Forward Momentum

So we moved to Phoenix and I promptly shoved everything my kids and I own into a 10X15 storage locker, never unpacked my bags, and flew off to Northern California for seven weeks. 

Perspective aside: Every time I get mad that everything I own can fit into a 10X15 storage locker, I try to remember to go look at this post of where I was the last time this shit happened, and then I thank the flying spaghetti monster that I am blessed enough in this life to have 10 feet by 15 feet worth of possessions, even if none of them are a couch. 

You see, we were actually supposed to move to Northern California, seeings how* my job is there and stuff, you know? Except I don't think Soon To Be Ex (as he shall henceforth be named on ye ol' blog) was every really totally into the idea of moving here - though he agreed to it before I ever even took this job that is, oh, you know, BASED IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

The plan was, we drive to Phoenix, stay the night with family, and then leave for The Bay the next morning without him, just until he felt grounded enough to come up there, because I have absolutely no interest in splitting our children and him up again. We went to a therapists for the first time ever in the 17 years we've been together, to get advice on how to tell the kids we're getting divorced, and that's when he told me he wasn't coming to the Bay with us, ever. 

One step forward, two steps back. 

Sorry, or You're welcome, aside: This Paula Earworm was brought to you by my eternal love for Zombyboy. (Who just moved his blog. Subscribe, if you like awesome, albeit wrong not exactly what I agree with totally, things.)

But the lease was already ended and the truck was being rented and the kids had already said their goodbyes so we still had to leave Houston (and man, did we ever have to leave Houston) so I had a decision to make. I try to explain to my kids every single day of their lives that the right thing is usually never going to be the easy thing. This has all turned out to be living proof of that. Moving forward for everyone else, in this instance, meant moving backwards a little bit for me; it means putting my career ambitions on hold a little while longer and going back to Arizona, where everything started the first time I came here in an attempt to leave him

Arizona seems to be both my third realm of rebirth and my ninth level of hell. It's certainly warm enough for it. 

So we got to Arizona and had a few days to hunker down with our family (who is, in reality, his family, but we're going to have to come up with some sort of shared custody, because mineminemineminemine) before I left for California. We have, oh, five weeks *twitch* before we throw a massive conference for like 4,500 people and I really just can't keep doing this through Google Hangouts (which? are the bomb), nor do I want to.

So I'm not. I'm living in the basement of my kids' godfather and failing in every way to take the Caltrain into work every day. 

You see, I happen to have a pre-existing train condition, partly because I don't even like the forward momentum of a swing on the playground, but mostly because my aunt used one to, um, well, there's no nice way to say it. She used one to chop her head off. There.

I also have this fun thing about myself that allows me to channel all of my chaos into objects, making me a Totally Functional Lunatic. When my life goes awry, I will lose/break cell phone after cell phone, until the phone company won't give me more replacements (see: five blackberries in three months. Not kidding). Or I'll leave my purse(s) on the hood of my car, like every day, for a few months, even the one and only Gucci purse I've ever owned. Don't get me started on the hamsters

So I'm getting divorced, moving somewhere I really don't want to, living in someone else's house temporarily in both California AND San Francisco, and five weeks out from Bloggerpalooza. That's pretty awry, yo.

And then I have to ride trains. Ask me how well that's been going for me. I DARE YOU. 

Day 1 on the train: I got on the wrong train, the reaaaally wrong train, and after a detour to a part of California I've never heard of, a frantic phone call to my bestie for directions, some crying, and a three mile walk, I got to work on my first full day an impressive hour and a half late. 

Day 2 on the train: I got on the train, bought the wrong kind of ticket, got asked to show my ticket, and got a citation for stealing public transit and now have to go to court in San Francisco to Face Charges That May Go On My Permanent Record Or Something.

Day 3 on the train: Overslept on the morning of an 8am meeting because I was up all night, um, what is the opposite of sexting? I was doing that, with Soon To Be Ex. I overslept by 15 minutes which meant I missed the one train that came that hour and so I had to take a cab into work.

In San Francisco.

In morning rush-hour. 

You can get seven professional sexual services for less than that cab ride cost. 

But I still feel like I am making some progress on the Treadmill of Crazy. I'm here, in the office with the most amazing team of people I've ever worked with, doing what I need to do even though Soon To Be Ex doesn't really like it, and I miss my kids so much it burns, and I'm a uber private person who doesn't actually share space well with others. I'm starting to come to the point in my life where I am doing that which *I* need, and balancing that with the needs of the people around me, rather than the other way around. 

