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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

The Hunter is Smart

This week I am in the trenches fighting.  I am doing the hard slog of defending my position, covering my rear flank and aggressively pushing forward.  I had a couple of brilliant ideas that are bearing fruit now and will be amazing in 2018.  But right now I am an Amazon warrior and not to be trifled with.  The Hunter found this out this week.

My son is wrapping up his internship and next week will be heading back to college.  He doesn’t like the Hunter.  Let’s not mince words.  They don’t have common ground and it’s clear that the Hunter and I fuck, which is definitely uncomfortable for adult children when they are living under the same roof.  We also didn’t help matters by not wanting his girlfriend to hang around here for days while he is working — too awkward when we are working from home.  My son is an introvert of the 9th degree, so sometimes you have to pry things out of him.

This week the Hunter got annoyed, then mad because my son doesn’t even talk to him.  Didn’t acknowledge him with a “Good morning” as he spoke to me.  I have to agree that my son was embarrassingly rude, which reflects poorly on me as his parent.  The Hunter wanted a big pow wow, but his timing was poor. I came home at 8:30 with the prospect of another 2 hours of work.  As I sat in the car to gather my thoughts, the garage door goes up and there is the Hunter.  He wants to have his confrontation NOW.

I look at him and his eyes are redder than a rose.  “Have you been smoking?”  He counters, “Why does that matter?”  I tell him that there will be no conversations with my son that night.  I have work to do and I am not doing this while he is stoned.  We will do this tomorrow, I tell him.

I march off to my office to crank out the necessary paperwork that is pending.  My son comes in and we chat about the situation.  It’s an awkward conversation for him, easy for me because I know his answers before he states them and we get it pretty much resolved/aired out.  He leaves for school in a week, we just need to get through these last couple of days.

The next morning I am bustling around to get out for a big meeting.  The Hunter and I begin talking and he gets mad that I already spoke to my son.  He’s walking out of the room as I am speaking, so I find myself yelling.  He walks back in “Are we fighting about your son?”  I said no, I am simply trying to explain my side.  I leave.  He sends me a text 30 minutes later about not giving him the opportunity to state his case.  Yep, that’s because it’s my son and that relationship trumps my relationship with the Hunter.  Instead I stay silent.  Which was the smart choice because I had a full day of arguing with attorneys and strenuously defending my position on a number of things.  I was full of piss & vinegar all day, so I knew better than to talk about anything with family when my Amazon is at full power.

He must have re-thought his position because he did some really nice things for me after that text.  He took my elderly Lhasa Apso to be groomed (which was long overdue), made a beautiful dinner, coaxed me out on a lovely bike ride and fucked me really good.  Smart man.  Smart man because the reason I had been late the night before was because I had a long bitch session with my BFF who is contemplating ending her relationship and moving the West Coast.  She and I were discussing the merits of her relationship and then my relationship.  We discussed the question of if I was done and when would be the appropriate time to pull the plug.  I’ll dissect that and write some more.  In the meantime, all is quiet here.  Everyone is playing nicely and I am kicking some serious ass in my business world. I got fucked great last night, so I feel wonderful.  Now, I need to put on my armor and get back out on the battlefield.

It’s My Birthday

Here I sit at a luxurious hotel pool in a sprawling daybed after a morning of indulgent spa treatments. Delicious.  There is nothing like the luxury of a high-end hotel.  I feel cosseted, rich and special.  The Hunter dropped me off partly to borrow my car but also to make me feel cared for.  My morning began with a huge bunch of sunflowers – a fave.

I am 4 years out from exiting my marriage.  I was thinking about that first birthday on my own.  I hadn’t started blogging. I made it special because I did what I wanted. A lovely massage where I cried tears of joy at my new freedom (I tipped the poor, confused masseuse well). I threw a great dinner party with a Southern theme and a hunky chef who made us all help (it was a quasi cooking class with copious amounts of wine). The next day I left on a 10-day road trip with my son & his BFF. We had a blast and I crossed the Len Hike Inn off my bucket list.

