2018-02-22 No Apologies, No Regrets

Why does it take so long in our lives to get to the point where we care less about what everyone else thinks and more about what we think? I look at my teenage daughter and can feel her persona covered in things she has picked up from caring about what other people think. It’s not easy to grow out of nor is it quick process.

In my 20s and 30’s I still worried about what other people thought about me. Some of those people mattered and some of them didn’t. Slowly I’ve adopted a new outlook and attitude and I have to say that in the last year, I’ve made great progress.

I don’t think anyone ever gets completely away from caring what other people think. It’s part of why mutual accountability works in a positive way. Hopefully we can embrace the positive things about human nature and just put a hand up to block and shoo away the rest.

This is echoing in my mind today as I consider saying things to people that I want to say, without apologizing for who I am or what my words say about me or what someone might think about me because of it.

I’m over apologizing for the way I feel. I’m aiming for no regrets.

To be clear, I’m not talking about saying things to people to directly personally attack them or make them feel a certain way. I’m not that kind of person. I’m just talking about being more open with my thoughts and feelings with people who I have interpersonal relationships with.

Over time I’ve become more comfortable sharing my raw, organic thoughts in a somewhat anonymous public forum and I’d like to make that same true with the people in my life. This includes my parents, acquaintances, people I’ve known for years, and people I’ve just met.

I haven’t been dishonest. I’ve just historically made the choice to not say things because of fear or worry or consequence. I think over time my fear of regret has taken on more weight and is now heavier than my fear of consequences.

I am who I am and I’m willing to change and grow but want to stay grounded in being true to myself. I want to continue forward in my search of love and inspiration leaving fewer regrets on the path behind me.

Looking in the mirror and facing the reality of myself is important. I do care about what I think of myself and have to come to terms with both the beautiful parts and the ugly parts. It’s rare for people at large to hold that mirror up for you. I’m very grateful for those who do and are honest with me regardless of whether that is positive or negative. In that way, I do still care about what people think. I’m just making more of a conscious choice in my reactions.

Every morning, if I don’t wake before my alarm, I’ve got a nice reminder. My phone is set to play John Mayer singing “Say”. He gets quick to the chorus “Say what you need to say”. Every word in that song resonates with me and is exactly how I aspire to be.

Last, but certainly not least, today and always… A heart felt thank you to all who have liked, commented, or reached out to me personally from reading my words! It means a great deal to me!! ❤️😘😘

Truly, Madly, Deeply, and Completely,

~Miss SugarCookie

Advertisements

2018-02-21 The One About Dates

3 2s
2 0s
2 1s
1 8

Among all the ideas, problems, people, and feelings my brain forces itself to contemplate relentlessly are numbers. I’m on day three with my current analysis about dates(ironically, I’m referring to calendar dates). I’ve counted the numbers, the occurrence of certain numbers, written them forward and backward, and even tried to attach some cosmic significance to them. Whatever brain!

This might lead a person to believe that 1.) I’m a smidge cray-cray (perhaps) and 2.) I have too much time on my hands (ummm… never).

My brain was built for analytics. Number crunching. The application of logic to extract data and apply aesthetics to it in order to make it meaningful is an incredibly satisfying process. This happens to be a huge benefit in my line of work but, as it turns out, not as helpful in my personal or creative endeavors.

Facing reality, nobody is going to be interested in the poem I wrote on February 18th, 2018. But look how beautiful the numbers are…

20180218

Two 2s
Two 0s
Two 1s
Two 8s

Quick.. somebody call Fox News. That’s fair and balanced! Except, never mind – Fox dropped that motto in 2017 when they realized they were neither fair nor balanced and didn’t really want to be.

There’s only one thing missing in this common configuration of the date and that’s the elegance of the palindrome. However, thinking about that leads me to explore other formats…

02182018 If you are American and don’t give a shit about alphabetical listings in chronological order. Let’s hope you have date/time stamp in your metadata.

18022018 If you are across “the pond”. Probably the most satisfying configuration for this instance but also not programatically useful.

And then back to CCYYMMDD. My peeps in Lithuania get it. Virtual fist-bump yo!! 👊

It’s not just about dates though. The numbers!.. They are EVERYWHERE.

