If you could have the ability to see into the future, to see how things are going to turn out as the result of any given choice, would you want to? Would you want the ability to predict the future? This could be a handy skill, preventing you from taking that one route thereby avoiding that accident that resulted in your car being totaled. It could be a terrifying skill, particularly if you were unable to alter the future events by what you did in the present. I’m not sure I’d like having this ability. I think part of the growth as an individual comes from experiencing the struggle without knowing the outcomes. If we knew for sure everything would be okay or would not be, we might have a tendency to give up completely. Continue reading
Ever notice how we human beings have ways of marking the passage of time? Sure, we have our calendars, our reminders, our clocks and gizmos. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious ways of marking time. The ways that mark time in subtle ways that leave you realizing after the fact how time has passed rather than noting it up front.
I am not a winter person. I like cool weather but I’m really a sunny, summer person. I mark my years mostly by noting the passage of the seasons. The months from January to the end of March are dreadful for me. In the region where I live winters are relatively mild, but temperatures can vary from a balmy 60 degrees one day to snowing and freezing levels the next. I find this pretty tough on my system. I’m always glad when Daylight Saving Time arrives. Even though I lose an hour, I can see that summer is on the way, and with it, some more consistent temperatures. Continue reading
I just read an article that Momlogic posted titled, “Sandra Didn’t Believe the Background Check”. I love Sandra Bullock. I’ve seen just about every movie she is in since way back in the Speed and Hope Floats days. I am sorry to hear about her recent disappointments as I am when I hear about anyone in The Land of Fame Excess, as Miley Cyrus puts it, experiencing heartbreak or humiliation. I do feel for our celebrities when it comes to the fact that they live in a fishbowl and not necessarily a kind one.
The article at Momlogic, however, made a generalized statement that I take issue with. I thought about posting a comment to the thread on Facebook, but decided this would make a great post. So, here I am.
The statement, "It’s an old adage, but if you want to predict someone’s future behavior, look no further than their past behavior" is a broad generalization that doesn’t take into account the vast potential each human being has at any point to turn their life around and make radical changes. Clearly, I don’t agree with it. If it were true, AA wouldn’t work, Weightwatchers would have no success stories and a boatload of therapists would be unemployed in this country instead of making good money. We certainly know that AA and Weightwatchers possess numerous success stories that speak of changed lives. As for the therapists, I live in a very small city of 60,000 people and we have no less that two city blocks filled almost exclusively with counselors offices. The locals call it Therapy Row.
I also don’t agree with this statement because the experience of my own personal history which, were I to be judged by it, would condemn me to a lonely and loveless future because my future consists, according to this flawed logic, of me repeating the same very serious and sad mistakes I once made and, one would infer, who is going to want to be part of that? Now, while I am single, I am anything but lonely. My life is certainly not loveless, and I will in no way repeat the same sad mistakes of my past. In fact, if anything, I am the person standing in the middle of the road before it drops over the edge of the cliff telling drivers to turn around and go back. The logic of this particular adage simply doesn’t jive with the fact that human beings do have the ability to learn from their mistakes and to decide to behave differently.
Whether Jesse James had any desire or inclination to change or even said so, is anyone’s guess. My take is there were probably other more current clues indicating that things really hadn’t changed which Sandra Bullock might have ignored. Who knows? Sandra made whatever decisions she made, based on whatever information she had, did not have, or chose to ignore. People can and will speculate all they want about celebrities and Sandra and Jesse seem to be top of the list these days. That’s probably something that will never change. Only Sandra and Jesse know the complete story. Why should the rest of us care?
While I agree that the past is significant and should be taken into account, I disagree that one’s past automatically predicts their future. I know too many people personally who prove this theory wrong by their present existence and their stories of conquering their past mistakes, poor choices, addictions, or horrors, and changing their lives for the better. I am one of them.
Yeah, I know. It’s a political sentiment posted on Facebook status updates and bumper stickers, but that isn’t how I intend it. I’ve spent my last two posts talking about my grand designs for a “Healthy New Year”. I feel in the interests of honesty and authenticity, I ought to share exactly how that’s gone for me so far, only one day into this “healthy” (hahaha!) new year.
