Archive for May, 2010

Green Stripe

Pants on the ground,

Pants on the ground,

Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground…

Yesterday, my second Saturday off in a row, I took my test for my green stripe in taekwondo.  And I was incredibly nervous.

Here’s the thing… I knew the stuff, and I knew I knew the stuff… but I had never ever had to do a form for a test before.  And I hand never ever had to spar during a test before.  And I was shaking at the thought of both.

So of the two, the form came first.  And I was incredibly disappointed with my performance.  For some reason I had difficulty keeping my balance, so even if I would have executed one of the blocks correctly, it would have been wobbly.

This of course meant that my confidence was not at prime as I took to the floor for my fight.  As luck would have it, however, my pants are only held on with a drawstring because the elastic is gone, and the drawsting was increasingly losening, so I was distracted enough with not letting my pants fall down to completely forget that my form sucked was not what I had hoped.

See the hands in that picture (I’m the red fighter)… bad fighting stance… good checking your pants stance.  Just sayin’.

So, in the end, the judges were gentle, my pants stayed on, and I got my green stripe.  Not a bad day. 🙂

Considering Red Dresses

Yesterday, The Bloggess wrote a post that made my day.  She wrote of a red dress, an exquisite ball gown, that she longed for but denied herself for its all of its impracticality and frivolity.  And she writes:

I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies.  I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply “not sensible”.  Things like flying lessons, and ballet shoes, and breaking into spontaneous song, and building a train set, and crawling onto the roof just to see the stars better.  Things like cartwheels and learning how to box and painting encouraging words on your body to remind yourself that you’re worth it.

And she challenges readers to “ Find your red dress.  And wear the hell out of it.”

Now, for the most part, I have an inherent appreciation for all things goofy in life.  And, to be honest, if an indulgence is small enough, I could probably find the logic to justify it.  But it is not lost on me, and I’m sure it has occurred to many a busy parent, that sometimes there is no time, or resources, or energy remaining to do any kind of self focus or self indulgence.  And sometimes the squelching of frivolity becomes so matter of course that we can no longer figure out what our “red dress” is.

So, this week I’m going to give that some thought.  What is my red dress?  And tell me, if you will, what would make your spirts soar, regardless of its practicality?

This exercise, in combination with the skill examination that updating my resume entails, may be a bit more introspection than any one individual can handle… so if you see someone roaming the streets of Charlottetown in a kick-butt ballgown with a superhero cape and Ipad tucked under her arm, please do not call the authorities (and please do not wake me up).  It is but Sock Girl, trying on some soul-fuelling attire, and wearing the hell out of it.

Saturday

For years I have had a part-time Saturday job.  Lately, this has expanded to some work at home tasks as well.  But, if I may dwell on Saturdays for a moment, with the exception of taking an occasional Saturday off for a wedding or taekwondo test, my Saturday days have been largely spent working.  For years.

So, with a two week waiting period required for Employment Insurance, and with every penny earned during that two week waiting period deducted from the applicant, I have decided to take two unpaid weekends off.  With no wedding to attend.  And no taekwondo test to attend (at least for the first Saturday of the two).  Yesterday was a Saturday for me.  Kind of.

I took Rainbow to her music lesson… for the first time ever.  (I had never met her teacher before.  He looked to be about 12 years old).

Rainbow and I went to the bustling Farmer’s Market together… for the first time ever.  (We browsed, we shared a smoothie, and I had some fresh perogies).

We went home and salvaged what remained of our outdoor wicker furniture, scraped off the loose paint, and applied a fresh coat of white.

I cleaned the window sills and opened all the windows in the house.

I scrubbed the floors.

Rainbow skipped and we hula hooped together.  (I used one hoop, she used four).

We curled up under a blanket and leafed through a magazine on the deck.

And by the end of my Saturday I was more tired than if I had worked. But I was happy and relaxed.

Now, this does not mean I will be giving up my working Saturdays any time soon… I’m not entirely in a position to do that… but, presuming a job does not fall from the sky at any speedy pace, it does bring a sort of peace that being unemployed in the summer with my kids is fine.

I’m writing this outside on my deck.  I’ve never taken my computer on the deck before.  I’m even considering maybe setting up a separate “Summer with Sockie” blog to chronicle any fun projects and adventures we may have.  Maybe I’ll just blog here more.

This weekend I am having a weekend.  A full, busy, family-filled holiday weekend.  I hope yours is special too.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm…

This is a sign from the hotel I recently stayed at in Ottawa.  Does it make you wonder what might have occured to necessitate having some of this stuff on there?  (Click for larger view).

Please note, this was not taken on my floor.  Presumably marching bands and circus animals were perfectly welcome there.  🙂

I’m not sure this is a “Looking Up” post, but maybe…

My temporary job ended this week.  There are regulations surrounding how long federal government departments can hire casual employees during a calendar year, and I had reached the end of that term.

So, on Thursday, those I share an office with made me a cake.

Those I worked with took me to lunch, bought me flowers, and signed cards.

There were hugs, and sad faces, and encouraging words.

It is a long road and a far cry from when I last had to leave a job.  Pats on the back are far more comforting than knives in them.  And it is not Christmas, it is the awakening of summer.  While my heart is sad and I am afraid, my confidence is not broken.

This time with sadness there is gratitutde.  This time with fear there is faint hope.  Always there are cookies for comfort.

Looking Up#3: Looking on the Bright Side

I have had a reality check.

My BFF treated me to dinner and explained that not having a job during summer in PEI is not necessarily the worst thing that could happen to me. She pointed out the mathematics of it all… the decreased costs offsetting the decreased wages. And she pointed out that I’ve barely had full weekend with my kids let alone weeks with them in quite some time.

And ya’ know what?  I feel much better.  I don’t think I quite realized how much my pending unemployment was weighing on me until it eased up a bit.  I’m worried, of course, but I’m not sick over it (and I think I may have been on my way there).  Looking up at the brighter side really has made the world of difference to my disposition.

Think how much better my kids will get along if there is I’m there to referee keep things running smoothly.

Think how much better my garden will look if I actually have time to weed it fiddle a bit more with it.

Think how much more I’ll have to blog about if I actually get the opportunity seek adventures and outings.

I’m thinking she’s right… and somehow or other, everything is going to be ok.

Looking Up#2 – Strike the Pose

You may recall that May’s NaBloPoMo theme is about looking up… so if I may direct your attention momentarily way, way, way up… to more divine subject matters…

Tomorrow, my dear Dolittle is making her Confirmation.  To prepare for this event, each of the young adults being confirmed had to attend confession.  On Saturday, I took Dolittle to the church to complete this step in her preparations.  I am still giggling about the conversation on the way home:

Dolittle: The priest has an accent.  He was kind of hard to understand sometimes.

(Pause)

Dolittle: But I’m guessing you’re not supposed to high-five the priest.

Me: Ummm.. No.

Dolittle: Because he was there with his eyes closed and his hand up in the air, and he was mumbling something I couldn’t understand, so I thought maybe he wanted a high-five.

(Pause)

Dolittle: And I gave him one.

Me: You high-fived the priest in confession?

Dolittle: Yep.

Me: What did he do?

Dolittle: He just opened his eyes, and I said, ‘Sorry, Man!”  Then he started to laugh.

I have no idea what they talked about, but I think it may have been a confession neither she nor the priest will forget for a while! 🙂


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