Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: MourningDove on November 23, 2021, 10:45:07 AM

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 23, 2021, 10:45:07 AM
After my last thread, I decided to take a break from the forum and from my computer in general. I checked my emails and answered a few messages on Facebook, but for the most part the past few days, I have had to actually search for my laptop. I normally have it in my work bag or in the library, but I haven't been as regimented about that either. And I must admit, at first it was not easy to break free. I am so used to checking emails for work and the like. I just felt this odd need to take a break.

I was actually surprised by what I came to realize for myself. I know how important the forum was for me for so long. It was my life line when I felt like no one understood what I was dealing with. I made friends and had people who have become way more than just a name on a screen. Those people that came into my life in a different way - RL friends and confidants that I am so grateful for. For someone who was never comfortable with the idea of an online group of any kind knowing facets to find safety and people who would have my back was shocking.

And for me the journaling had become less and less about the MLCer. I have no illusions of a reconciliation, nor do I desire one with my Xh. I haven't for a long time. It changed. Standing was not a waste of time for me. It gave me something to hold on to for awhile. A dream, perhaps in my case. It was time that I used to get my $h!te together. To focus on my kids. To take that advice about GAL and sometimes some very needed truth darts or 2x4's. There were times when the advice didn't apply. But, even then, it helped me understand myself and what I needed most.

I began to wonder these past few days what was the reason I was still posting at all. For me, it has been a way to shake out things in my head or to document the bumps and sometimes amusing things along the way. The life of a now divorced woman with 2 young adult kids who have a phantom F who appears from time to time in one form or another. My journaling became a way for me to sometimes release feelings that I needed to let go of or try to make sense of and I didn't always have someone to share them with who would understand.

Yet, in the past few days, I have also discovered that I am finding myself feeling very odd. The distance from journaling woke up part of me that is feeling very different. I wondered if sometimes I was beginning to fill a void. I so crave wanting to share my day to day thoughts with someone and not necessarily laying it all out there for the world. I am not always so willing to share as much as I do online with people. I find myself now in this strange place.

I realized that the journaling has been important for me. But, I thought about maybe I need to find some balance - that word that seems to just keep appearing in my life. I may have to get it tattooed on my body somewhere, because it is always what I seem to be seeking. But this is a different type of balance I need. I am not sure it is a complete distancing from sharing - because I have some big events where the MLCer may make an appearance and I am not sure how I am going to cope. Just next week he is supposedly taking S on an impromptu trip - we will see. But, S is graduating in a couple of weeks. The ceremony won't occur until May and D is graduating as well. I know there is a possibility that Xh will somehow shake things up. Especially since his parents didn't go to any of his graduation ceremonies. My family attended his 4 year college graduation. Not of his family members showed up. So, I am prepared for something to stir in Xh. S will roll with it, but D - that is a whole other dynamic. So, I realize there may be times where I may still find myself really needing somewhere to let go of these MLC BS moments.

As for the other journaling - IDK. I am not going to make some grand declaration that I am done. I know that doesn't often pan out. But, I told a friend of mine that this "vacation" has made me realize some important things. One - that I need to journal still, but maybe it needs a different form. Maybe it needs to migrate back in some ways to my artwork, like it once did before MLC arrived on my doorstep. Two - that I need to fill those moments other ways. Three - I so crave to share my life with someone.

It is the third one that is impacting me the most the past few days. I don't think people understand me at all. I am a person that likes commitment, yet, I can accept challenges in ways others can't. I spent months away from Xh when we were dating. In spite of having a jealous moment some time back, it is not how I typically operate. I trust people I let into my world.

I have had the opportunity to find myself falling in love with someone. It was not what I planned - at all. The time spent together was always easy in terms of there is a strange comfort. But, what has struck me hard the past few days is it often little things that stay with me. Someone being far away and just letting you know they arrived somewhere safely means so much. It is those moments I honestly miss. I miss being able to just tell someone the stupid things I have done this week.

I am not really sure where this journaling goes. We will see.

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Thunder on November 23, 2021, 02:34:53 PM
I'm following along... as always, Mourning.   ;D

Welcome to your new thread.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Curiosity on November 23, 2021, 04:22:56 PM
Following along, Mourning. I think that of all the things that come out of this process, the ability to really search inside our own souls, to figure out what is truly important to us, is perhaps the most valuable. For me, journaling has been a big part of that (partly the journaling I have done here, but often the things I write privately).

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I don’t often comment, but I always read along. I hope your continued search for balance bears fruit - or should I say, I hope it continues to bear fruit, because you are already well on your way.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: stillbaffled on November 23, 2021, 06:24:20 PM
I don't often comment, MD, but I do follow your journey. 

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 24, 2021, 12:54:33 AM

So easy to say, so hard to find.....

Following along....
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on November 24, 2021, 04:06:15 AM

I often wonder how quick the table would turn if the right person walked into our lives. How much of the healing is a struggle on missing that “person” in our lives. We have so much healing to do before that can happen however, right? Being able to focus on us and let the moments happen is I think such an important place to be. What’s the old phrase…when you least expect it??
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Reinventing on November 24, 2021, 06:51:32 AM
MD, good to hear from you. I think that the tentacles of MLC on our lives are long and entangled, and especially for those with children. We are here for whatever communication you choose.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on November 24, 2021, 07:14:43 AM
But, what has struck me hard the past few days is it often little things that stay with me. Someone being far away and just letting you know they arrived somewhere safely means so much. It is those moments I honestly miss. I miss being able to just tell someone the stupid things I have done this week.

Your musings made a lot of sense to me, MD. Tbh I think our relationship with the HS ‘family’ evolves as we evolve. Which seems healthy to me. There was definitely a time when HS was a port in an insane storm for me. And then a time when, bc I felt so incredibly alone in the absence of my family as well as my then h, I think I just needed somewhere to share those small things, a feeling perhaps that it mattered to someone if I had a great walk or a lousy moment that I had survived.

Like you, I remember the loss of those small things as being crushing; they left me feeling rather unmoored, I think. I still miss some of them bc some are not replaceable but as I came out of my metaphorical cave I started to make connections in RL that allow me to share and receive some of those things again. It’s not the same....but it is not nothing. For me actually my capacity to be engaged in other people’s small things, to care if someone’s dog was sick or if they had got a new job they wanted, was a marker of my recovery. But it was soul crushingly lonely a feeling to have no one who needed to know I was safe home after a trip.....I remember that. I think, looking back, caring about what happened to specific individuals here, both empathy for their sorrows and delight in their successes, kept me ‘doing human’ for a while when I couldn’t in RL  :) I am very grateful for that connection here that sustained me through months and years of being rather adrift.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 24, 2021, 01:02:57 PM
Thank you, everyone.  :)

I could honestly completely skip Thanksgiving tomorrow and be rather content. I have always enjoyed holidays, but this year I am really in a "meh" mood about the whole event. My sister is out of town with her family this year, as they have gone to her in law's house. Normally, the in laws travel here, but her FIL has some physical limitations at the moment due to a necessary surgery he keeps putting off.

I have worked through my issues with the day, after Xh chose one Thanksgiving before moving out to sit both kids down and attempted to say him moving out was what we both wanted. Ummmm, at that time - no. I made that clear without trying to blame. I simply said we saw things differently and Xh felt it was best he moved out. Either way, that was literally right before leaving for my family's house for dinner. I was numb. The kids were dumbstruck. Yet, Xh walked in and put on the happy facade and acted like nothing happened at all. For days afterwards. But, tomorrow has nothing to do with that.

It then lead to my M announcing she wasn't really in a mood to have a dinner either. I would normally have offered to host here, but my kitchen is small and the idea of hosting a large event amongst the ongoing construction is really not something I want to do. If it were summer, I would have gladly offered, as we could have eaten on the back deck. But, it is a bit too brisk for that, and I am not sure everyone else would embrace dinner around the fire pit.  ::)

We had sort of scrapped the whole event. That is until D came home and announced she was really disappointed. I then thought about it and knew that I had to find some enthusiasm for this holiday. Thanksgiving is a rough one for D. Thanksgiving was always a holiday that D loved. She liked spending time in the kitchen and baking with me. Then Black Friday, she and Xh always went out for the day. They would go after some of the madness died down and have a lunch date and go shopping. D and Xh were so very close. I have to remind myself of that with the current status of their relationship - or non-relationship as it is. Thanksgiving for her, needs to be as "normal" as possible. Not so that she can recreate what was, as she has accepted that, but to make new memories to fill the sadness that was there for so long.

I found myself finding some energy to embrace the impending holiday and called my parents. My M, who claimed she wasn't really wanting anything, is all excited. She and D have been planning the menu and we put her in charge of cooking some items, but we are taking care of the bulk of everything at my house and delivering it. It will be a small gathering and that is okay. I found out my M's resistance was there were several people, like Toxic Aunt that were hoping my M was going to host something and my M really was trying to avoid having so many people around. What she didn't express was that she was desiring to have her grandchildren around and spending time with her immediate family. My sister is feeling guilty, but I assured her she had no idea since my M said nothing.

D has been spending today prepping and is humming away in the kitchen.  S was laughing, as I stripped away the fruit bowl and the coffee grinder, etc from the counters. I completely cleared off the counters and table so that she has room to spread out all of her ingredients and put out cooling racks for pies, and whatever else she is planning. I offered to help, but she only wants me to cook the turkey tomorrow. I am not offended in the least. I know she is wanting to attempt this meal on her own and would have done the turkey as well, but she has to make an appearance at her BF's family's house tomorrow before going to my parent's house.

I have been cooking meals more and more the past few days. S, his friend "C" and another friend were here the other night working late and I made a pot pie for them. "C" was bowled over. I laughed because that was a quick version, where I had taken some shortcuts due to timing and used frozen vegetables. S announced that it was really good, but they have no idea how good of a cook I am. I told him I have my moments, but I am not a master chef and I have made my share of mistakes along the way and still do. I have missed cooking.

But, this thing tomorrow - I think it is just because I am really worn out. With good reason. There has been a bit of stress. The gas range had acted up last week and I spent Monday chasing after a model number, because the plate that has that information was missing from the stove. I normally document all of those things on the manual, but for whatever reason, that is the one manual that didn't have it on the blasted thing. It does now. It would turn out that the electric company had been working on the lines and it messed up the digital panel on the gas range just needed a reset. That meant I had to pull the stove away from the wall. It is not a light item and it also lead to a bigger issue. I knew the tile didn't run all the way underneath, but what I didn't realize is the MLCer put a piece of wood down that sat lower. I also figured out why the warming drawer always would slide open and I had to put a wedge underneath. Of course, I am bull headed about these things. I ended up feeling the need to correct this. And, it was an MLC time frame when the range went in so, I should have known.

I should have anticipated that the wood panel was not just one piece of underlayment, but two. Both screwed in and with adhesive on both layers. Laying a single sheet of panel down wasn't going to correct it. In fact, it would have lead to other issues. And I also discovered a hole in the wall that explains why in the winter I have mice in the kitchen from time to time. I could have put out a welcome mat considering the hole in the wall leads to an outside wall. That was not going to fly in my book. So, I repaired the hole and had to cut and pry the small section of flooring up. It took my hours, but it both kids were shocked that the stove now sits level and I addressed some little things that have always bugged all of us.

Problem is that may have been a stupid thing to do on my own. Not sure if it was that great feat  ::) or the puppy getting so excited the one morning that she came running and pounced on my stomach that lead to my current status. It was a couple of days later I noticed I was feeling rather uncomfortable around my mid-region. I hadn't really paid much attention, until I caught my reflection in the full length mirror as I got dressed one morning and say two huge bruises around my ovaries. It looked like I had been beaten. It certainly explained a lot.

After being scolded by a couple of friends, I called my GP who couldn't see me until the 10th. I sort of laughed. They wanted me to call the gynecologist, concerned since I had the hysterectomy and the placement of the bruises. I am not having any other problems, but the doctor gave me a stern talking to. I am to behave myself for a few days and no more being a stubborn and not waiting for help. Heat, ice and rest. UGH.

I know it is what needs to happen.

In the meantime, the washing machine decided to act up as well. I had planned on possibly going on a small vacation. Ha. I have had a couple of ideas in mind, but that is going to have to wait. My washer is not worth repairing at this point. It isn't that old, but the repair costs more than the value of the stupid thing. So, I will be shopping for a new washer instead of any vacation I dreamed of right now.

I found myself a bit aggravated, especially in light of Xh deciding to take S on this whim of a get away next weekend. I am mad at myself for enabling the MLCer's behavior and self sabotaging things to get me where I am at now. It is not an easy pill to swallow, knowing that emergencies happened in the past, but right now, I find myself having to sacrifice some of my own dreams, still to just get back on some sort of normal track. It is a battle to remind myself that I have crawled out a huge pit and I have a lot to be proud of. It is easy to find myself just wondering if I will ever get to a point where I can at least save money to do some of these things I want to do and not what I always have to do.

I don't care about money or having tons of money. I honestly don't miss that part of life in terms of how life was with Xh and needing somehow to keep up with others. It is not that.

Before I met Xh, I was making decent money, but I was really good at managing my finances. While my friends were buying things, I was saving and earmarking my finances. I had things I wanted to do. I would have fun, but I wasn't going out to dinner or dancing every weekend. I did my own manicures, etc. Within five years after college, I had paid off all of my college loans, had put down a huge amount on a new car and paid that off in that time frame. Travelled around Europe for a month. Spent time in the Caribbean. And, I had stowed away money for a house and built amazing credit. I made sacrifices in other areas.

The thing is, I can't even seem to find the footing right now to do that. And, I know that it is in part due to the circumstances that have gone on that no one could have seen coming that threw me off track from that path. I was in good shape prior to my surgery and Covid derailing life even more. The financial strain of getting the kids through college this last stretch on my own is not without stress.

It doesn't change my thoughts on Xh and taking him to court. I want nothing to do with going down that path.

It is funny. The graphic that UrsaMajor posted about balance was actually perfectly timed. Because that visual shows how it is not as simple as somehow finding one object that weighs the same to balance it all out. The many items that affect my life change no only in priority but sometimes move and create sometimes a seemingly off balance scenario. I am never going to find the perfect balance. I think that image solidified that for me. And, it is okay. Balance is maybe not even what I should consider it. Maybe it is more of just trying to find ways to fit in the things I want and need. To make room and prioritize more, and being okay with focusing sometimes on what I need. There are always going to be those days where my own needs are going to be pushed aside because of life's imbalances. It is something I need to really wrap my head around. I think I need to reconsider what balance really means to me. Hmmm.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 25, 2021, 04:07:08 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
Problem is that may have been a stupid thing to do on my own. Not sure if it was that great feat  ::) or the puppy getting so excited the one morning that she came running and pounced on my stomach that lead to my current status. It was a couple of days later I noticed I was feeling rather uncomfortable around my mid-region. I hadn't really paid much attention, until I caught my reflection in the full length mirror as I got dressed one morning and say two huge bruises around my ovaries. It looked like I had been beaten. It certainly explained a lot.

After being scolded by a couple of friends, I called my GP who couldn't see me until the 10th. I sort of laughed. They wanted me to call the gynecologist, concerned since I had the hysterectomy and the placement of the bruises. I am not having any other problems, but the doctor gave me a stern talking to. I am to behave myself for a few days and no more being a stubborn and not waiting for help. Heat, ice and rest. UGH.

20 lashes with a wet noodle for you!


I don't think moving excessively heavy objects alone was what was meant by finding a good "balance."
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 25, 2021, 08:36:42 AM
UrsaMajor - I accept my punishment.  :P

However, I might have to argue the whole balance thing. Okay, maybe not balance, but the stove is remarkably level.  ::) Although that last less than one eight of an inch off on the front is driving me a bit nutty. I will resist fixing that on my own and have told myself that will be addressed when I repaint the cabinets in the kitchen. And, I will ask for help. The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on November 25, 2021, 08:21:45 PM
The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Hi MourningDove,

The true threat is having much worse complications than just the bruising which require another surgery.  Please just take it easy and make sure your body heals after your hysterectomy.   Some things can be done with the assistance of others who can help.   

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 26, 2021, 02:56:55 AM
UrsaMajor - I accept my punishment.  :P
Love you too my dear  :-*  ;D ;D ;D

However, I might have to argue the whole balance thing. Okay, maybe not balance, but the stove is remarkably level.  ::) Although that last less than one eight of an inch off on the front is driving me a bit nutty. I will resist fixing that on my own and have told myself that will be addressed when I repaint the cabinets in the kitchen.



And, I will ask for help. The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Ask BEFORE You start maybe?"

The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Hi MourningDove,

The true threat is having much worse complications than just the bruising which require another surgery.  Please just take it easy and make sure your body heals after your hysterectomy.   Some things can be done with the assistance of others who can help.   


Yeah! What he said!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 26, 2021, 09:58:20 PM
HeavenlyFocus - Your concern is valid and I needed the gentle reminder. I know that the general rule of thumb for healing is 8-10 weeks, but this doctor had told me that any major surgery along these lines should really come with a warning that it takes your body nearly a year to be able to get back to full healing. He had reminded me the last time I saw him. And, I have tried to be mindful of that, except I realize part of my problem is not even stubbornness to ask for help, but truly a zone I get in - that is, I am so used to having to do things for myself the past few years, that I don't always think. I need to slow down and stop. I have no desire to be a superhero, nor is the idea of having some other surgery - especially because of my stupidity at all appealing.  ;)

UrsMajor - Hmmm- the wedge of pie from the middle. I mean, there is a certain logic to it, I suppose - if one doesn't like the ratio of crust to filling.  ::) Had I wanted to mess with FIL, that would have pushed him over the edge. Before MLC, Xh would have seen the humor in that.

I spent a good portion of today working at the gallery. It had been a good day, with several interesting visitors with one being an artist who came to paint in the gallery. Sometimes, artists will stop by and use the space to work and it allows customers to see a work in progress. This artist is an older woman in her eighties and I absolutely love spending time with her. She is a spitfire - a kindred spirit and today we were alone for a very long time. It allowed us to talk about things that we have never really touched on.

We began discussing our different heritages and it is clear we both enjoy learning about different cultures and about history. We had a delightful couple of hours where she painted and I was keeping busy moving some things about the gallery, as some pieces had sold from the current exhibit and I needed to fill the empty spaces with pieces that made sense with the current theme. It is not an easy task, if done properly. I put a great deal of thought into what went on those walls just as my coworker who worked with me has. We have both been so mindful of respecting the job we initially did and are trying to maintain that tone that was set. It was the type of task that didn't require a lot of concentration, so having a conversation was a nice addition to the day. She is one of those people that truly inspires me and embraces all of life's challenges with a certain gusto.

I left work and had to put air in my tires on the way home. The weather was getting nasty and D had called to tell me she had stopped at home, but she was going to go to her BF's as they both had exams to study for. S then called and said that Xh invited he and his GF down to the cottage for the evening. It was a last minute invite.

I had really not considered it was Black Friday today. The gallery is immune to that particular event and I have only ever gone out once to shop on that day and vowed to never go again. It was far from enjoyable for me. I prefer a pace along the lines of strolling down a village street and going into shops. I am not a fan of the mall nor fighting crowds in general, and especially for the holidays. I believe it is in part due to the memories I have of shopping with my F before Christmas and going from store to store in the village where I grew up.

Because I was going to be alone, I decided to take advantage of the solitude and go look at washing machines. I didn't want input from the kids, TBH or my parents. I had no intention of buying anything tonight. I was trying to wrap my head around all of it. And, I am usually one to research things before a big purchase. The very first washing machine I ever bought when we were in the house took me 9 months to decide on. I knew we would need a new machine eventually and it wasn't a necessity in the moment. I approached every big ticket item that way, as did Xh. We were well informed. That went out the door with the MLCer. And, I myself, have made some rather abrupt decisions since the divorce, although I don't regret them. My car was certainly something that I went in and just committed to, but as my F had pointed out, Xh and I had owned several cars from that manufacturer over the years, and the model I bought was just like the very first car I bought when I was out of college. I knew what I was getting into and I have purchased every car I have owned from that dealership.

The refrigerator was the next situation along those lines, but again, that was largely in part due to knowing I needed to order one ASAP and with the Covid delays, as the timing was just as everything was shutting down, I was on borrowed time. As it was, it took 3 months for the refrigerator to arrive.

But this? Even though it is something I need fairly soon, if I want to avoid going to the laundromat or doing my laundry at my parent's for any length of time, yet, I had plans to research it over the weekend. Instead, I found myself driving towards the home improvement store near the mall. As I drove, it still didn't click with me that it was Black Friday. It took someone else reminding me to make it click. It made me laugh a bit, but then I realized the sudden invite from Xh for S to come down was really awful. It made me pause and really wonder WTF? He couldn't invite S for Thanksgiving dinner nor of course D, but he is choosing to have S there tonight. It made no sense, TBH. And my only concern was how D might feel once she got wind of it. It is not something I can fix, and it is not my issue to be concerned about, except I would be the one reaping the "benefits" potentially in the form of D perhaps having a bit of a trigger.

I wandered about the appliance section and narrowed down some ideas. I couldn't find a single person to help me in that area, and walked around the corner to find a young man standing in the aisle. I recognized the name, as it is not a common name and he had helped my parents with a plumbing problem some time ago and they continually gush over how helpful he was. Right away he offered to help me. I know better than to assume a young man my S's age is not on top of things and no matter what the age, I sometimes ask something I know the answer to in order to assess whether I have someone who really knows what they are talking about or to see if they are going to try and dazzle me with some BS. This young man not only knew his stuff, when he didn't know something he not only admitted it, but found someone who would know the answer. He would apologize if he didn't have the answer right away and I laughed telling him I honestly respected that. I realized that frankly with the delays in deliveries and the fact that I have a card with them that would give me 0% financing for 24 months - that I really wasn't going to do much better. I can pay that off quickly, but it will take the pressure off a little having that buffer of time. It was all done in an hour and I drove home. I was in a bit of shock. It is not like me at all.

When I came home, I had told someone jokingly I thought I was going to cry. Thing is, I realized it wasn't really a joke. I make light of things like getting bruises and hurting myself, or stressful things like this major purchase, but it is to sometimes help me get through the shock and process. I was okay until I came into the kitchen and saw that my kids had behaved like teenagers today and neither had bothered to do their dishes or empty the dishwasher. I am not used to this behavior and I had spent yesterday working my butt off to not only clean the kitchen ahead of the cooking but stayed up to make sure the kitchen was clean this morning. To come home and see this was infuriating and defeating. And, neither kid was here for me to address it with. I considered leaving it until morning and going to bed, but I couldn't stand the idea of getting up and having to face the mess. I begrudgingly took care of it, full well ready to read them both the riot act later.

S came through the door a short time later. I didn't lose my temper, but told him I was incredibly upset and he apologized. I asked what the big event was at Xh's and he said it was odd. Xh just wanted to see him. S shrugged and said it was rather strange. We left it at that. Then out of S's mouth came a question that I know from the phrasing was from Xh. I could feel myself bristle. It was a question about what had happened with the job at the university. I bit my tongue and wanted to call Xh and rip his head off. He is poking and wants to rile me up - I know this side of him too well. I told S that I will gladly share with him, but it is not to be something I want to share with Xh, as there are more than enough rumors that have circulated around about me over the years thanks to Xh and company. S understood what I was getting at.

But, it was in this moment that the tears just came tumbling out. S was visibly upset - thinking it was his fault somehow. But it wasn't . I just told him I am tired. I am tired of being alone and making decisions about everything on my own. I am tired of being strong and independent when sometimes I don't want to be. I don't want to have a pity party and have anyone think I am a victim, but I am truly just wishing for a time when maybe, just maybe I can quit having to hold it all together and somehow not have to have this weight on me. S gave me a hug and said he never really realized how much I have had to carry on my shoulders since Xh left. I laughed and said that it isn't that I wasn't capable of buying a washing machine, and it honestly isn't about the washing machine so much as I am just tired of feeling like I am in attack mode and have to put out this or that fire. This whole year has been especially hard that way and I haven't been able to really just stop and catch my breath.

S was getting ready for bed and I said he was not to worry, as I told him I will figure it out, as I somehow always do. He smiled and said that was very true and he said it is something he truly admires about me - my resilience.

I am not feeling at all resilient right now.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on November 27, 2021, 08:45:08 AM
I just told him I am tired. I am tired of being alone and making decisions about everything on my own. I am tired of being strong and independent when sometimes I don't want to be. I don't want to have a pity party and have anyone think I am a victim, but I am truly just wishing for a time when maybe, just maybe I can quit having to hold it all together and somehow not have to have this weight on me. S gave me a hug and said he never really realized how much I have had to carry on my shoulders since Xh left. I laughed and said that it isn't that I wasn't capable of buying a washing machine, and it honestly isn't about the washing machine so much as I am just tired of feeling like I am in attack mode and have to put out this or that fire. This whole year has been especially hard that way and I haven't been able to really just stop and catch my breath
I so get this!!! Just had a similar convo with my S28. I just finally said. Hey, I have made a lot of excuses for your F behavior, but bottom line He treated me horribly. I have had a rough year. I am allowed to struggle. It’s been a trauma, so has it been rough? Yes, but I will make it through, but I am not covering for your F and his choices anymore and I would like the same compassion that is being shown to him and his crisis shown to me from the crisis he has put me in.  I have told both my adult children. This has been rough. I miss my beat friend and husband, but I will make it through. I just ask for little i sight or mention of him to help me get a little distance and healing happening on my end. Not forever, but for now.

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 27, 2021, 06:34:55 PM
I filled in for one of my coworkers at the gallery for part of the day, as she had an emergency. It was incredibly busy and made the hours fly by. It was then that S called me and asked if I could stop at the home improvement store on the way home to pick up some supplies. I told him to send me a list and when I found the extensive list, I had to ask what was going on. He sent a smiley face back and said I will be very happy.

Three hundred dollars later and armed with new electrical wiring and GFCI outlets and switches among the list, I arrived home to find S had been busy working all day. He had installed the new light in the newly designated linen closet and was in the process of working on the bath vent system and the vanity light. The wallboard isn't up, but we had both agreed that it made sense to address some of these things and set them in place with the walls open and accessible. We understood the vanity and the vent will have to come back down, but we will have an easier time of resetting things. What I hadn't realized was S decided that he was going to completely gut the bathroom wiring and redo what Xh and FIL had done in the first place. Part of S's degree program is electrical and the students had the option to receive certification in some of those fields on top of the actual degree. S has pursued every one of those options and he is very fussy about following code and zoning laws.

S laughed when I opened the linen closet and turned the new light on. I was giddy. Little things amuse me.

S's good friend has been helping him all day and S's GF was making dinner. The dishes had all been done and the kitchen cleaned.

S and I chatted as he was working away. He then recounted part of yesterday's visit. Beyond asking how his visit was, I typically don't ask. S was annoyed about part of the visit, in that Xh is pushing for S to not go to work right away after college. He told S that he should take 6 months off and travel. S had a scowl on his face when he was telling me, saying how clueless his F is. Yah, wouldn't it be nice to just take off 6 months, but S admitted that he finds work motivating and frankly, he will have college loans to start paying. He has bills and responsibilities and wants to buy a house sometime in the near future. He has plans and he told Xh he can't afford to take that amount of time off. It was then Xh said he would give S money for his bills for a couple of months. S asked me why does it feel like Xh is trying to control things? He stopped paying for S's education and now wants to give S money. I didn't say what I was thinking, which is based on Xh's MLC history, he is not liking the fact that his ability to control S is now slipping away slowly.

Then came a nugget of information that made me sort of smile and laugh a bit. Perhaps a bit of MLC knowledge that I needed to hear. If only because it tells me that it was not just here where the MLC fixes have been occurring.

S mentioned he used Xh's shower while he was down at the cottage. Xh made some remark about how he cannot believe the bathroom was not done and S reminded him that the pandemic and other factors have made it a bit difficult to make happen - including the fact that I am doing so much of this on my own. I only have so many hours in the day and have had to wait on supplies. Just yesterday I was informed my window order has been pushed back yet a couple more weeks. It is looking like it will be here mid January - if I am lucky. S reminded Xh that I had moved the heat run and have had to repair the joists underneath where the tub used to be. It has not been a small job. S snarked that he told his F that I was doing it right this time.

So, when S was mentioning the shower he told me that Xh got so excited because he wanted to show S something. He had fixed the shower. I asked what was wrong with the shower. S started laughing.

When Xh and Schmoopie decided to embark on this cottage renovation, it was a huge job. Xh was there continually and the agreement he had with the OW was that he would do the work for free in exchange for rent. It wasn't a little job. It meant exterior walls and the like were torn down. Xh was all about the aesthetics as was OW. It is not like Xh of the past who would focus on both aesthetics, but was also concerned with structure and that it was done correctly the first time. Ah, but Xh was in love or lust and couldn't wait to move out of the house and get into his new digs. He spent hours tiling the bathroom and I have seen pictures over the years. The rooms that Xh actually finished are beautiful.

But it would seem the MLCer's rushed jobs are coming back to haunt him. He had not checked the water lines when he installed the shower. He installed them backwards to that the cold water and hot water were flipped. It has been a bit of a problem. Xh is bored with fixing his motorcycle again. Not surprised. He has a vintage camper he started renovating that OW thought he would enjoy working on. That hasn't held his attention, and he has moved on to yet another project and idea. This is not a shock to me, as that was going on just before MLC hit. Filling the void with things instead of dealing with issues. More material things and projects to avoid really digging deep.

The shower, in order to fix this mix up required Xh tearing out all of his tile work and redoing the entire shower stall again. He was quite pleased with himself S said. S just shook his head as he told me this story, and said he thought it is rather telling that the MLC fixes didn't just apply to here. Xh's lack of interest in this house had nothing to do with us or our house.

It is not something I am focusing on. It brought me some level of amusement, but it also just confirmed that MLC didn't magically stop when Xh moved into his fantasy life. Part of it makes me sad for him, but only in that had he actually done the work on himself, maybe he would have a relationship with the kids. What dawned on me when I was thinking about this though was that I didn't think it was sad that he couldn't have worked it out with me.

It had struck me earlier in the day when my M brought up something about my divorce and I told her that it doesn't hurt anymore, but I don't like focusing on it. I said it started to feel like every time someone brought it up it was like having buried someone and being asked if the body could be exhumed - over and over again and analyzed to see what went wrong. I told my M that I am done trying to figure it out in that sense. I grieved the marriage and who Xh was. I hold the happy years with some fondness and am not bitter, but I truly am happy focusing on what is possible now. I told her that as far as I was concerned my marriage and divorce has now been cremated and the ashes have been scattered.

I am still tired tonight, but the little bits of progress my S has made today have made me feel like I can tackle more tomorrow. I needed that bit of help and it was even better that I didn't even have to ask. It is the best type of present. I even joked as I unpacked the light fixtures for S and cut the boxes open. I pretended to be surprised and kept saying "oh, I shouldn't have. How thoughtful of me". S and his friend were laughing at my goofiness. They are so used to my antics. LOL
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 28, 2021, 11:45:58 AM
My giddiness hasn't subsided. It's amazing how one can appreciate the little things like lights back in the bathroom or in the linen closet.  ::) It prompted a conversation with the kids and I this morning about gratitude and taking things for granted.

S's friend "C" is looking at houses and filing paperwork for loan approval while he has been staying at my parent's house. He has a good opportunity possibly with a guy he works with who wants to move out of state and they are in the process of discussing the sale of the house. It is looking like a good solution if all falls in place. That said, "C" has still been looking at places to not only get a handle on what is available but knowing he may not be able to count on this all falling into place. One never knows.

The search online of houses in the various counties has been quite an eye opener for my kids. Yes, we have had a disaster and it is not how I would like to be living, but we have had to adjust to the various delays. My S mentioned that while we have projects to complete, we have heat, water and nice things. This came about when he and D found a picture of a house for sale that they recognized. They knew the kids that grew up there. Good kids and from a family that worked very hard. The house is for sale and it said it is a fixer upper. Now, they have encountered several of those in their many searches with "C". This is in a very nice neighborhood but it always needed repairs. The kids had very little, it was clear, but they never complained. When my kids saw the interior shots of the house they were in shock. This was not just living in a construction zone. It was evident that the family cared about what they had, as things were taken care of, but there was not a stove to cook on. Just a hot plate and those types of things that the kids see in dorms. Plastic covering all of the windows for warmth. It was frankly humbling.

This morning, we talked about gratitude. I am grateful I had the $300 to update the electrical. That is a huge amount of money for some people. I wasn't thrilled about spending money on that, but this morning I wasn't complaining. It made me feel very different as it did the kids. We have a great deal to be thankful for, in spite of the struggles that fell upon us since the whole MLC blow up.

It puts the kids and I back in a thought process about Christmas. Xh and I before MLC always were of the same mindset when it came to Christmas. We kept things to a dull roar. We didn't go into debt for the holidays, nor did we spend more just because we had more money. From a young age the kids were aware that other kids didn't have gifts. They willingly picked angels off of the various trees in the community and took great joy in buying for other kids. But, MLC changed that for a bit. Xh and I had a budget we would set, and then in MLC he would just come home with some gift that was ridiculously expensive. I now look back and realize it was him trying to buy the kids and cover the guilt - at least that is my suspicion.

S had worked late into the evening last night and I told him to leave the mess for me to deal with this morning. He hesitated, but then went off to bed. I found myself actually enjoying the cleanup, from the sheer standpoint is that it felt like progress in that room that has been stalled so many times this year. It somehow doesn't seem as overwhelming right now - that is, I can at least feel like the completion may be within reach.

Even the washing machine purchase is no longer stressing me out. I am focusing on positives. When my sister told me two of her friends had to buy new washing machines and they are not arriving for 3 months, I am glad I made the decision I did. My stress was about having to make this large purchase on what felt like a whim. I like being spontaneous, but not with my money as such - at least when it comes to that type of commitment. I am now comfortable with the decision I made and let go with a good cry the other night.

My work schedule is very light over the next few weeks. I literally found out that I am not on the schedule after the 17th because of how the holidays fall. I have a small commission to finish up, but it gives me a great deal of flexibility until the first of the year.

Maybe that balance I so desperately need will be a bit more attainable, at least for a little while.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 29, 2021, 05:46:49 AM


It IS kind of funny how the little things can bring so much pleasure...

As for xH and his "suggestion," I REALLY hope that S doesn't actually BELIEVE that xH will give him money... or that there will be no strings attached... But S has been down this road with xH before with the road trips, etc...  ::)  Seems xH has a VERY short memory that he seems to have forgotten that a few months ago he was busy trying to hose S over and he expects that everything just magically got swept under the MLC Carpet....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 29, 2021, 01:02:44 PM
UrsaMajor - That is how I feel - LOL. It takes so little to make me happy - honestly.

As for Xh's latest "scheme" - and, I am sorry, that is my now very perhaps jaded take - S is not biting. He has planned on taking a couple of weeks off and starting a job after the new year, but he knows that taking 6 months off is not really what he wants to do. He likes work and is part of the reason he wanted to finish this semester was because graduating in December gives him a jump on the others who have to wait until May, when every other kid graduates. Besides, S has indicated he has Xh's number.

I told my sister about the offer from Xh and her first response was "what is in it for Xh"? Uh huh. I guess I am not the only one who has become suspicious of the MLCer's motives. Maybe it is just some dream of reliving his own after college experience. Oh, wait - right that was traveling for a month with me around Europe - LOL.  ::)

I know OW had convinced Xh that traveling the world for several months was a great idea. Yah - if you have the means to do so or IDK - some sort of plan.

It is not my concern in terms of what Xh decides to do, unless it somehow affects me. My initial thought was, "how nice, but has anyone considered that S still lives with me and I am currently paying for things (aside from car and insurance payments - that I agreed I would cover while he was in school. Things like health insurance and phone, etc, and IDK S going off and traveling on my dime for 6 months when I haven't had a vacation in 8 years might make me really pretty grouchy. LOL. S was  the first to point out that he wondered if that offer from Xh to pay S's bills included those bills.  ::)

The bigger thorn in my side is how that just cuts D again. She said it doesn't bother her, but S and I both know that it is painful. Xh quit paying for S's education and hasn't helped D, fine - but now he wants to pay for S to go play for 6 months. D snarked that it probably meant that S is going to be Xh's chauffeur on some cross country trip again.

I am not upset about it. It is going to play out how it is going to play out. S has to figure this one out. He knows my feelings without me saying a thing. When he told me he was thinking of taking a couple of weeks off I didn't get upset. He has earned some time off and if he can afford to go, great. I told him I would give him some money to do so instead of a gift to be unwrapped at Christmas if that was his choice. I am not going to prevent him from traveling just because I can't right now. But, 6 months? Better start saving, kid. LOL

The puppy came back last night. The kids were laughing when she came charging into the house searching for me. She curled up next to me on the couch right away and has been my shadow all day long. S had purchased a new training collar for her. She understands the beep and I am grateful for that. The fresh snow and the ability to run around the orchard wore her out and she has been sleeping near my all day long. She was lying in the sunshine streaming through the windows in the bathroom as I worked on built in cabinet framing.

Progress - slowly but surely.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 30, 2021, 04:02:05 AM
D snarked that it probably meant that S is going to be Xh's chauffeur on some cross country trip again.

That was EXACTLY what my first thought was too.... and, since xH was "paying S's Bills," S could pay the gas for the trip too, right?

I'd love to have some snow for the doggo to run around in instead of the cold, grey, rainy mud that we have...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on November 30, 2021, 10:23:09 AM
UrsaMajor - Yes, snow is much easier to deal with than the mud. It's bad enough when they get it on their paws, but I know this morning this puppy was rolling in the snow and all I could think about was thank goodness it isn't mud. Of course, that will be later in the week, as the weather is warming back up yet again.

Last night, S left quite late to return to school. He tries to go back earlier on Mondays to settle in and get ready for the week, but he had an issue to deal with at the bank with the loan that he took ownership of recently and had me removed as a cosigner. He had received a paper from the bank that stated he needed a new title for the car, yet he had been told at the bank it wasn't an issue because it was an internal loan transfer. The letter, it turned out was computer generated and he was able to resolve it, but it meant running around and digging out the title just in case, etc. He then had homework that was due online by 5, so he remained home to submit that before driving the 3 hours to his college. I hate when he leaves in the dark this time of year, as the deer are very active at night.

I was alone for dinner and D called me from college. She was supposed to have an exam. She didn't tell me that her professor saw that she was under the weather and sent her home. She went to her BF's parent's house and went straight to bed. She has been staying there still since her BF and his B are both gone, so she has a whole floor to herself, with her own bathroom. LOL. I can't say as I blame her. She asked if I could pick up some medicine for her. It was nearly 8 pm and I said I would go run to the pharmacy so she had it for the morning. It was not something I wanted to do, as I was working on the bathroom and was almost done putting up new insulation on the one outside wall. The trip to the pharmacy was not something I was looking forward to, if for no other reason than it was dark out and it meant I had to put on my winter coat and the like to go out. I was happy in my nice warm house and all cozy. LOL

This morning, D came in the door and she was fine at first. Then she expressed her aggravation with a decision I had made about S's GF's rabbit. I had said it could come inside for a bit and dwell in the basement. S needs to work on the tractor and it is a job that requires ventilation with the different solvents. The rabbit's cage is not insulated and with the doors open to the outside and fans blowing when the solvents are used, it would freeze the rabbit. The rabbit is litter trained and not really a huge problem, as far as I am concerned. At least not in the short term and S's GF comes over every day from work to feed it and clean the cage. But, at one point I had told D that the rabbit was not going to be in the house. I wasn't lying when I first said that, but that was before the tractor needed repairs, etc. But, D was livid this morning and saying she couldn't trust me.

My question to her was when is something a lie and when is it perhaps circumstances change and sometimes we have to make different decisions? I found myself so upset. I realized in all of this D is reeling from the holiday and then Xh taking S on a trip this weekend. I am the whipping post.

It was not a pleasant morning. I found myself telling D that like it or not, she and S are essentially guests - yes they are family, but not to forget who pays the bills and owns said house. Their voice and opinions can be expressed and there are some voting privileges, but my vote has more pull. D wasn't too happy with that answer. She blurted out that she can't trust me and she has no support. I lost it. Gotta admit. I asked her if I didn't support her, then who was out late last night because she needed her medicine in the morning?

I am hurt and I am angry at the moment. I know some of this is stress D is feeling. Some of the things she ranted on about are not inaccuracies. Because like so often these moments that bubble up that the rabbit was really not the issue and there was a whole list of grievances.

D and I will work through this, but when she went stomping out the door, I could feel myself just bubbling over. I have guilt as it is about things not being how I ever envisioned my life with my kids. The stresses of this year have not been easy, but I have learned to roll with so much more since MLC hit. I always was able to monitor and adjust, but MLC made me learn that life can really shake things up no matter how well you plan. With the pandemic and the delays, I have learned to be much more patient again. I can't control when things are back in stock or going to arrive, so I make the best of it or laugh about it. But, it is not easy and when these moments hit with D having a need to release her grievances and emotions, I feel this weight of not being enough. I can't be both parents, but I have to be sometimes. I know I am not capable of being some superhero.

At the end of the day, I know D realizes how much I do without complaint most times.

It is hard not to have resentment for the MLCer in these moments. I know he may be struggling and the like, but the choices he made put way more pressure on me. Yes, I too could make the same choices and run away. I let him have access to the kids, so it isn't like I am keeping him from them or making it impossible. He just walked away from it all and I am too responsible to walk away in the first place, but part of me would like to sometimes not be a parent.

Bitterness and resentment won't serve me well, so I will work through it. For now, I am going to just enjoy the quiet of the day and try to finish some part of this ongoing renovation. Tomorrow, I am supposed to walk with my sister, as the weather is going to be warmer. I am going to try my damndest to stick to my plan. I so need the time to get out and walk off some of this negative energy building. UGH.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 01, 2021, 03:42:11 AM

Consider this as a 2x4 in absentia for D -

Being an adult means learning that we do not always come first, that we do not always get our way, that we have to be able to have some flexibility as circumstances around us change. Welcome to real life. Being an adult means that we have to be able to cope with our stresses and deal with them appropriately rather than taking them out on all and sundry and whoever happens to be a convenient target in the vicinity. Being a HEALTHY adult means that we  deal with issues AS THEY ARISE and not in some sort of verbal diarrhea attack that tosses everything out, including the kitchen sink, just for the sake of scoring a point or two.

You have every right to be hurt and angry - let those who complain do it themselves next time if they can do it all better... You had to make a short-term adjustment because of the circumstances (wrt the rabbit) but, as you noted, that was just an excuse rather than the real reason behind the melt-down.... And, guess what, growing up doesn't mean that one has less stress.... (as if you didn't already know this) so one has to learn to deal with it appropriately...

Of course, one could always just save it all up and then have an MLC later in life instead  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on December 01, 2021, 04:16:43 AM
I agree on this with UM. Tbh I suspect it is part of the transition from parenting teenagers to young adults, and requires adjustment all round. Less protective excuses by the parent, less self-centredness by the young adult. What your D said was hurtful, particularly so given your MLC past probably, and you’re entitled to feel hurt and angry about it for a bit. And to say so. And your D needs to learn that, regardless of how one feels, being an adult means using your words with more care if you do not want to damage relationships. Lessons all round lol. There’s a lot of love in your family, MD, so I suspect it’s a lesson blip for both of you not more than that  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 02, 2021, 08:43:50 AM
UrsaMajor & Treasur - Thank you both.

It is not easy trying to navigate these moments. It is hard to know at times what stirs these emotions and outbursts. "Growing pains". Mother/daughter dynamics. Exhaustion from the end of the semester. Triggers from the MLC. It is often a combination of all of the above. This particular event has stirred up a lot of dust and D and I are still working through it and I am just worn out from it all.

D and I had a rough day yesterday, as we were both feeling very raw. It lead to a discussion in the evening and this morning things were better. I told D that she needs to learn to ask for help, and I completely understand how hard that is, since I too have a very difficult time doing that. It is something we both need to work on.

She left for her classes this morning and has a meeting with one of her professors. She has been blessed with her own "Three Drawers" type of professor this year, who had D as a student last year. This professor has a weekly time set aside on their schedule for "D" time, because they recognize D is a student who wants to ask questions beyond the class content. She has such a thirst for knowledge. But, this professor also recognized that D is similar to how this professor was and has been helping D learn how to dial down the immense pressure she puts on herself. They have been working on a system, a grid that this professor uses themselves to organize priorities and to understand that a person cannot operate at that level D strives for all the time. And, I tried to explain to D, I understand this better than she could possibly know - I was that student growing up and I have learned to adapt. It does creep in still and I know that this is why I struggle with that whole "balance" I constantly seek.

When D left for school, I thought about how I will never fully understand how Xh could just walk away from the kids. Walking away from the marriage, I can at least somehow wrap my head around. But, the kids? I don't think I will ever be able to fully accept the explanations of he is in crisis. It is the same feeling I have about people who keep a good parent away from the kids because the kids are used like a game piece. I have an abundance of compassion for a lot of things, but I know I am not capable of excusing any parent who abandons or uses their kids because it suits them. Those are choices they make in crisis or because it allows them to manipulate and use. I have no patience for manipulation and games when it comes to people's emotions.

I did take the time to meet my sister to walk. We had both committed to walking, even if the weather wasn't perfect, but the sun came out and the snow had all but melted by midmorning. It has been weeks since we have walked. We grabbed lunch and a coffee to go and managed to get 6 miles in. We both admitted we needed the exercise - mentally and physically. My sister's life has been so incredibly hectic as of late with the different sports schedules and events and my BIL has been traveling for work more than usual, so she is feeling the pressure of being the sole parent on call. She said she doesn't really know how I have managed on my own, since her H is there most of the time and is a phone call away.

Fortunately, like so many of our walks, we found things to laugh at and to let go of the stress.

This morning, after D left I decided to start a fire in the fire pit and to take time to relax by the fire with a cup of coffee. I had been up since 6 am, and could have accomplished a great deal, but this morning, I realized that like D, I sometimes need to be okay with taking time to just recalibrate. The couple of hours by the fire allowed me to relax and refocus - so much so that I double checked my math for the tile in the shower and laughed at myself. Yah, clearly I was not firing on all cylinders after that whole D meltdown. I thought the number seemed rather high. I forgot to eliminate the tub area and the window that don't need tiling. It made a rather significant difference.  ::) The argument for allowing yourself to take time to relax. LOL
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 03, 2021, 03:14:44 AM

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 03, 2021, 06:47:44 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Exactly.  ;)

I made two people cry today.  :o

The first event was at the gallery when I received a call from someone requesting a specific gift they wanted to purchase. I realized who the caller was and mentioned that her M had painted a beautiful painting not long ago and it to me has an energy that is very difficult to explain. The woman who painted it had lost her H nearly 3 years ago and has struggled through the grieving. It had been a huge shock and for the longest time it showed in her paintings - the sadness. But, this particular painting, I had watched her work on it for weeks, yet hadn't seen the finished product until several weeks ago. It is an amazingly beautiful piece and it is interesting how from then on, all of her work just seems to have a new life to it. I sent the image of the painting to this young woman and she mentioned how much it meant to her, and her M has mentioned me to her. I relayed that her M and I have shed many tears over the years and we have helped nudge each other along some rough patches.

I hadn't meant for the conversation to be packed with emotions. But, in the moment I felt the need to share this with the D. And, maybe it is because I know her D has been worried about her M. She lives far away from her M and her F and M were so incredibly close. Her M has been very "alone" and just existing up until recently.

The day went on and I came home to take care of the puppy and D had asked if I could drop her off at her BF's house. She didn't want to leave her car at his house because his B would be there this weekend and that means the car situation becomes a bit tricky. D had a huge project to finish up and opted out of the birthday dinner celebration with her BF's family and going with me to the local festival.

S was still driving when I spoke to him. Big surprise - S drove the entire distance while Xh slept most of the 12 hour drive.

Normally, we go as a family to a local festival every year for a tree lighting event. We have gone nearly every year since the kids were in grade school. There were some years that were really tough for the kids and I because of the MLCer and life being such a mess, but the kids would always beg to go. The only year in recent history when we haven't gone was when Covid brought everything to a grinding halt.

I came home from work and thought I would just forget going to the event. S is out of town and D is bogged down with homework, and I was feeling very tired. Yet, I realized part of my problem was that I was trying to find reasons not to go. I decided to force myself to go by myself and try to embrace the evening. I was ready to grab my good camera, but then had forgotten to charge the battery earlier and my phone doesn't hold a charge in cold weather. My thoughts of just going to shoot photos was out the door, so again, I nearly talked myself out of it. D's BF's family lives in this village, so I had to take D anyways and the festival was only a few blocks away. By the time I reached the outskirts of the village, I decided I had to do this for myself. I needed to tackle it on my own.

I parked in my, well what would be our usual spot and embraced the mild weather. The whole street was lit up with lights and various decorations. The local high school chorus was having their annual caroling event. I could hear the bells on the horse drawn carriage. It would have been perfect, had it been snowing lightly. As I walked past the small park, I could see Santa talking to a little girl, who had been waiting in line to see him. The festival is really one of my favorite events for this time of year. It is so incredibly simple. The Main Street is closed off for the night, and the local businesses supply free coffee and cocoa, and food. Local vendors sell things for the holidays. The small farm that produces maple syrup was there, as was the farmer who raises Alpaca and creates beautiful sweaters and scarves from the yarn from the Alpaca wool.

I picked up my coffee and walked throughout the shops. The bookstore and gift shops along the street. I kept seeing a little girl wearing a crown made from balloons and I told her how spectacular it was. She giggled and twirled around so I could see the whole creation. It was shortly after that when I came upon one of S's friend's mom. She waved and thanked me for putting up with him so often. I told her he has been a wonderful friend to S and he has been a huge help over the years to the kids and I. I know that the relationship between he and his F is strained right now and when she brought it up, I smiled and told her what I honestly believe. I said her S is getting older and it is time for him to move out and once he does, I believe in my heart of hearts that he and his F just need that space from each other. I see the S trying to grow up and the F is still treating him like a kid. She laughed and said that is it in a nutshell. I believe that once they live apart it will be easier for both of them. She used to work with my M and I told her that I have a similar dynamic with my M and it would be impossible for the two of us to live together, but I appreciate my M and love her to pieces. She started crying and thanked me. She said she needed to hear that because right now they are often at odds. I told her I didn't mean to make her cry and she assured me they were tears of joy.

When I started to walk away, I decided to walk towards the park in the center of the village. It was decorated with twinkle lights and people had started to pack up for the night. It had been a nice evening, but I suddenly felt this emptiness. I wasn't missing the kids as such. What I was honestly missing was sharing it with someone. Not the shopping or seeing people. The quiet moment in the park, where even though the snow had melted, the air was still cold enough to freeze the mist from the stream. The mist had coated the ornamental grasses and the soft tufts were glistening in the light. No words would have had to been spoken. It was just a moment that was so incredibly beautiful and meant to be shared. As I stared at the village ahead, I heard the horse drawn carriage coming around the corner. I hadn't seen the horses earlier. They were black Percherons this year. I considered going for a carriage ride, but I could feel my mood changing to melancholy. I didn't want to go alone on this ride, as I had on the hayride during the Halloween party. Yes, there were other people there, as there would be with this one, but it is amazing how you can be surrounded by other people and still feel this strange loneliness.

I am glad I went and I did embrace the beautiful evening, by taking a ride around the village before heading home. It is amazing that this year people seem to be really embracing putting up lights for the holidays.

I have decided over the next few weeks, I am going to push myself to go places, even if it means going alone. I can deal with solitude, but I so want to somehow embrace the holiday season again. It doesn't have to be the way it used to be, and I know it has changed from what had been years ago. But somehow I need to find some new things to embrace - simple moments. It may mean doing it on my own and I have to be okay with that for now. And, I am not about to just ask anyone to go along, to simply fill some empty seat in the car - it would have to be someone who can embrace simple moments. I know plenty of people to fill hours of the day, but it is not what I am really desiring.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 04, 2021, 03:12:01 PM
I woke up to a very quiet house this morning. Even the puppy seemed to want to stay snuggled up, but that didn't last when she saw I was getting up to make coffee. I took her outside as I waited for my French press work it's magic and thought about what I was going to try and accomplish today.

It was quiet for about an hour before my phone rang. My M had called to ask what I had on the schedule. I had some ideas, but my M mentioned she had her annual Christmas party to go to. My M is not a social butterfly, but this is the one event she never misses.

When my sister and I were growing up, my M was essentially a stay at home M. She chipped away at a college degree and had worked in an office before I was born. By the time I was in high school, my M took a job, one day a week working for a specialist in a satellite office. She loved the job and when they initially asked her to take on more hours in the city, she jumped at the chance. My F was more than happy to support her choice as were my sister and I. We all pitched in and made dinners, etc. She worked there for several years and then decided to walk away from it after they closed the satellite completely and her commute was always into the city. That was easily 25 years ago.

Every year, that office had a holiday party. When my M left, they always invited her. My M was dearly loved in that office by the staff, the dentist and the patients. They have continued these get togethers every year, even after so many of them have retired. It is something my M looks forward to every year.

The funny thing is, my F, he is happy she has these times for herself and can find plenty to keep himself busy. Whether it is working in the studio. Or reading a book. Or whatever strikes his fancy. But, my M knew I was by myself and he was by himself, so she thought maybe we could go and pick up the sheet of insulation I still needed for the bathroom along with the lumber I wanted to pick out. I could have easily just borrowed my F's truck, but I sort of giggled to myself. I knew my F would be perfectly happy to tag along and "help" me. So, at 9:30 am he picked me up and off we went to check that off of our list. Thing is, my F and I don't often get a day where we don't have things going on or tasks that need addressed. Or people at home that might have ideas of how the day should go -  ::) So, we meandered. Oh, sure I could have accomplished so much more had I just gone to the home improvement store on my own, but we had such a nice time together.

We stopped at an antique store on the way and then tackled the task at hand. It was nearly 11 am, and I knew both of us had been up quite early. I had eaten a banana for breakfast and my F had eaten at 6 am. I suggested we go pick up brunch and we decided on going to a little diner in the city. My F reminisced and asked if I remember him bringing me there when I was a kid. We talked about how the decor has changed so much and I was smiling as my F recounted how my sister and I always wanted to sit at the counter on the bar stools, thinking that was just such a treat. And, how he and I would go faithfully every year out shopping together. My sister never wanted to go along, nor did my M. She was always busy preparing for the festivities and was happy to let the two of us go out. I can remember so many times going into the stores with my F, who loves giving gifts. The music being played in the village would crackle over the speakers in the cold air and we would stop at the local diner and get hot chocolate ands something to eat. I loved those days.

We decided to go across the street and look in one of the shops. I hadn't realized my department coordinator had a stand set up in the shop for the weekend. She gave me a huge hug and told me she has me on the list for classes and will let me know what the numbers look like. I have my fingers crossed.

I saw my F had spotted a necklace. It was lovely and he had a grin on his face as he decided it was something my M should have. On the way home, he told me that he was going to give it to her today. I started laughing and said Christmas wasn't that far away. He explained he knew that, but for their anniversary my M had told him not to make a fuss and he had only gotten her roses, which she loves. He was almost giddy, having made the decision to give this necklace to her now.

I came home and decided not to try and make up for the time I "lost" being out and just embraced the pace the day had taken on.

I think that sometimes it is not time alone I need for balance in my life. What I sometimes need is this type of time with the people I care about or just a day that meanders along where I can embrace memories or happy moments. Simple things. :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 06, 2021, 02:12:20 AM
Having a day that is not "planned" from sun-up to sundown can be VERY beneficial for our mental health...

Even a few hours like that can be helpful... I had a bit of that yesterday after church where I got a few things done that I  have been needing to get done for a while... Nothing really SUPER important but things that were just hanging out there for a while...

Being able to do that with someone that you love is just another mark on the "win" side in my book...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 06, 2021, 09:52:34 AM
UrsaMajor - I am glad I took my time, because this morning I felt like I was navigating a field full of landmines. All I wanted to do today was try to make progress on the bathroom and finish up at least the construction part of the linen closet. Painting and finish work on anything is down the list.

I came downstairs around 6:15 am and put my coffee on. While I waited for the coffee to brew, I took the puppy out and played as the sun came up. I came in, hoping for a quiet start to my Monday and started coming up with a priority list and counts for what pieces of lumber needed cut, etc. And then it started - the mayhem. The phone rang and it was my M. She wanted to know if I had heard from S. I had.

S was on his way home last night. He had convinced Xh that it made sense to break up the trip back, when I pointed out that S would be in the car, without stops today for about 16 hours with his travel back to college. Of course when it was originally presented to him, S was told that Xh would do part of the driving. That didn't happen.  ::) Why do I think that S is feeling the same jaded thing I am - which is Xh only invited S because he needed someone to drive while he worked on his computer and he needed someone to watch his crazy dog, since the kennel refuses to watch the dog. S's GF was with the dog for the time they were gone and today told me that the dog was a handful all weekend. So, according to S, he drove to Xh's, an hour south from our house and since logic doesn't exist in Xh's world, that also meant that because they were traveling north, our house is closer to their final destination. I told S that I would have dropped S off in the city nearby to meet Xh or to pick him up, had I known. But, either way, S was clearly frustrated last night.

No sooner had I talked to my M, did the phone just blow up. The dental office that we are transferring to and then another call from someone I have been waiting on. And, it is all well and good, but it started to feel like my day was quickly getting hijacked with crazy time-sucking calls and my plans completely derailed.

I was trying to explain to my sister that I don't mind projects, and I do enjoy them, but I so desperately want to get back to where these things are choices and not all necessary - that is residue from the disaster that my year started out on. I long for the project where it doesn't affect everyone in the house. The bathroom is something where I can see the finish line, but someone keeps moving the line further out.

I could feel my stress level rising when my sister called me back. She told me about her neighbor's D whose soon to be Xh has apparently hitched a ride on the MLC bus. My sister had spoken to the neighbor this morning and the M wanted to know if I would talk to her D, since I would understand. I could feel myself feeling bad on one hand, but then I could feel my body tense up. I told my sister that if she wants some resources, I would share them, but I can't do it - that is help this person. I don't have it in me. My sister understood, after I explained to her that I am just worn out and I don't have it in me to talk about my MLCer and my divorce at this point. I want to move away from it and right now, I am so consumed with trying to get my own life back on track.

It sounds so selfish, but I'm stretched at the moment.

D leaves for her college soon - so maybe, just maybe I can some time where I can just focus on my own needs for the day.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 07, 2021, 12:37:41 AM
Geee..... So S was the Chauffeur for the GWPWELFV again... Imagine my surprise...
That was to be expected .... and, of course, the dog too....
"Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result...." and with xH it is just wash, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum...

I have had similar instances where someone has asked for help while their partner/spouse was off to the MLC races and I honestly refer them here. I just can't personally shoulder the burden of someone but I am willing to provide support as part of a group/team.... Lead them to the resources and then they need to take action to use them or not...

And with the bathroom renovations - moving goal posts are no fun at all. At the same time, I can't help but recall what kicked the whole project off in the first place.... R has a friend that has decided to do similar renovations but on a free-will basis AND while there are 4 people living in the house... They have no shower and haven't had for several weeks but that is a free-will choice, not the result of 3 1/2" drywall screws through heating lines... WHY one would actually CHOOSE to do renovations like this, I have no idea... Friend and Friend's husband have been able to use the showers where they work but their 2 boys are having to go to the local swimming pool to shower when they have swimming training...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 07, 2021, 01:58:32 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor - just wait…there is more that I just found out yesterday.

Remember me saying at the opening of this thread that I wasn't sure sometimes why I still needed to post? Followed by I wasn't discounting the possibility of the MLCer riling me up.  ::)

It is not a trigger, but I did have to sort out some feelings last night and this morning. So much so that I had dreams last night about Xh. And, I am to the point in this journey where when Xh shows up in any dream, I am annoyed. Bad dreams. Good dreams. Anything in between including weird dreams - I don't want Xh in any of them. LOL

So, S returned home very late yesterday afternoon. He was exhausted. He waited at home to see his GF after she got out of work, as she only works a short distance from our house. He had missed her terribly and she, him.

I was grateful D was not at home to hear about the trip. S was excited to share photos of the 2 places they went as he knew I would appreciate the artistic elements S photographed. And, I did. They were beautiful. He clearly enjoyed his time, but there were other elements to this trip that I know are perhaps confusing for him. That is, he didn't out and out say it, but I know my kid very well. He is struggling with some things. Like wondering what the truth really is when it comes to Xh. I just listened most of the time and realize that there is nothing I can do or say and frankly, know from experience that trying to somehow express my opinion when it comes to Xh is never a good idea. I could feel myself wanting to get on the phone and just scream at Xh. Truly.

The company Xh worked for that I figured he had a no compete clause with - yah, called that one. S explained that Xh is no longer going to pursue that project because the company wasn't happy with him, so he quit. Hmmmm, I know the company owner pretty well. My guess - and it is just a guess - Xh got fired because of the clause. The MLC version of Xh needs the spotlight so much it clouds the bigger picture. Xh of yesteryear - the business minded one - would have seen the logic of presenting his idea to the owner, seeing that they had the resources to make this happen and he could have negotiated heading it up. But, no - instead, blow up another work relationship in MLCland and then just decide to go after some other thing.

Now, I will always say this about Xh. He has brilliant ideas and is incredibly talented. Always has been. The MLC version though - somehow just can't hold it together enough to see things through. No surprise by now. And, in the grand scheme it shouldn't affect me, but like it or not, since we have kids together, it can at the very least rattle my cage just a tad.

So, S mentioned Xh was pushing even more to take time off to do things for himself. He informed S that he would pay S's car payment. I stared at S and told him that is all well and good, but S still lives with me, and I am not going to fund some sabbatical that not only I cannot afford to do, but am not even able to make happen for myself, much less others at this point. I explained that I know S works hard and I am not so worried about his bills, but the agreement has always been that I would help the kids with the bills that I committed to in the divorce and then some - as long as they were in college. I agreed to carrying the cellphone bills and the like in the divorce. Both kids are good about pitching in, but understood there are some things I am not going to just keep paying for. They are young adults and my job, as I see it is to help them progress into the world. Support in my mind, means that they can live at home for a bit and get on their feet. They can save up money and get a handle on their school loans - transition to an independent life. But, never has there been some idea floated out there that I will continue to support them financially all the way around. I wasn't raised that way and if they stay home, I am not the maid - we are a team. Like it or not.

S understands this. My issue is not with him at all. It was my frustration listening to the latest "scheme" - yes, I am sorry in this situation, it is in fact not just an idea Xh has, but based on how it all was presented - it is in fact something that Xh has thought out with it very clearly benefiting him. Oh, sure, parts of it would be cool for S.

Xh has a new idea for a money making project. The idea is solid, yet, I will admit part of it is getting to me a bit, as it involves backroad travel - nothing Xh was ever interested in, but S mentioned Xh was inspired by my excursions. And, I don't care so much about that - yay him. I just hate that my "inspiration" has led to this plan. If he makes money at it - good for him, but then too it bugs me, because he continues to benefit and the kids and I have had to bust our butts. Not only that when he offers to pay for S's car and nowhere is he offering to cover, IDK things like health insurance, etc - things I currently pay with an idea I inspired - not exactly making me feel all warm and tingly.  ::)

The conversation continued with Xh would like to have S take time off so he can travel with Xh. Hmmmm. My jaded self was already figuring what that translated to. S could be the driver while Xh documents the travels for his newest concept. Meanwhile, he asked S if his GF liked road trips. S innocently told me that he told Xh that his GF has a job that she really loves and she has other responsibilities. So, Xh's response was to be all excited and said that maybe GF could move into the cottage with S and she could stay behind and be the live in dog sitter. I can assure you that is not going to fly. GF missed S terribly over the 4 days he was gone. Nope. I don't see him going away for possibly a month at a time when GF is left behind. Nor do I see S leaving her for that long. They are best friends. They spend time apart, but this is not exactly the way they have been talking. S and his GF have been talking about getting engaged down the line - once S gets his career going. I anticipate it occurring before next year. And, S is talking about moving in with his friend "C" when he gets his house.

I could feel myself wanting to call XH and just spit and sputter. Of course, with it came the other layer that Xh has not spoked to nor seen D at all. If S were to go away with Xh for any length of time, it is bound to create a wedge with S and D.

There is nothing I can do about it, beyond telling S, as I did, that if he decides to do this, I will only support a couple of "free" months. And, when he is home, he will have to at the very least pitch in financially or help around the house more. He understood and knows I am not being unreasonable.

It is so hard not to feel resentment in these moments. Part of it is I just want him to not affect me at all. I want to focus solely on my own relationships. I wonder at times what this means if I am with someone else. Are they going to understand my feelings - that is - I don't care what Xh does unless it creates problems for me even a bit. Does that scare someone away? I certainly don't go looking for interactions with Xh.

Today, S posted pics of himself and Xh on Facebook. Of course I saw them and seeing Xh didn't upset me in the sense that I somehow felt emotions as such. It was that I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. He has taken on the habit that his now deceased B once did and his M, which is to bleach his hair completely to a blonde to try and blend the gray. And, I don't care. Coloring one's hair is a personal choice. But for me, seeing it, combined with the disheveled look that he was sporting was jarring. To go from a guy that always looked like he was in the military in terms of pressed clothing and short hair to looking like he currently does is just mind-boggling.

As for the help my sister asked for. I have realized I don't mind helping people, but I am at a point currently where I am not capable of what she is asking. It opens up the wounds too much at this point. Someone wants some advice from me and asks - perhaps, but I am also more and more private about some of these things. I have endured enough assumptions when people find out I am divorced. And part of that is my own doing because I keep most things private when it comes to certain things. I will share and do, but on my terms. Beyond journaling it out here and maybe talking to a very small handful of people, I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Today, I had a random thought about my own life. I am sort of torn between wanting to share someone with others in my life and keeping them all to myself. In reality, I know that I would want a person I care about to be part of my whole life, but after this Xh thing my reaction is to insulate myself and those I love from the madness. However, I will admit - the person I was specifically thinking about has been subjected to my family because the universe likes to intervene. LOL.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 08, 2021, 12:18:15 AM
So, let's cut to the brass tacks:
The GWPWELFV formerly known (to S) as "dad" wants:
a) to have S as his chauffeur,
b) have S's GF be his live-in dog sitter and house caretaker

He plans to compensate S for his "work" by paying for S's car payment (S had better get that money in advance!) but nothing else.... I'm willing to bet that also would not include food and hotel costs if required....
He does NOT intend to do diddly squat for S's GF like pay for the place where she is currently living, food, transportation costs, etc.,  while she is at the cottage so GF essentially would be paying money to be taking care of the dog from Hades in addition to being cooped up in a cottage somewhere remote...

What can I say? A picture is worth 1000 words..... so here are 4... instead of 4000 words....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: forthetrees on December 08, 2021, 06:32:58 PM
Wait a minute, is the ex sporting the Boris Johnson look?
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 09, 2021, 01:06:27 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor - you just voiced what thoughts rolled through my head immediately and I question whether it is me being clear of mind or just a jaded thought process going on. Unfortunately, I am often hit with the reality that I was spot on and it is almost disappointing. I sometimes wish I was wrong, because I want to be a positive person and try to keep negative thoughts at bay.

forthetrees - LOl. No, he isn't channeling Boris Johnson. I would quicker liken Tom Hanks in "Castaway" when he has been on the island for months - just blonde and a shorter beard.

It is a jarring thing to see, considering the whole time I have known him - prior to MLC he insisted on being neat as can be. My Xh was always incredibly well dressed and never a hair out of place. He was slender, having inherited his F's metabolism and he took care of himself. When we were dating and first married, he had been mistaken for a couple of different actors, which made us laugh.

And, as he aged, I didn't get upset or somehow turned off by him as his body was changing or gray hair appearing. I wouldn't have cared if he had decided to dye his hair, even though I found his salt and pepper look rather dashing. He took pride in his appearance. I could have cared less if he had decided to grow his hair longer or changed his style of dress. I was honestly grateful to have him relax a little and no longer press his jeans and on the weekends he would wear more active wear. It meant he was allowing himself to let go a little and relax.

But, this version of him continues to just throw me. Every aspect. I am not used to seeing his hair unkempt and clearly dyed blonder to somehow blend the gray. The gray streaks are there, but the blonde is new. His hair was an incredibly deep, dark brown, almost black.

The fact that he has gained weight wouldn't throw me either. He is older. I get it. And it is not the extra weight that is so much shocking as in the fact that it is in fact a "beer gut" and not a small one at that. It is not that I somehow am trying to body shame him either - it is really just more of seeing the whole image of this new version of Xh and knowing it is not just the mental changes in him. He looks nothing like he ever did. I am not sure I would recognize him on the street if I hadn't seen pictures of him with S.

But, some time has passed since I saw the images and heard of the latest plan. I know it will resurface, but I am just focusing on what is in the immediate future and about my own life. S knows my feelings and he will make his own choices.

I have been continuing to help the elderly neighbors fairly regularly. The H will be 91 this year and his W turns 85 soon. Today, I went and helped them clean for the holidays. The W wanted to bring out her small Christmas trees and put the ornaments on. She had me put on each bulb, as she directed me where they need to go. She makes Martha Stewart look like a hack - LOL. And, I don't mind being told where to put these things. It isn't done in a commanding manner. It always looks lovely and she has been doing this in this manner for years, so she has a way she likes it. It is honestly sort of cute, listening to her tell me where each ornament came from and why she puts it where she does.

I was there for 3 hours today. Before I left, she handed me money, as she always does. I have quit telling them I don't need to be paid, as it offends them not to pay me for my time. They have told me countess times that I have been like a daughter to them over the years, even though they have a daughter and sons. Their kids all live out of state, so I have been here for them in ways their own kids can't sometimes. The oldest S has thanked me countless times, as he makes huge efforts to visit and knows that for instance during the whole Covid lockdown, I delivered their groceries to them. And, I don't do it because I need some pat on the back or acknowledgement. I genuinely like them and they have been good to me over the years. It is the right thing to do, IMO.

I was getting ready to leave when the W stopped me and handed me an envelope. It was a holiday card and we don't typically exchange Christmas cards. We might bring one another cookies or stop to visit, but cards have been very rare. I didn't open it right away, as I had an appointment to go to and needed to change. When I came back home, I opened the card and found a check for $500. I was in shock. I called and thanked them, but said that was so incredibly generous. They both got on the phone and wanted to let me know that they know how hard I have been working and wanted to help me. I was told I am to spend it on myself - and have some fun.

I had to laugh because I don't think my M sees the same thing some times. I think because I am home she somehow thinks I sit around eating bon bons lately and just float through life. Yes, she knows I work at the gallery. But, today in particular she asked me something about working full time again. I looked at her and asked what was rolling around in her head. I am not and haven't drawn unemployment, so this is not about me somehow living off of the system or something like that. I get why she worries as that is her nature, but I told her I haven't asked for money. It is not optimal, but I wanted to know how does she think I am going to go back to work and somehow get my house back in order, etc. She mentioned a contractor and I reminded her that I have a contractor, but like all the other specialties, I am at their mercy in terms of scheduling. She thought about it and remembered that the man that is going to be doing some work for them came in September and told her he can't start until May at the earliest.

I reminded her how this past year has played out for me. She said something about my F having done many renovations by himself over the years and he worked weekends on things. I laughed and said I recalled that, but I pointed out that he had something I don't and that is a partner who took care of all of the other things, like bill paying and dinners, running my sister and I around to events, etc so he could do that. I am it. Sure the kids are pretty self-sufficient, but they still require things from me. I still have to make sure laundry is done and bills are paid, etc. I am it. I wanted to point out, but bit my tongue, because my M feels guilty very easily, that I am also the one she and my F call when they need something because I am close by. I wanted to tell her that yesterday alone, she needed my help several times and disrupted what I was working on.

It makes it hard sometimes to not feel like I am somehow failing or doing something wrong. I am not loving being home and not working more. I feel like I have somehow been forced into some weird retirement. But, I am also realistic about my situation right now. My plan is to get the bathroom project done which will hit around the time when I should have an answer about the coming semester. There are also big changes coming at the gallery that are hush-hush. I have been asked to take on more teaching there and some other opportunities. I haven't shared them with anyone yet for a variety of reasons. I know my M has an issue with needing solid answers. She doesn't function well with unknowns. I have to accept that is how she is and at her age, that is not going to change. In fact, if anything, she worries more than she used to. So, all I can do is try and be patient and not blow up at her in frustration - at least not in front of her.

This weekend, my sister and BIL are supposed to be going out of town for an event. I had offered to watch my niece and nephew, but my parents are going instead. I am not so sure my F is terribly thrilled about it, as he hates my sister and BIL's house. To him it is too sterile and he always worries he is going to break something. But, my nephew has a basketball game, and my parents will go to watch him play and my niece has horseback riding, which my parents also enjoy watching.

D has a huge project due this weekend, so I suspect I won't see too much of her. S will be home tonight and his current roommate will be coming with him is my understanding. The young man has been here before and we sort of laughed as he and the former roommate are from the same state and lived a few miles from one another but didn't know each other. They met through S and now this roommate is talking about moving to the area as well. I have already warned S that I am putting them all to work this weekend - I need big strong men to help me put the remaining wallboard up in the bathroom. I just need them to carry it in and to hold the pieces long enough for me to put just enough screws in to hold the pieces in place. There are only 4 more sheets to do, so I am not really asking for a whole lot.

I have promised to make lasagna in exchange and this time I will do it the way I like to do it and not make it the Xh and FIL way. LOL
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 10, 2021, 04:18:52 AM
Maybe a hint to Mom that they too are calling on you might not be amiss, along with the disclaimer that you understand that they need assistance sometimes, that you are close by, and that you are glad to help but it DOES have an impact on the things that you need to get done in conjunction with S & D...

As far as the lasagne goes....

https://youtu.be/w019MzRosmk (https://youtu.be/w019MzRosmk)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 10, 2021, 02:25:40 PM
UrsaMajor - that is the trick. It has to be a hint and not something that makes my M somehow think I find her to be annoying me all the time. It is finding that right mix of patience and being thoughtful about her feelings that are in the mix. I have to remind myself that my M has so little going on in her life compared to what she used to. And, she worries about me.

I do genuinely like spending time with my M, but there are those moments that it is hard to not feel that aggravation bubble up.

Today, the delivery of the washer did finally happen. I pointed out to my M that I really had little choice but to take the time from work this morning. Who else was going to be able to meet the delivery crew? S had to meet with his internship supervisor to finish up some documentation for college. D had classes. My M was not comfortable waiting for the delivery, as the delivery people all wear masks and it is too hard for her to understand people with their masks on, even with her hearing aids. My F had his monthly eye shot and that wears him out. So, short of rescheduling, I was out of luck. I certainly don't want to wait until way after the holidays at this point. So, I am it.

I prepared for the delivery by moving the old washer out of the laundry room with S's help. Took the door to the basement off the hinges and cleared off any remaining snow from the back deck so that they could bring the washer through the back doors. Navigating through the kitchen would be very difficult with the island to work around.

S arrived just as they were unloading the washer and it was not long before I had to leave for the gallery. S and I both commented on how lucky I was that they could bring the washer today, as the weather was perfect. We both agreed that I had to reschedule, the snow could be waist deep and then bringing a washer around back, where there is not a driveway would have been a nightmare.

S and I discussed some news we had last night and some of the issues that arose with the news. C - S's former roommate received a call from the mortgage lender and he has been approved for a good amount of money. It is exciting news and S has told me all along that he planned on moving in with his GF and with C. They all get along well, and S has wanted to spread his wings and be more of an adult. I have mixed emotions, which is normal. Yet, I am excited for him.

What came out initially was, S mentioning Xh had told him S could have the couch from the media room. I stopped dead in my tracks last night and gave him a "ummmmm- excuse me" look. I asked when this came about. S said it was brought up in conversation last weekend and that Xh had reminded him that when we got the couch years ago he had said S could have it when he moved out. I laughed and said, first of all, back then I said that was a long way off and I wasn't making promises back then about that. Furthermore, I told S that as it stands now, Xh does not get a say in anything related to MY house and MY furnishings, etc. S laughed and said he understood. I told him I had plenty of things he could take with him, including the collection of glasses in the basement that Xh bought that I have no attachment to. S loves those glasses. I also told him he could take one of the large ottomans from the media room, but not my couch. Nope.

Today, we discussed some things more and S said that he realizes that he can't take 6 months off. He wants to move out and start his "adult" life and that means sacrifices like not necessarily just taking time off on a whim. He looked at me and said it is about choices. I laughed. Yes it is.

My sister asked me how I feel about S moving out. I told her I need for my kids to move on with their lives. I need the time to have my own life as well. I am not pushing them out of the nest. They know I am here for them. I told her I also realize that S will be back home often, considering his tools are not leaving and I have a garage he uses. Until he really gets his own place, I know he is going to be around. And, in his case, we are very close. I suspect he will behave very much like my F did with my grandmother and be popping in for a visit and checking on me. I know S pretty well. I already told him I will be demanding a family dinner from time to time. He laughed.

I know it is not going to be happening anytime in the very near future. C still has to first find a place.

Part of me is also sort of relieved. It means the rabbit will be leaving and the puppy. The rabbit is not a huge problem, but it is not mine. And the puppy - well she is cute as can be and I love the company - most of the time - but she is not mine either. If I get another dog, I need another lab or something along those lines. This herding dog has way too much energy for me and she gets under my feet constantly, as her nature is to herd things. She never leaves my side, which is not always great. I can't get things done at all when she isn't taking a nap. I can put her in the crate, but I hate relying on that all the time. She needs a big yard to run in and if S, his GF and C all move in together, it works out because they all fuss over the dog and have different schedules. She gets lots of attention with them around.

D called me midday. She has been thinking about her choice to go into PT. She is on the fence at the moment. It doesn't completely shock me. She really loves it, but has also found a second love which anatomy and physiology. Her professors have all suggested maybe she becomes a teacher. Today, they approached her about becoming a tutor in the program. She excels at it and has nearly a 100 average again in the course. And, frankly, I am not terribly surprised. D has honestly always been a fantastic tutor since she was very young. She would volunteer to help other students in grade school and somehow knew doing the work for them was not helpful. She has a knack for teaching, TBH. I told her she should consider taking the tutoring, if only because it will take care of her concern about getting a job next semester beyond her work study. The tutoring pays and is not part of her financial aid, as it is paid directly from the department account. She seems excited.

I miss my kids being little and wanting hugs or bedtime stories, but I am grateful they are moving on to the next stage in their lives. There was a time when I had dreamed when it happened Xh and I would be spending more time together and traveling, etc. Now, I don't think about that. What I want now is to figure my own path out and I am so craving some time to really do that for myself. It seemed so selfish at one time to desire a time when I didn't have to be "M" all the time. I feel like all I have done since Xh left was hold it together for my kids and myself. I am finally coming to grips with it is okay for me to want things for me now. My kids will always have me in their lives and they know that.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 10, 2021, 03:09:49 PM
MD- I so get the “it’s you time” Through a lot of therapy in the last few months ( which I would not have beed if it weren’t  for MLC) that it’s ok to out ME first. It’s given me new direction and focus on what do I want. I’m kind of excited to just think about me for a bit!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 11, 2021, 02:45:46 PM
Tornup - It helps when we can focus on other things than MLC to make progress. It took me a very long time to get to this point.

Today, I was busy being "M" right out the gate. D has been under the weather. She had labs done a week ago that were inconclusive but the doctor had given her a standing order to repeat them if the symptoms got worse or didn't subside. So, early this morning, I waited outside in the parking lot for D, as she went in to get her tests.

Normally, D goes to her doctor's appointments by herself. She has rarely asked me to go with her in recent years. So, when she asked me last night, I was a bit surprised. And then it dawned on me. She is experiencing the very same symptoms she did way back when she ended up in the emergency room and Xh was too busy with Schmoopie to show up. And even after she came home and was on bed rest for days, he didn't bother to come in the house to see her, despite both S and I letting him know he was welcome to come inside to see her.

Last time, they decided she had a kidney infection. So, it has stirred up some emotions on top of D not feeling terribly well. The difference is, she recognizes it right out the gate as not being normal, and ever since the first time this happened, she is regimented about hydrating with water. She got the results back and is waiting on the doctor to call her. D knows just enough about the different medical terms to know that she is dealing with the same situation, where the tests are not just screaming it is one thing or another and she is aggravated because she knows she is not feeling well.

She decided to ride along with me to the home improvement store to pick up plumbing supplies for the washer. S and I decided to put it together temporarily into the one drain pipe, as the laundry room was destroyed with the bathroom and D's room. It is functional, but not anything like it once was. All of my cabinets and flooring had to be torn out. It certainly is a far cry from what had been, but I can use the room. Frankly, S, D and I are all on the same page and always thought it was an odd configuration. Xh had built that for me while I was away for a long conference for my job and I was thrilled to have a laundry room in the first place. The space Xh created was huge, and when the kids were younger it was great, but now, it makes little sense. As it is I am not ready to get into that project too deeply, as there are more pressing matters, we opted for a "this will work for now" approach. It might not be sexy, but it is functional. Right now, that is good enough for me.

D and I drove around a bit and she relaxed. She was planning on walking a 5K tonight with her BF and his family. It is an annual tradition and she thought walking might be good. She wants so desperately to run, but she has realized that any type of distance running is probably something best left in the past for her. Her ankle injury and subsequent problems that have persisted really put her running days to an end.

But, positives came out in conversation today. First of all, it seems I am not the monster I was last week and D out and out apologized for the argument we had.

We discussed her desire and need to return to the gym. She certainly doesn't need to get into shape. D is very healthy and takes care of herself, but she needs that physical activity to push out the stress. She has to be mindful of the type of activity with her ankle. Yoga doesn't do it for her. She needs that adrenaline pushing and she has at least found some things at the gym that help with that.

We talked about her tutoring and she mentioned they also requested she take on a job during break. She is really excited about taking a job on campus as opposed to going back to retail. She then said it will give her access to the gym at the college along with her membership at the other gym.

And then came the subject that I thought would upset her terribly. S moving out. D has gone on and on about things changing and how we have never been able to really be a family again. I have tried to tell her that unfortunately the timing of Xh leaving made it really very difficult for that to happen at all. Both of the kids had started college shortly after that - life kept moving forward. I had told her not long ago that she can't necessarily control those things and we have to find new ways to spend time together and maybe it will be even better. She mentioned today that she has been thinking about what I have said and had talked to S. I had told her that if she or S moved out, there is maybe more ability for all of us to commit to time together, just the three of us each week, even if it is just for breakfast or coffee. D mentioned that maybe this is a good thing and it will draw them closer again because there won't be the additional stresses. I tend to agree.

D also mentioned the young woman she has been spending time with. She has made 2 new friends this semester, but this young woman in particular has just clicked with D. They are both in similar programs and have had similar experiences growing up. D needs a GF to hang out with. Her BF has been busy coaching and finishing his classes. They are in separable when they are together, but it has been good for him to spread his wings as well.

We discussed my own possible relationships down the line. D, I know is struggling with this to a certain degree. She knows I have been very cautious and have not exactly installed some rotating doorway. She expressed a concern which made me laugh a little. I know any man that I find myself involved with just has to treat me well as far as S is concerned. D, she will make them run the gauntlet and she will take some time to work through any emotions she may have. She has the abandonment issues that are starting to subside more, but we are still working on those. She has the fear that she will somehow lose me too if I get deeply involved. I have assured her, as has my sister over and over again that I have proven since she was a child that is not the case. D said she knows that logically, but she has fears. But then, I can understand why she feels that way. 

We discussed that sometimes it may come to me not always dropping everything just because, but she can always ask me for my time. It may take some finessing. As I told her, it is not fair for she and her B to have significant others in their lives and I stay home alone. I am not going to sit and behave like some old widow wearing black, waiting for my time to die. She laughed and told me I look really good in black. Smart a$$.  ::)

D then said something that made me realize how deep her pain is in regards to Xh. She said she was not going to somehow pretend to be some happy family if it ever came down to that. I was a bit taken aback. I then laughed and told her to take a deep breath and no one is going to force her to somehow behave like some Hollywood movie remake. I told her my expectations are pretty simple. I get she is going to test any man to make sure they can put up with some velociraptor. What I won't stand for is being completely disrespectful and I expect her to find the kindness that I know resides in her heart and be that person. No one is going to ask her to put on some facade. She relaxed and then said "what if I really end up liking that person". I realized she is worried about that more than anything else. It is not me she is worried about losing. It is that perhaps her F is really going to be lost for her more than he already is, if someone else comes along and behaves like her F might have. I shrugged and said those are all things that will happen or not and there is no way of knowing the answer to that in the present tense.

We left it as her realizing that her F will always be her F. What has changed is his behavior right now and just because someone new may or may not come into our lives someday, it doesn't mean she has to somehow completely forget her F. Maybe he will find his way out this MLC mess and get his act together. Maybe he won't. We can't know for sure, but she can still be open to letting him make amends and be a F to her. I assured her I would never expect her to forget her F or to hate him.

By the time we arrived home, D was very happy and even though she wasn't feeling her best, she seemed more at ease.

Part of this "it's time for me" is allowing myself to completely move on. I don't have a long term game plan, but I know that I am looking forward to possibilities. New dreams.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 11, 2021, 03:39:48 PM
Wow!! Sounds like a very productive day and conversations. It is the hardest thing. Trying to reestablish the family. Trying to find a new normal. Sounds like you are having those difficult conversations that can only lead to better days. I think a conversation with my D30 will be coming soon. She tends to live in her own world just recently married and not wanting to really face what is changing. For me I seem to be getting most the backlash of XH leaving and she doesn't push anything with him. Just accepts him as he is now, because anything else would just oush him further away.  Thank you for sharing. I hope I can make that kind of progress with my daughter. 
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 12, 2021, 08:00:12 AM
Tornup - It seems like it was a productive conversation, but I have come to realize that one conversation, especially in this instance doesn't just automatically change things.

D and I have had a different dynamic than S and I have. It has been that way since the day she was born. She was "daddy's girl" from the get go. Oh, she clung to me and loved me to bits, but when Xh came through the door, she just lit up. As she got older, she was headstrong and knew what she wanted, but she was a model student at school, and we had so few problems with her in that respect. Her teen years were a little bit of a struggle, in that she was more mature than most of her classmates. She had a hard time relating to students her own age. She had a couple of close friends and things were getting better when she found tennis and cross country as team sports. She loved running and has from the time she was little. The timing of her ankle injury and Xh leaving just made it all the more difficult for her. D has had to deal with two major blows to her life at once and she carries herself in such a mature manner, it is often easy to forget how these things have impacted her. She is still grieving and processing.

I have been at this MLC BS for a significant amount of time. It was going on before Xh moved out in 2016. In that time, I have had to learn a great deal and one of the lessons I continue to learn in regards to how D and I work through things, is she and I process things very differently. I can't expect her to think like me.

In some ways, I think I was fortunate to have witnessed the early years after my Xh's parent's divorce and how they dealt with things. My MIL - she tried to control the situation with her kids. She tried to make sure the kids all knew what FIL had done. It blew up in her face and to this day the kids are divided right down the middle. Oh, sure they talk from time to time, but there is a Hatfield/McCoy type feud that often rears it's ugly head right around the holidays. This has gone on for over 30 years.

For me, I realize I am not a controlling person to begin with, but I found myself trying to control the trajectory of Xh's MLC and fix the marriage. It didn't work. I have had my moments of telling the "truth" to others and realize that until they see it through their own eyes, it is not worth my somehow revealing things like Xh cheating. I talk about it to those who maybe understand and will be honest with me, but pointing out realities often blew up in my face. OW used it against me. Xh in his MLC mindset twisted the truth. The kids were confused and they would lash out at me.

I have found that with D, I know she knows way more than S does about the things Xh has done. That was due to his own behaviors that she unfortunately knows from his own mistakes. But, it is still her F and the man she has fond memories of. Even when she is incredibly angry with him, if I somehow pile on or grumble, her natural response is often to defend him, if only to say he is not well. And she is right.

With S, he has not quite seen the true depth of how messed up Xh is and what has occurred. Just last night he made a joke with his friends about why Xh and I split up in the first place. It was amusing, but it is a window into his perception that it boiled down to lack of communication and finances. Hmmm. Yah, that factored in rather late in the game, but that was hardly the reason. S has been told by Xh that I was the one that filed. That is not technically incorrect, but that is not entirely accurate either. I just laughed last night and said he has a rather interesting perspective on that relationship breakdown.

It was in that moment of levity that S laughed and said that Xh had accidentally sent him a selfie in the bathtub a couple of years back. The friends and I went silent and S said that clearly it was meant for someone else. I walked away and thought I am sure it was and I have a good idea for whom it was meant.

At the end of the day, I have come to terms with knowing I can't control the dynamic with the kids and Xh, nor do I want to. They are going to figure it out, or not. I don't want to waste the energy on trying to somehow make those relationships work. I do try and watch my conversations. I try to consider that right now, D and S are still very close and I do admit I often work hard to not allow Xh's shenanigans drive a wedge. It often means at my own expense - mainly financially - with not dragging Xh back to court, but I am at peace with that decision for a variety of reasons.

I have no way of knowing if someday either of my kids get so angry with me over something that they quit taking to me, etc. I just don't know. I have decided that I am just going to stay true to myself and hope that doesn't happen.

It doesn't matter to me how Xh is now perceived in the grand scheme. Sure it irritates me, but I don't want to spend my time feeling like I somehow come out looking better. I know my truth. I know my character. I am finding more and more, that often if left alone, the truth comes out and it is better when it is discovered by others. Frankly, I don't want the kids to hate Xh. I would like it if there were justice and somehow karma would correct things, just a bit, but not so much that I want it to rule my life.

You can't really force things to happen. That is probably one of the things I wished I had grabbed onto early on in the MLC journey. Time & patience - those pesky words.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 12, 2021, 08:40:42 AM
At the end of the day, I have come to terms with knowing I can't control the dynamic with the kids and Xh, nor do I want to. They are going to figure it out, or not. I don't want to waste the energy on trying to somehow make those relationships work.
This is where I am. That took a bit. Trying to help the relationships along has been a problem for me. Mot my place anymore. I also so agree that people reveal themselves in due time and honestly my trying to manipulate things for the better probably stalled the reveal. You’re Daughter is very similar to mine in your explanation.  To a T actually. I think daughters just always cling to the father. We are actually much closer than her and her father, but she just holds me to a different standard. My Son is much more in tune with the reality of it all.

Thanks again for sharing. I read so much of my own situation with my kids in your writing and it’s always good to see how others are handling these difficult changes in our lives. It is the hardest aspect of it all. The breakup of the family. Trying to adjust to the new dynamics that it creates is ever evolving!
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 13, 2021, 02:51:35 AM
I can only offer my personal experience in terms of D....

R's D (we'll call her "C") is now 21. Her F has done a runner about 1/2 way around the world and has zero contact with either her or her brother. R has had the one or another R in the 16 years after C's father bolted (NOT an MLC, they guy couldn't keep his pecker in his pants and has a myriad of children with different women - that is one of the reasons why R tossed him out and D'd him).  I have known C as long as I have known R (so maybe a difference there). R and I have been together now for a little more than 2 years and C lives at home while attending the local Technical University where she is studying physics.

At first, there was a time of "getting to know each other" and a slow thawing or bridge building between C and I (again, made easier because we've known each other for years) but C introduces me (and has for the past year now) as her "dad" - "NOT my father - he lives in <country name>. This is my dad and he lives with us."

I guess what I am saying is that, despite what GWPWELFV has put D through, with time, a new person by your side will likely be accepted, once she sees that you are happy and thriving....

As for the apology - well, one can bring the horse to water but they have to drink (or see things) on their own....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 13, 2021, 06:51:19 AM
Thank you Tornup & UrsaMajor.

The sun is out and the house is quiet again except for the rambunctious puppy. The spring-like weather has her super-charged and I can't say I am enjoying it at the moment. It is not the extra energy, as she has decided this morning that she should try jumping up and trying to knock me over. I wasn't exactly ready to go out and have a full on play time outside when I got up, but she is going to need to be outside a great deal today in order to wear her out. It would be okay, if she stayed nearby and then I could get something done outside, but I don't see that happening. I am trying to change my outlook and see it as a positive and it means I will be outside or taking walks. The thing is, I have the house to myself and after a weekend of non-stop activity, I honestly was wanting the time to focus on projects that are easier to complete when there are fewer people around.

My sister had called and asked what was going on with the kids. I mentioned D was at the doctor's office this morning and naturally she asked me what was wrong. When I explained the symptoms, my sister's response was to guess that this has been a bit of a trigger for D. Pretty easy to draw that conclusion based on the situation.

D had gone out and did walk her 5K and she said it was nice as it is held at night, so you can see all of the Christmas lights along the pathway. Problem is when they returned to the friend's house, the celebration continued. It is an annual event and they have a Christmas party afterwards. D ate too much, which is not like her at all. I sort of giggled when she told me what she indulged in. D is a very healthy eater and even her snacks are healthy. Her only weaknesses are coffee in the morning and she can make a bag of snack sized Kit Kat bars last a month. She nibbles. But, the other night, she had all of the things she loves to cheat with all at once. Needless to say, her body is not used to it and that didn't help her feel better. So, yesterday she was cranky at first, having been up the night before having gotten sick on all the food.

S and I told her she should just go and take a nap or go relax in her room. She agreed and it was a couple of hours later she came downstairs and asked me if I had a Phillips head screw driver and a wrench. S was standing there and we both looked at each other in confusion. D doesn't think she is mechanically inclined and is a bit fearful of trying things. S and I have tried to encourage her more, ever since we both realized she didn't know how to put washer fluid in her car or air in her tires. He and I agreed that we are going to try and help her more, as I would like her to have some knowledge in areas beyond her academics. Some basic day to day survival skills.

And frankly, she has been somewhat envious of what I have been doing on my own. She had assumed that I somehow knew how to do these things because I am creative. That may help, but in truth I spent a great deal of time in my F's studio, so I was exposed to more construction based things, perhaps, but I assured her I have had to learn a great deal in recent months. And, I have had to ask for help.

S and I didn't ask what she was up to at first. We know better. We figured we would check in later and be nosy. After about half and hour D was upstairs and we could hear her humming away. It was then she called down the stairs and say "hey mommy can you come upstairs". S and I both looked at each other and smiled. D only calls me mommy when she is exceptionally pleased with something and wants to share. Normally I get the standard mom or more often than not its - ma, which often drives me a bit batty.

S followed me and there was D, sitting on her floor with a huge smile on her face. In front of her an empty box and technical directions. She was standing proudly next to a metal table with shelves she had purchased some time ago for her room and had originally hoped her BF would assemble it for her. It was not an easy first project, as the directions were just diagrams and there were all sorts of support arms, etc. S and I both have said D is capable of these things, but she has never really believed it. There she stood, just beaming. We both said were were incredibly proud of her and she was quick to ask S a question about snugging down some of the bolts. He showed her a trick to keep them from spinning using the wrench and screwdriver together. She watched him do the first one and he was wise enough to know to let her try the others.

I don't see D wanting to learn how to use power tools anytime soon, but it was a big leap for her.

The new washing machine has been getting a work out. I realized I made a bit of an error that has the kids laughing at me. The machine is the same size as the last one in terms of height, but because there were limited machines in stock that could be delivered quickly, I opted for the one that had the largest tub capacity. It was the same sale price as the smaller capacity in the same brand and I figured it wasn't a horrible thing to be able to wash my queen sized comforter at home as opposed to having to have it sent out. Problem is, it is so much deeper than my other machine and I am short. I realized I had to get a step stool to reach the socks in the one load that were at the bottom of the tub because I can't quite reach. It isn't by much, but just enough. S was laughing hysterically at my dilemma. He said he may have to get me an alarm to wear when I am washing clothes, so that he and D can be alerted if I fall in. I must admit, it is rather comical.

I will admit though, that I was standing there watching the water fill the machine as there is a glass top on this model. I found some sort of peace in that initial load I put in. As much as I hated having to deal with getting a new washing machine, there is a certain satisfaction in having been able to figure out a solution right away.

This morning, I received my monthly credit alert from my bank. It is part of their whole security package they offer and it tracks expenditures and credit alerts. It is rather handy, I will admit. I never worried too much about my credit score, because before all of this MLC BS, I had really incredible credit. The divorce and the MLC disaster obliterated it to the point at first it made me sick and then I ignored it for some time, simply because it was so defeating. I am not sure when, but I pulled myself out of my hiding place and just started attacking it. It took time to rebuild from virtually having no credit history at all by the time the divorce was finalized, as the last loan I had in my name was nearly 10 years prior.

Someone once told me that it takes 5 years to truly start to financially rebound from a divorce, it took me awhile to digest that concept. I really had moments of feeling like that seemed so far away or on the flip side, not believing I would ever get back on my feet. The last couple of years have not helped in terms of my stability with the job situation and my surgery having laid me up for some time. Yet, I have held tight to my budgeting and have somehow managed to keep going. My credit had gone up significantly over the past few years and it is in a good place now. It has slowly been creeping up a bit at a time and this morning, I was alerted to an increase of 45 points. It made me laugh. Who knew I would be so happy to see it jump that amount. It isn't a big deal for most people, but it has gotten me closer to my nearly perfect score I had for years. I always was that kid that needed an A on my homework.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 14, 2021, 01:23:52 AM
Uh oh.... There's gonna be trouble in River City now!

However, it sounds as if D was able to defuse the trigger by accomplishing something (besides gorging herself on treats <snort!>) and that is a good start...

As for the washing machine... I am not sure which one I found more amusing...

Glad that you are enjoying your new purchase though!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 14, 2021, 12:05:49 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor - I am not sure I am ready for trouble in River City - LOL

Yes, those are both funny GIFs. I am not so sure about the idea of peeing in my new washer. IDK. I honestly joked with S that since I had to splurge on the washer and had to forgo any dreams of things like an indoor fireplace or a hot tub, perhaps due to it's size, I could consider using it like a jacuzzi. Spin cycle might be fun too.  ::)

I think I will stick to boring old following the rules and finish up my bathroom so I can make sure peeing or bathing aren't an option in my new washing machine - for anyone. LOL

The weather continues to be perfect at the moment. Of course, the warm weather that is happening right now is honestly a little concerning. It could be this is just going to be a very mild winter, or we are going to get really slammed in March, just as a reminder. But for now, I am enjoying the nearly 70ºF in the sunshine. The dog and cats are creating a bit of an obstacle course with each claiming a pool of sunshine to lie in throughout the house and they refuse to move. Can't say that I blame them.

D has been here all day working on a final project. It is nice to have her here on the one hand, however, she needs it to be super quiet and that means, my original plans to put the cement board up or using any power tools is out of the question. She is not in the best of moods, as she is stressed about doing her best, even though she already has a nearly perfect score in that class. She could completely blow off this project and not only pass, but do incredibly well. That is not D. Nor was it me back in that time period. That self-imposed need to be a straight A student and strive for perfection all the time, is an impossible goal to achieve.

It will be XH's birthday tomorrow, and I know that is in the back of D's mind as well. It has made that stretch from Thanksgiving tough since he moved out. Add the stress of college in there and well, I am simply trying survive. I am not tiptoeing around, as much as just choosing my battles and being very aware of what the focus needs to be for D - that is school right now. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for her and hopefully those kick in soon enough. They still don't have a conclusive diagnosis, but the doctor said there is clearly something going on and she is not one to just prescribe something. She has D taking these to clear up any infections and then wants to see her after this week when school is out. She told D to rest up and note any symptoms that get worse and D has her cell phone number in case she needs to contact her after hours. I am grateful that this doctor, her pediatrician still agrees to see her for now. It helps knowing this doctor knows D's history and that lowers D's anxiety a great deal.

I am trying desperately to get the house back in some order so that we can get our Christmas tree this coming weekend. I was so annoyed with things going on and the attitudes, I really was ready to just forget decorating at all. But, it isn't just for the kids. I need some semblance of "normal" around the holidays. I always enjoyed the holidays and don't want to start being so jaded that I don't embrace at least some of the little joys.

I had a conversation with my M this morning. She and my F decided to pull back from buying so many gifts. My sister and I are glad. She and I quit exchanging gifts with one another when MLC hit and we either make time for one another or sometimes get a little something for each other, but there is no pressure. I told my M that the kids don't need tons of things and they both have said how much my parents have helped them throughout the years. They just like spending time at my parent's house with my sister and her family. And, both kids and I agreed there is no need for any of us to go out and go into debt. We never used to do that when the kids were little. It changed during MLC, but then so did everything else.

I am ready for simpler and thoughtful things. Of course, right now, it is pretty difficult to think about it being Christmas when the temperatures feel more like early May. IDK.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 15, 2021, 12:49:54 AM
The idea of reducing the consumeristic aspect is also something that we are doing this year... Corona has revealed that we (as a family) are drowning in "stuff" that just takes up space. Instead R & I have decided that all the kids are getting something that is both practical but also cool  - they are all active and ride their bikes often and, in Germany in the winter, it gets dark early and stays dark late in the morning so we got each of them a jacket that is 100% reflective that show up like a light when light hits it in the dark.

This is something that will be useful (maybe not the favorite present of all times) and practical and not just be another "thing" that will lay around gathering dust...
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: OffRoad on December 15, 2021, 09:46:45 AM
My D loves presents, giving and getting. For the past month, anything we have gotten that is immediately needed is used, then put into the "wrap" pile. If it is something not immediately needed, it goes into the wrap pile. I think I'm getting a can of garbanzo beans for Christmas. I know D is getting the remainder of the paperclips she needed. S is getting a box of Jello. Last year, they got each other's shoes.

Sure, we still spend on paper and bows, but it makes everyone happy.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 16, 2021, 09:53:48 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. OMG, I have been looking for that jacket for months. I found one some time ago, but they were sold out and haven't been able to find one since then. It was when I was walking my former dog at night. Hmmm.

OffRoad - We have done things like that from time to time as stocking stuffers. It's all about enjoying what makes you and our family happy, IMO.

Before MLC we always had a rule that one thing had to be something homemade. Xh and I started that tradition before we were married. It started when one year he had joked he wanted a sleep shirt like they used to wear in old movies. There wasn't one for men anywhere at the time, so I whipped one up on my sewing machine. He wore that stupid flannel sleep shirt for years.

Then it migrated to Xh and I making a stained glass window for my parent's front entry door. My M loves that window.

Once the kids arrived and when they were old enough, they wanted to participate. They would buy some things, but that homemade gift helped to take the pressure spending money. It meant D would often bake cookies and S would build something. One year it was as simple as Xh and I made them a stocking stuffers that were coupons they could cash in. It might be for a day with him or with me exclusively. They were customized and the kids loved those.

Both kids were home last night. S came home a day earlier than planned as he didn't have to work in the classroom yesterday as the TA. C was looking at a house last night and S met up with him. I am hoping they get this place. I hate the idea of S moving out, but this seems like a really good place for them to move. It is about 20 minutes from here, but would be a great location for the 3 of them - S, his GF and C - oh and the puppy. Plenty of room to run outside. They did listen to my advice and C contacted the realtor again today with the questions. I don't always get the eye roll from the kids. I simply suggested they ask about having the well tested and general maintenance. I also suggested S's GF ask her uncle, who is a contractor to go have a look if they move forward.

Last night was a bit rough prior to S coming home from looking at the house. He was stressed and left me a message. D, she has been wired for a couple of days. I anticipated as much with it being Xh's birthday. She says that doesn't factor in, but I a not convinced. The antibiotics are helping, but they are making her nauseated. Add, worn out and having finals, she was just right on edge. And, it is not unusual. I have been around enough college students over the years to know what they are like at the end of the semester. Add, so many of the colleges are shutting down with the Covid spike - tension is high. Unfortunately, I am the lucky recipient of the two kids who felt they needed to argue with me stuck in the cross fire.

After telling both of them how this was going to play out if it kept up - as in, I will go from being usually "chill M" I will turn into a screaming banshee from now on and just lay down whose house this is. They weren't too crazy about me behaving like that and I explained that we need to figure out how to diffuse this nonsense and find some way to navigate S moving back home for at least the short term and deal with the ongoing chaos that I am really trying to attack. They settled down and by the evening were back to their usual relationship, thankfully.

S got up this morning and saw I had literally had put on lounge wear and looked like I was being lazy. He joked with me about my appearance, and I informed him that while he was sleeping in - which I didn't mind, since he had pulled an all nighter finishing a paper - I had already taken care of a whole list of things.

As we talked, walked into the bathroom, which in his very sleepy state last night, he didn't realize that I have in fact been pretty busy and had put up some of the wall board on my own in the smaller areas. I had mapped out the cement board for the floor and cut the sections. I have to get supplies to deal with that. All things the contractor was going to do, but he is booked way out. And they are things I can do, or figure out. It is the hand I have been dealt at the moment and I don't have it in me to keep waiting. So, I modified my plans. I will install the tub, etc. But, as it is I found a slight issue with my water main shut off, I have included this in my new approach.

D backed me up this morning and said I was running around like a crazy woman attacking things. I had gone to help the neighbors with more of their decorating for the holidays. The H was laughing as he was so grateful I showed up. His W has pictures of how her collection of Christmas things get set up every year. She lovingly takes them out every year and tells me about them. I don't mind. None of their kids or grandchildren are coming this year, so they are alone and lonely. It was a couple hours of my time and letting her share. But, I had a phone call midway through that. D was in a panic. There was someone at the door and pounding on the door and not someone she recognized.

So, I flew down the road, to find it was the water authority. They were supposed to call ahead of time but hadn't. They needed me to check the outdoor shutoff and the internal shutoff before determining what needs to happen. It is in fact inside and means I have to call my plumber. I am okay with that. It is original to the house, and needs updated. It's not an emergency, but I am of the mind to attack it before it is an emergency. So, after he left, I went back to the neighbors, and when I came back home made another call to the plumber. It was then I decided to modify my thought process on the bathroom.

The plumber will come on Monday and give me a quote on both the water main and I have now decided to let them run the plumbing for the bathroom and while they are at it, move the plumbing in the laundry room. I will throw my money at that instead of the contractor doing the tub install. I could probably figure out the plumbing, as it is a straight forward process with the existing lines already in the basement, but it would take me triple the time to do the job. I am on a mission.

I have an idea to move the laundry room around enough to possibly hack off a section and make the workout room D really wanted to set up. The space is big enough to reconfigure and it might mean building some interior walls, but I am not opposed to doing that if it makes sense.

I realized this morning that I have to embrace the little quote I found on my grandmother's gravesite way back when. That little notecard that landed at my feet. "Your problem is not the problem. It is your attitude about the problem". So, the contractor not being able to get the work done any time soon, maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it gives me an opportunity to really rethink the problem. IDK - either way. I have to change my attitude and get out of the feeling of starting to feel defeated. Feeling defeated won't solve the problem and make it magically go away.

Now that both kids have gone for the afternoon, I have changed out of my lounge wear and am back to rocking a ponytail and my jeans and t-shirt. With the really beautiful weather, I have also taken care of some things outside and dragged a couple of pieces of furniture outside with a free sign on them - pieces S had at college that he doesn't want. If it isn't gone by the afternoon I will load it up and take it to the donation center.

I have taken the puppy out and played with her for over and hour. She is now fast asleep under the barstools. I really wore her out this time. We will see how long that lasts - LOL

Back to attacking things.  ;D
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 16, 2021, 09:41:07 PM
My head is absolutely spinning with all that has gone on since just before dinner time. By in large, as I am processing most of it is good news.

S finished his last paper and submitted it. He has passed all of his courses and he isn't terribly concerned at this point what the final grades are. He will have his bachelors and that is all that matters at this point. However, based on his performance in the past I suspect he will have done incredibly well. Last night he admitted finally that perhaps he should have actually applied for the scholarships I recommended years ago. Xh poo-pooed the whole notion and said it was a waste of time. Water under the bridge. It was also in that moment that S made the comment that he and C had listened to me and wrote to the realtor about putting in an offer with the questions in the email I recommended. The realtor was very impressed the young men thought to ask these things, as she was going to suggest them anyways. As I said to S and C, it isn't that I know ti all, but I have been through the process of buying a house - twice, considering I had to pay off Xh, so I have learned some things over the years.

S happened to mention that Xh has said that if S gets a house he can have the couch Xh is having reupholstered since his dog has torn the fabric and cushions. I am glad Xh has offered up one of his sofas considering I am not giving up my one in the media room. The one in our living room, I have to have reupholstered. Xh's former cat had horrible anxiety when he left and tore up the corners. It is worth recovering and on my list, but until the puppy moves out, it is not on my radar at all. I have already banned her from my living room chairs. I am such a bully. LOL

S then said Xh is giving him money for graduating. I could feel myself tense up. I shook my head. S knows my feelings on the subject and I simply said that he should take the money and not question it. It makes up for the money Xh decided not to pay this semester, but it makes him look very benevolent. Whatever.  ::)

I was busy making a list for the linen closet. I had been organizing it and need to add a couple more shelves and wanted to get some bins. As S was still busy writing his paper and D was with her BF, I decided to go and do some shopping. My plan was to pick up a quick dinner then hit the home improvement store and from there, if I felt up to it, to buy some Christmas gifts.

As I was getting ready, the phone rang. Feast or famine - that is the theme. I go from not being able to line up a contractor or plumber to having the plumber here on Monday for an estimate and my contractor calling me back. My contractor and I have known each other for many years as we worked together when he was in high school and I was in college. I have kept him in the loop on progress over the past few months, but still owe him at the very least for installing the toilet. He had told me to wait until he finished the remainder of the list of things I wanted done. As we are nearly at a year from when he did that and coming up on the year end, I wanted to make sure at the very least it helped him perhaps tie up that job for his books and we could start another invoice if need be. I also had no illusions of him being able to fit my piddly job into his very busy schedule. He had done the first part as a favor to me.

When the phone rang, he joked with me that he thought he might have to call the police since he hadn't heard from me. I asked him if he checked his messages and he laughed. He said he was incredibly embarrassed and had missed my last message. I know he is in the middle of building a house and another huge project, among other things. I told him that I had the plumber coming and was ready to tackle it myself if need be. He said that no, he has some time coming up if I can be flexible and it might mean he calls the night before to come work a day here and there. He has supplies that are back ordered and with the weather forecast, some parts of his other jobs that rely on clear weather. What it basically means for me is he could start next week and over the next few weeks. I was honestly elated. I might actually be able to get this bathroom functioning fully - maybe not completely finished before the New Year, but darn close. My fingers are crossed.

While I was out, I found some very funny gifts for S's stocking. With him moving out potentially, it sort of makes it easy to think of things that he will need. I found two pairs of scissors. It is something he will know immediately why. I have very few pet peeves, but FIL was notorious for running off with my fabric scissors and using them on everything but fabric. My kitchen sheers ended up in the garage somehow or another time in the garden. I got to a point where I literally labeled the paper scissors and fabric ones. My kitchen sheers, they are always put back. The kids laugh about it and like to pick on me, so when I found some fabric scissors and kitchen sheers at the store on clearance, I thought it was a good thing for S's new potential living space. He has regular scissors. And he and D have both realized my reasons behind making sure they are used for certain purposes.

When I came home, C was sitting at the bar and looked worn out. He had heard back from the realtor and had sent back the contract to put in an offer. It is honestly a really good place for S, his GF and C. It is reasonably priced and has all new appliances, a new roof, new electric and a new water heater. It's in a great location. S, is hoping but isn't believing they will get it. I am leaning more towards they might have a good shot, considering they had been only the second people to look at it and the seller is anxious to get out. They will hear by tomorrow afternoon and if it is accepted, they will close at the latest by the first week of February. We all laughed when we realized that falls between both S and C's birthdays, as they have birthdays two weeks apart from one another.

My M is having a hard time with the idea of S moving out. I am honestly really hopeful this goes through. I will miss S immensely, but it feels normal for him to be spreading his wings and taking those next steps. It allows me to breath a bit as well and frankly, I think S, D and I all need the change. I was spoiled the first year they both moved away for college and I was on my own. It doesn't mean I want to be completely alone, but it would really be a nice to feel like maybe I too can live like Xh and not have to have the same responsibilities - LOL.

The real truth of the matter is I am craving a more adult relationship in my life. I love my kids - truly. And, I love having them here, but I have been the sole responsible parent since MLC hit and that means it has at the very minimum been since my grandmother died in 2014. Xh was pulling away before that, but I can honestly say I noticed even before BD the change when Xh left my grandmother's funeral to have lunch with Schmoopie and blew off the annual family tradition of going out on Christmas Eve that year. After that, Xh's priorities were all about what he needed.

I am reminding myself of these dates only to pound into my own head that I have no reason to feel guilty about wanting S to move out. If I express it, it sounds like I am somehow having a party and was one of those parents who wanted to push the kids out. I am simply just ready for a change and life to maybe get back to some sort of normal trajectory. This is what is supposed to happen in my mind. The kids graduate and get jobs and move out to pursue their own paths.

It is not a desire to not remain close to my kids. I hope that continues. As I talked to my M about this whole thing, I realized she is the one having a harder time with it all. I laughed and said if she thinks S is going to somehow disappear and not take advantage of seeing his Nana she is very wrong. I suspect both kids will make efforts to see my parents and I. I am not worried.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 17, 2021, 02:21:20 AM
I wanted to say that it sounds to me like M is having more of the "Empty Nest Syndrome" than you are...

Kids are like Arrows, we do not get to hold on to them. We have the opportunity as parents to get them ready, to point them in the right direction, to make sure they are as prepared as possible for their flight and the provide the impetus for them to fly but they fly on their own once released... and they DO have to released sooner or later...

As far as the "Project du Jour" goes, it all sounds pretty positive that things are being tackled one thing at a time....

"How does one eat an elephant? One bite after the other"

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 17, 2021, 11:01:34 AM
UrsaMajor - my M is experiencing the "Empty Nest Syndrome". My M has been struggling with the fear that she won't see the kids once they move out. So many of her friends are alone now because the kids are too busy with their own lives. I pointed out that S in particular is not going to be that way. He has a very close bond with my parents and checks on them regularly. So it made me smile when my M texted me to let me know that S was there for lunch and spending his first official "college graduate" day with them.

IDK what will happen with the house. There is another offer on the table. S is disillusioned but realistic. I so hope they get this place, honestly. It really is the perfect location for them and there are so many positives. But, life doesn't always go the way we would like.

My M asked me if I was going to miss S. I am. He has always been my easier child to live with. D and I butt heads way more. I truly believe D and I will remain very close, but it would help us both if she was the one moving out. It isn't that I am pushing for it or grumbling, but I am keenly aware of when she and I have our disagreements they are rough. D needs to feel like she can count on me, that I get, but the pressure for me to constantly be there is not easy and I know she is better when she is out on her own, like today. She checks in, but she is doing her own thing, so my whereabouts aren't on her mind. And, I honestly think D needs that feeling of independence and behaving like an adult. She is ready to live on her own in so many ways. But, that will come in time.

As for the "Project du Jour" - I am trying desperately to get the living room and dining nook cleared of the remaining boxes from the bathroom and the library, which had to be cleared when they thought there was damage to the walls. I packed up countless books, many antique books that I am going to let go of. The buyer is too swamped right now with the holidays, so they have to remain boxed up for now. But, I want to get the Christmas tree this weekend to try and have some semblance of a holiday appearance.

The things I put outside were there most of the day yesterday. I had just called the donation center to check on their hours when S's GF came in from walking the dog. She said some woman came and took the furniture and other items - all of it, including the cardboard I had underneath it to protect it and the free sign. I laughed and said she did me a solid and truly took it all away. LOL

My coworker called me at work today and asked me if I would split the shift with her on Tuesday. And the neighbors have asked me if I can come next week to   help them with some sorting out. The H wants to sell and move into a smaller place, but for now they are taking their time. They had planned to move near their S, who lives out of state, but the S informed them he will be retiring in the next couple of years and planning on moving back this way or to another state. If they moved to where he is now, they wouldn't know anyone. So, in the meantime, they have decided to stay put and thin out their belongings. S has been asked to come help do some maintenance on their house. S is happy to do right now while he takes some time off to get his bearings about what jobs are being offered and the work from the neighbors will help pay the bills while he sorts out his options.

I am looking forward to some down time coming up. I have some paintings in mind that I really want to tackle. I have a show that I have been invited to exhibit in, which means framing some work.

S and I discussed what will happen with his room if he moves out. I told him I had actually been thinking about it. I could see the shock on his face and I laughed telling him that in fact, I figured we could move his old bed back into the house and use it as a guest room, but he has a really cool fold down work table Xh designed on his wall and S has a vinyl cutter and a 3D printer. D wants a Circuit cutter. So my thought was that they could set up a room for creative work that I have access to. He smiled and said he liked that solution. I think he was worried I was going to somehow rent out his room or break open the wall and expand my room more. I did joke that maybe I would put in that second bathroom.  ::) He knows better. For one, his room would be a poor choice for that considering the plumbing on that side of the house would be a nightmare. D's room - well that is a whole other story - LOL. Shhh.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 18, 2021, 01:01:02 PM
S and C called to tell me that they were outbid on the house. They are disappointed, naturally. I was too tired to even discuss it with them last night. I had something happen that made me very uneasy earlier in the evening and I know now it affected me more than I realized at the time.

I had left work and D called to tell me her plans changed and she happened to be heading to the city to do some shopping. I had plans to go and run a couple of errands before heading home. I needed to stop at the arts and crafts store to pick up a special varnish that is out of stock where I usually get it. D was going to stop somewhere else. We decided I would meet her at the home improvement store, as she wanted some help picking out tools for her BF for Christmas.

I am always so mindful. I am not paranoid, but after having had a stalker type at college, I learned very early on not to be overly comfortable and to be alert, especially at night. I try not to put myself in situations that are too risky. At night, when I leave the gallery, I check my surroundings as I am locking up. In parking lots, I try to park under street lights and near the buildings, avoiding structures that obscure the view and I know these are not foolproof measures, but they do help. I can't think of the last time I felt like I did last night though.

I was in the store and noticed a man walking around the store. It was a bit odd, as he seemed at first to be wandering aimlessly. I figured it might be a person looking for their family in the store. I have wandered up and down the aisles at times looking for my kids. It didn't seem odd at first. But then, I realized every aisle I was in, he suddenly appeared but never looked at any items on the shelf. Just sort of lurked. I worked my way to the front of the store, figuring I was being ridiculous and cashed out. Then it really rattled me. As I left, the same guy was coming out of the store, but his steps seemed rather odd, in that he kept coming towards my direction and my car was the only one in that aisle at that time. I got into my car and quickly locked the doors and made a call to my sister as I started the car. He lingered in that general area and then I thought about my route away from that area. I wasn't about to have myself followed. So, I did some zig zagging roads and probably pissed a couple of people off when I didn't use my directional - which is a pet peeve of my own. I wasn't driving dangerously, but I wasn't going to take chances. I lost him on one of the backroads and I doubled back to meet D.

I arrived earlier than she had and I sat in my car really feeling like I must be a nut job. But, I replayed the whole thing in my head and realized I was not imagining how weird it was. And, there have been some issues like carjackings in the region, so I figured I would rather be safe than sorry. Although, I had to laugh at the idea anyone would want to steal my little roller-skate, as S calls it.

I pulled into a parking space in the home improvement lot and did my usual of finding the well lit area, but I was also near the area where the contractors park, which was incredibly busy last night with people coming in and out. D noticed I was "off", but she accepted my answer of I had just had a long day at work. I didn't want her to feel freaked out. Her anxiety has been through the roof with the end of the semester. She is very careful and mindful with commuting to her college, so she is good about being equally aware of her surroundings.

When I came home, the only conversation I had with S was about Xh. S had gone shopping with his GF after she got out of work and Xh called and invited them to dinner, as he was up by the mall. I could feel myself bristle a bit. I don't care that Xh took them out to dinner, or anything like that. I think I was just edgy enough that I could feel myself having a mini-trigger. I normally don't care if I even run into Xh in that part of town, but this time of year and that part of town together brought back some feelings about him being out all hours of the night and partying. It played on my insecurities that already had started brewing a bit. I kept it together and let S talk, but I decided to go sit in the den and watch TV with the dog curled up next to me. S came in and laughed as I had let the dog on that particular couch. Yah, I put a blanket down and gave in letting her sit on the leather couch. I needed the company in that moment.

This morning, D had asked me to go with her to pick up some supplies for baking at a local Amish market. We were out of the house by 7:30 am and I eased into a more normal state of calm.

It was a nice morning together and the phone rang as D and I were picking out a gift for my F. It was my M and she asked if we wanted to come for lunch. D and I smiled, full well knowing my M is in needing time with her grandchildren in particular. So, we made our way back earlier than planned. When we arrived my F was helping my M dust the family room. He accidentally knocked something down and it didn't break, but my M was concerned it was going to fall down again. It hasn't fallen ever that I can recall, and they have had that particular item on the wall for easily 30 some years. My F was exasperated and I told him to get a hammer and a nail. He scowled and I quietly told him that there was no point in arguing about it and if it makes M feel more secure, I would take care of it. He laughed and agreed and said I was right - it was the path of least resistance.

D had picked up some chocolate for my M to make candy with. She has an antique candy mold that she bought when we lived in Europe. Ever since my sister and I were ages 6 and 8, my M has used this particular mold faithfully for Christmas and Easter. My kids thought it was the best thing ever around the holidays. This year, my M had not been able to find the brand of chocolate she usually uses. Didn't D find some this morning and I was joking with my sister that D has climbed up the ladder even more and my sister and I are clearly way down the line at this point. D is thoughtful and never does these things to butter my M up, but she likes when we kid her about being gaining "Nana points".

As we drove home, D mentioned to me that she had an idea for this year and she wanted to run it by me. I could hear the hesitation in her voice, as if I somehow was going to be upset. Her weekend has been filled with events now with her BF and his family. S has a holiday party to go to for his GF's work.

Next week, I have taken on some of my coworker's hours to help her out and while we were at my parent's house, D asked my M if she wanted to go for coffee and do some shopping this week. My M hesitated and then decided it would be fun to do. D has also offered to come and help my M do some cleaning this week. My F, he and I always used to go shopping right before Christmas when I was growing up. I invited him to go out this week to go with me. My M said she didn't need anything but when my F was out of the room, I reminded her that he enjoys the holidays and it would be nice for the two of us to go out. She agreed.

D's idea was that with the puppy in the house a full tree is going to be nightmare to manage. That has been an issue in and of itself. But, I didn't want to disappoint both kids this year. D suggested for this year, with all that has been going on that maybe we get a table top tree for the dining nook and we can still decorate, but it will alleviate some pressure. I frankly was thrilled that D came up with the idea. It was not something I had considered. I will miss a tree that nearly touches the ceiling, but I am more than okay with this solution.

After last night, I decided against going out tonight. Both kids are busy and I am going to focus on having the house to myself. The uneasy feeling is gone and I am going to enjoy a quiet night rearranging so that this table top tree idea can happen this weekend.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 18, 2021, 01:37:30 PM
Yah, I put a blanket down and gave in letting her sit on the leather couch. I needed the company in that moment

I key my dogs on the couch and one sleep where my Xh slept a it brings me a lot of comfort. They are unconditional love and I am all about it. I have a leather sectional so I dont worry to much about the couch. Dont know where I would be without my furry friends.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Reinventing on December 18, 2021, 03:16:14 PM
MD, I'm glad you were careful with the person following you around the store and beyond. I don't think you were being over cautious at all. The things you list that you watch for to avoid are also on my list. Keep those spidey senses sharp!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 19, 2021, 07:51:56 PM
Thank you, Tornup & Reinventing.

Puppy has been getting showered with gifts. I had to laugh as S's GF bought her little warm jacket with a water repellent outer shell. I am not one to dress up my animals, but I will admit, this looks really cute. Besides, this particular breed is not built for being outside in the cold weather for long. Although, you wouldn't know it. She is like a little kid who won't come inside because they are having so much fun in the snow. This morning there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and she was shivering after fifteen minutes, but refused to follow me in. Of course, I was not amused as it was only 4 am. She finally came back in and having been on my bed most of the night, she thought she would go and bug S. He laughed when she pushed the door open and piled on his bed. She stayed snuggled up for a few more hours, luckily.

Tonight, C was here visiting with S. They were discussing C's trip back to his home state for Christmas. He will be taking the puppy with him, so it will be a nice break.

This whole Christmas holiday is a bit odd this year. My sister is going out of town to see her in laws earlier than planned, as my nephew has basketball during break. It means we are having Christmas Eve with my parents, but in the morning. It will open up that day for any shopping the kids want to do. S was reminiscing about how much he used to love our family outings - not just Christmas shopping, but when Xh was "normal" and we would go out for breakfast on Saturdays and run errands together. S and I have had some nice talks the past couple of days about little things, like when he was in first grade and out of the blue asked me a question that made me pause. Xh had gone into the store and S asked why Xh hadn't taken a cart into the store for his convenience. I wondered what made him ask that. He pointed to the sign and seamlessly read the sign that in fact had the word convenience in it. I recall laughing and remarking that clearly reading was not a problem area.

S mentioned how much he missed just spending time together doing simple things. I agree. Like going to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. My kids were pretty easy to please and most of the time still are, luckily. So, when those rare moments crop up with D, it is rough. I know it really upsets S. He hates any conflict, but then so do I.

D was gone most of yesterday and again today. She had events with her BF's family all weekend. I went out with my parents to the grocery store. I needed to pick up a couple of things and had planned on going alone, but they were going to town and specifically asked if I wanted to ride along. I know they enjoy it when I go along sometimes. It means getting coffee and sitting and talking to some of their friends that meet up randomly at the grocery store cafe. This morning was a rather quick visit, which was perfectly fine with me.

When I arrived at home, I found myself alone for most of the day. S called to tell me he had used the washing machine earlier and would I mind putting the clothes into the dryer. He had sorted out the next load that I had planned on putting in. He went on and on about how he loves the new washing machine and I did a really good job picking it out, even if I can't reach the bottom easily. He did admit that he can see why because he said he didn't realize when I said it was incredibly large I wasn't exaggerating. Nope. LOL

D called to talk about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She is going to be busy with her BF's family on Christmas Day. S, he will be going to his GF's for part of the day. I have not planned anything beyond Christmas Eve morning, TBH.

S, his GF and C were discussing New Year's Eve. I looked at them and said that my house is not going to be some party central. They laughed. They are thinking they will take a drive to see the light show an hour away. S and his friends went last year and C really wants to go. It is worth the drive as long as the weather cooperates. D, I think she is going to a party with her BF. They usually go with his family to an annual event at a friend's house. I have been invited several times and have gone once or twice, but it is not something I really crave doing regularly.

Before Xh and I had kids we used to go out every New Year's Eve. Parties and dancing, etc. Dinner. Sometimes a movie. When the kids came along, we found we didn't want to go out nearly as often on the actual evening. We settled into a routine of spending the night usually ordering take out sometimes and just watching movies with the kids or playing games. When the kids were older I would often make a big meal, and had my in laws over. Then one year, when my SIL and her family showed up and Xh and I worked like we were the hired help all day long. My SIL out and out complained because she had wanted Prime Rib for dinner, and we had made something else. Xh and I were so annoyed that the next year, I went on strike and Xh wholeheartedly supported my decision. Instead of a full meal, I made hor d'oeuvres all day long. It infuriated my SIL, but everyone else loved it. We just had a slow easy day. It allowed for all of us to spend time together and take a slow pace. Clean up was easy. It was something that drove her away for Christmas too, because from then on, our family events at our house for those big holidays became more relaxed. Xh at one point told her that if she wanted a big meal she could host from then on.

The thing is, I don't mind preparing big meals and having nice dinners. But, I can just as easily relax and nibble all day long. I have found it is the company I keep that makes it meaningful. And, it might mean going out and dancing the night away or just snuggled up by the fire pit and sipping a glass of wine. I really don't need too terribly much to be content.

It is still going to be some time before I can honestly say I am done with some of these projects, but I am feeling better about the fact that I am moving forward. That said, I can at least now think about being able to slow up the pace and focus on cooking nice meals for myself and just enjoying the house instead of feeling like I can't sit down and not think of the next thing that I need to immediately address.

Tomorrow we will see wha the plumber has to say. If he can get to the pluming before the contractor then I will go with him, otherwise the contractor will be here hopefully within the next few days. Fingers crossed.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 20, 2021, 03:27:58 AM
So, was your stalker really GWPWEBLFV in disguise? I mean, he WAS in the area, right?  Seriously though, it was kind of creepy and you were right to be careful...

As for Puppy... Well

And if SIL wanted Prime Rib, let her cook Prime Rib, right? She doesn't get to set the tone in someone else's house... Entitled is as entitled does...  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 20, 2021, 09:27:16 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. No, Xh was in another area. Not terribly far away, but he was at dinner with S, so I can't blame him.

The more I have thought about the whole incident, the more convinced I am that I was not somehow being overly dramatic. It was very odd and my instincts are pretty good most of the time.

Puppy and the tree. This puppy would not be as sedate as the one in the GIF. She would be more apt to chase the one cat up into the tree or chew on strings of lights if you aren't looking. She is very curious and if she gets the "zoomies" then all bets are off. We have to take her outside and let her run those crazy bursts of energy off, or it is like letting a missile off in the house that has no specific target - she just runs at warp speed and all over the place.

As for my SIL - that was my problem with my SIL. She was all about her wants and needs. She had always been demanding and I think that particular Christmas, I finally put my foot down and refused to be accommodating. The kids once were watching "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and exclaimed that my SIL was a combination of Lucy and Peppermint Patty.  ::) And, mind you - I didn't exactly serve pretzels, toast and jelly beans as hors d'oeuvres. I went all out and had things you could make a meal out of. It simply allowed me to put things in crock pots and in chaffing dishes or cook a little throughout the day and clean up at a more relaxed pace throughout the day. No one ever went hungry and everyone except my SIL thought it was a great way to spend the day and loved the food selections. It also alleviated the issue of making sure my nephew, who was very picky at the time, had plenty to choose from. In the past, if we had a full meal, we had to make sure he was accommodated according to SIL's wishes. I finally got tired of that too and told her from then on to pack food for him. I was done making separate meals - it wasn't a restaurant I was running.

See, now writing that out makes me sound like some crazy, controlling b!tc#. That is not the case - until I get pushed too far. SIL and FIL had a habit of doing just that. And, I don't like behaving that way, but self preservation kicked in when reasoning failed to work with the other side of the equation.

When I look back at the past few years minus the MLCer as much as the holidays were difficult at first, they have progressively gotten better. If only in that there isn't the constant drama or worse yet - being ignored. It is a whole other thing than being alone. Being ignored, IMO is far worse. At least if you are alone it might be by choice or circumstances. But knowing someone is either completely oblivious or choosing not to pay attention to you is painful. It is dismissive. I am over being treated like I am not worthy of attention. I would rather be alone at home than to be optional, an afterthought or just thought of as someone who exists. At least if I am alone this year for part of the holiday, at least I know there are people who do care about me and know I have worth.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 21, 2021, 03:54:43 AM
See, now writing that out makes me sound like some crazy, controlling b!tc#. That is not the case - until I get pushed too far.

Actually no. It sounds more like someone who is not willing to be a doormat anymore for some crazy, controlling b!tc# (with a side order of narcissism to boot).  Nothing wrong with that at all....

As far as being treated like you are dismissed, that was one of xW's biggest complaints but she never got the point, even when it was explicitly stated that I was reflecting her treatment of me. If she chose to withdraw and act like I was invisible, then I would be invisible in my interactions with her as well... Why bust my a$$ for nothing?
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 22, 2021, 07:34:17 PM
Monday nearly brought me to my knees completely. I honestly wanted to tell the universe "uncle" and curl up in a ball. It was nearly too much.

The plumber came to look at the water main and he laughed when he tested it to see that I knew exactly what I was talking about. The problem is in the shut-off and an easy fix. Oh sure, it is going to mean having the water turned off and the cost of the materials and time is not cheap, but it was about what I anticipated. No surprises. And it needs addressed. I had accepted it is original to the house, which was built in the 40s, so I can't really complain about how long it has lasted.

We looked at the plumbing upstairs. No surprises there with the exception of having to possibly make some minor modifications to the placement because of the beams that run directly below the tub, but not a huge deal. Again the cost was not a shock.

The laundry room - it is a simple fix, but will take a significant amount of time, but I am not completely out of my mind and it makes a whole lot of sense in the long run.

Then came the news I didn't want to hear. This has been an issue ever since Xh bartered with someone to put in the radiant floor heat in the garage. My suspicions have been confirmed and the person that put it in was a DIY person and if the garage had been a self standing unit, then this would have been perfect. However, whoever Xh got to install it, didn't understand the true way to deal with additional zones and tie it into the boiler in the first place. I have been told in the past that it has confused several techs who have come to service the furnace. I had chalked up the zone upstairs not warming up in the past to the now known leak in the lines from the drywall screws. And then the draft last year from the bathroom being gutted and needing to be finished. Once the weather turned this fall, it has been unseasonably warm so much that I haven't had to put the heat on very often. So, in the past year, it really hasn't been something that stuck out. Until…well Sunday night when it was really cold upstairs. Hmmmmm

The plumber stood in front of the boiler and said the same thing the other tech had said last year, from a different company, that the furnace itself is a commercial grade, high end unit. And the repairs I had to the lines this fall were a good idea. Thing is, the plumber stood there complete perplexed as to why only one of the 6 lines was hot to the touch. That made no sense whatsoever. He had some suspicions. He contacted the HVAC specialist to confirm and yah, it makes perfect sense. The extra zone is not plumbed correctly and basically long story short - I am paying to turn the furnace on and off and only heating the lower part of the house. I spoke to someone I know who is retired from plumbing and he said they aren't jerking me around at all. And, I have no reason to believe I am being snowballed, because this plumber, I have worked with for years and he has come to help me out without charging sometimes just for advice when he could sell me on some service that isn't necessary.

He left and I felt completely sick and angry. It felt like I started out the year with this furnace and heating literally blowing up my year and I am ending at the same spot. It felt suddenly like I have made absolutely no progress. I fell to the floor and sobbed. I sat there just defeated for the longest time. It has to be addressed. I have no choice. After licking my wounds, I picked myself up off of the literal floor and realized it means I have to do some shuffling around if I want to stay on budget and I need to rethink some things.

It feels like the house is a money pit, when it really is not. And, what has confirmed I would be crazy to sell at this point is seeing the houses that are available right now. S has been busy looking with C and they found another house they put an offer on, but they have been in some really unbelievable places that are priced way over market value and have definite structural issues or things that are beyond comprehension. And there have been some good places, but even those need cosmetic work. My house is really very solid and I have a really large yard that surrounds me. And, I had to remind myself of those things in the moment. I am lucky, even when it feels like all I do is work on the house.

Maybe it also just pissed me off because this stupid heat issue goes back to the MLC time period and I am really very mad at myself more than anything. Big projects prior to MLC, Xh always talked to me about them. Got my input and we made a joint decision or at least I had an idea of what went on. I didn't want to ever control it, but I was included, just as Xh was. We were a team. MLC rolled in, and I just let these things happen. I didn't push back at all and now I am paying for it, literally. What upsets me the most about that particular project is, OW was involved in the decisions and it was shortly after that heating system went in, that Xh moved out anyways. It didn't keep him here. I realized awhile ago that I am pretty sure that the garage heating system was never meant for him. It was a way for Xh to increase the value of the house and his insistence at the time that he wanted the kids to be able to have a home was all smoke and mirrors.

I reminded myself the other night that I gave up alimony and fought to buy the house. I no longer have a mortgage payment and this unexpected situation sucks, but I am still in good shape. And, I am correcting the MLC BS projects.

S and C went and toured another house last night. They decided to listen to my advice last night, even when it was things they didn't want to hear. It is not that I know it all, but when you have been through some of the same experiences, sometimes hearing the not so nice stuff does help. They asked the realtor questions and feared that they might not get this house either. I said that sometimes you do have to push back with some tougher questions. And, I wasn't advising them being jerks. Just demand to see the full inspection report on things like the septic and get clarification on some of items in question. By late night, C had those answers and they put in an offer.

My parents are having such a hard time with S moving out. They realize he is growing up and will miss having him nearby. I on the other hand, told my parents I need S to move out. I need to not be the place where all of his friends are hanging out. They aren't bad kids. But, on a Friday night, I don't always.want to come home to them sitting around the kitchen, playing cards and eating pizza. And, S needs that right now - buddies.

This morning, I took my F out shopping for Christmas gifts. When I picked him up, my M mentioned how excited he was to be going out, as he recalled how he and his F always shopped right before Christmas and then the tradition continued when I was a kid.

I drove and my F was laughing at my knowledge of backroads he had never taken. My sister called while we were en route and mentioned she was going to meet us after my F and I stopped for breakfast at the local bakery. From there, we went to the mall and when my sister called to ask where I was parking I informed her that we were not going to walk the entire mall. My F is not saying anything about it, nor has my sister been around to notice, but he has been in a great deal of pain. He pulled something in his back and it is slowing him down significantly. I didn't want to make him feel bad, so I said I figured we could avoid the crowds by moving the car. He bought that explanation. It was later my sister said she could see he was tired.

My F has always had impeccable taste in clothing and he finds things that look really nice on my M. The problem is my M inherited both osteoporosis and arthritis from her F's side of the family. Neither my sister or I have had any of the issues my M has had now for years. It is the same with the hearing loss. We have been very fortunate. As we went around with my F, we would remind him when he found certain things that she couldn't wear this or that anymore because the buttons were too small for her or the weight of a sweater is too heavy for her and bothers her immensely. He wasn't offended and my sister and I weren't unkind, but we were straightforward. He settled on a couple of lovely sweaters and some pajamas. My M was already upset he was going shopping at all because she claims she didn't need anything. I had to remind her that one of my F's love languages is gift giving.

D was also at the mall and I left her with my sister, who had more shopping to do. I knew my F wanted to go home to rest. On the way home, he kept telling me how much fun he had and how grateful he was for the help.

I was only home a short time when D called to tell me she was on her way home and was planning on baking this afternoon.

Everything changed in an instant when the phone rang after D had been home for about an hour and it was D that came up with the new game plan, which shocked me to no end. D is not good with spontaneous changes normally. The contractor called and he has time tomorrow to install the tub and plumbing. What????  :o - I told him that I would clear my schedule and yes, I would be home. D took one look at me and suggested we go take care of our shopping tonight and she would bake all day tomorrow instead.

S then called to tell me the sellers of the house accepted the offer and are anxious to move forward because they bought another house and want out from under 2 mortgage payments. C has the inspection scheduled for next week.

D and I were knocking off the remainder of our list, when she spotted some small trees for sale. They were marked down to $5. She spotted one immediately and said that was the tree she wanted. I laughed and while it is fuller than Charlie Brown's tree, it is about as tall as that. It is a real tree, but truly very small. I told her I didn't think we had bulbs that were small enough to decorate, so she asked if we could buy some. I laughed and said she could do whatever she wanted, because it was still going to cost me less than the full sized fresh cut tree would have in the first place. By the time she found her ribbon and decorations, it came to a whopping $20 total.  ::) D is beyond excited. So much so that while we were out she told me twice I was right. Those words rarely pass D's lips. She will say "you aren't wrong" but to say I am right - wow.

We were in the line at the home improvement store and she asked me a question about the mallet she had picked out for her BF. He has been building quite the tool collection. D asked me why the top looked like it did and I surmised it was because it allowed for the handle to be replaced easily if it breaks. The guy behind the counter laughed and said I was absolutely correct. D giggled and said not only was I right I was smart too. I burst out laughing and asked the man if he had seen a young woman with red hair and described D. D was looking at me with complete confusion. I explained I think I have misplaced my D in the store. D thought that was rather amusing as did the sales associate.

When we came home D told S all about our trip. She mentioned saying I was right and smart, which made S laugh. D then told me that sometimes she thinks I am a jerk and I annoy her. As I told her, it would seem that opinion is shared by others.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on December 23, 2021, 01:31:45 AM
OK, that last line had me laughing ....

A good response might have been "See, you come by it naturally then...."

I'm really happy that S & C got their offer accepted. That has to be a load off their minds and and exciting start to a new adventure/phase in life....

As far as the heating and plumbing goes ... well balls.  That is a real shame and, like you said, just one more thing that really did NOT need to happen but, at least now you know and can remedy the situation... Once everything is corrected, it WILL add value to the house. At the moment, it is a liability... so there is a silver lining to that cloud I guess...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 23, 2021, 03:33:10 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL

I was awake at 3:30 this morning with so much on my mind. I had tried to get sleep, but good luck. Bothered by one something that occurred last night, a conversation that lead to, well in my eyes a misunderstanding, but I can't undo what was said.

Add to that, I was running through my head what needs done this morning to get ready for this very unexpected turn of events with the contractor. He had hoped originally to come between Christmas and New Years, but clearly that changed. And it is a good surprise. With all that has been going on though this week for Christmas and my work schedule earlier in the week, it makes for a bit of mayhem this morning. It will work out. It always does, somehow.

As for the plumbing problem. I had my meltdown. I ranted. I cried. I wallowed for a bit, but I have come to learn that wallowing doesn't change the situation. I have to address this somehow. The question came back to what is in my power? I can't do that type of DIY work. No way. It is far above my pay grade to fix the lines to the furnace. I have to hire it out. I have to figure out a way to shift nearly $3K around now to address the heating issues along with some other plumbing. It sucks. I was pissed at Xh. I was pissed at myself. I was ticked that Covid and the situation has driven the price of materials to nearly triple. But where does any of my moaning and groaning get me at this rate? It won't solve the problem.

I have my moments of being down. I am not always floating through life like nothing gets to me. Quite the contrary. I went to bed last night feeling incredibly hurt and upset. My intentions were well meaning and from a place of concern. I can't fix what happened, so I have to just let it go and work through my own emotions now. I frankly, can't focus on them at the moment anyways. I have to be selfish today and be laser focused on the task at hand, which is actually trying to tie up this bathroom nightmare and laugh about how my entire year has been really been consumed by a disaster caused by 2 - 3 inch drywall screws through a hot water pipe. If nothing else, it is quite a story to tell after all is said and done.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 24, 2021, 05:04:00 AM
I am trying to pull myself together in order to put on an "all is fine" performance. But it's going to take some effort.

I went to bed exhausted last night. I was in bed relatively early after having had the contractor and his crew here most of the day. They progress was significant and it is all positive. There had to be some modifications made to the layout, but I can work around them and we have at least hit phase one and I can do some work before the window comes in to make headway. I can't hook up the shower to use until the tiling is done, which will occur after the window is installed, but somehow I still felt some of the stress falling away in - at least in that part of life.

The contractor laughed when I called him within a few minutes after he had left. The crew accidentally hooked something up incorrectly. It is not something I am upset with, as I can see exactly how it happened, but the contractor laughed when he got here. He said he was glad that I am so understanding and he looked at the guys and asked when they were fixing it because he was going out of town, but it needed addressed. And it means cutting into the holiday for them. Fortunately, one of them said he could come first thing this morning. I was grateful, because I happen to know this particular guy has joint custody of his kids today and it's his holiday. I felt bad but it had to be fixed ASAP.

The contractor, I have known since I was just out of high school. We worked together for several years and he always called me "trouble", full well knowing that was so far from the truth. My idea back then of a wild night was pretty much the same as it is now, which is back road excursions and adventures that didn't include partying until dawn. I had fun, but the most trouble I ever got into was missing my curfew once by about 15 minutes. And, even that was because I didn't call to let my parents know I was running late. I didn't rebel in college. I wasn't a wild child.

I came out of my shell in college, perhaps, but even then, it was more along the lines of being myself and laughing. People have often assumed because I laugh and have some fun, that I must really whoop it up. Nope. I like having my couple glasses of wine or might over indulge on occasion, but designated driver was my specialty when I went out with friends. I found ways to enjoy myself.

So yesterday, the contractor was kidding me about still being "trouble" and we both laughed. His level of trouble is about the same. His big weekend was happily spending time with his W, now that they are empty nesters and he had to stop at the store on his way home. Before he left, he told me not to worry and used a word that only one other person has ever used on me. He called me dear and assured me that the issue would be resolved this morning and he would keep on top of this project.

That little word cut through those other emotions that I kept at bay all day. But, I had things to do to get ready for the holidays. No time to feel anything or process those emotions. I had a small tree to decorate and other things to focus on. But after an early dinner, I went to my parents and took a shower before coming home and going straight to bed. S asked if I was okay, as I am often a night owl. Nope. I crawled in bed and it was 8 pm. I didn't fall asleep right away. I was texting a friend of mine for a bit, but it wasn't very long before I knew I was not going to be awake very much longer.

I wish I could say I slept well. I was wide awake at 2:30 am. I fell back asleep around 3, but by 5 am I gave up and got up. It was then I turned on the local news. I don't watch the news often. In all honestly, I was simply wanting to know what the weather report was. The plows were out, but there wasn't a huge amount of snow. We had a dusting yesterday, and they claimed it was going to melt away before Christmas. I wondered if the roads were icy and my phone app, which I mainly rely on isn't always accurate for the area.

It would be then that I could feel my body give way and I found myself throwing up. I wasn't sick because of some illness, but it was shock.

The positive is I can trust my instincts for sure. I am a very visual person and when that creep that I was thought was following me the other night I took extra note of appearances, etc. I knew his hair color, eye color, general build, what he had on, etc. I made note of a whole lot. It's been a few days, so, I honestly had let it go. It was an uncomfortable moment in my life, but I hadn't given it much thought in recent days. I had no reason to, other than to note how unsettled I felt and to remind myself to never underestimate my instincts.

There, on the news, a picture came up. Oh sure, in the picture he didn't have his hat or mask on, but I knew I had seen him before. It didn't register immediately and before I caught what the story was about, it dawned on me that it was the man from the store the other night. He had been picked up for a shoplifting in the same shopping center. At first, I laughed thinking it is a really slow news day if that is what the report was on. So that didn't rattle me. What dropped me was when they added he is back in jail, as that arrest was a parole violation and he is a convicted rapist.

It was still early, but I reached out to my friend and she answered me. I felt at first like some crazy woman who is being dramatic. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for this friend. She shared something that made me not feel like I somehow sounded like I am making this up or am dramatic. Her suggestion was a good one. I am going to contact a friend of mine who works as an investigator in that city to let him know what happened, if only in case there are any other incidents that this might help.

I am still reeling a bit. I don't want to somehow become paranoid or fearful. I am not going to stop doing what I do. But part of me is still feeling like I somehow imagined it. It is surreal and terrifying. Meanwhile, I am trying to process these emotions before going to my parent's house for our Christmas get together. I have to put on a good act, because my M and F do not have to worry about this. As it is, between D and my M, I sometimes feel like they want to microchip me.

I am going to do my darnedest to focus on the positives. That is all I can do. But, this morning, this whole thing has made me feel so incredibly vulnerable and alone in a way that I can't explain. It is not a good feeling at the moment.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 24, 2021, 05:46:04 AM
MD- That is good to learn your instincts were right and scary he was dangerous in more than one way. I am a survivor of home invasion rape. My rapist went to jail for 7 years and he is out and still not changed. I try to check in where he is as I want to make sure he is no where near me.  He worked in a hospital as an orderly and was harassing woman. I will never be sedated without a family member staying with me at all times.

Sounds like making progress with the crew and that is some good relief for you!!!  I am also like you. I am not a wine drinker , but I am a homebody. I never drink alone and still like a good NFL tailgate party, pool party or seeing a band, but other wise home is my best place to be.

Have a good weekend and hope they got you all fixed this morning!!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 24, 2021, 06:45:08 AM
Tornup - I am so sorry that happened to you. I cannot even imagine something like that and overcoming the trauma. That is a big thing to have to feel like you have to keep tabs, etc.

I took a walk this morning when the contractor showed up. I knew he would be here awhile and S was home if there were any issues. I needed to clear my head and just decompress a little. I didn't go the full length of the road on my own. I still hesitate to do that without the dog. I hate that I feel that way, but now especially, I realize caution does not equate paranoia or fear.

It was really brisk this morning and I didn't dress properly for the elements, but somehow I didn't care. I have done this before where feeling the chill in the air made me focus on bundling up and walking faster, as opposed to thinking and replaying that night. It allowed me to let go of some of the shock and just calm down.

By the time I came back, the contractor had been here nearly 45 minutes and was cleaning up. Everything is back in order and in fact, he said honestly, this was a better solution anyways - he had to reconfigure things to fix the mix up. It was a good problem when all was said and done.

I told him I felt bad he was here on his day off when his kids were there. He sort of laughed and said not to worry. His D was traveling and wouldn't be there until this afternoon. As for his S, they played video games until late last night, but he went to bed around 11 pm. He said he woke up at 4 am, unable to sleep and found his S still up and had finally quit playing video games and was going to bed. He figured his S would not wake up until noon now anyways, so it the repair was a huge imposition. He added that besides, it was important to him to model for his S that you take responsibly for mistakes and make them right, even if it means missing part of a holiday. And he assured me that he knew I was not upset and felt bad about even mentioning it knowing it was a holiday weekend. His boss, he wasn't upset either, because it was addressed. We had all agreed that it was best to wait until this morning, when everyone was fresh and the plumbing supply store was open in case more parts were needed.

I need to focus on the food I agreed to bring. My sister put me in charge of bringing a fruit tray. I laughed at first kidding her that clearly that was some sort of comment on my cooking. She played along, but then said it was something everyone enjoys and she knew I had the contractor now to contend with, so she added the other side dish I was bringing originally to her to do list. Honestly, I am grateful she thought it out. I don't think I would have had it in me today to cook something at this rate.

It should be a relatively quiet day and for that alone I am grateful.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 24, 2021, 06:53:09 PM
Everyone accepted my quietness today as just being worn out from all the activity. That is, except my nephew. He asked what was wrong as I didn't seem like myself. I gave him a smile and said that I just needed one of his hugs. He laughed and gave me one of his contagious smiles and a fantastic hug. It did help some.

I sat with my sister at the kitchen table for a very long time, just talking about things from our childhood. I had noticed that the birds were flying around like crazy eating from the bird feeders, except for one. It was a mourning dove and I recognized it. It is the same one that has been out in front of my house on occasion. It has very memorable coloration and markings. It sat there on the same branch, looking towards the house for several hours. My sister stood up at one point and was mesmerized and asked had I noticed the mourning dove. I smiled and told her that it is the one I always see. My sister is very spiritual as am I. We don't believe in everything being a sign but this one hit her. She looked at the clock in the kitchen and noted that it would have been 7 years ago that we were holding the funeral for my grandmother - my F's mother. She asked me if I had considered maybe it was my grandmother, who she has always known I was so close to, looking over me.

Now, is it? IDK, but in that moment, I found a certain comfort in that thought. I needed that little bit of something to hang on to today. For all I know, in reality it is just a bird and it is all coincidence. But, I also know that particular mourning dove has been with me for a long time. I am not so sure it is the same one that started with me on this MLC journey, because back then I didn't pay attention to the details of that bird. It is only in the last few months that I have really noted the unique patterns and coloration. It has a much more golden breast than the other doves that are around. And there are plenty of them at my parent's house in the shrubs.

It was an easy day in terms of the whole celebration. Simple and no one went overboard with the presents. We all lounged around watching movies and chatting. S shared the house he and his friend C are going to be moving into. The closing date just moved up, as the sellers want to get out from under having two mortgages ASAP.

S mentioned he wasn't sure if he was going to Xh's tomorrow but Xh had planned on going on another trip this coming week and had asked S to watch the dog. I bristled and then S snarked he didn't think he was feeling up to watching that dog, as he has his own things to accomplish. I found myself mildly annoyed that Xh is traveling yet again but then reset my attitude. He can go do whatever. I don't want to be bitter.

I was the last one to leave my parent's house. I stayed and visited with my parents in a way I haven't in such a long time. It was like before the MLC nonsense and for the first time in a long time there was no mention of Xh or dramatic things, except when my M asked me if I had seen the news this morning and how glad she was they caught that parolee. I got up and pretended to just need a glass of water. I came back and my M asked about a person that my F normally asks about. She asked if they had to work or were they spending time with family. I was a bit shocked my M asked. I didn't really have an answer for her beyond I think so. I didn't want to discuss that either right now.

When I came home D called from her BF's family's house. They were on their way to another family member's house and she realized she forgot she had left her retainer at the house and could I bring it to her. I decided it wasn't that big of a deal and would look at the lights in the village on the way home. Normally, I love the lights and the quaintness of the village. All I could think about was how strangely hollow I felt this evening and I am not entirely sure why beyond just exhausted.

When I came home, S was working in the garage and his GF was working on a gift for D. I had planned on just going to bed anticipating another sleepless night and getting up early in the morning.

So much for those plans. S came running into the house and said he would see me later. I gave him an odd look. He said Xh had just called and can't move, so he asked S to take him to the emergency room. Part of me wanted to ask where OW was, but I know she is with her H, no doubt. My SIL is traveling again. What didn't he just call an ambulance? But, I didn't voice it. I was more worried about S, TBH. I told S to keep me posted. Then I sat and contemplated what to do about D. I don't know if it was the right thing to do, but I also know D well enough to know that if S posts something on social media about being at the emergency room, D would see it and all hell would break loose. D may have a complex, non existent relationship with Xh, but it is still her F. UGH.

I called her and she fell apart. She said she was glad I called to let her know.

I hate hearing my kid sob. She may infuriate me and aggravate me, but I love her to bits. And just like when I somehow hurt someone or upset them, it rips my heart out.

I have no illusions that this is some Christmas miracle that will make things right between the kids and Xh. Even if it were some defining moment for xh and he comes back to some sense of himself, I can honestly say my reaction tonight was realizing how I just want Xh to leave me alone. I am so tired of this drama that keeps bubbling up. I have had enough.

Now, I find myself waiting to hear from S. I won't sleep. I am not worried about Xh. Sounds awful, but my guess is he probably pinched a nerve or something. He had a car accident years ago and refused to go to PT. The doctor told him that having his car rear-ended and totaled in the manner in which it was, that Xh was going to have serious issues down the line with his back if he didn't address it. One visit to PT and Xh decided he couldn't see the point of it. Oh, I am not versed in medicine, but I would put money on this is the prediction the doctor made coming true.

I won't be taking care of Xh - to be very clear. Not my job. My only concern is for my kids. Period. I have compassion for him as a human being, but this is what he wanted - independence and he made sure to pound the love I had for him out of me a long time ago.

Going to be a long night. Maybe I need to set out the plate of cookies and brandy for "Santa" this year after all.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 25, 2021, 08:46:46 AM
Xh, as I suspected has some issue relating back to that car accident years ago. D and S communicated the entire night. I stayed out of it after telling D and told S to please keep her updated. D did contact me to ask if Xh had an emergency contact or if he even had insurance any more, because at one point he wanted me to cancel our health insurance because why pay for that useless insurance.  ::) I made sure that didn't happen but, I am betting Xh finally opted out of his. Not my problem.

It was a long evening and for a little tiny bit of time, it was maybe a blessing because D and S were working together and D felt like she was a part of helping Xh. Showing all she had learned. Of course, I already knew how this would end. Me taking the hit the next day from the stress.

S was out the door this morning relatively early to go to his GF's family event. He didn't get home until way after 2 am. I was already asleep, but only went to bed when he called and said he was on his way back home having dropped Xh off.

This morning, D is in a foul mood. Over the top and just mad at the world. Mad that Xh never addressed his injury properly years ago. Angry and hurt about the status quo. Confused, I am sure that she had told me that she was at a point of acceptance and indifference when it came to Xh, and I believe her. I think she was at that point. But last night brought to the surface feelings that are unresolved for D.

I struggle with whether I did the right thing telling her, but my gut told me if I didn't she would have been furious with me had she found out and I knew. It is her F. I didn't want to be involved at all.

My own indifference to Xh and his plight is hard to reconcile. Not once last night did I really feel anything for Xh's situation beyond being worried my S was going out into the late night to deal with this. I didn't wish Xh unwell, but I frankly was not feeling much for him in terms of sympathy. And, I am struggling with that which seems odd.

My struggle lies right now in how I could get to a point of not caring that much about Xh. It isn't a level where I am wishing he would be struck with some horrible illness as a form of karma. It is more that I went from being a woman who would have done anything for him to now just thinking "gosh, that is too bad" with some level of "meh". That is not who I am. But, I know it is this version of Xh that took that love and just destroyed it when it comes to him. I have nothing really left beyond a basic human caring for him now. It is my kids that I am most concerned about. But, I can't fix any of this. I don't want to fix it, but I wish I could absorb the pain.

I literally just got out of bed. I have no joy in me today. It is not some sadness that will lurk because I have been down that path and I refuse to go down that path again. But, my tank is empty. I have nothing to give anyone today, including myself.

I have spoken to my sister who said my M noted I seemed very sad yesterday. She didn't mention anything beyond saying I was just worn out. That is not a lie. My sister also told her about Xh and last night and that I was probably going to be rather tired today and not to overthink it. My M called, concerned and I gave her the basic information and said I honestly don't want to talk about it.

D, miserable is not happy that the expectations for a happy holiday today aren't unfolding, I told her we could celebrate tomorrow as if it were a fresh day. That went over like a ton of bricks. I am now in the doghouse with her too.

I am at the point where TODAY - I just don't care about anything. I have upset people this week and it pains me, but I can't do anything more about it. I am accepting that is the case and am just letting the tears run free today when they come, because they will at some point. I no longer care about the holiday today. I don't care about much only because I don't have the energy to. I am officially wiped out for this week.

This is not a pity party or a start to wallowing for days on end. I did my time in that realm during MLC. I won't allow it to extend beyond today.

But, today - I am going to accept that I have nothing in me. I am truly at the point where I know that the hollow feeling I am feeling is being completely out of energy for anything. I may sleep today. I might binge watch movies and not remember what I watched by tomorrow. I just don't know.

I do know, I won't beat myself up for feeling this way nor will I try and fight it. I am hoping just existing today is enough to help me refuel a bit and tomorrow I will focus on what I need to do to refill my soul more because this just won't do.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on December 25, 2021, 09:05:53 AM
I get all of THIS /\
It’s ok to just feel mehhhh. I am so there most them time now. It just get’s to be to much. The drama that incases them.  I often wondered when I would get to this place or the start of it . If I wanted to stand could I ever feel the same for XH again? Not sure. I think where there was love there can be love again, but it would take an enormous amount of work.

The good thing is that we didn’t ask for this. We didnt put us here. So I do feel we move on to a place that is good for us as if that is our only option.  If they do or if they dont is up to them, but we also have options to welcome them back or keep the door shut.

Everyday that goes by it is clearer and clearer that you have to move on and GAL. We just have to wade theough all the gunk to get to that place.

Merry Christmas!!
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: JohnnyBravo on December 25, 2021, 12:47:49 PM
MD and Torn, thank you both for posting these thoughts.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 26, 2021, 08:51:07 AM
Tornup & JohnnyBravo, thank you.

I struggled immensely yesterday for most of the day with what I was feeling. For Xh the holidays were always tough, as he struggled with his own demons, but for years he pushed through and we worked to find joy. It was easier for me since his memories of his childhood would come knocking at the door, but he worked at it and in all honesty, he was the one that really grabbed ahold of decorating beyond what I normally did. And, I grew to love it. Maybe, looking back it was his way of keeping busy and avoiding feeling what he needed to get out of his system. But, I had no reason to question it for many years. I always anticipated a bit of Scrooge showing up just before that melted away and he was all about the holidays. He usually only grew very quiet when we would go to my family's house, but even then he wasn't cantankerous or nasty, because he was always included. I simply seemed to understand that there was a longing he had. And, when we began going to his sister's who lived nearby that helped as well.

The first inkling that something was really wrong was the year before BD. It was in 2014, when he up and left right after we had buried my grandmother on Christmas Eve. The service was done and we had plans to gather as a family then he and I would take the kids Christmas Eve shopping as we had done every year since he and I were first married. He ditched us to go see Schmoopie, who at the time he claimed was just a friend. He was in fact agitated that the service went as long as it did because he had a lunch date.

Every Christmas after that has taken work to somehow find some normal. And frankly the kids and I have muddled through and aside from the early years, it hasn't been terrible. Some hiccups here and there and it didn't feel the same but this thing yesterday threw me for a loop. It was beyond the feeling of "meh".

I explained to my sister that I don't even know if I felt this way at BD, because that was exhaustion, sadness and numbness. This was different. My body felt like I had just come off of having some horrible flu for days and was just weak. Mentally, I was drained and felt so little energy that emotions weren't there at first. I can honestly say this was a rather new feeling for me and what shocked me was it has been a long time since BD. I felt like suddenly that the sides of the MLC pit I have climbed out and covered up suddenly was a sinkhole that opened up and swallowed me and I didn't even care if I climbed out.

What is hard to explain to anyone that who hasn't experienced it, is this was not sadness or some sort of depression. It was not anxiety. This was a complete exhausted state. I just didn't care about much yesterday for the longest time. I wasn't tired enough to sleep, nor did I have it in me to really do much of anything. But, I tried to at least putter around a little as part of me knew how important the day was to my kids.

D came back from her BF's and she was not happy. It was hard for her to see a regular family having a regular holiday event. She was still processing the prior night and Xh's emergency room visit. She was not happy with the idea of celebrating today, but didn't express that per se. She just stomped up to her room and snuggled her cat. I didn't care at that point. I didn't have it in me to somehow talk to her.

I was just putting away some of the things that needed put back into place. What most people failed to understand about this whole thing with the contractor coming, it meant that I had to scramble and move things, like the cement board for the floor in the bathroom floor and tools, etc among furniture so that the contractor could bring the tub into the house. It meant that my living room, which was being decorated for Christmas suddenly looked like I had just moved in and boxes were back in the middle of the room. I knew having him come was going to cause havoc, but I also accepted that I had to take the time he was offering because he is booked solid, as are so many contractors right now.

I stood there at the cabinet in the living room, just sorting through some mail that didn't get put in the library when S came in the door. I could suddenly feel the tears just fall out and I had no idea where they came from. I didn't feel the normal heaviness in my chest that come when I am really going to cry and I am trying not to. S dropped everything he had in his arms and ran over and held me for the longest time. He asked what was wrong and I blurted it all out. My whole week in a nutshell. The hurt I was feeling for upsetting someone else. The fact that I felt like I had somehow failed to make this holiday right for the kids. How I was struggling with how I felt about Xh and his emergency room visit - explaining that I didn't want anything bad to happen to him, but I just didn't have the same feelings I once did and they are confusing in the sense that I never thought that would be the case.

It is so odd having to look up into my "little kid's" eyes. He towers over me now and he just smiled and said we had a great day the day before and it was okay not to deal with the holiday in the same manner - none of it mattered. He listed what did matter and none of the items were gifts or trees etc. He said it was enough that he knows how hard I try to keep things "normal" and that I would give D and himself just about anything. It was right then when I went to get a tissue and I heard D's feet on the stairs. In her hand was a bag full of gifts. By then, S was sitting in the kitchen at the bar. I could hear her handing him one of the things she got for him. I round the corner and she smiled and gave me a hug.

Yah- I really lost it. The rest of the day was not a normal Christmas, but it was good in many ways. Maybe in some ways better in that it was honest and not some facade. We all laughed when I realized I had misplaced a gift for S. I had done that one other time years ago when the kids were at an age when they would go looking for gifts and yet they still believed in Santa. I hid a gift so well that I forgot about it and couldn't find it for a couple of months after the holiday. I found it for S's birthday in February that year and handed it to him with the Christmas wrap. It was so funny that it became a running joke. I had this year's gift and it was amongst the things that were moved around when the contractor was coming. S said he is going to have fun watching me over the next few days retrace my steps. Yah - I don't think it will take days, but then again, who knows. It is not a huge box and I hadn't wrapped it yet, so it is in a plain package. Right now, I still have plenty of plain boxes with the remaining things for the bathroom and some books I boxed up to take to the antique dealer after the holidays. This oughta be fun.  ::)

D made dinner for all of us and I went up to visit my parents briefly. When I came home, I sat and picked up some things that have needed mending and just sat in peace in the living room.

S sat down next to me, as D left to go to another holiday event with her BF's extended family. We began talking about the house C bought and what S needs to get furniture wise. He mentioned having to buy a new bed frame. I told him to take my bed frame. He paused and was shocked. I bought it when Xh left. It is a beautiful mission style sleigh bed, but when I bought it, I didn't think about my little alcove space it sets in. The headboard is fine, but the footboard makes it a bit of a challenge to get around underneath the pitch of the roofline. And, moving it to the other side of the room poses other problems. S's response was that he knows how much I love the bed. I do. It was my first purchase for that room that stripped away the MLCer. It would be followed by a new mattress and other furnishings. The dresser from my grandfather and two lamps are the only things that still remain from when we were married. S commented that I could sell the bed frame. S was very concerned that I would be somehow without a bed. I told him he wasn't getting my new mattress, which made him laugh and that I have a metal frame I can use for the short term. I also told him he could take some other pieces of furniture with him, but that couch in the media room was completely off limits. He laughed.

I went to bed exhausted and woke up several times during the night, but I didn't get right out of bed this morning. I was planning on going to pick up supplies to work on the bathroom today, but I gave myself permission to do very little today. I will work on some small things here and there, but I am going to allow myself to refuel some more. I feel 1000 times better than yesterday, but I am still not feeling like myself. Maybe I will take a walk later or maybe I will just lie around and read a book or something. My big accomplishment this morning was unloading the dishwasher and making coffee.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on December 26, 2021, 10:58:52 AM
In case it’s helpful.....
One of the things I have learned about trauma is that it seems to have its own clock and that sometimes things come up when our system sort of knows we are ready to process them. It’s not the same as being triggered; difficult to explain, but it felts/feels more like a kind of swell or surge. It just feels different and it tends to wipe me out for a day or two when it comes....and it makes me afraid at the time that I am going backwards. But, on the other side, I sort of know that isn’t it. It’s more like internal tidying up and it always feels a bit forwards afterwards. It sounds as if this might be what is going on in you perhaps - although you certainly also had your fair share of trigger doozies  :). I hope so. And you’ll feel it if it is once it settles back and the wipe out feeling recedes. Xxx
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 26, 2021, 11:38:49 AM
Treasur - I think you hit the nail on the head. It was different than a trigger this time. I am worn out, but not like yesterday and I don't feel the same weird residual as I do with a normal trigger where the emotions are high. This is more just my body saying "nope - need to shut down for a bit". It was a little jarring, I must admit.

I am honestly feeling so much better today. Maybe it just punctuates how incredibly important it is to listen to ourselves when we know we are pushing too hard. IDK. I know some of this I had so little control over, that is the drama piled on to the heap of crazy things going on.

I have been just paying some bills today and researching vanities for the bathroom. I had to rethink my original plan only because when the contractor put in the new tub/shower, we made some modifications. The original vanity I was considering would work, but I now see the tub/shower in the space and I decided it needs a different solution. I was researching ideas and S came into the kitchen. He saw one of my saved inspirations on my computer screen and my sketches and all of a sudden mentioned something I had forgotten about. I was considering going a bit more industrial on the vanity and in my F's studio there is an entire bin full of brass railings. Now, I don't necessarily want to go with shiny brass fittings, but I know how to patina things and these came from my grandfather when he did some demolition work. Right before Covid hit, my F was ready to sell them to a renovation place. Now, he laughed when I called and S has an idea for the house he and C are moving into. My F is actually excited about this new idea I have, because it may also give me a reason to use some of the planks I have set aside in his barn as well.

Then I also figured out a way to reintegrate the crown moulding that was salvaged from the previous bathroom. It had come from my F's childhood home and I had it around the top of the previous bathroom as a shelf. There was only one section that could be saved. I now figured out that it can go above the tub or above the doorway, but either way, I am happy with these things now making some sense.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 27, 2021, 10:08:33 AM
Last night, C came back from his trip to see family for Christmas. He came through the door and I wanted to give him a hug. He was so down. He has a complicated situation with his F and step M at this point in time. S and the other friends had said it is like seeing a reverse version of "Cinderella". I thought they were kidding, when my M told me the one time she met the woman she was not impressed. I sort of laughed until my F informed me my M, who is always a very good hostess, who always offers people something to drink, or will stay to talk, introduced herself and then was quick to walk away. That is not anything I have ever seen my M do, and she is a very good judge of character. If my M wanted nothing to do with this woman, it has to be bad.

So, C returned with his Christmas gifts. It is not about the money spent or anything like that. He said he watched his step brothers get showered with loads of gifts that were insanely expensive and that didn't bother him as much as he was handed a box to unwrap from his step M. His F had gotten him something that he gave him, but not in front of the others - it was before he left. He opened the box to show me the contents. A box of dog biscuits for his puppy and a box of sugar coated cereal. This is in part due to some jealousy. He is the soul heir of the family farm that was in his M's family and somehow she feels like he landed with his butt in the butter crock as my grandfather used to say. The funny thing is, she nor her H have any claim to it. The F, he isn't upset about it. I have met him and it is not lost on me that C is very much like his F. A kind, thoughtful man and liked by everyone. I haven't met the step M, and now I really want to avoid that "pleasure".

Why this is pertinent is not because of the drama. It was a reset for the kids and I. We all realize no matter how mucked up our holiday seemed, we laughed and had each other. We had our own drama and we didn't go nuts on gifts. I mean, S was thrilled with what D and I had picked out for him. We decided to purchase all the "not so fun things" that he would need for a  house. Kitchen gadgets and pans, etc. He actually laughed because he said he wouldn't have thought of half of the things. Like a potato masher, because we know he likes mashed potatoes and his GF loves using a hand held masher. Little things that were useful, but thoughtful.

C sat there last night and said he knows he made the right decision moving here and we treat him more like family than his own family does. Even my parents, who have only really known him a short time, keep tabs on him. Worried today that he gets home safely with the weather report saying we should be dealing with some icing on the roads midday. Or D, making him his favorite cookies just because. Or me, kicking him in the butt if need be or lending him a shoulder to cry on.

When I picked up D this morning for our appointment at the hair salon, she mentioned how bad she felt for C. She said it is almost worse than her situation with Xh because at least she has other family who support her. He doesn't really have anyone to care for him from his family. His F does what he can on the sly, but he has to sneak the help, which boggles my mind, but then I had that when Xh tripped into his MLC persona. I had to sneak around and not tell him things. I don't ever want to operate that way again.

Maybe that is why sometimes my honesty comes out in ways it shouldn't. I would rather be honest - not in a way that hurts someone intentionally, but I don't lie, especially when it comes to those I care about. Of course, I know that sometimes my thoughts are not always easy to put into words - yah, I know - hard to argue when apparently I have no problem journaling them out with more ease, but they don't always come out in a text or in conversation the way I want them to. It is not that I am not able to somehow speak, but I realize that perhaps sometimes I am formulating my thoughts out loud and asking questions and haven't gotten to my real thought. Or, I am playing devil's advocate and I haven't alerted someone to that fact and I am trying to see the whole picture, even when I may already understand certain aspects. It gets me in trouble sometimes. 

When I came home, S was on the phone with C, who was on break at work. They have the home inspection tomorrow. He was on speaker phone and I asked what time that was. I had my answer and asked if I could come along, as I will be in the area picking up supplies for the bathroom. I was going in the morning, but could swap out my plans and go later. The house is only about 10 minutes from the home improvement store. S didn't get a chance to answer because C was shocked I would take time out of my day. He said he was honestly grateful to have someone with them who would help them out. He is a really smart kid and between he and S, they have read all the contracts and asked questions. I am honestly truly impressed but what they have figured out. They were told by someone not to bother with an attorney and they both decided to ignore that advice and pay the $600 fee to make sure they are protected. They asked me about this particular attorney and I know they are on the up and up.

S will be 24 this year and C, has a birthday coming up in a few days. He will be 22. I cannot imagine taking this house thing on at that age without some adult guidance. I have no plans to somehow step in and control things. I have answered their questions and made suggestions, but I have stayed out of this. They sort of laughed when they came back from looking at a house they loved online and I warned them that the drive from that location would get really old quickly, as it is in a remote part of the area and there are absolutely no main roads nearby to get to their jobs. It is the perfect location for a person working online or if they had a business that didn't require travel daily. They came back after going to look at it and admitted I was probably right. I only knew because I covered that territory and had a client that lived out there. When I had any meetings at their facility it meant my whole day was just allocated to seeing them because of the drive. C and S both found the house now that is 15 minutes for either of them to get to work or anywhere quickly, but not in a congested area. If all goes well, they will be living at the end of a quiet, dead end street in the country.

S was off the phone when he smiled and thanked me. I asked for what. I honestly had no idea what I had done. He wants my input on some of the room layouts and to float some ideas they have. It made me tear up. I was going because they seemed so excited and wanted to support their dream.

It was then S's other friend came through the door. He asked how Xh was. S paused and said, "oh, I guess I should check in on him". They were talking and it came out that Xh didn't acknowledge Christmas and S mentioned it was odd that Xh didn't get him a gift this year, considering usually Xh goes and makes a big production out of it. S wasn't complaining. He is not someone who gets upset about gifts. It was more a "huh".

It is not so much the gifts for me. It is more that it is making me pause a bit. MLC Xh always has tried to woo S with the holidays. He has gone out of his way to appear like a hero. D, she had gotten gifts that were not age appropriate in that somehow Xh seemed to give her things meant for a little girl and not a young woman. A sock monkey hat one year meant for a kid that is more like 6 years old and not a young woman who was closer to 18 at the time. But, for S, he has often gone above and beyond to almost show off. This is a little strange considering last year it was a piece of custom artwork for S based on his antique truck. Hmmmm- curious. But that bit of curiosity is not going to linger in my brain. It is not worth my energy to try and figure out. Just more weirdness and drama I don't want or need.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 29, 2021, 12:17:06 PM
All I wanted this morning was a quiet start. I woke up early and no one else was awake yet. The puppy had spent the night in S's room and she hadn't stirred yet. As I was laying underneath the warm blankets, I imagined making breakfast and pouring a cup of coffee in an environment that was just calm and being able to really formulate a plan for the day. If my phone hadn't gone off the puppy probably would have continued her slumber, but she heard the text alert and that was her cue to come barreling down the hall and push the door open to my room. I was greeted by the 35 pounds of dog jumping on my bed and trying to give me her version of morning kisses. Not at all the way I imagined things.

The text would start off a slew of crazy texts from various people with different questions and requests. I looked at the clock and it was 6 am. I wondered what the heck was going on. None were emergencies. My M, I am used to her texting early. She is up at 5 am and has sometimes started a couple of loads of laundry by 6 am. But the others - rather surprising. Until I realized that my phone had acted up and most were from last night. I had grumbled the other day that my phone is misbehaving and I know the solution - one I really dread. Replacement. I am so ready to just go off the grid and send smoke signals because as it is I am beginning to really, truly hate texting. So many things are lost in texting - tone and miscommunication seems to run rampant at times. It is great for quick "hey I am on my way" type things, but IDK - it certainly is not my idea of "talking", but I too have conceded and use it frequently. That said, I could learn to live without it really easily.

The phone, I am pretty sure one of my kids has an extra phone that they no longer use and I can take ownership of that, but I was really extra annoyed that this one bombarded me with all of these texts that decided to come through at 6 am. So much for what I had envisioned.  ::)

Still, I pressed on, determined to at least have breakfast and to make a decent pot of coffee. I gave up on the peace and quiet concept. Ah, acceptance - a MLC skill that has clearly come into play in other parts of my life. Time, patience and maybe acceptance needs to be added to that list.

S and I had worked Monday all day to knock off getting the drywall up in the bathroom. He made the time for me and his friend had stopped by, so we enlisted his help for the ceiling and it made things go so much quicker. I am so grateful for their help. We were exhausted by the time we decided to stop, but yesterday, as we complained about being achy, we felt good about how much we had accomplished. But, with that came acceptance. I can't make the window come in any quicker. It is going to be here when it is going to be here. It holds things up some. I am not setting any goals or deadlines, because with this whole unplanned renovation nothing has gone the way it should. I have accepted things may go wrong and I am not going to somehow set myself up for disappointment. Instead, I am going to keep plugging away and be more content with the moments something is completed and accomplished.

S made me laugh when he discovered that the tub/shower is hooked up completely, but we can't use the faucets, which still need installed. What dawned on him is the tub drain is set up and working. I laughed and said it was. He went all McGyver on me and said he had a way I could enjoy a bubble bath. I had visions of him hauling buckets of water from the kitchen. I said it wasn't necessary. He said no, he had a rather "redneck" solution, but it would work. He asked where I had put the new garden hoses I bought at the end of the season, as I was going to replace two of the three we have. They are still in their original packaging in the garden shed. He reminded me that we still have the utility sink lines that aren't hooked up in the laundry room. The hot and cold connections are turned off since my laundry room sink was destroyed in the damage. Hmmmm. The laundry room utility sink is right below where the bathroom vanity sink comes through the flooring. The vanity plumbing had to be cut away and capped off during the demolition. There is an access panel currently in the floor until I put the new tile down. S started laughing. He is right - I could hook up my garden hoses and fill the tub up very easily. Oh, sure I am not so sure it is going to make it into any architectural magazines as the thing to do nor am I sure I would want to make it a long term solution, but it had me laughing.

I am not sure I will use S's solution, but as I was taping the seams on the drywall this afternoon, I was smiling thinking how funny that was. It is a huge leap from where we started this crazy journey.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: forthetrees on December 29, 2021, 05:48:52 PM
Calgon take me away.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 30, 2021, 03:39:06 PM
forthetrees - EXACTLY!!

I have absolutely no plans for New Year's Eve this year. I just don't even care at this point. S and his GF are taking a drive to see a light show. It allows for distancing and staying in the car, so they figured that was a good plan. I was invited to go. I considered it and now - I just don't want any part of it. I am officially just not in the mood to celebrate.

D is in a miserable state of mind. Why wouldn't she be? Xh, even after he knew she reached out has completely avoided her. Am I surprised? Not at all. I know this drill. I have graduated from that MLC bootcamp and advanced training. D, she is still learning that unfortunately Xh is still deep in whatever state of mind he is in and she has no control over it at all. She was doing well, detaching but she hasn't gotten to the point of indifference and I am not sure she will. S assumed Xh contacted her, and I, well I am truly trying to stay out of it. Ha - but no, I am the one suddenly charged with telling D what is known. And, I get to reap the rewards.

It was after she got upset with me about something totally different I learned that Xh hasn't let her know what is going on. That he didn't take D's reaching out to use it for an avenue to somehow mend things.

If I voice that I hope Xh's playing games and his choice to not get medical help is in fact a stupid decision, it sounds like some bitter wish or as if I am trying to win some "the kids like me better than you" game. It is the farthest thing from the truth. I wish Xh would have gotten his garbage sorted out and could fix this mess with D in particular, but it isn't happening.

Instead, I am in the house with a kid who is clearly hurt and grouchy. Yay. Lucky me. She is over sensitive and doesn't want my caring advice or input. I know I already made that mistake once this holiday season with someone else. I stepped in it for sure and am paying the price for actually caring and coming off as being dismissive instead. I can't undo that one.

Here is a formal announcement - I am firetrucking human. I make mistakes, even when I mean well. I don't deserve silence or being the whipping post because someone is unhappy. I told D that I am sorry she and I clearly cannot seem to communicate today. And, our disagreement started because of a communication problem. She asked me last night what my plans were today. My original plans were to get up and work on the bathroom some more and then I said we could do something if she wanted. I asked her last night what she would like to do. I got a "IDK, I will think about it". No where in that conversation was anything solidified. I woke up this morning and was just wiped out. I was up at 7 and sat down on the couch, only to fall fast asleep and woke up at 10:30. I was making coffee and being very lazy when D showed up at noon. Nope, I wasn't even dressed or showered yet because in the meantime I had some other things to deal with that sidetracked me. She was not happy at all. Okay, fine - I told her I would get a move on, I clearly didn't know we were now on some schedule.

I will take full blame if that is what it takes to get past all of this right now. I am so tired of somehow feeling as if I am some monster and completely at fault at every turn. I have been down that path with Xh and won't do it again. I am either worthy of spending time with or I am not. If I am, then let's move past this and figure it out.

What many people don't seem to understand is I always look at when people get upset with me. I don't want to be right or wrong. I try and see how I contributed to the miscommunication or problem. I don't think I know it all, that is for sure.

Last night, S's friends made an observation about S that makes me realize something about myself. We don't think like other people. We are not fixers, but sometimes that is what people want to label it. Nope. S and I are very much alike and sometimes it is too our own detriment.

We get down. We sometimes feel like we are defeated, but we often come back with a bit of fight and try and figure out a solution. Can't climb over the hill? Can we tunnel under or fly over? Can we go around it? When that fight comes into play, we sometimes look at all sides with other people and maybe that is the biggest issue. It is perceived that we are dismissing their feelings. The reality is, I see it in S and it is me - to a "T". That is not it at all. We are trying to see all angles to see if there is something that can help conquer this issue. And, our sassy approach sometimes comes with humor that is ill timed. It was last night I truly realized that my thought process is not "normal" and my heart can be in the right place completely, but to some people, I am in fact - in their eyes, telling them that they are wrong or that their opinions are wrong.

I am never going to be someone that blows sunshine up someone's backside that I care about. I won't be dishonest or insincere. It is the same honesty that if I tell someone something very heartfelt, that it runs probably deeper than I even am expressing.

Tonight, I am in full on tears again. It is not some weird depression and when I explain this, don't go sending out the cavalry thinking I am on the verge of some breakdown or wanting to put an end to my own life. That is the last thing I would ever do. I am just done with the day. Maybe done with the past few days. I have officially had enough and need to shut down my emotions and have nothing to give anyone who "needs" me.

I dropped D off at her BF's after having a huge argument with her. I told her that I am not the enemy. I was sorry she and I had a misunderstanding, but I am doing the best that I can right now. I can't fix all of the things that are wrong. I have my own things weighing on me that no one knows about. No one has asked and I haven't necessarily shared. It is not that I won't talk to people, about what's going on in their life, but don't ask me for anything right now. I am sorry you kicked your BF out yet again for the thousandth time. Don't have it in me to care. Sorry.

It sounds so callous. I just know that I am not capable of it right this minute. When I dropped D off, I took a drive and just decompressing. I wasn't being reckless and I was being incredibly cautious. When I came around the corner doing the speed for that zone, I encountered 2 large deer in the road. I slammed my brakes on and locked them. I kept sliding and accepted that if I hit them I was either going to be in really bad shape or done. There was no shock. There wasn't panic. It was not like I somehow wanted to die. It was this odd numb feeling of "oh well" and not having any fight left in me. When miraculously the deer moved just in time and the brakes let loose, and I was still in the proper lane, I drove home. I wasn't rattled in the least. I arrived home to find the dog wanting to greet me. I put her leash on her and walked her outside, handing her over to C, who had literally just gotten here after work and told him not to bother me with her tonight. I was officially off the clock completely.

I came in and made dinner for myself. Relaxing and answering the calls on my phone. One from my M, who gave me news I needed to hear about a medical test she had. S came in and asked if I was okay. I said fine, but I was going to make it clear. Unless someone chops an arm off, leave me alone. I have nothing tonight.

Tomorrow night, I am not going to wallow somehow. I don't need a cheerleader. In fact, I really don't need that at all and it will not go over well. I am not angry or bitter. I am needing just time to recuperate from being pulled in a thousand directions by others. I rarely complain and don't mind. I am not sure others around me will understand and might worry. It is not something to worry about. It is me needing to be selfish and at least not have to take care of others needs for a few hours.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: forthetrees on December 30, 2021, 04:37:59 PM
Not being able to shower in your own home gets old. The daily stress of unfinished construction gets old too. Your Ex and his boorish behavior towards D is despicable. Many times back issues are related to emotional turmoil so perhaps this is his karmic consequence. Who would he have called if S had not been around...?

The upside of NYE is that you get to bid ado to 2021 and all the hassles it embodied. Here´s hoping that by March we are in a more normal world.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on December 30, 2021, 11:37:30 PM
I have a friend here who has just started seeing a new physiotherapist. This physio told her to write a note to stick on her fridge or bathroom mirror, ‘What does my body need from me today?’ And spend a few minutes reflecting on that before she jumps into her day. Sometimes we just need to listen to ourselves, don’t we?

I’m glad that you and the deer survived in one piece, Mourning Dove, and I wish you the kind of 2022 that you want and need x
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 31, 2021, 09:44:47 AM
Thank you forthetrees and Treasur.  :)

I started my morning by slipping off of the second to bottom step into the basement and skinning my knee. It could have been much worse, and I am holding onto that. But, I let myself have a good cry while I was at it.

The holidays this year were not easy with Xh's emergency room visit. I had the same thought immediately about who else he could have called. Where was his sister? Where was Schmoopie or any of Xh's "good friends" suddenly. The truth is, I believe Xh really has no one he can rely on, except of course S at this point. But, Xh has done this to himself. These are the consequences of his own choices. Unfortunately, S is like me and would not leave someone in need. Problem is, it wasn't appreciated and it in fact fanned the flames with D. I am caught in the aftermath as well.

I don't doubt Xh's back pain is probably related in part due to emotional turmoil. I know him well enough to know how when he gets tense, his whole body stiffens up and he can't relax at all. But, I am beyond feeling bad for him. I already know that based on his history, I doubt he will actually go seek help to resolve any of these things. Avoid any doctor until it is too late.

But, I have let go of most of that holiday stress. If only others would as well.

The snow has melted away again and after having a rocky start to my morning, I am trying to just get back on track with getting something done.

D was here briefly and stressed out about the glasses she ordered from my sister's place of business. My sister had called her with a hiccup in regards to additional insurance. D was attempting to resolve it herself, that isn't it. Because of how she is listed on my additional benefit as a "dependent" it wasn't allowing her to log in properly. It is a complaint my sister has about this particular company all the time. D was panicked. I got so incredibly aggravated I told her to chill out and I would log in and see what I could find out. I told D as I was online that she knows her aunt well enough to know my sister will track the information down and resolve it. And that is what happened. I had just logged in and my sister texted to say it went through when she tried a different way around. Then D mentioned her phone is not working. I snapped. I shouldn't have. I told her that I am not dealing with any more things today along those lines. It is not an emergency and can wait.

I get it, D is a planner. I don't like flying by the seat of my pants all the time. But, I also am not like my M or D. I sometimes cannot think about those other things when on a day like today, I won't be able to resolve them anyways. To me this is a Monday problem. I am not going to even think about it until then. I don't have it in me at all.

S and his GF confirmed they are going to take their drive tonight. I told them I don't feel like going. D and her BF have plans to stay in at his house with his family and they have a small family party. They are going to watch movies. I was invited to that as well. Nope. Thanks. My parents invited me for dinner. Bowed out.

What I plan on doing tonight is making a nice meal. Pouring a glass of wine and relaxing. I have some paintings that I have been wanting to start. I have fun things I have wanted to do. I might take a drive. I might watch movies. IDK. I know I don't want to be pulled like taffy today.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on December 31, 2021, 04:16:41 PM
I had several calls today.

One is to tell me that my window actually came in earlier than anticipated (after the many delays) and it is ready to be picked up. The weather was insanely warm today as is tomorrow, so I may be putting in a new window tomorrow. The contractor had offered to put it in but I may jump on it before the snow flies again. It was a nice surprise, TBH - as it changes things for me and can move this along a bit faster and smoother - hopefully.

The other calls were regarding my plans for the evening. My plans were to stay home. I have been disappointed enough these past few months with plans getting cancelled, for a variety of reasons and some were simply timing. Other times, well, I am not entirely sure anymore why they changed. And recently, the plans that changed I had agreed as to why they should change. I wasn't upset. We tentatively scheduled a later date. Now, IDK what is going on.

D had plans. S had plans. I was invited to both, but I didn't feel like doing either. My M called to tell me the neighbors wondered if I wanted to join them for dinner. I begged off.

I had to explain to people I am not down or somehow in a weird place. I was content putting together a fire pit, which had some people confused. S knew exactly what I was up to. I am so tired of ashing out the brick fire pit. We used to have a metal bowl that fit the top, which made it so much easier to clean out. The bottom of this metal kit, I have other plans for. It is going to replace one of the little patio tables I had years ago. I just have to get a new wooden disk to attach. Once I had assembled all the parts, I went about cleaning out the fire pit and I was a mess by the time I was done, but I didn't care. It felt good to be outside and not working on something inside. I had taken a break from the bathroom today, since now the window is in.

The puppy is worn out. I made it clear with S and C that if they were going out tonight to see the lights, I was off the clock for the day and I would watch her at night, but not all day. They were going to have to take care of her, unless they were working on something dangerous and she couldn't be nearby. They took turns having her outside. It was perfect weather to have her run around, even if she got herself all muddy. A couple of times, I walked outside and simply handed her over and gave them a look. They laughed. Nope - not my responsibility all the time. I joked that S had best get used to it, because this is how it will be if I am ever a grandmother someday. I will watch kids, but don't assume I am the built-in babysitter.

As it stands now neither of my kids are wanting children of their own anytime soon. They have a pretty solid idea of how they want that to unfold. Both are of the mind that they are hoping to be gainfully employed and have some stability before that happens. They are realistic about how life doesn't always go that way, but at least it seems like it will be awhile.

And that is the thing. I was telling my sister that I am exhausted. And part of my exhaustion is due to I feel like I would like some time to do my own thing. I want to have a relationship of my own. I love my kids, but I feel like in some ways I was cheated out of time for me when Xh did the MLC nosedive.

When I heard that Xh is pushing S about this trip Xh wants to now take in March - he basically wants to go away for 2 weeks and it is pretty clear why he wants S to go along. With Xh's back issues driving long distances is out. S is not biting. He has an interview with his internship employer and he and C are really wanting this house. They have been in communication with the realtor and only have asked me for some input here and there. Honestly, they have a really good handle on what has to happen. S, said to me that the reality is, while a trip would be nice and all, realistically, he won't have time or money to just go away. He has to make choices.

I was outside turning the hose on to spray off the fire pit and I felt a bit of anger and resentment bubbling up. I stopped myself. Those feelings sometimes helped me when I was going through the divorce, because they pushed me to sometimes fight back. But, I hated those feelings and how they made me feel all the time. I don't want to let those feelings inhabit my body for long. It is not about avoiding processing them and allowing to feel, but then there is the point where it is a choice whether or not I hold onto the anger or let it go. I reset my attitude and didn't care that I found myself covered in mud and soot spatter from the fire pit.

Tonight, I am enjoying my wine and had made dinner for myself. I dug out my painting supplies and am going to embrace having no kids in the house. I know how lucky I am to have them in my home and to get to see them. My sister and I talked about it a bit today. I have not had a coparent in any form from the moment Xh landed in crisis. I have been at this for so long that I often am not sure what to do with myself when I have found myself alone. Tonight, I am not feeling that way. It is more wishing I had someone to share the quiet with.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: FaithWalker on January 01, 2022, 07:26:58 PM
Happy New Year MD.  I also chose to spend a quiet NYE at home.  I could have made other plans, but I really didn't want to and not because of being depressed or in a weird place either.  My D got me a candle for Christmas and she was quick to explain that the name of the candle "Homebody" was not a slight against me, she just felt the smell of it was the best one for me.  I laughed and told her the name of the candle suits me as well lately.

It was very snowy here on NYE and I did not want to be out in that, endangering my life on the slick roads.  I was very content to be at home all cozy, revolving between reading a book, watching a show I like, and doing laundry.  I was simultaneously worrying about my S and D who had to be out in it for work.  And my youngest S who was supposed to drive to his F's.  Thankfully, they worked out that he would stay here for the evening and he has just left about a half hour ago to finally make the drive.  Thankfully, he texted me that he safely got there.

I am very content with my quiet NYE and New Year's Day this year.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 01, 2022, 09:33:20 PM
Happy New Year to you as well, FaithWalker!  :)

I am finding more contentment at home as of late. I always liked going places, but I think there was a time when I wanted to go places just to run away from the MLCer for a couple of hours or after he moved out, I needed the escape from the house because I needed the break. But, I am also now realizing that as I was cleaning the house of the MLCer's ghost - in the way of his belongings and the like, that while I was removing traces of him and making the house mine, that the running away was a way to cope with some of the unsettled feelings. Even as I am encountering the MLCer's "handiwork", now - via things like drywall screws in pipes, I am less apt to feel the urge to leave. I want to attack the problems and resolve them. I feel like the house is no longer housing the MLCer memories. It is like I have waved enough sage to ward off his spirit.  ::)

Part of me is also just embracing having time to myself and it is not to say I don't worry about my kids. I too was wanting to hear from S and his GF that they were at their destination safely and relieved they arrived back home. But, it is not a worry that had me pacing. It simply was on my mind at times - knowing that the roads might have all sorts of crazy people out. And the deer, as I know from experience are very active right now.

I still have moments of wanting to go places or to take drives. Part of me keeps wanting to share them with someone else. I am comfortable going solo, but it seems so much better to sometimes share certain experiences. Just today someone sent me a picture of a hike they had been on. It was where I had been this summer and I hadn't been there in years. I have never hiked it in the winter and the views look breathtaking. But, I almost feel wrong going there by myself now, as if I am somehow cheating by not sharing that experience.

What I know I need is just time for myself to not have the pressure of people needing me all the time. Time for me to be just "MD" and not M, or D or whatever title is going on at that moment. For so long, that hasn't been easy to juggle - all the different titles and jobs.

Last night, I decided to pull out my oil paints and some canvas and just be creative. I promised myself to not worry about the outcome, because I was riddled with emotions and not sure if I would tense up, etc.

I have had times where when I try to explain what I am about to convey, that they suddenly have this vision of me rubbing crystals or thinking I am somehow trying to sell them snake oil. For those of us with creativity coursing through our veins, there is an energy that is left in those pieces. The energy is often different for client based work. On the surface, it can be beautiful and there is an energy in that, but you could put a similar subject up that the artist chose to do because they were inspired and there is something you can't always see, but it has a different feeling, even if they are equally well executed. For many of us, there is a bit of our souls left in those pieces that just call to us. It can be anger or hurt that comes through. It can be love or passion of sorts. It is often subtle, but it is there.

My sister really pointed it out to me a few years back. I can see it in other people's work, but not always in my own. I had done 4 paintings of the same hill at different times of the year. They were not meant to be exact copies, but I wanted them to work as a series. They do. Yet, interestingly enough, when I had them in a gallery show together for the first time, it was my sister who asked me if I had painted them in a particular sequence. I hadn't. That is, I didn't say start with January and then follow chronologically. The paintings were done in random order based on my desire to paint. Coincidentally, those paintings also followed a different timeline of sorts. When she asked me to put them in order based on when they were painted, she then asked me about what was going on in my life. The first was around BD #1. It is not an angry painting but the brushstrokes are very different from the 3rd in the series which is very calm. The final piece was after the divorce and there was a very different look of my brush strokes. I more controlled, yet energetic flow. It doesn't scream out, but for someone like my sister, she knows me and she saw it immediately.

And, the older I get, the more aware of this creativity for me is really something that is hardwired in me. I have had a connection to that part of me since I was a child, but it is in recent years that I know my moods and how it translates into work. Sometimes I just know when I can't work on something personal. When it is client work. I have to put feelings aside at times and push through even when I am in a horrible mood. But, with something I want to work on, that is a different beast.

I had been inspired some time ago to create two paintings for two very specific people who both mean the world to me. One was a dear friend of mine, who had posted a picture of something that just intrigued me to no end. I had no idea she had a love of old barns and we had a really wonderful discussion about the history of this particular barn she had posted a picture of. I had no idea that she had a whole collection of photos of different barns. I would have never in a million years guessed that about her. She has been there for me at almost every turn and I wanted to do this for her.

And, this too is difficult for some to understand. When it is a personal piece I can't just paint something someone gives me a photo of. Like if someone shows me a sunset and wants me to somehow get excited about it enough to paint it, it doesn't work that way. If it is a commission, I might enjoy the challenge, but it is not going to somehow inspire me and be some moving experience. It lacks a personal connection for me. Those connections can be that I know it is special to someone else or maybe it is somewhere we have been together, etc. It might be that I know they absolutely love say, apples and a still life of apples to hang in their kitchen would make them just thrilled. No matter what, when I want to do something for someone I am putting a part of myself into it. Those connections and emotions run deeper, and the energy follows.

The problem lies when sometimes there are other feelings. Anger can sometimes be a good thing but for me, I know if that is the emotion, working on some piece that is supposed to look serene is not going to happen in that moment, even if I control my brush strokes. The energy somehow comes through.

The best example I have ever had is having had a student who was working on this lovely stylized drawing of a tree. It was whimsical and the branches had this flow to them. She received a phone call midway and had to excuse herself to take the call. She came back in and I knew what was going on. I said nothing and she continued working. It was during critique that the other students and she, herself noted that something was off in the drawing. I didn't reveal what I knew, but asked what she didn't like. It was the last batch of branches added. I told her without sharing specifics, was there something that had changed her mood. She said yes, in fact, she had a bit of stress that piled on during class. I asked her to indicate what areas were worked on prior to that moment. The lines were subtle, but the changes were there. The rigidity of the stress affecting her lines. Her energy had changed enough to translate into different line work.

Why this is important to last night is, I entered into the other painting not at all sure of why I was even attempting it. My emotions are pretty raw at the moment and I almost feared what would come out in the painting.

I had chosen a photo that has many layers to it. There is an odd connection for me. I have never been to this place but there are some odd layers to it in terms of why I picked it. They mean nothing to anyone else. It is not an easy composition and I felt myself wondering if I was really setting myself up for a colossal mess all the way around. But, as I worked I had my answer for myself. It didn't come with ease, yet, the emotions driving my desire to work on it were an indication of where my emotions lie. I am not done with the piece, and I am wanting to keep working on it. I don't want to abandon it, which is rather telling. And that in and of itself poses perhaps a very different problem when all is said and done.

I have used my "three drawers" method in so many facets of my life now. It has served me pretty well. It dawned on me though today that when I finish this, I may not ever be able to give this to that person. What if I am left with this painting? It is not something I would ever sell and not because of quality, for instance. I will sell most of my work, but I have one or two pieces that will never leave my possession because of their personal meaning to me. But, this piece is different. It is meant for someone specific and the feelings that exist run deep. The thing is, as things stand right now, if I had to choose a drawer to put it in, I honestly am not entirely sure. And, this only came into play when I realized that right now, in reality and not metaphorically, the painting is too wet to go into any actual drawer, which made me laugh. It is sitting upright on the mantel and I can't escape it. Maybe it explains the extra emotions.  ::)

But, I am not sure which drawer this belongs in at all, just like I don't know where I stand in reality. And, unlike the MLCer, I wanted to put things in the third drawer. Those feelings for the MLC version of Xh are too toxic to hang on to. This is very different. In fact, I don't even want to put it in any drawer at all, but I am not entirely sure what I will do with it now. SMH. I know - confusing. LOL.

So today, I didn't work on the painting at all. I went and picked up my new window and convinced S to help me. He and his friends took over most of the job and I cut any boards that were needed. It was warm out when we started, but the temps dropped rapidly and poor S was outside when it started to rain. After several hours, the window is in and I wish I could say we are all excited about the progress, but I think we are all too tired to care. Right now, I am not looking at it with a bit of a negative approach. That is, all I can think about is how much more I have to still do. That is exhaustion talking. Hopefully in the morning, I will see that this is a big piece of the puzzle and it changes the way things can progress dramatically. I think in part is it seems too good to be true. Hopefully a good night's sleep will help.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on January 02, 2022, 01:49:09 AM
I too have found your ‘three drawers’ principle a really useful one in all sorts of ways.

In case there are others reading along who haven’t read your earlier posts, can you give us a reprise of how you use it?
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on January 02, 2022, 05:11:17 AM
Mourning Dove,
I have always been a artist/ creator my entire life and found this past year not able to do anything creative. Not sure why except I think creativity is a form of release and expressing ourselves and this MLC experience in life almost gave me a block on creativity. I lost any and all desire to be creative, but I am starting to get the creative bug and that makes me happy.

I love to hear you are creating and can only imagine how much is poured into those pieces. I have always found it hard to part with projects of mine. I think anyone paying for your art finds that connection that makes that a little easier.

I will have to look back on your 3 drawers. I missed that. Thank you for your continued journalling
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 02, 2022, 12:13:53 PM
Tornup & Treasur - the three drawers is probably buried deeply in one of my many HS novels. LOL.

The three drawers was a concept shared by one of my college professors. It was a philosophy he adopted for his life, but he was sharing it with me at the time in regards to dealing with a problem many creative people have - which is how to let go of artwork. It has nothing to do with selling work. This was more about letting go of the pieces that don't serve you well.

Some people will not let go of anything they have created. For those who might not be creative it might equate to saving every card and drawing your kid ever did. Some artists will hang on to every piece of paper or other material they have worked on just because they spent money on that material. They can't let go of it.

Then there are those who might hang onto every piece and even go so far as framing them just because they put time into it. Monet even had pieces that were not masterpieces. He wouldn't show those in the galleries, but sometimes they were sold as B grade work along the Seine River. I know artists who show all of their work.

Then there are those situations like mine was at the time. This was not about holding onto things that weren't successful or because of the paper. I wasn't hoarding every piece of artwork. This was specifically about a painting I had completed that was incredibly successful, but the process of getting there was excruciating. And not in a way that it was somehow a challenge I overcame and could look at it with a sense of accomplishment. This was a piece that was very different. And not one I wanted to sell.

My professor called me into his office and asked me about the piece. I had received the grade for it. Was I planning on putting it in my portfolio? It was portfolio quality, but no, I had no desire to use it. Was I willing to sell it? Nope. I didn't want to release those bad vibes I felt in it into the world. And the subject matter wasn't somehow upsetting. It had just been a very personal struggle for me at that time that was incredibly unpleasant. So, he asked me what I felt when I looked at that painting. I said it made my stomach tie up in knots. I would tense up. Everything about it was uncomfortable. So his question was why did I hang on to it? And then came the three drawers. They can be metaphorical drawers or actual drawers depending on the situation.

Drawer 1 is for those things that are successful and bring you satisfaction. It can include things that were difficult, but you feel like you overcame an obstacle. They can be sad pieces or emotional pieces, but it is different than having a physical reaction that is discomfort that makes you feel sick.

I have some very highly emotionally charged pieces in an actual drawer. They might bring a tear to my eye but they are more like memories that are just sad for a bit. They don't make my whole body stiffen up and drag up that type of reaction.

Drawer 2 is for the things that you are on the fence on. Things that maybe in the moment you weren't sure about, but instead of reacting, you put them away to reevaluate later. Sometimes they need reworking. Sometimes you see something you missed before and see new opportunities. Sometimes they need to move to drawer 3.

Drawer 3 was the most difficult for me initially. Yet, it has been in some ways the most liberating. That drawer houses those things that don't serve you well. The pieces that bring continual stress or memories that are always going to be there, but you don't need the physical reminder.

For the things in that drawer my professor suggested how to let go of them. In this case he told me I might consider destroying it. Sure, I still can picture that painting looks like. I can still recall the experience, but I don't open a drawer and continually see it and bring back those reactions. It is a memory. His suggestion was to take that piece and burn it or shred it - get rid of it in a very cathartic way. Let it go.

I now have bonfires where I have thrown out artwork. It might be a canvas that I cannot get to work somehow and no matter how many times I paint over it there is some weird energy or something in my own head I just can't get past. That canvas is always going to haunt me. It goes out.

I have burned perfectly successful pieces that had nothing to do with the subject matter, but the last big one was because of a client. That piece was reproduced as a label, so I had the original. That client made my life hell for months with ridiculous demands. This was not about changes like colors or basic client requests. Those can be irritating but this was wanting it one way one day and the next changing yet again. Then they dragged their feet paying me even after their product was launched. I later learned from another artist this is that client's typical game. I never would work with that person again. Every time I looked at that piece, I would get aggravated. It wasn't serving me any longer. So, into the bonfire it went. S actually laughed at me.

When MLC hit, I applied the three drawers to other parts of my life. I don't go throwing people into the figurative bonfire, but I did weed out those that when I divorced realized they were toxic. They had been there for years and had been problematic. Xh's sister is one. I am not unkind to her when I have seen her, but I don't have her in my life. It doesn't serve me well. I have a friend that is in her own MLC that sits in drawer 2.

In regards to MLC era things, I have let go of physical things. Furnishings that I felt too connected to. Changing the design of the house or rooms. Belongings that remained from Xh or his F that brought me aggravation. That didn't mean for me that everything Xh ever touched disappeared. There are things that I love for what they are and the connection to Xh is not the reason I keep them. I have photos and memories of Xh from prior to his crisis that I have in a box. They aren't upsetting nor are they things I caress and wish that I could turn back time. They are much like memories that are of people that have passed.

Having applied the three drawers in my own life has allowed me to change my own attitudes. Letting go of resentment when it bubbles up or making sure I keep myself in check when I feel angry with Xh if I don't throw them in drawer 3, it would lead to bitterness. I try very hard to keep to my core and use that wise advice my professor bestowed upon me. Bitterness goes in drawer 3. It might take me a bit to get it into that drawer based on the circumstances, but I always recall him saying to me "how does it make your body feel"? Yah - that physical response is not pleasant and wastes valuable energy I could use to feel other things.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on January 02, 2022, 01:29:10 PM
Thank you for sharing. A really timely refresh bc I am doing some winnowing here of things that have been in drawer 2 for a little too long  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 02, 2022, 02:03:14 PM
LOL - Treasure, honestly I am grateful you asked because I needed a reset and reminder myself.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: FaithWalker on January 02, 2022, 03:42:29 PM
I remember reading about your 3 drawers explanation, but what a great reminder and refresh to read it again on the start of this new year.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 02, 2022, 06:39:21 PM
I am glad if it helps others, FaithWalker. I truly needed that nudge today for myself as well.

My sister and I are trying to get back into our weekly walk starting this week again. It is going to be a tad bit warmer on Wednesday and I am willing to brave the cold if I can get out and shake off some of the melancholy feelings that keep creeping in when I least expect it.

I have been in my head a lot more today than usual. My sister had asked me how I was doing after my early part of the holiday scare with the creepy guy. I honestly haven't thought about it too much. I have avoided going out by myself to that particular shopping center. I had to stop there earlier in the week, but D was with me and it was daylight. He is in jail still, that I know and yet, part of me was mildly uneasy when we were there. D noticed my body tensed, but she chalked it up to something else that had been going on - a couple in the parking lot screaming at each other. Just a disagreement, but still not what I know either of us needed. I told my sister the incident was unsettling at the time, but I have not been somehow locking the front door and looking over my shoulder more. I know it has reminded me not to be complacent, but I am not about to avoid doing things on my own.

I thought about some of the things that have happened over the past few days. I am bothered by what transpired before Christmas and right or wrong, the biggest thing that bothers me is I think on my end I came off as dismissive. I keep moving forward, but there is this pang of regret that I hurt someone that keeps bubbling up. It is part of that 3 drawers thing in some ways - those things I wish I could throw away that are part of my own behavior.

The reality is I am going to mess up and have disagreements with anyone I allow in my inner circle. My friend and I were talking about something yesterday that I didn't necessarily agree with and then she made a point that I will concede made me understand where she was coming from. The funny thing was we were both really saying the same thing but it somehow wasn't lining up. It was a comical disagreement and nothing serious, but it had me thinking.

I am not one to hold onto disagreements. I don't put them in any of those drawers and hang on tight. That said, I will admit it comes down to behaviors that I might put in the drawer. Why this is important is I don't do it regularly, but I was thinking back to why my one friend is in drawer 2 or what prompted me to move Xh completely into drawer 3. I empty that bin - it is not like I can reach in and retrieve the things I have thrown out. That is maybe what some don't quite grasp. If I get something into drawer 3, it is decided. I am that stubborn. Not cruel, just I am not going to somehow let that person make it into my life as an option for drawer 1 or 2. It rarely has happened because I am such a careful person about who comes into my inner circle.

This has nothing to do with my disagreement earlier in the holidays. I haven't decided to somehow move that person into drawer 2 or 3. But, it did make me think about the friend that I do have in drawer 2. Recent behaviors have really made me think seriously about pushing her into that last drawer. I am not sure she is going to see her way out and every interaction for me has become quite toxic. I don't like who she has become in this current crisis mode. It is so against who I am. It is a tough decision for me, so in drawer 2 she will remain for now.

The thing is, I have to wonder at times when my behaviors have pushed someone to put me in drawer 3. That upsets me because I never want to hurt those I care about - I certainly don't go about it intentionally. But, I also realize I am not going to go through life not tripping and saying things that might come out wrong or be said that won't upset someone. I can't always control every interaction nor do I want to live that way. I did that when I was with Xh and it became so difficult to exist. With him, I tip toed around every sentence. I was always so worried about how he would react. It often felt like he had two columns going and every time I had a misstep he moved another bead into that "all the reasons why MD sucks and this is why I need out" column.

It is not to say that I think those people I interact with are doing the same thing, but that discomfort that little trigger bubbles up in me. That feeling like my history of mostly good behavior is going to somehow be completely forgotten and the moment I step on a landmine, I am obliterated. It is extremely difficult to shake that.

I have been doing an okay job working through it. I have come to realize that I can't undo what happened. I can't control other's feelings or how they react.

I found myself needing to get out of my head though, so I began working on putting joint compound on some of the seams in the bathroom. S walked in and started laughing at me because it was so late in the day. He knows this type of behavior. He suspected I was just sort of existing at times today. Worn out and thinking. D came through the door and she laughed as well. They both announced to their friends that if anyone needed the bathroom they needed to speak up because I was in a mood where I just wanted to focus on something and not think. They were both right. I worked for a couple of hours until I had covered all of the areas that I could. I have more drywall to put up and the cement board to address this week. I knew better than to attempt that today. A mistake would have probably pushed other buttons and I needed a mindless task.

Tomorrow, I have promised D that if she wants to do something we can. I have an odd work schedule this week, and D has mentioned she is thinking about driving to her old college town to visit a friend of hers. I am glad she is considering that trek. She needs to go out with friends her own age. I need her to go out with friends her own age. LOL.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 03, 2022, 05:52:41 AM
The morning is mine - just for a few moments.

The house is quiet except for the puppy, who has found her voice and learned how to bark like a large dog over vacation. Fortunately, she reserves it for warnings only. I know the garbage truck is out front without even looking based on which windows she ran to. The toy chicken she was terrorizing is getting a rest. If she sticks to her routine, she will leave the window and go find a rawhide to nibble on and wait until the other people get up.

It is a bit gray and there is a light snow in the air. Large flakes that are just drifting down slowly on a light breeze. It is quite mesmerizing and almost looks like fake snow on a movie set.

If it weren't for the fact that I have an appointment this morning, I would go for a walk in the woods. When I was a kid, I would specifically find time follow the path across my parent's field and cross the bridge my uncle and F built to go explore on days like today. I spent hours in those woods. Sometimes with my sister or cousins, but often times it was where I went after school. I would just take it all in and note changes over the years. Trees that had fallen down and areas that had become overgrown. Or I would wonder why certain areas remained small clearings. I now know that some of those clearings are where the deer lie at night and probably have made that their safe haven for years.

Last night, around 9 pm, I worked on my paintings again until the canvas was too wet to accomplish what I wanted. My initial plan was just to alter a couple of areas and leave it to dry back a bit. I found myself cleaning brushes at 12:30 and wondered how I got so lost in the brushstrokes. As happens with work and maybe life, I lost something as I gained somewhere else. It is always a risk. It can be energy or a color that disappears as you try to refine an area. The trick is to know when to leave it alone and not overwork it.

I thought about how that often applies in other places. What am I giving up to gain? It is maybe what enters my mind sometimes as I think about that second drawer and what needs to be weeded out.

The New Year always brings those talks about resolutions and change. I never really subscribed to that in the sense that I didn't announce some New Year's resolution, because so many times those just fail. But, the announcement of a "fresh start" does often get me thinking. I am looking at how drastically things might change in the next few months with S potentially moving out soon. D will be in her last semester before taking a break to apply for graduate school. I am not so much having those "empty nest" pangs, but this truly means I am alone very soon. There is a certain feeling of not knowing what that is going to mean as this time it is not both kids going off to college and I still have to be there to support that endeavor.

I will always be their M and here for them. But now, I have more time for me. It is what I wanted but I am not entirely sure what that even is going to entail. I know it gives me time to do the things I want to. More freedom, etc. And, I don't mind being alone, but it has been so long where I have been alone that I am now wondering if I am going to find myself somehow compartmentalizing my life more. I am not sure I like that idea in the long term.

I could certainly have my work. I could have my time with friends. I could have my free time. And on and on. But, I know I am built to share my life with someone at least in some form. What I have missed the most is not the going out as a couple for dinners, etc. but simple things. Time spent together and being able to just share simple moments or conversations. And it is not about spending physical time together at every turn. Just quality time and even moments where "how was your day" are enough for me. Being that person you check in with just because you want to, not because there is some controlling factor in there.

Compartmentalizing for me, I know would be very easy to accomplish. I would have no problem setting up boxes and people for specific things. I could easily have someone who meets those physical desires and not have to deal with disagreements and hiccups in relationships. I could have other friends for conversations. That works for some people. It isn't me.

That is where this soft falling snow has lead me this morning - wandering through the thoughts in my head.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Tornup on January 03, 2022, 06:58:22 AM
MD- I do remember reading the 3 drawers now, but so appreciate you reposting it. It is so good and so adaptable to this journey. Also, on enjoying time alone but missing that shared life. I am right there as well. I really don't mind being alone, but there is comfort in just sharing your space, time and thoughts with someone. I do realize I am far from a place to do that with anyone, but my XH and that is a little sad. I also feel I will have to accidentally gall into that. I think it is fat into the future.

Thanks again for sharing. Everyone’s sharing help us reflect on where we are or where we have been and that is why this forum is so amazing for healing
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 03, 2022, 09:35:27 AM
Tornup - I am glad my rambling helps others in some way.

D had an appointment this morning and asked if I could drop her car off to have an inspection and some basic maintenance done on it. S had to work, but ended up calling in sick with a horrible migraine from the change in air pressure. It turned out that my parents were heading in the same direction so they offered to pick me up so we could leave the car all day. I was grateful for the solution.

The head mechanic at this shop used to work at another shop I went to years ago. He hasn't seen me in a long time and asked how Xh was. The owner of this shop is still in contact with Xh. S usually uses this place and they have been good to him. I sort of laughed and said I guess Xh is okay, but I haven't physically seen him since - well, I am not even sure when the last time was. I have seen pictures. I have heard brief updates.

I wasn't mean nor did I make a big deal out of it. I had to pause and calculate how many years we have been divorced. I saw the mechanic's face just drop in shock. He said to me "wow, didn't see that one coming". I laughed and said that is sort of how I felt when it happened but life marches on.

I hate discussing the divorce most times. I want it to be behind me, but I realize that it is going to pop up like it did today. And, maybe this situation was different in that it wasn't analyzing what went wrong or dissecting it as people like to do. I don't like stirring up the blow by blow aspect most times. That said, I will when it comes to someone wanting advice because I have been through it. But even then, I don't want to give advice and talk about it with just anyone. Being a person who likes to keep some things private in real life, I don't share with just anyone.

I came home to find the puppy has been a bit of a scamp this morning. I had considered putting her in her crate, but with S home she quickly ran upstairs and snuggled with him when she realized the other option. And, she stayed with him for a considerable amount of time. I came home to find she had stolen a shoe of mine and was carrying it around. She doesn't typically chew on them, fortunately, but I still wasn't thrilled.

I took her out to run off some of that boredom and pent up energy that prompts her to "explore" the house and grab shoes or other things she shouldn't. She was running around like a lunatic. She loves the snow and today the large flakes were a new experience for her. She kept trying to catch them. Then she stopped dead in her tracks and looked up. I heard it too. Geese, but there was a mix in the sound. I knew right away what I was hearing. The usual flock of Canada geese were outnumbered and as I looked up there were thousands of snow geese. I haven't seen them in the fields here in several years. I have had to chase them. I felt this immediate sense of calm and could feel myself tearing up. I needed this today.

Oh, I am still going to go chasing snow geese. I have yet to see them in the lowlands. I always miss them. But, this means they will be in the are for awhile. They are really early though - they usually arrive in February or March. Sometimes it means they will hang out longer other times it is a good indication of what weather will follow. Hmmmm- what do they know? I suspect their forecast is more accurate than the one I hear on the weather reports. LOL.

The best part for me is the pond they settled in sits west of my house and my kitchen is on that side of the house. With the leaves gone off of the trees, I have the perfect observation spot. The sun is coming out now, the snow is still falling lightly and now looks like glitter and I can hear the geese just a short distance away. I am going to allow myself time to just embrace those little moments being presented.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: forthetrees on January 03, 2022, 06:19:42 PM
Jealous- have never seen snow geese and you get to see a flock! Lots of Canada geese round these parts. Bet climate change is confusing them big time. My pooch wore his winter jacket today and seemed to put up less of a fuss. Covid is running rampant in this area so I´m getting creative with what is in the cupboards. Basque fish (cod) chowder with potato and tomato is a winter delight.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 03, 2022, 07:43:19 PM
forthetrees - Canada geese, we have those year round. The snow geese are only here passing through and after checking my own photos from when they came to the fields directly across from my house, the last time was 2018. But, I suppose it makes sense considering it is the corn fields that they seek and the past few years the crops were sorghum, soybeans and alfalfa. This is the first year in a long time that we have had corn growing in those particular fields.

Tonight, I opened up my mail and found the invoice from the contractor. I had told him to bill me for the work already done so that he could keep his books in order for the year. That job started in February of last year with the toilet install. He still has some work to do, but he has yet to bill me for that. Considering he came in much lower than I figured it would cost, that made me feel better. I was feeling some relief knowing I had a buffer. Ha - that lasted a hot second.

I knew when I bought the washer I was no doubt going to have another appliance go. Things happen in 3's they say. I have already replaced the refrigerator and washer over the pandemic. What's one more?  ::) I was doing laundry and all was going well. My dryer has been very good to me. I can't complain - honestly. It is the dryer It is over 20 years old. It outlasted several washing machines. It started making a horrible noise and I pulled it apart. I figured what was the worst that could happen at that point? I did some research and figured out what is wrong with it. I could repair it myself and cross my fingers that is the only problem, but from all of my reading up on it and diagnosing it is going to be one of those parts are going to add up and then the time. I could call and have it repaired but the average cost is half the cost of a new dryer. I am so tired right now, I just said "F it" and moved some savings around and ordered the matching dryer to the new washer. It was on sale and less than it had been, so I guess that is a plus. S laughed and asked me when the last time I had a matching washer and dryer was. I had to think back. It was when he was born. So, while my laundry room is still a hot mess, I will have really lovely appliances.

There goes my vacation money. Back to square one there. LOL.

I should be freaked out, but I am not. I don't know if it is some numbness and on autopilot or what. I never make these types of decisions when it comes to appliances and big purchases. But, part of me is thinking I am happy with the washer and with deliveries and things backordered I really just need to make decisions. I still have work to do on the bathroom, I don't have time to go out and look different places, nor do I really want to go all over into stores at the moment.

Before I hit the order button, I paused and thought about my decision. I realized right now I am desperately trying to find time for myself and I need to just make decisions. I don't have anyone else to consult at this point. It is me. If I make a bad decision it is all on me, just as if I make a good one. The washer - that was one I am satisfied with, so I guess I am going on faith, which is something honestly I am lacking at the moment.

I checked the college course listing. As it stands now, it looks like I might have at least one class on the books, but I hesitate to even count on that. I am making plans to figure out what things I am going to pick up.

D starts school already next week, which is earlier than most colleges. S sort of stopped and realized that he is done. He has a job interview, or follow up as it stands with where he interned. I anticipate he will take that job. He could apply other places, but he liked that business and it is a small group of people. It is within 15 minutes of where he is hoping to be moving.

With D and S both out of the house more in one way or another it gives me time to figure my own life out. D noticed the paintings I have started and gave some input. She was happy to see me working again. I pulled in all of the work I have done the past few months and lined them up to decide on which ones are going to which exhibits. One I have been invited to participate in and the other is a juried show. We will see.

I worked on the bathroom for awhile doing some sanding on the walls that are done. I have to install the cement board and one remaining section of wallboard, which is a bit more complicated than the other walls, as I have to remove the light fixture and work around the built in cabinets. I have the vanity to build and the tile to install. It is a lot, but after sanding today, I could envision how it will come together - finally.

I am hoping to have an answer tomorrow about the college classes and if it is a go, then I have a few weeks before that takes off. If I am teaching, I have prep work to do ahead of time, but the classes don't start until the end of January. Honestly, that would be a really good way for me to start back up. By then I should have the bathroom at least at 90% completion if not done - if all goes well and I could take some time for myself to go and explore. And, of course that means snow geese are no doubt involved somewhere in there.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on January 03, 2022, 11:24:22 PM
I love geese too (and Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese)
I live on the east coast of England, surrounded by a lot of marshland. Our geese were late flying out and the winter arrivals were late coming bc it has been so mild here to date. But lots coming in over the last few days. It always makes me stop what I am doing and look up, the sound first before you see the skein. Something tremendously uplifting about geese.....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 04, 2022, 08:17:33 AM
Treasur - that reference to the poem was very well timed. I needed a smile, as I know exactly where I encountered that poem for the first time. My colleague, the philosophy professor, shared it with me one afternoon when we were discussing the sentiment of that poem. It was in the fall of that particular semester and the Canada geese were on the move. I had mentioned to him my love of watching snow geese and he shared that poem. It has become one of my favorites.

This morning, I have already accomplished quite a bit, having gone to pick up D's car for her. I didn't even complain when she asked, because she is going to visit her friend from her former college this morning. Her BF is going along only because D was a bit concerned about the drive by herself. Her BF likes this friend and he knows that D has not seen this particular friend since way before the pandemic. They are both in school full time and with work schedules it was hard enough, but then to throw the pandemic in there and they have been missing one another. D needs this more than I need her to pick up her car on her own. I need her to have this time and to get her to realize she may not have her F as a support system, but she has other people who are always in her corner. This friend has certainly been one of them. Her other close friend lives in Sweden, so that is tougher, but they are planning a meetup when life goes back to some type of normal.

After picking up the car, I took the dog out for a brief walk. She would gladly keep going, as she has the energy, but she was shivering even with her warm vest. There is no way in this type of cold, which isn't horrible today, that I would dare walk her as far as I used to walk my lab.

While we were out, the geese flew over again. Snow geese and Canada geese flying along side one another. I have seen them intermixed on the pond before, but I have to wonder if they are racing to see who reaches the best spot on the pond first, as one side of the pond is closest to the cornfield. The puppy stopped and heard the noises. She has gotten used to the Canada geese flying over, but the mix of sounds had her attention.

I have always been fascinated by the "V" formation that the Canada geese fly in, but it never occurred to me until today, seeing them side by side, that the snow geese don't follow that protocol. They may have some other method, but they aren't using the Canadian method.  ::)

I wondered if I would have any regret about my dryer purchase this morning and have a bit of a panic attack. Strangely, I felt a little bit relieved. The problem has been addressed and I will have a new dryer by next week. What can I check off my list next" That is more the feeling I am having at the moment. It is a response I am not exactly used to. I wondered if the shock of MLC, combined with crazy things just occurring like pandemics and hot water heat lines bursting last year, and unplanned surgeries have just worn me down to not caring. Maybe I am just "meh" about it all. But, as I sat and thought about it, it is more a feeling of acceptance and being mildly grateful I had the money right now to address it. I know that down the line, I may have a moment of freaking out when life really cranks down tightly again.

Maybe it is the geese that have calmed my nerves. I just don't know. I do know that today I am not feeling anxious and am feeling a sense of peace for whatever reason. It might just be that I allowed myself to sit and start my morning with a cup of coffee in the kitchen and gave myself time to just "be" for a few moments.

It may also be that I am keenly aware of it being the anniversary of C's M's death and he is struggling. His sadness last night made me recalibrate what my complaints were. S mentioned it as well and he has checked in with C at work already. D has plans to come home and make C's favorite comfort food and told him so. Watching my kids circle the wagons to protect C has me in a more grateful mindset this morning.

Maybe it was reading that poem again after being reminded of it.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on January 04, 2022, 08:44:22 AM
And here is a little gift, the poet in discussion in a podcast https://onbeing.org/programs/mary-oliver-listening-to-the-world/ in which she talks about this poem amongst many other things.

This poem (and RL geese) were a lifeline for me at various times. In the early days, a reminder that I was still enough....
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
     love what it loves.             

And later in recovery, a reminder that I am still part of something more than just me.....
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 04, 2022, 09:26:22 PM
Thank you, Treasur.  :) I listened to it a few short moments ago and it is probably what I needed.

Work had been a very odd day. Tuesdays are traditionally very quiet. They are the days we normally can get things like inventory done - which for the gallery is something that we have to stay on top of. With artists bringing in and taking work different times and moving things around, it is a continual process, not like some retail where it is not carried out in the same manner. Commission checks revolve around the accuracy of the inventory and we cut those monthly. But on a normal Tuesday, it is not an issue and normally after the holidays there is about 2 weeks where there is a lull. I don't know what was in the air today. It was one of those days where it would be quiet for a bit and then a customer or artist would come in  and just as they were asking for assistance, the phone would ring. This went on all day long.

Strangely my sister complained that where she works it was the same situation, as did the woman down the street from the gallery who owns a shop. Maybe it was in the air and there is some planetary explanation or who knows what  ::)

D called me and asked if I could stop by the grocery store. I was tired, but said I would honor that request since she and S were cooking tonight. The thing is, I was just wanting to go in and embrace being alone for the first time in a long time while I shopped. Normally D is with me and we have a list and a game plan. It was quiet in the store and very few people since the holidays. I wasn't looking to spend hours there, but I didn't need to have some fast paced trip through the aisles. I could at least take some time to pick out some fruit for myself without being on a schedule.

When D called me back, she wanted to tell me that S was grumbling about something I hadn't done. I was annoyed by then. I didn't care S was annoyed. I didn't care that D was trying to manage things. I simply wanted a few moments where I could shut down and have some little slice of me time, because I knew the night was bringing potential stress with C having his M's death on his mind.

I also had my own little cloud hanging over me. I have been struggling through how to address something that happened before the holidays. I hated the way things were left after a conversation that went way off track and I am frankly upset about all of it. I miss that person and am angry that things just went the way they did. I have to own my part in it. So, this morning, I decided to send a text and try to make amends. I wasn't somehow expecting some magic bullet or anything like that, but I kept running the words I wrote through my head later in the day, hoping to convey my apology properly. I was trying to speak from my heart and still be honest. I was already questioning myself, as I really do hate texts for that type of thing. But, it came to me this morning as I thought about the snow geese and how I wished this person could see them, because they of all people probably would enjoy seeing the huge flocks all at once.

Funny thing - I love geese - from a distance. I can't say that I have always enjoyed interactions up close along the lines of when my sister and I have encountered them on the path. I don't like when they congregate and leave messes all over. I wasn't particularly fond of the neighbor's geese because they were very territorial and became a problem. So, tonight I laughed on my way home thinking what I didn't want was to come home and have a gaggle of geese inside the house - AKA squawking kids. No such luck. They were having a good time, but needed my assistance with a question about dinner.

The puppy came flying at me to greet me as I was trying to just put down my things. She apparently at some point decided to pee on my new rug in the den. Okay, she is a puppy and I am understanding of that. I just didn't need that right at that moment. S took her back outside while I cleaned up the mess.

Then C needed to print something off and I helped them link my printer to his computer via the wireless connection. Of course, the printer wasn't cooperating and every time we turned around S would call me and ask about this or that. It's my printer and it is more complex than what they are used to. I get it. Truly. And C needed this paperwork ASAP for the house. It was more paperwork that was sent today.

The cat wanted my attention. She kept crawling all over me and I just wanted to be left alone. The puppy was jealous of her getting my attention so she tried to pile on and the cat wasn't having it. I finally yelled to S and C to come and take the animals away from me because I just needed 15 minutes to change gears and just have a tiny bit of time to even change out of my work clothes.

It truly was like walking into a room with a flock of geese surrounding me and squawking.

It was then I looked at my phone and realized it had been glitching again today. It had turned off at one point and I had trouble at the gallery with reception, but I was in a lower part of the gallery where the walls are thicker, so I didn't think too much of it. Now, when I came home it was telling me I had an invalid SIM and then it shut down again. I rebooted it and then heard a whole slew of texts coming in and going out. My one friend's texts duplicated themselves. That was fun.  ::)

I was ready to turn my phone off completely and I mentioned to S I need him to look for his last phone for me to take over because this is clearly not going to cut it any more. I am due for an upgrade per the great technological advances. My phone is "outdated" now. And add to that, S's GF informed me she had some issues with her new phone because they had updated software last night - again. Of course. Her's finally leveled out. I looked down to see my phone wasn't even recognizing the service towers. S had service. I sort of laughed. I pay the bill and I am the one without service. LOL

I was laughing about it by then. That is until I saw my thought out text from the morning had just gone out as well, but it reordered itself. I reread the sequence and thought to myself, well that may change the whole tone now again. FFS. I started to cry and felt nauseated. S came out and looked at me. D had gone to her BF's by then. C came in when he heard S talking to me. He called me by the nickname he now has for me and asked if I was okay. I honestly wasn't, but was laughing at the same time. I said I was convinced Gremlins had invaded my phone. It made them laugh, but I was really very upset. I tried sending a note to explain but it sounds like some ridiculous excuse. Like "the dog ate my homework".

I was just done. There was nothing I could do beyond what I had. Out of my control now.

It was then I listened to that podcast. I needed that tonight. If nothing else, it calmed me down.

My argument for sending smoke signals and abandoning my phone is making more sense to me more and more. Or perhaps carrier pigeon. My family has a history of racing pigeons, so maybe birds are the way to go.  :P
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 05, 2022, 07:08:18 PM
It is official. Carrier pigeons might be in my future.  ::)

This morning, my phone went from a full charge to next to nothing within several minutes. Then we were off to another day of weird texts and calls not coming through. I laughed because by noon, it was just ridiculous. I told my sister it must l look like I am drunk texting by now.

I had spent the morning helping the neighbors put away some of the decorations we had put out before the holidays. The H was so excited to show me the snow geese and Canada geese that had settled in one of their farm fields near the house. He is not able to get around as well as he used to and said the geese keep him entertained. He likes to watch them throughout the day. It made me smile.

My sister and I had tentatively talked about going for a walk today, but when we got up the wind was whipping and made it feel incredibly cold. I had an idea for the afternoon as to what I could get done, but when I went to get the mail the wind had died down and the sun was out. It had warmed up to where it was actually tolerable out. I hesitated allowing myself to take the time out of my day, but then called my sister. Her response was "thank goodness". I laughed and asked what that was about and she said she just really needed to be outside and to decompress with a nice long walk. So, we opted for a mid afternoon walk instead.

It was nearly 3 pm when we started out. The trail was pretty quiet and with the sunshine, we both found that we had to peel off our winter wear. We covered 6 1/2 miles today and both admitted it was needed. Then my sister's phone rang. People were looking for me because I hadn't answered my phone and it was going immediately to voicemail. S hadn't gotten the text that I sent him to tell him where I was. D had an idea where I was going, and was in the area as she had gone to her college. She was trying to reach me because she had hoped to catch up with me, as her BF had driven and he had to go coach. By the time she reached me, she was already on her way back with her BF and had decided instead to go to the high school weight room and work out, as her BF has access during coaching. My M was worried since I hadn't answered. I looked at my sister and sort of sighed - I took my phone out to see that it had again locked up. It then lost all battery power and it took me nearly an hour to get it up to 30%.

On my way home, I quite frankly had enjoyed not having the phone going off on my walk. I didn't miss it. The problem is, it was also raining and starting to ice and it dawned on me that I would have no way to contact anyone if heaven forbid I slid off into a ditch on the backroads. It was then I conceded that I needed to address the phone issue now.

At one point, S asked me a rather funny question. He knows I don't really care about whether I have the latest phone, etc.  S asked me when the last time I had a brand new phone of my own that hadn't been one someone else gave me. I asked why he was bringing that up. He just said he hadn't thought about how many times Xh had to have the latest phone, like the time they came out with the first stainless steel iPhone. He had just gotten a new phone, but had to have that one. I said looking back, it wasn't always that way. Xh used to not care about material things. My answer to S was I was pretty sure that the one phone I bought new was back when he was born and then I had one work had given me years ago that I ended up buying the contract and phone on when they moved my job out of the area. Hmmm- couldn't say when I had a new phone. Still don't care that much. LOL

But, I know I need something if I want to drive anywhere by myself. So, S helped me for awhile and we determined my phone is definitely toast.

I am praying this is it for awhile. I am a bit tired of this "let's see what else can break" game.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 06, 2022, 09:18:17 PM
I went through with picking up the phone I ordered after being woken up by the houseguest - aka the puppy. I realized that I have my hands full at the moment and training carrier pigeons might be too much to take on with all the other things.  ::)

This morning, I was missing our dog. The rain and ice that had covered the roads last night were gone and the dusting of snow we had completely melted away in the sunshine. Today would have been one of those days the dog and I would have walked and I wouldn't have cared if she had jumped in the mud puddles. It was just perfect.

I decided to pack some winter combat style boots to keep in my car from now on. Emergency sneakers are not going to work in this weather, although I may still throw a pair in just in case. Today though, I dug out a pair of stiletto boots. I have been in this routine with all of the reconstruction where my daily wear has primarily been jeans, t-shirt, sneakers and a ponytail. It isn't that I am a slob, it simply is it has become like a uniform of sorts most days. I get dressed up for the gallery, but even that has been almost like a chore as of late. I needed the mental shift.

I have been battling my own emotions. I have been wrestling for the past couple of weeks with being upset with myself. I wondered this morning what was a worse feeling to struggle through. Feeling pain because you upset someone and hurt them, even if it was unintentional or knowing that your actions may result in complete rejection and a loss that you aren't sure how to cope with.

It made me think about forgiveness. You can't expect someone to somehow forgive you and just move on. Your words, upon release can't be taken back and all is good. You can't just apologize and somehow expect some immediate change. And, if you are shut out, your actions may not matter.

I came to the conclusion this morning that at this point, I don't know what I can do except what I had already done and admit my part in the mess. And, it was a genuine, heartfelt admission sent on my messed up phone. (It is as if the universe was just enjoying this all a bit too much). The moment the initial event happened, and the words left my lips there was this feeling of anger with myself. It was reactive on my part. And, no matter what, I have tried so hard to not be reactive most of the time. For me, it no longer mattered if I was somehow right or wrong, but what upset me is how it all unfolded and where it was left.

I had to change my overall attitude today. I have beat myself up over this too many days. It doesn't change any of it. I can only learn how to be better and accept the consequences no matter what they are. It hurts, that I do know. The old saying that the ball is in their court now really applies. I know that they could show up tomorrow and I would not turn them away, but those are my feelings. I can't make someone feel one way or another. I suspect many of us attempted that feat in MLC land and fell flat on our faces. So, I won't hound anyone and will just back off. Not because I want to but it is up to them what they want. That part is so incredibly hard and terrifying.

I have done a really good job of not letting anyone in my day to day life know. I have been able to just embrace enough small moments to fool most people. My sister isn't buying it nor are a couple of my friends.

Even my coworker, who stopped by to ask me a question early yesterday morning, took one look at me and said the sparkle isn't in my eyes. He asked what was going on. I had to hold back tears and just said there was a lot rolling around in my head. He didn't push. He called me later today and asked me if I needed help working on the house, because he had a half day tomorrow. I wondered where this was coming from and he asked if I knew he loved me. I laughed and asked if he had been drinking. He told me I knew what he meant and he would do anything for me. I do know that. He has been a good friend and seen a lot of my flaws but he knows who I am at the core. I can't say he doesn't. We worked together long enough for him to see how deeply I do care about people. I thanked him and said I have a full day at the gallery tomorrow and even if he did have time, I wouldn't ask him to take time from his kid. He joked that he could probably convince the 5 year old to come help out. I had visions of a kid chasing a nutty puppy around and that not being helpful at all.  ::)

And, I do have people who love me and care about me. I am grateful for them. Those who kick me in the backside when I am being ridiculous and will be there when I need a shoulder to cry on. The friends that laugh at my stupid sense of humor and accept me for who I am even when I screw up royally.

I knew today the only way to help me fight through those feelings was to embrace the good weather. The snow and ice gone with the warm sunshine made it an opportunity to embrace wearing a pair of stiletto boots that have not seen the light of day since the beginning of the pandemic. Last year, the surgery sort of put a hold on wearing them in the winter and up until then I hurt so much that my balance was often off. But, today - I needed to feel a bit sassy, even if I wanted to behave otherwise. I needed to feel that bit of fight in me.

It is not a feeling where I feel adversarial or need to lash out. It is an attitude of being able to push past some of the barriers that have been holding me back right now. That lack of energy and at times nearly feeling defeated this holiday season.

For one, I had to stop at the shopping center where I dealt with the creepy guy. I had been avoiding it when I have been by myself, TBH. It was a bit of an irrational fear, but it was there. It is not about being reckless, as I am still all about being cautious, but I needed to take back my independence again and that little event really messed with my head more than I would like to admit.

I have been struggling with the little bit of weight that had snuck up on me during Covid and then while I was recovering. This was not my usual bit of winter weight that I am used to. It wasn't a significant amount, but enough to make me feel blah. I found myself not eating all day and then eating at weird hours and not as balanced as I normally eat. For the past few weeks I have been really pushing myself to be more mindful of those things and I guess it has made a difference. I put on a pair of my skinny jeans today that I have avoided putting on because they just didn't fit right anymore.

I fooled myself for a few hours and found some of my old self still exists. Tomorrow we will see if I can muster up the same amount of energy. Perhaps tomorrow I will be shoveling in the same stilettos - one never knows.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: FaithWalker on January 07, 2022, 09:51:08 PM
Snow shoveling in stilettos, now that is a sight to imagine.  Be careful in those things, MD.  No slipping on snow or ice.

It does sound like your co-worker is a good friend.  I'm sorry that things have been rough.  I missed a bit of your story, so I need to read back to see what I've missed.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 09, 2022, 02:03:24 PM
FaithWalker - well, I did slip yesterday  ::) Luckily I didn't fall and only my paintings fell onto the ground. They were wrapped up in boxes, so no damage. When I caught myself and regained my composure I laughed because I wasn't wearing stilettos, but my sneakers that I wear hiking. They have better treads on them than the boots I was wearing. I shuffled back to the car after that incident. And, I only shovel in stilettos when it is a matter of I have them on and it is a necessary thing along the lines of the sidewalk is full of snow. Even then, I am careful with making sure it is not "slippery" snow or ice I am dealing with.  :)

I woke up yesterday with a horrible ear ache. My sinuses have been having such a hard time with all of the pressure changes with the up and down temps. I spent part of the morning letting the medicine take hold and at least alleviate the worst part of the pain. By noon, it finally subsided enough for me to feel like a functioning human. I decided then to go to the frame shop and buy some frames for the paintings I am putting in the exhibit.

The woman who owns the frame shop is truly delightful. I trust her judgement and she is very skilled as a framer, she is honest and will work with people to hit a budget, etc. I have been sending people her way quite a bit because I truly like her work and personality. But, I don't send everyone there. I am careful with people I think highly of. I don't go sending her people who are really difficult to work with along the lines of impossible to deal with. But, I have sent her a couple of "quirky" people and I had warned her that they are perhaps "eccentric" but are good customers.

Yesterday, when I walked into the shop there were two other people there. I recognized the one voice immediately and I laughed. I had no idea she had taken my advice and gone to see the framer. I watched as she and the framer did some bartering and then she went on to pick up some additional frames. She turned around and I laughed saying that the framer should be careful who she let in the place. It was a very good friend of my father's. She is a very accomplished artist.

She asked me what I had with me. I pulled out three paintings and the other woman was drawn to one in particular - a foggy morning painting. Her comment was "when I see fog, all I ever see is gray and dull, yet this is stunning - moody". My friend smiled and said that "MD has a way of seeing the lightness and color in most of the facets of her life". I said to her that she clearly had not been around me this past week.

No, I try not to just see "gray" in life and in reality even on those dreary days, if you look closely the colors of winter are not just tones of gray. I had to really learn to look to see the other colors and tones. It is in recent years, tbh. I attribute it to walking so much more in MLC in the wintertime and really searching for answers in nature. I started to pay more attention. That is not to say that I don't look at things and feel gloomy. I am not out skipping around, blissfully deluding myself. LOL. I think it is something I have developed to not let the gloomy months get to me. I am embracing what it is.

I have noticed for instance that on the gloomiest of some days, when the snow geese fly in that their white and black markings just pop more in the sky. The contrast of their markings is sometimes easier to see than when it is sunny out. It is far more dramatic.

Oh, now to be clear - there is nothing better than a day like yesterday where the sun was just beating down and even though it was cold out. I was overdressed if I stood too long in the sunshine. While I was in the car, I turned the heat off because the sun was coming through the sunroof and just about cooking me right out of the car, even though the outside temperature was telling me to bundle up. But, there is something about a gray day that makes me sometimes step back and take time to just embrace the gloomy part. That is, it is a day to just not do a thing. And, I find that I need that at times - nature's reminder to slow down.

It is part of my coworker's follow up with me on Friday. He doesn't normally call me. We don't see each other terribly often anymore since we don't work together. He stops to bum coffee on rare occasions before he heads to work or he calls to ask me for advice or to borrow something for class. But, he was worried about me. That lack of sparkle bothered him.

I assured him I was better, but he put me through an exercise we have both used with some of our students. Initially the request made me laugh because I told him I knew what he was attempting. But, I indulged in his request. He asked me to list out, with no details what had gone on for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. No details, just give him the rundown as if it was a checklist. He laughed when I realized how much I had been dealing with. He commented that I was no doubt mentally drained and physically and ripe for a rant of my own. My huge misstep had probably been in part my own worn out self being really reactive and a bit edgy. It had nothing to do with anyone else in realty. I was at my own tipping point and aggravated. I was probably projecting a bit. Ouch. But, he had a point. It doesn't excuse it or make it okay.

I started to cry, which upset him because that was not the point of his call. I asked him a silly question, but it is how I felt at the time. I asked him if he thought I was a good person because I really haven't been feeling like one the past few days. He didn't laugh, even though he said he wanted to. He recounted a story from the first time he and I met in the classroom. I remember it. He said it was in a short time he realized how I could be so sassy, yet never mean intentionally and how deeply I cared about people. I had stuck my neck out for a student that I barely knew, but I had a gut feeling about him. I saw something others didn't.

It was a student who everyone else in his life had probably given up on. They had a preconceived notion of his trajectory based on his attitude and his upbringing. I realized he was brilliant and underneath his "bite" he really was trying to fight his way out of his reputation. Most teachers either sent him to the principal and wouldn't deal with him or they would argue with him. I took a different approach. I needed him to trust me and to show him I had his back - to a degree. Not because I was manipulating him, but because I knew he needed that from me at least enough to trust that I wanted to teach him.

I had assigned a logo project where they had to use their initials. I had fore warned the group that this was going to stay with them for the year and was only part one of the project. Of course, his initials allowed him to to shock people. It was not offensive in terms of it met my basic rules for the class in that no one was going to do something that hurt other people. It was a typical "try and shock the teacher" move and instead of telling him no, I pushed back. My coworker said he watched me navigate this and it showed him how far I would go to help this kid. I said he could draw a logo that looked like, well a male sex organ, only if he could show me other successful logos that were not for the porn industry that somehow were "inappropriate" and worked. And, that he had to really make it a very well designed logo if he was going to go that route.

The other students quickly realized that I was not exactly going to make it easy on him. And the principal came in and I told him to just trust me. I stuck my neck out and I just had a gut feeling on this.

The kid was trying to get a job to try and change his life trajectory. He had been smart enough to see that if he got a job and did well he could move out of his home situation. I knew that. He was smart enough to know that he needed to change, but he didn't quite have that skill set to navigate some of the social expectations yet. Too many teachers tried to pound that into his head and it didn't work. But, why would it? He had no reason to trust their advice at that point. So, I put myself out there and it could have gone so badly.

He finished the project and I put it up for critique and never commented on the subject matter, simply approached it from a straight design aspect. Lines and so on. I didn't sweat. Then I announced to the class the next part of the project, which was they were going to be using it on all of their letterhead designs in conjunction of the resumes they had been developing with my coworker. The kid came to me after class in a panic and asked if he could redesign a more appropriate logo.

I was laughing by the time my coworker was recounting that story to me. OMG I recall the utter shock on that kid's face. He ended up transferring to another school program but I ran into him a couple of years later and he had stayed in touch with my coworker. My coworker asked me if I knew where the kid was now. I had lost track of him. He said he spoke to the kid at Christmas time and he is completing his junior year at college and is the head of the student academic club and has become a mentor in some other program.

I asked him why he had told me this story. He said that I had a sassy sparkle in my eye from day one and if I have any doubt in my mind about being a good person then he needed to remind me that I had only the best intention in my heart with that kid and all the other people I care about. He said I am allowed to be human and really F up sometimes.

Yes, he is my good friend who kicks my ass. We don't talk about deep things normally. But he left me with something his grandmother told him. He made me laugh harder when he spoke in a heavy Italian accent, because he said it needed to be authentic as if it was his grandmother - "Life is both bitter and sweet. The trick is to balance out those moments otherwise life can be too bitter or too sweet".

I now owe him one afternoon of him explaining football to me so that I know more than what a touchdown is and when the Super Bowl is.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 10, 2022, 09:21:24 AM
I was busy working around the house this morning. I am waiting to hear about whether or not the classes are going for the Spring semester. I always hated the time before and the uncertainty, but it's worse right now. For all of my ability to roll with things, I do like some sense of security and planning. But, sitting around and waiting isn't going to change how quickly these things are decided upon. My answer will come when it will come.

I had the radio on and semi-listening to the morning banter, until I heard one of them say "indifference is worse, IMO than anger. At least with anger there is an acknowledgement you exist".

There is so much truth in that sentiment for me. When Xh was angry with me and outwardly screaming at me, at least I knew he was still feeling something. I hated the arguing and wanted it to end, but then came the ignoring and indifference and that was far worse. I almost longed for the anger to return.

Now, looking back, I realize how so incredibly messed up that is. I have never liked staying angry or arguing about anything at all. It happens though. I can be fiery at times and I recognize it. My emotions creep up.

It's hard now that MLC has past to recognize some of those emotions that still creep up on me. Triggers that only appear when I am worn to a frazzle.

My coworker pointing out that I might have been projecting was a 2x4. I won't dismiss his observation and argue otherwise. I can see where it smacked to that. That upsets me so much. I was reactive and that has been something I have tried so hard to work on.

I am not so much beating myself up over it, but I am not wanting to repeat that scenario.

I haven't admitted some of the things weighing on me that I haven't had time to really process. That my life is changing so rapidly right now and it brings back some feelings that set the tone.

I want S to move on with his life and be an adult. But, in the past few weeks, I have watched both kids work them self to the bone and have put up with the stress they have brought home.

S graduated with little fanfare. He received his grades and final standing - having graduated with honors. He was mad at himself realizing the many times he half-assed some of the projects over the years and could have graduated very easily with the highest honors. We are all proud of him, but the holidays rolled in and somehow that moment was lost. Xh's ER visit pushed it farther down. I am having some guilt over not really acknowledging it. It was a huge accomplishment. And, I know I can make that right, but it bothers me.

D, is back at school today. She is taking an extra semester or year, depending on how she loads up her schedule. She will graduate in May, but is putting in for expanded studies to possibly satisfy a dual major. This has been a conversation that kept creeping in all of the holidays. A lot to digest.

C's house deal is going through it would seem and that means S will be moving out right around his birthday. We have been packing up things that I have told him he could have.

It is weird. I am not suffering so much from the "empty nest" part. I know my kids will be around. But, I am just twisting in the wind at the moment. I have been single parent for the last 6 years, minimum - in reality I have been on my own for longer than that. I have had to fight so many battles and climb so many hills. I had the kids to keep me motivated. It is not a feeling of I am not a M anymore and my job is done. It is an odder feeling for me.

I am looking forward to having my own life. So, that isn't it. I think it is the speed in which this is happening. I saw it coming, but it is a lot on top of the house projects.

There has been part of me that has been upset prior to the holidays and it took my coworker slapping me with some reality to make me see it. This holiday season, I was bubbling up with some residual anger at Xh. I was upset that even when I had the situation with the creepy guy, I felt so incredibly alone. I have been feeling very vulnerable the past few weeks. Yes, I have friends, but that feeling of having to deal with all of it without a soft place for me to land was maybe a bit overwhelming. I was mad at Xh for putting me in this position and making me just fight for everything I have now.

I have had to twist it back and put a positive spin on it for my own benefit. I can't sit in that bitter stew.

My anger at Xh may pop up sometimes, but it isn't going to change his behavior and fix it for me. My lesson is in that I need to sometimes force myself to stop working on projects even when I am making progress when this type of feeling comes up. I had forgotten with triggers that the key for me is to recognize it as a trigger. Let myself process and feel and then let it go. I had skipped a few steps this holiday season. It is what lead, IMO to my projection. I was mad at how hard I have had to work and fight and how sometimes people in my life seem to forget that. They have become accustomed to me being strong and resilient. It is not their fault nor do I need them to baby me. The one that needs to understand it better is me. The fact that I am no longer a heap on the floor and am where I am at means people are going to move past what has gone on and perhaps forget that I had to really crawl out a pit. Maybe I am the one that has to pat myself on the back to make that feeling go away.

And, I do think that part of me is so geared up for the next battle when it comes to Xh. That is, I am on alert because for years, it has been like this. The continual battle over S and D with how I am going to get them through college. There is this odd feeling of realizing that it is finally over - that battle in terms of S. D's support ending, that ended the connection to Xh. It is not that I want the contact with him. Quite the opposite. I think I am in shock that I made it to this point where it is in fact maybe that storm has actually ended and I keep anticipating a storm that isn't coming. Hmmm. A lot to process right now.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Reinventing on January 11, 2022, 03:32:23 AM
MD, Did S graduate this December? I'm trying to remember his timeline.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 11, 2022, 04:02:35 PM
Reinventing - yes, S graduated in December. He was able to finish his 4 year degree in 3 1/2 years with all of the credits he brought in. Had the pandemic not affected a couple of courses, he would have been able to finish last spring.

Okay - in reality - S has been at college for 5 1/2 years, because he took some classes here and there when he was working and trying to decide what he really wanted to do for the first couple of years after high school. He was able to take classes at the college where I taught, with my encouragement because he was able to get not only free tuition, but he had expressed an interest in college, but just wasn't ready. I had explained it was easier to continue the routine of studying instead of starting back up and having to get back into the idea of homework, etc. So for 2 years he chipped away at some core courses.

Now, why that is of any importance it is that is how Xh came up with his "MLC Math" equation and his argument for no longer paying for S's tuition. It is actually not upsetting me as much as sort of amusing me in the sense that it is pure pretzel logic. Xh agreed to pay 50% of any costs of college for the kids up to 4 years based on a state college tuition after all avenues the kids had used were exhausted. (Loans, scholarships, etc). I had the same agreement. We both signed and well, we know how that has panned out. And, I am not alone on that MLCer boat. I know there are plenty of others who have had the same experience or worse. But, it still is rather fascinating how they can manipulate it to somehow make sense at first and baffle you. It is often times just the utter shock of they just announce, like Xh that they are done with no existing facts to actually back it up.

When S was told this summer that Xh was done and had met his portion of what we had agreed upon - 4 years of college, he actually told S that he had paid for an additional year and a half as it was. Last night, it suddenly dawned on S that was not factual. It was a side conversation with one of his friends and I am not sure of the subject matter, other than S laughing and calling me over. It dawned on S that Xh didn't pay for the first two years at all. I did via my tuition waiver at the college. I paid for the books. I had no problem with doing that. S said it is rather amusing how Xh can twist the numbers to benefit him. Ouch.

That is, I know it is messed up and not right in the balance of things. We signed an agreement. I stuck to it and he didn't. What I continue to wrestle with is how he has used it to manipulate the kids and still attempts to do so. It is not usually the money that gets me riled up. It is the fact that he continues to just do what he wants. He uses it to manipulate the kids and jerk them around. And, truth be told, they have figured out ways to help pay for more than their share of the tuition agreement. D has worked her butt off to get more scholarships and the like. S took on the teacher's assistantship this past semester. I have figured out ways to somehow come up with what was needed. We have had my parents who have helped. My neighbors, who always offer to help the kids. It has been humbling for us all. So, I am fortunate, I realize that, in that I have a support system, as do the kids. Xh has not derailed the kids progressing on with their normal lives.

That is not weighing on me. It just was one of those moments where I had nothing to really add to that conversation last night beyond, "gosh, that is in fact true".

What upsets me, is this is not normal. Nothing about the relationship with Xh and where we are now is normal or what was. That still is tough on days like yesterday when I am struggling with my own things and D comes home and is reeling from the day. She hadn't finalized her schedule due to a change in classes last minute and it potentially messed up everything. She was edgy and needing to get it off her chest. I was working through a lot of my "list" that my coworker made me think about the other day. It was not part of a follow up assignment, but my own "independent project".

Among some of the $h!te I had "tabled" during the holidays revolved around my uncle passing away. Now, no one needs to send condolences. He was not a good man. Narcissist to the core. A dad who ignored his kids their whole lives. A serial cheater who left my aunt countless times. And on and on. He happened to die right around the anniversary of my grandmother's death.

What I am sort of struggling with is my response to his death. I have very few people I would feel this way about. At the very least, I would send my condolences to his family, etc. When it happened my sister and I both had similar reactions. There was nothing we could come up with to say about him that was positive other than my sister coming up with "he taught me that he was not the type of person I wanted to be". The idea of going to the funeral wasn't an option for either of us. It seemed hypocritical to go, but part of me somehow feels bad in that it is against my nature to be so callous about it.

Then there is just the whole feeling of now I am just being hit with the reality that for so long I was waiting for that day when Xh held nothing over me. And other than maybe this tax season getting one last call where he freaks out on me, I am at a point where it is a reality and I am not really ready to believe it.

When I woke up this morning, I was determined to shake off the feelings from last night. I had gone to bed feeling rather wistful after having left the kitchen and all of the kids to just shed some residual tears. This morning, I knew I can't just mope and kick myself over and over. So, I forced myself to get back to doing some ballet stretches and put on music to dance around to in the kitchen, as I made my coffee.

The snow geese have been flying between the field behind my house and then to the pond on the other side of my house. I am able to see them most of the day from the kitchen. I still plan on going to see them in the lowlands if I get a chance this year. But, until then, I am enjoying their layover. :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Reinventing on January 12, 2022, 02:28:22 AM
MD, Glad to hear about S graduating. One down and one to go. No surprise about the MLC math. Glad that S realized it so that he can hopefully build up a resistance to getting tricked by the MLCer.

Sounds like one of D's classes was canceled? Hope she finds a good solution.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 12, 2022, 03:20:23 AM
Well, I was down by 5 1/2 pages from being on holiday but all caught up now....


1) Yes, we are responsible for what we say and how we say it but if the recipient chooses not to accept an apology when we feel we hav ebeen in the wrong, there is not a lot we can do about it.... You've led the horse to water. Now, it up the horse to drink or not. Letting the horse make that decision and living with the consequences of that decision are the horses' circus, not yours...

2) SO glad that the house issue for C is working out! And that S graduated!

Quote from: MourningDove
S said it is rather amusing how Xh can twist the numbers to benefit him. Ouch.

4) Is it "bad" NOT to grieve the death of a horrible person? Probably not....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 12, 2022, 03:57:44 AM
Reinventing- Yes, from what I gathered the other night there had been some change in the class status, but we never got that far into the conversation. D is learning that there are great things about being a planner and being organized but she is still learning how to deal with when things don’t go as planned. She is a very Type A personality, but she is working in at least accepting that is who she is and learning to adjust more. And that’s where we often butt heads.

I had told her the other night that sometimes things work out better when life shakes us up. Or we have to adapt. Meltdowns are fine but then pulling up out bootstraps and addressing it, I have found is the only solution. She went In early yesterday and met with her favorite professor who helped her come up with some other options. And when she came home she was a very different kid. She has a better schedule which give her the ability to have down time and still work. And she is excited about her classes. One being about spirituality and patient care. She actually said that she can see a clearer path now to her grad school wishes.

UrsaMajor - you are a glutton for punishment.  :D

Your responses are on point. I had some help coping with that last one yesterday from someone who is involved with religion who talked to me enough to let me feel at peace with that issue. The other component to that is to where my uncle was buried, I am also coming to grips with. Long story short - my uncle wanted his ashes spread and my aunt decided to bury him right next to my grandmother's grave. My grandmother was a kind person who saw the good in people, as did my grandfather. They were known to help those people riding the rails seeking odd jobs during the depression and after the war to help them out. My F recalls having dinners with some of those people my grandmother fed. My grandparents were very giving and kind, but both had written off my uncle for very good reasons. The family burial plot has more than enough spaces and she chose that one. I know her reasons and they are hard to sort of wrap my head around and it has caused additional stress for my F.

It was telling, my F and M went to the funeral. There were a couple of his "hunting buddies" there, but no other friends and no extended family and I come from a large extended family. There were no memories shared about his life that were poignant, etc. My F said it was very odd and it was sort of like "well - he is gone".

For me, it is a weird thing. My grandmother's gravesite was my safe place to go and fall apart and seek answers. Oh, sure I could argue the whole cemetery full of people who have past could possibly hear my soft sobs and prayers at times, but this just seems to taint it for me. I am working through that part. I keep trying to convince myself that maybe my grandmother's kindness will somehow seep into my uncle's ashes and something good will come out of it that I will never know. I just don't know. But, it is a struggle for me.

The other weight on my shoulders has been about what happens if my class doesn't go. I got my answer last night and I am now facing a huge fear of "now what"? I knew in my heart it was a possibility, but I kept focusing on what everyone else needed to help them succeed. That was in fact the job I set out to do. Now, I am not so much having a moment of "I am not a M, now what"? It isn't that at all. It is the reality that the pandemic really killed my teaching career. I already rebuilt my life after MLC, and now I am looking at it again from a career perspective. And, I am not beyond working just to pay the bills, but I haven't wrapped my head around that yet.

I found myself searching for jobs last night the minute I found out and saw the perfect job for me, but that would mean packing my entire life up and moving nearly 2,500 miles away. I will admit it had a certain appeal. But, the truth is, that is not going to magically fix things. I always go back to "what am I giving up to gain"?. And, I have a whole lot I would give up moving that far away.

I realized that moving isn't beyond the realm of possibility. So, that is not a fear. The real fear lies in what do I want to do if I am not teaching at a college. I don't want to go back down to teach high school again. And with all of the different protocols now and the idea of starting over at a new college program, IDK if I have it in me at this point. I am frankly really worn out. For now, I know I can teach community classes and the gallery is in a state of flux at the moment. There are changes coming about that seem exciting. I could go back to freelancing. I also know a couple of my former places of employment would take me back in a heartbeat, but I left them for good reason.

I am sort of in a state of shock and fear this morning. I will take my own advice and work through it and have faith that somehow something will make some sense at some point. It could be an exciting opportunity - IDK. I also know I can't go around discussing this with certain people in RL who will want to "help" and it will not go well. The truth is, I have to figure this one out on my own and not get the well intentioned "here is a job I think you would be good at it" approach. I am not beyond asking for help, I just don't want that unsolicited help where I am inundated with jobs that I know are not in my wheelhouse or how I should just go back to such and such a place because they liked me there. 

I will take time to process this time. Clearly my approach and just tabling my feelings before the holidays resulted in disaster on certain levels and I don't want to be so wired I am reacting instead of taking a deep breath and being who I truly am at my core.

I will remind myself of what I told D the other night and follow my own advice. Today, I am not going to worry about it. I am going to focus on getting the dryer delivery off of my checklist and deal with some other things that need addressed like bills, etc. I don't have the focus. I have to get past my own ego feeling like it took a hit, which is rather silly, since it is circumstances and not because of my abilities, but like it or not, it is kicking my self confidence right now.

In some other good news. I had an issue with an electric company that I had during the height of the divorce. My name was on the account and I had always been the one paying the bill since the day we moved into the house. There had been a buyout at one point and you could choose a company. I am usually on top of it, but the divorce, etc was just so all consuming that I just paid the bill and that was that. It was probably a couple of years ago I went back and looked at the bills, while I was looking at everything and reevaluating and realized I had been getting gouged on the price. I let it go, simply because I was tired of going to court and dealing with these things. I cancelled the service and signed up with a different company. I had paid probably close to $1500 too much. Yesterday, I received a notice that a lawsuit was brought against the company and I am getting a settlement. It is not the whole amount, but it is not a poke in the eye either. So maybe it is a sign of better things to come my way.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 12, 2022, 05:44:22 AM
Well, a partial reimbursement is better than a barbeque fork in the nose, right?

I am really sorry to hear about the college position falling through  :-[

you know though, I know of a job that would be perfect for you...

That "now what?" feeling is not a lot of fun. Been there, done that... That is where I was when I found my current job (been there since the end of 2002 now so nearly 20 years - not bad)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: JohnnyBravo on January 12, 2022, 06:30:06 AM
Sorry to hear about the ongoing turmoil, MD... It sounds like you've got a very level approach to everything, but it's got to be tough to maintain that continuously.

Sorry to hear about losing your safe space with your grandmother, too. I guess I prematurely scattered some of my mom's ashes in the yard, since I will be moving away from them. But I assume here spirit is wherever it needs to be. (And my father's, for that matter.)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 12, 2022, 07:12:49 AM
UrsaMajor - OMG - what am I going to do with you? Or on the flip side - what would I do without you?  :)

JohhnyBravo - thank you. Honestly that comment about your mom does help. I think what I am struggling with is this "invasion" to my special spot with ashes that are from someone I really struggle to find any good in. But, I know that it is something I have to still somehow reclaim and not let it get to me. I have to believe that there is a reason it has unfolded the way it has and the universe is somehow making it right.

Part of the irony to it all. Growing up, my uncle used to come to family gatherings (rarely) and walk in and just go right to the television to turn on whatever sport was on and he would scream at anyone who wouldn't let him watch his TV in peace. I have a huge extended family, so they were big gatherings back then. My grandfather, didn't want to ruin the holidays, so he would shuffle us all into the kitchen to help him make popcorn balls or something else. But, inside, I know he was seething. It was later, when I was a teenager, did I know the extent of my grandparent's dislike of my uncle and then I witnessed things in my adulthood that made me just avoid him at all costs. That is the memory that makes me laugh a bit now. He made Archie Bunker look like a happy-go-lucky guy. So now, the man who came in and claimed the living room at my grandparent's house has invaded their final resting place.

Someone recently said my uncle had a horrible upbringing, etc and he was mad at the world. I go right to my BIL, who worked through all of the FOO issues and he always says that just because your life has been difficult does not give you some pass to be an a$$hole and be cruel to others. I used to try and look at it as my uncle had FOO issues, but his inability to cope made him a monster. There is not a moment in all of the years of knowing him that I can look at with any grace at this point. Sad - because it is not who I am. He was one of those toxic people I pushed away years ago.

As for the level approach. It is how I operate most times. It has been exhausting at times and the problem is just like before the holidays, I had my tipping point. I do go back and it is not so much a regret or a wanting to turn back time thing for me, but I do look back and try to assess what went wrong and why. I know now that I was definitely projecting and it had nothing to do with the person. I know that normally, I would have seen that they were angry and hurting and for good reason. I had been pushed to my limits and I tried to be funny - maybe because I wasn't used to seeing this level of anger in them and it shocked me. But, it doesn't matter what their part is in it - from the standpoint, it didn't excuse how I did something I don't think I have ever done in that it had to sound like I wasn't supportive of them. And now, that moment may have jaded all the other times I have. It saddens me that I behaved that cavalierly and let my own anger about something get in the way.  Because they are nothing like people like my uncle or Xh. I rarely regret things. That conversation - the timing - I do immensely. But, the horse is out of the barn (to piggy back on UrsaMajor's comment) and I can't force it back in.

The "now what" feeling is troubling me. I am allowing myself to shake out some of the feelings. For one, I don't get hung up on titles, but like it or not, I have been "M" and sometimes not always fantastic at it, but I feel good about at least raising good kids who have their heads on pretty straight. That is an accomplishment and it wasn't easy the past few years at all. It still isn't.

I was a successful artist working with my Xh for many years. Until - well FIL moved in and then MLC and life just went all screw ball.

I have done other things that no one would know about unless they saw my resume. I followed a path that was beneficial to the family after quitting my full time gig as a teacher. The money I made back then didn't make sense when our S was in daycare most of the time and I was coming home with $40 a week.

But throughout all of it there has been one constant for nearly 30 years. I worked at the college teaching. I was good at it - so I am told. And, I loved it most days. It fueled my own creativity. But, I now it may no longer be an option at least at the college I transferred to years ago and love so much.

The feelings I am having right now are very mixed. Part is a huge amount of my ego. For one that doesn't like titles, I am struggling with the idea of just taking any job to pay bills. I am not entirely sure my self confidence can handle that right now. I am big enough to admit it.

Those feelings of Xh leaving my life being upended are haunting me. The rumors that spread and having to laugh off so many. I am not sure I can deal with another round of "oh, that poor thing - she lost her job and now is flipping burgers". Okay, I won't go that far. It is an honorable job, but I know that won't fuel my soul any. But part of me is embarrassed by my own feelings of somehow that is beneath me. My great grandparents came to this country as indentured servants. I know how hard they worked and took pride in their accomplishments to help get me to where I am at. I was the first college educated female on both sides of my family. It was a big deal. I don't ever want to somehow forget that. But with that I will never look down on those farm helpers out in the fields, full well knowing those same fields my great grandparents worked and eventually bought years later.

Then there is part of me that is fearful of getting a job that is demanding. I know myself. I throw myself into my work. It is how we ended up moving here in the first place. Xh and I were notorious for going in on days off and working late hours. I thrived on it. I have weened myself off of that and learned over the years to find some balance at times and I don't want to give that up now. That poses as potential problem.

I am thinking about what I want and how I need to get there. I admire my one older friend who works a very simple job. She loves it and it gives her freedom to travel all the time. She scrimps and saves sometimes, but she will take a month and go paint in Ireland or go to Africa, etc. I don't know that I want that life entirely either, because she is alone and I know when she is alone she drinks because of the loneliness. I know I want to share my life in some way with someone. I am not wired to be alone and it doesn't mean living together necessarily or married again at this point, because I just don't know.

So for today, I am going to think about pros and cons. I am going to really think about what I want and how do I get there. Just today, I saw they opened the original Key West bridge and I have been to Key West several times. Walking that bridge was always something I wanted to do. And that is part of where I am landing at the moment. I would like to be able to sometimes go do simple things. I am done with fancy resorts every trip and just want simplicity in my life. So, I am leaning towards trying to find a way to work to pay my bills and be comfortable enough to make sure I am maybe at least contributing something to a future relationship. I am not looking for a Sugar Daddy, that I know. I am too independent minded for that and way too much of a romantic. I long for that connection and feeling of comfort just in the simple things.

In the meantime, I am waiting for my dryer to show up so that I can actually do laundry and not be chasing the puppy around who keeps stealing dirty clothes to sleep with.

As a side note. My nephew's birthday is today. I woke up and sent him a text and a meme. He loves cats and I sent him a grouchy cat telling him "I do not celebrate". He said that was very funny. He sent me a thank you and a few minutes later - I know he was on his way to school, he said "I love you, auntie". Way to make auntie cry, kid. LOL Yah- he still loves me, even when I am a cranky pants and he doesn't care about what I do for a living. So why should I? Hmmmm.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: JohnnyBravo on January 12, 2022, 08:25:04 AM
Just today, I saw they opened the original Key West bridge and I have been to Key West several times. Walking that bridge was always something I wanted to do.

I know you have to shovel snow so you don't live there, but I assume you mean Key West, Florida? (That's the only one I know, but there could be others...)

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 12, 2022, 12:08:19 PM
LOL - Yes, Johnny Bravo, I meant Key West, Florida.

I get snow where I am, although contrary to what most people think, where I am is pretty tolerable for snow most times. I was kidding my friend in Maryland when she sent me a picture and she had way more snow than I had last week. I have a total of an inch and a half on the ground currently. I shoveled the driveway yesterday in snow boots though - not stilettos - for the record.

They delivered my dryer - sort of.  ::)

I knew the minute I spoke to the young man on the phone that he had an attitude. I have been around enough college aged kids to know that tone. But, I didn't let that get to me. Simply made note of it and when they arrived, realized my instincts were right on. I was clearly a stupid female homeowner. Never mind that I gave him the measurements of the kitchen island and said the only way that it would fit through the front of the house and through the kitchen is to lift it over the bar in the kitchen - that is nearly 4 ft in the air. But, he had to come see for himself, because well, there is snow on the ground and he had really nice new sneakers on. Okay - I am a shoe fanatic, I get it, but even I understand that you don't wear your good shoes to do that type of work.

So, he as already annoyed and when his coworker came in, who was considerably more pleasant, but not in charge, I mentioned that because of the way the stairs are to the laundry room, the guys that brought the washer discovered that it won't go down the stairs if you go with the back of the dryer first because of the control panels. I wasn't try to be controlling, I honestly know that walking that dryer downstairs is tough enough. But I could have easily been flipped off with the "got it" remark as he instructed his coworker to go down with the back first. I said nothing. I figured okay - have fun with that. I sat at my kitchen counter and listened to him struggle and mutter under his breath as the machine became stuck and they nearly dropped it down the stairs. Now, I don't want anyone getting hurt, but I must admit, I was quite liking the instant karma in that moment.

I went downstairs after hearing the swearing going on in another language. I know the words that were coming out of his mouth and he wasn't happy. So, I go downstairs to find them bickering. They stop and I get the biggest BS story about how it was broken in transit and the leader goes to show me how the electric circuits are snapped. Now, I am an observant person. When they were unpacking the box, there were not dents in the cardboard or tears. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. There were not dents or say marks from a forklift that miscued on the outside of the dryer. Exhibit C - the area in question is where they grabbed when the dryer slid and their hand went through and based on the break in the electronics area that was punched in.

Now, I could have really gone off on them. I tend to be a very calm and nice customer. I find it serves me well and it isn't in my nature typically. But, I was pretty frazzled. However, I realized that this battle was about getting a replacement dryer as quickly as possible for one. So, I played along and accepted their answer simply by asking what the next step was and how soon. The one kid, I could tell felt bad and called the manager. He asked for a rush order and to put me on the schedule because of the damage. I was nice and as I sat back down waiting for them to come back up, I thought to myself that carrying that back up the stairs was punishment enough and I am betting when their boss sees it, they are going to be getting reamed out pretty good. As it stands, I have been very understanding with this particular store. They messed up the screen order on my window and I have been in there enough that the workers have come to know me pretty well. The one kid told me that he remembers me because I always tell him to have a nice day and am always very patient.

I will fight when I need to, but most of the time the fiercest battles I have ever fought are out of a need to protect someone I care about or to speak up if I think something is really wrong. But, there is that reactive side and I was grateful I didn't just go that route. I am annoyed. Not going to say I am not because now, it means trying to figure out who can be here for that 4 hour window for delivery the next time.

My coordinator at the college contacted me. She is looking out for me. She has some remote workshops she would like me to develop. It is a little something and I know her well enough to know that she will be someone I can talk to about this. Maybe there is a balance there I haven't considered. Teaching in a different manner, etc. We will see.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 13, 2022, 01:53:39 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
I went downstairs after hearing the swearing going on in another language. I know the words that were coming out of his mouth and he wasn't happy. So, I go downstairs to find them bickering. They stop and I get the biggest BS story about how it was broken in transit and the leader goes to show me how the electric circuits are snapped. Now, I am an observant person. When they were unpacking the box, there were not dents in the cardboard or tears. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. There were not dents or say marks from a forklift that miscued on the outside of the dryer. Exhibit C - the area in question is where they grabbed when the dryer slid and their hand went through and based on the break in the electronics area that was punched in.

Now, I could have really gone off on them. I tend to be a very calm and nice customer. I find it serves me well and it isn't in my nature typically. But, I was pretty frazzled. However, I realized that this battle was about getting a replacement dryer as quickly as possible for one. So, I played along and accepted their answer simply by asking what the next step was and how soon. The one kid, I could tell felt bad and called the manager. He asked for a rush order and to put me on the schedule because of the damage. I was nice and as I sat back down waiting for them to come back up, I thought to myself that carrying that back up the stairs was punishment enough and I am betting when their boss sees it, they are going to be getting reamed out pretty good.


One would think that such information from the home owner or resident would normally prove to be somewhat helpful... I guess in this case though, Mr. College FratRat wanted to be the big man on campus.... Gave them the chance to exercise their muscles I guess...

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 13, 2022, 07:19:26 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor - I called the store. I was put through to 4 different service reps that were scratching their heads. All wanted to help, but were very confused as to what went on.

I was getting rather irritated and assured them I was not upset with them in any way. I was actually laughing which made the one service rep actually incredibly helpful. She said that if I could laugh about how this all unfolded and then find out that the paperwork she did find said "customer demanded a new dryer" we both laughed. Yah, that is how it happened.  ::) But, again - the objective, as I told each rep was for me to find out where the new dryer was, and when it is going to be delivered because I have to actually plan who can be here to wait for it. Finally, they found someone who has some authority and he was clearly frustrated by what he found. They ordered the new dryer and it is in stock. They failed to put in an order for delivery. The delivery supervisor was gone for the day, but this gentleman assured me that he is working for the next few days and he will chase this down.

In the meantime, a corporate survey came in my email about my experience. I am not answering that right away. I am going to mention the whole experience, after my new dryer actually makes it here.  ::)

I had a follow up with the specialist who performed my hysterectomy. We are coming up on nearly a year ago and it was just a sit down and check in. Not a full on exam. When he entered the room, he joked "hello trouble". I asked him if he had been talking to my contractor because that is what he says to me. He laughed. He asked how I was doing. I said remarkably well. On my drive there, I realized how much better I truly physically feel. And most days, I am pretty happy in general. He said he has seen a lot of patients in his years but even when I came to him in pain I had this twinkle in my eye and a healthy sense of humor about me, but today, he said it was more than a twinkle. He joked some more. It is why I liked him from day one. He was funny, but forthright with me.

When I left, I had originally planned to drive home along the lake after getting coffee. After that, I would go home and change into work clothes and tackle something. Then my phone rang. It was D. She had a couple of hours free and did I want to meet her for lunch.

I sighed and knew D needed me today. Sometimes I do say no, but I changed my plans to sit with her.

As I sat in traffic, I thought about my kids. When they were born I made a commitment to love them and nurture them along the way. I never had some dreams of them becoming some huge success, that is, that was not my focus. I wanted them to be good people, first and foremost. I wanted them to find their passion and to pursue it and I would help them achieve those goals by being in their corner.

When MLC hit the household, I had moments where I didn't have it in me to be a mom. I know that my kids are a blessing.  But, sometimes, I have had to hold my tongue and keep from being reactive. D pushing my buttons to the point when she is having a moment - I have stopped short of saying out of sheer exasperation "OMG - call your F and rant to him about whatever is going on in your life and stressing you out". Oh, I know that would be cruel and I would never say it, but I can't say I haven't felt that way at times. Or when I really don't want to be M at all.

I have said it before and I thought about it again today, as I made the turn to head towards where D and I were meeting. I have someone very specific to thank and the depth in which their words drilled into my head. It kept me on my path for my original goal. I trusted them and respected them, and perhaps it always meant that much more because I knew that I had an opportunity not given to them. Xh didn't want the kids. He only wanted to manipulate them and use them. He left them with me. I know that this person didn't have that type of situation at all, which just makes me sick, still. But, those reminders to protect my kids and myself stuck with me and kept me going more than anyone will ever know. It is why I sometimes sacrificed so much of myself to try and keep things "normal" for the kids. Their relationship with one another, etc. It meant I had to sometimes give up my own desires and dreams. It is not necessarily something I think everyone should do. In my case, I just knew Xh well enough and knew the games his parents had played to have a sense of how it could play out.

Now, I am facing this strange time when the control has ended with Xh to that extent. He can still play games with the kids, but they have figured a lot out. They are adults and I can't throw myself down on the tracks to stop the train for them. I have done all I can do for the most part.

Still, D and S do need me at times. I know that.

What struck me today very clearly was that I can look back and see some of the things I so wanted for myself. I found myself falling in love with someone and I worried about pressuring them, but I also was so aware of how I personally couldn't just spring things on the kids. S was more open to it and still is, but D was going to have a harder time. Just this evening she had a moment of abandonment issues that bubbled up briefly, when she called and asked where I was because I was in the car, clearly. Not where I was planning on being. She caught herself and we worked through it. It is much better, but I am aware of it still. The idea of being one of those women who could have men coming and going was never an option for me in any way shape or form. Even my coworker, neither kid has spent much time with him. This other person, I let into my life differently. And, I realized not long ago I had wanted to be able to have the freedom now that the kids are spreading their wings to focus more on seeing where things went.

This weekend I had talked about seeing someone. It was a few weeks ago and nothing was formalized. I had an idea in my head though about what I wanted to do. One was to prepare a dinner and actually not have to somehow leave the house to keep my life somehow compartmentalized. But, that didn't materialize. Today, I decided I am going to do some of the things I had planned, just because I need to break free from always being in that M role. The kids don't need the same type of "protection" anymore. Now I need to think about "protecting" myself a bit. And that means something different now for me - that is I need to protect who I am and continue to nurture that part of me some more. I have protected myself in that there is some stability and I did keep the boat from tipping over.

I don't know about a lot of things right now. I know that I embraced today and had the sunroof open as the sun was out. The guy who pulled up next to me at the gas station was laughing at me. He asked if I realized it was just over 40ºF out. I smiled and said that you haven't lived until you have cranked the heat up in the car and let the sunny winter air into the car. He didn't believe me, but he said it clearly agreed with me. I will admit - it is cold sometimes, but it is a mind game that I will play with myself to look to the positives. The sun was out. The roads were clear and it was a perfect day to drive with little traffic on the highway. Sunshine and music were all I honestly needed today.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 14, 2022, 12:35:08 AM
Sunshine.... what is THAT? I think I saw some of that a couple of days ago but the last 2 days have been grey soup and it is supposed to stay that way for a week now...   I did have the chance a couple of weeks ago to get in some wind therapy as it was warm enough, dry and sunny... It was also an opportunity to a) fill the tank and recharge the battery on my motorcycle so I took it... and it was GREAT! Coupled it with a bit of food shopping and a couple of other errands so it wouldn't seem like I was just out frolicking in the sunshine alone... ;-)

Seriously though, having the ability/opportunity to engage in a little self-care is a good thing and, now that the chance is there to NOT be the rock in the middle of the storm for everyone else, the time seems right.

You GO!

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 14, 2022, 09:23:11 PM
UrsaMajor - Yes, well we had a gloomy start to our day and the temps absolutely plummeted. It was a bit harder to find enthusiasm today. LOL

I think I try harder now than I ever did before this whole experience to find a tiny bit of good in every day. It doesn't always work and I find on certain days, like yesterday that I seek to fill the tank a bit to get through those days that feel impossible.

I let the puppy sleep with me last night. She has been sleeping with S consistently, but he hurt his back at work yesterday, so I said I would let her curl up at my feet. At night, she is actually very well behaved and calms right down. However, by morning, she is ready to just attack the day. The kids sent me a post on Facebook tonight that made me go "OMG" and it is so very true. It shows three pictures of a Heeler's life stages. Puppy at 0-4 months, all sweet low key and from 4-36 months it shows a velociraptor, followed by active, but more refined adult dog. I laughed. I have let another velociraptor into my life. What was I thinking? It is actually incredibly accurate. LOL

I woke up and felt the potential for some melancholy to settle in. So, when I got to work, I kept very busy. I attacked a couple of big projects that could have waited in regards to inventory, but I resolved those before lunch. It was then S called me to ask if I had seen the weather report. I hadn't looked at it. The storm they thought was going to miss us, is on the way. It is not so much the amount of snow, it is how rapidly it is going to fall in the next few days.

S had his interviews. One job came back with an offer and he is waiting on the other. They are both places where he had done internships and the latter said no matter what he selects, they would love to have him as a subcontractor per diem even if he takes the other job. They are desperate for help in all areas. They happened to know that S can drive a variety of vehicles. It has nothing to do with the job they want to hire him for, but they happen to deal in large equipment and have a subsidiary that deals with commercial snow removal. S, informs me that he has been put on a call list to go out drive a huge pay-loader. He was given a choice between a hospital and a casino to keep clear. I knew I didn't have to ask which he chose, but he offered that in a snow emergency, he figured he would feel better about making sure people could get to a hospital.

I am nervous about my kid going out into a storm. I won't lie. I put on a good front and I know he is very careful, but it is probably one of the few things that makes me worry. But, I know him well enough to know, he will check in and let me know where he is and when he leaves, etc. We have had that deal in place for years and I think ever since Xh left, he gets a sense of comfort out of it as much as I do - knowing someone is thinking about you.

With the storm potentially rolling in, I looked at the upcoming work for the gallery and my coworker and I have a huge show to take down and then put up the second biggest show we have every year. It is a headache in terms of coordinating and it is a lot of physical work. When I realized that the forecast is showing the weather pattern potentially hitting right when the show is coming down and then going up with very little room in between the reception, I called my coworker. We came up with a modified plan and decided to strip the walls bare a couple of days ahead of schedule. It is not how we like to do it, but neither of us liked the idea of being in early the day of the reception and still hanging work. I told my coworker I would start taking things down a couple of hours before the end of the day and instead of our normal process, I would create a "triage" type scenario and put all of the artwork that came down in one of our other smaller galleries, which if we can't clear back out before the reception can temporarily be closed down. We also figured out a system to make that takedown go smoother in terms of inventory control by doing it in this manner.

I was honestly trying to keep myself from thinking today about anything other than work. I was struggling with my own expectations for this weekend and trying not to think about any of it. So, I do what I do best and throw myself into my work.  ::)

As I started working away, my phone rang. It was one of my colleagues at the college. It is why I so love this group I work with. We have always been a tight knit group. The other departments often wonder how we all work so well together when other departments often have internal fighting. We just respect one another and sometimes disagree, but we stick together. I am not a full time staff member, and yet, they value my abilities, etc. My colleague asked me if I was interested in taking on a subcontract for a bit. It isn't something that is going to solve my problem long term, but it does give me a bit of a breather. What struck me wasn't that it is money to help me, it is that I realize why I am so devastated about the classes. I don't just miss my students and teaching, but I loved that I worked with people who give a $h!te about one another. We were a team.

Maybe it was that call that pushed me, IDK. In two hours I did the impossible and my coworker at the gallery sent me a text a short time ago. She was laughing and said she had stopped to pick up something of hers that I had found earlier in the day. She asked if I had really done all that work by myself and still left on time. I laughed and told her that I stayed an extra 15 minutes, but yes, I had just made up my mind I was going to clear the entire gallery of over 200 pieces of artwork. Not only that, I categorized them and put protectors between each piece. They were broken out so that inventory will be really easy to deal with after we hang the show. She could not believe it because normally it takes 3 of us an entire afternoon. I reminded her that normally we deal with the inventory as we go, but we both now think that maybe this will be more efficient. I did tell her I don't think I want to attempt that again by myself, because I was exhausted tonight. But, it kept me focused on something other than my feelings or thoughts about anything other than the task at hand.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to find that same type of energy to get some things done around the house now. Monitor and adjust.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 15, 2022, 11:31:17 AM
I have done very little today and that bothers me. I wore myself out a bit physically, that I know. I normally would feel a sense of accomplishment, but getting up and realizing I am facing stupid things like a now growing pile of laundry was a bit much. Yes, I can be understanding. How even if the young men broke the dryer in the first place. I understand delays that have been created due to other issues now. Pandemic. Lack of help. Supply chains. Impending storms… but I am not in an understanding mood today.

It was frankly discouraging this morning. Sort of a "gloomy day" feel taking over, especially when I called to chase after the dryer and the man who has been helping me felt very bad that it would seem they had to order a new one from the manufacturer. I wanted to just cry. I am not angry with him or even the guys who delivered it. Oh, sure the one was a colossal a$$ but I can even forgive their careless approach. All I want is a resolution to this so that I can try to move something forward in my life.

I don't want to sit around and be a victim either. I could be pissed at the universe and make a really good argument considering starting last year I have had to deal with more than some people in terms of the BS going wrong with MLC fixes that were biting me in the butt. Followed by a surgery that I really am now grateful for, but it certainly derailed things - and knowing now that all the years I had issues they were sort of dismissed. I was "getting older" was the standard line and a reason for my unexplained aches and pains. I could be upset that I have had to replace appliances and phones and on and on. It is a lot. Not going to lie. But it gets me nowhere and I have to laugh it off to keep my sanity. I remind myself that I have way more to be grateful for and life isn't always fair.

I have allowed myself to stew for a bit today and sat in pool of sunshine coming through the windows and landing in the kitchen nook, while I just drank coffee with the dog underneath my chair. She hasn't been herself today. Normally she is very active behaving like a hyperactive toddler who is hopped up on sugar. But, she is not a breed that is built for this type of cold. She likes the snow, but she is not like my lab, who I had to sometimes physically nudge her to get up when we would go out. My dog used to become so terribly stubborn, loving the cold and snow, and often burying herself in the snow banks. While we still haven't gotten any real snow accumulation, it is very cold today. So, the puppy went out started to run around and then decided that no, she was going to come in and join me in the warm kitchen. S's GF had gotten her a hoodie designed for a dog. The puppy refuses to take it off. I laughed when I saw her coming down the stairs this morning in her pink sweatshirt. IDK, maybe she doesn't want to get her new clothes dirty.  ::)

But, now that the day has sort of really taken hold, I feel a need to get something done. Anything. I am all for lazy days and I have to sometimes force myself to take them. Today is a weird day in terms of my motivation. I am feeling more like I am not even sure what to tackle. It almost feels like no matter what I do it isn't going to make any difference and I am going to get up and there is just more to tackle. I know it is much like how I sometimes feel creatively and have had it happen when I have had client work to do and don't have the enthusiasm for it in the moment. I know if I don't do anything then I will be mad I wasted my day and wasn't even big enough to just tell myself to blow the day off and relax completely. It will feel like I squandered a day if I don't go one direction or the other - either get a little something done or just accept today is a stay curled up with a book day.

When I have found myself in these moods creatively, I have sometimes just found little things to put me in my studio space and I might organize my materials or do something to be in the space without the pressure of working. The problem is right now, I am mildly overwhelmed with what is right in front of me. I know what it is that is holding me up and it is because other thoughts and emotions are popping up and there are no solutions to those thoughts, that is they are all out of my control. It is not some need to discuss them and work through them, it is more that in all honesty I keep getting hit with little reminders in different ways. Stupid things perhaps. I won't call them signs, but reminders that keep popping up in funny ways. Almost comical at times. Where I want to tell the universe it has a very perverse sense of humor.

I would sort laundry, but that seems rather a waste of time right now - LOL. I don't think seeing smaller piles of it sorted out is going to help me feel any better.  ::) But, I need to find that project that is along the lines of organizing my art space. Mindless and yet somehow productive.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 15, 2022, 09:20:13 PM
I did something I haven't done in a very long time. I needed to let out the stress that has built up inside of me.

I started to do some work after not being able to motivate. I decided to put up a curtain on the back kitchen French doors that go out onto the deck. I really don't want any type of window coverings, and usually even in the winter, they are not an issue, but with this type of bitter cold, the draft from the wind blowing is really noticeable.

S thought it was rather funny at first, because he said coming in off from the garage now makes him feel like he is entering a speak easy with the bar and I had the overhead lights turned down low. But, it has helped today. Yet, I was frustrated because the brackets were going in too easily. I just knew that it was not going to be a simple 10 minute job. Sure enough, the last bracket wasn't on a stud, so that meant dealing with anchors which wouldn't be a problem except the ones they supplied were garbage and I didn't have any in my box of hardware that would work for this situation. I got them to work for now, but have to stop and resolve that issue. It was enough to start to make me tense up. It was a nothing thing, but with all that has gone on it felt like a bit too much.

There had been other things going on today that felt like people were asking me to juggle the balls they had in the air along with my own and I just couldn't do it today. It was one little joke that my sister made that just hit me at the wrong time.

It has nothing to do with her at all. I wasn't mad at her. She didn't say anything wrong at all. It was a comment that normally would have made me laugh and just say "yah, one of those days" but today - the words actually were a bit too accurate. It is how I was feeling in that moment and I hadn't even really been able to put my finger on it. She had said to me "ah, so today you are living the dream". I burst into tears. OMG she felt so bad, but knew that is not me. She told me to just let it out. I blurted out that is just it. I am beginning to really wonder about my own dreams.

I had dreams and goals when I was younger. I accepted that sometimes those things change and adapted along the way. But when Xh and I married we had goals and dreams together. When the kids moved out we had originally planned to enjoy our time together and travel, etc. That of course didn't happen. I accepted it at a certain point and made peace with that long ago. I continued to help S and D focus on their dreams and mine were there, but sort of in this state of limbo. And as my life changed some, I was honestly looking forward to new things or other things blossoming. They were new dreams.

But the past few weeks with all that has come along feels like my dreams all just crashing down on me. The pandemic put some dreams on hold. I accepted those realities and set them aside. I adapted. But in that moment today, when my sister made that joke, I felt myself feeling as if every thing I had dreamt or had hoped for is just not at all attainable anymore. That "now what" feeling was overwhelming and I was really mad once I voiced it.

I found myself needing to just let go of the anger that has been inside me about several things. For one, it happened yet again the other day when someone made some comment that was phrased that I was so lucky I won the house and the kids in the divorce. This has happened at least 3 times in the past couple of months that someone has said it to me. Nothing was won. I had to sacrifice at times and it has not been easy. I think the implication was that I somehow don't know how blessed I am. And, I should have just let it roll off my back because it was my toxic aunt who has been dropping this on me and her reasoning is to reel me in and dish on details about my divorce. I don't normally let it get to me, and completely avoid my aunt, but my uncle, who I adore has been sick and I have wanted to know how he is. So, I have to go into the dragon's lair and deal with the dragon to get that information. Normally I am good at putting on my anti aunt armor, but with the additional things going on, I haven't put it on, I guess.

I called my friend and cried. I told her I feel like a victim and I don't want to be victim. She laughed at me and assured me in all of the years she has known me, I have only had a short time period where I had a victim mentality and that was at the height of MLC. Aside from that I may have a pity party for myself, but I don't stay in that realm too long. She asked me what was preventing me from being angry. Hmmm- I had to think. She asked me why don't I allow myself to really let go and had that maybe been the issue before the holidays that I wasn't upset with that person, but have been holding in these emotions and holding it together and being steady for everyone that perhaps I needed to really let out more than just crying.

Crying is a good release for me. As is creativity, but she had a point. She told me it was okay for me to be really pissed off sometimes. And I know she wasn't talking about snapping or that bit of yelling that occurs. She was talking about letting go of all of the stress. She started off a list that made me laugh. D and S's GF both were incredibly moody today and S was smart enough to go in the garage. I was left with both of them in the house and heaven help me. My friend asked me how did I feel about the girls' moods today. Yah, it sucked. They were miserable and frankly, b!tc#y. Then she mentioned Xh and his latest, which is to try and push S to take a specific tact with the job offers and to sway S one way or the other. She joked Xh is being a d!ck. Yup. The dryer and that debacle is worth being more than aggravated about. The college courses, etc. Yup and the remaining list of things that have just been pushing down on me the past month. All of it. I didn't deal with it over the holidays properly.

So she had a suggestion. I took it. She was right. Release that negative energy. It is not going to solve anything, but let it out at least and be okay letting it out. D realized I was not going to deal with her today. She could stew in her own juices. GF was off pouting. S and his friends came in and had brought home some honey whiskey. I looked at all of them, poured a shot and downed it and told them I would be in the basement and to leave me be. S gave me a look and it wasn't concern, more he wondered what I had planned. I found my hammer and took aim. The bulk of the flooring was removed in the "Great Flood of '21", but a few tiles remained under where the dryer used to sit and around the permitter. They have been on my list to deal with but it hasn't been my focus. I could have taken them up in large slabs, but I so needed to smash something.

I came back upstairs a half an hour later and S's friends were a bit speechless. I don't think they have ever seen me this upset. C asked me if I was okay. S laughed and said he suspected I was much better. I was. I just needed to get it all out of me. The hurt. The anger. The frustration. The sadness.

I am no closer to solving problems or having answers. I was however of clearer mind and went to put up some of the cement board in the bathroom. It wasn't as far as I would have liked to have gotten, but it went much smoother than it would have had I not gone and let go of the other feelings.

Maybe it will help me reset my whole outlook and maybe the dreams will be clearer or at least the path will feel like it is the right one. IDK. But the stress is gone for now.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Treasur on January 16, 2022, 03:32:46 AM
It is not going to solve anything, but let it out at least and be okay letting it out.
I am glad you had a wise friend and a hammer  :)

I think sometimes the reason why those of us years out post here is bc there are things that are difficult to name but we feel others here might recognise. I have found myself nodding in a ‘me too kind of’ way to some of your last posts. Experiencing thoughts and feelings which are hard to describe but important nonetheless.....even if I have not much in the way of either questions or answers for me or anyone else  ::)

I don’t know, but I suspect, that after almost two Covid years we are not the only ones feeling a weird collection of stuff we can’t quite name or pin down or know what to do with.

I suspect that the route map for many LBS - and others whose lives are upended in ways that are incomprehensible to them - is from shock to multiple versions of survival. Which is not to sniff at survival but it’s a particular kind of way to live, isn’t it? Smaller and yet more exhausting somehow. And then there’s what? A something else which is more than survival, more than actions to keep ones head above water. Something else which doesn’t feel like the old game of Snakes and Ladders. I remember how it felt to live a something else but it feels more like a game of Hoopla to me now  :)

I have thoughts and feelings which I can name. Sometimes I let them out to run off some energy; sometimes I just nod to them and let them sit quietly in the corner until they take themselves off. But sometimes tbh I am not able to name them. And not sure how to assess them or what the root cause of them is or what to do with them. I find it a rather tiring way to live sometimes albeit interspersed with joys that grab my attention.

So, just wanted to say Me too Sort of. And that I hear you.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: Reinventing on January 16, 2022, 05:50:25 AM
I am glad you had a wise friend and a hammer  :)

I'm glad I didn't just take a sip of tea just before reading that line.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: JohnnyBravo on January 16, 2022, 05:56:23 AM
I am glad you had a wise friend and a hammer  :)

I'm glad I didn't just take a sip of tea just before reading that line.

As opposed to "a good friend and a shovel?"  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 16, 2022, 08:28:04 PM
Reinventing and JohnnyBravo - Okay, you now both have me laughing. LOL

Treasur - thank you. It helps sometimes to know I am not alone in these feelings that I have bubble up. I remember being so angry and hurt during BD & those months that took so much work to get where I am now.

I realized today, on my way to work that part of my problem is I sometimes struggle with feeling angry - that is, I may raise my voice but I am afraid to show actual anger. For one, it isn't in my nature typically. But, I had moments of such anger that bubbled up when Xh hit me with BD #1 and BD #2 that at times, I just had to let it out. Of course, it sometimes  resulted in me throwing glassware at a wall when I was all alone. I threw a magazine Xh's way once when he was talking to OW still, but I have never thrown anything aside from say like the other night - a wad of paper - at S when we were joking around. But to throw something at someone out of anger was just beyond my comprehension and still is.

I realized that part of my problem is I have associated that type of behavior, like throwing things or that need to get that physical release with the anger I had in the MLC months. And it has been a bit foreign in recent months, in that I haven't done things to really let go of those emotions physically. Prior to MLC, I used to work with clay or found ways to release any stress. With the pain I was in prior to my surgery, walking was not really an option even at least not for several months. Walking at least helped me burn off some energy. And I did more yard work where I trimmed the shrubs and the like. But the pandemic and my surgery sort of got me out of that routine. The physical work I do now has been for the renovations and it burns energy and some stress, but some of it has created more stress. So, I haven't really given myself permission to from time to time just find something physical to release those bottled up feelings. I work through them and deal with them, but there are times I just need to break something or physically release those remaining things.

And part of that may also include other frustrations. I am a physical person in that it is part of my love language, I suppose. I have never had an issue of expressing my emotions physically, although on the flip side, I am not exactly nor have I ever been one to just run around and not have an emotional connection as well. Oh, sure - if I hear one more time that there are ways around that need for another human being, I am going to just scream. Yah, okay.  ::) If that is the case, I know that I don't have to look far to just have a physical relationship without the complications of emotions. That doesn't work for me either.

It is tough because so many women I know tell me they have no sex drive whatsoever anymore. I know it is not all women hit midlife and have that, but I have certainly heard that and can't comprehend that because I haven't experienced that ever. My one friend told me that she was certain that once I had a hysterectomy that would happen to me. Nope. Been a year since that and I can't say that has affected those feelings.

And the reason it sort of is bugging me is perhaps I came home today from work and arrived to find my kids at home with their significant others. I am happy for both kids. They have found good people who love them and it is wonderful, but I see them all sitting about with S and his GF just cuddled up on the couch and D sitting next to her BF in the chair. Nothing inappropriate at all, that was not it. It was this feeling of a tinge of wishing for that myself again. It feels like it has been forever since I have had that type of comfort and physical touch. It is different than the hug I get from my kids, that I know.

It is not enough for me to run out and just find a warm body. But, it is on my mind. I will admit.

The frustration from this weekend was all of those emotions and feelings like my dreams don't matter sometimes. They seem so unattainable at the moment.

Work did help me today. I was out the door early and my coworker and I pushed through the exhibit at a rapid pace. I did laugh though as I realized I was a bit scatter brained and left my paintings at home. I had put them down when I went outside to start my car and when I came back in D needed me to help her with something. I walked out the door and it never clicked with me that the artwork was on the table still. We worked around it and I printed out my pieces from my phone and we used them as a guide for colors and I knew the sizes so they can easily be integrated. They are on the wall as placeholders. I felt so stupid but my coworker giggled and we laugh a lot, so that helps.

The storm is coming in, but the timing changed and the amount predicted for our immediate area is less than they originally called for, but it is still going to be rough. Where my sister is will be hit pretty hard. S just received the call that they need him onsite to keep up with the snow. He already figures it is going to be a 24 hour deal at this rate. My M is just beyond worried. I am not one who gets too concerned, as I know S is very cautious and I keep telling myself he is going to be in a parking lot and not out on the roads. I will admit, I am nervous about the drive to the spot, as it is supposed to be icy. I reminded him that there is a Microtel near the facility where he is plowing.

Years ago, when S was only 11, he and Xh took a trip to help my one BIL move. It was in the dead of winter and I rarely nag, but this time I told them I wanted them to pack extra things just in case, as they would be traveling through the mountains. I was met with resistance and finally they gave in thinking I was being ridiculous. On the way home they encountered a storm and their brakes froze. They had to use a run away truck ramp to stop from sliding down the mountain road. It was either up the ramp or over the embankment. They ended up so far up in the ramp that they had to wait for 5 hours for a special tow truck to pull them out. S came home and said he was grateful for having had the snacks and clothes. It was a frightening experience for him, but one we have joked about since then.

So, just before he headed out the door, I just gave him a hug and handed him a bag. I had stopped on my way home and picked up things that I knew would make him laugh. In the bag, hand warmers, extra socks, a new hat and plenty of snacks. I also handed him the blanket I carry in my car. He didn't fight me this time.

Going to be a long night. My plan tomorrow is to just stay home and keep warm. Maybe I will smash a few more tiles.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 17, 2022, 02:41:02 AM
Q: "How do you eat an elephant?"

A: "One bite at a time...."

Sort of like those piles of laundry...

I hope that the snow is gentle and that there are no Snow-mergencies!

As far as breaking up tiles goes.... sounds like a smashing idea <snort!>  Almost as good as a wise friend and a shovel or a hammer....

You need a new T-Shirt that says something like
"I'm a country girl with a dog and a shovel. I know places where your body will NEVER be found..." <grin>
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 17, 2022, 09:17:22 AM
UrsaMajor - I am a bit tired of having elephant on the menu.  ::) And laundry piling up - I wish I could tackle that one a bit more efficiently. Maybe if they could actually find where my dryer is at the moment.… LOL

As far as, country girls and knowing how to dispose of bodies - the answer to that is yes, that is one should never underestimate a country girl's knowledge. A shovel is so inefficient.  ::) Frankly, I have sometimes joked that it is a good thing for Xh that I have never had a desire to put any of that knowledge to use. So, if I haven't gone that route even when Xh was the worst possible monster, I am pretty confident that my wise friends, or potential enemies really have nothing to worry about. LOL

The T-shirt might not be a bad idea though. LOL

The snow started falling steadily last night. It has let up some. My sister's area of the world has considerably more than we do at the moment, but it is accumulating. S has been plowing the business parking lot continually since midnight last night. He stopped long enough for the other crew member to come deliver gas and he has been at it since then. He is not sure when he will be able to stop for a few hours. Right now they are predicting this storm is going to continue until later tonight. He is exhausted and running out of places to put the snow in that particular lot.

The puppy and cats are all napping and I have the house to myself. There is virtually no traffic passing, so I am enjoying the peace and quiet. This type of snow storm honestly makes me feel strangely secure. It is like the house is wrapped up in a blanket and it has slowed down enough that the snow is now larger slow falling flakes. Being in my kitchen with all of the windows actually makes it feel like being in a snow globe.

Oh, sure - I won't love going out in it again to shovel the driveway or to run the dog around later. For now though, I am going to enjoy the moment.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 17, 2022, 11:59:01 AM
My sister called me to check in. While she was on the home phone with me my cell phone kept going off. She started laughing and asked what was up with the text bombs. I said it is D and our M. D needed help with something for school and our M, well she has been at it since 6:45 this morning. She is worried about S.

I told my sister that I am trying to remind myself that our M has had a hard time with turning 80. She suddenly feels "old". Her friends are dying or their health is failing. She isn't able to go out as much with the pandemic stuff. This storm means she couldn't even go do her usual Monday routine, which is to go to the store and pick up her few groceries, etc. She has been up since 4:30 am and had admitted she started reading a book but she is worried about her grandson out on the road. I have taken deep breaths before I answer her. She always worried more than my F ever did, but she has become much worse. My sister is more like her as is D. I have to keep telling myself this.

It is not that I am somehow wasn't concerned about S. I had been checking in, as I know he had been up on Saturday working in the garage until late and again yesterday, before going to bed at 9 only to be up 2 hours later preparing for his job. He had to be tired. I wasn't as worried about the parking lot plowing, but I was worried about the drive on the road and being tired. It was terribly icy. But, I also know S is very smart and is a very good driver. He has a good head on his shoulders.

I was tired of the phone going off though - I must admit, because I couldn't solve D's problem for her and my M's worries were not going to be put to rest until her first grandchild was home safely. My sister asked me if it gets to me. I wondered what she meant. She laughed and asked if there are days where I wished Xh would somehow understand what it has been like being the sole parent all the time.

Her timing was interesting because I was having a moment of being frustrated because S and I had touched base. He was at a point where the snow had stopped some and he could take a break and come home to sleep at least for a little bit. Xh knew about this job S has. He never once checked on S and it was bothering S. S mentioned to me that he was grateful I at least was touching base if only to break up the monotony of having to drive essentially in circles. It helped keep him alert and he mentioned it was nice knowing someone cares where you are. Xh - he only mentioned how much money S was going to make in this.

My sister commented "what must he be thinking". My own answer made me more aware of something I hadn't really thought about. I can't know what he is thinking. I have sometimes surmised or guessed - but I really don't know. I don't know if he is that self-absorbed or clueless. I don't know if he cares or not. I have no way of really knowing what is going on in his head. Nor do I probably want to. But, during the MLC months of trying to figure out how to somehow navigate all of it, I certainly made my attempts at it and thought I knew what he must be thinking.

Now, I do know the man formerly known as Xh pretty well. I could base any hypothesis on that. I could base it on what I know about his family dynamic and mentality. I probably would be reasonably accurate in my assessment, but in truth I really have no idea what he is thinking.

I do know what his actions and inaction say - at least in terms of how it is interpreted by myself and now the kids. He doesn't really have any capacity to think about anyone but himself. Is that the case? Who knows? The fact that the man in the past would have at least checked in on S, knowing he was going to be out in a storm like this has now not bothered with him. Xh knew it was going to be hours out in this mess.

S informed me that so much snow had fallen in areas on his way to the job site that the plows on the road couldn't even begin to keep up. He was encountering drifts over a foot high already at that point. Highly unusual to have that much snow blowing around and drifting. And, where S was working was closer to where Xh lives. He would have known that the accumulation was far worse in that region. S plowed for nearly 14 hours straight. He took a brief nap and then had travel time in between. He came home and went right to bed, but will have to be back up at it again soon.

My sister asked me if I am mad. Hard to say. I am aggravated - yes but it won't change things. I am sad that the man has had every opportunity to be a F and no one has stepped in his way. He is the one who keeps making it harder for the kids to believe he wants anything to do with them.

My sister recalled a conversation I had with Xh at one point and told him that I would not fix the relationship between he and the kids, but if he wanted to mend things, I would encourage it and support it in any way I could. He chose a different path.

The short answer to my sister's question simply was that yes, it is often infuriating because it is exhausting to always be the one who is "on call". I don't get to just stick my head in the sand like Xh seems to do and just pop up when I want to go have fun. And, I don't regret it or somehow resent it so much as it just still hurts. It hurts in a way I can't explain. I think in part that I know it hurts the kids and they have didn't ask to be used in his games.

I am grateful, even in my absolute worst moments that I did have the ability to protect the kids. I am grateful that I had it in me to hold to being a responsible adult, even when I wanted and still want to sometimes run away. I got the kids to this point where maybe they can be responsible adults. Had I given up on them too and just focused on myself, it might have been a different outcome.

And I know it is not something everyone gets to do. I know there are spouses/former spouses who make it impossible. My monster, luckily lost some of his fight - at least for now. I have to sometimes remind myself of that - that not everyone has access to their kids like I have. Yes, it is a blessing. Yes, I am lucky. But, I also know that it has required so much of myself sometimes that it can deplete my own reserves.

With that in mind, I am also very realistic about how much less protecting I have to do now. I have gotten through the 6 years of full "on my own" after the divorce and some of the responsibility I had before will ease up even more in the next few weeks with S moving out. D will be full on back into school and that helps. I may be able to really focus more on my own needs. Or at least that is what I am hoping can happen. Yet, saying it out loud makes me sound a bit selfish - LOL.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 18, 2022, 12:18:49 AM
GWPWELFV commented only about how much money S will make for plowing?

So, he's looking for excuses to take S for a ride or to be free of his (xF's) parental responsibilities?

I think the word "twatwaffle" or "a$$hat" comes to mind....

I do not think anyone would blame you if you went Postal on GWPWELFV once or twice...

Did the text bombing at least slow down? I mean, once D knew that there was nothing you could do at that moment, that should have stopped for a bit... As for Mom, what can you do about a compulsive worry-wort, right?

Oh, and for what it is worth, maybe trying different types of seasoning with that elephant might help? You know, sort of like with the left over turkey after Thanksgiving...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 18, 2022, 06:27:54 AM
UrsaMajor - I have no idea what Xh's excuse or plan is.  ::)

You know - I am not sure about your elephant recipe suggestion and different seasonings. I could ask if you have suggestions, but I am almost afraid of what your answers might be. Or what GIF I will find - LOL.  :P
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 18, 2022, 08:54:07 AM
UrsaMajor - I have no idea what Xh's excuse or plan is.  ::)
If he HAS a plan... he certainly has PLENTY of excuses.... ::)
You know - I am not sure about your elephant recipe suggestion and different seasonings. I could ask if you have suggestions, but I am almost afraid of what your answers might be. Or what GIF I will find - LOL.  :P
Well, let's see..... Since you asked....
Elephant Burgers?
Elephant Stew?
Fried Noodles with Elephant and Vegetables?
Leg of Elephant?

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 19, 2022, 07:20:51 PM
UrsaMajor - I should have known better than to even hint at asking about recipes - LOL

It has been a couple of very odd days. I have not been sleeping well and I know the reason why. Lack of proper sleep is throwing me off, that I do know.

The snow storm came in with a big hit, but at least where I am by yesterday it had started melting back and was sunny a good part of yesterday. Last night, after working several hours in the gallery with my favorite coworker - the one I hang exhibits with - the sun had already set and the moon was rising as I drove home. The sky was this deep violet blue with the moon a bright orange - it looked like a scoop of orange sherbet hanging in the sky. The snow, had been "baked" in the sun, so there was a smooth, reflective icy crust on top. And because the temperature had dropped significantly there was a light fog rolling in. It was absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stop and get a picture in time due to where I was driving at the time, but it made for a beautiful drive home.

Work has been rewarding this week. My coworker and I trust each other and bounce ideas off of one another. We are a team. Working together has been the highlight of my week - that is for sure. We laugh and grumble sometimes. Neither of us want to take control in a way that we need to be the leader. It had clearly made an impression on the owner because she mentioned that she noticed how well things have been running when the two of us work together. We told her we come up with a game plan and we each take tasks at times or choose something off of the list and neither of us avoids doing something unpleasant. Work has been the one thing that has kept my mind off of other things.

S came home this afternoon and informed me he has made his choice about jobs. He will start full time working for the company he interned with this summer. He told me he listened to my advice (when he asked for input) and went in part with his gut but thought about what they were really offering which is a very clear thought on where they see him in 2 years - they want him in upper management. The other place offered more money, but S said he realized that this company just is a better fit and S did come back with a counter offer, which they accepted. He will be traveling out of state for training in the next few months, which he is pretty excited about. They also had no problem giving him the time off to go with Xh on this 2 week trip coming up.

S had dinner with Xh. Seems Xh invited him to dinner and they were planning on meeting in one city and then S got a call when Xh realized he went to the wrong city. S told me tonight that Xh seems a bit out of it. Whatever that means.

D has been trying to settle into a routine with school. She has started back at her job on campus and has her first student to tutor this weekend.

I was in the middle of trying to get the alarm set on the gallery and couldn't answer my phone at that moment. I had no idea what was going on, but could feel my stress level going up, as my M texted at the same time and then my sister was calling. When I called D back, she informed me she was stuck in the driveway. She started telling me how she needed to go pee and I had to tell her to calm down. I asked her if she was in the driveway completely or if her car was in the road. She finally calmed down and said completely in the driveway. When I told her to leave it and just go inside we could resolve it when I was home - it was not an emergency. I could feel myself tense up. I didn't need this tonight. She called back a few moments later, happy with herself. She had realized she could get the shovel and dig out underneath the slush where she had gotten stuck and she was able to get her car out all on her own.

I told D I was proud of her, but informed her that I needed 15 minutes when I came in the door to just change gears. I didn't want to be inundated with questions or anything else.

I am worn out. I was working on trying to refuel after feeling so depleted during the holidays. I just haven't been able to really recover. I know part of it is emotions I am trying to work through. Some is stress of not knowing what I am supposed to be doing with my life now. And some is just the day to day demands I have pulling at me as of late. I need something to change soon. I don't know what - maybe the dryer, which they have at least located and claim it will be delivered on Friday - but don't know when - will help. IDK
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 20, 2022, 02:09:00 AM
"xH is a bit out of it" is like "an atomic bomb makes a bit of a pop when it goes off." ::)  Going to the wrong city? 

Sometimes we need to be able to set our phones to Flight Mode for 30 minutes... We really do NOT need to be 100% reachable 100% of the time.... At least D didn't have a Yellow Snow/Slush result so all is good... The bigger question though is "Did you get your 15 minutes when you got home?"

Having the dryer back (assuming that they can get it down the stairs correctly this time) will be a big help..

And, just for the record, you DID ask about recipes AND mentioned GIFs in the same sentence.... You know me well enough by now that this was a challenge that could NOT be turned down...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: MourningDove on January 20, 2022, 07:23:23 AM
I know. I asked for it.  ;) - UrsaMajor. LOL

I really have forgotten how much I have written over the past few years. Writing out my feelings helped me make sense of somethings and other times it was just to get my feelings out. It didn't always give me clarity, but there were moments that it helped me to at least let go of some or to leave the emotions on the pages, so that I could focus on the things that had to happen in my daily life. I didn't always have the luxury of working through my own emotions when I walked through the door. My job of working outside of the house to pay bills and keep things afloat sometimes didn't even allow me to hang up that hat before donning the other hat of "M" or in my case - sometimes it was being both parents.

Last night I told everyone that I was going into my library to try and put that back in some order. I haven't finished repainting the column tops that still have that now poorly chosen "Kraft Mac and Cheese" color on the tops. I have allowed myself a break in that, I realized I have to stop beating myself up for not completing that room yet. That was nearly finished right as the disaster struck and I have been rather preoccupied. My library was one of the rooms that we feared would be part of the damaged area, so I had to feverishly box up the remaining portions to keep an eye on the ceiling beneath D's room and the side wall which butts up against the bathroom wall. After that, so many things went into the room while the reconstruction took place. I just decided last night that I am going to settle the library and the sections that really need addressed, like the shelves being painted again and the columns, I can do a bit at a time. I need something to be finished.

While I was unpacking a box, I came across one of my personal journals from the summer of 2017. I didn't read each page, but I scanned the pages. It was a year after my divorce and my feelings for Xh and the desire to have him back in my life were gone. At one point I even reread struggling with guilt for not wanting to stand any longer - as if I somehow didn't love my Xh enough and it somehow seemed easy to let go. That of course was not the reality. I had one he!! of a time leading up to that. I had stuck by him through some difficult times prior to the divorce he really forced.

I realized last night that the divorce for me was in fact a blessing. It sounds terrible, but I know now my Xh would never have put any efforts into working through this mess. The journal from 2017 was about finding myself and a friendship that had emerged in this mess along the way. A blessing that I looked forward to. Someone who made me think and laugh about some things that I kept quiet about. I bared my nerdiest moments to this person without hesitation.

The journal reminded me though of some other things. Things that really kept me going that I have sort of let fall by the wayside. Those many walks were certainly part the most recent things that have ceased to continue on any regular interval. And the fact that I made time to at least give myself some time to myself every day - just even 15 minutes put my head in the game. I would pull from my box of grace cards that I still have by my bed. They were not some magic potion or like some horoscope I held onto. They simply gave me a word to focus on and try to grab ahold of.

I am not really sure when I let go of that routine. Maybe I thought it was something I no longer needed now that I am so far past the divorce, etc. Or maybe it is just one of those things that in all of the chaos that has gone on in my life that I neglected.

As I read through the journal, I think I need to at least get back to some semblance of that thought process. So this morning, I pulled from the cards before getting out of bed. Patience was my card. I prayed for patience and went down the stairs to start my morning. D was just getting up. She has moved back in full time as of last night. Her BF is back at college and will be home sporadically. She had gone out to start her car and she had slipped on the sidewalk on the way back. She wasn't hurt, but it was enough to throw her off balance both physically and mentally. That is, she was now nervous about the roads being icy too. I assured her if she looked at our country road that it was dry and it was just the sidewalk that needed addressed. I reminded her to certainly be careful and not be completely cocky about it, but I was sure if she stuck to the main roads she would be okay. Furthermore, I recommended she change out of her Vans and put on some actual boots. She looked down at her shoes and sort of turned red. Hmmm- yah that might help.  ::)

I kept reminding myself in all of this nonsense going on to keep the word patience coursing through me. I needed it this morning. The puppy was wound up beyond belief. D needed to get out the door. I needed to move my car so S could take my car to work while I borrowed my parent's SUV so I can pick up a table that D has ordered. I kept thinking about that word patience the whole time.

It might have been just a card, but it is keeping me in the right mindset so far.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 20, 2022, 07:39:43 AM
I know. I asked for it.  ;) - UrsaMajor. LOL
Ask and ye shall receive...


It might have been just a card, but it is keeping me in the right mindset so far.
Doesn't matter if it was the card or a text message or anything else.  Main point is that you are in the groove....