2017-09-26 A Different Road

It’s 4:45AM. I woke up at four. I’m not in my own house and therefore not in my own bed and I probably had four hours of sleep at the most. At the most. I’ve got a few things on my mind, one of which is a song which I don’t know the lyrics to so my brain is just humming the melody. That’s very annoying. If I am going to have a song stuck in my head I should at least know the lyrics. I should google it so I can sing it for real.

I snuck downstairs so quiet so as not to disturb the sleeping. I’m comfortable enough here, in the waking hours, but sleeping is a whole other game. And if you are following along with my game, you know I’m already sleep challenged. Shit.

It doesn’t help matters that I’m still congested. Did I mention I don’t get sick? I DON”T GET SICK. UGH. I don’t get sick like this so I don’t know what to do. I’m probably not taking care of myself the right way and I’m so convinced that if I just go about things like nothing is wrong, it’s just going to get better. I felt better yesterday and even rocked the steps and the exercise like NBB. Yet here I sit, eyes watering, can’t breathe, and I presume my voice is still not recovered.

Despite that, we had a nice night last night. We talked and cooked dinner together and then ate and watched a movie, “The Illusionist”. The movie was not as good as I expected, but my expectations were high based on feedback from folks I’ve talked to. Cooking dinner together was the best part. He made some pre-dinner snacks while I cooked and magically he had all the ingredients on hand for gluten-free stuffed bell peppers. I’ll have to remember that one because I’ve got lots of peppers and it was pretty simple to make.

It’s been a strange road so far with this guy. He’s so different than most of the men I have met, in a good way. When I think back to our first meet-up at the coffee shop on July 23rd and the 24 hours prior to that, I almost can’t believe how it’s all unfolded. Very unusual indeed.

He was my 6th first date and I was 45 minutes late due to getting the time wrong. As such, I had rushed and was not really put together like I would have liked and just kind of ran out the door. The night prior was first date #5 which landed me driving alone to Walnut creek to cry. To be fair, it wasn’t really him, it was all me and the woes in my head. That night I had terrible sleep that was consumed by a massive headache. That’s that part that makes me think it’s kind of crazy I am here right now.

How in the world did I think it was a good idea after all that to still try to meet? The cards were stacked against it, yet I still jumped in my car and drove all the way to Benson. We had a nice chat and he was very charming. Again, different than people I know and people I have met, but I think that is part of what I am drawn to. I don’t want ordinary, I’m looking for extraordinary.

That’s a strange word, extraordinary. One might take it to mean ordinary to the nth degree, but it means quite the opposite. The English language is so odd.

Anyway, so here I am, two months later, waking up in his house, in his bed and wondering where this road will lead. There is no lack in conversation, though I feel like it’s a bit over my head at times. Living under a rock has it’s disadvantages which includes not being able to follow along when people make references to things you should probably know about.

We have not had an conversations about what “this” is or where it’s going and he’s not said a great deal about what he thinks about me or us. I don’t want to presume anything and I also don’t want to fall into the communication void like I had with Matt where we just didn’t talk about it at all. Then again, when I was at the point he and I had been dating for two months it was perfectly clear how he felt about me, and me him. In this situation, it’s just.. well.. different.

I spoke a little bit to Rebecca when I was in Austin about how different these beginnings are and she issued that it was OK. Every situation is different and comparing apples and oranges don’t do any good (my words not hers). So I’m just taking this one interaction at a time and trying not to over-analyze or look ahead to the future too much. Both of those are tough for me so it’s a challenge.

I keep telling myself that if it all just fizzles out tomorrow, I’ll still have gained a lot already and I just need to to be grateful for that.

And now it IS tomorrow. I’m going to sneak back to bed now so I can be there when he wakes up.

Different is Good,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. The Song in my head is “StarBoy” by The Weekend, and I did look up the words and I’m not gonna try to get those lyrics down, eeeeek. Hopefully now that I’ve written a bit, it will be out of my head anyway.

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2017-09-24 Sunday Status Update

Day 5 of being ill, slept like shit last night because of congestion and my throat and cough are worse now. What the hell.

As a result, my stats are taking a serious dive:

Fitbit Steps.. Today – 6K so far.
7 Day Average – Just over 12K (above my official daily goal but below what my new goal has been 15K). 28 day average, about the same. Time to step up my game. 😛

Jazzercise .. Only two classes this week, though I also did one yoga/pilates class and one “group strike” class.

