Monday, May 1, 2017

Overwhelmed

Preface:  My girlfriends mentioned that the lovely gray shade I had been using for my font color was not conducive to happy reading, when it came to super sexy eyes of the more mature, well read woman. I have darkened things up, changed the font, and made it a little larger.  I think all of the women who read this will appreciate that.  ;)  Carry on.
~
I'm sitting on my couch, wondering at what point in my life did I lose control. 🤔
I sit on my couch a lot.  I have two ridiculously comfy IKEA couches (I can't even begin to tell you how long it took me to aquire TWO white, slipcovered couches.) And no, I didn't go to Ikea and buy them.  I hunted for them....for years, until Craigslist came through...and I found them both (in perfect condition) for less than the price of one at the store.  Yay me.
Anyway....don't buy comfy couches if you have a tendency to feel overwhelmed, and find that you gravitate toward soft fluffy places and fall asleep when that happens.  Sleep is my escape.  From everything.
Feeling overwhelmed is not a new thing for me.  However, feeling that way in EVERY area of my life is.  The funny thing is, I have more free time now than I ever have before.  So, one would think I would be calm and relaxed, and perhaps even have my shit together!  😆🤣🙃😫
Let's break this down. (This is 100% for my own benefit...feel free to come along if you would like.)

Obstacle 1.  My House.
This is currently the bane of my existence.  Somehow, my lovely abode turned into the "stuff mart" and I am Madame Bluberry.  (Ok...so you need to be a Veggie Tales fan, circa early 2000's to get that reference.)  Lets just say that it doesn't end well for Madame Blueberry.
I have an entire library of self help books to assist me in this area.  "Does This Stuff Make My Butt Look Fat?"  "Unstuffed" "Clearing the Clutter" "Its All Too Much" etc.  I also have all of the books on simplifying your life, as well as perfecting the art of feng shui.  I'm overwhelmed by the amount of books I now own.  🙄

When we bought our first house (and there were no kids or pets, and Mark was never home) that place was spotless! Five moves later...we have accumulated 3,000 square feet of stuff....and it's stressing me out.  However, I have this stupid attachment to much of it.  I LOVE pretty things...and I have SO MANY pretty things!  And how many times have I gotten rid of something, only to need it a week later?
I am completely aware of the fact that I would bo SO much happier, and just be able to BREATHE if I cleared this place out.  It has to happen.

Obstacle 2.  My life.
AGH!  This rollercoaster ride is killing me.  I don't think I have ever felt so out of control of what's going on as I have over the past few months.  It feels like someone else is steering the ship, and I'm at their mercy.  It's a horrible place to be in.  I feel like I have been trying so hard to keep everyone happy....while my happiness suffers.  Have you ever felt like that?  Where you are willing to make others your top priority, and will sacrifice so much for them, but they treat you like an option?  It's amazing how small and insignificant that can make you feel.

And then there is the work aspect, where you get pulled in 50 different directions.  Luckily, my work life is typically very enjoyable.  For the most part, I'm doing what I love, so it's hard to complain about that!  However, as in every job, you always have to deal with ridiculous issues.  It's inevitable.
I think the thing that is the most baffling to me is always the drama that ensues.  When working with adults, you would think that things would just be straightforward and smooth.  But that is rarely the case.  It seems there is always someone who is unhappy, or who finds issue with everything.  They need your undivided attention when you are trying to work with an entire group, or are meeting with other individuals.  It gets exhausting.  If I ever act like that....please stop me and tell me to knock it off!

Obstacle 3.  My Attitude.
This one I'm trying really hard to work on.  Needless to say, it hasn't been good lately.  My rollercoaster isnt helping.  I am typically a very good listener.  I think one of my best qualities is my compassion.  Lately, I have felt very short tempered and impatient.  And it's not just when I'm tired and hungry. 😬  Things that I would usually just brush off now genuinely upset me.  People coming at me with constant complaints and attitude, who, in turn, then expect me to coddle them, and go out of my way to make sure they have everything they want....make me crazy.  Promises that never come to fruition...so frustrating.  People who say one thing, and do another....drives me nuts.  Maybe I'm just getting older and less tolerant of all the bs.....but whatever it is, my fuse is much shorter than its ever been.  I have found that my list of friends is changing.  The people I thought were my longest closest friends are the ones who I never hear from.  However, people who have been less prominent in my life up until this point have become my support system.  These are the people I would turn to in a heartbeat if I ever needed something, and hope they would feel they could do the same with me.

