Tuesday, March 31, 2009
That said, I pride myself on being an honest blogger who holds nothing back. My goal in this whole “spreading my thoughts to the ends of the internet” experience is to be real about my life after divorce. If it never helps another living soul, maybe it will enable me to make sense of my new life as it unfolds around me. So far, so good.
In the interest of being real and holding nothing back, I think it’s safe to say that, “Here we go again.” The new guy, for the time being…granted who knows how the hell long that will be….is staying put. We have bonded over similar divorce experiences, single parenthood, and the desire to do it differently the next time around.
Enter new thought.
I never expected dating after divorce to be so damn difficult. In fact, I was kind of hoping it would be fun. Finally, I could just go out and have a good time. I could forget that my marriage was pure crap 90% of the time and go in search of something that WASN’T pure crap 90% of the time. I could experience all of the things that I never got a chance to. And I have…for the most part. But I’ve also realized that once you sift through the gritty sands of divorce, the fun of dating dries up along with the ink on the dissolution papers. Once you’ve taken off your wedding ring and contemplated whether throwing it in the garbage is an appropriate course of action, everything that follows, good, bad, and ugly, is forever DIFFERENT. (By the way, the “What Did You Do With Your Wedding Ring” story is pretty funny. Remind me to tell you later.)
It’s not that dating has been bad. It really hasn’t. I’ve met some wonderful people who I hope to call friends for a good long while. I really have no regrets. Well…ok….ONE regret…but you know the drill….lesson learned, moving on. Anyway, as I was saying, dating hasn’t been all that bad. It’s the emotional baggage that I carry around with me now that is difficult. Things always either get way too serious way too fast, or they drag out and make me end up feeling like some flavor of loser that only divorced people can truly understand. It’s the “Seriously, I must be completely defective” syndrome. And as if that weren’t enough, regardless of which ride you’re on, it’s a roller coaster that leaves you nauseated. I chalk it all up to the dreaded fear of “What if I never find THE ONE, What if he is THE ONE, What if he is THE ONE and it ends…again.” It’s yet another scar of divorce that no one warned me about…the fear of a new beginning being, inevitably, another ending. Ick.
So anyway, I’ll be the first person to admit that my dating life has been a tad on the unpredictable side. But at least I’m being honest…it’s pretty much the best I can do at this point. And the new guy seems to understand where I’m coming from with a lot of that. He also fought very hard for his marriage and experienced a lot of the same disappointments that I did. If nothing else, he seems to GET IT.
So since he has become a daily point of contact in my life, I figure he has earned a spot in the Grace Gets Greater blogdom. Who knows what, if anything, will come of this, but for now, he’s someone that I’m enjoying time with and getting to know better. So everyone, I’d like for you to meet “The Handy Man,” or HM. In a very short amount of time, I’ve learned that HM is a jack of all trades. He does electrical and plumbing work, can fix anything that goes wrong on a car, plays the stock market, and has recently taken up his old hobby of bull riding. (Thankfully, he dresses like a preppy mall boy instead of a bull rider. Close call.)
I’m still working hard on LETTING IT BE. If I learned anything from my previous dating experiences it’s that time is definitely my friend. But let’s face it…LETTING IT BE is a whole lot nicer when there’s someone else in the room.
And for the time being, that someone just happens to be quite handy.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I know. You're probably all like, "But you're a Christian. Aren't you supposed to do that EVERY Sunday? Aren't you supposed to be all plugged in and excited about church?!?" I can practically feel your finger pointing at me as I type this. Shame. Shame on me. Slap me on the wrist and call me a baaaaddd little Christian girl. Go ahead. Double dog dare you to. DO. IT. : )
All taunting aside, I really do have a fairly significant amount of guilt over my recent slackerhood. I wish I was one of those Christians who had it all together and who felt filled with the Spirit on a regular basis. Sometimes I even wish my blogging was more eloquent when it came to spiritual matters. But the truth is, I usually feel like a baaaaddd little Christian girl.
Last week, a dear friend of mine came to visit E and me for a few days. We became good friends during our first year of college, and recently reconnected. While she was here, we had numerous discussions about our spiritual lives and what they look like. During our college days, we both became heavily involved in a Christian organization that focused on teaching students how to be "spirit filled Christians." The problem with this experience was that instead of teaching me to be "spirit filled" it taught me to be legalistic. It taught me that a "good Christian looks like this" and if I didn't measure up to those expectations then there was a good bit of shunning and judgement that took place. They often preached loving others in grace, but when it came right down to it, if you didn't check the appropriate boxes, then the general consensus was "you're not good enough." That's not to say that this particular organization is bad. They do wonderful things, and lead many lost souls to Christ. But my experience was frustrating, and I came out of the organization with a very heavy knowledge that I would never quite measure up.
Since my divorce, I've come to a conclusion about being "spirit filled." It's not profound. It's not anything all that special. But it's honest, and for the first time in my walk with God, I'm all about telling it JUST. LIKE. IT. IS.
Being spirit filled can't be taught. It can't be learned. It can't be diagrammed on a white board with pretty pictures of crosses and sin. Being spirit filled isn't a goal. It's an experience. It's momentary, and it comes and goes with the journey. There are moments that your soul will be so filled up with the essence of the Holy Spirit, that it will seem as if God is right there wrapped around you. And there are times when the Holy Spirit will seem so distant that you may feel that your prayers could never possibly be loud enough to penetrate the veil of the heavens. Being spirit filled isn't something you can DO. It's simply something you can BE, and that, not all of the time. The feeling will come and go. It's the faith in the downtime that distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever.
