2018-07-02 Traditions and Change

I’ve arrive to the gym late today, determined to get some steps in before heading “home” to do more work. It looks like some of the other usual suspects are also getting a late start… the Man in Black (in white today), one of the Steves, and a person I *think* might be Bird Girl but I can’t be sure since she’s not running in street clothes. Perhaps she’s made it this far in the year and committed now with actual workout cloths. Or maybe it’s just not her. /shrug

It’s a holiday week but really doesn’t feel like it. Aside the temporary feeling of the city being under attack in the evenings, the 4th remains a very anti-holiday day/time for me. When I was married, it was a big deal. The biggest. Bigger than Christmas at our house. We were party central.

Family came, friends came, and neighbors joined in eventually too. We had a tradition of driving south into Missouri where there were bigger, better fireworks (at that time not legal in Nebraska or Iowa). Hours were spent planning the food, games, and wiring up the “grand finale”. It was sort of out of control actually, but it was what it was.

I had to let go of that in the separation and divorce. It meant so much to my ex that in the decree he had rights for the holiday every year, so the kids would never be deprived of the party or hanging with their many cousins. In exchange I got custody of Halloween and I was totally ok with the deal.

I missed the gathering but not the prep and fireworks. I was happy to fly solo for the day and use the time to reflect on my own life and I started my own tradition.. my annual bike ride. For nine years now, I’ve saddled up on my bike and had a great solo ride. It’s evolved over time, and taken on more tradition, such as the drinking and stop in Bellevue for snacks, and a goal to make it to the Missouri River from my house.

I tried year after year to get all the way there and always turned back because of one reason or another. Either I got too late a start, or I wasn’t sure how much longer, it ran out of motivation. The keystone trail and Bellevue loop are long and never ending. Last year was the first year I made it all the way to the river.

Oh, I still had a late start as usual and the trail hasn’t gotten any shorter, but I was super determined. I didn’t care if I was riding back in the dark. Not only did I ride back in the dark, but I was also missing lights on my bike and drunk. I totally missed the spot in the trail where I should have switched to the one that comes closer to my house and I ended up in Ralston just as their giant fireworks display let out. I had to book it home on surface streets among bad traffic and crowds (not to mention the killer hills on 72nd street). It was a mess, but I still felt great cuz I finally achieved my goal.

Above all, my day of self reflection still yielded the same result. A conclusion that I have made the right choices in my life and I’m truly at peace with all of it. That included both ending my marriage and ending now also the choice to end my relationship with Matt.

Funny I was with Matt for 5 years and he never went with me. Maybe he asked and I said no, because I wanted my solo time (seems likely), but if so he never pressed about it. I remember one year he even helped me fix a flat in my bike and instead of going to my house that year I rode to his after and we went to pepper jacks because it was the only place we could find that was still open late on the holiday.

This year will be different. I’ve told Jim about my tradition and he suggested that I hang with him and his kids and do fireworks with them instead. He mentioned it a few times now and as it stands today, we’ll be doing this at my house instead of his. That means no bike ride on the 4th and I’m really ok with that. I hit my goal last year and have nothing left to prove to the universe. My life has changed so much in the last 4 months and I’m more than ok with that. I’m fabulous.

I still want to do that ride, probably on the 5th, but we’ll see what the weather is like. My tradition has changed over time and change is good. Perhaps the new tradition is hanging with my new favorite people and then going solo when he takes his kids on their annual camping trip. Whatever it is, I have a feeling it’s going to be great.

Rolling with It,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-29 The Railcar Cheeseburger and Other Random Unrelated Drama.. 4 🍔👍🏻

Yesterday I met one of my former coworkers for a happy hour drink at a place called the Railcar. I probably meet up with Her about once every six weeks or so. We first met at my last job and as fate would have it, we started on the exact same day in 2012. We were on different teams but got it off pretty much right away.