Yesterday I had such great plans. I’ll save you the angst. Suffice it to say I accomplished absolutely none of it. I stayed in my p.j.’s all day. I did not exercise. In the name of not wasting food, I made lunch for myself of leftover (wait for it) fried chicken. Yes, the yummy greasy stuff and store bought to boot, not even home made, which I’m certain would have shaved, oh, half a calorie off it. I ate three whole pieces. Not true. I ate two whole pieces and the skin (ewwww!) off the third. Sigh.
If that wasn’t bad enough I had the healthy food compared to what my kids got. I am such a derelict mother! My kids chose Bagel Bites for lunch! And, of course, I let them choose. Yeah, all that, while perfectly healthy and yummy tasting turkey is in our fridge ready to be made into sandwiches. (What? The bread is moldy? Crap!)
On top of all that, my son digs the chocolate chip cookie dough out of the fridge and decides to start digging in. Well, out of sight out of mind, but put the junk right in front of me while I’m blowing off my entire day relationally and otherwise by importing all my CDs to iTunes and then synching my new iPhone (yeah, don’t get all excited…it is only the 8 gig one and a refurbished one at that) I ended up just having to have a taste. And then another taste and, now, well, I’m not feeling so great. Add to that two glasses of yummy Reisling (hey, it was just there begging to be sipped) and I’m laughing uncontrollably at my own weakness. So much for my great resolve, eh?
Yep. The best laid plans of mice and men…or something like that?
Sigh. I’ve developed a lot of really crummy self indulgent (as opposed to not so crummy self indulgent?) habits over the last decade.
This is going to be a bit more difficult than I thought.
Well, I guess, I can take the Scarlett O’Hara approach and deal with it tomorrow.
But that’s the last “gimme” I’m giving myself! I swear!
New Year’s Day, 2010
Yesterday’s post spoke about thinking more thematically about New Year’s Resolutions. To follow up on that, I feel I must give some more concrete examples of really what I mean. To that end, I have only one New Year’s Resolution. More aptly put, I believe this is a New Year’s theme that I hope characterize my year and the years to come. That theme is Healthy Living or Health.
You see, I could do what I did last year and talk about all the things I want to do, as though life were some sort of checklist to be completed before the end of it. As a product of the American baby boomer culture, I’ve seen life this way more often than not. I’d make my list, work frantically to accomplish it, come very close (or maybe not at all) and feel miserably unsuccessful or ineffective if I didn’t complete the list. I was what I could accomplish.
The problem with this thinking, at least for me, is that the list can never be completed because something is always being added to it. You check off one item only to put another objective in its place. What’s the sense of accomplishment in that? How does this manner of operating lead to peace and contentment? Even if you do accomplish something, the effect or result is only temporary, unless the item stays on the list and then, if you think according to the list, even if you’ve made progress, the danger of perceiving that you haven’t completed anything or not as much as you would have hoped exists. Lists are about completion not progress. I want to focus on progress, process and becoming.
Really, what I am talking about here with this whole New Year’s Theme thing is not giving myself more stuff to do (and more reasons to be disappointed if I fail) but instead I’m dealing with effecting lasting change in my life. There are areas I am not content with and I need to change.
Time for Change
Perhaps an example from my own life might serve to provide greater understanding of what I’m really driving at here. Several years ago, nearly a year, maybe almost two before my divorce even started beginning, things (as things in a failing marriage will tend to be) became very chaotic and conflicted. I was unhappy, he was unhappy, the kids were caught in the middle of that and dealing with the magnitude of kids that we had (11 in our blended situation), tensions were running at an all time high. We’d been separated and back together more times than I care to consider, and I was at the point where I knew that something had to change. I was afraid of what that might mean, but I knew I could not continue in the present situation any longer. My health was failing rapidly and it was only a matter of time before I experienced a serious and major collapse.
I really had to take some time and think about what it was I wanted. Now, I didn’t take the attitude of it’s all about me. I took the perspective that I needed to take care of me so that I could take care of those who depend and rely on me. In that case, my children, my support network, my community in a larger context, but admittedly I wasn’t thinking on that grand a scale back then. I was simply in survival mode thinking about what was going to be best for my children and I in the short run, but also in the long run. If you’ve ever been in this place you know what a difficult task that can be. How do you think about making monumental decisions that will be right for the immediate future and still be the right ones, down the road a piece? There are ways of doing this, I’ve since learned, but at that time I was floundering around in a state of hopelessness, fear and anxiety.
