I never liked reading the same book twice anyway

Some of my good friends are aware of the following fact:

I am still married to my husband.

We haven’t lived together in almost two years and we live completely separate lives.  A lot of people have different opinions about this and trust me I’ve heard them all.  The reality is that the only people that require and deserve an explanation are myself, my husband, and my boyfriend.   Other than that I could care less about what people think.

The inability to end my marriage stems from a lot of things but mostly it stems from my needing to know that my marriage was really over.   I am sure that to many people on the outside it would appear as if I’ve answered that question if I am in another relationship.  Feelings, however, are not as cut and dried like that.

Last month I went to visit my husband.  It was the first time we’ve seen each other since November 2012.   I had no idea what to expect and I was so nervous which seems funny to me now.  My husband was my best friend before and during our marriage and we were able to slip into those roles quite easily once we saw each other.   The rest of the weekend was nice.  We watched television, laughed, talked, and caught up on each other’s lives.  He showed me around his island home and it was quite obvious that we was happy there.  And it was more than obvious that I didn’t belong there at all.

And if you think that didn’t break my heart completely, you would be wrong.   I had never properly mourned the end of my marriage and I only started to do so last month.  I wish I could say that I came back home feeling peace about our decision, but I didn’t.  I came home feeling completely broken.   And even though my head could see all the reasons why we had made the right decision, my heart just could not come to terms with it.

It’s been a month since my visit and the hurt is slowly abating.   I suppose a lot of people when dealing with this kind of heartache would quit sharing their heart at all. But what I’ve learned is that by letting go I am learning to open my heart even more.  I didn’t realize how much of my heart I was holding back from K until I started letting go.

I read this today and then I read it again, and again, and again.

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” ~Unknown

I assumed that at the end of the weekend I would magically feel that door close.  But closure isn’t going to happen like that for me.   I’m not sure when or if it will completely happen and I’m strangely okay with that.   It would have been so much easier if my marriage ended because we don’t love each other any longer.  But we do.  And for that I’m thankful.

The papers are drawn up, minus a few finishing touches and I’ll be filing for divorce.   It’s time.   And even though so many people had different opinions and thought on how I was handling things, I needed to do what was right for me.  On my timetable.

As a final thought I need to acknowledge my boyfriend’s willingness to let me work this out the way I needed to.   He loves me enough to be willing to let me go and that’s a pretty rare kind of love.

I don’t know what the next chapter of my life is going to bring, but it’s time to turn the page.

 

 

Ten months and counting……

If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook then you know that I am planning on moving out of state.  My goal is be gone by July 2015.   I’m a native Californian and if you had told me a few years ago I’d seriously contemplate moving to Oregon I would have said you were crazy.  But here I am with an Oregon move in my future.

As my time in California ticks down I’ve been working on a bucket list of sorts of things I want to do and see; restaurants I want to eat at; hikes I want to take, etc.

It’s a growing list and I hope I don’t run out of time before the move.  Some things might seem silly or weird but it’s my list and makes sense to me.

Eats

Cream Pan Bakery

Inn of the Seventh Ray

Grand Central Market

Day Trip

Little Tokyo

Exhibit of Hollywood Exhibits

La Brea Tar Pits

The Arboretum

LACMA

Franklin Canyon Park 

Universal Studios

Murphy Ranch Trail 

Greystone Mansion

Free Museum Days

Huntington Library and Tea Room

Weekend Away

San Diego (with bikes)

Big Bear

Grand Californian – Yes, I know it’s a few miles away but I’ve always wanted to stay there.

San Francisco

Vegas

Catalina

 

Entertainment

USC Thornton School of Music Concert

Looking back I guess I should call this a Southern California Bucket List, ha ha.

That’s all I’ve got so far but I’m constantly coming up with new things.    So tell me fellow Californians what are your suggestions?

 

It’s not just about feminism…..

This is a post that has been brewing in my head awhile now.  It’s pretty much come to a head today when this made the headlines.

