Monday, August 31, 2009

Attitude adjustment

Last week, Gentleman Jack was having a really bad day.

As usual, when one of us is having a bad day, the other one steps up with positive messages and support. He, unfortunately, was particularly hardheaded that day.

No biggie. I let him be.

"I know I'm being negative, right now," he said, and I know I need to watch that movie you gave me."

"That movie" he was referring to is The Secret.

---

When any of us are having a bad day, negativity drops out of every pore and word that comes from us. We all do it.

Its OK!

If I've learned anything from blogging for nearly 2 years now its that I have to accept myself, no matter how I'm feeling. Still I always try to bounce back!

I think I've generally been a positive person my whole life. But honestly, I credit The Secret for helping me to learn to bounce.

I told Jack that I wouldn't speak to him that evening until he watched the movie.

---

About 11:00 that night, I received a text from GJ:


"U r truly my angel, aren't u? U have come 2 change my life 4ever! I bless the day ur pic caught my eye. I love you baby!"


Um... I guess he liked the movie?

The man I talked to after that was a completely different person than the one from earlier in the day. He was positive, cheerful, and filled with gratitude. He was using words like "I know" and "I can" rather than his usual "I think" and "I will try".

He was positively glowing through the phone!

---

I know that each of us will have down days. I know that the positive attitude will flounder.

At least I know that we can help each other. And a little inspiration doesn't hurt at all!


Here's the first 20 minutes of The Secret. Just in case you need a little pick-me-up too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Protector



I mentioned before that my mother allowed my children to watch the M. Night Shyamalan movie, Signs.

My girls already tend to be jumpy in the dark. My poor Rose was blessed (or cursed) with my overactive imagination so she gets especially worked up with images in her mind.

Let's just say that this movie didn't help things at all.

---

When I put the girls to bed at night, we sit and talk about our days.

They like to tell me about their feelings about school, friends, and in Rose's case, subjects with much depth like death and natural disasters.

God bless her. She's a worrier like her Mommy was at that age. Lately, I've had to sit with her and re-hash that movie.

I've had to explain fear to her, how it affects her physiologically.

I've had to explain that everyone has something they're afraid of.

I've had to explain to her that the writer of the movie's sole intent was to frighten people because people like scary movies.

I've had to explain to her that just because someone looks different (i.e. green skin and red eyes) it doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to cause you harm.

So far, my explanations (and lots of hugs) are helping her to go to sleep at night. But this is an ongoing thing now. A daily occurrence.

How can Mommy fix this?

---

While I was recovering post-surgery, the kids stayed with my ex-husband. My ex-husband and his roommate brother have a dog.

My kids LOVE this dog.

When I went to pick up the girls from their dad's house, Rose was very upset. She did not want to leave his house at all. She kept saying she would miss the dog.

I didn't get it until last week when she finally gave me the clue I needed.

---

I'd told the girls to go get dressed for school. Rose wouldn't leave the room without me or her sister with her. She was frozen in terror.

I asked her what was wrong and she said she was scared.

So then I asked,

"I'm curious. Are you this jumpy at your dad's house? Are you as unwilling to go anywhere in his house alone?"

And her answer clarified everything:

"No, Mommy. Daddy has a dog."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I get it. It makes perfect sense. My baby girl is AGAIN just like me. She feels more secure with a dog in the house. I used to be the exact same way.

But... ugh.

Can I really handle another mouth to feed?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Say Hey



I guess I've been living under a rock or something because I've only just this week been introduced to Michael Franti & Spearhead. The funny thing is, a few days before, I was retweeting a Michael Franti lyric that Jason Mraz was tweeting... and I had never heard of him!

Forget it, upon first listen I was hooked on this song! How could anyone not be?!

This is my message to my Gentleman... I know, one thing, that I love you.

---

Say Hey

This one goes out to you and yours
worldwide
I say hey I'll be gone today
But I'll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see
the less I know
But I know one thing
That I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

I’ve been a lot of places all around the way
I’ve seen a lot joy and I’ve seen a lot of pain
but I don’t want to write a love song for the world,
I just want to write a song about a boy and a girl
Junkies on the corner always calling my name
And the kids on the corner playing ghetto games
When I saw you getting down well I hoped it was you
And when I looked into your eyes I knew it was true
I say Hey I'll be gone today
But I'll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see
the less I know
But I know one thing
That I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

Now I’m not a highly metaphysical man
But I know when the stars are aligned you can
bump into person in the middle of the road
look into their eyes and you suddenly know
Rocking in the dance hall moving with you
Dancing in the night in the middle of June
My momma told me don’t lose you
‘cause the best luck I had was you
I said Hey I'll be gone today
But I'll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see the less I know
But I know one thing
That I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

And I said rocking in the dance hall moving with you
I said Hey momma hey momma close to you
Rocking in the dance hall moving with you
I said hey papa, hey papa close to you
Rocking in the dance hall moving with you
I said Hey Momma close to you
Rocking in the dance hall moving with you I said
hey momma, hey momma, hey momma, hey momma
hey momma, hey momma, hey momma, hey momma
what you gonna do?

My momma told me don’t lose you
Cause the best luck I had was you
And I know one thing that I love you
I said I'll be gone today
but I’ll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see the less I know
I said I'll be gone today
but I’ll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see the less I know
But I know one thing that I love you
I love you (3x)
I love you (3x)
I love you (3x)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good enough


Sarah McLachlan - Good Enough (Official Music Video)


The deeper I get into this relationship, the more aware I am of my own limitations and imperfections.

We're different.

We don't always agree.


It scares me.

