family

Poetry in the Bathtub

It’s been quite some time since I just wrote what I’ve been up to. I wish I could say that everything has just been so fabulous I was too busy having fun to write. It’s really been as I’m sure you suspect: stressful and busy.

Major Life Happenings

There have been a few, what I would consider, major changes in my life in the last six months that have lead me to feeling overwhelmed and extremely tired. They are as follows:

  • Husband gets a job in a city 2.5 hours away. This means he needs to rent an apartment (sadly, with strangers) pay rent and only be able to come home on weekends.
    • This has lead me to acting as a single parent of two very high energy, and one very high emotional needs, children. Boys, to be specific.
  • A coworker got a new job in an awesome, stable position. I react to this change in a very surprising, not-so-great way. I’m still surprised at my own reaction to this news.
  • There are extreme issues at my eldest sons daycare which lead me to pulling him from it and placing myself in an extremely stressful and awkward situation.

I am happy to report that most of these issues are being dealt with. My sons childcare issues have just been resolved in the last week with changes to begin in January 2018. Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year and I should be sitting pretty. I’m grateful to have such an accommodating workplace because I know I wouldn’t have been able to keep my job in light of the impact it has had on my work schedule.

The reaction I had to my coworker departing is being dealt with. I surprised even myself with how I initially took the news. It was mostly due to shock, but there were underlying concerns as well. I am meeting with my counsellor again and we’re addressing it. I have yet to write the departing coworker into a short story where I kill them off and satisfy my unhappiness.

My husband being absent is another thing. This is the right move for our family as he now has an amazing job that he feels confident he will be happy in for the rest of his working life. We plan to move out closer to his job at the end of the school year, so I only have 6 more months of living like this. It’s not what I envisioned myself doing, for sure, but it’s a necessary evil.

Behold My Field of Fucks, and See that it is Barren

This has all done a number on my empathy and patience level for bullshit. I have none left. My tolerance is at an all time low and I’m actively working on mindfulness activities so that I don’t blow my top over stupid stuff. Where does that lead me? Why, it leads me to writing poetry in my bathtub on a Thursday evening.

After my board meeting ended earlier than expected I had attempted to arrange a hang out. Sadly, it wasn’t to be so I came home with really nothing to do. Usually a bath makes me happy but my tub is absolute shite and I can’t wait to move. Still, into the tub I went, writing poetry and this post on my tablet on the side of the tub. I really want one of those things that goes across the tub so you can write more naturally. I will spend hours in the tub if you’d let me.

I’ve also started journaling again. On paper, privately, where I can get out my innermost thoughts without offending the general population. Once I am done with my board meetings I hope to actively write TAK again. I haven’t touched it in a year and I’ve been dreaming of new direction to take it. I so badly want to give it my attention. Perhaps a throw-away character who very closely resembles the coworker who abandoned me will show up only to be disposed of quite spectacularly. That is still up for debate.

But most of all, I want to be still. I want to be rested. I want to have less stress. I want to be able to call the babysitter because I’m going out to a movie or a drink with a friend. I want to be able to put my kids to bed and devote the next three hours to working on my book. I want to be able to read a real, physical book and not worry that I actually have a million things I should be paying attention to.

Perhaps the new year will show me a new outlook. 2017 has been very difficult and I most certainly could use a break.

Here’s crossing my finger, my toes and my eyes and 2018 comes with renewed passion and energy.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Born From a Tree, Like Most Nuts

Children just keep getting older. And with that age comes more questions. Some of the questions are difficult to answer, like my son asking me about my parents.

He’s going to be seven in 3 months. It’s only natural that after being exposed to his grandparents on his father’s side and the other family on that side that he’d wonder about mine. He’s asked before, but I’ve managed to successfully dodge answering it.

Simply telling him that I do not have parents seems to have worked so far. He asks about my grandparents and to that question I will reply. But I have no parents.

No parents worth talking about.

Why tell my young child about the man who comes in and out of my life like a ghost? The one who I have made the decision to disconnect from because it caused me too much heartache to watch him father other children? He has not been a father to me for longer than he has been a father. He has a new family now and I want to be happy for him and support him. I fear that my constant need for validation would only cause him pain, so to him I have bid good-bye.

