Those Little Breaks in Life: Give Yourself Permission to Take One…or Two

There’s part of me that wants to call out in a high pitched, annoying, nasally voice, “I’m baaaaack!”, but how cliché is that? Instead, I just say I feel like doing it, instead of really doing it.  If you are a detail person, you’ve noticed that the last post before this one was dated April 6.  If you’re a relational person and you liked The Wild Mind, then you noticed I haven’t been writing and you missed me.

j0442825I Took A Little Break from Blogging

Well, not so little.  It was a big enough break to get me kicked off some of those rating sites and blog lists since I didn’t post anything in over 30 days.  It was a big enough break for me to finish up the onslaught of work projects, demands and deadlines I had going during the first half of this year. It was a big enough break to give me time to rethink things. A lot of things. Continue reading

What’s Up With The Broken Heart?

So, I posted yesterday’s post and a bunch of peeps contacted me today wondering if and why I had a broken heart. 

Just to clarify…no…I am not currently experiencing Broken Heart Syndrome.

Yes, I have experienced it many times in the course of my life, with 2009 being a record-breaking year in the relationship department since being single. Contrary to popular belief, a broken heart doesn’t get easier to deal with as one gets older.  I think it gets worse. I don’t know why this is.

As for last night’s post, I just wrote and what came out is what came out.  Were there any events that triggered that post?  That’s a great question!

In all honesty, I’d have to say yes there were incidents that led up to me writing a post on the broken hearted, but it wasn’t my broken heart that started me down that path. 

Nor was it the sense of any dying dream that I was coming to grips with having to give up. 

In reality, I was just tired.

I was bone weary tired to be exact.  It’s been a long, grueling, exhilarating six weeks.  The adventure of doing new things, the excitement of opportunity, the hope of what can be possible is both energizing and exhausting.  The most difficult element is that when the demanding pace slows, and the seeds that were planted lay momentarily dormant before bursting into full bloom, there is a season of waiting.  This waiting can be somewhat anticlimactic.

I know this because I’ve been there in that place of let down after a great experience.

I am not there now.  I don’t feel any let down or disappointment or anything other than a sense that something really exciting is just around the corner.  Even if the most exciting thing that is around the corner is Spring Break, I still am feeling nowhere near sad, lovelorn or despairing because things somewhere in my life are less than I desire.

The reality is that some things in my life are less than I desire (except where the scale is concerned and then…well…let’s not go there in this post), but I’m not broken up over them.  Well, at least, not today.  The reality is also that some things in my life are better than I ever could have imagined at this point.  It’s also true that there are many, many things in my life that are still unwritten, untold, unimagined.  These are the things yet to be which are not now. It’s life.  It’s my life.  It’s everyone’s life to some degree, I think.  The good, the bad, the becoming, the yet to be. The happy, the sad, the exciting, the disappointing…the ever so daily.

Life is just moving along and I like it…at least most of it, most of the time.

No broken heart here, though I’ve had my share of experiences with the Broken Heart Syndrome.  No thwarted dreams, though I have a few of those too. The reason I wrote what I wrote yesterday is simply because I sat down to write last night and that post is what came out.

I liked it.

I posted it.

That’s all.   

A Broken Heart

 

imageI know it is an idiom: The idea of a broken heart.  Your heart doesn’t literally break like some glass ornament that can shatter when it falls from the tree. It is merely an expression indicating great pain. Pain usually associated with the loss of a love.

I know this pain.

I know this pain intimately.

For me, this pain, while usually referred to in emotional terms, is one I experience on a physical level as well as on an emotional level. Most often, for me, it has been associated with the loss of a love, the end of a hope of a shared joy, the end of a dream that will never become a reality.  For me, mostly, this broken heart experience occurred when I finally realized that the relationship I thought I had was nothing like what I thought I had.  Broken hearts, for me, represent endings.

It is a very real emotional pain, but I also experience a tangible physical pain. It resides in my chest, just to the right of center and it feels like someone wedged a pick ax in at that particular point and is now trying to pull my heart right out from my body or, at least crush it so that it beats no more.

It is a physical pain as well as an emotional pain.

What I didn’t know, was that sometimes, a broken heart occurs for reasons other than lost, failed, or unrequited love.

A broken heart can occur sans the love between two humans.

A broken heart can occur when a dream that you loved, that you hoped for, that you worked for, dies.

Broken hearts might always be about love, but sometimes they are not about lovers.

Soap Operas, Harlequin Romances, and Heavy Drugs

daysofliveslogo There are some things that have never been a draw for me.  Soap operas, Harlequin romance novels and heavy drugs (or even really mild ones, for that matter) have never posed any particular temptation for me.  Even so, I remember the words from one of the soaps my mother, or maybe it was the babysitter, used to watch: “As sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives”. 

