2017-08-08 Pieces of Me

The kids have been with Brian for over a week and it is so quiet here in the house and so.. uneventful. There is a peace I can get when they are away but it comes at a price. The price is the feeling that something is missing and I’m definitely missing my missing pieces today. Our lives are defined by what we do and who we spend our time with. You can’t stop being defined by your job or extracurricular activities (unless you change what you are doing). You also can’t stop being defined by your relationships. I’m a mother and a daughter and a sister and a friend. Without my children, my life would not be the same. They can be quite trying at times, as teenagers often are, but they are mine and I am theirs.

I have a few lingering meet ups this week to keep me occupied. Two of them are today intact. I’m meeting with another former co-worker in about one hour for a coffee at Starbucks. I’m meeting up with Chris W. at coneflower this afternoon for an ice cream and a chat. Part of me just wants to hide in my house and yard all day today and part of me knows that it will be good for me to get out. The meeting with Chris came about because I saw him briefly at Archetype coffee last week when I was on a meet up with someone I met on Bumble so I did not really have time to stop and catch up. Now we will have the time.

He’s a former co-worker of Matts. That’s how I know him. Matt and I went to his wedding a few years back and now him and Casey have a baby girl, Violet. See, that’s the thing. Everyone.. literally EVERYONE we knew was making progress in their lives, moving forward, and doing the things they wanted to do. At least they were doing something. We were stuck and not doing anything. Gawd I wish I didn’t still think about it every damn day. Perhaps that was part of the reason I was so anxious to meet someone on that stupid dating app. I thought if I had someone else to occupy that space in my heart and in my mind and in my life, then that would leave no room for these lingering thoughts and feelings.

By this time last year, we had already broken up twice, I had been proposed to, and I was quickly on my way to the third. August was a terrible and frustrating month. I try to remind myself of that when my thoughts wander to all the questions of “why”. I can’t deny my relationship with Matt and how it shaped who I am today. I can’t deny what a large piece of my life he was, the fact that I once thought we had such a bright and wonderful future ahead of us. Even now, that relationship is still affecting who I am. I have not seen him in several months now and the email communications have stopped, yet I still think about it everyday. And I just have to accept that. I am trying.

I’d better get myself out of bed and get ready for my coffee meet up and do something productive with my day. 7 more days until the other pieces of me return home.

Time to Caffeine,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-05 The “Hopeless” in Hopeless Romantic

Today I found myself feeling very anti-social and melancholy and consequently walking around Walnut Creek again. I arrived just about 45 minutes prior to sunset and when I began walking I paced myself so that I could enjoy the sunset from the path on east side of the lake looking west.

Most of the music that came up on shuffle tonight was not inspirational, until the very last turn when Soma by the Smashing Pumpkins came on and I thought to myself, “No more appropriate song to serenade the sunset for me tonight”. As I rounded that last corner, still walking east I kept peering behind me hoping I was not going to miss the final dip into the horizon. I didn’t. I even walked off the path toward the lake to have a seat in the grass and revel in the glory of the final minutes and seconds of the suns light as it disappeared from the sky.

I’ve always been captivated by the sunrise and sunset. I’ve always felt a certain tug from nature and a desire to make those events my number one priority in the instances the opportunities are near. I’ll drive in the wrong direction to have a better view. I will go out of my way to get to a higher vantage point or spend extra time waiting even if there is somewhere else I am supposed to be. There is just something special about witnessing the sunset. Something that just can’t compare to most things really.

It’s an acknowledgement of the cyclical nature of things and the significance and insignificance of everything we see and feel in this world. It brings about reflection about ones place in the universe and a peace that is complex and masterful. It’s a reminder of the variability of life and the cynical nature of time. The sun sets ever so slowly but is gone in the blink of an eye. As with life it is both quick and long and as long as I am able, I will continue to seek out these moments, these moments that happen every day but are also so few and far between. I want to sing to the sun “Nothing left to say; And All I’ve left to do; Is Run away from you”. It’s part of the nature of me. Some sort of hopeless romantic.

