Sigh

Tonight I sit at home in pajama pants with the sky darkening and threatening to rain.  The dog is snoring next to me, the cats are scattered and sleeping.  We are all pleasantly exhausted.

Tomorrow brings about Sam coming home for a few days so she can get her college orientation done and a doctors appointment. This week at work is crazy busy, but will be fulfilling as always. 

I still find myself saying “sigh” tonight, even after reading, making a huge bowl of pasta salad, watching Orange is the New Black and straightening up around the apartment.  I feel unaccomplished and like I am not doing something I should be. 

I sigh because my heart is heavy.  I am lost without having my baby girl home every night. Cooking for one has been a challenge.  Pippa misses Sam and so do the cats.  I sigh because I realize how many things my daughter has done to help me around the house that now I am doing.  I sigh when I want to talk about my day and she isn’t here. 

I am grateful that she is heading to college and I am so happy that she has a bright future ahead of her. 

The sigh is because, while I know I have friends, I feel lonely.  Like there is something missing.  I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.  I’m ready to explore and cross a few things off my list.

As a single woman, who is pretty strong, I wonder – am I a superhero? Does being a superhero mean I can’t sigh?

Sigh, I just don’t know. 

Maybe It Is Me?

Well folks, my self esteem has tanked.  I have been a paying member of both Zoosk and EHarmony and apparently it must be either my photos or how I am wording my answers.  Right?
Maybe people aren’t doing online dating? Maybe they don’t get online dating?

Lately I have been the target of one and done dates, men that hat and don’t follow up or men that are so much older than me it is disgusting to think about. 

Let’s take for example a man I have been “chatting” with for over 3+ weeks.  This happened:

I guess meeting is too much to ask.


Then I really started to question myself and my profiles and thought who better to analyze my dating profile than the internet. 

Now I am asking the interwebs to take a look. Be honest. What should I do?

Here is my EHarmony profile.  Be honest – I can’t grow without help.  They say honesty is the best policy. 

Profile pictures – yay or nay?

Basic information – not too spicy!


Likes/Dislikes – not much I can improve on! Right?

Any suggestions? The internet knows me best!

Missing a section, need some help!

At the end of the day my profile gets skipped over, men don’t respond to my messages. Instead I get winks and lewd remarks that amount to feeling all kinds of strange things. 

Are there any good men out there? Ones that open doors, care and are kind.  Maybe a man that talks about more than sex, can discuss careers, current events, sports and other topics.

I wonder if I am meant to be single.  Maybe I need to go back to just taking care of me. 

At the end of the day, it is my heart and my soul that keep getting rejected and little by little they are wearing down. 

Share your thoughts – they are always welcome and received with an open mind. 

Peace and Love!

Parenthood

I recently had the privilege of spending quality time with three amazing people.  These 7 days were some of the most blissful and exhausting days in recent years.  Some things that I realized over these 7 days when it comes to motherhood led me to believe that even though I love the smell, touch and sound of a wee little one, as I am rounding the corner to 40, caring for a newborn is a lot harder than I recall.

There are a number of things that are now a part of raising a baby that were not a part of raising my daughter (who is now 18 and graduating high school) back in 1998.

Let me start with bottle warmers.  We didn’t have these fancy contraptions.  Your baby cried and cried until you could get the water in the sink warm enough to soak the bottle in a cup to warm the milk.  Now, in 3.5 minutes you can have a bottle ready to go.  I find this a wonderful contraption, yet I think every parent should experience the baby wailing at the top of their lungs who wants nothing more than to be fed.

Next up, Diaper Genies.  A convenient way to dispose of stinky diapers.  Now, I think this is genius.  We had a garbage can, but it sure didn’t contain the smell the same way the Diaper Genie does.  I absolutely love this contraption.

Baby bathtubs may have existed when my daughter was younger, but I sure didn’t have one.  Instead we used the kitchen sink.

4Moms Baby Swing is something that I sure as heck didn’t have.  It is a pretty neat contraption, but I am not 100% sure that it is something that my daughter would have ever used.  I am lucky she used a bouncer seat and the one we had sure as heck didn’t have a battery operated contraption attached to it.

I forgot what cat naps were and I forgot what trying to decipher a cry was like.

I was reminded what it was like to pack up a baby, put them in the car and go to the grocery store.  It is a challenge to grocery shop when you have a baby in a car seat and can only fit so many groceries around a car seat without feeling like you are smooshing the baby and ruining whatever food you are getting.

