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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Wanna be a Rock Star?

I had a surprise visit from my BFF.  She had a job interview in my neck of the woods, so we grabbed a last minute drink.

She insisted on a particular spot — a high-end restaurant she recalled from several years ago.  As we chatted, it began filling with regulars and the bartenders catered to those.  My BFF is back on the prowl for a rich man, but this spot was too old and all couples.

Our conversation was interesting in retrospect.  I was a bit put off by it and felt unsettled both during and afterwards.  My defenses were up as my BFF launched an almost full assault on my current life and choices.

She inquired about my goals, any career growth plans, what growth potential does my current job hold, etc.   Then she segued into my relationship with the Hunter.  Was I going to move back in with him eventually or break it off?  Did I not think I could find a man who would take care of me financially and that I would want to live with?  She had no contentment with my status quo.

This conversation was all done in a seemingly loving friendly way designed to push me forward.  I left our get-together feeling unhappy and unsettled.  The day had started with me dancing nekkid around my apartment and ended with me in a gloomy self-reflection.  Oh, watching that Jeffrey Epstein special did not help.

As I sat back and thought about it, I realized some very key points:

  • All this push for me to achieve is really about my BFF’s perception and definition of success.  She wants to earn $1 million and she is perfectly capable of it.  I don’t.  Just hand me a winning lottery ticket instead.
  • She ties happiness to money.  I no longer believe that lots of money equals happiness.  I believe that a stress-free work environment and a simple lifestyle frees me to be happy,
  • She is still struggling to come to terms with her early workaholic life choices that resulted in no marriage and no kids.  She wanted both.  She is still looking for a marriage to a rich guy who would take care of her.  I get it.  She has spent her entire adulthood being solely responsible for herself.  However, I had the long marriage and kids plus I don’t need nor want a man to take care of me.  I explained that I have zero desire to take care of anything — even a plant is a bit more of a commitment than I am willing to make.

I woke up the next morning and realized that this evening was about her, not me.  She may have thought she was turning the spotlight on me, but it really wasn’t.

When she pushed me on my 2020 goals, I explained that I had no big reaches because I had made so many changes in 2019.  2020 is a coasting year for me. A year to sink into the reality of all my 2019 changes.  Yes, I made a 20 for 2020 list, but there is nothing earth-shattering on it.

My doubts are gone.  She is still looking to be the rock star.  God bless her and I fervently hope she gets there.  I am happy to be in the audience singing along and flicking my lighter.

Not all of us will be rock stars.  The vast majority of us are not and that is perfectly OK.  That may be my biggest lesson of 2019.  You don’t have to be the lead singer.  You don’t even have to be part of a successful band.  You can be in the audience and just as happy with your life.  It’s OK.

So I sit here in my simple apartment with the crockpot brewing my week’s meal prep.  I spent the weekend scrubbing down my little abode, running errands, working on my taxes and bills.  I went to a small art festival with another GF.  Guess what — all of this makes me happy.

In my mind, I am a rock star.  It’s just that my stage is smaller.  That’s all that matters to me.

john-matychuk-gUK3lA3K7Yo-unsplash

Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

 

 

Wonderful

My 6-hours with Taz was magical.  We don’t get many moments like this, so I reveled in the time we spent together.  We kicked the day off with a mimosa-filled breakfast, enjoyed the beach for a couple of hours and then got manicures.  I had plenty of solo time with Taz because my Ex and his fiancee finally rolled in around lunch time.  We enjoyed some appetizers and drinks with them.

I had suggested that we all hang out at a nice hotel so Taz would have access to the spa locker room for a shower before her cross country flight.  Thus, the manicures secured our access to the locker room.

We chatted about how things were going for her work, her hubby’s work and all the mundane things going on with me.  She is doing fabulous.  The hubby is kicking butt and getting steady promotions.  They are very happy.  Working incredibly hard, but happy.

The Ex was pleasant and gracious during his portion of the visit. Apparently the row he had with Taz is behind them.   He had the opportunity and invitation to show up earlier, but he didn’t.

Interestingly, he had more info on my Son than I was aware of.  Sigh.  My son is a pretty tight-lipped young man and I realize that having to tell his news to both of us leads to him forgetting who he told what to.  Meh, not that big a deal.

