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

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Merry Christmas!

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Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

I am packed and ready to go.  I spent a lovely weekend with the Hunter.   One of my cookie batches was a fail, but I have other goodies to take, so I’ll leave the gooey (still delicious) mess at home.  Taz, my son and I are giddy with excitement about our upcoming visit.

I hope you, Dear Readers, have a peaceful holiday season.  Best and warmest wishes to you all.

With much gratitude,

Maggie

P.S. If you want to read about the type of man I wished for the Christmas before the Hunter and I began dating, read it here.  It’s only a little naughty….

 

Santa

One of my step-aunts shared a photo of my 80+ year old dad in his Santa suit waving to commuters. This has been his holiday tradition for untold years. It is pretty cute, but as his child, I am mildly irritated. Irritated enough to write this post.

First, a little background. My parents divorced when I was 6 and I saw my dad for holidays and two weeks in the summer thereafter. He wrote monthly and made little effort to spend more time with his kids. He quickly married my stepmom, but they had no kids. I always felt that a) she didn’t like me and my brother because we were a reminder of his previous marriage and b) she really doesn’t like kids generally.

This meant that any holidays spent with him were with her family. I liked them, but we were the only kids there. Her three sisters had no kids until the youngest adopted. One has a stepson, but she’s divorced from the father. They had their own holiday traditions and we fit in where it was convenient for them. Suffice it to say, those Christmases were not packed with fond memories. They were what they were.

Back to Santa. To me, my dad’s Santa tradition is an example of how little I know about the man. Did he start this because he missed Christmas with his own kids? I seem to recall he was Santa for a non-profit he volunteered for and things grew from there. But I don’t know for sure. I guess I could have a conversation about this with him.

This man, a pillar of his community, put virtually no effort into parenting. He allowed his wife to delay child support checks and write scathing letters to my mom. He is smart and funny, but I have always said he does much better with young adults rather than kids. He tried harder with my brother who went to live with him when he was 15. That didn’t go particularly well, but he paid for my brother’s college and fraternity which is a lot more than he gave me. I got one year of college paid and $2500 for my wedding.

I am asking myself why is this bitterness emerging? I don’t know. I guess I wish I had a better father, but I could have done far worse. I will take benign neglect over abuse any day. I was lucky my stepfather, who was a horrible person, never physically abused me. Here I am 55 years old with my childhood so far behind me still grappling with the aftermath of my childhood. Interesting.

But I agree with Maya Angelou and wouldn’t take nothing for my journey. And most importantly, I have to remember a quote of hers. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

So in the spirit of Christmas, I forgive the adults of my childhood. I forgive them for the times when they put their needs before a child’s. I forgive them and I fulfilled my promise to myself. Do better. Be a better parent and a better person. I proudly think I am.

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.

Re-framing the Holidays

If you have read my blog over the years, you will know that since my separation and divorce six years ago, the holidays have been a bit fraught for me.  Geez, it’s hard to believe that my divorce was six years ago.  Wow, that’s a post for my Emancipation Day in April!

Anyway, back to the holidays.  Since I don’t have a strong family connection with my dad or my brother (I haven’t spoken to that Sack of Shit for years), the only family I am close to are my kids.  I don’t want to lean on them for every single holiday, so I need to re-frame what the holidays mean to me.

When my kids were growing up, the holidays were always about family.  My then-husband, the kids, the in-laws and extended family.  My Ex is one of 4 kids in a close-knit family.  We all lived close to one another for years.  The in-laws and extended family were close by also.  My kids grew up in a nurturing environment — just as I always wanted.

Once I divorced my husband, those family members are gone.  They included me very sporadically and reluctantly on a few occasions, but I knew not to depend upon them.  I realize that I have not released my married life view of the holidays being about family.  I need to do that.

I want to re-frame the holidays.  It is time because I will continue to be petulant about them until I can let go of my old ways.  Here is how I want to think about the holidays going forward:

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and reflective of all that I have.  As long as it involves turkey, I am fine.  It does not matter who or where I spend it (provided that there is turkey and pie). I have many things and people to be thankful for, so I will take the time to do so (with some stuffing and sweet potato casserole, please).  I want to channel peace, reflection and gratitude on Thanksgiving. Leftovers would be a bonus.

Christmas is going to be a time of pleasure and relaxation.  This year it will be spent with family, so I have to add in love and adventure since I will be visiting them.  Christmas is no longer tied to gifts.  I am not exchanging gifts with any of my loved ones this year.  That’s a first.  I am, however, sending my daughter a box of heirloom Christmas ornaments for her to use and keep. She is thrilled and excited to have them on her tree for this holiday. I am saving some for my son as well.

Christmas will be about being spiritual and appreciating the positivity in all of us. I love Christmas carols, the decorations, so I want to make sure I enjoy that.  It will also be about preparing for new beginnings which brings us to New Year’s.

New Year’s is all the cliches of new beginnings.  Out with the old and in with the new.  It’s the classic reset button.  New Year’s is about forgiving myself for past failed attempts and having the courage and optimism to start again.

