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new beginnings

Posted by lynn on 01 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina, work, writing

Cute

Two Tall Chairs (w/ Lily)

The first half of 2009 has been absolutely ridiculous for our family. It started with Joey’s job loss on his first day back in January, and ended with my pregnancy loss just last week. In between we had an insanely expensive pipe break under our house (it was made in 1914 of terra cotta – tree roots finally broke through); a jumbled re-fi (lucky for us, it ended up working to our advantage); Joey’s four-month stint working for a narcissistic madman and his ensuing second job hunt in the worst economy in two generations; uncertainty about my own job; intermittent violence in our neighborhood (at least it’s brought us closer to our neighbors); and lots of little everyday craziness to fill in the gaps.

Corn (w/ Lily)

Nomad Cafe

I’m still dealing with emotions surrounding the miscarriage, and those are either for another post or another medium altogether. But I can guarantee this: The feelings would be infinitely harder to deal with if Joey and I hadn’t both found job stability (and dare I say happiness) in the last month. I realized this over-arching need for security – of both finances and routine – when talking to a friend right around the time our pipe broke and the dishwasher failed. Things break, especially when you own a home. It’s an inconvenience on many levels, but you deal and move on. When you don’t have day-to-day job security (or are miserable in the one you have, or at worst don’t have one at all) everything feels exponentially worse.

Buckets

Two Sibs in a Bed

Overall, things have started to go right for us again. It’s a trend I hope to continue. New (good) jobs, a trip to Alaska in just one week, happiness at preschool, and a more solid conviction that we do want to expand our family (and as a result, likely our house too). To a certain extent, all this is to the future to decide. As long as we’ve found our grounding again, we’ll be fine. And we have. The timing couldn’t be more perfect: The second half of 2009 begins today. Because I’m a firm believer in new beginnings and am slightly superstitious with marks on a calendar, I hereby declare this a special day.

Happy new half-year, to all of us who need to start anew.

Party Hat

Joy's Flower Girl Dress

The photos have little to do directly with this post, other than our children, bio and step, are always new beginnings. One relates a little more directly to special starts. Melina recently received a late birthday present from Linnea and Joy: the dresses they wore as flower girls at our wedding. Melina felt that instead of pink cowboy boots or sparkle shoes (which Joy and Linnea used to accessorize on the big day) she needed Mama’s new hiking hat. Just look at my lovely little girl.

re-focus, re-engage, and alas, reflect

Posted by lynn on 13 Aug 2008 | Tagged as: family, melina, pregnancy, work

It took me less than one month to come to terms with the fact that two part-time jobs, two kids, my own writing, and everything else we have going on is just too much to handle at once. I gave notice to WaMu on Monday, and feel good about restoring a tiny bit of sanity to my life by the end of the month. I’ll be able to devote more energy to Big Tent, will still have play time with Jelly Bean every Monday afternoon, and will even re-gain my writing day. Needless to say, I’ll also be able to spend more quality time with my family as a whole.

Now I have the task of cleaning out my cube and files at the job I held for my entire pregnancy, and the place I returned to work part-time when my daughter was just six months old. It feels hard, and I’m realizing that it has nothing to do with how much I enjoyed this job. (It was a fine job, but nothing special.) It has everything to do with all the associations this place holds for me, all the happy memories of a time in my life I hold incredibly dear: Walks around the block with my bulging belly; walks to visit Joey in the office with our little newborn in tow; papering my cube walls with pictures of my six-month-old because I missed her so terribly when I first returned to work; dutifully pumping in the converted shower room; doing the morning commute rounds with Joey: drop off Kai, drop off Meli, drive ourselves to our shared workplace.

But now Melina is practically running, Kai is starting kindergarten, and I have a chance to flex my brain’s strategy muscles once again. In a sense, career-wise I’ve spent the last two years recharging. Now it’s time to re-engage!

start-up life 2.0

Posted by lynn on 27 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: work

Big Tent HomepageAbout a month ago my sister’s best childhood friend tracked me down to pick my brain about the company she co-founded, bigtent.com. By the end of our first conversation she had piqued my interest, enough for me to head to SF for an informational interview, Melina in tow. (Side note: Taking my 13-month-old to an office interview was both crazy and cool. She did great for the first hour, then started “bubbling over,” as one co-worker recently put it. I’m sure she was bored to tears.)

Needless to say, after another round of more formal interviews (sans toddler), I got the job. I now consult part-time for Big Tent in addition to my part time work as a copy writer in the East Bay. In addition to working on my own writing and being part of an active writing group. In addition to raising a toddler and helping raise a five-year-old boy. In addition to being incredibly social and having plans every spare moment of the week. In addition to trying to find time for just Joey and me. Phew! I don’t really have time for this. But start-up life is so invigorating it spills new energy into every aspect of the rest of my life. And that’s a very good thing.

I’ve worked in the SF office three days now over the past two weeks. Some notes:

  • Unlike my first round of startup work (from around age 23-30), this time, I am the expert! They hired me specifically to consult on various aspects a big content project. Just the other day one colleague introduced me as “our writer and mentor.” Sweet.
  • They have snacks in the break room. And lots of them, all from Costco. Chocolate, nuts, granola bars, even cheese. I’m going to gain 10 pounds.
  • The commute to the City is kindofa drag. It takes about 50 minutes and includes a long walk on both sides or a transfer from BART to Muni. My commute to my other, East Bay job is less than one mile. Ironically, the EB commute often takes 50 minutes as well, since we have to drop off one or two kids at daycare across a medium-sized town. Put in this perspective, the City commute ain’t half bad.
  • They have regular happy hours, and group outings to events like Giants’ games. Five years ago I would have joined in for every single event. Now I have to say “with enough advance notice…” and check in with Joey about watching the Jelly Bean and my own sanity about not taking on too much. For real.