A lesson about movies

I went to see a movie today.  I needed to get out of my own head and my own stresses and step into someone else’s for awhile.  I didn’t plan, I just went.  I picked the movie at random, Girl on a Train, because nothing really looked inspiring and went in.  The theater was practically empty – what do you expect at noon on a thursday?

Woman Crying in Empty Movie Theater

Lesson learned… always watch a preview before sitting through a movie, especially when the movie touches hard hitting subjects for me.  Abuse, alcoholism, the accidental death of a baby… gah!  I managed to get through it, but I’m not sure I accomplished my goal AT ALL.

So… I suppose I’ll just spew my anxieties here instead.

Teenagers!  That one word should strike fear in the hearts parents everywhere.  It really should.  My teenager is a good girl.. a good kid… 85% of the time.  But those 15%… she takes “go big or go home” to heart I guess.  Yesterday I informed her that at this time, she is grounded for life, with the potential for early parole in her 30’s if she behaves herself. It’s a strange place to be in… I brag about my little girl.  When people meet her, they often remark on what a nice girl she is.  And generally – I’d agree… but she’s started lying.. and manipulating people!  Something that I think is absolutely disgraceful and disgusting to do to people.  I’m absolutely flabbergasted with this whole situation.  And it’s moments like these when I feel like I’ve failed.

I got home from the movie and the ex husband called me asking if I would lie to the government and say that he has my son 50% of the time so that he can get food stamps.  I was so pissed.  I tried to explain to him that it is THESE types of behaviors that have given our children the idea that it’s ok to be dishonest!  To manipulate a situation to get your way!  I told him No.  That I wouldn’t lie for him and hung up.  I’m still shaking.

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I know my kids need a good father figure in their life.. and I always thought that they had one.  But lately – I’m realizing that perhaps I was wrong.  Perhaps the father figure they have had has actually taught them lessons and habits that are completely opposite from my own.  It’s hard for me to understand and relate to things that are so far outside my own moral compass.  Sigh… I’m doing my best tho.  It’s going to have to be good enough.  I have to remind myself that the choices my children make aren’t necessarily a reflection on the choices that I would make – they are their own people with their own paths to walk. But damn is it hard to let them.

Cheers.  Goodnight neverland.  XXO

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Healthy Relationship Goals

When I was young… I sought out relationships.  I perhaps wasn’t always as choosy as I should have been.  Years of being made to feel like I wasn’t ever going to be good enough led me down a path where I happily accepted anything and everything that came my way – be it friendships and significant others.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be more choosy in who I allow to enter my world.  I’ve learned that it’s not the number of friends, it’s the quality and health of the overall relationships that really matter.

I’ve always been the person who rushes into everything.  I’m impulsive.  Granted, I DO have self control… but I’m finding, at least lately, that the one quality I used to be proud of in myself… I’m holding back now.  That impulsive passion and enthusiasm that I get, about everything …. be it learning something new, a new project at work, a new friendship or new hobby or love… I’m learning to keep that in check a bit.  Taking things slow.  Learning to be someone’s friend LONG before even considering getting physical with them.  I mean, seriously – what IS the rush for?  If the people who enter your life are really meant to stay … then why are we in such a damn hurry to get across the finish line.  It’s not like the race ever really ends… and what on earth would you get for crossing it?  What… a wedding ring?  A child?  A divorce?  lol.

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It’s challenging… especially in today’s society.  And it’s not like a girl doesn’t have needs.  lol, but I’m feeling a little bit burnt out.  I’m finally starting to really like living alone.  I’m learning ME.  I’m immensely proud of myself and it’s strange because this isn’t really something you can share with others without sounding a bit foolish.  We’re taught to find a man, to settle down, get married, have kids…. that pressure is out there on us all on a daily basis.  Sometimes, it’s so subtle, I don’t even notice it at all.  But it’s still there.  And what’s funny – at least, for me, is that I’ve HAD all of that.  I’ve settled down, I got married, I had kids, I’ve been susie home maker and I’ve been the power suit wearing corporate working mom.  I have literally tasted ALL that society asks us to pursue.

