Lunaniña


As deep as a puddle after a hard rain

We Are Family

7/13/2024 |0 comments

I’ve always thought about family - what it is, what we learn from it, how we survive it. This hasn’t changed since becoming a parent. Now I think about what kind of family I’m building for my daughter. More than ever I wish we had more extended family in the area because I imagine that only having me for most of the time must be lacking. She’s only five so of course she hasn’t said much about the matter. But she’s a smart, observant kid and occasionally I’ll get questions about why she doesn’t have siblings or father. Somehow in picking a daycare I seem to have chosen one where it seems as if we’re the only single parent household. I could be wrong, obviously, and it’s not as if I can stop each parent I see to ask. But in the 3 years we’ve been there all I seem to see are 2 parent homes (and each traditional in the mom/dad variety).

Family is an interesting thing if you think about it. I made a choice to become a parent but at no point did I poll the other family members to ask if they were interested in becoming an aunt or uncle. That my mother was ready to be a grandparent is such a cliche that it’s not even worth mentioning.

I often wonder if I’d had a more functional upbringing, if these questions would even occur to me. A more stable, happy childhood would maybe have wired my brain to not even question that of course family is always happy and ready to expand. Which isn’t to say, of course, that people in any way resent their new roles. But it is a curious thing, especially in this day and age where we are all learning the importance of consent to say, hey, you had no say in this but now you have to be the best aunt/uncle ever!

I’m told I’m weird to think these things.
But I’ve been told I’m weird all my life so this is nothing new.

I don’t know that this is the most articulate post ever, it may not make any sense at all. It will do for now. From the moment I started blogging 24 years ago, I’ve struggled in deciding what and how much to share. So many years later and that hasn’t changed. And yet, I still have this desire to have this online home. Weird. So we’ll see. At the rate I’m writing, I’m probably on track to post about 3 times a year. Makes you wonder what I get out of this, if anything. Maybe that will be the focus of the third post. I suppose we’ll have to see…


Embarrassment of Riches

9/6/2023 |0 comments

In 2014 I was fortunate enough to be able to move in with friends to cut down on costs. This was much needed because the multiple cross country moves, being unemployed for a brief period and, yes, some questionable financial decisions had left me with more debt than I was comfortable carrying. By then I knew I would be trying to grow my family at some point and I couldn’t imagine embarking on that journey with such a financial deficit hanging over my head. Thankfully I had Sam around who didn’t mind taking in a hermit for a roommate.

So that’s the quick background. Let’s fast forward a bit to 2015 and the cancer diagnosis and treatment. As we know, since this isn’t a ghost typing this, the surgery took care of the physical problem. But I was left emotionally, uhm, not well let’s say. So I turned to the time honored therapy known as retail therapy. Which you might think was counter productive given my goal of paying down debt. But my expenses were so minimal (I mean, Sam even let me use his car when I didn’t feel like renting one) that I was able to make significant dents to the debt and still buy an embarrassing amount of clothes. And I do mean embarrassing.

There was a period where I don’t think a day went by when there weren’t multiple packages waiting for me in front of my bedroom door.

And if you’re a woman or a person who is always thinking she needs to lose weight you’ll likely connect with the idea of buying motivational clothing. The thing that’s one or two (or in my brain addled drepessed state, three or four) sizes too small because you’re going to lose the weight and it’s 80% off so practically free so how can you not buy it!?!*

So yeah. This means I have a closet and several storage bins full of really pretty clothes that is essentially my own personal store.

All this rambling brought to you by the fact that some recent weight loss (please don’t mention it. I don’t share that for any acknowledgment.) had me dipping into my clothes stash. I was able to add 8 (!) new skirts and 3 new dresses to my wardrobe. That’s both fun and also a little cringey. I acknowledge that.

And this also means I can go through and see what doesn’t fit and either donate it or put it aside for alterations.

So, yeah. That’s my Friday so far. I took the day off because I’m tired and I could. I may go to the movies later. I don’t know. I gotta check to see what the matinee prices are. Those silly things never go on clearance, huh? 🤪🤪

*Despite the loss of rational thinking, I only purchased things that were final clearance. If it wasn’t at least 75% off I didn’t consider it. That was some of the justification and that I was still on track according to my debt reduction spreadsheet meant at the time I felt okay about it all.  Because, hey, cancer! Whatever, etc etc.


The End of an Era

7/9/2023 |0 comments

Back in the mid-2000s, a favorite nerd hobby of mine (and quite a few other folks, really) was to gobble up domain names. They were cheap enough that it was possible and you just didn’t want some fantastically awesome domain to not be available once you came up with an idea for a site or product or whatever. Hell, sometimes you didn’t even have to have plans for it, even maybe someday plans, it was just fun, funny. Like I said, nerds. Eh.

