2017

A new year, a new me? Nah, resolutions never seem to stick. But I can say that I took last year to regroup, refocus and to challenge myself.

I started a new tradition by traveling to Chicago for my birthday, this year it will be Vegas. I struck out on my own the following month by going back to DC. It had been a few years since I had been and it was a great way to get my feet wet in terms of traveling by myself. A girls trip to Vegas later in the spring and finally, going to see the big tree in NYC.

I have always loved to travel but traveling for work was, well, work…if I had the time I didn’t have the money, if I had the money, I didn’t have the time…and then the whole fairytale of wouldn’t it be great to travel with my significant other? And since that was a solid yes I would delay a trip just in case. So I finally woke up and accepted that that stupid Prince Charming wasn’t coming and screw it if he did, I can do this by myself.

And you know something? I love traveling by myself! I can cram everything in that I want to do, shift it around, change it up and at no point do I have explain why to anyone. So I’m planning trips with friends and without them this year. If they want to come along for the ride, great.

As it has been for the past ten years or so, I’m battling with my weight. But I’ve finally come up with a plan that should work. It’s realistic, small goals and it’s about me becoming healthy, not fitting into a pair of jeans. I meal prep for the week, I switch out at least one soda for water and make myself eat breakfast. Since I love to cook, I spend more time going through the peremiter of the grocery and culling down my use of processed food. I love soda however I’ve managed to quit diet sodas so that’s a plus.

I’m spending more time stretching, walking and being realistic about working out. If I fall down, I just get back up, no big deal. Now if I could just figure out how the ladies in NYC look flawless coming in and out of the subway without looking like a sweaty mess during the winter I would be thrilled.

Love life? Hahahahahaha, you know I’ve tried to put myself out there but I think for now I’m happy with just being on my own. My judgement sucks (clearly) but I’m more concerned about being happy. It’s all about finding the good in life. Sure, some days suck and it can be frustrating but I try to remember that it’s just a day.

The Wookster is 17 and just slays me with his crotchety old self. He’s the best thing since sliced bread. He keeps me on my toes with his demands of routine and whatever is pissing him off at that particular moment.

So yeah, 2017 is about making strides to be a better person and I think I can do that…

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Remembering 9/11

Stumbling Through Life

15 years later and that brief moment where our country came together is now a distant memory. Today everyone hates everyone, someone is to blame for someone else’s lot in life, our political system is broken and it’s all just sad.

I will stress this little lesson I learned when I was kid, there are always bad apples in every bushel. Can we please stop making blanket statements about people based on the color of their skin, the religious or sexual preference? There are good people in this world, lets shine the light on them, let’s respect each other and understand that there are a lot of ways to get from point a to point b.

For those who lost their lives on 9/11, they were just going about their lives. They died because someone hated us enough to high jack planes and crash them into buildings. Think about that…

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The One Where I’m Too…

I haven’t had a date since, well I can’t remember…my last boyfriend spent more time lying and cheating while I cooked, cleaned and spent time with his daughter. The good news is he is with the one he cheated with and they are perfect for each other. I am grateful we have both moved on and I hope never to be that naive or dumb again.

I have gone back and forth on the whole dating thing, I’ve connected with some interesting men but they never follow-thru or as I’ve learned, they’ve ghosted me. This whole dating thing is not evening dating. Text messages do not equate real conversations and apparently my demographic has turned into the world’s laziest men.

The hard part is being told I’m too independent, too optionated, too picky, too intimidating…or as one male friend said to me, “they just say that because they’re not interested but don’t want to say that.” Seriously, who needs enemies when I have some friends so willing to be cruel?

But let’s look at the first descriptor, too independent: My dad drilled this thought into my head: do not depend on anyone else. (Not his exact words but you get the idea)

I have spent my adult life working my ass off so I don’t have to ask for help, rely on others and when I do ask for help I want to kick my own ass thinking I could figure out a way to do it on my own. I’ve also heard my male friends complain enough about clingy, needy women.

So exactly what do men want, because you can’t have it both ways…and seriously, is the male species that stupid to not realize that wanting someone in your life is a whole lot better than needing someone. Or are their egos just that fragile?

