Friday, September 28, 2012

How About You Mind Your Own Business

This whole Facebook thing has kinda gotten to me as it does during every election year. I thought Facebook was a social media place to reconnect with friends and kinda get an inside view into each other's lives, kids, family, fun stuff and humorous stuff. For me, it's been a place to brag about my kids and post things that I thought were funny. Have I had people "unfriend" me for no reason that I could think of? Sure. Do I care? No, because I "unfriend" people too. I just don't go so far as to tell them why. It's probably because they are too religious or political or just plain irritating to me. And if they are a good friend, heck, I just hide their profile and go directly to it if I wanna see what's been going on.

There are those self-righteous people who think someone really cares that they are about to "unfriend" you, so they send you a private message just before hitting the fateful "unfriend" button. I've never actually had that happen, except with guys I dated or whatnot....until tonight. Yes, it did chap me (shocking) and I did try to just blow it off, but that never works all that well for me. I've removed the name to spare this person her identity, but here was the exchange:

The no-longer friend

Pretty shocked that you would post something with such vulgar language. You may want to re-think that. I have told my kids that is unacceptable to have friends that post things like that. Unsubscribing from you today. I really hope you re-think your posts. Take Care.





 


My response


 


You could have just as easily unfriended me and gone on your merry little way and it would have taken me months to figure out you weren't my "friend" anymore. But apparently there's some self-righteous Christian inside you that felt this judgmental need to call me out on MY post on MY Facebook. Last time I checked, that was MY name, which gives ME the right to post whatever I want. You don't know me or my kids or how my family works. You've never taken the time to know what we've been through but I'm pretty sure it's NOTHING like your perfect little marriage with your perfect little children in your perfect little house in your perfect little life. So better that you don't have to tolerate my humor anymore. I'd rather not have "friends" who are going to cast judgement and tell me I should "re-think" a post when they can't bother to congratulate me and be happy for me when I say something nice or uplifting. As I'm sure my humor made you think differently of me, your chastisement of me has made me think differently of you. So-take care.....


This is what I posted in case you missed it the first time...






So, let me make this clear. This picture was sent to me through text from a really good friend who gets my humor. I thought it was hilarious as did many of my friends on Facebook. If you found it offensive, um, sorry?? I guess? I don't know. From the few responses I get to things I post, I just didn't really think that many of my "friends" paid attention to what I said. I don't post as much as I used to just because I like to make my posts interesting or funny. If you wanna "unfriend" me, go ahead. I won't be offended. We probably didn't have a meaningful friendship to begin with. If you think I'm a bad parent for posting things like this, you can go suck it. But one thing is for sure, don't bother chastising me. I'm a 45 year old woman who just doesn't care what other people think. (Unless you are my child or my boyfriend and at that, I know they would just tell me to my face.) 










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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can't you find someone closer?

I went to lunch with a coworker yesterday and, of course, the conversation turned to my long distance relationship. I was telling her about my weekend plans. I'll be driving there tomorrow, taking the afternoon off so I can get there when he gets home from work. Then we are going to watch his son march at the high school football game that is an hour and a half, at least, from his house because that's how they do it when you are a rural high school. Saturday he has to work, which means he will be gone all day because he works 45 minutes away. I'll be getting my craft on as well as finish up the book I'm reading. Lucky for us, he's off Sunday.

This is the point where I get the usual, "He needs to find a Monday through Friday, 8-5 job" or  the best, "Can't you find someone closer?" Well, yes, the job hours could be better but it's what he does and he isn't really a behind the desk kind of guy. I'm fortunate to have a very flexible job that makes it possible for me to be there when he can't be here. The distance thing, though? Not an issue with us right now. Can I find someone closer? Um, no and nor do I want to. I've dated PLENTY of men in the DFW area, enough to know that this relationship is totally worth the drive, the distance, the time spent on the phone and texting and getting to know each other. It's not going to be this way forever, trust me.

It's very much in me to want to launch into a conversation about dating. Not just dating, but dating in your mid-30's and beyond, dating after divorce and kids, and well, just dating. It's a phenomenon to me actually. It's hard enough when you're in high school and college and pretty much have a pool of people to chose from. When you are working and raising kids, it's much more difficult, especially if you are against dating a coworker (NO! I will not do that!). Now they have these "great" dating websites that statistically show to be working for a few people. They didn't work for me. I wasn't willing to do the bar scene and I didn't have friends who had decent single friends. My friends were either married or their friends weren't my type....or I wasn't theirs.