That said, I must admit that more often than not, I don't FEEL spirit filled. And while it was great to worship in church this morning with other believers, I don't really feel much different as a church goer today than I did last week as a baaaddd little Christian girl when I slept in and watched cartoons with my toddler.
That's why I'm loving God for real these days. No shows to put on. No games to play. No hoops to hurl myself through. It's just me and Him....me all flawed and feverish, and Him all full of love and grace with the expectation only that I show up and pay attention, and for the first time ever, that's a hoop I'm happy to hula.
I'll probably go back to church next week. Not because I have to or because I should. I'll probably go just because for the first time in 28 years, there is only One Person who will be expecting me. And for the first time in 28 years, there's only One Person that I don't want to disappoint.
He'll come find me.
IN COMPLETELY UNRELATED NEWS....my toddler just yanked on my arm and said, "Diaper duwty....change me pwease." I feel a potty training blog coming on.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Anyway, I've never been very good at keeping secrets. I told myself I wasn't going to blog about this, because really, there isn't much to blog about...yet. BUT....
Thursday, March 26, 2009
This is it.
This is my mom’s dog, Bo. He, I think, just had a birthday with 12 candles on his cake, making him a very old dog who has absolutely no interest in learning new tricks. He is known affectionately around my parents’ house as “my little brother” and “the ugly little dog-faced boy.” Bo has cancer, and unarguably won’t make it to 13. In fact, the vets are somewhat surprised that he’s still kicking.
My relationship with this dog is the most distant of anyone in my family. I love him, but I’ve never loved having him around. This is due mainly to the fact that having him around involves “being slimed” on a regular basis and/or watching a giant puddle of drool pool in the kitchen floor while he watches you eat. However, he is a part of my family, and E absolutely adores him. Whenever I utter the words, “We’re going to Mimi and Poppa’s,” E ALWAYS answers with, “Mimi, Poppa, and Bo?”
Since I’ve been blessed with my sweet E, I have grown to appreciate Bo more. He is very gentle with my baby, has never snarled or growled when E pulls on his jowls or pokes him in the butt hole. He cleans up the floor when E eats sloppily, and he has never given me any reason to fear that he would lose his patience with my son’s fascination with getting right in his face, giving him an uncomfortable hug, or yes…riding him.
Bo won’t be with us much longer, and here’s my concern. How do you explain to a happy little two-year old who considers the “ugly little dog faced boy” to be a member of his family, that he’s gone away and won’t be coming back? The very thought of going to my parents’ house for the first visit after Bo’s death already breaks my heart. I can already see my baby boy looking for his furry friend who is no longer there. I’m already saddened by the anticipation of the look of expectation on my son’s face, and the fact that I won’t be able to offer him any kind of explanation that will make the expectation subside.
And for possibly the first time in my 28 years…
There just really aren’t going to be any words.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Here's a question for you. What is the sight that will make a heated little blob of cuddle turn into a shreiking ball of terror that would most certainly cuss me if only he knew how? What sight would this be? What could possibly induce such fear and dread in a feverish toddler?
Mommy holding the Tylenol...and God forbid...a medicine spoon.
In the same instance that E's little eyes fell on the bottle of glossy red syrup, he threw his blanket over his head, secured it in place tightly with his hands, and began hollering, "I don't wike it! I don't wike it! I DOOONNNN'T WIIIKKKKKEEEE IT!"
I spent the next 30 minutes trying to hide acetaminophen in pudding, jello, applesauce, and juice...but my toddler could not be fooled. His jaws were clamped tight, and not even a "chocolate cracker" (A.K.A. an Oreo) could entice him to open up. I tried reasoning with him, but he just wasn't having it. So I did what any loving mother would do...
I held him down in the floor and poured Tylenol down his throat while he screamed. He immediately gagged and spit half of it right into my face, but I felt satisfied that about half of it went down. This was good enough for me. I spent the NEXT 30 minutes rocking my heated little blob of cuddle telling him how sorry I was that I had to do that. I told him I loved him and didn't want to see him sick. Then I told him he could have all the chocolate crackers he wanted if he would promise to take his Tylenol without a fight next time...and still swear to love me. (I have no shame.)
It occurred to me during "The Great Tylenol War of 2009" that this is probably the same stance God has been taking with me lately. I think God has been trying to gently coax me into trusting Him for quite some time, but it has been a bitter medicine for me to swallow. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think it's come down to the last straw.
God is bending over me, medicine dropper poised in His mouth, ready to watch me kick and scream if that's what it takes to get the healing stuff in my system.
Ok God...I give. I get the picture. I know that when life is sluggish, you have the balm that will heal it all. I trust that you know what's best for me. I trust that while the medicine might be bitter for a moment, that you will make it better for eternity. Thank you for knowing when I need your medicine, and thank you for loving me even after I spit it back in your face.
But God...just so we're on the same page....you will find me highly cooperative when promised chocolate crackers. Should you decide to go this route next time, they are in the cabinet...right next to the Tylenol.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Ok...maybe that's a little dramatic, but you get the picture. I'm tired, and right now I'm just waiting for God to make the next move. It's the end of the poker game, and I'm all in.
I used to think I had this Christianity thing figured out. I mean, I know all the hoops to jump through. I know all the right things to say. I have the WWJD bracelet. I can recite the Bible verses. And when the opportunity presents itself, I can share the gospel with a lost soul in a clear and concise manner...with charts and drawings if necessary.
