Yesterday was such strange day. Within seconds of Teddy Roosevelt finally winning a president’s race I lost one of my jobs.

Sunrise. Sunset.

I have no idea why I had so much emotional energy invested in a fake race that is run by people dressed up as dead presidents after the fourth inning of National’s games, but I did.

Yesterday I was shocked by what people will say on Facebook during an actual Presidential debate. I am not sure why it surprises me that my friends who almost failed out of high school yell ignorant things indignantly or that they spell them incorrectly, but it does.

Yesterday, my daughter, who couldn’t put her finger on exactly what she wanted to be for Halloween brought great joy to my heart when she decided that a long black and silver wig, a long black dress and corpse paint should do the trick.

I don’t know why I am continually shocked by her cynicism or her sarcasm or her love for music that is probably terrifying to most 8-year-olds. She is just like her parents.

On a related note, does anyone know where I can find a long black dress in a girls size 8?

I haven’t slept at my house since July. It is by my own doing. Instead of moving we have chosen to tear up this house and make it a place we want to live. We have a great place to stay with people who love us and the construction is going very well. This place is going to be lovely and we will have much more usable space when we are done. I will even have my own office where I can write in peace, you know, for all of those posts I don’t have to write anymore because I no longer have that job.

It is absolutely okay. I can get another job. We can stay with my in-laws for another three weeks or six weeks or eight weeks if we have to. We are welcome and comfortable and sometimes my mother-in-law even does our laundry, which is awesome, but living away from home is hard both physically and emotionally. Leaving the house an hour early to drive the kids home to school each day is wearing on us. I can see my kids’ stress signals, my daughter is chewing on her hair again and my son keeps talking baby talk and crawling into our bed at night. We are all a little snippy.

Yesterday I watched the debate and thought, I already knew where you both stood on healthcare and taxes. I already knew that everybody likes education. When can we bring the rest of our soldiers home? Isn’t the war what is really so expensive?

What if we took a quarter of the money spent on political campaigns this year and put that toward education or healthcare? That could solve some of our problems.

Do they talk about the middle class so much because most people, regardless of their actual income, consider themselves middle class? Like how people aged 30 – 69 all think of themselves as middle aged? Is the assumption that all the rich people will automatically vote for Romney and all of the poor people will cast their ballots for Obama and the middle class are the undecideds?

And do people really still believe that Barack Obama is Muslim?

These are strange days indeed. The Washington Nationals are going to the playoffs with the best record in the league. I can almost see the white horse from here.

Two days ago my cousin lost his wife. She died in her sleep. We don’t know what happened. They also have an eight-year-old daughter. She no longer has a mother and nobody can even say why. Things don’t make sense anymore.

* * *

Just when everything seems horrible something happens to make you remember that life is good – the silver lining part. I had stopped writing this post after that last line unsure of how to continue. I checked my e-mail and there was a message from a man I hadn’t talked to in a few weeks. Over the summer he and I (and several other people from my neighborhood) formed a Rolling Stones tribute band to play a party at our pool. The band was amazing and all of my backup singer dreams were fulfilled. It may sound silly to you, but after singing classical music for 20 years it was fun to get back to rock and roll.

The e-mail said that they were scheduling dates to play out at a bar. Again, this might sound weird, but playing out at a bar is literally on my life list. It is true. It is right between “appear in a documentary” and “see an opera at La Scala”.

This in no way makes up for the death of a family member. I don’t want you to think that I am shallow or heartless. I am just saying that life has a way.

A while back a friend told me that she was pregnant. It was early. She was excited, but they weren’t telling everyone yet. I hadn’t heard anything else for a few months. I was scared to ask about it. I know far too many people (myself included) who lost babies early on. I have learned my lesson.

Today, I got an e-mail and the baby is healthy and everything looks good.

Sunset. Sunrise.

