Monday, December 20, 2010
Jen was an up and coming Senior Associate attorney in her firm. She was well liked, respected and worked extremely hard. One thing that I will not miss is the extreme stress that December brought to our household. As an up and coming attorney she had to make her billing hours quota and December is an extremely busy time for a law firm. It’s all about hours billed…and her firm was no different.
In no way am I slamming her firm…the truth of the matter is that ALL law firms are like that…it’s all about Billable Hours. Starting in mid-November we (the girls and I) wouldn’t see much of her. She worked very long hours and the weekend. She routinely got home after I went to bed at 11:00pm. She missed out on the chaos of making dinner, feeding the girls, giving baths and the bed time routine. It was hard and put a LOT of stress on our marriage.
At one point I actually suspected she might be having an affair because she was never home before midnight. Sometimes it would be 1:00am, 2:00am, I just couldn’t imagine anyone wanting or putting up with working that much, but she did. We would call her at 8:00pm when the girls were going to bed and I would call her at 11:00pm or whatever time I went to bed and she was always there working. I dismissed the affair theory when I went to my first Holiday dinner party given by the Firm and quickly found out that this was common practice for ALL the attorneys in the firm regardless of the age, status, title, they all worked these insane hours...ALL of them and came to accept it.
I do not and would not advise anyone to become a lawyer unless they intend to never marry and certainly not if they intend to have children. The stress that the profession puts on a marriage is flat out awful. When the girls talk about when they want to be when they grow up they always say they want to be a lawyer like Mom, for now I just let it go.
Later on after Jen was diagnosed; we talked about it (her and I) and how much she regretted missing out on things with the girls. How she would give anything to have that time back. Kids grow so fast…you blink and they have grown two inches and are an entire different size bigger in clothes. Their likes and dislikes change. Their looks, mannerisms and vocabulary…they are only little once.
I’m not trying to be a “downer” I’m not. I just want people to realize that December is friggin nuts. The Holiday season is crazy…we ALL get caught up in it…ALL OF US…take a minute to stop and slow down. Don’t forget the little things and the little ones… those smiling little faces get big quick and soon enough they have their own busy social calendars and schedules…
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season
Thursday, December 9, 2010
So I did what so many of us do over the Thanksgiving holiday break…I gathered up the kids and went back home…well, where I grew up, where I was raised, where a majority of my family still lives…I will attempt to explain my hesitation to say “home”.
The Burgh is my “home” now. It’s where I choose to come and it’s where I wanted to raise a family. It’s funny for me to say because I did NOT want to move to Pittsburgh. I said I would go anywhere OTHER then the town of rusted out steel mills and abandoned factories and now I love it here. It truly is an awesome place to raise and family and the people are just…nicer and friendlier.
It’s always great to go back where you grew up, but this (the Burgh) is my home now and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. My friends attempt to sway me back to NJ…but I can’t leave. In some ways it’s very tempting…but I can’t leave, I have roots here now and…honestly the thought has crossed my mind, but I don’t want to leave.
It’s always nice to go back where you grew up and see family and friends. Some friends you haven’t seen in years simply because as you get older and kids school, schedules and activities dictate your world. It just always feels awesome when you get together for that few hours and it’s like you never left. You may talk about the same things but the conversation never gets old and doesn’t skip a beat.
Last year it was really hard to go back and see people. I didn’t want people feeling bad or sorry for me but I wear my heart on my sleeve and it was pretty apparent. This year was different. I was happy and it was pretty obvious to see.
New Beginnings and Guilty Feelings
The person that I have been spending a lot of time with, along with her daughter came with us to NJ for the holiday. It was nice…sort of refreshing to have someone else come along. People focused on them and not so much me…and they also picked up on the fact that I seemed much more calm, relaxed…happy. It was nice.
I still catch myself thinking about how different my life is now. How different the girls lives are and how things might have been turned out, but sitting around and dwelling on that sort of stuff…is well….dangerous…at least for me. I am NOT the rah-rah cheerleader type of person, and everyone now and then I catch myself having to kick myself in the butt and say “stop dwelling, move on, it’s going to be okay”. Our lives (me and the girls) are forever changed, but life goes on. I fully intend to make the best out of it.
I find myself feeling really happy and then feeling a little guilty…it’s hard to explain. What I went through changes your view and perspective on many things. I need to go on, but wish I didn’t feel guilty at times about feeling good…about feeling happy. I’m genuinely excited how things are going - it seems to be working out really, really well. I feel very fortunate to have met someone who truly cares for me and the girls.
I have no questions for this entry. No lectures, no big speeches or points of view. I’m not pondering anything super important, no major decisions or thinking about life altering events…I’m…well…just feeling…..happy.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving…
Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)
In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.
I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what happened...in order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.
This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...