Monday, October 26, 2009

Miss Independent in a Relationship

So I have now been in my relationship for 3 1/2 months, the majority of that time being over long-distance.

This post is basically here to grade myself on how I am doing on maintaining myself and my independence throughout this process.

After a year of establishing ME as a whole and healthy individual, I thought it would be easy to just slip right into a relationship and maintain that same routine and state of mind.

It is not. I catch myself, more often than I would like to admit, slipping into a state of co-dependence again. Mr. Wonderful is an amazing man who loves to take care of me. There are times when I can take that for what it is, and then there are times when I feel myself relying on it....and that just cannot happen. It's one thing for him to say he can't wait to come back and help me fix things up around my house, it's another for me to let things go and not even TRY to do it myself because I'm depending on him to take care of it, just as an example.

The thing I am struggling the most with is the whole diet and exercise thing. Mr. Wonderful is a bit of a health nut and in perfect shape; ladies....I mean...PERFECT ;). Way before I met him, I was taking care of myself, staying in shape and eating right because I like the way it makes me feel. He loves me, loves my body...but my own insecurity took over at some point and started whispering things in my subconscious about how I needed to be "perfect". I fight it, a lot. The minute I start doing it to look good for him and not because I like how it feels and because I want to take care of myself, it becomes something else and that much harder to do. The mental leap is astronomical for someone like me who has always struggled with the psychological aspects of weight gain and loss (history of anorexia, etc). I must continue to concentrate on being healthy for myself or it will slip through my fingers. I've got to think about looking good for him as a nice bonus, not the goal.

Other than that, I have maintained my friendships at the same level that they existed before him. I still see my friends regularly for girls nights out and have never turned down a night out that I wouldn't have before. I'm still doing all the things that I'm passionate about, like exploring music, having nights out and nights in with my kids, trying new activities and things, and traveling. Life still feels fulfilling outside of the relationship. Work is going better than ever; I feel more inspired than I ever have, and I think my work is reflecting the fulfillment I have found.

I know things will change again once he is home (in HELLOOOO....34 days!!!) and we will be able to physically be together and fit a whole new routine into each other's schedules. But he is just as independent as I am, has his own group of friends who value his time as much as my friends value mine. He also has his own passions and interests that he can't wait to pursue. Some of those I'll be joining him for, others he'll do on his own. The goal is to be two happy and fulfilled individuals whose interests overlap at some points, spend time together when we can and as much as possible without losing ourselves in the process. I know it won't be perfect...nothing about this whole process has been...but I really do think I'm doing the best I can after being in such an unhealthy place for 12 long years (really, longer).

There have been times when I have felt that being alone and still single would be easier. Everytime we have a really difficult disagreement or have to come to a compromise on something, I do somewhat miss the days of not having to "answer" to anyone. When decisions were just mine and I didn't have to think of anyone else's feelings or situation. Many times over the year that I was living alone, I would cringe when a friend couldn't go out because her husband didn't want her to, or she maybe felt guilty about being away from the family too much. Being happy about not answering to anyone but myself on my nights away from the kids became a way to help myself cope with being alone: I allowed it to become a "positive", and for good reason. Now I'm having trouble letting go of that. And make no mistake, I'm holding onto a little bit of it. I will always make my own decisions, while yes, being considerate of other's feelings and opinions, but if I want to do something and it's not hurting anyone, I'll do it.

But in the grand scheme of things, it's worth it. I love him, everything about him, and he loves me like no one ever has. Our love is truly special, one that doesn't come along often. I've come close to losing it more than once and I know that this is what I want. I can't wait to have him here in my life and see where that road takes us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Badass Single Mom

I love calling myself that. It feels pretty empowering. And this past week I think I sort of earned it.

The beginning of October is totally nuts for me. My birthday is Sept 30th, then comes my son's birthday, then the next day my youngest's birthday, then on the 10th of October is the anniversary I dread all year, the day my first baby girl was stillborn.

So here is what I accomplished this past week:

-attended family birthday party w/ all three kids in tow at a pizza buffet
-woke my son up on his birthday morning with a gift and a twinkie
-cooked homemade meal and made/decorated a cake for my son for that evening (he declared it the best meal EVER)
-woke my youngest up the next morning for her bday w/ gift and a twinkie
-tolerated dinner at my exes home for her birthday dinner that evening
-managed to find a last minute cake and party favors for my son's rollerskating party for Friday afternoon, hosted with no help from the Ex (but thank God for my mom)
-hosted a sleepover for son's two close friends after the party
-Somehow made it through the anniversary of my daughter's death Saturday by plenty of encouragment and love from Mr. Wonderful and support of great friends
-that evening hosted Youngest daughter's birthday party at a bouncehouse venue and then at ice cream shop (again w/ no help or even ATTENDANCE from the ex)
-Sunday got super ambitious and took all three kids to the State Fair, managed to stay on a pretty good budget and fun was still had by all.

Not too shabby for one person, right?

Things are looking a little rough again...I was denied for health insurance, my a/c is broken and going to cost a bundle to fix, money is so tight that I'm starting to seriously panic, and business is fairly slow considering it's usually my "rush" time of year. My father was also admitted to the hospital today from his rehab facility and I have no idea what is going on with that.

But as I told my friend today who was worried about me, I'm really just exhausted. Doing this all on my own is tough. Sometimes I just have moments where I need to throw a little temper tantrum and be mad at the world and declare the unfairness of my situation, just to get it out. I can't always be positive or Susie Sunshine. Then it's over and I can buckle down and figure it out, just like I always have. Sometimes I just seriously can't believe how hard life can be. But I know there are plenty of good things for me and I just need to fight for them. The fight will be tough but I'll gain more than those who never struggle. I have to believe that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Divorce Par-tay

Saturday night was the big fun "Divorce/Birthday Party" for yours truly.

I know many people think the whole "divorce party" idea is a tacky one. But I look at it as 1)taking a bad situation and turning it into a positive one 2)the bachelorette party I never had and 3)I went through years and years of HELL and deserve to celebrate the end of Hell, dammit!! ;)

So I met 10 of my girlfriends for dinner and drinks at a little uptown mexican food restaurant. My sister-in-law even brought me a cake:
(the "forever" and the "rs" in forever yours is crossed out, and the envelope says "Cash for Gold")

We had a great time catching up, several friends I hadn't seen in a long time were there along with friends I see often. After dinner the entire staff of waiters with their thick mexican accents brought me the cake and sang "Happy Deeeeevorce to Youuuuu". HILARIOUS.

After dinner about 6 of us continued on to a lounge I'd never been to before. We walked in and were literally the only people in the place besides the staff. It was great though, we got to pick our booth and act crazy and be ridiculous before anyone could show up and witness it. I guess that's what we get for being a bunch of soccer moms showing up to a hip young lounge like that ;)

The server brought me 3 shots and a chaser to celebrate. I believe I might have toasted the Ex and said something like "Good Riddance" or even "Cheating Bastard" but it's fuzzy after that ;)

We danced, we giggled, I was incredibly obnoxious after the shots and drunk texted just about everyone I knew. I think I begged the DJ to play us some Britney, too (it never happened, but he did dedicate a song to me in honor of the divorce "Don't Want No Short xxxx Man")

There were some really sweet moments too, my awesome sister-in-law stood up at dinner and toasted me and my strength at getting through the past few years. That meant a lot to me.

Girls I know many of you are reading and I love all of you, Saturday night meant the world to me but more importantly, your support through everything I have been through has been phenomenal, and I love you all so much. There is no way I'd have come through this alive without you guys.

I am so happy to be moving past all of this and I am incredibly optimistic about my future. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.