Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today Was A Good Day

I wish I was a good enough writer to accurately depict the joy I’ve experienced today.  I’m not that good, so I’ll just do the best I can…

To celebrate (commemorate?) Memorial Day, I walked the Gate to Gate Run/Walk race on Eglin AFB (thanks to a damn good friend who made sure I had no excuse).  It’s 4.4 miles of nothing but heat and humidity…gotta love Florida in May…the most I’ve walked in the past 6 months is about 3 miles…so I was woefully unprepared…or so I thought…

Let me clue you in on something…I love, love, LOVE to race…when I was still running, that was the whole point.  I trained from race to race always trying to beat my last time.  Running or walking, I’ll never be the fastest.  But who cares?  I compete against ME…it’s the perfect outlet for my overcompetitive nature…

And sadly, since Sean was born, I have barely raced…it all sort of ended when I couldn’t really run anymore.  (Short story: I totally overdid it a couple of times trying to increase my mileage, blew my knee, never got it rehabbed, and now running on asphalt, concrete, whatever, HURTS – I’m getting a treadmill and will start from scratch.)

In fact, the last time I was in THIS race, I was pregnant with Sean.  I did several races while I was pregnant with Sean…the last one 2 months before he was born – a July race, and I had to pee the whole time.

I love the wind in my hair.  I love passing people.  I love NOT letting people pass me.  I love the pain of pushing myself faster and faster.  I love finding that person ahead of me that I WILL pass. I even love that little voice of doubt that says, “Can you keep this pace for long?”  (The answer is a big HELL YEAH!)  I love that little kick you give it at the end (because you ALWAYS finish strong).  And today, especially, I loved not thinking about ANYTHING but the race and trying to keep a steady pace.

I can block out anything and everything during a race.  In that moment, when it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other and NOT giving up (no matter what), I’m not a mom, I’m not going through a divorce, I’m not a neurotic-mess-of-a-woman who has no clue how to be single, I’m a competitor

And when I say I can block out anything, I mean ANYTHING.  Like the blister that formed in the first half mile that bled all over my sock and shoe…didn’t even put a band-aid on it until about 45 minutes after I finished.  Like needing to pee in the first quarter mile which means I didn’t stop for water, either…

The big joke is that I never have a cheering section when I finish…even when there should be.  Today was no exception.  No one thought I would finish when I did, so Aidan and Sean were still playing on the playground as I crossed the finishline…thank God I don’t do this for anyone but me! 

In my circle, all races end with food, usually breakfast – specifically, eggs and bacon.  It’s the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick.  For some reason, it tasted even better today…No post-race nap for me but I didn’t mind…I was way too relaxed to care about naps. 

I found my joy again.  Today, I reunited with something that fills me with pure, unadulterated happiness…and I am NOT going to let it slip away again.  If you need me, I’ll be preparing for my next race.

Oh, and not that it matters, but my official time was 1:05:52 (15 minute mile), 8th in my age group out of 32…not too shabby for being unprepared.  I can’t wait to see how I do once I start actually training.

Parenting Class

I sat through a court-ordered parenting class today…it’s a prerequisite to the divorce.  And hell, I think married couples should take this class.  I think people THINKING about having children should take this class.

My big take away was to do everything in my power to not let the boys hear or see the conflict between me and Almost Ex.  I’m tired of having to apologize to Aidan for arguing in front him.  The day I found myself in the Burger King parking lot losing my shit to someone I feel apathetic towards was definitely NOT my finest moment. (And probably means I’m not as apathetic as I’d like to be.)

I was amazed at the amount of divorcing couples that were in the class…together.  How do they do that?  I can’t be in the same room as Almost Ex for more than about 30 seconds…I can’t imagine 4 hours…sitting side-by-side…

So that’s the start of my day – dealing with the end of a 12 year relationship…and now I’m ending my day with “He’s Just Not That Into You” and I desperately hope that I’m never that crazy about relationships…I hope I can ALWAYS tell when he’s just not that into me…

Thankfully, I’ve got two little boys who are nuts about me, and I adore them.  As long as I don’t start accumulating cats, I think I’ll be just fine.

Everybody Needs A Cheering Section

I came to a few realizations today.  I come to new realizations everyday but today was particularly enlightening.

I have always believed, and am now committed to, only allowing the people who want to see me succeed into my inner circle.  I’m referring to those people who will push me to be my best and will help me succeed by giving me all the encouragement and support they can – all the while knowing I will do the same for them.