Why tell him about the woman who teeters dangerously on the edge of sanity? The woman who had been a great mother until something inside her snapped and everything disintegrated around us? This is not a person who would be a good role model for him: she has nothing to teach him. From her mouth spew lies and suffering. I will not subject him to that.

So I tell my child that I was born from a tree, like most nuts. He’s too young to quite understand how that is funny but it seems to satisfy him when he asks.

I want to tell him of my family; of his heritage. How his great-grandparents grew up in British ruled India and went to boarding school. How we are Anglo-Indian and that’s why we look so white. Of the reason his mother loves rice and parathas. How his grandparents flew from India to England, and then took a boat from England to Canada. How his great-grandparents on the paternal side of me weren’t really in the picture, but seemed to have an awkward kindness about them. How disconnected I have always been from that side of my life. How he has an uncle who would probably spoil him to pieces although that uncle probably doesn’t even know he exists because of poor decisions on everyone’s part.

These things I can tell him once he grows; once he is ready to listen and perhaps understand.

grow

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Need to Scratch

I’ve been thinking a lot about TAK lately. I wasn’t satisfied where I had stopped it last time. I found myself up against a wall; unsure how to move the story forward. My next concern was how I got myself in that hole. This hasn’t ever really happened before. Usually when I hit a wall I just find some way to push through it, even if it seems weird and crummy in the story itself.

But I find I can’t do that with TAK. So the question becomes: where do I go from here?

I’ve figured out where it all went wrong. I had the main characters depart on a job in a small town which lead them to the remaining group of main characters. Only now that it’s been a few months (okay, almost a year) since I wrote that I can see that it was unnatural. I wasn’t truly in the mind of my characters and the story-line suffered for that. Of course, this made me feel like those forty pages I had written since were useless and I rejected doing anything to it.

So it sat.

And sat.

And sat like a fat cat on a chair. (I just wanted to write that)

cat

It’s not on a chair, but you get the idea

Now I can feel that itch in my fingers: the one that wants me to just sit at a desk all day and type frantically. The one that wants to get the story out of my head and into the world.

I have a few issues with that which are making this itch hard to scratch.

Issue 1: I have a Day Job. While this day job has been incredibly sloooooooow lately and I’ve been way up to date on all my work, I’ve been using the time to work on my courses.

Issue 2: I’m a crazy person working full time and taking two classes online. Both of these classes are ridiculously heavy with the classwork. I have weekly discussions, two group assignments, 2 tests and an exam. And that’s just what I remember.

Issue 3: I’m a parent. This means I have limited time and I can’t just lock myself away in my office (which is super cold all.the.time. for some stupid reason) without drowning in guilt.

So these are my issues. I need some tissues. (HA! I’m a bit delirious. I got out of bed earlier than normal today).

Those who write and somehow manage to balance a life, how do you do it? Any tips to spare? I’m usually great at self-motivation but I could use some extra support right now.

glasses

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Did Someone Order a Headless Chicken?

It’s been far too long since I just wrote a post about myself. I’ve been keeping up with the mindful musings but I haven’t had time to talk about me.

I’m sure you’ve all suspected that TAK has fallen by the wayside again. Indeed, it has. I’ve been quite stuck with it and have been considering rewriting the last few chapters I wrote previously as they just weren’t inspiring me.

Well, on to the life update!

I currently have two jobs. I’m a casual Crisis Counsellor at the women’s shelter where I live. Since I have personal experience with domestic abuse on various levels and I have this desire to help others I wanted to get out there and do more. Also, my husband is in his last year of school and after the debacle with him working last year it was agreed that I would be the one to have a second job.

The busy-ness doesn’t stop there! I have two freelance clients I do odd work for now and then for pocket change. It’s not much, but $20 here and there does add up and can make quite a dent on the credit card.

I am also taking two courses through Memorial University this term. Looking at the weight of the courses I should have only signed up for one but it’s too late now. I’ll work my hardest to get good grades to hopefully increase the chances of getting into my MEd program.

