Category Archives: Independent Michaela

A Beginning and an End

Welcome to 2013!

Let’s not talk too much about 2012, m’kay?

It wasn’t all bad, but… I went through a couple of heart breaks. I dealt with stress at work.

However, I realized I’m pretty good at the mom thing.

But I also realized I don’t need this blog the way I did in 2011…it started to feel more like work for me…I’ve taken my writing to different places and am doing different things with it on a personal level. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to share it…but it’s personal on a level that writing about my angst isn’t.

I started this blog because I needed the therapy it provided. It’s seen me through divorce, personal strife, professional strife, parenting disasters and questions…and although, I know I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing most days, I don’t need the therapy it provides, anymore…and it’s hard for me to write without a purpose…just chronicling my day isn’t something I’m good at…

So, in 2013, I’m walking away…I debated shutting it down completely, but I know that life could throw me a curveball in an instant, and I may need the comfort of this space again…until that day, I’m still around…I’m living life, raising those darned Benjamin Boys, and doing my thing…

For those who had the patience to follow the insanity, I adore you all…

I’m looking forward to what 2013 brings…hopefully, it brings me NOTHING that I need to blog about…

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Me Time

What is that saying about the best laid plans? Yeah, I don’t know either, but sometimes it sucks being a planner…when the plan doesn’t happen…

I was supposed to go out of town on Saturday…but that didn’t happen…so then I held out hope for Sunday…nope, nada…thankfully, I’m not a person who enjoys being miserable, so I made the best of it…

I dropped the boys off with the sitter who will watch them while I’m out of town for work on Saturday…I tried to combine a personal trip with a professional trip and the only part of the plan that’s coming together is the professional trip…*sigh*….and knowing that my plans had been thrown into chaos, I still dropped them off with the sitter…I needed the “me time” desperately…

It took me a while to figure it out…when I got home Saturday morning, I cleaned my house, exercised, and then cleaned my car…until Mom #2 called and said to meet at her place at 1:30 p.m. for a surprise…a surprise that I was driving to because I have the “nice car”…it was worth the trip! A facial and a pedicure just because….holy shit! I’ve never had a facial and it’s been two months since my last pedicure (I was resigned to painting my own nails this week as all my money was spent on a babysitter.)…then we went to dinner and THEN to a movie…whoa…an actual girls day/night…huh? These really happen? People actually do this?? Guess so…

By Sunday, I had the hang of this whole relaxing thing…I had saved all my gift cards from my birthday thinking I would be spending some quality time out of town, shopping with someone…when that didn’t happen, I took myself shopping…four stores later, and I’d only spent $15 of my own money…not including the CUTEST hair cut…

 

See? How cute?! That one thing made my whole day…well, and the fact that I found a suit (that FITS) for $21…my first suit…I feel like a big kid…and yes, I’m taking it on my trip this week…

I ended Sunday night with a couple of glasses of wine, some dark chocolate, burning candles, and a good book…that’s how every single day should end, I think…well, I can think of a couple other ways, but if I have to be alone, that’s how my day should always end…

Today, well, today, I slept…I didn’t get out of the bed until 10am…only to shower and go scrounge for food…I took myself to lunch…came home…finished my book…and took a nap…and even though it’s not quite 7pm right now, I could go back to sleep…but I want to finish my wine and start a book, so no sleep yet…

I’m not used to being by myself…I’m not used to just doing what I want to do…but I like it…and, be surprised, I actually miss the boys a little…which means by the end of this week, I’ll miss them a lot…that’s a nice change of events…I should have more me time, I guess…

A Year Later…

A year ago today (my birthday, by the way), I started a new phase of my divorced, single mom life…we moved – new town, new home, new school…I can’t help but look back on the past year and marvel at how I’ve changed…

I’m better at the mom thing…by no means perfect, but better…

I can’t imagine living with another adult anymore…I’m used to my own space…not that I want to be single for the rest of my life, but I’m so used to being alone and doing (for the most part) what I want to do that it will be a big adjustment if that ever changes…

