Just a little update on my lunch break

It’s my first day back at work after having a lovely holiday vacation.  It was challenging to get up early this morning – serves me right for not at least trying to stick to my normal schedule.  But ultimately, it feels good to be back to work, and so far, today I’ve been very productive.  It’s nice to know I only have a few more hours left of my day.

Did you all have a nice holiday?  Honestly – I think I can say that this has been the best holiday I’ve had in a long time.  It was spent relaxing and doing the things that I wanted to do.  I visited my grandparents and hung out with friends.  I stayed up late watching comedy and binge watched a few new shows.  Christmas morning, we had our annual nerf and silly string battle.  It was pretty epic this year, as I managed to secure an entire case of silly string.  What a giant mess THAT made – but was soo worth it! 🙂

keep-calm-and-nerf-battle

I’ve been dating someone.  I know – shock!! We’ve been seeing each other since October and over the holidays – we officially became a couple.  I’m so happy and content right now.  I’m not typically the type of girl to sit and gush about someone – especially in a public forum – but I honestly cannot help myself.  Meeting him, falling for him, loving him… it was all unexpected.  I was perfectly happy and content being single and staying that way.  Who knew?!

5e9b35eedc79fd6c3a4d05c2cd182669-crossword-future-husband

This man makes me light up.  I’m confident and comfortable when I’m with him.  Yea – I’ve had a few moments of anxiety pop up – but what’s interesting to me is that even when they do – I can usually spot them for what they are.  Old habits that are hard to kill off.  Old insecurities that have no relevance with him.  So it’s been fairly easy to squash those icky worries when they pop up.  He’s met all my close friends.  And shockingly – even my brother likes him!! That has NEVER happened before, in ANY of my relationships.  So I’ll call that a huge win.  At some point, I’ll introduce him to the rest of my family – although I’m in no rush there.

It was my children who ended up showing me just how different this one is.  In the past – they were kind of indifferent to anyone I dated.  In some cases, that was simply because they didn’t get to know whomever I was seeing (hey – a mom has to protect her babies!).  With my ex… they got to know him.  And although they liked him well enough – they never built much of a relationship with him.  With this man… it’s been different.  They got to meet him fairly early on, and he’s done an amazing job of making them feel included and special.  My son bragged about how he had a youtube watching snuggle and napping buddy to my step dad over the holidays.  Melted my heart to hear how much of an impact was already being had on my son – and scared the crap out of me all at the same time.  It’s one thing to risk my own heart – it’s another ball of wax to watch my kids open their hearts to someone, knowing they could get hurt too.  But I have high hopes.  I’m fairly certain this man understands that they are my world and that I would do anything to keep them safe and happy.

I’m enjoying the happy coasting stage… where life is just simple bliss.  Where there is comfort in knowing that I’m in love with someone who’s perfectly happy falling in love with me right back.  And even if this is all I get… and things don’t turn into something more… I’m grateful for all these feelings and all this joy.  I needed it.  More than I knew.  It’s shown me what I was missing, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve really changed from the girl I was before.  I’ve had opportunities in my life – a few times in fact – where love has stared me in the face.  In some cases, I embraced it head on – and in others, I ran with my tail between my legs.  I’ve been hurt, and I’ve (unintentionally) hurt others.  It is the nature of life in all it’s glory.  Right now – my only plan is to keep going.  To enjoy and embrace everything I can when it comes.

Love to you all!  Goodnight Neverland.

lipstick kiss

Advertisements

When I’m asked about Marriage…

My brother came to visit this weekend.  It was lovely to hang out and not have anything else going on (for once).  To get to sit down, chit chat about everything and nothing, watch a flick, eat some good food… it was needed.  🙂

One of the topics that came up – quite often, actually – was marriage.  His in particular, but also the concept in general.  Would I ever get married again?  I think I’d resigned myself to stop giving advice in regards to marriage about 4-5 years ago.  I think it was the moment my second marriage ended that it dawned on me that perhaps I shouldn’t be giving out advice.  That maybe marriage wasn’t meant for me  😀  But that’s ultimately, selling myself short.