But what does the hopeless in hopeless romantic really mean? The very terminology is quite ironic as someone who is blessed or cursed with this affliction as I am knows, “hopeless” really means bound forever to hope. Hopeless in the way that there is no escaping from the hope of the grand ideals of romance. The endless daydream of something that is a kin to a fairy-tale story for the loves they may have in their life. Its a grandiose escape from reality. Some notion that the one true love of ones life is a perfect match that will sweep them off their feet and that life together will be bliss.

Not only that, but that every day will be one after the next of stolen kisses and holding hands and long walks and talks by the lake at sunset. Real life persists, but love conquers all. There is nothing hopeless about any of that, save the constant flutter that can’t be satisfied in ones heart at the thought of some of these daydreams coming true.

I blame this quality in myself for my inability to make connections with people I’ve met… because I’m hoping for something more. I described the other night how I felt when I first laid eyes on Matt and how I don’t really want to settle for anything less. If I dial it back a few years before that, I had the same feeling about another person, when they put their arm around me late in the night after driving me home from a party. And going back further still, way back to the beginning of my dating days when I first began speaking to Brian and felt that spark of something more. I know what it feels like and so now I will not settle for less.

I can say I have had it genuinely only once with the new people I have met recently and I’m having a hard time separating that or distilling it down to know if what I am feeling is real, or if it is just the fact that I want so badly to feel it. Are my daydreams getting the best of me or can there possibly be something more there? I’m hopeful and therefore I am hopeless. You see how ironic that is?

So it’s 10PM now and I’ve had a glass or two of wine on this fine Saturday evening. I’d decided hours ago that I wanted to spend the evening alone with my thoughts so I could try and gain some clarity in several areas. Ironic again because clarity does not present itself easily when wine is involved. A good night sleep probably won’t either, but I have all day tomorrow to relax and recover if I don’t sleep well. Hell, I have all day tomorrow and the next and the next and the one after that if I need it. So bring on another glass and let the daydreaming continue.

Cheers,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-02 My Walnut Creek

When you fall asleep just past 9PM after just having eaten a biggish meal and wake up at 1AM, was that a full nights sleep or a nap? Is it considered late at night or early in the morning? Should you try to go back to sleep or wake up and seize the moment?

In my case, and feeling a twinge of a headache like I’ve had a drink before I went to bed even though I didn’t, I think I’m up and should not fight it. I had way too much caffeine today (yesterday) and think that might be a contributing factor to my present situation.

Another factor just might be this set of circumstances I’m rolling into and not quite prepared for. Lots of undiscovered territory and I have a growing sense of trepidation about what kind of predicament I might be getting myself into. I’ve got several post topics brewing in my brain and I feel like maybe taking one of those on will help start to sort things out.

Just now I toggled through my last few weeks to find the one with the list of topics that I wanted to write about and it turns out I’ve touched on several of those already.. yay for that. What I was looking for was to see if the idea I have which I want to elaborate on now was included in that list. There wasn’t really one, but what I did find in the “Sunday Bumble Update” was a brief description of first date #5 and that’s a nice lead in.

To refresh, I had met a very nice person for dinner on a Saturday evening and though it was lovely, I didn’t quite feel the “chemistry” one would hope for. At the time I tried to make an excuse that I was not in the right frame of mind and somehow explain away why afterward I drove solo through the town and ended up crying at Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek is “my place”. After having lived in this area of town for many years now, I think I can officially say that I have a certain claim on that park and walking path. It is shared by many but holds such rich history for me, I would not think of anywhere else to go by myself for some quiet reflection. After that date, and probably one to many drinks, I found myself there and listening to my music and welling up with tears as I silently asked the universe “why”.

