tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Sunday. Writing day, right?

It's the 15th anniversary of the disaster of 9/11.
I vaguely remember watching it on TV at home, 8 months pregnant with my son, wondering- what kind of world am I bringing my son into? What kind of world am I raising my daughter in?
What a horrific day it was.

And as I sit by the lake on this day, I (admittedly) can't fully embrace the memory of 9/11. I (sadly) can't sympathize with the tragedy of 15 years ago.
I can't, because I am too busy worrying about my small (tiny, actually) circle; myself, my children, my mother. My circle's struggles and challenges, it's present, and it's future.
As per usual.


It's foggy and muggy, and eerily quiet here this morning. And lonely. A few months ago, I may have used terms like beautiful, peaceful.
Today, and lately, really, it's just, somber.
Perhaps it's the weather. Perhaps it's that I am alone. Perhaps it's PMS.

It's been a tough weekend (what's new, right?).

Dawson is at his Dad's, as he is every weekend. Three days a week he is gone. Three days of fighting the urge (and most times, losing) to cry every moment. Three days of wishing the time away until he returns.
Norman Bates's mother. Sigh.

The first real week of high school is now under our belts. Already there are academic challenges, primarily in math. And I am absolutely no help to him there. Fortunately I had opportunity to talk with his guidance counselor, and she switched his study hall rooms around. He'll now be in study hall with the math/science tutor.
He is stressed out about school. He only alludes to it, never actually admits he is. But I can tell. Last week he was very quiet on the drive to school. He was so upset over his math homework. He did feel better after meeting with his guidance counselor and switching study halls. He was in good spirits Friday, and he went to the homecoming football game Friday night. I pushed him to go, and I'm glad he did. The more things he gets involved with, the more peers he meets, the more comfortable he will feel.
I had offered to pick him up from the game, but his father arranged for him to ride home with a fellow student, which, as you may have guessed, I was definitely not crazy about. And, as you may have also guessed, that propelled me headfirst into a two hour long anxiety attack. I actually worked myself into a good one on my way home from work, imagining them speeding, careening off the road, getting ejected from the vehicle.. you get the picture. It was a pretty awful couple of hours. But he made it home. Texted me on the way home and as soon as he got there, as demanded. Phew. (ugh)

This weekend he sent me a snapchat picture of a four wheeler, captioned- "Buying this at the dealership now". Low and behold, he was pulling my leg. But I didn't find that out until several hours later. But for those several hours, I had myself a mini pity party (schocker, right?)... Feeling horrible that I couldn't afford to get him such nice things, and his father could. Feeling like I'm not giving him enough. Dad's place has all the frills; snowmobiles, dirt-bikes, four wheelers, a camper, guns, brand new vehicles, big fancy house, lots of land to play on... I'm not doing enough, providing enough. I'm not giving him a fun, memory filled, highly enjoyable childhood. Blah, blah, friggin blah. And yeah, I know, I provide him with so many other things that he'll remember later. Yadda yadda yaddda. But it sure would be nice if I could afford a few new toys or fun experiences along the way.
I have a lake. Yeah, I know. But we haven't always been here. And there's no guarantee we will be for a long time. And so, what have I really given him? A few broken relationships. Several different moves. I think I've given the kid more challenges and broken hearts than anything else. Someday when he's older, I hope he'll forgive me for all of them.
Sigh.
No, I don't need reminding that I'm doing my best, that he feels loved, that I'm giving him plenty, that he'll remember this, that I'm an ok parent, blah blah blah.
I guess I just needed to wallow.
Ok, I didn't need to. I do it plenty. Far too much. Yeah, I know.

Random... I saw a commercial this morning about portfolios, and investing, and markets, and blah blah blah... And I wondered what it must be like to live that way. To wonder about your stocks more than you wonder how to pay the next electric bill.