Sleep.. Back down to 6 hours a night. Maybe the E2 is messing with that because it does not seem to record the naps. I’m still not really trying to do the E2 until I feel better (though I’m still only getting like 5 hours the last couple of nights and no naps).

Eating.. I’ve been eating better overall, but have not been able to stay off caffeine or the drink (party last night at my house). I think the small changes are good. I’ve minimized gluten and dairy and so perhaps not going off things completely, but just making better choices overall.

Work.. Still Unemployed. Living the dream one day at a time. 😃

Relationship Status.. Unofficially dating someone?! I hosted a party at my house last night for Jeff and Steph and told him about it and he showed up. He was actually the first one here and the last one gone. Sort of unexpected and I was pleasantly surprised, and also mildly anxious as my ex-husband was also in attendance (being friends with Jeff and Steph too). Yowza. Does this mean we are dating? I’m not one to like putting labels on things, but I’d kind of like to know what to say the status is.

At the present moment I am drinking a concoction consisting of hot water, apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon, ginger, and cinnamon. I googled natural sore throat remedies and then threw everything I had on hand in the kitchen into the same cup. It’s actually quite good. Not sure if it will help, but worth a shot and nice to try and do something.

Feels like it’s time for a nap again now, I’m just exhausted.
Looking for the Corner,
~Miss SugarCooking

2017-09-18 A Very Nice Homecoming Indeed

Austin was lovely as usual and a nice change of pace and retreat from the normal SugarCookie life. But what is “normal” now days? It’s become highly focussed on health and well being with a heavy dose of doing all the things I want to do when I want to do them. Not a bad way to live.

I knew the kids would be walking to my house after school today, which meant essentially, that I had about another half a day free from all the mom duties. So I did the thing I wanted to do more than anything else.. I went to visit the person I have been dating. Of all the things I’ve been writing about, that one has been in my mind quite a lot but not yet made more than a mention or two on the page. I’m sort of wondering why that is.

Perhaps it is because I’m still somewhat holding my breath it is a real thing. Perhaps it was because I am attempting to be discrete out of respect for someone else’s privacy. Perhaps I just did not yet know what to say about it. Nothing about any of that has changed, and yet now I feel like I just need to say something about it. But what do you say when you don’t have the words and are still in such unfamiliar territory? I guess you take advice from Mr. Mayer and “Say What You Need to Say”.

When I left his house today I felt happy. I have been historically a happy person. I’m generally well liked, I think, and almost always try to be upbeat when around other people. This last year+ put me through hell and I became someone I did not recognize. I didn’t feel well, I didn’t feel joy, and I was very uncertain what the future would hold. As I was going through it, there were times I thought I may never feel my old self again. I thought the loneliness and heartache would go on and on without end. It was a horrible, desperate feeling.

So today when I got in my car to drive away and had a smile on my face and a glow emanating from my insides, I almost didn’t recognize it. As I stated I was, and still am, holding my breath for whatever happens next, but I’m starting to allow myself to acknowledge these positive feelings and be hopeful about whatever it is that is going to happen next.

I did write about a week ago regarding my uncertainty. That’s a thing that still exists, hence my references to “holding my breath”. However, with each interaction I feel more and more comfortable and trusting. Both of those are huge in my book.

From the very start, he was really easy to talk to and even as our topics have gotten more and more in-depth and sensitive, that has not changed. He’s very open and honest and seems to share a lot without me having to ask. This is such a good quality. In turn, this has made me more and more willing and able to share in return. I sometimes still struggle for the right words, because I’ve had my fair share of being nervous that I would say something and it would come out wrong, or that I would say something that would make me sound stupid. Even that has started to dissolve.

He’s intelligent both intellectually and emotionally. We have a similar outlook on health and exercise and eating well. He’s very fit and is very mindful of diet and actively seeking to better himself. This is right in line with where I am at right now, and truly where I have tried to be for many years. It’s refreshing to meet someone who seems willing to support making changes and improvements and trying new things. He’s picked up a book from the library, “The Four Hour Body” and is serious about trying to implement some of the things from the book.

I’ve enjoyed hanging out at his house, as it feels very natural to me there. He makes us coffee or tea and puts on good music and we talk. I’ve been over during the work day before and just sort of did my own thing while he worked and then we would take a break and go for a walk or bike ride. He’s cooked me several meals, which is a thing I could really get used to and of course I have had him over to my house and have cooked a few too.

