Down, Lazy or Self-Care

It’s so funny how we respond to rainy days. Especially weekend rainy days. For me, I look forward to it. And when they fall on a Sunday, I make all kinds of plans to work on things around the house. I typically work six days a week. So Sunday’s, when it’s beautiful out, I love to get the dog and spend the day outside, if I can. I find the rain has a way of slowing me down. I look forward to staying in. I have grandiose plans of going to sleep, at the end of the day, with my house completely spotless, laundry all done, and a freezer full of prepared meals.

So, what does this rainy Sunday look like for me?

It’s 2 pm and I am still in jammies, cuddled with the dog. Notice the laundry basket in the background. I’ve folded one load, but defintely moving slow. My floor has pieces of Marshall’s rope toy all over it, and I haven’t made my way to the grocery store to get food for the week (so much for those prepared meals). I’ve barely gotten anything done.

So here is what I struggle with. I have been pretty tired today. I have been busy all week, between work and being with friends. I’ve had some late nights. So, when I sit down and relax, am I being lazy, or is this wonderful self-care? The longer the day goes on, the more down I let myself get frustrated, because I have done almost nothing I had planned to do. I have been kicking myself most of the morning for not wanting to get off the couch. For wanting to binge watch shows that I have fallen way behind on, for wanting to snuggle with the dog and watch football. It got me thinking. Why am I so angry with myself?

The truth is, I am terrible at self care. I am awesome about reminding others to take care of themselves. That it’s okay to be a little selfish and take time for themselves. But, when it’s time for me to do just that, I can’t…or maybe it’s just that I won’t. Why can’t I take some time for myself and enjoy it? Why do I feel like I can’t just relax and do something I enjoy without feeling guilty for not doing things around the house? Is it because I feel lazy for just wanting a day to relax?

As guilty as I feel, I know I’m not lazy. I also know I’m not feeling down. I’m feeling guilty because I have chosen to take some time to take care of myself and take a much needed break from a busy week. I have no issue relaxing if someone is here with me. But what is keeping me from relaxing when I have time to myself? I look forward to time to myself. I can watch what I want, I can do crafts if I want, I can nap if I want. It’s something I have to learn to do for myself.

What I need to learn is how to balance all this. I still have to get things done around the house, but surely, I can also take some time for myself and not feel guilty. I’m always open to suggestions. Tell my how you pratice self-care. And how do you balance being productive at home and self care?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

Meet the Real Me

Yes, my story is real, and the strength I have gained from my experiences in life is very real. But, my story…my trauma, my anxiety…they don’t define me. I DON’T HAVE anxiety, I live my life despite it. I am NOT a victim, I have survived through trauma. There is a huge difference, and for a long time, I let both define me. What I learned is that you get stuck in those definitions and it becomes who you are. It was incredibly freeing when I learned that I didn’t have to be defined by these labels.

Growing up I was a bit of a trouble maker. Just ask my parents or my sister, especially my dad. Boy did I know how to push his buttons. I was a happy kid. I had friends in the neighborhood. We were usually bouncing from playground to playground. I loved spinning on the tire swing, at the playground behind our house, and looking up at the sky as we spun really fast. And the regular swings. Remember trying to swing so high you went all the way around the top bar? We tried, but never succeeded. I used to ride my bike down big hills with my hands to the side, feeling the wind rip through my hair. And I would steal kitchen spoons so I could dig to China in the backyard. I never quite made it. I would have always preferred bare feet to my tennis shoes. But my parents always caught me. And dancing, oh how I loved to dance. I enjoyed the feel of the bass as it ran through my body.

My sister and I would build blanket forts. They were always amazing. We would build forts with separate rooms in them. We used so many blankets. But the minute my sister made me mad, I would yank that fort down. When we went to the local elementary school to play tennis, I would pound my racket on the ground if I wasn’t winning. In elementary school, my friends and I would walk to school. But we usually walked the way our parents told us not to. In school, there were many times I was removed from the classroom because I was causing trouble.

