Week 39: For the Rest of Us

September 30, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

Had a weird experience at work that left me angry and looking like an idiot. I told a few coworkers that —  having been raised Jewish in the New York area where we all got off for the Jewish holidays and many of us didn’t celebrate Christmas — I wasn’t really sure when Christmas was. I had a range of a couple dates, but since we were always off for both of them, I really didn’t know.

It spread fast and the department was floored. “Did you really ask when Christmas was?” someone asked.
“Do you know when Hanukkah is?” I kind of fired back.

I shouldn’t have attacked the man who asked it, and he was smart enough to respond that it’s different every year, but I was pissed when he said, “Most Jewish people celebrate both.”

What?! No they don’t.

He said they do, and cited a woman in our company who does. Maybe she’s married to a Christian, I dunno. But I don’t think it’s true that “most” Jewish people celebrate Christmas. It doesn’t make any sense. It makes way less sense than the whole world speaking English. I’m not Christian. I didn’t learn about Jesus. I don’t understand his importance and he doesn’t play a role in my life to either celebrate or recognize. I don’t even know if Christmas is his birth or his death or his uprising. I don’t even know if ‘uprising’ is correct.

I don’t want to offend anybody. I think the fact that we have different beliefs and different upbringings is so wonderful. I love that I’m marrying a Christian and we are weaving different histories together. But I don’t want this kind of confusion hanging around, and I don’t ever want to be somebody who promotes it. So I probably shouldn’t have snapped like I did. I should have taken the moment to educate my really sweet Midwestern colleague that nope, not all of us celebrate it. Not all of us want to.

Although I do love the warmth and family togetherness that Christmas brings into all of our lives.

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Week 38: Feeling Like Peggy

September 29, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized) (, )

That’s Peggy Olson, from “Mad Men”, if you were wondering. I’m feeling a lot like her this week. Overworked, undervalued and totally in a man’s world. It’s hard to navigate when I’m new to the office and I’ve got juniors under me that need a mentor. I’m failing, I’m frustrated and I’m working on ways to get what I want by improving my communication. We are a Communications firm, after all.

Guaranteed not to be a nail biter for anyone else but me, but I’ll of course keep the world posted.

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Week 37: Parental Guidance

September 14, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

We’ve been talking about our future: about having kids in two years. I want to, but I’m not handling my stress well, and am yelling and stonewalling and stressing all over the place. I keep trying to tell myself it’ll be different when I have kids.  No it won’t. I won’t be some sudden angel because I’ve fulfilled my fantasy of having kids. It’s time to face that anger is a real problem for me. I need to address this. I keep wondering how I can be a parent unlike my parents — well, it’s about talking when I feel hurt or upset  instead of keeping it in to protect other people’s feelings or to keep myself from crying. What happens is that I  explode  later, either on the person that hurt me, on myself, or worse on other people in unrelated situations. Like on my work colleagues because I feel criticized. It’s called communication, and I need to learn it.

Right now, I’m still angry and defensive ,and it’s an awful, inexcusable way to be. In the interest of having happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids, I need to work backwards and figure out how I’m going to be the mother that produces those types of people. I know, I know: It means being that person myself. How will I ever accomplish that?

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Week 36: That Being Said…

September 8, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

Yeah, I blabbed on about the joys of minimalism last week, but there are a few things I just need to make my life complete. NEED!!!!!! And I’m putting them here so I can remember what I’m working and scrimping and sacrificing for. They’re basics to most of you, but to me, they’re rewards that keep me going:

1. A 16 GB Nano (mine broke and it’s hard to work, run and feel safe in Uptown without it. I’ve sold some vintage jewelry and plan to sell some clothes and gold to get this. Yes, it’s that desperate)

2. A glass shelf in our bathroom (T has as many beauty products as I do, and I’m holding out for a nice glass shelf to add value to the condo)

3. A dustbuster (Because the vacuum wouldn’t fit, and I like to clean!)

4. An armoire (T has more clothes than I do and we have nowhere to put them all)

5. Workout clothes (at least an extra sports bra. I’m working out enough to warrant this)

6. Rugs to keep our freezing elevated first floor warm in winter

7. A unnecessary splurge on a hot pair of fall leather boots. (For me, all for me!!!!)

If I estimate this right, that’s about $1200 worth of things I absolutely seem to need. So… Happy almost holidays!! (It IS the Jewish New Year, you know!)

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Week 35: Under-Doing It.

September 6, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

One thing these past five years have taught me to want (and recognize as optimal) is minimalism. So not being able to have everything that attracts my eyes is a wonderful thing. I have to pare down wishlists to what’s important and really work towards what I truly want. This wedding is an exercize in that. I can’t make a dream tangible, and neither can every other person who thinks this is their event make dreams tangible. So what can I achieve? What can I control? A week reflecting in Rome led me to this:

T and I are working to build a happy family. We love our friends, family, sunshine, music and the beach. We love each other. We want babies soon and a doggie soon and a home soon and a long, amazing, delicious trip — soon. This wedding is about balancing our hopes for all that with what we have time, energy, devotion, compromise and money for. I hope we get to enjoy and grow from the process. I think that’s what we both want most of all. And when I think of that, I’m reminded of why we’re truly going this way together in the first place.

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