Sand, hours, days, lives, soaps, romances and heavy drugs.  It’s an impressive lineup don’t you think? 

Heavy Drugs

Most of my childhood occurred during the seventies when there was a real emphasis on educating children about the dangers of drug use.  Fat lot of good that did any of us!  Sadly, all that well intentioned tax money was wasted on me.  I had, after all, the very best, real life, hands on drug awareness experience a child could have.  I had someone in my own home overdose, get hauled out on a stretcher (yes, picture three wide-eyed children under the age of eight, two bewildered and alarmed parents, large medical emergency vehicles with lights flashing, watching the live-in babysitter get hauled off on a stretcher).  Take one wild guess which of those three children was tasked with trying to awaken the body that had already slipped into a drug induced coma.  That’d be me. 

j0308903 No. Drugs, even in an effort to satiate my deep seated need to be accepted, approved of, and mostly to belong, never ever posed even the slightest temptation to me. 

Soap Operas

This is easy.  Force something on a child all the years they are growing up and, well, chances are they will either acquiesce and adopt the thing or they will rebel.  I had soap operas and TV and noise going on all throughout my childhood. I think this had something to do with having an aging father and two other siblings and living in a home where conversation and opinions and even dissension were not only tolerated, but welcomed.  I rebelled against the TV and noise but retained a love for all things passionate and articulate especially if they tend toward the nonconformist.  After leaving home, I never watched an episode of any of the daytime or nighttime soaps, I loathe TV except for the express and planned purpose of vegging out because I am so overwhelmed and just need to turn my mind off. If given the choice to stay in and watch a movie or something on television, I will opt to read a book, do something in the yard, surf the net, the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-by-stieg-larssontake my dog for a walk, invent cryptic status updates to annoy all my friends on Facebook (who haven’t yet hidden me) with, or write.  But, lately, I don’t have time for even that. Lies!  I’ll always make time for the status update messages, because, well, now I has iPhone!

Harlequin Romances?

This is a bit more convoluted because I love romance.  I love the idea of it.  I love the feel of it.  I love the hope and passion it can inspire.  But really?  If you’ve read one Harlequin romance novel, you’ve read them all.  Give me something along the lines of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, or Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask, or even the much more recent and sadly deceased, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and I’m all in, but a Harlequin romance.  Ugh.  Yawn.  Not a draw for me. 

A Rehabilitated Internet Dating Junkie

In posts past, I’ve alluded to the fact, correction, I point blank declared, that I was an internet dating junkie.  I was.  I admit it.  I was successful with it too, if you consider being able to get dates with attractive, intelligent, employed men by merely posting a profile successful.  If the truth be told, I am still meeting and getting to know people that I “met” and began corresponding with online, over two  years ago.  My social calendar is exceptionally full these days and I haven’t had an online profile anywhere for months.  Okay, I lied, I tried out OKCupid.com and Zoosk on Facebook because I have several friends on Facebook that are dating coaches and, well, curiosity killed the cat. They suggested, I bit.  I’m over it now.  I was on each of those for two weeks, met one person in person who is fabulously interesting, but I could quickly ascertain that I neither have the interest or desire or energy to get back into the online dating thing.  Screening profiles, deleting winks, and wading through thousands of misspelled, poorly punctuated and horribly written profiles is, well, a lot like reading a Harlequin romance.  When you’ve read one…

Temptations and Time~Living Life in Face to Face World

ar120347955688524 The days of our lives can slip away from us like sand pouring through the narrowest portion of the hourglass.  The sand at the top appears untouched, but the sand at the bottom is fighting desperately to comply with gravity’s demands. Eventually, the entire lot of it cascades into the bottom portion of the hourglass.  This seems an appropriate analogy for much of life. 

For me, spending time in fantasy land like soap opera world, internet dating, drug use or reading Harlequin’s is just not something I want to do.  The false and superficial have never attracted me.  Give me an authentic disagreement (done respectfully, I hope) over a false veneer of cheery friendship any day.  When it comes to internet anything, it is so easy to hide, to disguise, to pretend, to escape.  This,  I’m learning, is a temptation that can be very deceptive.  After all the internet comfortably keeps people at a distance.  You can connect, without really ever having to connect.  Don’t want to talk to someone, just show up in stealth mode or “unfriend” them.  It’s the convenience of digital relationship.  Besides, who wouldn’t love to recreate themselves (if even for a few minutes) into something that only mildly portends a resemblance to the reality, or disappear into a relationship that holds the promise of the upside (fun, flirty, romantic and non-invasive) of relationship without any of the downside (how the heck are we going to decide which side of the bed you’ll be sleeping on? And why do I have to make room in my closet for you?). 

I’m also learning that this kind of relating, while useful for providing some entertainment value and escapist fun, does not really work for me.  I’m not twenty something anymore.  A few years back, I had to renew my driver’s license.  My picture, is awful, as most of them are.  Mine was especially bad, because as I was going through the renewal process I was crying.  I was aging, caught in a nightmare at that time I felt I could not escape and I truly thought my life was over.  My outlook is so different today. 