We have gone “out” a few times, one night to play pool and have a drink and another for Sushi Sunday dinner downtown after which we sat on his couch and watched a movie, “The Last Samurai”. That was about two weeks ago I think.

When I arrived from Austin, I went straight to his place, which is closer to the airport than mine and we spent the rest of my “kid-free” time together until I had to be home to greet them. Which brings me to where this journal entry began, with me doing exactly what I wanted to do.

So now I have done what I wanted and said (some of) what needed to be said and am happy about being happy and having a very nice homecoming. Tomorrow will be officially back to “normal” for me.. whatever that means. 😉

Good To Be Home,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-13 I Have More To Say About That

Ever since I went to the concert last night I feel like I’ve been on the edge of some really heavy emotions. I eluded to that in my post earlier today about not apologizing for feeling the way I do or sometime wearing my heart on my sleeve, as they say.

I wrote a little bit about the concert making me open the door to thoughts about Matt and once I did that, it all started to rush at me. About six months ago when I went to Austin, my friends there urged me to not have contact with him. They suggested that I unfriend him on social media and not have text or email. Doing all of that was tougher than I thought, but as of my trip with the kids in July, the last email was sent and never responded to. The door was closed.

Doing that allowed me to entertain the possibility of dating someone else. It allowed me to focus on other people and other relationships and damn, we broke up last September, so it was about time already. What I found when I started to do those other things, was that wasn’t going to be easy either. So what in this life IS easy, I wonder. Perhaps that is a question for a different day.

In any case, I just got tangled in a swirl of my own emotions today and was so overwhelmed by sadness that I bawled at that Ed Sheeran song, Photograph. I cried at that one at the concert last night and so when the gods of the iPhone music shuffle selected that for my listening pleasure today, I could not help but to break down all over again. Then I played it two more times in a row so I could just cry it all out because that is what I do. I want to feel like I have no more in me, like I have been emptied of the sadness. I do that with happy songs or dancing songs too sometimes, but mostly because I want to keep the dance party going and not be rid of it.

I can’t help but think about the fact that I could be at the start of a new relationship, which I have not written very much about yet. I’m comparing how I felt 6 years ago in September and it is so very different, the experiences I have had with this new person have so far been just about as polar opposite of those I had with Matt. With that being the case, I’m really questioning what shot this has of turning into something more long term. It feels like at every turn I am so uncertain and left wondering if this road that we have started to go down will hit a dead end in a month. I have no confidence and my self worth as value as a partner is (and has been) at an all time low.

I think I am pretty great, so it’s not a self esteem thing, it is more about equality and what I bring to the table. With Matt, that was clear from the very beginning and he acknowledged it. Right now, I’m not getting a lot of feedback and I think that is the one thing I need desperately to feel differently about the situation.

Matt was head-over-heals for me. He wanted me and pursued me and before we were parted, we were making plans to see each other again. Nothing left to wonder about there. So now I am experiencing something very different, yet I still have those same feelings. I still want to see him and when we are together I don’t want to leave. I’m just not getting much in return to indicate if he feels the same way or not. I’ve thought maybe I should just cool myself off a bit and see if he comes around without prompting, but that feels like a sort of game or tactic to me and I’m not about games. I like to be more straightforward. What I might do instead is just come out and ask him what he thinks.

I, in turn, need to be open and honest if the questions get turned back on me. I’m headed over to his house in a bit and wondering if today is the day to do that or if I should wait until I get back from Texas.

I’m going to Austin for a few days and I leave tomorrow. If I wait, I will not only get advice from some of my favorite people, but I will also have a fair amount of time alone to think about things. When I am there, there is not a lot of pull to exercise and since they have a family, there’s lots of kids stuff that pulls their attention away. I’ll have quiet moments to reflect and write and work out some of the things I have been feeling.

I leave tomorrow at 6AM, so it is highly likely there will not be any more words coming from Miss SugarCookie for at least a day.

Until We Meet Again,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-08 On Social Anxiety and Meeting People

It has been a while since I woke up before 6AM, which feels like a really good thing. I feel like I am in a much better place than I was a month ago or two months ago and certainly a world away from where I was at in January. I’ve been fighting my way to a healthier, happier life all year and it’s been an uphill climb, but I really am getting there.

I really don’t think I could have gotten this far without quitting my job. I’m not looking for some continued justification, but it is nice to have some validation that I made the right decision. I also think it has helped these last few months having no contact with Matt. The “once in a while” communication and continued analysis over our failed relationship was unhealthy for me. My friend Rebecca called it, and she was right.

