Friday, January 31, 2014

Setting New Goals

So now that January is over, it's time to reflect on the goals set on January 1st.  So far, I'm doing fairly well with my goals--reading, writing, blogging, scrapbooking, etc.  I adjusted the goals to make them more reasonable as I found myself struggling with reaching unattainable goals.  So many times when we make resolutions or goals, we set ourselves up for failure.  One of my goals is not to fail; therefore, I need to set reasonable goals.  Now, I's time to set more goals for February.

I'm not sure what I want to set as goals or even where I need to make changes, but I know that we always need to strive to do better.  I know for sure that I'll be checking out new churches (see prior post about this).  Maybe I need to reset a food or exercise goal--not both.  That's a recipe for disaster.

I think part of the problem when I set my goals is that I have these big, lofty goals and I don't take the time to figure out the baby steps to reach them.  That's what I mean by a recipe for disaster if I set both food and exercise goals at first.  I know I have to ease into my exercise, which I've done in January--and will up a bit in February.  I have had some food issues and I have to look more closely to see what is triggering the issues, instead of getting mad at myself and being pissed off about not reaching the goal.

I'm happy with my reading and writing goals.  I'm reading more and what I'm reading is more eclectic than before, too.  I'm staying on top of the blogging.  Because I figured out how to do it.  I think I will eventually create a goal of tweaking my blog sites, but for now, they're fine.  The one writing goal I haven't done as much as I would like is my journaling.  So, I'll probably work more on that in February, as well as the scrapbooking.  It too, has been a little hit and miss.

For now, I won't stress about goals, because that defeats the purpose.  I'll continue to strive to work on me and what makes me tick.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letting Go of the Hurt

I find that I still have lingering thoughts about my ex.  It's not that I regret divorcing him or anything of that nature.  Rather, I'm still having trouble letting go of the hurt, letting go of the pain he inflicted upon me, letting go of the anger, forgiving myself for allowing myself to be manipulated for so many years.  I'm a strong person and I've always been my own woman. . . Or at least I thought so.  When I was younger, I was probably the most confident of all of my friends.  I didn't go through the awkward teen years.  I knew who I was and I didn't let anyone manipulate me.  I didn't take any shit from anyone.

So, why did I allow so many years of pain and sorrow?  It's not an easy answer.  Part of the reason it isn't easy is because I didn't realize that I was allowing it.  It took a lot of growing and reflection, having things pointed out to me, looking outside of myself and focusing on what was going on.  You see, my ex was not a horrible person (at least not until after he became my ex).  He was a nice guy.  He was lazy as hell, but he was nice.  He didn't beat me or anything like that.  He just ignored me.  And even that wasn't apparent for a long time.  He didn’t go out with me to social gatherings or anything, unless it was to one of his friend's homes.  He didn’t support my dreams, although I was supporting his emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially.  I didn't even get an "atta girl" when I got promoted at work.

We separated several years ago, but only for 6 months.  When we got back together, we vowed to do things differently.  And, for the first year, we did.  I think we both worked harder at making the relationship work.  But, things started slipping back into the old ways and we just let it go.  Neither one of us seemed to care enough to do anything about it.  I don't think we even recognized it.  It finally came down to waking up one day and realizing that I was done.

I looked at my friends' relationships and none of them were/are happy.  I thought that was the way everyone was.  You just deal with it.  But then I started seeing happy marriages/relationships and realized that I could be happy.  So, we split and now I'm working on me.  I think I'm basically happy.  I just need to get past this last hurdle of letting go of the hurt.  I'm not sure how to do that, but I pray and meditate on it.  I try not to think about it and when I do, I try to let it go.  I write in my journal--sometimes I write scathing letters to him and then don't send them.  I just need to get it off my chest.  I try to remove myself from situations that remind me of him.  And know--I'm not really thinking of him, but rather the pain caused by him.

So for now, I'll keep praying and meditating, and moving on with my life.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finding a Church

One of my goals this year is to find a church.  It may not seem like a huge goal, but it's probably the most difficult one I'm tackling this year.  I'm very picky and will not go if I'm not satisfied.  The difficulty is that I hate hypocrisy.  I can't stand Sunday Christians.  I tend not to go to church for these reasons, yet I find that I'm craving going.

