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Showing posts from March, 2011

First challenge

Tonight I was at the Candidates' Night for the Special Needs Alliance. I'm not sure what I expected, but I did my best, was honest about it when I didn't know something and explained myself to the best of my abilities.

And while I think that they got my mantra of "you tell me what you need" instead of "me tell you what I think", I don't know how many votes will come my way after this evening, simply because it was hard to gauge what the audience was looking for. Their needs seem very diverse. One person is paying for private services because the district won't, yet another was pleased that the district is sending her child out of district for services. Another has kids who are classified but in-house and she is pleased this year, but wasn't last year. And so on and so on. Apparently there were several teachers in the audience and at least 3 adults who do not have kids with special needs but for one reason or another wanted to hear what we ha…

10 days

It's 10 days since I started this blog and two weeks since I decided to run for the Board of Education. It's already been harder than I want it to be, and my thick skin is apparently on backorder. I'm hoping for a shipment to arrive any day now with my name on it.

I've already learned a lot. I've learned a lesson in communication skills - men definitely communicate differently than women do. An apparently well-meaning friend had heard things he didn't like and called me "to talk about it" but I came away feeling something between indirectly threatened and directly bullied. I cried hard for an hour. A few days later, a different male friend explained that the caller probably thought he was guiding me on local politics, but I was in a daze for days.

How did I get over it?  I ran a 10K! In 1 hour and 42 seconds. That's a 9:46 minute mile over about 6.5 miles. I hadn't ever done anything like that before - not a 5K, not even a timed relay race sin…

Into the closet?

I did it - I decided to run for BOE. That means that I will be in a political campaign and the last thing that I really want is Bridgewater's voters reading personal posts... and quoting how mad I am at my daughter, or some such nonesense.

I have also started a Facebook page for the election, and started using the hated-twitter. I am being honest when I say I REALLY didn't want to do Twitter, but it's a campaign and the 21st century, so I have to. And I'm updated my linkedin profile. Again, not my favorite task, but perhaps a necessary evil. Finally, I have to get my nails done and start coloring the gray.  The new "vain" me will only be around for about 8 weeks - perfect hair and nails are not my forte'...

I am also working on a business venture with a friend of mine who is an artist. I am spending a lot of time reading business books - wishing I had taken a more practical route in college.

So you will understand why I haven't been blogging this week…

International Women's Day 2011...

It's International Women's Day and my own contribution to the movement is to put my hat into the race for the Bridgewater Board of Education! Yes, a political campaign is about to begin - and I am definitely pushing the limits on my comfort zone!

Due to many blogs of a personal nature that I have written through the years, I am changing the blog from open to everyone, to an invitation only party. If you know people who would like to read it, please send me an e-mail (or give them your access). I get about 30 readers a day and although some of them are easy to guess based on their location and IP address, there are many users of Optonline in Bridgewater...

I hope that you will wish me luck as I enter this new phase, and should it not go as planned, I hope that we can enjoy a consolation tea when it is over.

Kindest regards from your Bridgewater Soccer Mom

Monday morning meeting

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Many jobs I've held started the week with a Monday morning meeting. On this Monday morning, I really wish I had a team. I need to discuss the direction this "project" is taking. I look at the clutter in my kitchen and living room and see it as a metaphor for my own plans. There are lots of balls in the air and more being added each day.

Here at the B&B I'm on my own. "The B&B" is a relative term, we don't actually get paid by our many guests for their extended stays. And this is an off week with no guests. This week looks to be especially busy and I really wish I had a team of players to join me around the kitchen table to discuss the state of affairs. I'd like to gather the various departments: strategic planning, HR, marketing, corporate communications. Instead all of these functions are performed by Poppet. Mr Poppet is the Finance and IT guy but he's not big on interoffice meetings and C is the household Social Secretary and already a…

Rainy Sunday

Were you a fan of the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" series? I was. The entire meaning of life was simplified to a single number. It even had  practical advice that I actually had use for today. "Always carry a towel. It can double as a blanket in need." One of my friends quoted the book this evening and it has me thinking.

In my younger years of train travel I hit destinations that guaranteed adventure: Amsterdam, Venice, Moscow. My travel these days tends to be via car up the familiar highways of I-78 and 33N into the Pocono Mountains, either as a destination or a stop on the way to my hometown.

Today we returned from our yearly ski weekend with the Ms and the Bs. It was probably just my mood, but this weekend wasn't quite as fantastic for me as last year.  But I realize now that I got something relatively rare. Time alone with C.

She and I drove home together. No friends, no other family and no Diego, and while I was able to confirm that I really can'…

Tire marks?

"Don't say that out loud or they'll slash your tires." A friend told me recently.

Now I don't have to. Someone else grew a pair and published it for me*. It's been hard to think the opposite of the prevailing Soccer Mom viewpoint. Thanks, Courier!



* Please don't misunderstand. I had NOTHING to do with the paper's opinion.

New budget numbers for Bridgewater

Last night the Superintendent presented the district's 2011-2012 budget. You can download it for yourself here. According to a friend who was at the meeting, the Patch did an accurate job covering what was said. You can read it here. The Courier hasn't published its account yet (I assume it will). The Messenger (nj.com) hasn't posted anything yet either - again, I assume they will soon.

Without knowing the outcome of the union negotiations (contracts are up in June) I'm afraid to take a realistic look at the costs as payroll is the largest component of the budget.  Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing in these guesstimates? Apparently no one asked last night and I didn't have the opportunity to go.

I wish the District were shopping around for cheaper healthcare. Healthcare is important, and the Superintendent has a point, but many companies' healthcare costs increased 30% and made changes. We downgraded from a Cadillac plan - with power steering…

Souvenirs

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It's almost three months that I've been in a near-constant state of distraction. Wondering, worrying and caring for my sick friend and her daughter. She is gone now and we spent yesterday celebrating her life. The sun is out today and I feel as though I can step into a new phase of my life.

My worrying "what did I do for El today?" may reflect my own fears. Was I banking my time in a hope that my friends will stand up for me should the same happen to me? After all, cancer's horrors have ravaged other members of my gene pool. I may find myself making similar decisions someday, begging friends to watch over my cherubs, tears streaming down my face. What kind of friend am I?

The strange thing about the funeral was that while I was (with fellow Nightingale MR) ever-present in El's last months, I wasn't even acquainted with her three years ago. Ours was a short-lived love story. I met her and felt an instant connection. We shared so much - an outspoken, brazen…