What a journey. Tomorrow I am having dinner with some dear friends at a restaurant that features live jazz – that is the Hunter’s gift to me. I spent the 4th having fun at a laidback, quirky town event followed by beach – I was in heaven.

Although I don’t have the income I want (patience & perseverance will prevail) and my current living quarters are not a home, my son living with us for the summer is proving to be a bit cramping on my sexual side, All of those things are temporary. I have my health, the Hunter and am surrounded by love.I feel relaxed and strong. 

Losing Sight of Shore

Losing Sight of Shore is an amazing documentary currently on Netflix. It is the story of the Coxless Crew – 4 women who ROWED across the Pacific from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia. They started with the quote “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Of course that quote was Christopher Columbus, but I had never heard it before this documentary. Grab a bottle of wine and watch it – it’s amazing. These are among the bravest women I have ever seen.

final_ocean_quote_pictureIn any case, that quote has been rattling around my brain this week. It’s been a week of highs and lows. Let’s start with the lows and get them out of the way:
• I have been rejected for new business (OK, shit happens),
• Today marks the last day with a lovely client (I will miss them and the $$)
• A frenemy is riding that high of launching his own company and he’s on that early wave of beginner’s luck that I had. (My green-eyed monster reared its head.)
• I asked a long-ago boss for some business and he soundly rejected me, but I have to say the conversation was really constructive and he was kind enough to walk me through why he was saying no and he was right. (Life lesson, sigh).
• I can’t seem to get myself up on a consistent schedule/routine. I’m really frustrated about this.

Now let’s talk about the high’s for the week:
• I’m winning a new piece of business that isn’t easy, but it could be very cool with a nice payday.
• I have a new project that launched this week – also not easy but cool.
• The Hunter gave an amazing presentation to a small group of his ideal type of client and hit it out of the park.
• My son is hanging with us and it’s been lovely to see him
• I just had a lovely chat with a great friend and we made plans to see each other next week. She’s always a great inspiration and mentor to me.

I didn’t have a lot of wins, but these were good. It wasn’t a particularly busy week (another problem). I spent time on some things that I shouldn’t (correcting that course!). I didn’t spend time on things that do matter (like my cold calling course and other business development).

I am now headed out to sea without the shoreline in sight. I have very little to nothing in my pipeline. Yes, my bank account is now safely in the black with about 6 months of reserve, but I feel anxious and the pressure of an empty pipeline. I have to remind myself that Robin needs to pull her weight with the business development and she can’t be included on every $$ that I bring in unless she has actually worked on it. I’ve been down that road before and I ended up broke & resentful.

I talked to my BFF because I feel the stress. I wake up (unless I exercise and take a melatonin) in the middle of the night thinking about work. I’m having a few anxiety dreams (a man stalking me down a street with the intent of killing me – that was a lovely one). She sadly told me that this is all perfectly normal and probably won’t go away anytime soon. WTF? My other great friend just told me that I just need to give it another 6 months and then I’ll be more stabilized. She should know – she has been an independent business owner for many years.

The Hunter took me to the beach this week with the Kracken. I had an active, not even resting, bitch face on which scares him. LOL. The walk was fabulous. He dealt with the dog and I strolled up and down the beautiful, windswept beach watching the waves, the light dim – it nourished my soul. I have started listening to my daily affirmations and it calms my negative self-talk.  Today we are knocking off early to celebrate his great day and I hope we do a replay. This man truly gets me.

 

She’s Dead

The Hunter’s mom died a few days after his birthday.  My wish was granted for her not to die on his birthday.  I just spent an intensive 24 hours with his family and gained a lot of interesting insight into his familial dynamics.  I talked to the Hunter about some of it last night as we drove home, and he is now digesting my thoughts.

