Mother’s Day and the new Job.
Well I can honestly now say that I’ve failed in my January goal of posting at least once per week here on PablosPlace. I held my own for about 5 months, but the hectic pace of the last month or so has left me with precious little time, (and also a fair lack of motivation) to sit down and bang out a couple of words here on the site. It’s also not as if my life has been flipped upside down either, but rather there have been so many activities with the kids, and the job consuming so much of my time lately, that I just haven’t had the ability until this morning to sit down and reflect, which is when I do most of my writing.
Mother’s Day just passed and it turned out to be a very good one. I’ve never been to keen on Mother’s Day at all since I have such a strange relationship with my own mom. It’s tough watching all the stuff on TV about people who oogle over their own mother’s and are thankful for the relationships that they have with their mom’s, while mine tends to be nothing other than a crazy drama creator. There’s a big part of me that wishes that I could have a good relationship with my mom, but it always ends up the same way. She creates enormous amounts of guilt that send me into a deep depression, she stirs up drama that doesn’t exist causing relational hardships in my marriage and in my friendships, and is compulsive about her need to continually control my life in unhealthy ways. I still love my mom, but I’ve also realized that I’m a much happier and better person when she isn’t a part of my life because of the intense mental instability that she brings when she forces her will upon our relationship. It’s suffocating, and it destroys me. Which is why we’re better off not having spoken in years.
That aside, it WAS a good Mother’s Day as I’d mentioned. Emma and Abby went with their mom to celebrate the day, and I took Traci, Kelli and Nikki on a car ride up the coast as we stopped into Solvang. I’ve driven through Solvang a couple of times, and stopped in once at Paula’s Pancake House for breakfast during the weekend that I was up their with the boys for Tim’s bachelor party. But I’ve never really walked the streets of the town before. Mother’s Day was crowded, but not overly so, but it was also in the mid-90′s that day, and it was sticky and kind of uncomfortable to say the least, so our time walking about was only a couple of hours.
We first stopped into the Thomas Kincade art gallery where we showed the kids the Disney collections that Kincade had worked on. Traci and I had first encountered the collection of pieces when we were in Las Vegas the last time, at a Kincade gallery in between the Pallazo and the Venetian. The kids were amazed at how different the paintings looked in the different lighting conditions, and as the light was adjust through a dimmer switch, to see how the painting accounted for the details of the different times of day. As Disney nuts in this house, it was simply cool to begin with, but for the kids it was even more so.
After the art gallery, we wandered through the streets looking at the small quaint shops along the way. Some were just knick-knacks and do-dads, others were novelty places like a store that sold only socks (and a large variety of different themed socks at that). And finally we came upon the real reason that Traci wanted to go to Solvang to begin with, the fudge. She has a little tiny candy shop inside the city that she hadn’t been to since she was a child, and we stopped into get some of the fudge that she would share with the kids. Despite the fact that store had giant signs that said that they use special ingredients so that the fudge wouldn’t melt, the weather conditions of the day showed us that with actual science, chocolate fudge DOES melt when it’s hot outside. After a couple of hours of wandering through the town, we hopped back into the car and headed south.
On the way back, we connected with my dad and step-mom and stopped into their house for a visit. My step-brother Kyle and his wife Jennifer were already there with their two boys, Hunter and Liam, whom I couldn’t believe how much they’d grown, despite having seen them regularly on Facebook. It’s simply much different witnessing it in person. We stayed for dinner which was barbequed chicken, salmon, and steak, with risotto and veggies. It was a fantastic meal, made more magnificent by the company that we kept, and we were extremely saddened by the fact that the visit had to end. We were forced to get back into the Valley to meet my kids as it was Sunday evening, and the kids had school the next day. But overall, I was very happy that we had the opportunity to visit with my Dad and Colette. It was a joyous time.
On Tuesday, I started the new job in Pasadena. It took a little while to learn everyone’s names and to observe their behaviors to figure out things to work on with the new team, but ultimately, I’m really happy about the new gig. I really feel like it is a much better use of my abilities within the organization as I have the freedom to simply focus on coaching other employees to better themselves as sales representatives. There is a lot of work that I didn’t expect, but ultimately when I’m there, I’m very happy that I’m doing what I’m doing, which is something that I haven’t been able to say for quite some time.
The only downfall thus far has been the amount of time that it has taken away from the family. Since I started the gig on Tuesday, I really haven’t had the ability to interact with the kids, with the exception of the few minutes of drop off time at school in the morning. I haven’t had an off day until today. And Saturday was the longest of the days where I left the house at 6:30am for a store meeting, only to return home at 10:45pm. It’s a lot more hours, and it’s about a 40 minute commute one way, so the more time that I spend at the job, the less time that I have at home. I’ve been used to the “I’ll just run by home for 20 minutes or so during my lunch break, pop in on the family and get a little family time,” but that just isn’t reasonable anymore. The Northridge store was 5 minutes from home, whereas this one requires day long commitments, and odd hours where I generally leave the house around 10 or 11am, and don’t return home until 9 or 10pm on the regular.
The upside is that I’m making a lot more money doing what I’m doing, and I’m enjoying what I do a great deal more. The balance that I’m going to have to find is going to have to be in finding my time during my off hours with my family. Because I derive so much personal joy and satisfaction from that area, it’s a must in my life. I’m really looking forward to the family vacation in June, which I think will come at a perfect time where I’m really needing it.
Things coming up include the kids “graduating” this year. I put it in parenthesis just because Abby and Nikki are only going from Elementary School to Junior High, and Kelli and Emma are only going from Junior High to High School. But for them, it’s the culmination of a chapter of their lives as they move onto a completely new campus for the next few years, and the school’s really do make it a big “to-do” with graduation ceremonies to boot. The older girls in fact recently had grad night this past Friday at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and it conjured up the memories of when I had my elementary and Jr. High “graduations.” And it leaves me thinking why we celebrate these occasions the way that we do. That perhaps is another story for another day. Grad days are just a few weeks away though, so we’ll see what happens as we get closer.
That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to pencil in the time to spend here with some more regularity. If not, I’m certain that I’ll just keep the site on pins and needles as we wait breathlessly to see what it going to poor out of my head the next time my fingers start striking the keyboard.