Respect and Survival
As I sat there in a school presentation where the speaker was talking about dealing with children respectfully and building a climate of respect in schools and in homes, everything crystallized for me. It all came together for me, not as a list of things I needed to do in a sequential order, but rather as a frame of mind I needed to adopt; as a way of being I needed to pursue. It became clear to me, in seconds, that what was lacking on so many levels and in so many areas in my life was, quit simply, respect. I wasn’t being treated respectfully, nor was I extending it to others in most areas of my life. Not only that, material possession, symbolic of someone’s effort, time, life and money were being treated disrespectfully, the world around us was not being treated with any measure of respect either by any of us. This is not how I wanted to live, nor was it the environment I wanted my children to grow up in learning that this manner of living was an accepted option.
With the theme being respect, I was then able to clearly see that in the current situation I was going to be crippled if not completely detained in my pursuit of a respectful home atmosphere and lifestyle. I was then able to make the hard and frightening decisions with confidence and assurance that I needed to make at that time to ensure for me and my children a life that involved treating each other with greater respect and infusing our home with respect. Three years after that day, I can look back and say it was the right way to look at things and, though we haven’t perfectly arrived, because we continue to learn more each day about areas where we can demonstrate greater respect to each other and because, quite frankly old ways of being die hard sometimes, we are in a much better place than we’ve ever been. We would not be here now if I hadn’t taken the necessary steps to start the process. I couldn’t have taken the necessary steps if I had focused on what I should or shouldn’t do. Focusing on what I wanted my children and I to be and experience made it possible for me to figure out the rest.
It seems I’ve come to another place where a theme is stepping up to the forefront and demanding attention. In the last three years, several themes have developed. First, was the theme of Respect. The next theme that characterized the first year after the divorce till now was Survival. The next theme which I believe to be developing in my life is that of Healthy Living or maybe just Health. It is a theme that encompasses not just the idea of physical fitness and healthy eating, but also the areas of spiritual health, intellectual health (sustenance and growth) and relational health.
These “themes” I am talking of, if that is even an appropriate terminology, are not something I adopt, carry around with me for a while and then discard because they no longer suit the situation. If you could think of building an onion from the inside out a layer at a time, you might come closer to how this all works for me. As each theme develops in my life, it becomes part of me with following themes overlaying themselves on pre-existing themes.
So, since the title of this post is about a healthy new year and since I did mention it earlier on in this now rather lengthy post, I suppose I should discuss it just a bit. Healthier Living, as a theme in my life, for this year, or for whatever amount of time it decides to be the forerunning focus, will help me make decisions daily regarding my time, my activities, my decisions, my focus. Instead of creating a list that I may or may not accomplish, depending upon my motivation level or my feelings, I will instead operate from the place of asking myself, “Is this the healthiest thing for me right now?” Or I might consider, “Is this particular choice going to move me closer to the healthy, whole life I see for my children and myself?” The particular questions help me sort the myriad choices I face each day in order to more closely align my life with the healthful vision I see of myself and for myself and my family (because I don’t just simply think of myself, ever, in isolation; what I choose impacts and affects many others whether I recognize it or not). So, in brief then, the theme works to direct my efforts, focus my energy and determine my choices. I am no longer burdened by a list that can never be accomplished. I am simply, moment by moment becoming healthier and these moments will, undoubtedly stack up and create a year that is much healthier than years previous.
Approaching life this way has, over the last three years, been very effective for me in implementing significant and incredibly positive change in my life over a relatively short period of time. This approach might not work for everyone, but I’ve found it to be incredibly effective for me in determining where to focus my energy, how to prioritize all the conflicting demands that bombard me daily as a single mom, and in helping me keep at it even when things become discouraging and disappointing as they likely will. It is an approach which instead of frustrating and defeating me, fills me with optimism, confidence, enthusiasm and hope. Since I’ve heard those are some of the key ingredients for someone in good mental health, I guess that’s not a bad place to start.
Recently a friend shared with me how her boyfriend of nearly 8 months ditched her for a period time on their last date without saying anything to her. It seems they were out with a crowd of people and he simply disappeared for a while with another one of the guys from the group. My friend was not really left alone. She was with other people she knew, but she was in a different city about 30 minutes away from her place and dependent upon her boyfriend for a ride home. He was not even in the same location with her for over an hour of the time they were out on their date. When they met back up again, my friend, smart cookie that she is, ended the date and insisted that her boyfriend take her home. He was surprised that she had had enough for the evening and was calling it a night a good two hours before the time they originally planned the date would end.