The same friend who says he’s just being honest says he likes his women hot and crazy. Apparently there is a perfect ratio of crazy and hot. And those of us who are sane, independent, capable that might not have that hot body are left in the cold.

I do love the too picky label because in the same breath I am told that X was an ass, lazy, horrible, ect. (and the X equates to several exes). So don’t settle but you’re too picky? Yeah, I don’t get it either.

So far now I guess I will hang with my way too independent, optionated, picky self, oh and the Wookster.

 

 

Tackling Social Media

Thank God social media wasn’t around when I was growing up! In this day and age, even a die hard news junkie like myself has decidedly blocked out politics, news and the circus that goes with it.

I watch as friends and family get sucked into every possible warning of the world is ending and you have to post this statement so you can continue to Facebook for free. It’s as if everyone checks their brain at the door when they hop onto social media.

And the judging! Wow, I have a lot of very perfect friends based on what is posted daily. The judgements of parenting, exercise, food, hobbies and beliefs because there way is the right way!

The world is dominated with fire and brimstone, we are told how horrible we are, to feel guilty about our religious beliefs, sexual orientation and skin color, even what we have or don’t have… It’s amazing how sitting behind an electronic device makes us all so very brave.

Sadly the ones who maybe left or right of center are never heard. Why? The extreme right and left are too busy screaming at everyone, they tend to drown out the rational thinking ones. The people who keep on working, keep on doing, those who find it a bit more important to do those extremely boring tasks in order to live daily.

Today’s political map is more about scaring everyone, telling Americans what they should be afraid of and how segments of the population are to blame.

I’m a middle class white girl with student loan debt who screwed up her credit during college. The housing market in my city is crazy so I still rent. Who’s to blame for my mess? Me. I strongly felt that in order to better myself I needed a college education. I also wanted to continue shopping to my heart’s content when I transferred instead of tightening the purse strings.

Was it worth it? I’m leaning towards yes with the caveat that had I buckled down in terms of studying as well as spending, my life might be a bit different right now but I own my choices. It is what it is and I can’t blame my parents, my teachers or my friends for those choices or even society. And I did have fun.

So while we can all dream of winning the lottery or being given everything we think we deserve, the reality is nobody owes us anything. My friends run the socioeconomic gambit and I will never begrudge those who have more. I would also hope that my friends who may not have the luxury to travel wherever, whenever wouldn’t begrudge me this either.

I also take social media posting with a grain of salt. You can blow out the colors of your life showing just how awesome you are and how people should look to you for that perfect life but take the filters off and well, your life probably looks similar to mine. You drug your ass out of the bed, had a bad hair day, got cutoff in traffic and had a hellish day at work and then got to come home to a messy house, bills and trying to figure out how to exercise and eat all before 9pm when you want to crash and burn. Only to do the whole thing over again five days a week.

I have a friend who really hurt my feelings when she trashed what I like to do during my free time. I love sports, that does not negate my intelligence nor does it make me a redneck. I grew up loving football and have that in common with my dad. I have a multi-tv setup so I can obsess over it during the season. I now own half season tickets to the Predators because I fell in love with the sport when it came to town. I’ve worked my ass off and if I want to spend my downtime watching sports I will. I’m 42, I don’t have a husband/boyfriend nor do I have kids so yes, I have some time on my hands. I also love to travel, read and cook. But I was slammed because I like sports.

Let’s remember that what makes the world a great place is that there are so many different viewpoints and ways of life. Painting people with such broad strokes seems unfair and close minded. One of the reasons I love visiting big cities is being able to observe all the cultures. I love hearing all the languages, trying to figure out what they are saying. I enjoy seeing how others live and tend to be very jealous of those with mass transit.

I’m a natural born cynic when it comes to my love life but I hope and pray that those just sitting in the middle can lead by example. Love each other, listen and teach your kids respect. Right now we are dealing with a segment who were given awards for just showing up, not working and children whose parents split u and instead of taking the hard path when parenting opted for the buddy route or the let me talk to my kid as if he has been through so much already. Respect, wanting to learn what makes others tick and appreciating that is key. Be the change, all it takes is a little kindness.