Families are interesting communities and the Hunter’s is no different from most.  The Hunter was the youngest — the youngest cousin, the youngest in his family (his sister is 7 years older).  He was, like I said previously, that active, annoying little brother who was always into everything, tagging along and getting into trouble.  That’s his role in the family and even now, at age 50, that’s how the family treats him.  He reacts that way too sometimes because he’s playing his role.  More about that later in this post…

I told the Hunter that his sister’s eulogy was lovely — it was, but it represented parts of his mother that he didn’t always see.  He agreed.  I told him that I am sure he is full of conflict because he saw a side of his mother others didn’t.   I asked him if perhaps his mom beat him so much because he is the spitting image of his dad?  That gave him pause and he’s thinking about it.

The reason I said that was during the waiting, night after night, for his mom to pass, his sister told him quite a revelation.  Apparently his dad was quite the player (apple didn’t fall far from the tree) and had several women friends that would pay for his company.  One of his dad’s many jobs was as a maitre d’ at a nice restaurant and a couple of women apparently enjoyed his companionship outside of the dining experience.  These relationships endured for many years and his mother was aware of them.  His sister remembered their most epic fight was over a bundle of cash his dad had stashed away and his mother spotted it.  So his dad was a gambler, womanizing, handsome guy while his mom was the June Cleaver of the neighborhood — cooking great memorable meals, planning all the family get-togethers, sewing amazing outfits (that she later sold).  I could see where there could be some tension….

I ended up being the odd woman out on this family occasion which wasn’t a big deal.  I knew several of them and was able to have some great chats, but oftentimes I simply sat and observed with a pleasant expression on my face.  The younger generation (Nino and his cousins) found me to be hip and cool.  The older set found me polite and warm.  I stuffed my face with great food.

When his cousin sat beside me to tell me that the Hunter’s mom, who passed due to complications of advanced Alzheimer’s, was waiting for the Hunter to say good-bye, I swallowed my cynical thoughts and mildly said, “really?  Why do you say that?”  She told me that she knew due to her 5-years of home health experience and that she was clearly right because his mom passed away 12 hours later.  I, of course, am a bit too realistic to think that her brain was still connected to her soul at that point.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and I think his mom had been gone a long, long time.

I also saw, but didn’t speak to, Nino’s mom — the Hunter’s baby momma aka common law wife.  She was not what I was expecting.  The Hunter and Nino took care of her and I later told the Hunter it was nice that she showed up to pay her respects and support her son without becoming a problem.  She stayed 20 minutes, said her hellos, made one mildly snarky comment and left.  Perfect.

I scored major brownie points with the Hunter’s sister.  She didn’t include him in the service and at the last minute came to me asking if the Hunter wanted to speak.  She had asked him and he had said he would put something together with me, but he never told me.  I suggested that perhaps he could thank everyone for their support and love.  She loved it, I arranged it with the Hunter and he said a beautiful thank you — especially to his sister for all her love and care for their mom.  It was perfect.

I also saw a family that is full of love.  Two children (8 and 4) dropped by and everyone doted on them.  There were stories of gatherings, parties, dinners that were wonderful.  After all the viewings, service and burial, the closest family (including us) went out to a nice dinner that was full of laughter and memories.  I went home with a very full belly and pleasant thoughts.

I don’t know if his family can change their approach to the Hunter and if he can change his reactions to them.  I can see where old habit die hard, but perhaps it might be worth another attempt.  She’s gone and his dad will soon follow because he’s 86 with dementia. It sucks getting old….

Resilience

I had a long, lovely chat with Taz today — she had time, I had time so we had a gab fest.  She wanted to ask me questions about my upbringing — something I rarely talk about with my kids because I have little good to say about it.  I will openly answer any question, but I will rarely volunteer information.  During our conversation, Taz had two interesting comments:

The first is that she believes my mom was a borderline histronic personality.  I just read the Wikipedia link on borderline personalities and wow, that is my mom.  Geez.  I never realized it. Then as I began reading about it and the effects it has on children, it dawned on me — my Ex has many of those same symptoms.  Wow.  I’m going to have to think about all this.  I always thought my Ex was somewhat like my mom….

