August 25, 2011
Tamale has a problem with peeing. She pees a lot. It’s very common for her to overflow her diaper overnight, during naps, and especially during car trips of any length. Last week I changed her the moment before we got in the car, and within 40 minutes I had to pull over because she’d soaked herself and wouldn’t stop screaming. I’ve tried to be prepared and bring an extra pair pants when we go out, but so many times she’s ended up wetting the original pair plus the backup pair. Now I try to bring two extras. She loves beverages, but even when she drinks the exact same amount as her brother, she leaks but he does not. It’s not the diapers; it’s her.
I have a different problem with peeing. My life is full of (usually, but not always successful) mad dashes to the bathroom. I get so engrossed in what I’m doing that I don’t get up, for anything. Yesterday when I was leaving work I realized that I was in danger of having an accident while walking to the car because I’d sat at the computer for 4.5 hours and forgot to go to the bathroom. It’s not like I was taking in liquid; I didn’t get up for that either. I was in the zone, and that zone does not involve taking any breaks.
I also had pee problems during each of my embryo transfers. The first time, I didn’t drink enough water and had to drink more and make them wait. The second time, I dutifully drank a lot of water — so much that the RE insisted on removing some of the urine via catheter before the transfer, and the rest via catheter after transfer because “it’s humanly impossible for you to hold it for 10 minutes after transfer with that much urine in your bladder, and we don’t need you to pee on the table.” The first time I was a not-good-enough patient; the second time I was too good a patient.
My husband has yet another peeing problem. When he worked in an office, he drank so much water that he’d need to go to the bathroom constantly. Like every half an hour. Many people in the office laughed at him, and many others gawked at the weirdo who appeared to have a bladder the size of a walnut. They also wondered how he could get any work done if he spent that much time walking to and from the bathroom and to and from the water cooler; he works just fine. A medical professional friend of ours once insisted that DH get bloodwork because no one should drink that much water and something must be gravely wrong with him. Nope, just well-hydrated.
My pee problem says that I get engrossed in what I’m doing. DH’s pee problem might seem to say something about his work ethic but in fact says that he just loves water. Tamale’s pee problem partly that she loves water like her father, and partly says that she just happens to make a lot of pee, and partly says that we should probably make more of an effort to change her diapers as often as possible.
Do you have a pee problem? What does your problem say about you?
August 11, 2011
I keep thinking about this article I read about the medium chill, also known as satisficing: “abandoning the quest for the ideal in favor of the good-enough.” It’s about making a choice to live with less “money/stuff/status” in exchange for more time, freedom, and happiness.
That tradeoff became especially apparent for me as we recently spent time with two of DH’s lifelong chums: a guy with a fine-paying, skilled job who chooses to work at that job part time so that he can spend more time with his kids as well as on his hobbies; and Mr. Moneybags, whose moniker says it all. One is the embodiment of satisficing; the other relentlessly accumulates wealth and prestige.
I was raised in a rich/poor family: one parent came from a poor family, and one came from a very rich family. My own upbringing was sometimes rich and sometimes poor. There was no satisficing when I was growing up: you never knew when lean times were coming, so you made the most of the fat times. My father recently spoke about the choices he made, to pursue big things even though it sometimes meant failure because working at a normal steady job would “kill his soul.”
My husband also came from a rich/poor family, but to a more moderate degree than my family. Also more moderate: the big things and the failure.
We both ended up with the good/terrible sense to choose a career that was fulfilling intellectually rather than financially.
Neither of us currently lives a satisficing life at all, working much harder than we should, but we are both pursuing accomplishment more than money. To the extent that we (esp. DH) have pursued money, to a large extent it was to pay for all of those fertility treatments and, now, sustain the results of the fertility treatments.
We both think every day about going somewhere exciting and satisficing for a few months — but only a few months. We both like having some extra money in the bank in case of emergency, or in case we suddenly need to go get some gelato — in Italy. I guess we’d both rather work very hard then relax very hard in a marvelous place than live a balanced but frugal life in a regular place.
How much do you pursue money/stuff/status? Have you made conscious decisions to follow a certain path, or just ended up there?
August 4, 2011
Approaching geography from the opposite direction of last week’s post fantasizing about other places to live…
Why do you live where you live? Is this really where you want to be?
I live in the area where I live now because I came here for a job and have since gotten stuck here. I lived in the previous city because of a job. I lived in the city before that because of grad school. And the one before that was for a job. Do you detect a theme?
There are certainly places that I eliminated from the job/school search process because I didn’t want to live there, and many of the places I’ve lived are cities that people dream of living. But ultimately, the geography of my life so far hasn’t been up to me. It’s been even less up to my husband, who has kindly followed me to each locale.
Now, all that may change. Almost a year ago, we’d made the decision to move not for work but — for the first time in my life — for family, when my mother got sick. But she died before we could move, and even though her city is a lovely place to live, where DH would be delighted to live, I can’t bring myself to live there without her. I haven’t gotten any of the jobs I’ve sought since I had to quit my last full-time job due to my pregnancy with Burrito and Tamale. I’ve been short-listed for most of them, one of two or three or four candidates but never The One, always the bridesmaid never the bride. If I’d gotten one of those jobs (each in a different city from here and from each other; some in cities where we’d want to live and some in cities that, looking back, thank goodness we didn’t have to move there), we would have moved despite the house not being sold, and either rented or taken the hit of rent plus mortgage.
No one seems to want to hire me, but DH is sick of living here. If someone comes along and finally buys this house, we’ll leave the area and go somewhere. If no one buys this house, we may go on a temporary adventure, as I discussed last week. If it takes long enough, we may just leave anyway.
But where to go? It could literally be anywhere, but we’ve narrowed down the options due to career possibilities and personal preference. DH really values nice weather; I don’t care.
Wherever we might go next, it probably wouldn’t be permanent (though if you’d asked me 5 years ago when I moved here, I would have told you I’d be out of here in 2 or 3 years tops). I can’t even imagine where I’d want to live permanently — in part because it probably won’t be up to me. Between the likely need to move at least once, probably twice more, for career reasons, plus the desire to leave our options open in case anything exciting comes along for DH, I don’t let myself get attached to any particular city or region. And so, I don’t even commit to what kind of life I want. Suburban: drive my minivan to Costco? Urban: walk to the farmers market? Live in the best public school district in a given area or spend thousand (tens of thousands?) a year on private school tuition? Look out the window and see the neighbor’s window, a thicket of trees, buildings that have been there for hundreds of years, or the ocean?
I don’t mind living here, but I do mind being underemployed. DH minds living here, but he loves our house. His closest friend and my closest friend both happen to live an hour away, but we barely know anyone around here. There are plenty of places that we’d want to go for a month, a year, a few years, but none is currently such a draw that we’d leave without first selling our house. I am trying to enjoy life here to the fullest, since this summer/fall/etc. may be our last in the area — or it may not. You know, it feels very weird to simultaneously be able to move anywhere I want but also be stuck here; to have infinite choice and no choice.
Why do you live where you live? Is this really where you want to be?