Changes

There are moments in life where things shift. Things change. I’m 40 and everyday things are changing around me. I am one who struggles with change. I like contentment and status quo.

This month/week/year things have changed. A lot.

I have felt a shift in my life.

It’s been a shift with health, family, friends, work and relationships. When things change, my attitude adjusts, I become anxious and sometimes just do my best to survive.

Spending time at the gym has been high on my priority list, but some days I fail to go. Cooking healthy has hit a rough patch because of work and travel, so the progress I was making has halted. Spending time with my reading and writing has, poof, vanished. I just don’t have the time. I love how everyone says if you need the time you will find the time, but damnit I need more hours.

Work eats up 90% of my life between driving, actual work, phone calls and the barrage of work I don’t get done during regular work hours, so I’m working late and the weekend to get my stuff done. I’m fortunate that I’m working, goodness knows there are days I don’t think I’m worthy of this job and that I don’t know what I’m doing. Then there are days that I love what I do and feel good about it.

I’ve become lax on cleaning and organizing, figuring that there are worse things than a few dishes in the sink, dust and animal hair. It was a project to just put up the tree and about once a month I get a bug up my ass and deep clean. Otherwise I kinda say f**k it. It’s not like I’ve been entertaining much lately, so that’s helpful.

Family has been challenging. I feel alienated from them most of the time. My dad is in Florida, isolated from all of us, recovering from surgery and still making sure his cancer is gone. My mom has her own life and while she has a cell phone, sometimes talking to her is like pulling teeth, and then trying to share my life with her is exasperating. I don’t know how to change these two situations, but the change in our relationship has been exhausting. Fortunately, my nephew wears me out when I’m over and the short bit of time we spend together is always entertaining.

Sam in college has been a blessing and a curse. It’s a change to have her home after a year. I got used to just doing my thing, but I love the help I get with Pippa and the cats and knowing that someone is here when I am gone. Plus it is nice that when we can we have a meal or watch TV together.

Recently, I got back into the dating game (sometimes it is a game) and have learned about terms like ghosting, cat fishing and catch and release. I think this has been one of the biggest changes in my life. Getting to know another person, share my time with another and do what I could to just be myself. All the meanwhile hoping the person I’m spending time with is truly who they say they are and learning to trust and just enjoy the experience.

Now, I am not complaining, of that I am sure. Things are just changing. I have always been one who shies away from change. It can be difficult and it most certainly makes my anxiety peak, but change also can be wonderful and breathtaking.

When things change in life many don’t accept the changes, they push them away and try to keep things status quo. I’ve learned over the years I love, I mean really love status quo. Status quo means that it works, it’s not complicated and it makes me happy. What happens when status quo isn’t anymore? Life goes on. Life just goes on.

The shifts keep happening, they always will. I like to think that the most recent set of shifts is good and not overthink or over analyze it. Changing each day, growing as shifts happen.

Tomorrow is a new day, let’s see what it brings.

Sharing in your 30’s

Today I was messaging a friend back and forth about random stuff. Some point in the messaging I shared that I saved money at Target and spent under $100. That alone friends is a HUGE accomplishment, but then she sent me her receipt from Michael’s and I instantly felt better.

My point in sharing this is I started to wonder did our mom’s ever call each other and say “Hey Sally, I saved a lot at KMart today!” or when our dad’s got home they said “Look honey, I couponed at Gold Circle and saved us $50, but got all this cool stuff!”

Was there ever really a store our parents went into and intended on going on for toothpaste or paper towels and walked out with $100 of random crap, kinda like I do at Target?

Is it because we have cell phones now and can message, tweet, snap, Facebook or Instagram every single thing that happens as soon as it happens?

I find that now that I can communicate in real time with certain people and I share a lot more now that maybe I ever did when I had to wait to get home and then pick up the phone and call.

Let’s take for example the other day when I wasn’t feeling good. I was able to tell two friends and get their advice in a matter of minutes. Before technology I would have spent an hour on the phone with each one and accomplished nothing else.

I’m not able to be in Chicago this weekend and since I can’t see my beautiful daughter or gorgeous nephew start to crawl and pull himself up, I’m luckily able to see this all via video and sort of feel like I wasn’t missing out too much.

I’m on the brink of 40 and I have a few good friends I talk to daily. The nice things about these friends is I can talk to them about pretty much anything. From bodily functions, pets, recipes, weight, pains, love, relationships, family and just about anything in between. We can send pictures, videos and get advice at the drop of a needle.

