Sunday, July 15, 2007

The great poo of 2007... and a sorrowful exploration of life...

Okay, this post is bi-polar, as are my days most often of late.

The humorous part first, so those not wishing to feel sad can stop reading and retreat back to happyland. (Which is located no where near New Jersey.)

The great poo of 2007 struck full force tonight while I was enjoying an evening coffee with a friend, Tiff. Oliver, who had been poo free all day and was sitting calmly on my knee, suddenly exploded, sending a river of poo out of his diaper, down his leg, onto his shoe, onto my leg, down my leg, and onto the floor. Ick.

At first, unaware of the extent of the damages, I began to perform a quick diaper change in the nearly empty cafe on the chair next to me. (The bathroom has nowhere to change him.) Sadly, there were two factors conspiring against me. The first, Oliver had waited to perform his amazing feat until the cooing, baby friendly family had left the establishment and were replaced by the mean and glaring anti-poo family. Second, the extent of the poo rendered my "quick-change" plans useless.

I retreated to the bathroom and wiped my baby and I off as best I could. Happily, he felt much better, and my "quick-change" attempt had driven off the mad family, so Tiff and I were able to better enjoy the remainder of our coffee.

WARNING: The following contains not happy emotions.

I am struggling with something. I am supposed to sit for the NJ bar in nine days. I have not been able to study for it at all because I have a newborn, a child out of school for the summer, no nearby family, and recently moved.

Normally, these obstacles would be challenges to me, something to soar over and conquer with strength and grace. After all, I took and passed the Colorado Bar while preparing for a move to NJ, recovering from surgery, pregnant, and with my husband in another state. Because of this, many of the people in my life express their belief in my ability to take this bar and do well. I have my doubts.

There are differences between now and then. Fairly important ones. To begin with, the last bar I took after over 2000 hours of study with Nick. We had been at it for 6 months by the time the test came around. We had been at it for over twelve hours a day for the two months immediately preceding the bar. I was living with my parents, who were helping me with Marlena while Lee was in NJ. I had a pile of similarly situated friends around me, with treats and emotional support. I did not have a brand new baby.

Now, I am in NJ, with no family but Lee, and have been here for a year. I have friends, but none of them co-students. I have not been able to study more than about 30 hours. I have not slept longer than 4 or 5 uninterrupted hours in over 3 months. I have lost my previous study partner to drowning, and every time I start to work on the bar, I start to cry. My migraines are returning, I have anxiety attacks, and I have about a tenth of the support network I had before.

I am in the process of adjusting to a new house, a new baby, and a new town, again. I am still living out of boxes. I spend a great deal of time mourning the loss of my friend, my previous life, my days as a law student, and many other things. The rest of the time I care for my children and try not to let my feelings negatively effect them. I try and shop for groceries, get together with my friends, and shower before noon. I try and cook dinner for my family. I try to remember to feed myself.

I have been told I have the baby blues, I have been told all this is to be expected after the death of a dear friend. I have been told I can take the bar and just fail it if I can't study.

Except I can't just fail it. This is an area of my life where I have a bad case of OCD. I have literally bitten and torn my thumbs to pieces stressing out over not doing well on this exam. I have cried in frustration each time I have set a movie on for Marlena, gotten Oliver to sleep, tried to study, and been interrupted by him waking up, or Marlena needing a snack.

I have to hand write the exam, which is next to impossible on a good day because of my lovely RSS and the injuries I suffered when the dogs pulled me over the stroller and dragged me across the yard the other day.

I am at a completely indecisive standstill. I can't win. I feel like a failure if I give up and don't take it, but I will feel like a failure if I take it and don't pass. It is past the time that I can actually study in a real way and assure my passage. Taking it at this point is one big Hail Mary, thrown desperately from deep within my own territory.

So what do I do?

9 comments:

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Emphasizing, since you didn't seem to hear me the other night:

SKIP THE DAMNED EXAM!

