Cancer has struck again…

Here it is five months since my last post; and another huge life change has struck.

In September I found out that my second mom had cancer. I was stunned beyond words. This was not what I had envisioned for us, her and I, two peas in a pod. We lost my father three and a half years before and had been enjoying our time. We’d reminisce, talk about the here and now, and watch hallmark movies each weekend I was home. In the beginning, right after dad died, I’d go home every other weekend. Then after my divorce I missed a few weekends and a holiday. Then back to every other weekend. At the beginning of 2017 I began to burn out on all the driving, plus I was looking to balance “life”. I realized I deserved love and the only way to find love (IMO) was to devote more energy to self improvement and looking for love. I scaled back to once a month. It was hard on her but she understood.

I will save you the details between September and December. Bottom line it was tough on both of us; mostly her. She was now having to rely on more help from her sisters and me. None of us minded, it’s what family should do and we did it with pride. In the end, because of the chemo, she developed chemo induced phenomena. It took an act of congress to get her to allow us to take her to the hospital. She died December 29th. Gratefully I got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with her. Watching her, assisting best I could, telling her I loved her. I wish I would have thanked her for all she had done for me. You see, my first mom died of cancer too and she picked up where mom one left off.

I honestly did NOT think her death would hurt this bad. I had already lost two parents to cancer. I sincerely thought I would be immune to the pain. There is another huge hole in my heart that I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to fill. She was more than a mom. She was a mentor, confidant, best friend. She was ALWAYS happy to see me and my pups.

But anything is possible; someone may fill that huge hole.

I’m so grateful for the time I had with her. So grateful for the lessons she helped my through. Grateful for the love….

Time Fly’s…

When you’re having fun. Or when you’re just that busy. Or simply because that is what time does; It fly’s by.

I could feel guilty for not writing on my blog for just over five months but I don’t feel guilty.  I HAVE been writing; but in my journal. And I’ve not made time to transfer those writings to my blog because most of it has been a jumbled mess of thoughts, affirmations, mantras (Besides I burned them a few full moons back!).

What’s the mess?

It’s a mess of one thing, the one thing that I have not yet been able to say good bye to. A man. Or two.

For whatever reason I struggle with letting memories of Mr. Friendly and my Ex go.  In both interactions both parties (me and them) messed up. In both interactions the men walked away (without even a “good bye”) never to be heard from again.

And that’s what I struggle with. It hurt my ego. I felt embarrassed. How can people I care about walk away from me without a word?  How can people I care about walk away from me as if I never existed?  I imagine it makes them feel better about their part in the “relationship” or lack there of to just disappear.

Some of my struggle stems from not meeting expectations. And I’ve come to realize that expectations are the root of much sorrow and it’s best not to have them.

So I’ll stay single. For now…

The Single Life 

In January I realized that I’m OK being single and that I actually LOVE IT. I LOVE my own company! I do what I want, when I want. Sure there have been a few times that I got lonely but never so lonely that I forgot who I am or more importantly; Who I want to be. I’m also not so quick to forget my worth.  And technically, it wasn’t really being “lonely” as it has been a moment of “need” (or two). And I don’t HAVE to have a man to fulfill my needs (or even be happy). Although a man (or whomever you chose) is a more intimate option; “toys” work just fine.

And thank heavens for handy little toys…

Anyhow…

What has brought on such changes?

I started listening to my intuition.  I’ve always wanted to live in a lake community.  Intuition told me “why not me?”  So April 17th I put my house on the market.  I had offer on my house in two weeks and was then able to put in an offer on a lake house. I feel so blessed. I’m happier than I have EVER been. On May 31st I closed on both houses and June 1st moved out of the one into the other.

Sure there were ups and downs along the way but I don’t regret the move. Anyone who has bought or sold a house knows there is more to the process than simply signing your name. There were some days that I “tettered” on “losing” it. Gratefully though I had an amazing realtor, amazing boss, amazing friends.  It also helped that I was learning to just be happy now, to take things day by day, moment by moment.

These days I am very in the moment.

