Update: It’s been a while

First off, I suppose I should apologize.  You see, I use writing as a release.  When I’m feeling down, or lost or anxious… writing helps me find a way to vocalize whatever it is that’s weighing me down.  And once I can do that, once I process it – I can let it go.  But in the past few months, I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster, and haven’t really had the desire to do much writing about it.  So.. here it goes… a brief update on all the busy happenings that have been my life since I last wrote.

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My side business is doing very well.  I imagine at some point towards the end of the year, that it will no longer be a side business… but something a bit more on the main business side of things.  It’s exciting and has been a lot of fun.  My best friend and my daughter are both heavily involved and it brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment to work on it with them.  Not to mention, I can pour my creativity into every new recipe or batch.  I won’t lie, a LOT of my time has been poured into my business… between making the products and making sure they have the proper cure times, researching recipes and new products to add to my lines, testing batches, labeling & packaging, shipping, marketing, attending pop ups or shows… it’s a LOT of work!

I had a bit of a health scare for a few months.  Ended with me having a procedure that, at least so far, has given me some answers.  I’m learning how to manage.  Some days, I have more energy than others, but I’ll be damned if I’m just going to sit by and feel sorry for myself over it.  I’m unique. LOL.  That will have to do.

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I’ve attended a few events, a fair, have visited a few farmer’s markets and even had the privilege of participating in an east indian wedding… such an incredible experience. And the photos.. let me tell you!  All the colors!!!  Such a treat.  It’s been a lovely summer so far, and it’s not quite over yet.

My daughter and I are planning a mural on the long fence that is on one side of our property.  We’ve got a few scenes we’ll work into it, and we’ve spent a decent amount of time planning it out and discussing each scene.  I’ll be buying the paint & supplies tomorrow and we’re both pretty excited to get it going… even if it will take a while to complete it.

Mid-way through August, I’ve rented a little cabin for a couple of days.  I’m hoping the new Kayaks that I’ve ordered will be here, but if not, I’ll use one of the old ones.  I’m really looking forward to it.  To get out, explore… whether it’s by car, foot or boat.  To have nothing pressing, no rush to do anything except what I want.  There’s even a hot tub… so if I want to relax and soak under the stars… I can.  🙂  Absolute bliss.  I’m craving a little quiet.  To slow down and just watch the world around me.  I’ll be sure to bring my camera.  I like to capture that which inspires me.

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My day job has been going really well – we’ve been taking on a few projects that really have me excited.  I’m enthusiastic to see how they go… projects often morph and take on a new direction from how we first imagined them.  It’s a bit like watching your child grow up – and now you can’t really control what direction they take.

I’m still consistently losing 2-5 pounds each week.  I’m pleased by that.  I know I’ll plateau again… will just keep going.  The way I see it, it took me a while to put on the weight – going to take just as long to take it off.

I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks actually – my roommate/nanny is going to be moving out at the end of August.  There’s been a little drama here and there in regards to that… so I’ll be happy to have the house back down to me and the kids.  Shoot – I can’t wait to feel comfortable getting juice from kitchen in my undies again! LOL.  But between her drama, and some drama with our neighbor behind us who wasn’t happy when my daugher washed the car and streams of water went into his yard, and the fact that I had to once again stand up to the ex to remind him that I don’t deserve to be treated with verbal abuse when he’s not getting his way… I’m so over it.  And truthfully, my confidence has taken a hit this week.

Normally, I don’t let things like this get to me.  Not really.  I may be upset for a few minutes, but truthfully, I calm down pretty quick and get over it.  But people this week, have left me feeling a bit confused, and more than a little lost.  I don’t think I was expecting it, so of course, it tripped me up a bit.  But I’m working through it.  I think it’s just a moment when I have to consciously decide that I will continue to just be me.  To unashamedly… Be. Me.  To do what I always do… to keep on keeping on.  Take me as I am, or leave me be.  I don’t think that can be a poor choice.  I suppose it would depend on how emotionally healthy “Me” is in this scenario… but in this circumstance… I feel pretty good about that.

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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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The Rulebook of Life – According to me

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If you were to write a rule book – for life according to you… what would be some of the rules?   Not the obvious ones… as far as always being honest, upholding your own honor, not murdering people and such…

I mean the other things. Guidelines for how we live our lives, that make us unique to who and what we are.  The ones that we all seem to have… although perhaps subconsciously, which would make them challenging to actually pick up on.

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Jen

Rule 13:  Coffee is a requirement for Jen, if she is to be expected to use her brain in a capacity that is more than her normal morning autopilot is programmed for.

Rule 97: Fuzzy blankets are required to properly watch a movie or binge TV.

Rule 389: Jen must always have the ability to pull her foot out of the blankets at night in order to maintain the correct body temperature.

Rule 413: When Jen gets home from work – she must be allowed 15-20 minutes to decompress, also known as the “Don’t Ask Mom For Anything” time.

Breaking this rule can lead to potential willpower melt-down and the mass consumption of chocolate or soft cookies from her secret stash.  Note: If you promise to never share knowledge of this secret stash – she may just share with you.

Rule 1022:  There are two places that make Jen anxious.  Hospitals and Airports, for very different reasons.  When Jen is anxious, she may need an extra hug, an extra smile, and a little extra patience.  She also may need a swift kick in the ass to make her go to these places.  Use force as deemed appropriate and necessary. Bribes work too.

Rule 1031: Sometimes, Jen just needs a snuggle.  For no reason at all.

LOL.

Yea … I know…

I’m a dork.  But seriously – how cool would it be if you could see other people’s rule books?  I know my friend Ray’s would have things like

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Ray

Rule 124: One must yell at the TV during scary parts of a movie, or during sports.  It is highly recommended to not sit next to Ray during these times, as it is highly likely that her flailing arms might make contact.  Pillow armor is suggested.