I settled on lunanina as being my digital home pretty early on and at this point, even though I don’t make use of the domain in any meaningful way, after 23 years, I can’t imagine not having it. Other domains, though, have come and gone, some with very little after thought. Others with a little bit of regret. I’m living in that regret space right now.

I let patricia-elizabeth expire last month. I moved the blog to that ages ago, once more of my “real-life” people had discovered the blog. It wasn’t that the blog was ever that revealing and given that it was public, I certainly wasn’t shy about people reading my thoughts. But it felt different, having strangers that I probably would never interact with read about my childhood and people who I had to sit across from at meetings knowing stuff that I hadn’t already decided to share with them. I think that’s the kind of thing that folks who choose to share online would understand and would confuse others who think all the social networking thing is just a waste of time.

Regardless, in trying to be more fiscally responsible, I looked at the annual cost of the domains I still had and while it wasn’t breaking the bank, it was enough to make me thing, hmm, that’s just silly. So I let 3 domains expire. I was sure that was the right thing to do. It’s still the right thing to do. But that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling pangs about the namesake domain being gone. I’m a creature of habit and I like my routines so maybe I can attribute the feelings to that. Or perhaps letting that go means accepting that the period of my life which encompassed the use of that particular domain is long behind me. I don’t know.

I do know that I just looked to see if the domain was available and it is, but through an auction. Which immediately had me thinking, well, no, I don’t miss it that much. It’s nice that the idea of having to spend even more money on it brought along a little clarity. Hey, we take our “wins” aka marginal emotional growth however we can get them around here.


Silver Linings

4/4/2023 |0 comments

I started my first Twitter account back in 2006. And when I tell you that I still kind of regret having crashed and burned that account after a few short months that’s me admitting just how much of a nerd I continue to be. It’s been so long ago that I don’t even remember why I deleted it. I probably didn’t see the point of it. Who knows.

But much like blogging Twitter brought some smart folks into my life who I am happy to call friends. Which is why, even as I came to use the site less and less, I didn’t once consider deleting the second account which I started at some point in 2007. Plus, even if I don’t use it much, it was still fun knowing how old my account was when younger folks excitedly told me about their new Twitter habit. I wasn’t annoying about it, I don’t think. I never once patted them on the head while also saying, “Oh, it’s cute that you think you just discovered this.” Given that in the 16 years I’ve had an account I’ve never gotten more than 300 and some followers I can hardly be too smug about it after all. Popular I never was. In real or my digital life. But that’s neither here nor there.

I got to thinking about Twitter tonight because the slooow demise means folks have started blogging again. Not as many as I would like but enough that skipping down my blogroll is fun again. I don’t think we’ll ever get back to the hey day of blogging but people having the urge to post thoughts in more than 280 characters is still a win in my book.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the trend lasts.


Grief, Guilt and Loss

7/28/2022 |0 comments

Grief.
Guilt.

Can you feel grief without also experiencing guilt? While I’ve been fortunate to not have experienced a lot of loss in my life, in my experience the two always go hand in hand. There’s always the feeling of not having done enough. Of not having tried hard enough to stay connected. Of the conversations that won’t be had.

When I was in El Salvador for a week, because of COVID and the kiddo not being vaccinated, I decided we would stay close to home. I also decided, since we would be staying close to home, that we would work on potty training. I didn’t love not being able to see as many people as I wanted, but the low contact seemed necessary. At the time I was also thinking we’d be back for two weeks in December. She’d be vaccinated by then, hopefully COVID would be even less of a problem. I’ll see everyone then, I thought.

That decision gutted me in early July when I found out an aunt died in late June. We had talked about seeing her but it was hard for her to get around and I didn’t want to be on public transportation with the kid because potty training wasn’t going well. I consoled myself with the thought that I’d see my aunt in a few months and she’d get to meet my little girl.

I’m almost 50 years old. You’d think I’d be more aware of the fact that people that have known me all my life won’t be around forever. But that’s not the way my brain works. That can’t be the way our brains work, can it? To constantly be thinking that a visit, a moment, could be the last visit, the last moment with someone. That seems emotionally exhausting.

The last time I saw my aunt was in 2018. When I forget she’s passed, I just think of her living in El Salvador, going about her day to day life. And then I feel that pang of sadness, followed quickly by the guilt, again. I console myself by reminding myself that in those three years I emailed and called her, gave her updates on the baby, sent photos and, during the lockdown that affected all of us, I helped as much as I could. So the three years didn’t pass in complete silence but, still, the decision to not see her a few months ago, for now, seems so heavy that it overshadows the efforts of the last three years.

