Have you noticed how long it takes to do certain things like call a billing office and wait for a return call, upgrade software on your computer, or call Technical Support or Customer Service? continue reading…


life is good

24Mar12

It’s been a mixed bag. Some loss, some gain in the friends department. …a second chance with my main client.

I’ve decided that next month, I’m going to start writing again. I want to finish my books. I want to get organized. I want to accomplish things. Same old story.

My ex has a girlfriend. continue reading…


catatonia

08Mar12

I’m stuck. I can’t move; I can’t think. I can’t accomplish anything. I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I don’t even want to talk to anyone. I’m not sad or upset about anything. Nothing in particular precipitated this. I feel shut off. Like with a switch. My brain is turned off. Or, is it my heart? I can’t find myself. I think I’m not home.

Where do I go? I was here a few days ago.  continue reading…


gratitude

03Mar12

Last night as I fell asleep, I went over the things for which I’m grateful. I try to do this as often as I can. It’s a good exercise; being actively thankful, I don’t take things for granted. continue reading…


understand me?

01Mar12

Did you ever wish you had an instruction manual for someone? I wrote one for myself a few years ago. It was interesting to look back on this and see what is the same and what has changed in the past six years.

What I wish you knew about me. 2/2/06  continue reading…


What a difference five days made! My trip wasn’t very long, but I was really able to relax.

Everything was unlike my normal life. I didn’t bring my kids, so I was “single.” I spent time with my brother’s family. My niece and nephews are much younger than my children, so their energy is completely different. I wasn’t working and I didn’t bring anything to do. I ate different food, and I even got a bedroom, which I don’t have at my apartment. No laundry, no bills; you get the picture.

Right before I left I found out I can walk on my foot (which has been broken for almost two months) and I walked around Lake Washington (2.7 miles) and another day, went for a walk in the rain in the dark. My other healing issue finally seems to be coming along, too.

I spent time with my brother. I got a lot of his time and attention, which was very, very cool. We talked about plans and dreams, and silly life-in-general things. My brother is my favorite person in the world. He’s not sure why, and I’m not entirely sure why. But with him, I feel safe and cared about, and that makes me feel happy. He doesn’t always agree with what I do, but he understands and supports me. I’m sure that part of it is that he knows where I came from, so there’s a lot I don’t have to explain.

Everything seemed to come together on this trip.

I came back feeling positive, feeling hopeful and with more energy than I’ve had in a while. I’m going back to my overall to-do list. It’s only been a little while, but I’ve been setting goals for myself daily and trying to meet them – at the very least, to accomplish something major every day. I also want to start exercising and eating better so I will lose weight. That’s it for now; I want to be able to meet those goals before making more. lol

This experience brings to mind the expression “change your location, change your luck.” It’s not actually about vacations (of course) but it sure seems to have worked for me. For as long as it lasts, I’m going to enjoy every minute of how this feels.


Right after I decided to leave my marriage, the song Landslide, by Stevie Nicks played constantly, and it spoke to me. Some of the words seemed to describe exactly where I was at that time. It’s the part in the middle:

…Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too…

I’ve seen different interpretations of the meaning, but who knows? When I hear a song or a poem, I assume I’m welcome to take my own meaning from it. When I looked up the lyrics to this song, several things resonated.

What is love? Can I deal with the remaining psychological issues from my childhood that are still in my way? Can I handle the ups and downs of life? I’m approaching another season of my life; middle age. Fear of change. Fear of being without someone you’ve been with for so long, with whom you have built a life. The realization that it was better for me to leave than to stay and that I had the courage to do it. My children growing up. The aging process, in general, and how I want to handle getting older and the second half of my life.

I haven’t regretted my decision. I haven’t looked back much. I’m definitely happier, even though it’s difficult. At first, it was very rough because of the people I hurt in the process. And everything was new and I had to get used to not having enough adult company. Now, almost a year later, the loneliness of not having a partner is really starting to hit me. I’ve heard that’s normal.

I realize that at first I was gung-ho, getting things done, keeping my shit together. Now, I’ve been letting things slip and it’s time for me to effect the changes I need to make for the rest of my life to be what I want it to be. Making the decision to leave was one half; changing my life for the better is a critical second half. As I discovered a few days ago, thinking and planning is only half of the equation.

Time to get all Nike, and Just Do It.


impulsivity

25Feb12

I’ve been thinking about the fact that I am impulsive. Impulsivity is behavior without adequate forethought. It’s normal in children, and tends to be pathological in adults. I decided to study up a bit and found that it’s tied to ADHD, substance abuse disorders and bipolar disorder. Since it is an inability to self-regulate, impulsivity is also tied to procrastination.

As these are two of my most serious problems, I kept reading.

According to a study cited in a blog on Psychology Today’s website[i], two aspects of self-regulation are locomotion (goal-oriented behavior) and assessment (evaluation of goals and planning.) The authors of the study found that impulsivity is tied to high assessment and low locomotion. In English, procrastinators and impulsive people think overly much and do overly little.

