Thursday, July 24, 2014

Floaty

I don't write about happy things here nearly often enough, so I'm going to (very vaguely) talk about some of the happy in my life right now.

First, I've been given the opportunity to attend a week-long, intensive class on a topic that really interests me. Even though I'll be getting CLE hours for it, it's not at all related to my job, so I'm guessing I'll have to use a week of vacation time for it, but I think it'll be worth it. And it might actually double as a sort of vacation. I'll be alone in a city (in my very own dorm room!) for a whole work week; no kids, no house, no work, no responsibilities other than doing my class readings. I plan to visit with friends in the evenings and enjoy my time away. I'm thrilled to be able to do this, and (nerd alert!) I'm really looking forward to a week of learning. I mean, I bought a case book today for the first time in about eight years and was nearly bouncing up and down in my chair when I hit the purchase button, if that gives you any idea how excited I am for this class.

R and I have made it something like 36 hours without having a knock down, drag out fight about something! This is a major cause for celebration right now.

I got what I consider a great (though probably backhanded) compliment today from a colleague: "If you ever get into litigation, you're going to be so good at it! I couldn't even tell [you were lying]!" I should probably take offense to that, but I think it's hilarious (I know it wasn't said in a mean-spirited way, and the person who said it genuinely meant it to be complimentary). And it's one more thing that makes me think I'm doing something right as a lawyer.

I also have some of the most amazing people in my life. My mom, for one, who's taking over the childcare duties and making my week at school possible. I have great friends who are always there for me and give me support and encouragement and a place to squee whenever I need it. And I've got some new people in my life who are cause for happiness in other ways, which is new and exciting, and something I hope to continue to explore for a while.

So that's it. It's just been a cloud nine kind of day. I like feeling this floaty, and wanted to share my happy with my internet world.

What's your happy today?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Raining and pouring

The ol' blog was brought to my attention again recently, and I realized just how long it's been since I wrote. I didn't mean to stay away for two months, but apparently life takes up a lot of your time when you're actually living it. Who knew?

You know that tired old "when it rains, it pours" line? That's kind of how life has felt lately. A ton of stuff has been happening, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. BUT I'm not feeling overwhelmed in the "to defeat completely" sort of way, just the regular "to affect very strongly" sort of way. Progress!

Let's hit a few highlights.

Work has been freaking crazy lately. Absolutely insane. I've commented several times over the past couple of weeks that I feel like I have a real lawyer job. I've been working longer hours, taking work home, staying up super late to get projects with "OMG, get it done NOW!!!!!" deadlines done the night before I absolutely need to have them on the boss's desk, working every night for two weeks straight, running around like crazy at work, and still barely staying afloat. I think things are starting to settle, so I'm hoping my work life will slow down a bit in the next week or so.

I've had a couple of good things in my professional life. I just finished a program through the state bar association that was fun and probably sounds far more impressive than it is. It's given me a lot of good networking connections, though, and I'm pretty sure I met a woman who's living the Biglaw version of my life, and her happy outcome gives me hope for mine. The state has a fairly new mentoring program for newly-admitted lawyers that I signed up for (though the idea of me being someone's mentor seems completely ludicrous to me...I'm not even a real lawyer!), and a former intern in one of the other offices in the building chose me as her mentor. I was so flattered when I got that e-mail! I had no idea she thought that highly of me (alternate explanation:  her options pretty much sucked and I was the best of a bad situation. You see how quickly I still revert back to that? Don't worry, I'm spending many good therapy dollars on fixing this). A good friend of mine bilked 1.5 billable hours out of me reached out to me the other night to help write a completely hopeless long-shot motion to file with the state Supreme Court, and actually used the argument I came up with as one of their primary ones (I'll be SUPER proud of myself if the motion is actually granted). None of this stuff is big, but it's nice to get some validation that I'm a good lawyer and doing good things in my career.

The boys are still boys. They've pushed me to the end of my reserves this week (which is far more likely due to my work stress and extreme lack of sleep than anything they're actually doing). I am very much looking forward to them going to Daddy's this weekend. Overall, they've been good, though. R is going through a major, major, makes-his-terrible-twos-and-threenager-stages-seem-appealing behavioral stage that's testing my parenting limits. I didn't know this was a thing at four. Maybe it's not and it's just how he's coping with the stress and life changes he's had going on? I don't know. I just know I need to make it stop. W got his kindergarten assignment and we know his first day of school (sob!). They took swimming lessons the past couple of weeks and loved it. This, coupled with the super awesome city pool here, likely means we're going to be spending more every-other-weekends at the pool for the next month or so.

The divorce...has stagnated a bit. Ugh. And sometimes things that were supposed to be happy for us as a couple and a family make me horribly sad about the way it all turned out. But discussing this causes feelings, so that is all I have to say on the topic.

My social life has picked up considerably in the past few months. It's so nice to go out and do things again, even when "things" consists of coffee or a quick beer and some good conversation. I had no idea how much I missed having friends until I started having them again. Now, if I could just get my friends who live hours away to move back...

I think that about covers it. I'm hoping this will help launch me back into my online life. I've decided that I suck at life multitasking; I can't handle writing here, reading blogs, doing social stuff, actually spending quality time with the kids and doing things with them, keeping up my house, and sleeping all at the same time. One (or more) of these thing had to give, and apparently writing and blog reading were what went this time. I'll figure out this whole "being an actual person who's involved in her world" thing eventually - give me a bit of a break; it's only been seven months! It's just going to take a little more balancing. And maybe a little less pouring.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The lost inside joke

After being single(-ish) for four or so months now, I've found that there aren't a lot of things I miss about being in a relationship. I like having the freedom to (mostly) make my own decisions and flex the independence muscles that I didn't use much over the last decade. I like not having to be accountable for my whereabouts. I like never having to watch anything sports-related on TV.