So it goes. Life goes. Whether we’re ready for it or not.


Not Too Much Attention

3/10/2022 |0 comments

After five years in the same job, at the end of the month I will be transitioning to a new position within the county system. I don’t hate my job - although as with any job, there are frustrations. But it’s not a need to get away that’s driving the change. Rather it’s a question of what’s next? I’m looking forward to the change in focus. While I will still get to use the skills and knowledge that I’ve accumulated throughout the year, I’ll be focusing on different issues that I’ve previously had some experience with but nothing full time. What I am not looking forward to is the transition and all the attention that that brings.

In a Jerry Seinfeld show about a decade ago, during the Q&A, a woman in the audience yelled out that it was her birthday. Seinfeld wished her a happy birthday and asked how old she was. The woman did not reply. So he quipped, “so you like attention just not too much attention.” That has stuck with me because that’s me.

I like attention on my own terms when I’m in the mood. I’m not always in the mood. So all this having to announce that I’m switching jobs and having folks react to it, it’s a lot. And because it’s not exactly a promotion people are asking why I’m leaving the current position. Telling folks who have been doing the same job for a decade (or more) that I don’t hate the job and I just need something different - well, I might as well be telling them I don’t like bacon, brownies or pie. They all seem to elicit the same “I don’t understand what you’re saying” reaction.

So I’m ready to just move on but still have two more weeks to go. Meh.


I Used to Love My Birthday

2/17/2022 |0 comments

As the title states, I used to love my birthday.

I don’t anymore.

And no, it isn’t because I’m 13 months away from turning 50. Although, as with anyone that is close to turning fifty, I do find myself wondering, “Well. How did that happen?” Because, yes, inside I feel at most like I’m in my early 20s. Hell, somedays I might bump that down to about 15 and can’t understand why I have so many bills to pay.

But no. The reason for not loving birthdays anymore was the cancer. Admitting that fills me with such a sense of guilt. The fact that I had cancer and was cured of cancer should make me love life, right? Should make me want to celebrate my birthday even more, right?

Before 2015 and the cancer diagnosis, I would count down for weeks until my birthday. I looked forward to the day. Even when most years the actual celebration was me maybe just taking the day off and going to the movies alone. It wasn’t about parties (because I’ve only had a handful of birthday parties in my lifetime) and it wasn’t about the presents - though obviously those are fun to get.

It was just an uncomplicated joy about having a day where I could be happy about it being about me - even if I was the only one who was aware of the day.

While I can pinpoint the change in attitude to the year I was diagnosed with cancer it’s definitely a mystery as to why the change happened. I don’t know the why of it all. I just know that that particular joy is gone. It makes me sad that what used to be a happy (if silly) time of the year has been replaced by a bit of apathy and a lot of guilt. I tell myself it’s okay. After all, there are plenty of people out in the world who don’t care one bit about their birthdays. It certainly isn’t anything to worry about. I’m not depressed. I don’t dislike my life. Maybe not caring about getting older is just what happens when one is closer to the end than the beginning. I could be completely wrong about it being a result of the cancer diagnosis and it this change in attitude might have happened regardless.

There’s no real way to know.

What I know is that I miss that old excitement. And in 7 years, I haven’t quite figured out how to get it back.


Vaccinated

1/23/2022 |0 comments

I got my first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today. I don’t know why I feel as if I shouldn’t share that. Maybe I’ve seen too many people on social media posting about their vaccines along with messages that they didn’t jump the line or they got it because of their job, etc. As if the ability to get vaccinated quickly needs to be justified.

I’ve had several people ask me how I managed to get an appointment so fast, or what my hook up was.

Timing and an underlying health condition is my response. The day I heard that Va would be expanding the criteria to include people with underlying health conditions I logged on to the health department’s website for the county in which I work. After reading the message about the long wait there I went next to the health department in the county in which I live. There I was able to add myself to the list even before the website information had been updated to the new expanded criteria. I did it not expecting to hear anything back for days. To my surprise I received a message from the CDC to create a profile on the VAMS website that same night. At first I thought it was SPAM because the CDC email seemed a tad informal. After doing a little Googling I decided it was the real thing. I created a profile and after bumping around the site for a little while I was able to get an appointment for this morning.

The day after getting my appointment I started seeing the news stories about how the federal government had misrepresented the amount of vaccine it had in reserves. Well, I thought, so much for my appointment. For the last week and a half I’ve been expecting to get a notice that my appointment had been cancelled.

