I overheard two men talking on the train this morning. One guy asked the other “how are you?” the man responded ‘well, it’s Friday.’ I had to turn my head to see the bumpus that spoke those words. What exactly does that mean? That is no way to answer a question. I find this so irritating! Just answer the question! Don’t make us guess how you are feeling – or is it that you think no one gives a crap anyway?
People usually don’t believe me when I tell them I am incredibly shy. I am slowly earning self esteem, but I really don’t have the confidence in myself to start a conversation etc. Fortunately, I had parents who forced me to have good social skills. They forced me to be nice to people, to look people in the eye when I had conversations with them. I feel I was lucky to have parents who cared what other people thought. My parents wanted to have kids who were well liked – mom always said it was for our sake. I think she knew it would make our lives easier. There were societal standards to live up to. Expectations. Consequences for our actions. She was right.
I am raising my children with those same expectations. When someone asks you a question, you can answer any way you feel, but you must say something. Because of this, my children respond when people ask them questions. They know how to order food in a restaurant; they know how to ask for more water; they are well liked. I am also teaching my children how to be comfortable NOT answering a question. That it is okay for them to say “I don’t want to answer that question.” They may not be rude about it, they must use their manners – but no one is going to force them to answer a question they aren’t comfortable answering. This may not be relevant to their age today, but it will be relevant later in life. Not only will they know how to be respectful of the other person, but more importantly they will be conscious and respectful of their own feelings.
In today’s society, nobody gives a shit anymore. You can answer a question with “well, it’s Friday” and get away with it. I think it’s crap.
I spent this past weekend in Vancouver visiting a friend. Over the course of the weekend, I discovered that I really don’t have much to talk about. I can carry on conversations if someone else brings up the topic. However, to start a new conversation with someone – well, that’s a completely different ball game.
I have two things that I can talk about. Divorce and children. If I want to be able to carry on intelligent conversations with adults I’m going to need more things to talk about. I told Laura (friend I came to visit) I feel completely uninteresting. I don’t know any gossip, I don’t read a lot of magazines or books (educational hazard), I don’t watch a lot of tv (again, in school – whose got the time?), and I don’t have a lot of friends. So… my entire conversational skills revolve around my divorce, my children, or algebra. Not exactly conversation starters.
As I walk along my current path this is one of those roadblocks that I will need to get around. I don’t know who I am anymore, all the words I used to describe myself no longer apply. I am a single mom – a newly single mom – I’m insecure, totally unconfident, and completely wrapped in my own misery. Alright, where do I start the line for people who’ll want to line up to talk to me?? Over to the left? Anyone??
I’m off to Vegas in a few weeks (YAY) and have decided that I’m going to spend some time researching and discovering who I am and what I like to talk about. I want to have actual topics in place so that I’m not out somewhere and completely unprepared for discussion. God I’m a dork. duh!
Alright, so I’m totally in inaugural heaven right now. I’m not a political person at all – in fact, I think that really irritates some people. It’s just not in my nature to care. I don’t have any control over politics or decisions other people make – and if something really upsets me I just deal.
Anyway, yesterday, in preparation for the inauguration our company sent out an email stating folks could gather and watch the ceremony in a large conference room. A friend and I decided that we would go to the local greasy spoon and watch it there while having breakfast. He’s so smart! I had lovely tea, he had grits (he’s southern) and a grilled egg and cheese. It was peaceful, we got seats, and had food!
The ceremony was not what I would have expected. I don’t recall seeing a lot of these “swearing” in ceremonies in my lifetime, but Aretha Franklin and Yo-Yo-Ma? Awesome! I think Obama is amazing and I was in awe of his ability to speak clearly on a day that must have been so emotional for him. I think he’s my new hero.
One of my main goals throughout this divorce is to ensure that I don’t change as a person. Well, I take that back – I don’t want to change for the worse. I have a girlfriend who has a friend who is going through a divorce and this woman has become an absolute mess. I’m talking “buying 40’s from 7-11 and wandering the streets drinking it from a brown paper bag” mess. What causes a previously sane woman to buy the cheapest liquor she can find and drink it on the same street her kids go to school on?
