Saturday, February 3

Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society"

And once a year we get paid back and I usually use that tax return to be decidedly un-civilized. After all, it's 'free money'. Every year I say to myself that I am going to be responsible and save it, or buy only the things that I really need and can normally not afford. And every year I blow it. This year I am doing both. I paid my rent, took a friend out for a great dinner (and mango vodka...seriously- MANGO- fabulous!) and today after work I'm buying new sneakers and some perfume (and possibly anything else that catches my eye). But this morning when I got to work I went to two charities and donated online. World Vision is a charity

dedicated to helping children around who are living in poverty. They buy book bags and stock them with school supplies for kids in the US, they donate milk giving goats to families in India and across the continent of Africa and too many other great things to name here. The Grameen Bank gives micro loans to poor women in third world countries and was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize along with its founder. So now the money that I was going to spend on alcohol or shoes is going to help people start new lives and I feel pretty good about that.

There are many prices that we pay. For over a year now I have become increasingly disillusioned about my prospects in my job. When I was hired there was a time line laid out of vertical movement through the company. Although each of my reviews have been excellent and my raises have been adequate the movement has not come. I am not the only one in this situation at my office, but I am the only one whose life I can control to any extent. So-it's time to man up. Part of this is on me since I haven't brought it up with the management- mostly because I hate the idea of rocking the boat and it would force me into a situation where I would have to think of leaving what has become a pretty comfortable situation. Except it hasn't been that comfortable apparently. Last week I had a panic attack at work and had to be taken to the ER. If you've never had one you cannot understand just how terrifying it is. It's made me look at thing a little differently. I'm trying to eat better, exercise more, get involved in my community and more involved in my world. I'm trying to give my life a makeover and make it more like the one I dreamed of when I was younger. What is the point of doing all that if I am going to stay in a job that stresses me out daily to the point where I end up in the hospital? It's like going on a heart healthy diet while smoking a pack a day. So- I am posting my resume on al of the job search sites and I am going to have that conversation with my managers because the price I am paying for not rocking the boat is just too high.


I have said over and over on these pages how much I love my mother and how proud I am of her; how much she inspires me. All of this is true. But while I have been making a conscious effort these past four years since the divorce to be supportive of her I have been missing out on having a mother. I have kept my problems from her unless they were simple fixes. I have made sure that she had flowers for Valentine's day and cards in her mailbox for no reason at all. I have tried as much as I could to keep my pain and my loneliness away from her and now I am paying for that. Sitting in the hospital last Friday 500 miles and 8 hours away from home I really needed my mom. I called her at work repeatedly and got her voice mail-- I left messages telling her that I was fine and not to worry. I called again when I got home and told her the same but asked her to call me. When I called again that night she was heading out the door but said she'd call when she got in. I stayed up until after 11 waiting for that call and when I finally called to leave a message saying I was going to sleep she picked up the phone- she was already in bed. When she finally called me on Sunday she couldn't understand why I was so upset and couldn't talk to her. Because I hadn't let her see much weakness for over four years she couldn't imagine that I was crying myself to sleep, scared and hurting and waiting to hear my mother's voice telling me that everything was going to be ok. She couldn't explain the rush of anger and resentment that came over me and hasn't really started subsiding until now. I felt like I had done so much for her and had denied myself so much for her; like I had made myself the one she could lean on when there was no one supporting me and the one time I had needed to lean she walked out and let me crash to the ground. It still hurts, but I coming to realize that I made it sound less than it was so that she wouldn't worry like I always do and now I can't really get that angry taht she didn't worry. It's the price you pay...