I hate when people are so called Christians, but they have no tolerance for others and the rights of others.  I can't stand when churches get involved in politics.  Hello?  Separation of church and state, anyone?  If you don't pay taxes, you don't get political input.   And I can't stand people that only get jiggy with God on Sundays--trying to look good and showing everyone how religious they are, but turn around the rest of the week and  do all the unchristian things you can think of.  I'm not saying you can't have a good time, drinking and carousing.  I'm talking about those that are mean to others, talk behind their backs, treat others inhumanely, basically those that talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.  I'm not saying I'm perfect…far from it.  But, I truly try to be a good person all the time.  I slip and make mistakes.  I sometimes talk about others badly.  I sometimes am not a nice person.  And I pray to make myself a better person every time that happens.

The church thing hasn't been a big deal for me, because I am a spiritual person.  (It's organized religion that irritates me most of the time.)  I talk to God, I pray, I try to be good, and I try to treat others well.  I try to instill these qualities in my son too.  I believe that you can have a good relationship with God without going to church.  However, I think that you need the fellowship of like minded people to be fully complete within yourself.

I was born and raised Catholic and will always consider myself Catholic.  If I can find a good Catholic church, I'll be in seventh heaven . . . Pardon the pun.  The problem is I haven't found one yet.  I grew up with a really great church and I'm searching for that "feeling" again.  Even though I balked at going back then, I secretly enjoyed it and if I knew then how hard it would be to find it again, I would have gone willingly then.  Of course, I was a teenager and I knew everything. (Insert snarkyness here.)  I love the pomp and circumstance of the mass.  I love the consistency--when I go, it will be the same thing each time, same order, same words, same songs.  Although, when I went recently, they changed some of the words.  LOL!

 What I've found at the Catholic churches I've tried so far is not what I'm looking for.  I stayed with a couple for awhile, but they didn't work out.  At one, I was trying to get married and the priest tried to impose different standards on me than the other couples as far as the prerequisites.  (Looking back, he may have had a point about that, but still.)  At another, the priest embarrassed my son in front of the entire congregation at communion time.  Apparently, he thought my son was being a smart ass when the priest spoke to him in Spanish.  The problem is that my son doesn't speak Spanish and had no idea what the priest said.  I had tried another one years back that didn't want the congregation to sing, because it was a showcase for their choir.  Grrr . . . . I did go to one fairly recently that seems ok, but it wasn't really welcoming.   I think that when you're at a new church, you should be greeted and shown "the ropes."  I don’t want you in my face, but help me out here.

I put out a call for help to a friend of mine that travels around teaching churches how to be welcoming.  I figured since that's her gig, she would be able to help me.  Plus she knows me and knows how I think, so she won't suggest some stick-in-the-mud type place, but not some hippie commune either.  She, in turn, reached out to folks here (oh yeah . . . She lives in Indiana) for suggestions.  They came up with four of them and I've checked out the websites for each.  All of them seem very welcoming.  In fact, their websites say that I can expect to be greeted warmly but not to be overwhelmed.  This makes my heart happy.

So, starting in February (this coming Sunday), I'm going to start exploring these churches. I'm hoping to find one that fits.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are two of my favorite things to do.  I got away from both of them for the longest time, because I felt like I just couldn't do them.  That was part of the stifling in my marriage.  If I tried to write, the words wouldn't come out.  If I tried to read, I was constantly interrupted.  Never mind that I was ignored all the time, but crack open a book and forget it--give me all your attention.  But that's not what I'm writing about today.

