The important dynamics of a varied friendship group

Ok – I’ll admit it… that title doesn’t sound like me. But it’s something I’ve spent the past few moments mulling around in my head and I just decided to go with it. In the past month that I’ve put together my new commercial studio space (which by the way – i’m 95% done with and it’s AMAZING!) I’ve met so very many of my sister’s friends, plus people in the building, and some of my friends have come to visit as well…. it’s been a month of PEOPLE. 🙂 And I say that with delight and joy – because after spending so very much time in my home with the quarantines, this new energy has truly been a delight for me and is helping when it comes to giving me inspiration with my comics.

Something I’ve learned this month tho, is that it’s so important to have a well-rounded group of friends. One of the things I cherish so much about my own friend group is how eclectic it is – we’re a bunch of misfits in our own ways- but if an outsider were to label each of us – they’d be surprised that we’re all friends. And everyone comes from a different background – some from all over the world – and everyone also seems to be at different stages of their own life journey.

There have been moments in my life when I wished I had someone who was on a similar journey as me. Thinking that perhaps then I’d feel understood. But what I realized this morning is that it’s because of the incredibly varied perspectives of those who I surround myself with that I feel free enough to break through the constraints that I had on me.

I had someone I was chatting with recently share their passion and drive for their career. At first – I glommed onto that and used that to carry the conversation a bit – and it was an enjoyable chat. But later, as I reflected on how nice it was to talk to someone who has a lot of drive in their career, I also reminded myself that that was once me – but i’m not in that place anymore. I no longer live to work. Not at all. I reminded myself how once upon a time, I would put a lot of weight on someone’s worth being tied to their job or their career accomplishments. And now? I just don’t care anymore. Are they happy? Are they content and healthy and balanced?

I’d have never changed my way of thinking if it weren’t for my diverse group of friends who were both kind and brave enough to share their own perspectives in order to widen mine. I’m so grateful to have them in my life – and am hopeful that I’ll continue to grow in these ways. 🙂

I do hope you are all doing well out there! Stop in and leave a note below and tell me what has been on your mind today? Happy Tuesday!

Coming round to a decision…

I’ve come to a decision about my future. It’s taken me some time. I’ve let things marinate and I’ve given ample opportunity to see change. I’ve worked with my counselor just about every week to better understand my reactions and where I could have done things differently. And after all of it – I’m about ready to file for divorce. I’ve given myself a deadline. I have to have surgery in a few weeks, so I’m giving myself some room there too – to rest, recover and heal. But I’m feeling pretty positive about my decision. I can honestly say I’ve done all I could to make things work from my end. I’ve listened more than I’ve ever listened in my life. And ultimately – I think this may be the reason I’m going through this. The universe has thrown lessons and tests at me throughout my life – and I don’t always understand them in the moment – darn that hindsight being 20/20 … but I think I understand this one.

I needed to learn that you can lead that damn horse to water – but only the horse can make himself drink. I needed to learn to be able to communicate in a better, more productive way. In previous relationships I learned how to have a voice – but often it would come out raging or so filled with emotions that my voice wasn’t clear or crisp. The past year has taught me how to use my voice in a calm, collected, crystal clear fashion. I learned how to set boundaries, how to find an awareness of my own needs and be able to voice them. And – in the end – I learned how to choose myself, my health, my emotional well being, and ultimately, my future happiness- over what would have amounted to death by a thousand paper cuts.

It’s odd – in my work life – things could not be better. I won a manager award on Wednesday. Recognized for being a top leader, transforming a team, and inspiring others to become better leaders. It felt good… but bittersweet in some ways. How can I be getting it so right at work – but so wrong at home?

The kids are happy and healthy… Well-loved and thriving. My puppies are also doing damn well- although my youngest pup still has the energy of a tornado. hehe. That’s what 12 week old puppies do tho, so it’s to be expected! So maybe I’m not getting it wrong at “home” – but I sure do question my ability to get it right when it comes to matters of the heart.