Surprised? He was surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior as if what he’d done was perfectly acceptable.
Another friend, recently met a man and went out with him for a first date. He showed up dressed in an old tee shirt and a baseball cap. While on the date, this man did not offer to buy her drinks but allowed her to buy his and did not say thank-you. She never went out with him again.
Surprised? Are you surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior?
A third friend went out with a man who was attractive, intelligent, and paid without flinching for the drinks on their first meeting. He went overboard to express his interest in her and to ask for a second date. He told her he’d call her in two days. He kept his word. When he called he suggested they do something the next Saturday, she agreed. He told her he’d call later that week to firm something up. He called at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. She saw the call ring in on her phone, recognized the number and let it go to voicemail. She continued on with the plans she’d made for herself that evening after not having heard from him by midweek. What were those plans? A home pedicure and a quiet evening in…alone. When I spoke to her later about her thinking she said this, “I have better things to do that to waste time on someone who demonstrates such bad behavior.” I asked her what she’d do if he called again? She said, “He won’t, but if he does, it won’t matter. He had his chance and he already blew it.”
Surprised? Was my friend playing games in the way she dealt with the man’s bad behavior? Was she too harsh?
Bad behavior. It happens. Men behave badly toward women and women behave badly toward men. It is not my intent here to point out or villify one sex over the other, but for the puposes of this article, I am speaking mostly of men and their bad behavior with women. I do recognize however, that the relational road is a two way street and both sides get mistreated.
We put up with the bad behavior because we are so afraid of losing the relationship. This is something I have been guilty of more often than not in the past. A guy says he’ll call, then doesn’t. A guy calls at the last minute for a date that evening. Worse, he pulls the typical 11:00 p.m. bootie call. (Now, that I’ve never put up with not even in my college days when it was normal for a date to start at 11:00!) A guy takes a woman out to a party then ignores her the entire evening. A guy spends his time looking over every female that walks by while out on a date with you, his girlfriend, of a year. A guy says he loves you and wants to get married, two years later a date is still not set and he is waffling. The guy says he wants to move in. The scheduled date for moving in comes and goes and he and all his things are still not in the same residence with you and yours. Bad behavior. We put up with it because the alternative in most cases is kicking the guy to the curb. We don’t kick the guy to the curb because that means so many unpleasant things.
It could mean loss of the relationship. If it does, then there go the dreams, the hopes the imaginary future you’d built in your head about all the possibilities you two could have had/done together. It means you now do not get to check the “in a relationship” box on MySpace or Facebook. If the relationship tubes, it means pain and loss and grief and anger. It may mean some lonely nights in front of the t.v. with a box of Kleenex. It could mean some self recrimination as you wonder, “Why on earth did I waste so much time hoping he cared about me the way I cared about him when it was so evident he did not?” It could mean a complete change in living accommodations and lifestyle and standard of living. It could mean so many things that are seemingly worse than just tolerating the bad behavior.
But tolerating the bad behavior is damaging to us. By tolerating bad behavior from anyone, we devalue ourselves and risk losing or crippling our confidence and our self-esteem. No one needs to tolerate bad behavior on the part of a significant other. We also don’t need to respond to the bad behavior with similarly bad behavior.
Bad behavior happens. So, what to do when it does?
Well, to answer this question, one must first be very clear about what they want from relationship and what they will not tolerate. Once one is clear about these things, the rest is fairly easy. Simply do not tolerate the unacceptable behavior. No need to get mad. No need to get upset. No need to waste any time wondering if he’ll change or call or apologize. Just don’t tolerate it. No explanation is needed.
I hate to sound so callous, but seriously? If he’s treating you that badly before you’re in a “committed relationship”, what will he treat you like after? It generally doesn’t improve. Further, why waste any more time in relationship that is mediocre, unsatisfactory, disappointing or just not working? Life is too short and there are plenty of decent men out there ready, willing and able to treat a woman they care about with dignity, respect and integrity.
So, how would I have done each of those scenarios if I were taking my “No Tolerance” approach?