Today, I'm happy that I'm reading and writing again.  I've set reading goals and so far I'm on track.  I had to adjust my reading goal. At first I had set it to read 5 books per week.  Now, back in the day, that wouldn't be a problem--I read at least one book a day, sometimes more.  Now, I don't want to set myself up for failure, so I'm shooting for 5 books per month:

1 romance
1 mystery/thriller
1 other
1 non-fiction
And 1 "real" book, e.g., not on the Kindle

Now, this month, I'm exceeding my goal because I found out that two of my favorite authors will be in town soon--Sue Monk Kidd and Jen Lancaster.  So, I downloaded their newest books to read and I will actually buy the hardback when I go there for their autographs.  It's so exciting.

The writing portion of my goals is a little tougher and I have to have a schedule and really stick to it or it won't happen.  So far though, I've expanded on my writing by writing this blog and my other, shared blog--three days a week each.  I journal several times a week--that goal is for every day, but I don’t always have something to say.  I'm working on that though . . . Even if it is just to say, thank you for the day, I need to write it down.

In the meantime, it's time to stop writing this and start reading.

Until next time, much peace and love . . . .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lighten Up--Unconditional Furbaby Love

My last post was pretty heavy and it still weighs on my mind, but I don't have any more answers just yet.  I thought today, I'd go in another direction and talk about my furbabies.

I have three pets (not including the Boy)--two cats, Mojito and Malibu, and one dog, Lavender.  Now Mojito and Malibu get along fine and Malibu and Lavender get along fine, but Mojito and Lavender . . . Not happening.  And, it's not that Lavender doesn't try, it's Mojito being queen bitch.

However, when I wake up in the mornings, they seem to have called a truce for the night because all three of them will be curled up on me, next to me, or somewhere in my vicinity.  The cats are purring and the dog is a snuggle bug.  I just love them.

Although there are times when I wish they would leave me alone, for the most part, they are pretty awesome.  And there's nothing better than their unconditional love.

Here's a picture of them all chillin' on my bed . . . Mojito is the long hair, closest to Lavender (surprise!) and Malibu is at the end of the bed.  The bottom pic is a bonus of Mojito and Lavender.

And yes . . . All my cats are named for alcoholic beverages.  LOL!

Until next time, much peace and love . . .  .

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hate and Forgiveness: After Divorce

I've talked about my divorce and every once in awhile, I go more in depth as to what happened.  Today, I want to talk about the aftermath.

 My divorce went very smoothly.  The Ex and I had been friends since Junior High and we wanted to remain friendly, especially because we have a child together.  We agreed on everything from child support to spousal support to custody to asset division.  The problem came once the divorce was final and he was getting the payment of my 401k.  We had agreed to put extra in the agreement so that I could have a chunk to pay off some debt--mostly incurred because of him.  But now, he has the power.  He receives the money and decides whether to give me what we agreed to.

Now, I'm not here to talk about the whys and wherefores of my marriage, divorce, or agreements.  I'm writing about the abuse.  While we were married, I would never have thought he was abusive, although in a sense he was.  He wasn't supportive, he didn't do things for me, he only cared about himself, and he complained about everything--especially that we didn’t have enough money.  I kept working my ass off to support us and when he complained, I'd work harder and get promoted.  While doing so, however, I discovered or rediscovered me.  I was never the person who allowed people to walk on me and yet, I had been doing it for years with him.

So, when he got his money, he decided to be a total dick and keep my portion.  The worst part is that he tried to put our son in the middle of it.  Luckily, the Boy is strong and it hasn't harmed him (I hope). His reasoning for keeping my money was that I'll earn it back in just a few months, while he doesn't know how he is going to support himself past April.  Here's an idea--get a job!  But I digress.  When I confronted him about the money he became abusive and nasty, and yes, he made me cry.

I had to think about it though as to why I was crying.  Was it because of how mean he was being?  I mean, I had never heard him use such language to me or about me or in fact, anyone in all the years I've known him . . . Since junior high.  It was horrible, but I have been subjected to worse from others back in the day, so I don't think that was it.  Was it because he was keeping my money?  Possibly--after all, he was keeping about $5000 that I had earmarked to pay stuff off.  But, no--in the long run, I just adjusted my finances and I'll survive. 