Walnut creek is where Matt proposed to me in 2016 after the second time we broke up. I said no, of course, and later regretted it but came to the conclusion eventually that it was the right thing to do at the time. As I lay on the concrete of the picnic table area that Saturday night I thought about the first time Matt and I met face to face. Until that day, I had only seen a profile picture on Twitter and remember thinking he looked very young (like 16).

The day I met him was at his house and he was having an open-invite memorial day pot luck and I had a friend that was already going and decided I would pop-in and say hi. I remember being introduced and thinking he didn’t look anything like his picture and almost instantly something in me rose up. My heart started to beat a little faster and I was captivated by his height and good looks. It was a very brief introduction as it was his house and he was being a good host cycling around to different groups of folks to make sure all was well. I remember there were a lot of people there and I was quite intimidated because all but one or two were complete strangers.

I also remember being somewhat pre-occupied because the girlfriend of my ex was also there and that was a sticky situation. It was a lot to take in at once, for sure, but something about seeing him for the first time and the way that it made me feel kept leaping to the front of my thoughts.

I later inquired further and was disappointed to learn he had a girl friend who lived with him. I dismissed my day dreams and re-focussed my attention on the rest of my world. Over time, we did have a little back and forth communication via twitter and eventually I ended up meeting him again in person, solo, for coffee. That meeting sparked the same feeling I had the first time I saw him and I again had to push it down because of the girl friend situation. I thought there was something more there, but it was not my place to pursue it with such a complex circumstance. If there was to be more, he would have to work that out himself. Which eventually did come to pass.

We met for several walks around Walnut creek where he opened up to me about that relationship and how he felt about her. He obviously had feelings for me too, but not acting on them was the right thing to do. I don’t remember the exact timing, but I think we also ended up there after he broke it off with her and she had to move out and I wanted to be empathetic and supportive but in truth was excited and hopeful about a newly opened door for myself and for us. I felt selfish about it, but at the same time, thinking it felt really right. It was meant to happen. We were meant to come together. The stars were aligning.

The weeks and months to follow were further confirmation of just how right my instincts were. Things were fabulous and we were great together. I had the very best road trip of my life and the most wonderful amazing night spent under the stars at the Badlands. We seemed to compliment each other very well and I was sure this was it for me – for us. I remember thinking that it was about time I had the happily-ever-after my hopeless romantic heart had always dreamed about. I knew that was going to be it for me, and I proclaimed our love to be “August and Everything After” (yes I was/am a Counting Crows fan, but this fit so perfectly, I was willing to share it with them).

So it sort of began at Walnut and then also sort of ended at Walnut and then I find myself there again and again re-visiting all these things in my life. I’ve also been there many many times with Josh and walked the path and now have even been there once with someone new. It’s not “Matt and my place”, it’s my place and I reserve the right to keep it as my own. Unlike some hair stylists, insurance agents, restaurants, musical groups, and vacation destinations that are off-limits due to “belonging” to someone else, Walnut is “mine”.

I find myself wondering if there really is someone out there for me and if there is “one” right person or if there are lots of potentially right people. My heart so badly wants to still believe in that one true love that will sweep me off my feet and cary me away into the sunset, but my head fights that vehamently as nonsense. But I should not let go of that notion for fear that I will permanently loose that part of who I am. I was born a day-dreamer and why would I ever want to change that?

What I come to realize, through this line of thinking, is that there is some special feeling I have had and can recognize when I meet someone. I know it because I have felt it and though I can’t quite put words to what it is, if it is not there, then I should follow that instinct and not settle for not having it. First date #5 didn’t have it, and again, even though he’s a nice person who might be interested in me, I just have to go with my gut and let that one fade out.

I’m fairly certain the “Bumble” time has run its course and I’ve gained some new wisdom from the experience, but am very much in favor of not using it at all anymore. I’m still on the fence about deleting my profile, but for sure there will be no more swiping right or left in my immediate future. That being said, I have managed to meet two new people who both pique my interest in very different ways and I’m interested to see where those roads will lead, but those are stories for a different day.