The One Where I Revist the Past

I just finished Me Before You and while I have had a few friends give me the look and ask why would I do this, I can say that I needed to read it and it kind of helped.

Same but different situation but I had the same feels as Lou, the questions, the helplessness, the guilt. . . I don’t really like talking a lot about the process after losing Chandler. It is one thing when I talk to his Ma or his sisters or even his bestie because, well, we are all in the same boat. I lost him twice and to this day I feel guilty. I should have fought for us, I should have pushed him, I should have. . . well you get the picture.

Assisted suicide.  . .I get it but I just can’t, at least right now I just can’t get behind it. But then again you are reading a 42 year old never been married adult who is terrified of having to deal with Wook getting older and it showing. I can’t make those decisions and am frozen in fear about am I doing the right thing for him. Quality vs quantity

After the Allan debacle I decided (after limping through football season and ignoring the start of hockey) that I wanted to travel. I wanted to do things for me. And then I decided that when I hit DC I would revisit a boyfriend from the past. I am not sure what I was looking for other than maybe some confirmation that my 21 year old self made the right decision. I did and while he is a nice guy we are two very different people. And he still saw me as a naive little town girl and the tip he left the server after we had drinks kind of rubbed me the wrong way. So I at least felt better about that decision from a million years ago.

I ended up seeing my high school boyfriend the following month. It was interesting. With time I let go of the hurt from being dumped the night I graduated high school but hanging out with his friends and having 20+ years of experience since then, it was nice. We laughed and drank, told stories, listened to music and smoked meat.

When I knew I was going to visit him I dubbed it the year of visiting boyfriends past. . . I would probably be up for seeing some of the guys I dated from camp, possibly one from my post college days but to go through a visit with each and every one of them? Nah, those relationships ended because they needed to and most I have no desire to see again.

I finally turned hockey back on, it was almost the end of the season. I went to two post season games and ended up buying a half season because I missed it so much. I saw Allan there both times, across the way, each time I was thankful that he did me the favor of cheating, again. They are perfect for each other and while his family liked me what mattered was his feelings. I finally admitted that I could never help him nor could I ever save him. You can’t fix people, no matter how much you try or how much you love them.

For me? I am counting down the days until football season starts as well as hockey season. I am trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I even signed up for a dating app. . . we will see if anything comes of it. I am kind of in that place that it is going to take someone really special for me to be willing to let my guard down.

The book was really good, I loved the story but I will admit, reading that was the emotional equivalent of cutting. And the movie will be released this Friday. Yes I am going to see it, yes I will be bawling again but I am drawn to it, I can’t not see it.

 

The One Where I Admit. . .

I have a thing for Hallmark Christmas movies, please people, send help. . . cause I have become obsessed with every movie remotely tied to Christmas and now I have a channel that is all cheesy Christmas movies all the time. And I could write these cheesy things. . .

So between football and cheesy movies, my dance card is kind of full. I spend my days working and my evenings curled up on the couch with the Wookster. I have even managed to find sappy books to read, so I may need to be admitted to a self help program at the first of the year. We won’t even talk about what my DVR looks like at the moment.

I have started doing meal prep for a couple of coworkers, it’s so nice cooking for others and yet I don’t have to worry if my house is neat and tidy for dinner guests! Score! I have been working on getting my Christmas gifts bought, unfortunately each time I head out I end up with something I like plus another Star Wars item for Mr. E. Stace and the hubby may end up cutting me off if I continue to buy gifts for my buddy. To be fair, the kid’s birthday is five days after Christmas and a good portion of the stuff is books so. . .

I can’t wait until the 24th. . . I grew up watching Star Wars, I remember coming out of the cinema in Cleveland, being held by my dad, seeing the StarVu drive-in playing The Empire Strikes Back and wanting to see it again after just sitting through it. While mom isn’t that into it, dad and I are going and it is going to be so much fun. Although I will probably be the one paying this time and we will probably have to hit Starbucks before we head to the theater.

I am looking forward to the new year, fresh new plans, goals and experiences. 2016 will be spent making me happy. I have agreed to go out at least once a month with the Queen, I will continue to volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank and I am going to work hard to get back to 5K shape. Of course, I will also do whatever the Wookster wants me to do as well because he’s the boss.