I’m still aging.  I can’t do much about that.  I ended the nightmare the best way I could, but I ended it.  The fallout from that has not been easy but life is good.  I’m meeting many fabulous new people through the adventures I’m having with the friends I already know in my face-to-face world.  Some of the digital relationships have bridged the gap from being merely digital to actually tangible, and, while romance isn’t running rampant in my life like weedy vines overtaking my garden, some very valuable and wonderful friendships have developed.  I’m busier than ever with work opportunities in an area where people are struggling to hold onto their homes after losing their jobs.  I’m meeting people in my community that I enjoy spending time with and who, while very different from me, are a source of friendship and camaraderie.  I’m healthier than I was at the start of the year, in every sense of that word, and I like it.  I’m busier than I’ve ever been and yet, less stressed and more content.  I find all of this slightly ironic, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth by over-analyzing it.  

j0179131I’m simply going to ride this horse where ever it will take me.

After all, life is short.  Far too short and far too valuable to allow it to disappear into the meaningless, the shallow, the pain-dulling fantasy escapes that come in so many forms whether, digitally digested, inhaled, injected or imbibed.

About Those New Year’s Resolutions

j0402319Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year?  Did you set any goals that you’d like to work on for yourself?  If you did, how are they coming along?  Have you kept at it or have you, like so many others, found your enthusiasm waning as the year progresses and the gloomy, dark days of winter (sans the celebrations and plus the bills of the previous celebrations) drag on? If you’ve let up on pursuing your New Year’s Resolutions, it’s not to late to get back on track. 

Numbers, Measurements & A New Scale

The other day a friend of mine and I were chatting on Facebook and he asked me about my New Year’s Resolutions.  This person is one of those friends who lives quite a distance away and checks in about every couple of weeks or so.  This was the check in, I suppose.  During that conversation he mentioned that he still reads my blog and wondered if I was keeping up on my New Year’s Resolutions.  I was pleased to be able to report that not only have I kept up on them, I’ve lost 5.5 inches.  That was Wednesday.

Today is Saturday and Saturday for me is weigh in day.  I’m pleased to announce those numbers have again changed. 

But before I reveal the numbers, I have decided that I must get a different scale.  I have a cheap one and I am absolutely certain the number it registers is not accurate.  The reason I know this is because I cannot get the needle to stay on zero with no weight on it.  I also can’t read the thing when I am standing on it and any shift of my feet sends the needle spiraling around the dial.  Squatting on the thing to get a better read doesn’t seem to work either. I often fall off before getting an accurate read.  Not a good look.  So, today, at some point I will go out and get a more accurate (aka. more expensive, I think) scale. Till then I’m not reporting my weight loss because I don’t know what it is.  I think it’s a pound or two, but like I said, I can’t be sure and I just don’t want to fudge those numbers.  If I get the new scale and I’ve been off, it could be psychologically depressing.

The good news is my measurements continue to drop.  As of today, I’ve lost a total of 7.75 inches! That’s a combined total of all the measurements, of course.  Separately, in inches, that’s 1.5 off the hips, 2.5 off the chest (good-bye back flab), 1 from the waist and 2.5 off my thighs (I only measure the right one), and my bicep showed a one-inch gain this week (muscle definition, gotta love it) for an overall loss of  three quarters of an inch on the bicep.

j0441048 Looking Better Naked, Feeling Better Clothed

What’s even better is when I look in the mirror, I’m beginning to see the me I used to know.  I’m not there yet, but I’m looking better naked.  I’m definitely feeling a lot better clothed.  I have more energy and the very, very best part of it all is that I no longer feel as though I’m one step away from the assisted living facility or grave.  I’m beginning to think that paintball with my daughter and her boyfriend might be a possibility this summer as well as actually running again.  Yes, you heard me.  Running.  I hate running.  I look like a hippo running.  I’m graceful in the water, but like the penguin, walrus or many other amphibious creatures I’m somewhat awkward on land especially at high speeds.  But, I’ve already made plans to go running this spring with one of the women I work with.  Yeah, she’s ten years younger than I and will kick my butt, but I’m competitive enough that I’ll work to try to keep up.  That can’t be bad.  I’m pretty certain I’ll never see my 7 minute miles from my triathlon training days again, but I don’t care, just to be moving at something more than a walk and not falling will be a good thing.  What is it I really want to do with all this?  Whatever I feel like.  It is going to be so good to be strong and more agile again.  These thoughts keep me plugging away.

