Monthly Archives: May 2011

Mother’s Day 2011 – Doin’ It Our Way

There was no breakfast in bed, flowers, chocolates, and whatever else some mother’s are treated to for Mother’s Day.  Sleeping in consisted of getting up at 7:45 a.m., breakfast was an omelet I made for myself, and if I want chocolate, well…we still have Easter candy.

I never had any of that so I certainly don’t miss it.  I don’t need the trappings of a “typical” Mother’s Day…today I had the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. 

My mom is in town to watch the boys while I go out of town for work (I am a lucky, lucky woman!).  We decided to take the boys to the zoo and then out to eat.  We had a blast!  Almost Ex and I have taken Aidan to the zoo before but he was young and didn’t really get into it.  Now that he’s older, it was awesome!  He wanted to look at and touch everything.  (Sean is still at that age where he’s just a looky-loo.)

Aidan requested Red Lobster for lunch…and then ate NOTHING but chips and half a biscuit.  That’s my picky eater!

The best part of the whole day wasn’t until we came home.  Watching my mother rolling around on the floor with her grandbabies was amazing.  She didn’t have that luxury with me when I was a kid.  And I know she loves every minute of it now.

I know that there a million and one amazing reasons to be a mom, but today, I feel like the best Mother’s Day present I ever gave my mom was grandkids…she was lighthearted and goofy with them and it was amazing to watch.

It was very nice to have a day without the stress and craziness of a divorce weighing on my mind.  Yeah, it’s still there but it was the least important thing in the world.

This is what’s important:

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How Am I Supposed to Feel?

I filed for divorce today…And I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel…I don’t feel like celebrating…but I don’t feel horrible, either.  Is there a right way to feel? 

I almost feel bad for not feeling worse about it.  It’s a sad moment to be sure…but I felt worse yesterday

I hope that doesn’t mean I’m some sort of heartless person…

The funny (sad?) thing is that I was so thorough in getting the paperwork together that the whole thing could be done in less than 2 months…an almost 9 year marriage (12 year relationship) might be undone in less than 8 weeks…how’s that for irony?

I would kill for a distraction from everything…a bright-shiny of some sort…

Instead I’ll just close with this because it pretty much says it all:

Melancholy and Word Vomit

So I spent more than hour just talking myself into writing this particular post…mainly because I’m usually an intensely private person who presents herself a certain way to the rest of the world: either I’m relatively upbeat and positive or I’m very quiet.  If I’m quiet, I’m either upset or thinking very hard (I can get lost in my head).

So writing this blog means that I have to come out of my head AND I have to be willing to show the world something other than my positive-self.  Of course since only 2 or 3 people actually read my blog, it’s not like I’m baring my soul to the entire world, either…plus, since the POINT of this whole blog is to figure myself out and “talk things out,” it’s sort of a big ole DUH that I should talk about what I’m feeling…

Anyone who has stuck with me to this point, a warning: this will be messy word vomit…and for every unhappy thing I say, I am absolutely aware of the silver-linings, the upside, and how I should be feeling…this just isn’t the day for that…

I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of melancholy and sadness…I didn’t really have a reason, I guess…I assume it’s probably normal for people going through a divorce…plus I tend to be a moody person, so I figure it could just be one of those days…

It was one of those mornings where I felt like I had gained 20 lbs over night, I hated all of my clothes, I didn’t feel like putting on my make-up (but since I didn’t want to scare my co-workers, I did it for them)…even Diet Coke and good music on the radio didn’t help…I cried on the way to work and couldn’t have explained why…

I HATE that…I’m the put-your-big-girl-panties-on-and-deal-with-it kind of girl…I believe in the idea that sometimes you need to “take 2 aspirin and suck it up!”  I don’t have time for pointless tears!!!  But there I was, driving down the road, drinking my Diet Coke, crying like a baby…

I know part of the problem is that my self-esteem has taken a major dive in the past few months.  The Almost Ex and I have become toxic with one another…and he blames me for every ill in his life…what I hear most is, “You did this.”  That’s right, because 12 years of crappy choices from both us had NOTHING to do with it…

I realize that I have every reason in the world to be extremely self-confident…I am aware of my good qualities – intelligence, humor, hard-working, trustworthy, loyal (ok, now I sound like a cocker-spaniel)…but you see what I mean…I know that I have faults but my good traits outweigh them…but sometimes I don’t feel it like I should…today was one of those days…

My friend, Eebee, tried very hard to get me out of my mood…I found myself lecturing her on making sure she takes advantage of opportunities that come her way…a very cool one is a spontaneous road-trip this weekend.  I emphatically told her not to let these moments slip through her hands because there will come a day when she might not have the luxury.  And in my woe-is-me state, I couldn’t help think that I’ve never had those opportunities and don’t know if I ever will…

Ok, so ALL of this is before LUNCH today…Good Lord!  Anyone looking at me probably saw a very dark cloud over my head.

