Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Knock on Wood.....

The other day I was at Starbucks with a friend of mine. I call her my "Starbucks Homie" because that is the only place we ever see each other. Ever. We get together about once a month and sit there for hours, and I mean hours, catching up on all that happened in our lives the previous month.

As always, some pretty intense subjects come up.  At some point in the conversation she was telling me about a friend of hers that had been ill and had recently passed away. This friend, unfortunately, did not leave a will. Long story short, it's going to be a mess because there is an ex wife, a new wife, children, property and so on. After she finished her story about her friend, we started talking about our own wills, or actually lack thereof. Both of us were not concerned about the "stuff," our only concern was our kids. God forbid, what if something happened to both parents and there was no will? Who would take care of the kids? It's funny because we had similar concerns but also very different concerns. My friend and her hubby are both white and of course Jamie and I are black and white. One of my main concerns was that if anything (knock on wood) were to happen to both Jamie and I, I wouldn't want Tatiana to be raised in "white bread anywhere." All of my relatives happen to live in "white bread everywhere," so automatically unless they moved to So Cal...they are out. Then there is Jamie's family. The opposite of "white bread everywhere." What happens to her white side?  Do you see my conundrum?  So now that she is 16 and graduating a year early from high school, this isn't such an issue....knocking on more wood.....but through the years it was a worry. Mind you...we love all of our family members, but there is nobody that would be just right. Maybe I'm putting too much thought into this, but I want her to always live both sides of her "coin." We determined through much thought and many discussions that if anything had happened to both of us we would have had one of our interracial couple friends raise her. There are many reasons for that choice. The first one being that she would still live here and go to her own school. The second is, these people are like family to us. The third, she would get the cultural mix that is so important to us and to her. Lastly, she would not have to move away from all she knew. That is huge.  

So many of our friends are like family to us, so this doesn't seem strange at all. What's right for one fam might not be for the other. We have never fit into any kind of mold, so it's normal for us to think out of the box.  Clearly. 

It's weird writing about these things, in fact, it kind of freaks me out. Thankfully Tatiana is almost grown and we don't really have to worry about this anymore, because truly, how do you ever decide who is going to raise your child?  Black, white, mixed or otherwise.

Now I'm off to go knock on some more wood, big time!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Plate Runneth Over.....

Life, sometimes it can be a bit much. To say my plate is full is the understatement of the year. I need a giant turkey platter to hold all that is going on in my life right now!  Ironically I haven't been writing much because my brain is so full I can't seem to write a cohesive sentence these days. So many words...yet none of them make sense. It's like white noise swirling around in my brain! I need some serious meditation time. Or maybe an island with a really big drink! Ya, that sounds good......I'll take door number two. Now!

I know we all have challenges, and I know we all go through "stuff," but dang, can I catch a break!? Let me give you a taste of what it's been like. As most of you know we are still going through this horrible lawsuit with the water dept et al over the loss of our business 4 years ago. If you aren't familiar with our story you can check it out here and you can also read about it in the book Oil and Water and Other Things That Don't Mix.  Recently we found out that the Otay Water Dept settled with the landlord/builder who is a plaintiff and  defendant, and as part of their settlement they are suing all of us for back rent and for breaking our leases. Yes indeed, you read that right, the very people that poisoned us, got us sick, and took away our business, are now suing us! gotta "love" our legal system. Or not.

Because we lost our business, and have been in this legal nightmare for 4 years, our financial situation isn't a situation, it's just gone.....history, kaput, null and freakin' void! Needless to say, we have had to get very creative when it comes to money.

I'm not only a writer writing for multiple sites, magazines, and a book, while also writing my own book, but I'm also a part time Program Director at a tutoring facility, and starting this week, a part time "assistant" at an accessory company that I have been a fan of  for a couple of years. The second job is thanks to a referral from the wonderful Marketing Manager of The Next Family who is now a dear friend!  You rock Madge!! 

Then of course there is my "favorite" part time job, the lawsuit. Conference calls, hearings, depos, trial prep and so much more! All of the ridiculousness has continued to suck up my time for 4, insane, long years! Oh the good times, they just keep on rollin'. Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice? I can taste it at this point.  Oh ya, did I forget to mention...trial starts on March 14th?!  Oy vey!

As if my plate isn't full enough already, our daughter just recently decided she is going to graduate high school a year early. We have had to do some fancy footwork to get all the puzzle pieces in place to make that happen! I'm SUPER proud of her and wouldn't discourage her for a minute, but who knew we were going to add graduation and senior activities to our "platter" this year? She is so motivated, she is keeping me motivated! Love that kid!

Let's see, what else? My husband and I also "take care of" our neighbor (Cali Mom) who has recently had many medical issues, so I have been "living" with her at various doctors appointments and surgeries. Again, wouldn't change it for the world, because she means the world to us, but ooowee does all this have to happen at the same time?

Sleep at this point would be great! Whew! I'm tired just writing all of this! The funny thing is, I'm not complaining. Venting, yes, complaining, no. I'm really quite thankful....really!

I'm still doing what I love most, which is writing, I'm part of a book that helps others dealing with the worst water tragedy of all time, I have two jobs that are getting me through this case, I have amazing parents that continue to help us through it all, I have family that's ALWAYS there, I have attorneys that haven't stopped fighting for 4 years, I have friends that are constant shoulders, I have wonderful women friends from my writing world who inspire me every day, I have an amazing daughter whose motivation keeps me going, and of course, last but not least, my supportive, hard working, loving, rock of a husband! So what do I have to complain about? That's all pretty amazing don't you think? I'm surrounded by love 24/7! That just rocks!

So yes my plate is full, and as a matter of fact it's spilling all over the place, but at the end of the day, it's okay. As my hubby always says, "I woke up today, so of course it's a good day."  We have been through so many challenges as an interracial couple, and as just a "regular couple," that nothing seems to get us down anymore.  How cool is that?  Cool.

Now it's time for some deep breaths and maybe some wine. Breath in, sip, breath out, sip, breath in, sip, breath out, sip......awwww. That's better.