"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for October, 2015

Engagement Party

It’s been busy so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write about the weekend. The good news is that life is racing along and we are busy and happy.  The Hunter and I are in such a happy, happy place in our relationship.  The only blip was that I had a complete meltdown of crazy this past weekend which I will write about also, but I have put my crazy back in its box.  First, let’s chat about Taz’s engagement party. It was lovely and the Hunter has finally met my Ex.

The short version: it was a non-issue, no drama event. The funny part is that the first place they met was in the airport restroom.  Seriously. The Ex approached him while in line and then they ended up side-by-side at the urinals. How awkward. I laughed hysterically, but the poor Hunter couldn’t finish and we had to make a second stop. 

We didn’t get to the party early as I had planned. It was a very early flight and we ended up taking a nap and arriving slightly late. That made me super anxious, but the anxiety melted away once we got there and got settled. The Hunter enjoyed the party. It was very large (over 100 people flowed through) and outdoors on a perfect Fall day.  We met lots of friends and family of the in-laws — all very lovely people. It’s so nice to see Taz is joining a family that has such strong roots and relationships. 

The Hunter also bonded with the future father-in-law who is a fanatical Hunter himself. Future FIL has a trophy room and the house is chock full of trophies throughout.  He has an arsenal and an encyclopedic memory of every trophy. He and the Hunter had some great chats resulting in future FIL inviting him to go hunting on his landlease in the future. 

We also gleaned an invite from another dear family friend who hosts a huge destination New Years. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen, but it is great to be so well-received. Taz was happy and the weekend was a resounding whirlwind of success. 

As for the Ex, he arrived alone. His sister and nieces drove two hours to join the party, so it was great to see them. This is the only Ex sibling who treats me the same. Taz strongly reminds me of her. In any case, we had couple of funny, awkward moments with the Ex.  The first was when I was chatting with a bunch of Taz’s classmates and long-time friends. It was a circle of about 8 friends and they were meeting the Hunter, chatting with me, etc.  The Ex walks up and in about 2 minutes, the circle melted. It was funny — they didn’t see to want to chat with him. This happened a couple of times throughout the party. I did my fair share of melting away from the Ex also.  He wanted to project a jolly “see how OK I am with Maggie and her boyfriend” persona. Thanks, but don’t try so hard. 

The other awkward moment was when Taz was asked to ceremoniously cut a cake. I was encouraging her by exclaiming her surgical skills were coming in handy. The Ex, not to be outdone, made some loud awkward comment to the fiancée about looking out because she would turn the knife on him once married. We winced.  The Hunter later remarked how inappropriate that was because it was clearly evident that the majority of the friends were long-time married folks. We both, without prejudice I hope, found that the Ex struggled a bit with the party. It’s interesting how I now see his assholeness (?) in public much more clearly. 

In any case, the weekend was fabulous and I returned feeling happy, loved and content. It’s been a lot of good news of late, so it’s nice to ride that wave of joy. It feels oh so good. 

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What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses, too,
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you.”

I hear babies cryin’. I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Louis Armstrong

Kindness – the Hunter rolled over this morning and gathered me into his strong arms. He began murmuring into my ear words of love in Spanish. So sexy. Then he switches to English and tells me how much he appreciates how kind I am to him. How my kindness and openness make him feel more loved than any other relationship he’s ever had. It’s 4:30 am and time for him to get ready for work.

Kindness is one of my core values. I am working through another business self-help book (Take the Stairs – 7 Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden). This one talks about how when we aren’t true to our core values, it limits us. Makes sense. I have discovered that my top core values are:
1. Kindness – this can be good manners, not being rude. Small things like please and thank you or big things like a gift or a freebie.
2. Growth – it’s important to me to see people grow and evolve.
TIE 3. It’s a tie between: Open-minded, non-judgmental – I try to always be accepting of others and opinions that don’t match mine. However, I can be bitchy and judgmental of others along with gossipy at times.
TIE 3. Helping – I love to help my clients, help the booster clubs I ran, help the community, help my kids, help my friends, help strangers. How do I help – through advice, actions,
The next tie of my values was between:
TIE 4. Trust
TIE 4. Positive thinking – looking forward,
5. Freedom
6. Creativity – writing, new business ideas

I also am conscious that I love to appreciate the beauty of nature – the ocean, the woods. I find that being outdoors restores my soul.  What is interesting is the anti-values things that turn me off are:

  • Narrow-mindness or rigid beliefs
  • A Worrier
  • Rudeness
  • Ignorance
  • Mean-spirited or cruel
  • Negative thinking
  • Betrayal
  • Stagnant – people who don’t grow or evolve

Now if you know the Hunter and his history, he has most of these anti-values (except worrier & stagnant — the Ex wears those titles). But because I have those core values above and shine those on him, I don’t receive those anti-values from him. It goes back to the old adage that you get back what you put out there.

The Hunter jumped to words of love very quickly in our relationship. I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure I was ready for this tidal wave of full-fledged loving relationship. I thought it would grow more slowly and Love needed time to blossom and grow. The Hunter felt emotions and feelings he had never felt with another woman, so he quickly knew he had found his One. He had been alone long enough to know what he wanted and to recognize when he found it. I was smart enough to realize that this man was offering so much to me: love, he wanted to take care of me, appreciation, freedom (no restraints). So I allowed that tidal wave to swoop me along. Embracing him and letting my emotions flow has been the best decision this year. We are oh so happy together.

Our relationship continues to deepen and fall into the routines that all couples develop. I have a few things I need to correct because I have fallen into a routine that was part of my previous life — I am not sharing the housework. Funny how a post that starts out about kindness works into cleaning bathrooms.

I realized this weekend that I need to speak up. Acts of Service are one of my Love languages. I know that cleaning the house is my way of showing my love, however, we are two adults living together. He needs to pull his weight. I cleaned the house solo for the last time. Next week I will sit down with him and divvy up the chores. I know that he will be receptive and it’s the smart thing to do because it will keep me from feeling any rumblings of discontent.

Now I have to finish that damn book. It’s very interesting for both personal and business.

Family Affair

Let’s get it crunk, we gonna’ have fun
Up on in this dancery
We got ya open, now ya floatin’
So you gots to dance for me
Don’t need no hateration, holleratin’
In this dancery
Let’s get it percolatin’, while you’re waiting
So just dance for me

Come on everybody get on up
Cause you know we gots to get it crunk
Mary J. is in the spot tonight
As I’mma make it feel alright (Make it feel alright)
Come on baby just party with me
Let loose and set your body free
Leave your situations at the door
So when you step inside jump on the floor

Mary J. Blige

This weekend will be so very interesting. I should have a couple of good stories to share next week because this weekend is not only Taz’s engagement party, it will also be when the Hunter meets my Ex for the first time. The day of reckoning is upon us.

I spoke to Taz earlier this week about the party and our itinerary. She laughed and said that apparently my Ex and I booked the same flights — exactly. We are both flying in on Saturday morning and back out Sunday morning. Not much time for hanging out, but these flights were so cheap, they couldn’t be passed up. He is also staying in the ‘burbs rather than the city to be closer to the party. I was a bit incredulous but Taz’s response was, “Mom, you were together for almost 30 years. You both still think alike.” She does have a point there.

I told her that the Hunter and I would be on our best behavior. I asked her if I shouldn’t have dragged the Hunter along. She said “No, he is important to you.” She continued that my Ex said he was happy I found someone.

So let’s break down her response. She isn’t saying that she wants the Hunter there, only that since he is important to me, he’s included. My therapist once mentioned during my separation that since Taz was far away from the situation, she would have a harder time with the divorce. She’s right. Taz is struggling a little because her life would be so much easier if we were together. The diplomacy of divorce wouldn’t be necessary. Too bad, Taz. I also think that my choice of the next man is so radically different than Taz expected. The Hunter is different from my Ex and my previous life in many ways, but I am happier in this relationship than any previous one. He gets me.

As for my Ex’s response — I don’t buy it for a moment. He has to say that. At least I am not ambushing him like he did with me while we were single. You can read about that shitstorm here. If he is smart, he will be magnanimous and stay the fuck away from me.

Yesterday I contacted the future MIL to check on attire and see how she is doing. It’s an outdoor pig roast for about 150 people. She’s got a lot on her plate. The weather will be mid-50’s which is chilly for me — I live in a land of warm sunshine and no seasons. But I love Fall and am excited to see it. I offered to come straight over upon landing and she grabbed the idea. Of course, I have a Machiavellian strategy here. I want both the Hunter and I to help set up so 1) we are immediately in the good graces of our hosts and 2) the Hunter gets a preliminary lay of the land meeting our hosts prior to the party so he’s more comfortable. 3) I doubt my Ex would “impose” by offering help, so we win that round.

Both my Ex and I wanted to see Taz’s new place — I saw it only prior to move in. I have subsequently opted to skip the tour. It would have to be on Saturday prior to the party and that would make it tight for Taz to arrive at the party on time. Taz has several girlfriends including her high school BF attending the party. I am sure that they have been designated as parental chaperones. I am only mildly concerned that my Ex will get drunk and then say one of his biting, nasty comments that he tries to pass off as a joke. But the Hunter is ready for him.

Earlier this week we joked about him thanking my Ex for me because I am outstanding in bed. Last night, the Hunter had a better one. He said, in Spanish, “Just wait until we get back home. I’ll take care of you there.” My Ex is tri-lingual — he’ll comprehendo.

Pack It Up

You guys are the pits of the world!

Oh, this is no place for me
Burnin’ down the interbelt, from jacuzzi to jacuzzi
It’s all right for you man
Gettin’ smashed, gettin’ suntanned
But i know my place
Where’s my suitcase?

Pack it up or throw it away
What i can’t carry, bury
Oh you remember me, i remember you
But that was a long, long time ago
When i was passin’ through

The Pretenders

I have been meaning to write about our AirBnB hostess, but life has been interfering with my writing. That’s a good thing. You will be getting a surge of posts over the next couple of days because life has gotten quite interesting, but first let’s reflect on P, our recent hostess. You can read about our road trip here.

We sat down with P on Sunday morning. I wanted to thank her and catch up. P was one of my competitors back in the day. She even won a great job I was vying for one time. P is more than 10 years older than me. Her life has been very interesting. She lived overseas for several years, had 3 kids, divorced as they exited the house, re-married a college sweetheart and now they have a blended family of 6 grown children with one granddaughter.

During the recession, she fared poorly and decided to leave the rat race. P said why stay when she wasn’t making any money, so she moved to a smaller city and was able to kick ass and take names while enjoying a better quality of life. Interestingly I have been looking at the same city as a potential option as well.

Now she lives in the woods on a river. She and her husband built their dream house. It has a couple of small cabins that they rent out or use for overflow family. She dotes on her granddaughter. She is happy — it radiates from her. And I am happy for her. I went to a cocktail party this week and ran into her former posse. They all waxed lyrical on her new house,her life and admitted envy.

I am intrigued and pleased when a woman older than me (she was 56) takes off, refuses to accept the norm and carves out a new life for herself. Another girlfriend at the same age (56) has suddenly moved out West with her fiancé. I will miss her tremendously, but I admire the gumption. I guess my 56th birthday could be an interesting year — I certainly have the role models for it!

Cum on Feel the Noize

Cum on feel the noize
Girls rock your boys
We’ll get wild, wild, wild
Wild, wild, wild

So you think I got an evil mind
I tell you honey

I don’t know why
I don’t know why

Quiet Riot

This past weekend was interesting. The Hunter, his son, his son’s BFF and I went to see my son at his raucous college town for a great football game. It was fascinating for so many reasons:
• First road trip with Nino, the Hunter’s son.
• First road trip for Nino and his dad in about 5 years or more
• First time the Hunter has seen a big school’s traditional football weekend replete with tailgating, fanatical fans, etc.
• First time the Hunter and I interacted with my friends from my previous life.

Oh yes, it was quite the weekend and you know what, it was fabulous. I had an absolutely fantastic time. I didn’t have a single “oh shit” moment. If I had attempted this weekend with my Ex, it would have been so stressful I would have needed a bottle of Xanax with a vodka chaser. But my Ex was not part of the equation. I was relaxed and the Hunter, although a bit nervous, embraced the weekend and came away with a newfound appreciation for the college experience. So what happened? Oh my, where to start?

We left town at 5:30 am because we were only going to be gone one night. It’s a grueling 5 hour ride to the college. It was a sold-out situation, so I ended up doing an AirBnB with a former work colleague who has retired to an idyllic riverfront life about 45 minutes from campus. She has some cottages that she rents out and I prevailed upon our relationship to get one for a single night. Football weekends are so popular in this town that all the lodging insists on a 2-night minimum. When a Motel 6 is charging $150/night for two nights, you get the picture….

Nino and his friend, Russell, supplied free tickets and parking through friends of the Hunter’s sister. Although the Hunter didn’t want to take them, I grabbed those suckers up. When he saw parking for $25-$40, he was appreciative too.
We are driving along the freeway at 6:00 am with two sleepy young men in the backseat. We are munching on pastries and coffee. I am thrilled. I am going to see my son, I love this college’s football experience, the Hunter is driving. All is great in the world. So I chirp up, “Do you know what today is?” The Hunter looks at me with a puzzled smile, “No.”
“IT’S GAME DAY!!” I scream. That was it. The boys take up the cry and for the whole trip, we would suddenly work “GAME DAY” into the conversation. The Hunter was playing the role of curmudgeon and would threaten bodily harm on all of us for our chant. It was delightful.

We get to my girlfriend’s place and it is OFF the beaten path. Down a country road, then another and then the final 1-1/2 miles are on a dirt road. If this had been my Ex, the ranting would have started when we go to the highway exit and he realized the distance from the campus. The Hunter LOVED this spot. It was calm, peaceful and full of wildlife. It soothed him to leave the campus chaos for this lovely spot. The boys had a small cabin of their own complete with pool table. Other than crappy cell phone reception, everyone was happy.

We hit the tailgate party and I am surrounded by folks from my old life. My son’s former teachers, his best friend’s parents, his friends and roommates, his new girlfriend, my former neighbors. It was a sea of people from a life that I no longer live and it made for an interesting day. We all had a great time, but the interesting part was his best friend’s parents. They were a big part of my former life. We traveled to many a lacrosse game. B, the dad, was the treasurer of my booster club. His wife, M, is the take-charge, controlling mom who would sit and drink with me. We were close until the divorce and then they melted away. They are one of those friends that asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving and when I said nothing, no invitation was extended. You get the picture. I was worried about all this, but for nothing.

The Hunter and I were welcomed, fed copious amounts of food and enjoyed seeing my son and all his friends. The new girlfriend (a first for my son) is adorable. It was lovely. Nino and his friends took off to explore, got lost, missed out on awesome food, but we teased them about it and let it go. Our seats were fabulous and it was just a great day – long and exhausting because it was a night game, but great.

When we headed back to the woods, the boys, being young city men, started talking about how the place reminded them of various horror movies. Very isolated, quiet. So what does the Hunter do – turn off the car lights and it was pitch black — no moon, no stars. When he would turn the lights back on the guys would be all jumpy expecting some ghoul to be in front of the car. I finally started to get a slight case of nerves. Then the Hunter exacted his revenge on our GAME DAY chant.
We go inside to our respective cabins. The Hunter waits about 20 minutes so they are all settled in and then grabs the flashlight after turning off all the outside lights. “Come watch this,” he tells me and grabs my hand. I linger out in front of the boys’ cabin while he moves to the side and flashes the light up along the window. Their chatter abruptly stops. Then the Hunter begins a slow scratching on the side. More light flashes.

Their door abruptly opens with both boys wielding pool cues and eyes as big as saucers. We are laughing until I cannot breathe. Nino, “Dad, you are an asshole.” But even Nino and Russell start laughing.

The next day we bought a bunch of groceries and proceeded to make breakfast for 5 hungry college students and us. But before that we sat down with our cabin hostess and I learned, with envy, how she redefined her life. I’ll tell you about her tomorrow.

Kind & Generous

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
And for everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
For your generosity
The love and the honesty
That you gave me

I want to…

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

Natalie Merchant

Sorry, I chopped up the lyrics to shorten it, but the song is beautiful.

Milestones, achievements. We all have them in life. I am extremely guilty of not recognizing my own accomplishments. I don’t stop and savor my successes. I think part of it is that I was raised in the South and gentile Southern women don’t brag. Then, in my marriage, my accomplishments were a threat to the Ex, so any that I had were downplayed. I don’t think I wrote about the catalyst for my divorce – the final straw that broke the camel’s back for me. One day I might. It has to do with my largest career success and how my Ex shat all over it.

Anyway, this is meant to be a positive post. One that celebrates accomplishment and somehow I got off on a tangent. In any case, one of my Languages of Love is Words of Affirmation. I need people to compliment me occasionally and I have learned to stop and accept these kind words without negating them. Don’t get me wrong, I am not some megalomaniac that wants to bask in adoration, but the occasional “Wow, you did a great job.” Or “That is a really clever idea, thanks, “ goes a long way with me.

Good grief, I am totally burying the lead of this post. I want to say THANK YOU to all my Dear Readers. Thank you for reading, commenting and LIKING my posts. I just reached 1,000 Likes.

1K Likes

I had let my blog’s first birthday slip by. It was back in August and I had other things on my mind at that time. Not this time. This time it is cause to celebrate! Somebody gave me a small bottle of champagne at a recent business dinner. Tonight I will crack that open and fuck the Hunter. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

THANK YOU!!

thank you

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