I've also spent the weekend worrying about Logan. Her and her boyfriend now have less than a month to find a new apartment that will accept their two dogs. Nearly impossible.  And they have a limited income, as many young adult students do. She can move home to her Dad's, or in with my mother. But those offers are extended only to her and Phineus (her great dane), for reasons I won't bother to go into. If I had room for her here, I would have her live with us. Hell, she could, I guess, if she didn't mind the couch, or bunking with her brother. But she wants to be independent, stay with her boyfriend, find another place on their own. I wish I could help her, but I can't.

This weekend I also happened to catch a glimpse of my ex-husband's facebook post. No, I didn't go looking. It showed up in my newsfeed because he tagged a mutual friend. What a pleasant surprise that was. Ah, how lovely. A family getaway to Old Orchard Beach. Ironically, in what looks like the same inn that we stayed at when we went a few years ago. How appropriate. Photos of my (former) step-daughter, the girlfriend's daughter, their quaintly decorated room... And yes, it upset me.
Why? Exes are exes for a reason, I chose this life, blah blah friggin blah...
I don't know. It just did.
There he is, doing all the things we used to do, with his new family. Making memories, building a future. Probably getting ready to be married for all I fucking know.
And here I am. Sitting by the lake alone, my future uncertain, writing this obnoxiously self-piteous blog.
Well, hopefully it's pouring there today too. Pfffffffffft.

Yesterday at work was tough. I enjoy the day shift because I typically don't have to deal with the craziness that accompanies the nights. But once in a while, you get the daytime crazies. Yesterday was that day. I was able to grin and bear it like a pro, though. Evidently I've still got that ability. Although, I did keep repeating under my breath- Is it 6ofuckingclock yet??? I actually poured myself a shift drink at the end of my day. A little Baja Rosa on the rocks. Yeah, I tried. I ended up giving it to one of the girls. I can't even drink anymore, fah fahk sakes.

The rain has driven me inside, and I've turned on my television simply to drown out the silence. It's on CNBC. And I'm suddenly ashamed of my limited knowledge of current events. I have no idea about the current state of affairs in politics, crime rates, national protests, the stock market, the illegal immigrant population, who's leading who in the polls, who's building a wall, who's being investigated for what... And I find that I don't really care. Because, as I mentioned earlier on in this blog, I'm far too busy worrying about my tiny circle.
Myself, my son, my daughter.
Maybe I should become more educated, more aware, more worldly knowledgeable. But I probably won't. And I'm ok with that.

I'm not smart, I'm just well spoken.

And I'm on my last k-cup, which means it's probably time to go do that grocery shopping I've been putting off all morning.

Be well. And thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

It seems I always write on Sundays. Maybe that's because I have nothing else to do on Sundays. No work, no boyfriend to visit with, no son to hang out with... Just me and the lake. And facebook, maybe a novel, dishes to do, laundry to put away, floors to be cleaned...

I asked my bartender if she needed me to come in and make change for her today. She said no, her drawer was all set. I said- well damn, now I have nothing to do today. She said- relax and enjoy.
Why can't I do just that? Why can't I sit lakeside and stick my nose in a book? Or turn Netflix on and binge watch something?
I'm trying. I've actually been doing it? Maybe? I've been sitting here on my porch by the lake for hours... drinking coffee, surfing facebook, looking at college websites (yes, still trying to determine what I want to be when I grow up, and how to go about it), playing games on my phone, texting (and probably annoying) my son...
But my mind is still so unsettled, that even doing this much doesn't really feel very "relaxing"...
Although, I still haven't gotten out of my pajamas.

I've still been fighting the high worry/anxiety state of mind. It seems it's going to stick around. Although I've been trying to calm myself. I'm trying to not worry so about my future and the future of my children. Sometimes just putting it out of my mind works. Sometimes though, it's still debilitating. I get caught in it, and can't get out. Sometimes it goes from worry and anxiety to full blown crippling fear. And I'm stuck in it.
It used to be that I never worried about the future. I don't know why... Maybe it was circumstantial. At one point in my life, my future seemed fairly well predictable. Comfortable, safe. Now there is no way of knowing how/where I will be, near future or distant.
Maybe this is what we do as we age, as our children grow older.
All I know is that I have no goddamned idea what next year looks like, or two years, or five, or ten or more. For myself or for my children. And it's so. fucking. frightening.
But still I try to fight the worry.
I wish there were a bigger word for worry. Worry sounds too normal. This doesn't feel normal.