I think what the crying came down to was the sadness I felt that he is feeling the way he does.  I can't really describe his feelings, obviously, but he's not the person I thought I knew all these years.  He's not the man who fathered my child.  He's not the boy that I hung out with as a teenager.  He's not the person his parents think he is. He's not the musician that could make a whole lot of money if he just worked at it and played the game.

What he is, is a pathetic excuse for a man.  He refuses to get a job to make ends meet, because he is a musician.  His music should support him.  Unfortunately though, he doesn't or hasn't really gone after that dream.  He has sat back, waiting for people to come to him.  As we all know, money doesn't come knocking at your door without you making an effort to get it.

So, my crying comes down to what?  The lost past?  The wasted past? The unknown future?  The loss of friendship? The fear that my son will soon understand that his father is a bum? All of the above?  When I started writing this, I thought maybe I knew.  But now, at the end of the thought process, I still don't know.  I guess I'll think on it more and go from there.

Until next time, much peace and love . . . .

Friday, January 17, 2014

Not Enough Time to Do it All

Staying with the time theme.  There are so many things I want to do and not enough time to do them.  I used to stress out about that and try to schedule everything I can.  I got no sleep, got nothing fully accomplished, and felt like crap.  I'd make goals and resolutions each year to do better and then get frustrated when I didn't make it.

I finally learned and am still learning that I don't have to do all this crap.  I may want to, but it's not the end of the world if I don't.  Honestly, I had this epiphany just a week or two ago.  So, even though I set goals for 2014, I am constantly revising them so that I don't make myself feel like crap.  And guess what?  I'm able to do what I really want to do.  I removed the pressure from myself and I accomplish more.  I'm sure some wise person has told me this in the past or I read it somewhere, but until I actually experienced it first hand, I didn't believe.

I'll give you an example with blogging.  I run two blogs--this one and another one with my "sis."  I have a blogging schedule to follow and have had it for awhile.  Mon, Wed, Fri is this blog and Tues, Thurs, Sat is the other.  Sunday was considered a blog free day.  So--how do you think I was doing?  Exactly!  I wasn't.  So, I read a lot of blogging tips and came across one that intrigued me--pre-write your blogs.  What?  Are you kidding me?  Why would I do that?  Oh yeah . . . Because it frigging works!  So, I have started using a couple of hours on Sunday to pre-write my blogs.  I write six of them--three for each blog site, and then I post them on the appropriate days.  And guess what?  So far, it's working. 

Another example is scrapbooking.  I love to scrapbook, but I don't have time, energy, or space to do it all the time.  I would love to be able to sit down and scrapbook every day. If I could, I would have probably finished all projects by now.  As it stands, I have several years worth of scrapbooking to do to have it all done. So, now, I've set aside a time on Sunday evenings to scrapbook.  It can be 15 minutes or a couple of hours.  I focus on one book at a time--I organize all the "stuff" and figure out what I want to do with them , pulling out stickers, and papers, and "stuff" to make them really cool.  Then, I work on the pages.  When I feel like I'm done for the day, I box it all up and put it away until next week.  And guess what? So far--it's working.

So, I guess I'll just keep making and modifying these goals so that I'm comfortable.  My main goal now is to "be" rather than to "do" and it's simplifying my life. Being, instead of doing is making time my friend not my enemy.

Until next time, much love and peace . . . .

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where Does Time Go

I've talked about time flying and not being able to believe that I'm not 25 anymore, but I really am stuck on this time thing.  I don't know where the time goes.  Even as I write this, I realize that I've been on this blog for almost two years (February y'all!) and I can't even believe it.

I used to think that my son growing up and graduating from high school was a really long way off, but it's now only three and a half years. AND--he gets his driver's license NEXT YEAR!  Some of my friends' kids are graduating or have graduated . . . Kids that I've actually been around since they were little.  I have "baby" cousins who have "babies" and some of those "babies" are almost out of high school.  I have a niece whom I adore who is going to be 26 this year.  I have pictures of me holding her at a week old.  Where the hell does time go?