In the case of the first friend whose boyfriend took off for an hour without saying anything to her, I wouldn’t have waited out the hour to find out that he was gone for over an hour. I’d have either asked a friend to take me home or called a cab the minute I found out he was nowhere around. I would not go out with him again. If he called and offered some lame-ass excuse for his behavior (which is the only kind he could offer in such a circumstance) I would politely listen. I would not offer an explanation for my behavior other than possibly to say, “There’s just not much about that entire episode that interested me that much.” No need to discuss. End of call. I would screen any further calls. No tears, no drama, no need. I’m worth being treated better than that. At minimum, I’m worth an explanation and the opportunity to say I want to go home if the plans have changed. Further, I would not have done that to him.
In the case of my friend who’s date showed up for the first date dressed carelessly and who behaved carelessly, I would have ended the date within an hour. Fortunately for her, they arrived in separate vehicles and she was free to leave when she wanted without having to depend upon him for a ride. (I’m a big advocate of doing this if the date is a first date with someone you don’t know very well or if it is someone you are meeting from online.) I would not go out with this person again and I would screen all calls as well. If it doesn’t matter to you how a man dresses or presents himself publicly and if you don’t mind being his bankroll then this behavior might not bother you. It goes back to being very clear about what you want and what you don’t want. The direction I am steering my life, has no room for someone who cannot move fluidly from a nice formal occasion to a tee-shirt and jeans and back again as needed depending upon the occasion. Knowing this about myself, helps me eliminate the would be contenders for my affection that aren’t a good fit, no matter how nice they seem to be. And, no, there’s not much about being someone else’s bankroll that interests me all that much. That’s what I do for my children, not for my lover. I’m not opposed to bringing what I can to the financial table, but he needs to be willing to contribute too.
In the case of the third friend whose date didn’t call until the night of the date, I’d have done exactly what she did and I have on several occasions. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: when a man is crazy about a woman, he doesn’t let her phone grow cold. He doesn’t wait until the last minute to call. He doesn’t give her his number and hope she’ll call him. Again, I know what I want and what I will not tolerate. I want a guy who is crazy about me and a guy who doesn’t call simply is not. He’s not shy, he’s not busy, he’s not unable to call, he’s simply not interested. That doesn’t work for me.
It’s just bad behavior and I have already used up all my bad behavior moments in this life. They’ve all been spent on past relationships, enduring very bad behavior when I should have been moving on and enjoying my life. Instead, I allowed myself to experience a great deal of misery and pain which I could have avoided by recognizing the bad behavior from the start instead of overlooking, ignoring or excusing it. I only have time and energy left in my life to spend on giving the best of me (which is my time and energy) to those who are really truly going to appreciate it.
I don’t know about you but I don’t recall analyzing ads like these for their effectiveness during my marketing classes.
Opening score fades as curtains rise and lights up on scene set stage right of a small cozy but humble study. A small desk with laptop computer and comfy but worn office chair, a coffee mug, lamp some papers, pens, neatly arranged are the only props. The Wild Mind sits in the chair attired only in casual lounge pants and a snugly fitting camisole. Her hair is in a messy bun and one leg is pulled up onto the large but worn office chair in a yoga-esque fashion. She begins typing and reading aloud as music fades.
There are a million blogs out there that address the fact that women are confusing, game-playing, bling-seeking, brats who expect men to jump unreasonably through hoops before they’ll give it up.
I propose that men are confusing, game-playing, sex-seeking brats, and some of them want bling and sammiches on top of that. And, in addition, some of those lovable brats are liars and dishonest, even though they are completely unaware of it. That’s because they are lying to themselves.
I propose there are good reasons for both these conditions to exist. It is called emotional survival and pain aviodance. It isn’t a great way to do things, but many people, myself included behave this way. Or they have, maybe, at one time or another.
Next, while I’ve been villified for villifying those who go silent or who are “just not that into” me and who demonstrate it by going silent, I maintain my stance that when a man is really into a woman, he knows it, she knows it, the world knows it and he will cross distance, time, space (or work very hard to close the distance, time and space) to make it work between them.
Cue image of The Wild Mind with thought cloud above head and image of The Beau inside it. The Wild Mind continues typing. Images appear on the large screen behind her as she continues reading.
Yes, the Beau.
A brief recap here is in order to bring all two of my readers that I haven’t talked to in a while up to speed. And…mostly for me to sort it all out so I can just move on.
I met The Beau through an online dating site. The Beau contacted me in October, I believe. This last October.
