Processing

IMG_1047I’ve been processing a lot lately. I’ve been evaluating myself, my life, my relationships.  I’ve been looking at what brings me stress and what brings me joy. I’ve been focusing on my motivation and gratitude. I’ve made tough choices, I’ve made changes, I’m leaving myself vulnerable in ways I haven’t in a long time. It’s been scary and difficult and painful but I am moving in the right direction.  I couldn’t have done it without my support system, my family, my close friends.

I still have a long ways to go. I’m realizing that this world and all its ugliness is leaving my soul tired. It’s depressing and makes my heart hurt. It makes me want to run away, buy an island (like I have money for that), and never interact with the world at large again. Instead I need to be a force of change. I can’t run, I can’t hide. I can only do what I can to make the world a better place.

I have to let go of what I can’t fix because in truth, I want to fix anything and everything that brings me sorrow. I am accepting my limitations rather than dwelling on what I cannot change. I’m letting go and opening up at the same time. It’s hard, I don’t like to let go, but it’s a process and one I’m committed to.

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Somewhere Between Success and Giving Up

The last month or so I’ve been hovering somewhere between feeling successful and feeling like a failure and wanting to give up. As anyone who has read my blog in the past knows, this is not unusual. I, like most, am full of contradictions.

I had written not too long ago about the challenges of living with an old dog. My Daney dog is still around and doing better. We did some extensive testing at the vet, something I had sort of put off out of fear. Which makes me an ass, I know. Turns out the little guy has early stage kidney disease. He’s now on a special canned food, a powdered supplement, and daily pain meds on top of his joint supplement. The changes we’ve made have really increased his mobility and he isn’t such a sad old man now.

However, the last week or two he has been back to getting me up nearly every hour at night, he’s had about a dozen accidents in the house, and again it’s taking a toll on me. Mix in a recent case of strep throat for me that occurred after battling allergies/a cold for 3 weeks and I’m exhausted. To that end, I will soon be going in for allergy testing to determine exactly what I’m allergic to and plot a course of action so that I’m not regularly a congested, miserable, snotty mess.

As I was getting over strep, my online class started and to be honest, I panicked and nearly gave up on it. I was afraid the work load would be too much and all I really wanted to do when I wasn’t at work was sleep. I pushed myself, ventured to the site and looked at the assigned work. To my delight it wasn’t a heavy workload after all. I’m glad that I pushed myself and I’m sticking with the class. I know my first instinct if something is hard is to quit. At some point I have to get past that and push through. So here is to pushing through.

My plan for the rest of this year is to keep on keeping on, to push myself to do better, be better. To graciously accept the opportunities presented to me, and to be kinder to myself and others. IMG_0131

Reconnecting with Myself

The past few weeks I’ve been spending some time reconnecting with myself. This month I’ve been investing in myself in ways I haven’t in a long time. I started watching what I’m eating, thanks to Weight Watchers, and I’m down three and a half pounds. I’ve (mostly) given up naps and I’m working to establish a better sleep schedule.Thanks to accompanying a good friend on a makeup shopping trip, I’ve gone back to wearing full make-up, at least for two weeks and counting. I’ve even been disciplined enough to wash my make-up off at the end of the day.

It’s funny how something as small as makeup can make a gal happy. Wearing it reminds me of my days working in salons. When I walk into a Sephora or Ulta and I’m hit with the sweet smells of fragrances and shampoos, it feels like home.

I’ve even been more active at home, running the dishwasher, doing laundry, attacking the weeds. Little things but they add up and they are making me happy.

In the past year I’ve set out on a journey to identify my health issues and they are under control (mostly). I’ve gone back to college, I’ve even stayed on top of cutting the grass this year, unlike last summer. Perhaps some of the last steps (hahahaIMG_0082) of me reclaiming and reconnecting with my life means finding out what makes me happy- on the superficial end of things that has meant short hair, long fake nails, and make-up. On the intellectual side it means working to complete my college degree. On the mental/emotional end, it means speaking up more, expressing my needs, saying no more, and preserving my sanity. Making room in my life for those I love and not worrying so much as to what others think of my life choices.

I am feeling more and more like myself every day and that is a great feeling.