For now, it is back to bed with me. I’ve been up for quite some time now and hopeful I will be able to go back to sleep. Second sleep as one might say.

Until the next Tomorrow,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-21 Me and My Witches Hat

I have two words for people who make assumptions about other people.. Just Don’t. I sometimes repeat myself if I feel really strongly about something.. Just Don’t.

Yesterday I was just finishing watering my potted plants and going through the house from the back to the front door and nearly missed a man putting a flyer in my door. I stepped out the door to greet him and see what was up and he introduced himself and said that he works for a small local roofing company and asked if I knew if I had hail damage (from the recent storm). I said that I didn’t know. He said, “Well you do”.

He proceeded to tell me about my roof and the “Witches Hat”, which I guess is what that part of my roof above my bedroom bay window that is an upside-down cone shape is called. He pointed out a few spots of damage, which I will admit I could not see with my untrained eye, but I nodded anyway.

We walked a little ways toward the driveway and he pointed out a few more things and said that I could potentially get a new roof because of the storm with little or no cost to me. Their company even has a program that helps people with the deductible for insurance. None of that was news to me as this is the second conversation I’ve had with someone like this recently.

He handed me a business card and an envelope sized glossy pamphlet and told me that when my husband gets home, we should definitely talk it over. Again, I just nodded in agreement as I was not really feeling like correcting him in that I was single.

He continued to talk to me about more of the same for about five minutes and said no less than 4 times, “so talk to your husband and give us a call”. In the end, I felt less pressure to commit to any action on my part because, of course, “my husband” would be the one to decide what to do in this situation, so I just kept nodding and saying “ok” until he was on his way.

That was yesterday and I am still thinking about it. Yes, he was an older gentleman who probably has come across many a wife or girlfriend staying at home either to raise the children or just because she has someone to provide for her and does not have to work. He was raised (as I was), in a society where that is supposed to be the norm. Get married, have kids, the man is the primary bread winner, yada-yadda. Still, people should not assume.

I bought this beautiful 4 bedroom house complete with a witches hat all by myself. I have a two car garage with two cars in it that I own outright, one that I straight up paid cash for. I’m a single parent who is responsible for 50% the healthcare of my children as well as food and clothes and activities, and, of course, this wonderful house that holds that roof with that witches hat over their heads at night.

This is actually the second house I have bought us. The first one was during the divorce and I had that one built from scratch within walking distance of the kids’ elementary school. It was in the neighborhood adjacent to the one I was moving out of where my ex-husband would continue to live. When I was married, for a large portion of the time, I was the one who supported us.

I’ve worked since I was out of college when I was 19. I’ve done well for myself in my career all while having babies, getting more school, and basically being the main source of income while my (now-ex) husband was also going through school. I’ve always had good sense when it comes to finances and have never liked to be in debt.

Anyway, I’ve worked and earned what I have and am a little put off by people assuming that I could not possibly live here without another half.

This is not the only thing that people assume about me. When I worked for a hospital and would meet new people and they asked where I worked and I told them, many times they would assume I was a nurse. “Not a nurse”, I would say, “I work in IT”. They assume I’m a nurse because that’s a woman’s profession. A few times I told a perfect stranger that I was a surgeon or a psychiatrist, just because I was put off by the fact that they made an assumption.

People assume because of my name that “I’m Shy”. Well, I might be at first, but those who know me well know that I’m not really at all.

People assumed that when I said I was going to Europe, that I was going with someone and did not believe I was going alone. I went alone anyway.

Hell, my own father once guessed that I would have to have a C-section because I wasn’t tough enough or maybe too small to birth a 7 pound baby naturally. I did it twice (technically they were both just shy of 7 pounds, but that wasn’t because of my name either).

I think there is quite a long history of people making assumptions about me and I have it in my head that this is just the way of the world. People have pre-conceived notions and just continue on that happy path in their own minds until someone tells them otherwise. That does not make it right. I try not to make assumptions about people and I feel like it should be a common courtesy, but it is just not.