I think another thing that has really affected my attitude is trust.  I spend WAY too much time perusing Pinterest quotes, especially when I'm sad or hurt.  It's funny how many of them say exactly what you are feeling.  One that really resonates with me says something like "be careful who you trust....only a few care.  The rest are just curious."  Even harder than that has been coming to terms with situations that I thought were moving in one direction....but backfired on me.  I think when you allow your hopes and expectations to rely on someone else, you set yourself up for a fall.  It is these experiences that have made me realize that I can't depend on anyone but myself.  It doesn't matter what another person says, or promises, or even tries to make you believe.  In the end, the only thing you can control is YOU. I don't think there is anything more frustrating than this....but what can you do?  Shakespeare put it well: "Expectation is the root of all heartache." This actually makes me really sad, because I love being excited about the future.  I love hoping for good things to come.  I love having high expectations.  And yes, I am often disappointed.

That leads me to where I am at now.  Trying to figure out how to navigate my life.  Where do I go from here? I have been in this holding pattern for quite awhile now, and while I thought I had some direction....I was wrong.  So, I need to learn how to dream again.  How to get excited for a future of unknowns.  I am tired of feeling like I am "stuck" or waiting for something that will probably never happen.  I feel like I have been just wasting my life for the past few months, while I sit here....spinning in limbo.  I don't know what the answer is yet....but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to find it on my couch.  I think it's  time for a major overhaul.
Plan "Get My Shit Together" will be drawn up today.
Wish me luck.
This might call for some coffee.  The fancy kind. 😉☕️

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reboot

Today was a shit storm.  I woke up with really good intentions.  I even hopped in the tub before 9am (this NEVER happens, unless it's Sunday, and I have to be at church by 7:30....and let's be real.....7:45.  Sometimes 7:50.  A couple weeks ago, 7:58.  (Church starts at 8.). I admit, that might have been pushing it a little too close.  Father Parr (who NEVER gets mad) said, somewhat sternly, "Beth! You are making me very nervous...I thought you had forgotten about us!"  I winked at him, and assured him I would NEVER forget about him, and then sprinted to the piano, as my choir members gave me the "stink eye." 😜 Wow, it's so easy to go off on a tangent. Anyway....today.

I honestly don't even know how it started, but I suddenly found myself getting all defensive and upset with the last person on earth I want to fight with.  Texts were misinterpreted, I flew off the handle, then I had a mini-meltdown.  Just a typical morning around here. 🙄  Thankfully, we were able to talk it all out, as we always do, and everything was ok again.
Then, I went to the computer to pay some bills.  I tried typing in my user name, and it kept telling me that my name wasn't in their records.  I sent Mark a scathing text, asking him if he had changed the user name/password, because I couldn't log in and pay our %#,€,!.*!{ bills.  As he was replying with a definite "NO I DID NOT!!!" I realized that they had changed the website a bit, and rather than typing my info in the correct box (where it typically just defaults to) I was typing it in the search box. Oopsies.  Sorry Mark.  You just suffered from the aftermath of my morning meltdown. 😬

I had an appointment with my headache specialist today.  It really was more of a therapy session.  I love her.  She went through a rather similar situation, and is easy to talk to.  She asked me about my stress and anxiety and how that affected my headaches. Was it a result of the meds I am on....or my life? I assured her my life was to blame for everything, and she needed to drug me, and drug me WELL.  This is where she was SUPPOSED to write a big fat prescription for Prozac, and send me on my way.  Yeah, they never do what I want them to. 🙄  She just upped the dosage of one thing, and lowered the dosage of another.  I should "know in 2-3 weeks if it's helping."  Maybe I will just send her a note that says "SOS!!!! SEND PROZAC!!!!" 🤔

I came home and actually made dinner. (This is right up there with "took a bath before 9am") Clearly, I was an overachiever today.  I told Mark I wanted to discuss pushing back the idea of selling our house until next summer, after Sam graduates. (And I have a year to save money, get my shit together, and clean out this place, which is starting to resemble an episode of hoarders.)  I have been stressing out pretty hard about where I will live if we sell this place.  I have three strikes against me: very limited income, two dogs (that are literally the only things keeping me sane right now) and I teach voice and piano out of my home....so how do I find a place that can accommodate all of that?
Mark has a nice safety net, as his parents are there, and able to help as needed, as well as his siblings. The closest thing I have to a "net" is a bad hair net I had from working in some kitchen somewhere.
There ain't nothin' "safe" about that!!  Anyway, the talk didn't go as well as I had hoped, and melt down #2 followed.  Luckily, I have great friends, who happen to enjoy happy hour, and within 15 minutes of posting my woes on FB, I had a text informing me where I needed to go for a nice, big margarita, and girl talk.  It was just what I needed.

