Ch-Ch- Changes

On my last 4 cars, I’ve had a bumper-sticker (I bought 4 of them, the last is on the new jeep, not sure what I’ll do when I get rid of that car) which reads ” The Only Constant is Change”

I like that because it’s something I find it important to remember, When I was married I was very happy (I was stressed, nervous & worried 97% of the time, but I was happy- mostly because I’m good at taking joy from small things- like him bringing me a full cup of water every night before bed & always being happy to cuddle before we went to sleep)

But I knew it would change. Things always change. It’s the only thing you can count on (besides death & taxes of course) & acceptance of change & what comes to me is something I work hard to practice daily. It’s not always easy but I do it & it gets me frustrated when others can’t accept change as a part of life. I do accept a lot of stuff, just lately:

I accept that a big honkin’ tree fell on my house & I have to have the ceilings in my kitchen, dining room & 18’s bedroom replaced, siding redone, gutters replaced & the back chimney re-pointed, that my house will be in chaos at least through the end of April & that I have to somehow come up with a $500. deductible by then when I’m barely treading water financially now that I’ve taken on the car payment (which I really couldn’t avoid because of being rear ended & having to use the car repair money for other disasters like the hot water heater exploding!)

I accept that we’re a household of 7 right now (plus 1 dog & 4 cats!) I even enjoy people being around all the time (at least there’s almost always someone to chat with & if you want to play rummy or Yahtzee there’s someone to recruit. I accept that the ex, as usual, comes on strong with plans & projects & then forgets about them & us, doesn’t even call for weeks on end & doesn’t do what he said he would (on this one I could understand 11 & 8 being upset & not accepting this treatment from their dad- but they do accept it & I hate that for them)

I accept that the back child support that is supposed to come to me from the ex’s tax refund isn’t coming in anywhere near as quickly as I had expected & hoped (& as he had led me to believe- filing 2/1 he said, going to keep the new ex from filing that form that holds the $ for 6 months before I can have it he said). I accept that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, whether it be gas & grocery prices rising when I can least afford it, or the kids knocking over the coffee table with 3 drinks on it.

I accept that 18 will be moving out this summer, I accept that we’re going to have 18’s friend V here babysitting after 18 moves out & in light of that situation I’ve accepted that I have to change schedules before then because V isn’t going to be able to stay at my house until 11:45 4 nights out of 7. So when they came to me at work & offered me the option to do the pilot program full time (turns out it’ll be more like a half a day of that & half a day of taking calls {ugh} but it’s still going to be less stress)

I was pretty excited. I was given a list of schedule options & days off to choose from & jumped right in with what I thought would be the best one for all of us. (no, I didn’t call home & check it out with everybody, I’m 39 years old- I don’t have to ask permission!) There were 4 day x 10 hour shifts along with the traditional 5 day x 8 hour shifts. My first priority is getting home at an hour which will get V home early when she starts babysitting & in time to help 11 & 8 with their homework. The next priority had to be the days off. I hate not having my payday off so I knew I wanted a shift with Fridays off. Then there’s the commute, 4 days a week is better than 5 as far as I’m concerned.

Between the two 4×10 hour shifts; 230 pm to 130 am shifts & the 8 am to 7 pm shifts, the second seemed much better for me- after all, leaving work at 7 puts me at home at 745 or so. They had two options for days off, I chose Wednesday, Thursday & Friday off. Much better than the middle of the week (Tues, Weds & Thurs). I asked for & received my first preference, with the disclaimer that if business needs change I may have to change shifts.

When I called home you would think I’d said they were chaining me to my desk & never letting me leave the building again. 11 & 8 are upset by the idea that I won’t be home on Saturdays after this weekend. Which I can understand, though I still feel like if I’m home before 8 & no one ever goes to bed before 930 at my house, it should be OK, we’ll see each other plenty- especially with 3 days when I’ll be right there (or, more accurately- here at the computer-) when they get home from school!

18 was the worst though, she was furious that I would ‘do this to her’ because it means she’ll be expected to babysit all day Saturday & Sunday until she moves out. I have offered to pay V for a couple of Saturdays here & there, Chrissea’s daughter, Sami has also volunteered to keep an eye on 11 & 8 for me if 18 & the BF have pressing business elsewhere (though 11 stoutly denies needing an eye kept upon her- especially by Sami who is only 3 & 1/2 years her senior)

Even 18’s BF gloomily predicted that he’d never be able to get online again if I’m home at 8 every night. (it was pointed out by not one, but three people when I told them this story- & the thought crossed my mind too- that it will be good practice for him & for 18 for when they move out as they have no computer & I doubt they’ll have money for internet services either) I am a computer hog, but I pay the bills that keep the computer up & running, it’s my Damn computer & I didn’t see anyone volunteering any cash when the keyboard, the mouse & the monitor all died within the last 6 months.

The only person who has been positive about the change is Chrissea, she pointed out that since she’s off Mondays & Tuesdays, & I’ll be off the other 3 weekdays, the weekends are the only time which will be a concern with the kids & so 18 effectively is free to do what she wants 5 days a week & we can make other plans if she’s got something on a weekend.

The other change has been in my computer. Wildblue, my internet provider & Google, have become one. This means, though my email address didn’t change, the whole look of both my email & my homepage has changed 100%. I was quite upset when I found emails I’d deleted months ago in my inbox the other night & even more so when I found the rudimentary settings I’d done on my Wildblue homepage were all lost. Then I started looking around at all the options for the homepage through Google! Well, Wow!

I’ve had a homepage on MSN for as long as I’ve had an email address (I’ve had a hotmail account since 2001 – which isn’t much by many standards, but it seems like a long time to me) I don’t mind the MSN one at all, I look at some of my favorite cartoons daily through there (Non Sequitor, Doonesbury & Close to Home for the most part) But it’s never been user friendly, I have to make changes to it at work because the drag & drop function doesn’t work with my web browser here at home for some reason (Mozilla)

And every time I go looking at what’s available to add on the MSN page, I’m always amazed at how sparse the information is, not so with the Google page, I had options for 5 different horoscopes (yes, I’m into that) Games galore, I started with a hangman game & a crossword puzzle (The New York Times yet) and may go back for Tetris or Bejewled, I got a little spider pet who follows my mouse, weather for where I live now, where I grew up & where I used to live when the kids were little, moon phases, a calorie counter, (frustrating) News, pictures of the day from space & natural wonders & a usage tracker so I can keep an eye on our bandwidth as it’s been a concern at times, though we’ve never even been warned. So though it takes a few seconds to load it’s worth it!
I spent half my online time on the crossword & the hangman game on Friday & then again on Saturday for quite awhile.

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