That's when I come face to face with the very core belief that developed in me from childhood to now.

What if I'm not good enough?

---

I remember blogging this same thing back in November of last year. Even in that post I said,

"....I have been afraid, in the past, to be with men who adore me. I didn't trust it. I always had the nagging question in my mind:

What if they see my flaws? The flaws I try so hard to hide?

It just didn't feel right if I didn't have to work hard for that love. "

So instead, I do my best to not disappoint. I hide. I wear a mask. (Thankfully not near to the extent as I did in my previous relationship. He was doing the same thing.)

But this one.... he will not allow me hide my flaws. He sees through my mask and every time he does, I feel as if I've let him down. Every time we find out that we aren't the same or that I do something he doesn't like, I feel like I'm ugly, defeated and... not good enough.

He is much the same way. He says he doesn't feel worthy of my love.

My brain, however, starts saying to me, "See. You're not so perfect for him after all, are you? Now he sees you for real and he will take his love away too."



Why am I so fatalistic?

Is it because I had a father who never seemed to believe in me?

Who never seemed pleased with who I was?

Because I wanted so badly to make him proud and be loved and it seemed like nothing was ever good enough?



I hate this feeling. I know that if I'm aware of it, since it has bubbled up so nicely to the surface, I should look at it. I should deal with it. I have to learn to accept this about myself. It will not do me any good at all to stuff it back down again. If I do that, it will continue to fester and raise its ugly head again later.

And there it is. It ain't pretty.



"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
~ Sam Keen

"...even if that imperfect person is yourself."

~ T

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What kind of parent are you?

Gentleman Jack and I were discussing our children the other day and we realized...

We parent the same way.

Neither of us are that 'get down on the floor and play dolls or whatever-gaming-system' kind of parent.

We are that 'let's go see a movie or go swimming or something else fun' kind of parent.

Is one better than the other?


---

For example, this weekend my children were... bored, Mommy we're SOOO bored... and I told them to go play with the giant pile of Barbies they have.

"But won't you come play Barbies with us?"

"No babies. Mommy doesn't play Barbie. That's why Mommy has two of you. So you can play with each other."

But later on that evening, we went to Blockbuster, rented the new Hannah Montana movie, set up a fun snack tray for dinner (including fruit, carrot sticks, veggie chips, ham and cheese on a stick, pizza squares and popcorn) and cuddled together on the couch to watch the movie.





If I wasn't post-surgery, I may have taken them to the fun pool at the local community activity center that has a lazy river and giant slides. Or we would have had a picnic at a park near our house.

---

Jack has two sons - a teenager and a pre-schooler.

They too love their games and beg their Daddy to play Rock Star or a wrestling game. He might join them for a bit but otherwise, he leaves them to their own devices. Again, they have each other to play with and Jack, like me, has numerous chores to do.

Including vegging out sometimes!

Instead, after a few hours at home, Jack loaded up the boys and they headed out to their favorite fishing spot. They spent the evening observing nature, catching fish, learning how to drive the boat and watching the sunset.





He's taking his oldest son hunting with him in a few weeks. Other times, he takes them to their grandmother's house to swim in the pool.

---

I ask this question because there is some parental guilt for not spending that "on the floor" time with our children. We both feel it. We both try to reassure the other.

After all, we're doing our best as single parents.

I have friends who do spend this floor time with their children. They do arts and crafts with their kids. They sit and play video games with their babies.

Is one better than the other or are they both quality time?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Size

I have a girlfriend who once dated a guy that had the largest penis she'd ever seen.

And yes she'd seen plenty.

It kept her hanging on... *ahem* ...through abuse and neglect. It kept her from choosing other men who were much better for her.

Apparently, as Rachel said so eloquently, she was "dickmatized".

She was a-dick-ted.

Anyway...

I've been with a few men (with this one exceptional exception), who have pondered if they were big enough.

Well, they were big enough to please me so....



I wonder, with most women, does size really matter?



This topic reminds me of something my friend Alex told me. She said she dated a guy who had a very small penis however, he was GREAT in bed. She told me about a line he delivered to her once, in their post-coital state:

"I may have a needle dick, but I have a sewing machine ass!"

I can't help but still giggle at that. I love his confidence!

Confidence goes A LONG way.


Just sayin'.

---

So, we've already had the discussion about how, as women, we tend to cover up what we think are inadequacies with push up bras or spanx. Some people called it false advertising.

Alas, it seems that men tend to have feelings of inadequacy at times too.

For you ladies, have you noticed this?

Does size matter to you? Or the talent?

And guys, feel free to lay it out there too. Please.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bless the obstacles

After I wrote my last blog post about all the great messages I've been receiving lately, another wonderful Neale Donald Walsch email arrived in my inbox:

"I believe God wants you to know...
....that obstacles are not opposing you, but merely and
gently re-routing you.

It is important not to view that which stands in your
way as your 'enemy.' It can often be your best friend,
sending you on a detour that takes you around what
could have been your biggest stumbling block.

Send a word of gratitude, then, for anything that seems
to be 'opposing' you now. All things in life happen for
good. Trust God about that."


Of course I immediately thought of this long distance relationship I'm in with my man.

But I also remembered this same message coming to me last year in a book that I'd read. I remember feeling so drained from the deployment and this tiny message came screaming at me from a book:

If you are looking at something as an obstacle, if you fight something, you are giving it all of your power!


I declared then that I wouldn't let the deployment have power over me. I was taking my power back!

And so I must do that again!


"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."
~ Brian Tracy


I have no idea what is going to happen in the future. I needn't even plan for it. I never planned where I am now and .... I am happy.


