Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tuesday stuff


Hello from chilly Florida! I know it's not REALLY cold the way it is in other places (I heard it was 9 degrees in Virginia this morning) but it's cold enough for me, see my boots? 




I'm back at work after a holiday yesterday. It was glorious being able to sleep in for 3 days in a row and yesterday I ran around to the mall to return some dresses that I'd ordered back in December. One dress was a little too much and the other wasn't nearly enough. Luckily I'd ordered a third dress and that one was just right...I feel like Goldilocks.

I ordered the dresses for a Clan gathering (that's what we call our group of friends) but now I'm hoping I'll have an actual date reason to wear it too at some point. Valentines Day would be perfect but I'm not expecting that to happen.

I returned home to the blissful peacefulness of an empty house. My roommates decided to extend their stay at the beach and won't be back until Wednesday afternoon so my house feels like mine again (with several additional boxes in the way) and I'm enjoying it so much. It's hard to believe they've only been moved in for a little over a week, it feels much longer but I didn't have any trouble getting back to my old routines starting on Sunday afternoon.

So over the weekend my new friend (I'll call him Joe) and I hooked up...

...our Disney accounts. Now we can plan spur of the moment trips whenever he is up in this area (he lives 70 miles away) and make reservations for each other. It was nice to have somebody to walk with in the parks. I have gone solo many times and doubtless I will again from time to time but it gets hard and sad to see all the couples walking around and know you used to have that and now you're alone. On Saturday I didn't feel sad and I laughed a lot. For once I didn't feel a little pathetic, walking along by myself in a crowd of people. It was nice to feel normal again and I want to enjoy every bit of this experience whether it lasts long or not.



I'm also having fun being a temporary cat mom. As long as I feed them twice a day and scoop the litter every evening, cats are remarkably easy to take care of.



I did discover yesterday that as much as Charlie likes BlackBerry, she  has a line that should not be crossed. She does not plan on sharing *my* food with anybody. I was eating dinner (pancakes and bacon) and BB kept walking on the back of the couch right by me. It was annoying me a little but it really bugged Charlie and her lip curled up over her tiny teeth as she growled. She is the only one that gets to share my food apparently. Once the food was gone, she was back to being a friend to all.



Here is Loki making a rare appearance. He's getting braver - he even hissed at Charlie yesterday when she got too close. I'm afraid though that it didn't have the effect he intended. Charlie, like many girls, can't resist a bad boy who isn't into her. She took it as a challenge and wanted him even more so now she chases him every time she sees him.

I, on the other hand, won't chase anybody and I'm done with bad boys. I know there are women out there that practically throw themselves at men just to get attention but I'm not one of them. Yes, it hurts when someone doesn't like me as much as I like them or doesn't want to even take the time to get to know me but I don't chase when someone ghosts. So this thing with Joe will last as long as it's meant to and then I'll move on. I just know there's still something real and amazing out there for me.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

fortress of solitude


One last note about yesterday - I've been thinking a lot today about love and connections. 

Only once in my life have I felt an instant connection with someone and it actually wasn't with Taz (he and I were friends for over a year before we ever dated) but, unfortunately, the person in question didn't feel the same (or didn't want to) and disappeared from my life as fast as he could. Whatever, his loss.

But I know how a real connection feels and it's awesome. 

I also know what it feels like to really like a person, want to spend more time with them but there isn't that spark, at least not right away. That's how I felt yesterday and I'm pretty sure he felt exactly the same. I know that feelings can grow and change. Once Taz and I embarked on dating, the connection came swift and strong and never left.

But now that I know how the instant connection thing feels, that's what I want and that's what I'm holding out for. I have to believe that's out there for me. I want someone who thinks I'm the most amazing girl they've ever met. Not that I won't enjoy being friends without benefits because who doesn't need an extra friend especially one that enjoys some of the same things you do? 

But until I find that *one* I'm going to make sure I'm taking care of myself in my new living situation. Things have gotten slightly better since my last post about it. The mountain of boxes has been reduced greatly and I don't feel completely trapped, at least not most days. 



I'm learning to remove myself when I'm feeling overwhelmed or there is just too much noise or even if I'm just bored by what everybody else is doing. I'm stocking up on snacks and building my own Fortress of Solitude in my room. It's really very comfortable in there, even the kids say they really like my room. I love my couch, I love watching TV on my laptop or even reading quietly. I think my fortress is going to save me. I need to know I have a place to escape to as I learn how to adjust to all of this.



Things with Charlie and the cats seems to be working out better than we could have hoped. Charlie and BlackBerry not only tolerate each other but they really like each other and spend time hanging out. Charlie likes to kiss BlackBerry often and just a few minutes ago I saw BlackBerry walk over to Charlie, on another couch, and touch noses so she doesn't hate the kisses as much as she pretends to. She's a darling cat and I really enjoy living with her.