On the weekends, my friends and I would watch scary movies. My hands would be in front of my face and I would be plugging my ears at the same time. But we loved scary movies. I was me and I never apologized for that. I always wanted to be outside and, in the summers, I would stay out as late as I could, until my mom put the front lights on. I was a free spirit. It had a way of getting me in trouble. I didn’t like rules. But, when I look back, I really like who I was.

I let my fear of what others thought of me get in the way for a very long time. I let my anxiety define me. I let myself play the role of the victim and expected others to nurture me and take care of me. I thought that was who I was. I let my experiences define me. I stopped watching horror films because they increased my anxiety. I stopped trying to dig to China and I stopped trying to make that swing flip over the bar. And…I stopped dancing. Oh how I missed dancing.

When I started living on my own, I realized, who the hell cares what others think of me. I liked the kid I was growing up. Maybe not everything was perfect about her, but she was actually pretty awesome, and she was a force to be reckoned with. I started taking yoga. While I was no longer trying to flip that swing over the bar, I was doing some incredible poses that I thought I would be way too old to do. And, I got to be barefoot while doing it. Growing up, I knew exactly how to push people’s buttons. I believe some of that was because I could read people pretty well. I do not try to push buttons anymore. Instead, I use my ability to read people to support them and put a smile on their faces. I don’t try to dig to China, but I feel very excited about my new love for travel and hope I get to take a ton of trips. I enjoy watching scary movies again (just not by myself). And dancing…I love to dance again. I go out and dance, I stay home and dance, I cook dinner and I dance. I am the person that I am and I make absolutely no apologies. If I offend someone, it’s okay. They don’t have to like me. But I won’t apologize.

This is the real me. Not my trauma, not my anxiety. I returned to the person I used to be, only, more grown up. I like who I am now. I am more than happy to share my story with others, but I realized it was important for you all to know who I really am. I do understand that a lot of my strength comes from my experiences and I don’t discount them. I live with anxiety and I am a survivor, but really, I am so much more than that.

Fall…My Favorite Time of Year…But…

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the colors, the crisp air, the crunch of the leaves when you walk on them. And don’t even get me started on pumpkin spice and apple cider.

But…I have a secret to tell…this is when I find I struggle. I am still strong. I still put a smile on my face and now I will make it through the season. But, boy do I struggle. I haven’t seen my kids in almost 2 months, it gets dark earlier, when I wake up in the morning it’s still dark, the holidays are coming up (which I tend to dread), and I really don’t enjoy my birthday much.

I have missed my kids like crazy. Talking and texting with them a couple of times a week is not near enough. And as my time with them coming home for breaks gets shorter and shorter, I just want to hang on for dear life and enjoy the moments I have with them. Being a parent, and letting them grow up is one of the hardest things I have had to do. I try to give them space, but, at the same time, I want to make sure they know I am always there if they need me. I do hope they know that.

When I was younger, my anxiety used to get so much worse when daylight savings ended. The sky looked so ominous, and I felt like the world was coming to an end. I don’t feel that way anymore. But the feelings I used to get have really stuck with me, and it’s easy to get caught up in those memories. They consumed my life for so many years and I do believe that, while I don’t have that anxiety anymore, I still anticipate it. The sunshine always seems to make everything better.

Holidays, well, we’ve all heard that holidays tend to be the toughest time of year for some people. I am no exception. It’s a time for family and love. Don’t get me wrong. I have an absolutely amazing family and so much love in my life. But it’s so hard to be with intact family units by myself. I feel pretty alone, and no matter how much I anticipate those feelings, it’s still tough.

And my birthday, well, I have not enjoyed it for a long time. My family does everything to try to make it special. No matter how much I tell myself that I know they are not trying to make it special out of pity, it always feels like my own personal pity party. My kids aren’t home to celebrate. I get a happy birthday text and a quick phone call. My co-workers recently told me I am supposed to take my birthday off and celebrate. It just struck me, what am I celebrating? Years of feeling like I wasn’t important enough to celebrate? Honestly, every year I say I am going to celebrate me. And every year, as it gets closer, I start to feel that dread and insecurity, and just decide to try to spend the day acting like it’s not even a thing.