I’m more comfortable in my own skin…and growing more comfortable every day…

I know that I can handle whatever life throws at me…I still stress (a little)…and I’m a natural worrier but I’ve become less anxious…I don’t fret about the what-ifs…if something bad or crazy is going to happen, I have little say over it (assuming I’ve made good choices all along)…but I know that I can ride the wave of craziness and come out fine on the other side – maybe a little bruised and sore, but I know what I’m capable of…I know I can handle shit…and I know it’s ok to cry my eyes out while I’m taking care of things…

A year later, I got this!

Not Looking Back

I did a favor for The Ex today…partly for him…partly because it could potentially benefit me (I’m not an idiot)…but it required that I go back to the old house – the house still on the market…it was harder than I thought it would be…

I agreed to go searching for his birth certificate in our old shed – a shed he filled with his few worldly possessions before he left town a couple of months ago – on Wednesday or so…I dreaded it all week…it messed with my head a little bit…

The dread turned into emotional baggage by Saturday…I cried a lot – for no good reason…this morning, getting ready to go, my stomach hurt…by the time we got on the road, I was in agony…it’s just a house now – none of my things are there…but I haven’t been back on nearly a year (one week until the year anniversary of my move, actually)…

I wondered if it would look different…I wondered if new neighbors would notice the strange car, the strange woman, the loud children…

I pulled onto a side street that I could probably navigate in my sleep…every nerve in my body was at attention, just waiting for…something…I pulled down our old road…the boys chattered away about “our house.” It stung to hear, but I forget they don’t have bad memories attached to it like I do…to them, it was a house they were growing up in, with loving parents, a dog, a life they enjoyed…

I never found his birth certificate…I found mice droppings, a gigantic bug, and lots of leaves…but not what I came for…I texted The Ex to let him know, packed up the boys, and drove off…I didn’t look back…

I could feel myself getting mired down in the weight of that old life…I had a 50 pound weight on my chest…I felt tears stinging my eyes…

And then…

Aidan: “Tell me to fart, Sean!”

Sean: “Fart, Aidan!”

Aidan: “Blphhhhhht!”

Followed by peals of delighted laughter…

Thank you, boys, for keeping it real for me…that place is a part of the past…I won’t forget it, but I won’t dwell on it either…driving away from town, the weight lifted…

I’m only looking forward now…

Sometimes I Forget

Crazy as it sounds, sometimes I forget that I’m a tough cookie…that life has thrown me curve-balls, and I’ve adapted and adjusted…and thrived

I forgot and let myself get very low this weekend…and then a nickname-less someone reminded me…he reminded me that I’m awesome…that I’m strong…that I’m intelligent…that I’m beautiful…that I accomplished more than most by myself – even when I was married…

I worry so much about the future that I forget the past and I neglect the present…

But no more…I’m a mouthy, smart ass who just happens to be smart as hell, driven as hell, and determined as hell…I’m not bad on the eyes, and I love with my whole heart…it’s time to remember that, revel in it even…

Watch out world, I’m back.

So This Happened…

So this happened this weekend:

Yeah, I’m one lucky girl.  2012 Toyota Corolla, only 20 miles on her when I drove off the lot VERY late Saturday night…thank God for The Step or it never would have happened…I have an amazing family, and while I’m always thankful for them, I will be even more thankful each time I get behind the wheel…

For the first time since 2003, I have a brand new, never been owned, pretty AND reliable AND fits my personality car…and I shall name her Ginnie…no, not Ginny or Jenny…or Virginia or Jennifer or any of that…Ginnie…think of it what you will…that’s who she is…and I love her…

I bought her first accessory today:

 

Her first piece of jewelry – and a nice-smelling air freshener.  It sparked a teaching moment for Aidan…

Aidan: “I, um, looooove the new air freshener, Mom.”

Me: “You do?”