But for now I will continue to watch football and some sappy Hallmark movies. At least it kind of balances out. .. maybe. . .

The One About Dating

*Fair warning: parents, friends of parents, kids I used to babysit but are now grown: adult content ahead and I am human. No judgements or comments. . . K? Thanks

Dating 101

In an effort to move forward (and not become a hermit. . . oops, too late) I have forced myself to create an online dating profile. Sadly, I feel like this will be an exercise in an overabundance of writing material as opposed to the dinner and a movie type dates.

On a whim last year (i.e. I felt like mocking the app) I signed up for Tinder. I am by no means a sweet, innocent girl BUT waking up to this message one Sunday morning sent me to the edge:

dude: So hungover. . .
me: sorry about that
dude: know what cures a hangover?
me: umm, hair of the dog?
dude: nah, you blowing me
me: Delete! Swipe Left! Erase! Erase! Erase

 Is that all there is? A horrible pick up line (if you can call it that) about being hungover and needing an oral? Oh and this was the first ever interaction with this dude. Next!

After that shocking exchange, I decided to be, let’s say, a bit more candid and upfront in my profile message.

If you are looking for sex, swipe left–I need more than “yo, drop your drawers” to even talk to you.

I guess I am a bit more old fashioned than I thought. Also, I grew up with male friends, spent quite a bit of time at a fraternity house and I can promise you, I have heard it all and have yet to fall for most of those lines. I can also make a sailor blush, so please put more effort into getting to know me before propositioning me.

What sent me over the edge with Tinder happened shortly after that disaster. I was matched with Stu, a friend since college who is bitchier than me. That match just seemed wrong. I texted our buddy Arch, told him what happened and he laughed. I deleted the app.

After breakup number I lost count with a double side of high school drama, I opted to have a relationship with my tv and go all hermit crab. I even looked at becoming a nun but I’m not Catholic, it would take time to convert and well I have the patience of a gnat. So I did what any single gal who had about two drops of water in her dating pool, I Googled “dating sites” and they have one for pretty much everyone, well except me, out there. Some are not safe for even my eyes.

I settled on OKCupid for now figuring that these things are time sucks and I’m lazy. . . who wants to spend several nights typing in the answer to “why I’m single and looking?” My preference would be to simply yet honestly say this:

I’m 41, never been married, no kids, disease free, overweight but trying to get back to an acceptable size (per my doctor, not a tabloid magazine). I have issues, I left my first real love because i wanted to “have fun” and have made some really bad choices since then but my 20s were hella fun minus the pill popping ex who loved to tell me exactly what was wrong with me (Yay! Emotional abuse!)

Got my second chance at love with someone who just never talked about his issues with me, after dating 2 1/2 years, he took me to NYC for the weekend (which most of my friends thought was going to be the location he would pop the question) and two weeks later he dumped me. Never saw it coming. His cousin had a crush on me and I was in a horrible place mentally, emotionally but not physically. Yes sir! I got on the being dumped diet (best diet ever!) and lost a ton of weight. Stumbled around trying to figure out what was wrong with me, had some fun with a much younger guy and attended a party where the ex and his new girl came as well and it is rumored conceived their kid in our mutual friend’s driveway. To be fair, he did call to tell me he had a kid on the way (before his family knew. . . although I guess I was the one who shared the news with his cousin). Tailspin right into cousin and knew it was wrong, shouldn’t lead him on, etc. but I wasn’t in a good place and I hurt him badly. I wouldn’t be shocked if he still was angry with me (he was really good at holding grudges). But in the end, the ex and I exchange emails about football annually, so there’s that. . . Opted to take advantage of the early 30s and skinny. HAD. A. BLAST.

Finally broke down and tried match.com, horrible meat market. Then eHarmony which begat the boy, dated him for awhile and lost my shit when he went two days before letting me know he had arrived safely in Portland. I know I dumped him for more than that but seriously, how hard is a text that says, “I’m here! Talk to you soon!”? I don’t need a play by play or crawling up my ass but letting someone know (that loves you) that you arrived safely isn’t asking for too much. I made that shallow boy cry though.

