Category Archives: Ramblings

Day 4: The Voice

The Voice ~ Shel Silverstein

I’ve been ignoring the voice for a few years now.

It used to be a quiet voice that whispered “something isn’t right.”

But I tried to give the benefit of the doubt.

I tried to be flexible with my thoughts and feelings. My wants and expectations.

I tried to not want for everything to be about me.

But the voice kept getting louder and louder.

And as my unhappiness grew and the pounds packed on, the voice finally yelled loud enough at me.

But it IS about me. My health is important to me. My happiness is important to me. And while I can’t make everyone around me happy, I need to start with allowing myself to be happy. And work on making that happiness happen.

So I’m listening to the voice inside.

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Day 2: Do Overs


Wish I had a 'Do-Over'

Earlier this week, Flawed Memory and I exchanged a few tweets about a ‘do-over’ button. We had seen a screening of About Time the week before which involves the trait of time travel.

Today was a pretty laid back day for me, so I caught myself thinking about this topic a few times. If we had the ability to Time Travel (and knew about it), how far back in our lives would we go?

Would I go back to my teenage years and try not to be such a rebellious teenager?

Would I go back to my late teens and not be so anxious to get out of my mother’s house?

Would I go back and try to have a better relationship with my mother or father?

Would I make go back and make better decisions about my relationships:  the high school boyfriend I wanted to marry; the ‘bad boy’ who drew me to him like a moth to a flame; the man I would eventually marry?

How far back would I wish to travel? Regardless of my choice, a do-over of any of the above options would have resulted in a completely different life. While my life hasn’t been perfect, I don’t know that I’d wish for it to be completely different. I am who I am because of the experiences I have had so far.

Where would you go if you had the option to ‘Do-Over’? Would you take advantage of the ability to time travel or would you be happy with your life as it is?

My Well-Traveled Road of Disappointment

“Remember that time my BF offered to take me away for a weekend with friends because I didn’t have the money to go?

Yeah, me neither.”

So my friends are all headed to Baltimore for the weekend. Because I don’t have the money to go, I’m not.

I thought maybe the boyfriend was going to man-up and offer to take me away for the weekend (something he hasn’t done in the five years we’ve known each other). With wishful thinking, I requested a vacation day today. I coordinated a weekend trade of kid responsibilities with my Ex. But two weeks after our email exchanges discussing it, there has been no follow-up or offer from the boyfriend for me to go.

I don’t know why, but my disappointment is so overwhelming.

Our last email exchange about this trip was that he would “get back to me” about the questions I presented. He didn’t. And I don’t feel that it’s my place to remind him. Nor do I feel that I need to beg for someone who supposedly cares so deeply about me to do something nice for me.

So instead, I will be home all weekend, kid-free, feeling sorry for myself that I let myself be disappointed again.

Before you start thinking ‘well, if you wanted to go, you should pay for yourself.’ Yes, I know this. I do not expect, nor have I ever expected, a man to fund my fun. As I stated before, I have paid my way over the past five years. I have never been comfortable with letting someone pay for me.

I don’t expect anything from others that I wouldn’t do myself.

I’m hoping that I can channel my tears and frustration into a cleaning frenzy so this vacation day and kid-free weekend isn’t a total waste. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so I’m hoping to be able to take the bike to the trails, clear my head, and get some exercise.

It doesn’t matter how much you care about a person, it doesn’t turn them into the person you wish they could be.

UPDATE: I wake up Saturday morning to an email “This trip would be more fun with you.” So I reply that I’m not there because of him. I forward the unanswered questions email to him. His reply: “I thought we had a conversation about that.” Another reply indicates that he needs to quit having conversations in his head with me because I can’t hear them. No kidding! Boys R Dumb!

College Visit!

Holy crap!

If you’re a frequent visitor, you might know that Vampire Boy is a senior in high school. He is interested in continuing his education and has been working with his dad on college applications. Dad had a good idea — let him apply to colleges within a reasonable driving distance, see where he gets accepted, and then visit those campuses for him to decide where he wants to go.