The thing is, I think most people have a time of year they dread. Whether it’s a birthday, the holidays, another type of date, or a whole fucking season…it’s okay. Take the time to really acknowledge your feelings. I tend to invest in extra tissues and take some extra time for myself. The most important thing, during these times, is to know it isn’t forever. You see, once I get through all the dread, I start getting excited for the first good snowfall. The brightness of the snow. Watching the dog leap through it like a kangaroo. And even shoveling snow. The darkness is not here to stay and I know that. I will continue to walk through life with a smile on my face and maybe a few extra tissues (I don’t recommend tissues with Vick’s for tears), because I know the light will return and I will feel so much better. If I hide under the covers, because I am afraid of the dark, how will I know when the sun is shining.

New Friends,Old Friends, Girl Friends, Boy Friends

I have learned that being in love doesn’t necessarily make us stronger, or even happier, but having love does. I don’t mean the kind you have from a significant other. I am talking about the love you have from true friendships. The kind that last a lifetime. The kind of friends that include family or feel like family. I didn’t realize I had some of these friends until a few years ago. Friends I grew up with that I still connect with. Friends I may not see or talk to every day, for whom I would drop everything for if they were in need. And they would do the same for me.

I recently had dinner with one of my best friends we have been together since she was born, three days after me. we see each other two or three times a year. and, get this, we live three or four miles away from each other. The truth is, life can get in the way. At dinner, she aplogized for being out of touch. My first thought was, “no need to apologize because I am just as guilty.” We are at different places in life. She is married and has kids at home. I am single and live alone. But that does not make me value our friendship any less. We do less things together, but the love has not changed. And when asked about my best friends growing up, her name always comes up. And my response following that is, “and she is till one of my very best friends.” She is one of those friends that when we get together, we pick right up where we left off. I have a few friends like that, whom I can pick right up with.

I just went camping with another of those friends. We went camping together last weekend. Not glamping, not with an air matress or portable gourmet kitchen. But good old fashioned camping. Sleeping on the ground, cooking on the fire, peeing in the woods and no shower. Yeah, didn’t shower for a day and a half. We played games by the fire, we saw a bear near the campsite, and we fought off yellow jackets. But the weekend was fun anyway. Well, except that I shared my sleeping bag with my 68 pound dog. I think I need to invest in a double sleeping bag so I can share with Marshall. It was amazing to spend the weekend with a friend that I talk to on almost a daily basis, but hardly get to see. We talked about our kids and life. He is one of those friends I have known since high school, but didn’t realize how important he would be in my life until a few years ago. We have seen each other through some tough break ups, tough times raising kids, and exciting times raising kids. We have cried a lot together. I am so grateful that we were able to really reconnect and grow such an amazing friendship.

I have written about my tribe before, but I have been truly blessed to have them in my life. These women came into my life in the last year or two and it’s as if they were always there. When FaceBook pops up and says, “It’s your Friendiversary” I am surprised when it says 1 year, or 2 years. How is that possible? I can’t picture my life withouth these women. There are very few days when we don’t talk. These are the women I turn to when something happens with dating, being a divorced mom or dealing with an ex. I turn to them for so much more, however, they are the ones that completely understand the trials and tribulations of being divorced and single again. We straighten each others’ crowns and speak the truth, even if it hurts sometimes. We do game nights and girls’ weekends. An impromptu text to have a quick lunch during the work day. People always say that the challenges in life are not a sprint, they are like running a marathon. You have to go slow and steady to maintain strength for the full run. These women, they help me sustain my strength. They give me strength. I hope I return that for them. When one of us needs strength, those of us that have it, give it willingly.

