52 Weeks, 52 resolutions in my humble quest to be a better wife, mother, friend, survivor

Week 19: Help for hubby. July 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lputhenp @ 1:19 pm

This week coincided with my husbands birthday so it wasn’t really a stretch for this to be the theme.  Our lives are so busy these days that being nice to my husband translates in to the very practical terms of helping him get things accomplished.  So this week in addition to caring for the kids, I took on a couple special projects to take some of the load from him.  The first was to seek a payroll provider for his corporation.  After months of hard work it was finally time to take home a paycheck from his new business except, we had no idea how to legally do that.  Well, maybe not no idea but let’s just say we had lots of questions.  A couple of phone calls and meetings and I am happy to say we are on our way to getting a paycheck.  Yay.

Next up, disability insurance.  The notion that we had not yet purchased this essential piece of insurance is surprising.  While we usually view insurance as only for extreme situations we know all too well that the unexpected can throw a mighty big wrench into the best plans.  We would have done it sooner but there was always so much going on and it is a decision that requires much time to research the options to understand what you are buying.  This task took a little longer than I had expected.  It is complex.  I am happy to report though that now we are comfortably ready for catastrophe, at least from an insurance perspective.

The last task was setting up a retirement account.  This is secretly fun for me.  I love financial planning.  It has become a hobby of mine since I left medicine.  I love poring over sheets of financial information.  The endless minutia of finance fills the void in my detail oriented mind that was left when I stopped my surgical residency.  The other night I told Rob I wanted to read to unwind before bed.  I couldn’t tell if he was proud or worried about my choice of reading material.  It was the latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.  I had looked forward to reading it all day.  It made me laugh out loud a couple of times.  I’m that lame.  So picking a retirement plan was like heading to a candy store.  Lots of choices but they all make you happy in the end.

This week was tiring.  Though it felt good to cross some major tasks off the list it seems new ones immediately fill their place.  In some ways we are in the treadmill stage of our lives where no matter how much we carry out there is always more to be done.  I guess I can’t complain though.  Last week Olivia had a surveillance MRI that was negative.  We are officially cancer free.  If finding an insurance policy is what I am complaining about life can’t be that bad.  What’s next Rob?


Week 18: Fleece week

Filed under: Uncategorized — lputhenp @ 1:17 pm

Perhaps a better title would have been fleece free week but it didn’t have the same ring to it.  This week my goal is to dress like a normal adult woman and not a bum.  I used to love shopping and dressing well.  Time and children has changed that perhaps inexorably.  I feel like a martian when I go to the mall and the only stores I end up going into stop at size 6x.

I seem to be stuck in a rut of black fleece pants, black t-shirt, and fleece jacket.  Sometimes I change it up.  Mostly, I vary whether it is a short-sleeved or long-sleeved black tee.  Also, sometimes I will wear a grey fleece  jacket instead of the black one.  But, that is only if I am feeling especially whimsical.

It makes sense on some level that this is my uniform.  For one it is easy.  The past year was hard enough without adding what to wear to the list of endless big decisions we were making.  It also felt safe.  Who wants to wear color when your daughter is sick.  Not me.  It felt too showy.  I wanted to fade into the background in the hospital.  Keep a low profile and just get through was our plan.  It felt like residency all over again.  I just wanted my nose to the grindstone until the worst was over and the black fleece uniform fit that profile well.  It was sturdy and serious and non-threatening all at once.  Perhaps I am reading too much into the clothes I wear but I don’t think so.  Clothing projects a lot about who we are and mine was saying no-nonsense Mom on a mission.

This approach made a lot of sense to me while life was tense and uncertain.  The problem is, although life is no longer that way, the uniform endures.  I have not moved on in any way.

I used to love clothes.  Like a lot of young women I used to love shopping with my Mom.  It was a time for us to connect and enjoy each other.  Beyond that, the business and artistic side of the fashion industry is fascinating to me.  Even when I was pregnant, a good outfit could make me feel body confidence.  I lost some of that swagger when I was diagnosed with cancer.  Interestingly, it wasn’t the thought of losing my breasts or deforming them that worried me.  Specifically, I was worried that if I was dying it didn’t make sense to waste money on new clothes for me.  That was surprisingly one of the first random thoughts that crossed my mind in the minutes after my diagnosis.  It was superficial and deeply meaningful all at once.  It is possible that part of me still struggles with that idea.  It is time to get over it because I look like crap.

Entering adult clothing stores just leaves me feeling silly.  I feel too old for the trendier stores like Abercrombie but not quite old enough for Chico’s either.  What is a girl to do?  Answer, bring her husband.

In what can only be described as a the biggest shocker of my marriage, it turns out my husband is a fantastic shopping companion.   He picks colors and styles that I wouldn’t notice. He is patient and generous with compliments but not so much that I don’t believe him.  He is the Andre Leon Talley to my Anna Wintour.  Who would have guessed?  We went to two or three stores and found enough new stuff to make me feel pretty but not so much to throw off our retirement planning.

This week I wore not an ounce of black or fleece or any combination of them.  I felt pretty good.  It felt like our life feels now, happy and cancer free.  A girl could get used to this.


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