Loopy Limbo

Well phew, November is upon us. Another year another NaNoMoWri (national novel writing month... it's involved) gone neglected hereabouts. Let's just say that I am going super avant garde and my novel is a bunch of blank pages.You're welcome, world. 

A lot happening in our lives that isn't yet ripe to air in prime time. Things that are unformed plans. Potentials that can't be jinxed by naming just yet. Deep dark state secrets (maybe... who's to say?). As mentioned previously, we may move somewhere at some point. The exact details of that are viciously hazy. Plenty of thought has been given to logistics and ideals, but ultimately one must live one's life in the meantime (but since your mind may be caught up in some stuff that isn't yours to share, perhaps with less online sharing ... here, have some pictures).

Chaya has her own rich inner and outer life, which is amazing. Yesterday I picked her up from preschool and she began to wail and howl. When we got to the car, we sat together and she collected herself, then explained quietly "I did not want to say goodbye." She's now frequently talking about "my friends" even if she's shy around them in person (it's amazing how fascinated children are with aloof children - they get Christmas-morning level excited when Chaya talks to them so far) and often can't remember their names (unless her best friend is name abubabduabkjowaaaaaagerfeld, which I don't recall being the name of any of her classmates).

 She's excited to see "kiddos"She's got her own secret time with mommy and with daddy and with Pam. She sometimes laughs and tells me that "Chaya is a toddler. Chaya is two." Other times she says that she is six. Some days I could believe either. Every third or fourth day she'll decide to play vigorously instead of napping. It usually results in a more manic Chaya by evening, but doesn't seem to impact her too terribly unless she skips a few naps in a row (then it's Armageddon with a little hopeful Carmaggedon).

She is obsessed with drawing faces. Smiley, sad, silly, angry... all the emotions. And she will ritualistically act out scenes while drawing. Chaya face is crying. Mommy face says "what's up Chaya" Daddy face says "oh no Chaya did you fall." Then resolution and then new Chaya face cries and new mommy face says "what's up" and so on. We have fantastically washable markers that we let her use on the table and in the bathtub. Both are filled with poetic pathos.

 It is amazing to watch her processing the magnificent and baffling experience of emotion in such a tangible way.

A few times when things are intense we've sat down together and drawn what is happening. Daddy driving to work. Chaya going with mommy to the train.

Chaya feeling excited. Chaya feeling tired. I suppose it's almost like Chaya's version of journaling, come to think of it. And therapeutic for me as well sometimes. My bujo may need some more sketches of feeling faces.

She is also working on her understanding of possession, sharing, and taking turns. Usually by offering something to me and then yelling "no, that's not yours, that's mine!" Or by telling me it's my turn to do something and then yelling "no mommy it's not your turn, it's my turn" and gently pushing me away. There is a younger girl at preschool who often takes Chaya's toys, and I've seen her subsequently apply these practice sessions with her. Her teachers were kind of thrilled when she first asserted herself, even while attempting ot de-escalate the situation. But lord could this escalate! Not everything Chaya asserts to be hers actually is hers...

In the midst of uncertainty, I've found yet another avenue of "ack! Future!" to intrude on our happy little limbo. Skagit County Courthouse just opened up a position for a family law facilitator. Facilitators are often paraprofessionals but can be professionals. They help pro se (representing themselves) parties make sure they fill out the right forms in a way the court will accept, help calculate child support and basically usher the parties through the court process without representing anyone or offering legal advice, per se. I've sent several consults to Whatcom County Facilitators. They're very important in communities that aren't rich enough for a carnival of attorneys on all sides.

Up side: steady position that offers good security and superior work-life balance and vacation time (at least the courts are closed A LOT in my memory). And a chance to do something I'm very good at in a way that's really crucial to the community. Some sense of satisfaction at helping people and being competent.

Down side: it's a full time job, so it would be a huge change. Full time preschool for Chaya plus a little help on some ends. No more naps, because she doesn't nap even in ideal conditions all the time. No more open preschool time for massages and therapy and health appointments and shopping and chores. Less time together. Less time for playdates.

I've already mentally budgeted about $15,000 to $20,000 of any additional income we'd gain to outsourcing things I currently do at home. On the bright side, there'd still be some money left over to buy some more professional clothes and maybe spend otherwise on various weekend warrior items. .

Anyways, I feel a little disengenuous even applying since I don't know how long we'll be in the area.  I also don't speak Spanish and a Spanish speaker is highly preferred,. But I also feel like it's an opportunity worth pursuing while we "live our lives" in waiting.

But in a timely place for major life change: I've reached a good point of burnout on doctors for a while. I don't feel much better, but I'm not currently dying. I probably have shin splints in addition to sciatica bugging my feet. I have thus far experienced chillblains but have managed to reduce the damage compared ot last year with heating pads and millions of gloves. I am still scheduled to eventually have an endoscopy in December, which may or may not say much. The faintness is probably low blood pressure. The shortness of breath is psuedo-dypsnea most likely and probably related to the reflux. The flushing in my ears and cheeks is annoying but I carry a portable fan around to minimize the discomfort.

 I'm still practicing (I need a ton of practice) mindfulness and meditation to supplement my anxiety-prone mental health. I do pilates in the morning (and use an exercise ball to avoid straining my wrists). I do yoga at night. I do qi gong a little bit in a class on Friday mornings. It makes me a little lightheaded but I appreciate it.

And my hair is longer. Which may not last forever because Chaya is a genius at ruffling it. I would pretty well need hair glue to keep myself from looking tornado-swept by 8 a.m.

(Before and after).

But you know as much as I usually just look like a wolf-woman, I do want to enjoy my hair before it changes texture as I maybe start getting gray. Maybe one of these days. Or maybe I'll give up and shear myself again.

And as we limbo along, we'll take a few more breaks to continue weekends of social events and parties right up through our upcoming Thanksgiving trip.

Cue Chaya's demands for a pet turkey, because I think she'd enjoy riding on one.

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