culmination, durango, egg donation, moving, rental, single mom

My “Stove” philosophy

Today begins the smiley face of bruises half-mooning my belly button. The first round of hormones must be injected into fatty tissue, and being of the post-gestational female species, I have plenty to spare in the c-section area.*FYI the number one incoming search for this blog still alternates between “c-section scar” and “camel toe.” Friggin Awesome. The medication also causes a not-so-smiley reaction with your skin, hence the bruising.

I’ve been in a state of brain jello this weekend. After emotional highs and lows this past week, I think my mental functioning shut down about midnight on Friday evening.  I was staring at the state of my kitchen: Gift bags from my former employer (so crazy to say that now), my “new job” survival kit from my former co-workers, Flowers from my former boss, goodbye cards, and of course all the junk I’ve accumulated on my desk over the past 20 months. Top that off with the boxes I stole from the mail room, the legal files I’ve been storing in my office, the egg donation paperwork I’ve been keeping there as well, and the pile of dirty dishes, it was slightly overwhelming.

Then I thought about packing all of it, and immediately ran upstairs to hide in my bedroom.

Saturday morning, after a night of restless, panicky sleep, I went into LB’s room with a garbage bag and started sorting. My daughter is 2.6 years old. I found pacifiers and rattles from her infancy, baby socks that couldn’t fit a doll. I found every gift, every card, and every piece of artwork she created stashed in pack-rat corners of her room. I was embarrassed.

It took me most of the morning, but I managed to pack 2 boxes of her baby toys, a garbage bag full of clothes, her princess potty and her baby gates into my car. We then dropped them off at the thrift store. Ahead of me, a woman in fur-lined boots was unloading a stereo from her Lexus SUV. This town, I swear.

LB and I continued cleaning/packing/playing the rest of the day, and by 9 pm, both of us were ready to hit the sack. After she went to bed, I looked around at the tiny bit of progress we made on starting  a new venue in our lives. Talk about cathartic bliss. I can now visualize how long this move is going to take us, I can see the contents of my life fit into a set number of boxes. The questions buzzing around my brain are being answered at a tortise-like pace, but at least they are being answered! I can see the bigger pictures slowly coming together.

I used to hide from conflict, trouble, and messy-situations. I used to snort my problems up in a cloud of white powder. I was so good at denial that sometimes I would lie to people and not even consider it anything other than the truth. Now that I’ve been forced to face up to my fears, I can’t even explain how beautiful it is to feel that sense of relief after it passes. When you are too afriad to deal with the moster you’ve created in your head, nothing ever passes. There is never any relief.

I’m glad I’ve matured enough to be able to look at my war-zone of a life, realize my mental and emotional limitations, and deal with things at a realistic pace.

When Rooferman and I were together, he would get so stressed out, he wouldn’t be able to function even on a physical level. He would lay in bed, unable to even move. I told him, life is like a stove: You have 4 burners, an oven and you have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. The less important things go to the back-burner. The most important things deserve your immediate attention, and are on the front burner. You just have to decide what the most important things are in your life, and go from there.

Of course, this never did anything for Rooferman, but it made myself feel better by creating this philosophy.

I think about all the pots I have on my stove right now. A new job, which is like making chicken cordon bleu based without a recipe. A new apartment, which is like making mashed potatoes from scratch for 15 people with no electric beater; pretty straightforward, but time consuming and very labor-intensive. An egg donation, which is like making toffee candy; delicate, with detailed instructions that cannot be deviated from, and can be ruined very easily. And an impending court date, which is like trying to bake a sponge cake at high altitude; numerous attempts, hours of exhausting recipe variations, calls to seasoned professionals, and waiting to see if your efforts have paid off after watching yet another collapsed cake emerge from the oven.

Whats on your stove right now?


19 thoughts on “My “Stove” philosophy”

  1. I love your stove philosophy. Of course, I would have to think about it for a bit to come up with good examples like you gave. I will, though, when I get a moment. I may post it on my own blog too – if that is ok.

    Good luck with the move. I’m absolutely rooting for you in all of this. I went back and read through the archives and it’s just wonderful to see your progress as a successful single mother. Take care!


  2. Loved your post.

    What’s on my stove right now are the following ingredients:

    Court tomorrow with my son’s father no-father in hopes of getting him to pay child support=
    A gallon of nervousness.