Duration and incline and resistance and distance on my elliptical machine for example. It’s helpful to calculate percentages, level of overall effort, and to track progress on goals.

Temperature. My friend Leah knitted a scarf last year where every 5 degree temp was assigned an appropriate color of yarn. The range was an array of colors from deep cool colors like violet and blue to warm orange and then red hot. Each day, she added another row to the scarf based on the temperature of the day. It’s amazing and beautiful!!

Other than that, temperature is only good for deciding what to wear on any given day or deciding where to move when you’ve had just about enough of violet (like Now).

It probably goes without saying that I dig my personal stats, or rather my ability to know them, record them, and use them to measure my progress. I track sleep and my steps and count Jazzercise classes. I’d count calories too if it wasn’t so time consuming (or more accurately if I thought it was useful info, which it isn’t). I’ve thought about upgrading my FitBit to the Alta HR that also tracks heart rate. That would be super cool. I added it to the wishlist of things I can consider buying when I can afford buying things again. Ahhh, finances. That is a whole other category of numbers I love to crunch regularly. And age.. 59.5 so near yet so far.

Back to dates though. That’s the topic of my current analysis. 2017 was an odd year and there were a lot of rotten dates and 2018 isn’t looking any better (yes, actual dates with dudes). As such, I’m really ok with my mind focusing on some different dates. Dates where every first date is also the last and they don’t leave you feeling rejected or somehow not good enough.

With this in mind, I can look at today with a wink and a smile knowing what joy it holds within its 24 glorious hours instead of the suffering that swiping right brings.

Don’t even get me started on tomorrow!! Oh the 2’s!! 😜

When in Doubt Swipe Left,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS… Holy shit the number of occurrences of each number almost make up the number itself. That’s wild and I AM crazy – 2 0s 1 8, (3 2s) 2 1s

2018-02-20 It Takes Heart

What? What takes heart?.. Pretty much everything in life. Really, for us mammals, we can’t live without it but that’s the literal translation of course. I dwell a lot in metaphorical spaces.

I’ve written a fair bit lately publically and privately about communication and language and the fact that words with definitions are one of the the basic building blocks necessary for successful oral and written human communication and understanding. “Thanks captain obvious”. Its not always obvious to everyone actually, but I’m going to leave that alone and start stacking other concepts on top. One tiny step up from words with definitions is the metaphor.

Metaphors provide a deeper understanding of meaning because of shared experience and context. There’s a vast catalogue of common metaphors that one can use to aid getting their point across. It’s why the saying “I love you to the moon and back” has gotten lots of traction as an expression of affection as of late.

People understand that the moon is a great distance away and they are searching for ways that appropriately express the vastness of their feelings. It’s novel because other metaphors have been over used, tired, and fallen out of favor. The ocean is still vast but has now been usurped by the moon. It is true that the distance to the moon is greater than the ocean is wide or deep so maybe there’s a smidge of one-upmanship there too.

Wow.. this is a serious introductory digression away from the real topic at hand, which is the heart. I had such a shit day yesterday and toward the latter part of the day I found myself in analysis mode again as it relates to my emotions. On the surface, it’s pretty clear. My self esteem had taken yet another hit from rejection. Nothing else has changed. The job is still awesome. The kids are great, school is the same, and there has been no impactful events. So, yeah, it’s about a dude. My heart hurts.

Yesterday I found myself looking over the poems I submitted in my first packet and the comments from my mentor. There’s one that I wrote in 2015 that I took to my first Residency for evaluation.

The feedback I received, outside the repeated constructive criticism of my lack of imagery and obvious need to get away from end rhyme, was all focused on the first couple of lines. This included using the heart as a metaphor, which is probably one of the most common and overused in history.

In some circles it’s actually considered against the rules these days to employ such cliche references. Color me with whatever shade of red best represents “I don’t give a fuck about that rule”. The comments from workshop, however, were not about that though. They were about the fact that the central idea in this particular poem is about different states of being, at the beginning, it is a state of trying to open my heart. By the end, there is some measure of success, but we didn’t talk about that. The focus was on the first stanza.

