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The Blob

blob

I’m in the middle of dealing with a big blob in my life right now. A blob – you know, a big, quivery mass of ugliness that you don’t quite know how to deal with.

This particular blob seems to be sitting smack-dab in the middle of my life’s path. Not moving. Giving me a bit of a stink-eye, daring me to try to do something about it.

At this point, I’m at a loss as to what to actually do about it. I’m honestly still trying to figure out what this unwieldy, ugly mass actually is.  I know it’s make up of a lot of frustration. There’s also a fairly sizeable dose of resentment in there, too. And you can’t have frustration and resentment without a generous smattering of anger to go along with it. And I’m pretty sure that this big ugly blob is wearing a big old cloak made of sadness, to go along with everything else. And who knows what else at this point.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

I think that before I figure out what to do about this stinking mass, I need to identify exactly what it is. What purpose its serving – the role that it has in my life. And once I have that all worked out, then I can maybe come up with a plan of action for getting it the hell out of my path. Because it’s ugly. And scary. And quite frankly, it’s stinking up the place. Most of all, it’s preventing me from moving forward with my life – to better places. Because right now, this place that I’m sitting, isn’t the place that I want to be. I’m not the person that I want to be. And that blob? Well, I think that has a lot to do with why I’m not moving forward.

It’s time to get this figured out.

Good Things This Week

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and this week in particular I feel like it’s necessary. Not that there’s anything particularly bad going on, just that I’ve been struggling a bit, attitude-wise.

I started a new job back in mid-August (yes, *another* one), and I’ll fully admit that I’m struggling a bit with it. Once again it’s a job that’s completely different from anything else that I’ve done before, and once again, it’s taken me out of my comfort zone. I know that when I’m feeling happy and positive I keep telling myself that I *want* to be taken out of my comfort zone, so that I can grow and improve, but dang, when I do get pushed out of it, I always end up fighting it, kicking and screaming.

What’s up with THAT, hmm?

So while I’m struggling with being patient with the learning process and with staying positive, I thought that it would be good to remind myself of all the good things that have happened this week.

  • The weather has been spectacular. The humidity has broken, the sun is shining, there’s a bit of crispness in the breeze. Now while I would love to hold onto summer for another month or two, I have to admit that fall is pretty lovely too.
  • Both of my girls are loving school. They’re in grades 6 and 8 now, and though it’s still very early in the school year, they are both happy and doing well.
  • Lil’ Mo started gymnastics on Wednesday – and LOVED it. Now, Lil’ Mo is one of those people who has a lot of natural athletic ability but doesn’t always make good use of it. She’s been really into doing just-for-fun gymnastics with her friends this past year. We enrolled her in a recreational class last winter and while fun, it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. We found another one and she attended the first class on Wednesday evening and is officially stoked about it. She doesn’t have any aspirations of being an Olympian or anything, she just wants to have fun and improve her skills. this is a non-competitive, recreational class and seems to be well suited for her. I love seeing her so excited about something.
  • Wednesday was also CBG’s birthday. Because this week has been so dang busy, we decided to postpone birthday celebrations until next week. So while we kept everything low-key for now, we did go out for birthday ice cream on Wednesday night. More birthday fun will follow.
  • I’ve been really enjoying my walks to and from work. It’s about a 4km walk each way, and I have to say, I’ve really been enjoying the longer walks again. It allows me time to just think…to process everything that’s going on right now, work-wise. And believe me, I need it.
  • Date night. CBG and I have been making an effort these past few months to have a dedicated date night during the week. It’s never anything huge or magical, but it’s time we set aside to just spend some fun together. Thursday night we went to one of the local candy stores, looked around, frolicked, and got some treats to take home and enjoy.
  • Girls weekend! This upcoming weekend it’s going to be just me and my girls, as it’s CBG’s away weekend. Definitely looking forward to some quality time with Kiddo and Lil’ Mo.

So there you have it – this past week in review, and some of the good things about it. After putting it all out there like that, things don’t seem so bad.

Besties Back Together

A couple of months ago I wrote about how I hadn’t been in the same room with my best friend in twelve years. We live several provinces apart and although we’ve tried several times over the past few years to get together, we just haven’t been able to make it happen.