"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be."
~ Marcel Pagnol


I mean, I am not lacking anything. I feel love every day. I have so much to be grateful for. There is no reason for anything BUT happiness now.


"The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change, for happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up."
~ Charles Morgan


And I can take that same happiness into my future, should I choose it. I may not know what the future looks like but if I choose to be happy, it won't matter.

So, I will bless this distance between Gentleman Jack and myself. I will bless this stuffy head that I have tonight because I know my body is recovering its immunity after my surgery. I will bless what I think might stand in the way of my peace.

Besides, withstanding those obstacles has made me who I am right now.

I can't see the big picture from this tiny viewpoint that I call my life. Someone else knows more than I do.

And apparently, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things to remember


Over the past week, there have been a few things I've read that have stuck with me.


Like the comment from QT Mama on this post regarding how touched I was when so many of my family and friends came to support me post surgery. And how sad I was that things were returning to normal.

For some reason, I tend to forget this so it was a nice reminder:

"....that doesn't mean the love goes away when the people do sweet pea."
~QT Mama

I also love that both QT and Gentleman Jack call me "sweet pea."

---

Both Jack and I are taking turns being scared.


I tend to show it in dramatic, girlie ways like calling the whole thing off.

He reacts to me with calm understanding. He reassures me with love, tenderness and patience.


He shows his fear by worrying about expectations. He'll say that he doesn't want to spoil me too much or I'll start expecting it. He'll say that he's not comfortable that he's created a habit of calling me every night. He'll say that he needs a night out to hang with his boys and that I shouldn't expect him to call.

I react with calm understanding too. I reassure him that I have no desire stop him from being himself. We each have our own lives to live. I also remind him that the way he treats me is so vastly different from how I've been treated before that all of it is a blessing.



Our reactions to each others' fears is working so far. I always feel better with his reassurance. And when he does get time away from me, he'll call me anyway, emotional about how much he misses me.

We're fighting it.

Sometimes I wish the situation would be happily solved so that neither of us have to worry about it anymore.


Then this week, I received the following note in my inbox from Notes from the Universe:

One of the trickiest things about life, T, is that, at times, it happens so slowly.

Yet... if... it... happened... any... faster... you'd... already... have... everything... you... ever... wanted... without... learning... to... enjoy... the... ride.

Beep, beep...
~The Universe


And this from Neale Donald Walsch's daily notes:

"I believe God wants you to know...

....that progress is not measured in miles, it is measured in inches.

Do not wonder why things are "taking so long." In fact, everything is rolling out exactly as it needs to, using not a minute more than Perfection requires.

Rest easy and be at peace. Life is working its magic even as you take your very next breath."


And Deepak Chopra tweeted:

"Once the mind is quiet, things happen naturally and spontaneously, without any interference on your part."

Which basically is telling me that we're both thinking too much and trying too hard to figure out where this whole thing is going.

*sigh*

Faith, trust and love. That's what we're banking on.

---

Sometimes I just need a reminder that what I'm seeing is only part of reality.

That I need to stay positive, focus on the outcome, remove my judgment and allow the Perfection to unfold.

Thanks again to Notes from the Universe for being so unyielding in its messages:

T, living the life of your dreams is a lot like sailing.

You pick your destination, hoist up your sail, make minor adjustments while the journey is underway, and let the wind do all the hard work.

In other words, imagine the end result, do what little you can, make minor adjustments while the journey is underway, and let me blow your mind.

Phe-e-e-e-e-e-e-w!
~The Universe

P.S. Of course, T, there are also a few "don'ts."

Like don't think that just because there's magic in life you won't have to hoist up your sails, or that doing so will instantly deliver you to your destination.

Don't assume that just because there isn't wind one day it's a "sign" that something is wrong, or that you won't have it tomorrow.


And, perhaps most importantly, don't forget to pack your Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and cupcakes.
---

Have you any inspirational quotes to share?



Photo came from here - coincidentally (or not?) in an article on How to live in the Present Moment

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Like budduh

I let out the slightest moan of discomfort and his voice instantly soothed me.

He'd been that attentive all night. Every little "ow!" that I would whisper under my breath would be met with a "You okay, baby? You need help?" Even in what I would perceive to be his deepest sleep, he was still my helper.

"I'm all right," I tried to reassure him, "I am just not that comfortable sleeping on my back."

I slowly rearranged my weak post-surgery body to face him. His eyes, now visible with the morning light, showed concern. His hands were on my arms, just in case I should need a little boost of strength getting myself positioned among the pillows.

I kissed him and his hands moved to my face. We looked into each others' sleepy eyes and smiled. No words needed to be spoken.

Again, I moved and again his face was worried. I wanted to be on top of him but I was limited in mobility with the weakness of my mid-section and the doctor-prescribed bondage I was wearing. Finally, I was able to place my head on his chest.

"Mmmmm..." I felt the vibration of his moan coupled with the sound of his heart beat.

His hands continued to stroke lovingly and gently... my face, my neck, my shoulders, my hair. I closed my eyes and relished in the sensation of being touched with such emotion.

I nuzzled my face further into his neck and kissed him softly near his jawbone. I noticed his entire body go weak. I explored his face - cheek, temples, forehead, bridge of his nose, eyelids, other cheek, ears, down to the slightly greying hair around his beautiful mouth. I used all the strength I could muster to lift myself to his lips.