It's not worth the time, money, stress, finger ripping, migraines, etc.

You're only planning on being in NJ for 1 more year, right? So why bother trying to pass the bar in a state you're leaving anyway?

If you cannot take the exam with a devil-may-care attitude after having not studied, there's no way in hell you're going to be able to cram enough data in your head in the next 10 days to pass the exam so SKIP IT. Don't bother going unless you can show up, as you are: without further study and mangled and take it for a lark.

Consider this a life lesson and move on.

Alternatively, since taking care of YOU seems to be something you can't wrap your head around, let's turn the question around:

If I asked you what I should do in this same exact situation, what would you say?

Now tell me why YOU don't deserve the same break you were just willing to give me?

Don't make me come over there! I can a giant can of Emotional Pregnant Woman Whoop Ass that is ready to be opened on someone. Don't let it be you!

The Hatchet has spoken. Go now and fret about the bar no more, young one.

BTW, I think you ought to check out the local rec center and see if there are any slots left in weekly day camp and sign Marlena up. Totally worth it, for all of you.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

"I have a giant can..." she tried to type.

Red Flashlight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Flashlight said...

Stop studying now.

Take the exam with a devil-may-care attitude.

(1) You over-prepared for the Colorado Bar Exam. You're more prepared than most of the New Jersey test-takers. (2) You get to spend two days away from the stresses at home. (3) The stakes are incredibly low - no one is counting on you to pass.

Just take a mini exam the day before the test, you know? An hour of multiple choice, an hour of New Jersey law. Then take the test as if it's just an exercise. Because . . . it is.

:)

Da said...

When your mother arrives, spend a few days doing the most important thing you could do _ sleeping and relaxing. You have this thing down cold from last year. You don't have enough time to do more than a cursory review, so kick back, sleep, relax, clear your mind. Then go in and blow them out of the water. If you fail, so what, Hillary Clinton failed the DC bar on his first and only try, though she passed Arkansas the same year. LIFE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO SHOW UP! Relax, sleep, enjoy, then slow up and simply unlock the legaqcy of those 2,000 hours of study -- you haven't forgotten them in a year. It's like riding a bicycle, passing the bar. You have nothing to fear but fear itself, plus, of course, the boogeyman, but Bella will keep him at bay. And Puffin will always be on your shoulder when you need her.

Catherine said...

Giving up would suggest you haven't carefully weighed your options. If you decide not to take the bar, you are choosing, you are prioritizing. I think your dear friend Hatchet has it right, skip the exam. But do it on your terms. Be able to say, "I choose not to take the NJ Bar" and believe yourself.

Should you choose to take the exam, good luck. Although, I don't think you'll need it. Your dad is right, you know this cold - it's just not being used right now as Oliver couldn't care less about torts.

woman at the well said...

You have a 2-month-old baby, and you're obsessing about a bar exam? Take it easy, be present to the baby and your daughter. Give yourself a break. This isn't giving up - it is being realistic. Skip the exam.

ellen said...

Oh honey, I am sorry you are having such a hard time. There is a lot on your plate right now! I know that you will make the best decision for yourself.

Once I am back I think we should run away from our families and get a mommy treat for ourselves. I don't care if it's just a cup of coffee or a pedicure.

Luke said...

I have nothing to add other than "what they said". :) You may be in NJ, away from all your friends and the support group that you are familiar with, but judging by the comments on here, there's still a lotta love *siffle*.

By the way, if you need a break, You are more than welcome to come visit me in my new house! I have a guest bedroom, and a new PUPPY. C'mon, everyone knows Dallas is a GREAT vacation spot. Barring that (get it, BARring, hah) I can meet you in CO sometime...

Anyway, I am pulling for you, and definitely know what it feels like to be nowhere near friends and family. Not exactly warm fuzzies. Luckily a puppy is not too hard to take care of, or I would have a nervous breakdown. We love you Misty!

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