everything at once

My husband returned from a cold, northern state last night. He remained there for the work week after the kids and I returned this past Sunday. We were there, as you may recall, to look for a new community and home.

We’re pretty close to the next step, folks, and it feels pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty, good. (Do any of you watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm?”)

I’m writing down room measurements. I’m looking at furniture. I’m reviewing school enrollment forms and checking out cable and internet service. I bought a new vacuum. I’m thinking about cooler-weather clothing for the kids and me. (We’re moving to the land of hardly-any-tank-tops.) I have to get a new key made for our listing agent here. I need to review what is stored under our bed. I need to clean off the hard drive of our desktop computer and back it up to the external drive. I need to incorporate my editor’s comments to my latest post for the new gig I have. I need to help our daughter build a leprechaun trap. And see my friend. And my other friends. And this other friend.

And make lunch.

I’m feeling a bit… I don’t the word for it. I just visualize this.


That’s me, casting a wide net, trying to catch… everything. There has to be a better way. Or maybe not. I don’t know. But it’s still all pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Pinch me.

Updated: I panicked. I wrote this a few days ago (February 28), and then took it down. It had too many details that could, in the very worst-case scenario, compromise my husband’s reassignment. I’ve relaxed a bit. Here’s the deal: we are relocating eventually. We don’t *know* (as in it’s not in writing and everything could change and there are secrets to keep) if it’s in one, two, or three months. If you know me, you know that I hate all this cagey-ness. A lot. And you know that I appreciate your discretion. 


I’m so tired, I feel like I’m actually asleep.

I started writing this week, daily, for an organization I worked with back about a dozen or 17 years ago, depending on how you count. It’s challenging, relatively fast-paced, relevant to you, me, governments, corporations and society. And it’s fun. FUN.

I started this work on Monday (2/24), and Tuesday at 3 am I woke up to get ready for our 6:25 am flight to a very cold midwestern city so that we could look for a house to move into at some point in the next several months. I had this target date of April 1 a bit ago, because I like things to work out when I want them to work out, but that’s rarely how things work out.

Certain things, though, work out more often than I think.

We got to our hotel at about 11 am on Tuesday, and by 12:30, after some lunch, we were looking at houses with our realtor. We looked at, if memory serves, five houses. Then on Wednesday, I toured a public school. I fell in love. (Can you fall in love with a school?) I love the school the kids currently attend, I do. But this new school? I had goosebumps. After that, we looked at three houses, including one that my husband–my husband!–said was “perfect.” Because it was. To live in, certainly, but it’s also zoned for that public school.

On Thursday, we looked at no houses, but drove through some other areas to see if we thought there would be any other place we wanted to live. Today, we made an offer on the perfect house. Wrote it up at about 11am. Might have reached the sellers and their agent at noon (by email). At 1pm, our realtor called to say the offer had been accepted. Papers get signed tomorrow. Inspection on Sunday. We do not mess around.

So here we are. It’s Friday night at 8pm, and the kids are with my husband in the hotel pool, and I’m sitting here, in utter disbelief. I’m not sure this blog should be called “Diary of a Corporate Wife.” It’s more like a “Dream Log.”

None of this can really be happening. None of it.

You know how when bad things happen, you might ask yourself, “what did I do to deserve this?” And always, the answer is “Nothing. It’s just the way it is… It’s luck.”

Well, when good things happen, I ask myself “what did we do to deserve this?” And the answer remains the same.

It’s just the way it is. We’re lucky. Right now.

Don’t pinch me.

A little rain never hurt anybody

I read All Joy and No Fun over the weekend (I’m a binge reader). I even stayed up late to watch its author Jennifer Senior on “The Colbert Report” last night. She has a lovely laugh.

The book’s effect on me, at this particular moment in time, is reminding me of what happens to our windshields after my husband applies rain-guard to them. It can rain, hard, and the drops just disperse on the glass. They actually seem to run away, as if they’re sorry to have imposed on your line of vision. The rain’s still there. You still have to drive carefully. But you can see things with greater ease.

It rained, hard, this past weekend. And I was white-knuckling it, acting like everything was cool, driving along like I was in complete control.

The “rain” was just the news of some key information tied to my husband’s next professional assignment: dates and numbers. In writing. A monsoon of certainty, about him. None about “us.” Certainties (and uncertainties) which I embrace, but must also adapt to without getting washed off the road.

I’ve been worrying, a lot, you see, even though our kids are excited to move. I’ve been panicking about elementary school calendars, standardized testing schedules, curricular differences, expected skill mastery… Also, snow boots, state income taxes, heating expenses, winter blues, cabin fever, isolation, Lyme disease, and how to house-train a puppy. All those thoughts raced through my head over the course of two minutes, while washing a few dishes, and that was precisely the moment my husband looked at me and blithely asked, “What’s wrong?”

My personal takeaway from All Joy and No Fun? Being a modern parent is an act of choice, and our children have nothing–literally nothing else, really–to do but follow our lead until they move out. (No pressure!)

So if you have the luxury of time for any amount of self-reflection (if you’re comfortably middle-class), you are likely a continuous self-assessor. And the intense love you feel for your children–the love you feel because you care for them so completely and constantly… that joy, that “grief turned inside out?” You’re acutely vulnerable to loss, and intensely protective of all you have: you are waiting… trying to prepare for… imminent disaster. Always.

And you, modern parent, chose all of this.

But, BUT! All of that doesn’t mean that you have to choose worry over calm, or panic over preparation. It doesn’t mean that when a monsoon comes, you have to drive as fast as you can so that you can put it behind you. You can slow down. Tap the brakes. Appreciate the spectacular–and temporary–beauty of a storm.

You just need a little rain-guard. Thanks for the bottle of it, Ms. Senior.