It was a really pleasant day and I was happy, happy, happy the whole time.  Then I popped over to see my BFF.  She is winding down on her miserable job and figuring out her next chapter.  The good news is that she suddenly has two very good, lucrative job leads.  I told her that 2020 was destined to be her year.  I just feel that she has hit her bottom and will now begin working her way out, just like I have done.  Time will tell.

However, there was one cloud over the weekend.  The Hunter.  His holiday angst has kicked in.  He is feeling very depressed.  He describes it as a pressure sitting on his chest.  This has caused him to push me away with some angry words about my neglect of him during his struggle.  I do empathize with him.  He pushed me away on Sunday, so I just drove down to his apartment anyway and waited for him to show up.  He was relieved and happy to see me.  We took the Kracken to a nearby park and spent a few hours sitting in the park enjoying the outdoors.  It was nice and mellow.  We grabbed a late lunch and then he was tired, so I headed home.

I am not the most nurturing, empathetic person, so I have to pause and remind myself not to be callous.  I need to treat my loved ones the way I would want to be treated if I was feeling so anxious.  I actually did the right thing with my impromptu visit.   Whew.

Life is wonderful right now.  I am very blessed.

Kindness

The Hunter can be a very kind man. This weekend, he was leaving his apartment to come spend the night with me. As he left, one of his neighbors dropped her grocery bag on the stairs and shattered her 6-pack of beer. She almost burst into tears. She is a foreign medical student and had just finished a grueling week. The beer was her special treat for an evening of Netflix and unwinding.

Another guy stepped out of his apartment and made a comment about her choice of beer causing the destruction of every bottle. The Hunter responded with a joke about how would he feel if he got pulled by a cop and forced to dump his weed. That cracked everyone up (they are all much younger than the Hunter).

The Hunter didn’t leave it there. He pulled out a hose and a broom to help his neighbor clean up her mess. The other guy fled when he saw there was work to be done. Once it was all cleaned up, he turned to her. “Want a little bud?” He asked.

He made her a joint and went on his way. She was gratefully thrilled. Her evening was not a total loss.

This is a classic example of how kind the Hunter can be. How many people would go out of their way for a stranger?

Then he came to see me and was quite randy. We had a fun evening of romping. He got up at 4 am and left with the Kracken to go hunting. He is a kind man.

I Survived Thanksgiving

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my plans for the holiday completely changed. Instead of having dinner with the Hunter’s extended family (a gathering estimated at around 60), I hosted an intimate late lunch/early dinner for me, the Hunter and my BFF.

I was thrilled to host. I have come to realize that I really do enjoy hosting a small gathering. I need to do this more often.

I quickly figured out a traditional menu including gluten-free options for my BFF. I grabbed a fresh turkey so I didn’t have to fool around with defrosting.

But first I spent a wonderful Wednesday with my son. I showed off my new apartment, showed him the community and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a waterfront restaurant. We sorted the Christmas ornaments so I can send some to Taz. It was a lovely day of pure quality time with him.

Thanksgiving dawned with my apartment full of Christmas boxes. “What the heck?” I thought, so for the first time ever, I had Christmas decor up for Thanksgiving. Why put it all away to simply pull it back out next weekend? I enjoyed the Macy’s parade while I got everything ready.

My BFF showed up earlier than I thought, so I didn’t have a chance to get gussied up. That just saved me time. I pulled out a nice bottle of champagne someone had given me and we polished it off before the Hunter arrived. She loved my new apartment and its amenities. She marveled at how organized I have everything. I was quite pleased!

Dinner was lovely and went off without a hitch. I sent my BFF home with a goody bag of leftovers. I had a great FaceTime chat with Taz who was also hosting a small gathering. The day wiped me out, so I was in bed early. The Hunter spent the night because we were going camping for the weekend. We laughed that we were crawling into bed about the time dinner was being served at his family’s dinner. We had no regrets on skipping it.

Camping was great. Right now I am trying to ignore my mosquito bites. No matter how much repellent I use, they still find unprotected tender spots. My fingers (?!), inner thighs and butt are the popular spots this trip. Damn mosquitoes ambushed me in the composting toilet.

We took a long bike ride which wore out the Kracken. We took sunrise and sunset hikes. A raccoon snuck into camp the first night to snack on the Kracken’s dog food. I spooked it when I headed over to the composting toilet for another round of skeeter bites. Then apparently coyotes ran thru the camp howling during the night. I slept thru it, so a I wonder how close they actually were. I heard them the next night but they were far away.

