people with children themselves would actually fire me two months before Christmas, knowing I am trying to put my son through college and have two other children who would like Santa to visit (or new shoes periodically).  I still find myself not understanding what exactly is was that I did wrong and how I could try so hard at something and be so unsuccessful.  And I realized as I was driving by that crappy little building that I have totally not worked through what happened, nor have I forgiven the people who told me I was doing a good job almost right up to the day they let me go.  I have my own theory as to why it happened when it did that I won't share here, but regardless of their reasoning, it seems just downright mean to let a mom who is trying to support her children go two months before Christmas.

When I go to bed at night, I go knowing that I did the best I could for as long as they would let me.  I wonder if they ever consider what they did and how it affected not just me, but my family, and how exactly they sleep at night.

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