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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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.

 

December is finally here!

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Holy crap man!  This year, both, flew by and crawled at the same time.  But it’s now officially December.  On friday, we’ll put up our Christmas tree.  It’s a bit late for me this year, but oh well.  We do what we can.  I’m lacking in motivation to actually work today, I’d much rather be at home working on my side business.  Things are going well on that front – after this weekend, I’ll be ready to do a soft launch.  Going to have my products in one store front before the christmas season ends just to see how it goes.  Will give me the chance to change and tweak things a bit before officially launching next year.  Until then, I’m continuing to build up my stock and test my product to ensure everything is working beautifully.

I’m looking forward to Christmas this year.  I can’t wait to decorate the house.  I can’t believe that as of March 17th, I’ll have been in the house for a full year.  And hoo boy – what a year it’s been.  I hugged my daughter extra last night, reminding her that I love her and am proud of her for the efforts she’s put in to change some things.  She’s on a better path these days – and it’s a relief.  But it’s also a lesson learned – I now know how quickly things can change, how easy it is to get off course.  I will continue to keep a wary watch over her – to ensure she stays on track.  Her depression really snuck up on us all – and I won’t let it blindside us again.

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Yesterday I discovered that I’d been submitted for a job opening for a company I’ve been trying to get into for quite some time – the real bonus on the opening – it’s about 10 minutes from my house.  I have my fingers crossed, as I’m quickly discovering that I’m not enjoying the commute to my existing job, among other things.  I’d be a director again too – which would be nice.  The job I’m at right now, this is the first time in 7 years that I’m not a manager – and I don’t mind at all – but my new manager keeps having me do work FOR him and it’s starting to get a bit awkward.  It’s not my place to set the course for the team – it’s his, and I’m a bit leery to keep putting myself in a position to step on his toes.

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Ben’s anniversary came and went, and I’m doing ok.  Thanks to some friends, I wasn’t completely alone on Monday and it helped.  I’ve definitely been a bit quiet this week tho.

I had no choice but to stick up for myself yesterday with my mom.  I didn’t want to start a fight so close to christmas, but I’m finding that my tolerance of her negative energy is getting to be less and less.  I made a request of her.  All I asked was that I be treated with common courtesies and decency – just as you would with any person you interact with on a regular basis.  My request was not met well at first, but once my step dad finally stopped trying to talk over me and listened to my request – I think he understood.  Hopefully, he can help me navigate around my mom.  I love her, hell – I love our family – but I’ve always felt like I don’t matter to them.  Unless I’m not doing what they want me to – then it’s world war 3.  LOL.  Thankfully, I managed to simmer them down just enough to avoid utter catastrophe.  I’m not entirely pleased with the outcome – I always feel like compromising is one sided for me – but at least the war was avoided.

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Well – I better get to work.  Thinking of you Neverland.  Wish we could somehow hang out and play hookie today! 😀  Talk soon!

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The 5 Deal-breakers that I will remember for my next relationship

There’s something awesome about coming to the realization that you finally understand what it is you want/need from relationships in your life.  It’s been a slow realization for me, but to finally be able to concretely state all the things (and truthfully, there really aren’t THAT many) that I need to feel secure and content and happy within my relationships.  Specifically – a relationship with a man.  There are five in total that I’d consider deal breakers.  That if these elements aren’t there … then I will hit the breaks on a potential relationship and say “F it! I’m outta here!!”.

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Attention.
This should be relatively obvious, but it took me a long time to realize just how much attention I need to feel secure in a relationship.  I’m not overly needy.  I don’t need to talk constantly… but I DO need consistent, daily contact of some sort, even if it’s a brief good morning or good night.  That said – if all my contact with someone is kept to that brief, surface-level only kind of communication – I’ll need something a bit more in depth in order to balance that out and keep a connection with someone.

To note… Attention also means that when you ARE spending time with someone – they have your attention.  No phones or distractions.  They listen to what you have to say and aren’t half tuning you out in the hopes that you’ll finish your sentence so they can jump in with their own.  If you’re going to give me attention – give me your attention – and I’ll do the same for you.  Honestly, the whole “tuning out” thing is a total turn-off and if I feel like I’m not being heard – I’ll just stop talking altogether.  Why waste my time?