I’ll tell you … it’s all the crap her ex has done. People change when they go through a divorce. One of my girls said “If your spouse died, people would be lining up at your door to offer food.” Divorce is different. People don’t know what to say anymore because they become scared of your answer. So scared that 1) you might tell the truth 2) scare the shit out of them with your anger 3) or they might feel compelled to care that your life is falling apart. People don’t want to help someone with something as major as a divorce.
I have been so scared of chasing people away that I have kept a lot of feelings inside. Ok class, what happens when you keep your feelings locked up tight? That’s right! They will try to kill you. People have said ‘why are you crying?’ or “you cried yourself to sleep last night?” with shock and dismay! How dare I be so honest with them – they might feel pity for me! Unacceptable in today’s uncaring society. Honestly, I don’t know how to process my feelings unless I have a good cry. Once that cry happens – watch out! I become so clear and dedicated to cleaning up the mess inside of me – that I have an intensity that scares people.
Why does a good cry help so much? I have no clue. But last night, as I was sitting in the chair getting my hair done I could not stop crying uncontrollably. Am I scared? Yep. Do I want to run and hide? Yep. Am I pissed off? Yep. I will admit that I am not a “nice” angry person. Some people can be angry and are still coherent. You can understand what they say – all of their words make sense. I see RED. For some reason, my voice raises until I’M SPEAKING REALLY LOUD AND GIBBERISH COMES OUT IN INCOMPLETE SENTENCES AND EVERYTHING IS OUT OF ORDER. But man, do I feel good afterwards. In the meantime, the person this anger was directed at is completely freaked out and whimpering in a corner. I don’t like to get really angry, because I am not that good at sorting everything out.
This divorce could change me into a person I don’t even recognize (I’ve seen it happen). Am I able to thwart divorce and it’s nasty after effects? Maybe. Better people than me have tried and failed – but I still have hopes that I will come out a better person for having gone through this process. I also have a positive outlook about the person I want to be after all of the dust has settled… she’ll go something like this:
- I will not be nice to people just because I’m supposed to. I’ve done this my entire life and I’ve been walked on and taken advantage of because of it.
- If I’m angry – gosh darn it (Mom gave me crap for swearing) I’m going to tell you about it.
- I will not put anyone else’s feelings before mine (except my children… they are numero uno and dos)
- I will honor myself with healthy choices, exercise and positive relationships (which… might include a relationship with God… or someone similar – i’m still deciding)
- I will have fun. My marriage hasn’t really been that fun – it’s been really hard and I want fun. I deserve it.
- I will know my limitations. What will I put up with? What will I NOT put up with? I have made a list which I may share at a later date.
Knowing who you are and maintaining that person is so important while your life is in transition. I vowed in December to not lie… to anyone… including Michael… and it has been liberating. It’s also been really really hard. Through this process of not lying I have found my integrity. I have found my strength. Sometimes, it just takes a good cry to remember where you put it.
I swear my kids have not been raised by wolves. I just wonder when boys actually begin listening. Does anyone know? Considering their genetics, I’m going to say never – but a mom can dream. Seriously, I’m going back to leashes because these boys acted a fool all weekend!
The boys and I had a packed weekend. Evan was invited to his very first birthday party. In the past, it’s always been Evan and Brody being invited – this time, it was just Evan. The party was at a bowling alley and I wasn’t sure how Evan would act. He doesn’t like lots of noise so I was concerned. When we first got there, I asked the birthday girl’s mom if this was the type of party where you drop the kid off – or one where parents were allowed to stay? I had Brody with me and wasn’t sure what the plan was. She was fine with both of us staying with Evan – so we did.
The first task was to get bowling shoes for the boys. The second task was watching them slide all over the bowling alley like a bunch of maniacs because the bottoms are so slippery. They only bowled about 6 frames before they were tired of bowling. Throughout the entire afternoon, I must have told them both about a thousand times to sit down if it wasn’t their turn. Picture 15 kids – all aged between 4 – 7, throwing plastic bowling balls as hard as they could — all at the same time. When they weren’t bothering the actual bowler, they had their heads stuck in the ball return! It was chaos.