It so happened that she was back home this year visiting family over the summer, and I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let another year pass by without hearing that infectious laugh of hers in person. I planned the trip, and CBG and I headed to New Brunswick over the long weekend in August.

To say that I was excited about seeing her again was a mild understatement.

The second we saw one another, we threw our arms around each other, laughing, and crying. And hugging. And crying some more. It felt so good to be standing there beside her, and in the blink of eye, it was like absolutely no time had passed at all. Everything was exactly the same.

And everything felt right with my world.

We spent an amazing weekend together – not just with each other, but with our husbands, and other old friends that I haven’t seen in even longer. We laughed, we reminisced, we remembered why life seemed so much better when we saw each other all the time, instead of just chatting through random daily text messages.

I owe this woman a lot of credit for shaping me into the person that I am today. She’s the person who helped shape my ridiculous sense of humour, who always encouraged my creativity, and who loved  me through a lot of crazy crap. She’s been there through breakups, my divorce, the birth of my children. Aside from CBG, she is the only other person on this planet who knows it all – and who has loved me through some of the ugliest parts of my life. No, we haven’t been in the same room much over these last years, but our friendship has endured, in spite of that. Hell, not just endured – but grown stronger. A true friend…which, as I’ve come to learn in the last decade or so, are a pretty rare thing. Proof that a best friend doesn’t always have to be in the same room as you. But it sure as heck feels wonderful when they are.

And I can promise you one thing – it won’t be another twelve years before I see her face in person again.

Fifteen

It’s weird how certain dates stick with us, no matter what. Even if we don’t want them to.

September 1st is a date I will always remember. It was the day I married my ex husband – fifteen years ago. Every year when the date rolls around, I wonder if maybe I’ll forget it, if perhaps I won’t be flooded with conflicting thoughts and emotions, but it never seems to happen.

This day always makes me wonder about life. About what my life would look like if we’d never gotten married to begin with. Or what my life would be if we had stayed together. I guess it’s natural to think about those things.

Mostly, though, this day reminds me of how far I’ve come in the past fifteen years. I’ve learned what true happiness is – both in and out of a relationship. I’ve learned how to be independent and strong – how to stand up for myself and for my daughters. I’ve learned the importance of letting go of toxic people. I’ve grown and changed in so many positive ways – growth and change that never would have happened, had we stayed together.

I’m grateful to my ex husband. For our daughters, mostly, but also for teaching me what I’m made of. I don’t know if I would have discovered that, had my life taken a different turn. I guess I’ll never know.

So today I celebrate, just a little – and feel deeply grateful that it’s not my wedding anniversary after all.

Wishes For My Daughters

It’s natural that we moms wish many things for our children. Lately I find myself thinking a lot about the future, and what might possibly be in store my two daughters. So much is unknown, and those big question marks leave a lot of space for imagining and wishing. Sure, it leaves space for fear and anxiety as well, but I do my best to put away fear of the unknown as much as possible. Worrying about the future is a futile act, since there are so many factors that may affect and change it.

I wish for my daughters to know what it means to love someone with their whole entire heart. To see everything about that person – the good and the bad – and to love them for the good and accept the bad as it comes.

I wish for them that the person they love, loves them back in exactly the same way.

I wish for them to know just enough sadness and heartache to be able to appreciate all the good things when they happen.

I wish for them to love themselves, fully and completely, and to value all the things that make them unique, even those things that they don’t always like all that much.

I wish for them to always laugh as much as they do now, and to keep embracing their silliness.

I wish for them to have enough money to be comfortable, to do the things that they want to do in life, while still being willing to work hard for those things.

I wish that they will need to work hard, ,at least for some things; hard-won victories are always appreciated most.

I wish for them to always know their own worth, and to never tolerate being disrespected by others.

I wish for them to remain young at heart, and always see the beauty even in every day things.

I wish that they will always feel deep appreciation and gratitude for even the smallest things in life.

And more than anything, my biggest wish is that they will always know that I am in their corner, and that my love for them is eternal, and truly unconditional.