Aside from those two factors, I believe that deciding to try and date again has been a bit of a rollercoaster and have questioned that decision multiple times. I’ve also contemplated exactly how a person should try to meet new people, especially an introvert like me that does not get out much.

People say that you should just do the things you love to do and whatever is supposed to happen, whoever you are supposed to meet, will come naturally. Have those people ever suffered from social anxiety? Do they know how hard it is to put yourself together enough to go to an event and participate all alone? It’s not easy.

So far this year I’ve gone to about half a dozen events put on by the Nebraska Writers Collective, including poetry feedback readings, storytelling slams, and fund raisers. I’ve also gone to Barcamp and a few other random events, such as the “Great Minds” series and a “Reverse Pitch” kickoff. Each time it is sort of the same thing.

The day of the event I’m nervous all day. I go through the motions to decide what to wear and walk myself mentally through getting there and parking and finding a place to sit. I have to psych myself up for it and give myself multiple pep-talks about how it’s going to be fine and that nothing bad will happen. Sometimes the anxiety is worse than others. The more unfamiliar the situation, the worse it is I think.

When I go to whatever it is, I’m generally OK, as soon as I settle into a seat. My heart always races at the thought of having a conversation with a stranger so as soon as I am seated, the chance that someone will approach me is less likely. I probably put out some signal with my non verbal communication that goes like this.. “Don’t come near me, I’m not wanting a chat”. Which is probably why I never meet anyone, and am unlikely to meet anyone at some meet up like that.

When it’s over, I make a beeline for the door and my car as that is where I will find relief from the anxiety knowing that it is behind me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total social failure. I can navigate talking to people and having conversations just fine, but the way it makes me feel is not super awesome and I usually come away from it second guessing something I said or kicking myself for being awkward.

Despite all of that, I do keep trying anyway. I’m totally comfortable at the gym, but I’ve been going there for over 10 years and nobody has ever approached me so I’m not holding my breath for anything to happen there. In my head, the dating app was my best bet for finding someone new. I tried it for a few months and that was enough to convince me it was NOT my best bet, but have had people say I was maybe on the wrong one (I did the Bumble thing).

However, just about the same point that I was “giving up” on the Bumble, I did meet someone who sparked my interest and seemed different than the other people I had met. I’ve perhaps written about a few of our meet ups and some of the interactions thus far, but at this point, I am starting to have a little more trust that this could be really good. I’m so guarded and cautious because of my recent experiences and I also have a bit of a wall up around my heart because of my delicate emotions.

Even so, I am optimistic about where it is going. And I am sure that has also been a factor in my outlook and mood lately. I don’t want to hang my hat on the fact that another person is what is responsible for my happiness, but I can’t deny that it does play into it. I’m certainly capable of being happy and healthy without having a partner, but it does seem easier when you have someone to communicate with and some things to look forward to.

I also enjoy sharing things with someone else and talking about things with someone else, and though I have a fair number of acquaintances, people have their own lives and don’t have time to really dig in and spend hours and hours on that kind of stuff like a partner would. So far, I’ve really enjoyed all of the conversations with my new friend and am looking forward to the next time we get to see each other. That will probably be sometime this weekend. I’m making pico de gallo with this weeks tomato harvest and have promised to bring some over to his place. It’s a win/win. 😃

Anyway, it’s now almost 7 and I’m getting up to get the kids moving for the school day. It’s Friday so yay for the last day of the “workweek”. It means more to them than me at this point.

Cheers To The Start of the Weekend,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-24 It’s Just Lunch

Quite some time ago, I promised my ex-husband I would take him to lunch. I don’t remember what the reason was but I typically don’t forget when I owe someone something or if I have made a promise. In the past few weeks he and I have had several conversation and he eluded to the fact he had something he wanted to talk to me about so I suggest we get lunch some day this week. I also offered to give him some vegetables from my garden which he gladly accepted. My harvest is overflowing right now and I have a surplus of tomato, zucchini, green peppers, and cucumbers. I’ve already processed lots of tomatoes and left some out of that for just these sorts of situations.

Today was our lunch. I’m already feeling very melancholy about being alone and more so because it is my birthday this weekend. I’ve off and on been on the verge of tears thinking about Matt and us and dating and how that’s a sucky road that goes to no-where and how I’m just sick of being alone. When he asked me how I was doing, I could not help but get emotional and then it sort of all just came out. The man knows a LOT about me. We were married for 17 years, so it stands to reason.

