14 October 2007

let me tell you a story.

It's one-oh-six a.m., I've had at least 3 glasses of red, I'm emotionally charged and probably exhausted. (ie: there may be spelling mistakes and I'll probably ramble, so be prepared with your cup of coffee, tea, or a martini or two and get ready to read).

I'm going to tell the story of where I've been for the last 2-or-so months.

I worked in a very small but successful home business, owned and run by my brother-in-law. It's a home-based business, allowing me the wonderful opportunity for flexibility, opportunity and seeing my neices and sister almost every day. I have been with the company for almost 8 years. It hasn't been all great times...I've established an interesting personal/business relationship with my brother-in-law, our similarities being limited to a limited appreciation of each others' sense of humour, wit, and brains, and a common love of great red wines.

I love my job. I've learned so much, worked with great people, been tested and challenged beyond anything I've ever known. I've developed a "career" (gasp!) and a set of skills that are marketable. I feel proud of the work I've done for and with the company and appreciate the opportunity I've had.

On August 15, Josh, my co-worker (project manager) left for holidays in Korea. Going to meet his wife's father for the first time ever. The parents don't speak any English. This is huge for him. While he's away, I will do his job and mine. I've done his job before...his job was mine before it belonged to 3 other people before him. Sure, there will be overtime, but I get paid well, and I feel a sense of obligation and loyalty. I get a certain satisfaction out of completing tasks and getting caught up. A part of me wants to test myself to see how much I can accomplish and still feel good about it. Yes, there will be stress, but I will thrive on the busy-ness of it all and once I reach my breaking point I will ask for help.

On August 17, I learned that Josh will probably not have a job when he gets back.

I know that the boss has been going to tons of meetings...I know there's something brewing, but I have no idea what.

I learn that the business I work for is being licensed to another company, a manufacturer.

I learn that I still have a job.

August 31: I have to lay Josh off.

The next several weeks are a complete blur of a ton of work (we're entering "rush" season in the optical disc manufacturing business), a ton of stress (apparently I'm supposed to be receiving a contract proposal from the new company), and a ton of change (1. i'm not so good with change, 2. jaxon is in school full-time, is really reacting by testing us lots, 3. dren has a night schedule driving bus), and, well, do we really need more???

September is spent doing the jobs of order processing, accounting, shipping, and graphics. Day after day of 10-12 hours straight. Lots of order-in and take-out. I'm emotional. I realized I'm essentially losing my job. Yes, I'm grateful to have a new job, but there is a certain emotional process one goes through when their job as they know it is gone. I fight with my sister, I'm a less-than-ideal wife and mother, and I just keep going.

September 26:
I turn thirty. Exciting, great, wonderful, but seriously...holy shit I'm 30.

September 29:
My 30th birthday party. So fun. Great friends, family, and fine food and drink. So fun.

October 1:
We have moved offices. We are now out almost in Langley, about 45-60 minutes away from where I live and have worked for years. I've been asked to commute for two weeks out there to help with process-integration and transition. I've taken a huge pay cut (a lot of thought and stress went into that, too). I'm still keeping it together.

October 5:
I get home from a long week/day and a hellish commute and am talking to Rhi on the phone. I've learned that my two sisters (they're half-sisters, as I'm reminded of this day) have planned a Thanksgiving dinner for them, their dad, half-brother (dad's side) and grandma. I'm sad. I feel left out. My dad's been on Saturna and absent from any family thing, let alone a holiday, for years. My mum's moved there as well, and while I can't be happier to hear her content and happy voice on the phone from over there, she's not here. And it's Thanksgiving. I feel sad, and I feel left out.

While I'm on my cell phone with Rhi, Dren calls. I'm just about done my phone call. I think "I'll call him back". The house phone rings. Hmm...probably Dren again. He will worry, he'll try both numbers - that's just him. But then I start to think...I've been out away at work all day...Colleen was going to the appointment with Carmichael and then picking Jaxon up...what if somthing happened. So, I end the phone call with Rhi and call Colleen. "Call Dren...did you call Dren? He's having chest pains". I get off the phone with Colleen and I call Dren. I can hear sirens in the background. I immediately think that it will be nothing...it's OK. Not to worry, he's been saying something about a "twinge" in his chest for months.

I go to emergency to meet up with Dren and wait in emergency with him. He was driving the bus at the time he phoned, they transferred him to emerg and from there, it was hours of waiting. He has blood tests, he had x-rays. Blood pressure, and EKG (I think that's what it's called). Any finally, after midnight, the ER doctor comes back and says it's OK...you can go. All the tests are fine, and there's nothing wrong with you. Phew.

2pm. A phone call from the hospital. You have to come back for a reassessment. Really? Why? Not sure, the doctor wants you back. Dren goes.

They found a pneumo-thorax. Weird. Hi, Google. They do more x-rays. Can't find it - nothing critical, nothing that can really be determined. Forward case to the Respiratory Ambulatory Care Clinic. Good...he can come home and he'll be seen by a specialist.

Dren sees specialist, they do more x-rays. Nothing there. It's a spontaneous pneumo-thorax...apparently it's healed itself. Follow-up in December, if things get worse, call.

We have an OK week. Still commuting...looking forward to starting to work from home on my new contract.

October 12:
Jaxon turns six. I bought his birthday present the day of. A skateboard and ramp-thing that he can learn to use. Pads, of course. Helmet, he already has. He has invited lots of great kids to his party on Sunday. It will be so fun.