Since April I have focused on marching to my own drummer. Most days I don’t even have to “focus” on marching to my own drummer I just do it! I have felt very little guilt (if any) for the decisions I’ve been making. I realize self care is essential to MY happiness. So is finding balance. I KNOW I am doing the best I can. I wake up every day grateful for the opportunities of growth, love, compassion; and go to bed every night grateful for the lessons, love, compassion. Life is incredibly short…

Too short to misuse time struggling with “why” or “why not”…

If Nothing Else; Keep walking

It’s been a year and a half since my divorce.  While it was one of the hardest decisions of my life; it has also been one of the best decisions for me. I no longer have the emotional struggle of living with someone who was a master at Gaslighting and I am able to openly be happy.  I have ALWAYS been a “the glass is half full” kind of gal.  Always been a “I have faith, things will get better” kind of gal. But with my ex that wasn’t possible.

Anyhow, the first year of divorce I kept as busy as possible.  I fixed things around the house, traveled, hung out with friends.  I just “kept going”.  I found that the staying busy kept me from having to “think”; having to address why I was single and why my ex was already remarried.

Then I met Mr. Friendly.

And that’s when I realized I wasn’t dead yet.

Mr. Friendly didn’t seem to be anything like my ex (well except for the married part, Mr. Friendly is NOTHING like my ex). Mr. Friendly loves his community, he is family oriented and his kids are his world.  He’s also funny, handsome, down to earth and happy. Happy people make the world a better place.

All of which I am looking for in a companion.

Meeting Mr. Friendly inspired me to get out of the house and do more; meet new people. Get out of my comfort zone. I even went on a few dates. Surely there are more like him but single?

Right now, there isn’t.  Those dates made me I realize that I wasn’t ready to date. My heart wasn’t healed and I was susceptible to repeating past mistakes. What kind of mistakes? Forcing “romance” for the sake of being with someone. Molding myself to fit someones life.  Trying to put the square peg into a round hole.

And “trying to put the square peg into a round hole” for “companionship” made me sad and feel inadequate. There is no reason for it. Not when I already LOVE my life. I’m happier than I have ever been.  I have great friends, a great family, great job, great home. While great things do require work (sometimes sacrifice and compromise too) great things should not be forced.

I know MY Mr. Friendly is making his way to me and that our paths will cross when they are meant to cross. Until then I’ll keep healing, learning, loving, and most importantly; KEEP WALKING when not so friendly people cross my path.

 

Why I LOVE Being Single Right Now

I love being single right now.  No, I really do. My time is my own. I can do what I want, when I want, with who I want. I don’t have to listen to anyone whine about this and or that and I don’t have to put up with annoying behavior. Easy Peasy.

Right?

There IS a lot of alone time being single.  Especially for those of us singles who don’t live close to family and life long friends. This first year after my divorce I felt the alone time was no big deal. That time allowed me to keep busy with “lil things” not requiring much thought in attempt to heal my heart (or was it my ego?) and remember who I was. Or should I say, who I ONCE was.

But do I want to be who I once was?

While who I once was wasn’t bad, I surely wasn’t the best I could be.  I was a people-pleaser who occasionally marched to the beat of my own drummer.  I was always available to anyone to lend a hand or give a shoulder to lean on.  While at work I was a confident hard worker and always covered extra shifts at a moments notice. But my private life, when I wasn’t filled with doubt, confusion, and “if only I’d find a good man I can be happy” I was probably drunk. My self confidence was low and self worth even lower. And by the grace of God I survived.

And because I’m wiser this “singe-hood” time around bells and whistles are going off in my head.  I realize I have a choice.  I can go back to how I was pre marriage or evolve into someone grander.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…” Proverb

Most of the time I’ve not been fond of having to make all the choices.  Choices can be overwhelming. Making a choice means you’re committing yourself to that choice and what if you’re making the wrong choice?

But this is one choice I am not just committing to, I’m embracing.

I’M WORTH IT 

I’m choosing to use my alone time to evolve into someone grander.

I CHOOSE TO INVEST IN MYSELF NOW

So that when there is a WE, we can live an amazing life together without doubt, fear, low self esteem. The choices we make together and a couple should have NOTHING to do with each others worth.

THIS IS MY LIFE

I choose to learn from the past, take what worked and toss what didn’t. I realize that I am worth knowing (quirks and all). I realize that I’m allowed to take my time to grow emotionally/mentally before jumping into a relationship. I realize that this “single-hood” time is a great time to set new goals that are all about ME. A great time for me to establish new healthy habits so that when there is a WE, we can live a happy, healthy, confident life that there will be NO need to vacation from.