We had our first college visit this past weekend! As a family unit!

Some background: Dad and I separated in March 2001 with our divorce being final in February 2006 (finally!). It was not a pretty separation thanks to child support issues. Things have been decent on and off over the past five years and I like that we finally seem to be able to have a decent divorced relationship.

Dad and Vampire Boy worked on applications and acceptances started coming in. OK, time to look at the Open House schedules and plan a campus visit.  Dad invited me to come along (I had planned on going whether I was invited or not and driving myself if I had to!) and offered for me to ride along with them. Other than the hours we spent sitting on separate sides of the Family Division waiting room, it would be the first time we spent such a substantial part of the day together with the kids.

First visit was this past weekend. Dad picked us up at 6:45 AM for our hour drive. I was worried things would be a little weird, but we got along just fine. We talked and joked around in the car as I presume a ‘normal’ family would. We sat as a family in each of the informational sessions. We went on a campus tour. We checked out the residence halls. We visited the Science building and spoke to one of the chemistry faculty. At one point, we both leaned around from our auditorium seats to look at Vampire Boy when they were explaining that all communication is sent to his University mailbox — his ID was included in his acceptance letter — a mailbox he NEVER looked at! (This makes more sense when I explain that we went to his Open House blindly. He had registered, but did not receive any email or postal mail confirmation of his attendance, and I didn’t think about it until he received a packet from another school confirming his attendance.)

We all loved the campus. We liked the fact that it’s a smaller campus within a reasonable driving distance. We liked the chemistry department and faculty. We liked the student to teacher ratio within the chemistry department (his interest for now). He came away from this Open House knowing that this is where he wants to go to school. I’m trying to encourage him to visit at least one more, but  the next Open House is at a larger campus and he is adamant he likes the smaller campus. I don’t think I’m going to win the battle to get him to look any other campuses. I’m ok with that since I did the same exact thing when visiting business schools for myself many (many, many) years ago.

Holy shit, my ‘baby’ is looking forward to going off to college in the Fall.

New Science Hall

This ‘n That

I’ve had thoughts swirling around for the past few weeks and meant to get them typed up, but with my #MadCowMomBrain, I lost them just as quickly as I composed them in my head.

So how about a month (or so) recap?

Tip: Don’t try to learn how to decorate cookies on the day OF your party. Some of these say 50, some look like they say SO.

I threw a surprise birthday party for FM. Using a private Facebook event inviting our close friends, I conspired with his eldest daughter and best friend on how to get him here AFTER everyone else arrived. I took off two days prior to the party to finish up with my cleaning and get started on all of the cooking. Even with a limited fun budget, I was able to pull off a decent party! #YayMe  On the day of the party, the best friend kept FM busy during the day and the eldest daughter made plans to take her Dad out to dinner. I almost hit a snag when he invited me to join them, but using the excuse of just having had pizza for dinner and feeling like a night in with a movie saved me!

Vampire Boy’s senior pictures came back. He took a great picture!

I survived a week of having an extra roommate. FM’s house was having some work done so he couldn’t stay there for five days. Sometimes when the household chores and bills seem overwhelming, I think it would be nice to have someone to share the house with. I think a week of having a man live here may have fixed that curiosity. It went better than I thought it would considering my place isn’t that large and it only has one bathroom. Have been on my own for over ten years now, I’m back to wondering if I’ll ever be able to live with someone again.