The other, and more cheerful, comment Taz had was that I am the most resilient person she knows.  When she thinks about resiliency, my face pops up.  That was sweet.  She couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize that in myself.  I guess I am, but I don’t think too much about it because it digs up the bad stuff that made me so damn resilient in the first place.

I was also reading back over this blog from about 2 years ago — the beginning of my relationship with the Hunter.  It’s interesting stuff now in context with my current situation.  I have been talking to a former colleague and remembering the dark cloud that was my work life.  This colleague told me that within a week of me leaving my old firm he realized why I left.  Now 6 months later, he can’t believe I stuck around as long as I did.  I felt validated.

Life is such an amazing journey.  The twists and turns, the beautiful sights and sounds, and the lows — it all makes for an incredible journey.  Now it’s Friday and I deserve a glass of wine.

P.S.  The other good news:  Taz, the data-sucker, will be off my cell plan by July 1st.  She laughed when I asked her today and said that her Hubby was still on his parent’s plan (he, his brother, sister-in-law — 3 adults).  Taz & Hubby decided it was time to grow up.  Woo hoo — in the span of three months she has saved me over $6,000/year.  That’s going straight to my 401k.

The Hunter Turns 50

Happy Bday HunterToday is a big day for the Hunter.  It’s his birthday, but I have made it a point to have celebrated throughout the month of May.  We took a fabulous road trip, which was too short, but so much fun.  We had a great dinner with his son, Nino, and Nino’s girlfriend over the weekend.  We hung out with my dear friends and spent a beautiful day on their boat.  It has been wonderful.  He is not big on presents, because he gets shy and thinks I have done too much for him already.  The trip was a present and he’ll be getting some much-wanted work clothes, but he isn’t getting that “Oh My” present.  It’s simply not one of our Love Languages.

In the midst of all this great stuff, he has a very dark cloud looming.  His mom has very advanced Alzheimer’s and over the weekend hospice has moved in for the final days.  That woman better not have the audacity to die on his birthday.  That is my most fervent hope.

The Hunter has a Love/Hate relationship with his mom (and his extended family) that really sheds a bright light on the man he is today.  His parents are immigrants.  Neither finished high school and they worked hard their entire lives.  His sister is about 8 years older than him and she went on to become quite successful financially.  But this is a family of very negative attitudes.  They constantly belittle and snipe at one another.

Apparently the Hunter was the runt of the litter — the youngest.  With an older sister and much older cousins, he was that super-active, sometimes annoying kid in the background.  He was a behavior problem at school at times.  His mother, according to the Hunter, beat him every day.  Yes, beat him.

Apparently the worse beating that really left him scarred was when she forgot to pick him up from baseball practice.  After waiting and waiting, the coach gave him a ride home.  She beat him until his sister finally interceded because “you made me look bad”.  Yes, this is the type of household he grew up in. She finally stopped when he turned 14 and grabbed the belt out of her hand…..

It’s interesting, from an armchair psychologist view, to see the child/mother dynamics of an abused child.  The Hunter tells many stories about his mother’s great cooking, meals she would make, her amazing domestic skills — she could sew pretty much anything.  He has many good memories of her, but then he has ugly ones too.

However, his parents always sided with his son’s mother, the Hunter’s Baby Momma, when Nino was young.  They never defended him, only blamed him.  Now obviously I am hearing only one side of the story, but….  hopefully you are getting a picture here.