 

 

 

Date Night

As you all know, it’s been a rough year and a half or so for CBG and I. Depression, ADHD, job loss, extended unemployment, money woes, a change of jobs for me, and finally, CBG starting a new job just a month ago.

I’m exhausted just reading that list. And of course, all the while dealing with these big things, there’s the ordinary stress and work of everyday life to deal with, too.

As you can imagine, it’s taken a bit of a toll on our marriage. We’re talking big stressful things here, people. All we need to do is add moving and a death of a close family member to really amp up the stress levels to meltdown level. Trust me — there were times when a full-on meltdown sounded like a pretty good idea.

We’ve been kind of bumbling along, doing our best to hold things together and keep adulting as best we could. And I’m not gonna lie, kids, there have been plenty of times, particularly in the last six months or so, when things have really sucked. Not “we’re calling it quits here and now” kind of sucking, but more like, “I don’t really like you all that much today” kind of thing.

Ouch.

Now that the dust has begun to settle a little bit, we’ve come to realize that now is the time that we need to focus on one another a little bit more. Which is weird for us, to have to make an effort to do this, because for so long, life was all about love and passion and fun and squeezing every drop of goodness out of life that we could together. And yet here we are.

In the name of reconnecting and getting back on track, we’ve decided to institute a regular Thursday night date night. One of our big problems this past year and a half or so is that although we’ve still had plenty of fun together, a bit of our regular spark has gone out of things. Stress and worry have a way of dulling that sparkle, I guess. We find excuses to just stay home and veg out in front of the tv, when the Sunshine and CBG of years gone by would go out and make their own fun, dammit. And well, snuggling on the couch is nice now and then, but ultimately not something I want to do every night of the week. Not by a long shot.

So we came up with the idea of a no-excuses date night every Thursday night going forward. Our date night plan comes with a few rules:

  • We’ll take turns planning our dates.
  • The planner has full control; the other person can’t veto any date night idea.
  • At-home dates are fine, but they have to be deliberate; we can’t just default to watching a movie at home because we can’t think of anything else to do.
  • Dates can be big or small, long or short, it’s all up to the planner.
  • THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR SKIPPING DATE NIGHT! Plans may have to change or be altered, but no putting off date night when other things get in the way.

We know that having a regular date night isn’t going to magically make everything all better and immediately put the sparkle back.

But you know what? It’s a good start.

12 Years

I realized recently that it’s been almost 12 years since my best friend and I have been in the same room together.

We met at our first year at university through a mutual friend. I can’t say that we were immediate friends; it took me a little time to feel comfortable. But as soon as I did, there was that magic rare click that we’re occasionally lucky enough to experience in life.

We were friends at a formative time, during those first few years away from our parents, when we were learning about how to be adults (or in some cases, how to avoid being adults as much as possible. We shared laughter and heartache. We’ve wiped each other’s tears — both of laughter and of pain. We loved each other in the way that only 20-something girls can love each other. She was the kind of friend I could be totally honest with, and who offered me the same in return. A friend who let me be weird and encouraged my silliness and never failed to join me in ridiculousness.

Over the years we grew apart a bit, as our lives became consumed with other things. Spouses and kids, particularly in the pre-texting era, have a way of doing that. The thing about best friends, though, is that even though you don’t talk every day, you’re always in each other’s hearts. And even though we went through periods of not having any contact for month, she was part of the fabric that made me the person that I am.

Though we still live several provinces apart, these days we’re in contact a lot more than we were awhile back. All I can say is thank goodness for texting. There are days when we text each other a single ridiculous word and it takes us back 20 years to the silly little ridiculous girls we were back then. Across the miles we have seen each other through depression, divorce, and remarriage. We now get to joke about the decrepit old ladies that we’re morphing into.

Today, out of the blue, she texted me, “Do I ever wish I was riding around listening to Blue Rodeo with you in the passengers seat. Sometimes I’m just so lonely for you.”

And that’s when I thought about those twelve long years. Twelve years since we sat in the same room and indulged our mutual ridiculousness. Even though we’re in contact, even though these days we text daily, we have still missed so much.

It’s been twelve years since I’ve thrown my arms around her and squeezed her till we both couldn’t breathe.

I miss her so much.