She was very much my confidant, for both work related rants and personal issues. Toward the end of my relationship with Matt she was the one who said something that I took to heart. One afternoon I had had a lunch Meetup with him where my already broken heart was crushed into a thousand small shards because I said “I love you” and he walked away leaving me unrequited. It was such a stabbing pain and I cried my eyes out all the way back to the office. Arriving back to work, Sam and I crossed paths at the front doors. She recognized my state (trying to pull that shit in and get it back together) and she said to me “..you deserve better. You deserve someone who can’t wait to talk to you everyday, someone who is excited to see you..” There was more to it, but in my delicate state, that’s all I remembered and it finally sank in.

That was a turning point for me. A huge step forward acknowledging the truth in her words. Of course now I know how it feels, to have a person who wants me like that in my life. It’s glorious.

Anyway, Sam outlasted me at that job but in the end it was very much the same end to the same story. They use you until they loose you. Endless human capital out there in the world apparently, but a terrible way to operate. Her story is not mine to tell but I can say this much… she’s worlds happier where she is now. And what’s more, the weight of the world and the fate of the company is no longer hanging in the balance and depending on the success of pushing past limits week in and week out. We do our jobs well and then we clock out. Get in and get out and leave the drama in the cube.

Well Hell – is this a post about my life struggles or a cheeseburger review or what?😜 Getting to the point now…

So we met at Railcar to do our regular catch up session and tell the stories of the day. It was good. I’ve had their Happy hour cheeseburger before and have been remiss in actually writing about it. What I can say is that it’s one worth repeating.

It’s a little smaller than a normal restaurant burger. It’s bigger than a slider but not nearly the size of that half pound beast I had at Garbos. It’s because it’s their happy hour special and just a slightly smaller version of their dinner entree offering..

THE RAILCAR WAGYU BURGER
red top farms ground short rib, bacon apple jam, red onion, romaine lettuce, brie cheese, garlic aioli

One thing I would comment on right away is that it is really tough to grill a smaller party and get it right. So easy to overcook, but this one is spot on. The only change I requested from the standard was swapping cheeses. I had cheddar instead of Gouda. Typically I would say hold the lettuce too but since this is not my first Rodeo at the Railcar, I know they don’t overdo it like they do at some places. Some places pile on the lettuce like they think you wanted a salad instead of beef. Either that or there’s not a lot of substance and they are making the burger look bigger using a giant stack of green. Totally unnecessary. Railcar gets that. There’s just enough lettuce to add some fresh texture and crunch and it serves as an excellent topping to hold onto the sauce, which is quite tasty in its own right. A little sweet and a little savory… nothing at all akin to ketchup and mustard which is a good thing.

The cheese was melty and the bun was slightly toasted. My only complaint would be that it could use a slightly larger portion of cheese. Being a happy hour treat it’s served solo so at some point I’ll have to try the full entree. In any case, it’s a solid 4 and I’ll definitely be back for more.

(I’d go back again anyway since this spot is a regular meet-up location for Sam and I). 😊

Until Next Bite,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-27 Back to Reality

I’m Finally catching up to real time after my glorious vacation and getting back to reality. In truth as things were coming to an end, reality began creeping in on me and it was sort of a struggle to really enjoy the final day of my trip. The stress of what was just around the corner weighed heavy on me which had everything to do with what was supposed to be another work trip to California quite literally starting the morning after I arrived home from Florida.

The facts were as follows… plane arrived home from Miami at 11pm and flight out to San Jose departs at 6:30am. When I booked my flight out, I was totally in the zone, feeling great about everything and had no doubt I could make it work. That, folks, was a serious delusion. A trick if the mind.

Sitting in the condo on Saturday I started to have serious anxiety. What was I fucking thinking. I was going to be beat down from travel, not sleep because I was flying out and have only a few hours to unpack and pack and take care of anything needed at the house or with my kids. At that point I felt like a very neglectful parent.

Circumstances beyond my control were also in play, which is their dad taking a new job which requires travel every week. So they’ve been mostly solo for the better part of a week and a half. They are teenagers and very self sufficient but that doesn’t change the fact that I was missing them. I probably needed to see them more than they needed me, but it is what it is.

Anyway sitting on the couch with Jim I began to unravel and we talked through it. The only answer was to cancel the California trip. I felt very much like that this was me being caught between a Rock and a hard place, but cancelling was the right answer.

