Kiddie Pool

Well, I was 15 minutes late this morning and ate strawberry rhubarb crisp for breakfast. I did, however, go for a walk and, here I am again, with you. Baby steps. I’m trying to focus on the small wins.

I was at my mom’s house this weekend for a BBQ with all her children, grandchildren, my aunt (Peter’s mom) and her remaining children. It was a beautiful, bathing suit and kiddie pool kind of day. The kids, seven of them under 8, had a ball taking turns sliding into the over-flowing kiddie pool loaded with grass from their feet and a little bit of pee, probably from everyone. There wasn’t much room for sadness but, Peter was missed.

The kids kept me busy all afternoon. I was exhausted by the time I got home that night. It was nice to discover I can still do a cartwheel. All the kids seemed to appreciate my attempt at teaching them to do those and handstands. Good stuff.

It was a late night for all the kids. They definitely had pee on them so the parent’s decided it best to have the kids take showers before they got in the car. My mom gave 3 of the youngest a shower. My brother’s kids are old enough (2 and 3) to know the proper terms for all their body parts. My little Sofia (2), who only has a baby sister does not know the proper names for any of her female business. According to my sister-in-law, all the kids were naked and Sofia did a double take walking past JJ. He firmly declared he had a penis and she did not. To which she responded by immediately checking her business to see if she had missed something on herself. Kids are so funny.

Can I just tell you? I miss the simple days of the kiddie pool in the summer. Minus the pee, of course.

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High Five

I went back to Betty for a follow-up reading. I can’t believe I paid 50 bucks. Ugh. I was curious to hear what she had to say this time. The reading wasn’t as good as the first. I didn’t really want to hear about love. Truth be told, I was afraid she might say I wasn’t with the right guy.

I’ve been having mixed feelings about Chris. One minute I’m in love the next, I’m not sure. I suppose that’s normal. You’re probably wondering why I could be so quick to guess it may be over (a few posts ago) after I’ve declared my volcanic explosion love (a few more posts ago). The truth is, I’m scared to death of falling in love. I’m afraid of it being one sided. I can’t even count the number of times I thought, “this could be the guy.” I’ve foolishly told friends and family, only to feel embarrassed when it didn’t pan out.

I’ve forced myself to live in the present with Chris. It’s so much easier. I thought I was over the baby making part of life so; I stopped thinking about husbands and wondering whether or not I was going to be a mom. I hope that doesn’t sound lame. If it does then, I hope I’m not alone in thinking that way, at least…

I don’t mind being physically alone (other than missing sex). I have close friends and family. What I don’t like is not fitting in. I don’t like people asking me if I have children or if I’m married. It makes me feel like they assume there is something wrong with me. Through my 30s, every time I started dating someone new they would inevitably ask why I was still single and then ask if there was something wrong with me. Rude.

So, I don’t mind being alone (for the most part) but I do want to be with a partner. I want to be with someone whom I can understand and who gets me. I want someone who really likes being with me and feels happier when he’s with me. I want to feel the same way about him. It would be really nice to find someone who can appreciate all my quirkiness and I appreciate his peccadilloes. I want to share my life with someone I love. I want to share his experiences, too.

When I was traveling alone through Ireland a few years ago. I saw some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sites. Alone. Every time I turned a corner and saw something more beautiful than the last something, I always turned to my empty passenger seat to exclaim, “Wow! I love Ireland! So pretty.” Unfortunately, my giddiness was silenced pretty quickly as my non-passenger stared back at me blankly. I am very grateful for all the blessings in my life, I want someone with whom to share them.

I need the physical piece, too. Heck, I have plenty of friends that accept my slice of crazy and I love theirs. I’m not looking for another best friend. I’m looking for a full-time partner and lover. Chris fits the bill on all counts. (I just hope he feels the same!)

Anyway, she said everything was good in my relationship world. She told me upfront I was with “the guy.” In fact, she said the cards promised I’d have a healthy baby, too. First, she said a little girl. As we pulled more cards, she said boy. Then, she asked if twins run in my family. They don’t. She also told me that I might need to take time off from work near the end of the pregnancy because I’d be huge. That’s not going to happen. Unless I have a whole basketball team in there, I am only gaining baby weight. (I’m down 4lbs, only 6 more to go!)

