Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Next Chapter

Tomorrow, Mr. Wonderful is scheduled to arrive home.

I can't believe this day is finally here. Even stranger is I can't believe how I am feeling.

I feel numb.

I don't know what that is about, I thought I would be jumping out of my skin. I do know myself very well and I know that numbness usually kicks in when I am totally overwhelmed with emotion.

Tomorrow marks a very, very new chapter of my life. I have been doing the single mom on my own thing for almost a year and a half now, and I am used to this life. I don't know what it's like to have a man around. As excited as I am because I love this man so much, I am nervous of the change. I can't put my finger on it exactly, except that I have read about this same emotion on other single mom blogs before. I think it's a fear of losing independence...something we fought SO HARD for. It's also a fear of the unknown. I don't know how this new life really works, and I sure don't want to screw it up. There is also a fear of the not so distant decisions about when to let the kids know about Mr. Wonderful. It took me two years to leave my husband because of my fear of screwing up my obviously the next step is going to weigh just as heavily on my mind.

What if I see him tomorrow and things are different from the way they were this summer, or even over long distance?

A big part of my divorce was adjusting to a new role, the role of single mom. I had related to other married women and wives for 12 years, and it took some time to see myself in a different light. I'm going through a little bit of that now. I'm sure I will love my new role, but it is different.

I believe strongly in my heart that once I see him, all my fears will just melt away and everything will click, just like they did in July and August and throughout our 4 month long-distance relationship. He is the best man I know next to my Dad, he loves me with all his heart, and he is everything I have ever wanted but didn't think existed. My fears are just that, fear....of the unknown.

Stay tuned......

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Top 10: How to be Single

I've been thinking about writing a post like this here lately, because of things going on in my friend's lives and because of comments I get on the blog from women who have just found themselves in my situation of going through a divorce. Here are some of my thoughts on how to do Single, and to do it well. (I've added links to the parts of my blog where I was going through these particular phases)

1-there is a period after you breakup with your husband or partner that feels like HELL. You feel like you can't stand to be alone, you feel needy, you feel vulnerable, you question everything, you want to run into the arms of the first person you see, or even the person who hurt you to begin with. It hurts and it hurts BAD. This is a VERY important phase. You MUST go through this. There is no skipping it. If you skip it or hide from it or even worse, go back to your ex during this time, it will come back to haunt you at some point, guaranteed and you'll be back here, only it will be worse. Don't be afraid of the pain. Feel it, get through it. Mourn what you had as if it were a death, let yourself be miserable for awhile. It's the perspective that you will need someday. It won't last forever!

2-Take a vow to not date anyone for a good amount of time. Why not? You have to learn how to not need attention or self esteem from someone else, and to figure out how to give it to yourself before you can be ready to get out there. It's setting the foundation for finding the right person someday, or hey, even not finding anyone and being able to be single and happy!

3-Take care of yourself! Eat healthy, exercise, buy yourself nice things that you love and make you feel confident. Do it in baby steps if you aren't already. Start by buying yourself one thing every week that you love (mine was pj's). Then maybe start a standing appointment to get your nails done. Then maybe drop unhealthy foods from your diet. Then try working out at the gym. This is building your confidence and self esteem from the inside out. You will learn to rely on how great it feels when you treat yourself so well, and you will eventually attract someone who can take care of themselves too. My mantra for getting me through this part: The best revenge is a life well lived (and eventually, you forget the revenge because you will just love how it feels)

4-Date yourself! Make a list of all the things that make you you and that you enjoy. If you don't know what you like, then try new things. Think back to things you liked to do in your childhood or youth that brought you joy. Seek those things out EVERY SINGLE DAY. You will soon learn that this is what life is all about, bringing joy into your own life and not waiting for it to come to you or for others to give it to you. Think outside the box, and try things /go places you would never have tried before. My list is here, it's the first thing I did when I started this blog. My favorite thing to do quickly became a regular Wednesday evening habit, I'd take myself to dinner and a movie. I stopped calling it "going to eat alone" and started calling it "taking myself to dinner". It's a small thing, but psychologically a big step forward.

5-See your friends OFTEN. You must find friends who are in the same situation as you. It is so important to have someone to talk to who gets it and understand. If you don't know anyone who has been through a divorce, try a support group, or ask around.

Having a close group of girlfriends is absolutely essential in getting through this. Get dressed up, get out of the house and be silly together. Laughter is so healing. Having your girls around will feed your soul and give you the support you need. Don't allow anyone around you who is toxic and negative's important to be surrounded by positivity and listening ears during this vulnerable time, not people who will tear you down or question your choices.

Guy friends are important too. My brother and I are very close, and I also have a few other married guy friends that can help me out with things around the house. Sometimes it's just nice to have a man's perspective on things, or to just sit with someone and not talk about anything in particular. Men are good for that. It's also important to have healthy male role models around your children. I've particularly noticed this for my son, he thrives on having men around and really revels in that attention.