If I've learned anything in my late-in-life dating experience....well there are a few things.

1) Don't count anyone out.
2) Have a very short list of deal breakers.
3) Make sure you stay open to any possibile situation.
4) Go out as much as you can or as little as you want, but go out.
5) But, before any of that, make sure you are happy with you. Be able to be alone and see your future with just you and if you end up having someone else along side you, that's just purely a bonus.


No one is going to be happy with you until you are happy with yourself. And that goes both ways. I honestly believe that, until you like you, are ok with spending a weekend alone or being the "third wheel" with your favorite couple-friends, you aren't any good for that person that you want to end up with.

And if you're lucky enough, you will end up with the best friend and partner that you always knew you wanted....just like me.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

College Stresses


Turner Falls, Oklahoma - 2004
When I was young and in my early 20's just poppin' those babies out like no one's business, there were a lot of things I never even considered. One of them was college. I got loans on my own and went to college. I guess I just assumed that, if my kids wanted to go to college, they would do the same. Their father never went to college and, in fact, thinks it's useless and stupid. After all, he owns his own company and makes the "big bucks" with no college degree. We should all follow his lead, right? Even if you want to be an Interior Designer or Music Teacher. Sure.....ugh.

My oldest child has, at this point, chosen not to go to college. In fact, I believe this is his last week as a waiter at Red Robin. He will begin cleaning buildings for his dad's company. He's been cleaning one very close to our house to pay off the car his dad bought him this summer after he totaled the car he was given after my aunt passed away. I suppose he thinks the money is good and the work isn't that hard. Two true statements. I should be thankful that he's made that choice except that he's going to be around his dad more and that isn't always a good thing. People's personalities can rub off on you, especially when it's your parent.

My middle two kids are both in college and it's been a bit stressful. My daughter is going on grants and working and my middle son is going on scholarships and help from his dad. He's got some students lined up to teach, which is amazing to me since he's only a freshman in college, but he is good and will be a great teacher. I can't do much, provide money for food or send groceries home, but I can't help with big money. And I get sad about that. I want to but I just can't. My son thinks he will be able to go through college and not have to have student loans at the end. Well, good luck with that! I don't think it's possible but he does so more power to him. My daughter needs more student loans because she feels the need to be out on her own. I told her this weekend she can come home and sleep on my couch and commute. She didn't like that answer very well.

Waking up at 3:15 this morning from weird dreams and guilt because I can't help my kids is now how I would prefer my life to be right now. I have always been the comforting parent but I have come to realize that I can't put my own stuff on hold just so they can get support for college. I did it on my own and so can they. I just have to make it seem like the bottom isn't going to fall out and that it's possible. Don't drop out is what I tell them. I believe in college whole-heartedly and for both of them, their major is something they've had a passion for since they were in 7th grade. I completely support their choices. Emotional support is what I have now. The financial part will work itself out. That's what I keep telling them and myself. It will

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just to Clarify.....


Me and Z, 12/2011
As I do, I question things that I write. I wonder what people actually read. Do they read what I really wrote or do they read between the lines and wonder what I really meant by that? Probably both because that's what I do when I go back and read what I write. Occasionally I will make changes just to clarify those unanswered questions in everyone's (my) head.

My blog post on 9/12/12 was about my internal celebration of the anniversary of my own personal Independence Day. I didn't mean to come across like I need a man in my life to be whole or fulfilled. That is really just a side note to who I am today. I wanted to celebrate and encourage not loosing yourself in a marriage/relationship. I wanted whoever reads my ramblings to know that there is hope when you feel like you can't go on anymore. You just have to dig DEEP down inside, sometimes almost to your toes, but you WILL find the strength to succeed if you focus on the end goal. Mine has taken nine years so far, but I believe it will take a lifetime. I don't ever want to stop growing. Always keep learning and improving yourself.

I believe that we all want to be loved for who we are and not what we can do for someone. No one REALLY WANTS to grow old alone. We all have our childhood traumas and neglect that we have to overcome. Ok, maybe you are one of the lucky ones who had great parents that had a great and perfect marriage and you came away without any scars or battle wounds that you have to get over. Good for you. I think you are the .10% of the human race so be happy for yourself. That isn't the norm.