Everyone deserves to have a cheering section; people who want to see you succeed.  I am discovering that I have that – I had it all along and never paid attention. 

While I’m in the process of trying to overcome my own shyness and insecuries, I’ve also had to accept that overtures of friendships that are ignored are NOT worth pursuing.  If that person isn’t interested, why am I killing myself to make them notice me?

I have a few philosophies in life that I’ve adopted recently: never make someone a priority when they only consider you an option (thanks Mark Twain for that gem!); don’t chase!! (my horoscope came in handy one day); and I won’t compete – I don’t want to fight and elbow my way through the crowd just to get someone’s attention.

I also (sadly) had to let go of a silly crush today.  First of all, why I had a crush on someone is beyond me – I’m not in high school!! Second, I am in NO way ready to even pursue a relationship (hello, I’m still married!).  But there you go, I had a crush on someone who doesn’t know I’m alive.  Thankfully his obvious total lack of interest in me brought me crashing to my senses today. 

It goes back to the “don’t chase” philosophy.  When the day comes (many, many, MANY moons from now) that I’m actually ready for a relationship, I will not settle for someone who has to be convinced to pay attention me.  I am a better woman than that, and I will always deserve better than that.

I just re-read what I’ve written, and it sounds like I’ve had a bad day or that I’m trying to make some sort of statement.  I haven’t and I’m not.  I’ve had an epiphany – one that came with a few growing pains, but an epiphany nonetheless.  I deserve better than I’ve had and only I can make sure I receive better than I’ve gotten.

Here’s what I’m trying to achieve:

Trying To Relax

If I don’t remember to relax, my head might explode!  I almost said I was learning to relax, but that implies that I don’t know what to do…I know what to do…implementation is the key.

I like to work, and I work a lot…I work hard, I just don’t play hard (yet).  If I see something that needs to be done, I do it. Everytime. No matter what.  But I’m going to make myself sick if I keep that up!  After 8 hours of sleep (what a luxury!), I shouldn’t wake up exhausted…but that’s exactly what’s been happening. 

Not relaxing is also leading to me freaking out, venting, and letting my emotions come right to the surface.  Be shocked, most of my emotions aren’t exactly positive right now. 

So, I’m working on the whole relaxing thing…for the past couple of nights, I haven’t answered emails late at night, talked to Almost Ex, or cleaned like a crazy woman…

I’ve read a book…I’ve listened to music…I’ve talked to my friends and my mom…I’ve gone to bed early…I’m a much more sane person…and I’m learning to live in a house that looks like a bomb went off. 

The next step is to buy a bottle of White Zinfandel so I can have a glass and reeeeally relax.

Bogged Down and Plowing Ahead

I just wrote a blog post that I will probably never publish.  It felt good but it goes against my rule in my very first post.

I vented in a way that I can’t vent to Almost Ex.  I probably could but it would just start an argument. I didn’t realize how angry I am about what’s been happening lately.

Frankly, I’m hurt and I’m lonely.  But I have no regrets about my decision to get divorced.  In fact, the past few weeks have solidified my feelings.

This wasn’t what I wanted to talk about tonight.  I was coasting along just fine today – not spectacular, but not stick-your-head-in-the-oven bad, either.

I’m getting bogged down in the minutia…when what I want to do is dream big.  My Big Brother-from-another-mother keeps encouraging me, and he’s right.  I do want better for my boys.  I want better for myself.  My dreams of travelling, having adventures (with and without my boys), and experiencing the world won’t ever come true if I don’t set some pretty high goals (and then go after them and achieve them).

But how do you accomplish the big things when the small things become all-encompassing?  I want to go back to school, I want to freelance, I want to do more…but when I get home, I can’t get past figuring out what’s for dinner.  Some nights it’s all I can do to get the boys bathed and tucked into bed.  As Big Brother recently said, I’m running on adrenaline, sugar, and caffeine.  At what point will I crack?

That’s my fear, I think…I fear cracking and not being able to put the pieces back together.  I don’t know how to just stop and relax.  Or put my worries to the side and focus on the big, bad goals and dreams.  I just put my head down and keep on plowing ahead. What do I do when that’s not enough?