My first marriage – I was young.  I’d been with the man for 6 years and felt that I was making a sound decision.  And – in the scheme of things – had I not married him, I’d not have had my daughter.  So – I can’t say it was all bad.  And how could I have possibly known that marriage would turn the man into someone else?  We were only married for two years – so in general – I don’t typically count it for much.

My second marriage lasted 12 years.  I came into my own.  Grew up.  Really learned what it meant to become a wife… and a mother.  I was good at it.  All of it.  I packed lunches with love notes, I kept a tidy house, always had everyone’s favorite food and beverages stocked on hand… Anything that was asked of me – was handled.  I am naturally quite affectionate and always up for anything – be it adventuring somewhere, or snuggles on a couch.  I was always loyal and never strayed.  Did my best to never do anything that would disrespect myself or my relationship.  It was this relationship that taught me the true meaning behind being a partner.  What it meant to stay … even when everything tumbled around you.  Perhaps I’m an odd duck – I don’t look back at my marriage as a failure at all.  I look back and see it as a stepping stone for me becoming who I am today.  A strong, independent, caring, giving, funny woman.  Someone who always tries to see the good in others or in a situation.  And in many ways – I was always her… but time has helped me in many ways.  I’m more patient now.  I listen better.  I speak up more and try and compromise more.  I’ve also learned that all of those expectations that I had of myself in my marriage … were both not enough – and too much.  You see… I could have never known that we’d have a son.  I’d have never been able to see into the future and see how losing that son would break us all.  What’s interesting tho… we’re not broken anymore.

My ex and I manage to co-parent pretty well.  Of course there are times when we frustrate each other… but don’t we all?  That is the joy of being human.  We work together as a team to provide for our kids in the best way that we can.  And for the most part… I consider myself lucky to have him in my life.  I know that my children will never wonder, as I did, why their dad doesn’t want to be in their life.  He wants it.  He tells them regularly how much he loves them and I’m sure he wishes he had the ability to provide more.  I respect him for that.  And what’s interesting – he makes a point to let me know just how much he respects me for all that I did.  I know his fiance gets uncomfortable when she hears him say how amazing of a wife I was… I wish she understood that him sharing that doesn’t in any way undermine his love and devotion for her.  And it’s not him comparing her and I in any way.  She’s amazing – and we’re all incredibly grateful that she’s in our lives.

Would I marry again?   Yes.  And that’s a resounding YES.  But with lots of caveats and me saying “however and but”.  When it was brought up this weekend, my response was leaning more towards a NO.  It surprised my brother to hear it.  He saw me when I was married.  He knows what kind of partner I am to someone.  My NO wasn’t because I’m scared of it.  I would love to find myself in a situation in the future where I had a partner.  A true partner.  Someone to laugh with and grow old with.  To cook for and travel with.  Someone who actually understands me (as I’m not convinced either of my ex husbands ever really did).  Someone who lets me into the deeper darker regions of their heart – someone who trusts that I would never intentionally hurt them and would lay my life on the line to keep them safe and happy.  Ultimately – someone who feels as I do.  But the thing is… I’d have to be absolutely sure that they reciprocated those thoughts and feelings with me.  I’d have to feel safe again.  Safe enough to allow myself to be vulnerable again.  It’s possible… and ultimately, I know the right man is out there for me.  So who knows… maybe some day.

I think the other thing that doesn’t sit well with me – is what’s the damn rush?  LOL.  I mean – yea – i’m the girl who likes to know where she stands in a relationship.  In fact, I’d say for women like me ,it’s why we ask to put labels on our relationships to begin with – so we understand what’s expected of us.  What role are we to play in this relationship?  Once we know … we get to what I like to call “the coasting stage”.  This stage is bliss.  Where you can spend many years happily coasting along with someone.  To me – this is the zone to aim for.  If things progress from there – cool beans – but if they don’t – i’m ok with that too!  Because at that point – you’re happy in the coasting stage so it doesn’t really matter.

