Goodbye 2015

2016/01/01 § 8 Comments

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Image courtesy of chatchai_stocker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Years Eve, 2015 – it kinda sucked, I’ve got to say.

Six months ago, my 25-year marriage ended. This was my first New Years Eve post-separation. It’s not like I’ve ever really celebrated NY Eve in a big way, but this year was pretty pitiful.

At work this morning, a co-worker innocently mentioned that she ran into my Ex and two of our friends at a bar last night. “Oh, we had a great time hanging out!  So much fun!  … What did you do for New Years?”

Well, let’s see. What did I do?  Hmmm. I spent some quality time curled up in a ball crying into my pillow. That was fun!

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a complete basket case since the separation, I’m not. But it’s been painful to grieve this loss. The loneliness and isolation of it all took me by surprise. Starting over is scary – facing an unknown future, looking in the mirror and seeing an older version of myself staring back, wondering whether anyone will ever love me again.

This is a hard time. But it’s okay that it’s hard. You can’t grow if you never allow yourself to be uncomfortable. I know I will get through it. I know I will find my way to the other side.

In my own quiet, and fairly sad way last night, I said goodbye to 2015. And now I am ready to welcome in the new year. A whole new life is ahead of me, and how I shape that life is entirely up to me.

Life-altering changes like this offer us the opportunity to make very conscious choices about how we want to live, what we want to do with our finite time on this planet, and who we want to be. It may not be comfortable, but it’s good and worthwhile.

In 2016, I will find my new tribe. I will bring more friends into my life. I will learn to be kinder to myself. And I will move consciously and whole-heartedly forward into my new life.

[Published concurrently on The Huffington Post]

Thoughts about being 12

2015/12/08 § Leave a comment

[NOTE: I found this tonight in my drafts folder from 2011. I wrote it when my youngest son was 12.]

I headed over to the park to make an appearance at Luke’s sixth grade picnic. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining the wind is blowing. There is a certain perfection to days like these, when it’s just so sweet and easy.

No hurries today. I laid under the covers late this morning. The house was quiet. The breeze was blowing outside. I could only hear weekday sounds — the birds and the breeze. No lawnmowers or gas trimmers. No cars driving down the street. It was a sleepy, quiet late Thursday morning. Even the dog was sleepy, wondering what I was doing here. I would have thought he’d be more excited to have company, but instead he gave me a look of sleepy irritation and ambivalence.

Yesterday we were milling around in the storm shelter for an hour and a half during the tornado warning, trying to reach our children on their cell phones, trying to hear what the weatherman was saying, trying not get anxious, trying to stay peaceful, saying prayers, making small talk, walking in circles, sitting down, leaning against walls, smiling at each other.

But today the tornado has passed and it’s a beautiful spring day –green grass, green trees, flowers, blue blue sky.

I drove over to the picnic and watched him hang with his friends. He would only acknowledge my existence with a nearly imperceptable nod in my direction. At 12 years old, he has a love/hate relationship with mom’s attention. Sometimes he’ll eat it up; othertimes, it’s an embarrassment.

I have only one memory that I can place in my 12th year–a summer daytrip to Universal Studios. It was 1978. I remember sitting on the very large furniture that made us look 10 inches tall and I remember my dad being called up to the stage to perform a scene. He pretended he forgot his lines. Later he confided in me that he was kidding, he hadn’t forgotten his lines. Now I wonder why he would do that? Was it funnier to forget the lines? I remember, he did get a laugh.

At this time, Happy Days was very popular, and Mrs. C — Marion Ross — was signing autographs at a booth inside the park. I wanted her autograph, but I was upset about something. I can’t remember what, but I was crying. Mrs. C asked me how old I was? I told her I was 12. She said, “It’s tough being 12.”

This is one of those strange memories that sticks in your head. And all throughout this year that Luke has been 12, I have often thought to myself, “it’s tough being 12.”  How did that little line from Mrs. C attain such a place of prominence in my brain? Was it because it came from Marion Ross that I filed it in the wisdom-dispensed-by-an-actual-celebrity-mom-file in my brian? Maybe I just remember it because it’s true. It is tough being 12.

Your hormones are all haywire, body is all awkward. You’re either tall or short or skinny or fat or pimply or clumsy or weird or nervous. You’re still innocent and accepting. You still eat up the compliments and yet you are sarcastic and just a little bit jaded. You try so hard to look cool like you don’t care, but you do care. I love this age, now that I don’t have to be it.

Writing Makes Me Sleepy

2015/11/10 § 2 Comments

Last night when I pulled into my apartment complex after work, a woman was standing by her car parked in the middle of the driveway. She had her flashers on so I asked her if everything was okay. She said, “you know how it is when you are so tired, you just want to cry?” I said, “yes, I do.” I chatted with her for a couple minutes. She was okay, she was just waiting for someone. But she had just finished a long drive after a long day at work. She wasn’t home yet, but she wanted so badly to be.