Always Thinking About Something

Well, if I had written this blog yesterday, it would have been a touching story of spending time with my oldest and bonding him with him.  If I had written it last night, it would have been about the need to unplug from my online life for a while.  If I had written it this morning, it would have been about killing a disgusting bug AND disposing of the body…eeewwww!  But it’s Saturday night…

Yes, I spent Friday with Aidan – breakfast, naps, haircut, library, play time with Sean, and a load of laundry.  In between, I worked, answered emails, checked Facebook a million times, and took at least 5 phone calls from the office.  It was a good day.

Last night, I was feeling zapped…I just wanted quiet (still do).  I watched Blue’s Clues with Aidan (I really prefer Steve over Joe).  And the lesson for the night was overcoming your shyness.  Most people don’t believe it, but deep down, I am extremely shy.  But if 4 and 5 years old can put themselves out there with their peers, hell, so can I.

This morning, I drowned a bug in bug spray…and remembered one of the benefits of being married.   Damn, I had to kill AND get rid of the bug myself.  Ick, ick, ick!!!  But, like everything else, I sucked it up and just did what I had to do.  I don’t mind admitting that I did it with 5 layers of paper towels and my eyes closed. ICK!

This afternoon, I was lost in my head.  Which is scary since I was driving two small children around town, but we survived.  My thoughts were all over the place.

What kind of future do I want?  (A successful one, of course.)  Why do I love music so much?  Why do different songs cause different reactions?  Am I hurting my children by divorcing their father?  How long will I be alone? (Note: I am in no way ready for a relationship – hell, I’m technically still married.)  Can I ever overcome my own insecurities to meet someone?  I wonder where those people are going? (Yeah, all over the place.) Will I ever be spontaneous? (If you have to ask yourself that, the answer is probably no.)  Is it really ok to only have a few friends or should I have more?

Mental gymnastics – that’s the only way I know to describe that.  It’s a 45 minute drive home from “The Big City” (Aidan’s term, not mine).  And I spent every minute lost in thought.

I don’t really have a purpose to this blog…guess it’s sort of an inside look into me…I’m a little neurotic, a worrier, and always thinking about something.

Perspective Needed and Found

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary…

I didn’t know how I would feel, especially since I wasn’t exactly devastated when I filed for divorce.  But I was completely unprepared for how it affected me today.  I didn’t miss him, I wasn’t sad…but I was definitely….off.

I remembered to brush my teeth, but I forgot to floss.  I remembered to put my make-up on, but I forgot to do my hair.  I remembered to put on my jewelry, but I forgot to put on my watch.  I forgot to comb Sean’s hair!  Thank God I remembered to put on clothes!!

And then I was (metaphorically) sucker-punched.  Social media can be an amazing thing – it connects us, it shows us our commonalities.  But it can also be used to hurt and I often forget that – because I don’t live my life that way. 

I have made mistakes in the past…some people think they understand or have knowledge – they don’t.  But to throw my own mistakes back in my face as a way to hurt me…that I don’t get.  And it made an “off” day much, much worse…which was probably their goal.

Have you ever had something small happen to you, but it feels like the whole world MUST know about it because it’s so huge to you?  Yeah, me too. 

I constantly put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best I can be in everything I do – professionally and personally.  And when I slip, it hits me on a deep level – it’s difficult for me to recover because I’m so hard on myself.  So, I set out to prove myself (to myself)…I put my head down, I work harder than ever before…I don’t ever want to be defined by my mistakes.  And so, while I’m piling on the work, I’m piling on the pressure.

All that is to say that by mid-afternoon, as the pressure mounted, I hit a breaking point.  Thankfully my Brother-from-another-mother stepped in and calmed me down.  He reminded me that I am bigger and better than the pettiness of people who only want to cause pain and uncertainty.  He reminded me that hard work pays off. 

If that encouragement wasn’t enough, by the end of the day, my sweet boy Aidan brought it all home. 

“Oh man…you’re a REAL mom…and you’re very special.”  What do you say to that?! Other than thank you, of course…

He heard me talking to my mom tonight as I reminded her that today is my wedding anniversary. 

Aidan looked at me with deep concern and said, “But Mommy, you need someone to love!” I immediately reminded him that I have several people to love including him, Sean, and his grandmother. “But Mommy, I want a stepdad…so I can give him a hug.” Ok, so if my heart didn’t already hurt enough, that was the kicker.

Needless to say, he got a lot of extra hugs tonight…and I’ve gotten my perspective back.