Thoughts on a Cold & Rainy Sunday

I, like many Michiganders, am fed up with the weather. From 80 degrees one day (which I enjoy) to 57 today, not to mention three days straight of rain, well it is getting old. Quite old to be honest. People are getting sick left and right thanks to the extreme swings we are experiencing. I am still nursing a cough from being sick weeks ago. I’m starting to wonder if the cough is lingering from my upper respiratory infection or if it is merely a gift of sinus and allergy issues.

Somehow I scored a three day weekend which has mostly been spent recharging my batteries. Friday I slept in until 12:30pm and by 4pm I was napping again. It was awesome! Then I went on a successful first date that evening with a rather handsome fellow. Saturday my sis and I got our nails done bright and early. Then we met up with our parents for lunch. When we got home I took another nap with my lovely little pups. The evening was spent watching “Jurassic Park,” on tv with a glass of wine. I went to bed early and enjoyed a very restful night’s sleep. Today, I was awoke by Dane at 6am with him needing to go out. Considering he let me sleep nearly the whole night through (a rarity with him), I was happy to get up and let him out. I stayed awake for an hour, laying in bed, reading social media, news sources, and the like. Then I dozed back off until1 10am.

Since getting out of bed I’ve been enjoying some time on my computer, reading things going on in the world that make me both happy and sad. I’m drinking coffee and when I get tired of sitting, I get up and do some housework. So far I’ve swept the house and have some laundry going. This weekend has been far from productive but it has been much needed for my soul.

click on photo to see original by Julia Folsom.

click on photo to see original by Julia Folsom.

Peace and Quiet

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 12.30.02 PMWhen I was younger I longed for some busy, hectic, fast-paced life. I wanted to be a social butterfly (does anyone use that phrase anymore?) Unfortunately my mother was very strict and while I was more than welcome to have friends over, I was not allowed to go to friends’ homes very often. As an adult I can appreciate that it must be scary to let your child go to the home of someone else where God only knows how well the other parents supervise their children. However, as a kid, it bummed me out terribly.

As an adult… I often have invites to go out, to do this, to do that. I have a great group of close friends and a lot of people I am friendly with. However, I find myself declining invites more than accepting them. Sometimes I wonder if I had been allowed to be more social when I was younger, would I find myself wanting to be more social now? I really don’t know if that would have had any bearing on the course of my life at all.

All I know is that nowadays, I tend to prefer peace and quiet. I love being at my home, with my mutts, my computer, a good book, tv, a glass of wine, etc. Or I enjoy spending time with my family or my closest friends. I like small get togethers, intimate conversations, silliness, and spending time with people who encourage me to be the best version of myself. I tend to avoid large crowds or bigger get togethers. Lots of people + lots of alcohol tend to = unnecessary drama. I’m so uninterested in drama. I have very little patience for it.

Whether I missed my calling at being the girl who is always out and about town or not… One thing is for sure. I have come to adore peace and quiet.

Write!

I have come to realize that in comparison to others, my life is blessedly boring. Lately, minus some issues with learning to control/manage my GERD and IBS, I’ve been well. There were some flare-ups as dosages where changed and then ultimately changed back. The set backs did bring about minor bouts of depression. It is very frustrating and defeating to not feel well. Missing work, being home in bed, it takes its toll. However, over all my mental health has been on a pretty even keel.

I’ve not been dating so there is no drama in that area of my life. School has kept me busy but it’s a good busy that has led to many rewarding moments. All of this smooth sailing has not been conducive to my writing though.

Writing is often a way to purge the negative emotions, to channel the hurt or the rage. If everything is good- what does a writer then write about? Such is the conundrum. Now that I have an eight week break that gives me some time to refocus and make plans. One of my very dear friends is also a writer and she suggested we get together to encourage each other in our endeavors. It was a very productive meeting over mimosas. I have committed (to myself) to work more often on my blog and to also finish one of my fiction pieces that I started twelve years ago. For her, the primary focus will be getting her website up and running. Then she will tackle a couple of amazing fiction stories that are percolating in her brain.

I think the strategy session/writing date went exceptionally well. Time will tell if I stick with this or not. Be on the lookout for more writing!IMG_0001

The Joys of Dating

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I have (for the millionth time over) decided to give up on dating. I am so done. After my recent attempt at online dating I am burnt out. I swear, sometimes I am a loser magnet! Let’s recount the last several guys I’ve gotten to know… I shall not name names, in order to protect their identities and because nicknames are way more fun.