But it's becoming abundantly more clear to me that that really isn't what God is so concerned about. He doesn't really need me to know the drill. He needs me to know HIM. And I'm breaking down in tears as I type this, because right now, I feel like I am falling miserably short of knowing the One Who Knows Me. And I really loathe that about me right now.
I've been coming to terms with the fact that when it comes to God, I have a distorted view of His character. It's hard for me to see Him as someone who wants good things for me. It's so much easier for me to see Him as the disciplinarian...The One Who Will Dish Out the Consequences...The One Who Will Teach Me My Lessons....The One Who Will Show Me Who's Boss.
I've been meditating on Jeremiah 29:11. This is one of those verses that if you've been a Christian for more than 5 minutes, you've probably heard it 10 times. "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I have no problem with the first part of that passage. I'm completely on board with the fact that God KNOWS. IT. ALL. You will never catch me disputing that one. I have no doubt in my mind that God absolutely, without a doubt, knows the plans He has for me. The trouble comes when I realize that I, too, know the plans I have for me. And as much as I'd like to say they are one and the same....
Therein lies the problem.
I realize the need to surrender completely, and let His plans be My plans. But.....BUT......(and yes, I realize that there really shouldn't be a but.....BUT...)
I, for some reason that I can't fully grasp quite yet, don't trust the latter half of Jeremiah 29:11. I have a really hard time fully investing in the fact that God's plan is to prosper me. I don't know what is holding me back, and as much as I'd love to believe it with my entire soul, I have a hard time finding peace that God wants to give me hope and a future. Isn't that sad? Isn't it sad that after everything God has been faithful to pull me out of, that in the midst of my pain and uncertainty that I would doubt that his plan will bring me blessings? Yes...sad.
Do I doubt Him? No. Do I doubt His presence? Not for a second. It's just that in times like this, with my vulnerabilities exposed and nothing to cling to but Him, I realize that there is a feeling of fear where I really wish there was a feeling of peace.
I KNOW that GOD knows the plans He has for me. But I FEEL afraid that His plans will lead to pain instead of blessing. And when that is the case, how do you slough off the FEELINGS, and rest completely in what you KNOW?
I have found myself praying fervently for the intercession of the Holy Spirit on this one. "Lord, I don't FEEL confident that you want to bless me. But I KNOW better. And I just don't know how to pray it "the right way." So, Holy Spirit, do it for me, cuz I got nothing. Let what I KNOW be enough. Let my knowledge increase, let my feelings decrease, and let my spirit be at peace.
Lord....you know the plans you have for me....and I KNOW that should be enough...so I'm asking in the most real way I possibly can....
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The thing is, it was easier to blog about my innermost thoughts than to express them openly to him, and that's probably not the mark of a deepening relationship. There were actually a lot of good things to come out of this little experience. It brought out a lot of issues that I think hinder my dating life, but it's one of those weird "Gee, God, wish you could have come up with another way to get my attention" kind of mixed blessings.
I'm kind of tired of dating. The entire past year has felt pretty much like a non stop interview. I haven't been good at it. I have such a deep desire to have a healthy, reciprocal relationship that I get really excited about new prospects. But, and this inevitably happens, they are always either much more into me than I am into them, or I'm crazily infatuated with someone who is just an absolutely horrible choice for me. The Medic was the first person that forced me into a situation of actually thinking things through and LETTING IT BE. I didn't realize at the time that it was because he has his own mountains of confusion to climb, but it was very much a learning experience for me. I care about him very much as a person, so I'm glad that we're able to downgrade without either of us having hard feelings or bitterness. I've learned that's a rarity!
Maybe I should take a break from dating for a little while. It has zapped my energy in the last year, and I'm learning that I do it for the wrong reasons. I'm sure this time next week I'll be blogging about how bored I am and how great it would be to go out for the night...but for now I think a breather is in order.
Welcome to LETTING. IT. BE....the sequel.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The first time it happened, it was both random and weird, but I assumed it was an isolated incident. During that time, I was knee deep in divorce drama and living with my parents, so the comic relief was more than welcome. That incident involved me getting an actual phone call. It was approximately 2 in the AM....very, very AM. Now, you know as well as I do that when the phone rings in the middle of the night, it's never good news. So of course, I glanced at the caller ID, saw his name, and assumed the worst. Someone must have died. There was an accident. OH GOOD LORD, WHAT HAS HAPPENED?!?! I answered nervously, shaken from my slumber with complete fear.
DT: "Dude, I'm totally partying with a girl you went to high school with!"
Me: (thoroughly confused...and a little annoyed) "Huh?"
DT: "Yeah...she thinks she knows you. I forget her name. Angie? Amy? Did you go to school with a girl named Amy? Or Angie?"
Me: (Now I'm just pissed.) "Uh, yeah...a few of them. Are you ok? Do you need a ride or something?"
DT: "No, I'm good. I just thought it was really cool that I was partying with someone you knew! But I guess you don't care."
Me: "Oh I do. I really, really do. Thanks for sharing."
That was over a year ago. And I guess he's gotten more considerate in his drunken correspondence, because last night the communication was downgraded to a text.
At 3:16 AM (to be exact) I get a text that says, "At the strip club with 2 of my best girlfriends...they begged me to go. Do you think less of me??"