Thankfully that did not happen and getting the shot this morning went quite smoothly. All told it was about a 30 minute experience, including the 15 minute wait time afterwards to ensure that I didn’t have any immediate negative effects. So far there is only a slight discomfort in the upper arm, and a mild headache. But as we know, I suffer from chronic headaches so it’s hard to know if today’s headache is vaccine related or just a regular ol’ headache, it’s a day that ends in Y kind of headache.

Before I left the clinic they asked me to sign up with the CDC V-Safe app which they will use to monitor my reaction to the vaccine. Today’s check in was pretty uneventful. Let’s hope that trend continues.


Blog Lapse

9/5/2021 |0 comments

Part of the desire to blog is because my memory is awful. We could blame my advancing years but in truth my bad memory has been a problem for decades. For a while I had a reputation for taking meticulous notes at work and people, I believe, prescribed that to work ethic or quality work. Those were great by products but really the notes are just necessary in order for me to do the job properly. Sadly, I’ve never been good about bringing this habit to my personal life. On and off I’ve tried to rely on the blogging to fill that need but we can see from my inconsistent posting how well that goes. Maybe if I paid myself to blog that would do the trick?

Let’s do a quick recap of this year’s doings, shall we?

After a couple of years of contemplating buying a home for the kiddo and myself, in February of this year I got serious about it. I knew the location I wanted, which limited things a bit but I prioritized the kiddo being able to walk to grandma’s over square footage. We moved mid-April, which I’m told is fast in terms of home-buying but this is the first (and hopefully last) condo I’ve ever purchased so I have nothing to compare the process to. It’s a nice place; has some good and bad aspects to it. The most annoying of which, because of the humidity of the area, means some of the wooden floorboards are peaking. Home ownership, gotta love it, no? Last week, after picking the kiddo up from daycare, she refused to come into the building. Instead she took my hand and led me on a walk to grandma’s house. That she gets to do that whenever she wants was the point of the purchase so that makes the annoyances less annoying.

Speaking of daycare, even though the anxiety is tough to deal with, she’s back in daycare. Now that she’s 2, she needs more structure than I can provide while also working from home. And her excitement at seeing other kids whenever we would go for walks or to a park made it clear that she wants the company of other kids. That doesn’t mean the return to daycare has been seamless; she’s struggled a bit and as a result has been more clingy than is her usual. Prior to daycare, nap times and bed times were pretty easy going routines. Once daycare started, she started crying at every single nap time and every single bed time. Even if I stayed in the room with her, she wasn’t always happy. After a month and a half things seem to be calming down again. Which is such a relief. The moments weren’t fun for either of us.

Work in the office was supposed to resume this month, but that’s been pushed back to mid-October. Thankfully we’re only expected to work in the office two days a week. I remain forever grateful that during peak times of this pandemic I had a job that allowed me to stay home and keep myself and the baby safe but that doesn’t mean I was looking forward to going back to the office full time. It’s the introvert in me, I suppose. I’m perfectly fine with keeping in touch with folks via email and video chats. I don’t need to be in the same room with someone to feel as if I’ve connected. Maybe that comes from years of keeping online friendships going via those same methods? Either way, I would have been fine staying home indefinitely but two days a week is fine too. Better than the alternative.

I think that’s a good enough update for now. Let’s see if I can’t be a bit more interesting and timely with the next post, no?


Early to Bed, Early to Rise

4/7/2021 |0 comments

This kid is an early riser. She’s up between 5:30 and 6:30 every morning. If she goes to 7 and later I think she’s sick or we’ve had a rare bad night. I didn’t bother changing her schedule because, selfishly, early wake ups mean early bedtimes. And I have needed the couple of hours between her bedtime and mine to do stuff or not do stuff, as the mood and energy levels dictated.

However, it looks like I need to try and get her to have a more consistent 6:30 wake up. Because when she goes to daycare nap time is going to be at 1pm. If she continues to wake up closer to the 5:30 am side that’s gonna be a long 7 hours. Going back to daycare is going to be enough of an adjustment without having her melt down from over tiredness.

We have time though. I’m not taking her back until July or August. Really depends on how she’s doing at home. I like the continued savings of starting in August but watching her playing all alone is making me sad. I can’t give her the structure and stimulation she probably needs now so it seems wrong to not take her back as soon as I feel comfortable Covid-wise. By July I’m hoping enough folks will be vaccinated that I won’t have too much anxiety about sending her back out into the world.

Ugh. I need to win the lottery. Or finally marry rich. Really do not know why I’ve put either of those options off for so long.