Smooth Sailing, Not Exactly

I have to say, it hasn’t been easy or perfectly smooth this month by any means.  As expected, the schedule is crazy tough to keep routine so I can fit my workout in at the same time every day.  This isn’t going to improve either as I have seven consulting events lined up between now and April which take place in the evenings, in addition to my day job.  Further, my social life is pretty full and I like it that way.  (It also explains a bit why you haven’t seen me here as much.)  I’ve also had my moments of discouragement, stuffing my face with the Bugles and chips the kids brought from their other house and simply, as I mentioned in my last post, throwing the rope on all of it .  In spite of it all, I’m pretty pleased that I haven’t given up on myself and I keep on plugging away.   I’m really successful on some fronts (watching portion size, eating healthier, no drinking during the week, lots of water, consistent exercise) and I’ve failed in some areas momentarily (the binge snacking one week and missing exercise for four days in a row the same week…not good!).  It’s a mixed bag.  The really positive thing about this is that I’m continuing to force myself after every slip, to get back up and get on track. j0442363I’m staying with it this time.  Because of that, I will be successful.

Refuse To Give Up

On a larger level, I think this is what so much of life is really like. Life itself is one big mixed bag.  The good is mixed in with the bad. The successes are intertwined with the defeats. We hit bumps in the road, we derail, we get back up, we keep moving on.  We do it because we must.  We do it because the alternative is less pleasant that the current pain or discouragement.  We keep trying.  We keep working.  We keep hoping.  We keep living. We derail.  We cry.  We hurt.  We heal.  We move on.  It is life.  If we are very lucky, we find others along the way who, though the specifics of their journey differ from ours, the lessons are similar or, if not similar, interesting.  We find friendship.  We connect.  We experience kindness and caring.  We find love in all its many forms in smiles of friends, the hugs of children, the laughter of companions, the conversations with those we care about and enjoy being with. 

The journey to fitness for me, has been far deeper than obtaining physical results, though, let’s be clear, I’m not going to mind looking and feeling better pushing 50 than I did when I was ten years younger.  It’s also been a very internal journey as well.  As my Facebook Friend said so well, “It’s a process of clearing out the junk, both externally and internally.”  I’d have to agree.  That’s exactly what it has been for me.

If you made resolutions this year and you find your enthusiasm and determination faltering, it isn’t too late to try again. Join me.  We can do it together you and I.  Whatever your goal, your dream, your hope.  It can happen, as long as you simply refuse to give up on yourself.  I’m not going to.  Don’t you either.

The Wild Mind

Disconnected Musings

Copyright 2009, The Wild Mind

Four nearly completed (but totally unpolished and incoherent) posts later and it is clear I’m not posting a thing of worth tonight.  There’s just too much going on in my mind.  Really, really too much.  It’s disjointed.  It’s random.  It’s deep.  It’s trivial.  It’s about everything and nothing. It’s totally disconnected mostly.  It looks like this:

Strands of thoughts from a fellow blogger’s blog who confessed she dreams in advance about things that happen to other people,  a dream last night that seemed so real, one I haven’t yet forgotten, I might never forget.  It has been my life for the last two years.  Different faces, different specifics, same words, same pain, the same, all of it.  A scenario I’ve lived many times over in some fashion or another.  A scene I am well aquainted with.  Wondering if my friend has already dreamed my future and if it will simply be yet another of  the many second place finishings I’ve experienced. More ideas and pondering about trust, intimacy, authenticity, connection evaporating in my reality of hidden feelings, unsaid words, unasked questions and confusing behaviors.  Goals for the future opportunities and success running parallel with current 2nd place realities with no means to see the two paths join.  Happiness, contentment, confidence, hope, enthusiasm and joy all tangled up with disappointment, sadness, longing and, yes, somewhere in there, I must confess, the old familiar sting  of  pain.  Words I want to say but can’t.  Ideas to convey, but tangled up with accusations of “not good enough”. Where do these accusers of inadequacy arise and how? Inhibited thoughts that simply can’t get out into visible or audible form, at least, not in a manner that would be comprehensible and confident, let alone adequate.

Not here. Not tonight.

Sometimes there are days when I simply must say…I tried.  I didn’t make it, but I gave it my best effort. I did the best I can, it is all I have to offer. Here it is.

Sometimes there are days when my best doesn’t quite cut it, but it has to be good enough to have tried.

Then there are also times that, in spite of the disconnected randomness of it all, I can look at the craziness called my life and say, everything’s alright and I’m going to be okay. 

Tonight is one of those nights.

Blog365 Challenge: Blog Vitamins or The Death Knell?

Alright, I’m in, I suppose.  I can’t believe I’m doing this!  We’ll see how it goes.

I stumbled across this Blog 365 Challenge at http://blog365.ning.com/.  The challenge is to blog every day for a year.  Okay, I guess.  Like a sucker I decided to go for it.  Probably not a smart thing to do considering I’m feeling pretty stale in my writing these days and pretty discouraged about it all.  I mean, there are some really cool blogs out there and, well, mine’s not one of them…yet.  It could be like blog vitamins, this one a day thing or it could spell the death knell for my blog.