Her brother, Loki, is still having trouble settling in, hides all the time and thinks Charlie is the devil. He runs away from her which, of course, just makes her want to chase him. The other night he was sleeping in my room, unbeknownst to me, and you should have seen his face when Charlie and I walked in and shut the door. He dived under my dresser and his mom had to crawl on the floor and pull him out. I felt bad for him, he was so clearly terrified. But he hides all the time, even from the kids, so I don't expect things to get much better on that front. At least we have had no cat/dog confrontations or fights.

Speaking of solitude, I have glorious solitude tonight. The family decided to take advantage of the holiday weekend and go to the beach overnight. I was invited, which was sweet, but they are celebrating a dating anniversary and we would all be sharing a room and seriously, in my current state of deprivation the last thing I need is to see a couple in the next bed spooning each other all night. It might just send me over the edge so that I'd be seeking benefits with my new friendship.

the day after


Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, I have returned from the date and my virture is still intact. LOL

So bottom line is, I had a great time, lots of laughs, some serious talking and we've made plans to hang out again but that's all it was for now. We were together for 10 hours or so and we still liked each other at the end of all that so I'd call that a success.

This morning I'm so tired though, it might have been the 2...or more...adult beverages that I consumed. Remember I said I hadn't drunk any alcohol in over a year, well I definitely can't say that anymore. Not that I had too many or even felt tipsy but going from 0 to 2 or 3 in one night is probably not a great idea. I did get to try some excellent wine and discovered that a lemon grey goose (vodka) slushie is delicious but strawberry sake is a little too sweet to ever want it again.




And OMG, we had the best dinner at a Japanese place. It was delicious and beautiful!

So there it is, I survived my first outing with a guy. I wasn't even nervous or tongue-tied like I can usually be. I decided to just be as much myself as I could and he could either like me or not. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

dating


Something big happened last night, make a note! I was asked on a date. I can finally say "he slid into my DMs!" LOL

A DATE!

It's low-key, just a fun day at the parks with a man that belongs to an online group that I'm a part of. He lost his wife about 6 years ago so we have things in common and will, no doubt, have lots to talk about. I anticipate a good friendship even if nothing else comes along with that. But if there's more, I'm open to that.

I wasn't sure I was going to write anything about this and maybe I won't ever write much more but since I use this blog for myself, to document this journey that I'm on, I thought it was important to document ALL of it. So I'm nervous, I'm pleased, I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm guilty, I'm confused, I'm ready for this to happen...all of it.

Check back on Saturday night or Sunday to see how it went.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

trapped


You know the phrase 'I cried myself to sleep?'

I don't know about anybody else but I find that when I cry in bed, as I did last night, my nasal passages swell up and I can't breathe and then it's impossible to sleep without being able to breathe so I have to spend a lot of time not crying in order for everything to go back to normal, which makes me cry even harder and then I get mad at myself for starting the whole process over again.


Needless to say, it was not my best night ever.




It started out ok. Charlie, I thought, was doing quite well with one of the cats that now lives at our house. She even kissed the cat and there was no bad reaction although you could tell the cat didn't love it...yet.

Then my friends and I went out to yet another cat trivia night, this time at a downtown Orlando location. We ended up winning 2nd prize which surprised us as we felt we hadn't done all that well. The area where the cat cafe is located is not the best, kinda creepy, and I doubt we'll ever go back there but we had a fun-ish time.


But then we came home and I've got to admit that going out 3 nights in a row after a rather stressful weekend has taken a toll on me so I'm beyond exhausted, tired of picking my way through a minefield of crap and feeling out of step with my world. I feel like I'm trapped in this alternate universe that kind of looks like my life but everything is just wrong.


Right now I wonder why I fought so hard to hold on to everything and I miss my old 2018 life so badly that I can barely hold it together. I should probably hold my Fuck Off cup in front of me like a shield.


When we lived in Virginia and I would feel trapped in my life I would say that I wanted to get in the car, turn up the radio really loud and just head west. Then we moved west and lived right on the coast so I used to joke that if I tried heading west I'd run into the ocean in 5 minutes.


Well I'm back in the east now and I'm so tempted to load up Charlie in the car, point it in the direction of the sunset and just keep going.


I don't get this way very often but today I'm just done - with everything and everybody. 


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

adrift


Well, I survived the first weekend!

Today is my second day back at work. I'm learning a new morning routine which makes things a little challenging. Because I go into work very early (in order to be out in time to pick the kids up from school which I now have to do 2-3 days a week because their parents won't be able to) I have to get ready very quietly so that I don't wake everybody else up, especially B because he works nights. I can be quiet but Charlie tends to bark with excitement when she knows we're almost ready to go to work so I've taken to putting her in the car right after our morning walk and then going back in the house to pack up my lunch and head out the door. I feel bad about this but it can't be helped. Right now the whole morning feels weird and I miss enjoying a cup of cocoa while watching the morning news but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.


I think my plan is to keep busy, have plenty of things to do outside of the house while we work through the initial days of this new arrangement and I definitely did that this past weekend. Sunday morning I was out of the house bright and early to take Charlie to her grooming appointment. Well, not a real grooming, she was only getting her nails trimmed but they really needed it. It was cute that they put her name out on the board in front of the store. Of course I pointed it out to her and made her stand in front of the sign for a picture. I'm that kind of a dog mom. We were in and out of that appointment in less than 5 minutes.