I came home, and had a nice talk with my son.  I haven't had a chance to really sit down with him alone to talk about how he is feeling.  I wanted to know what he wants, if he wants to stay here until he is done with high school, or if he doesn't care.  I asked him how he was feeling about everything.  I really lucked out, and ended up with two really great kids.

At that point, I realized that I need to just turn everything around.  I have been in this negative place for months now.  I try to pull myself out, but then my mind starts spinning, and all the crappy thoughts flood back in, and I am a ball of anxiety and sadness again.  I am the queen of quotes on Pinterest.  I must have had 300 of them saved in my photos on my phone.  You can really tell the kind of day I was having by looking through the quotes.  They used to be happy or funny...but over the past four months, they have become so sad and depressing.  I looked through them all tonight, and it was like reading through all of things I was feeling, or wanted to say, but was too afraid to.  Ironically, reading them makes me feel worse rather than better.  So, I started deleting them.  If it wasn't something positive or funny, I got rid of it.  My mind can conjure up enough dire crap all on its own.  I certainly don't need Pinterest to remind me that my life is currently a disaster.  And so, it is time to change my thinking.  To change my whole perspective.

I have been so worried about all of the "unknowns" that lie ahead of me.  "Where will I live" is probably one of the biggest sources of stress.  My two bff's said to me today that I need to trust that everything will work out.  I have not been allowing myself to be very hopeful, because I'm so afraid of being let down.  I made the mistake of trusting that things were going to work out the way I wanted them to.  I believed one thing, and got the opposite.  Once you get burned, it's hard to walk toward the fire again.  However, I truly believe that I have come to a crossroad.  I am not going to delude myself into believing there won't be set backs, or bad days ahead.  I do believe that if I am ever going to move forward, and feel GOOD again, I have to let myself trust, and believe and dream. I have to stop blocking the doorway and allow new light and energy to enter into my life.  I have to trust that everything WILL be ok, and that I deserve to be ok.

I have been stuck in this state of thinking that all the misery coming at me was some sort of punishment or bad karma for all the mistakes I have made in my life.  I convinced myself that I deserved every bad thing that was happening to me, and that believing I was worthy of happiness and a good life would only bring more pain and sadness my way.  I felt selfish wishing....hoping for my life to turn around and just be GOOD again.  Well, I'm getting over that.  I realized tonight after my not-very-productive conversation, that I have to stick up for myself.  I am my only advocate.  I don't have parents to fall back on.  My sisters are up to their necks in their busy lives.  For a long time, I have questioned my identity....my worth.  It was like I wasn't important because I didn't have an impressively job or title.  I didn't have a "normal" work schedule, so I was obviously not contributing much to the household.  (Even though I taught four nights a week, and work every weekend.)  I'm done feeling guilty about that.  It's time to set goals for myself.....some very small, some that might take a miracle to accomplish.....but at least I will have a plan of sorts in place.  I'm also going to try to stay away from anything that pulls me back into the black hole.  I am hoping if I keep flooding my mind with positive, inspirational material, it will eventually override all of the "stinking thinking."

I need to add a thank you, to all of you who have sent messages and texts.  I can't begin to tell you how amazing the love and support both Mark and I have received has been.  On the days when I feel so down and alone, I just read through those messages, and my heart swells over the thoughtfulness
 and compassion of friends, old and new.  I hope that someday I am able to repay your kindness. ❤️

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Looking for the Light

I am almost fully recovered from my marathon otherwise known as "Holy Week."   I tried really hard to stay awake all day on Sunday, but, alas, the couch won, and I crashed hard.  While it is one of the more stressful weeks of my year, as far as my job goes, there were some moments of "ahhhhh" that occurred, along with a lot of thought and contemplation.  The Catholic Church is known for its symbolism, and Holy Week is packed with it.  One thing I particularly love is at the Vigil on Saturday night, after the fire is blessed and the Easter candle is lit, each person then passes the flame throughout the darkened church until there are hundreds of tiny candles, shining brightly in the darkness.  I sat at the piano in silence, and watched as each individual candle was lit, and the tiny flicker of light quickly grew bigger than the darkness. 
 It made me think of my state of mind these past months.  There has been far too much darkness.  Winter always pulls me down into a place of sadness....but this year, I have been consumed by it, and have felt such a feeling of hopelessness.  
Things I thought were real and definite suddenly became uncertain and unstable.  Feelings of joy and excitement were replaced with fear and insecurity.  My future went from balanced to uncertain.  
And I have been living in a constant state of anxiousness and worry.  I hate not having a plan.  I hate it when things that directly affect my life are completely out of my control.  And what really sucks is that these feelings have brought back old issues that I have worked through....and should be over by now, yet they are resurfacing.  Crap like worrying about what people are saying/thinking about me.  Wondering why friends I have had for YEARS have suddenly slipped away.  Questioning my worth, in all areas of my life.  Stupid, self defeating thoughts that only drive you deeper into the darkness.