But then I tell myself, “Self, you didn’t start this blog thing to take the world by storm, you started this for you so you could practice and get more confident about writing.” 

“Yeah, yeah.  I suppose,” I reply back impatiently, thinking all the while that I’m not sure I’m any more confident and I’m only a little better…sigh. 

What I know is this, to write the good stuff, the stuff that’s thoughtful, intelligent and actually meaningful which might hopefully spark some discussion takes time and that time, at least for me, doesn’t occur in large enough quantities on a daily basis.  Therefore, writing every day is almost becoming a death knell since the only thing I can do is something random and unplanned, like this.   My time doesn’t exactly free up when I go back to school in the fall either.  Oh, what have I done??????

But this Blog 365 was something different and if I don’t make it, who cares? Right? 

I’ll care, I know I will.  I’m just like that.

Kip’s Challenge

My last little benign (or so I thought) post elicited some pointed discussion from a long time reader, Kip. I encourage you to scroll back read the post and his comments and my initial response.  His follow up comment, I will deal with here.  He’s been enough of a burr under my saddle ( I do mean that affectionately)  to earn his own post in response to his last comment.

First his entire comment:

Yes, well, there’s no mystery about the hose attraction, is there? When in doubt, introduce prurience and the mob will take it from there (present company included).

And drama, well, of course. That’s why we read novels and go to plays and watch the tube and if we can’t find it there we create our own.

I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog? What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them. Get out the big guns. Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies. You go girl, I’ll be watching.

*The Wild Mind raps her fingers on the desk in a monotonous pattern while staring pensively at Kip’s comments*

I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog?

I originally began this blog to play with writing.  My goals for writing were to improve my writing and to play with a variety of topics and approaches.  This I stated up front.  Another goal, though unstated, was to improve my confidence in my own writing.  I have achieved both these goals to some degree though they are goals that are by nature never completely achievable. While it might not show it here, my writing in other venues has improved tremendously to the point that I am routinely called on to write and edit materials others create before they go to print.  My confidence in my ability to write has improved as well.  Writing for an audience and getting audience feedback albeit sporadically through this blog was a bonus.

I admit, I do not write to intentionally arouse debate or discussion.  I have reasons for this.  Reasons I am scrutinizing myself right now.  It is true that comments are the life of a blog.

Another added benefit of writing on this blog was the sifting sorting process I undertook which Kip refers to in his comment.  Unplanned but valuable to me personally.  I don’t apologize for that, because in the end I don’t write to please others here, I write for my own purposes. I have achieved those purposes with this blog so far.  If it seems less than interesting or meaningful to others based on the presence or absence of comments or interesting content then so be it.  This is my personal journey and it has been valuable to me to sort through the crap I’ve encountered along the way in this format.  Whether I continue in this vein is something I’m weighing.  If I do, I will have achieved my own humble purposes in doing so, audience participation or not.  I am decisively undecided about the direction I want to go with this.

Kip brings up a good point.  What the hell is my purpose here?  Writers generally always write for a purpose. What is mine?  It is a fair question and one I must address.

Next….

What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them.

I haven’t decided about this either.  Provoking kind of puts me on the line and I’m not sure I want to take the heat…I’m also not sure I don’t want to either. It is an investment in time and energy which quite frankly I’m not entirely certain I have loads of either to invest in order to present a quality forum.  Certainly not on a daily schedule for sure.  Again, I’m pondering this direction too.

It seems the real question here is not can I or do I want to take the heat, it is, am I up for the mental challenge?  Face it.  It just requires some clarity of thought and some conviction.  While I at times have both of these in spades, I’m not sure I want to put it out there just yet.  On the other hand, maybe it is time I quit lurking in the sidelines and really begin to bring it.

Sigh. This is almost as painful as deciding what to do for a graduate research project.

Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies.

Now this is the most interesting thing you’ve said yet.  By that I mean, this is the the statment that has me staring blankly at the screen pondering…pondering…pondering.

Because…

Because if they are the things we all think about but never say there is a reason we never say them!  Maybe they shouldn’t be said? Maybe they can’t be articulated adequately.  Or maybe it would be very healthy to say them. 

And, yes, there is a bit of the chickensh*t in me that says I really don’t want to face the heat!

I get that there’s a challenge that’s been laid down.  Picture me quizzically analyzing said challenge, weighing the costs in terms of time to research, write and respond and then where to focus in light of the many other things I’m also considering.  Plus, there is the knowledge that even after a great deal of time and energy expended my efforts will be lame and weak at best. 