Lying my head back on his chest, I continued my journey of his visage, venturing above his temples to massage his scalp. My hair was fanned out over his stomach more and more each time his big fingers ran through it. I explored the way the hair grew on his chest. Turning my face to his skin, I grazed my lips along his nipple. I moved my fingers to the strong shoulders that I have been leaning on for months now. I kissed his hands, traced the lines of his palm.

His breath became slow and deep. His body completely relaxed.

I love being with him this way. I have never been with a man more responsive than this one.

With every single touch, he would let out a moaning sigh, a deep breath of appreciation.

If butter made a sound when it was melting, this would be it.

Time seemed to stand still. It would be much later that we realized we were there -

lovers gazing

skimming skin

sighing

melting with each touch

for over an hour.

I've been known to swoon and this was definitely a "swoonable" moment. But to watch a man, my lover, my attentive friend, my adoring partner, become virtually liquid because of me?

Now that's a moment to remember.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

False Advertising?




For some reason, Glamour magazine is delivered to my mailbox every month.

I didn't subscribe to it but eh, whatever. I take it to work and the other woman in the office and I look at it over lunch.

So, in the June issue, I came across this article by Jake, a real, live single guy dating in New York City:

Six Beauty Habits Men Wish You'd Skip

Padded bras

Sure, men stare at big breasts, but pay close attention and you’ll notice we ogle every size. We’re just fans. As my friend whom I’ll call Sam says, “I’ve dated women with everything from an A-cup to a D, and I can tell you they all rock.” In fact, the only thing that qualifies as a letdown is removing a woman’s bra and not getting what was advertised. Thing is, men imagine what being with you might be like based on what we see (we have entire scenarios in our head, and smaller breasts play just as wonderful a role as large ones), so pulling a bait and switch kind of throws off our fantasy. And don’t even get me started on those “chicken cutlet” things. They’re like orthotics for breasts—and why are they always that creepy beige?


If you'll recall from my pre-surgery consideration, I wrote:

I live in push up bras because my used-to-be 36C cups became not-so-full D cups post-pregnancy. Once the milk was gone, *sigh*, so was the fullness.



I am VERY curious to hear all of you speak out on this one.


I remember before my friend's boob job, I thought she looked gorgeous with her tiny boobies but she would wear the "chicken cutlet" things the writer mentioned above. She is married though. Her husband knew damn well what she looked like under those falsies. She wore them for herself. They made her feel better.



Part of me wonders if this only applies to single women...

Are we false advertising when we wear push up bras or spanx or other things to hide our perceived imperfections?

Do men feel let down, being the visual creatures that they are, to find that what they saw was just a trick to please the eye?



I've had many people ask if I have fake boobs. No, I simply know which kind of bras hold me just so and makes the girls look as young and fresh as they used to be before I had kids. Truth be told, I do this for myself.


I
think it looks better.

Which is why I did my tummy tuck. And most likely why I'll consider getting a breast lift/reduction at some point.




Still I also wonder if, as women, our natural tendency is to compete against each other for beauty (as I noted before). I mean in all honesty, it seems obvious that most men appreciate a girl in a t-shirt, jeans and baseball cap.


Do we do all of this primping just so other women will acknowledge (and maybe envy us for) our beauty?

Or is it for ourselves because we're comparing ourselves to some imagined ideal in our heads?


Thoughts?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Entertainment... care of my children

I guess Rose is getting curious about my relationship with Gentleman Jack.

She's my intuitive child. She sees right through me. And most everyone else actually. She hasn't asked me any questions about Jack really, despite us spending an entire weekend around him and his oldest son. She seems to feel very comfortable with him.

A very good sign of his authenticity.

When the girls returned home last night and I told them how Jack had fixed a few things around here, Rose asked how long he'd spent here with me. She seemed disappointed that she missed him.

Then out of the blue, she comes at me with this:

R: So Mom? Do you ever hear from Soldier anymore?

T: *deep breath* Um, no baby. He, uh, you remember that he was at war? Well.... the war... kind of... messed up...

R: Your friendship?

T: Our friendship. Yes, exactly.

R: Cause I know that you really liked him and he was your friend for a very long time. And I was thinking that if you married him, ya know, maybe it wouldn't be so lonely around here anymore.

Whoa.

Ok, so what do I say to an almost 8 year old who sees right through EVERYTHING?!

T: Baby, its not lonely around here! How can I be lonely with two sweet girls like you guys?!

Thank God her attention span is still short.

---

Rose has a new found love of texting now.

Gentleman Jack texted me last night, as usual, and she picked up the phone to bring it to me.

Rose: Can I text him too?

So the two of them proceeded to text back and forth:

Rose: Grace says hello. And this is Rose typing.

Jack: Hi pretty girls! Don't eat too many cherries! :)

He'd loaded us up with fruit before leaving the house.

Rose: THANKS! We wont.

GJ: Please take good care of Mommie.

Rose: We will. Tell the boys we said hi!

Gentleman Jack and I are looking forward to the day we get both of his boys and my two girls together. That should be fun.

---

Tonight at dinner, my girls realized that Halloween is coming up soon.

Grace is hooked on Abby Cadabby. She dressed as Abby last Halloween and wants to be her again. Cool. Easy enough.

Rose is thinking of being a witch. The best part of Halloween is that nearly every year, we pull together a costume from items we already have. So, Rose immediately started thinking of what to wear from her dress up stuff. I love that Halloween doesn't have to mean lots of expensive costumes.

Then they turned to me.

R: And you, Mom. You should be Wonder Woman.



G: OR!!!! Mommy, remember we were watching the Batman movie at Daddy's house?





R and G in unison:
You could be Catwoman!!!




R: Yeah, you should be her because she's HOT like you!