I’m hopeful for 2020. I’m going to continue to focus on embracing my own well being. I’m going to keep the trend of being authentically me. But I am also going to work on re-establishing my tribe. Somehow, in the past year, I’ve let a lot of my friendships falter. Not by doing something bad – just from general neglect and lack of attention. My focus was elsewhere, and I’m feeling the loss. I miss the “family” that I built around me. Not all are blood – in fact, very little are truly family members. My tribe was a group of people who became as close as family to me – and in all truth – I miss them. There are only a very small circle of people I talk to these days – and even out of that circle, only 2 who know what’s really going on with me. It’s kind of a lonely existence when you’re in limbo. And I’ve never been a very patient woman when it comes to my own path. I get frustrated when my dreams aren’t moving along at the pace I think they should. I know – it’s silly.

Well – I should get my butt moving. Time to dive into another day at work. The day beckons… but please know, to all you who read this silly little blog – I appreciate you. I’m thankful that you’re there – reading the things I toss into the void. Have a great day!

The end of an emotional weekend

What a weekend I had.  My daughter had a friend over for a sleepover, and while I will not divulge details about this girl, I will share that her mom, a dear friend of mine, passed away a couple years ago.  It was… absolutely heart breaking then, and shook me to my core.  I still think about her every single day. And it’s been a long time since we’ve spent time with that family. So this weekend has certainly left me feeling emotional…  And protective over children, in general.

Last night, she asked if we could take a moment and do a group snuggle – because she didn’t get that much at home these days.  My heart broke as I snuggled both girls for a while.  I stayed up way too late, snuggling and chatting with them.  Caught up on how her life had been since we’d last seen each other.  And it shook me all over again.  I tucked them in and stayed up tossing and turning over it all.  This morning, I took them out for breakfast.  Waffles with cotton candy on top – because .. that’s why.  Just because.

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Because maybe, a little extra sweetness, be it a snuggle, a kind word, a funny story, or even cotton candy on top of a rainbow waffle … with sprinkles…. will somehow put a smile on a kid’s face.  And if that happens… maybe she’ll be able to survive this horrendous childhood that she has had.  Yea – I know it’s a stretch.  But damn it… what else can I possibly do?! She now has a standing invite to come over regularly, as well as halloween and any other time she needs a snuggle… but even I know … It’s not enough.

It’s interesting how small your own problems can become in moments like these.  I’ve cried a lot this weekend… cried for her, cried for mother, cried for the unfairness of it all, cried out of gratefulness for my own children… ugh.  I’m done crying, and tomorrow, my still partially sick butt has to get up and go to work and get my head in the game.

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It’s funny, this isn’t how I’d imagined my weekend turning out – but I wouldn’t trade it.  Maybe I needed a reminder … that my problems and stress are small in comparison to what they could be.  That I have it so much better than some, and have given my children a world that is healthy and positive and full of laughter and snuggles and love.  I have to remind myself that I cannot hug everyone.  I can’t heal everyone.  That I have to be content with helping those that I can… and not get hung up on those whom I couldn’t.

Goodnight Neverland.  I wish you all the best.

Much love,

Jen

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My last week of freedom

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Next week, I go back to work.  I’m excited and nervous and overall, feeling thrilled!  And I’m busy doing all the things I need to do in order to prepare to go back.  Got a haircut, researching trains or public transit vs. parking, need to pick up some shoes… things like that.  I’m also spending time enjoying the newest member of our family.  Onyx.  He is a very tiny, very sweet little black kitten with grey/blue eyes that we rescued this weekend.  George, my 9 year old Siamese is still reserving his judgement, but I’d say he seems OK with it.

This weekend, the kids and I will go to the pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin or two. I’m excited to go and enjoy a little fall.  🙂

