Cue The Greatest Showman soundtrack. I’ve been addicted to the Golden Globe winning song ‘This Is Me’ because it describes me so well. No, I am not a bearded lady or a little person (although I am only a touch over 5’-1”) but I am brave and I am bruised and not ashamed one bit about it. This is me:
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and like a lot of New Yorkers, my parents wanted a quieter life and transplanted us to Bethel, CT when I was about to start high school. This did not sit well with me and because of it I received my first Depression diagnosis at the tender age of 14. Honestly, that is a whole other story that I will tell at some point, but to express my being bruised, I have been struggling with Depression and its sister, Anxiety, for more than 20 years. It took me a long time to not be ashamed of these diagnosis’ and now I avidly advocate for them.
One good thing that I did find after the move was my husband. He and I started dating at the age of 16. We were married in 2004 and were blessed with our daughter, Sophia, in 2006. She is my greatest gift and also a cause of my greatest frustration because now that she is 11 we have entered the preteen stage. With my daughter starting middle school, we recently moved from Danbury to Bethel.
My typical weekday looks like this:
6:25 a.m. – My cow alarm clock that I have had since I was a child goes off. I sigh and slam the horns down on it before it repeats its “Clunk-clunk, clunk-clunk, wake up, don’t sleep your life away,” in an accent that I still cannot figure out. I open the door to go get ready and get a giant waft of perfume in my face. Ah, the child is awake. I think to myself, “What Sophia did I wake up to today?!” Because she is a preteen it could be my sweet daughter or some whiny, crying, rolling eyed demon possessing my child. (Did I mention that I am a bit sarcastic?). I have about a 50-50 chance of it being either one. I enter the bathroom to get ready for work and back up to change.
8:05 a.m. – I arrive at work and remain in my car to take some needed “Me Time” and read until the day starts at 8:30 a.m. I am an Architectural Project Manager for a high-end furniture retailer. My day usually consists of drawing floor plans, playing with Adobe Photoshop & SketchUp, and making or answering phone calls and emails. I really like my job and love when I get to travel.
1:00 p.m. – Lunch time! If the weather permits, I will be outside walking. I need the sun as my cubicle sees no sunlight at all. I do have several plants in my cubicle which helps. I am nicknamed The Walker here at work because almost everyone has seen me walking, and well, they don’t bother to ask me my name. So, I usually get a cheerful, “Hey Walker, nice day!”
4:45 p.m. – I head out as my professional work day is over. Off to pick up my daughter from afterschool care. Once again I ponder what version of her I will get. 9 times out of 10, she cries on our short trip home… always when I pick her up, never when my husband does.
5:45 p.m. – We sit down for dinner. The three of us try to have dinner together every night. Our major rule at the table… No electronics! That means no TV, no phones, etc.. We talk, face to face. That isn’t something most people do anymore.
6:30 p.m. – You’ll find me in front of the TV watching my most guilty pleasure… true crime. I am a true crime fanatic! I constantly DVR Snapped and am binge watching Forensic Files on Netflix (at work I listen to true crime podcasts). I am addicted. I am just so fascinated at the psychology of it.
8:00 p.m. – My daughter goes up for chill time in her room. My husband and I watch something on TV. We talk, we eat dessert, we chill kid free.
9:00 p.m. – I go up for more “Me Time.” I read some more, scroll through Facebook and watch Forensic Files. Then it is lights out around 11 p.m.
Throughout the day, when I am home, I am being trampled on by my two adorable cats. Adorable, but as cats are, highly curious. The boy, Nigel, loves everyone and is usually the instigator of cat fights. The girl, Cora, is fearful of everyone but can get Nigel to do anything she wants.
On weekends I get to sleep in. Our greatest accomplishment as parents was when we taught our daughter how to tell time. At first, she was to wake us after the clock said 7:00. Now she could care less when we get up. Almost always, I am at the gym to lift weights, go on the treadmill or take a yoga class. If the weather is good I will hike and if we ever get a decent snowfall, I will snowshoe. Exercise is very important to me. Then I catch up on life in general ending the day with word searches and a glass of wine.