This morning, I am tired. Maybe not so tired I want to cry, but tired enough that the venti iced coffee I just downed in 10 minutes doesn’t begin to touch it. Tired enough that I could pull a George Costanza and curl up under my desk right now.

I have not posted very consistently this week for #NaBloPoMo, but I have been writing. I posted an entry on another website that I don’t have the courage to share here. I wrote until after midnight last night, working on another one that is not yet finished, but I like the direction it’s going.

This writing challenge has been very good for me. I feel alive when I am writing. And the energy of it is keeping me up way past my bedtime. So this morning I am sleepy, but happy.

Me

2015/11/07 § Leave a comment

Flats of various colors and designs

Tank tops with cardigans

Curly hair

Long legs

Coffee – no sugar, no sweetener, no flavoring

Sunsets

Fresh flowers

Poetry

Classical music

The Jam, English Beat, Violent Femmes

Smiling

Sunshine

Dogs

Walks

Journals

Lists

Baking

Home cooking

A good cry

Therapy

Flight

Friends

Meditation

Introspection

Writing

Judgment

Quiet

Asthma inhaler

Two sizes too big

Thoughtfulness

Strength

Cold beer

Ginger ale

Busy

Caring

Courage

Critical eye

Unattached

Blue

Being loved

On Running Late

2015/11/03 § Leave a comment

I woke up 15 minutes early this morning in an attempt to not be late, because for the last few weeks, it seems that every day we (my teenage son and I) leave later and later. And so I thought today, I will not get on my phone right out of the shower. Because I love to lay back down in bed right out of the shower and grab my phone. But that always makes me late. Because if I get on my phone, somehow like one minute turns into 15 mintues. And then I get dressed, and then I make the lunches, and then I put my makeup on, and then I’m late. So today I thought I would make our lunches before I got dressed for work. And not get on my phone.

I started to bring my lunch to work recently in an effort to eat less crap (carbs and processed foods). So now I make a lettuce wrap, apple slices, a bag of nuts and a bag of veggies for myself and I make a sandwich and a bag of apple slices for my son. But this is like 6 baggies of food and what used to take just a couple of minutes now takes like 10 minutes. And then there’s the thing about starting the day with a little protein, so I usually peel two hard boiled eggs, one for each of us, with some salt and pepper, to eat before we go. And then I usually try to make myself a quick cup of coffee. So I have to add a couple of minutes for that as well.  And I’m moving fast here, but this is a lot to do in the morning.

© Green308 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Green308 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I have a problem with always thinking I can fit one more task into a limited period of time. This is why I am always late. If you know me, you know I am pretty much always late. I once texted my friend who was waiting for me at the nail salon and I was late, because I had left the house late, but I still thought I would have time to grab an Iced Latte at Starbucks before our manicures, so I texted her from the drive-thru when I realized I was really quite late, and I accidentally texted, “I’m going to be a little latte,” which was funny, but it was really just a mistype.

Late people are sometimes accused of being disrespectful. And perhaps it is disrespectful to leave someone waiting, but I swear we mean no disrespect. We just want to get one more thing done. Slide one more accomplishment into that last little sliver of time. Push ourselves just a little bit more to get it all finished. Because if we do it all, we will feel so good and proud. We are do-ers. We need to keep do-ing. So that no one is let down and everything is done and nothing is left undone, by us.

My Disappearance

2015/11/01 § 7 Comments

bridge-1330798612qavOver the course of the last two years, my life has been in flux. I moved 1600 miles away from my home, my oldest son and my best friend.  I left a 25-year marriage.  I gave up a 10-year career.  I have ceased to be a presence in a number of people’s lives, and they have ceased to be a presence in mine.

To some who love me, or used to love me, some friends, some relatives, quite a few colleagues and coworkers, and a handful of neighbors, in a way, I have disappeared. I no longer live next door. I no longer work with you. I no longer see you in the coffee shop each morning. You no longer read my words. You no longer stop in my office on your way down the hall. You no longer consider me your sister-in-law or your wife. We are no longer Facebook friends. I am no longer your lunch buddy or your team member. You no longer wave hello. You don’t see me at church. You don’t see me walking my dog down the street.

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but it’s kind of weird.

I have a deep sense that I don’t know who I am anymore, and I’m starting to wonder if I ever really did.

I am in transition. I didn’t anticipate that this phase would last as long as it has or reach into as many areas of my life as it has reached. I had no idea when I started this journey two years ago that I would be where I am today.

This is the most important time of my life. I can feel it. Yet sometimes I am gripped by fear that I might let this moment slip through my fingers. But I have a sense that I won’t, that I’m not. I have a sense that something is happening within me that is momentous, even if it is only of consequence to me.

#NaBloPoMo

Realizations Upon Separation

2015/07/11 § Leave a comment

30 days after move-out day, these are the lessons I have learned:

  1. Levelness is not as necessary as I was led to believe. Over the course of the last 30 days, I have succeeded in hanging things from the wall without a level. They are relatively straight.

Note:  Listing will be expanded periodically, as new insights are revealed.

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