Perhaps that’s why I’m enjoying this bit of soul searching I’ve done since buying this house.  I’ve been trying to figure out what the next big dream is.  I’ve been really enjoying the notion of holding off, on all fronts…. taking a moment to find and secure my footing before I do anything to shake up my world.  It’s certainly never anything I’ve done before.  It all feels healthy.  My goals for my life have shifted in new ways I wasn’t quite expecting.  I find myself just wanting a healthy relationship.  Keyword there is Healthy.  🙂  And for the first time in my life…. I feel like I’m certainly on the right path to eventually get there.  I’m learning to communicate my needs and wants and feelings in better ways.  I’m actively figuring me out.  And it’s really kinda awesome!

So to all of you out there…. single… looking for love… I highly encourage you to look at the opportunities you have to seek out what’s really healthy, thinking long term.  🙂  And to those of you who are settled down… or settling down… still racing… I ask you… What are you racing for and if/when you get it… what comes next?

Much love to you all.  Happy Thursday!

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We’re a month into the new year…

So much has been going on lately, my apologies for not updating things here.  The single, working mom’s life is interesting.  Never a dull moment!  🙂  Truthfully, things have never been better.  I’m excited for the year to come.

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In approximately 2 months, I will have purchased a home and hopefully be all moved in, or at the very least, in the process of doing so.  I’m so excited, no.. thrilled… no .. no words can truly do justice on this one.

I’ve been allowing myself to dream a little bit when I go to tour places.  It’s so much fun.  I picture where I could put my christmas tree, I picture a place for my office, I picture my decorations or new landscaping, I picture baking or entertaining friends.  I’ve wanted to own a home since I was a kid.  A forever home.  A place that my kids can count on me being when they return home from their adventures and lives elsewhere.  Some place that I could love and restore and add on to.  Sure, eventually I’d like to do some income property of some sort.  But home.  I’ve been in search of it for a few years it seems.  It’s about time I give it some priority and bring that little dream to life.

Puppy training is going well.  Today especially.  A new friend suggested I treat it a bit like role playing, and I think that helped a bit.  It was a definite confidence boost.  🙂 I’ve been struggling to “Be the Alpha”.  I’ve never played the bad cop well.. I’m the good cop.  The one with the hug, a cup of tea and a cookie.  The cheerleader and encourager, not the punisher or enforcement.  This is a trait I will learn.  I’m determined to be a good dog owner.  I know I’m a good cat owner.  Kitties and I have great understanding.  🙂  I adore dogs too, the cuddles and the snores and the companionship. I just have to get a bit better at it. 🙂

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I’m almost done with building out a new piece of software at work.  It’s just a base for what I really want to be able to do, but it’s such a huge step for this company from a technology standpoint that I’m already super excited and proud about it.  It’s been a crazy push to make it to these deadlines.  Heck, it’s 10:30pm on a sunday and I literally just logged off from putting in 5 hours tonight just to get a little ahead for my morning. But, I’m excited for the coming week ahead, now that I’m feeling a bit clearer in the head, I have some ideas I can’t wait to prototype out this week.

My kids spent the weekend with their Dad and I had the nice opportunity to go out with some friends, play some video games, and just generally enjoy myself and recover from the miserable head cold I’d managed to come down with last week. It’s nice to be in a good place with the ex too.  Granted, we haven’t had issues in quite some time now, but I started thinking today about how lucky I have it in that regards.  We communicate better now than we ever had.  He seems to be happy and doing well in his life and he knows that deep down, I’m still rooting for him to succeed in all that he dreams.  It’s nice to be in this kind of space.

