Monday, May 25, 2015

Learning to Love Again

Remember when I wrote my "Welcome Back" post and said I still had a lot of anger and resentment toward my ex? Well, it turns out it's really hard to write a blog post without that negative baggage creeping in. I tried a week ago to write about how I love my home now that it's clutter free and minor home repairs are getting done, but it just ended up being a ginormous bitch fest about how little he did when he lived here. See, there it creeps again, like a bad vine that just won't die no matter how much weed killer you use on it.

So, instead of being a Negative Nellie, I'm going to try hard to take a different, positive train of thought and let that blossom onto the digital page in front of me.

The boys and I had a great weekend. It was truly stupendous, super awesome, and amazing. A part of our weekend was lots of time spent with my boyfriend, who's also stupendous, super awesome, and amazing. This isn't really a new relationship anymore. We've been together for over a year. We met after the separation was already underway, least anyone think there was anything untoward going on. Likewise, we didn't start dating for about 9 months after that. We've been together ever since.

No - he's doesn't live here, yet. That's on the horizon, but we're taking things slowly. He's here for dinner most nights and hangs out with us on the weekends. It's utterly amazing to me every day that he so easily and willingly pitches in. He thinks nothing of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and even making dinner. He knows his way around a kitchen and doesn't expect me to do it all. He understands completely when I've got homework to do with the kids, laundry to fold and put away, and other chores to do. He has no problem helping. Ever. This truly blows my mind.

He's as good with a toolbox as he is with kitchen utensils and he's taught me and the boys how to do some basic, minor household repairs, like patching holes in drywall. We've gotten some things fixed around here that had been broken or in disrepair for a long, long time. The best part is, it's been a team effort. Not only have we patched walls in the hallway, but we've repainted each bedroom door and all the trim, and now my teenage son is finishing up painting the walls. It looks amazing and changes the whole tone of the house.

It's spring and when the weather gets warmer, my thoughts generally turn to what I can plant in the ground. I go on a spree of yard work, which culminates with a modest veggie garden sprouting in my backyard. Some years it's a great success, some years not so much. My amazing boyfriend jumped right on the bandwagon with me this year and built two new garden boxes, one at waist height for my lettuces and radishes. He also fixed my broken-down clothesline and built a platform for his grill. Did I mention he was handy? As I gazed at him in awe, thanking him with tears of joy, he simply said, "This wasn't anything special. It's what normal people do when they love someone." That just made me tear up even more. I'm being treated like a normal human being. There are no words for how this makes me feel.

For the first time in fourteen years, this place actually feels like home.  For the first time in about twenty years I actually feel appreciated and loved. For the first time in my whole life, I actually feel like I deserve to have good things happen to me. It's a nice feeling. It's certainly one that I will never take for granted. As I look at all the flowers blooming around here, I think the weeds are no problem after all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Welcome Back!!!

As I type this first blog post in almost two years, I'm noticing how strange it seems to be back. I didn't expect that! It's like time has dissolved and I'm sitting at my kitchen table, kids home from school, trying to plan dinner, and get in as much writing as I can before the late afternoon/evening rush starts, just like I did before the divorce and the full-time job cast my writing fancies to the very bottom of my to-do list. Truthfully, they didn't even make the list most of the time.

Lately, though, my fingers have been itching to dance across the keyboard again. There are few things I like better than to feel and hear my hands typing out my thoughts onto the screen in front of me. There's something comforting about it.  And, I can't deny how therapeutic it is. My mind can whirl so fast sometimes, its a wonder I don't spin away into the clouds. Writing calms the craziness right down.

I kept a personal journal for much of that time. A writer has got to write, after all. I made some lengthy entries in that thing, too. Good thing there's no max word count in Microsoft Word. I was truly feeling the need to keep things very personal and close to me in that time period as I processed all the changes in my life. In fact, I even made this blog private and locked it down so it wouldn't show up in search engines and only I could view it. Not that I did. I was moving on from my previous life and just wanted to put everything behind me.

The changes were monumental. As I said, I got divorced. One of the reasons I didn't want to blog through that is because I wanted to protect the kids. I had so much anger and resentment toward my ex that I spewed all over the pages of my private journal. I didn't want any of it to creep into my public writing for the kids to view at any point in their lives. I still have a lot of anger and resentment, but it's simmered down to a point now where I can keep it from bleeding out all over the keyboard.

One thing I learned (among many) is that when you are going through a difficult life change, like a divorce, you don't have to explain yourself or your reasons to anyone unless you want to. People just don't understand each other's personal stories. It's easy to get defensive about your choices when people throw things at you about trying counseling (we did), just learning to let things go (I had for 15 years - it wasn't working for me anymore), or staying together for the kids (it's actually not good for kids to grow up in a house with miserable parents). So, I withdrew and only talked about it with a few, close friends and family.