I really AM an odd duck.  Between my buddy M, my brother, and a few other male friends, I’ve had the privilege of seeing what it’s like to date women.  And can I just say – for the record – Women can be NUTS.  Seriously … nuts.  Yea – men can be crazy too – don’t even GET me started on some of the horrendous dates I’ve been on.  But some of the stories I’ve heard – some of the behavior I’ve witness from my fellow ladies… DAMN.  And if that’s what men have been dealing with – then I’d wager that dating me would come as a bit of a shock to the system.  As I’m VERY different.  But then again – they’d probably be more likely to assume I’m just like every other woman out there – and not likely get the chance to show them that I’m not.

So … brother dear… when I don’t give you advice on your new marriage… it’s not because I don’t care, nor is it because I lack advice to actually GIVE.  Marriages… hell – relationships are all about growth and learning.  These tests you face – are yours, and I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines – but I won’t necessarily share with you.  And who knows – maybe someday – i’ll join you in the journey again.  I’m pretty damn happy and content where things are right now, and that’s certainly enough for me.

 

When you decide to give in to hope

c6963f45cb7eca7bcfbc107d71382628-hope-quotes-great-quotes

Hope is a funny thing.  It’s just a desire or a want.  And when you decide to just give in to it, you throw your hands in the air and just wait for whatever is going to happen to actually happen.  A person’s hopes and dreams are ever changing. morphing as you age and experience more of life.  It almost makes you wonder how anyone is supposed to keep up.

When I look into my future… I’m hopeful over so many things:  Success for my side business, Happiness and health for my children, Continued success in my day job.  I’m hopeful that I will continue to learn and grow.  That someday, I’ll master the art of healthy communication, and find myself surrounded in healthy relationships.  I’ve learned so much – thanks to counseling and reflection, but I’d be kidding myself if I thought that was enough.  Now it all comes down to continued practice and learning. And sure, I could stress about it, worry over it, try and find a way to gain some sense of control over it all – or I could just throw my hands into the air and give in.  Give my all.  and just be patient.  It’s not something I do well.  Patience isn’t a virtue I possess typically – but maybe that’s the point of this lesson.

I’ve got some christmas music playing, and I’m snuggled under a blanket on my couch as I write this post.  The kids aren’t home for the day yet and I’m enjoying some quiet time.  I should be down in the lab… I still have quite a bit on my to-do list to tackle before my event at the Pottery Barn on Sunday, but I think I needed to take a moment and just let my thoughts flow first.

I love the labspace for my business.  It’s taken over the downstairs of my home.  Stainless steel tables, melters, shelves full of bottles and barrels of all sizes, jars of colors lining a wall.  It always smells different in there.  Yesterday it smelled like apple cinnamon… today it’s a white sage – very clean smell.  Of course, the smells change based on what I’m making or packaging or curing at the moment.  It’s become my playroom for art projects and fun experiments.  I have a new experiment brewing in my head that I can’t wait to attempt.  It’s funny to think that this time last year, the lab didn’t exist downstairs.  I was just messing around in my kitchen.  How far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.  It’s funny – I get so impatient with my progress – the business is not (yet) where I thought it would be.  BUT… then I think back to the days I started and ran JW.  It took me 3 years to build that company up enough to be stable and consistent.  And in my first 2 years, I made a couple decent flubs of mistakes…. learning curves!  So I’m trying to cut myself some slack this time around.  But it’s hard.  Damn that aries impatience.  🙂

But we’ll get there… once again – this is something I just have to give in to hope on.  Keep busting my butt …. it’ll come about in it’s own time.  And when it does – this dream will be a reality.  The dream of having my own shop.  To leave the tech world for a while, work the shop, write a book… maybe consult here and there on those special projects the tech world needs me for.  I’ll get there.  Just keep swimming…

just-keep-swimming

 

 

