Monday, September 5, 2011

Next Steps

Looks like I've got a contracting job for the next several months, so that worry is taken care of, for now.  I am very grateful that I got my last job when I did.  It truly was "in the nick of time," when I was at the end of my savings and really needed to get back to work.  With that job, I was able to buy my townhouse and get a lot of loose ends tied up.  I met some people that I really like.  But I never felt it was a good fit.  For the first year, I had a boss that I really liked and had a great rapport with, and that kept me going.  But once he was promoted and the whole organization shifted, things went dramatically downhill.  I'm hearing bad reports from all sides in the time since I was let go.  I'm glad I'm not there any more.  I remember talking to one of the Project Managers several months ago, and telling him that I was miserable.  That's just no way to live.

I've been diligently job hunting, and my skills are marketable these days.  I was fortunate to find something Downtown.  I've worked Downtown before and used to take the bus when I lived just west of Denver.  Now that I'm further south, I'm going to try the Light Rail and see how that works out.  Parking is an issue, and sometimes getting in and out of the city can be a problem if there is a big game or event that snarles traffic.  So I bought a monthly Transit pass and I'm going to give it a whirl.

Sleeping later for the past several weeks has been luxurious.  I know that M has enjoyed it, too.  Tomorrow we're back to "normal" - me getting up at 5:30 and her at 6.  I've got our morning routine down to a science, but I think I'm going to make our lunches the night before to give us a little more breathing room.  One of the things I noticed before I became unemployed was how rushed I always am, and I didn't like it.  I'm going to make an effort to relax a bit on my schedule and take things a little slower.  Now that M is in the Second Grade, she isn't as clingy and feels more independent, and she got a teacher this year that is wonderful.  As a result, I feel like I can loosen up a little and maybe be a little easier on myself.

The extremely hot weather finally broke a few days ago!  This summer has been brutal.  Colorado isn't usually in the high 90s for months on end.  I've hidden inside when normally I spend as much time outdoors as possible.  One hundred degree weather makes me feel almost nauseated, and saps my energy.  For the past couple days, the temperature has been back in the normal range, highs in the 70s, and it's been lovely.  I had meant to really work with M on her bike riding this summer, but because of the heat, it just didn't happen.  I haven't been on my bike, either.  I really hope we have a nice Autumn and I can get back outdoors.

Since M's dad's last visit on June 1st, things with him have been weirder than usual.  After I told him that M was having a negative reaction to the webcam and I wanted to take a break, his communications have been combative and irrational.  He declared he was going to seek mediation, and then I didn't hear another thing about it.  Out of the blue he sent me a brief email asking my opinion on what a good "parenting plan" was.  When I replied with asking what happened to mediation, he just said I laughed at that.  So I answered that I didn't think it was appropriate for him to have "joint responsibility" but asked again about setting up visits.  He went as far as moving to Colorado but I wonder for what.  The distance has remained the same whether his address is Durango or Greeley or somewhere in Massachusetts.  I keep trying to get him to understand that with M, he needs to take things in steps, and build trust.  But he is clearly only thinking about himself.  Again, now, I haven't heard another word.  I can't believe he could be serious about his relationship with M if he is willing to let so much time go by with no progress.

He's always been so very touchy about his delicate sensibilities.  If he perceives that he's being criticized or demeaned in any way, his reaction is to shut down.  He's got no negotiating skills, and no creative ideas.  He's also extremely Passive-Aggressive.  He simply WILL NOT follow through on a committment, or do what he says he'll do.  Somehow he sees this as his master strategy.  But now that I've dealt with him so many years, I think he forgets how well I know him.  He really is his own worst enemy.  It's tragic how stuck he is in his own little drama.  Meanwhile, M continues to do well without him, and gradually is voicing her own opinions on the matter.  She wants to see him, but is adamant that she not be forced to "go with him."  She doesn't like the idea of spending the night with him.  Of course she'd feel that way!  She never has!  He's only spent a handful of hours with her since the summer of 2005.  I wonder if he realizes that she's a child.

I expect his next move to be some kind of summons.  I cannot believe though, that I would not be able to work out something reasonable, visitation-wise.  The question is why?  I've been the one trying to get him to be MORE involved with her, not less.  I've just maintained that it has to be under conditions that are in her best interests, rather than simply for his convenience.    That alone has been enough to keep him away, and that alone tells me that he really is interested only in himself.

She's playing right now with a little girl that lives part-time on the next row over.  I met her dad last night, and he gave me a summary of his situation.  I hope his daughter will be around for a while.  M hasn't had a lot of opportunity to have playmates who live close by.  It's a new thing for her to be able to run around outside with a neighbor kid.  M's such a sensitive girl.  I want her to be able to enjoy the stuff that kids should be able to take for granted, but that she is denied so often.