Sheer exhaustion

For the past year and a half, the organization I work for (ESS) has been preparing for the EarlyLearn rfp.  As the grant writer on this application, I have had to read, live and breathe everything that is early childhood education and subsidized childcare along with being able to convey the stories of low income families in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.  EarlyLearn was my best friend all summer long -- weekdays while I was at work, weeknights after my commute home, AND weekends as EarlyLearn and I stared at each other in ten-hour contests as I had my coffee with Bailey's not too far to keep me grounded.  

As of this past Friday, I was finally done as I too-exhausted-to-be-delirious(ly) submitted the 143-page, 323,578 character application.  This grant was, by far, my most challenging project in my career as I felt the tremendous weight of being responsible for winning funding for potentially a dozen early child education centers, seven of which are currently under our operation and five more ESS hopes to acquire.  (Yes, I am thankful to have a job.)  And 143 pages later, I can guarantee that I will know all of the learning outcomes that my maybe preschooler will be working towards.  

For the love of JC
One glass of pinot grigio later, A. & I loaded up the car in preparation for our painting party at our old apartment in JC, which we've rented out the past seven years. Originally, we'd hung onto the place as an investment.  In the past, I referred to it as our adoption endowment.  As we anticipate the arrival of our child, we feel strongly that the less stress, the better.  While it might not be the best time to sell, life is more complicated when one has to be a landlord in a city where we no longer live.  To think, I'd made the decision to buy the one-bedroom after paying rent in the same second-floor brownstone just eight blocks away for nine years and knowing that I would never marry. Two weeks after I moved into my own home, I met A. Go figure.  (Yes, I am thankful to have met A. so unexpectedly. . . . and that it wasn't just my English bulldog and me forever in my cozy 1BR.

A couple more weekends of cleaning up and touching up, we should be ready to put our old abode on the market.  A new coat of paint in antique white does wonders for brightening up a space.  Hopefully, some lucky gal or guy will be as charmed as I was when I bought the place.  A warm thank you to our dear friends, E. & E., for their painting enthusiasm as we were able to accomplish much in a weekend.  (Indeed we are truly blessed to have such wonderful confidantes in our lives.

It's Sunday night, and I am numb from sheer mental and physical exhaustion. I'd like to rest now and appreciate the art of doing absolutely nothing.

On 9.11
Before I got on the PATH train in downtown JC, I looked up and saw a gaping hole in the World Trade Center.  Stunned, I wondered, why is there a hole in the WTC?  The PATH trains were still operating, so I decided to still head into the city.  I worked at NYU then and figured, I'd support with any crisis management that needed to be done with NYU students and if it was bad, I'd head home by noon.  I ended up getting stranded in the city and stayed with friends in Innwood until the next morning.  The stench of smoke in the air lingered for days as dead pigeons lined the streets in downtown Manhattan along NYU's campus.

I can't help but tear up as I glimpse at a magazine cover of the children of 9/11, most of whom were born and never met their fathers or were too young to understand what had happened on what began as a beautiful, bluest sky, sun shining morning.  And for the women abroad who were suddenly left widowed or children orphaned, as well as entire villages of families dead after the United States retaliated for the terrorist act, I pray for peace . . .   

may peace abide in others
may blessings surround them
may Spirit illuminate their hearts
now and always
thank you, Spirit, for Life