I cannot write about friends and people that give you strength without writing about my family. There is absolutely no way I would have gotten through all the things in my life without family. I am, without a doubt, loved beyond belief. I may not always deserve it, I may take it for granted, but I know it’s there and I do know just how blessed I am. My parents have helped me through a divorce, buying a new home, totalling a car, getting a new job, helping me with my dogs and thousands of little things around the house that add up to tons and tons of love. And let’s not forget two surgeries. My mom slept on a little chair after my last surgery so I wasn’t home alone. She helped me shower and had to help me take care of my incisions. Not a pretty job at all. While I may not always show how appreciative I am, I do know exactly how much they do for me and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for them and that I don’t think about how much I love them. And my sister…She has no clue how strong she is. She has been this incredible rock for her family. At the same time as she was being so strong for her family at home, she was helping me through a divorce. She would come to my house late at night and soothe me as I cried myself to sleep. She and I have gone through very different challenges in our lives. I don’t pretend to understand what she has gone through. But I have seen how she has handled it. The grace with which she has handled it all. She has not been through the same challenges as me. But what she offers me is a listening ear. Not suggestions, not a knowledge of what I feel, but someone who accepts me for my challenges and supports me and just hears me. She is too humble to even see the impact she has had on so many lives. Girl, I know you’re reading this. The strength I have found, the strength your family has, it’s you.

I can’t talk about family without talking about my kiddos. So here’s the thing, when I realized divorce was the only option, I knew I wasn’t the only one that would go through it. My kids were going to have to go through it too. Their challenges were going to be very different from mine. I also knew I wouldn’t understand what they were going through. My parents are still together. What I did know, was that they were not going to be burdened with the challenges I faced from the divorce. I was not going to burden them with having to take sides. They should be able to love both me and their dad equally, without having to feel guilty or like they are hurting us. I never wanted them to feel as though they would need to be my rock through this difficult time. I needed to be their mom and love them and get them through their challenges. The kids didn’t talk much about the divorce. I didn’t force it and I tried to always make it clear that I was there for them no matter what. It took me a long time to really be able to look at my relationship with them and appreciate what I have. You see, teenagers are tough. Whether they are part of an intact family, a blended family, or with single parents, they present challenges because they are going through their own challenges, that they are not quite mature enough to handle all the time. I had to learn to not take everything personally. Now, I can gain strength from them too, and they don’t even realize it. When I get a first day of classes picture it melts my heart that they thought of me. When I get a surprise that one of them is home and wants to spend time with me. When they ask me to come to a college game to get that experience, I feel like a million bucks. The phone calls and text exchanges I have with my kids are becoming something I look forward to. I used to walk on eggshells being afraid to say the wrong thing. Now, I can let most things roll right off and not take it personally. I will say, my kids expressed to me a little over a year ago, that they wished I had opened up more to them about the divorce. I don’t know if it is because there dad was very open with them about his feelings, that they needed my “side” to balance it out so they didn’t feel pulled in one direction. I have stood by my choice to not share that with them. That is their dad. I will not say bad things about him to make me feel better. They are welcome to vent to me about him just as they should be able to vent to him about me. However, I will not join in and perpetuate the frustration for my personal gain. It doesn’t help them. I will support them and protect them and be their strength, but I will not talk bad about him to them. In sticking with my morals, I have found such a happiness, and the kids seem truly happy for me. And when I see them enjoying school, I am thrilled for them. Seeing them happy brings me so much joy.

This, this is what I have been craving my entire life. To have such amazing friendships. Everyone is so completely important to me and I am truly blessed to have them all in my life. I can only hope that I bring them even half the joy and strength that they give me. Because of them, I can live my life free from anxiety, free from fear of being hurt by an intimate relationship, without putting up walls. I can be my true self with anyone and I don’t have to give a flying fuck if someone doesn’t like it. I’m surrounded by people who love me and do like me, so others are free to walk away. People may come into my life that make me very happy. And I will not put up walls and I will let them into my life. And I can go into that without fear of getting hurt. Because I know if that happens, I’m surrounded by love, and my entire tribe will pick me up and I will be okay. Having friends is powerful. Probably one of the most powerful super powers. You don’t have to have a lot of friends. You just need to have the ones that will let you be unapologetically you.

Self Care…What the heck is that???