Now, last fall I did a really stupid thing at the end of the summer and signed up on a couple of internet dating sites. I do not know why I did this. It was a week or two before school started, I was learning a new job and that time of year is insane for me anyway, so I’m not sure why I did such an idiotic thing when I knew I wasn’t going to have time to breathe, let alone date. I also knew that I wasn’t really in a great place emotionally to date, since, well, I was still pretty ticked off with the whole going silent phenomenon anyway. And, while I now see the benefit of going silent, both for the party who goes silent and the one they disappear from, I still think it is the more cowardly approach. More about that later.
So, in October, the Beau contacts me. We correspond for the usual customary few emails and then got together for coffee. We liked each other right away and he mentioned he had things to do but he wanted to get together for cocktails later that evening…if we could. He said he’d call me later.
He went out on more coffee dates with women that day.
I went to a bookstore and bought a book.
We got together later that same day for cocktails, had a great time. Truly, with The Beau, we never lacked for conversation, which is a real turn on for me. I later found we could enjoy those comfortable silences too, a double turn on.
The Beau and I, for some reason or another did not begin dating until December. It was a miscommunication, a misunderstanding but we didn’t date, till December. I was kind of corresponding with someone at that point who was pretty interesting and simply needed to follow that out till he went silent on me after meeting me one time (yeah, ugh). By December, all that had played out and out of the blue, in response to a post I wrote about being alone on Christmas Eve, The Beau contacts me, invites me to his family for dinner on Christmas Eve, which I accepted and we really hit it off.
We spent most of the holiday break together.
Thus began the dating season with The Beau which lasted till roughly late January, early February, where I began sensing that he wasn’t all that into me.
How did I sense this? After all that time together (six weeks or so) he still was talking about old flames. He spoke of his two ex wives without bitterness or regret, but he also mentioned two old flames, which concerned me because of the way, in which he spoke of them. Girls, you know what I’m saying here. When a guy talks about another woman in a way that makes you wonder “if she were standing here next to me, would he even be with me?”, you know there’s a problem.
In addition, while he did call me daily, I began to sense that it was more out of a sense of duty rather than desire. He also began taking more time on other friends rather than keeping or making arrangements with me.
He also continued saying stuff like how impossible the 90 minute distance was, how he’s building a house, I’m entrenched here, how’s this ever going work, yadda yadda.
Finally, after two free weekends, where I drove 90 minutes to be with him, on the third free weekend, when I said nothing about plans he neither invited me up nor offered to come to see me.
So, I surmised that he was not all that into me. I talked about it with him. I was right. He wasn’t all that into me, but he wouldn’t admit that to me. We decided to go our separate ways, but strangely we kept in touch.
We went out for cocktails one night when he was in town for business and had a great time.
He texted and emailed me occasionally.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was out of town for business, he invited me over for dinner on my way home. I stopped in, he grilled steaks, made a fabulous meal complete with appetizers, salad, martinis, wine, chocolate dipped strawberries (I mean who goes to that trouble if they aren’t interested, right?) and we spent a long fun evening together. It was VERY fun. I didn’t spend the night because I had to be back at work (and I wouldn’t have anyway…but he did his level best to convince me to).
That night, with my help, he set up a Facebook account and added me as his first friend.
The next morning his old flame was also added as his friend and she added me which I was suspicious of but I confirmed the add anyway. After all, she lives in Texas and a 90 minute drive to see me was a dealbreaker for us. What could it hurt?
This last week, he was in Arizona watching spring training games for one of his favorite teams. This is something he does every year. Something he invited me to go with him to, which I declined. After going to the games in Arizona, he flew back to Northern California with his son for a few days before returning home to go out with me last night to see my daughter’s performance. This was something we’d pre-arranged way back in January.
On Facebook, gotta love it, I notice Old Flame is going to be in Northern California the exact same time The Beau is going to be in Northern California.
Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on there.
So Thursday night, after not hearing from him since the beginning of the week, I texted him saying, “Hey, maybe your plans or thoughts about Saturday night have changed. If they have, I totally understand, but please let me know, so I know how to plan.”
I get no response. Not that I was sitting around waiting. I was busy doing my own thing, but by Friday afternoon, I realized I’d not heard anything from him and I texted him again. He responded with, “My phone was off, plans are still on for Saturday night. I’m looking forward to it.”