We tangled as friends a couple more times but I’m not skinny enough for him. All I can say is, I can lose weight, but that hair transplant didn’t work sweetie.

Then came Chandler, who came out of the blue and left almost as quickly. He showed me just how much he loved me by setting me free. I still regret being in DC with the boy when he passed away. But he gave me one more present. . . a very clear view of the boy’s true personality.

And finally, the past three years I have spent (off and on) with a selfish guy who has way too many vices/addictions, who only thought of himself. I never really understood people who are happier when they are miserable but he really fits that description. The drama, the need to cause upheaval and the lack of respect. . .well I got that in spades. And I kept on forgiving him and welcoming him back into my life. Love is deaf, dumb and blind. . .

So yeah, I’ve lived, had some interesting experiences but what I want is to be happy. Find that other half that is willing to be a partner, make me laugh, doesn’t cheat, lie, do drugs or have more vices than limbs. And no, I am not going to fall over and exclaim, “take me now!” I like fancy dinners but I also like grabbing Krystals. I like a cocktail from time to time but the days of tying one on are long gone (the hangovers are so not worth it anymore). I love sports, sappy movies and crude jokes. I prefer large cities, public transportation and finding the soundbites when politicos start yapping.

But for some reason I don’t think I would get many hits with that profile. So umm, let’s try this:

Goofy blonde with the humor of a 12 year old boy, loves football, hockey and soccer. I like most kinds of music, not a fan of surprises or florist flowers. I am shy until I get comfortable in the situation and I am extremely gun shy when it comes to dating. I am independent and stubborn. My friends are very important to me and if they don’t like you, hit the door jack. . .

Or maybe I should just ask how a hangover is cured. . . .

The One Where It All Starts to Kind of Make Sense

I know that there are mean people in the world, and there are even petty people out there that will just be nasty in order to create drama. I don’t get it but maybe I am naive enough to believe if you are a good person and treat people with kindness, than they should return that back to you as well.

Son came over today for a girls day and it was much need. We talked about stupid choices in our youth, she did call me on some of my issues (I tend to shut down once I get hurt) but she reiterated that in her eyes, I was a strong person who would come back out of this pain with more knowledge and the ability to believe in hope and love.

But then a bomb was dropped that I still can’t get my mind wrapped about. Apparently our friend Allen was a negative butt who wanted a buddy to hang with instead of being along or having to jockey for time between buddy and the girlfriend.

Since it came out of the blue from all those years ago, it is kind of fuzzy but it does make sense. She felt Jorge did what he was told to do but had wanted to come back to me but got a random girl knocked up. If there is any truth to this it validates that I wasn’t crazy. It also shows that Allen needs some serious help. . . .people if your friends want to get in the middle of a relationship and break you up, they are not your friends.

Kind of like when an ex comes up with promises and sells that this, that or the other won’t work, just get rid of her kind of thing.

At some point, the cruelty, the games, the drama will come back to haunt you. I may never be around for it but just know, once again, I can look myself in the mirror and be cool with my reflection. I don’t feel guilt. But I do appreciate the multiple knives in my back. I do prefer higher end knives though, k? Thanks.

I am so grateful to have the family and friends that I have in my life. I will always have moments of stumbling but I am kind and willing to help out if you need anything.

And for my friends dealing with broken marriages, I am sorry you are going through this, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I hope that you all find happiness sooner rather than later.

And if you want, I will go kick their ass.

Tuesday Randomness

Let’s get back into a routine shall we?

