Thursday, October 17, 2019

broken


Guess what I've been up to?

I've been in the hospital - for the first time ever in my life.

Right now it hurts to type so I'll save the story for another time. The basic facts are - I fell doing a 5K cancer run/walk, I broke my humerus (upper arm right below the shoulder) in 4 places. The ER said I was going to need surgery so they transferred me to the big hospital downtown. The surgeon there didn't think surgery was the right call so, after spending the night at the hospital, I was discharged with a splint, told to keep the arm completely immobile and start therapy for 9 weeks.

I am in excruciating pain often especially when there's a strain on the arm. It's difficult to take care of Charlie, cook for myself, bend down and it's especially hard to get dressed with only one hand. I can't take off my bra because I wouldn't be able to get it back on so last night I took a shower wearing it and then blow dried it so it wouldn't be so soggy. At least both it and I got clean.

So there might not be many blog posts from me for a while. I am not in a good place right now, I feel very alone and miss Taz so much. He always took such good care of me.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

talk


There are many things that I miss about my marriage.

Of course I miss sex, I have made no secret about that. But really, if I had to rank them, the number 1 thing I miss about being married to Taz is having someone to talk to...about anything.

Taz was really private or at least he wanted me to be private. I have a feeling he was more open with his friends than he wanted me to be with mine. Regardless, the end result is that over the years I really only talked to him about all the things going on in our lives. You hear of women that talk to their women friends about EVERYTHING but that was never me. Even without Taz's feelings, I've never been the type to verbally vomit to my friends about private things and I never really needed to because there was always Taz.

We literally talked from the time we woke up in the morning (often I was almost late for work because we got talking and I forgot about the time) until one of us fell asleep on the couch at night. He would call me on his way home from work or even a grocery store trip and talk all the way until he got home. Sometimes he even sat in the driveway and just kept talking until I'd laugh and tell him to come inside. Of course we talked about the bad things like money problems and unemployment but more importantly, we talked about food and books and clothes and other people - you know, all the important things. 

We laughed a lot, especially when talking about other people.

And I miss that, I miss seeing somebody do something stupid on the road and coming home to tell him. I miss complaining about my mother. I even miss listening to him complain about politics. I miss talking about work and listening to him tell me all about his job. I miss the fact that he had great trust in my judgement and sought my advice about work situations. I really miss our discussions about our dreams for our future - we had such plans.

I miss having something happen on my daily walks with Charlie and being able to share that with him.

Case in point - I have a part-time neighbor who lives in England but comes to stay at his house at least twice a year for a couple of months each time. The rest of the time the house is rented out as a vacation villa. I avoided talking to him when he visited in the spring because (as I've mentioned before) the first question he has is "how is your husband?" and I wasn't emotionally ready to deal with that. But I knew I had to get it over with this trip and yesterday we had THE talk and the first person I really wanted to share that with is Taz.

Which is weird, of course, because I can't share a conversation about his death with him because, well you know.

But it was a big emotional hurdle for me to get over and the person I most wanted to share that kind of feeling with would be him and it sucks, sucks, sucks that he's not here to do that with anymore.

And there's nobody else that I talk to in that kind of a way. My local friends are wonderful at keeping me amused but they have never invited those kinds of confidences. They have never once asked about emotional issues and I'm not going to burden them with it if they don't want it.

I have far-away friends that might be open for that type of discussion face to face but it just doesn't seem right when we're only writing to each other.

And I know I've said this before, but I really miss that kind of connection with another human being. Yes, I could talk to a therapist but I don't want to have a fake connection with someone that I'm paying...and I can't afford it anyway. I want to have a connection with somebody that is there purely because they care about me more than anything.

I'm not complaining, I'm just stating the fact that yesterday I had something major I wanted to talk about and missed having somebody to share it with.

Yesterday somebody that I follow on Instagram posted how a year ago he was hurting from a bad breakup and then he met somebody, went on a first date with them and the two of them talked so much that they barely took a breath for hours and a) I was happy for him and b) I had that YES moment where I knew that was exactly what I wanted too - someone who can't get enough of talking with me. I look forward to that happening one day again but I'm very aware of how blessed I was to have had it at least once in my life.

So until then, this blog is where I pour out my feelings which is nice because I love writing but it's so one-sided. There's nothing better than the give and take of a real conversation with a true kindred spirit.