6-Loneliness is a normal, human emotion that we all experience, even the healthiest of us. Seeing girlfriends often will combat the loneliness. A big problem for me was lack of human touch, which we all need. I am a very affectionate person and sometimes the need for human touch was so overwhelming that it almost caused me to make bad or unhealthy choices. I found that getting regular massages helps with this tremendously. My girlfriends and I have a little place we go to that is cheap, they do 1 hour foot and back massages. It is a safe way to not only relieve stress but relieve the need for touch. I also cuddle with my kids at every opportunity, but that's probably a given :)

7-Focus on the positives of being single. No one dictates when you can go out or what you can do, how much money you will spend but you. No one leaves dishes in your sink or underwear on your floor. The house may be empty but it is tension-free. You are free to make whatever you want of your life, and it is so incredibly LIBERATING! You will come to cherish your single-hood more than you ever thought you would.

8-Once you are ready to date, it's all about baby steps. How will you know when you are ready?? When you are regularly making yourself happy and joyful and don't feel like you "need" anyone. You know exactly who you are and what you love and have become so attached to that that no one will ever be able to take it away from you.

It's a big step to get back into the dating pool, so do it slowly. Maybe focus on just flirting at first, and then progress to dating and all that stuff. You want to be totally sure of yourself and what you are doing. Know that you will meet lots of Mr. Wrongs, and that is a good thing. It will reassure you that you know now what to look for and that you won't accept anything less than Mr. Right. This is where being self-sufficient and really cherishing your singlehood comes into play. If you are not desperate to have someone providing your self-esteem for you, then you won't settle for the first jerk that comes along and shows interest. My mantra: It is better to be alone than to be with the wrong person. I didn't believe it at first, sometimes being alone seemed way worse, but I truly truly believe it with every inch of my being now.

9-If you take one thing from this post, understand this: YOU WILL ATTRACT WHAT YOU ARE. If you are an insecure mess, you will attract someone who is just as much of a mess. Because what kind of person wants to date a wreck? Someone with issues. If you want healthy and strong, you yourself must first be healthy and strong. None of us are perfect and we all have hang-ups, but if at the core you are confident, independent, and centered, you will find someone who compliments that.

10-Keep tabs on yourself. I do this through my blog. I want to make sure that I am not slipping back into old habits by reading my own thoughts and analyzing myself and my behavior. For example, If I ever started to gain weight again or quit exercising, that would mean something is wrong, because the strong healthy version of me knows that I need to take care of myself to be happy, and I am responsible for my own happiness. If I stop doing the things that I love regularly, like hanging with my friends or seeing my Indie movies alone, then that is a warning sign too.

Hope this helps anyone who is struggling. It's a process, but one that is worth going through because the rewards are so so worth it. I would go through all of it again in a heartbeat to be able to get back to where I am today.

Monday, November 9, 2009


So sorry to have been MIA. 1-There was a huge scare with my father (more later) and 2-I'm in the throes of the busy season with work.

The good thing about that is the weeks have flown by, and before I knew it I looked at the calendar and OMG MY BOYFRIEND IS HOME 3 WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!

My life is about to drastically change. The reassuring voice that can comfort me from 15,000 miles away is going to be reassuring me right in my own ear. The face that I've only seen pixelated through a web cam lens since August is going to be right in front of me to touch and kiss and feel...

I have learned so much through this process. I have learned how I communicate best, how to get out what I need to say, how to listen, how to acknowledge, how to show love to this great man. I have also gained such an appreciation for the little things. I have told him that I will never, ever take something like a kiss for granted. Every little kiss, everytime I call him when I need him and he comes right over, every dinner together, everytime we hold hands...I will cherish every second of it.

Last Monday my father's wife called my brother and I hysterical saying we needed to "get to the hospital right away and see our father". We were led to believe that this was it, the end. He had pneumonia and bacterial infections, he's lost almost 100 lbs (he's 5'11 and 135 lbs right now) and just has not improved at all. But all along, we have not expected to actually lose him. So I was in absolute shock and then total devastation when my brother called to tell me to come to the hospital. My sweet Mr. Wonderful was actually on Skype with me when I got the call, and talked me through it. I couldn't get dressed, I couldn't think, all I could do was sob hysterically. I drove to the hospital thinking this was it, it was time to say goodbye. Once I was there, I found out that my stepmother had been given misinformation and while Dad was in bad shape, this was not necessarily the end. (He has since left the hospital and been moved to a skilled nursing facility.) That? was the worst day of my entire life. I came home and felt as though I had been run over by a freight train. I got in bed at 2pm, got up once to say goodnight to my children (my mom came over and took care of them), got back in bed and didn't wake up until 8am the next morning. It took me days to feel like a normal human being again.

It makes me so happy to know that when things like this happen in the immediate future, I will have an actual arm around me, someone to come home to and just fall apart with, a chest to bury my head into, a supportive voice telling me it's all going to be ok. I know that would make my Dad happy too, to know his daughter has the support she needs, finally, to be able to make it through this impossible situation. Getting through the past 8 months of Dad's post-surgery nightmare alone has been almost impossible and I have found myself avoiding it just to stay sane. Maybe now that I will have support, I will be able to face it again a little more...visit more and be the good daughter that I want to be to him, because he deserves it.

Anyways, this is just one of many, many things that will be changing. I'm so incredibly excited for this next chapter of my life.