The ridiculous part is that I am 100% aware of all of it.  I'm not stupid.  I could list all of the dumb things I am doing, all of the reasons why I'm doing them, and all of the reasons it needs to change.  Funny how a person can be so aware, yet so incapable of getting their own shit together.
I am my own worse enemy.  I allow my mind to wander to places I know will hurt me.  When I don't have answers to fill in the blanks, my mind fills them in for me....and it's never good.  Why do we tend to gravitate toward "worse case" scenarios?  I tend to lean in the direction of the emotions that are most painful to me.  Jealousy is probably the worst one.  It eats me alive.  I can't think of a worse feeling....(other than grief, I suppose.) It makes me feel small and pathetic.  It makes me question myself, and wonder "am I not good enough?"  It just feels like a painful, sickening ache in my stomach that makes me wish we came with reset buttons, and could just either start over, or at least dial down these emotions that torment us.  

And so, I am searching for the light.  I have been pinning away on Pinterest, filling up my "self care" board, and my "Just Be" board, and "The Road to Happiness".  I'm reading again (currently the "Love Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton) I'm blogging again (I find this therapeutic.  If you feel that I use this blog as my place to whine or feel sorry for myself, please just don't read it anymore.  I won't be offended.  At. All. 😉)  I am trying to immerse myself in music again...not just at work.  And I am trying to figure out how to love myself.  That's a big one.  And a hard one.  

I am working on "forward motion".  I am SO sick of feeling stuck in one place.  So tired of waiting for something to happen.  So over feeling unsure about EVERYTHING.  I finally realized that I can only depend on myself for my own happiness.  I can only rely on myself when it comes to moving on and making things happen.  I think I have always given other people the power to control how happy I am, or what direction my life moves.  That is the perfect recipe for disappointment.  Having high expectations and trusting in anyone else to follow through with your vision of how you thought things would be is how you set yourself up for heartache.  It took me 45 years, but I think I have finally figured out (after being disappointed time and time again) that I am the only person who I can rely on completely.  Some days, that feels pretty damn lonely.  I think that is why God created dogs. 

I'm trying to start pulling my house apart.  We went through all of the paint cans we had laying around....Mark was going to make a run to the dump, and hazardous waste place. (Wherever that is.)
He said "maybe we should leave some of the paint for the new owners, in case they want to touch something up."  New owners.  This is MY house.  This was my DREAMHOUSE.  And now I need to start figuring out what to get rid of (because I have A LOT of stuff) and I can guarantee that it will not all fit in my van by the river.  Things are getting real....more real everyday.  Last weekend I had a moment of "wtf are we doing?!!!!"  I am sure everyone goes through that.  All I could think about was Sam, and his very cool bedroom that we turned into a mini bachelor pad for him.  He has the sweetest set up with his computer and keyboards, speakers, clavinova....everything he needs to write.
It breaks my heart to take that away from him, and move him to some shitty apartment, or fixer upper somewhere.  He doesn't deserve that.  He deserves a nice home, with his beautiful bedroom, where he is happy and comfortable.  That is what is hurting me the most.  I want my kids to have a nice home to come back to when they are on break from college, or visiting after they move away.  This keeps me up at night.

Mark just handed me a "Financial Disclosure Statement."  Five pages to fill out, full of information that I need to come up with.  Do lawyers think we just have this stuff floating around in our heads....or that I am actually organized enough to know how much money my furniture's estimated value is?  Do I even care?!  Anyone who is reading this, who is under 35 and still single.....GETTING MARRIED IS EASY.  GETTING DIVORCED IS NOT.  DO NOT RUSH INTO ANYTHING!!!! 😳

I fear my light for today has dimmed.  I'm going to try and light that damn candle again tomorrow.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Regrets

i had lunch with a friend the other day, and she asked me how I was doing.  I honestly didn't know how to answer that question.  At that moment...I was good.  10 minutes prior, not so good.  Every day is a roller coaster.  I think that is pretty normal in everyone's life.  I know it always has been in mine.  Now, it's just A LOT bumpier, and the twists and turns are way more dramatic.