Me: "No. I don't judge. Just don't do anything that can't be wiped off with a wet nap. Do you have a dd?"
DT: "Yeah...the girls are driving. Why are you up??? Go to bed!"
Why am I up? Well, maybe it's because you, for some reason still unknown to me, feel it necessary to alert me of your mid morning drunken shenanigans, thus sending my phone into a vibrating frenzy, dancing itself off of my nightstand and clattering to the floor. Maybe that's why I'm up. Maybe.
Me: "I'm not up on purpose. Please be safe. Enjoy the pretty boobies."
DT: "I will. Still can't believe you're up!"
Yeah. ME EITHER!
Friday, March 13, 2009
I think this, because my last blog was about trusting God to do something better with my life than I could do on my own. I haven't made it a secret that work has been pretty stressful lately. In fact, it has been a source of crushing weight on my spirit for months now. I'm not alone in this boat. Many of my coworkers are experiencing these same frustrations with the situation that we find ourselves in 8 hours a day. I have spent a lot of time in prayer about this, and am listening intently for God's voice somewhere in the din. And this week, rather unexpectedly, there was forward motion. However, the next day, Satan and his demons saw an opportunity to attempt to keep me from relishing in any kind of confidence that I might have had.
On Wednesday, apparently too confident for Satan to have any kind of comfort, I came into work and received a brand spanking new, and significantly large, asshole. I hung up the phone, the vessel chosen by the voice of Satan to rip the new asshole, and sat in shock for a moment in what can only be described as a "well...what am I going to do with two assholes?" kind of fog. I took a late lunch that day, and between the hours of 2 and 3PM sat on my couch writing my previous blog about trusting God. It was honestly the only thing I felt I had left. When I hit the "publish" button, I again felt at peace. THEN...upon my return to work, the voice of Satan was now physically standing in my office waiting to drop another bomb on me. Numbers have been down in our office for a while, and a couple of people have been called on to answer for this downturn.
I, for one, think that since numbers are down in the entire company across the country, that it should be pretty obvious that the economy has had a slight impact on sales. But I get to be one of the lucky ones held responsible, and therefore my job is at stake. Not only am I and another co worker taking heat for things that feel largely out of our control, but I realized through this day of asshole ripping and "you really suck" conversations that one of my co-workers, who is also one of my best friends, is someone that I can't trust. So I have realized the end of a friendship as well.
This week has been HARD. Just when I found myself moving in a positive direction, it seems that a large amount of crap has converged at my feet.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
At any rate, as I read back over my writing during the past several days, it has become screechingly obvious that I am in a deep dish FUNK. I'm not entirely sure what brought this on. Maybe it's because relationships confuse me. Maybe it's because work has been stressful. Maybe it's because the weather won't make up it's freaking mind already. Maybe it's a combination of all of the aforementioned issues. Or maybe....quite possibly...it's because it's "Week 3" of the "Birth Control Pill of Sheer Insanity" and I always tend to loosen my grip on reality a little during "Week 3." What's that? Switch pills, you say? Well....I'm working on that one. But my Gyno has, for some unfathomable reason, become wildly popular as of late...thus earning him a place on the "List of Men I Can't Seem to Get A Date With." I'd go off the pill altogether...but when I do that I have periods every 18 days....and that also tends to make me cranky. More information than you wanted, I'm sure. But by now you know that I don't hold much to be sacred.
SO....I decided to have a moment with God this morning and really just lay it all out there on the proverbial table. It sounded like this, "God...I know you want me to move over and let you do your thing. But honestly, God...I'm scared that if I actually ask you what YOU want for my life....you'll make me have a life that I really don't want to have. Do with that what you will...just being honest."
In this honesty with God I realized that I trust God to teach me lessons and give me direction, but I expect Him to do it in a way that will be painful and unfulfilling. And WOW....way to shortchange the Lord there Sara! Why do I see God as someone who has a goal of "putting me in my place" and "making me sing for my supper?" This isn't the God who sent His Son to die for me! This isn't the God who saw me in my icky, dirty, stinky, stanky sin and decided to love me anyway! This isn't the God who met me on the living room floor when my life fell to sheer hell around me and said, "you are not alone." And if I KNOW this....
There. Funk finished.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Anyway, after the Duggars were done having kids for the hour, a show about little girls and beauty pageants came on. I don't even know what it's called....and in my horror I can't be bothered to pick up the remote to press the "info" button to find out.
Just know that I looked up from my computer to see a pageant mom talking about the "dress" that she purchased for her two-year old's upcoming pageant. It cost $800.
No...that wasn't a typo.
EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.....(and no sense apparently!)
This dress is ugly. It is pink, with a short little tutu (?) and lots of jewels and sequins. It is really tacky....$800 worth of tacky to be exact.
Then...as if spending $800 on a pageant dress for a two-year old when the country is in the worst recession that it's seen in at least half century isn't crazy enough...the mom proceeded to stand her two-year old up on the vanity in her bathroom and scrub some kind of tanning stain on her porcelain skinned child....so "the sparkles will show up better." During this process, the two-year old...even though the mom says she "loves tanning time"....seems COMPLETELY not into it.
Maybe it's because I have a son, and he'd rather eat dirt than be on display somewhere. Maybe it's because I spend 8 hours every week in classes about counseling and the effects on us of the families we grew up in. MAYBE it's because I spend only 19 cents on hair color for myself...even when it's way too dark and makes me look somewhat gothic...it was STILL only 19 cents! Maybe...just maybe...it's a combination of all of the above.