Then I was off for a swim with one of my dearest friends. She and her husband live in Ontario, Canada most of the year but they've been coming down to Florida for the winter for over 20 years. It's just an amazing coincidence that we all ended up in the very same town but it's been pretty awesome for almost all of those 20 years to know that we'd have a chance to see each other at least once or twice a year and ever since I moved to Florida it's been a whole lot more than that. I sometimes felt guilty about spending weekend time with her which took away from time with Taz but he always encouraged me to go and when I started working part-time, so that I could swim on weekday afternoons, I made it a weekly event, sometimes even twice a week. He was happy that I had a friend to hang out with in Florida and I was happy that I could still have my weekends with him.

I don't know what I would have done without her last winter. Weekends were so hard for me, all those endless empty hours stretching in front of me, full of grief and pain and wretched loneliness but knowing that I could run down the road just a few miles and go swim with my friend was so helpful. We have always been close but we became heart sisters last year.

Sunday was our first swimming outing since she got back in town, one of many over the next two months. 

It was so lovely to relax and do something completely normal. For a few hours I was able to forget the chaos back at my house and that everything in my life has changed once again. We went out for lunch after our swim and that was a lovely treat from my friends. I don't get out to eat very often and I love it so. I especially love restaurants like Olive Garden where I know the portions are big so I can take half of my entree home and have it later in the week for dinner when grocery funds will be running low before payday.

Back at home I was by myself (with the adorable Charlie) for a little while but then I was called back into action to help with the move. My car was needed to help transport stuff and kids. I think that was the last load and now everything is at our house. 

I honestly don't know where everything is going to go, the garage is full of furniture, the living room is full of boxes, there is just a tiny path from the front door into the kitchen. I have no room for anything because my storage is now limited to my bedroom and that is already bursting at the seams. I'm feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by it all but, hopefully, within a month or two the boxes will have cleared and there will be a path through the garage so that I can start to donate some of my own furniture and make even more space out there. I might as well start getting rid of things, I have a feeling I'm going to eventually need to be a bit of a rolling stone, able to move freely through life without being held down by possessions and memories.

I think I'm feeling adrift right now. I was just getting used to my solitary life (not that I always liked it) and now I don't recognize my life. I don't even know who I am right now.

Wow, I guess that's why I write because I wasn't intending to say that when I started this post. I didn't even know I felt that way. Right now I'm not even letting myself think too much. I know I enjoy my time with the kids, that's when life feels...not normal but happy. But I also miss my routine of coming home after work, which is stressful these days, and just being quiet. There is no quiet with 3 kids even though they're delightful. They always want to be doing something, eating something, talking about something.

And I know it's just as hard for my friends. They had their own home for many years and now they don't. As much as I keep saying it's our house now, I wonder if they'll ever feel that way or will they spend the next year (or more) feeling like they're camping out. I can only imagine how weird they feel right now. We've all lost parts of our lives with this move. I hope I can help them, it's what I'm trying to do by changing my routines to accommodate their lives and also by staying away as much as possible so that they can enjoy time in the house with just their little family.

I had chorus rehearsal last night and it was a potluck (I had stayed up late making a casserole after helping with moving on Sunday night) and I found myself quite happy to walk out the door with my dinner in hand and go do something normal. I have a feeling I'm going to be keeping myself a lot busier from now on and it's definitely time to figure out how to start dating so that I almost always have something to do for right now. You know what my dream is? To meet someone who loves to travel so that I could get away from real life from time to time. Yeah, probably not going to happen but a girl can dream, can't she?



To end on a happy note (because I really don't like being negative) I was taking selfies with Charlie on Friday while I was waiting to pick the kids up from school and when I looked at the one above I realized it looked remarkably similar to a selfie Taz took with Shifu so I put them together. I think I'll get it printed out so I can frame it and put it up in the bedroom. Shifu and Charlie never knew each other but they look very alike and I always thought they would have been such buddies. I miss those 2 guys over there on the left, so much. Oh crap, and now I'm crying. I didn't do that at all over the weekend but I seem to be making up for it yesterday and today. Well, I guess I'm not ending on such a happy note after all but this picture really does make me happy. My little family.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

move in day


The move in is happening! 

Yesterday and today there have been lots of boxes and furniture going into the house. I'm beginning to think that merging two full households is going to be a bit rough but eventually we'll get there. 

For right now, however, I'm trying to stay out of the way as much as possible.


Today I took Charlie to visit my mother and I think they both enjoyed the time together. Then Charlie and I went to see a friend who just got back into town for the next 2 months. We hadn't seen each other in almost a year and she was such a comfort to me this time last year so I couldn't wait to see her again. It seemed to be a good day to do things away from home.

But now I'm hanging out at home while everybody else is out to dinner. So, except for the explosion of boxes, it seems like a normal Saturday evening and I really appreciate it.

It's all going to be ok.