Saturday night. I’m working backstage at my second oldest’s performance, playing hall monitor for the stage right stairwell. It absolutely rocked, especially since during several numbers I could sneak up the stairs and with my head about 12 inches above the level of the stage, peek out and see Briggs singing and dancing her heart out. That was a far better and more close up view of her performance than the matinee when I sat in the second row front and center. But I digress, more about that later, if I can get pics.
While I was working backstage, The Beau was sitting in the audience with my other three children.
After the performance, we presented Briggs with her dozen red roses, took pics and leaving Briggs to do her clean up and staff party, headed back to the house. Once at my house, I hustled kids off to bed, but I’d tipped off Number 1, that I was probably going to hear some news that was going to be disappointing where The Beau was concerned so she headed off to her room early also.
Cue foreboding musical score. The Wild Mind speaks directly to her audience.
You know where this is going don’t you? You, like I, probably knew several paragraphs before this.
The Wild Mind freezes in position while lights black out. Curtains fall.
To Be Continued …
Seriously, I don’t know how good (read paid and making it financially or aka J.K. Rowling and other) writers do it.
Okay, here’s the deal for me tonight.
I have a million things spinning around in my head. Several great topics started. One…or two…almost finished. Nothing ready to post. This is not like me. I usually post without thinking and that is painfully evident to us all…please do not comment on that reality.
But in the last 48 hours I have had…
….the I.J. break up with me (okay, really, really that’s good, because remember the post about that dating problem awhile back that got so much interaction?….Well….hahaha!) Really, you so need to see the email, but…I haven’t had the freaking time. He decided to break up with me (in a sense) and I decided to really do nothing about it…hmmmm…maybe I should have done something different? But we’ll all never know because this week I have no time to sit down and write anything more thoughtful and creative than “I have no time”. That sucks! How do good writers get around that?
…the news delivered to me that my most recent X (God forbid there will be more than I already have) is going to be married soon. That’s always great fun…and in my case…I’m not really joking…it is fun! I have just one more excuse to quit here and do something else…maybe in another country or…at least at a university…whatever…I’m leaving this place and not feeling a bit bad about it…I don’t care how long it takes. I’m not going to live in this valley and run into two brainless (okay that was mean) women who push their boobs out and look at me like, “Hey, we got what you weren’t capable of keeping.” Yeah, have that ladies, if that’s what makes you happy.
But, of course, that all brings to mind the idea that a failed relationship is not all one person’s fault. So, I’ve denigrated the X’s plenty…it is only fair to ask…what part of the failures do I own? Would make for a decent post maybe?
…Wow! Tons of stuff on the professional front to tangle with. I’m waffling from feeling like I have my game on to “I got next” every other minute…it’s a real trip and I kinda like it…but that ‘s because I’m in a place in life where I can afford to play…take risks…and have fun…(read, I’m secure in my job and my abilities at least right now).
…the news delivered to me that my youngest has a freakin’ high I.Q,~ Oh, man, sucks to be my kid, sucks to have friends that are school psychs….and sucks to be the cute little blonde girl who is sooo underachieving and has a (mostly) brunette brainiac mom.
I could go on, but won’t.
The writer’s demise is this…there is so much to write about…and so little time…and where do we carve that time out…because good…scrap good…any writing takes time. Where does one find the time in the daily schedule of life?
I guess we just wait for the weekend…
This last week was pretty great for me. First off, it zipped by in a flash. I love weeks like that, especially since the weekend is really becoming more and more my favorite time of the week. It isn’t that I dislike work, it is that I dislike not being able to be home, control (or not) my own schedule and just doing whatever I want, whenever I want.
Actually saying that expresses how really spoiled I am because I have a job where, for the most part, I am completely in charge. From the beginning to the end of my time with kids, I pretty much call the shots. I mean, it doesn’t really get much better than that.
I don’t get to choose when I can show up to work though and sadly, in my location, I must report to work at 7:30 a.m. This is the toughest part of my job, since I am not a morning person…well…at least not that way. I also don’t get to choose the curriculum I teach or the expectations for achievement that the kids must meet or the meetings I must attend afterschool which erode my planning time, but I pretty much have complete control over how I structure my work environment, my schedule, my student’s schedule’s and so on. It really isn’t that rough.
The rough part of my life comes in trying to have a social life during the school year. This probably wouldn’t be so tough either, if I didn’t also have to juggle the demands and taxi around the social schedules of four young people. Then add to that the fact that people must eat and that ends up, somehow being my job. If that alone wasn’t enough, groceries must occasionally be purchased, oh yes, and laundry done and a house cleaned. I used to pay to have the house cleaned and the yardwork done, but that was before the divorce. Sigh.