By mid-afternoon, I just wanted to put my head down and cry…I had argued with Almost Ex through text message…when I went out for lunch, I tried to take my mind off of it all by window-shopping for shoes and nearly bumped into him and his girlfriend!  Really???  All I want to do is try on some shoes I’ll never buy, and he was THERE?! Dammit!!  I left the store in a hurry…and lost my cool…

All the sadness and melancholy from the morning burst like a dam…

And it pisses me off…this is NOT me.  I use sarcasm and gallows humor to get through hard times, not tears.  I don’t let the crap get me down, but there I was, not eating lunch but instead sitting at the park, feeling sorry for myself. 

What still bothers me the most is that I was wishing for a Defender…my dad was great at that.  I remember being a kid and him “explaining life” to people who (legitimately) messed with me or caused me problems.  And I know if he was still alive, he would have clearly explained the way of the world to Almost Ex…when I was a kid, I remember feeling simultaneously uncomfortable and protected by his defense of me. 

I haven’t felt protected in a long time…but I’m fully aware that I need to be my own Defender…I can’t rely on anyone else to take care of me but me…I haven’t had a Defender since my dad, so why am I looking for it now?  Frankly, I’ve never wanted it before…but lately, I’ve wished for it…but this is where I put on my big girl panties and know that I will defend myself from outside forces that want to tear me down…there’s no other option.

I want to giggle…I want to laugh with abandon…I want to smile for no reason…I want to feel light-hearted…I want to believe that I will still feel good tomorrow and the day after…I want to be silly…and above all, I want to keep seeing the good in life, instead of the doom and gloom.

So where the hell am I going with all of this?  I have no idea…I just know that some days are good…some days are not.  Sometimes I can laugh my way through it all, and sometimes its nothing but melancholy and word vomit.

The Importance of Music

Anyone who is a friend of mine on Facebook has probably noticed that I post a LOT of music…I love music, it makes me happy.  The right song can either convey my mood or change it altogether…and a great song can make me dance!

Sometimes, I feel like this:

Sometimes, like this:

The songs that make me want to get up and dance (without the aid of alcohol) are usually the ones that would make my mother ask, “Is this music or noise?”

And then there are those songs that just make me happy:

I love love LOVE to dance…in my living room…after the boys have gone to sleep…and no one can possibly see me.  Unless of course, I’ve had a couple of drinks…and then I’ll hit a dance floor and close the place down.  I think I’ve got music in my soul.  Too bad my singing sounds like I’m killing a cat.  I’ll stick with listening and dancing…

As much as I like to dance, though, my taste in music runs the gambit: Rodney Crowell, White Stripes, Michael Franti, Queen, Cowboy Mouth, the list goes on and on…

Music speaks to people (at least it speaks to me)…if you ever need to say something and don’t know how, try music.

Karma and Choices

Ever since I started this blog (yeah, I know it’s only been 3 days), I’m filled with ideas of what to write about next.

This morning, I was mentally writing this post while driving down the road…it was all sunshine and laughing babies – ok more like Pitbill and Black Eyed Peas – but you get my point.

This afternoon?  Not so much.

I was given a very clear reminder about Karma. Karma can be your friend…or your worst enemy.   

My philosophy in life is to do what’s right…even if, and especially when, it’s hard.  In recent weeks, I’ve done things that my family and close friends would say I’m crazy to do.  But my gut tells me it was the right thing to do.   