I’ve had the chance to reconnect with a few old friends in the last couple of weekends and it’s been really nice to catch up and just take a few moments and not have any responsibilities or requirements other than to just be me.  I get wrapped up in so many things… being a boss, being a mom, being a friend, being a daughter or granddaughter.  It’s rare these days for me to get to just focus on being me.  A friend challenged me to figure out a way to discover that I’m a beautiful woman this year.  So I’ve been attempting to learn that.  Got my hair done, as it had been a while.  Did my nails, it had been a while on that one too.  I think I came to the realization that my friend may be right when, after taking a couple of selfies, I was in surprise at the woman staring back at me.  That’s not me.  But it is.  And she’s … pretty.  And confident.  And there’s a bit of wisdom in her eyes that I didn’t know was there.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my life this past week.  About bucket lists and resolutions.  I’ve never really been one to do that kind of thing.  Of course, I do have a Bucket list, it can be found on this blog… but that was a first for me too.  🙂  I didn’t come up with any resolutions this year.  Mainly because I felt that if I worded them that way, I wouldn’t actually accomplish them.  I’ve simply been reminding myself each day with a quote I stumbled upon on Pinterest.  Odd place to find something so life affirming, but there it is.

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“You only have one life.  How exactly are you going to spend it?  Regretting?  Questioning?  Crying?  Hating yourself?  Running around after people who don’t give a shit about you?  You have one life.  Spend it well.  Go out, and make yourself proud.”

It’s about damn time that I remember that, and live up to it every day.  Sure I’ll falter here and there.  Self doubt – it’s something at least I can count on to show up… but I’m definitely NOT going to keep holding myself back.  I’m finally starting to understand not only who I am, but what I bring to the world.  My worth.  It’s lovely.  It’s empowering.  Nothing big or flashy… but a nice warmth from the gut kind of thing.

Well neverland, it’s time to log off.  Need to get some sleep.  Sleep well and dream sweet!

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Anger, Vulnerability, Communication and Hope… all in one post.

I was listening to some music tonight.  Was a great evening actually.  Love songs have new meaning when your heart is light and happy.  I was enjoying dreaming and being sappy and a song came on that I haven’t heard in a very long time.  It immediately made me think of my ex… for so many reasons… and not in a lovey sense either.

Here we are.
What is left of a husband and a wife four good kids
Who have a way of gettin on with their lives
I’m not old but I’m getting a whole lot older every day
It’s too late to keep from goin’ crazy
I got to get away

The reasons that I can’t stay don’t have a thing to do with being in love
And I understand that lovin a man shouldn’t have to be this rough
You ain’t the only one Who feels like this world left you far behind
I don’t know why you gotta be Angry All The Time

Our boys are strong the spittin image of you when you were young
I hope someday they can see past what you have become
I remember every time I said I’d never leave
What I can’t live with is memories of the way you used to be

The reasons that I can’t stay don’t have a thing to do with being in love
And I understand that lovin a man shouldn’t have to be this rough
You ain’t the only one Who feels like this world left you far behind
I don’t know why you gotta be Angry All The Time

Twenty years have came and went since I walked out of your door
I never quite made it back to the one I was before
And God it hurts me to think of you
For the light in your eyes was gone sometimes
I don’t know why this old world can’t leave well enough alone

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It made me cry.  It made me wonder if in 20 years, will I make it “back” to the one I was before?  Would I even want to?  This song, really sums up the end of my marriage.  We were both pretty broken.  From Ben, from life, stress, work, finances, kids… combine that with alcoholism on his end, and work-aholism on mine.  It was hell to walk away from someone who I once viewed as my best friend.  And it took some time to heal from that.  To be fair, I’m still healing.  11 years is a long time to be with someone, it’ll be some time still I’m sure.

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The last two have been, inspiring, healing, eye opening, shocking, scary, and a hell of a lot of fun.  I think I’m finally starting to learn and understand who I am, as just me.  I don’t yet know or understand all of me yet.  Or maybe I do, I just don’t fully trust myself about it yet.

Everything changes.  If I could turn back the years, I wouldn’t.  But I’d have never imagined where I am, as where I’d be.  Life is sure full of strange twists and turns.  Sometimes I look back and have to question… did all of that really happen?

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It’s scary opening yourself up to someone new.  Very scary.  Especially when someone comes into your life that lights you up.  That makes you feel alive, and safe and strong.  I find myself tripping and falling on my face quite often when it comes to matters of the heart.  I trip myself up with my own stupid insecurities.  Mainly because of things that come from my past.  What sucks is that I realize all of this, and yet, can’t seem to stop it.  I don’t want my past to control my future.  I’m learning that I don’t like feeling vulnerable.  Which I think is kind of funny because facing vulnerability was why I started this blog.