Frustration, moods, effort, relationships and birthdays

4c0b9c68a8228eabfd625b140ab3c145

I’m in a mood today.  And I can’t quite even put my finger on what that mood actually is. I’m frustrated, and antsy, I’m contemplative… really – what it comes down to – I’m craving attention.  A sincere, adult, no ulterior motives, genuine connection with someone. I don’t know… Ever since I decided to take a long ass break away from the dating scene – I’ve discovered that I go through phases.  Sometimes, I’m perfectly content with my social life.  I have a lot of amazing friendships that I cherish and adore.  I get out, I’m also quite busy as a mom and an employee and business owner.  But sometimes… I crave something different.  A real connection with someone, at more than just a surface-deep level. Sometimes I’ll meet someone and think – ooh! There’s something here!  And the moment I give into it, is often the moment they decide they have far more important things to be spending their time on.  Or… they’ll tell me that they are interested in pursuing something with me, but then the communication will lag in such a way that I have no choice but to believe otherwise.  It always seems to be hot or cold for me.  When I DO find someone who’s wanting to put in the effort.. there always seems to be a catch or some very serious red flags.  Perhaps they are an alcoholic, or just got out of a relationship a few months back, or are deep in the throes of working through something serious, like depression or PTSD from American politics and can’t seem to figure out how to move forward from it.   It’s enough to make a woman think she should just stick to being alone.  Maybe the dating world has changed in a way I didn’t expect.  Perhaps the concept of putting in a consistent effort on someone is outdated.

bexx7

Effort.  Have we all just become lazy?  Do people not feel like they need to put effort into building and maintaining their relationships anymore?  And I’m not talking about just love relationships here, friendships too.  It was my mentor, who maybe 4 years ago, told me that in order to really network from a business/career standpoint, that any relationships you make, have to be maintained.  Like my garden.  If I neglect those relationships, they’ll go stale.  When a relationship goes stale, it takes even MORE effort to attempt to jump start them.  Her standpoint was that it took less effort to maintain than it did to try and go back and repair them.  I think I took this viewpoint to heart… with all of my relationships.  I’m not saying I’m perfect here… as life happens and sometimes you just have to ride the wave that you’re on and let cards fall where they may.  But it was this advice that led me to really look at the relationships in my life.  Which ones were toxic, or one-sided?  Which ones were weeds that were choking out the rest of my gorgeous garden and what could I do about it?

The ex, his fiance and I have managed to come to a new place in our relationships with each other.  Co-parenting is some seriously tough stuff – and I’m learning more than ever, that just because he is my ex – doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue to be an active participant in my life.  So I’ve really focused on trying to connect with his fiance.  She’s a lovely woman – truly, someone I could be friends with if things weren’t what they are.  For the longest time, she’s been leery of me.  I think she worried that I still wanted to be with the ex.  HA! No thanks!! It’s only in the last month or so, that she’s started to thaw towards me.  I won’t lie, I’ve laid on the charm in order to disarm her a little more and it’s working.  When they drop off my son now, they hang out for a little while and chit chat about the week ahead, and various things going on in their world.  It’s a relief. My ex husband and I will NEVER get back together … this I am absolutely, 100 percent positive on.  BUT… He’s been one of my very best friends for almost half my life.  It’s bothered me a lot in the last 4 years, that that seemed lost.  But lately – I’m seeing it come back – in a new form.  And it’s nice.  I missed him in that way.  And I like her for him.  They seem to be good together.  Is it weird that I can say that?

Overall, it was a good weekend.  This coming weekend is my show at Pottery Barn for my side business.  Then the weekend after that, I’ll be celebrating my birthday with friends. Holy cow I’m officially turning 35 this year!!   My friend J is hosting a party at my house.  She’s invited 100 people!  I know not all will show (THANK GOD!) but it should be really interesting and exciting to see how it all goes!  Then after the party, a smaller group of us are going to go out and sing Karaoke.  Hehe… my friends are such good sports.  I know most of them hate karaoke, but they encourage me to get out and sing.  They know it was once a HUGE part of my life, and I’m grateful that they continue to push and encourage me to not give it up.  My daughter joined choir this year.  She seems to be enjoying it, although she made a comment on Friday that I had to sit and talk to her about.  I guess she’s been nervous to sing around me.  She says I’m intimidating to someone who struggles with pitch, and feels that she’s never going to learn to project her voice.  I offered to help her in any way that I can.  I’d be happy to work through some scales and help her learn to control her diaphragm a bit more.  Lord knows, when I need to be, I can be LOUD.  😀  She seemed to perk up at that one.  She wants to be able to earn a slot for a solo.  It’s funny how it brings me back. As a teenager, I was in every choir, I took professional lessons 3 days a week, I was in as many musicals and music productions I could get my hands on.  I think she’ll find her own on this one.  But I love that my child has yet another common interest as me.  🙂

