Saturday, September 26, 2009

Post 26: Race Update

36: 47! That's not as good as my time last year, but way better than my times in the races I ran while pregnant. It was perfect running weather -- about 62 degrees and sunny. The race venue was not that great. They switched locations because of overcrowding so the route went through the bowels of the seaport, including Seaport Boulevard that stunk of well, seafood.

I feel pretty good about myself. Yes, I was slower. Yes, I have a mom belly. Yes, I will always think I need to: lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc. Today, though, I am a-okay.

The MG took pics.

Pre-race, wearing my super-flattering XXL UPenn sweatshirt purchased at my brother's graduation. I tell myself that it wasn't that long ago and that I don't need new workout wear, worked out well during pregnancy.

Zygote, not so impressed by having to be out in the cold.


Congrats on this beautiful day!

Slightly happier now that the food source has returned.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Post 25: Zygote's Letter

Say what you will about Dooce, I love/d that she wrote her kid a monthly letter. YG and I had this plan to faithfully update our journal for Zygote, but things didn't quite work out that way. Here are excerpts from the three month one, and I have to say that these updates would be much easier to write if she wasn't staring at me and shouting every time I dare to turn my head and pay attention to anything else.

Dear Zygote --
You are now 3 months old, or 15 weeks and one day to be exact. Sometimes, I can't remember what it was like before you. We had a tough first month, but right now, most of my time spent with you is a joy. You still have moments when you scream bloody murder and I can't figure out how to comfort you. Then I have this crazy cocktail of emotions ranging from helplessness to anger to fear because I'm afraid that I'm not doing this mother thing right, that I SHOULD know what to do to make you feel better.

The crying moments are few and far between, though. Most of the time, you give me these huge grins and giggle when I make up songs for you. Our days are pretty lazy. I usually feed you in bed in the mornings and then we play and I watch t.v. while feeding you again. Afternoons, we'll go out for a run or walk to Harvard Square and I'll get a cupcake and bring you to the bookstore.

When you're older, I hope that I have more friends with kids for you to play with. We go to mommy and me group (barf at that name, you'll understand in time) every week and may make some new friends, but for now, I'm content with it being just us. And your dad. He's still my favorite person in the room, and I hope you'll see how cool he is when you grow up.

Next week, I go back to work. I am not looking forward to it. There is nothing wrong with my job, but I have no connection to the work that I do. I am unimportant. And have mixed feelings about leaving you to work that doesn't mean much. Still, work, and earning your own money, is important. When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be, and I encourage you to be selfish -- you are allowed to find that job that you love. I'm going to keep searching for that because I want to be a good role model for you. I know that I will miss you when I'm gone, but know that I'm never really GONE. I'm always with you.


Post 24: Running Blah Blah

I'm running my first race post-Zygote tomorrow morning. I am excited, nervous, insert adjective of your choice. I ran this race last year at my best time, 10:35 per mile, and I'm pretty sure there's no way I'm going to beat that. A little sad, but then I remember I couldn't really WALK three months ago. My goal is to run the whole thing without stopping.

It's been nice getting back to running. Earlier in the week, I took Zygote down to Kendall Square and ran the 2.7 miles along the river back to Harvard Square. The stroller weighed about a thousand pounds, and the wind was right in our face, but still, totally glorious. She slept and I rewarded myself with a cupcake.

In other running news, I decided to switch up my sneakers. I had been totally devoted to Saucony Triumphs, but read that ASICS Nimbus were also good for under pronators. YG swears by ASICS, so I'm trying them out. So far, I'm neutral. They feel much stiffer than the Sauconys, but maybe it's because I'm just not used to them. I threw away my faithful green machines, otherwise known as the Saucony Triumph 4. They were my second pair of Sauconys, but I logged the most miles with them and really got into running at that time. Still, small apartment = no space for tons of old running sneakers littering the floor.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Post 23: Things I Wish I Did More of This Summer

The theme of the day seems to be social awkwardness.

There's no easy way to say this, but I wish I had more friends. If you are reading this, you're probably a friend a therefore exempt. I was hoping that a summer off with a baby would magically get rid of the social awkwardness and that I'd be going out on lots of play dates, meeting other people with kids. My mommy groups have been great, and I've been able to meet lots of new women, but I never seem to be able to make that transition from meeting at a particular place and time to "hey, let's go out for coffee." I see these women in the neighborhood all the time, and we chit chat, so I seem good at making acquaintances, but not friends.

How DO you make friends as an adult? As a kid, it seems like you are constantly thrown in these situations where you get to meet other people or you can just go knock on someone's door and ask if they want to ride bikes. And then there's college where everyone knows no one, so you naturally gravitate toward people like you. After college, though, there's work and....?

A friend of mine moved to a new city with her family and made up business cards with her contact information that she gave to people that she thought were cool. She recreated a whole network of friends and acquaintances within a few months. I admire someone that can do that and can naturally go out and meet people, but the idea of me doing it makes me just cringe.

Still, Zygote at least gives me a conversation starter, so we're going to try another group today and see if we can make a friend.