I've worked for my company for almost 24 years.  Are you kidding me?  How many people these days have worked for the same company for half their life?  And, I have no plans to leave, only to get even better.  I started as a snot nosed kid there, with no intention of staying--just wanted to pay the bills until the musician boyfriend (now ex-husband) got established in the music industry and could support us.  Um yeah . . . That didn't happen.  Eventually, I worked my way up the food chain.  That happened when I had my son and realized that I wanted to be more and show him how to be more.  I went from receptionist/secretary all the way up to Senior Underwriter/Representative.  This is the highest to go without being in management.  I may eventually want to do that too.  In the meantime, I learn as much as I can about my industry and obtain licensing to make myself a more well-rounded and valuable employee.  That all took time, but it seems like it was a blink of the eye.


There are so many things I want to do, places I want to go, people I want to meet . . .time is the enemy.  I wish that sometimes, I could freeze time, like in the movies, do a bunch of stuff, and then unfreeze time.  That whole time space continuum thing is tricky though.  Ah well, I'll do as much as I can and maybe I'll be able to do the rest in another life.


Until next time, much love and peace . . . .

Monday, January 13, 2014

Single at 47

I never thought I'd find myself single at 47.  I got into a relationship at 21 and stuck it out for 25 years.  At some point, I just thought that was what you do.  None of my friends were in happy relationships, so I didn't think it was possible.  That was how it was supposed to be and all the fairy tales got it wrong.  Yes, we split about 7 years ago, but I relented and let him back.  I had dipped my toe in the water and  was a little scared of what I saw.  So, for another few years, I tried to make it work.  BTW--it takes two to make it work and really, I don't think either of us was trying very hard.

So, I got divorced and started dating.  After being active in the dating scene for about five months, I remembered why I stopped dating when I was 20.  I've never been into playing games and every man I've met so far, plays games.  The sad part is that they say they don't play games, they are up front and honest, and looking for a relationship.  When, in reality, they play games, they lie, and they just want to get laid.  Note--I have met a couple who are actually very nice men, but they are not really pursuing the relationship aspect, so they remain firmly in the friends category.  And that's fine too--we all need friends.

The funny part about the others is that if they were just honest--they want to get laid--they might just get it.  I'm not a prude and think casual sex is just fine; however, there is still an aspect of truth and honesty that is needed.  As for the rest, I don't need to be rescued or have you solve my problems.  Conversely, I'm not gonna rescue you or solve your problems either.  Start talking to me about how broke you are and I'm gone.  BTW ladies, that's code for him wanting you to pay for his shit.  Been there, done that, writing the blog about it. 

So, I've gone away from the online dating scene (oh yeah--that's where I met all but one of these guys) and for now, at least, am just working on me. If I meet someone when I'm out somewhere or I'm introduced to someone by a mutual friend, that's great.  I'm not in any great race to settle down, but I would like male companionship.  It's nice.  It's nice to snuggle and talk and go places together.  But, I'm ok on my own too.  I believe in the fairy tale and I want the fairy tale, and I'm not going to settle for some bullshit.

Until next time, much love and peace . . . .

Friday, January 10, 2014

Reflections on Life: Raising a Teenage Boy

Grrrrrrr . . . Need I say more?  Everyone has issues raising their teens, right?  I know there are some who would like to say their children are perfect, but believe you me, they are not.

I love my son.  He is my heart and soul.  But, there are times that I want to strangle him.  Keep in mind that I choose my battles.  If I tried to "correct" or monitor every single thing, we'd both go crazy.  So, I let him be a teen.  He gets to socialize as much as he wants, he doesn't have to keep his room clean (although there is a limit), he doesn't have to go places with me, etc.  In return, I expect good grades (not necessarily straight As, but he has to try), no drinking, drugs, smoking, or sex, being a good citizen, and treat others with respect.  Do you want to guess which of these become battlegrounds?  Let's just say all of them.