But I think that during my lazy tv watching tonight....I managed to spot someone who needs therapy in a much worse way than I do. If you have to list your child's favorite hobby as "sucking her thumb" on the sheet for the emcee to read aloud (true story!) then she's just not pageant ready! Who knew that if you needed to feel a little less like a crazy person, that you just needed to tune into a little TLC????
Some clubs come with membership fees that require too much of your soul to ever warrant you actually WANTING to be a part of them. But as life would have it, these are clubs that people manage to get into without asking. Without actually signing up to be on the waiting list. Without ever saying, "Yes, please....let me join." Somehow, we manage to find ourselves there anyway.
I am a member of a club that is so small and elite that I actually only know of other members through hear say. It's the "Yesterday I couldn't wait to get this baby out of me, and today I'm praying that it will JUST. STAY. PUT. club."
I became a member on November 16th, 2006. I was hideously pregnant (which, if we're being honest, I was from the first moment that I peed on that little stick...) and I was chomping at the bit to get that little boy out of me. Pregnancy had become painful. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I honestly couldn't wait for my little boy to make his grand entrance. And my prayer sounded something along the lines of "Lord, PLEASE just make him come already! I'm D.O.N.E!"
And then my husband left me.
In whatever amount of time is less than a millisecond, the prayer changed from "Lord, Please make him come out" to "Dear God, NOT YET. PLEASE, NOT YET." And just like that...I was in the club.
I felt compelled to write about this, because tonight I learned of two sweet sisters that I know from college, one of them literally days away from the birth of her first child, whose father just passed away in a shocking accident. Yesterday the prayer was for God to hurry and bring on the birth of this sweet baby girl. Today, it has changed to, "Dear God, NOT YET. PLEASE, NOT YET."
Upon reading the news of the accident and the prayer for A's baby to wait until after the funeral to make her arrival, I found myself in a heap of snot and tears for my friends. For one of them, I am mourning the loss of her father and the relationship that I know she always struggled to have with him. For the other....
...I am mourning the loss of a blissful first childbirthing experience. This is something that she will forever look back on, grateful for the blessing of her precious daughter...but there will always be a cloud of sadness over that day. It will be forever linked to the death of her father. I'm sure God will heal this pain for her, and I'm grateful that she is surrounded by loving family that will celebrate the birth of her baby despite their grief. Please keep them all in your prayers in the coming days.
I still grieve my experience with childbirth. When I think back on it, it is not a happy time for me. It's filled with pain and disappointment, with only a small little pocket of joy in the middle. The little pocket of joy has since grown into the biggest source of blessing in my life...but the experience that brought him here....nothing like what I had spent my life dreaming about.
I don't want to be in this club. I have forgiven Ex a lot of things. I have been supportive of him in his new life. And I am ultimately quite content with mine. And honestly, until this moment I don't think I really realized that I felt this way....but there is a part of me that REALLY HATES HIM for robbing me of my dream of becoming a mommy in peace. REALLY. HATES. HIM. Because this club really sucks. And I am heartbroken to know that there is a new member.
Lord, give her peace before her baby comes. I'm JUST. HERE. BEGGING. YOU...
Monday, March 9, 2009
Upon retrieving my ipod from its winter resting place, I realized that it was completely dead. So I set out to enjoy my jog and just take in the scenery. This is really the first time that I've taken a good look around my neighborhood.
This is what I found while on my little jaunt:
1. Two men trying feverishly to load what I think was part of a pool table into the back of a Chevy S-10. While I give them a 10 on effort, they get a 2 on style...as both of their butt cracks were winking at me.
2. A 13 year old boy blowing up an inflatable carport....with his mouth. Child services should be called on the parents of this kid and cited with the inability to provide sufficient air pumping equipment. I was afraid he was going to pass out on the poorly inflated floor.
3. A condom. I didn't get close enough to said condom to determine if someone, in fact, had a hell of a time, or if it was simply used as some kind of balloon animal. Either way...WTF???
4. A house with fake flowers "planted" in their window boxes...to proclaim to the neighborhood that, "Yes, spring is a'comin."
5. On the second lap...the same two men who were loading the truck... except now the pool table is in the middle of the driveway and they are laying on top of it chugging Miller Lite. I guess round two of "Loading Really Big Table onto Teeny Tiny Truck" will seem like a more doable venture if they are a tad more drunk.
For some inexplicable reason, I'm losing confidence in my property value.
Something happened last night that has me doing a lot of...thinking.
(Everyone duck and cover, this could be dangerous!)
So The Medic has been working a lot lately. They changed his shift so that he really only had one day off last week...and because he has to be at the fire hall super early, (and apparently he can't function on less than 10 hours of sleep a night) he stayed home on his night off and was in bed by 8:30. I know this, because at 8:30 I got a text that said, "I'm going to bed. Sweet dreams!" So I haven't seen him all week.
Then, last night he told me that when he wakes up on Wednesday, which starts his time off this week, he's going to Gatlinburg with one of his best friends. This means that I won't see him until next week. He's really excited about having a vacation, and he really does need it. So I'm glad that he gets to go....
....but it brought out a whole mess of crap that I need to deal with.
(Now, let's be clear. The Medic and I are not a couple. We are just dating and having a good time. I really like him as a person, and I enjoy our time together. And based on what he's said, he feels the same way. But we've been very intentional, due to our respective pasts, about the whole "proceed with caution" thing, and as of right now, that's all it is. I go back and forth between being very settled into the calmness of this scenario and being annoyed in an inexplicable fashion at his ability to do something with his time other than fall madly in love with me...but that's probably another therapy blog for another day!)