I have gone through a divorce and survived. I have worked three jobs at the same time for seven days a week and survived. I have raised two teenagers and survived. I have flown over the ocean (a fear I used to have) and survived. I have done the online dating and survived. I have bought my own home, lost friends, found some amazing friends and I have transitioned to a new job. All of this, I have survived. At this point, I feel like a picture of Linda Carter should be inserted.

I can do all these things, but what I have the most difficult time with is self care. And I don’t just mean going out and doing the things I want to do. I get out with family and friends plenty. I struggle to get my health under control. After a doctor’s appoiment this week I realized, I am just not taking care of myself. When I am home alone I don’t cook for myself. I don’t even sit down to eat. I can’t stand sitting at my kitchen table eating alone. That’s supposed to be a family place. I sit there when the kids are home. My little, cluttered kitchen table feels so big and empty when I eat there alone. So, I usually make something quick and easy. Maybe a bowl of cereal. But then I get hungry and snack.

Anyway, after my trip to the doctor and many times going and seeing how high my A1C is and my triglycerides, I realized, what am I waiting for? Why can I not be disciplined enough to eat healthy and get myself to the gym or out for a walk. Would I like to lose some weight…absolutely! But, honestly, I’m comfortable in my own skin. But what I do want, is to be healthy. I would like to bring all my numbers down (well, except my good cholesterol, that’s the only one that’s low – too low) and hopefully make a huge lifestyle change that I am happy with.

What am I doing to change? Right now, I am cutting milk. Ugh! I love milk. I think I could drink a gallon a day. When I’m thirsty, I don’t go for water, I want milk. Not good. So, it’s been removed from the house. I can’t even resist it. Grains, gone! No more bread, rice, or pasta. From now on, it’s cauliflower rice and lettuce for bread. I can live with that. Aside from the milk, I am missing crunch. Chips. I don’t eat them often, but they are great to get that crunchy craving gone. Thank goodness I have zucchini in my garden. Homemade zucchini chips are amazing. I have been doing this since early this week, after my appointment. I have to say, I feel better. I don’t feel bloated. When I check my sugars, they are getting lower. Still not good, but I know it won’t happen overnight.

Now to introduce exercise. I have some classes at my gym that I love. I go occasionally, but I am the best at making up excuses to not go. They are all good excuses, but they certainly are not good enough to compromise my health. So this week, I am going to try to go to 3 classes. I will add them to my calendar so I cannot fill the time in with anything else.

Doing this alone, can be tough. But I find having a group of people to whom I can be accountable is amazing. People who may go to classes with me at the gym. I go to Ida Lee. I would love to meet people there. It’s always more fun to go to a class and know people, and to know people will miss you if you aren’t there. I really enjoy Pound and Zumba. However, there’s a Bang class that looks amazing! I would love to check that out also. And Yoga. I miss yoga so much. I used to do a fun Flow Yoga class at my old gym and miss it very much. It might have been the massages you get after. I am not near as flexible as I used to be, but that will come with time. I can remember my first yoga class ever, I could barely do anything. I even had to modify child’s pose. I will get back to it. Anyway, if anyone is interested in taking a journey with me, let me know. I would love to have company with this. After all, look at what I have survived already. If I cannot get my health self care under control, I just won’t survive.

Misery Loves Company, Happiness is Contagious

***I want to start by saying I do recognize that there are many people with mental health issues that cannot just simply change their thought process. Maybe this will be helpful and maybe not, but I am in no way minimizing your personal struggle. I’m simply sharing my journey for going through storms in my life.***

Yawn!!!!!! Did you just picture someone yawning? Do you feel like doing it now? Seriously, I am yawning now, as I am typing. If yawning is that contagious, just think about all the other energy we put out. It’s contagious too. And some people emit the energy much more than others.

When I used to work at the shelter, I always said, one person can change the entire atmosphere of the shelter. I had clients who were nice as can be, however, when I would walk out of my office and see that person, all the energy I had was sucked out of me. It’s wild how one interaction can do that. As an empath, I am able to really feel the emotions of others. Sometimes it is a gift. But I have also learned that my energy can be pretty strong too. If I’m down, the people around me will know it. If I surround myself with happiness, that will be very apparent also.