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I’ve been in hibernation mode for a few weeks.  I’m not doing it on purpose, but I can’t seem to help myself.  Part of it is the change of seasons, but there is certainly more to it.  I will say tho, I am looking forward to our first holidays here in the new house.  I can’t wait to decorate and make a little bit of a fuss.  I look forward to making and bottling Kahlua for Christmas gifts (although this year, I’m also making candles for folks!) and doing Christmas with the kids the way we want to.  I’m also hopeful to get at least a little snow this year.  I’d bet the houses in my neighborhood would be so pretty.  It’s these dreams and ideas that are keeping my head up.  🙂  Actually, sometimes I feel a little guilty.  Life is pretty good these days.  New job, enjoying my new home, I had an amazing summer, my kids are enjoying school… I have it better than a lot of folks, and I’m truly thankful and appreciative of it all.  Knowing that, it’s sometimes hard to allow myself to be down in the dumps this time of year.  There’s so much life to enjoy!  But then I think back… 7 years ago… I was huge as a house and just ready for my pregnancy to be complete.  I didn’t know that in 10 days, I would meet a little man that would completely change my life and who I am.  There is not a single day that goes by that I do not think about him.  Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes I happily reminisce, and other times it hurts deep down at the core of who I am.

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I’m doing well tho… gosh that almost sounds contrite, but that is the truth.  I’ve spent the last year or so really looking at my life, my behaviors and choices, and my patterns.  I’ve looked at my relationships with others and have chosen paths to help ensure that only healthy relationships are what I surround myself with (to the best of my ability).  I’ve learned to be alone and to be content with that.  Honestly, it feels good and I’m proud of where I am at.  Although, I am a little frustrated with my village these days.  It’s gotten a lot smaller over the past year – some of my own choosing and some not.  I’d love to make some new friends – but at the same time… now that my core inner circle has been shaken up so much, I’m hesitant to open up and take in new people.  I’m unsure of who to trust – and I realize it takes time.  I suppose finding new friends can be a bit like dating at times. LOL.  And that’s just not my idea of fun!  So, I guess it means that my village will stay small.  🙂   It will be a different holiday season for me this year, that is certain.

Well – that’s my update for now.  Have a nice day Neverland!  Love ya!

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Fall is here

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I know – not a very imaginative title.  I may or may not change it.  Tonight, I need you Neverland.  I love it here.  It’s a place that I feel safe to let anything out.  Vulnerabilities and all.  I like to posture and say that by sharing my vulnerabilities, it gives me strength.  It’s a bunch of BS tho.  I’m still not very strong.  Today especially.

Today, I feel lost.  Lost in a sea of my own making to some extent, as my life is my own, and the choices I’ve made over my life were mine.  Part of me thinks, well.. Jen, it IS fall.  You always get this way leading up to Ben’s birthday.  But I don’t think this is just a bit of grief.  Not having a job right now is frustrating.  I’m antsy and starting to worry over my financial responsibilities.  It’s a strange feeling – first time in 12 years I’ve been unemployed.  I won’t lie – I’m a little scared.

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Fall is really here.  It’s getting colder, more brisk in the mornings.  The leaves are changing.  It’s one of my favorite times of the year.  And yet – it’s also a time of year that typically has me feeling anxious, and even a little down.  This is the time of year, that I want to hibernate.  Who knows, maybe I was a bear in another life? 🙂  This is the time of year that I’m often hit with a lot of memories from my past.  I dreamed of Ben the other night.  Grayson asked about him the other day – as we have his picture up on one of the bookshelves in the living room.  I don’t cry very much anymore, but there is still a deep ache.  The kind of ache in the chest that if you dwelled for too long, the tears would well up behind the eyes, the flood threatening to flow down the cheek.  Some wounds are too deep to really heal.

I’ve had some pretty major shakeups with friends and family in the last couple of weeks.  That combined with the kids starting school, healing from my injuries and the lack of work… I can’t lie to myself anymore, I’m on the edge of depression.  And I know I’ll pull out of it – I always do – but the past couple of weeks have been hard.  I’m really proud of me tho.  I’m doing it all.  I’m managing to figure all of this out, slowly but surely.  I have to remind myself that courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid… it means you’re afraid but still take a step forward.

I have to remind myself that it’s ok to take some time for myself right now.  To be quiet and hibernate a little in my home.  It’s ok to feel a little lost and scared and lonely.  I’m lucky really.  I know how good I have it and I know that I’m one tough cookie who’ll find a way to  continue to have it good for a long time yet to come.  I’ve never been a fan of limbo – and that’s all this is.  A strange state where the path that lies ahead of me is a bit hazy and unclear.  It’s ok.  Although – I won’t lie – it would be nice if someone would join me with a flashlight and a map.  🙂

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