Anyway...

Work is good.
No big stressors there at the moment. Everything seems to be running smoothly, for the most part. There's the usual bar bitches, as there is everywhere, and particularly in every bar. Who isn't doing what, who isn't pulling their own weight, who isn't doing something right, who likes/dislikes who... But for the most part, we're a pretty good crew. There are nights I sit and worry about it (shocker). But I remind myself that everyone is capable. If shit doesn't get done, or get done right, it will eventually. We make it work.
And we are fortunate to work for the people that we do. I guess I've never mentioned it, but we have some pretty awesome bosses. Seriously, though. I don't think I've ever hung up the phone, or walked away from either of them, without hearing them say "thank you". Simple, I know, but it goes a very long way. They actually give a shit about each of us. They're goddamn good people.
I still enjoy what I do, again, for the most part.
I still find it ironic that I have such a hard time with alcohol/addiction, and yet I am in this industry. So very ironic.
I love the day shift. As much as I hate people, I do love my daily customers. The ones that you see day in and day out. You develop relationships with them. You're no longer just a bartender, and they're no longer just a customer. It's something along the line of friends, even though you don't hang out with them outside of work. It's a very interesting connection, actually; it's hard to describe.
I have one customer in particular that I've grown quite fond of over the last few years. He reminds me of my dad, so very much. He loves his beer and his whiskey. He's more of a grouch than I am (if you can believe that). He drives me crazy a lot of the time. And he's dying of cancer. I don't know what I will do when I don't see his face every day.

Kids are good... Mostly?

Dawson is gone with his Dad, as he is every Thurs-Sun. I still haven't grown accustomed to this, even after all the years we've been doing it. I think it's actually gotten more difficult lately. I miss him so much when he's gone. I cry most Thursdays. And off and on all weekend. Most people live for the weekends. I despise them.
And he seems to be growing farther from me as he gets older. Is that normal? This sucks. He tells me I say "I love you" too much. He looks at me while sitting on the couch and says- why are you sitting so close to me? I want the days back when he would watch a movie with me and snuggle on the couch.
Norman Bates's mother. Sigh.
And he has a girlfriend. Ugh. Yuck. Ewwwwww. UGH!
He started high school last week. Jeezus H. How the hell did this happen...
I've been (you guessed it) worried sick about him each day. I worry from the moment I drop him off till the moment that school lets out. And he's only been going two days now. Christ, how will I survive this???
Living in a choice of high school town certainly has it's benefits. The downside, however, is that the eighth graders don't all move onto high school together, they don't have their entire class to rely on in high school. They all go their separate ways. In Dawson's case, only six of them chose Hermon.
Add to that his high anxiety, much like his mother. Although, he does a much better job of suppressing it. Or maybe just hiding it. I'm not really sure. I know he's super nervous, he's just not saying so. And he struggles academically. Jeezus. I worry about him so.
All I can do is hope that he has a great experience. Be there for him as much as possible. Try not to smother him. Try to help him with all his homework... Ummmm, I didn't even pass Algebra. We might be screwed.
Try not to worry. So. Goddamn. Much.

Logan is.. well.. I don't know. Damnit.
She's dealing with shit of her own. Shit that I can't help her with. Maybe if I were financially comfortable, I could help her with some of her worries. But I'm not, and I can't. And believe me, I punish myself daily for that.
Even still, I can't help her with her personal stuff. I can't make her do, or not do, something. She's an "adult" now, right?
Sigh.
Try not to worry. So. Goddamn. Much.

And, I'm still lonely a lot of the time.
Maybe I'll eventually get used to that.

My bartender just texted me and said she needed some change. Yay! I've got something to do!
Guess I should go get out of my pajamas.

Be well.