When I look back over that time, I can't believe how far we've come. Not just me, but the kids, too! They are so much happier. Both of their parents are happier and it shows in them. My house is actually pretty close to being clutter free and I finally have relief from all the anxiety the clutter caused me. It's almost comical that I had this whole blog about cleaning up the clutter and, truthfully, it wasn't even my clutter. I was trying to manage someone else's mess and it took a serious toll on me.

It's great to be back. I may stick around for awhile or I may make a fresh start on a new blog. Either way, I've got to keep writing.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Climbing a Steep Learning Curve

The transition to a full-time working-out-of-the-house mom isn't smooth. But, I LOVE it. I'm glad to shake the mommy-brain cobwebs out. I was more than ready for this.

My job isn't glamorous, strenuous, or difficult, but there's something about it I love. Maybe it's the chance to meet new people and learn new things. Or maybe it's the mental break I get while driving to and from work 5 days a week. Or maybe it's the pay check. Truly, I think it's all of the above.

What I'm doing at my new job is answering phones, scheduling sales appointments and service calls, paperwork, filing, and figuring out the somewhat antiquated and always quirky computer system at a window company. That's right - the company I work for sells and installs windows. I told you it wasn't glamorous. Still, I've learned more about windows in the last few months than I've ever known in my life. And, there's lots more to learn.

The awesome thing is I work with a great bunch of people. They're down to earth and friendly. I've never worked anywhere quite like this, actually.  If I put a swear jar on my desk (and if they used it - lol), we'd make some lucky charity very happy around Christmastime. Yet, I've seen these young twenty or thirty-something guys on the crew drop everything to drive to an elderly customers home to help them with their windows.

Transitioning to not being at home to take care of everything has been the most difficult part of going back to work. The first few weeks, I was exhausted and stressed. It didn't help that the first two babysitters I hired quit. I'm fortunate to have a couple of very good friends and neighbors who filled in while I found someone else. (Thanks Tracy and Kristin!). The new babysitter is working out wonderfully. She'll be with us through the summer months until the boys are all back in school full time.

My family's diet has taken a major blow in the last few months, too. I've been going for convenience way more than I ever have in my life as a parent. We've been eating boxed mac & cheese, PB&J, hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza a lot. It's about survival, you know? I just needed to get through each day with everyone fed and in bed by the time the sun went down. The tide is turning, though. I've got big plans for my crock pot this week.   

One thing I've managed to keep up is running. In fact, I'm putting some serious miles on my sneakers (eight miles today!). I'm hitting the pavement at about 5:30 in the morning. I've learned to mostly love the early hour, though I'm not sure that will still be true in January. For now, I'm out and back before the kids' eyelids start to flutter open.  

I've missed writing so much! I tried to keep up with my writing duties at Holidays Central and MomRecipes, but I had to resign. It was just too much. It became a source of stress and dread, which is not what I ever want to feel about writing. I want to explore other writing outlets eventually, but for now, I'm going to stick with my personal journal and occasional updates here. I've kept up my journal, which, if you're a writer, you'll understand. It's a must to type and get the thoughts out. 

I'm sure my readership here has dropped significantly since I last updated. That's okay! I hope some of my old readers will drop by to say hi, though! Let me know what's going on in your life!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Want My Mommy

Sometimes, no matter how old you are, you just want your mom.

The older you get, the more you realize life is all about change. When the changes are drastic, you want to crawl back to your mom and, well, be mothered.  Even when you're a mother yourself, it's nice to have your own mother tell you everything is going to be okay and mean it.

I realize I'm fortunate to still have my mom. I no longer have my dad and haven't for some time. I'm truly blessed to have a wonderful mom who not only turned the other cheek when I was a rotten teenager, but has, through the years, remained a non-judgmental source of support for me.

The boys and I are making the 5-hour drive up north in a few weeks to see her. I can't wait.

I haven't been the best daughter. I haven't visited as much as I should have. I'm vowing to change this year. There are no more excuses. I'm planning on heading north frequently this spring, summer and fall.

I've been homesick for quite some time, though I haven't been indulging in it like I was last fall. I'm anxious to get up there again, sleep in my mom's house and show the boys around my hometown. Somehow, life seems simpler in the tiny village of Hermon. I know it's not really. But, I can pretend while I'm there, right?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Run Run Run

I'm newly in love with running. To all of you that are not runners, I apologize for this post. I know how irritating it is to read about running when you are not into it. I've been there. I swore for years that I would never and could never be a runner.