The first guy to contact me I have dubbed The Racist. One Sunday afternoon I receive a rather complimentary message from a gentleman. I wasn’t attracted to him based on his picture but I clicked on his profile, read what he had to say and messaged him back.

As we are chatting he mentions that he is a ‘legal marijuana grower,” and he was quite concerned that would scare me away. He stressed several times over that he was totally legal. The conversation was starting to bore me. You said you’re legal, let’s move on. I told him I didn’t care what a person does for a living assuming it is an honest living. The things I judge a person for would be multiple children with multiple women or being a racist. To my surprise he responded with, “Well, I guess this means it won’t work for you and I. I’m a racist.”

I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not so I attempted to question him. After all, sarcasm can get lost in translation through text. He told me he didn’t like “gehtto black or gehtto white.” Well, I don’t care for someone who can’t spell ‘ghetto’ correctly. I asked him if he actually had a problem with race or if it was behaviors that he took issue with. (To be honest the moment he said he was a racist I was done but my curiosity got the best of me and I had to ask him more questions.) He stated “I am from the south,” which I took to mean he didn’t want to admit to the ugliness inside him but that he really was a racist. I quickly bid him adieu.

I received several messages from guys in their very early 20’s which is a bit too young for my taste. I had a man ask if he could be my slave. I swear there was nothing in my profile to solicit such an offer. I had another man message me asking what I was looking for, turns out he wanted ‘casual sex’ which is NOT something listed in my profile.

Finally I handed my phone to one of my closest friends and let her look at guys for me. She picked about four different men, all of whom I was ordered to contact. I looked through her choices and messaged all but one. This led me to “Failure to Launch.” I dubbed him that because he reminds me of the movie by that title, staring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey.

FTL and I chatted for a week before going out on a date. Now there were some red flags up front. He worked at a doggy-daycare center. I knew that most likely that meant he was broke. I’m not looking for someone to take care of me I just want an equal partner. He still lives at home with his parents but in this day and age, that’s not something to judge a person by.

During our week of communication he had said a few things that gave me pause. One instance was when he pointed out to me what a caring guy he is. To me, if you have to tell someone your good qualities it means you’re probably lacking in said qualities… He also told me in the past three years he had been on a total of four dates. None of them went well because he said the women wanted sex on the first date and that is not his style.

Saturday night rolls around and I get to the agreed upon location promptly at 8pm. At five after, I text asking if he was there, despite the fact I didn’t see him. He responded with “almost, five more minutes.” While mildly annoying, shit happens.He arrives and as we head to our table, he says something about his mother having driven him to our date. In my head I am thinking, “I’m sorry, what?” I’m sure the look on my face was disgust as I asked him, “Does this mean I have to drive you home?” He assured me that was not the case, he would text his mother when it was time to get picked up. I felt I had gone back in time twenty years, meeting a boy at the roller rink. What self respecting male lets their mommy drive them to a date at the age of 34?

As the date continues (only because I didn’t have the balls to tell him have his mom come right back and get him), he tells me about helping to support his sister that goes to college out of state. He walks to work, unless he takes too much stuff, then his mother drives him. When it was time for the bill I had the waitress split it, paid my portion, and left. As if he didn’t have enough strikes against him, in person, he eerily resembled my uncle.

I was just about to delete my profile when a new guy messaged me and he used complete words and sentences! It was such an exciting prospect I thought I’d give him a chance. We messaged for a few days but there were too many red flags. I had to cut him loose. If I had to pick a nickname for him, I’d say, “The Asshole.” He was estranged from his entire family. He told me his dad died but he didn’t care, he was a terrible person and they hadn’t talked in years. His mother was alive but she was a terrible person and he didn’t talk to her. He had two sisters, one was a psycho and the other owed him a ton of money. He had broken up with his baby mama 6 months ago, and she was psycho. Granted, all of those people could be terrible, horrible, awful people but… If everyone in your life is an asshole… Well… Maybe it’s not them, maybe its you? After he confessed that he spoils the shit out of his daughter and she will be hell when she is a teenager, I couldn’t take anymore. Bonus? He offered to accompany me to a doctor’s appointment for our first date… How romantic!

I have since deleted my profile and decided that as naive as it may be, I want to meet someone organically. At this point I just need to focus on creating the best life I can. Focus on school and health and spending my time with the ones I love. I don’t have the energy for anymore weirdos from online dating right now. Being single is definitely underrated.

(image courtesy of flickr)