Revisiting this poem after the fact, I actually archived that draft and started over with just a couple lines from that first stanza… the bit about trying to open my heart. I wanted to find a scenario with a set of images that would elicit understanding of this predicament. I took something personal, true, and extremely relatable for most readers. The new title is “Toothbrushes”.

I didn’t put a ton of thought into this, it just came to me one day as I was standing in my bathroom looking at the pair of toothbrushes in the tumbler in my bathroom counter. I finally decided to pick up the one Simon used and toss it in the trash. As I did that, I thought, “hey, maybe this works” and that night I rewrote my poem.

I submitted it with my first packet to my mentor for comment. Not a lot came back in that one, except that it’s not finished yet. Something is needed to circle back to the original idea. Again, the idea of attempting to open ones heart. And also the state of starting over probably, because that is now what it’s about.

How very quant that this is exactly where I find myself again now. One thing not obvious in written communication that is a hurdle in blogs is the art of using sarcasm. So when I say “quaint”, please hear my curt tone and picture me rolling my eyes slightly up and to the left. 🙄 Then this.. 😒 and then maybe a little bit of 🤷‍♀️.

See.. I really need to work on showing instead of telling. I know that.

I’d like to revise this poem again now, but I just don’t know what to do with it. I have to figure it out. It feels kinda like a microcosm for my love life right now. I need to figure it out but I’m stuck and don’t know what to do.

My heart hurts and it’s not just some random dude I went on two dates with (though that is part of it). It’s a repeated pattern of rejection and my not being able to make sense of it. What does one do with that? I can’t let it go. I can’t embrace it. I’m having a hard time stopping myself from even thinking about it. I kinda wish I had a ton of work to focus on instead.

It’s gonna take heart to continue to work on this and find my way. It’s gonna take heart to keep trying. I’m going to have to dig deep to find what I am looking for I think. Not “ocean” deep, maybe just “Great Salt Lake” deep. 😉

One Step Forward,
~Miss Sugarcookie

2018-02-19 Location, Location, Location

I never heard back from new guy last night. I tried to keep my mind off of it and I tried to read and write instead. I’m not going to lie, it was tough. I’m not a stalker but I feel like one. That’s not me, is it? I don’t really even know this guy so why do I care? I can’t help it, I guess. As it turns out, having someones location can really mess with your mind.

There are lots of dating applications and sites and platforms out in the wild today. Just take your pick. Some are geared for meeting people and hooking up and some are supposed to be more for finding “the one”, or at least, a long term commitment. Some sites are heavy with profiles and questions and criteria and others are very basic. Here’s a few pictures and a 300 character space with which you can say whatever you want to say.

Most of the mobile apps, I’m guessing, are pretty basic like that. Last year a friend of mine suggested Bumble and I had not tried any online dating in seven years and was in need of “getting back out there” so I decided to give it a shot. A short time later, I was actively chatting with multiple matches and trying to get to the point where I could meet some of these guys in person (which is tougher than it should be considering it is a dating app).

Bumble is very basic bitch. There are minimal fields and settings. You have spots for up to six pictures, your name and age and school and occupation that get pulled off of FB when you first register (everything but age can be changed later however), and a short space to write a ‘bio’.

In the settings you specify your preferences. I am a ‘female’ looking for ‘males’ within this age range and this distance. Ahhh, distance. Now we are getting to it. The app has to know where you are to know who to present you with as potential matches. It uses your criteria to show you profiles of other people which you then have to “swipe” left or right on to dismiss or keep. When you see their profile, you also see where they are. Not where they say they are or where they are from, but their actual location based on the GPS and their phone. Neat.

One advertised bonuses to bumble is that only ladies can make first contact if there is a match. I don’t see this as any great benefit however, because by that time, you have already swiped on each other and ‘matched’. Why wouldn’t you just say ‘hi’? However, I’m more mindful of their location that I was when I first tried it this past summer.

I’ve matched with sales people and pilots who are here overnight or are just passing through for a few days, and I’m not interested in that so I have to be watching for it. I’ve also matched and chatted with a few people who may have been in close proximity to me at some point in time but actually live a fair distance away and I know I’m not going to want that either (I guess unless that person was willing to also put some effort into the travel time too).

