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  Perhaps the concept of putting in a consistent effort on someone is outdated.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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Batten down the hatches!

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Wow!  What a day I’ve had.  I’m home sick today and had just woken up and decided to check my Facebook.  I browsed for a bit and then decided to check my daughter’s Facebook, as I haven’t done that in a while and we’re still in that learning/trust building stage of early teenage-hood.  I usually check it typically once a month or every other month, depending on what I find.  I don’t read everything, but I look for anything that might not be appropriate for her.  Overall, she’s genuinely a good kid, so I want to be aware if she falls down paths she might not be ready or prepared for.

Today, I discovered that she found her biological father and has been talking to him for just short of 2 months.  I have such mixed feelings about the whole thing, I suppose it’s what brought me to my blog to write about it.

On one hand, we spent over 50,000 thousand dollars and roughly 7 years in and out of courts to get to where we are.. or were.  Her bio dad signed his rights away years ago when my ex wasn’t my ex, he adopted her.  The birth certificate no longer even says her bio dad’s name.  (To note, that’s always somehow bothered me.  As proud as I was for her to be adopted by a man who adored her, who wanted to be in her life and would do what it took to see her be safe, happy and successful, it always bothered me that the policy was then to change that on the birth certificate.  He wasn’t there.  Biologically speaking – she’s not his.)  By all rights, for everything he’s done in her life, my ex IS her father.  They both love each other very, very much.  Her Bio dad doesn’t know her, hasn’t seen her and from how it looked, from our perspective, gave her up for less than respectable reasons.

BUT… Everything my daughter knows, is my perspective.  And even then, she knows pieces and parts.  She asked me a few years back to read one of my journals from back then.  I wrestled with it quite a lot.  There was a lot of mature content in there.  But I knew why she wanted to read it.  She wanted to know a little bit about him.  And she could gain some perspective from it.  I warned her, I told her how I only tend to write when I’m upset.  So it is filled with pain and torture – as in what I was going through emotionally.  And I told her that I would rather sit with her while she read it so she could ask me questions or talk through anything she was curious about.

It used to be, that I had a lot of hate and fear of her bio dad.  I was angry at him for a lot of things. When he disappeared the first time, I was just happy he was gone and out of our lives.  6 years later, he got in a relationship with a woman who was also a mom and he re-appeared demanding a reunion.  I remember being so angry that he could just come back in and demand that.  He hadn’t been there for the nightmares, the fevers or scary colds when you spend all night worrying over your child.  He wasn’t there for the potty training, the first words, the first sidewalk chalk monster drawing, the first day of school or the first broken friendship.  How dare he come in now and demand that I not only share, but do it across 2 states?  I fought it for a bit, and then the courts ok’d it.  I would retain full custody, but they’d allow him visitation for the longer school holidays and if I remember correctly, winter break.  They’d drive across a few passes and I’d have to give up a favorite holiday with my child.  It sucked.  And there was always an issue here, or an issue there.  It was a pain, but we were doing it.  The courts asked him to pay only a small amount for child support.  But half of other bills.  I remember what it was that “put him over the top” and started the path of him signing over his rights to the ex.  It was his $75 child support, on top of a bill I’d sent him for his half of a dentist bill and an eye glasses bill.  He was bitching and saying he didn’t have it, and I randomly threw out the “then sign over her rights and you’ll never have to pay for her again!” comment.  The next day, the process started.  It took a while too.  We had to go through interviews and a process to make the state confident that we were efficient, strong, loving team for the children.  I haven’t thought about her bio dad in years.  I don’t like to.  That relationship helped me learn a lot of valuable life lessons.  That relationship shaped who I became in a lot of ways.  I’m not angry with him, I’m not upset at all anymore.  How can I be when I don’t know him? He’s out of my life now.

What I DO have however, is fear.  I’m afraid.  I’m afraid that based on what I read from my daughter’s messaging, that she’s unintentionally given him ammunition, if he wanted to, to come back and stir things up.  I don’t want to have to hire my lawyer again, drag up the past.  There was a lot of bullshit.  And honestly, I don’t want to dredge it up.  I made mistakes too, I’m certainly not saying that.

I always told my daughter, that if, later down the road, she wanted to contact him and get to know him, that I wouldn’t stop it.  That I’d encourage her, but to do it safely.  I always asked for her to hold off until she was at the very least, 16.  Dang it girl!  You’re 3 years EARLY on this shit! 🙂

I panicked.  I cried.  She’s been talking to him a lot.  Every single day in some cases.  She’s shared with him what she read in my journal from years ago.  I feel betrayed.  I was clear when I shared it with her the first time, it’s my perspective, and it’s private.  She shared about our life, how the ex and I split, she shared … so much.  I’ve gone through a huge swing of emotions today… and where I’m at now… is an odd place.

I’ve recently been getting to know my own bio father.  And every time that I get to spend a chunk of time with him, I find myself wanting more because it’s been so interesting to really get to know him.  As an adult – I can open up and relate to him in ways I never could as a child or even teenager.  And the more I experience this, the more I want that for my child should she ever get the chance.  I just think I’d hoped that day would come after she was no longer living under my roof.  At a time when it would be no longer possible for him to have courts get involved and potentially “steal” her away from me.

