March 30, 2014

Book Review: The Idea of Him

Sometimes I think that I should have stayed in New York for a while after business school. Or maybe I should have at least moved to San Francisco instead of returning to the peninsula—closer to work but definitely not the city. I have an image of what that could have been like.

Sometimes I wonder what things would be like if I hadn't met Jeff. Or if we had decided not to have kids. Or if we had bought a different house. Or if Moe was a typical kid and we could travel and go out as a family. Or if I were a different kind of parent. I have an image in my head of what that could have been like.

The thing is, I made all of those decisions—moving back to California, living in Silicon Valley, having kids—for good reasons. I wanted to be closer to my family. I didn't want the long commute. I always wanted kids. And as for Moe? He is who he is. I'd make the same decisions today.

Still, my life definitely does not look like what I thought it would look like by now. And sometimes I think that means I've made a mistake.

It seems we all spend a lot of time thinking about what we should be doing. Facebook and Pinterest are full of so many wonderful organizing-decorating-crafting-sewing-cooking-exercising-mindfulness-cleaning ideas that show me what my life is supposed to look like. But is that what I want my life to look like?

I look around at all the Silicon Valley wealth and I see people doing things they think they should be doing, and driving the cars they should be driving (it's a Tesla), and sending their kids to the schools they should be going to. They eat at the right restaurants and live in the right zip codes and throw the right parties. But is that what they really want to be doing? Is that what I want to be doing?

People who run companies do things they think they are supposed to because they are Silicon Vally companies and that is what those companies do. As if personal chefs and free meals and laundry service somehow legitimize your place in the Valley.

It can be tough when your life doesn't look like what you expected. But it is even tougher when you are trying to live up to some idea of what you think your life should be.

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

March 16, 2014

I Think Applying to College Was Easier

There are a lot of things I feel like I should be writing about. Another celebrity who read stuff and has decided that she's an expert in epidemiology and shouldn't vaccinate her children. Another round or twelve of autistic self-advocates vs parents, shouting in circles at each other, never really listening, never really understanding that they are, for the most part, on the same side. The internet outrage machine blabbers on and on.

It's exhausting. I've been staying out of the fray for the last few months. I don't have the time to keep up with my friends so I certainly don't have time for any of that bullshit. I've stopped reading several pages that repeatedly make my blood boil and my head hurt, and I'm better for it. I highly recommend the therapeutic effect of the unlike button.

It's not that I don't care about these issues. They affect me, my friends, and my community. They affect you too. I have many half-written posts on the blog and in my head on several important issues. But at the end of a busy work day, I really just want a glass of wine and an episode of House of Cards.

The time change isn't helping either.

But I have a few moments right now, sitting with Jelly while she takes a bath. So I will tell you about a situation that I know I am fortunate to have, but that is adding another level of uncertainty to our lives these days. Remember when I wrote about our school choices for Jelly? (If not, you can catch up here.) The private school we were hoping for just sent out their decisions, and she was—wait for it—wait listed. Which makes me laugh because it's f-ing kindergarten and because what the hell are we supposed to do now?

Jelly was accepted to another private school, one that would be very good academically but I have a couple reservations about. It is our best current option, but if we take that spot we risk losing a hefty deposit if she later gets accepted to school #1.  If we don't take that spot, we risk not having a spot at all, which means one of the public school options, with the only guaranteed school being the one we are least excited about.

So I am once again left wondering why nothing can ever just be simple.

We told Jelly today the she probably wouldn't be going to school #1, and she was disappointed. She mostly liked the playground, and the art room with a how to draw princesses book. Playgrounds are everywhere, but that school does have a pretty fantastic art studio. Maybe next year.


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