I need to publicly apologize for my comments the other day, regarding my conversation with a friend, and "what not to say to someone going through a divorce".  I know he was just trying to be helpful.  I was a bundle of nerves that morning, as it was right before my scary dr. appt, and I was already feeling anxious and ready to break down.  I never meant to insinuate that his comments were "dumb".  Just that I wasn't in a frame of mind to be reminded about the trauma that was ahead of me.

Another friend also pointed out that my blog has become a pity party for myself.  This was never my intention.  Part of me regrets ever sharing any of this "stuff" with....well, the world.  Honestly, the reason I did was twofold.  1. I would rather people hear it from me than from the rumor mill.  2. I truly don't want anyone to feel like they need to tiptoe around Mark and I, or the issue.  I didn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable, or be unsure whether they could bring it up...etc.
I am sure there are many people who share this opinion...that what I write is very "me" based.  I guess that I didn't even look at it that way, because I have always written about my experiences, feelings, opinions, stories.  Clearly, I need to keep some of those opinions and feelings to myself.  I have always had a problem with the whole "keep your mouth shut, and don't blurt out whatever you are thinking" thing.
I don't write about this stuff so people will feel sorry for me.  I don't want anyone to pity me.  I made this bed...I own it, I'm living in it.  I just find writing to be a therapeutic outlet...and hope that maybe some of what I am going through will resonate with someone else who might be feeling the same way.  We are all human...doing the best we can.

Have I disclosed every detail of my saga?  Of course not.  I don't think that is necessary.  Do I feel responsible for the break-down of my marriage? Yes, I do.  Do I think it is 100% my fault? No...it is never on the shoulders of just one person.  Do I think that Mark is the one deserving of everyone's support and sympathy? Absolutely. He just refuses to buy in to social media...so you can't express that to him here, at least.  You certainly can in person.

I can say, with 100% certainty, that the issues that would eventually lead to the destruction of my marriage...or to any relationship I have had, began long before I was ever even in a relationship with anyone.  Mark always tells me I'm my own "self-fulfilling prophecy."  Unfortunately, the things the were pounded into my head (and my heart) were not positive things.
As parents, we work with what we were given. Our parents set an example for us.  We either follow that example, or we use that example as what not to do.  My mom and I did not get along while I was growing up.  We were both far to strong willed and stubborn to ever see eye to eye.  And then there was my mouth....the one I couldn't control when I was mad.  It got me NO WHERE with her.  When she would get to the end of her rope with me...she would resort to saying things she knew would hurt me, just to shut me up.  Unfortunately, when you are a kid, those things tend to stick with you.  Funny how the nice things they say don't...but the bad things are branded on your brain.
The one that has stuck with me regarding relationships: "no man is ever going to love you." and "you will never be good enough."  I know she didn't mean those things now....but at the time, I didn't.
And so, in every relationship, I would wait for the ball to drop.  And, it always did.  And if it seemed to good to be true, I was convinced it was, and would self destruct.

Anyway...you get the picture. It's easy to say hurtful things when we are mad.  In some respects, it was a good lesson.  I made sure to never let myself speak to my kids in the heat of the moment.  And if we did argue...I was so careful about thinking before I spoke. I hope that I never said anything hurtful that has stuck with them.  I think I will ask them about that the next time we are together.

And now, I am choosing to use all of my mistakes as lessons.  Trying to turn my regrets into knowledge.  I could sit here and condemn myself for stupid things I have done.  I could hate myself for tearing my family apart.  I could cower under the whispers and gossip, and allow myself to feel like a horrible person for choosing to move forward with my life.  I have to wonder how many people are looking at my situation, judging it, judging me.....while they continue to stay in an unhappy marriage.   Or they place all the blame for their unhappiness on another person, and won't  own their part in it.
NO ONE knows what really goes on in anyone's life, unless they are living it.  It is so easy to see what is presented in public, and assume that is reality.  I learned a long time ago that there are two sides (often very different sides!) to every story....and to judge someone truly is more about you than the person you are judging.
I have had many ups and downs in 21 years of marriage.  You sure learn a lot in that amount of time.
While it's sad that we got past the point of salvaging our relationship, I think we both know what we will do differently in future relationships.  There are some things that will be SO different for me.  The things that caused the greatest conflicts are the things I will never repeat.  There is something very refreshing about starting with a blank slate.  And also being at an age where you really know who you are, and what you want.  How does anyone know either of those things at age 23? I thought I did....I was wrong.
Am I trying to move on, and be happy? YES!!  Has that already happened...I am working on it. 🙄
I know that some people think that I am playing the victim, and that I have actually moved on with my life and am blissfully happy.  I am trying very hard to get there....but I am years from that coming to fruition.  In fact, at this point, I just have more drama and heartache in my life.  I'm quite certain you would find my picture next to the description of "hot mess" in the dictionary. 😑