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know what to say to her when she walks in the doors after school.  I’m replaying everything in my head, all the choices I’ve made, all the things she talked to him about.  Just trying to figure out which way to navigate now.  It’s hard to know which way to go when you suddenly find you’re regretting some of the choices you’ve made to get you where you are.

Anger, Vulnerability, Communication and Hope… all in one post.

I was listening to some music tonight.  Was a great evening actually.  Love songs have new meaning when your heart is light and happy.  I was enjoying dreaming and being sappy and a song came on that I haven’t heard in a very long time.  It immediately made me think of my ex… for so many reasons… and not in a lovey sense either.

Here we are.
What is left of a husband and a wife four good kids
Who have a way of gettin on with their lives
I’m not old but I’m getting a whole lot older every day
It’s too late to keep from goin’ crazy
I got to get away

The reasons that I can’t stay don’t have a thing to do with being in love
And I understand that lovin a man shouldn’t have to be this rough
You ain’t the only one Who feels like this world left you far behind
I don’t know why you gotta be Angry All The Time

Our boys are strong the spittin image of you when you were young
I hope someday they can see past what you have become
I remember every time I said I’d never leave
What I can’t live with is memories of the way you used to be

The reasons that I can’t stay don’t have a thing to do with being in love
And I understand that lovin a man shouldn’t have to be this rough
You ain’t the only one Who feels like this world left you far behind
I don’t know why you gotta be Angry All The Time

Twenty years have came and went since I walked out of your door
I never quite made it back to the one I was before
And God it hurts me to think of you
For the light in your eyes was gone sometimes
I don’t know why this old world can’t leave well enough alone

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It made me cry.  It made me wonder if in 20 years, will I make it “back” to the one I was before?  Would I even want to?  This song, really sums up the end of my marriage.  We were both pretty broken.  From Ben, from life, stress, work, finances, kids… combine that with alcoholism on his end, and work-aholism on mine.  It was hell to walk away from someone who I once viewed as my best friend.  And it took some time to heal from that.  To be fair, I’m still healing.  11 years is a long time to be with someone, it’ll be some time still I’m sure.

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The last two have been, inspiring, healing, eye opening, shocking, scary, and a hell of a lot of fun.  I think I’m finally starting to learn and understand who I am, as just me.  I don’t yet know or understand all of me yet.  Or maybe I do, I just don’t fully trust myself about it yet.

Everything changes.  If I could turn back the years, I wouldn’t.  But I’d have never imagined where I am, as where I’d be.  Life is sure full of strange twists and turns.  Sometimes I look back and have to question… did all of that really happen?

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It’s scary opening yourself up to someone new.  Very scary.  Especially when someone comes into your life that lights you up.  That makes you feel alive, and safe and strong.  I find myself tripping and falling on my face quite often when it comes to matters of the heart.  I trip myself up with my own stupid insecurities.  Mainly because of things that come from my past.  What sucks is that I realize all of this, and yet, can’t seem to stop it.  I don’t want my past to control my future.  I’m learning that I don’t like feeling vulnerable.  Which I think is kind of funny because facing vulnerability was why I started this blog.

I am so scared to be hurt.  Scared that because I have withstood so much.  And I haven’t ever really broken down from it.  I have moments here and there… but nothing like what I have seen with my family and because of that, I’m scared that at some point, another heartache, or heartbreak would land me in their shoes.  A place I desperately do not ever want to be.

So far, my solution to this has been to speak up about it, when I’ve got something weighing on my mind, which is difficult for me.  With my ex, I would stay silent.  I never spoke up.  There was never any point, it wouldn’t be heard. I know communication is the key to the very best, most successful relationships.  Speaking up has, at least I think, been working pretty well so far these days.  You’d think you’d get better at these things.  lol.

Ok – this may sound strange… but I think there was a shift.. in the way that I think about my world and life. After ben died… my world stopped.  I know people use that phrase all the time so it’s hard to really describe the gravity of what I really mean.  But I mean it literally stopped.  I felt like I couldn’t even remember how to breathe.  I walked around in a total daze for I don’t know how long.  Cars whizzing by, people getting their coffees and going about their day.  My brain could not compute.  And suddenly it clicked.  I am simply a cog.  A cog in a machine that was built to run in a way that if a cog stopped, the rest would continue and the machine would never stop.  I used to believe that one little person could matter.  That one person could make a difference large enough to change the world.  But from that moment in time, my opinion began to change.  Perhaps it was reality smacking me in the face.

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If you want something… you gotta work for it.  No one is going to hand you anything.  You can work and work and work and still fall flat on your face.  IF it happens, you get back up and you plod along.  What will be, will be.  But if you want happiness… you create it.  If you want love… you give it.

I don’t know what is in store for me in the future… but I do now this.   I’m happier than I’ve been in a very very long time.  Life has it’s stresses, but I deal with them fairly well.  I’m learning to trust.  Myself, and the ones I love.  I won’t give up, and this time…this life is mine.  No one else will care about it all but me in the end.  The next chapter of my years… are bound to be the best I ever had.  And I can’t wait.