You see, in the end, it isn’t an issue of the quality of writing here, it is a reflection of the quality of my thinking and it is this component I am evaluating and dealing with right now. I simply cannot write anything of quality if I’m not thinking those really wild thoughts and these days, thinking is tough when just as I’m beginning to formulate a thesis statement I’m beset with sibling rivalries, dirty laundry, leaves in the pool and the eternally nagging question of what to fix for dinner.  I hate it, but it is my reality for now.  While I’m fighting it ever so valiantly, sometimes it all just gets me stuck.

Then again, maybe I am just the little podunk cowgirl who really doesn’t have the mental abilities to tango with the big boys. 

Okay, now them’s fightin’ words!

And now, after reading this post,  you must have no doubt that the moniker, “The Wild Mind”, refers not to the bizarre quality and content of the thoughts occurring within said Mind, but instead to the undisciplined and untamed nature of that Mind.

Has the Wild Mind Also Died?

Have you noticed how non-existent I am here?  Like what’s up with that?  The Wild Mind gets on and posts a wimpy (at best) post about Michael Jackson and then disappears.  Hmmm, makes you wonder what I’ve been up to.  Or…makes you wonder if I died like all the rest of the celebrities out there.

Okay, rest assured I haven’t died.

Yes, I have struggled a bit with writer’s block due to the fact that certain someone’s might be reading this blog and trying to read between the lines and of course I don’t want them to get the wrong impression so I….*deeep inhale* ….need to take a freaking breath and just write what I want to write.  But also…and more importantly…I’ve struggled because my life is changing at light speed…due to my own initiative…thanks…and well…I just want to write about something more important than Fire Trucks and swimming pool pumps and hoses hooking up.  I mean, as fun as that is…it is so not where I live and other things are motivating me right now.  Sigh. 

The Wild Mind is in a Wild State of Transition….I guess?  Maybe? 

Or…The Wild Mind is simply being proactive and deciding to live life…instead of merely writing about it after the fact?

Okay…all of the above is true.

Here’s what you (you being anyone interested besides The Wild Mind’s Self) need to know:

* yeah, okay, I admit…life has been busy and rather than write about how I’m accomplishing my New Year’s Resolutions, I am actually out there accomplishing them.

* I’m done with dating derelict men who are unavailable emotionally and legally or who are simply looking for a one night stand(or lay).  I’m also done with spending time with anyone  who cannot demonstrate a  LOGICAL, RATIONAL, well informed and clearly articulated thought process when communicating.  Since this eliminates 97% of all men on the planet and especially those who post profiles on all the dating sites (and, yes, sadly I’ve tried them all), I ‘ve completely given up on the dating thing.

“Why?” you ask.

“Because” I say, “I have so much better things to do with my life.”

Yeah, that’s it.  I’ve decided to quit moping about my past failures.  I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off and am reinventing myself and my life and my future.  I’m doing it because I can.  I’m doing it because I still have the energy and health to do it….and I am loving every freaking minute of it!  I’m.having.fun!

My mother was soooo right on.  I should have done what I wanted to do to begin with instead of being so worried about pleasing the world and getting married simply because it was the socially acceptable fantasy at the time.  Thank-you, Mom.  Even though you never saw the fruit of your labor with me while alive, understand that your words like seeds were sowed deep in me and took root…albeit late…but they have taken root and sprouted and there is a bountiful harvest for sure! 🙂  I’m finally figuring out what I’m about…what I want and it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of some nondescript man in my life. 

But it means I’m not having so much time to write, especially when it means that creative energy is spread out among 3 or more blogs,  4 children and one very viable contender for the Knight in Shining Armor Award.  (Okay, screw the shining armor part, he’s just very interesting, intelligent, attractive, real…and…well…the best part is that so far his actions match his words and that is never a bad thing).

Yes, if he passes muster, you’ll hear about it.  Until then, he’s only one who’s captured my imagination, sparked my interest and kept my interest far, far longer than most.  If he rides off into the sunset it will be because he didn’t like the fact that I wanted to ride my own horse instead of hitching onto his.  It will be because he wasn’t willing to move forward while I mounted my own gallant steed and caught up with him in a bit.  It will simply be because he wasn’t able to or man enough to deal with a princess who is completely in charge of herself and doesn’t depend on a dashing prince to achieve her dreams. It will be because he ultimately felt insecure around me instead of inspired and motivated to be the best he could be.  Somehow, this particular Knight, strikes me as being one who will make decisions for himself, and allow his Princess to make her own decisions, all the while as he’s got her back and spoiling her at every opportunity.  Not because he has to, but becaue he’s totally into her and not afraid to declare it.

Dashing prince or not, The Wild Mind will create her own Fairy Tale Happy Ending.   It will take an incredibly amazing and masculine and self assurred….even a bit arrogant…maybe cocky Prince to be able to roll with that. 

Can you imagine just how interesting that relationship might be?  Not your standard, let’s-go-to-bed-at-ten-and-do-the-same-three-things-we-always-do-in-the-same-order-at-the-same-time -like-a-circus-monkey kind of relationship now is it?