I had a truly upsetting event involving Social Diva. She ended up being extremely rude to FM on his last night here. Throw in a bad literature grade and I’m ready to curb her social activities until the grade comes up. She asks to go to the football game with her good friend who lives close by. Since I adore this friend, I cave and allow her go. She ends up texting me from the game that she’s with another friend and asks if they can have a sleepover. The smoke began to stream from my ears. Since she ditched (she claims she ‘lost’) her friend and was hanging out with another friend, I call her to let her know that I am on my way over to pick her up. Did I over-react? Maybe. However, the ditching friends thing is a problem. I was not rewarding her bad behavior and bad grade by letting her stay out. On top of all of that, she flat out lied to me to get to the game and the lies continued as the night went on. In five minutes, I turned into a yelling lunatic (which I never do) and scared the hell out of both kids. There was yelling, door slamming, many tears (both her and I), the kids exchanging text messages with their father (whose house she wanted to go to), and a chat with big brother. All in all, it was a horrible evening for me.

Thankfully, today (Sunday) turned out to be a productive day. I got some errands run, weatherproofed my basement windows (it’s not pretty, but let’s hope it keeps the drafts out), and made room for my car in the garage.  I’ve got high hopes that the rest of this week is better than this weekend. (This week was the anniversary of my dad’s passing and what would have been my wedding anniversary.) I have high hopes that I can snap out of this funk that I’m in.

Next weekend is a road trip to see Red Wanting Blue, so things have to improve, right?

It’s Not My Parenting Style

So Vampire Boy and the Ex conspired behind my back.

I picked up Vampire Boy to drive him to work last Friday. As we’re sitting in morning traffic, chatting about nothing, I notice a piece of paper hanging out of his shorts pocket. I asked him what it was and he paused, not wanting to answer.

I pulled out the piece of paper and unfolded it. It was a letter resigning him from his position at the zoo, using the excuse that it was his senior year of high school and he was going to be busy with school and soccer responsibilities.

L.A.M.E. E.X.C.U.S.E.

I didn’t say anything at first, because of the shock of their behavior doing this behind my back. But the more I drove towards the zoo, the more pissed off I got, the more I didn’t say, and the more my eyes filled with tears at the “lesson” the Ex was teaching my son. The “lesson” I don’t approve of!

* I don’t approve of him giving up before even attempting to manage his senior year schedule of responsibilities.
* I don’t approve of sneaking behind someone’s back.
* I don’t approve of neither of them trying to talk about their plan.

Instead of encouraging him to give school work, soccer responsibilities, and the zoo schedule a chance and to TEACH him how to organize his life, Dad just gave him the go-ahead, and actually helped him write/print the letter to turn in. Now Dad has not been worried about scheduling the boy for his ACT exam, hasn’t been worried about senior pictures, hasn’t been worried about soccer schedule, etc. But he can worry BEFORE SCHOOL EVEN STARTS about how he should be able to enjoy his senior year.

So in (immature) retaliation, I sent over a copy of all of the paperwork that was just received in the mail regarding the start of the school year, including the registration information for the ACT exam, as well as the thick stack of advertisements I’ve been saving for senior pictures. If he’s so worried about his son’s “senior year,” he can now worry about all of the IMPORTANT senior year things.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if he doesn’t register him for the ACT exam, that they will have to figure out what he’s going to do about college.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if they drop the ball regarding senior pictures, there is a chance my son will not be in his senior yearbook.

Being a slight bit of a control freak, it certainly won’t be easy for me to not take make sure these things are taken care of.

But it will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few months.

I Wish …

I WISH …

That instead of being “worrying” about Vampire Boy and his work schedule at the zoo that you ENCOURAGED him.

That you encouraged him to be a good employee with a good work ethic.

That you encouraged him to think ahead to manage and organize his time with work, soccer, and school responsibilities.

That you encouraged him to keep his first real paying job.

BUT INSTEAD  …

You complain about the road closures and the drive.

When you drive him only ONE trip, ONE WAY, per week.

And encourage him to give up this first job.

Instead of teaching him to a good work ethic.

And how to hang in for both the good AND the bad.

I guess that’s why I have had only two jobs in 26 years … and he’s had numerous jobs and periods of unemployment.

I guess that’s why I didn’t give up on our marriage and I wasn’t the one who walked away.

Instead of worrying about the job at the zoo,

How about encouraging him to study for the ACT?