I was pleasantly surprised that a Boba Wrap wasn’t as confusing as I thought it was and allowed me to be hands-free to work a little while he was sleeping.

At the end of the day, taking care of a baby, cooking, cleaning and working is exhausting. It isn’t for the faint of heart, however it causes your heart to swell with love and joy every time you look into the sweet eyes and catch a coy smile along the way.

As I move further away from my 20’s and closer to my 40’s I am reminded I make a good aunt to little boys and girls.  My little bit of time that I spent with a sweet 2 month old took me back to the times when things were simpler in the technology arena, but everyone still gave you advice and their two cents worth.  It is still the same though, nobody knows your baby better than you do and you can take it all with a grain of salt.

All the amazing people in my life that are moms and dads have one thing in common – their unconditional love for their children.  You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice, along with sheer exhaustion, there is a love, only a parent can explain.

I will always be grateful for being a parent.  Always.

What the Heck?

I have not been blogging much because quite frankly I don’t have time. My weeks look like this:

Monday – Drive from Columbus to Cleveland

Tuesday – Work in Cleveland

Wednesday – Work in Cleveland and plan to go home at the end of the day, but stay because…work. 

Thursday – Work in Cleveland and try to finish before 3:00 pm to make it home by dinner – not a guarantee. 

Friday – it’s a crap shoot if I make it home to my family (well, my daughter and pets) before 5:00 pm. 

Saturday – Clean and cook so that when I leave again there is food and the apartment doesn’t look like pigs live in it. 

Sunday – Laundry and pack – hopefully have a meal with my daughter and go to bed early. 

Part of me wishes for a normal life.  You know the fairytale that looks like this:

Get up (without a migraine and looking amazing)

Make everyone breakfast while smiling and being cheerful)

Send everyone on their way, take a leisurely shower, get ready and go to work (after making sure the house is immaculate and dinner is prepped)

Come home, do homework, make dinner and enjoy family time

Everyone goes to bed without a problem and I can enjoy wine, a bath, a good book or some television 

Go to bed with my loving partner and do it all again the next day

What. The. Heck. 

Who knows if this is really a thing.  If it is, shit, I want in on it. 

My life is instead riddled with anxiety, thoughts of not being good enough, add some level of hating how I look and make sure to include a healthy fear of being alone forever. 

Again, what the heck?

When I called my mom tonight and kindly explained (through tears) that I was not wanting to come home Sunday because it meant a lot of unnecessary driving, she made me feel like it is all my fault that I have a job that takes me out of town.

Yes mom, it is my fault. 

It’s my fault I live in Columbus

It’s my fault I travel too much. 
It’s my fault I go home to Columbus Saturday morning to come back to Cleveland Sunday for Easter, back to Columbus and then go back to work Monday morning in Cleveland. 

I must come home and drive 10+ hours over less than 72 hour period to appease my mom.

It’s no wonder I’m single and find it impossible to fall in love.  When the hell do I have time to date?

I miss my home.  I miss having a life.  I miss my daughter and I miss my pets. 

That right there is my life. I work hard and go without a lot to make them happy.  Because they make me happy.  I sacrifice and sometimes put myself and my needs last to make sure they are cared for.

Just for once I would love to not be left saying what the heck and shaking my head at the end of each day. 

What’s next?

I’m not sure, but I’m open for suggestions!

When I Look…

One of the things I have tried to instill into my daughter and all little girls that are part of my life is that you need to be who you are and own it. 

The problem is that I don’t always own who I am.  

Why?  

  • Because I am ashamed of my past life. 
  • Because I don’t like what I see. 
  • Because I think I am ugly.
  • Because I think I am obese. 
  • Because my mental health gets in the way. 
  • Because friendships don’t come easy.
  • Because sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain. 
  • Because once in a while my heart moves faster than my head. 

When I look in the mirror I see what’s not there vs what is there. I see a woman who is almost 40 missing a lot of things:

  •  A partner
  • A house I own
  • A sexy body
  • A college education
  • Money in savings
  • Good credit

I have great intentions and really have plans to do great things mentally, physically and emotionally.

  • Drink water
  • Go to the gym
  • Walk more
  • Eat clean
  • Save money
  • Think positively
  • Work on my wellness
  • Better friendships

Lately I feel like a crappy friend and family member.  Likely because I can’t seem to be there for anyone.  I want to be able to care for everyone all the time and when I can’t I sink deeper and deeper into a depression.

