Wrapping Up a Decade

10 years.

They can change a person. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse and sometimes, things just stay the same.

It is like blogging, I really loved writing for a long time, but then some people took what I wrote and twisted it around and it became more of a hassle to put myself out there and be honest about things. Instead I just stopped sharing, as I was tired of being hurt.

I look back to the year 2010 and where I was in my life. You know what? I really don’t remember much. Honestly I can’t think of anything that was life changing for me (marriage, birth, death etc.) in that specific year. I had some employment changes, I moved, had a few relationships start and end and really just lived life each day without really recalling specific events (or at least the date that they occurred).

Honestly, thank goodness for Facebook and Shutterfly memories because I am pretty darn sure that I would not know my own birthday, let alone anyone else’s.

I recall some things that happened to others over the last 10 years:

My brother was married in December 2010

Samantha graduated high school in 2017 & subsequently started at The Ohio State University shortly thereafter

Samantha also turned 21 which was a pretty wonderful celebration with family & friends

My nephew was born in 2013 in England

My best friend lost her grandma

I watched children of friends graduate high school, head off to college and through the power of the internet was able to keep in touch with others in a new way.

Really, the last decade has been a blur. I have made new friends, lost friends and rekindled old friendships. It seems like there is never enough time to spend with friends and everyone has crazy schedules.

Every year we all make resolutions and we all try to make commitments to do better, be a better person, eat healthier, read more, take time for ourselves and at the end of the day, I feel like I don’t accomplish a single one of those things. Do you?

I have been laughing lately at all the wellness equipment being sold on television for the holidays and wonder to myself, if I spent $3,000 on a new bike or mirror, would I use it for a bit and then let it go or would it make me more committed to my health?

I know that I am constantly trying to be a better person, a nicer human, more caring, compassionate and take time to check on all of my friends to make sure they are okay. I feel like a huge failure most of the time and wonder how to be a better person at least towards others.

As the year is coming to a close I wonder if closing up my blog for now is the best option, it just sits there, year after year and I post maybe 3 or 4 times, not really sure I am even enjoying what I am posting. I keep up with the usual social media ~ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I am starting to use LinkedIn a bit more, but really it is like I said above, I don’t get to be “me” and that can become a bit annoying/frustrating as “me” is not always positive and “me ” is not always able to be a ray of sunshine, sometimes I am a b**ch and sometimes I am crabby. A lot of times I am in pain and lets face it, do we really post pictures of our faces with anger on them or with tears streaming down them?

The answer is simply, nope.

What can I say that sums up the last ten years?

The last ten years have simply been chaos, sometimes good chaos, but sometimes a chaos that is so terrible and overwhelming it consumes ones life. I choose to look at the chaos in three ways; did I learn from it, did I grow from it and did it kill me? Usually the answers are clear and since I am still writing today I am going to go with the fact that nothing has killed me.

As the decade comes to a close the last ten years around the sun have taught me to love fiercely and deeply. To let everyone know how I feel about them. To never leave a stone unturned, do my research and if my gut tells me no, then I probably shouldn’t do it. To take care of others and when it is time for me to ask for help, which isn’t often because I am stubborn, others will help me as well.

I have learned who my true friends are and how to have a relationship with my family. It has been strained and challenging, but now I can see things differently and accept where I came from. I can look at others and accept where they are coming from and do my best to meet them in the middle.

In the last ten years I have aged enough to know that things like politics, religion and history are all important and I should do my best to be knowledgeable about them. NPR is my new favorite radio station and I am okay with that.

Sports are still my favorite pastime and moving to Columbus 8 years ago has rekindled by love of hockey.

Romantic encounters are still not my forte. I mean I moved to Columbus to follow love and that didn’t turn out well. I began and ended another long term relationship and in the middle of all that I have had a few passerby’s some of whom made a mark on my life and some I was happy to leave in the past.

As I enter 2020 at the wonderful age of 41, I am choosing to not conform to what society sees as a typical 41 year old. I still live in an apartment, I still struggle financially, I am in no way going to be able to retire in style, I don’t drive a fancy car, I stopped getting my hair colored and my nails done because if you don’t like me for who I am and what I look like, then you aren’t my kind of person. At 41, I am watching my daughter succeed in college making her own choices, I am watching her find and leave behind relationships and I am learning that my love for her will never change. She is by far the most talented and charismatic individual that I know. I am lucky that no matter what anyone else calls me, she calls me mom.

