Tuesday, January 29, 2013


January has passed by in a blur.

K has been sick on and off, and it's a rare week when both kids are in school every day. That's winter in New England with little kids.

It has snowed here and there. Always the light, fluffy kind, and never on successive days. We've gotten off easy so far, but we still have 2+ months of winter to go.

Work has been surprisingly easy to deal with. I'm trying not to get complacent, but it's been manageable for the past month or so. I've been doing work I like, and on the schedule I planned. I haven't been staffed on big deals since going part-time, which is fine with me. I think the partners are making an effort to work with my new schedule.

I've been reading the book Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. I love it. It's such a simple concept, but so powerful. Instead of going directly from "I feel bad about what I did" to "I suck," I have been trying to make a stop in between to say to myself, "It's okay. I was under a lot of pressure and I reacted badly. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I'll try to do better next time." I appreciate how she adds in her own life stories without sugarcoating them. For instance, she tells the story of how she cheated on her first husband and they got divorced. She doesn't blame or judge herself, but she also doesn't let herself off the hook. She plainly describes what she did and acknowledges that she hurt herself and others. She also acknowledges that looking back, she can understand why she acted that way.

One thing the book has helped me with is dealing with my childhood, which was not particularly happy. She talks about how patterns and events that happened in your childhood shape you as an adult. My approach to my feelings about my childhood has been to squelch them and firmly tell myself that I'm an adult now. And yet, somehow, my negative feelings about childhood have not evaporated in a whiff of maturity. So I started talking about it with my therapist this week. Just having someone acknowledge that all these things are legitimately difficult to deal with and I'm not just being overly sensitive or making things up was a relief.

Last weekend my in-laws came for a visit. Friday night K, Daddy and Grandpa all went to a hockey game. Harvard was playing Clarkson, Grandpa's alma mater. K came back happy with a full list of all the snacks he ate. I stayed home and passed out early. Saturday all the menfolk went to the Children's Museum while JW's mom and I ran errands, went out to lunch, and went clothes shopping. I had to buy a dress for a friend's wedding. (My first time at Nordstrom Rack -- $25 for a formal dress that I saw online for over $100! It's like Marshall's but with stuff from Nordstrom!) I think it was the longest time I've spent one-on-one with her, and it was really nice. She came into the dressing room with me, which was a little awkward, but she kept saying encouraging things like, "You look great! I wish I could fit into a dress like that," and "Honey, show off that cleavage while you still have it!" When I told JW about this, he said, "That's what moms are supposed to do." No wonder he's so well-adjusted.

I started meal planning! I don't know why it seemed like such an impossible task for so long. Twenty minutes on a Saturday and our week goes so much smoother, plus we have less waste and smaller grocery bills.

I started doing mindfulness meditation. Well, actually I started falling asleep while attempting to do mindfulness meditation. But at least that results in more sleep. It's a start.

And that's my January. How about you?


  1. I think I may need this book. Also, yeah, umm, I also may need to go shopping with your MIL :-)

  2. I feel like I blinked and here is February, without me knowing WTF is going on. :-P I think I need to get me that book like there's no tomorrow.

  3. I need this book. The brief period of time I did Vipassana meditation it really changed my thought patterns. (And then I went to law school.)

    Also, JW's mom sounds delightful!

  4. wow, you have the best MIL ever.

    one reason i am glad i have boys is that they typically seem to have more positive relationships with their moms while girls seem to have more angst. I wonder why that is?

    Glad work is going well!

  5. Yeah, is your MIL available for shopping consults? Because I definitely could use some self-esteem boosting. I also need that book.

    Glad things are going well on the new schedule!

  6. It's nice to hear that the work schedule is working out.

    We try to meal plan because I don't like going to the grocery store every night, and we're pretty good but we also usually build in one scrounge-a-dinner night in case things go off the rails.