So, my personal life, according to Betty, is going to be fantastic. Phew. No more empty passenger seats.

The real reason I wanted to see her was about another subject entirely and if figures, we didn’t address it until my last 5 minutes. Now, that I’ve made my 300 words commitment, I wanted to know if there were published books in my future. She said, “Yes. At least, three.”
Can I just tell you? I nearly jumped up and gave her a high five. That’s what I wanted to hear!

Act of God

Can I just tell you? I love that man. I got everything off my chest and we, calmly, discussed everything with a very open dialogue. He explained what he meant and stressed (again and again) that he doesn’t have any interest in the old girlfriend, he is still interested in getting to know me better and see where our relationship goes. Me too.

We had an easy dinner at the local pizza shop after an evening walk. I’m telling you, if you can find a partner who can talk openly about their feelings and needs, hang on to them. It makes it so much easier! So, nothing really exciting to talk about there. (Other than the fact that I feel like I won the lottery finding a man who can express his feelings and not be offended or put off when I tell him mine.)

In other news, I was late this morning. I’m not feeling bad about it though. It was more of an act of God. My cell phone/alarm clock died overnight. Fortunately, Chris woke up before 8am, thinking to himself that it was weird that there was so much light in my room yet he never heard my alarm go off. I jumped out of bed and almost had a heart attack when I heard him, in my dream, say, “Um, Stace, it’s 7:52.” Ugh.

I flew out of bed, splashed water on my face, dabbed on some deodorant, spritzed some perfume and got myself out the door by 8:13am. That could be a Stacey World Record on getting out the door presentable enough for work and pulling together a breakfast (for the road) and lunch.

Through my calculations, I would only be 15-20 minutes late. Not an unusual late time for me but 495 was a parking lot. In fact, it was so bad that I actually turned around to go back towards my house to take back roads to work. Bummer. I was 45 minutes late. Again, act of God and baby steps…

Just Friends

I talked to Chris last night. He sees a therapist monthly, I think it helps him express himself to me more easily, which I like. To a point. Anyway, I nonchalantly asked how it went. He told me he wasn’t sure if he needed to continue because he didn’t have any major issues to navigate. I assumed he needed to talk more about the stress of his home renovations. So, I suggested he find someone with a little more business experience. He explained it wasn’t that and he talks to her to get a gauge on what’s normal.

For example, one of the topics they covered was whether or not is was normal to stay friends with an ex. (This is something I practice and have told him about. Most of the men I have dated were really nice guys…) He specifically called out one of his exes who really liked to hike. He thought she was cool and fun and would like to go hiking with her. Immediately, my heart sunk. I asked, “Did Brooke ask you if Stacey likes to hike?” He said, “No.” Apparently, she assured him that people break up for a reason and it is not normal to be friends with an ex unless you were friends with them before and had established that foundation.

I couldn’t get past it. I told him later in the conversation that I just couldn’t get that part of our conversation out of my head and my feelings were really hurt. Why wouldn’t he think I was really fun and want to go hiking with me? I explained that while I am still friends with my exes, I would prefer to go hiking with him than someone I used to date. In fact, the thought of going out with someone else hasn’t crossed my mind.

He apologized and told me I had nothing to worry about. Can I just tell you? I hope our date tonight isn’t our last.

Butterfly

I got to bed at a reasonable hour last night and made it to work only 8 minutes late this morning. I think I was catching up on sleep missed from last night. Work in progress. Just so you don’t think I’m a crazy person and terrible for being late daily, I roll in about the same time as everyone else. Plus, I typically stay later to make up for any lost time in the morning or skip my allotted lunch hour. I just want to add a little more structure in my life and get to work at the time I am supposed to be there. For me.

Last night, I made it to the gym and went for a walk/stroll. My apartment is a disaster but I can breeze through it tonight before Chris gets there and make it look presentable. I’ll clean on Friday.

