Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Day I Ran Away from Home

There is a story I like to tell about how I learned to swim.  When I was maybe around 7 or 8 my family rented a summer house on a beautiful lake here in Upstate New York called Lake George.  It was one of the best summers I can remember.  Days were filled with beach time, park time and a general feeling of summer happiness. 

Anyhow, at this time, I was not yet a swimmer or a fan of learning how to swim.  This was not acceptable in my Dad's eyes.   You see, he was a lifeguard when he was young and liked to relive the glory days of a public pool in an urban environment.  So, on one of those hot summer days on the Lake, my Dad thought it would help me over the hurdle of learning how to swim by unceremoniously throwing me into the water.  We were on the dock next to the beach area and before I knew it, he had picked me up and I was airborne.  I remember hitting the water with a huge splash and somehow getting up from underwater.  I was shocked, but it worked.  From then on, I no longer feared the waster and was more than thrilled to learn how to swim.

As you might imagine, the water has always been a part of my fabric.  Starting from my earliest memory of Cape Cod when I was terrified of the waves to my swimming baptism in Lake George, bodies of water have always been there.  As mentioned, Lake George was our lake of choice growing up, though there were other lakes we would visit.  But, when we were able to stuff the whole family into the green Chevy, it was off to the ocean.  I remember the smell as we would get closer to the shore and hear the high pitched songs of the sea gulls, they were comforting sounds and smells to me, and still are to this very day.

A few years back when I was knee deep in divorce drama, I longed for comfort from the storm of attorneys and endless fights.  As I do when life gets overwhelming, I envisioned being on a beach, watching the waves gently kiss the shore.  Only this time, my mind's eye was unable to capture enough of the scene to ease my exhausted psyche.

 So, I ran away from home. Well, drove really - yes I ran/drove away from home.

I was desperate for peace and quiet, so I went to where I knew I would find it - the water.  This time I knew only the sweet salty air would rescue me.  So, I packed a few things and off I went.  I knew I made the right choice when, upon crossing the Bourne Bridge, I could feel the tension in my shoulders ease.  I checked into a sleepy beachfront motel. Weary from the trip, I brought my bags up to my room, donned my swimsuit and headed out to the beach.

I was not prepared for what happened when I eased my way into the warm water of Nantucket Sound.  As the waves gently undulated around me, I started to cry.  Not an ugly cry, it was more like my emotions were pouring out anyway they could, tears included.  I faced away from the beach, watching the waves enter the Sound to greet me, as if to say "it's ok to release your emotions to us".  I silenetly thanked them for helping me breathe and find my happiness.

That was a crucial experience for me.  Since then, I have repeated the same trip to the same place and I even stay in the same room.  For me, it is more than a vacation , it is a necessary excursion in order to maintain my sanity in this crazy, definitely not sane life that I live.

So, if you are in Cape Cod and happen to see me float by, feel free to join me - perhaps you too could use a mental and spiritual reboot.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Wit's End

There is a gift boutique locally that is called "Wit's End" .  The store is quite popular as it sells beautiful, unique, high end gifts, housewares and jewelry.  It is a place to go and relax as you browse through the pretty displays and listen to soft music, enveloped in a feeling of calm happiness.

This, however, does not constitute the wit's end I am familiar with.  My wit's end is a place of disarray and nothing resembling calm. 

As a single mom, I visit wit's end quite often.  As of late, I seem to get there in the morning.  Getting myself up, showered, dressed and looking/feeling presentable takes real effort, now throw in an almost six year old who is SO ready for summer break, having zero desire to put away his leggos and go to school,  and you arrive at wit's end.

Arriving at wit's end is quick, you may not see it around the bend, but TRUST me, it is there, waiting for you.  Once you get there, your patience, inside voice and sanity are taken from you.  "Wait" you want to say, "I need those for today, I have to go to work!" The bodiless voice assures you that these things will be returned, but refuses to say when.  You are not convinced and panic sets in.

You may get the sensation that you are falling, I often do.  Falling into what or where is never quite seen or understood.  You hear distant yelling and feel a hint of heat on your face and sometimes your eyes feel damp.  But you are disconnected, floating.

I never know how long my wit's end visit lasts.  Upon return, things return to normal life.  The child gets to school and I get to work.  The visit does linger in the form of a slight ache behind my eyes.

What I have learned from my visits to this mysterious place is that, despite my fears, I always find my way back.  As I know millions of other mom's, single or married do on a regular basis.  We are badass like that.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving isn't until November and in the hot humid days of August, it is odd to be thinking about autumn, pumpkins and a chill in the air.  This holiday is all about being thankful for what one has in life, one's blessings. In the company of family, good food and cocktails, finding happiness and that "thankful " feeling is easy.  It is on those long and even longer nights when thoughts of tiny bank accounts and bills to pay,  that being thankful feels almost impossible.