It only took about half an hour (if that) for Evan to throw 3 fits. He’s really not that good in large crowds. The bowling alley is really really loud – a lot to take for a boy who doesn’t like to flush the toilet because it’s too loud. I’ll tell ya, there is NOTHING like dragging your almost 5 year told to the bathroom by his arm as his flails himself to the ground protesting that he’s really allowed to use the handicapped bathroom. Or having him backtalk you as you threaten to fill his mouth with handsoap… these are the times that I am sure I will be savoring as he fights with his children over the handicapped bathroom. I had hoped Evan would actually say something to the birthday girl – but I went away disappointed. He spent most of his time in the party room playing by himself. Meanwhile, Brody spent the afternoon entertaining the entire birthday party with his antics. Try that sometime… an overactive 6 year old who considers himself the life of the party and a shy 5 year old – all at the same party, but in two different rooms. One room had very dangerous bowling balls (ranging in all sizes and weights) and one room had a very pretty, very perfect birthday cake. Which room would you choose?
I chose the cake room, of course. Evan’s fingers are like nails to a magnet around a cake. I figured any damage Brody could do would not be worse than Evan ruining a birthday cake. Priorities. It only took Evan 2 hours to warm up to the bowling alley. By then it was time to go. I think he had fun – Brody had a LOT of fun. What was really funny was watching the Sprite and birthday cake high set in – Brody must have done 42 laps around that bowling alley. Now the boys are all about bowling – Evan’s birthday is coming up and he wants to celebrate at the bowling alley!
I took them to the SF zoo today. It was “family appreciation day” in the city – most events were free…….. if you were a resident of SF. A little fact the radio people neglected to mention. It cost me $41 to get in the door; we spent the majority of our time in the bathroom (Evan pees like a male dog… squirt here – squirt there); I spent $21 on 2 hotdogs and a cheeseburger and Brody tried to make me walk around the park to find the popcorn vendor (because he was determined to have the popcorn with honey on it, which is kettle corn to normal folks). We did manage to see a few animals in between… some monkeys, a rhino, a lion and lioness, lemurs, giraffes, etc. Not sure I will go back to the zoo…. it seemed a little over rated? Maybe I was still reeling from the birthday party the day before? Hard to say.
Needless to say, I’m exhausted and looking forward to going nite nite. I dropped one of my classes today; two classes + divorce = bad. I might treat myself to 2 glasses of wine and a bath!
Here are some random snips of my life:
- Brody thinks the AC/DC song “Hell’s Bells” is actually “Who’s bells?”
- I have a pair of earrings that I love, but one earring always falls out of my ear and I cannot get it back on! I walked for two blocks outside trying to get the damn thing back in my ear!
- Evan is finally willing to take off his own pajamas. He’ll be five in a few weeks.
- Maybe one day, before he’s 18, Evan will dress himself. (keep your fingers crossed)
- I can’t get either boy to talk about their day at school, but got a half hour lecture on Lego Batman for the Wii and which “evil” guy they like.
- I bought cookies yesterday because the package said “look at my bottom!” You can tell the tone was excited because of the exclamation mark!
- Then I wondered, “whose bottom?” Turns out, the cookie has a chocolate bottom. YUM
- I cannot multiply or divide fractions but I can do scientific notation. wtf?
- Did I mention I have another algebra class this block? Because apparently, 2 previous algebra classes (from HELL) weren’t enough for me and I don’t like my GPA being so high up there. The last class dropped my gpa 6 points! I have dreams people! One of them is to get my associate’s degree with honors! Damn you algebra!
- I really hate fractions. What good are they anyway? Instead of 1/2 why can’t we say 50%?
- I still have callouses on my hands from playing Rockband (I haven’t played in two weeks)
- Once again, I have lost all motivation for working today.
Think I’m going to head outside (we’re in the 50’s! uhh… that’s above zero for the Canuckleheads) and take a long walk.
We’ve reached an all time low point of stupidity in the business of this “divorce.” I was approached today about how we would be splitting the wooden spoons. And picture frames. And the dishes. It’s not that I care, these are merely things that can be replaced. What matters is the manner with which these items are brought up. I liken it to being surprised by a pie in the face. One moment, I’m moving laundry from room to room – the next moment, I’m discussing spoons.