Anyway, I am not complaining about any of this mind you, because while it is crazy enough and hectic enough, none of it is what I would consider difficult. Well, at least, not until I decide to try to add a social life to the already overly full lifestyle plate I have going during the school year.
So, this last week provided me the opportunity to get away from all that busy-ness for three nights and two days and drop into a different kind of busy. I walked a million city blocks and that’s no small feat when you carry a laptop that is about ten pounds. I ate great food that was healthy and which I neither had to prepare or clean up after. I did really nothing I didn’t want to do. Yes, I attended a conference and was involved in some pretty lengthy sessions where my butt got sore from sitting so long…but they were interesting and well worth my time. Each one I attended was so relevant. That alone is kind of amazing since most of these kinds of events can be a hit and miss endeavor. This one was not.
The off times, after conference workshops, meetings with colleagues and dinners, provided me time to walk through the city streets three blocks to my humble lodging accommodations. The wet misty rain felt refreshing and invigorating. Of course, after two saketinis everything felt refreshing and invigorating. Upon reaching the hotel room, I would slip into my comfy loungewear and slippers, curl up on the big armchair, turn on the laptop and begin my personal thinking on the white screen. Sometimes when I do this, I create more questions and puzzlements (is that even a word?) for myself than I solve problems, but this week was unusual. I actually arrived at some conclusions for myself.
Here are my conclusions listed in random order and not in any particular order of priority:
- I decided, I really don’t want to date or spend so much time on dating. This isn’t to say that if someone really nice just appeared that I wouldn’t go out with him, but I’m certainly not going to put my profiles up and spend anytime checking emails or trying at all. It is simply too exhausting, especially during the school year.
- I decided that the reason I don’t want to date is not because it has been such a disappointing experience…because it really hasn’t. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about dealing with other people and I’ve grown and changed some after every experience. This is a good thing. The real reason I don’t really want to work so hard at it is this: I have other things I want to do more than I want to do that.
- I really want to work on getting myself in shape.
- I really want to work on getting my home in shape.
- I really want to work on getting my yard in shape.
- I want to write.
- I have some serious work to do spiritually, but I don’t really know what that means yet.
- I was serious when I wrote my New Year’s resolutions and I aim to accomplish them, however late a start I’ve had.
- I mostly want to enjoy my children when they are with me without feeling guilty that I haven’t called someone or don’t want to go out on a given night.
- I can’t do any of these things and really devote myself to a “serious” relationship. Most people are uninterested in just seeing me (or anyone) every other weekend and during the school year that is really all the time I have, unless I really start working on this house and then I won’t even have that. So, the choice for me really boiled down to an either or situation. Yeah, it would be great to have a guy who was interested in hanging out and doing projects together, but even when the I.J. and I tried that it was uncomfortable because I felt like that was letting him a little too far into my private world and I wasn’t quite ready to go there. I know I’m not explaining that well but it was weird. On top of that, most men I’ve met, seem to feel like I want to take advantage of their expertise, like all I’m looking for is a handy man instead of a companion. Heck, I’d pay them to show me how to do the tasks I don’t know how to do. But whatever, I’m tired of that little weirdness too. I’ll just do the stuff myself and go get advice from online or the Home Depot or Lowe’s or something. Seriously.
- I have places I want to go. I can now completely see the possibility of going to these places on my own and loving every minute of it and I won’t have to haggle with anyone about which destination to choose first.
- I see directions I want to head with my career that are going to involve some extra time, effort and thought on my part at least at first. This is also not something a deeply involved relationship can sustain unless the person is really willing to accept that. Best probably to just not go there for now.
- Probably sounds like I am retreating and avoiding life, in a way. Maybe this is true. I hope not. I can really tend toward introversion and the recluse lifestyle, but I am not committing to never ever going on a date. I’m just not going to work so hard at it. At least, that’s how I feel this week.
- Maybe, though, as much as I love to identify with Wonder Woman, the reality is I just can’t do it all. And, since the stuff on the home and career front seems a bit more pressing than the stuff on the romance front (since there really is no stuff on the romance front), I choose that.
Anyway, here I go to pull my online dating profiles completely down. I am finally free!!! And I am really, really very okay with that. At least, for this week. 😉