The rock was the reality that if I tried to make it, I would be a useless lump to the team, tired and worried about what I’d left undone at home. I would be meeting the people paying us for our contract Work for the first time and I was afraid my first impression would be dismal. And.. if I pushed the trip out a few days, like my boss first suggested, I would miss the rest of the team sort of defeating one of the main purposes for going out there. It was also going to cost a lot more to change flights, get a room, and Uber to make it work. It would have been a waste of money and I was worried about that too.

The hard place was that this whole thing, if I cancelled, would reflect poorly on me in the eyes of the people I’m working for. Either I look like I’m poor at planning or that I just can’t hang under pressure. Neither one of these things is true of course. I’ve come through with flying colors in really high pressure Work situations before. Many times. And I’m an excellent planner, most of the time.

This one, not so much. Like I said, a trick of the mind. I’m a hard worker, and very dedicated and dependable and will sometimes (too often) take on too much or rather allow too much to be piled on. That’s what led to my crisis at the last job. I was a star and keeping that status meant taking more and more on all the time. So much so that I nearly drowned.

During my time off after quitting that job, I did a lot of reflecting on the situation. I had to come to terms with the fact that the company I was working for, specifically the president, was never to be satisfied. They would always push for more as long as I would allow it. Zeroing in on that is key. I was allowing it. I was willing and didn’t push back. I was the one with my hand on the faucet and refusing to turn right. I didn’t want to loose my status or reputation, and that, my friends, is the real hard place.

I feel very much like this current situation was made to test me. Did I learn my lesson? I’m still in the drivers seat of my life. Could I make the right choice for my health and happiness? The answer is a resounding “yes”.

I cancelled my flight and was straight with my boss about it and let him handle the comms. to the team and to the People funding our contract who will have to wait for some future date to meet me. I spoke to our HR person to get advice about the flight cancellation and she was helpful. They were both very understanding and helpful. Will it tarnish my reputation? Perhaps. But I need to be ok with that.

It’s taken me a few days to come back to reality, to get my house in order and re-establish a cadence with my day, and re-connect with my kids. It’s super clear, in hindsight, that any other choice would have been a disaster. My challenge now is sticking to my guns and not allowing this kind of situation to creep up again. I need to recognize it off in the distance and manage appropriately. Seems easy enough from where I am now, and my mantra of “balance” is the key.

Hey, that reminds me of a poem I wrote once that was a parody of a Meghan Trainor song. The poem was called “All About that Balance”…

https://shyspark.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/song-parody-all-about-that-balance/

I wrote that in 2014. You think I would have learned long before now to follow my own advice. Such is life. 😜

Now Returning to My Regularly Scheduled Programming,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-05-25 Glossed Right By That One

It’s been a few days again. Everything is wonderful of course and it’s nice for that to be the reason for my absence from the blogging scene instead of the alternative which world be something terrible I’m sure. This blog has become such an essential part of my life and routine, I think about it when It’s been too long.

The big change which has cause my missed days as of late is my new relationship. It’s been really great so far and I just want to spend as much time as I can with him. He feels the same way. The consequence of that just happens to be less time for other things. That includes writing and working out and probably spending time on my other relationships.

It also means my mind is on now and the future and not the past. I’ve spent less time thinking about my hardships and failures. It’s truely less about letting go and more just a byproduct of thinking about other things. (And doing other things).

The increased time at Work helps too. Take for example this week. A few days ago I was just starting the week and thinking about our plans this week and also the summer. In that, I completely glossed over my wedding anniversary. May 22nd would have been my 25 year wedding anniversary had I stayed married. Every year since, both before and after the divorce, it’s been a day of remembrance. But not this week! Wow!!

I didn’t even realize it on the day and then yesterday I was looking at the team calendar for something and noticed it was the 24th. I was all like “huh, I guess that happened”. And then I smile because it was kind of a great feeling to not have that melancholy. After 8 years being divorced, most of the emotions have had plenty of time to soften. It’s all dissolved into a pathetic sort of sad regret.

