Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Bigger Cycle

Hey, I'm over on Big Oven. Come on over and join; I like it there, but unless other people come out to play, I don't have faith in my stick-to-it-iveness.

It's been 10 years since I first started blogging, and 20 years now that I've been online. For the first time I find myself wandering around, trying to find my digital tribe. These things were so effortless before; the BBS, then gopher, then pine, then the real internet, hatching out so slowly in the early nineties that you could run into casual acquaintances even states away - Mat, for instance, has essentially been running with the same digital crowd ever since he was in high school, even thought none of them lived in the same area until the past 3 or 4 years.

Livejournal was so good for me, in so many ways. Now that it's past I find myself grasping - everyone's over on Facebook, I missed the birth of Virgil's son because I can't make myself join. Even the husband joined facebook last year, and he's never been accused of being a digital pioneer, or even settler. I keep futzing around with new layout plans for this page, and can't commit. I need a few days to get things straight again, but with two kids and a high stress job, who has the time?

The truth is I'm not on Facebook because I feel like everyone is on facebook, and therefore I need to search out The Next Big Thing. Ironic that I'm typing this on good 'ol blogger, eh? Maybe retro is the new internet trendy...nah, it's just me creeping around the edges again. I miss you guys. Remind me to write more often. Or maybe I should just go over to image-only posts. Words seem so wasteful anymore.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Not all the days are best

Not All the Days Are Best.

It's been a year since I last posted, but I'm back, just as I said I would be. The past few posts have been very positive, and very true. But there's no way to get around pointing out in this update that last year was difficult.

Financially, we began to really struggle. Yes, the market crashed, but that wasn't our undoing. We hadn't adequately understood the expenses of a second child, probably just because I was ready and wanted Diana so badly. Our expenses severely outpaced our income. Without help from the husband's parents, we wouldn't be able to cover the monthly daycare bill, which is half my take home pay. Then there are the tremendous medical bills - from having the baby, from discovering Dot has asthma, from my yearly bout of bronchitis, from the baby catching RSV, from the husband's sinus and allergy problems. We had to take out a mortgage on the house to remain solvent.

Sara moved out west, and then to Memphis, and completely dropped out of contact. Abby distanced herself as well, and there was no exchange of holiday or birthday presents.

There were no vacations this year, not even to watch Tony and Andrew get married in Canada. DragonCon was again subsidized by the husband's mother. I cried and cried about missing the wedding, about failing to plan for the year correctly, about my hair falling out after the pregnancy, and about my relationships falling apart with my sisters. My big project at work had its funding slashed as the company lost money. I had come back from maternity leave part-time early to help with its launch, only to be told days before that everything was being rethought. At least I and my co-workers still have jobs; the sacrifice of a year's raise and most of our budget was enough to keep us going.

So last year will always be for me, The Year I Started Taking Zoloft. Without the medication, I couldn't sleep, cried all the time, and could barely function at work. I'm a better mom, worker, and marriage partner on the drug.

The anti-depressant stops the hypergraphia though. On Zoloft I have watched my personal writing output dwindle, and then nearly dry up. I plan to start this blog again to cope with that loss, to try to build the writing muscle up again, to give myself some creative outlet. I hope it works.

After such a long spell of stress, things started to get better this year after our income tax refund came in. Of course, then there was a traffic accident, and the husband's *other* ear drum ruptured, and now there will be sinus surgery, and I've got to ask the in-laws for help again with daycare in the fall. But on the whole we're doing OK compared to most. I'll play catch-up with more posts here later.

I've missed this venue. Typing again on Blogger feels like coming home.