So many times we end a year and call it a dumpster fire or terrible. So many times we look to the next year to hopeful for better things to come. We forget to look back on the past and smile because it happened. We forget the good things and the good times because lets face it, not every day can things be terrible.

I am leaving the last ten years behind and I don’t know what the next ten years will bring. What I do know is I am choosing to find joy, choosing to not see each year defined as its terrible events, but instead look and find the good that has happened in each year and build off of that for the next year to come.

In 2020 I am not making resolutions, instead I am making a commitment to change. Change my way of thinking, change my way of handling relationships, change my outlook on the world and do my best. That is all I can do. My best. It may not be for everyone, but at the end of the day, it is all I can offer.

My best.

When Did Life Change?

I’m not sure when my life changed so much.

Life used to be about chasing after a child and managing shared parenting. It was difficult at times. There were ups and downs for sure. I made it through some great times and some really bad times. My life always has revolved around me helping others and taking care of others. It was always hard when I needed to ask for help and I had to ask for a lot over the years.

Now life is about me, usually.

I spend a lot of time working, not having to chase a child around, but I now have one dog and 2 cats…most of the time. I have recently become part of a foster group and usually have an extra dog and cat hanging around.

I have found that I am a homebody. Like part of me wants to go out and do things and then part of me just says “nah” and I stay in.

Take for example today. I gave an open invitation to friends to stop by for dinner and when they couldn’t make it, instead of looking for something else to do, I yanked my bra off, put on pajama pants and made myself dinner. Put on some HGTV and played Candy Crush. I skipped working and really just ignored the world.

Now, was my choice “healthy”? Probably not. Should I have gone to the gym, visited a friend, worked or done something more productive? Probably.

So now I am looking at one more quick walk with the dog and being in bed by 9:00 pm.

I wonder when my life changed. When I stopped worrying about dating and being a social extrovert to accepting single and becoming introverted.

At some point I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me, my looks and my attitude. I dyed my hair, pierced my nose and stopped worrying about being fashionable and instead chose to worry about being with those who want to spend time with me and caring for animals.

Life has changed a lot in 40 years that’s for sure and each day I look forward to another challenge.

This is 40 and 40 is for me.

Inching Along

I have been getting Facebook messages asking if I was going to blog again and how I was doing, in which case I thought maybe a post with pictures showing what’s been going on since August 14, 2017.

I took a quick trip to Chicago, came home and spent a short bit of time with these two lovelies after work one night. Then it was off to home with my daughter to get ready to send her off to college

After an extensive shopping spree and two car loads, we got her all settled in and I headed towards home.

I had spent most of my summer alone, as my girl was living life in Tennessee. While she was gone I realized I needed to start making some life choices.

After a “last meal” at my favorite place, Condado Taco, I started delving into the lovely world of meal prep. I was edging on a 4-5 day work trip and needed to make sure I wasn’t tempted to go out to eat.

On August 25, 2017, I hit my highest weight in years of 215 lbs. I was devastated and knew it was time to make changes. Meal prep, joining Planet Fitness and investing in an iWatch were all on the list of things to do.

Enjoyed a night out with some girlfriends and started back on the journey of deciding that I was worth it. That someone, somewhere would find me lovable, attractive and worthy of spending time with.

The following week was HELL at work, getting a grant submitted. I got home from that week and wanted nothing more than to sleep for days!

Spent Labor Day weekend visiting family, enjoying good ice cream from a local spot and baking some treats!

Loving on these four creatures as much as possible.

Had a few dates, been to the gym and have continued to cook, clean and declutter my home.

I have an outside cat (or three) who visit my porch frequently that I am feeding and I am set for a couple weeks of busy work and family/friend activities.

Things have really been uneventful, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve been pretty and I’ve been in pajamas.

Entering into sports season and that makes me happy, especially since that means post-season baseball, football, college football and hockey. I think basketball starts soon, but I’ll leave that to my mom.

Maybe this post will be my catalyst back into blogging and reviewing. Who knows, as I say that often.

Sending peace & love to you!

It’s Okay, I’m Nobody

Lately I find myself thinking more and more like I am disposable.  I'm not really one to get down on myself, but lately I am beginning to wonder where I fit in.