Sad regret mostly for all the years I wasted in the end. All the years upon years I continued to try and fight against the inevitable. A little anger too for the fact that I put up with poor treatment and what I would now call unnacceptBle behavior by the person who was supposed to love me and be my partner for life.

Sadly sometimes we don’t recognize something when we are so down in it. It truly has taken some time and also other life experience to see the past for what it is. I know it’s just the start of my new life now, but I feel like this is how a partnership should be.

JS cares, and is supportive of me about everything. My life dreams, my work efforts, my parenting responsibilities, and my sensitivities. We’ve talked about lots of things and through all those conversations I’ve been open and honest and now, when something comes up, I can just mention it and he has context for why I’m thinking or feeling a certain way. The flip side is true too.

He’s shared lots of pieces of his history so when I listen to how his day went, I know what things are affecting him a certain way and why. I want to be supportive to. I want to be a good partner. We both do and that’s how it should be. Yeah, forgetting something that happened 25 years ago or two years ago or 1 year ago because today is so freaking awesome is how it should be.

That’s probably why rebound relationships are a thing. In hindsight I’ve got to be grateful for the pain I went through because if I would have jumped right into another relationship and would not have met JS. It makes me believe there is a reason for everything. I don’t want too deep or philosophical but the Universe has a plan and the Fates are dancing around all the time leading us down the path.

Talking about the Fates is kind of a Josh thing and that deserves a blog post of its own. Now is not the time. Nope.. now is the time for switching gears and getting started with my Fabulous Friday. JS took the day off of work and even though I still have work to do we have lots of plans. We’re multitasking together. Yay for that and yay for thinking about today instead of any other.

Having Cake and Eating it Too,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-05-20 The “Other” Sunday Status

This time I’m not looking at the last week or even the last month. I’m glancing back over my left shoulder at one year ago. One year ago today I asked my boss for a sabbatical.

The day after that I broke into tears over my failed relationship because I happened to see Orion’s Belt in a show Z and I watched together.

Right now, today, those things feel like a lifetime away. I was not granted the sabbatical and I quit my job. Still one of the best decisions of my life. I started dating again and after a series of unfortunate events, found my new love. The picture of my life right now is a vision I could not have imagined then.

I could not imagine cancelling a Meetup with Matt and not caring. I could not imagine getting a Masters degree in Writing. I could not imagine planning a future with someone new or not having a full time job or a life that’s everything I never even dared to dream about outloud. Yet here I am.

For most of the days of of my life, I’ve woke each day thankful and hopeful and happy. I’m a generally happy and positive person. I realize those tough times are but a blip on the record of my history. The hopeless days and nights that I was tortured with in 2016 are long gone.

The sleeplessness is gone. The constant contemplation about where I went wrong is gone. The unanswered questions that tried to murder me have faded to black and answers to questions I never asked are all around me. I’ve always been happy, but not like this. This is next level shit.

Someone once gave me the sage advice that it is ok to look back at the past, as long as you don’t stare. So this glance back today is just a glance. It’s just enough to remind me how far I’ve come as I roll through week after glorious week of “Sunday Status Updates”.

And I’ve come a long way baby!

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-05-10 The Thursday Meetup Monologue

Late night working last night and back at it again this morning. Makin’ the big bucks this week! I’m Getting a little cardio set in now though.

Today I’m supposed to be meeting up with Matt for lunch. He reached out to me on Monday, or maybe it was Sunday, basically to wish C a happy birthday I think. However, he quickly asked if I still wanted to get coffee or lunch sometime and I quickly replied yes. That’s a reflex.

Am I curious what he’s up to? Yes. Am I wondering about his relationship status? Of course. Does any of it really matter? Thankfully not anymore. Time does that and if I’m being honest so does my own relationship status. I’m happy now. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and feeling so positive about the future.

Yesterday Josh stopped by my house and we chatted for about an hour. I asked him what he’s heard from Matt lately (Josh is a mutual friend). They’ve had a couple group melee/smash sessions and I guess not much has changed.