So yes, I LOVE Being Single Right Now!!

Are you happy?

How are you feeling right now?

Me? For the first time in my life I can HONESTLY say, with 100% of my being, that I AM happy.  I’m excited about where I am and what I am doing. Grateful for the people I know and people I have met.  Blessed to have learned the lessons I have. And right now, ANYTHING feels possible.

Currently I’m half in the moment and half in the future.  Living in the moment is less pressure on my psyche then being rigid about goals (former Type A). But like many things in life, living in the moment is a learning process.  Speaking of learning; every day another bell/whistle/light will go off in my head.  You know; aha moments and self-realizations.

Like the realization that the only person who can make me 100% happy is me.

Years ago I was of the belief system that I needed a man to come in to my life to be fulfilled; to be complete; to be deserving of love/happiness. I believed that once “the right guy” came along that anything “wrong” in my life would become good and I could be 100% happy. As if I only deserved pure happiness if accepted by a mate. Complete BS. I don’t NEED a companion to be happy. I don’t need other people in my life to prove my worth. Having a companion and other like-minded folks in my life just adds more blessings to my life.

The realization that happiness is a choice.

Being happy really is a choice. And when held up against other “choices” I’ve found that happiness is the more peaceful, stress-free option.  Sure, some days are going to be better than others.  It’s just how life goes.  And on the days I’d like to bop someone in the nose I tell myself to “fake it till I make it; let it go”.  I make the choice to see at least one positive note of a not so great situation and release the rest. The nice thing about this choice is that each day it gets a lil “easier” to remember to see the good and feel happy.  It’s almost second nature!

The realization that one’s happiness does not rely on perfection but on acceptance and confidence.

I am who I am.  For many years I whined to myself how imperfect I was (My nose was too big, I was too fat, I was too emotional, and I wasn’t book smart enough etc etc). I whined that because of these imperfections I was NEVER going to be happy.  But recently a light bulb came on and I realized that I’m not supposed to be like everyone else.

I am who I am.  Just because I don’t look like Cindy Crawford doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful. Just because I’m not as smart as Albert Einstein doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Just because I wear my heart on my sleeve doesn’t mean I’m less worthy of happiness.

Everyone has something that makes them different than most others. No one does anything perfectly 100% of the time. We are HUMAN and are prone to falling short now and then.  The key is to accept, learn from the experience, and move forward.

Dear Future Life Partner..

Dear Future Life Partner…

This is a challenging letter for me to write. Not even really sure that I should be writing this.  But what the hell, maybe if I tell you now I won’t have to tell you later?

Like you, I never saw myself back in the dating world in my mid 40’s.  Like you, I assumed that my marriage would last forever. Like yours, mine didn’t. Yes, it sucks.  BUT being the optimistic survivors that we are; we march on.

I waited eight months before deciding it was time to attempt dating.  While I’m OK with my own company, I “knew” it was time to stop hiding and mingle. Thought if nothing else I’d make a friend I could occasionally meet for drinks in dinner.  Wow, what a process.   And quite frankly the process grew tiring rather quickly (took less than five months) and has left me feeling vulnerable, cranky, and uncertain if I will EVER remarry.

And I’m not very appreciative of those feelings. They’re big ole “Debbie Downer” type of feelings.

And I’m not a Debbie Downer.

You should know that I’ve suspended dating indefinitely and have gotten back on MY task.  On task of remembering my worth; remembering AND working towards my goals; remembering that self-care is essential to ones well-being; and most definitely remembering what makes me tick.

The feeling of pure internal joy oozing from my entire being makes me happy. Being happy makes me tick. Being happy allows me to leave a positive mark on the world.

 

And you should know that…

 

I am fiercely independent and may forget to ask for help. Please politely tell me that you will “take care of it”

I was not raised to lean on nor rely on another person.  I was raised to be able to take care of myself, raised to fight for what I want, and raised to defend myself.   I was raised to just “jump in and get it done” and that asking for help was a sign of weakness. Yes, even while married I was like this.  Could be part of the reason my marriage failed.  I want to but haven’t yet become comfortable leaning on anyone or even asking for help.

