Monday, March 30, 2015

It's there

I have come down with a stomach bug and the girls took such good care of me tonight and were so sweet and attentive.  Mr. Quimby and I often worry that we are raising them with a sense of entitlement and that they don't seem grateful enough for all the blessings in their lives.  But tonight showed me that those kernels of empathy are most definitely there.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rocked It - Part 2

The big hearing that I've been working on was this past Friday.  The committee voted in "my" favor by a unanimous vote of 14-0.  It was great to win again, and frankly I hope the competing organization keeps bringing this issue to different venues because it creates excellent job security.

I was so nervous leading up to it - but I'm not ashamed to ask for help, which I did via facebook and directly to a dear friend/colleague and my boss and it was awesome to go into it with their words of encouragement behind me.

I made some great new contacts in the process and feel like this win on a local level positioned me well should I ever want to take on more clients or even take a new job.

I drove home feeling like I was on such a high - I had texted ahead to Mr. Quimby and the girls and they were happy for me.  We celebrated for a little bit and then it all fell apart.  Not enough ice cream to go around, and two tired girls, and some crankiness in the house for an unknown reason made for a perfect storm.  My high plummeted and I was angry and sad that my joy had been taken from me.  But I held myself together, yelled once, pulled myself back together and just got through the evening.

It was ironic that on a day of such professional success, life at home was topsy-turvy for a few hours.  But it didn't mean anything - it didn't mean that I had been neglecting my home or my family.  It didn't mean that I needed to quit my job so that I could be home more and control everything.  It simply meant that sometimes people have successes at work and sometimes people have trouble at home and sometimes they happen to occur on the same day.

I felt proud of myself for that realization, even though it took me another day to realize that.  Stuff just happens sometimes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joy and Enthusiasm

This past weekend was Ramona's first communion. As I sit here a couple days later and think about it, the word that comes to mind is joy and then enthusiasm. Joy that my parents and my one of my sisters could be here, joy that other family members were praying for Ruthie, joy that the day went so logistically smoothly, everybody got everywhere on time and there was no bickering. It was such a gift of the day and the gift of a weekend. Ramona was so enthusiastic, and even the next day when we went to mass her excitement and joy over receiving the Eucharist was infectiou.  It made me think that we should all feel that enthusiasm and that joy when we get the opportunity to receive this wonderful gift.

As I often feel on these sorts of monumental's occasions, I am simply overcome by gratitude for the many blessings in my life.  I have troubles and trials just like the next person (see any of my posts related to mental health) but most of all, I am so blessed and I am so grateful.

Receiving the sacrament of first Eucharist should not have to do anything with me, it really should be just a relationship between Ramona and the Lord. But I can't help but feel a little bit of pride!  Mr. Quimby and I are the ones who bring them to church every Sunday, drive them to the atrium (their religious education classes) and we are the ones raising them as good Catholics. And I think it that it's okay that we are proud of that and that it's okay that we are proud that we have gotten both of our children to this point.  Of course, the journey does not end here, there is more work to do, but I love that we can celebrate where we are now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rocked It

I am rocking it at work these days.  Little bits of travel, budgeting, meeting planning; lots of regulatory work and lots of e-mail.  I had time while at a conference on Sunday-Monday to delete almost 700 e-mails.  It was amazing to help me remember little things that I haven't done yet and give me clarity about priorities in the next six months.  I've been working on not procrastinating on the tasks I don't want to do and the peace of mind is so worth it.

I'm working specifically on a regulatory issue right now that just happens to be in Denver.  My clients are the opponents and I've joked that I should consider sending a thank you note to the proponents because it was very thoughtful of them to base their first municipal test case in Denver.  I've already led the defeat of these proponents on the national stage at 6 different times over the past three years, so I'm relatively confident.  BUT, municipal politics is very different so I'm definitely not cocky.

I was in my element today - building a coalition via phone and e-mail among organizations that should oppose the proposed regulatory change.  Out of 4 other groups, I got an enthusiastic response from 2, a tepid response from 1, and no answer from the 4th.  I was pretty pleased with that response.

I was exhausted and wound tightly by the time I left work and the coming down process from 6 hours of adrenaline was rough - really rough.  I've gotten teary several times this evening, picked a bit of an argument with Mr. Quimby, and felt on edge with the girls.  I wish I had figured out before now what the issue was, but at least I now know so that I can manage it better in the future.

