Today I'm at my mom's and it's going much better than I thought it would. I brought her a jar of pickled beets as a hostess gift and was offered a tablecloth that had belonged to my great grandmother in return. Since I passed on it, I really loved the strawberry pattern, but knew others would appreciate it more than myself it ended up going to my uncle and I feel really good about that decision. I brought my own food, but didn't bring quite enough. The girls found the roasted seaweed snacks I had packed for myself, and I'm happy about being able to share them even though I would have liked to have eaten them myself.
I took a walk with my sister and her girls. I remember my own children being those ages and some of the challenges associated with juggling a toddler and a baby. A woman at her work is being difficult and manipulative, my sister works part time, but this woman wants her to work full time while she enjoys part time hours despite running the risk of losing her benefits. You can work part time or you can have your benefits, apparently management has discussed this problem with her before, but it continues despite the repeated warnings. I'm not sure why she's being allowed to set her own schedule, but I also know that sometimes work be like that.
I'm in a much better frame of mind than I was. My family is interesting to talk to when they get in a good conversational groove. This year's talk centered around books people have read or are reading. I learned a lot and have some items I'll be searching for at the library. I think part of my problem is I'm competitive and it feels like my next youngest sister was beloved by both of my parents because she was more of a conformist than I was. I was the rebel without a cause, she's the child who has read the collective works of Jane Austen, has multiple degrees, and makes dinners following recipes she found in the New York Times.
My middle sister lives down the way from my mom. Her home is gorgeous, she has a great job, her husband has a better one, and once again, I feel inadequate compared to her because I don't drive a BMW and it breaks my heart that she doesn't even appreciate the car she has. This isn't totally fair because I drove a cool car for years, I think it's just hard when you love cars and see others who just drive them (insert crying emoji). My youngest sister is so much more empathetic and sweeter than I am. She has a sense of duty I don't and she gets all the girly girl stuff I missed out on that my youngest daughter just gets.
My brother and I both represent untapped potential, the main difference being he's eight years younger than I am. I really thought that by this time I would be settled in my life, not starting over and wondering where I'm going to end up, I've never been much of a planner, I'm ridiculously organized, but I have yet to find a calendar that works for me. I get to work on time, punctuality isn't typically my problem, but I lack this ability to plug events in and then prepare for them on paper. When I sit down and do this it's exhausting, but my work week goes so much better when I write things out and then put my poems on the back.
Today I feel blessed and guilty. I had a dream that I was laying in bed talking to this guy who told me that I was in denial, he was standing near the side of the bed, he felt like a massage therapist or something similar, but we were not in a clinical setting or anywhere else that I recognized. We had a conversation about food and he told me that we should go out and I could eat half of a hamburger. What can I say, dreams are strange. The important part to me is that I woke up feeling like he had told me to face my issues and believed that I could.
I think I feel like I'm not using my intelligence and missing out on some key components in life because I lack this ability to understand how others are feeling and act or react appropriately. I feel everything, or nothing. I had a great conversation with a baseball friend of mine and have an idea for a new poem. I work with this woman who is a unicorn, I know a lot of unicorns, and I feel privileged that these people have been placed in my life. When I first met her I was like, this chick is not for real and I'm ashamed to say I dismissed her partially because I was like, how can someone be that incredibly beautiful and care about other people to the extent that she does?
What I've decided is for the moment the job that I have is giving me some of the things I need most. I've written about my work mom in the past. I need that type of nurturing and I need the empathy and support that my unicorn friend provides. For a while I felt like it was an incredible burden to keep dumping my personal crap on her, I didn't trust her mostly because I don't trust myself. My sister smiled when I told her that I had gone off the deep end and was having personal problems with management and others at work. I guess you either love me or hate me and since I'm a person of black and white extremes, I either love or hate you, and it's pretty clear to everyone who falls in which category.
I'm trying to accept that there is room for personal growth while understanding that there are positives about being the way that I am. My baseball attorney friend told me that I'm a unicorn and for once I agreed with him, although we had a lively debate about certain painters and pitchers before arriving at this conclusion. It's cool to have friends who get Clayton Kershaw and El Greco comparisons. I think a gift of mine is being able to spread my love of people who paint the corners with others who paint the corners (this is a baseball joke and I'm not going to apologize for it).
Every year my friend tracks the baseball Hall of Fame votes on a spreadsheet. It sparks ire, drives comparisons, leads to articles that I enjoy reading, and in general I absolutely love it even when people get into heated debates about Omar Vizquel and there are PED arguments that lead nowhere and cover tired ground. I really hope Edgar Martinez gets enough votes and pray that Jeff Passan reviews his decision to cast a ballot. He is abstaining from voting in response to a think piece that Joe Morgan wrote and while I understand his position, it's a shame that deserving players may be kept out if he refrains from voting. The system is flawed, but I'm happy it exists.
Today I am thankful that my family tolerates me sitting on the computer, lets me skip out on dishes (one of the rare benefits of life threatening food allergies), and educates and entertains me instead of being dull and boring. I was scared of another tearful and hate filled holiday where political divides split the family, it's nice to be a part of a whole even though a part of me is grieving that my father is no longer alive because I have a lot of memories of him and there is a void left by his absence. I went to work to buy a pie, bought practically everything but, and told my friend that I was going back to see the guy she likes. We hugged and are still friends, I was afraid we might not be after that.
Until next time,
P.S. The girls and I had an impromptu karaoke session in the car and they were critical of my taste in music after I told them I actually liked a Justin Bieber song. Jane got a new pair of shoes and her outfit is totally lit. You read this on the world wide web so you know it has to be true.