To compound this, the authors of another study say that willpower is like a muscle. People (like me) who constantly think, and rarely engage in positive behaviors don’t exercise and strengthen their self-regulation “muscle” and can actually wear out their willpower thinking, planning, comparing themselves to others, and creating scenarios of what might have been. The negative self-appraisal depletes willpower and results in impulsive behavior.  Then, after impulsive behavior, we go back into the negative self-assessment, adding regret and are at high risk for experiencing depression.

There needs to be a balance between thinking and acting. In either direction lies pathology.

I know that this fits with everything else I’m learning about turning my life in a more positive direction.


I like meeting new people in general. A one on one conversation is the best. I don’t think I’m good at dating, though, and so far, have managed to avoid it. I thought I had met someone who I might actually be interested in, but too early in the process, as I wrote about before, I had a bout of neediness and that’s a hard thing for someone to want to get involved with. Also, the whole assault thing… I’m not exactly at my best right now. And who knows what he even wanted to begin with?

We met for a drink, as friends, and I had a great time. We asked each other lots of questions and had drinks and dinner. It was awkward at times and fun at times. Almost like a pretend date, but with none of the expectations or stress of a date.

In person, he seemed the same to me as he did in our correspondence. I like him. I have no idea what he thought of me, but he didn’t run screaming, so it couldn’t have been too bad. I really wondered though; was he attracted to me? Am I worth the “trouble?” He’s holding back for whatever reasons, some of it because he’s unsure of my mental state. I don’t take it personally, and I do think he has reason to feel trepidation. But it did make it hard to get a bead on what he thinks of me.

There are so many ways each new “relationship” can go. Casual friends, good friends, acquaintances, nothing, dating, lovers. Unless lightening strikes, you have to wade through it and find the places where you do and don’t fit, and either let the person in or not. Each of us has our own lives and the dance to potentially accommodate any type of new relationship takes a lot of things into account.

Lightening didn’t strike for me, but I do like him, but I’m not committed to a certain way it needs to go. Flexible isn’t something I’m too familiar with, but I like it. I don’t like the feeling that I screwed up and now have to be on my best behavior, and that’s not what I’m doing, but it’s tough to not want to go there. I’m trying-on being an adult, and being myself. Ultimately, that’s what I’ll end up being down the line anyway, so why not be honest so everyone can make informed decisions?

When it comes right down to it though, I think I’d already know if he like-likes me. He’s polite, he listens, he talks, and he did invite me for a drink so we could get to know each other, but I’m not feeling the love. I keep being reminded of the movie He’s Just Not That into You. As a former “stalker” type, I used to try to make myself more desirable, more available, like the main female character. I know for a fact that doesn’t work. So I’m mentally kicking-back and watching to see what he really does. Not what I interpret his behavior to mean, but what he really does.

Someone very dear to me said today that my bar for ‘how much attention a man pays to me is enough’ is set pretty low. I’m inclined to agree. And I did realize recently that I do want a certain level of support in my relationships. An appropriate level; neither taking care of me, nor throwing up a wall so I don’t ask for anything.

These questions apply to all of my relationships. It’s not all about this one man. Of course not.

This is the beginning of the rest of my life though, and how I approach new relationships is important. I need to be on a track that will result in positive experiences. For all involved. Especially for me.


becoming me

23Feb12

Even though my kids are older now and the demands of motherhood are different than they used to be, I still spend a great deal of my time being “mom.” I’ve been a mom now for 17 years. And, partly because I was an at-home parent, it’s how I’ve been defined for a long time. Although a part of me is definitely “mom,” inside I have always been aware of the single, non-parent person I used to be.

Although many things about my life have changed in this past year, I think I would be in this place, regardless. As my children become more self-sufficient, parenting is no longer as physically demanding or time consuming. Which leaves me with spare time and also time to think.

The topic on my mind right now is me. Who am I? Who am I, really? I’m not the person I used to be before motherhood, and I’m no longer a wife or the mother of small children. And I no longer wish to define myself by the hats I wear.

I’ve noticed a tendency to look backward for clues. It’s hard to remember how I used to feel. What I used to think. What did I want to be like? Did I have hobbies? Did I want to learn to play piano or travel to Tibet? I just don’t remember. It actually doesn’t matter, though, because I’m no longer that person either.

It’s time for me to learn about the current me. What do I like to do now? How do I choose to spend my time now? What are my interests now? And what are my goals for my future?

I do have plans, I do have thoughts. I’m not truly adrift in a sea of uncertainty. I don’t yet have a tremendous amount of spare time. And my kids are still my top priority.

But this is an interesting stage of life. I’m enjoying the process of rediscovering myself. Of realizing how much I’ve learned and what I have yet to accomplish. Of finally taking the time to evaluate my needs and how to meet them. For the most part, I like the current “me.” Which is very cool. I can’t wait to see what she does with the second half of my life.