Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Portland and Back Again!

Back in good old Southern California. We had a wonderful time with family and extended family.

The weather in Portland was AMAZING and we got out and about to lovely restaurants, fun sightseeing and shopping.

My boy.....graduated summa cum laude from his university. He
will be staying in Portland for the time being and it's all good. He is building a life there and I am building my life here but our love and mutual admiration is strong and the connection will remain tight.

We had a wonderful conversation about a book that we both happened to read called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck.  The following is short description of the book:

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

We agreed that it had a tremendous impact on us both and has led to a new way of thinking about our failures and trials. I love watching my kids continue to grow emotionally....it's exciting to watch and it encourages me and my attempts to continue on my walk to emotional health.

The Boy Scout had his first experience travelling with my family...he did a fine job. Lots of personalities and the stress of accommodating everyone's timetables and food quirks can be difficult but, for the most part, he's an easy going guy and pulled it off pretty darn good. Plus he made a great meal for a big group in another persons kitchen....kudos to him.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ahhhhchoooo!

I've got a nasty little head cold, ache from head to foot and feeling rather hungry. The suggested colonoscopy at 50 is scheduled for 8:30 in the a.m. (only three years late), so I am on a fast.  I don't mind the not eating part much, it doesn't really bug me but I want ibuprofen something fierce!!  My head is pounding.

Looking forward to having this all done and over. I wish it wasn't on a Monday because I could celebrate at our favorite Mexican food Juans but they are closed on Mondays. Ah well, I'll figure out something good.

Have a great week 👨🏽‍⚕️

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Looking For My Summer

Detachment

Do people actually do this?  Do you?

I'm not there yet, at least not to this extent. I guess I don't trust myself enough. YES, that must be it!!! I must not trust in myself enough to know that I will be OK no matter what. Logically I know that the worrying and the talking I do in order to make myself feel ok is just wasted energy but emotionally I fret and finagle, I appeal and entreat.

I have no idea what normal is. When a behavior causes mistrust inside of me I cannot even trust that I should or should not be feeling the apprehension.  Everything I read tells me that children of alcoholics recreate their chaos. Perhaps that is what I am doing...recreating living in fucking craziness. WHAT IS NORMAL? Is a beer a night normal, whiskey once a week, going to a bar without your partner, is getting stoned normal, what about lying? WHAT THE HELL IS NORMAL???

There are times, more and more often, that I think, "Hey girl, perhaps you are just suppose to be alone...to do this thing called life without a partner. So often you are not doing a great job of this." But then I think BULLSHIT, men have done enough damage to my psyche....why should I imprison myself to aloneness because of what two or three or five men have done in the past. I don't hate men, they just scare me.

And so I rant.....

But I trust in my Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon programs. I trust that many others have found a new way to live without the chaos and anxiety. I also trust that this is an up and down journey. Two steps forward and one step back. One of these days, and I hope it is soon, I can let all this shit go and just BREATHE.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Thanks For The Memories

Tucked in the little town of Ojai CA is one of our very favorite golf courses. 

It is there at Soule Park that we have met some of the most interesting characters that we, now looking back, wish we had gotten a few phone numbers to enjoy their company once again. There was Dong and Quan, Tom and Marius, Karyl Lynn and Jim and a number of others. It was there we cemented our love for each other, where the Boy Scout taught me to be a better sport and it was there we met some other very special individuals.

Bordering the golf course are parks, hillsides and ranch land. Along hole #5 we got to know and love these guys.
Big Knee and Whitey
Whitey and Big Knee were not alone. There was Stubby and Brownie #1,2,3,4. These guys were shy at first but the Boy Scout, not to be dissuaded, would run to the market to buy carrots and apples each time we went golfing. Whitey was pretty aggressive at first, chasing the others off but he stopped that behavior pretty quick; there was enough for everyone. Three of them would come up and eat out of our hands but the rest remained on the outskirts and we obliged their shyness by tossing apples and carrots to them too. It was gratifying to approach the tee box and hear the Boy Scouts piercing whistle and have the lot of them come-a-running. 

They were a motley group, not too good of shape. I am sorry to say that they have disappeared and we are fairly certain that they have been destroyed. They were old and had health issues....we cannot come up with any other scenario. I like the thought that maybe they were relocated to another pasture but it doesn't look likely.

Bummed at their disappearance, we take solace that we may have added some comfort and pleasure in their days with us. Hole 5 will never be the same.

Thanks for the horse love guys....Big Knee, I hope your knee it working perfectly now. Whitey, be nice to your buddies.


Courage Is Not The Absence of Fear

I've set new boundary. 

I feel nervous but solid. I think it is the right thing to do. I feel I have been patient enough.

I don't often write about stuff quite this personal because the Boy Scout reads this blog, but it is my blog and it is with a sense of relief that I will share.

There are ways that this man is perfect. He is a positive person, loves my kids, attempts to pay attention to my needs, helps when asked, is outgoing and very social, is a willing and amazing cook, we share a similar faith and he is kind to me. He is also a dreamer. 

The problem is that he has not been employed since I met him. Immediately after our second date he had a knee replacement. Six months after that, he had the other knee done. A few months after the second knee was the rotator cuff which. honestly, seemed to take longer to recoup than the others. There was disability, then unemployment, miscellaneous income and then mostly just me. 

It has been a long journey. I believe that if things remain the same my love for him will be drowned out by resentment. I lived a crazy, chaotic life with my ex that made our world insular. I want to do many things; dance. travel, kayak, socialize, theater, bike, golf....basically enjoy the life that I had hoped for but had remained elusive. I still have a ton of energy and am ready to get moving.

June 1st is the deadline I have set. It is hard. My desire is to care for him but that is not a healthy desire....not for me...and certainly not for him. I worry that I he will feel hurt or betrayed, "thrown away", but that is not what I am doing. I want him in my life, I love and adore him, but I want a partner who is employed in some capacity and I have decided that it is a boundary...a line I no longer want to cross. 

Honestly, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Series Of Fortunate Events

When I was 21 years, being just off of a dog grooming stint, I decided to go in another direction (daily dog hair in places where dog hair doesn't belong convinced me). A company hired me as a multi-state payroll clerk. Previously I held a job at Security Pacific Bank (anyone out there old enough to remember that one?) where, despite my fancy title, I mostly inserted completed payroll checks into shipping bags and made sure they were delivered to customers in a timely manner. That title, along with some creative resume writing, got me a job in this family run company that owned and, or operated 27 locations in 9 different states. The job kept me on my toes, educated me well and, through a series of unforeseen events, I became the office manager in a few years.

After seven years at this company there was an opportunity to start a side business, completely supported by my employer. That side business grew until I went out on my own, my former employer becoming my main client. Throughout this time my relationship with the family flourished. We were all in a similar age range, with me being on the younger end. Together we had marriages, children, heartaches, achievements, deaths and divorces...basically we shared life and became a small extended family. 

When my ex-husband (that is still to weird for me to say) reached the rock bottom of his mental illness and addiction, he had been employed by the same people for about 8 years. This family stepped forward and supported us in some sweet and meaningful ways. They made sure that we kept our health insurance for as long as they could and gave us emotional support throughout.

Years later, most of them are now retired or semi-retired. One of them, at this very moment, is adding a master bathroom off of my tiny bedroom inside my tiny little house.    Ima have a tub purty darn soon!!!

Feeling grateful for good jobs and good friends and, mostly, for learning the importance of being grateful even when life is hard not just when the going is easy.