I honestly don't know how it happened. Maybe it was all the Facebook posts of my friends and relatives who are runners that slowly worked on my subconscious. Maybe it was seeing my son and his soccer team do corner sprints at practice last fall and remembering how good it felt to be that fit when I was 13. Maybe I just needed something to get my mind off all the crap that's been weighing heavily on me these days.

However I got here, I laced up my running sneakers in September and am loving it so much I signed up for a half marathon. I've got until Labor Day to train enough to make it possible. The cool thing is, I really think I can do it. I know I can do it. The other cool thing is, I talked my sister into doing it with me!

I've got a training schedule posted on my fridge. I'm on week 3. Tomorrow's goal is 6 miles.

I'm not following it exactly, but I'm trying to hit the Saturday mileage each week. So far, so good.

I don't remember the website where I found this handy little chart, otherwise I'd include the link. I'm actually running a bit more during the week than the chart recommends, but I'm definitely including rest days, even when I don't want to! I know they're important. And, of course, with three boys, they can't be helped anyway. Sometimes the scheduling just doesn't work out to include running time!

Today, we have a snow day. I could run anytime, but I'm waiting until it warms up a bit this afternoon so the roads will be clearer.

Spring is coming soon, right? The only thing that could possibly make this better is not having to run on slippery roads wearing winter gear!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Week of Stress

First, an update. The job interview went well. I felt like the interviewer and I clicked. It was  comfortable chatting with her. She said she thought I'd be a good fit in their office and would get a call back for the second round of interviews. So, my fingers are crossed. Of course, I'm sending out another resume today. I don't like to count my chickens before they're hatched.

That brings me to the rest of the week. It's been incredibly stressful for various reasons. Not only that, but it's been a busy one, which means I haven't had time to do the things I normally do to help me de-stress, like run or go for a long walk. 

I was all set to run on Wednesday, but the kids ended up having a two-hour delay due to a lovely freezing rain/snow mix we got overnight. A two-hour delay meant I couldn't take my little guy to preschool. That and the ice meant I couldn't run. So, that was that.

By yesterday, I was jumping out of my skin to try to get some exercise and I still had no time to run. I can't take my five-year-old out in the jogging stroller because the weather is too rotten and I don't like to run like that anyway. I seem to have a lot of excuses! 

To top it all off, when I'm stressed, I can't eat. I really can't. I try, but it gets hard to choke down food, no matter what it is. I can't even drown my sorrows in wine, which I suppose is a good thing. I like to have a glass of wine to relax, when I'm happy, but I can't fathom drinking any when I'm stressed. It doesn't appeal to me. I can barely choke down water. I suppose I'm thankful I'm not the kind of person who gobbles down gallons of ice cream in times of stress.

So, by Wednesday, I had a heck of a stomachache. I had to force some food down. It helped. I've been trying to eat regular meals since then and it's helped quite a bit.

Today, I finally got to go running for the first time all week!  It felt great. It was a short run, but it did so much good. I felt strong and was able to put some things in perspective. I can't wait to go again tomorrow! 

So, how do you deal with stress? Exercise? Ice Cream? Sleep? Hard liquor? Denial?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Job Interview Next Week!

I started a post about feeling disorganized lately, which really was going to be blog filler. I was hoping it would come together into something coherent and witty, if I was lucky. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling it. I'm not that disorganized anyway. I'm certainly the most organized person in this house, but maybe that's not saying much.

Then, I got some exciting news that's the perfect reason to scrap the lackluster garbage. 

I have a job interview next week! 

How exciting is that?

I feel like I just got asked to the prom! 

The position is a part-time human resources assistant. I've always wanted to work in HR, even back in the day when I had a full-time office job. I secretly coveted moving down to the HR department. Part-time is perfect for me right now, what with the kids' schedules. It'd be a great way for me to get re-introduced to the intricacies of child care, work clothes, and rush-hour traffic.

Okay, the child care thing is a new one for me. But, my kids aren't babies, so I'm sure it will work out just fine, especially with a part-time schedule.

Rush-hour traffic, I can handle. I've done it before.

That brings me to clothes. Oh my God! What should I wear to the interview? Skirt? Nice black, dress pants? Do I need a jacket over a blouse? Do women still wear pantyhose? (Please say no.) This is suddenly making me nervous!

What about the interview itself? It's been a long time since I've had one. I need your tips. And a self-confidence boost!  What should I say? What should I not say? 

Fingers crossed that I get the job, but I'm really happy just to get asked to interview. That means my resume doesn't suck.

I guess I can't brag about my organizational skills until I'm working outside of the home. When I've successfully done that for a few weeks, I'll be sure to write that blog post. Hopefully it'll be more interesting than what I started today.