I've also sold several smaller things in the past 24 hours on some online facebook selling groups for my area.  The money I've made has been a pittance, but it has been awesome to get these things out of my house!!!  One very young mother came over to pick something up that I sold for $5 (should have asked $50, I got a lot of interest) and she was oohing and aahing over the living room and how clean and pretty it was.  I felt awkward and responded that with kids who are 7 and 9, it's a whole different ballgame now and I related the story of when I had an infant and a toddler and at one point I didn't see the surface of my dining room table for 8 months.

It's funny how I put these two things in the same post - as different as they are, they both made me happy today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I've been seeing a new counselor the past few months and she is rocking my socks.

One of the issues I've been working on is identifying how I get stuck in a particular rut of thinking and how that affects my mood.

I've already learned how I cast people into particular roles in relationships: I worry/assume they are thinking something unwelcome or unkind about me, I get annoyed or mad at them for that, and then I respond in kind.

I realized today that I do a thing with my feelings: I experience a feeling that is unwelcome or undesired; I tell myself that I should not be feeling that way because I have a wonderful life and should be grateful; then because I am feeling unworthy of this wonderful life I then decide that I must do something of value or something of service to others to show how grateful I am for this wonderful life that God has given me.

So, instead, what I am going to try to do is allow myself to sit with my feelings and to feel them.

It's ironic because one of the things I'm famous for saying to friends is that feelings are valid - they aren't always reasonable or rational, but a feeling is never wrong.

I'd like to get into a pattern of being gentler with myself - I opted out of the mommy wars and the mommy rat race long ago.  This next step is to still try to do my very best, but to also be gentle with myself when I don't achieve my own standards.

That would be a lovely rut to fall into.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Fresh Start

Spring isn't quite here yet, but I'm still getting ready for a fresh start.  I've found myself feeling blue the past couple days - waiting for the light, warmth and airiness of spring is hard.

I'm taking Beezus and we're going to a Lenten service at church tonight to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or the Sacrament of Confession for some of you old skool Catholics).

I've been working with interior designers and personal organizers to get our house in shape.  Yes, feel free to judge but YOU try moving across country a week before school starts and see how far you get on your own.  Most delightful of all is that although Mr. Quimby may grumble at the cost he is delighted with the results.

I'm even going to re-arrange my office furniture.  I desperately tried to find new office space, but never found the thing that was quite right at the right cost.  I'll be working more hours preparing for a big certification exam I'm going to take in December, so a fresh look in the office will be nice.  I'll be bringing in an extra easy chair and rug from home, and looking for a petite little table on craigslist to spruce it up.

I also anticipate having a little more time for blog writing here and maybe even resurrecting the blog that I used to keep of and for the girls that was more of a digital scrapbook.

While we don't see any signs of Spring here in Colorado (and I know my dear friends back East don't see any either) I know it's coming.  All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing to get there.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Spinning Up

I was on the phone with my sister this morning, talking about an issue that I'm worried about, and I realized that my thoughts and emotions were caught in a vortex and I said to her "I'm spinning up."  Her response: "Yes."

I've only recently started realizing that I do this thing - where my thoughts jump from one to another quickly - it happens more often when I am stressed or worried but also happens sometimes when I'm excited.  It feels out of control, but it's not really - it's just how my mind works, the mind of a busy working mother who thinks and feels intently and intensely.

I used to "spin up" whenever I had to leave for a trip that was more than 2 nights - but after one 50 minute session with my newish counselor/therapist I have mostly solved that issue (yes, she is THAT good) and I now prepare differently for trips and I think differently so that I don't get all spun up.

I have an old, dear friend who does it too, right Helen's mom?  We've joked about how we both do it and so conversations between us are often very fast and disjointed to an outsider.

I guess I would say I'm thinking intensely about 4-5 things right now and I want to take action and fix every single thing RIGHT.NOW.

My sister reminded me that although these things are important, none of these things are life and death and I don't have to do anything today.  A friend reminded me that as much as I want them to be, they aren't necessarily "fixable" anyway.  They are things that need to be addressed and worked on at some point, but they aren't the sort of things that can be fixed (one of them is my professional development, if that gives you an idea).

I can feel the spinning up starting as I'm writing this and even when I think I'm not thinking about it, I know it's processing in my mind because another friend mentioned today that I seemed distracted.

So for now, I will take a deep breath and try to slow the spin.
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