As far as I’m concerned, all of the things can go. I don’t really care. However, I do care about how these discussions are handled and the way they affect me. On the recent trip back home, I had an epiphany (I’m having these a lot lately)… I was really angry with life in general. At every point, someone else was worried about Michael’s feelings – they were concerned for him. Yet, in my perception, there wasn’t a lot of verbal concern for me or my feelings. Then I realized that I was angry because I was still concerned about his feelings. I put his feelings above my own. That’s why I was angry; I couldn’t put my own feelings above him and was mad with RAGE because everyone else in our lives was concerned abou him. I put my feelings below everyone else. I think moms do this a lot. I have two children to raise, their feelings and needs come before mine. But my ex-husband? Who the fuck does he think he is? Who the fuck do I think he is?
He’s not been the best husband, but he’s not been the worst husband either. We just don’t work – we tried and tried… but could never get it right. He blames me for the breakdown of our marriage, I see it as two people failing. He wants to see me “pay” for mistakes… I want to move on. He can have the dishes, the glassware, the spoons; he just won’t have my regard for his feelings. I need to save that for me.
Alright, I think I’m finally ready to update this blog on a regular basis. The last two months of the year really proved to be the hardest in my life. But – with the new year brings change and I am really starting to feel more like myself. More like the person I was prior to being married. I had a great Christmas break, no school and a visit home to see family and friends was exactly what I needed. I start school on Monday and am looking forward to getting this year over (it’s half over so far).
I bought new tiles for the kitchen and a new faucet yesterday. It was an awesome feeling! I’m going to have new countertops put in (hence the tiles). I’ve been busy deep cleaning the house before school starts, I spent 3 hours in the bathroom. Yes, 3! It needed a deep clean, scrubbing and polishing really helps me work through some aggressions! I even recaulked the bathtub! Today, the new faucet will go in and I’m having a friend help me get a quote for new countertops.
Speaking of friends, (man this post is all over today) I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I feel so fortunate to have such awesome people in my life.
Okay, Christmas recap – over the break I went to Canada with the boys for Christmas. My brother had been yakking about Rockband since his birthday so I was anxious to give it a whirl. I have never had so MUCH FUN with a video game! I think I might have Carpel Tunnel from playing the guitar on “medium” rather than “easy.” I even sang and played the drums! Mom gave him an extra guitar for Christmas – so that becomes the bass guitar and I played that too! I don’t want to brag… but I did really well! I kept thinking “i could never buy Rockband – my homework would suffer!” Plus, if any of you have seen my house, it’s a little tiny bird’s nest – where would I keep the gear? We bought my brother the 2 guitar stand, he got a mic stand – we went on tour! He and his girlfriend are seasoned professionals at rockband – which was helpful!
The boys had a great time in Canada. It was fricken freezing! The day we got there it was -25 (without the windchill) and hovered around that temp until a couple days before we left. The warmest it got was -11 or so. The weather didn’t stop them from getting bundled up and helping their grandpa around the yard. I was encouraged to “get outside” but I’m a Canadian, I know what it feels like to get outside for an hour in the snow. Ya, no thanks! I was very happy to be inside reading or knitting.
I saw some friends while I was there, I had high hopes for seeing everyone – but it just didn’t work out. I was feeling a tad overwhelmed and unmotivated at times. I needed to veg out and relax. I’m going to try and plan another trip out when it’s warmer (because seriously, holy shit!) and have a big get together with EVERYONE.
I have a lot of plans for the first quarter of 2009. I’m heading to Vancouver to see a girlfriend in January then spending the first weekend of February with a girlfriend in Vegas. I might have plans to return to Vegas at the end of Feb, but I’ll have to see. I do want to head some place warm – but again, I’ll have to see. I’m hoping to use my work bonus for a proper vacation to a spot with sun. Anyone interested in coming with?
In general, my life is getting better. I’ve been eating on a regular basis again (thanks Mom!) and have thought about attending yoga on a regular basis (the last class I took kicked my ASS). I have positive thoughts for the future and am looking forward to the future. so YAY!!
I am not, however, looking forward to going back to work on Monday after being off for the past two weeks. ACK!