G: And her hair is as long as yours. Yeah! That'd be totally awesome!

Oh my girls. I'm so happy they're home with me.

You can't beat the unscripted entertainment.





Catwoman pic from here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to it

My daughters are both knocked out in their beds and lullabies are still playing on their cd player. They were reluctant to come home with me because they're madly in love with Daddy's dog.

They were also exhausted from a 12 day vacation with Grandma & Grandpa or their dad. Each day was filled with swimming, visiting with cousins, playing, shopping, watching TV or going to see movies. They're both so tan that it's quite possible that I glow in the dark next to them.

But they're home now. Happy. Content. Giving Mommy lots of love.

Yay.

---

I wasn't supposed to be driving. Or lots of other things that I've been doing this weekend.

But I can usually tell when my body is due for a rest (like now).

I HAD to see my girls tonight. The house was entirely too quiet and lonely after Gentleman Jack left. So I called up the ex and told him I was heading over. He was worried about me driving too.

I did notice some swelling tonight around my scar. Hopefully a good night's rest will help me. I have another doctor's appointment in the morning before heading back to work.

---

I barely held it together when I said goodbye to Jack this afternoon.

Where I had boasted in mid-July that our goodbyes weren't difficult for me.... whew. I really ate my words today.

I didn't want him to see me get upset. I didn't feel sad but a little wistful. He was already under the gun to get back home at a decent hour. His children start school tomorrow. I could tell he was putting his 'game face' back on.

I had no reason to put on my game face yet. My usual Sunday A Course in Miracles study group was being led by someone else and my ex-husband was prepared to keep the kids for another night. I realized that when Jack left, I would be sitting in an empty house.

I smiled, succumbed to his numerous hugs and kisses and bid him farewell. Then when the door shut behind me, I burst into tears.

---

Part of me wonders if I was crying because life has to get back to how it was before.

There was not a damn thing wrong with the way it was before but I will admit...

I feel as if I took a very long vacation.

People brought me food. People drove me where I needed to go. People came to visit me. People called to check in on me. People stopped in their busy lives to make me a tiny priority in their day.

I sat around and visited with friends and family on the phone or in person. I didn't open a bill or make a grocery list. I didn't cook a meal or do a stitch of laundry.

My girls were crying this afternoon when I picked them up from their dad's. They were both saying that they didn't want to go back to school.

I wonder if all of us are a little depressed that we have to get back to reality.

Because sometimes, escape is a good thing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It is what it is


*sigh*

I hate to admit this....

One of my girlfriends was over here today. She brought me a fabulous lunch, did my laundry, drove me to the doctor, cheered me on, and chatted with me all day. We had a blast.

I hated to ask her but...

*sigh*

It was an appointment with her that ended it. He was going to see her too. He asked her not to tell me when he scheduled appointments with her. He told her to keep it secret from me when he would be in her office. He basically asked my friend to lie to me for no apparent reason whatsoever.

I was clueless. He seemed to be wanting things to work out between us. We were trying to plan a meeting again. He was begging me to give him another chance after things fell apart between us.

I didn't know that he was being secretive. Why should he be secretive? It made no sense. But that day, in her office, as she cried to me, telling me how he put her in such a difficult position because he knew she was my friend. And he also knew that she would tell me when he was there. I am the one who gave him her contact information!

She told me that it killed her to know that he was "being an ass", that he was not good for me at all and she had to hide that from me.

That was the day that he went too far. He'd already hurt me. Hurting me... well, I have a high pain tolerance apparently. But hurting my friend?

Oh... hell no.

That was the day that ended it.

He still sees her for appointments.

So today, while she was here, the curiosity was killing me. I had to know....

"How is Soldier doing?"

---

I talked with my old high school friend Joe a couple of weeks ago. Soldier and I were scheduled to visit Joe in Chicago this past June.

Obviously, I didn't go but Soldier did.

Joe readily filled me in on the overall trip and how he enjoyed visiting with Soldier again. They hadn't seen each other in years. It was really because of me that the trip was even planned.

I hated to ask him but...

I was curious. I have no doubt in my mind that my name was brought up. I know for a fact that our relationship was discussed. I told Joe that I honestly wish Soldier no harm and hope for the best for him. But I did ask...

"How is Soldier doing?"

---

Why do I care?

Well, I guess there's always that question of "What did I do that makes him want to avoid me so badly?" or "How did I hurt him?"

Unanswered questions...

Neither Joe nor my girlfriend could give me an answer other than "He's fine. He looks good. He's the same as always."

He was SO BIG in my world for SO LONG. His vicious reaction to me that day, was as if I, simply by asking him to give me a straight answer, had in all actuality pulled some sort of trigger. He said things to me that even my own ex-husband has never said in all of the hurtful fights at the end of our marriage.

Why? What did I ever do other than give and love and give and love?

My girlfriend told me today that perhaps my "giving and loving" did nothing but show him how he couldn't be "giving and loving." She said that she honestly believes that my remaining in his life did nothing but make him feel like a horrible person. That he has to get far, far away from me in order to feel like a decent human being again.

Really? Being loving can actually make someone feel bad?

Both she and Joe gave me the same final answer:

"T, it is what it is."

---

I have to hold on to those words. They are right. I have moved on. I see much more clearly now.

I am so much happier without him than I was with him.

It is what it is.

Time to let it go, T.

Cut that string and let that baby fly away.

Don't worry anymore. Don't ask anymore. Don't fret when I did all that I thought was best.

It is what it is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Restless Ramblings... a week later

I am alone again.

Well, I say that.... there have been alone moments here and there.