Monday, October 7, 2019

happy - week 2

Yes indeedy, I'm still rocking the happy at #100happydays!



That's little Jonni, isn't she adorable? I think I was somewhere around 3 in this pic. The little duckies are ones that I "bought" for my mother at that age for Mothers Day at the local Walgreens although I didn't even get an allowance at that age so I'm pretty sure my dad contributed the money but apparently I picked them out all by myself. This picture was taken last Sunday when I visited my mother in her assisted living apartment. She's 97 although she tells everybody she's only 92. She's quite with it for a 97 year old although I can see a big decline from this time last year. Her lack of connection with everyday life makes it both harder and easier on me.



This has always been a guiding principle in my life and I tried very hard to instill this in Taz because he was more of an "eye on the prize" kind of guy. I tried to put happy times in all of our days even the very difficult ones. Nowadays I admit that I need to be reminded of this from time to time too, not because I am focused on a goal but I'm more inclined to just put my head down and shuffle through this part of my life. So I was pleased to look down at my desk calendar and see these words last Monday. There *is* joy in the journey but we have to be open to it.



One of my favorite quotes, from Anne of Green Gables, is "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." This is my favorite month of the year, I used to love the change of seasons in Virginia and October in coastal California is amazing because you finally get the warm temperatures everyone else has had all summer. October in Florida isn't too shabby either because eventually, at some point, any day now, the summer heat and humidity are going to break and I'll walk outside one morning to find chilly air. I can't wait!



I went into the beginning of last week feeling a little (a lot) unloved and forgotten. But then stuff happened that snapped me out of it - I received gifts from 2 different people that proved they'd been reading what I posted on Facebook and they saw a need that they could help with. I love both of these people so much and I would love them to bits even if they hadn't done this but I can't even describe how much it lifted my spirits to know they were doing more than just *thinking* about me and being there with me in spirit.



I had been looking forward to this day ever since I was invited back in March. A group of us went to Universal Studios to celebrate the 11th birthday of my bff! She didn't know I was coming, we kept it a surprise even though she'd expressed - on several occasions both to me and her parents - her wish that I could join the outing. I will never forget the look on her face when she saw me (and 2 others she hadn't known were coming) and ran to give me a big hug. That made my day, my week and my year. We had the best day (even getting stuck for a couple of hours in the queue for a ride that broke down) and I will relive those memories over and over again. 




We did all the Harry Potter stuff and she got her wand in a ceremony that brought tears to my eyes. She is a year younger than my child would have been so I often think that I've been given a chance to have a little piece of that experience. With her blond hair and green eyes she's a little bit of a mini-me.



I needed a day off to recover from my day off! I took Friday off work to just sit around the pool and read; it was heaven!! It's probably good that I'm forced to work to keep a roof over my head because, if not, I would probably waste my life just sitting outside and reading. But what a way to waste a life!



Charlie is my #365happydays. She makes me happy every single day and I am so grateful for her. She's funny and sassy but she also can nap with the best of them so it's very restful to have her around. We're best buddies. I am alone a lot except, thanks to Charlie, I'm never really alone.

So that's my 2nd happy week. Stay tuned for next week. I've got the perfect storm of work deadlines and disconnected TV and Internet coming up so I'm going to have to work extra hard to find the happy but I'm up to the challenge...maybe...probably...who knows?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

normal


I just read back over the last several posts and oh my goodness, do I sound needy or what?

That is so not me and I find myself getting annoyed with all the whining. I have got to stop.

I was just watching a show (because the cable isn't getting disconnected for another week - woohoo!) about a widower getting back out in the dating world. It's a sitcom (because doesn't that sound like a funny premise for a show?) so parts of it are stupid but I actually find a lot of connection with the non-stupid parts.

In tonight's episode the guy found himself in a sort of relationship because he was too nice and he didn't want to hurt somebody and make them feel alone, because he knew how that felt. He had this one line where he said that he was doing all sorts of weird things to feel normal again because he hadn't felt that way for a year.

Light bulb moment.

I just want to feel normal again, to feel some sort of connection and it's making me act all out of character, trying too hard. Because I've been in a relationship for over 3 decades and that's what feels normal to me.

