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When I worked at TechTarget, often at Thanksgiving I would do a top 10 list of things my readers could be thankful for. The first was for the IBM AS/400-iSeries-System i crowd. Fiercely loyal people, iSeries users love their midrange server and hate anything that competes with it, including Microsoft. That first year, the number one thing they could be thankful for — there’s no Bill Gates.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I’d do my own top 10 list of things to be thankful for. What am I, a 42-year-old, recently re-employed woman with a pre-teen daughter and a failed marriage, thankful for? Let’s take a look:

10. That I look younger than my age — Thank you, Dad, for the fact that I have no gray hair and few wrinkles, save for those

Thanksgiving Chapel in Dallas

laugh lines that are starting to rear their ugly heads, and thank you, Mom, for my thinness. But as you can see from numbers 9 and 8, I believe my natural features need a little help.

9. My colorist & hair stylist — Thank you, Tawna, for the magical work you do coloring my hair, transforming my natural drab brown into golden blonde, and thank you, Harris, for knowing just how to cut my hair. Until I went away this past summer I had no idea how great you are. I went to two different colorists and stylists in Boston, and none did what you so ably do to make me look fabulous.

8. My trainer — I work out on my own, but without Josh to push me to the limit and figuratively kick my butt each week, I would not be in as good shape.

7. JetBlue — It might seem odd to have this company in my list, but with this airline I can easily and usually cheaply get back north to see my family, friends and co-workers. Plus, who wouldn’t love the free snacks, TV, roomy seats, crew, and customer service? And they fly direct from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Boston. Read the rest of this entry »

It is time. It is time for me to give up on what my life has been and what I thought it would be. I’m a 41-year-old mother of one who is in the middle of divorcing her husband of 12 years and was recently laid off from her employer of nearly nine years. This is not how my life was supposed to be.

Ready or not, my life is in the midst of huge changes.

The decision to divorce
About a year ago I decided that I couldn’t continue in a marriage that gave me little to no happiness. And it isn’t because he’s a bad guy. In fact, he’s a really nice guy — everybody thinks so — which makes it even harder. We just don’t see things the same way, and I’m tired of making concessions. I’m tired of giving in to him and his desires at the cost of losing mine.

What’s strange is that we think the same about many things — politics, parental issues, music, movies, etc. But when it came down to significant life issues, he wouldn’t budge. I wanted more than one child; he said no. For years I said I wanted to move back to New England; he said no. I wanted him to be my partner in the marriage and help make decisions; he passive-aggressively said no by waiting for me to tell him what to do.

Time to stop worrying about change

Time to stop worrying about change

I became increasingly unhappy, and he started telling me that I’m difficult and crazy for not liking my/our life. He doesn’t acknowledge my feelings, my way of thinking, or my desires. But he “put up with me” and says no one else will be able to.

I probably shouldn’t have married him. I should have carefully looked at all of his qualities and then made a decision. But I was young (22), impressed by his being a musician and his looks, fell in love, and rushed in. And once in, I told myself that was that. I’m a child of divorce, and years ago I promised myself I would never get a divorce, especially if I had children. But now I have to break that promise. Staying in this unhappy marriage isn’t good for anyone. And I’ve discovered that there are people who acknowledge my feelings and accept me and all my quirks — they like and even love me and don’t just “put up with me”.

Career crisis
Complicating my life further, on Dec. 11, 2008, I was laid off from my job as editor in chief of a website owned by an IT media company. I had given my blood, sweat, and tears to that company for almost nine years. I helped build that company and went along with all the changes a company goes through, bending like the branch of a willow tree whenever the managers decided to switch things up. I volunteered for projects, I took on additional responsibilities when asked by my managers, I sacrificed some of my ideals in order to appease people because I believed it would help the team, I created and grew websites that brought in thousands of ad dollars. And I was rewarded by being let go. I, and 76 others, was eliminated. Read the rest of this entry »