Monthly Archives: August 2009

My “ta-da” list

(as opposed to “to do”)

Things I want to do now that I don’t have to put so much energy into making a bad marriage work . . .

Nurture my inner artist
Learn to draw
Work on one-stroke painting
Work on felting the fibers I bought
Decorate my home with my work
Use the Gocco
Learn more about zen photography

Nurture my home
Finish refinishing the nightstands
Paint
Replace the family room couch (why do I call it the family room? No family. But den sounds so dark)
Redo the downstairs bedroom
Take care of the leak in the roof
New window treatments

Design the journal “How I survived my divorce”

Take a class (improv?)

Sew:
Clothes using hand-painted fabrics
Quilts for the 5 girls using fabrics from my mother
Pillow covers
Finish J’s tallit

Ta-da!

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Pass me a margarita

My day today began with fishing a dead mouse out of the pot that was soaking in the sink. I don’t know whether to be grateful that it was (a) dead and that (b) I didn’t have to dislodge it from a mousetrap or grossed out. Or both.

Then, after I discovered that I washed – and destroyed – two checks to me totaling over $500.00, two checks that I had written and put in envelopes to mail, and one certified copy of my mother’s death certificate in an envelope to a life insurance company, I went to let the dogs out. Right outside the back door was one dead bird. Right there, on the ground, waiting for me to pick it up and dispose it in my garbage can which is beginning to take on a morgue aura.

So now I feel like I’m living in a Stephen King novel.

Pass me a margarita.

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Going up . . . alone

Blessing the Torah before a public reading is called an aliyah, which is translated as “going up.” We read Torah every Monday and Thursday, as well as on holidays and other festive days. Today happens to be Rosh Chodesh Elul – the beginning of the Jewish month Elul, so at services this morning we read Torah. I was asked to take an aliyah and recite the first blessing. It’s an honor to do so, so I accepted (and, well, you aren’t supposed to decline anyway).

I was nervous for a few reasons. The first is that I was with all my colleagues, many of whom speak Hebrew natively. The second reason was because I have never, ever done this by myself. I’ve done it with groups of people and oftentimes with Mr. Ex. But never alone.

So there I was, alone, blessing the Torah. I was lucky to be surrounded by my friends and colleagues, as well as my beloved former boss/principal, who was the rabbi for the service. I whispered to her that it was the first time I had done this alone, which was pretty significant because of my divorce earlier in the week.

A. Powerful. Moment.

I made it through the aliyah just fine; no stumbling or anything. After I was done I totally indulged myself and said that it was the first time I had done it alone. The group spontaneously responded with singing a mazel tov to me – kind of a Jewish “for she’s a jolly good fellow.”

Another milestone.

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Three days later . . .

I referred to Mr. Ex today as my ex-husband. I think this was the first time. It didn’t sting, but I had a moment of “that’s a new phrase in my vocabulary.”

Naming things and putting them in categories is so important. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of stuff in the bible about Adam naming the animals, and we spend a lot of time in sixth grade teaching about categorizing and labeling.

I remember the first time I referred to Mr. Ex as my husband – and how weird but exhilarating it felt. Or the first time I said “my daughter,” or “my son-in-law.” Or the first time I referred to myself as a wife, or mother.

It almost bothers me more to have lost those two distinctions as it does to have lost a husband. Not that I really lost the mom distinction, but I do miss the “caregiver of young children” distinction.

That got me thinking about labels and the labels we use with ourselves. Cook, homemaker, teacher, salesperson, girlfriend, wife, mother, husband, lover, partner . . . How they fit for a while and then they don’t.

I guess I need to figure out what the other labels I have for myself are. Especially the ones that have been left in the drawer for a while. Time to dust them off and give them a try again. More on that to come.

Also – thank you to everyone who commented or wrote me offblog about Monday. Your support – whether you are someone whom I know in the outside world or not – is incredibly appreciated and I feel blessed to have you in my life/cyber life.

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Today

Facebook | Deborah Stern Harris

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Tomorrow’s D-Day

9:00 am tomorrow. Courthouse. It’s over.

I must have some anxiety about it. I had the most vivid dream last night that my school hosted a divorce event for me, which was attended by scores of people (including Mr. Ex) and featured a band (which included out-of-towners as well as my older daughter’s BIL on bass). It was held in advance of the actual hearing, and I stayed so late that I almost missed court.

The food was good, though.

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My, I’m trendy

cougar-town-pic_432x375Me and Courtney Cox. Uh huh.

I’m sure you’ve seen the TV ads for Cougar Town, the new ABC show starring Courtney Cox. Other than the fact that she’s looking at 40, and, for me that’s a somewhat distant memory, it’s a little spooky. ABC bills it as “a single-camera comedy that dares to tell the truth about dating after divorce.”

Nice to know that I’m in a common enough demographic that I rate a TV show.

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