And then there’s the children, Spawn and Hatchling. Spawn has definitely had some behaviour issues that were really excessive in the last few years. It got bad enough in the last six months that I took him for an intake session for behaviour. Now I’m waiting to get a full assessment so I can hopefully figure out how to help him. While we wait, we’re actively going to the Y twice a week. Spawn is involved in 2 programs and I work out on the machines while he participates. I’ve realized, too late, that I have forgotten my iPod at home, however, so  I’m a tad upset about it.

It’s been a bit hard, emotionally, as well. It was my grandmother’s birthday at the beginning of the month and I’ve been getting actively harassed by losers who won’t leave me alone. It seems that ignoring them won’t work and I’d rather not engage their destructive behaviour.

Open to thoughts on that. What have you done to banish ne’er dowells back into the darkness?

nope

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 5 comments

Another Day Among the Living

I’ve been a bit radio-silent the past week. A lot of that is because I was away for work with limited access to my tablet/writing. I haven’t touched TAK in like, 2 weeks, and I’m feeling a bit frustrated.

Everything around me seems to be in chaos. There’s a lot of uneasiness going on in my house while my husband prepares for job interviews and such for the summer. He still has a year left in his college program, but he was given the chance to work for a company in the summer that would potentially hire him when he’s done his program. There’s a lot of unease about this because it’s just a 3 month position. This means in the fall he would once again be unemployed.

Honestly, I’m fine with it.

I would rather be the one to take up a second job than to have him work and go to school. It’s been difficult for him and the boys are in this stage where they love dad the most (kids, amiright?) so with his unpredictable schedule there has been a lot of backlash at home. Especially with our eldest.

Will it mean I’m tired, working two jobs? Well, yeah, probably. I’ve done it before so I’m not concerned. No matter what I’ve done, be it school or volunteering,  I have always done so while working full time in the day.

My time to focus on my needs, educational and recreational, without working will come eventually.

In the meantime, the rest of life is going well. I’m heading up the Rock and Mineral show with a friend of mine tonight. Then we’re going to go out for dinner and maybe some ice cream.

Work is a bit quiet at the time but it will surely pick up as things get moving. I need to get in touch with an academic advisor at the university that accepted me so I can make sure my plan is realistic.

For now, I’ll just focus on what’s happening at this moment instead of stressing about the future.

stress free

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Here in Manitoba, Canada we laugh when Spring starts to appear. Like most places in Canada March seems to herald in a new season. Snow starts to melt, the sun shines and temperatures rise. Lots of people discard their parkas or other winter coats in favour of lighter Spring jackets and sweaters. There are even people who start wearing shorts! I know 10°C is warm, but come on!

But in Manitoba, we know better. We know this is just a ruse, a trick. It’s not actually Spring yet. We’ve gotten a dumping of snow in May for crying out loud! When I lived in Alberta, it was much the same. I haven’t lived in Saskatchewan before, but since it’s sandwiched between the two, I imagine it’s similar.

So it was no surprise when a fresh, crisp blanket of white greeted me this morning. Flakes were falling gently in the air. Ah, snow. It’s snowing again and we’re liable to get another 2-4cm today.

20160317_073031.jpg

My eldest son was less than impressed. He wanted the green grass and the puddles to come back. Driving to work this morning had us going through 2 intersections. Such is life here.

On a good note, do you all remember that money issue I’ve been bitching about for the last seven months? Of course you do! If there’s anything I do well, it’s complain.

Yesterday afternoon the bank called my husband to inform him that the cheque had been received. Within an hour, it was showing in our account. FINALLY! FINALLY! The money has been received. I no longer have to worry about buying groceries this weekend. I don’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. I don’t have to worry about being able to afford the new socks my kid so desperately needs.

I have been offered lots of support in terms of money to fill the gaps while we were waiting for this goddamn payout. Friends, family, friends that are basically family. While I appreciate it all, I have an extreme aversion to borrowing money. I do not like owing people money. I don’t like owing even a dollar to someone. Being indebted to someone makes me go into extreme anxiety-mode.

I’ve associated owing money to someone as basically giving that person rights  to your life. Like blood money. My rational brain thinks this thought-process is ridiculous. My irrational brain tends to be a bit louder and is like “whaaaaa? NO!”