ANYWAY... for SOME reason, it annoyed me beyond belief that he is planning to take off on vacation with nary a second thought about me. I realized pretty quickly in the midst of this text conversation that this was definitely a "Sara is screwed up" issue and not a "The Medic is uncaring and insensitive" issue.
And let's all just go ahead right now and pat me on the back for realizing THAT ONE prior to saying something catty that would only serve as a GINORMOUS neon arrow pointing in my direction blinking "SHE'S A LOONY TOON, RUN AWAY...RUN AWAY!"
Kudos to me for being self aware. Ku-Dos.
I managed to have the entire vacation conversation without letting on that I was in the midst of dodging a bunch of 20-year old insecurities that were being hurled at me from the "Perpetual Machine Gun of Insanity." In the middle of telling him that I'm glad he'll get a break and I know he really needs it, I realized that I just really wanted to feel like I was important to someone. It felt like he was (get a load of THIS) putting himself before me...and that just annoyed me to no end! But the truth is that he SHOULD be putting himself before me...because that's NORMAL. What's NOT NORMAL....is...well...ME!
So I went to bed last night (and woke up this morning) thinking about why I felt such a burning need for someone (a man) to place such importance on me. It obviously goes back to my childhood, so now I'm spending time with my "inner child", trying to figure out how to work through this issue of "mattering to people." As an adult, I realize that I have value...but Little Sara is still struggling with feeling important and valuable. I realize that I need to get to a point where my self worth isn't reliant on a man telling me that I matter or acting like I am his top priority. The truth is that the only person's top priority that I can be is my own.
The thing about therapizing myself is that I am getting pretty good at getting to the root issue of stuff. But I'm still horrible at actually knowing how to go about fixing it. I haven't learned how to work through these things...and I haven't taken any of the grad classes yet that would assist me in doing this either. My initial desire is to look "Little Sara" in the face, shove a sucker in her mouth, and tell her to grow up and get over it! But I'm guessing that won't really solve the problem! So this morning....crazy as it sounds...I had a talk with her in the car on the way to work. I'm sure the guy in the car next to me at the stop light thought I was losing my mind...and based on everything that I've poured out here...you probably think so too....but this is how that conversation went...
Me: "Why does it feel so necessary for a man to think you're important?"
Mini Me: "Because they never have. Every man in my life who was supposed to be able to be counted on to make me feel important has acted like I'm not. And that hurts, damn it!"
Me: "Little girls shouldn't cuss."
Mini Me: "Sorry"
Me: "It's ok...just don't let it happen again. Do you realize that it's ok to be sad that these men acted in a way that was hurtful? But you don't have to let their actions have the power to control you anymore?"
Mini Me: "How do I do that?"
Me: "Well...I don't know...I'm just you 20 years older and talking to myself at a stop light. But I think you allow yourself a moment to say 'it's ok that I hurt, but I can decide that the hurt stops here.' You can choose to say that their actions were THEIR decision. And your actions get to be YOUR decision. You have the power to set a boundary for what their actions can do to you. But you have to be willing to do it."
Mini Me: "Sometimes it's easier to hurt."
Me: "It seems easier at first, because that's what you know how to do well. I'm pretty sure that cutting the hurt off at the pass and saying 'this is old stuff. It can't hurt me unless I let it' will be easier then just hurting and having all the feelings that come with it."
Mini Me: "But it's ok that I hurt?"
Me: "It's ok that you hurt. But just know that 20 years from now when you find yourself sitting at a stop light and talking to your inner child...I'm not going to let you hurt anymore. I've got your back. You matter, because I choose for you to matter."
Mini Me: "Ok. Then I'm going to trust you...because you have my back. Go...the light's green."
I realize that it's a little insane to talk to your inner child at a stop light. But I'm realizing more and more that my hurts and issues of the past can really cripple my future if I don't deal with them. I feel blessed that God has offered me an opportunity for a second chance at life with the possibility for a second chance at love. I'll be damned if I let my issues muck that one up! And if that means sitting Mini Me down for a "Red Light Chat" then BY GOD I will risk looking insane at every intersection in town.
I realize that everyone has issues...but sometimes I feel like I must be slightly more afflicted than others...
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
I guess Satan saw an opportunity…because now I’m just plain old cranky.
You know…just three nights ago I was sitting on my garage floor picking out some pole dancing songs. I, for the first time, was genuinely thankful to be single. My house was picked up. My laundry was caught up. I was playing around at my leisure. E was with his dad, so I didn’t have to worry about making sure someone was fed or bathed. I don’t have to consult anyone on how I spend my money or if I decide to pursue a new career or hobby. My life is mine to do with as I please. And currently, I even have a cute boy who I get to cuddle on the couch with a few times a week….and a lot of married people don’t even get to do that! In that moment, I was really enjoying my life. The keyword for the moment was FREEDOM.
But today, Satan has been working overtime on paralyzing my spirit. Work is driving me INSANE. The economy has had a very obvious effect (affect??? I never know on that one…) on our numbers, and it’s getting harder and harder to keep our heads afloat. The management is cracking down and having “rah rah” sessions about “Get Angry and Sell” and “Don’t Take No for an Answer!” While I realize the importance of persistence in sales, today….I’m TIRED. To top it all off, I pretty much live in fear of coming into work one day and finding out that I no longer have a job. Things are just a little….unsteady.