I can see you now. You’re rolling your eyes and thinking ‘great, another one of those posts.’  I know.  I often feel the same way.   I try hard to avoid political or hot topic posts on social media.   My ex (who is in reality not legally yet my ex but it’s just easier to refer to him that way) spends an extraordinary amount of time posting about political and hot button issues.  I grew to resent it, a lot, and I think as a result I shy away from it.  But indulge me for a little bit because what I need to say isn’t just about the news today.  It’s about some things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Ironically it was a situation with my ex that stirred the pot.  In an acknowledgment of our friendship and the spirit of moving forward we once again friended each other on FB.   We comment on each other’s posts.  It’s all very mature and forward thinking and then I noticed some of the other comments.  Comments by women that I knew weren’t his friends before.   One, two, three, no FOUR women on his friend’s list we’re all women that I knew.  These were women that a)had been guests in our home, b)had only met my ex because of their association with me, c)did not have a relationship with my ex outside of our association, and d)had at one time been good or close friends of mine.

And just in case you weren’t aware, divorce and/or the ending of a relationship is a very painful experience.   And during this painful time these women didn’t contact me.  They didn’t reach out to see how I was doing.   They friended my ex.

What does this have to do with nude photos of celebrities?  Bear with me people, I’m getting there.

Women, sisters, daughters, nieces – WE ARE IN TROUBLE.

We live in a world where everyone expects us to have personal responsibility for the actions of others.   And I worry that so many people don’t see what’s wrong with this.

As a female I learned early about this general attitude towards women.  I learned at the age of 16 that if I was going to go in the walk in freezer by myself at work I should expect the manager to follow me  and grope me.  I learned at the age of 17 that if I go to an adult that hold a position of authority and respect and I tell that adult that I’ve been abused for the better half of a year by my boyfriend that I will be told I just need to learn to not say and do things that make my boyfriend upset.   In my early 30s I complained about a man who wouldn’t leave me alone at a bar and I was told that apparently I say something different with my eyes.  I don’t even know what that means.

Today I’m learning that even though someone stole these pictures of Jennifer Lawrence apparently a vast majority of the population think’s it is her fault for having them.  God forbid we hold the criminals responsible.  She shouldn’t have had them in the first place.

You know what’s wrong with that?

If she hadn’t been dressed like that, she wouldn’t have been raped.  If she didn’t act that way, men would leave her alone.

That’s a dangerous road to take.

At the age of 46 I’m still learning.  And one of the things I’m learning the hard way is that until we, as women, quit trying to destroy each other, then these things will never change.   We’re so quick to tear each other down, body shame, humiliate, etc, etc.  Am I the only person that sees what’s wrong with this picture?

How can we expect men to respect us when we can’t even respect each other?   But, wait, you ask?  She can’t be talking about me.  I’m not part of the problem.

I call bullshit.  We’re all part of the problem.

I’m as guilty as anyone else.  The other day I called someone I didn’t like a whore.  Not to her face, but that doesn’t make it okay.   I don’t like this woman.  And she does a lot to set women back, but that’s not the point.   I could just as easily say I don’t like her because she does x, y, z.  Calling her a whore isn’t necessary.

There is a website that shall remain nameless and up until recently I followed their page on FB.  And then I spent some time really looking at their posts and I realized that it was a website set up solely for the purpose of publicly shaming mothers for what they post on social media.  And while I don’t agree that a woman needs to be live tweet her birthing experience, none of us benefit from shaming each other this way.  But I watch women on this site post horrible mean things about other women.   And the site is ran by a woman.   I’ve given up trying to wrap my head around this.

As women we need to support each other.  That doesn’t always mean we agree with each other.   But hell, stand up for each other.   We can see when something is wrong.   We’re so damn quick to turn on each other.

Even during the #yesallwomen movement I saw it.   It was subtle but I saw women blaming other women.   I saw women telling mothers of boys that it was their responsiblity to teach their boys to respect women.    So as the mother of boys now it’s my fault women are disrespected?

And by the way I do believe that women should raise their sons to be respectful.  I also believe that men should raise their sons to be respectful.  And I believe that my sons should be able to live their lives without constantly being surrounded by pictures, advertisements, movies, music, etc that show women as a sexual objects.  We’re all responsible.

This week I read countless posts about this amazing nail polish designed by college students.  If a woman wears this nail polish when she goes out it can help her identify a drink spiked with a date rape drug.

DOES ANYONE NOT SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS????   This is what we’ve come to.   Now we not only have to make sure we don’t wear anything provocative, we need to wear special nail polish.

But again I’ve strayed from what I really want to say.

We want equality.  We want respect.  We can’t even extend that courtesy to each other.   If we link arms, sister to sister, we have the power to create an impenetrable force.

Instead we’re too busy shaming each other so that we can feel better about ourselves.