Rule 213:  If in debate about what to wear on a date night – always err to the side of showing too much boob.  LOL.

Rule 349: Must always follow something sweet with something savory/salty when snacking.

It must be noted however on Ray’s Rule 349.  I don’t agree.  I personally prefer to end on the sweet.  🙂

Have a good day everyone!  Much love to ya!

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Memories

I was watching a movie tonight.  And a scene inspired my brain to run a million miles a minute.  I had to go look up the line from the script so that I could share it with you all.

I tell you, I just….
I just wish I could have a piece of her that I could keep safe, you know?

Just something.

Something more than a bunch of memories.

Memories.  It’s interesting to me how broken we get when something that we thought was our entire world… gets reduced to memories.  A lost love, a death, or even a rejection of some sort… when we feel that something has been stolen from us, even when that something was only a dream… it evokes a strange pain.  A loss that we have to grieve and accept in order to move forward.  And then things change and shift and all that is left are the memories of it.  It’s almost like we have to grieve the dream of what was.

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Almost makes one reconsider what the worth of a memory REALLY is?

If memories are all we have to take with us, if they are all we get to cling to on those lonely nights when it’s just us alone with our thoughts… then why do we put so little value on them?  Why do we get so caught up in all the strange bullshit that we do, when we should really be trying to savor every single delicious moment that we have – because in the end, it will only be a memory.

This evening I was reminded… oddly by a movie that I haven’t seen in a long time… that sometimes, you just have to let life flow.  There are things that happen that are out of your control- and that if I just hold on to the memories from my past, and relax and keep creating new memories… that somehow, it’ll all work out in the end.

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you this evening.

XXO!

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When you’re given a rare and unusual gift…

I have what feels like a million thoughts flying through my head at the same time, so please forgive me if this post is a little scattered.  I’ll do my best to control myself, but the way I write is to literally let words fall out of my head.  I can type easily 150 words per minute, more when I’m angry or particularly passionate, so it’s easier to keep up with the thoughts that fly through.

I’ve been given a strange gift.  I’m choosing to look at it this way, at least for now.  🙂

About two weeks before xmas, I invited my children’s nanny to rent the spare room from my basement.  She was in an odd situation and the room was just empty and sitting there, so I offered it to her and her daughter.  It’s been fun to have a two year old in the house again, although holy cow did I forget how much child-proofing a place needs!!  We’ve loved having her here, although of course, moving someone into your home takes a bit of adjustment.  There are certainly things that I’m sure we drive each other nuts on, and that’s to be expected.  Thankfully, things seem to be fairly smooth.

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She’s an interesting girl.  Very different from myself, but not in a bad way or anything. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and her daughter more.  And being that we’re both single mom’s, we do share some things in common.  One of those, being an interest in men.  The topic comes up often.  Her approach is VERY different from my own.  Again – not bad… not wrong… just different.  It reminds me of how I acted in relationships when I was younger, before my own life experiences led me to become a different person with a completely different approach to people.  And here’s where we get to the gift…

I’m getting to witness (from an outside perspective) – ME… when I was younger.   The mistakes I would make, the insecurities I felt, the highs and lows of over-dramatic relationships.  HOLY CRAP!  Looking back now… hoo boy!  I’m suddenly very thankful that people mellow a bit with age.  At least I have.  I may have struggling levels of confidence in my physical appearance, but my confidence in who I am at my core is stronger than it’s ever been.

This girl has commented a few times that she’s looking at me as a mentor.  She thinks I’m strong and never get discouraged.  I laughed when she said that.  I get discouraged.  Hell – when I’m really let down, I’ll even hide under the covers and have a good cry when I need to.  But I don’t quit.  Not if something is really worth it.  But to me – what other choice do you have?

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So this past week, she started seeing someone new.  I won’t go into too much details, but let’s just say that there’s been some drama – and what surprises me, is that instead of having that drama be a red or yellow flag to caution her to move forward… she’s fangirling like a clingy, love-obsessed, crazy-ass, future-tripping girl.  It’s been quite shocking to see someone who is my age go through this.  Eye-opening really.  And I can’t quite pin-point if I’m happy to have my eyes opened or not.  At one point, in my life, I acted like that.  And now, even just thinking of acting like that would be … embarrassing.  I mean, I get it… new love is exciting!  It’s the clingy and the crazy that I don’t agree with, and future tripping, I try to avoid, as it usually leads to disappointment.

On the bright side, I can clearly see how far I’ve come.  I can also clearly see something I don’t and wouldn’t want.  I have this desire to build something healthy with someone.  Something real and long-lasting.  I know that the person for me is out there, and I oddly have this strange comfort in knowing that eventually – we’ll find each other.  I will just keep moving along!

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On a completely unrelated topic… my side business … hoo boy!  Things are moving along so quickly – it’s almost hard to keep up.  The retail space that was supposed to be a test store for only 2 weeks is still going – they asked us to just keep it up permanently.  We’ve got an offer to join amazon and sell there; and I’ve got an opportunity to take on a booth at an event that’s coming up.  Technically there are a few coming up – but I’m considering signing on for February 9th – see if I can’t get any valentine’s sales.  The trouble is… I can’t seem to keep the stock on-hand.  I know – it’s a good problem to have, but at the same time, it’s frustrating.  I don’t want to take too much on at once and then fail.  I wanted to build this business slowly, to ensure that it would do well, but it’s taken on a mind of it’s own in some cases and is just plowing ahead! 🙂 I have a feeling I’ll have to hire at some point in the coming year.  Oy!  🙂

Hope you’re doing well!! Much love to all of you in Neverland.