Last Friday Tessa’s school held its big annual charity fundraiser, which is called Trike A Thon. Basically, the kids ride their trikes or scooters or bikes or whatever in circles around the parking lot until they are too hot and tired to continue, and then everyone eats popsicles. Nearly all of the parents come and take pictures and chat with each other. It’s great fun. And this year I made it right on time, just as the kids were lined up at the starting line, all ready to go. I had a blast.
Last year I missed it. Last year I was stuck in a conference room for hours and hours, with a bunch of other unhappy, stressed-out people, working on a deal that none of us wanted to be working on. This wasn’t the first time that this particular deal had interfered with a kids’ event, not by a long shot. In 2012 I worked Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and I was over an hour late to my own birthday party. Always working on the same deal, with an insane level of stress and pressure attached to it.
I thought I was used to it. I thought I could handle it.
But last year, on a Friday in April when I finally got home from work after a long day stuck in a hot conference room, Tess took one look at me and burst into tears, then cried, “No one came to see me at Trike A Thon! All the mommies and daddies came but no one came to see me!” She was inconsolable. I held her and rocked her little body as she cried and cried; she was as sad as I had ever seen her.
And that’s when I decided to quit my job. That very moment, holding my daughter, the decision was made.
It took me a few weeks to get my house in order, line up some new clients, and actually work up the courage to quit. But I did it. And Tessa’s broken heart over Trike A Thon was the thing that finally pushed me over the edge.
This year has been one of the happiest of my life. So thank you Trike A Thon, for helping me get my priorities straight.
1. Post the rules
2. Answer the tagged set of questions for you.
3. Write 11 new ones.
3. Tag 11 people.
4. Let them know you tagged them. (Ask, message, etc.)
1. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?
Hands-down, the best vacation I’ve ever taken was to southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia) in 2007. Literally, if a taxi pulled up in front of my house right this minute and I was told to get in because I was being driven to LAX to fly back to Africa today, I would not hesitate. I would grab my passport and some industrial strength DEET and go.
2. What is the best thing you have ever eaten?
This is a tie between olives stuffed with jalapeños and Pizzaria Mozza’s bianca pizza.
3. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
Summer. I am not a cold weather person. I do not believe in snow. Snow is nonsense.
4. Do you have any hobbies and if so, what are they?
I find this question humorous. No, I have no hobbies. Maybe you could count co-running my start-up company as a hobby, since that is basically super-fun work that no one pays me for. But, like, knitting or surfing or writing short stories? Hahaha. Nope, no time for that sort of thing.
5. What time did you go to bed last night?
11:07 p.m. Pretty good, right?
6. What time did you wake up this morning?
6:04 a.m. Not terrible, although I find 6:30 a.m. to be much more manageable. 7:00 a.m. is ridiculous luxury.
7. Do you grocery shop during the week or on weekends?
I never grocery shop, because grocery shopping is no fun and terrible and stresses me out. My wonderful, kind husband does all the grocery shopping around here. It’s just one of the reasons why I adore him. (Also, he weirdly thinks it’s fun. So, so strange.)
8. What is your “go to” order at Starbucks?
It depends on how virtuous I’m feeling. If I’m carefully watching what I’m eating, I get a tall black coffee with a little room for cream (this is maybe 25% of the time). If I am feeling like rewarding or treating myself or find some other justification for drinking 300 calories, I get a grande peppermint mocha with nonfat milk (remaining 75% of the time). Ooooh, peppermint mocha. I want one right now. I can drink it on the way to LAX before I fly to Africa.
9. Any fun plans for the coming week or weekend?
Yes!!! One of my favorite people turns 40 today (how am I old enough to have close friends turning 40?), and we’re going to his birthday party on Saturday night. We have a babysitter and everything! Hooray! Note that the kids are mad they’re not attending the party, because they love this person too.
10. Are you happy with where you life is right now?
Oh, yes. I am so happy with my life right now. My family is awesome, my legal career is in a great place, and the start-up is so exhilarating and thrilling. Plus I’m taking reasonably good care of myself and feeling healthy. I’m having a stretch of time where I wake up in a good mood pretty much every morning. I feel insanely lucky.
11. If you could turn back time and change one thing, what would it be?
I honestly can’t think of a thing. If I have to choose, I’d go back to 5th grade and talk myself out of getting a perm. That was an epically bad choice.
OK, I know I’m supposed to tag 11 people but I literally do not know 11 people on Tumblr. Perhaps I am antisocial? I’m going to tag heathersace and then tell my cousin Kyle, my mom, my Uncle Steve, my Grammy and my Granddad that they have to do this and email me their answers since I think they are the only regular readers of this blog. :)
Here are my 11 questions for you people:
1. What was your first job?
2. What is the last thing you purchased?
3. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
4. What’s the best job you ever had?
5, What is your favorite indulgence?
6. Do you have a favorite book, and if so what is it and why do you love it?
7. What chores did you have to do when you were a kid?
8. Who inspires you, and why?
9. What’s your policy on pets sleeping on the bed/getting on furniture?
10. Name one thing in the past year that you accomplished that made you proud. (Not technically a question, I know; please answer anyway.)
11. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
As we were driving home from school today we passed a huge billboard for the new season of Game of Thrones. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s a picture if a giant crow with swords for some of its feathers, and blazoned across the top in all caps are the words “ALL MEN MUST DIE”.
Gabe read it out loud, then was aghast. “All men must, DIE? What does that mean? It’s not even right. It should say ‘All men and women must die’. Does EVERYONE die in that show, Mommy? WHY does everyone die?”
So, thanks, Game of Thrones, for making me have an existential conversation with my five-year-old. Good times.