It’s not about being feminists.

It’s about being good to each other first.

And if you have a few moments, read this post.   Because it says a lot of stuff that I want to say but lack the attention span or talent to do so.

 

 

 

 

When it comes to how to deal with things I believe that there are three different kinds of people.   I’ll use a band-aid as an example.

People know it’s going to hurt when they remove the band-aid so they

-rip it off knowing it’s going to hurt and they just want to get it over with

-peel it off slowly, a little at a time

-leave it alone until it falls off

For the longest time I was the first type.  If something bad was happening I ran into it head on and dealt with it.  I’ve always considered myself an all or nothing person so I suppose that it shouldn’t surprise me that I’ve gone from being the first type of person to the third type.

I’m not sure I like the second option but there must be a happy medium.

For the past several months, and by several I mean at least twelve months I reached a point where I just didn’t want to deal with anything negative.   Meanwhile things have been just piling up.  I’ve been miserable and unhappy with myself and every day seemed like a repeat of the day before.  I had good intentions.  I would wake up each day with the desire and intention to start anew but it just didn’t happen.  I would make lists and they just kept getting longer.  Some days I wouldn’t even look at the lists.

However now the situation has reached critical mass.

I feel like this:

overwhelmed

 

 

I’m not sure where to even start.  I tried starting with a list (shocker).   I made a list of all the things that I thought were wrong with my life.  I don’t recommend doing this.  It’s depressing and does nothing to improve the situation.  There are so many things I don’t like about myself and there are so many things I want and need to change.  I’ve spent too much time thinking about it, feeling sorry for myself, crying, etc, etc.

I think the only way to start is one step at a time.   One foot in front of the other.  I’ll be facing some unpleasant issues, but compared to what I’ve been through, I’ve got this.

At least I hope so.

Doing it all doesn’t really get it done

I haven’t started reading any of the books I purchased for my Happiness Project.  I haven’t started keeping a personal journal about it either.

But I have been doing a lot of thinking.   And that’s a good thing.  I tend to have a bit of a OCD issue at times (I know, shocker right?).  As I have been getting older I find that it’s getting worse.   I don’t think it’s linked to my age as much as it’s linked to chaos that is present in my life.  What I’m trying to say is that the more things appear to be chaotic the more I want to control everything that is going on.   Aside from the control issue this also really impacts my ability to actually move in the direction I want to go because I want everything to be in its exact spot before I take a step.  It’s hard to explain so I’ll try to give an example.

Let’s say I decide that I want to start a new business.   I will literally spend all of my time making lists and researching what I need to do.  I’ll find the articles I want to read and the associations I should join and then I will spend all my time researching those things and I’ll never actually start the business.

Dealing with this issue has been, hands down, my biggest struggle.   However I have improved.  For example, I’ve invited some family for dinner next week.   My house isn’t entirely unpacked.  Currently my living room has three different colors of paint because it needs to be completely repainted.   My couch looks horrible in the living room and is on its last legs.  I’ve chosen my new couch but it won’t be available for three weeks.   In the past there is no way I would have any guests in my home until everything was perfect.

But you know what I’ve realized?  I’ve realized that if I were to die tomorrow nobody is going to walk around and talk about how unfinished my home looks.  I don’t want to leave this earth feeling as if I didn’t spend enough time with the people I care about and love.   I’ve spent too much time trying to make sure everything is perfect and in place and not enough time enjoying what’s really important.

I don’t want to sound as if preparation isn’t important, because it is.   However, it has a time and place.   And this is another area that I’m improving in.  For example, I want to go back to school.   Right now it’s just not a good idea.   I still do have a lot of unpacking to do.  I have two jobs and I’m about to be an empty nester.   It seems more important that I settle into my life before I add on more responsibilities.   In the past I would have put a lot of pressure on myself to go back to school irregardless of the additional stress it would put on me because I’m this person…

 

doitall

 

The reality is I can’t do it all.

And accepting that is helping to lead to me to a happy place.

However, I’m not going to lie.  There are days when this is seriously driving me nuts.

livingroom

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey….wait….what?

We’ve all heard it – “Life is a journey, not a destination” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

It’s something I tell myself all the time.  Otherwise I forget to breathe.  But lately I’ve been really thinking about this.  I’ve been thinking about a lot of things.  I’m not afraid to admit that I am going through a bit of a mid-life crisis.  I’ve blogged about it before and yet here I am still trying to figure things out.