It's kind of like high school all over again.  I never really fit in anywhere specific.  Ask my best friend, she will tell you.  I wasn't in band, couldn't sing, don't have a lick of artistic ability and while I played travel soccer, high school sports were not my thing.  I acted a bit, but it wasn't 100% for me.

I didn't date, never really had a boyfriend and most of the time I kept to myself, only to act out when I wanted attention, not always the good kind. Yearbook was okay, but I couldn't commit and I wasn't one to really work that hard to find friends.  It wasn't until Mrs. Herbruck and DECA did I really feel accepted and like I belonged somewhere. 

Here I am 20+ years later, divorced and realizing I am in the same spot I was in back at Strongsville High School.

This is me. Pretty plain and simple. 

However when you visit my Facebook page and see over 1,000 friends or Twitter and see over 1,000 followers you would think that I am an influencer and that I've got game.  

Shit.  

You are wrong. 

I ain't got game and I am one person who can't influence diddly squat. It isn't for lack of trying – I do try and influence others about behavioral health, albeit not as successfully as I would like, but I try.

I am me.  Take me. Leave me.

Period. 

Sometimes I am a nobody, and sometimes I am a somebody.  

Depends on the day. 

The thing is, I may be a nobody, to you, but I am a somebody to someone. Somewhere.

Maybe smiling at a random person will make their day.

Maybe the sandwich I buy the homeless man will help him a little.

Maybe paying someone to help me out when I am in need will pay their bill.

Maybe the text or phone call out of nowhere to an old friend will wake up a friendship.

Maybe a blind date will turn into more.

To any one of those people I was a nobody, until I was somebody.

You see, while I struggle with life daily, not feeling wanted or needed, I have to lie down at night and realize I can't be everything to everyone, instead I will do what I can to be something to someone each day.

Living La Vida Alone

Here we go folks.

I am one step closer to being an empty nester.

After having my mini's graduation party this weekend (which was a HUGE success) I am realizing quickly how much I relied on her to be around.

Some say that this will give me time to get to know "me". Others say I will get to focus on my health and wellness. Then the third group says this will allow me to spread my wings and allow the freedom to date and travel.

To all of them I simply say "f**k off" because until you are in my shoes you will not understand the pain of realizing that person you have had in your home almost everyday for 18+ years will all of the sudden be sleeping somewhere 99% of the time.

I have been madly in love with being a mom since 1997. In between I have tried to find "hobbies" like scrapbooking, essential oil crafts, cooking, photography and many more.

Guess what – not successful.

Maybe it's my ADD. Maybe I just get bored easily. Either way I am finding myself cleaning out Rubbermaid tubs of crap that has gone by the wayside.

It has hit me recently, I just like taking care of people. That's all.

I keep busy with work, so my days plus some nights and weekends are full not to mention the animal brigade I have with me. Yet those 3-4 hours that I have alone are sometimes a little much to tolerate.

I think I'm starting to talk to myself people.

I ask the readers, what is it I should do? How have you dealt with being single and an empty nester?

Tonight I am starting with this:

What other thoughts do you have?

Every Road Leads to an End

I have heard this saying before in my life and I never really understood it.  Maybe that is because I think every road leads to something bigger and better.  

I would like to think that roads may twist and turn, but each road is an adventure that can lead to amazing and wonderful things. 

In life I have traveled down many paths and many roads.  Some were successful, some not so much. 

I figure that destiny will lead me down the path I am supposed to be on.  This may be because I avoided another road. I am good at avoiding roads.  If it is too challenging or complicated, I have been known to avoid it. I am not a fan of confrontation or causing myself to face adversity.

I’m currently faced with a number of conundrums in life.  My career, relationships and just life problems.  I am looking down a number of paths and each one has countless possibilities.  Which one will hurt the least amount of people? Which paths effect the least amount of people?

I would like to think of life as simple, but this thing called emotions is shattering me physically, mentally and emotionally.  I keep taking the road of helping others, but right now I need that shoulder to cry on.  Messy crying.  Lots of wine.

Learning to be alone. It’s not easy. It’s a path that I knew I was going to go down eventually, still not ready for it.  It hurts. 

Since every road has a different path, and I guarantee none of them are straight, I am finding out that I have some books to read, creativity to use and hobbies I need to start. 

Which road?  Where will I end up? 

Only getting out of my head and letting time pass will tell. 

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.