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! 🙂

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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?!

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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.

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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.

 

Releasing a swirl of thoughts from my head

I’ve been itching to get online and type for a few days now.  Sometimes, you just need to write and find some sense of release from the swirl inside your head.  So many topics to potentially write about.  So, per my usual, I may skip around a bit and talk about a little of each of those swirling topics.

Self Esteem.  It’s interesting to me that the world is focused on whether you have it, or you don’t.  Apparently it’s a mystical black and white kind of hero achievement that is unlocked somewhere along the journey of life.  But the truth of it is… it’s a bit more like an ocean of grey.  It ebbs and it flows.  I have good days and then I have days where I question myself and everyone around me.  Of course, this is all happening only inside my head.  But still.

Intuition.  One person’s intuition could lead them down the exact opposite path as someone else’s.  So then, what is it?  According to the dictionary, it’s an inherent knowledge of something without having read it or learned it purposefully.  So it’s a knowledge from deep within. But that doesn’t mean it’s always accurate.  I wonder if the notion of a red flag in someone points back to this?  Or any flag for that matter?  Something that triggers an intuition in a potential mate.  Yes – i’m weird that my brain landed here.  It’s ok… I promise.  See – this came up because I’ve been struggling with something that hasn’t been sitting right with me about someone.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, which is making it worse.  So I’m trying to figure out the why’s.

Weight loss.  I slog on in my journey.  I’m weary from this adventure… but I have finally pushed through my plateau.  I’m determined to continue to make progress.

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In 2013, I weighed over 400 pounds.  OMG. I’ve typed and deleted that a few times.  Do I really dare to share this?!  But yes.  It’s true. I still have easily another 50 to go for me to hit my target.  I feel good… I’m hopeful.  But in all truth… tonight… I’d kill for piece of pie.  We don’t do thanksgiving.  I love our family traditions that we do instead – however… and quite simply.

I. Miss. Pie.

And not apple pie – ew. No.  A custard pie, or a pumpkin pie… or even a pecan or berry pie.  Peach is always lovely too!  LOL.  Pie.  With a flaky, golden, buttery crust.  Sigh.  But yay for weight loss!!

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Dating.  I’ve dipped my toe in a couple of times in the past two years, and I’m not convinced it’s for me.  Add to the fact that I have a pretty full life… how do you add to that?  How do you make room for the potential of someone else when you have no idea who that someone else could possibly be?  I have friends encouraging me to date, and for the most part… it’s been a pleasant experience.  But I’ve also learned that I must be a bit of an oddball in the world.  Or at the very least, in the circles I’ve crossed.  I’m not looking for casual sex or friends with benefits.  That simply does not do it for me.  I want the close companionship just as much as I want all the fun sexy time! So because of that, I don’t immediately jump into the sack with someone.  Apparently it’s viewed as old fashioned.  I’ll hold off until it’s right -which could be date 8 and could be never… and men – who at first say they support that, in the long run are surprised to find out that you actually mean it.  Sex should be magical!  The power that each person has over the other… to make a breath catch, or to cause goose bumps.  To create an explosion of delight in someone else – that is a magical thing.  It makes me sad when I hear how some people have lost (or have never had) the ability to revel in it… but I can’t do that with a stranger.  Someone I don’t respect or care about.

That sounds too scary for me.  I’ll pass.

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Frustration, moods, effort, relationships and birthdays

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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.

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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!

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I Had An Epiphany Today

There’s something to be said about commuting in a car, it leaves for plenty of time to think.  To decompress and review things in my head.  I certainly don’t do it with everything, but I do find that on occasion, something someone will say or do will get stuck in my head.  It leads me with a need to churn it over a bit and mull on it.  I think it’s because, in the moment, my brain will nod and move along in conversation… but later, it will pop back in my mind and I’ll wonder about that moment – why did I react that way?  Do they really feel that way?  Is that really what they meant?  Perhaps I am simply an over thinker and need to learn to control that side of myself a bit better. Regardless, it is how my brain works.

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Friends and people who learn my story often comment to me about how strong I am.  And while it’s nice to hear, it is in no way a reflection of how I see myself.  I have strength when it comes to my brain.  I’m able to figure out a solution, make a sale, or find a way out of a sticky situation on most occasions.  BUT… when it comes to matters of the heart, and when it comes to matters of sex…. I am a total pansy.  Let me repeat that, because I’ve never admitted that before.  I am a pansy. I wasn’t always like this.  This.. is new.  A new Jen.  One who, now that I see her, I’m not too happy with.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the few times I’ve really opened up and trusted in someone, I’ve ended up highly disappointed and heartbroken over it.  A part of me wants to remind myself that “Hey! That’s life! You win some, ya lose some.” But, because those times have been a bit few and far between – what I usually end up doing is just raising my walls further.  Protect myself from the pain just a little bit more, but of course, the side effect from me doing that is that sometimes, people who’ve been trying to get inside my walls – get hurt.  I shut down and close myself off – and it leaves them hurt.  Which ultimately – is not something I’d ever want to do to those who are close to me.

I’d like to change my goals for the year.

I want to learn to bring those walls down a bit more.  To let someone in.  I suppose… this is my very first step.  Admitting that I can see it, recognize it and want to change it.  I also have to understand that it means letting in some pain.  If I bring down my walls, it’s going to hurt.  I’m scared to hurt.  I’ve felt sadness and hurt and pain for long enough over plenty of things.  The idea of facing pain and sadness scares the shit out of me.  But – I want people to know me.  For people to see me for who I am – and if they don’t like me… it’ll hurt a little.  But this is me.  Who I am on this blog… is me.  And if I ever want to feel like I’m not alone anymore, it means I have to let people in.

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