On my walk last night, I talked to Heather and exchanged updates. She is up for the 300 word challenge. We will be each other’s sponsor. During our chat, she told me about a science project she started in her home a few weeks ago. She had noticed some caterpillars in her yard and decided to adopt them. She brought them in her kitchen and fed them milkweed and whatever caterpillars eat.

I’m not sure if they were happy or not but they did transform. She got to watch the whole thing as they emerged from their cocoons as beautiful butterflies. We talked about transformation and how life, inevitably, throws us fast balls, curve balls, change-ups and knuckle balls. Through that, we grow and build upon our character. We talked about the “goo” in the cocoon where the caterpillar transforms. She likened it to shitty experiences, like heart-ache, financial problems or feelings of failure. Most of us learn from those things and come out the other side a little better, maybe worn out with more gray hair and wrinkles but with more humility and typically stronger.

Can I just tell you? I feel like I’m finally emerging from my cocoon. I was looking around the gym last night and trying to guess the general age of everyone. Do the women in their 20s and 30s realize how much opportunity they have now? I am happy but I wish I could have come out of this cocoon before all the gray hair and fine lines.

Yassou!

Can I just tell you? I made it to work 10 minutes earlier than normal. It wasn’t on time but it’s a start. I got to bed close to midnight and getting up this morning was a challenge. I’ve also decided that it’s time to focus on getting 8 hours of sleep per night. My skin will thank me, I’m sure.

I told Chris about all my new goals and told him I don’t want him to ask me about updates and whether or not I’m sticking to the plan. That would just aggravate me if I can’t get things straight. Hell, I’ve been “trying” to lose 10lbs for YEARS. I suppose it’s just time to finally do it. As Yoda would say, no more, “try.”

Yesterday, after work, I did make it to the gym for a Pilates class with Ann. It wasn’t very hard and I don’t feel a thing today so, that may have been a waste of time but it’s the action of getting myself to the gym that is important to me at this point. I also got home in time for a walk. I love my 30-40 minute walks. It would be really nice to be able to do that first thing in the morning. Baby steps.

I’m not sure when I’m going to fit in Greek lessons. “Wait, what? Greek lessons,” you’re asking. Did I forget to mention? I also committed to learning Greek by Christmas to my family after Peter died.

Speaking of Peter, my heart still aches for my aunt. It’s been compartmentalized for now. The holidays will be tough. In fact, I don’t even know where to find the words on how to describe what I’m feeling. We’ve all taken it so differently. I suppose those with children are holding them a little tighter when they say their “good byes.” You never know when it may be your last.

New Start

My birthday was this weekend and among the Facebook “happy birthdays” was a shared post from my very dear, David. The post was from someone he either follows or was shared by one of his friends. Regardless, it was meaningful to me. It essentially stated that life is, in fact, long, not short and we have enough time on this plain/plane to make a difference if we want to. For example, the man who created Pringles has also written 87 novels. Eighty-seven novels! Plus, he created one of the greatest chips man has ever known. Crazy. His motto was to write 300 words per day, every day.

I was out to dinner with Chris on my birthday and he asked if I felt any different. I started to tell him about the 300 word challenge but then trailed off with some bullshit about not liking to commit myself to anything. That is true, considering I just ate 2 birthday cupcakes in addition to the cake pop I had earlier. Ummm, haven’t I committed to losing 10lbs? And, getting to work on time? These last two “commitments” have been on my plate for 15 years. I’m guessing it’s about time to make those a reality. Why not commit to the 300 words, too?

So, here it is. I commit to losing 10lbs by Christmas. I commit to getting to work on time, starting tomorrow. And, I commit to writing 300 words a day, starting today. I am 42 years and 3 days old. I should have 108,000 words (180 pages) down by the time I turn 43, I should weigh between 120 and 123lbs and I should have a world’s record for being on time for work. Well, a Stacey World Record for timeliness. While I’m at it, I’m going to get my debt off my plate.

Can I just tell you? The buck stops here. Game on.