In any case, the Hunter had to spend a very long afternoon with the family as they all paid their last respects to his mom.  The mom who beat him.  The mom who years later denied ever touching him.  The mom who never defended him and only berated him.  He is paying his respects with a family that he refuses to spend holidays with.  One that continues to belittle him and not support him.  It’s difficult and complicated. Actually, as I was wrapping up this post, he walked in with an old photo album he brought back from her house and we spent about 45 minutes looking at his childhood photos.  It was lovely and he enjoyed the memories.

But, the Hunter is worried that his mom’s death will send him spiraling into a depression — it happened before, after another death which ended up destroying his marriage.  I can’t do much for him except listen and love him.  I feel his pain and conflicted feelings.

He wants to have a family for the holidays, so I have told him that we have our children and, in the future, their children plus friends that we love.  I told him that we will create our own family.

That bitch better not die today.  It’s the Hunter’s special day, not hers.

Mother’s Day – Bah Humbug

mothers-day-throw-up

I am slowly cleaning my house today and once again it sends me into a meditative funk – LOL. My future housekeeper may be more about mental health than actual housework! In any case, I was thinking about Mother’s Days past and how I slowly came to realize that the day had very little to do with my desires and it was all about everyone showing how much they celebrate and appreciate moms.

Here is the lesson to all moms of babies and very young children – insist, absolutely insist, that YOU define how Mother’s Day will be celebrated.

My first Mother’s Day was about 3 weeks after Taz was born. My Ex is one of 4 kids and we were the first to have a child. They arranged and insisted a brunch at TGI Fridays which was relatively close to home. What a cluster fuck.

I was a breast-feeding, over-whelmed, first-time mom in an age where breast-feeding in public was still pretty taboo. Brunch on Mother’s Day is restaurant hell and the 2-hour lunch was difficult. I hadn’t learned to just hand off the baby to anyone willing to hold her – I thought she was my responsibility and that I should be able to handle the situation. Plus Taz had undiagnosed reflux at that point so she was a hot mess. It wasn’t much fun and alcohol couldn’t smooth the rough edges because of the breast-feeding (I needed copious amounts and one mimosa wasn’t going to do that).

From then on it was a series of Mother’s Days that included brunches, pool parties at my house, outings to where my Ex decided would be fun for the family (boating, beach – not too bad), movies, nice meals, etc. When I was asked for my input, it was routinely pushed aside. I was given flowers – I don’t really care for flowers because they are over-priced and short-lived with my black thumb. If I asked for what I truly wanted: a day away from my responsibilities, alone at a spa – I was deemed selfish and unappreciative.

Interestingly enough, when my no-nonsense sister-in-law had her son about four years later, she attended one Mother’s Day brunch and was done. Too much work, she stated, and from then on she spent the day just with her mom doing something special. Smart woman – I should have followed her lead.

Now, of course, I had some lovely moments. My kids showered me with their version of the absolute best gifts a mom could want: a Lion King coffee mug (I used it this morning with a smile on my face), homemade gifts that made me feel special, lovely cards and the most precious gift of all – their time and love.

I’ll be spending Mother’s Day with my son and the Hunter. They have asked what I wanted to do and I want to spend it at the beach. I anticipate a call from Taz, who has over-scheduled the hell out of her next 30 days (don’t even ask, it’s dizzying), and the day will be low-key and mellow. Just the way I always wanted it…..

By the way, I’m not the only one hating Mother’s Days. As I read some essays from others who are in the “I Hate Mother’s Day” camp, they brought up some excellent points about how this day causes people pain. Pain from lost mom, abusive moms, lost children, the list goes on. Here are some great essays backing me up on this:

Fellow Ranting Moms:

http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/526033-ill-just-say-hate-mothers-day/

http://www.bluntmoms.com/i-hate-mothers-day/

Here are some compassionate folks thinking of others (I really need to work on my empathy)

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/mother-confession-why-hate-mother-day/H7yh8oVRwBfBEtj4EwRd7L/

http://forward.com/opinion/spirituality/371609/why-i-hate-mothers-day-and-why-all-women-should-hate-it-too/\

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