Friday, March 11, 2011

Learning My Style

Today was very long. It started with a trip to the gym with Skinny Bitch. I opted not to carry her around as I said I would, but she did her part and followed me at times. We were both overjoyed to be back working out together again, even though it was only one day. Time on the treadmill goes faster and the weights don’t seem quite as heavy.

This is what I love about Skinny Bitch and the other friends that faithfully read the blog: they get me. They take me as I am and I don’t have to make excuses for being the person I am. I can be real, there’s no fa├žade. It’s not often that you truly get to be yourself. When you find the friends that let you do that, embrace them. Which brings me to the second part of my day…

Today was the first day of Family Mediation Training. The day was long, beginning at noon and ending at 8:30. I spent the day with two instructors, both attorneys and mediators, and seven classmates. Five were attorneys, one was a retired sheriff and the other was a regular gal like me. Besides being overwhelmed by the brain power in the room, I truly did like my classmates and the instructors. The course materials are also overwhelming: a full three-inch binder and a softcover text. We will cover all of that material in the training.

Here’s my issue with the training: it’s flowery and touchy-feely. I am neither of those things. I am real, blunt and a straight shooter. I don’t know if I can comfortably wear those flowery shoes. We watched several video clips and listened to the instructors and I find myself having difficulty molding my way of thinking and being into theirs.

The point of mediation is to help two parties resolve conflict. A mediator does not offer their thoughts or opinions, but guides the two parties down the right road. A mediator does not take the place of an attorney or a therapist. As a matter of fact, a mediator will recommend that the parties take their agreement to an attorney to ensure that the law is followed and the agreement is fair. I can comprehend why a mediator is useful, but can I sell that to potential clients? What makes recommending an attorney a bit easier to swallow, is that I learned that many attorneys now offer “bundled services.” Basically meaning that an attorney will set fees for things like reviewing documentation instead of representing a client for an entire divorce.

I find myself a bit mystified by the new language used in family court. No longer do we use words like custody, child support or alimony. Those things now comprise something called a “parenting plan.”  It’s no longer “separating” it’s called “being apart.” Take the shit, harsh words out of it, but the situation remains the same. I either need to bend my mind and my vocabulary to what is proper today or use my own methods to fit into this field.

I come home tonight to the Fighting Sisters. Both were overtired and pissed that their routine had been interrupted, even though they had advance warning. The final throwdown was about which light to leave on upstairs. Spice wanted the hall light off, Sugar wanted it on. I tried compromising (see, I learned something!) and turned the bathroom light on in lieu of the hall light. That was not good enough for Sugar. I came downstairs and heard her go into Spice’s room and bitch about how mean and selfish she was. I did the only thing I could force my tired self to do. I went upstairs and turned on all the lights and told them to shut up and go to sleep.

Conflict resolution Ice Princess style.

Ice Princess 

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