Tahiti On My Mind

skiingonglassSo, you know how life is?  You cruise along and everything is really chill and you are making forward progress toward all your goals.  You have your game on and you are kickin’ it. You are just moving through life like water-skiing on glass.  It’s a complete breeze.  All you have to do is hold on to the rope and you don’t even need both hands.  Jumping the wake is effortless and every single time you land it cutting sharp with rooster tail flying.  Life doesn’t get any better than that!

We all know life turns on a dime though.

In the water-skiing arena of life all it takes is that submerged rock or floating log that the driver of the boat didn’t see or that edge you catch because you aren’t paying attention and then suddenly you are hurling over water at nearly 34 miles an hour which is breakneck speed when you are wearing almost nothing and the surface of the water is throwing you back into the air like a red rubber bouncy ball on cement.  It’s simply no fun.  In fact, depending on the wipeout, and I have had a few of these, after the motion stops you wonder if you are, first, still alive and second, how badly you might be bleeding. Hitting glass at that speed is like jumping onto the freeway from a car traveling the speed limit.  It hurts…bad!

But then life isn’t just the water-skiing thing happening in isolation.  In real life you could be water-skiing, but then someone says something and another person sends you an email and a kid looks up at you and asks you the most random question or you have someone new enter your life you totally pushes your game and suddenly there you are…

hurtling buns over teakettle…

bumping…bouncing…skidding…slamming…hurting…gasping…reeling…

waiting for it all to stop. Wondering if it will stop. And you can’t do anything to make it stop.

Yeah.  That’s pretty much how life can be sometimes.  And that is exactly how my life has been.

So, let’s go over the skiing on glass experiences:

Two years ago I left Ex #2, who was emotionally, spiritually and verging on the point of physically, abusive.  To put it kindly, he was a very cruel, selfish, immature, irresponsible, manic/depressive and unkind person. I got out of that marriage and managed to keep my health, home and some of my stuff but I ended up having to take on all the marital debt.  Because why?  Because during the marriage, I was the one with the rockin’ credit score and he couldn’t even beg bread on the corner so everything (credit wsadness_1_ise and I was worth a decent amount…then) was in my name.  I was smart enough on one level to never combine accounts with the man, but in the end, that also killed me, because those are the debts I am now paying off.  Sure, I could have fought for a judgement that forced him to pay half, but he wouldn’t have paid it (I know this man well) and that would have screwed my credit score and my ethics. It wasn’t a risk I was willing to take. So, Ex leaves with no obligations, I carry on with all of them.  As the marriage goes, so goes the divorce. 

True, he goes home to live with mommy (and pay no bills) and he actively seeks for and finds his replacement for me.  Easy freaking come, easy freaking go.

Sad thing about that is…when I was there…I wasn’t taking it so lightly and I really cared.  Clearly he didn’t.

So, two years post-divorce and I’m just barely beginning to see this dim light at the end of the tunnel and thinking life is actually going to be peaceful where this man is concerned (that’s the glass part)  where this crazy man is concerned and he runs off to Vegas and marries someone and not even someone he has really had an opportunity to meet or interact with in real time. Worse, my daughter’s only met her twice. And now he’s announcing to the world how they are already actively working on having a family and they haven’t been married a week.  Better. Get this.  He already has 8 children he is not paying for or supporting either emortionally or financially!!!!!  I could really care less what he’s doing or who he’s doing…except that it seems incredibly unfair that the schmuck here can find fun far faster than the responsible, mature, thinking  person.   There is seriously something wrong with this world…or maybe it is this country…or maybe it is convervative Christians…or maybe it is just him. (He’s an amazing con artist!)  Enough.of.that!

overwaterbungalowWhile all that was going down in my life and I’m reeling from the realization that I wasted 7 very critical years of my life with a man who really did only view me as something less than the dogs and completely replace-able, other things were going on too.  A friend sent me one of those joke emails.  I’d post it in here, but I’m not sure how to make it work.  In this particular case, it was an invitation to a barbecue at a beautiful resort in the South Pacific.  You know the place.  Bungalows built out over the water, floors of glass looking into the ocean and fish swimming below.  Beautiful.  Sunny.  Warm. Serene.  Isolated.  Isolated.  Solitary.  Relaxing isolation. 

Back at home, the kids are angry because I have limits and won’t adjust (much) when they inform me at the last minute.  I’m also doing the same ole teenage fight that centers around balancing home obligations (read chores…or in my kids’ case “chore”) with social desires.  It doesn’t make me popular around here. And now, my youngest, who is clearly having her dad and  The Replacement plan fun things in her presence when they know she will be with me (as an attempt to upset her and indirectly coerce me into allowing her to be with him) is very, very angry and unhappy…supposedly with me.  Not like he could pick up the phone and call and say, “Hey, we have this big family thing we’d like her to be a part of can she come?” instead he has to directly involve her and use her to manipulate me. 