A year ago, I never would have left for seven weeks. A year ago, I never would have checked myself into the hotel I'm typing this from because I needed one night of absolute solitude. A year ago, I never would have done a lot of things I am doing know, because I was always convinced that if I didn't get everyone's oxygen mask on, they'd all crash and burn. 

Because I am a control freak. Because it's easier to put on everyone else's mask than my own. I am trying really hard to knock that shit off, and just deal with mine. 

And if you're skimming this and looking for a picture to sum of the point of the post, here it is:

Everything can be used, except what is wasteful. (Audre Lorde)
(Or, if life hands you a treadmill of crazy in 105 degree heat, let your kids walk your dog on it.)

*Seeings how may be the most excellent #grammarfail known to man, and I ain't nevah givin' it up.

What Goes Around Comes Around. Twice.

My husband and I have been married for eleven years. Eleven years is a long time to do anything. We've seen our share of ups and downs, and that is the understatement of the year. I am not the easiest woman to be married to, for any number of reasons. I am grossly insecure and particularly needy and excessively sensitive. He's got his things, too, but this isn't about him today, it's about me. I've made him work for this relationship. I change the rules on him constantly and expect him to just keep up. Example: When he met me, I worked three jobs, 19 hours a day, 6 days a week. Now I stay home and let him go to work for at least 12 hours every single day while I fail in every way to so much as wash the dishes. He does this with a smile on his face, or so I assume; it's not like I ever actually see his face anymore. I'd like to say that he at least gets to come home to a hot little body waiting for him in lingerie, but what he really comes home to is a snoring wife wearing his sweat pants hogging his side of the bed who used to be a size -0 and is now a solid 12.

I make few apologies for this. It's not like I knocked myself up with a baby that decided to make me gain 105 pounds in nine months, after all.

However misguided my feelings on the subject, I do feel a little bad that the 98 pound girl with a D cup you could stack plates on that he signed up for a life with has now turned into a National Geographic centerfold. I feel bad enough, in fact, that I, on occasion, will buy him pistachios and roses and have them waiting for him when he comes home in the middle of the night after the umpteenth night straight at work.

Roses & Pistachios are the way to a man's heart

He reciprocates occasionally, coming home late from work on the nights he's due in early, bearing gifts for me, too.

If I wrap the divorce in silk, it will be an appropriate 12th anniversary gift

That is a gym membership, brought home for me last week, because apparently he wants a divorce. You leave a man enough times and he'll start double-dog daring you to do it again, all for the low low price of $31/month.

To his credit, he did include all-you-can-eat childcare in the package. So now I can't bitch about being fat, having no where to go OR having no one to watch my kid while I go there anymore. It's like he's robbed me of everything, including my lovely lady lumps. Asshole.

But I'm determined to use it, partly because I do want to get the fuck out of this house occasionally, and I would like to do it sans-four-year-old, but mostly because I'm sick people congratulating me and asking me when the baby is due. The best answer to which is, "Four years, three months and eleven days ago; thanks for asking." So I went last night to try this thing out. I got the four year old ready to go and the nine year old announced that he'd like to go as well. So I put my gym bag down, huffed a little, and called to see if I had a two-for-one daycare special. Which I do. I grabbed my bag, my two youngest, and headed out the door when my eleven year old ran down the stairs in full gym gear asking if he could come, too. You know, to work out with me.

Seriously, I just started being able to poop without company. Will there never be a moment's rest from these people?

So I put everything down, again, and called the gym, again, huffed, AGAIN, and lied about his age, again, and found out that I could bring him. So off we all went. 45 minutes after I was planning on getting to the gym, we had two kids checked into daycare and one magically-turned twelve year old on an elliptical next to me. Who beat my fat fucking ass, hard. Every spanking this kid has ever received in his entire life was repaid last night, in full. He pwned me.

Vengeance is a dish best served sweaty, with burning quads.

It's not like I can let me kid out-work me. If he does 50 crunches on the ab-thingy, I have to do 50, also. If he's barely broken a sweat after 20 minutes on the elliptical, I have to grin and pray silently for god to strike us all dead and spare me this humiliating torture. If he gets through an entire circuit and asks to do it again, well, I just have to do it all again. Even if I can't stand upright anymore. Even if I've sweated out every drop of moisture in my body and am now replacing that sweat with blood. Even if my legs are jello and I can't recall where my arms used to be. Even if I just want so scream that THIS WAS MY PRESENT AND YOU ARE RUINING IT, SHORT PERSON. I can't do that, now can I? We're having a bonding moment, right? One of those fleeting mother-son moments that will be over the second this kid learns what a Playboy magazine is. Which, thanks to him, I may be able to appear in someday.