Have you ever noticed that when you sit around with friends and one starts talking negatively, most will follow suit. There may be jokes and laughing, but that underlying negativity is still there. Facebook is a great example. Someone posts something and someone argues. All the sudden, the conversation is about the negativity, not the post. People get sucked into drama. I don’t know a single person who truly enjoys having drama in their life. Yet, we surround ourselves with drama (tv shows, gossip, politics…).

I have learned that for me, it’s easy to be negative. That’s the easy way for me. And, if I am miserable, I typically find someone who will join me in my negativity. I mean seriously, if you aren’t happy, do you really want Happy Harriet coming up to you and saying, “Look on the bright side,” or “just think of the good that can come out of this.” Honestly, I would want to punch her in the face. But here’s the thing. If Happy Harriet can get past my negativity and keep being positive, that happiness will most likely start to rub off on me, and me negativity will soon turn into happiness. And, while it’s not as easy for me to let happiness take over, it feels better. So, I have tried to make a conscious effort to let happiness drive me.

In the last couple of years I have focused on keeping a smile on my face and trying to find humor in things that would normally bring me down. It has made such a huge difference in my life. I used to think I was a Negative Nancy…well, I was a Negative Nancy. But I also thought I was surrounded by negativity. It turns out I may have been bringing out the negative in the people around me.

As I started having a more positive outlook, my conversations became less and less negative. I began to laugh so much more. I forgot how good it was to lauch and let my dirty sense of humor out. I could feel weight just falling off my shoulders. And suddenly, the people around me were smiling and laughing too.

I used to say “fake it ’til you make it.” My kids hated that saying. I didn’t really believe it either, until I felt it. You can fake happiness until you find it. Happiness is so contagious, that it can put a real smile on your face. Now, I walk into a room with a smile on my face. Because, if I have a choice to bring people down or help them stand tall, I will always choose to help them stand tall.

You’re Only as Old as You Act

My ex-husband used to say this all the time. I never understood what he meant until we separated. When I was in high school, I had a good time. I went to parties, I flirted with boys, I would sneak out of the house (sorry Mom). But then I started dating my ex. It was amazing! We would go to the movies and to Harper’s Ferry. We took trips to the beach and went camping. But we were old. We went to bed before the sun went down, we didn’t go on trips with friends. It was mostly just us.

Soon, things began to shift. When I look back, they started to shift in college. I started having horrible anxiety in my 3rd year at Radford. I can remember lying awake at night terrified that I was dying. My stomach would hurt and I would just lie in bed. In class, I would almost feel like I was outside of my body looking down. I couldn’t focus. The anxiety was all consuming. I kept the anxiety to myself for months. Finally, I had to tell someone. So, in the middle of going to the bathroom (please don’t judge), I called my ex in to share my fears. He was pretty amazing about it. But something changed in me. I started feeling my self-worth declining. While mine was declining, his seemed to be increasing. I started feeling like I was lucky that he wanted to be with me, as opposed to us being lucky to have found each other. I love to dance, but we never went because he didn’t like to dance. I am close to my family and wanted to visit with extended family, however, it was always too far out of the way (although we did go way out of the way to visit a hunting buddy of his). Story behind that. The cousin I wanted to visit, she was only about an hour, each way, out of the way. She was several years older than me, but was always so good to me. I would always get excited when I knew I would see Debbie. Everyone else thought of me as a brat (I was). But she never treated me like that. I will always regret sitting back with my mouth closed when he said it was too far. Right after we separated, I started talking with Debbie about flying out to see her. It never happened. She passed away suddenly. My heart broke. I never got the chance to really tell her how much she meant to me. How amazing she made me feel. I never felt like this young kid just tagging along. She always made me feel welcome with her.

I found that I started letting my life revolve around him. I’ve already told the story. I didn’t nurture friendships and it all came crashing down when we separated.