I think I will be going back to writing stories about my kids and dogs for awhile.  I know I shouldn't care what people think.  I am not forcing anyone to read this stupid blog.  I write it because, for some reason, I suck at keeping a journal...and I think it will be fun to come back and read about what a disaster I was in my 40's. 😬
As far as me feeling sorry for myself....do I?  Some days...yes.  I think it is more scared than sorry.  It is also trying to adjust to what I thought was going to happen....and what really is happening.
I am just praying for the day that I wake up without a headache, I feel excited and motivated, I feel hopeful rather than hopeless, and I don't even feel the slightest urge to cry.  That will be my PERFECT day!!!

In closing, I apologize if I have ever written something that has offended you.  I am sorry if the resurrection of this blog has come across as a pathetic "woe is me" rambling.  I go on the record saying I AM 99.9% TO BLAME FOR THIS DIVORCE.  And I also apologize in advance if I lose my shit in front of you.  I currently have very little control over my emotional break downs (aka: crying, getting bitchy, crying,  did I mention crying?) 🙄
If you catch me on a good day, it is likely that I have either: taken three happy pills instead of two, added a shot of vodka to that water bottle I bring with me everywhere, already melted down in the car, and feel better now, or just don't give a shit about anything anymore!!  🤷🏻‍♀️
Have a great weekend. ❤️

Friday, April 7, 2017

One Step Forward...Two Steps Back

I will begin by saying, I refuse to use this blog as a platform to pontificate about my political opinions...however, my heart is heavy tonight.  I fear for our country...for the innocent people who will be, and have already been casualties of the attacks this week in Syria, and for the future of this world.  I can't remember the last time I saw or heard positive news about good things happening in our country.  I worry about what we are passing down to our children.  😞

Moving on.  Today was going to be a good day.  I was feeling pretty positive about some issues that have been weighing me down.  I talked them out with the person I needed to work things put with, and left our conversation feeling better...like a weight had been lifted.  I decided to really work hard on focusing my mind on positive thoughts.  It is amazing to me how easy it is to succumb to your own despair.  I can go from feeling fine one moment, and then with something as simple as a word or a question or even a facial expression, I crash.  It could be because I really need someone to acknowledge that I'm having trouble dealing with something....and I will try to spell it out for them, but they choose to either avoid talking about it, or they change the subject.  Sometimes, all you need is some reassurance that everything is fine...and it's all going to be ok in the end.  When you don't get that, your mind starts to conjur up "worst case" scenarios.  It is so easy to get lost in those...to allow your mind to twist reality enough to make you feel inadequate or worthless.

So, today I started making a conscious effort to rid myself of the "stinkin thinkin"...,and for awhile, it worked.  Then I got a message from Mark.  Earlier in the day, I noticed on the computer that he had ordered a score for band that included a part for a female vocalist.  For the past three years, he has had me sing a number with a band he guest conducts.  I really look forward to it each year.
I sent a text, asking if he wanted me to do it again this year, so I could get it on my calendar.  He told me that while he would love to have me sing, he didn't think he could handle it emotionally, and this is an important gig for him.  Clearly I would be an unwelcome distraction.
It hit me pretty hard.  I think these are the things that will be the biggest struggle.  Having to give up all of the fun things we did in the same circles.  The fact that we are both musicians, living in a pretty small area...we both know all the same people, and are often involved in the same projects together.
In my mind, I didn't think this was going to be a problem.  Yes, it would be awkward for awhile, and sad...but all that really matters to me is that he is happy.  We get along so well, I just assumed that it wouldn't be an issue for our friendship to continue once we were in different homes.  I guess we are not on the same page in that respect, and it really makes me sad.   That is something I will never understand about divorce or break ups in general.  How do you go from spending years of your life with someone, and then one day just say "ok...we are done now.  Enjoy your life."  I can't do that.
I completely understand the need to draw that proverbial line in the sand, to establish boundaries, and to allow each person the time and space to heal.  However...I feel like you will always hold a piece of that person in your heart...especially if you have kids together.
Anyway, the realization that he doesn't seem to want to be a part of my life, or even for our paths to cross, once we are out of the house, made me feel very alone.  That is a feeling I need to figure out how to adjust to, as it has become pretty prevalent in my life lately.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I will inundate myself with positive quotes and books.  And I will try to remind myself that everything that gets said right now is most likely coming from a place of uncertainty and pain, so I can't let that affect my mood, or quite frankly, my well-being.
To say life keeps changing every day would be an understatement.  For now, I will just look for the little pieces of joy I can grasp onto, and cherish them.  But before that....sleep!  I need to stop procrastinating, and start writing these things before 11:30pm...because before I know it, it's 12:30, and that is WAY too late for me.
Enjoy your Friday!! ☺️

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dogs and frogs

So, it's 10pm...and as far as I know, I am the only one still awake.  However, I keep hearing strange sounds. Perhaps Mark decided to go downstairs and entertain himself on his trombone for a bit, rather than going to bed? 🤔 Or maybe Sam is in his room playing his piano?  Or perhaps Rosie has taken up a new instrument without telling me about it.  There is a snoring chihuahua laying next to me....so maybe he is just making weird noises in his sleep that sound like random instruments.  It wouldn't be the first time today that I misinterpreted what I was hearing.  My refrigerator has been particularly noisy when making ice lately, and when the ice drops into the bin, it is very loud, and scares the crap out of me.  (Usually because I am here alone, and the house is silent, prior to the crash)
Tonight I heard a loud noise, and asked Mark if he heard it too...and then said "damn that fridge!"
He started to laugh and said "actually, that was my butt."  Lovely. 🙄

I got my eyes checked today.  My glasses broke a couple weeks ago, so I have been wearing my "spare pair" that are hard to see out of.  I knew it was coming...but was not thrilled when he told me I could opt for bifocals if I wanted them.  I informed him that my eyesight is PERFECT without my glasses when reading close up....so NO THANK YOU!!!  (Lol..side note.....the ice just fell and scared the crap out of me again) 🙄  He kept trying to convince me that I would want them eventually, because I would get sick of having to take my glasses off to read.  I have been wearing the damn things since third grade.  I am THRILLED to take the stupid things off and feel like a normal sighted person for a few minutes while I read or text or whatever.  Silly man.

I drove home from my appointment completely dilated and blind.  Isn't it weird how some eye drops sort of make you feel like your brain is coming out your eyeballs?  The weird pressure that occurs...it drives me crazy.  It also gave me a big fat headache.  Perfect for an evening of piano and voice lessons.  Rosie has been in rare form this week, when it comes to lessons.  She is always silly, but she has been ridiculous.  Ever since she was a little puppy, she has loved to lay on her back, and put her back legs up on a chair or whatever is near her, so she can relax.  I guess she sees me with my feet on an ottoman all the time, and she figures she can do that too.  During lessons, she props them up on the piano leg, or the pedals, or my student's feet.  She also loves to lay under the bench, stretch out, and take up as much space possible, so there is nowhere to put your feet if you are playing.  She could care less if she is in the way.  She was attempting to help me teach the art of using the damper pedal tonight during one lesson.  I would look down to watch how my student was doing,  and there were two furry paws between the pedals.  Clearly, she was helping my student master her technique.

She also loves to bring her stuffed animals over and squeak along to the music.
Tonight, one of my voice students was working on the music for her school play about a frog.  We started singing, and the next thing we knew, Rosie had found her stuffed frog, and was squeaking away on it, tossing it around and chasing it, and holding it in her mouth while watching us.  She played with the darn thing for most of the lesson.  I have to admit....the frog thing baffled me. She is currently obsessed with her new stuffed pig.  She drags that thing everywhere.  So, the fact that we said the word "frog" a few times, and then started singing about it made me wonder....does this dog understand what we are saying?? Does she know which toy is a frog?? 🤔 I guess I do always identify the animal when she is playing with it.  You know..."is that your froggie, Rosie?"  She has never responded "yes mother. I'm not an idiot." However, I am starting to wonder if she is thinking it.  😳

As for my daily shit storm, I am trying to find ways to cope with/manage/work through the things that are stressing me out the most.  I was talking to Mark about it a little tonight.  He is equally stressed out.  I think we are both overwhelmed with the reality of what is ahead of us, as far as getting this house ready to sell.  Even more stressful is the "what do we do once it does sell?"  It is starting to feel like finding a safe and affordable place to live is getting harder and harder.  We both feel terrible that we will be subjecting our son to the reality of moving out of a beautiful home, where he has an awesome bedroom, with a perfect set up for his computer, keyboards, and recording equipment.  He has his own bathroom, and a nice family room to watch movies with his friends....into most likely some crappy apartment or fixer upper house.  It shouldn't matter....but it does.  That's not what you want for your kids.



