A Swift Kick in the Pants


As you know, I’ve had a severe case of the Blahs. It most certainly is the weather, but it also just that feeling of running in place: I feel like we’ve been in a never-ending cycle of monotony: Go here, go there, run here, appointment there, Zumba at this time, playgroup at that, can’t afford this, that is broken….it’s an endless cycle that I think a lot of other women, especially run-of-the-mill middle-class women are also experiencing. I cannot, by any means, complain about my life. I am very blessed and I’m grateful. I am just feeling that my upward trajectory seems to be pittering out and we may very well be on plateau status.

This weekend represented a break in routine that wasn’t necessarily positive. It started with a family emergency in the South that has left me feeling partially ashamed (of a family member) and hurt and worried. I wish that I could explain more, but quite frankly, I’m so mortified about the entire situation that I am very hesitant to write. The other break has been that both Ursa Major and Ursa Minor have been sick–more sick than usual. Runny noses have turned into wet coughs. My husband and I have been trying to manage all weekend. Ursa Major seems to be on the mends, but Ursa Minor is deteriorating rather than improving. I’m writing right now next to my babymonitor, praying that Ursa Minor gets a much needed full night’s sleep with little interruption. Finally, my mother and her husband, who live in the area, moved from a very lovely 2-bedroom apartment in a very nice neighborhood have moved to a big stinking house that they are renting that just happens to be in a much nicer neighborhood. My husband and I, as we have been able to help in various capacities, have only been able to gawk at the house and the neighborhood.

And we keep saying: “It must be nice.”

It really must be nice. I don’t know who all these people are or what they do or what kind of people they are, but damnit, I wanna be their neighbor. I want to be a homeowner.

I think that this weekend was a major wake-up call for the two of us. We’ve been dreaming of buying a home, planning on buying a home, saving to buy a home…but now we really need to take the steps of actualizing the process and the dream.

Here is the problem:

1) We have high standards when it comes to public schools. We can’t just choose to purchase a home anywhere. We’d like to buy in a good…very good… school distinct. We can’t afford to send out kids to private school K-12, and frankly, we don’t want to.

2) We’re an interracial couple. Diversity is important to us. We need to find a school district that is good and that has enough brown children in it that Ursa Major and Ursa Minor won’t be the token brown kid in every class. (I call this Mission Impossible)

3) We’d like to buy a home that we can work on and expand…a starter home that we can really make our own. Something that we can invest in and love and live in for a while.


Yup. We’re making it that easy for ourselves.

I must tell you, I’m a woman who has invested a lot of time and energy into thinking about schools, schooling, and diverse populations of learners. I’m finding it very difficult to find comprehensive and digestible information about school performance with diversity in mind. I’ve been looking at the MCAS rankings and then cross-referencing them with the AP test performance numbers and the U.S. Census. The problem is that you can’t always get Census data for some of the individual towns of Massachusetts–and that’s a problem, because in Massachusetts, a town is a school district, not a county like in most places.

Thus is my epic quest. Find an appropriate school system first, then find a house within our price range. Mission. Impossible.

But seeing Mom’s new house today made me want it more. We need a house. We need a place of our own. We’re almost 30 for God’s Sake. I don’t want to rent any more.

(Is it bad that I’m strongly considering buying a lottery ticket tomorrow?)

(I just want to put out there that I haven’t had a non-crazy 3-day weekend in at least a year.)

The moral of the weekend: What is a cure for the unproductive blahs? A Swift Kick in the Pants.


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