Well – I better get to working.  Hope you all have a lovely day!  Much love to all of you in Neverland.  Talk soon!

lipstick kiss

Processing… Please hold.

I got into a conversation with someone this morning, they were telling me of a conversation they had with my daughter.  Apparently there were things she didn’t want to talk to me about, simply because she worries that when I am stressed, I may not be able to handle it.  It surprised me to hear.  There is something strange and unsettling to hear that your child thinks you’re weak.  Or at the very least, sees a weakness that perhaps you don’t.  I don’t quite know how to fully process that.  But I know that I will.

It led to me thinking through all that I’ve been through.  My brain immediately went back to Ben.  The night we knew something was wrong and raced him, in the dead of the night, to the hospital. That drive will forever be etched into my brain.  The songs that played quietly on the radio, The ex’s steady calm.  Funny, the man would occasionally drive me crazy with his immaturities and lack of self control, but when everything fell apart… when the hour was dire… and we stood on the edge of a very scary storm… he was someone else.  Someone I respected.  I don’t think I ever told him that.  I don’t think I ever told him how, even now, after all this time… I trust him more than I trust myself.  That deep in my heart, he was my very best friend.  I wish I could help him understand how much I loved him.  I don’t think he ever really knew.  And telling him now would be taken weirdly.  I guess I can’t take back the words I never said.  We both had to take on and face the scariest thing we could have possibly imagined.  A situation where we had no control, we were completely helpless – our heart’s were in the doctor’s hands.  Doctors we trusted, because of an ideal in our heads – that somehow – doctor’s were infallible.  Oh how I regret feeling that way. I’ve never felt so ill-prepared when we learned of their mistakes.  And we were both hurt in the most unimaginable ways by it all. Scarred from the pain in many ways.

I thought back to the many days and nights where I would work and work and work… not because I’m a strange person who doesn’t want to have a life or free time… but because I knew it would put food on the table or give me the ability to get the kids gifts for christmas.  Those were the years when the ex and I would eat ramen or spaghetti o’s so the kids could have balanced meals. These were times when we had so much debt over our heads that we would have to ignore a ringing phone. There was always a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the world would crash down around us because we couldn’t pay a bill.

I thought back to days when depression and stress rang so loudly inside my head that I couldn’t even see myself within the cloud I was in.  When I would lay in bed and hide from the world, because it seemed smarter than going out and being hurt by it. When a person loses sight of who they are, and it takes them as long as I have to re-find yourself… there tends to be some disconnects.   I’ve changed in big ways since I last saw myself.  So it’s sometimes hard to trust my own intuition. Thankfully, In many ways, those changes were good.  I love myself now, and I know I didn’t before. I’m more laid back about so many things.  Life is going to happen… you can stress about it, or you can try and find a way to enjoy it.  And now, more than ever before, I’m aware of how strong I really am.  I’m sure most people have no idea the amount of fortitude and strength they actually possess.

It’s interesting, the stages you go through in life.  For every stage of stress or hell, there seems to be an opposing, equally joyous time to remember.  I suppose my knowing that is what keeps me going, keeps me strong.  Because, you see… I can’t give up.  I won’t give up.  It won’t happen on my watch!  I want to see what happens at the end of the story – and we’re not there yet.  Not even half way.

I suppose it’s also why I’m upset to hear that my child thinks I cannot handle hearing whatever detail she’s working through.  Please child… I’ve walked through hell – I think I can handle a little teenage highschool drama.

Have a great day Neverland!

lipstick kiss