Between my mom and Gem, I have had someone looking over me or staying with me just about the entire time since my surgery last Wednesday.

How completely blessed am I?!?

Gem has stayed with me the past 3 nights. She hurts me though because she always has me laughing like crazy. Oh... laughing hurts so good.

Mom brought me lunch today. My friend De is on her way here to visit and bring me dinner. I truly have some wondrous friends in my life.

---

I have seen the tummy.

*T does a slow pained happy dance!*

Oh my goodness you guys! I'm like... REALLY?!?

I went to the doctor earlier this week to have them remove the &$#*@ pain pump that was inserted into my skin during surgery. Thankfully, it kept my incision from hurting too much but after the meds ran out of the pump, it was just a pain in my ass.

The nurses took off the corset (that I'll be wearing non-stop for the next month or so) and removed the bandage. I was hunched over in the chair because it still hurts to sit up straight.

Ok, so I'm hunched over right? I'm thinking, hunched over, so surely I'll see a belly because, ya know... HUNCHED OVER.

Dude.

My belly was concave. Do you hear me? Con-freakin-CAVE!!

It was also all sorts of rainbow colors from bruising and stuff but wow.

So that's what money can buy?!

---

I don't do so well with free time.

As you can probably tell from yesterday's post, I have been thinking WAY too much.

I tried telling Gentleman Jack yesterday that this whole relationship makes no sense, doesn't seem to have a future, and if we continue down this path, I will probably fall in love with him and he'll fall in love with me and the whole damn thing will get really complicated. So... I told him we should call the whole thing off.

He said No.

WTF?!

He said, "I love you. You love me. We're having fun. I'm sure we'll fall in love with each other and it will get more complicated. So? I'm not letting you go. Now, go play a video game or something to keep your mind occupied."

*sigh*

How am I supposed to argue with that?

---

I miss my girls.

I am healing quite nicely and getting around now without my walker...

Oh, did I tell you I had a walker? Well yeah.

Anyway...

I'm getting around better. I'm able to stand up straight for short periods of time. I can't sleep worth a damn since I'm supposed to sleep on my back and I am SO not a back sleeper.

I'm getting my strength back because single mommyhood is staring me right in the face again. Jack will be here this weekend to help me with laundry and grocery shopping and preparing to take care of two little ones again.

I miss them like crazy.

I talked to them yesterday at the ex-mother-in-law's house.

I wonder if my ex-mother-in-law judges me for having plastic surgery. Surely the ex told her why I was having surgery. Hmmm...

The kids are having fun. Grace is sounding so mature and grown up. They bragged about swimming and the fun they're having with grandma.

School starts soon. Rose in 2nd grade and Grace in pre-K. Their dad took them back-to-school shopping already.

I miss their little hugs and their noises in the house and their voices and their faces and... have I mentioned their hugs?

Oh I miss my girls.

*sigh*

First things first.

Healing and getting stronger day after day.

I wonder if I can do yoga yet?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Could you?



Could you bank entirely on faith?

Could you bank entirely on love?


If you knew someone was dying, only had six months maybe a year or two left to live, could you chance falling in love with that person? Could you marry that person knowing that you would be left alone?

If you knew that a relationship or situation had potentially no future, or a future that couldn't be contemplated at all by either party, could you blindly continue on the faith that your love is the only thing that mattered?

If you knew that the rug could be pulled out from under you at any moment, anything could happen, good or bad, could you hold your breath, close your eyes and take that next step anyway?

Could you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Duran Duran Appreciation Day

Today, August 10, is Duran Duran Appreciation Day.


I don't know who came up with it but... who am I to argue?

(Google it. I can't make this stuff up.)

I did see the band on this date in 1987. It was the second time for me to see the full band live in concert and I distinctly remember a full moon that night. I had graduated from high school a few months prior and was about to begin my freshman year of college. It was the tour for their Notorious album.

*swoon*


This version of Save a Prayer moved me to tears that night:



I first saw the band in 1984. PowerStation (a break-off of the band) in 1985. Saw 'em multiple times in 1989. Again many times in the 90's and even in the past few years. I've lost count now.

I don't know what it is about this band. They've been there, ya know? There for me since I was 12 years old. I still feel less lonely, less pain, less anything bad when I have their music on.

I guess we all have some sort of music that gives this to us, right?

The Chauffeur featuring Billy Corgan:



It is really fun to hear my girls sing along and request songs such as this:




Just had to give a shout out to the band. Still going strong and...

Still being appreciated all over the world today:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I gotta fever

Cabin Fever.

And the only prescription is more cowbell.



I do my best to see the light in every situation. I am looking forward to the results of this surgery. But right now, as I was told I should expect, I am living in a state of...

What the hell was I thinking?!?!?

I'm not asking for sympathy from anyone. I did this to myself. Yeah, yeah. Ok.

*sigh*

This too shall pass.

Oh I miss my girls. What I would give for a normal Sunday afternoon of my A Course in Miracles study group and maybe swimming in a friends' pool afterwards.

What I would give to take a shower!! Oh to be naked again!!!

I should enjoy my downtime. I should enjoy having others take care of me. I should be online, catching up on my blog reading. I get tired of sitting up...

I'm trying.

I don't do lying-around-and-doing-nothing very well. But I also know that if I was overwhelmed with house stuff and single parent stuff, I'd be praying for this.

The grass isn't always greener.

Still.... I remember seeing the "before" pics of my tummy in the doctor's file before I went into surgery. Ugh, it looked so ugly to me. I can't wait to see how it will look after all of this is over.