Goodnight Neverland.  Thanks for reading my ramble.  Here’s to a new week.

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The Inconsiderate Ex

middlefingersWow what a day I’ve had.  Much of it was spent being screamed at.  The ex.  You see, it is his weekend to have the kids.  And it dawned on him this week that he didn’t want to give up his valentines.  He asked if I’d keep the kids.  I had plans and said I couldn’t change them.  He FREAKS out.  I’ve heard guilt, yelling, and mean remarks about when we were married.  He’s roared at me, and spun it around in such a way that I felt guilty.  As if I hadn’t communicated that it was his weekend, even though I know I had, many times.  I finally caved and told him he could bring my son home tomorrow afternoon.  I asked if that meant he’d be taking them next weekend instead.  He says no, it’ll be my weekend.  I reminded him that will be 3 weekends in a row and he freaks out.  I’ve just had it.  I’m sick and tired of all of it.  I still pay his stupid phone bill, I’ve paid 40K of OUR debt this year and he hasn’t contributed a dime.  He’s shown up a few times with medical bills for my little one for me to pay.  The last one I just told him… Figure it out.  And now, I have had to change my plans for valentine’s day just to accommodate him and he can’t even be nice about it.

He finally said thank you.  But then lied to me (I didn’t call him on it, but I know when he’s lying).  I’m just sick of it all.  How about the fact that I had the kids last year for valentine’s day.  How about the fact that I had plans that I was honestly looking forward to FOR ONCE in my life and once again, he has to jump in and try his damnedest to ruin them.

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Well not THIS time sucka!  Not going to happen.  I’ll shift my plans as best as I can to lunch and say “SCREW you!” in my head as I smile and politely collect my son.  Why?  Because THAT is now my job.  To do my best to work with you, even tho you cannot plan anything, you’re wishy washy, inconsistent, and worse… completely and 100% inconsiderate to other people.  Because it is healthier for you to stay in my son’s life than it is to not to.  Because if I can teach my son through my own actions, how to communicate, how to handle yourself when you’re being bullied, and how to still find a way to embrace happiness, then I’ve totally done my job.

And that’s worth it, damn it!

Distracted

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Good morning Neverland.

I’m distracted.  I should be focused on working… as there is lots going on at work these days.  But what am I doing?  I’m sitting at my desk thinking about my vacation instead.  In just 2 short weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane and heading to a tropical beach.  It just can’t come soon enough.  I know the next 2 weeks will fly by and it will be here before I know it, heck, knowing me, it will be here and I’ll scramble to get everything packed and handled right before I go.  I’ve not been this distracted before a trip before.  Not sure why this one is so different, but it is.  I can’t seem to keep my head in the game at work.  Perhaps that also can be chalked up to the layoffs we’ve gone through recently.  Everything at work has been stressful and full of change and ambiguity.  I’d rather spend the day in bed.

There is so much I’m looking forward to.  I’m looking forward to the disconnect.  That’s the joy of traveling somewhere… wi-fi and technology can be easily rendered useless depending on where you go.  And that’s what I sought when I planned out this trip months ago.

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No hotel chains for me.  I’ve rented a small cabin.  With a kitchen and a BBQ so that I can go and pick out some fresh seafood and fruits and veggies and cook.  No little ones to answer to or wake me up too early.  No roommates.  No exes.  No work.

The ex is furious that I’m going on this trip.  And part of me can understand and part of me says F that!  Screw you! 🙂

He’s upset because we never traveled.  We couldn’t afford it.  For 3/4 of our marriage, we were pretty poor.  We didn’t have a honeymoon.  We didn’t take vacations.  I think the most time we ever spent “away from it all” would be a long weekend at a local spot.  And that was ok.  Since ending our marriage, I’ve taken quite a few trips.  6 to be exact, in varying lengths and distances from home.  I love to travel.  I get it from my grandparents.  They took me to England when I was 10 for a LONG trip.  They traveled once, sometimes twice a year.  They’d do cruises and different trips.  Australia, Japan, Europe… They’d come home and show me pictures and tell me stories of the things they experienced and the people they’d met.  I knew when I was young, that I would embrace travel.  I just never had the funds to do it.

He’s also upset because the week I’m gone, the responsibility of our children falls on him.  Last year, when I went to Hawaii, I had to pay him to watch our kids.  I knew it was ridiculous, that by all rights, I shouldn’t have to pay the children’s father to watch them… but I wanted to go, and that was my only option at the time, so I bit the bullet and forked over the cash.  I refused to do that this time, and I think he’s a little upset.  Oh well man!  Suck it up!  🙂

Travelling has opened my eyes.  I’ve seen and done a few things that I never thought I’d get to do.  I’ve met people who will always have a place in my heart, because of what they’ve shared with me.  And although I’m not necessarily a fan of sitting for long hours on a plane… I can’t wait to do it again soon, because it means I’ll have a new slough of experiences and people to add to the memory banks.

Hope you all are having a great week.

JETBLUE TURNS FIVE;  TAKES DELIVERY OF 71ST AIRBUS A320