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Monthly Archives: April 2009
I had some concern that I would wake up on Friday (my 30th birthday) and all my hair would be gone or gray, or I would need to start popping some little blue pills, but so far so good for the start of my 30s. As Kate mentioned, I have, at times, gotten worked up about birthdays. I remember a period of a few years where I seemed to always end up in tears on my birthday (I was even dumped once at a birthday party in high school); but I think I have gotten over those years. Sure, I had high hopes of being a household name by this age, or being rich enough to never have to work again, but frankly, I am pretty content with where I am. A good friend of mine (who has more than a decade on me) once told me: “Your 20’s are for figuring out what you want to do with your life and your 30’s are for starting to put those goals into motion.” Luckily, I feel that I have a jump start on that with my personal and professional goals, so I can cruise into my 30’s with a plan already in motion. And this year I will be half my father’s age, so it seems fitting that this is the year that Kate and I are trying to have our first child (although I was the second child… my Dad was 26 — Kate’s age — when my sister was born).
Anyway, my wonderful wife threw me a perfect birthday party on Saturday night. Mother Nature delivered a perfect present with July weather in April; it was in the 80s and sunny. We celebrated the weather and my birthday with a perfect outdoor bbq with 15 of our friends. Kate made an impressive amount of delicious food, there were great drinks, and we ran out of propane in our grill just as the meat was cooked. It was so nice to be outside and enjoy our house. After the cookout, a bunch of us headed a few blocks from our house to go candlepin bowling at an old place we had never been to before. Turned out to be very cool and retro (although do you still call it retro if it is all original?). They have no bar, but turned a blind eye to our Nalgenes of “Gatorade”. For those not in the Northeast, candlepin is small ball bowling, straight pins, and 3 balls per turn. Most people find it very hard compared to big ball, or “normal” bowling. I am one of those people. I am notoriously bad at candlepin (and quite good at big ball). In my inebriated state I seemed to improve my skills, but still could not beat Kate (who is a surprisingly great candlepinner). It was a great end to our night, and we all stumbled home in the psuedo-summer air.
I will end by quoting a friend who wrote me a funny email the day before my birthday.
“Happy Almost Birthday. The last day of 29, I would imagine, is a tough one. Although, I guess having a house/wife/dog/stable work you like gives you a leg up on probably 90 percent of people who are our age and hopefully spares you the obligatory “I’m 30, what the fuck am I doing with my life” existential crisis. Good on you, Mr. American dream.”
Benjamin turns 30 today. Big birthday. I think he’s a little freaked out by it. Personally, I’ve never been too concerned with what ” number” I’m turning. But I think my darling husband has some vestige of promises he made to himself once upon a time about what he wanted to accomplish by the time he turned 30 swimming around in his head. As with many boy dreams, they probably involved making $1 million, driving a hot sports car, and possibly being a rock star — none of which has been accomplished.
The reality is, though, that he has accomplished so much more. He is way ahead of many of most of his 30-year old buddies: He is married (to a pretty fabulous wife, I might add!). He owns a two-family house, and the most outrageously adorable (and well-behaved) dog. He successfully runs his own business. He has wonderful friends and family who we see often for lovely meals and impromptu poker games. I could go on forever, but I won’t bore you with the list
Especially living in the Boston area, owning our own home (a two-family, nonetheless) is perhaps our most outstanding achievement so far. This summer we will have lived in our house for 4 years. Somewhere along the line, our house has become a home.
Last night, as I strolled down our street on my way back from an evening walk with our dog, Schnitzel, I was struck by how at home I felt. The air is finally starting to turn warmer (they are calling for 80 degree weather for our birthday celebration tomorrow!), the sun was still on the horizon at 8pm, and the sidewalks were bustling with neighbors enjoying it all. And as I walked up the stairs to our house, I paused for a moment to take it all in — how far we’ve come since the day we moved in, how settled and happy we are in our life, how I can’t wait to bring a baby into our blissful little routine.
So tomorrow we’ll gather our nearest and dearest and celebrate Benjamin entering his third decade. There will be homemade red velvet cupcakes and (undoubtedly) an overabundance of food and drinks. And then we’re going bowling. And I plan to enjoy every minute of it, and not wish it away, thinking about the future.
This past weekend, Benjamin and I took a long weekend and went to Martha’s Vineyard with some of his family. Vacationing with family, even one’s own, can be — how shall I put it — a test of one’s nerves. And, in my opinion, doing it with someone else’s family is even tougher. Yes, I realize they are my family now that we’re married, but they are still not exactly my family. The weekend was filled with sleeping in, eating overindulgent meals and getting ice cream several times a day, a lot of drinking, and a few activities like mini-golf and sightseeing. Although those activities sound enjoyable enough, I found that it was hard for me to really relax and be comfortable when I was so off of my normal schedule.