There is still so much gender, race, age, and religious descrimination in this world and the dial on that turns so slowly, I may not see much change on it even in my lifetime. I would hope that by the time my daughter is my age, her professional, financial, or relationship status would not be subject to the same societal norms or expectations. It probably will be, but hopefully to a slightly lesser degree.

I generally try not to point a finger at a problem without having some helpful ideas for possible solitons, but in this case I’m coming up empty. Sadly, I can’t even don my REAL witches hat and wave my wand to fix this issue. The best I can do for myself at this time is to put my story and my thoughts out there in an attempt to lesson the weight of it on my mind.

Hopefully, I’ve achieved that and can now continue going about my business, taking a nap or reading a book in my house, in my bedroom, with the bay window, below the roof with the hat and the potential hail damage. I’ll not assume the roofing company rep is pedaling BS, but I may just call a different company for an estimate anyhow.

Peace and Respect,
~Miss SugarCookie
( and don’t assume I’m sweet either 😉 )

2017-07-14 PNW Day 4: I’ve Come a Long Way Baby…

… Literally. Yesterday I drove from Rockaway to Crescent City, Ca and what should have been a 6.5 hour drive took us 12 hours. We checked out of one motel at 11AM and checked into the next at 11PM. We made so many stops along the way. Some were good and some were bad, some were necessary and some were not. In the end, It was dark and I was sleepy and all I wanted to do was get to that dingy motel so I could sleep.

At dinner-time I got a craving for a cheeseburger and typed that into the GPS and ended up at a place called “Shake and Burger”. The service was the VERY WORST I have had in a long, long time. The burger was sub-par and the place was really kind of a dump. I’m not even going to dedicate an individual post to it because it was not even worthy (probably a 2 for the record – 1.5 if you factor in the service). I would have thought a place with “burger” in the name would hit at least a 3. Yowza.

Anyway, I did all that driving so I could wake up today and just zip down to the Redwood National Park and hike amongst the giant redwood trees. Sure enough, I was not one mile into the park on scenic 101 that I got that very goosebumps feeling that I get when something amazing is happening. I do love the Redwood forest. It’s just so awe-inspiring

I barely thought at all about the last time I was there, which was in 2012 with Matt. This is proof that either the Forests powers are just that strong or that I’m really starting to just be over him. Either way I have come a long way.

The plan was supposed to be that we would arrive in Seattle on Friday, but when we were still in California at about 2PM today, it was very clear that was not going to happen. I was already sick of driving after yesterday and could only take about 4 or 5 hours in the car today so we stopped in Eugene Oregon for the night. We will make it the rest of the way tomorrow.

On that note, I need a good night sleep to get me in better shape for tomorrow and the weekend. It is my turn to be solo in the bed (we’ve been taking turns sharing a bed).

Nighty-Night,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-09 What Potato’s Do

You know what I didn’t do yesterday? Look at my to-do list. You know what else I didn’t do, pretty much anything. If I’m being perfectly honest, the reason is because I only slept for 2 hours. Yeah.. 2. I went to sleep at 4:30AM on Friday night/Saturday morning and woke up at 6:30. Why my body/mind will not let me sleep past 7AM is beyond me, but I know this to be a fact and yet I still ignore it and do stupid things like stay up until 4:30 in the AM. So it’s my own fault I was a total potato yesterday.

In the morning I worked for about half an hour in the garden, which is all I could muster and I did go to Jazzersize and gave a half-hearted attempt. After that, I came back home and tried to go back to bed. I had a nap for about an hour and a half, but it was not enough to fuel me to do anything productive. I gave up and just laid around and played a game on my phone.

Later in the day I went to Josh’s house and we went to Canfields and Menards just walking around looking at stuff. After, we met up with a friend of his and went to Qdoba for dinner (I had a coupon and I’m all about the coupons now that I have to watch my pennies a little closer). Qdoba is right next to game stop so the boys went in to browse a little. I was bored out of my mind.