How about worrying about if he’s scheduled for his senior pictures?

How about worrying what he’s wearing for senior pictures?

It’s hard to co-parent when one parent thinks a kid should do more, yet the other parent doesn’t.

#EndRant

A Woman’s Rule of Thumb …

Friday night I’ve promised to attend the burlesque debut of @BeingCharlee. Flawed Memory is also supposed to go. He offers for the two of us to ride together since parking will be limited. The plan is for me to drop my daughter off at her pool birthday party, and he’ll pick me up at 8:30.

At 8:30, my phone rings. FM’s car won’t start. So I offer to go pick him up and drive us to the show. This should be easy, right?

As I’m driving out the Parkway, I get this feeling that this Friday the 13th isn’t going to end well. FM’s car won’t start. Social Diva is at a pool party. I’m going out on a Friday (i.e., “Mom”) night (which is rare for me). I try to shake off the feeling as I reach my exit.

And then it happens. As I’m driving through the empty section of parking lot, I don’t see the concrete section/curb jutting out until it’s too late. I wasn’t playing with my phone, but I was searching the parking lot for the broken down car. The grassy area didn’t have a light pole or tree (which was pointed out to me later). I swerved at the last minute, but my front passenger side tire hits and goes up over the curb. Thinking I had damaged my front bumper, I immediately pull over into a parking spot to check for damage and find an immediately flat tire. [I had just purchased these new tires one month ago and DIDN’T get the road hazard!]  FM helps change my tire and guess what? The spare has barely any air! Not only am I ready to burst into tears, I’m ready to scrap my plans for the night. Since we both said we were coming to the debut, he reassures  me that everything will be ok and we head back into town. Fortunately, the spare holds the air while we were at the venue and throughout the night.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I have to drive Vampire Boy to work. The plan is then to take FM to try to start his car which we were able to do by “popping the clutch.” We head to Wal Mart so I can check into whether my tire is salvageable (it wasn’t) and whether they can look at his car (they couldn’t).  There goes $100 I didn’t need to spend to replace the tire.

This wasn’t how I planned on spending the weekend before returning to work after my staycation!

A woman’s rule of thumb: If it has tires or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it!

We Were On A Break!

So much has happened since my last angry post.  The rebound relationship is no longer, there’s been some progress in the breakdown of communication, and there have been a few nights of serious heart-to-heart conversations that have gone on into the early morning hours (lucky for me that I’m on vacation and can nap at the pool during the day).

I can’t help but chuckle and this clip keeps running through my mind.

I have also learned that my stubbornness is a detriment to my happiness. I need to work on this more.

We’ll see …

The Rebound

As defined by urbandictionary.com:

* Going from one relationship to the next right away to avoid the pain of a breakup;

* Hooking up with someone shortly after being dumped (by someone else) so that you still feel wanted;

* The kind of relationship that’s simply happening in order to get over one that recently ended.

You know it happens. I know it happens.  At some point, it happens in everyone’s lives. I’ve had (and known that they were) rebound relationships. You don’t care that the person isn’t really compatible with you, but you don’t care, you just want to “be” with someone (mentally or physically) because you hate to be/feel alone.

I’m the one who stepped away from my most recent relationship. I’m smart enough to work on what I’m not happy with related to me. I can’t be (and I’m not) upset that he chose to dive right into another relationship. Where I think he is making a mistake —  he’s not concerned about what went wrong with us and how to fix that for any future relationships.

Rebounds are great to help get you past the hurt, but you can’t ignore the underlying reason(s) for why prior relationships didn’t work.  When that rebound relationship ends?  You’re back to being alone.  You’re not any better off than where you began.

In the end, you have to love yourself first. Bringing someone else into your life should be the gravy.  At my age with a failed marriage and handful of ended relationships under my belt, I’m not willing to settle for “It’s OK.” The next man I allow into my circle had better plan to bring a lot to the relationship table. I can’t and won’t settle for less.