But, while it felt like everything came crashing down, did it really? The moment my ex left the house for the last time, my anxiety disappeared. Yes, that anxiety followed me through our entire relationship. There were many sleepless nights and tears. And, I felt old. My ex had started training for marathons and taking care of himself. Me…I was too afraid that if I didn’t support him 100% and ask for no support in return, he would walk away. I was overweight, feeling old, and completely forgot who I was before I let myself be controlled.

The moment he left, the ton of bricks became feathers that floated off my shoulders. I was free. I’m not saying I was instantly happy. The separation and divorce were a horrible roller coaster that I would not like to repeat. However, I started reaching out to people and making friends. I love to dance. I found friends that would go out with me and dance. Live music…I love it. I had never been to the Tally Ho before. Not only have I been to the Tally Ho, but I got dressed up in my best 80’s gear, without being told how stupid it was. Slowly, but surely, I was finding myself again. And I began dating. And I found out that people liked me for who I really was. I don’t apologize for who I am. I don’t tend to make plans, I just do what feels right. I see myself as a free spirit. I enjoy my life immensely now. I’m having a blast. And I don’t feel like an old lady anymore.

My ex was right. You’re only as old as you act. I had to let go of that relationship to realize just how old I was acting and that my life was not over. I’m realizing now how young I am and how much living I have left to do.

Life is not a Spectator Sport

I have not posted in so long. I have been adjusting to a wonderful new way of life with my new job. I keep so busy during the day. It goes incredibly fast, and I am having such amazing experiences. And the best part is that when work is over, I am done working for the day. For the first time in 11 years, I am sleeping with my phone on vibrate. This is what it feels like to sleep in peace. The other wonderful part about my new job is that I can walk to work. It’s a great way to start and end the day.

So, I’m settling into work and settling into my new chapter and it’s May. This is the month I look forward to so much. The kids come home from college. I love having them home. And, even better, they seem happy to be spending time with me. But…yes, there is a but…when they tell me they don’t know which days they will be at my house, but they will just come over, well, that’s when I hear the needle slide off the vinyl and the lovely music come to a screeching halt. Yes, I am a single woman, however, I don’t rememer joining a convent. In fact, I might be struck by lightning if I tried.

So how do I tell my kids they are welcome MOST anytime, but maybe not all the time. I want my house to be open to them, however, I want to avoid any awkward situations. So, here’s the deal. My kids are in college. They are both adults. It’s going to be an awkward conversation, but much less awkward than having to put a sock on the door.

The rules have been discussed, and I am pretty sure they are good with it. Let’s make a plan for the week, so I can make my weekly plans (dates, girls’ nights out, etc). If you want to come over between those times, fantastic!!!!! But call first. If I don’t answer and my car is there, check the glass front door. If it’s locked…walk away. I have blocked you from getting to the door where there is a key. There’s a reason for that. Let’s not have an awkward moment. If my car is gone and that door is unlocked, come on in. This house is meant to feel like home. I want them to feel at home here. But, I have also gotten used to a life of living on my own.

This has been causing some anxiety for a while now. I wasn’t sure how the discussions would go. But they went well and I believe the kids understand. Without thinking about too much of what I have said to them, I think they are happy that I am so comfortable with myself, that I can be open with them. That I have a social life. I love that I can be open with them. And that they know just how much I love them and completely enjoy all the time I have with them. But they also respect that there are times that I will need to ask for some space also. Our relationship has grown so much, even in this past year.

It’s funny. A Facebook memory recently popped up and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The post was about my kids running a fun run and my ex running a marathon. The last sentence in my post was,” Me, I was an AWESOME spectator!!!!!!” I read that sentence over and over again. Why the hell was I so proud of being an awesome spectator. That was my role when I was married. I chose to support everyone else and leave my needs on the back burner. So, with my kids home, I will still be a participant in my life. I cannot always wait for their schedule. I am a participant in my own life, and if that means having awkward conversations with the kiddos so they understand that I am living life, well, so be it. Life should never be a spectator sport!