When I look in the mirror I start to see lies, cheats, deception and everything I have done that is horrible.  I forget to look at the good, wholesome and productive things that I have done and still do. 

Someone asked me about suicide the other day after the death of the founder of the Semi Colon Project that brought awareness to suicide. We had a brief heart to heart where I really didn’t get a chance to share my suicide stories, but listened to theirs.  It made me start thinking about my past and I realized how far I have come in the last few years.

Over the years I have never been able to ignore my mental health, as it stares me in the face everytime I look in the mirror.  It doesn’t go away, but I learn how to live deal with it and manage.

My point in all this is, when I look into my own eyes I see pain and sorrow.  I want to see happiness and joy in my eyes on a daily basis.  I know that sometimes there are bad days and sometimes there are great days.  What I look for is an in-between to have all the time, a medium ground. 

When I look at life I ask myself why for a number of reasons and try very hard to stop comparing myself to others.

It is because of my mental illness that I have these thoughts and feel like I am going crazy sometimes.  Will I ever be able to have a normal life, probably not.  Will I ever be able to think normal thoughts, likely no.  Maybe one day I will be able to improve my self esteem and feel better about myself. 

What I do know is I can’t rely on someone else to make my self-esteem improve.  I also know that I can’t be in a relationship if I can’t take compliments and be truly happy. 

As I look into the mirror tonight I see someone who spent the day in pajamas and whose hair is cattywompus, but crossed some things off her list and managed to keep two dogs from ruining my home. 

What do you see tonight when you look in the mirror?

Dear Future Partners

Dear Future Partners,

I am writing this tonight in the hopes that those who choose to Google me before we date have a clear sense of what I am looking for.

The list isn’t long and I don’t have a lot of requirement or rules when I make a plan to meet someone, but there are some standards that I am looking for.

#1 – My moral compass states that it is inappropriate to date anyone knowing that they are married.  This means if you are not divorced, dating me is likely not going to happen.  I am not going to be the other woman.

#2 – Don’t do drugs or be an alcoholic.  The occasional beverage is fine, I am not going to short you for that, but if you require copious amounts of alcohol or drugs to get through each day – I will pass.  I believe in recovery, but I am not the one to date if you are in active addiction.

#3 – Do unto others as you would want done to you.  Meaning if you want your partner to treat you well and you want to be treated with respect and kindness, then do that for your partner.  Be honest and forthright.  Don’t hide things.

#4 – Don’t lie, cheat or steal from me or others.  I lived that life once and I don’t want to live it again.  People recover from bad past behaviors, but I can’t tolerate someone being actively deceitful.

#5 – It is okay to have flaws and not be perfect, but own it.  Be who you are and say how you feel. Nobody is perfect. Nobody.

Dr Seuss

With all of that being said, here are some things that some may consider wrong with me.

#1 – I am insecure. This is by far my biggest flaw. Deep down I know I am smart, pretty, funny and kind, but at the end of the day, I seek out the reassurance and respect of those I surround my self with.

#2 – When I am in a new relationship, I want to spend as much time with a person as I can.  It is new, exciting, fun and I want to get to know everything about you.  Now this may be because I do not want to get hurt down the road and would rather get it over with quickly (like ripping off a bandaid), however I just want to be able to experience all that is a new person in my life.

#3 – Florence Nightingale is my inspiration. She was a kind and loving woman who wanted to take care of everyone around her. She put her mark on the nursing profession and made sure that those around her were taken care of. I desire to be like her in caring for others and making sure their needs are always met before mine.

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#4 – I use social media and I use emojis. I don’t apologize for this. However, I am fluent in the English language, but sometimes I like acting like I am 12.

#5 – I am a hopeless romantic. I love picnics, walks, baking and cooking for my partner and overall making sure that they feel loved and cared for by doing the simple things. You don’t have to do big and elaborate things to make me happy and I promise I am all about doing small and sweet things to make you happy.

At the end of the day I am pretty simple. I don’t need a lot to be happy.  Here are my things that I need/want in life.