This combination of fear and fatigue sends me into a very bitter cycle that ultimately ends with me looking God square in the face, and with all of the vim and vigor of a two year old, whining, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” It’s pretty ironic that I do this, because the very freedom that I was so thankful for just a couple of days ago is the same thing that annoys me beyond belief when I’m tired. When I’m tired and cranky like this I want someone else to lean on, someone else to take the heat, someone else to pay the bills, and someone else to say “you’re not alone.”
THIS, in turn, sends me into a tailspin of self-pity that unfailingly ends with me in a crying, snotty heap mumbling, “Whhhyyyy do other people’s dreams come true and mine get crapped on?” And since NO ONE really wants to be the shoulder that THAT is crying on…I’m blogging about it instead. (Consider yourself officially snotted on.)
The thing is, I know that Satan tries to get me when I’m tired, because that’s when I don’t think clearly enough to call on the power of the Holy Spirit to kick his sorry ass. And I actually do realize that everyone has problems in life that they wish were different. Everyone has dreams that haven’t quite come true. Everyone, at some point, probably looks at someone else and thinks, “Seriously? Great hair, adoring husband, money to blow, AND perfect boobs??? SO. NOT. FAIR!”
But the truth of the matter is, that at the end of the day, I really do have faith that God knows what He’s doing. And when my life doesn’t quite measure up to the picture that I had in my head, there IS a part of me that realizes that it’s because God’s picture is better.
There is nothing like a good book to put me fast asleep, and I’m learning slowly but surely, that just because the story hasn’t played itself out yet, doesn’t mean that’s it’s not going to be worth reading. Lucky for this cranky girl with a tired spirit…
Thursday, March 5, 2009
1. I was having a text conversation with the Ex. We were just chit chatting and mainly catching up on life. We don't do this too often, but lately there have been more friendly exchanges happening between us. The conversation turned to his new baby on the way, and because he has been stressed about money (let's face it...these days, who isn't?!?!) I said,
"I still have some baby stuff that I can give you. I don't think I'm going to need it for a long while. So maybe that will help."
Him: "Wow. Thanks! It will!"
Me: "Yeah..that's what I'm here for!"
Him: "No...that's what makes you special."
Now, I've got to say...it's a lot easier to be divorced from him when he's being a COMPLETE BUTT...but this version of him is kind of nice to run into every now and then! I'm also going to go out on a limb and pat us both on the back for being so good at this divorce thing. We've definitely had our moments...I mean, there was that time he got mad at me for taking E to get a haircut without consulting him...so he shaved his head. THAT could have been handled differently. And, I do believe that back in the day, I MAY have blurted out with sheer venom, "I HATE YOU! AND I WILL NEVER EAT PAPA JOHNS PIZZA AGAIN! (I guess I should mention that he owns a Papa John's...but let's face it...it really is good pizza.)
Anyway...all that to say I think, for the most part, that we've handled ourselves much better than about 95% of people in our same situation. I'm sure there are plenty more hurdles and hoops to be prepared for...but if we don't hate each other by now, I think we're in the clear.
So...my ego was already a little inflated for the day.
Then, after I picked E up from my former in-laws house, I really wanted hibachi from the local mom and pop restaurant in their town. Since I've moved to a new city, I haven't eaten there, and it's SO. GOOD. So I called in my order before leaving their house and headed out in pursuit of yummy steak and shrimp hibachi goodness.
The owner of the restaurant is a small Asian man who knows everyone and remembers everything. I worked with him on his advertising about 4 years ago, and he knows my name and everything about me! However, I haven't seen him in over a year, and when he saw me he literally did a double take!
I guess at this point I should tell you that since my divorce I have cleaned up quite a bit. I lost a good bit of weight, and found my smile...and that's a combination with the power to make quite a difference. I'm no supermodel...but I look (and FEEL) about 10 million times better than I did when I was married.
When Jack, the owner of the restaurant, saw me he stopped me in the middle of the dining room, with customers watching us, and said, "You look WONDERFUL!" We spent the next few minutes catching up. He asked me if I was married again, and when I said no he said confidently, "No time at all." Then, when he passed me my bag of food he made two "OK" signs with his hands and said, "You look perfect."
And even though he's a small, married, middle-aged, Asian man who smells like he has hibachi seeping from his pores...I kind of wanted to kiss him a little bit.
I got heartburn after I ate dinner tonight....but the trip was well worth it!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
There's really no real reason for me to blog about this, except that when you sin, I hear you're supposed to confess.
And I feel pretty certain that the act of eating a chocolate bar the size of your face falls into the category of,
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I've been thinking of ways to cut back, and one of the most obvious is to clip coupons. I've tried this several times in the past, and while I'm really good at clipping them, I'm historically horrible at actually using them. This, while not the major source of stress in my marriage, caused Ex to huff wildly in my direction on more than one occasion.
However, the same old friend that taught me how to make my own laundry detergent, and who is indirectly responsible for my new soap habit, is a WICKED AWESOME COUPON QUEEN. She has a blog where she often posts about her coupon success, and I have begun to glean from her experiences in order to save a few dollars here and there.
