tripping the life unbalanced

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

my balancing act

One of the main reasons I called this blog "Tripping The Life Unbalanced" was that I wanted the title to somehow reflect my ongoing struggle with a fragmented life. What follows is probably going to be a pity party, so read no further if you just ain't in the mood.

When I look at the important parts of my life, I see: mother, partner, business owner, sister, friend, etc etc. Those first three tags in particular are always battling with each other for a dominant position, and I sometimes feel cheated out of what I think should be a more "balanced" life. Good lord knows what that even is. Maybe one that involves more time for just me?

Today was one of those days where I felt particularly agigated and downright frustrated at my unbalanced act. I had a situation arise with one my clients that was shitty to deal with, and that involved me getting into a heated argument over the phone in my office. Matt came home with Alice while this was going on, and they immediately sat down to this delicious stew I had made for dinner. After I dealt with the phone call, I came downstairs all pissed and got to see Matt and Alice sharing in my slaved-over stew. With freshly pink faces from the cold outside and laughing. You would think this would have made me happy. But the tension from this client situation, of course, boiled over and I was snapping at them both while we all ate dinner. We decided to go the local library after dinner to pick up some books, and (hopefully) get rid of the bad mood I was in.

I just couldn't come down off the hatred cloud. All I wanted to do was enjoy the fruits of my labour (stew) with my family and have a relaxing evening. What I ended up with was a energetic toddler at the Gerrard/Ashdale library wanting my attention and only getting the worst of me. And all mainly because this client drives me crazy. And then of course I feel guilty that I can't relax and have fun with my little girl which makes me feel worse and so on and so on.

I have a problem with perfection, I think. Even though I think I am fine with the general clutter and chaos of all of my roles, sometimes it really sucks to have so many. And so many that involve tending to the needs of others. When all I want to do is read a good book in the bath. By myself.

I know this all seems a little whiney and really - how hard do I have it? But it's my space, dammit, and I'll cry in it if I want to.

Blech. I think I'm going to go watch my taped episodes of Huff and eat those delicious biscuits I brought home from France. Nothing beats a crabby mood like relatively-OK American drama and butter biscuits.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

back in the T-Dot

Back now from my trip to France and very happy to be back to my cluttered house and silly little girl. I managed to make it through the jet lag and utter comtempt of some parts of the television industry and somehow had a good time. Business was great for us, and I could actually feel our company growing in leaps and bounds. I am co-owner of the company, so am obviously happy to see it succeed.

I arrived home to the rain all weekend and am feeling a bit of the old "Sunday night back to school feeling" tonight, even though I haven't been in a classroom in years. You remember those Sunday nights? When everything felt greyish and it seemed like you could feel those precious weekend moments slipping away? We have spent a large majority of this weekend being cozy inside, catching up with my sister and watching movies (note to self: Finding Nemo is much too scary for a two year old's imagination!) The highlight was when I got to share a fabulous nap with Alice yesterday afternoon. She doesn't nap so well with me anymore, and I miss those times of drifting off together. So yesterday was special - especially when she wrapped her little arm around my neck and whispered "hi mommy" before falling asleep. Sigh. Can I just save that moment and forget the ones where she tells me to go away or throws her doll at my head? Can I please?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I only want to be with you

I am leaving soon for my business trip to France. Ugh. You would think I would excited and looking forward to hanging in Cannes. But if you thought that, you would be wrong.

I love my job. Hate the industry. Make sense?

I also hate saying goodbye to Alice for a week. Suckorama. It's always nice the first few days to feel free and actually get a whole bed to myself. But that quickly wears off. Soon I get a little weepy when people ask me "hey - how's your baby?" and then I have to say "she's two and a half - no longer a baby" and they say "the time goes by so fast" and I say "yah I have never heard that one before" and then we both launch into a litany of cliches and blah blah blah.

Can you tell I'm in a funk?

I had a cool moment the other day with Alice. I went in to say goodnight to her and she said "I only want to be with you, nobody else." And that melted my heart, because these days she prefers Daddy and actually tells me he is her best friend. Be still my jealous heart. So when she said those precious words to me, the 11 year in me glowed with pride. She likes me, she really likes me!

I am such a sucker.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Picture quality isn't that good, but I love her expression here. Picking tomatoes in our garden, and enjoying the end of Toronto summer (in October).

mommy needs a time-out

Alice has been keeping the time-out chair fairly warm these days. I don't know if it is a) her age b) her natural sense of a strong will or c) my lack of consistency, but she is really REALLY fighting for the alpha position in the house. We went to the library the other day and she had a complete meltdown. It started off when she couldn't, just wouldn't give the nice library worker her book to check out. I kept trying to explain nicely that all she had to do was give the man her book and she would get it back right away, but she would have none of it. We finally got out of there and she started a big tantrum on the street. In the middle of a crosswalk, actually, flinging her CAT IN THE HAT book at my head. Nice.

When we got home, I told her she was not going to get to read her new books and instead had to have a time-out. She reluctantly went to sit on the chair and started to cry her eyes out. And cry. And cry. When I went to her after a few minutes to ask her if she was ready to say sorry for hitting me, she said (amidst the tears) "no - I think I need more time out."

I didn't really know what to do with that, so I kind of said "uh...ok. You can have more time out." She kept herself in the corner for about 30 minutes longer before she got down and said she was ready to apologise. It was like she actually needed the time out to decompress from the tantrum - as if she recognised that herself.

I think I need my own time out chair. One that I can send myself when I feel out of control and bowled over by other people's expectations. And then if anyone asks if I am ready to go on with the daily crud of life, I can say "oh no - I think I need more time-out here."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Can you hear that? That's my motivation dragging along behind me.

I don't know what has been wrong with me these last few days. I just have no energy or desire to get anything done. And I am in the most hectic time of year for my business. We are about to take off for France later this month for a week-long televison conference (blah) and I have a million things to get done before then. And I course all I want to do to just order movies and lie on the couch.

The most excited I have been recently was when I found out that Winners will soon be making an appearance at Gerrard Square (our local mall, affectionately referred to in our house as the G-Square). Happy. About. Winners. How can that be right?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

One way to erase the memories of a ruined Saturday

Hang out at Riverdale Farm with your two year-old.

Five ways to ruin a Saturday

1. go to your in-laws house for a visit. Usually a 1.5 hour drive.
2. be completely unaware that the Gardiner is closed. This is the road that would bring you to the QEW, which will bring you to your inlaws. Make an insane detour up to the 401 and down again to the QEW on the other side of town.
3. Get stuck in ridiculous traffic on the 401, with a grumpy husband and equally grumpy two year old. Ensure that the air conditioning in the car is broken, as well as the driver's seat window.
4. Almost run out of gas about 30 minutes from your destination. Spend half an hour driving crazily up and down the streets of Hamilton, looking for a gas station.
5. Finally arrive at your in-laws FOUR HOURS after you left home, with now screaming child (and husband) in tow. Remember just as you walk up to the house that these are not your parents, so you have to be on your best behaviour. Also remember that you have to turn around in about 3 hours and drive home again.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

shamelessly stolen

This is everywhere right now, but I am particular copied it from here -

This is the list of the 100 books that received the most challenges at libraries and schools from 1990-2000. Bold the ones you've read.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling (some)
8. Forever by Judy Blume

9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier