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Agent Orange is a Good Description, Too OR Becoming a Single Working Mom

Well, yesterday was semi-productive.  Probably more than semi, but you know how hard we are on ourselves.  After both jobs, I felt like my head was going to fall off.  I. Could. Not. Do. Anything. So I delivered my kids to a friend's so I wouldn't have to feed them or anything annoying like that.  Came home, slept for an hour.  Hard.  The only reason I woke up is because Mistress Quickly literally crawled onto my stomach and curled up.  Mistress Quickly is a cat, by the way.  So with all her cat weight on my tummy, I had this excruciating urge to pee, which I attempted to ignore.  You know how you do that cause the sleepin' is sooo goooood?  *Sidenote:  I still have not found a temporary home for Mistress Quickly.  Any of you know of a quiet atmosphere for an older, spayed, shy Bengal cat for only a couple of months, if that?

So I got up.  Then I did an hour-long online assessment to see if I have the chops to be a collections agent for a bank in Pasadena.

I have now begun my 5am to 3pm work today.  And it's going to SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCKADEE SUCK!  My sister would not be happy with me right now.  She'd tell me, "No, Ashley.  It's going to be wonderful and amazing.  Stop putting negativity out there.  Tell the Universe that you are Galadriel.  See?  Nothing sucks for her!  She's Galadriel.  YOU are Galadriel.  Now go eff the world in the ass, just like Galadriel would." 

A very kind soul, who must be insane because I think she has like 12 kids by now, is bringing me and my kids dinner tonight.  I didn't ask her to.  She offered.  And I was, like, "Dude!"  And she was like, "Dude."  Then I was all, "Dude??"  And then she shut me down when she said, "DUDE."

After today, I have only 2 shifts left at the gym and 3 at the library before heading off to sunnier shores.  I have never worked this much in my life- you know, 38 hours outside the home, in the fields, in the cruel world...the jungle. 

I had a formula in mind for my life as a young Mormon woman.  It was just a given that I would marry and have a family.  I didn't know how many kids I wanted or anything too specific like that. 

Matt is one of 9.  Yes, 9 children.  One of 9 isn't the name of a secret organization or a weird pirate thing like 9 Pieces of 8 (what the hell did that mean, anyway?).  He is numero 6 out of 9 children.  I am the oldest of 3.  Matt said, while we were dating and first married, that he wanted a big family like his.  Then we had Hana.  And he wanted to be done.  I never wanted a big family.  But I sure wanted to be done after Hana! 

When I was just a young, naive married child, pre-motherhood, I'll never forget being in church and chatting with another young gal who was holding her first baby.  She admitted to me very blatantly that she did not enjoy being a mom.  What?!  Oh my gosh!  You are the worst human on the planet and Kolob!  Please don't have anymore children, because you obviously are incapable of loving!

Well, how does the saying go?  "Bitter pills aren't easy to swallow as you sit in your glass house and you eat your words and your sour grapes"...? 

Back to the formula.  Part of knowing I would have a family was knowing that I would be a stay at home mom.  My mom did that for the most part, and I would never trade my childhood experience of knowing that mom was there.  She was a mom.  That was her thing.  She had kids and was dedicated to that.  So that's what I had been doing for the most part for the 12 years that I'd been a mother upon my divorce.  I have no regrets in that department. 

My work experience included odd jobs during that time like cleaning, acting workshops, coaching dialects, and acting in the summers. 

I didn't know how I was gonna get a job when I became single. 

What I learned in that pursuit is this:  RELATIONSHIPS ARE CRUCIAL.  You never know when a random acquaintance who you've been consistently friendly to and have been able to make laugh with your killer inapporpriate jokes is going to be able to help you out in a big way. 

I've known my boss here at the gym since I moved to Cedar City 8 years ago.  Since starting here at the gym over a year ago, I got to the know the director of the public library because he works out here almost daily.  I'd smile and say "Hey".  One day at the gym, lo and behold, while looking for a 2nd job, I see online that the library is hiring and guess who was working out at that exact moment in time...

When I started working at the library, on top of my job at the gym, I had such enormous guilt and anxiety- in part because I loved being out in the world working.  So I texted my therapist one night while shelving books at the library, "I am panicking!  I have so much guilt!  Today has been an 8 hour work day!  My kids have been all alone!  I don't know if I can do this!"  She replied, "Calm down.  Your kids are just fine.  You are doing what you need to do."  And that was that.  No more guilt.  She's got like Master's Degrees and stuff.  Boom.  I am an Employee/Force To Be Reckoned With.  I decided to just kick butt at my jobs.  Work a little harder.  Be Rad and Most Excellent.  That is what I can do for my kids while I'm away from them because I have to work for them.  Go to work and kick ass.  Shelve those mother fracking books.  Scrub the daylights out of those treadmills till they glisten!

We can talk about working nearly full-time and being a single mom, too.  But you get that, right?  The stress is monumental, like Mount Rushmore monumental.  But we overuse the word 'stress' so much that it doesn't really make the impact that I need it to.  How's...Napalm.  That's better.  It gives a clearer picture of the all-encompassing devestation of who I am as an individual. 

THIS IS WHY I STARTED DRINKING, PEOPLE.  It was either that or Ding Dongs.  How can I justify putting that crap in me?


  1. A long time (75 years) friend of my moms was here yesterday, and she said, "how did you raise five kids and work full time???"

    i'm still not sure.

    like you, i just figured it out, one day at a time.

    you are galadriel. don't forget that.

  2. I guess I'm going to be the nerd who answers this. A piece was eight was a coin used heavily in the time of new world piracy. (Roughly 1710-1780, I think, but I'm not double checking.) It was a Spanish coin, and worth eight of the current rate. So just like we will ask for twenties at the bank, it became common to call them pieces of eight. And they became increasingly common, because the Spanish were just so damn easy to rob.

    Anyway, love your blog. Good luck!

  3. no negativity, Galadriel!!


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