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

Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Alternate Reality

My new normal for now is so strange.  All of my great healthy habits are slipping.  My gym is closed, my 5K is canceled.  I am staying up an hour or so later, so I wake up later.

I can’t really exercise in the early morning.  Maybe I can if I did some workouts in my apartment.  I miss my gym, so I need to regroup and keep going.

I have continued to lose weight.  I am averaging 0.64 pounds a week so I have lost over 10 pounds since January.  I have trimmed down inches all over as well.  My clothes fit better.  I have two pairs of jeans I bought for the holidays that are so big now I can slip them off without unzipping them.  VICTORY!  I don’t feel like I am dieting which is good.  I am simply making better decisions and cooking my own food, so my diet is much healthier. It will be really healthy for the next two weeks since I have a bunch of fresh veggies and limited protein.  I need to blanch and freeze the veggies so they do not go bad.  Food cannot be wasted these days.   An example of my new healthy ways is before turning on the laptop, I thought about making something sweet.  Naw, too much trouble and it’s getting to late to be eating.  Extra calories avoided through sheer laziness.

I do need to get out of my head a bit more.  Read more, get outside to exercise.  Summer is coming which means soon we Floridians will retreat inside to escape the brutal heat (and giant mosquitoes that sometimes carry Zika)  This will especially be the case since we won’t have pools or beaches for the foreseeable future.  Ugh.

Tonight I talked to two girlfriends.  One has a son in Brooklyn – sigh.  She is facing unemployment as her profession has dried up due to COVID.  Her spirits were good, but she is worried primarily about her family.  The other is happily unemployed from the insurance world and watching that world crumple along with everyone else.  I called my son who is facing a rapidly changing world.  His grad school is now online.  The foundation that he is interning with just learned that a major source of their funding has evaporated completely.  He will be fine, but he may not know that yet.  I told him just to focus on school.

When I was talking to one of my girlfriends, I described what we need to do for the next 4-6 weeks as “surfing the tsunami”.  We just need to ride the gigantic wave of awfulness that is approaching us and stay afloat.   This COVID situation is stripping away everyone’s mask.  The greedy, the panicky, the noble, the scum, the desperate, the calm.  Everyone’s mask is being stripped away and true colors are being exposed.  So what’s next?  Time will tell when we have finished surfing the tsunami.  For now, we have to come to terms with our new alternate reality.

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Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Pause

I am pooped.  I have kept up a 5-day a week workout routine, meal prepping each weekend, and a steady social calendar with 2+ events a week for two months.  It has worn me out to be honest.  Here I sit on Sunday night with no meal prepping, no laundry, no house cleaning (this is my scheduled weekend) and nothing particularly productive to show for myself.

The Hunter came over Saturday night and we made a great dinner, smoked a little weed, had a fabulous romp and all around fun evening.  Then we got up somewhat early to take a hike and then a long drive around the woods.  The day was mild and beautiful so it was wonderful being outdoors.  However, when we returned, we both were worn out.

I am getting plenty of sleep, my diet (until the past 24 hours) has been healthy and plant-heavy.  I am moving my body regularly and we can see results.  I think I worked my poor abs too hard this week and it made me feel like I had a stomach ache for two days.  LOL.  Getting old sucks.

Part of me has been wanting a break from all this healthy stuff.  I made a chocolate cake from scratch for the Hunter and ended up eating more than he did.  Sigh.  I challenged myself to eat from my freezer for February and that has been quite successful in using up a bunch of stuff.  I am just tired.  Tired of going to work every day, tired of cooking, tired of the same old, same old.  I need a little break.  I am not unhappy with my routines, I just want a little variety perhaps.

My meetups have been a lot of fun.  I did a Trivia night where I found people far smarter than me, I went painting with girls from work and that was fun.  I have never painted a picture and I really enjoyed it.  This week I am having dinner with a girlfriend, a work dinner and a Saturday horse show.  I think I have one more outing.  That is more than enough.

I think what I am looking for is some balance.  I am close to having it, but I am not quite there.  I still have paperwork to be done, photos to be sorted and basic drudgery (LOL). When I get home in the evenings after work, I am simply not in the mood. I am tuckered out and just want to veg.

The good news is I am finding social things to do and plenty of them.  I think that friends will follow as I continue with these groups.  This is a major 2020 goal and I am making progress.  I am making great progress with my exercise routine.  I have made serious inroads on my health check-ups.  My general physical, blood work and gyn checkup are completed.  I have my mammogram scheduled and next up are the optometrist and dermatologist.

Gee whiz, it’s only February and I am kicking butt.  No wonder I am pooped.  Once again, I just need to be patient.  Patient with settling into my new life and developing new routines, patient with when I run out of steam and just general patience with me overall. I think an early bedtime this week will do me a world of good.  Sweet dreams….

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Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Vision Board Party

Good grief — PEOPLE!!  They continue to astonish me.

I was 20 minutes from the start of my Vision Board party when it because clear that I was going to only have ONE PERSON out of the TEN I invited was showing up.  Was I pissed?  Yes, a bit.

Pissed at two cancellations that occurred about an hour from the start.  Annoyed at the other person who cancelled at 8:30 the night before and another who cancelled on Friday.  Plus add in the five who didn’t even acknowledge their invitation or a follow up email.

There I sat all ready to go.  Food and drink purchased.  A simple but elegant spread prepared, a table laid out with scissors, vision boards, glue sticks, etc.  It was so frustrating.  I wasn’t sad which I found remarkable.  I give myself massive kudos for not giving up and having a pity party for one.  I didn’t cry or curl up in my bed in the fetal position.

I realized that it wasn’t me.  It was them.  I toyed with the idea of cancelling completely, but I said “fuck it.”  I called my one guest and explained the situation.  She was the realtor and co-worker who helped me find this place, so she still wanted to come by.

I was hopeful perhaps a few non-responders would surprise me, but they didn’t. It was just me and M.  We drank a bottle of champagne, noshed on the delicious food and chattered away for a couple of hours.  Our vision boards are fabulous.  I had a wonderful afternoon in spite of the no-shows.

That is a lesson in itself.  I didn’t allow myself to wallow in self-pity.  I didn’t blame myself.  I forged ahead with what life gave me and it worked out just fine. I drank a lovely bottle of champagne with my guest and I feel good.

Now, what do I say to the non-attendees if they say something?  Do I tell them to truth and let them feel uncomfortable for standing me up?  My first thought was to be graceful and fib a little, but no, I am not going to.  If they feel awkward, then that’s on them.

Perhaps that’s the other lesson to learn from today — forgiveness.  I am sorry they couldn’t make it today, but you know what?  It did not ruin my day.  I enjoyed it regardless.  I am so terribly proud of myself for that.

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Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

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.

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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.

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