As to downsides, there are a few. My biggest issue is not having someone around to fulfill my need for physical touch (I'm not talking sex; that I can take or leave most of the time. I'm talking about getting the physical affection I crave - hugs, kisses, hand-holding, etc.). My second biggest isn't really a relationship issue. It's that I miss my washer and dryer. Stupid, but true.

One thing that hurts more than I expected is the loss of my partner in crime. For years and years, B and I, like any two people who have been together for a long time, built up our repertoire of inside jokes and stupid couple things that cause a look to pass between us before we dissolve into laughter. These things are gone now, and I'm mourning them as much as anything else I've lost by tearing apart my marriage.

In the past when inside jokes come up in a conversation I was having with someone who was not-B, my first reaction was to look around the room for B or start composing a text to him telling him about it. And that's still my first reaction. Now, however, a split second later, the realization that I can't do that any more washes over me and fills me with a deep sadness. Now who am I going to tell that "Hey Cow!" is a real thing and not just a guy trying to jump from a moving vehicle? And who's going to care that I met a guy whose daughter's nickname is the same as the nickname of a guy we knew in high school? (For those who might, her nickname is Vanny...buuuuut I guess you had to be there.)

What this has taught me is that I miss the idea of B as my companion more than I miss B as a person. The loss of that person in my life causes a deep ache in my soul, even though I don't miss him, per se. This probably doesn't make sense to anyone else. I'm just processing over here.

I'm sure this is just another of the long list of adjustments I need to make as I move through the divorce process, but it really sucks that all of the fun and the good that was part of our relationship for so long gets buried by the bad that built up at the end.

Monday, May 12, 2014

That made it creepy

There's a prosecutor I work with who I really like. He's probably 15 years older than me, wife and kids, ex-military, smart. He likes the same type of novel-legal-issue-research-and-thinking-about-ness that I do, which has led to many interesting and intellectually-stimulating conversations about, say, the vagaries of appellate court jurisdiction pending Supreme Court appeal (spoiler alert:  there are many, and most of them make no sense).

He's also very nice and considerate. It's not unusual for him to tell me I look nice or he likes my new haircut. One time, during a trial, he noticed that I was wearing a new lipstick when I came back from lunch. What I'm trying to get at is that I don't find it weird for him to offer me a compliment.

This morning, as I was hanging around the courtroom making a pest of myself, he asked about my wearing contacts (I don't do it often, but did today). He said, "It's a nice look." Later, I was back to hanging around the courtroom, standing in the back near the exit door while I waited for my hearing to start. The prosecutor asked me on his way out of the courtroom if I had a minute. This also isn't unusual, and it generally means he's got an update on a case or some interesting legal tidbit to chat about. So I followed him out of the courtroom and walked halfway down the hall (which is sort of odd; we generally just talk right outside the doors when court is in session), at which point he said, "I don't mean to be creepy about this, but you look really nice today."

I've learned to take a compliment fairly well, so I offered a heartfelt "thank you." But what I really wanted to say was, "I hate to break it to you, dude, but the only thing that made that compliment creepy was the manner in which you offered it."

I'm hoping this little awkward scene was an anomaly and we can go back to discussing the right to silence under the Ohio Constitution like we did in the old days, before my friend became a creepy old man.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Mother's Day

Mother's Day usually isn't a big deal in my world (see, e.g.), but this year was worse than normal.

B had the boys for the weekend, so I was home alone. I also discovered that there's a huge difference between being without your children on Mother's Day by choice and being without them because it's not your weekend. (I know I could have had them this weekend - all the visitation schedules say so - but B hadn't seen them is two weeks. And I'm being entirely too nice.)

I didn't get a gift or a card. I didn't expect one from "the boys" (B), but I still held on to a sliver of hope. I have to keep reminding myself that he didn't do anything for events before I left him, so why would he do it afterward? It's like cleaning the bathroom. His bathroom is disgusting (I'm guessing it hasn't been cleaned since I moved out four months ago), but he never cleaned the bathroom before we were married (one of the first things I would do every time I visited him in college was clean his bathroom. True story), so I can't expect him to do it after we're not married.

He did, however, go out of his way to do something for both his mother and mine. He took the boys and surprised his mom at her church this morning. Then he took the boys to my mom's house to see her before taking the boys back to his place. I'm getting all of this from W, so I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it sounds like there might have been cards involved, too. He's never done stuff like this before.

I also didn't get anything from daycare, which I found very odd. I've come to enjoy the crappy crafts and bad cards that come home every year. Maybe this new center just isn't into that sort of thing.

But what really broke my heart was not even getting a "Happy Mother's Day!" from the boys. They're four and five. I don't expect them to remember to do that on their own. But would it have killed B to prompt them into it? On the way home tonight, the boys talked about telling both grandmas Happy Mother's Day, so he prompted them into it at least a couple of times today. But he couldn't be bothered to do it for me.

I guess this comes down to me needing to better manage my expectations. I know I can't reasonably expect anything out of B because he's still upset and angry about the way our marriage is flaming out But I apparently haven't taken this to heart because it still hurts.

This is my new normal. I need to get used to it. I will get used to it. But right now, I just hate that it bothers me.