So, I bang my head on the wall, I talk to him over and over, and I try to instill good habits upon him.  Can I really do more than that?  Some would say yes, others agree with me, but ultimately, it will be up to him as to what kind of person he will be.  I throw a lot of advice and wishes at him, and pray constantly for him, and just hope it all sticks, and he becomes a fine, upstanding citizen.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reflections on Life: Aches and Pains

So, I've talked about aging and how I'm heavier than I was as a girl.  I mean, who isn't?  I've talked about getting rid of the extra weight with healthy eating and exercise.  And, I have lost about 40 pounds (and kept it off) over the last two years.  Yay me!  The problem is the aches and pains that come with every day life and how they get even worse with exercise.

I have really bad knees and a bad back.  I get up in the morning, or even up, out of my chair, after sitting for awhile, and I can barely move.  I hobble around like an old woman.  Once I move around a bit, I loosen up and it isn't as bad.  But the pain is excruciating! My knees ache 24/7. My back not so much, but after cleaning or moving around a lot, I am bent over.

I've been to the doctor.  He said my knees are bad (duh), but that surgery is not a necessity for another 5-10 years.  Well, I don't want surgery at all, doc, so what else can we do?  He put me on an anti-inflammatory which works great, but I also have to take a tummy medicine because the anti-inflammatory could mess it up.  He says, walk on, flat ground or do some sort of water work out.  I can wear knee sleeves--not braces--when I'm working out.  Ok, doc . . . Working on that.  But the vicious cycle is that it hurts so much to do the exercise that I don't want to do it and if I don't do it, it gets worse.  So, I am doing it . . . Slowly, but surely.  And this month, I'm joining a gym.  A new 24 Hour Fitness just opened near me and they have a pool.  That will be my key, a pool, I think.

As for healthy eating, well, it's time to get back on track.  I was doing very well and then I quit smoking in early October.  I still did very well with it--I didn't start compensating for cigarettes and I was fine.  And then, Halloween came and I thought I could do one day of junk.  One day became two, two became three, and the next thing I know, two months has passed and I've gained 10 pounds . . . 10 pounds that I worked so hard to get off.  So, I'm back on track and I have to say no to junk.  I have to substitute veggies when I'm "hungry" and I have to drink more water.  Sidebar:  I am 90+ days smoke-free, so I'm not complaining.

 I believe that with hard work, perseverance, ice, and maybe even alcohol, I will overcome and get the weight down even more which will help with the aches and pains and even other things that need to be controlled, like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reflections on Life: Getting Older

I've talked about this before; I wake up in the morning and can't believe that I'm not 25.  I don't understand where the time has gone and I don't know if I've squandered it or if I've lived it.  Oftentimes, I look back on my life and think I haven't done anything.  Other times, I recognize my accomplishments and give myself a pat on the back.

I look in the mirror and I don't see a 47 year old (almost 48) woman.  My skin is good even with a few lines and age spots.  My hair is good even though it's a little thinner on top (and the few grays I have are taken care of with hair color).  My teeth are in great shape--finally, my dentist says, after he got on my ass to floss every day.  I'm heavier than I was as a youngster, but eating healthy and exercise is helping.  So why am I surprised every day?

 I think it's because I've spent the last 20+ years living somewhat robotically.  I go to work every day and put in a good, hard day's work, then when I get home, there is cleaning and some cooking, and taking care of others.  I lived resentfully for the majority of those 20+ years, because I felt that the significant other should have done more.  He should have gotten a job.  He should have helped around the house.  He should have gotten off his ass.  He should have cared for me more.  He should have, he should have, he should have.  But what about me?  I should have been more vocal about what he should have done.  I should have insisted that we do things as a couple.  I should have insisted that if he was going to stay home, he was going to be a good father.  But now that time has passed and should haves are over.

 Now, it is my time and I don't want to look back in another 20+ years and say, I should have . . . .  My "sis" said something profound the other day about not just making goals/resolutions for the year, but finding your word.  Many people responded with great words, such as driven, fulfilling, collaborate, caring, but the first word that came to mind for me was Me.   So, 2014 marks the year of me, of I will, of I can, of I am.  This year is about Me.

 Until next time, much love and peace.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Wishing you the best in the coming year. Hoping that 2014 is better than 2013, as 2013 was better than 2012. Look for more regular postings from me, too.

Until the next time, much love and peace.