I am not sure why in my 30’s sharing has become easier than when I was in my teens or 20’s, now you could ask me about anything and I would share and share away.

Not sure what is ahead in my 40’s, but I hope to never lose my ability to share and talk with my girlfriends like I do now.

Coming up in the next few days I am going to talk about what the phrases “basic bitch” and “high maintenance” mean, these phrases have been popping up around lately and have me befuddled.

My Story Isn’t Over


2 years ago. This was very important to me.  

2 years have passed. It is still important to me today.

I am eternally grateful for those who held my hand that day because it was one I will never forget and one that makes me always think twice before saying anything to anyone about myself. 

I have a habit of opening up, letting people in and getting hurt by those who judge me. I wear my battle scars proudly and I share my life story with everyone who will listen in the hopes of helping them. 

Recently I was invited to a conference to discuss recovery housing.  It blew me away how many people actually want to listen to the story of someone who, 15+ years ago would have benefited from a form of housing that supported mental health or addiction recovery.  It was empowering to be in rooms where, today, people that need help are being helped. Being there and opening up to people, those I consider friends and colleagues, was something I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to do, without being judged, belittled or stigmatized against. 

Sadly, being hurt and judged is something I have become accustomed to experiencing. However, it is my decision how I act upon that hurt and judgement.  You see, while knowledge is power, it also yields a double edge sword that can hurt me and those around me. 

When I have taken the Briggs-Myer personality tests in the past I have been considered a “Consul” or ESFJ.  When I read through what the description is, I tend to agree with a lot of it, but choose to disagree with a lot of it as well. I love people, this is true and social situations both intrigue me and scare me. 

I have borderline personality disorder.  Most think this means I have a split personality – I don’t, that is a different diagnosis.  I have spent hours in countless therapy sessions and gone through an array of DBT Skills classes to get to where I am at 39.  I have also been diagnosed as ADD, which for me came on at a late age. Both of these combined led to a pretty rough past life and one that, in some instances, I am not proud of. 

You see, the plus side to my personality type and my mental health diagnosis is that I am aware. I know what my strengths are and I know what my shortcomings are.  Sometimes I can stop myself before doing/saying something and sometimes I can’t.  So, while I believe sharing is caring – sometimes it isn’t.

When I say my story isn’t over, it’s because I am not going to continue to be ashamed of myself and my life.  I chose to live it freely and do the best I can for everyone involved.  Will I keep making mistakes, sure.  Sometimes I will hurt myself and others in the process, but I won’t use my mental health diagnostic code as an excuse or my scapegoat. 

Like me, love me and walk with me or walk away.

My story isn’t over.

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. 

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!

7 Years

It seems so long ago.  Hard for me to recall a lot of details.  I can tell you what I was wearing and what a room looked like, or what I ate, but to describe activities and connect them to specific dates, not likely. 

It is funny how a string of memories connects itself 7 years later and triggers all kinds of feelings. 

————

7 years ago I tried the whole rekindling an old romance by visiting Pennsylvania.  Spent a long weekend there touring the city and enjoying time with someone that, to this day, I really care about. 

Romance, in particular long distance romance, wasn’t what I needed at the time.  It was apparent, neither did he. 

We were in two different worlds and my life was just starting to get put back together and his career was taking an upward swing. 

Was I crazy about him, yes.  I still am today.  He is one of the most talented people I know.  One of those individuals who I will always have a connection with, in one way or another. 

Funny, 7 years later we text nearly everyday.  I look forward to bantering about sports, work and the occasional personal items.  

While the whole rekindling romance thing regretfully didn’t work out (both then and now) a short while later I was introduced to someone, slightly more local. 

We did the whole talking/texting thing until all hours of the night and eventually went out.  Then he actually asked me to be his girlfriend.

So, I was.  For a short time. 

Funny thing, he is still a part of my life.  He is smart and funny, sarcastic as ever.  We have dinner when we are in town together and text occasionally.   There hasn’t been any inclination of rekindling, but it’s nice to know he is still a friend.

I share this today because people have a way of coming in and out of our lives at strange times, when we least expect it.

Does this mean anything? 

I’m not a scientist, so for me it means I am lucky. Very lucky to have people in my life I can pick up where we left off and still be social with years later. 

Not everyone is someone you will talk to every day for the rest of your life, but appreciate and celebrate the small moments of having good people in your life. 

Now, if you think I have an amazing memory, you are wrong.  These events could have happened 10 years ago, but thanks to Facebook I can tell you when things happened in my life.  

Aren’t you excited?