But the bottom line is - normal isn't normal any more. Even if I magically found someone tomorrow who wanted to love me forever, it wouldn't be *my* normal because that normal will never happen again and I've got to accept that.

I don't think whatever this is now is my new normal (could that sentence be any more confusing?) at least I hope this isn't normal for me. I think this is just a limbo period where growth can take place...or not, I guess that's up to me.

Maybe one day there will be a new normal but the normal I had is gone and I've got to stop driving myself crazy trying to recapture it. It has left the building.

Luckily, I use this blog as my sounding board and I don't inflict these feelings on anybody else so nobody really knows how needy and pathetic I've been. So tomorrow I'm going to wake up (after sleeping in because I have taken the day off!) and just chill with where I am right now, stop trying so hard to change it or make sense of it.

I've never really wanted to be normal anyway.

Monday, September 30, 2019

ghosted

I'd heard about ghosting for years - when you're texting with someone, getting to know them (or maybe you've already hooked up) and then suddenly they disappear and you don't hear from them again and never really know why.

It sounded painful but it didn't really apply to my life so I didn't think that much about it. 

Well now I do.

Because it keeps happening to me over and over again. I hate it.

It's happened with men but not so much because I don't have much contact with men these days. A couple of times that it's happened it's just funny because I really wasn't interested. One time, however, that it has happened was/is painful and I'll probably never talk about it. Men complain a LOT about women but let me tell you, they are stupid and unfathomable and confusing and stupid (yes, again) in their own right.

It's happened a lot with women that have contacted me because of things I've posted on Facebook groups that have touched their heart so they contact me to tell me that and suggest that we can become friends. Ok, I could use new friends, so I text back and then when I try to get a little specific about meeting for coffee or something, they ghost. Guess they really didn't want new friends after all but why contact me in the first place? I certainly didn't initiate it.

It's happened with people who are already friends and they contact me and say they want to come visit and then we start making definite plans and the date comes and goes and I haven't heard from them. Super annoying.

Or friends will respond to something I've put up on Facebook about an event I would like to attend and they comment that they'd love to do it too or they'll be with me on that day and that's the last I hear about that. I get that they're busy with their own lives, that's why I never bug anybody about stuff like that. If they really wanted to do it, they would talk to me about it. When I never hear anything I know that it was all talk, no action.

The most recent 'ghost' was this past weekend with a husband and wife that started the company Taz was a part of last year. They were there with me in the hospital and I thought we'd started a friendship but I haven't heard anything from them since then. So last Friday I texted both of them to say hi. I immediately heard back from the wife that she'd just been thinking about me and she asked how I was. I answered back with my standard "I'm fine" answer and then I suggested maybe we could get together for a quick hello when they are up in the area to attend the Food and Wine festival. They had always said it was an event they looked forward to attending each year. I know that they go with a group of friends/family and I certainly didn't want to intrude so that's why I suggested just a quick catch up. I didn't want them to think I wanted to tag along all day.

I never heard another thing from either one of them. It's been 4 days now and nada, zip, zilch, nothing, bupkiss. Is bupkiss a word? Oh, just looked it up and it's actually bupkis. You learn something every day.

I just don't understand ghosting. I mean, I guess I do, people are cowards and afraid of confrontation so if they decide they really don't want to continue to get to know someone it's easier to just disappear than to say a proper goodbye but really, it's rude and hurtful to the person especially if there's no good reason you don't want to continue the relationship.

At this stage in my life, every ghost is a knife in my back. I already feel unloved and unlovable and being ghosted is just confirmation that there's something wrong with me, that I'm not worth even the smallest effort. And it may have nothing to do with me at all, it may be that the ghoster is just a prick but my soul is hurting too much to absorb that. Because even if they're a prick, they are a prick that decided I wasn't worth any effort on their part.

Which is totally their loss because I'm delightful.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

first week of "happy"


Ha ha, bet you thought I'd forgotten about 100 happy days, didn't you?

Nah, I just decided it would make more sense to post a week's worth of pictures rather than every day.

And, just like last time I did this, within 2 days of deciding to participate my world kind of tumbled in so I was seriously tempted to just quit after the first 2 pictures because I was having trouble finding any happy but I remembered how it helped last time so here I am.