It is quite easy to type these bold words and declaration of re-framing.  Now let’s see if I can truly take them to heart.  Can I stop my old, tired thinking and create a new reality of the holidays for myself?  I like to think “yes”.  I need to think about how I can create a small vision board that reminds me of these new holiday perceptions.

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Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

 

Family Xmas?

It appears that Taz won’t have much time to spend with me at Christmas.  Probably only Christmas Day.  I understand 100% why and am not upset, only disappointed. I began to question if it even made sense to spend all this money and time for such a short visit.

Then I had a flash of melodrama — what if this would be the last time I could spend with my kids at Christmas?

But it will be a very expensive trip due to traveling at a peak holiday time to a peak holiday city.  Am I being a fuddy dud?

I haven’t seen Taz for almost a year.  My frugal side tries to justify not going. “She’s super busy and you are broke.  That money could pay down some of my debt. Have a stay-cation exploring your new neighborhood.”

The holidays are always fraught for me since my divorce.  My options are to spend it with my parents or the Hunter.  Neither are fun.

I didn’t spend much time with my dad and his wife when I was growing up.  I like/love my dad, but he really did not parent me in any way as I grew up.  I don’t feel any obligation to spend holidays with them.  They spend it with my stepmom’s three sisters.  I did that one year with the Hunter and it was weird.  Really weird.  Not what I wanted for my holiday.

The Hunter always get consumed with holiday anxiety and depression.  He becomes a hot mess and really just needs to spend the time alone.  Seriously, I don’t say that to be mean.  I say that because he seems to prefer it.

After ruminating on this, I decided to go see Taz.  This will be the first holiday my kids will have spent together since my son returned from Asia.  I haven’t seen my kids together for a long, long time.  Let me take the time they are offering and appreciate it and be grateful.  The trip will be fun.  I’ll be somewhere cold with beautiful Christmas decor and who knows, perhaps I’ll have my first White Christmas ever….yes, I have never had a white Christmas.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

What Do You Call It When…?

What can we call my relationship with the Hunter?  We are considering ourselves still a monogamous couple albeit living separately.  The sex has been great.  Sleeping alone and having our own space is also great.  We talk and text several times a day.

He was the first person I called when I had a spider crawling across my car’s touchscreen as I headed down a rush hour highway last week.  I killed that arachnid with my cute umbrella after trying my Yeti full of coffee.  The Yeti just wasn’t the right weapon.

I am the first person he calls when he’s happy, frustrated, etc.  He sends me a good morning text, usually calls during my commute and sends a good night text as well.  The man is lovingly attentive, I must say.

Are you waiting for a “but…”?  Nope, I don’t have one.  I am just going with the flow.  I am not trying to define this or create rules or anything else.  I am just in the moment.

We have plans to spend Thanksgiving with some of his family.  I will spend Christmas with Taz and my son while he takes off on a road trip with the Kracken.  We have been seeing each other 2-3 times a week.  Like I said above, the sex is great.  I may have stumbled onto the right combination for us.  Time will tell.

 

Romping

The Hunter invited me for a sleepover on Friday.  It made sense because I had a dentist appointment close to him and he lives close to the old place.  We could have a slumber party and then get up early to tackle the final clean out.  I was good with the plans until Friday morning and then I wasn’t.  I was so tired.  The prospect of cozying up on the floor of his place on a nest of sleeping bags wasn’t alluring.  I’m too old for that shit.

I called and backed out.  He texted me about an hour later and volunteered to some up to see me.  Now we are talking.  I got a gourmet pizza and he came over for pizza and romping.  Then he went home because he had not fed the Kracken and he likes sleeping in his own bed these days.

He called me when he got home and said he had been thinking on the ride home.  He asked if I was happy with the situation of us living apart but still seeing each other.  I wasn’t sure what to say, so I turned the tables and asked him.  He loves it.  I laughed and said I did also.  He loves sleeping alone (me too) and having his own space (me too).

When we see each other, it’s a short amount of time full of active listening and affection.  We talk every day at least twice a day plus some texting.  How long will this last?  I have no idea.  Is it an ideal relationship?  For now.  Who knows?

What I do know is that there is no longer any tension between us.  I am no longer responsible for him financially or otherwise.  We do our own thing and try to see each other twice a week or so.  The sex is great, we cuddle and then he leaves.  I have to say, having the entire bed to myself is lovely.

He just called me to see how I was doing.  We both had a lot of crap to unload from our respective vehicles.  I had about 5=6 trips plus I went grocery shopping because I am a glutton for punishment. He was laughing at me because although I have just finished getting rid of a ton of crap, here I am getting a few more things.  What’s on the list?  A used KitchenAid mixer, a dutch oven (Aldi has some nice ones for $25 versus $60 everywhere else) and a used Instant Pot.  Why all the kitchen stuff?  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you.

However, now I am pooped. My Buns of Steel got their workout from my endless trips up and down today.  I did go for a quick swim at my beautiful resort-style pool and it was lovely and relaxing.  Exactly what I wanted in my new place.  The final steps have taken place.  I have officially left the old place and now the new chapter begins.  It will be an interesting transition….

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