Goon Squad at Sunset


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  1. Hey Sarah. I’m really sorry about your job. I hope this means that you are now free to find the most amazing one that you haven’t even dreamed up yet.

    Sometimes it just kind of feels like life is swirling around your head, threatening to drown you. Death by papercuts, with some big nasty stuff thrown in. I’ve been feeling that way recently, too.

    Anyways, life keeps going. We’ll see what it has next. I hope it is all kinds of awesome, for both of us.

  2. Wow, that’s a lot. I’m sorry about the death in your family. And not living in your own home must be so stressful. Have a wonderful time singing with the band and I hope something great happens on the job front.

  3. Your cousin’s wife’s death is so tragic. Taking a deep breath for him and for their daughter and for all who will miss her. Oh my. This essay is beautiful and hard and good. I hope writing was a solace for you in all of this, in the way the gig will be.

  4. Oh wow Sarah…that’s an awful lot to take in a short period of time. I’m sorry about the job and I’m sorry about your cousin’s wife. And I wish all of you peace and happiness as you travel through this.

  5. you are a beautiful person, Sarah. and this is an incredibly beautiful post.

  6. smart aleck says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin’s wife. Death at any time is never good, but the unexpected ones bitch slap and sucker punch you at the same time–I think because they leave us wondering if the person knew how much we cared about them and thinking about all the future moments we and their families missed with them.

    Also, the job thing? They didn’t appreciate or deserve you. Just my humble opinion.

    We need video of the Rolling Stones performance. It will make our day!

    The fact that you can recognize the smaller positives in the face of a suckfest shows why you are a great mom–it teaches your kids that big crappy things happen, but we also need to celebrate the smaller highlights that each day offers.

    I hope the house remodeling goes quickly. The best part is that when you are done, you know you will like your neighbors, and your kids will appreciate those bunk beds even more than the day they were new. And, using your own toilet is a wonderful thing.

  7. The cumulative weight of all of that… it’s a lot to bear.

    I’m heartbroken for your cousin’s loss — but hopeful that sometime soon, you’ll be able to begin emerging from this fog and shadow. There’s gotta be something brighter and better out there, waiting for you and yours, somewhere in the days and weeks to come. There has to be.

  8. This post Sarah. Man oh man. It’s just wonderful and sad and something else all rolled into one.

    I’m so sorry about your cousin. I just can’t even imagine. I’m sorry about the job too. I hope the one you find is even better.

  9. I am so sorry about your cousin. And for her family. Such sadness. And it sucks so hard about losing your job.

    I’m just filled with sorries today. Here’s to life marching on, even through the sorries.

  10. Oh gosh Sarah. I’m so sorry about the job and your cousin’s wife. Wishing you peace and a speedy conclusion to the renovations!

    Oh, and rock on with your bad self lady! (Go O’s!)

  11. Jeebus, that’s a helluva day. Your perspective on the world and your ability to write about it leave me in awe. The next job will be much better and I hope your cousin’s daughter knows her family loves her.

  12. I’m so sorry. For loss, at any level, just simply sucks. xo

  13. And now I will be rooting extra hard for an O’s / Nats World Series. Hang tough, Sarah.

  14. That is a tremendous amount of stress and change and horribleness to deal with all at once. I am glad you are getting to check of an item from your bucket list and I am so sorry for you and your families loss.

  15. I miss you and Claudia is badass (the whole Goon Squad is badass, including Sarah) and I’m sorry about your job and really so sorry about your cousin. I’m having the same kind of life-is-strange time right now. All I’ve really got for you is empathy, but you’ve got that if it helps.

  16. Hi Sarah,
    I’m so sorry about your cousin. My heart goes out to you and I only wish good things for your future. I check out your site as often as I can and always appreciate your genuine insight about the world and your family.

    Keep up the great work.

  17. “What if we took a quarter of the money spent on political campaigns…”

    True dat!!

    “Two days ago my cousin lost his wife…”

    What a tragedy :(((

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