Josh said he’s been out to Cali again to visit his girlfriend. Whatever. I think he’d probably move there if his family ties weren’t here. That’s kind of crap as far as I’m concerned because he always gave me grief for my not wanting to move until my kids were grown. In 2015 he said he didn’t think he wanted to buy another house in Omaha because he wanted to move. Ok.. that was 3 years ago and he’s still here and we broke up in 2016 and he started to date another girl and SHE moved and he didn’t go with her. See… CRAP. 💩

My agreeing to meet him was a gut reaction and now that I’ve had time to think about it, I don’t think I want to. I mean, what I would want is some deeper conversation to see what, if anything, is his real status and not just some surface level fluff like the last couple times. But to what end?

I don’t need any more reminders of why things didn’t work out between us. Just like I don’t need that surface conversation. Part of me feels like it just ends up being a catch up session where I feel great because I’m working again and going to school pursuing my dreams and now living the happy relationship life and he ends up feeling like shit because he’s still not doing any of those things. (I’m not counting his long distance thing with L a thing at all).

I don’t want to feel like I’m contributing to his down mood. Maybe something has changed and he’s found a thing he loves and is going for it. I don’t know. The fact is I don’t need to know and it doesn’t matter. And that’s a very healthy place for me to be.

I think I’m going to cancel. I don’t really feel like breaking my stride today anyway with Work and stuff. That’s what’s up.

Tonight I’m having date night with JS and my plan is to spend as much QT as I can at his place this weekend (me and my cat 🐱 😊).

Ok.. time now to get back to work.

Cheers to Being Over It!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-05-01 May Day.. Time for Tacos 🌮

Unlike Groundhog day, May Day is a tradition that is not talked about as much when it comes around every May first. It’s basically a celebration of Spring and nature, and in some historic cultures it was the day young people were potentially paired with each other for a spring courtship that would end with a Wedding six weeks later in June. 😳 However, the most commonly known May Day tradition is probably the May basket.

When I was a kid we did May Day baskets. At 4 or 5 years old and living in small town Nebraska, people still did stuff like that. I remember leaving a basket and knocking the door or ringing the doorbell and then running away. It was fun. You could hide behind a bush or car and watch as the received their gift.

Now days, if you did that People would probably not think such great thoughts about it. When I was 5 we moved to a larger town in Iowa and People didn’t do baskets. I remember being disappointed and wondering what was wrong with these people.

In 4th grade I had a teacher who was really into it and we took the whole day to celebrate. We had goodies and danced around a May pole and crowned 3 May Day princesses. It’s supposed to be a May Queen, but she wanted more than one girl to feel special.

Today the kids and I won’t be doing anything to celebrate. No baskets, no Maypole, and absolutely NO pairing for marriage!! Ha!! 😜 Instead we will be celebrating taco Tuesday and I’ll be making fresh pico de gallo and we’ll probably do some dancing in the kitchen to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”. (We have our own traditions).

Between now and then I’ve gotta try and get 6 or 7 hours of work in to make up for taking most of the day off yesterday with my sweetie. We drove out to the wildlife safari and then spent the rest of the day just relaxing. It was a wonderful day. It was also a pretty wonderful weekend.

I had my sushi on Sunday and we spent a lot of time running errands and talking and also monitoring the progression of operation “introduce the kittens”. I took Kayla to his house for the weekend and we put the two cats in adjacent rooms blocked by a gate.

The idea was to let them see and smell each other and not have any chance of physical contact. This way, they could sort out their feelings before turning them loose in the house together. It turns out Neither JS nor I have patience to watch that go on too long. By Sunday we let them out and Emma, the smaller more timid of the two, went to hide while Kayla explored the house.

Soon enough curiosity got the best of them and they we’re hanging out in the same room doing what appeared to be an extended stare down, complete with periodic hissing at each other. On Sunday we put Kayla back in the room with her food and litter so Emma could let her guard down. It was an interesting experiment and we’ll do a repeat soon. Needless to say the plan is for me to be able to spend more time over there without neglecting my baby. No plan yet to introduce the kids.. cuz priorities! 😂

Anyway, time to get my ass in gear and get to work.

Happy Taco Day,

~Miss SugarCookie