Expecto Patronum.

August 3, 2012 at 9:13 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Career angst, Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 5 Comments

So I haven’t seen my therapist in two weeks. Because she’s on vacation. And when she first told me, I thought, Great! I can do a test run for this fall when she’s on maternity leave.

It’s not going well. Early this week, as I was commuting into work, the usual cloud of Suck settled back onto me, the weight of it making me nearly cry with hopelessness. It’s kind of like having a Dementor on my shoulder, sucking the happiness from me. It colors my days grey, so that all I can see is the bad, the negative, the stress.

I’m trying to just ride it out. But I’m wondering how the hell I’ll survive my therapist’s maternity leave come next month.

The other thing I’m doing is making lists of Good Things.

My current list?

1. I’m down another 2lbs this week; 4 pounds from my pre-cycle weight and 9 from where I’d LIKE to be.

It’s good because the scale needle has been STUCK for two weeks, it seems. I finally put it together and lost something this week.

2. I FINALLY found a pair of cute running shorts which don’t ride up when I walk or run, despite my man-thighs that rub together.

These shorts are awesome.

3. My running has gotten a heckofalot easier from three weeks ago. My hip and IT Band have been bothering me since I started again, but two massage sessions with my running coach have release the knots in my hips. I can now stretch further, foam rolling doesn’t hurt nearly as much, and my running is loose and pain-free. (For now, anyway.)

4. Lucky ran his first race last night. He had an unfortunate debut – he got knocked over by another boy when he tried to turn around and look at me, and he was all indignant dramatic tears and refused to finish, unless I carried him. Thankfully he wasn’t disqualified by me carrying him over the finish line, and he got a ribbon for his troubles.

Which he wouldn’t even LOOK at until Charlie finished running the 5k.

But before Charlie went to the start line, Lucky said to him: Daddy, don’t bump into anyone and fall down!

And when we were watching the runners stream by, Lucky was screaming Go Wicked Fast!!! The finish line is right there! Keep going!

It was after the race, after he saw Charlie finish, that he asked to have his ribbon. And then he was all proud, telling us that he ran a race tonight.

He cracks me up.

5. I am totally digging my Broadway Pandora station. I had forgotten how much of an escape it is to listen to a Broadway show. It makes my commute and my workdays tolerable.

6. I have actually carved out time to create a BUDGET this weekend. As in, Charlie and Lucky will be up in Maine for the weekend and I have HOURS to sit at the computer and plug numbers into a budget and plan out what the next year or two will look for us.

Because, you see. Lucky is in daycare for only one more year, and then he’ll be going to kindergarten. And I have felt strongly, ever since he was born, that I wanted to set up our life so that I could be home to be there when he gets off the bus every afternoon. I really, really, REALLY don’t want to have to send him to an after school program if I can avoid it, at least when he’s so young.*

And in the spirit of being honest?

I loathe my career. Absolutely loathe it.

I was hoping that the “flexible” schedule would help. But really, I don’t HAVE much flexibility here either, because I do daycare pickup and commute into Boston on a daily basis. Which means I need to leave to go into work early and leave work early to go home. It’s really not as flexible as I’d like.

It’s an understatement to say that I’d love to not have to work.

And my therapist has asked me what it would take for that to happen. She actually remarked, Every time you talk about leaving your job or doing something else, it’s always two or three years away. Why is that?

And I never have a response for her.

So the idea that I can make a PLAN for the near future, and figure out if it’s feasible that I cut back my hours even further… or plan for not working at all, which really actually GIVES me flexibility for whatever I choose to do next?

It makes me giddy.

Course, I know that my budget might tell me that we can’t afford for me not to work. But I need to KNOW.

The list above really isn’t as good as a really good Expecto Patronum spell. I keep wanting more chocolate to shake off the Suck, which I can’t really do (see #1 above). But between this list, my running, and the fact that I have figured out that situational depression lifts, eventually…

I’m going to be okay. I think.

*Please understand I don’t judge anyone for using after school programs, in fact, I KNOW that there’s a lot of benefits of doing it. I just really don’t WANT to. It’s irrational and strong and I don’t want to fight it if I don’t need to.



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  1. I have a strong aversion to after-school programs as well. My parents didn’t have to use them very often, but the memory of waiting for my dad to pick me up, hoping he would be the next one through the door, and everyone just wanting to go HOME, especially the exhausted teachers, makes me a little sick and sorrowful to this day. But it’s like the big Atlantic article mentioned: School hours and work hours are completely out of step with one another. They make no sense at all.

    I’m sorry you’re battling the Suck right now. Maybe it’s the weather, too, and the back-to-school anxiety that can affect even parents of young children. August is a grouchy month all around. We had the hottest July on record. Wasted summer.

    I am all about the Pandora Rogers & Hammerstein station. Also KidzBop, but several times I’ve had to rush into the room and press the thumbs-down icon on a Nikki Minaj “explicit” song that got through the Pandora filters. Also there are far too many Alvin and the Chipmunks songs on that station, so I’ve started aggressively thumbs-downing them all, trying to beat them out of the music genome. : )

  2. I’m debating on whether or not I like my career too. If I didn’t have TOTAL control over my schedule, and it didn’t pay as well as it does for less than 40 hour weeks, and I didn’t get to eat 30-40% of my meals with my children-I can’t say for sure-but I can’t imagine if those things were true-I’d work.

    I totally get not wanting your child to be in after school programs. I hope we won’t have to do that-that is just too long of a day for them, I think. IMHO-as a mom-there’s nothing irrational about INSISTING some things for your child-and you can’t INSIST on everything. After school care is yours. Rear facing carseats until age 16 (haha..although we’re going on 4 years!), set sleep schedules, and no crap food even if it means Cate will weigh 10% less than she could. That probably seems odd because my INSISTS aren’t the same as others-but they are what they are. And all our children will grow up to be happy, healthy, and deeply loved-whatever INSISTS we, as moms, have.

  3. There’s a Broadway Pandora station?! That’s the best news ever. Thanks!!

    I hope you are able to work out a solution to make your hours more flexible or not work…

  4. It’s always tough choices. I’m sure you could do it somehow, but you’d have to give up things, too. This is what your budget will tell you – what things you would have to give up. Then you can decide what’s worth it.


  5. Our twins are starting 1st grade this year, and we just made a choice for my partner to work graveyards so she can pick them up every day. I will drop them off. We will have to use after school care for the first month of school until the schedule change happens and then no more. I hate that this is the way we have to do it, and I’d much rather be the one who picks them up, but I’m with you – I’d much rather not have to use after school care either. Last year we had family who helped out the couple of hours a week we needed it, but that’s off the table this year. As much as I hate the opposite schedule thing, and as much as I loathe my own career and would much rather be in a situation where I could stay home, we can’t afford it :(.

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