Aley and Rhi and the girls come over for pizza and presents and cupcakes.

October 13:
Canada's Scrapbooking Crop 4 Kids. Super amazing charity event. I can hardly believe how well this event has been pulled together. It's been 2 years of plotting and planning. Securing donations: time, product, money, effort, energy. I teach my first two classes ever. I had tiny little classes. It's totally fine. I'm eased into the world of "teaching" scrapbooking, whatever that is. They seem to be happy with what we're doing, and The Dare book is on proud display...being given away for door prizes, and sold at the event. Sweet.

Aley helped me out...and what an amazing help. It's great to have someone by your side....could you please do this or that and/or whatever. And plus, someone around that you know will make you feel comfortable and at-ease.

She drops me off, double-parked so she can help me bring stuff inside. Everyone is out in the courtyard when we get home. They boys are skate-boarding and playing. Dren comes out and joins in. I want to see Jaxon try his board out. Yes, he gets frustrated, but we've prepared him for that as much as we can. Then he falls down. He had a lollipop in his thigh-pocket, and landed right on it. He's crying. I'm tending to him, and then I look down the sidewalk path and notice Dren - DOWN. Sort of...writhing in pain. Hmm.

"My knee is blown...something's wrong...I think I need an ambulance". Wow. We tried to get him in the car; it wasn't happening. I called the ambulance and they showed up about 20 minutes later (afterall, no one was bleeding, hyperventilating, or otherwise dying, so...). He wanted me to stay. Jaxon had burst into another round of tears when he figured out how hurt daddy was. Turns out he has a torn tendon below his knee-cap. He needs surgery ASAP...in the next 1-4 days, depending on how many emergencies come in.

I'm home alone. I've had a helluva a two months. I've had a helluva a two weeks. I've had a helluva two days, and I'm happy for it all. All of it is serving to make me a better, stronger person. All of it is serving to keep my head above water. It's hard...don't get me wrong. I've cried more in the last 3 weeks than I have for the last 3 months. But this is my life, and it is what it is.

That, my friends, is what it is. If you read my blog, I appreciate it. How cool to meet people today saying "I read your blog" and think "wow, really?". I had a fun, emotional, long, hard day. And now, it's beyond done. Afterall, it's now 2:22 am and I'm beyond ready for bed. I have to be up-and-at-em in a few hours for Jaxon's birthday party with all his buddies tomorrow at noon.

And after that, we'll visit D, who I miss so incredibly much right now.



Séverine said...

I read your blog my dear ;-)
I'm with you.



Kim Langston said...

Girl with all that you got going on, you only have 3 glass of wine before posting this!?!?!?!?!?!?! While all this is making you stronger, I certainly hope life slows down a little for you!!!

Ania said...

Wow..pour yourself a few more glasses...you sure deserve it....**hugs** wish you all well!

staceyfike said...

seriously, if i'd had a few i could never type that well and keep all of those days straight!
and secondly, hang in there, it will get better and easier......

Tami said...

xo gen.

you must do what you need to do but you must be happy.

i hate how you have to work to have money to survive never mind if it brings happiness or not though.

Anonymous said...

i hate when life gets so overwhelming.

you are brave and strong.


LisaDV said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Dren. Good luck with the party today. Sometimes life is overwhelming, but I believe God does things for a reason. And He never gives you anything you can't handle.

Beeline said...

Man – how overwhelming! But you're a strong person and will get past this. Look how much you've accomplished already!
Hang in there - my thoughts are with you.

JB said...

i owe you and the dare girls a HUGE apology! you've all been going thru so much i'm just sitting her obsessing about my damn entry in round 2 of lss.

i am SSSOOOO sorry!

i hope things start to calm down and that dren will be ok.

again, i'm so sorry!

Michelle said...

Omigosh, Gen...hugs to you! You sound like a crazy strong woman for handling all this stuff so well..! Hope everything settles down soon and you can work from home and your hubby recovers quickly! =)

stephanie howell said...

gen, i'm so sorry.
i wish i could give you a big hug.
i admire you so much for your strength...and i'll be thinking of you lots.

renee said...

just remember that someone out there has it worse than you do...just hand your worries over to God...everything will be okay. Hang in there!

sarah said...

sweet g.
I wish I could give you a big hug right now.
know i'm thinking of you and dren...
praying for a speedy recovery for him and more strength for you.


StillTrying said...

Just a lurker coming out to say--you are strong, stronger than you realize, and thank you for sharing your life. Believe it or not I've been there with different people and jobs in my life and my goodness, when it rains, it POURS. So hard when so many people count on you and look up to you. And please don't hesitate to cry if you need to because you're human and sometimes you gotta get it out--like this blog! My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family.

gabbyfek said...

holy crap, woman.
you are so freaking strong.
i cannot believe all of this.
and i love you so much.

Heather M. said...

Oh man, there is SO much going on for you right now. I had no idea. Why is it when it rains it pours?!
Wish I would have known on Saturday - I would have brought you a big huge bouquet of flowers (not that it really would have made anything better but it would have been a little sunshine). It was so good to meet you and take your class and be stretched. I love the layout I did! Thank you for being so inspiring.
And hang in there... thinking about you...

Jessica O'Brien said...

Wow! So much going on with you!!! It sounds like you are being so strong right now and have a good perspective on everything coming your way. I'll be sending good thoughts your way!

Drea said...

Whew! You have been put through the wringer!.........HUGS!!

Here's to hoping things settle down in your life.