It amazes me how they can look at games and talk about games for hours and hours. Playing is one thing, but just standing in a store talking to the clerk for that long? Oh my gosh, I felt like I was going to fall asleep standing up. In reality it was probably only 30 minutes, but it still felt like an eternity.

Then we hit the Dunkin just before close. If we weren’t regulars there they probably would have been super annoyed to see people walk in at 8:59PM wanting coffee. Instead, they made the guys drinks and we BS’d for like 15 minutes. Well, they talked while I just stood there smiling because I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. Kind of strange watching two guys in their 20s and 30s flirting with a couple of 18 year olds. Strange, but interesting.

After that we went to Scott’s place so they could start the new game they purchased. At that point I was transported about 20-30 years back in time. There I was, sitting on a chair watching boys play video games. Growing up, it was my brother. I played our Atari 2600 a little, but mostly I just watched. After that it was the arcade, a place where I was employed for about a year while I was going to the community college. Then, of course, with Brian, but by that time I had mostly lost interest and had much better things to do on my own. Anyway, sitting there in Scott’s basement, it was like I was somehow reliving a moment and it was ok, but for a fairly short moment.

As I began to fade, I left them to their new story and the adventure that was only beginning. They had gotten past the intro and the tutorial and I was ready for bed. When I arrived home I fell asleep so fast. At least there is one good thing that comes from only getting a few hours of sleep, you are so tired going to sleep again is never a problem. This time, I stayed asleep for 6+ hours, or so I think. My FitBit has suddenly decided to not update that stat.

Anyway, I need to be more productive today and NOT procrastinate at least doing a little planning and packing for my trip. This time tomorrow I’ll have the kids and we’ll be getting ready to head out on our big adventure.

Hasta Luego,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-06 The Fabric of Our Lives

Today I want to write about relationships. Our lives are composed of the sum of our experiences and that composition is largely made up of moments we have shared with other people. Our parents and relatives and friends and lovers and children. There are people we pass by in our daily routines, like the barista that makes your coffee and there are people we work side by side with in our careers. All of these relationships are lines criss-crossed and intersecting like a blanket woven of memories and shared experiences.

Sometimes that fabric is tightly woven and things seem stable and other times, the interactions seem thin and few and far between. Last year when I was in train wreck mode I felt very much alone. I’d lost the strongest weave in my fabric and daily it felt as though I was just going to fall through with no safety net beneath me. But Josh was there. I continued to try and connect the dots making sure all the other lines stayed in tact, like with some of my friends and family and children, but he was always there. I was on a trust course, feeling my way from one intersection to the next often balancing on that one thread.

Now I feel like I’ve crossed over into a new section of my life and I am ready to begin again, trying to find some more threads and tighten things up. I have the time now to really fortify some of my existing relationships and search for new ones. I know I am ready, and I want to, but I don’t want to have to sacrifice what I have with Josh. The nature of our relationship is complicated and part of me feels very strong about not being able to continue on the way we have been at the same time that I am looking for a new partner in life. Maybe that’s right and maybe that is wrong, but that is my current struggle.

Last night I had date number two with Mr. Fireworks and he seems like a good guy. He’s got lots of history and strong opinions and not afraid to share all of it, which is something I really appreciate. At the same time, I just met this person and can’t help but hold up what I already know next to what I have with Joshua and start to compare. Then I start to question if that is even fair? How can anyone I just met measure up to this person I have known for 10 years that has had such a profound impact on my life? The answer is probably not. And yet Josh is not meant to be my future, and so my brain goes round and round again.

And who is the person I want to talk to right after the 2nd date comes to an end? It’s Josh, but again, that does not seem fair, for either of us. I’ve got a full day planned today but still hoping to get to see him. I guess we will see if that connection is meant to happen today or not but I really need to get up and get started with my day.

Ciao for Now,
~Miss SugarCookie