All Over The Place

So this has been one of those emotional-roller-coaster days…This morning I was energized, ready to go, full of plans…by mid-morning, I was cranky and impatient…by mid-afternoon, I was feeling low (I hate that!)…now I’m back to feeling energized again.  Ok, so I guess I understand why guys don’t understand women…after all that, hell, even I’m confused…

This morning, after dealing with Aidan’s morning grouchiness, I was exuberant, ready to go to work, full of plans.  Not to jinx myself, but I’ve reached out to the Boys and Girls Club of Crestview and offered to volunteer for them (waiting to hear what they say).  I made this decision about 5 minutes after I signed Aidan up for their summer program.  I was absolutely amazed at what they offer for the summer and during the school year! I immediately felt the need to give back…

The low-ness of the afternoon was after too many encounters with Almost Ex.  It’s amazing how quickly things can degrade between two people who were together for so many years.  We don’t trust each other anymore, and it affects every interaction.

Aidan helped pull me out of my funk tonight…it started with reading my personal fave at bedtime (Llama, Llama, Red Pajama – hey don’t knock it ’til you’ve read it!)…and then, as he was about to go to sleep (and I was apologizing for fighting with his father in front of him – again), he asked about step-mom’s and step-dad’s (WHERE did he learn about those?!)…I explained to him that it would take a very, very, VERY special person to be his step-mom or his step-dad…a loooooooooooong time from now…he was satisfied with that (thank God!)…

I (along with most people) would prefer to stay on an even keel every day.  But I’m starting to appreciate what I learn about myself on days like today.  Sadly, what I learned today was that I seem to do better on my own.  Uh-oh, that can’t be good because I really don’t want to be a cat-lady when I grow up!

Surprising Myself…

I had the best conversation with my mom Saturday night.  Four hours of non-stop talking – we laughed, we cried, we laughed ’til we cried.  It was our first chance to really talk since I split with Almost Ex, went through some major drama, and filed for divorce. You can understand why it lasted 4 hours…if we hadn’t been so tired, we probably would have talked even longer.

In the course of our conversation (and it was all over the place), I admitted that I have a lot of plans for my future.  She wasn’t surprised that I would push myself so hard, but wondered why now.  And I had to admit that now that I’m almost officially single, I have started feeling like the impossible really is possible.

I surprised myself, but not my mother.  She pointed out that in the days before Almost Ex, I was busy-busy, always seeking higher goals for myself.  Maybe that’s why all this activity feels so natural.

For years, I was bogged down in the day-to-day monotony of my life (I take full responsibility on that one) and never could look further into my future than the next paycheck.  Now that I’ve faced the reality that I am the only one who will get me to the life I want to have (and that I want my children to have), I feel renewed.  Nothing can stand in my way. To quote one friend on Facebook, “Life is spectacular!”

Meaningful Conversations Needed

I realize I haven’t blogged since Sunday…well, I have, just not here.  But I’ve been itching to.  I’m not good at it yet, but I think I can call myself a blogger…a newbie to be sure, but definitely a blogger.

I haven’t blogged this week because I’ve been on a business trip and I felt like I shouldn’t use that time to do something so personal.  But since I just finished up the last bit of work left to do, I felt it was time.  I’ve missed being here.

I’ve done a lot of different things this week – attended meetings, shot video, taken pictures, tweeted, walked…and walked.  And, I’ve networked.  I’m not a natural networker…Most people don’t believe this, but I am actually extremely introverted.  I don’t know how to make small talk.  I tend to be shy in a group of people I don’t know.  And I don’t feel comfortable just walking up to a stranger and introducing myself.  I’m learning, though.

I did meet great people this week and had some great business discussions.  One new friend kept calling me a rockstar, which is always good for the ego.  She liked my ideas, I liked her’s, and we clicked.  And that’s part of what is supposed to happen when you network.

What I miss (outside of work and networking) are good conversations.  I have a small handful of people who I can just talk to.  I don’t mean people who listen to me gripe and give advice (they do that too).  I mean people you can just sit down with over coffee (ok Diet Coke for me) and talk about whatever.  Or, because I’m a “Millenial” (I guess), people to text and instant message with.

This isn’t a woe-is-me, I’m so lonely thing.  It’s an observation.  I’m great one-on-one and not too great with groups.  I like to talk to people I connect with.  I wish I could do it more often.  Good conversations (no matter how short) keep me grounded, make me feel connected, and help me feel at peace with the world.

 So if you ever see me standing off to the side in a crowded room, I’m probably feeling shy and a little unsure.  Introduce me to someone you know and let’s go have a Diet Coke.

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