Aidan: “Well, I don’t want to hurt your feelings so yeah, I love it.”

Me: “You don’t have to love it.  And as long as you speak nicely, you can share any opinion you have with me.”

Aidan: “Oh? Ok…I hate the air freshener, but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

Me: “Why don’t you like it?”

Aidan: “It’s too girly! It has flowers and stuff. Oh, but there’s a spider up top. I like that!”

For the record, it’s not a spider, it’s a flower, but I didn’t tell Aidan that.

Lesson learned (hopefully) – be nice and respectful and feel free to give your real opinion…I hope that sticks…I’d rather he be different from me in that area…I’m always nice and respectful…but I white lie to protect feelings with the best of them…

Oh yeah, and this happened:

 

Sean’s birthday! It was actually Monday, but we celebrated on Saturday when Mama and The Step could be here. We were supposed to do presents and cake in the middle of the afternoon, but the car-shopping experience took the entire afternoon and evening. Birthday festivities were at 8:00 p.m. while we waited for pizza to arrive. The adults, who hadn’t eaten since breakfast (myself, I’d had a whopping 250 calories 12 hours prior) scarfed down cupcakes and then stood in the kitchen and ate pizza hovering over the sink, as if we were in college and had no home-training…

 

You had to know it was going to be Thomas the Tank Engine, right?! And that little mark down at the bottom? Aidan’s finger just couldn’t help itself, apparently…

Oh, and if all of THAT wasn’t enough, this happened, to:

 

That’s Aidan, at a Cub Scouts Shooting Sports Day program, learning about BB gun safety before he was allowed to go near the BB guns. I wish I had a picture of him attempting to shoot, but Mama and I wrangled Sean…and bought a Cub Scout uniform…and drank water like we were in the Sahara…

Aidan attempted to shoot the BB gun…and never hit the target…but that’s ok…he tried archery…and hit the target twice – when the adult leading the archery pulled his arm back for him…but that’s ok…he’s not a natural athlete – he’s my literary, sensitive, loves art and music child…Sean, I think he’s going to be a linebacker or something…

He had a great time, scarfed down his hot dog lunch in record time, and declared Cub Scouts, “Awesome!”

And yes, every bit of the above occurred on Saturday…and I’m still freaking exhausted…but I have Ginnie…and I’m happy…and I have one less thing to worry about…and life is good.

 

Step Two, Done

…and I’m procrastinating on the most important part.

I’ve got all my ideas organized into sections…I just need to start writing.  And I’m procrastinating…

But progress is still being made on my big, bad, scary plan

Step One, Done!

I have spent the past week (or more) working on my big, fat idea – and the first step involved re-reading every post I’ve ever written…that’s 235 posts for anyone counting…in 14 months I’ve done a lot of writing…

Here’s what I learned by doing this – I can be determined, anxious, sad, funny, sarcastic, emotional, hopeful and above all whiny…I know I needed to work through everything in my head in order to get to this point, but good Lord, really?!  Oh well, it’s a part of who I am and I embrace the good, bad, and ugly…

Now, I have 2 pages of topics/ideas of what to write about.  The next step (officially known as Step Two) is to start organizing the ideas into an outline of sorts…once I get that done, the writing begins…/gulp.

The writing is the fun but scary part…well, here goes nothing!

A Great Day

Yesterday, Saturday, the last day of June – for anyone in a time warp – was a great day…it was a long day, but it was a great day!

For us, a typical Saturday is errands, lunch, Sean’s nap, more errands, and then just chilling until bedtime…this time, I made actual plans with friends that didn’t involve small children the entire time!  A breakthrough, I know…

I’m sorry but a movie filled with half-naked, beautiful men is worth a long-term, strategic plan known as “Operation The Dad Will Participate.”  In less than 24 hours, I got The Ex to agree to watch the boys, my bestie from high school to agree to come visit me, and made plans for Mom #2, Bestie, and myself to go see Magic Mike…yep, I’m awesome…ha!