I returned to my sanctuary (a.k.a. apartment) before noon and I was tuckered out. I got my laundry done and that’s about it. Turkey stew and creative leftover ideas will wait until tomorrow.

This was a good way to spend the holiday. It kept me away from the stores or even thinking about them. I spent it with loved ones and I got my turkey with all the fixings. Next up – Christmas.

Cranking up the Social Life

Making friends as an adult seems to get harder as the years go by. I have written about this before. Anyway, this week I made concerted efforts. I went to a Meetup group of lovely professional women and followed up with those I met. I invited one new Meetup person, plus four ladies from work to join me at a free concert. No takers, so I went by myself because I’ll be damned if I will sit at home.

The weekend ended up pleasantly busy. I had shopping to do, an apartment to be cleaned, food prep to be done. Plus I enjoyed two lovely morning walks. One involved a Farmers Market. I was definitely busy.

I think what caused some melancholy is when I went through my phone contacts to dig out addresses to send “change of address” cards. There was so much crap. The vast majority where business-related from my former life, acquaintances from the married life and very little substance. I only have a dozen or so family and friends that merit a card.

I have told myself to be patient. Making friends is much like dating. I have to get myself out there with the right groups of people. I can’t expect immediate results. I appear to be one of the older residents at my apartment complex. I’m actually fine with that. I just have to continue to do activities I enjoy and friends will follow….I think. I am lucky because I am fine with flying solo at most activities, so I won’t sit at home if I don’t want to. I am not asking for much – just 2-3 new friends. Wish me luck!

He Found a Home

We are breathing a sigh of relief around here. The Hunter found the perfect apartment for him and the Kracken. Ground floor overlooking a lake with a screened patio and screen door. He’s excited about it. The lease is signed and he can start moving in this week. Whew! I must say I was getting a bit worried.

He had a banner day today. His consulting project is going gang busters with the potential of adding services for another division. They are thrilled with his work.

We talked about how things are unwinding between us. We don’t know how things will go, but the Hunter wants us to always be the best of friends. I like that. I like knowing that we will always have each other’s back. It is comforting. However, there are limits. He rolled his eyes and groaned when I batted my eyes and asked for help assembling my new Ikea dresser. LOL

He is thinking about furnishings for his new place. We are divvying up some things here. I may still end up having a damn garage sale. For now, it is time to be grateful that the Hunter has found a home.

Family, Recharge, Nature

I spent Memorial Day weekend at the beachside town I have been visiting with my family for over 28 years.  It was my first overnight visit in over 5 years.  My first post-divorce stay.

My Ex began coming back to this town about 1-2 years ago.  I was glad he did.  He has been visiting with his fiancee and our son.  It holds special memories for all of us.  To put it in perspective, this is where I have told my kids to sprinkle my ashes when I’m gone.

I was the third wheel with my girlfriend and her husband.  They had never vacationed here, so I was able to provide some tour guiding assistance.  I was careful not to be too pushy with my advice and let them suss out what they wanted to do.

I was so happy to drive up by myself.  I brought my bike and pedaled around a couple of times.  We hit some of my favorite spots for dinner, but not all of them.  They are low-key, so we didn’t hit the busy places or the bars.  I would have enjoyed an evening of live music and drinks, but that didn’t happen.

The weather was perfect.  Our beach house was ideal for the three of us and their dog.  I spent my days walking, biking — busy and I felt really good the entire trip.

This place brings back happy memories.  My Ex and I rarely fought here.  It was a place of peace.  As my blog title explains, this place has always been about Family, Recharging and Nature — the beach is breathtaking.  My drive up and back was relaxing.  I stopped at a waterfront restaurant and enjoyed an amazing view and a delicious meal.  My friends were chill and fun.  My room was cozy.

I spent a weekend completely at peace.  The Hunter fucked me silly before I left.  I wish I had taken my vibe, but that’s OK.  The walls might be a little too thin for that.  LOL.

The weekend was the perfect buffer between ending Maggie & Co. and starting my new job.  I had a full day at home to shop and cook before starting my new job.  I felt fully prepared and eager to get going.

As I sat on the beautiful beach, I prayed, “May God grace me yet again with the opportunity to correct my mistakes and begin again.” Then I enjoyed a walk down the beautiful beach.  I was already in heaven….

Beach Selfie

Beach Selfie

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