Thursday, January 28, 2010

Change Brings Hope

2005 - What an amazing year. It was a year filled with change, taking new paths and it was absolutely laden with hope.

Early that year, my husband and I had determined we were going to sell our doll house and move to some place a tad bigger - you know, a place that could hold knick knacks and furniture other than what we had stolen from Daughter #1's Barbie mansion. It was time. The doll house was the first house I ever owned. I bought it with the first husband and had been there 10 years, which was 7 years longer than I initially planned. But things change, husbands move on down the road, you get busy trying to fight off the great financial debacle of singledom and next thing you know - you're in the same place 10 years later. Anyway, we set out to find the perfect place and found it! It had POTENTIAL!!! Just a few thousand dollars and some elbow grease and this place would be in tip top shape - POTENTIAL!!! We felt alive! We were filled with promise and hope and we went for it!

About the same time we moved into our forever on our last nerves and threatening to suck the life out of me house, my then-boss was fired. It happens. Ya know when you continually run people down, show obvious outward signs of senility and then start cookin' the books, your ass is gonna get canned. I was appointed to run the company and I while I was scared out of my mind, I was full of hope, promise and I had potential!

My son came back to live with me after being on a 3 or 4 year (I lost count or I've forgotten - I could figure it out, but I don't feel like doin' any figgerin' at the moment) hiatus with his dad. We assured him that with a few bucks and some elbow grease - this house had POTENTIAL! He didn't get on board with the idea and was pretty sure it would never happen. (He's such a pessimist - or maybe he was the only one who was seeing reality as it was).

That was also the year the "Dream Team" came to work at Company X. They were different than the other employees we'd grown accustomed to - they donned crisp white shirts and perfectly creased pants, they had tanned faces and white teeth. I'm not sayin' we had a staff of uglies, I'm just sayin' these folk were prettier than most. They rolled into town in pretty cars and big ol' fat rolodexes - bringing hope and promise - to sell the shit out of the products we offered to the names in their rolodexes and save the company from our otherwise certain demise.

The flagship product built and sold by Company X was also undergoing a major overhaul and gettin' a spiffy new look - people would buy it because it looked GOOD and pretty people were selling it to them.

Change. Hope. Promise. A better life was on its way and I was ready to embrace it and call it my own. BRING IT ON!!!

We rolled up our sleeves and set out to get this house full of potential into perfect shape. We had no furniture, no TV and no cable for 7 months. During that time, we labored, with love, over this house - scrubbing, peeling, painting, building.... day in and day out - we toiled. I went to work at 7 a.m. every day, running the company I had come to love and which had become a part of me. I worked there until 6 p.m., then came home and joined my family in another 6 hours of manual labor. We played hard too during that time. Making our way in our new town, making new friends, making a new life. Laughing hard every day and sleeping only when it seemed absolutely necessary. For 7 long months we labored and moved forward - still seeing the hope. Still feeling the promise. Still living the dream.

In November of that year, 1/3 of the way through our list of planned projects for the house, the money ran out. I was losing my mind trying to run this company that clearly could not be run. The product spiffying project was moving at a backwards pace. The dream team refused to sell the unspiffy legacy product to anyone in their rolodex. We were slapped with the truth and reality of what it means to raise a teenager for the first time. And dammit - we were TIRED. Exhausted. SPENT - physically and emotionally.

We did what any other logical thinking people would do in this situation - I embarked down the path of hiring myself a boss - someone who wanted to deal with the crap every day. And I found one and hired him - a boss that had broader shoulders, bigger balls and a lower voice and who's ego was fed by the bullshit. Then, my husband and I went out and bought a big screen TV, some reclining leather furniture, called the cable company and got connected to 689 stations and we sat down to watch TV.

Eventually the dream team was fired. And now we're raising two teenagers.

I look around this house full of potential to piss me off on a daily basis - it's still only 1/3 of the way done, the money tree has not produced any fruit in nearly 5 years, and I wonder.... where is the dream team now? I wonder where they are? I wonder where they work? I wonder if, hired again, today, what with the product now being all spiffy and such - would they produce different results? I wonder what would have happened if we hadn't bought that TV and sat down to watch it? I wonder what this house would be today if we'd turn off that TV we sat down to watch back then? I wonder.....

I miss the feelings I had in 2005 - hope - promise - full of dreams. Some days I wake up and think - "how the hell did I get here?" or "Who's life is this, anyway?" For 2010, I made but one resolution - stop dreaming big and start facing the day to day reality - THIS is our life - LIVE IT and LOVE IT! I've started making small lists of things to accomplish each week. The small lists are all things that eventually make up the larger list that we haven't seem to accomplish. It seems less overwhelming. Cheaper. Possible. I feel it again - hope - promise - potential!!!

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