Saw the movie, did the dinner thing with the boys, went back home, and Bestie and I stayed up talking until 1am – when he left to go back to Mississippi…

We hadn’t seen one another since 2003, and thank God for Facebook or we never would have reconnected – we never seem to be in Mississippi visiting at the same time…so we had a lot to catch up on…

And after nine years, we can still talk about anything and everything…damn, I miss him already!  What struck me was the ease in which he just jumped in and helped me while we were out with the boys – and that the boys responded to him so well…they normally have major stranger-danger with men, but not Bestie…he was getting Sean out of the car for me, offering to help me carry stuff (be surprised – I declined his offers), whatever I needed…wow.  I’m not used to that anymore…

I think of all the years I spent isolating myself from people I truly care about…what a waste!  I have some damn good friends in this world, and I’m not going to let genuine friendships slip away again…it’s nice to feel a little less alone in the world…

A New Chapter

I’ve been mulling over an idea for the past few days…and I’m still mulling…but I need to leap…I need to follow a dream…and be willing to work my ass off for it…

Every once in a while, I wonder in amazement at the changes I’ve gone through and the experiences I’ve had in the past 16 months, since February 13, 2011…I was becoming a different person in 2010 – the person I’d been before could never have left her husband…2011 was a year of turmoil, challenges, and changes…I’m halfway through 2012, and sometimes it doesn’t feel real…

I have only myself to depend on to get from day to day – and strangely, I’m ok with that…yes, I get lonely…yes, I get emotional…and yes, it can derail me from time to time…but overall, on the whole, I’m a strong woman…I’m raising two little boys – and they’re ok…I’m not warping them…they’re happy…they’re healthy…and that’s partly because of me…

I started this blog more than a year ago because I was overwhelmed by own feelings and emotions…I needed a way to sort through it all…I needed an outlet where I could let out my emotions…and believe me, there has been some word vomit – hell, I have an entire category titled “Word Vomit.”   This blog was my salvation…

Right now, I don’t need it for the same reasons I once did…I actually enjoy talking about the weird and funny crap the boys do more than I need to talk about how I’m feeling…not that I don’t sometimes need to work through something in my head – and this is still the best place for me to do that…

But what if my experiences could help someone else?  Make them realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel?  Let them know that whatever dark period they’re facing in life doesn’t last forever? I’m not the type to give advice to people I don’t know…I think that’s extremely presumptuous…advice to the people I know and love?  Well, that’s different – I know them, so clearly I know what’s best for them…ha!

My idea is two-fold…

I’m considering changing the direction of my blog…focusing less on myself and more on the boys and crazy crap they do…I know my life doesn’t revolve around motherhood and parenting…and eventually, I’ll be in some sort of relationship that will have it’s own brand of crazy that should probably be written about…but that would need the permission of the other person…and hell, if that ever happens, I could always change direction again, right?  But by and large, my life revolves around trying to be a single parent, provide for my children, and keep my sense of humor – all with little boys who are naturally funny…if I do change things up a little, it will be a while…I’ve got to figure out how to switch gears…so it may be a slow process…or hell, I may shock the crap out of myself and it won’t be hard to do at all…

And here’s the other part of my idea…I think I want to take parts of this blog and turn it into a book…in a perfect world, someone would walk up to me tomorrow and offer me a job where all I do is write for a living…but since that’s not going to happen, I guess I need to make my own opportunities in this life…and if some of what I’ve been through, experienced, discovered, and learned could help someone, why not?

I have no clue how long the process will take…I have no clue whether anyone than my mom and my YY will ever read the damn thing…but if I want to be a writer, the only way to start is to write…I don’t know how long it will take – 6 months, a year, longer?  I don’t know if I’ll ever make any money doing it…

But I do know one thing…when you start moving down the right path in life, doors seem to open up and opportunities appear to pop up out of no where…and nothing has seemed more right in a long time…and I need a new chapter in my life…

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