  • I’m ready for November 6th, the Peanuts movie is coming out. . . I wonder if the Wookster would like to go with me?
  • The final Hunger Games movie comes out next month AND then of course Star Wars comes out in December. So excited! Of course I will need to take a loan out for all of the movies I want to go see.
  • I also need to pick up the original Star Wars on BluRay, always on my list and keep forgetting to get them
  • I am currently kicking butts and taking names with fantasy football, still not sure how that has happened but I will take it
  • My Steelers need an infusion of something, not sure what but we need something
  • I went with Stace and her family to a pumpkin patch a week and a half ago, we were there exactly 15 minutes and Mr. E hurt himself, as in, let’s take a trip to the ER.
  • OMG, I just wanted to trade places with him since little man is such a cutie. I offered all kinds of matchbox cars, Stace said no.
  • Lots of interesting people watching in the ER on a Saturday night, also met a really nice Lyft driver who took me home when we realized that after several hours we were going to be there a few more hours.
  • I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked a guy if he wanted to get a coffee. . . well, it was a FB message and I totally tried to sound laid-back, like no biggie. . . his reply? Thanks but no thanks
  • Ouch
  • To be fair, I was thinking of it as more of a, “this is a great way to get out and do something” but it is what it is
  • I have already planned my birthday (yes, the one in January) going to Chicago to visit friends
  • I also have some more traveling to do, so I need to plan, plan, plan
  • I also want to look into taking some cooking classes
  • And make fresh pasta (why does the KitchenAid attachment cost so much???)
  • Would it be inappropriate to start a GoFundMe for my trip to London? I mean, I have made all kinds of bad choices in my life but I am a 41, never been married girl, so surely that’s something. .. .

Now I must go obsess over my team cause it’s not looking pretty right now.

The One Where I Am Grateful

I used to say that Popa was like a Timex watch, he took a licking and kept on ticking. It came from the multiple health issues during the last few years of his life. Whatever happened, he still smiled and kept plugging away. Even when we had to take food (one of his favorite things) away from him. Between the feeding tube and his walker, you would think that would have slowed him down, but nope, the man could move lightening quick and very quietly when he really had a hankering for something more than his nutrition shakes.

I admired how he was always happy, willing to see the bright side to every situation. There are times that I love to think that I have even an inkling of his attitude. And there are times where I am quite sure he would be disappointed in me because I go into my hole.

My good friend Cherry reminded me of this hole I like to crawl in from time to time. It is a coping mechanism for me. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t do anything to cause the bad situation, I beat myself up. I look back at the decisions and realize I haven’t learned a damn thing.

Depression and anxiety sucks, I have dealt with it since I was 33. I have made jokes about it, I have talked openly about it and I have tried to share with my friends in order to help them when they find themselves trying to dig into a hole.

The whole Allan thing (again) really knocked the wind out of me. While I know it was the right decision and I am happier than I had been, it is still hard. I still have moments where I can feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I still care about him and the bug. I still worry about them and I pray that his decisions are for his kid as opposed to what he wants. But I can’t control the situation and I can’t compete with his desire to have constant drama in his life. The “I’m sorry I pulled you into my mess” excuse grated on my nerves last time and this time it just set me off.

We all have to take responsibility for our “messes” instead of dragging others in or using that as an excuse when the grass looks greener on the other side. We also have to respect those we have in our lives.

I am taking responsibility for my contribution to “the mess” by finding simple pleasures in my day to day life. I take time each morning to be grateful for the day, I love on the Wookster and I truly appreciate the job I go to daily. Sure, Monday kicked my ass and I am sure there will be plenty more of those but I love the fact that I don’t have a sense of dread when walking into the office. That I have nice coworkers and a boss who has decorated my cubicle with plants (those poor things, I cannot promise anything due to my black thumb).

I am fighting back against the running commentary in my head about what I could have done or should have done. I am fighting against those voices that tell me I was not good enough for him. And yes, there are times where I just want to sit and cry at yet another failure but for the most part, I find happiness in each day. There are triggers and I am learning to cope with those, just as I have learned to cope with my depression and anxiety.

I may not be throwing back mass quantities of Jack Daniels and partying all night but life is kind of okay. I can look at myself in the mirror and realize that I am being honest with myself, my friends and my family. I don’t have to hide anything or pretend that things are one way when they are really another.

I am realizing how I have taken my friends for granted and I don’t ever want to do that. They are family and I love each and every one of them. All I ask is for patience as I work through this and yes, there will be times when I don’t feel like going out or I agree but then back out. But I will get there.

In the meantime, I will be working on getting me back, losing some weight and actually keeping a tidy house. I am also going to get back to telling that story because with each failed relationship I am reminded of someone who loved me way more than I deserved.