I'm nowhere near as talented as she is at this whole coupon thing, but tonight I managed to have a pretty successful trip to Walgreens. I perused the sale paper and compared the sale items to the coupons I had on hand. Here were some of my successes:
Infusium 23 Conditioner Originally $6.99, Store Sale for $5.99 less $3 coupon. Final $2.99
Degree Deodorant Originally $3.99, Store Clearance for $2.19 less $1.00 coupon Final $1.19
Tylenol PM Originally $5.99, Store sale for $4.99 less In Store Coupon for $1.00, less Mfg coupon for $1.50 Final $2.49
Cover Girl Mascara Originally Buy One Get One Free...reg price of 2 would be $10.58. BOGO $5.29, less 2 coupons for $1 each...final for two tubes of mascara was $3.29
And the one that I think will make V proud....
Loreal Haircolor Originally $8.99. Store Clearance for $4.19 less $2 In Store Coupon, less $2.00 Mfg coupon....Final Price...19 cents!
I'm honestly not sure what makes me a bigger dork...the fact that I am now armed with the knowledge to buy soap for pennies at a time...or the fact that I don't even have to do that, because I brew my own in a giant pot in the kitchen.
Either way....thanks, V, for the geekage. : )
Him: Did you know that you can't really hide anything?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Four years ago one of my mentors passed away from breast cancer. (Ok…I realize the story isn’t starting out so cool….but stick with me…the cool part is coming up.) This woman was awesome. She loved to sing, and she had an amazingly quirky sense of humor. She laughed very easily and loved life no matter what! On more than one occasion she gave me advice that has stuck with me through every flavor of circumstance, and her faith in God was unshakable. She was, in a word, incredible, and I loved her.
When she died, she left two young girls who were verging on their teen years. I loved her girls too, as I often babysat them and took them to Chuck E. Cheese or out for ice cream. They were fun girls, and the reminded me of how my sister and I used to have such a love/hate relationship. Since her death, my contact with the girls has mainly been limited to myspace and facebook messages, because not long after she died, they moved to another state. The oldest of the girls recently started college, but with the exception of a brief church visit several months ago I haven’t communicated with either of them in about a year.
Then, out of nowhere, two nights ago I had a dream about the oldest girl. This was odd to me for a couple of reasons. 1. I hadn’t seen, talked to, or heard about her recently, and 2. I had a much closer relationship with the younger of the sisters, so it seemed odd that I was dreaming solely about the older one. In the dream, it was just the two of us. We were in a dark room, and she was crying. I could feel the presence of her Mom, but the interaction was happening between me and the daughter as if her mom was simply an onlooker. Through her tears she looked up at me and said, “Do I remind you of her?” I smiled at her and said, “Yes. Very much. You look exactly like her and you have her spirit.” Then I pulled her to me in a hug and said, “This is a hard time for you isn’t it?” she nodded. And that was it.
I forgot about the dream by the time I woke up. But that evening, I saw the daughter change her facebook status. It was an upbeat message, nothing alarming, and it didn’t really register anything in me. So I got up and headed into the kitchen when I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS WITH THE MEMORY OF THE DREAM. I returned to my computer and debated for a minute. Should I send her a message and tell her? I always wonder about stuff like that…if the person isn’t depressed already, do you really want to make them sad by bringing up something painful? But I felt led to share with her, so I sent her a message telling her that I didn’t know why I dreamed what I did, but I thought maybe she needed to hear it.
She replied to my message this morning. She was thrilled that I had had that dream. It turns out that her mother’s birthday was a few days ago (which I had no clue about by the way) and she had been thinking about her and missing her a lot. One of the things that she was really sad about was that she felt like she didn’t get to know her as well as she would have liked, and SHE HAD BEEN WONDERING IF SHE WAS TURNING OUT LIKE HER. She said my message made her cry, but in the very best way…and she was so happy to know that she was similar to her mom in so many ways.
If there was ever a moment that I doubted that people can speak to us from the afterlife, this experience melts the doubt away. There is something to be said for keeping someone’s spirit alive after they have passed on, but it’s even more of a treasure to realize that they can continue to connect with us and their loved ones…as long as we’re paying attention.
I’m glad I got to be a part of this experience and that I was able to connect the daughter to her mom….
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I really think this batch is a winner. It's scented lightly with almond and warm vanilla sugar, and it has ground almonds in it for exfoliation. It lathers really well when you use it, and the almonds really add some serious scrubbing action. I also added some glycerin to the recipe, so it moisturizes more than your average bar of soap. It's an all vegetable recipe, and I'm thrilled that I finally found something that would work!
Since I don't believe in animal testing, I have been handing out bars to my friends. So far, no one has broken out in a rash or experienced burning or skin loss. So I think I can officially call success on this one.
However, The Medic has requested that I not leave the bars piled on a dinner plate on the kitchen counter. He said every time he walks in the kitchen he gets excited for a brief moment because he thinks that maybe I made fudge.
In related news, I have decided to spend more time on my other hobby as well...pole dancing. Since I can't make it to my class very often, and let's just face it...I'm not ever going to get my sorry butt out of bed early enough to run....I decided to put a pole in my garage so I could work out at my convenience. It arrived about a week ago, and I was able to install it by myself in a matter of minutes. So far it hasn't fallen down....but I did manage to fling myself off of it into a pile on top of my Christmas tree. I'm still in one piece though, so I think I'll stick with it for a while.
I really am quite the walking contradiction. How many divorced, Marriage and Family Therapy graduate students do you think you'll come across who really love Jesus and pole dance in their garage while their homemade soap is curing in the kitchen?
One is a lonely number, I tell you!