As I’ve said previously, in the past year or so I have made a shift towards eating whole, natural foods and exercising. My entire philosophy of how to enjoy myself must have shifted somewhere along the line too, because I was not blissfully relishing the sloth-like schedule of sleeping until noon, eating ridiculously extravagant meals and mostly just sitting around. Especially as I’ve been preparing myself to be a babymama, I have come to enjoy eating healthily. And I enjoy getting exercise. And I enjoy taking care of myself. Realistically I know that one weekend of eating poorly and not exercising is not going to undo any of the work I’ve done or make me gain 10 lbs all of a sudden… but it just felt bad. And, even though I got the negative pregnancy test before I left, I still feel like I want to do my best to be in tip top physical shape for whenever I do get a positive.
Don’t get me wrong… I ate and drank like a champ. After seeing that “Not Pregnant” readout last Thursday, I guiltlessly guzzled wine and chowed down on goat cheese to my heart’s content. But it did make me think of how our family vacations will be different when we have a baby.
I have been a bad blogging husband the last few weeks as we have played the waiting game. Spring has started out very busy for me work-wise, and meanwhile Kate and I are just waiting to see what is happening in baby-making land. So that is my excuse for not posting.
So I will write a little about something I was going to write a few weeks ago, but then never got around to doing it. It is my public thank you to Jon and Kate Gosselin (as well as my public admittance that I actually watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight). Now, I am probably not the ONLY male viewer of their show, but I certainly imagine that a poll among my friends over one of our weekly poker games would leave me as the sole viewer. In fact, very few of them have probably ever turned on the TLC network.
My Kate started watching Jon and Kate Plus Eight a couple years ago, and at first I never joined in. In fact, I cringed when I saw her watching it. It was a fear-based reaction on many levels. Part of the fear was the thought of anyone having EIGHT children (which I guess is nothing, now that TLC has shows for families of 12 and 20), and part was the horrific shot they show in the intro of Kate Gosselin when she was well into her second pregnancy with a stomach the size of a Blue Whale. But I think most of the fear was that if I sat down and watched the show, my Kate would think I was ready for babies. Plus, the show seemed quite dull to me at first glance. There seemed to be a lot of yelling, a lot of crying, many smacks from Kate to Jon, but not much else. How much finger painting among toddlers who had to be subtitled was actually interesting? (Although as you can see, I am sure the same could be said about the lack of quality in many of the movies I watch.)
Anyway, I am not exactly sure how or when it happened (maybe there was nothing else on our Tivo?) but one night I started watching it… and regretfully realized I was actually enjoying it. Now I have seen just about every episode in the last few seasons and can name and recognize all of the children. As the family has gotten older, the children have become more interesting and entertaining. Most importantly, I think, the show has actually made me more ready to have a baby (1 baby at a time… and only 2 or 3… TOPS!). I sort of look at the Gosselins with an “if they can do it with 8 kids, then we could handle 1” kind of attitude. I commend the show for not becoming typical reality show drama, and maybe it makes some of the episodes not particularly exciting (like an episode on Kate making soup), but it seems to be fairly real, which is nice. After watching this season’s finale, my Kate mentioned how Jon Gosselin was recently in the news for allegedly getting drunk at a bar with some college girls, and that the Gosselins’ relationship may be on the rocks. Obviously I have no idea what actually happened that night, but it made me sad to read all these supposed “reports” that the Gosselins were getting divorced. I chalk it up to tabloid fodder, but it made me a little sad to read.
Anyway, I hope they continue the show as long as they see it prudent for their family, and I thank the Gosselins for sharing their lives with us.
P.S. If you ever hear a report about Aaden or Alexis getting kidnapped, it was probably us.
I work in Human Resources. I started with my current company fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm about the idea of a “real” job. I began as an HR assistant, and quickly worked my way up the ranks to HR Generalist and now my current position working in Training & Development. While the work was always “work”, I found ways to challenge myself and prided myself on learning new technologies, skills and expanding my horizons in the HR field. I even started a Masters program to follow my interest in organizational learning and intended to take that knowledge into corporate training. Now, after 3 years, I am bored. B-O-R-E-D. I could do my job with my eyes closed, and have not learned anything new in several months (except maybe how to do my work so efficiently that I can spend several hours poking around the internet without lowering my productivity).
If this were any other time in my life, I would most likely be scouring the internet for job postings and considering a career shift. However, the reality is that most employers require one year of service before they grant you maternity insurance benefits. Ay, there’s the rub. If I switch jobs now, and get pregnant soon, I may be left without proper insurance. I’d rather be bored than unable to pay my bills. (This is all compounded by the current economic slump, of course! No guarantees I’d even be able to find a job right now, even considering my shiny, new Masters degree).
That certainly got me thinking, though, that I’d better hold onto my current position as tight as I can right now. Bored or not. Because being laid off right now would put me in an even worse predicament — no health insurance (for me or my husband, as he works for himself, so we both get health insurance through my company), not to mention disability insurance, life insurance, retirement funds, etc.
In these scary economic times, it is no secret that employers are looking for anyone they can cut from their payroll to reduce costs. And I can only imagine that employers who find out their employees are pregnant might be tempted to cut them before non-pregnant colleagues, due to the hefty costs they will undoubtedly incur through doctor’s appointments and the time off they must provide. Now, you don’t have to be in HR to know that is illegal, but it happens all the time.
So, I’m going to sit tight. I’m going to do my best to ask for new projects and new challenges and try to be content with my current position. Lord knows I am thankful just to have a job right now, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?