Other good news is that we are now able to afford those tiny extras we’ve been waiting on. I can paint the office and purchase one of the last pieces of furniture. We paid off my student loan, I paid off the credit card, I repaid my in-laws (they bought us the desk for the office. I’ve been in agony ever since). My husband was able to order the new toy he wanted. Once the credit card recovers from its workout I’ll pay it off again and put the rest of  the money in savings like I planned.

Things are finally looking up. The last seven months have been hell and stress. Things have been tense and no one was happy. Now we can focus on being a family again. My husband and I can afford to go on a date. It is better now. Much better.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Mindful Musings #34

Mindful Musings

I don’t want to be afraid any more.

I’ve spent my whole life living in fear of you.

Of what you say.

Of what you don’t say.

I fear your existence and how it wraps with mine.

I fear your voice that seems to follow me everywhere.

I don’t want to be afraid any more.

I don’t want to hold on;

Hoping for something that will never be.

It will never be.

We will never be.

Our relationship no longer holds power.

You hold no power.

I’m letting go now.

I hate you

But I forgive you.

I’m sorry you couldn’t love me.

I’m sorry you won’t know who I have become.

I’m sorry you bore me

Some thirty-two years ago.

I don’t want to be afraid any more.

So I won’t.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

Quantifying My Existence

Everything in life is a measurement. Your age, the ticking of the clock as time passes, the effort you put into your day. We exist here on this planet in this galaxy in this universe. What effort have you put in? What does it matter? Who are we trying to impress by bleeding and sweating our lives away? Are we trying to impress friends? Lovers? Parents? Ourselves?

I find that I am constantly and almost desperately trying to measure myself and my contribution on a regular basis. Have I done enough? Will I be remembered when I’m gone? Will people remember me when I’m gone?

I’m only 32 and yet I think like this on a regular basis. But who am I trying to impress? My kids will remember me. They have no choice. You don’t have an obnoxious mother like myself and then simply forget about her. Same with my poor sod of a husband. The guy will never forget me, even if he wants to.

It’s not like I’m ill and I’m going to die tomorrow. It’s not like I’m one of those people who expects to get crushed by the roof of the mall when I’m shopping (That has happened to people in my country before, though. It was devastating). Perhaps it’s because where I currently am in writing TAK.

There is a lot of death in this book. Some of it is symbolic death. Some of it is true, honest death. There is a lot of soul-searching as the characters try to figure out who they are and what they can offer. Granted, their world is tougher than ours. Well, tougher than the life I lead in my country. There are countries in our world right now who have been dealing with wars for longer than I’ve been alive.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I published Black & Red before I was certain it was ready. I  was just so desperate to have something out there, in the world, for others to read and realize that I existed. That the story had been crafted by a human being and although the ending may leave much to be desired, it was still something that was agonized over.

Perhaps it is just too goddamn early on a Monday morning to be introspective. I shall end my ramblings here today and continue on with work. 6 minutes to go until I have to be ‘on’.

Happy Monday, suckers like I who are working. And screw you guys who are all at home without work or responsibilities 😉

poppins

Mary Poppins is the shit.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 2 comments

When the going gets rough

The rough try to pick themselves up!

Had a grumpy morning: lots of complaints, kids being little dicks, my tea tasted like soap, I didn’t bring a granola bar to eat. It’s only 8:32am and I’ve only been at work for 32 minutes. I’ve got a lot to do today such as finishing up content for a new site we’re launching in the spring, a meeting regarding that content, and my regular work duties. It’s not really a lot but today it feels like a lot.

My office-mate and brain twin found this hilarious generator for Canadian Literature. Here are some of my favourites:

canlit 2Canlit

This is Canadian Literature people. Or at least the beginnings of amazingness. A lot of them mention an absent father or a loving father which, in reality, is a true theme in Canadian literature. I didn’t read all those damn novels and get a degree in English for nothing!

This has considerably brightened my day. Also, my husband brought me a Starbucks. That has also helped.

Maybe I’m just in a funk because of everyone is running on nerves as we wait for this money to be deposited and try to go on with our lives. Half of it is here, but that’s the half we can’t touch.

It’ll come soon and I’m trying to be patient. Patience is not my forté so I’m working on it.

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments