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

Archive for March, 2016

Our House-Hunting

I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy ’cause of you and our—

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Last week began our search for new digs. The Hunter’s 120-mile daily round trip commute has given us some urgency to figure out a better housing solution. Fortunately my lease is month-2-month so we can be very flexible.

The past week I was laid low by a nasty head cold that made me headachy, cranky and prone to sneezing fits that made me wonder if I was going into cardiac arrest. It was a test to the strength of our relationship that we never bickered, sniped or snapped at one another. The Hunter plied me with wonton soup, gave me medicine and space and let me rest. He later told me that my “sick bitch” face is scary and he did wonder if he was in trouble. I slowly plowed through the week grinding in first gear but on Friday midday I suddenly felt much improved.

I redoubled my efforts to find us some housing options and came up with a variety of places so we could test the waters to figure out what we liked and didn’t like. That night we discussed logistics, criteria and I secretly smiled as the Hunter talked about “our place” and “our furniture”. I am so happy he feels like this is just as much his home as mine. I also enjoyed his commentary of the places I showed him. His criteria is very much in sync with mine, but he is much less forgiving than me.

Saturday dawned with a great start-the-day fuck and I was feeling at the top of my game and in high spirits. The Hunter was literally high which made the sex that much more intense because he started his morning with porn and a toke, then he brought that sexual energy into the bedroom to wake me up. When a man climbs under the covers from the foot of the bed, look out!Delicious.

We then spent about 6 hours looking at places, neighborhoods, his new work location — it was a long day. We discovered a few things: 1) we are picky and want a home, not just a place to live; 2) his work neighborhood is beautiful and I’m trying to figure out if I could be the one that is 60 miles from clients. I really liked the area. 3) our current home is far better than the majority of rentals out there, we are very fortunate 4) we are willing to be patient and not rush this which is good because I think that due to my cash flow situation, I may not be ready until May. 5) we both carefully and thoughtfully listened to the other’s opinions about each place we visited. Neither of us discarded the other’s thoughts — such a refreshing situation.

We came away having struck out in finding a new home, but we can definitely claim a big win on teamwork. It was a great day.

Change is Good

It is Spring. The time of rebirth and awakening. Change is in the air these days. I feel it’s pull very strongly and am preparing for this year to be a turning point in my life. My brilliant daughter got her first pick to a top 5 program and is moving just a little farther away. We are so proud and excited for her and Hubby. 
She wisely asked all of us to remain in the moment of this auspicious occasion and not to plan anything. That is all she said of our pre-wedding wipe-out of her award evening – that we forgot why we were there and the wedding plans overwhelmed the award. We sheepishly obeyed this time and the occasion was brilliant. 

Not only will Taz be moving farther away, but she is moving more deeply into her journey through adulthood. Her training will be rigorous with little time off, so I won’t see much of her over the next 5 years. I told her that I would do my best to not place demands on her time, but it’s not from a lack of want. Her husband must find a new job, so he feels the anxiety of that upcoming search.   

Then we have me and the Hunter. He started his new job and loves it. We must begin looking for a new place immediately due to his 60-mile commute, so moving is eminent. Taz gently asked how this would affect my business. I told her that my colleagues make the same commute and I don’t think it will be too bad. I reassured her that I have conferred with others and I am not impulsively moving. I know I’ll have mornings when I will be cursing an 8:00 or 9:00 breakfast, but hopefully I can manage them. I continue to confer with girlfriends, my coach and others on this decision. I feel good about it, but it is a big change. 
The physical move will affect my daily routines and all my support networks including friends, personal trainer, doctors — you name it. Taz also asked about my friends and I rattled off about 6 who live in the new area, but I don’t see much of due to the distance. 
Then we have bloggers who are writing about their changes. I see my boss going through a self-reflective change as he absorbs the loss of his dad and MIL. He has told me it is making him think about his big picture. I watch my BFF wrestle with her year-old relationship with a great guy, but perhaps not her great guy. She may also move to my new area with or without him. My virtual assistant is getting divorced. The list of change is endless. 
I need some professional change and that will only come with my self-discipline. I need to focus 60% of my time (or more) on business development this year. 

So the Ides of March have brought me winds of change. I am excited by this and surprisingly not nervous. My journey continues. 

I Shot the Sherriff

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town, yeah!
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down,
So I shot – I shot – I shot him down and I say:
If I am guilty I will pay.

Bob Marley

A client just reminded me that three years ago we did the biggest project of my career. It was a game changer for so many reasons, but the biggest one is that it caused my marriage to crash and burn. I was scrolling through my blog (which I should get better organized) to see if I ever wrote about this time. The closest I came was this post, which really sums up how things were going at the end. It is a beautiful post, if I do say so myself.

But what is funny is that when the client reminded me of my career best, I immediately thought of my divorce and how that project lead to my separation. The money enabled me to buy my freedom on my own terms. My Ex’s reaction solidified my understanding that he would never appreciate me or my success. He shat all over my success. He tried to rob me of my happiness at what I had done.

What the fuck did he do? He basically told me that he thought he was going to be sued for a mistake and that my earnings would have to pay the settlement. He actually came up with two mistakes with two separate clients over the course of a couple of days, so these settlements could potentially suck all my money out. He even made the mistake of saying that perhaps I should leave to protect myself and the kids. I got myself to a great, expensive divorce attorney who promptly said, “We are filing in 48 hours, go tell him.” She saved me, my money and my life. I adore her feisty, no-nonsense style.

My Ex was so shitty to me. Trying to rob me of my glory and bring me down a notch. He never had any appreciation for my profession and bad-mouthed my colleagues at every turn. Man, I am soooo happy to BE FREE!!

Breakaway

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes ’til I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway

Kelly Clarkson

We are all on pins and needles over here. Big change is in the air both at home and in Taz’s world. First, let’s address Taz because that is relatively short and sweet. Match Day is on Friday. What the heck is Match Day? It’s the medical student equivalent to the NFL draft. Nationally all the medical students will learn, on the same day, where they are going for their residencies. As if medical school isn’t stressful enough, these students learn their fate all at once in public.

The good news is that Taz got an email on Monday saying that she had matched. I said, that’s like saying you won the lottery, but we won’t tell you how much for a few days. She said that this early alert enables the students who haven’t matched to go on a crazy four-day scramble to try to find a residency program. I cannot imagine the chaos and stress of that situation, so I said “thank you very, very much” to the Match gods.

Our agenda for Friday is to get up and have a champagne breakfast with some of her friends and their families, then we head to the med school for the big reveal. Each student gets an envelope which they open and read to their colleagues and families at that moment. Good grief. My eye is twitching just thinking about this. Then to soothe the stress, there is another champagne reception hosted by the med school followed by a boozy late lunch. I think the alcohol is more medicinal than celebratory.

This means that I will be spending the weekend with Taz and her hubby. The Ex will be there briefly, but I’ll have them for myself for the most part. So that is the Taz drama du jour. Now let’s discuss the Hunter’s drama….

We thought the Hunter had gotten an amazing job this Fall. The benefits were great, the pay was higher and his commute dropped from 45 miles to 5 miles. He was beginning a new division for an impossibly large byzantine organization and was their “expert”. We were excited that he was on the ground level and felt that he would have great potential with this company. Alas, we did not factor in a whack-job, control freak, asshole of a boss. His boss, Attila, revealed his true nature after about 45 days, when he realized that the Hunter knew far more than Attila. You put two alpha males of the same ancestry butting heads and sparks will fly. They have and it has increased the Hunter’s anxiety and blood pressure to unsafe levels. I now understand why the Hunter smokes pot – it’s to control his anxiety.

Fortunately, the Hunter has a great network in his field and keeps in touch with his former colleagues and clients. He does this to exchange ideas and information, but it also brought him an amazing job opportunity. One of his clients is moving back home and giving up a great job, so he called the Hunter and asked if he wanted the job. In the span of one week, the Hunter submitted his resume, got called, interviewed and won the job with a 20% pay raise from his current job. Crazy, right? We were so happy…until we realized he needs to pass a drug screening.

My computer right now is full of the funniest google searches about how to pass a drug screening. We also visited our local head shop to consult the experts in person. Suffice it to say we opted with the safest method – a swap using synthetic urine. Talk about nerve-wracking. We spent the weekend trying a cleanse (waste of money) and then working through the logistics of our solution. I won’t go into too much detail, but the physical went through without a single raised eyebrow and we’ll find out for sure by the end of the week –right when I’ll be drinking champagne to celebrate Taz’s victory.

The Hunter is giving no notice to Attila and will begin the new job, and a 60-mile commute, on Monday. But a 60-mile commute isn’t a long-term solution, so it looks like we will be moving somewhere midway. That’s a lot of change for me – I’ve lived in my lovely area for 30 years. I am very excited about it, but I have been thinking about how I will handle my work, my clients and the logistics of a move while dead broke. It’s never a dull moment around here! I’ll write more about why I’m fine with moving and my thoughts about all of this change, but for now, Cheers!

Little Lies

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
(Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Oh, no, no you can’t disguise
(You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise)
Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies

Fleetwood Mac

I promised you the story about how I caused some pre-wedding drama between the Ex, Taz and the now In-Laws. Right before the wedding, I made a whirlwind visit to Taz’s city because she was getting an amazing award and she wanted me and the Ex there. My daughter is incredible and this achievement is an incredible honor. It was a lovely ceremony, lively reception and then off to dinner with Taz, Hubby-to-Be (H2B), In-Laws and Ex.  

Taz had told me something prior to the trip that wasn’t sitting well with me. The Ex was suggesting/encouraging the Happy Couple to go ahead and get married at the courthouse when they went to get their marriage license. The reason was so his law partner wouldn’t have to bring her notary seal to the ceremony to properly witness the marriage license. Taz said they wouldn’t tell anyone they had really gotten married two days prior to the wedding. 

Well, apparently this was bothering my subconscious more than I realized and it bubbled out of me during dinner as we discussed wedding logistics. H2B was telling his mom that he was jonesing for a particular restaurant that he wanted to hit for lunch upon his arrival in my fair city. Taz was reminding him that they had to go together to get the marriage license. I spoke up and said something to the effect that if they were getting married at the courthouse, I wanted to be there. That, my friends, stopped the show and all civilized hell broke loose. 

Taz sent me horrific death ray looks. The MIL asked what the heck was I talking about. The Ex began explaining and the MIL had questions because obviously she couldn’t believe what she was hearing — this wedding was going to be a fake because the kids would already be married. Taz and H2B left the table because apparently H2B wasn’t up to speed on this idea and Taz was upset. It left us parents at the table unwinding this. Rather the Ex trying to provide some rational explanation for his idiotic idea. I sat back and watched.  

Then Taz returned, absolutely furious with me.  By this time the Ex had apologized and confessed that he had given the kids “bad advice”. I explained to Taz that the Ex had explained everything and admitted his mistake. Then the In-Laws left the table which freaked Taz out because she didn’t want them upset. Everyone was way too polite to really let loose and say what was on their mind, but the end result was everyone agreed that there would be no courthouse marriage. Dinner was over and the evening ended on a bit of a sour note. I felt awful for being such a killjoy but secretly happy to have aired this dirty laundry. Actually I was surprised that the In-Laws didn’t know about this. Taz had told me 4 days prior and the MIL is a divorce attorney –I assumed they knew. Anyway, I was staying with Taz and H2B which made for a bit of awkwardness when we got home. 

Taz and H2B spent about 30-45 minutes in their room. I retreated to the guest room and was prepared to call it a night. Then Taz called me down because they had made a fire. We all chatted and everyone was relaxed. Then I learned of more wedding drama — family friends were asking for plus-1’s. This created stress between Taz and H2B because he had cut cousins and friends from the guest list only to now be asked to include perfect strangers.  H2B and his kin would cut off their arm before asking for the favor of a plus-1.  Our neck of the woods apparently hasn’t read enough etiquette books to know that it’s rude to ask and ruder still to ask inside the 10-day window. We chat some more and I headed to bed only to be surprised by having Taz follow me to apologize for being mad at me. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved. 

When I returned home the next morning, I immediately called the MIL and apologized. I didn’t say what for and I guess I was apologizing for creating drama. She apologized for leaving the table and her behavior (which I had no problem with -I thought she had handled it well).  She had apparently texted Taz that night to apologize. What a class act.

Then I called my BFF and asked for a reality check. My BFF is from the same area as H2B so she was mortified with the plus-1 BS.  She was equally horrified with the courthouse marriage idea. As I told her, I got angrier as I thought about it. My damn Ex. What an asshole and here’s why:

  1. He was basically advising the Happy Couple to begin their marriage by lying to all their closest friends and family. “Come witness our exchange of vows” but the joke’s on all of you because this is just pretend. Why the fuck are we even flying in the minister? Why are we spending $50k on a wedding? There is no way that could have been kept a secret and imagine the explosion when the truth emerged? 
  2. Start your marriage with a lie so my law partner and I aren’t inconvenienced. Seriously? If that was my responsibility and I thought she was too flaky to remember the damn seal, I would have brought it or asked other guests who are notaries to bring theirs. It’s an honor, not an imposition. 
  3. The whole plus-1 situation was bubbling up from the Ex’s side. Control your damn guests and tell them NO and don’t bother Taz. She’s got enough on her plate without having to be the bad guy. YOU be the bad guy. They should know better. 

I ranted to my BFF and then got another rant with the Hunter. He plied me with wine and weed which softened my anger.  He thinks I did this on purpose and perhaps he’s right, but it wasn’t pre-mediatated. My rants did give me a whole new perspective of what Taz had been dealing with, although she later brushed it off when I later mentioned it. Perhaps I over-reacted because it’s simply my Ex being his usual douchebag self and I’m still sensitive about his shittiness. 

So Dear Readers, what are your thoughts?  Man, I am so glad I only have one Type A daughter to get married. Another would send me running for the woods. 

Where Have I Been?

I have to thank Dawn for stirring me to write. Life has been galloping along and there is so much to do much less think about and process. First, the wedding. It was a nightmare the week leading up to it, but the actual day was a dream come true. 

Taz runs at warp speed and the week leading up to the Big Day was packed with hair appointments, nail appointments, dress fittings, shopping for a variety of things, more shopping …and she had 30 pages of essays to write. I had 40 goody bags to make and deliver for hotel guests, people to pick up from the airport, Taz and her errands, menu cards to design and print — it was absolute insanity. Fortunately, my son arrived early and was my able, happy-to-help assistant. I had moments of eye-twitching, trying to breathe and control the stress. I had a meltdown or two. It was tough. I won’t kid you. 

Then the wedding day came and as I later described it, the rollercoaster began rolling down the peak without any ability to control it. I released my worries and stress and enjoyed the day. It was beautiful. The venue was amazing. It looked like a fairy tale. So romantic and dreamy.  The night went off without any drama. We have beautiful memories to fill a lifetime, stories to become family lore. 

The Hunter was by my side through it all.  He was awesome. My friends got to know him better.  Even though big parties are not his scene at all, he was with me for the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. I have come to realize he has a bit of social aniexty, so I appreciate him stretching beyond his comfort zone. The day after the wedding was a brunch, but he skipped it due to a class he is taking. That was fine. 

That night he generously made dinner for my parents because he couldn’t afford to go out to a restaurant. It was a lovely evening.  He later thanked me for giving him that out instead of being embarrassed at a restaurant. I was touched. 

What made me chuckle is that all the Ex’s family and the Marriage friends were just as chummy and nice like the good old days. Not that the past was so great for me all the time, but they treated me like they use to. I discovered that I could care less and while it was nice to see everyone, they can still go fuck themselves. 

The happy couple took off on a two-week honeymoon. It took me about three days to recover from the wedding. I was exhausted — both mentally and physically. But I pulled it off. Now, how the hell am I going to pay for it?  LOL. 

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