    Realization that today marks the day in which my son has now outlived my daughter. He is now older than she ever was=
    A pound of grief.

    Wondering where I will get the money to pay the bills, etc.=
    A heaping huge helping of uncertainty.

    Overwhelmed sense of futility at having about 50 resumes out there, and not ONE interview=
    My cup runneth over with fear.

    Knowing that all of the above thoughts, fears, and emotions will pass if I just let them…
    An ounce of comfort.


  3. 1. stressed out about money. The state is probably about to cut our hourly pay rate to help them with their own economic crisis. For some of the full time attorneys it’s going to equal close to a $2000 a month loss of income. Not as bad for me, but still scary as hell.

    2. Relearning how to get along with X now that he’s back in town again.

    3. Dealing with well meaning friends who seem hell bent on pushing me back onto the dating scene despite the fact that I’m perfectly happy with things as is for the time being and don’t think I’m fully ready.

    Not a lot of burners running I suppose but latey I feel like I’m cooking on one of those tiny little stoves in an RV trailer instead of a normal sized.


  4. I love this post! and the stove philosophy.

    My stove:

    1. The beginning of a new semester tomorrow and the opportunity to get 5As (hey the best part of a new semester, clean slate!)

    2. Getting my house in order (literally). I have too much stuff that I don’t need to hang on to taking up space.

    My back burners:

    3. Work – I’ve had a week where I realize that I am more valuable than I previously thought so if anything funky ever happens again… I can always become someone else’s valuable employee.

    4. Coping with being single


  5. What’s on my stove now is just getting through the day and relaxing a bit.

    I have a new semester begin tomorrow, I have to start my thesis, and i stillhave crazy work going on, and some work at home…

    great post,good luck with the move, my heart is with you.


  6. How bizarre that I overhauled my daughters’ room at the very same time you were doing yours. And I will have you know that I hauled out 4 giant trash bags filled with cr*p. Granted, many of them were filled with large boxes that toys had come in, but still. My six year old is a pack rat and its horrifying to see some of the stuff she squirrels away under her bed.

    I am always amazed at your ability to juggle so much stuff (heavy stuff) all at one time. You are an inspiration.


  7. Amazing.

    Everything on my stove is constantly shoved to the back with the front burner cooking love. Always, unequivocally, love.


  8. Thats such a cool way of dealing with it!!

    My stuff moves around depending on the day and what happens!

    But its work, and my divorce – also impending trial date 3 weeks away, the kids, my writing, studying!!

    Right now today though – everything is simmer – nothing is nearly cooked or ready to come off!


  9. Love this description. Thankfully I can say that things are okay on my stove at the moment. All the usuals, but nothing burning right now.

    Oh, and I’ll email you your questions. I’m not ignoring you. Sorry, I just had a busy weekend.


  10. Your analogy is a good one, darlin. Really good.

    My stove is clean and shiny at the moment, truth be told. Give it a day, things change. 🙂


  11. I love this post! To be honest, I think my stove is looking pretty clean. There’s only a kettle that forever has some water in it but whenever it starts to steam up I get to take it off the burner for a bit…I like having that control….


  12. Love the philosophy! Front burners: the fact that Hannah is failing.all.her.classes and I have to find a way to prevent her being sent to the alternative school. Moving into our new home, doing much the same as you are. Back burners: upcoming trial date and lack of help for Hannah. In the oven where I can feel it cook but don’t have to really pay attention because it is the status of things with Steve. You sound like you are managing your dinner quite nicely!


  13. Sounds like you have got a great hold on dinner. The main things on my stove are

    In back- my living situation. It is clearly apparent this will not work out but I can’t do much about it until I take care of what’s in front which is

    Finding a job- I will probably have to bite the bullet and do something I don’t want to but I have to do it so I’m not constantly

    Needing money- I can’t hope to do anything without it.


  14. If you need an extra burner I’d be happy to lend you my hot plate.
    Hope you don’t need it though, that’s a lot of sh*t to handle.
    Best wishes.


  15. Great Post…..

    I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Thanks for sharing….


  16. I stumbled across your blog by accident but must say, I couldn’t stop reading. Love it. I’m not a single mom or a mom at all (except to my 9 yr old lab, love of my life). Life is very much like a stove. Great analogy. I hope your stove is getting cleared off so that you have room for your new adventures. Take care


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