My life is a busy and somewhat crazy existence - as are all single mommies' lives.  I put Sidekick's wants and needs before mine, leaving me lacking life's finer things, a closet full of new clothes, a fancy car, monthly pedis.  This sometimes makes me quite upset, yes, I chose this life, yes I knew my monetary situation would change drastically - and I wouldn't change that for anything, but c'mon - who wouldn't like to replace their aging 10 year old car? Or go on long vacations? So yes, I do sometimes fall victim of the green goblin of envy. Envy of new cars, fat bank accounts and new shoes.

So as I fight with this green monster, I get lost, and forget about what I do have.  I know it is extremely cliche' and it is made to sound so easy.."Focus on what you do have instead of what you don't"  Blah Blah Blah..  Those inspirational posters make me want to shred them!!

Anyhow, it turns out those posters may be onto something. I may have rough heels and some older clothes, but I have my happy Sidekick, I have my health and I have me.  My mantra to get through the tough times is "my life is good" and it is.  It is tough and exhausting, but wonderful.

This is not a "lets hold hands and dance in hippie circles" post, but a reminder to you and also to myself to focus on what you do have.  Some days it can be as simple as "I have a yummy hot coffee", but it is something.

So, keep your chin up and be thankful.


Friday, January 9, 2015

I Don't Like Clowns

They scare me, always have. Their creepy red hair, ghostly white make up and alarmingly large feet make me want to hide under the covers. Of course reading a Dean Koontz book based on a psycho clown - Life Expectancy didn't help - in fact that book solidified my deep fear of the flower squirting, juggling menaces.

Anyhow, this entry isn't about clowns, but about something they do - juggling.

Despite my anti clown stance - I am a juggler, and a decent one at that.

No, I don't juggle bowling pins or cartoonishly large tomatoes, I juggle life, more specifically pieces of life, of my life.

Don't get me wrong, I am not fond of this daily routine, but it is a necessary act in order to be successful.  One reason why I don't thrill at the chance to juggle is that this act  has the tendency to be SO SO SO perilous, that if one aspect is dropped, it is a huge challenge to get a good rhythm going again.

I think about when life was a bit more simple (I know - how cliche') - but honestly, there was a time when all I had to worry about was myself. Getting myself up for work (or play or whatever that particular day had to offer) - and go.  I had no idea how complicated and difficult life could get.

Well, welcome to my own personal circus act. 

Finding the balance that allows me to keep everything floating through the air in a seamless cycle is quite difficult. It makes me anxious and I sometimes lose sleep over it. I tend to want to over achieve in everything I do and am NOT good at failure or coming in second. 

Priorities - that is the key.  Being able to identify my priorities allows to (most of the time) achieve and maintain that sought after balance.

I am not perfect and yes, the pattern gets broken and chaos sometimes ensues.  But I am learning that it is NOT the end of the world, that I just have to pick up the pieces and start again.  It sounds so simple, until you are there - staring at your child who has big fat tears rolling down his cheeks because you were late picking him up from school, or the disapproving looks from your boyfriend because you are on your phone working during his surprise party that YOU planned...

Life is messy and complicated - SO complicated.  But I am up for the challenge, anxiously, nervously - but up for it..I didn't see this life when I looked into my future, but it is the life that I have been given - so onward with it I go.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Hi all - yes, I have been silent again - apologies.

The holidays are upon us and I wanted to post something festive and NOT controversial  - so  - please all of you cynics out there - (in the words of Elton John) Step into Christmas with me..

12 Days of Christmas

I found the lyrics to this age old holiday song...But it left me wondering - the 12 days of Christmas - does that mean the 12 days directly proceeding said holiday? if so - then the gifts should start rolling in from my true love on Sunday..Tho - I have no idea what I would do with a partridge in a pear tree - Okay - onto the lyrics....of course with commentary - because you know I have opinions...also - I'm only showing the last stanza that brings it all home - so we can see what to expect from our true loves....