Being repaid today by being called selfish was hard to swallow.  And when an emergency came up and I was the only one with a solution and an offer to help, it was tempting to take the easy road, and say, “Oh hell no, asshole.”  But you do what’s right even when it’s hard…

By the end of the day, I certainly wasn’t thinking of sunshine and babies anymore…I was thinking about Karma.  Is my Karma good?  Is that why it feels like nothing too serious is happening?  Or am I just handling life better so what I would have once considered a crisis is no big deal?  Is it his negativity that’s holding him back?  Is it as simple as making the right choices? Does he just have bad Karma?

And then, like a little ray of light, I heard Aidan reading his new book (gotta love those money fairies that slip $5 in your backpack for the Book Fair), sounding out the words, and proclaiming it “his FAVORITE book.”  At that moment all those questions in my head seemed meaningless.  There are so many more important things in life…and they deserve to be celebrated.

Independent Michaela – WTF?

I’ve had a couple of comments about the name of my blog – Independent Michaela (which is also my email address) – so I thought I’d explain it. 

There’s not much to explain (how’s that for anticlimactic?).  Several weeks ago, for the first time in my adult life (I’ll be saying that a lot), I needed to sign up for a new email address.  I needed something that didn’t contain my last name because it will change…eventually.  But I wanted something that had meaning to me.

I’ve never been good with titles and names.  That’s too few words to describe something.  I’m a talker, an explainer…I’ll explain what I’m about to tell you, and spend 5 minutes giving background information, before I ever get to the point.  Twitter is hard for me.

So there I am at Google, signing up for a non-work related, non-“Benjamin” email…and the word that kept coming to mind was Independent.

At the time, it was sort of this fuzzy concept…something I was striving for.  My family has told me for as long as I can remember that I’m extremely independent.  My Almost-Ex hated it about me.  But I’ve never felt independent. 

The day I had to decide, over the phone, to let the mechanic do $1100 worth of work to the car, and yeah, I’ll apply for a Tires Plus credit card (’cause how ELSE was I going to pay for that much work?), and I made the decision on my own, I knew I was inching, slowly, towards independence.  It’s a small thing for most…but it was momentous to me.  The $1100 made it that much more…special…yeah, that’s the word…special

It’s still a concept to me…but don’t ask my family or close friends.  They’ll tell you I’m maddeningly independent…make-you-want-to-smack-someone independent…feel-sorry-for-the-next-man-in-my-life independent.

I just keep thinking of this…

Never Gonna Win Mother of the Year

So as my title implies, I’m never going to win “Mother of the Year” when it comes to my boys.  No, I’m not neglectful or mean or anything like that…I’m klutzy and forgetful and ONLY with my children, absent-minded.

I took them to a walking track/park near the house today so I could exercise and they could get some fresh air.  In the past, I would never do this.  I always considered exercise my personal time, just for me.  Well, if I waited until they weren’t with me, I’d probably never exercise again.

We made it around the first loop fairly well.  I started thinking, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.  I really can do what other normal single moms do.”  Until my oldest needed to go to the bathroom.  This park is amazing – lighted pavilions, plenty of benches, a gazebo, and CLEAN bathrooms. 

But the bathrooms are at the top of a hill…a steep hill.  We pushed the stroller up the hill…I say we because Aidan absolutely helped me.  We got to the top and my main concern was getting Aidan into the bathroom without violating anyone else’s privacy.  While I was reminding him to lock the stall door, I heard a strange noise. I turned around and Sean’s stroller was rolling downhill- straight to the pond!!

I now understand what people mean when they say time stands still and things seem to happen in slow motion.  And I have never felt such fear in my life!

I took off running (good to know I still can) and screamed, “Sean!!!”  My keys flew out of one pocket, my cell phone out of the other. I caught him just as the stroller was about to tip into the pond.  Sean was laughing until he saw my face.  I can only imagine the panic on it.

And then I turned and calmly pushed him back up the hill.  Aidan, being the beautiful 5 year old that he is, said, “Mommy, did you almost lose Sean?”  Internally, I said, “Holy hell, YES, I almost did! OMG! OMG!”  Outwardly, I just looked at him and said, “Almost doesn’t count, baby.  He’s fine.”

Back in the day, I would have felt like dying of embarassment and immediately rushed home.  Now, I know I don’t have that choice unless I want to be a hermit.  So we walked another couple of loops around the pond.  Aidan finally stopped reminding me over and over again that I nearly lost Sean.  And eventually, my stomach stopped hurting.

One day, NOT today, but one day, I might even laugh about this.

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