  1. Roof over my head + bonus points if it has a big kitchen.
  2. Children – young or old, I want children in my life.  They can be grown or they can be small, but I want to be able to care for children.
  3. Pets.  I love my dog and cats (in fact the dog is snoring next to me as I type this and there are two cats on either side of me).
  4. Sports – I love sports. We can disagree on teams, but don’t turn off football or hockey when I am watching it.
  5. Family and friends. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them, so don’t think I am going to abandon them for you. I want you to integrate into life and be a part of theirs too.
  6. Physical compatibility – this is important. I am not saying we need to be skinny or body builders, I am saying that we need to be able to match up physically. This also fuels into romance and intimacy. Without these a relationship is doomed.
  7. Career – I want a career that I love and I hope that my partner has one too. However the career pays the bills and shouldn’t come before the other person.
  8.  Communication – this is important and maybe shouldn’t be last, but being able to communicate and know how best to do so is important.

Well my future partners, I am not sure if you are up to the task, or if all of this seems daunting to you. However maybe, just maybe if everyone was open and honest when it came to dating and who they were looking to date, we wouldn’t have this crazy life that pushes us to be who we are not.

Until next time friends I wish you the best in all that you do and ask that you please keep me in line and let me know when I am maybe stepping out of the boundaries or normal and into abnormal.

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Mirrors

When I look in the mirror what do I see?

I don’t see pretty.

I don’t see sexy.

I see ugly and unattractive.

Recently I had a long conversation with a friend.  He was kind and informed me that I was attractive, that I have a nice smile and pretty eyes. While that was nice and sweet, it was what he didn’t say that really got to me.

I used to think I was all that and a bag of chips. As I am nearing 39, I realize that is not the case. I don’t have what society, or even my doctor calls a healthy body (as I sit here at McDonald’s and write this between appointments), my skin still breaks out like I am in my teens, I am pretty sure I find a new ache or kink each day when I wake up, my hair isn’t long and beautiful (it is short and the gray hair has been popping through something fierce), once in a blue moon I can get my nails to grow and if I am not wearing makeup I feel naked.

It is amazing what happens when I take before and after pictures.

This first picture was heading into the salon.  I was in desperate need of an update. I mean realistically I don’t think that any guy would have walked up to me and started a conversation looking like this.  No makeup, hair a wreck and eyebrows totally array.  The second picture, was later that night – I had my hair cut, colored (all one color) put some makeup on and made sure my eyebrows were shaped.

 Please tell me you see the difference and agree with me?

Maybe I have perfected the art of the selfie?  Maybe I can just get away with taking pictures from the neck up that make me look goooooood! Regardless, I am not in the minority of women out there. As I sit at this McDonald’s and drink my Diet Coke, I listen to other women (of various ethnicities) talk about make up, hair and nails. They are swapping recipes or looking up fad diets on their phones (yes, we are still at McDonald’s and talking about dieting).

In this whole process of dating and trying to make sure that I feel better and look better in order to attract “the right one” I find myself slipping back into the mentality of who the hell cares if I ever meet someone, being alone is just fine and once in a blue moon I start to think that I am not worth it and not deserving of love.

When I look in the mirror I see someone that has failed herself and her family miserably. Someone who hasn’t ever owned a house, held down a job for more than 2 years at a time and runs far from problems instead of trying to fix them.

Does this sound like a person who deserves to love another and be loved by another?

Not in my opinion.

Moving back to what happens when I look in the mirror – I am sad. I see what used to be a vibrant and outgoing person. Now, you could classify me as an extroverted introvert and if you aren’t sure what the hell that means – this article explains it better than I ever could. People say I have a lot of friends and I have people that love me and will help me, but someone said the other day I must feel like a used car and I laughed (I mean I was laughing so hard I was crying) when they explained what they meant. The problem is, once I realized what they meant, I went from laughing to tears. They were right, I feel like I get passed up/around by people. This is why when I look in the mirror, I see damaged and used goods and nobody wants that long term.

There is a song by Gnash that is called “I Love You I Hate You” and these lyrics about sum up how I feel most days:

I hate you I love you
I hate that I love you
Don’t want to, but I can’t put
Nobody else above you
I hate you I love you
I hate that I want you
You want her, you need her
And I’ll never be her

Mirrors are not my friend and unless I am putting makeup on or doing my hair, I try not to look in them. My confidence is better when I am not looking in the mirror and I just do what I do, not giving two shits about what anyone thinks about me.

Does this sometimes get me in trouble?  Yep.

Do I really care?  Nope.

I am me. Love me. Leave me. I will always be me.

I encourage anyone who has the same self-esteem problems or doesn’t like looking in the mirror to spend some time loving you. It can be a bath, hot shower, face mask, manicure, pedicure, time alone, a massage or just reading a book with a nice candle. Start loving you.

Don’t worry about what others think about you.

Easier said than done, but worth a try – am I right?

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