5 things about me, today 

Short & to the point, my lovelies. 

1. I don’t make friends easily & I never have. That’s why I tend to hold onto and treasure the friends I do make, going back to them time and again, even after they’ve broken my heart a little. Breaking with someone completely and willfully is probably the hardest thing for me to ever do. 

2. Can I be blunt? I never cheated on my husband. In my marriage, I never had a boyfriend. I never met up with some dude for a weekend romp. To be even more explicit, there was no sex outside of my marriage. For anybody who thinks or has heard otherwise I’d advise you to open your mind to other possibilities. 

3. This year, to date, has been the worst year of my life. I’ve lost 3 people I deeply cared about, my dream of marital bliss has seen the final nail in that coffin, and my work has been pretty damn brutal this year with no relief in sight. I’m exhausted from the constant loss.

4. I have nightmares now and I never used to. Most of the time they are nightmares of betrayal; seeing people who I thought loved me yelling, screaming, and humiliating me. Hurting me until I wake with my heart racing. 

5. And yet … 

I have hope, still. 

I believe in love, still. 

I believe I have a purpose. 

I believe there will be light. 

Plus this, this is real: 

I’ll take equal parts of awe, some for me & some for him.

He’ll love me not for my svelte figure (because I don’t have anything svelte, except maybe my hair), and not for my money (duh) but maybe for the liveliness of my mind instead. (As Jane Austen says). 

HOPE. 

  
Xoxo,

Stef 

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On Being Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy, arguably the most swoon-worthy character in all of literature, stands up as a god among men. There’s a reason my ASD son’s middle name is Darcy. My J-man doesn’t like it though. He says it’s a girl’s name. That he’s embarrassed. That kids will make fun of him for having a girl’s name.

He said, “Mom, when I’m an adult I’m changing my middle name to Theodore. You know, like in the Chipmunks.” LOVE HIM.

Of course, this is my ASD guy. My Autistic little dude. He, like many Autistics, want things to fit into routine little boxes and, to him, it doesn’t make sense to have a “girl’s name” within his full name. His first name is very masculine but the middle name ruins it all. Poor guy. I advised him for now to keep his middle name a secret. He can say his first & last name without using his middle name.

But . . . I’m on a campaign to change his mind. I want him to understand why Mr. Darcy is a worthy namesake. Maybe this is too much for a 10 year old to imagine, but I hope when he’s 24 years old he’ll wear it like a badge of honor.

Mr. Darcy is no less than these things:

  • Intelligent and witty.
  • Financially solid.
  • Straightforward and unabashed in speaking his mind – sometimes imprudently, but he learns his lesson on that count, which means he’s . . .
  • Teachable. He learns to humble himself and be understanding without compromising his beliefs.
  • Loyal and caring to his family and friends. Those who have earned his trust.
  • A good listener.
  • Becomes self-aware, and has a further awareness of others and human nature.
  • Good reputation.

When we were trying to come up with our second son’s name we focused less on family names, as with our first, and more on relevant and meaningful names to us. To me, it was always Darcy. Had to be Darcy.

Trust, little man, trust your momma. You’ll grown into that name. You’ll wear it proudly one day. Theodore isn’t bad, but it’s no Darcy.

XOXO,

Stef

Recent inspirations, part one

As with most people of my generation, I spend a good portion of my day online. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram – they are my daily companions. Not my only companions, of course, but my early morning, late night, midday break companions.

As I cruise around these sites I often find bits if inspiration. Lovely pictures, amazing words, things that I want to remember & feel for a long time to come. I generally save these to my phone to look at & weed through later, and I thought I’d share some of these with you:

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I’m in love . . . with Downton Abbey

A few weeks ago a co-worker, Allen, told me about Downton Abbey. It’s a new Masterpiece Classic miniseries on PBS. Allen works in Washington, D.C., and I only see him once or twice a year so I’ve never actually met his wife, but I know that we have something in common. This is how he knew I would like the series. You see, his wife and are both Janeites. What is a Janeite you say?
Jane·ite [ jáyn t ] (plural Jane·ites) noun
Definition:
devotee of Jane Austen: an expert on or admirer of the life and works of the English novelist, Jane Austen
You’re shocked, I know. I mean, if you have read any of my other posts then obviously you know I’m a Janeite.

When Allen told me how much his wife absolutely loves this series I definitely took heed of his advice. I knew I would forget so I sent myself a reminder email. Still, it was 3 weeks before I stumbled upon that email and then I finally watched the first of four 1 hour, 23 minute, episodes.

And I was hooked immediately. I love it! It’s so very Jane Austen (though off by about 100 years) in it’s comedy of manners. It’s wicked in a way you wouldn’t expect from a British period show. And it’s so well-made. The settings, the acting, oh, and the costumes! I love the costumes.
Try it. It’s available on PBS.org for a limited time: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/index.html. 
Here’s a sample with the lovely Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville: 

Persuasion

Here’s that poem I promised you inspired by Anne Elliot from Persuasion:

Is it because she loved so deep?
Her love lying dormant and asleep;
Is it the years betwixt their sighting
That has born delusions alighting?
What would happen to the pair of them?
Alas, no pair in sight for hope has dimmed.
The fire that burned years hence
Dwindled to a kindle and lost all sense.
Oh! How that flame did burn so long ago;
And not so long, it seems, to forego
The dream, the fairytale scene;
But, no, not to be, inappropriate deemed.
Fairness, yes, unfortunately;
Moral obligation not taken lightly.
And yet the heart will do as it pleases;
It will weep, mourn and grieve until it releases.
The fire inside will diminish, in time;
Dear Lord, she begs, please hasten mine.
She bears it daily, hidden in her secret vault;
The pain is hers, and she alone is at fault. 
There are many secrets in a woman’s heart;
Buried, for safekeeping, if she’s smart.
Secrets, the solace of unrequited love

Like ashes, take flight on the wings of a dove.

Jane Austen – a warning

Among the various things on my desk (iPod chargers, checkbooks, bills (and more bills), Jelly Bellies, and Kleenexes) is a book called Jane Austen’s Little Advice Book (edited by Cathryn Michon and Pamela Norris). I’m warning you now because you WILL see Jane Austen quotes on a fairly regular basis. She is the inspiration for so many good things and the balm for all the bad things.

If you ever fear you are alone in your problems just know that you, decidedly, are not: 

“None of us expects to be in smooth water all our days.”

Persuasion, Jane Austen

Speaking of Persuasion, (it is neck-in-neck with Pride & Prejudice for my favorite Jane Austen book), remind me to share my Persuasion-themed poem one of these days.