I have also been trying really hard to come to terms with other issues that are just not moving in the direction I thought they would be going.  I think that is one of the harder things to accept....when you have no control over some aspects of your life.  When what you want and what you get are two different things.  Or when you really believed in something, and put your faith in it, but you aren't sure that you will ever see the end result you hoped for.  So, I am trying to let go of the things I can't control.  When it comes down to it...the only thing I am in control of is ME.  And I have found that I am enough trouble to deal with....so I really don't need to add anyone else to my list!

I think I will stick with teaching my dog to identify her animals.   I will most likely have a better chance at success at that than with all of the other things I'm attempting to accomplish right now!  😜
I will keep you posted on her progress. 😉

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Just Press Pause

Have you ever felt like your life was spinning out of control?  Where you would give anything to have a remote control (for your life, of course) with a giant pause button, so you could just stop everything for a little while, and catch your breath?
I do.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been feeling queasy.  If I eat, if I don't eat...just all day long.  I finally realized that I am just filled with so much anxiety these days, that it is making me feel sick.  I find myself worrying more about things that typically wouldn't bother me.  I just feel nervous and on edge all the time...and I hate it.  I long for the day when I will feel peaceful and content again.  I fear that is a LONG way off.
I'm a girl who loves a plan.  I still use a paper calendar, because I like to be able to write down everything that is coming up, and be able to see the month spread out in front of me.  If I don't have a plan, I'm worthless.  I'm sure this is why I thrive on chaos, and struggle with having too much time on my hands, and having to set my own schedule.  (Clearly!  Just ask anyone who has seen the state of disarray in my house.) 😬
It is no wonder that I am a hot mess right now, because I have NO plan at the moment, as far as what my future holds.  I don't think there is anything quite as terrifying as that. (At least for me.). Not knowing things as basic as "where will I live?" is a bit unnerving.
And then there are the "this is what I THOUGHT was going to happen" and the reality of what is really happening....that's a lot of fun as well. 🙄 It is in those moments when I berate myself for ever allowing myself to be hopeful, or to depend on anyone other than myself when it came to life changing decisions.  No expectations....no disappointments.  I promise that I am just living this way for the time being.  I love being hopeful.  I have just found that hoping while in an already fragile state is not always a good idea.  It's a good way to get the wind knocked out of you. :-/

Mark informed me that he would be retaining the divorce lawyer tomorrow...and also set a date for when we would like to have the house ready to put on the market.  To say that those things didn't stab me in the heart would be a lie.  I sat at the kitchen table, looking around at my pretty home, and thought  "Wow. How did I get here?"  Many of my friends are building their dream homes now.  They go on great trips, they are looking forward to vacation homes when they retire.  I'm wondering if I will ever have a "home" again.  Will I ever make a home with someone again?  Will I ever be happy again?  Isn't that what we all want?  To just feel content and happy.  It should be such a simple thing.  I suppose we make it complicated for ourselves.  This must be why I love dogs so much.  They keep it simple.  If we all treated our loved ones like they do, I think everyone would be much happier.
Simply show pure joy and excitement EVERYTIME they walked through the door.  Act like you always want to go along when they are leaving to run errands.  Snuggle up on the couch with them, and stare at them adoringly.  Done. Easy. They have it all figured out.

I guess it is time for me to start "figuring it out."  I'm not sure where to begin.  I suppose dealing with this house is item number one, since it will literally take me months to clear out, sort, and pack up the ridiculous amount of stuff in here.  Who knows, maybe "clearing" this space will prove therapeutic, and will result in clearing my mind of all of the emotional baggage I am currently lugging around.  It's hard to morph into a strong, independent single woman when you feel like a depressed, pathetic lump everyday.  So, that is where I will begin.  Project Beth: Get Your Shit Together.  I will let you know how this insanity progresses. 😉