The point is, I’ve become used to looking at distance and thinking about it. Unfortunately, it also means I can continue to see where people are, even after the match has turned into text and ultimately going out. This is the case with my new friend, who basically ditched me yesterday without so much as a reply back to what ended up being three texts I sent inquiring about status.

One at 3:30 asking how it was going.
One at 6:30 just saying ‘hi’.
The last one at 11PM asking if he was OK.
Is that out of line. Not in my head.

What might be out of line is my going back to the Bumble app which I have not used in a couple of weeks now and looking at his location. I know it is 8.2 miles from where I am at my place to where he is at his place and since I know where he works which is a short distance from where he lives, that is also 8.2 miles. When I finally went to bed last night, after midnight, I decided to look at it and he was 6 miles away. It means he was not home. Waking up this morning, he’s still 6 miles away so he’s still not home.

There could be an issue with the app or dozen different reasons why a person would not be where you expect them to be but having that at my fingertips has turned me into a stalker. And I swear I am not one. I don’t like it and I don’t like the way I am feeling right now. I think the best things I can do for myself would be to delete the app completely and forget about it.

It’s Monday morning and Presidents day and the kids don’t have school and it’s dreary outside and I’m really tired from not sleeping well. I’ve been a big fan of Mondays lately, but I gotta be honest, again, and say I just don’t want to do today.

I’m Going Back to Bed,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-18 All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

I should be reading and I should be going over my notes and revisions or SOMETHING else productive, but I just can’t seem to focus when I have other stuff just burning my brain. BURNING.

I’ve been out a couple times now with a new dude and I really like him and he says that he really likes me. We have officially gone out twice and unofficially I’ve visited him twice at his side gig as a bartender at an Irish Pub downtown. We’ve also been texting back and forth quite a bit. It has been really nice actually, to have someone who is clearly into be be responsive. The feeling is mutual. I’ve been fairly pleased with the way things are going so far. The catch happens to be how much time he seems to have for actually going out.

I’ve put some thought into this. I’m typically the person who does not have enough time, but this guy has two jobs and three teenage kids. He’s pretty busy and I have chalked our several re-schedules up to those facts and the reality that stuff comes you have responsibilities. A few of those reschedules were on me also. We eventually met for a first date over a week ago and then this week on Tuesday we had date #2. Both went great!

After date #2 I asked when he was free next and he said Friday night, so we agreed that would be date #3. That never happened because someone asked if he could cover the shift at the bar and since he is a nice guy who can’t say no, he said yes. That left me alone on a Friday night. I ended up putting in a few hours at work, and then napping, and then actually going downtown to the bar so it worked out anyway. I rediscovered that I am definitely not a late night bar person especially when it’s a crowded place and I am not there with someone else. Despite my mild social anxiety, I did ok chatting with different people who came and went (drunk people are pretty friendly and sort of entertaining).

We reschedule again for today and I was very much looking forward to it. I don’t have my kids until tomorrow and the whole day was open for whatever so I was just going to roll with whatever we decided to do.

I went to Jazzercise this morning.
I went shopping after that for a few household items.
Then I went to the gym (during which he called to check in and let me know what he was up to and that he would reach out later).
Then I finished blogging and worked for an hour or so.
Then I went back out shopping again, this time for groceries.
Then I cooked dinner.
Somewhere in there I showered and got dressed as if I was going out on a date later.
A little bit ago I decided to really try and read and write, but felt so tired (serious lack of sleep).
I took off my dress and my tights and my little sweater and crawled into bed for a nap.
Now it’s past 9PM and there has been no communication whatsoever. No response to the 1 text I sent. Nada.

On the one hand, it seems pretty out of character given the history of his responsiveness and so like a silly girl, I’m worried there might be something wrong, and on the other hand my brain is pretty hot about being stood up. I know I’m the one with a busy week coming up and I have something going on almost every single night which is not how I like to roll. My kids come back home tomorrow and I’m already feeling guilty for having so many plans that don’t include them.

I’m already down about this whole dating thing and really just needed something in the win column. I swear, I am not that needy of a person and I am really easy to please. I’m a little bit of a pushover and too forgiving and sometimes people seem to naturally just take advantage of that, whether they know they are doing it or not. With this guy, I really don’t know what to think. I’m at a loss.

I’m still kind of sleepy from having tried to nap and decided to move all of my “homework” to the kitchen space to keep myself from just crawling back into bed. I’m not going to sugar coat it though, it might happen anyway.

I just had to get this out so I could try to focus on something else. If this is it, and this guy just goes AWOL on me, I’m out. I’m done with the freaking dating game. DONE I say.. done done.

Over and Out,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-18 Sunday Status Update – Ugly, Uglier, and Ugliest

Oh how I have missed you, my sweet, beautiful elliptical machine. I know I’ve been gone for a few days but I promise you there were no other machines involved.. just people, work, wine, and a successful visit to the Red Cross (not in that order of course).

The stat at the top of my Sunday lineup is my hemoglobin. 12.9 and over the threshold of the 12.4 required for donating blood. That was yesterday and now I can put that on the back of the shelf along with my iron supplements. At least for about 6 or 7 weeks.

(Ugly – The return of the daily headache)
Noteworthy in the supplement department is the fact that I ran out of Curcumin (a turmeric extract) which I’ve been taking daily for several months now. I’ve been on my soapbox on this topic several times so I won’t repeat myself. However, the supply ran out and as the consulate analyst and experimenter I decided to take the opportunity to see what effect not talking it would have.

I’m not kidding.. a couple days and my daily headaches returned. It could be other variables like hormones, too much or not enough caffeine, not enough sleep, alcohol, stress, but it is too much of a coincidence to dismiss. A few days of that and turning back to Tylenol and ibuprofen had me running my fingeres to that “one click” feature in Amazon to replenish my supply. I’m day 3 back on it and despite drinking too much wine last night, I woke up headache free. Huzzah. I’m a believer.

The quickest jump from that is to take inventory on my other analytics.

Steps are back up this week.. 20K average per day but jazzercise class counts are still down because of other commitments.

(Uglier – The human garbage disposal)
Healthy eating was literally not on the table this week. I over indulged in just about everything I fancy and I’m going to go ahead and blame the deprivation caused by that Whole 30. Cookies, chocolate, fried appetizers, cheeseburger and fries and onion rings dipped in ranch dressing, fried rice, fried potatoes, and bread. All that was in addition to my new found, high calorie, favorite breakfast. Eggs, guacamole, salsa, potatoes, with or without bacon. Oh and did I mention the alcohol? 🍷 🍸 🍹

I’m in need of a serous course correction… on that AND sleep. I had an average of 5 hours and 50 minutes a night. That’s terrible. I guess making bad decisions was a theme for the week. My time in on my studies was shit too.

I should be spending 20 hours a week minimum on writing, revisions, and reading and I bet I only spent 4 at the most. I currently have no way to gather official stats on that. I could record it like I have to for my job I guess. But manual time cards? Ewwww!

I worked 22 hours which is right around that sweet spot and I have no excuses for not reading more for school. I guess I spent too much time texting with my new crush. Can I really have spent that much time texting? Not possible.

Oh yeah.. relationship status. Still single. Surprise, surprise. I cancelled my meet-up with Simon Tuesday and met him Thursday instead and it felt very much like meeting with someone you just have no desire to talk to. I was nice and the conversation was very much one-sided as I expected. I followed up later that day with a book of an email I felt compelled to write so I could say (almost) everthing I’m too chicken shit to say in person.

I didn’t say “hey, I don’t want to be friends”.. but my hope is that a person who is as perceptive as he says he is, could read between the lines. I honestly didn’t care if he responded, but I underestimated his instincts to counter my observations in an attempt to maintain his superiority. Ooops. There I go again saying something not nice.

He wrote back quite a bit and his disappointment in me and what I wrote came through loud and clear. There were a few things I could not let go, so I did reply back standing my ground on two main points. I picked my battles and I will not back down on either of them.

One was about my daughter and just don’t even try to fuck with me about my teenage daughter and our relationship and my parenting. Just don’t. The second was about his inability to define our relationship and not owning up to the fact that he used it to release himself from any responsibility to another persons feelings.. MY feelings. That’s total crap and he needs to know it. I sent that back last night and as of right now have not yet received any response back. Perhaps I will have the last word on it. I really hope so, but we shall see.

(Ugliest – Negative Self Image)
Related to my status on all fronts.. I’m just feeling generally not great about the way I look right now. I’m feeling sort of unwell and tired and bloated and frumpy. I’m definitely in need of some positive reassurance. Valentines day alone doesn’t help. Seeing couples holding hands everywhere doesn’t help. Don’t get me started on the affect of media, social or otherwise. I just want to turn it all off. Add to that the fact that I’ve gained some weight recently and don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror. OK, I’m a thin person by nature, but that just means that any fluctuation at all and my clothes start to become too tight and uncomfortable. I suppose the binging on food this week did not help and the fact that I’m still thinking about loading up on ice cream before this day is through is also not going to be good. What is a girl to do? (first world rhetorical question).

I need to put some hours into the schoolwork today and snap out of my funk. I just have to.
Time to Be Like Lee Nails, and Press On,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-15 Over Halfway There

It’s over halfway through winter.
It’s over halfway through February.
I’m over halfway over any person, place, or event that has ever had a negative impact on my life. It’s a very fortunate place to be. I recognize this and acknowledge that there are many, many people in the world who will never have the opportunity to be “halfway there”.

Given my personality and preferences I often choose to stay closer to home. I choose a smaller bubble. I keep a keen eye trained on the world at large from a distance and then choose to turn away from it.

It’s a safe space where I am now and the world is a supremely fucked up place. Side by side monitors at the gym this morning are displaying the beauty and grace of some of the most talented athletes alive today and the most tragic pictures and videos from yet another mass murder by gunfire. I just can’t.

Those people will never get to be halfway over what has happened to them. It’s truly heartbreaking and sadly not even incomprehensible anymore. It’s so common there’s a cadence to it.

There’s some lull, you know, and everyone is just going about their business. Then it happens and there’s a swell..The media, the emotions, the outrage. All of a sudden all sides are on high alert.

There’s “thoughts and prayers” offered in the most shallow of ways possible and waves of aftershock that are equally as shallow.

There’s a spike in people pointing fingers at law makers and the NRA and the retaliation and push back by those groups.

There’s a deep dive into the situation and which has become so routine that it seems scripted. It’s like some bad reality television train wreck that you can’t look away from as you pass by it. It’s purpose is not to inform, but to boost numbers.

This is followed by a fade out. It could be slow, if nothing else noteworthy is there to take the lead. It could be quick if there’s a natural disaster or uprising somewhere else in the world or if Angelina and Brad decide to get back together. Eventually the situation will dissolve into just another statistic or bullet point on Wikipedia and we’ll all just ride that curve through to the lull to the next thing.

People are high on the curve right now. They are in a state of outrage and demanding something be done. Some choose to believe that if enough people voted for certain individuals to replace other individuals in a government office, something would change for the better. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter. IT DOES NOT MATTER!!

The damage is done. Guns are a reality and they have been fashioned into finely tuned human killing devices. Semi-automatic weapons have been built and released into the general population. Once something is in the wild, you can’t get it back.

Anyone who wants a gun can get one. Anyone who wants one probably already has one. And it just takes one. One weapon in the hands of anyone who is mentally unstable or has delusions of grandeur or has grown up in a desensitized society with some thought about proving a point or getting revenge is all it takes. Changing a law now does nothing.

That person is already out there. They are probably watching the media coverage right now and thinking about what they could do too. How it might feel. They might be thinking about the actual people they want to target or they might just be swallowed in the sadness that it’s the only way they will be strong enough to end their own life. Those people will also never be over halfway over what they are going through either. Isn’t that just as tragic?

I’m watching from a safe distance. My heart aches every time I witness the horrible things that happen in this world. I’ve got empathy but am shielding myself from the shrapnel that is inevitable as we are thrust along the curve. My primary responsibility is to myself and to my children and to make sure we are never in a bad situation where we can’t find our way to being halfway over it. You have to be able to get halfway there before you can get all the way there and that’s when things are good again.

Taking Care,
~Miss SugarCookie