Like I said earlier….as the marriage goes, so goes the divorce.

I’m also way into the most stressful month I’ve yet to experience in my life since leaving the Ex and in this week alone I have more obligations due than most people in my position have in a year…and more were added this week.  I seriously need to be mainlining vodka crans…no…Long Island Ice Teas…in order to self-medicate here!

The next unrelated incident that happened was a digital friend, who in very casual conversation made this statement, “You can’t control anything another person does.”  Obvious enough, true enough and old knowledge for me…but in the context of all the other things hitting me on the glassy surface of life at 35+ miles/knotts an hour this one caused some different synapses to fire.

It all culminated with the young, beautiful, intelligent and wise Student Teacher who has her complete game on coming into my classroom this last week and putting a picture up on the big screen of a freaking bungalow built over the water in Tahiti as a writing prompt for the kids.  I so did not need to see that.  And, who does she think she is anyway, coming into my classroom and freaking challenging me to amp up my instruction to the next level?????  Well, all I can say to that is, “Bring it, girlfriend!  We’ll rock this sleepy little joint with the proverbial as iron sharpens iron thing!”   Anyway….I hate her.

glass_floorI hate her for putting that image up.

I hate that the fact that this particular image has haunted me throughout the week.

And that’s when, my water-skiing on glass life became the wipeout of the century…sort of.

“Mommy, over break Daddy and his girfriend went to a drive through Chapel in Vegas and got married.”

Images of bungalows built over the ocean.

“Mommy, I want to go live with my dad.  He’s more fun and I want to be with my stepmom.” (Daggers in my heart.)

“You can’t control what other people do.”

“You can’t control what other people do.”  Well, what is it I want to do, now that it doesn’t matter to anyone else?

“You can’t control what other people do.” Tahiti.  Glass floors.  14 nights of solitude. 

“You can’t control what other people do.” What I really want to do is spend 14 nights of solitude in the South Pacific.  I would be a completely different person after that.

It was strange.  As I sat there lying face down on the proveribial post-divorce surface of the now choppy lake, I thought, “I am free. I am really no longer obligated to consider him in any decision I make regarding our child.  In over two years, he’s not concerned himself in communicating with me, why am I concerned about making the attempt with him.  My duty now rests completely with making my daughter’s childhood the best it can be in spite of him…and I’m not going to give him the heads up about it.”

Simultaneously the question my mother use to plague me with ran through my mind, “You need to decide what it is you want to do and then do it.” For the first time in my life…I can really answer this question.  What I really want to do is spend 14 nights, three weeks or a month if I could afford it, in one of those bungalows over the South Pacific all.by.myself.allbymyself

“What???!!! Like not even with a guy???!!” A friend of mine asked.  Yeah, she can, she’s happily married.  “No,” I answered, “Not today, at least.  Not even with a guy.  Alone.”

So, while the last three weeks or so have done their best to slap me around (and, yes, it’s been painful), the feeling and the awareness that comes when the skier realizes they just survived a major wipeout and they’re still alive and still able to pick up the rope and continue skiing (even if they have to sojourn in the boat awhile) is like life reborn. The second wind, the second chance, the next 40 years.  However, you want to phrase it, it was one of those weeks for me.

I will be heading to the South Pacific and I’ve set a goal and a deadline.  Further, I really do want to go alone but if Mr. Soulmate finds me before then and would like to join me…truly…I’d be disappointed…in a way…that I wasn’t going alone…and I’d consider it a complete gift in another way. Quality relationships are difficult to find…and even more difficult to keep. If you find yourself  blessed by being part of one, make it a priority.

Even further, since fourth grade, I’ve wanted to write a book, but I’ve never been able to come up with a storyline  or even a basic plot.  And I’ve been too afraid to make the attempt (yeah, I know I don’t particularly strike anyone as the fearful type, but I am). All of that changed for me this week.  I not only have the characters named and fleshed out, but I have the setting, basic plot, problem and….yes…even the conclusion for my story.  And I’m  not afraid to write it and not afraid to submit it to scrutiny a million times if need be. It may never get published.  But it will be written. 

My story starts in pain, continues in Tahiti and ends in hope.

I feel like the last several weeks I’ve gone from just beginning to feel like I’mdreams water-skiing on glass to feeling like I’m experiencing the wipeout of the century.  After crawling in the boat and resting for a bit (and moaning and groaning like a blasted wuss all the while) I feel like I’m ready to trade in the boat and skis and purchase a ticket to the South Pacific. Not because I hate skiing or because I’m gun shy, or because I’m a bad skier, but because, while I really love water-skiing, it just isn’t what I want to really be doing right now. 

14 nights.

Bungalow over the water.

Complete solitude.

A book.

I have Tahiti on my mind.