Be Who You Desire

Jumping back into the dating game can really be pretty awful, not to mention very damaging to your self esteem. Seriously, it seems that men on these dating sites are no different than they were in high school. But here is a big difference…now, everything is online. They can say horrible things and there are really no repercussions except, well, you can block them. It can be pretty disheartening when the pick up line you get is “Hey! You wanna fuck!” and that is not on Tinder. Believe me, the guys on Match were no better. but let’s go back to this amazing pick up line. At first, I didnt want to be rude to anyone. With a pickup line like that, I usually responded with something like “Sorry, that’s not what I am looking for, but good luck to you.” Many times I was hit back with a response that attacked my physical appearance. You hear that enough, even from men who have never even met you, it can be damaging. I would look at my pictures and wonder what was wrong with me.

So how do I have confidence when I am letting others bring me down? It is so easy to say we have the power to make ourselves happy and to be confident in ourselves. However, as a 40 something year old woman who goes to sleep and wakes up next to my dog every morning, it is a challenge to not feel like I am always going to fall asleep and wake up on my own every morning. Sometimes, the thought of a quick hook up sounds very appealing, just to have that touch that I have been missing. The idea of settling for someone with whom I have nothing in common sounded better and better, just so a piece of my heart doesn’t feel empty.

Here is what I do know about me. I don’t want to settle. I am at the point in my life where I know some of what I am looking for. It is still evolving, but I am on track to finding it. But what I also know is that to find what I am looking for I need to feel desirable. I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But I do want to have the attitude, when I look in the mirror, of “Damn girl! Look at you! I would totally do you.” This is not about getting to the proper weight or having a different appearance. This is a mindset. For me, yes, going to the gym helps. But it isn’t my weight as much as when I walk out, having completed a tough workout, my head is high and I am proud of myself and I have a smile on my face. That is confidence.

So here is what I have figured out. Those guys who are looking for a hookup, well if you turn them down and they come back with something hurtful, just remember, they approached you first. You were desirable to them. They were just angry about the rejection. Keep moving forward and find what makes you feel like you are desirable.

Let me tell you what I did yesterday. I got my nails done for the first time in a couple of years. I am extremely careful about spending money, so nails is not at the top of my list. I got bright red. How much fun is that! I came home and took a selfie for myself. Totally topless, with my beautiful nails covering my breasts. I know, TMI. But I absolutely love the picture! It was playful and fun. I look at the picture and say “Damn I am hot!” It’s the mindset. People see us and like us, when we don’t necessarily like who we are. Imagine how much more desirable we will look to others if we walk around owning our hotness.

I don’t look any different today than I did yesterday, but my nails are fucking hot and I am owning it!

New Year, New Promises

Okay, be honest. How many of you are resolving to go to the gym more often in 2019? Mine is the same every year and by January 3, I have forgotten all about it. Well, I have forgotten about the gym, not the resolution. I usually go through a period of being angry with myself for not following through. So, I have decided to come up with a different resolution this year.

This year, my resolution, to be kind to myself and nurture my needs. I spend a lot of time taking care of others and empowering others. I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. But often, I leave little or no time to really focus on me. That changes this year. I need to make sure my crown is on straight to be able to continue to straighten the crowns of others.

I don’t choose this resolution because I think it will be easy. I think this may be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I hate taking care of myself. It feels selfish, putting my needs before others. I don’t like doing that. But this year, it’s time I do. That doesn’t mean I will stop caring for others. Just that I will take a little extra time so I can adjust my crown and be stronger to help you adjust yours better.

Yep, it still means going to the gym when I can. But if I miss a day or two…well,I haven’t failed. But it also means keeping up with doctor appointments, going out with friends, taking my vacation time, and just unapologetically being me. I am Loki g forward to the challenge. I have come so far in my journey, but this, well, I think taking care of others has always been a good distraction. So now it’s time to focus on me and enjoy the ride.

What’s Your New Years Resolution. Please share.

Please forgive horrible grammar and spelling. I am typing this entry from my phone.