2018-03-30 Austin Day 2: Changes in Scenery

I’m now into my second day of enjoying everything this city now offers me. I say “now”, because as we get older, the scenery has changed.

I absolutely cherish how things are now. When I’m here, I’m family. We hang around and talk and eat. We go out for delicious meals also full of great conversation. The kids treat me like family and I’ve come to appreciate this family life as one that seems to me to be how things ought to be. It’s nothing like either my childhood nor the early years of my own children’s lives. I can’t change anything about all of that now, nor do I have a longing to dwell on it.

I just look at what is in front of me and embrace each moment as a gift. They are open with me about their struggles, which makes the way this household operates seem just that much more magical. They work together to work through things. Human beings together and committed to that togetherness, and always making the best choices they can for the sake of their children and their relationship.

It elicits a very compelling feeling within me. A deep desire to create the same thing in my own life. To bottle it up and take it home with me. A truly impossible task when one is missing the most key ingredients.

The other fairy dust in that bottle is sustainability over time. The agenda of things has changed here in Austin over time. Though I consider Rebecca one of my very best friends, the connection has an intriguing and ironic beginning. I’m from Iowa and so is her husband. We grew up in the same town.

In fact, we went to the same high school though I never really met him there. Our introduction came sometime after that as he was good friends with the man I would marry. He was a groomsman in my wedding. In essence, the start of that relationship is what ultimately (10 or so years later) led to the start of my relationship with Rebecca.

In those early years, the scenery in Austin was very different. We were all about 6th street and drinking and sitting on dueling pianos. We flipped pankaces at the theatre and she was Veronica and I was Betty. They handed us shots and we took them. When people talk about the good ole days, one might presume this is what they are referring to.

But for me, every change of scenery has been the best of times.

Ironically, they were married just as my marriage was falling apart. The Thursday before their wedding, I drank so much I put myself into a world of hurt and ended up missing out on their rehearsal day BBQ. I’ll always carry that as a heavy regret.

In the years that followed I continued my visits to Austin solo. I’ve been here over thanksgiving twice, because you’re supposed to spend holidays with family and they were always the best hostess and host ever.

I’ve made trips for baby showers and also trips “just because”. I’ve flown and driven and made that journey also alone and with other people. They (my Austin peeps) saw me through my divorce and then also my other relationships. They saw the start of things with Matt and were also there in the end. We have laughed and cried, so cliche, but true. They have been my sounding board for my deep life conundrums and always provided good, and honest, insight.

I try to come here twice a year now. Typically in the spring when winter weather back home has gone on too long and weather here is phenomenal and then again in the late fall, after their summer heat has subsided and winter is knocking on Nebraska’s door again. As I’ve said, it is an escape for me, to a home away from home.

Today more family is arriving and the scenery will change again. More people will invigorate the environment and the discussions will turn from being intimate, and take on a lighter, more surface level tone. Steph will be among the new guests, and I have not seen her since just after her and her husband moved from Nebraska to Texas. I’m quite looking forward to hearing about how things are with them now.

I’m not afraid of change. In fact, I often embrace it. I think I’ve always been this way and maybe that’s why I enjoy living where we have such distinct seasons. It might also be why I enjoy traveling and also life changes. Each change seems to be another step in the right direction. More so now than ever. I don’t really miss the good ole day’s because I know that today will be even better!

Cheers to Change,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-06-18 The Nature of Friendship

Last night I visited a friend of mine who just bought a house in CB, across the river from Omaha. It really feels far out of town and they grilled and we sat on their back porch and talked as the sun went down. It was really nice. We played with their drones and they talked about finding the house and what kinds of fun things are coming up in the near future.

I told them about quitting my job and not having another and they were very excited for me. Nobody seems to be too worried at all, which is nice. No lectures or advice or words of wisdom being thrown in my direction. Maybe they all think that I’m a grown up and can sink or swim for myself. Let’s hope they are right.

We did not talk about the relationship status or Matt at all, which was also nice. I did not tell Denise we broke up until after Christmas this past year, mostly probably because I was hoping it was only temporary.

Denise and I have been friends with since she moved to CB in 6th grade. We went to elementary, middle-school, and high-school together. She is one of a very few people that I am still friends with from HS. Really, I only keep in moderate contact with a couple of people “from those days”. And moderate is being a bit generous.

The others are Kelly, Laurie, and Rio, who I also graduated with but did not go to elementary school with like Denise. We see each other on FB, which you know is no substitute for a real connection, so I feel like I know what is going on in their lives, but I really don’t. Nor do they really know what is going on in mine.

Of these four lovely ladies, only Rio was in my wedding when I got married when I was 19. The others were Danielle, Stacey, Erika, and my sister Lindsay. Besides my sister, I don’t talk to or see any of these people anymore. Danielle moved farther away (albeit not that far), Erika and I had a pretty significant falling out many years ago, and Stacey has moved on from this life.

Thinking about it now, it is interesting how people come into and out of our lives. Things happen and as time passes we grow and change and so do they. Some people we grow closer to and others we grow apart from. It feels like a very natural occurrence and one that we should not be too upset about. For a very long time I was upset by the end of my friendship with Erika, but eventually let it go. You have to let it go or those kinds of things will weigh you down your entire life. And life is too short for that.

Denise and I talked about Erika last night too, as a similar thing happened with them. We were once a pretty tight group of friends, back before I had my kids, and we went for walks every week and talked about everything. We bridged the gap between Nebraska and Iowa and it did not seem that far, until one day it was. First we stopped meeting every week, and then girls game night that was once a month stopped too. Eventually, our annual Christmas Cookie baking event also stopped being scheduled. Other things and other people became more important. It was sad for a long time, but then, as more time passed it didn’t feel sad anymore, just “the way life is”.

Last night I found myself staring off into that sunset off her back deck last being at peace with all of it. It’s was a good feeling.

I think I need to get to a place where I’m at peace with my relationship with Matt. I certainly have that with regard to my ex-husband, and also the one other person I dated semi-seriously. I even have peace with my relationship with Josh, which is an ongoing thing. We have an understanding, and a mutual respect for each other, and care about each other while still recognizing there is no future there. We’ve been through the trials to answer the question, “can we just be friends”, with yes.

Denise seems to be very happy now in her new place with her man and all is right with the world. They are making plans for the future and that is how it should be. I’m very happy for her.

As for me, I’m getting there too, slow and steady. I think I’m on the right track and moving forward. I’m moving forward and looking forward to the future, which is a good sign.

Now Let’s Do Sunday,
~Miss SugarCookie