And that’s when I realized.  If you don’t know what your destination is then what on earth is your journey for?  What’s the point?  And I’m not speaking about life after death, heaven, hell, etc, etc.   I’m speaking in terms of your life here on earth.   No matter what your beliefs are about the afterlife…what is your life about?  Okay, not YOUR life, but my life.  What is my life about?  Why am I here?  What am I doing?

WHY AM I NOT HAPPY?

I talked to K about this in great length this morning.  I explained how I feel about being at a crossroads.  I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I have some ideas of what I don’t want to do.  I have some vague ideas about what I want to do or accomplish.  But they’re vague.  They’re like those thin and wispy clouds in the sky that you can almost see through.  I know that I’m not enjoying my journey.  I’m enjoying bits and pieces but I don’t wake up looking forward to what the day brings.  And that’s a problem.

The biggest obstacle is not knowing how to get from HERE

 

 

to THERE.  It’s impossible to know because I don’t know what THERE is.

I know that I need to really do some soul-searching.  I need to spend some time getting to know myself better.  I need to find out what makes me tick.  I need to figure out what my goals are.  What do I want to achieve – emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, …….. you get the idea.

I went to the bookstore to look for books that might help me in organizing my thoughts and goals.  There are a LOT of books on how to be happy.  I really don’t think that the recipe for being happy is in a book.  Being happy comes from inside us as individuals and it looks differently for everyone.   But I do believe that there are books that can help you reflect and identify what we want out of life.  I picked up a couple that I thought looked interesting.

20140419_150226

 

‘The Happiness Project’ is not a book telling you how to be happy.  It is a book to help others develop their own happiness project.  It’s been on my to read list for a long time.  ‘Fire Starter Sessions’ has also been a book I’ve been wanting to read.  I don’t necessarily appreciate everything that Danielle LaPorte has to say, but some of her ideas and concepts have a lot of merit.

I’m also reading this book.

download

 

 

Remember I did say that my spiritual goals were important too.

Since journaling will be a big part of this I’ve decided to create an area on my blog site dedicated to this project.  A lot of times journaling really helps me figure things out.  It’s a way of talking through all the crap in my head.  And there is a LOT of crap up there.

So here I go.  I need to figure out my destination so that I can start enjoying the journey.   No more holding my breath or treading water.   The only rule is there are no rules.  Anything goes.  No area of my life is off-limits.

Ready, set, CHANGE

Dear Soda….

If we’re going to be specific this letter would read –

Dear Pepsi,

It’s time to break up.  It’s not me, it’s you.  Your empty calories.  Your high amount of sugar.  It’s just not good for me.  I’ve loved you for so long.  There was a time in my life when I started every day with 32 ounces of you.  When I reached 200 lbs I realized that had to stop.  And I did stop.   And to this day I never start my day that way.  I can go days without enjoying your company but I still buy you and keep you around.  You sit in my fridge often neglected and then I can’t resist any longer and give in.

I just can’t live like that anymore.  I can’t justify our relationship.  Yes you make me feel good for a little while but then later I’m filled with regret and shame.  It’s just not worth it.  And drinking you in a diet form, it’s just not the same.

I just need to walk away.  I hope you understand. This is something that I not only need to do for myself, but for my family.  Today is the last time I will taste you on my lips.  I will enjoy these last few bittersweet moments that we have together.

 

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Farewell forever,

Diva

P.S.  I will occasionally need to be with ginger ale, 7up, and Rootbeer.  I hope you understand.

 

Thursday Ten – Mid Life Crisis Edition

In an attempt to begin blogging more regularly again I’m going back to doing Thursday Ten posts.  Something I did before that I shamelessly stole from Sarah.

1.  After feeling like crap since Sunday night I finally went to the doctor.  Both my ears show signs of an ear infection.  Good times.

2.  Our move date to Orange County is one week from Sunday.  I have packed two rooms so far.  ONLY TWO.  I have no idea how I’m going to be ready in time but somehow I’m going to do it.

3.  Dealing with this crud means I haven’t worked out in a week.  I’m suppose to run a 5k a week from tomorrow.  I’m fairly sure there will be no running involved.

4.  I am enjoying working from home.  So much less stress in my life.  The downside is I don’t get sick leave so no matter how badly I’ve felt this week I’ve had to work through it.  That really sucks.  But still less stress.