One Jan. 1 of this year, I declared that I was going to stop dating. Since I started having boyfriends, probably 8th grade, I would guess I've never gone more than six months without a date or guy/boyfriend in my life in some fashion. So when, at 44 years old, I went a full six months without a date, that was huge for me. And probably the best new year's resolution I'd ever made. I had also just gotten a dog, which TOTALLY helped the loneliness that I would feel when the kids were gone and it was just me alone in my apartment - reflecting. I had this precious little dog who looked to me like I was his everything - because I was. I spent those months thinking about the horrid experiences I'd had with men my whole life, the mistakes I'd made,the behaviors I'd allowed from men and what I truly wanted if I was to ever be in a relationship again.

My thoughts were such that I had sort of written off ever actually being in a relationship again because I wasn't convinced there was someone out there that I could tolerate, honestly. It wasn't so much that I wasn't sure there was someone out there who would tolerate me. I hadn't really had that problem. It was finding that guy that "got me", that guy that just genuinely LIKED me, that guy that wasn't an annoying jerk or needy girly guy or such a judgemental Christian that it caused me to feel like I wanted to run screaming down the street while pulling massive amounts of hair out of my head. I wasn't sure he existed so I would say, "I am destined to be eternally single" and honestly, I had gotten really ok with that. I saw too many people in really crappy relationships just because they didn't want to be alone. I'd been there, done that. Wasn't going to do that EVER again.

Here I sit today, with three adult children on their own or in college and one teenager still at home, in a really great place emotionally, physically (getting there), and just genuinely happy with life and thinking about my future. My heart aches for friends I have that are just now starting their new life process. I hope that on some small level, I can be a beacon in the night on their journey, a symbol of hope and promise that this will get better as long as you make the choice to make it better!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So as not to offend my family.....

I am writing a blog post instead of a Facebook status update.

Today marks a special day for me. I'm not sure everyone sees it this way, but for me, it's a pretty big day. Nine years ago today, I filed for divorce from the man I was with for 20 years, the father of my four children.

This decision was many, many years in the making. I won't go into the details. If you want those you can go to my other blog and read about it. Just know that it was a decision I did not come to lightly. It had been obvious for many years that neither of us were happy and there were other people in the marriage, but that wasn't the final straw for me. The final straw was when, after contemplating suicide and going through an intense outpatient program recommended by our marriage counselor, I realized this situation I was in was never going to change. I wanted to live for my children and if the only way to do that was to be divorced and struggle to regain a career and a life path, that was what I was going to do. I knew I was strong enough, I just didn't realize how truly strong I was then - and still am.

So, what have I been doing for the last nine years, you ask? Well, not remarrying for one. Dating a heck of a lot and finding out who I am deep down inside. It has taken me every bit of the last nine years to find that person that I was before I got so wrapped up in boys and needing to fill the void of attention I wasn't getting from my father and the loss of my granddaddy. Good news! I found her and she is just as funny and sarcastic and honest and, at times, sad, just like she was when we last spoke. I am happy to say I am in a relationship for the first time in my life that fulfills me but doesn't make me feel desperate or needy or used or abused.

When I realized what today was, I got all giddy inside. Crazy that I remember the exact date? Not to me. I do that with a lot of dates, but especially when it's a true date to remember. A day that I stood up for myself and declared that I was going to break away from the abuse and destruction of a marriage that didn't need to exist any longer. A day that I knew would affect more people than just me and him. I had four children to think about and think about them I did. I knew that I didn't want them to grow up around what they were experiencing at the time. I wanted to be strong for them and I couldn't do that as long as I was married to their father. Not a lot of people really understood that. I lost pretty much all my friends and some family members, but I was ok with that. I am alive and so much better for my kids now than I was back then. I hope they would say the same. To this day, I honestly believe, as hard as it's been on them at times, we are all better off for the decision that I, alone, made nine years ago.

For all those people, men and women, who are contemplating divorce, going through a divorce, or just in a difficult relationship, I won't tell you that my life has been easy because it hasn't. Far from it. I have not and would not recommend divorce to just anyone. There is a lot to consider before you just go all willy nilly and file to end a marrige. I've seen many people go through it just because they are unhappy, yet no abuse or infidelity is going on, and then they truly regret it later. I will say that I would have done things differently if I had it to do over again. This is not regret, just those "knowing now what I wish I knew then" kinda things. But, I don't have it to do over again so I just say, lessons learned from doing things the hard way and hopefully, I have helped people along the way to go about their divorces and breakups a little bit easier.

To those people who judge me, made assumptions and believed a load of lies, just know that my life is good, God is good, I am happy and I hope you are, too! Don't judge someone until you've walked in their shoes. There are three sides to every story. Celebrate EVERY LITTLE THING!
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