Mom is waiting on me hand and foot. She is so completely unselfish and giving. I can't imagine my life without my Mama in it.

My ex husband has the kids right now. He calls to check in on me... and tease me. He wasn't supportive of my decision to have this surgery. But he's helping me anyway. And caring. I couldn't ask for more from him. Ok, except for less teasing.

Gentleman Jack is coming in on Friday to spend the weekend with me. He is so excited about taking care of me. I don't know what I'd do without his encouraging words.

Friends are calling to check on me, offering to bring me food, run errands.

OK, OK! I'm cheering myself up here.

There is much to be thankful for.

I am trying to remember the triathlon I did a week ago today. There were plenty of sucky moments when I thought I couldn't do it. I kept on, though. There was a finish line I had to cross.

I will get there.


"Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still."
~A Course in Miracles Lesson of the Day

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I wanna be sedated



Yeah. The Ramones pretty much tell it like it is.

(Note: this post may not be for weak stomachs out there. Don't say I didn't warn ya.)

The surgery went well yesterday. Of course, I'm just saying what the doctor said. All I remember is the anesthesiologist saying, "OK, we're putting this oxygen mask on your face so you can breathe...." It was about 9:30 in the morning.

The next thing I know, I'm in a different bed and I asked what time it was.

"5:15," was the nurse's reply.

"5:15 in the evening?!?!"

Yeah, good drugs.

I've been sleeping A LOT. I am also painfully aware when it is time to take another Vicodin. Yikes. It honestly feels as if my mid-section was used as a human punching bag. This is probably because the doctor sewed my abdomen muscle tighter. Owie ouchie ya'll! Feels like I did 1,000,000 crunches.

I'm not feeling much pain where they sewed my skin back together. My doctor installed a pain pump that sends numbing medicine to that area. It is attached to a small machine that hangs like a necklace around my neck and a bracelet that I wear on my wrist.

They sent me home with jewelry! Why, thank you doctor!!

When I'm about to get up out of bed, I push a button on the bracelet and I can feel the medicine release at that area. It is so wild the stuff they come up with these days.

They also have me in this compression garment that I have to wear 24 hours a day until they tell me not to. It looks much like a corset, complete with a velcro opening at the bottom for bathroom visits.

Just gimme a whip and some fuck-me pumps and I'm a dominatrix. Rawr!




Even sexier than that are the balls I've grown.

Heh.

I have two oval drains that hang from the lowest part of my stomach. They fill up with fluid that drains from between my abdomen wall and my skin. They have to be emptied 3 - 4 times a day, depending on how much fluid has collected.

By the way, the only reason I'm able to blog right now is because of the good drugs. (Can't you tell?!) When they kick in full force, I'll be horizontal again.

OK, not horizontal.

They have me lying in a 'W' position with my upper body raised on pillows and more pillows supporting my knees. I didn't think I could sleep like that but alas...

Good drugs.

I've had lots of phone calls and texts from friends. Some are even contacting my mom! Mom's taking really good care of me here at my sister's house. She's recording every single thing like a good nurse! Yay Mom!

I'm taking it day-by-day and constantly reminding myself that the results will be fantastic. I'm sure my patience with all of these tubes and wires and tightness around my stomach will get old.

Until then, until the monster pain goes away, I'll keep taking my good drugs.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Needed


Last week, Rachel blogged about her Lucky Guy and how difficult it was for her to lean on him.

As single parents, I think we all understand this. We are single parents, either by choice or circumstance, and therefore, we're pre-programmed to think,

"We must do it all."

I even commented there that it has been a learning process for me to lean on Gentleman Jack. It is a slow building of trust. And even then, our relationship is long distance so there is obviously a limit on how much I can lean on him.

Another commenter said that "All men want to be needed."

I do agree with that statement. I think we all wanted to be needed. I also think there is a fine line between being needed and being needy.

I wonder if that line is defined by love?

---

Over the weekend, I did another triathlon in my hometown where Jack lives.

When we came into town on Friday night, my Gentleman cooked an amazing dinner for me, Gem and my kids. That evening he also gave me a relaxing pre-triathlon massage.

Saturday evening, we went out for a wonderful dinner with Jack's family - 10 of us in all! What I didn't realize, however, was that it was WAY too much energy coming at me the night before a triathlon.

I started to shut down mentally and everyone sensed it.

The most beautiful thing?

Jack took over.

He got us out of the restaurant. Loaded everybody up. Got Gem and the kids back to the hotel. Took me back to his place so I could get my gear all set. Went to the grocery store to buy me things for breakfast. Packed a cooler with drinks and snacks for everyone for the triathlon watching. Made sure I was prepared and loaded up for the next morning. Printed a map to the course. Got me all calm and settled into bed. Then finally laid down next to me, kissed me good night and left me alone to sleep.

He was a man on a mission and he LOVED it!

(and it was quite the turn on!)

---

Last night, as exhausted as I was, I had to take my children to a 5 year old's birthday party. My body was still tired from the triathlon and I was distracted by 30 small children when I walked full on into the bottom of a wrought iron spiral staircase.

*tweet tweet tweet*

Yeah. I saw little birds flying around my head.

(Thankfully, I happened to be carrying some homeopathic Arnica - the perfect remedy for trauma and bruising!)

The lump that had already formed on my head began to decrease with the Arnica and some ice. Still, I felt woozy and even more tired. I texted Jack to tell him about my "silly accident". He responded that I should stay off my feet.

A few hours later, after putting my girls to bed, I called my Gentleman. He asked how I was doing, since he hadn't heard from me in a while. I told him that I wasn't doing well. I was completely debilitated and needed to sleep. Right then.