I am so scared to be hurt.  Scared that because I have withstood so much.  And I haven’t ever really broken down from it.  I have moments here and there… but nothing like what I have seen with my family and because of that, I’m scared that at some point, another heartache, or heartbreak would land me in their shoes.  A place I desperately do not ever want to be.

So far, my solution to this has been to speak up about it, when I’ve got something weighing on my mind, which is difficult for me.  With my ex, I would stay silent.  I never spoke up.  There was never any point, it wouldn’t be heard. I know communication is the key to the very best, most successful relationships.  Speaking up has, at least I think, been working pretty well so far these days.  You’d think you’d get better at these things.  lol.

Ok – this may sound strange… but I think there was a shift.. in the way that I think about my world and life. After ben died… my world stopped.  I know people use that phrase all the time so it’s hard to really describe the gravity of what I really mean.  But I mean it literally stopped.  I felt like I couldn’t even remember how to breathe.  I walked around in a total daze for I don’t know how long.  Cars whizzing by, people getting their coffees and going about their day.  My brain could not compute.  And suddenly it clicked.  I am simply a cog.  A cog in a machine that was built to run in a way that if a cog stopped, the rest would continue and the machine would never stop.  I used to believe that one little person could matter.  That one person could make a difference large enough to change the world.  But from that moment in time, my opinion began to change.  Perhaps it was reality smacking me in the face.

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If you want something… you gotta work for it.  No one is going to hand you anything.  You can work and work and work and still fall flat on your face.  IF it happens, you get back up and you plod along.  What will be, will be.  But if you want happiness… you create it.  If you want love… you give it.

I don’t know what is in store for me in the future… but I do now this.   I’m happier than I’ve been in a very very long time.  Life has it’s stresses, but I deal with them fairly well.  I’m learning to trust.  Myself, and the ones I love.  I won’t give up, and this time…this life is mine.  No one else will care about it all but me in the end.  The next chapter of my years… are bound to be the best I ever had.  And I can’t wait.

Goodnight Neverland.  Thanks for reading my ramble.  Here’s to a new week.

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The Inconsiderate Ex

middlefingersWow what a day I’ve had.  Much of it was spent being screamed at.  The ex.  You see, it is his weekend to have the kids.  And it dawned on him this week that he didn’t want to give up his valentines.  He asked if I’d keep the kids.  I had plans and said I couldn’t change them.  He FREAKS out.  I’ve heard guilt, yelling, and mean remarks about when we were married.  He’s roared at me, and spun it around in such a way that I felt guilty.  As if I hadn’t communicated that it was his weekend, even though I know I had, many times.  I finally caved and told him he could bring my son home tomorrow afternoon.  I asked if that meant he’d be taking them next weekend instead.  He says no, it’ll be my weekend.  I reminded him that will be 3 weekends in a row and he freaks out.  I’ve just had it.  I’m sick and tired of all of it.  I still pay his stupid phone bill, I’ve paid 40K of OUR debt this year and he hasn’t contributed a dime.  He’s shown up a few times with medical bills for my little one for me to pay.  The last one I just told him… Figure it out.  And now, I have had to change my plans for valentine’s day just to accommodate him and he can’t even be nice about it.

He finally said thank you.  But then lied to me (I didn’t call him on it, but I know when he’s lying).  I’m just sick of it all.  How about the fact that I had the kids last year for valentine’s day.  How about the fact that I had plans that I was honestly looking forward to FOR ONCE in my life and once again, he has to jump in and try his damnedest to ruin them.

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Well not THIS time sucka!  Not going to happen.  I’ll shift my plans as best as I can to lunch and say “SCREW you!” in my head as I smile and politely collect my son.  Why?  Because THAT is now my job.  To do my best to work with you, even tho you cannot plan anything, you’re wishy washy, inconsistent, and worse… completely and 100% inconsiderate to other people.  Because it is healthier for you to stay in my son’s life than it is to not to.  Because if I can teach my son through my own actions, how to communicate, how to handle yourself when you’re being bullied, and how to still find a way to embrace happiness, then I’ve totally done my job.

And that’s worth it, damn it!