Soul Doubt: 03/2008 - 04/2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Momentous Occasions

After a month of mysterious silence, I'm returning to regale all of cyberspace with a deluge of pent-up creativity, lyric soliloquies dying to escape from my fingertips to the keyboard, tired of swimming in the dizzied soup between my ears, ready to burst forth in a swansong of sweet... something or other.

Scratch that. Let's go for more of a realistic tone, shall we?

As I type this, I can't help but gaze out my office window at the swirling mini-blizzard and then snicker at the calendar next to it... after a lull of semi-decent weather, the snow began to fall, and fall some more, on- irony or ironies- the first day of Spring.
Of course all of our winter paraphernalia was stowed away when we were fooled into submission by several sweetly sunny days of the faux-Spring. (Then Mother Nature said, "Psych!")
We use the abandoned chicken coop at the back of our yard as a storage shed (for sturdy items immune to residual gunk left behind by said chickens) and although I refuse to step foot in there (not knowing what I might step in), Tony trudged back there to fetch the snow shovel, ice melt, and what-not. He's pretty gung-ho about snow removal, something I suppose I should be grateful for, but at the moment I can't seem to summon up any emotion besides a sort of dull resentment towards the elements at large.

So... I've entitled this entry "Momentous Occasions", and believe it or not, the fact that my calendar claims Winter is now over was not what I am referring to.
Instead, I was thinking of a few other things that are happening in my little universe, things that once I sit back and count off on my fingers, seem faintly surprising.

One: Tony's and my wedding anniversary was yesterday. We've now been officially together for a scant year, although the unofficial length is more like six. I simply had one of those fits of old-fashionedness last March, and demanded that we tie the knot before our son was born. So we did.
Two: Speaking of our son, he was born ten days after that glorious event at the Hitching Post, so will be turning one year old April 10th. Unbelievable. Never has the expression "time flies" been so apt. I mean, looking back, it just seems like a blur of oohing and aahing over baby milestones- him rolling over, sprouting teeth, crawling, sitting up, graduating to juice and baby food, then walking- first with staggering hesitation and lots of falling down, then more confidently... now he's mimicking sounds and gestures (making him say, "ma-ma-ma-ma" is my personal favorite, of course) and I've had to install child safety latches and gates throughout the house to quell his insatiable curiosity. Amazing.
So of course we're planning a big to-do... well, I should say I'm planning one- Tony's never been much for social niceties like birthday parties. Although I think he'll make a point of at least coming to this one. To give him credit, he remembers the date (the guy remembered our anniversary, too- even brought home roses and a card!) and has mentioned buying Jameson a Tonka front-end loader to go with his dump truck for a birthday gift.
But back to the party- we'll be having it at my grandmother's house, as sort of a way to have all the family over to see her as well. She's had lots of health issues as of late- I've mentioned her several times on this blog- and they culminated with a major stroke about six weeks back. Now that she's home and had the benefits of time and therapy, her speech and gross motor skills have begun to return to normal, and when I brought up the idea of having Jameson's party at her house, she seemed more animated and excited than I'd seen her since the event, so that sealed it. Hell, the party'll be mainly for our benefit, anyhow (it's not like the little guy will really know what's going on, other than his having a cake to plunge his pudgy little hands into and make a massive mess with, then more toys and the boxes they came in to play with after) so having the whole family together at her house will be nice, I think.
But back to the list...
Three: I got a raise at work. My boss actually informed me of this a little over a month ago, but it only recently took effect, as I only get paid once a month. I'm on salary, and since I've begun to take on new responsibilities- with additional hours necessary to complete them- my boss asked me to estimate how much time I was putting in, and when I figured it to be around 30 hours a week, she gave me a $500 raise. Sweet, huh? I now make $1500 a month for doing a job that I love, from home, with my son trying to "help" at every opportunity (this usually involves attacking the keyboard, tugging on the mouse cord, and wadding up important papers).
It's been a bit more challenging than usual with the new duties, but I think I'm beginning to get a system down to be a little more efficient. I mean, I say I work 30 hours a week, but if I'm going to be completely honest, I spend a lot of that time dinking around online, or while I'm going to the post office to mail things for work, I take care of personal errands, too. The real blessing of the whole deal is how flexible it is- I can pace out a couple of hours worth of work throughout the whole day, taking breaks to change diapers, feed the boy and myself, do housework, etc. Or just spend the day being a wife and mom, put both the little guy and the big one to bed, then do what I gotta do for work, with the added benefit of some peace and quiet to do it in. Sure, I end up burning the midnight oil a bit when I do it that way, but after my son's first six months of life, I'm used to surviving on less sleep than the average human.
And last but not least, Four: Tony and I were made members of our church, His Place, in a short ceremony in which we stood up in front of the congregation with our pastor, then we were presented a little certificate and sat back down amid lots of clapping and cheers. I guess we're still sort of semi-celebrities, or maybe a better way of putting it would be 'well-known success stories'... everybody seems to know our shady past and our battle to overcome it. Which, after a lot of hard work and overcoming others' skepticism, we've managed to give the saga a happy ending of sorts. Sometimes I almost feel like God awarded us our son as a prize for turning our screwed-up lives around- for getting clean and going straight.
Not that he's the only good thing we've gotten out of the deal- the church membership is a good example of some of the other changes for the better. I can count on one hand the amount of times I went to church while Tony and I were still using and dealing and living outside the law- and one of the two times was a funeral. Now, we both go every week, have a growth group we attend fairly regularly as well, and have a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances from there, too. An actual social life! With people who want nothing more than our company! Wow. It's pretty sad when I look back and realize, out of the hundreds of people I knew and interacted with in my previous life, how shallow 99% of the relationships truly were. Most of them were merely based on what we could get out of each other- drugs, money, etc. No wonder I was so resentful and lonely feeling all the time, even surrounded by people, with my phone ringing off the hook.

I guess that concludes my little list of amazing, momentous events in my world of today. Perhaps not everyone reflects on their own lists of anniversaries of birth or wedlock, milestones of promotion or membership, and feels such pride and joy- but it's hard for me to take these things for granted when I've never had such reasons to celebrate before.