Tuesday night I went to Epcot for this concert. It's a vocal group and band that covers pop hits but arrange them like 1940s standards (my favorite genre of music) so it's funny and entertaining and wonderful music at the same time. I enjoyed them so much that I attended all 3 concerts that night.

I don't love Florida but I do appreciate the fact that I live so close to Disney World because it gives me something to do with my time, it's a safe environment for me to be alone and there's lots of fun entertainment. I was lucky enough to be joined by a friend and her daughter for the middle concert. After that I stayed to watch the fireworks show - Illuminations - one last time before it ends on September 30. It was Taz's very favorite show so I went to honor his memory because it was something he would have done but it took its toll on my emotions and left me feeling vulnerable and raw.



I have now been driving Taz's car for over 10 months (my beloved purple RAV is dead in the driveway and I can't afford to get it fixed) and I never knew it had heated seats until Wednesday so that's something that made me happy. You know what they say - warm bottom, warm heart. Wait, they don't say that? Well, they should!



Sugar skulls are awesome! I have a thing for skulls, I have no idea where it started. Maybe I like them because it shocks people and I do love shocking people who have underestimated me.

This particular skull was out front of the restaurant where my office mates and I had lunch on Wednesday to say goodbye to our boss who was retiring. I love my coworkers so any time to socialize with them makes me happy and all the skull decoration in the restaurant was just icing on the cake. Not to mention it was nice to be out to eat which is something I don't get to do often these days.



Yes, this is a picture of Charlie and she always makes me happy but this particular picture is of her sleeping on my legs while I was watching a show on the big TV at work. I had just decided that morning to disconnect my cable TV and internet at home because I'm running out of money and don't know if I can pay the mortgage for much longer so I have to economize. Getting rid of the internet (and to a smaller degree, TV) scares me because I spend SO much time at home alone and not being able to easily connect to the outside world or distract myself with a funny show or romantic movie is going to make that time so much worse. If I'm being honest, I'm afraid it might push me over the edge but, hopefully, since I'm aware of the threat, I can keep it from happening.

Anyway, on the day this picture was taken (Friday) I was at the office alone and after I stopped crying, I went into the conference room and, for the first time since I'd started working there almost a year and a half ago, I turned on the big TV in there and discovered that it is hooked up to a streaming service so I can watch shows on it. Since I was there all by myself I decided to take a little break and watch something. Since Charlie goes to work with me most days she was there and jumped up on my lap. In that moment, I was happy. I was watching a show I really like with my best friend snoozing on my legs and I was getting paid for it.

All too soon my lunch break ended and the show finished and I was back to work but it was a really nice moment while it lasted. It doesn't solve the problem at home but hopefully, from time to time, I can enjoy a show at work.



Saturdays are for kicking back and relaxing and that's what I did this afternoon. I haven't slept well this week so it was really nice to snooze in the sun like Pooh. I am happiest out in the back with a book and a cold drink.

So there's my first happy week. We'll see what I come up with next week.

Monday, September 23, 2019

100 happy days


A few years ago, in 2015, I discovered something called 100 Happy Days where you post a picture of something that makes you happy each day for 100 days in a row. The idea is that if you focus on happy things, your attitude will be happy as well.

I thought it sounded fun and that year had been a bit tumultuous so I needed a little happy. Literally the next day Taz came home from work (we were living in Florida at the time) and said the company had run out of money so he was out of a job. What a time to have dedicated myself to finding the happy, right?

For some reason, even though it would have been so easy to decide not to go ahead with it, I decided to stick to the 100 happy days even when we decided to move back to California, even when we both had trouble finding new jobs, even when we were down to our last $20 in the bank and the mortgage payment was due and we had no food in the house.

The picture above was taken on the 100th day at the end of that summer. By that time Taz had a job in San Francisco and we could at least pay the mortgage and eat. Things were looking up-ish (for that moment at least, 2016 was a whole new story) and I truly believe we got through that summer relatively unscathed because of my focus on those 100 days.

So, as we only have 100 days left in 2019, I'm going to begin the experiment again. It doesn't mean I won't complain from time to time (grin) but at least once every day I'm going to post a picture of something that makes me happy. For today what makes me happy is that picture up there of my little family. I will always be grateful for each day we spent together, even the really sucky ones.

Get ready to get your socks blown off with happiness for the rest of the year!