Post 22: Additional Dumb Shit That I Say

In trying to pay attention to the "likes," I've noticed an overabundance of "it's kind of funny..." followed by stories that are not actually funny and aren't meant to be funny. It's the modern girl's version of "no offense."

Post 21: Networking

YG and I went to a networking event downtown last night. Our dinner plans were cancelled and we already had a babysitter lined up, so we figured what the hell. Networking is one of those words that makes me cringe. I know you need to do it to find jobs. I know that you're more likely to get a job from someone you know. And I know that you need to meet people in order to get to "know" them. I know all this stuff, and I still hate it.

Networking brings out the worst of my social awkwardness and brings me back to my middle school days when you wonder who you're going to sit with at lunch. At these events, I always assume that everyone knows each other, is easily carrying on tons of scintillating conversation, and does not want an interruption from a dorky outsider. It's worse going with YG because he's Mr. Big Man on Campus and a relentless networker -- he has a natural kind of social ease and can get even the most boring and awkward people to talk. I usually stall out after "what do you do" and "what do you want to do." I then mumble my way into the "where are you from" and eventually land on the weather, where most conversations go to die.

It actually wasn't that bad. We set a goal of collecting five business cards before we walked in, and I work well with goals. I had a glass of wine so that I'd have something to carry and lubricate myself to be a little less lame, and I set off. I had lots of conversations with laid off investment bankers and people in the financial services industry, one fun conversation with a woman who had started her own event planning business, and only one painfully awkward one with a person in "educational leadership." A lot of the women talked about needing to find something more flexible because they have kids which was expected, but still depressing. YG rescued from a conversation with some douchebag financial analyst obviously looking to pick up women, and then we left and had dinner "al fresco" at Upstairs on the Square.

Overall, it wasn't that bad. Knowing that YG was there and watching me forced me into conversations, as opposed to hiding out in the bathroom. I had a lot of trouble answering the question, "so, what do you want to do?" I really have no idea. I still like PR, but I know it's time for me to get out of high tech. Suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Post 20: Reading I Have Enjoyed This Summer

The best part about being home with Zygote this summer was that I had more time to read than normal. My summer list included:

1. Cconsider the Lobster: And Other Essays by David Foster Wallace -- When DFW died, I felt like a bit of an ass because he is supposedly one of the voices of my generation and I hadn't read anything by him. The title essay was fantastic, but the piece on John McCain's 2000 bid was even better. I now want to tackle Infinite Jest.

2. Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea Buchanan -- My friend, Sarah, sent this to me when I had Zygote saying that it helped her through the early weeks of motherhood. I read this collection of essays my first few weeks with Zygote, while she slept on our walks through the neighborhood. It took me forever to finish it because she screamed a lot during those weeks, but I found it infinitely relatable.

3. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld -- Light beach read. I loved Prep, so I was expecting more, but this was nice for Long Island.

4. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb -- As with all his books, I adored this. It took a while to get going, but it was worth it. The characters are so developed and the plot details are intricate. It could be cheesy, but it never is.

5. The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter -- The best way I can describe this book is ....interesting? A few friends gave it rave reviews, but because I don't normally like mysteries, it sat on my shelf for three years. I still don't know if I liked it, but it was 672 pages and I couldn't put it down. That's saying something.

6. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose -- This is normally the kind of book that I love. I'm a big fan of reading about doing things as opposed to actually doing them. I liked the focus on sentences and paragraphs, getting back to grammar basics, since it's something that I'm terrible at. I also liked the examples, but had a hard time relating to passages that I hadn't read before. It's not a guidebook, though. Another plus is that I now have another list of books that I'd like to read, including giving Chekov another shot.

7. The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer -- I haven't finished this yet, but it also falls under the category of Books That I Am Not Sure I Like But Still Can't Put Down. It's about a group of friends who all gave up their careers to raise their children and what they are thinking and feeling ten years in. I don't particularly like the characters and find them very snooty and whiny and over educated and navel gazing. But, cough, also highly relatable.

I'm hoping to tackle a few more in the next week, and of course, keep it up once I return to work.

Edited to add: Relatable is not really a word? See above about grammar and me.

Post 19: Does This Count?

I laughed out loud.
And then cringed a little because I am such a corporate yuppie.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Post 18: I Don't Know What to Write About

That isn't entirely true, but I feel like I would need a novel to get into everything swirling around in the brain right now. I know that I want to write about how conflicted I feel about going back to my job (not about working, but going back to work that I don't feel that passionate about and that I'm not doing particularly well at). I also want to write about the first three weeks after we brought Zygote home from the hospital because I'm finally far enough away from that to talk about it. And I want to write more about Zygote.

But all of that stuff is HEAVY. No queef stains or fart waffles in that.

Please leave suggestions in the comments section if you would like to hear me rant on a particular topic. I think that would actually be a good job for me -- ranting.

For now, I'll go back to walking around with bluebirds on my shoulder and rays of sunshine coming out of my ass.