My Impossible Dream of Maternity Leave

I have never felt more alone than I have since I got pregnant.

I’m not alone. I know that. I have a loving family and great friends.

But I don’t have anyone that truly understands what I’ve been going through.

My company is small — I have just one employee and three or four contractors. We used to be bigger, but we’ve gotten leaner as time has gone on.

We’re a services company. In case you’ve never thought about what that means, here’s the basic outline: Continue Reading

The Top Ten Worst Symptoms of Pregnancy

It turns out that we’re having a baby. I see a lot of happy announcements and sonograms in my feed, but not a lot of honest reporting of what pregnancy turns out to really be like.

Maybe this is all part of a giant conspiracy — why would anyone move forward with getting pregnant if they knew what was in store for them? I certainly wouldn’t have finally embarked on the journey with such gusto knowing that I’d be exhausted for the next four months.

Thus, I feel it is my scholarly duty to present my list of the top ten worst symptoms of pregnancy, in order of increasing terror. Each one of these was, at one point in the last four months, the worst pregnancy symptom I had ever experienced. To think I still have five months to go. Aye aye aye. Continue Reading

Six Years of Self-Employment

Today is the sixth anniversary of the day I left my full-time job.

I was 27. I had decided to leave my job one month earlier. I was then acting Development Director — the highest position in the fundraising and marketing branch of my small non-profit. I had worked there off and on since I was 19.

My coworkers were my family. I came to work everyday greeted by people I loved and who loved me (I think…). I worked with students with stars in their eyes; learned all about their hopes and dreams. Watching them party and study, party and study. There were good points. There were bad points.

I looked around my office that fateful day, and I realized… “I’m too comfortable.” Continue Reading

Life Lesson: Give Up the “Shoulds”

I’ve been in therapy for two years and some change.

I went to therapy because I was sick of giving myself grief — grief over not being successful enough, not blogging enough, not exercising enough. The list went on and on. I am, and always have been a perfectionist, you see.

A favorite bit of wisdom to help one get over not doing something Perfect-You would have done: “I thought I wanted to do that, but I guess I didn’t want to.”

Forgiveness in a phrase. Repeat the phrase and let it go. For instance, I haven’t blogged in months. I’ve known that each and every day — and known that blogging makes me happy and furthers my goals. Yet I have let the fact that I haven’t blogged dissipate into the ether each and every day and with that decision has come priceless peace of mind. Absolutely priceless. Continue Reading

5 Most Embarrassing Moments of 2012

5. Turning a Fun Social Reunion Totally Awkward

It was the Sunday before Christmas. I was out shopping with Julia and doing what I do best: visiting local businesses, saying hello and giving them some money. I love supporting indie businesses!

I particularly wanted to visit a colleague’s shop. I hadn’t seen her new shop yet and I was excited to see her wares. They were expensive, btw.

I walk in. She says enthusiastically, “Hey! Long time no see!”

She remembers me!!  She remembers me! I was excited. I like her a lot. She has done some amazing stuff in her life; it’s inspiring to even know her.

I hurry over, excited to talk. I try to remember: she’s married to a fellow creative genius. A male fellow creative genius. They’ve been married for awhile, and that’s when I see her more clearly! She must be pregnant!! How very exciting!!

“Hi!!” I hurriedly approach her as my mind races with all these exciting thoughts. When is she due? Is it a boy or a girl? How will this affect her ability to run her own business?

My face must have ebullient. I like babies. “Are you pregnant?!?”

4. Turning an Awkward Situation Even More Awkward. If that Were Even Possible.

She looked kind of confused and shocked by my question.

In my mind this meant only one thing: She didn’t hear me clearly.

“Are you pregnant?” I ask again, equally as excited for her new family member as before.

“No…” she said, blushing and looking away.

3. Continuing the Conversation

“Oh!!” At this point I get it. She’s not pregnant.

And I just asked if she was not once. No, not just once. Twice. I was mortified.

“I’m sorry!” I gasped. My face must have been beet red. What could I say? My mind raced…what could I say? How could I fix this?

Time is running out. She’s looking away; she wants me to go away; I’ve ruined whatever friendship might have been. I have to fix this.

“It must be your sweater.”

Genius me. Absolute genius. Now you’ve insulted her sweater.

2. Still Continuing the Conversation.

At this point, what do you do? I’ve inadvertently suggested that I think she looks fat, and that her sweater makes her look fat. It looked like such a nice, cuddly and warm sweater. It was so cold that day. I wear sweaters that make me look fat all the time. Oooh what have I done??

“So…how’s business?”

Yes. At this point I attempt to make small talk. All of my social grace had flown out of the window by now…and it wasn’t coming back.

She was nice about it…answered a few questions before someone — THANKFULLY — needed her help to purchase one of her handmade and adorable goods.

With a huge sigh of relief, our conversation ended.

1. Telling Julia about My Faux Pas. In the Store.

Did I mention that my social grace had flown out the window? Oh, yes, it had. It was up there in the sky dancing with the rainclouds by now. Probably telling them that they looked pregnant too.

I wandered around the store politely inspecting the goods and hoping to find something for someone on my list. I didn’t.

Julia was on the other side of the store. “Oh my god,” I said under my breath. “Oh my god.”

“What??” Her face was expectant. I could tell she could tell it was going to be good.

“I just asked that girl if she was pregnant.” I was talking as quietly as I could muster given my mortified state. I hope she couldn’t hear me. She was on the other side of the store, after all. But, really…what possessed me to bring this up while we were still IN THE STORE?? Couldn’t I want five minutes til we were on the street?

No. I was that embarrassed.

Julia was shocked. “YOU NEVER DO THAT!!!” That might have been audible across the store. I hope it wasn’t.

Julia continued, “Don’t you know that?? Everybody knows that!! Oh my god.”

I hung my face in shame. We exited the gift shop.

Julia sighed, “Well, I guess now you do.”

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3 Things You Don’t Know About Me

3. Email Monster

I just sent my first email newsletter. Maybe you got one. If you didn’t, I suggest you subscribe. I have a feeling I may be sharing some juicy tid bits in that thing. Or not sending anything at all. Time will tell.

2. I had a baby.

Not a real baby. A website baby. Gift And to celebrate…

1. I want to buy you a holiday gift.

Gift Chameleon is fun. It’s like an infinite wonderland of yummy gift ideas. Use it to create a holiday wishlist and follow a few other rules, and I will personally pledge not to be prejudiced when we pick our five winners.

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*Failure to participate could be risky, possibly even life-threatening! We don’t know, we’re not doctors, but you should definitely participate to be on the safe side.