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming, (yikes - that is so loud! why not 12 pianists softly piano-ing?)
Eleven pipers piping, (again, could be loud - but nice, I'm sure...maybe 11 sets of earplugs)
Ten lords a-leaping, (leaping? as in jumping? They might get hurt, better make them tiptoe, or at least make sure they are leaping on a padded floor, maybe giant yoga mats)
Nine ladies dancing, (OK - something I can relate to - I hope they are my friends tho, would hate to get 9 random ladies dancing...and am I allowed to join them? SO maybe there should only be 8)
Eight maids a-milking, (maids? milking what? OK, how about pouring milk? Maybe some soymilk into my coffee? I feel like some days I could drink 8 cups of coffee)
Seven swans a-swimming, (In this weather? How about seals? They do well in the cold and they are cute too)
Six geese a-laying, (Hmm, I hope they are laying eggs, Cause geese poo is impossible to get out of your shoe!)
Five golden rings, (OK, something else I can relate too, might they be encrusted with jewels too?)
Four calling birds, (Who are they calling? Don't they tweet? or text? or sing? How about 4 texting birds)
Three French hens, (Whats wrong with American hens? This song is un-American - clearly written by a Communist)
Two turtledoves, (No more birds! Ill take 2 turtle necks in this weather!)
And a partridge in a pear tree!
( Hmmm...Well, I had a pear tree in the yard of my previous home until it was struck by lightning - and I did used to LOVE going to the Partridge Pub..So, I will take this homage to my past from my true love....) But I still have no idea what to do with it...Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm a Shiny Penny

On Monday of this week, I took yet another step in the "getting back to me" direction.  I went to the Federal Social Security office to officially change my name back to my maiden name.  This was something I had been looking forward to doing with a sense of entitlement and empowerment.  Since my divorce was finalized 7 months ago, I have been finding the "old me".   As cliche as that sounds, everyday I look in the mirror and recognize myself MORE AND MORE as who I used to be, the woman I love and respect.

So my first attempt left me scrambling for a document I did not have. I almost dissolved into tears at the thought of driving around on a hot humid day trying to hunt down said document, just to return to the small hot room at SS to wait for my number to be called.  My stubbornness kicked my ass and I continued on.

With the (hopefully) correct documents in my possession (and $5 lighter in the wallet), I returned to the small hot room at SS to wait, and wait.  Imagine the DMV, only smaller, hotter and possessing a scent that may make one dizzy.  As I was waiting, in walked a young woman who was positively glowing.  She nearly had light radiating from her skin.  As she sat down, I noticed, not only was she a walking halogen lamp, but her toes were pained the palest of pink.

Recent Bride

I knew she was there to change her name due to her recent nuptials.  As I gazed at her bridal pedi, I recalled being in the same small odoriferous room almost seven years ago.  During that visit, I shone like this recent bride did.  I had such optimism and joy in my heart, and why wouldn't I? I was just back from ten glorious days in the tropics with my "husband".  I had finally found my soul mate and we were going to grow old, fat and wrinkly together - or so I thought.  A bit of melancholy invaded my heart at this point painting it a dark blue.

Why didn't MY marriage work?

My thoughts drifted to happier times, to laughter and love.   These memories are buried so deep, they have faded to almost translucent by fighting, name calling and belittling.  As they play like an old movie projector, I feel as though I am watching someone else's life.  Who was she?  In the far reaches of my mind, I know it was me but my heart and head do not communicate on this matter.

My number was called and I was snapped back to my surroundings.  I cautiously approached the counter and provided the newly purchased documents and thankfully, they were the correct ones.  As I stood, exhaling in relief as the friendly (yes friendly!) clerk was typing away, the recent bride's number was called. As she approached the counter, the blue hue surrounding me seemed to dissipate.  She was there with optimism of a new life starting with her "true love".  I realized,so was I.  As I regain my former name, I am in a way committing to myself.  I am starting a new life with my true love,


As I left that dwarfish room, I felt as though I was glowing. I may not have a pink bridal pedi, but I have me back.


Monday, June 30, 2014

To Edit?

How much of our lives do we edit? Do we properly filter out any and all offensive comments/conversations?

I have been absent from my little corner of the internet for a while. The reason for such absence may be blamed on a self edit mode. My own grammar/spell check. 

Yes, there were a ton of things I wanted to write about - so many points of view to share, so many rants to rant. But I chose (perhaps foolishly) to filter my thoughts.

Sometimes in life, I believe one has to keep quiet to stay sane. As I became aware that some became aware of my place here online, I no longer felt able to express myself.

And then I went to the beach.

This is the second year in a row that I have packed up my car and drove straight to Cape Cod, by myself. I spent two wonderful days on my own, with my own thoughts.  There is something to be said about maintaining a mental silence while watching the waves crest.  Without all the white noise of everyday life, I was able to sort things out, untangle the mess in my psyche.

One thing that was revealed when the tangle untangled was that I will no longer edit, filter or hide my thoughts, feelings, rants from this space.It is my hope that those who may feel offended, hurt, wronged, move along and allow me my space.

That's all for now.