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Enthusiasm.
This is a two way street.  I will be enthusiastic about talking to someone and seeing them. I expect it in return – because if that is lacking – then what’s the point in trying at all? Love is already complicated enough – lack of enthusiasm about it should NOT even be a factor. I don’t want to be a consolation prize, and neither I’m sure does anyone else.  Be excited to be with me – and I’ll give you the same.  🙂

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Honesty – not just in words – but in actions.
A lack of honesty only breeds a lack of trust, and in my experience, once that happens – it’s ultimately game over.  If I don’t trust you – then I don’t respect you.  And if I don’t respect you – I will never love you.  I can be one of the most patient and understanding women.  What I think is interesting is that people who’ve struggled with this, with me, in my past – always made an incorrect assumption as to how I would react to a situation.  Had they just informed me of what was going on – I’d have been, and in turn, they’d have been fine.  Assumptions can kill things fast.  Don’t assume – give me the benefit of the doubt and TRUST that I’ll react in a way that’s respectful and compassionate towards others.

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Humility & a desire to improve.
This is more about me… I’m only human.  I will occasionally make a mistake – as we all do! The key here is that I’ll own up to mistakes I make and work to improve myself and learn and grow from the mistakes I make.  Rarely will I make the same mistake twice.  I understand this about myself, and I understand it about others.  I would hope to find someone who has that same level of understanding and compassion.

Attraction.
This is important – but it’s not all about appearance.  Do we WANT to touch each other?  Kiss each other?  I know that if I an’t keep my hands off someone – that’s a good sign – but it better be reciprocated – or else – again – what’s the point?  Sex – while not my GOAL for a relationship – is incredibly important.  I’m a firm believer that the frequency and quality of a couple’s sex life directly correlates to the overall health of their relationship.

So tell me, what are your deal breakers?

Dear Ben…

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Dear Ben…

I miss you.  I think about you… Every. Single. Day.  I don’t think that will ever change.  Some days, it’s just a quiet note in the back of my mind, and other days, it’s heavy and thick, a cloud (not necessarily a bad one) that hovers at the forefront of my thoughts.

6 years ago, you died in my arms, and it would be honest of me to admit that a part of me died that day too.  I’m ok now.  I don’t often come to tears about all that happened anymore.  And that’s not what this post is about… it’s about something else.

You see, I made a promise to you.  I promised that I would get happy and healthy and on track.  And in many, many ways, I have done just that.  But sometimes, I feel like it’s not enough.  That I just don’t measure up to my own expectations… or anyone else’s.  I know, logically, that that is not the truth.  That any outsider looking into my life would call “Bollocks!” on me.  I have a good life, a nice house, a car, great kids, great friends.  I’m losing weight steadily.  Doing all the things I promised to do.

Where I’m lacking … is really just in one place.  My love life.  And for the most part, I do a pretty good job of not focusing on it and instead staying involved in a bazillion other things.  Hobbies are good!  Heck, there are definitely times when I enjoy being single, with no strings attached to anyone. But every so often… I can’t help but think…

“What’s wrong with me?”  “Why do I struggle to find the right person for me?”

I get feedback all the time from a variety of people that I’m a cool chick.  Good with conversation, kind, sweet, smart, funny, pretty… so what’s the deal?  I’m trying to tell myself that perhaps it’s just not the right time.  That things happen when they are supposed to.  Who knows… maybe I’ve had my happiness?  I guess I could be ok with that, but it certainly feels off to me.

I know that you’re with me.  As odd as it may sound, sometimes, I swear I feel your presence with me.  It’s these moments that I wish I could talk to you.  You show up in my dreams sometimes… not as a little boy – but a grown man.   In my dreams, I know you’re dead, but we still have these amazing conversations.  Somehow, I know you would have been an amazing man to be around.  I see it in Grayson sometimes too.  I know he’s going to be a good man.  Someone who is both ambitious and patient and loving.  I’m lucky in the kids department.  My daughter is growing up to be a woman that I’d want to be friends with, someone I’d admire.  Yea, she has areas she’s going to struggle with, and lessons she needs to learn that will also help change and guide her down her path, but I see it.  A glimmer of who she will become.

I regret that I won’t get to see that in you.  Some people say that it’s the brightest lights that get called to return home.  Maybe that’s why you weren’t long for this world… but I certainly long for you.

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I don’t pray to god anymore.  I haven’t in 6 years.  Oddly – I pray to you.  My Ben.  And right now – I’m putting this little prayer into writing.  I’d like some help finding peace with the idea that perhaps I’m not meant to find another relationship.  Perhaps my path leads me somewhere entirely different.  And more than anything, I’d like to come to place where I’m content with that.

I miss you.  I will always miss you.  And if I haven’t said it yet today – I love you.  Mommy always will.

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