He felt bad for me, I am fairly certain. He went through the same thing after we were divorced and most of the time I was dating Matt so he totally gets where I am coming from. He had trials and errors in dating and talked a little bit about that as he was trying to relate to what I was saying.

He’s been dating the same girl for over a year now and she’s great. The kids like her and she seems like real “LTR” material. I’m happy for him that he’s not alone anymore because I would never want to wish this feeling I have been feeling on anyone. Even my ex. Still, relationships are hard too and it’s never all just rainbows and cream-puffs.

When we parted ways he gave me a hug and told me that he loved me. Of course, you never really stop loving someone even if you also hated them for one reason or another. I mean maybe some people can or do, but not him and not me either. I caught myself pulling a Han Solo and saying “Yeah, I know”.. and then recognized what I had just done and followed that by saying “I love you too”. He even kissed me on the cheek. That was unexpected.

Then I got in my car and drove away. Life is funny like that.

I wonder if I will hear from Matt on my Birthday. I wonder what he’s up to. I wonder if I will ever be able to get over feeling the way I do about us. Deep down, I don’t think my ex has ever gotten over the way he feels about me, so maybe it is possible that that stuff can just linger for years and years. Perhaps after several years go by we can meet again one day and talk about it.. you know, over lunch or something.

Express Menu Please,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-24 Tired Thursday

I had enough sleep, but I still feel tired. We had guests over to the house for dinner last night and then the kids played until about 9:30. I think sometimes stuff like that wears me out.

I’m not really keeping track but I think this is about the 5th or 6th time I’ve had some sort of meet up with this person and most of the time his daughter has also been present. There was the first bike ride with the three of us, the beach/dinner/movie day, the first meet up at my place with Z and C, and now last night which was sort of a repeat at her (his daughter’s) request. It’s all been pretty good but I’m still so on the fence about how I feel about it.

On one hand, I really like him, and her as well. He’s intelligent, good looking, fit, and seems to be pretty well rounded. His daughter is charming, has endless amounts of energy, and seems very thoughtful and sweet. It makes sense that they are spending as much time as they can together while she is here for the summer. Her mom lives in another state and when school starts he has to take her back there.

On the other hand, I’m really just lost as to how he feels about me. Our conversations have been great, the interaction with everyone has been as good as it can be, but at the end of the day, I am still left sort of wondering and due to my current insecurities and lack of confidence in the dating department any fuzziness is being interpreted negatively. I’m in a spot where it is tough for me to feel encouraged with so little feedback.

We have seen each other multiple times in the past few weeks but I question how much of that is because he wanted to and how much is for his daughters benefit. I’ve also initiated a lot of the interaction and as history has taught me, that’s not in my favor. The most I have received in the way of physical contact has been hugs hello or goodbye and there has not even been an attempt at a good-night kiss even though there have been several opportunities. My brain lingers on that one… probably too much.

If I am being perfectly honest, which is the point here you know, I actually dreamt about it last night. I rarely have dreams with people I know and I daresay I have never had a dream about someone that I really only just met. So it’s definitely a thing my mind is trying to puzzle out. Actually the dream had both him and his daughter (and Z) in it. Then later in the dream it was just him and I. I don’t put a lot of stock into what transpires in dreams, but I do tend to attach some problem that needs to be solved in the waking world. I also remember the dream, even now which is two hours after I’ve been awake. That also rarely happens.

The kids and I went through our normal morning routine and I sort of zombied my way through it. Waking up, getting breakfast going, making lunches, signing papers, and then the drive to school. That is where they are now and I am back home. I have quite a list of stuff to accomplish before Friday but no motivation whatsoever right now.

At the present moment, I’ve climbed back in my bed and have such a desire to go back to sleep. I’d like to get back to dreamland. I’d like to get just another hour or so of sleep and I’d like to wake feeling more refreshed so I can take on SOMETHING from my list. I’ll have to get up to draw the curtains closed to minimize the light if I am really going to try..

I think sometimes I loose sight of the fact that part of what I am trying to accomplish with this time off is just doing whatever I want and not worrying about everything so much. I don’t want to get to the end of my time and say “I should have slept in more”. No time like the present to remedy that. It’s the perfect morning for it.

On that note, audios for now.
Back to Dreamland,
~Miss SugarCookie