He freaked out.

He was absolutely convinced that I had a concussion and wanted me to go to the emergency room immediately. Dude. I couldn't even keep my eyes open.

He became very upset. He couldn't stand that he wasn't there with me to "take care of the girls" and get my "butt to the hospital". I could hear the helplessness in his voice.

I tried to convince him that I was ok but I was emotional. I only wanted to sleep. He very reluctantly let me off the phone.

Later when we spoke, he said he was so frustrated because it had only occurred to him that night:

In a long distance relationship, sometimes you simply can't be there for the person you love.

And to quote him: "It fucking sucks."

---

One of my co-workers was in a long distance relationship. He recently broke things off with her because she was too "needy".

She only wanted him to be there for her, on the phone, much like Jack is there for me.

The difference?

He didn't love her. He cares about her. Yes. But didn't love her.

So, yeah, while I do agree that all men want to be needed, I think that statement should be qualified to say: All men want to be needed by someone they love.

---

I know Gentleman Jack enjoyed taking care of all of us during the weekend. He also knows the difficulty I have in letting go. He is a single parent too. He is patient with me when my independence oversteps his southern gentlemanly ways.

We respect each others' independence yet enjoy nurturing each other when we can.

But this morning, knowing that tomorrow I will be having major surgery, and hearing the worry in his voice again, I wonder:

Is his feeling "needed" and feeling "helpless" good for him?

It really hurts me to hear him sound so down. Then I start to question whether I am actually being "needy" and that he will grow tired of me.

*sigh*

My post-surgery recovery should be interesting...



Gorgeous photo taken from here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another triathlon complete!

Yesterday was my 2nd Sprint Triathlon; this one was held in the town where I grew up.

I had a great support team in Gentleman Jack, Gem, and both of my daughters. We had a GLORIOUS day too! It had rained the entire day before but on triathlon day?

Sunny and 75-80 degrees.

Perfect! (Also unheard of in August in Louisiana!)

I drove out to the course before the rest of my group and got settled into the transition area early. This triathlon wasn't nearly as large as the previous tri that I did. Still, there were at least 1000 entrants and their families and friends.

---

With every event that I do, I get goodies like t-shirts and such. This one has some impressive swag:

T-shirt
Technical shirt
Technical socks
UV Sunglasses
Running cap
Beach towel
Stainless steel water bottle
Messenger bag

I love souvenirs! Yay!

---

As I walked on the beach to check out the course, I ran into my Gentleman and the rest of my cheering section. The girls were having fun in the sand and water. I enjoyed seeing my children play on the very same beach where I once played as a child.

Jack was psyched! He had never been to an event like this. He also decided to take some pictures to capture the mood.

We were all assigned "waves" to start. My wave was women ages 40-44 (since I will be turning 40 in December) and we were all given powder blue swim caps.



Unfortunately, I haven't been swimming as much as I should have. Open water, like the lake here, also tends to.... how shall I put this?

F
reak me out.

I'm considering only doing triathlons that have pool swims next year.

I specifically waited to go last in my group because I am not the strongest of swimmers. What I didn't anticipate was that I would panic so much that even the next wave of swimmers would overtake me.

Finally after the first half of the swim course, I fell into a rhythm and finished strong. Still my swim time was 13 minutes longer than my previous triathlon.

Room for improvement!

---

My transition from swim to bike was much faster than previous. The transition timing starts from the time you exit the water until you cross the timing mat with your bike outside of the transition area.

In that time, you have to remove your swim gear and get into your cycling gear. Thankfully, I bought a wonderful triathlon outfit that works for all three disciplines.

The biking is my favorite part of a triathlon. In the previous tri, the course was hilly and 12 miles long. This course was much flatter but longer, at 18 miles. My pace was faster and I actually finished the bike portion quicker than I expected.

---




My group was parked along the running route so I got an extra boost of adrenaline when I rounded a bend and heard Gentleman Jack's booming voice yelling,

"GO T GO!!!"


My daughters were all waving and yelling for me. It was the coolest. thing. ever.

All through the race, I was convincing my body that it could do it. I'm not even kidding. It was like I was cheering on someone else.


"You can do this! Half the swim is over. Relax. Breathe."


"Ok, only 8 more miles on this bike route. Then 3 mile run? Oh, come on! You've got this!"

"1 more mile to go. You can do one mile in your sleep! Think of all the rest you'll be getting after this!! A nice hot shower too. You CAN do it!"


I came around the last curve and passed other triathletes who had completed the event and were heading back to their cars. They and their families cheered me on during that last 1/4 mile. I couldn't help but smile and kick it up a notch.

Then....

I was running the last 100 yards before the finish line. I heard the announcer say my name and there he was:

My Gentleman.

He fell into pace in those last 50 yards with me. He ran with me, right outside the fence, yelling the whole way, "You did it! You did it!!!"




I crossed the finish line and fell, exhausted, right into his arms.

I honestly think he was more proud of me than I was. My kids came running and wrapped their arms around me. Everyone was happy and I was POOPED!

---

GJ is still talking about the tri. He has told me about his emotional roller coaster while waiting for me to exit the lake. How he strategically placed everyone so they could cheer me on. How his stomach was in knots all during the event. How he had his son take the finish line shot of me.

He's so inspired that HE TOO wants to try a tri.

I love it!


Oh and no, I didn't break the course record for the triathlon. The course record is held by Lance Armstrong himself from 1988 - 1:07.

I thought I'd finish in 2:30. I actually finished it in 2:28.

Woohoo!