5.  Working from home also means less money.  This fact does bring me moments of stress, but overall, I think it will be okay.  I have moments when I feel as if I’ve done something completely foolish and irresponsible.  Who in the heck decides to start from scratch at the age of 45?   What if I fail?

6.  Just in case you’re wondering I am not having a mid life crisis.

7.  Mid life crisis or not for the first time in a long time I feel as if I can breathe.  And you can’t put a price on that.

8.  On Sunday I’m having a yard sale.  I hate moving but I love purging and this move is giving me a good opportunity to do that.  One person’s trash is another person’s treasure…right?

9.  It got up to 80 degrees today.  I know it seems wrong to complain when so many people are dealing with horrible winter weather but I hate it.  I want four seasons.  The same weather every day just gets boring.  I don’t want blizzards but I’d like some variety.

10.  Which is why I’m moving to Oregon!!!!   Woohoo, looking forward to moving in October.  And yes that means two moves in a year.  And yes, I’m nuts.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

When I started thinking about the changes and choices I wanted to make in 2014 there was a lot of reflection involved.  In the past several months I’ve felt the need to shift my priorities.  I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to make life less about things and more about living in the moment.  I’ve been wondering what it would be like if life were more simple.

In the midst of this I had an unrelated conversation with my employer and he asked me where I wanted to be in five years.  And I had no answer.  I could easily list all the things I didn’t want to be but I had no idea where or what I wanted to be.

Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?

In five months I’ll be officially an empty nester.  I’m still relatively “young” and I have the second half of my life in front of me.  I have the opportunity to be anything I want.  And I can go anywhere.  Part of me is frightened but there’s a bigger part of me that’s excited.  Excited at the possibility of change.  Excited at the unknown.

So I started taking some steps.  I’m moving to Orange County.  Moving out of my house is a big deal. It was a home for my family and I love it.  But there’s a lot of ghosts here.  This house is where my marriage ended.  And it’s more space than I need and more money than I need to spend.

The move makes my commute go from bad to impossible.  Consequently I decided to give my two weeks notice.  Today was my last day.  This was a hard decision.  I’m still a little freaked out.  Okay, I’m a lot freaked out.  This position could have meant a big future.  But it wasn’t a future I wanted.

I’ll be devoting more time to my business.  One job is enough for now.  I’ll also be devoting more time to ME.  More time to get back in shape.  More time to spend with family.  More time to spend with friends. Maybe I’ll go completely nuts and actually sleep more than six hours a night.

I’m crazy like that.

Foodie Day Out

I’ve been wanting to spend more time with my friends and more time doing things I enjoy and today completely met that bill.  I hung out with my friends Oakmonster and Christine. We started out at SOCO’s Farmer’s Market.  It’s small but so very awesome.  Our first stop was meat shopping at Da-Le Ranch. 

One of the things that we’ve been talking about at home is going back to eating clean whenever possible.  Over the summer we did two months of Paleo and loved it.  I noticed a huge difference in how I digest food.  I often have stomach issues and found that eliminating a lot of processed foods and gluten really helped me feel so much better.

Anyway back to the farmer’s market.  Da-Le Ranch sells meat that is grass fed and hormone free.  And they lost me at Oxtail.  I love Oxtail.  I can’t wait to enjoy that, the tri tip, and the pork chops I bought.  For pictures please check out Oakmonster’s Instagram feed.

Some of the other goodies I enjoyed include the following –

These amazing cakes from Orange Clementine.

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This jelly/spread is spicy AND delicious.  Buy yourself some right now from Sola Foods.

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And then we entered this store called Surfas and that’s when I discovered what heaven looks like.  However, I stuck to my choice of being more financially responsible and kept the purchases down to less than $100.00 and that showed CONSIDERABLE restraint.  I only picked up a few items – burrata, charcoal butter crackers, a sheet cake pan with lid, gluten free flour, and even searing flour.  I can’t wait to go back.

For lunch we ate at Taco Maria.  BEST.  TACOS.  EVER.  And the Sangria wasn’t bad either.

We ended our day out at OC Wine Mart.  If you’ve never been wine tasting at a place with a self service wine system I highly recommend you try it.  It’s a great way to taste all different kinds of wines, but especially high end ones that normally aren’t available to taste.

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It was overall a very awesome day.  I’m thankful that I have friends I can enjoy these kinds of activities with.