"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moving On

Dear Readers,

If you happen to notice this after giving up on me in my long absence, please know I am forced to take a break from the blogging world because I have become completely overwhelmed with work responsibilities since I was cast on an upcoming television program as their mental-health expert - which I had them re-label as "Emotional Wellness Coach." The program is a women's health public service endeavor and will be aired on cable in a number of major US metro areas and everywhere via the internet. I will come back to this blog and give details when I'm allowed to do so. Meanwhile, forgive my retreat from this venue. I am writing a great deal for the tv program, filming, etc., takes at least one full day a week, and the rest of my life is pretty busy, as always. Let me give an update:

Business in my DC office picked up and I did not have enough time available in my shared office space. Not being able to afford my own office and my living expenses in two places, I got the idea that if I had the right office of my own, I could live and work in the same place in DC. A friend I've known for about 9 years had just advertised offices available in his suite, very close to the shared Georgetown office. The available office is perfect for me and so I broke the lease on the row house - moving out with the help of a dear friend - paying the upcoming months' rent, and forfeiting the deposit. I ended up paying rent/mortgage x6 that month between my Valley home and office, the row house, the old office, and the new place's deposit and rent. But the increased business and the savings of having only one place in the city should quickly make up for the losses.

Concurrent with my decision to move, the tv program asked if we could film some of my role in the show in my office - so the pressure was on to move and settle quickly! I saw the new place and made the decision to move on February 26th. I moved out of my row house that night, staying in the new place immediately. I then returned for EG's 5 year old birthday party the next day.

On the 4th of March, my next visit to DC, I had a pick-up truck loaded down with things to take to the new office, when I discovered that one of my cats, Mulberry, had snuck outside and had been hit by a car.

Having clients scheduled in DC, some with emergencies going on, I had to care for his body, suppress my emotions, and make the drive to DC. When I arrived I caught a UPS delivery man near my office and paid him to help me unload the truck. When I saw my first client in the new place that afternoon, I'd barely had time to wipe my tears (about Mulberry) and the sweat off my brow from carrying things up 5 flights of stairs (Yes five. No elevator.)

I had more clinical emergencies going on that week than ever before in my almost 14 years of seeing clients, and with the pressure of the move and the death of that sweet cat, I was overwhelmed. I should have post-poned a blind date that had been set up for that evening, but I had to be in DC. I had clients until 7:30 that evening and again the next morning, and was too exhausted to make the drive home, and back. To do that 6 hour commute would have been dangerous, but I contemplated it. I'd have to tell the girls about Mulberry over the phone, having made sure they were surrounded with others' support, in person.

And so, selfishly, I wanted a distraction, company, and the chance to meet this person, and I could imagine what the guy would think if I used a dead cat as an excuse for cancelling! So instead I showed up at 7:45 for a dinner date at a terrific wine bar/bistro - Vinoteca - http://www.vinotecadc.com/

with dark circles under my eyes and the need to interrupt things 15 minutes after meeting - in order to call my children and tell them about their pet. That was awful - their horrified sobs over the phone - my wanting to hold them - knowing I had a very long weekend of patients ahead - needing to hold myself together - desperately needing the money to cover my gamble on the new place - and ultimately to ensure my children's security, their future.

I'm so glad I did not eat alone that evening and that I met my new friend, M. Though he admitted later to thinking the date might end up being a "worst" because of my condition about the cat, he did not let on and was very warm and understanding. He is a person full of life and energy, he's funny, intelligent, creative, and wise. He is Italian, from Rome, same age as me, a veteran of the Italian Air Force, first Gulf War, and a single father to a one year old and a four year old. He has a good and interesting job in DC, he brings out the best in me, and we have had several marvelous weeks of dating . . . romantic evenings trying great restaurants around the District, walking together, holding hands, under dripping tree lights in the lovely courtyard at my new place - M asking, "Are you sure we're not in Rome?" . . . We're taking it slow, but it would sure be nice to be done with dating and to have such a wonderful companion in my life, long-term. I met up with him and his children one afternoon in Old Town, as his friend, and loved seeing his parenting side.

M and I are contemplating a quick spring break together. . .the French West Indies, perhaps . . .

My little darlings are doing good, following the great sadness about Mulberry, they recovered quickly, as children do. With filming television show taking so much time, I've been taking time off in middle of week and doing things with the girl's at school, like field trips. Here is a fun story of a recent (mis)adventure with them:

I'm in Target with my girls, shopping for my new place. The store is packed with people and my cart is packed with large items. We are in the section with office chairs and other furniture.

Back up, remember the darlings' father has recently had surgery on his Achilles tendon. He has moved from a wheelchair, to crutches, to still limping about in a cast across this whole blasted blizzardly winter. (Karma for making me a soccer widow all those years?) Seriously, I've tried to help by increasing my chauffering of the children duties, carrying in a few of his groceries, and offering assistance, but he's proud of being independent inspite of limitations, so that it hasn't been a top issue for ME. So he's had a wheelchair at work and has been wheeling about in an office chair at his home. He's used the desk chair so much, the arm has broken off, but it still works.

So here are girls and I in Target and one of them announces loudly: "Mommy, you need to get daddy a new wheelchair." And my response as I focus on lamps or something I need for my office is: "I'm not buying your daddy a wheelchair." Innocent response from a young child who routinely manifests her thinking that if I'm at a store, whatever is needed or wanted by anyone can and should be purchased immediately: "But mommy, his is broken". Me: "Honey, I'm here to get stuff for me, I'm not buying your daddy a wheelchair." Four year old: "But mommy, how is Daddy supossed to move around?" At that point I look up from my lamp comparisons and notice the scores of shoppers surrounding us, staring with dropped jaws.

Really, folks, I can explain. . .

Hopefully none of them were potential clients. "Yes ma'am, I'm a very empathic psychotherapist. I will help you deal with your grief about the loss of your ability to exercise, like you once did, since your hip replacement." Great marketing in a small town, just fantastic. Next time I'll be sure to put sandwich boards over the kids, before we go out in public - something like "Mine or my mother's behavior in public has absolutely nothing to do with what life wisdom and guidance she can offer you as a client. Please call ........"

So, for now, I'm signing off. I've seen 30 patients since Saturday, it is Tuesday afternoon. I need to do laundry, and cook, and sleep as well as preparing for the filming of this weeks' episode. Feel free to keep in touch, and I will resume blogging when I can.