I need your FULL attention sometimes

My marriage was all about my ex. All about what would make him happy; what would be best for his advancement; what he wanted out of life. Yes, it’s my fault. My brain thought that that was how marriage was supposed to be.  So I lost my voice and conformed to his desires.

I can’t afford to let it be “all about the man”, all the time, again.  I have needs, desires, goals, opinions too.  If there comes a time where it seems like I am being selfish please, just calmly communicate to me how you are feeling and that you think I might be being a lil one-sided.

I may “love you till death do you part” but I may never agree to put it writing.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever want to get married again. It didn’t work out so well for me the first time. I understand that we aren’t supposed to judge the future by the past; I know this doesn’t seem like a very “positive” statement; but for such a small piece of paper it sure did change everything. It’s like someone flipped a switch in my ex!  After we signed the marriage license my spouse became a VERY different person and became someone I no longer knew or was comfortable being intimate with (on all levels).  Suddenly we were roommates splitting the bills and chores, living our own separate lives.

Yes I will love again. Yes I will openly share my life with my “future life partner”. Yes in most ways it will be like we are husband and wife. But it may just have to be without the “piece of paper”.

Can you handle that? Maybe you’ll be able to change my mind?

The Coupling Game: Then and Now

I’m showing my age here but I remember when personal ads were run in the local newspaper. You submitted words, not photos, seeking your ideal mate to be run daily/weekly in a special section of your local newspaper. Interested parties submitted their words, not photos, in response to said ad to the newspaper in question and they would then send you those letters.

I remember the process was pretty anonymous on my end; all the men had to go by was “SWF, 20, 5’5”, 135lb, dark eyes/hair living in south burbs. Looking for LTR w/SWM 25 to 30. I like hiking, laughing, & new restaurants. No drugs/alcohol”. They didn’t know my name, my address, or where I frequented. I remember my excitement as I waited for potential suitors. I was so naïve back then; anticipating only good nature, kind heart, “on the good side of the law” type men.

And then the letters came. Thankfully my possible suitors did not appear to be mass murders although there were a few letters that went unanswered. I applauded their openness to let me know they didn’t have a driver’s license and were collecting SSI due to alcohol related issues or that they were just seeking a “friend with benefits” thus allowing me the option of the guilt free “I’ll pass”. And the few men I did choose to meet in person were respectful to me.

Since “Wanna be Potential suitors” had limited information, locating me without my knowledge was near impossible. Computers were not yet a household item and if I did not want to meet them I simply did not answer their letter.

Fast forward to 2016 when “personal ads” are all computerized, includes at least one picture, and often leaves NOTHING to the imagination. I recently posted an ad on a “newer trendy dating site” because the first site did nothing for me. After a couple of responses to my ad, I deleted it. Again, I applaud their openness but wow. “Are you a DOM; I am a submissive male looking for my DOM. Sorry if I offended you.”. Really? Do women really want a relationship like this? Do men actually think women want relationships like this because they enjoyed watching Fifty Shade of Grey at the local theater?

In today’s computer age, we all must be very careful about how much information we share. Sadly with just a few tidbits of personal information, mixed with a hint of nosiness, a simple computer search will produce valuable information on your whereabouts. I know because I have done it (I actually do it pretty routinely for work). It’s how I found out that bachelor #1 likes a lot of options. But it also raises the question for me as to “how much is too much information these days?” I’m very grateful that the few individuals I have met recently in person were gentlemen but I’m still concerned about how much is too much and how soon.

I guess I just don’t understand the approach to new relationships these days. Then again I never thought I would be in my 40’s and wanting to date again! At times, attempting to date/socialize is so baffling and overwhelming that I just throw my hands in the air and stick close to home (very close to home). I know that there is someone special out there meant to be a part of my life. Someone who “fits”, who “gets me”; whose life I complement as much as they complement mine. But weeding thru SO many singles “ads”; attending speed dating sessions with a room full of awkward strangers; attempting

to put myself in situations to mingle is emotionally exhausting. Yes I want to get to know you better but do I really need to know your sexual desires before we even know each others name? It amazes me that way back when, responses to a singles ad involved stating you were without a driver’s license not that you wanted to be tied up and punished sexually!

How brazen are you with the personal ads? How much information is too much?