Busy work

Oh boy. Guys, I’m beat.

I was in California for 8 days, 6 of those days for work. A delayed flight got me home at 2 am Monday night, but then my Autistic dude didn’t sleep all night at his dad’s so I got to hang out with him the next day. No napping for either of us! Work & errands beckoned because my oldest had a choir concert that evening and had grown out of his pants & shoes. So I have been sprinting ever since – between the choir concert, soccer practice, Disney on Ice, the Boise vs. Fresno football game, and the last soccer game of the season, not to mention going to work every day, this worn out girl has had very little downtime!

No surprise I came home from the soccer game today, made lunch for the kiddos, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Zzzzzzzzzz.

So, since I can’t form any coherent thoughts at this point, I’ll show you a few pics from the last week – from my high school (go Bullpups!), sunrise on my Amtrak ride, my 6 hour time killer at the OAK airport, and some fun stuff with the boys after I got back.

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Emotionally, if you’re wondering, I’m tired, sad, content, lonely, mad, frustrated, thankful, grateful, and occasionally happy. You didn’t think it would be simple, did you?

All my love, light & hope,

Stef

Handcuffed & duct taped

Warning: this is not a happy post. This is an angry post. There is language. There is emotion behind everything I’m expressing here. But If I can’t express it here, at least the emotion of it, on MY blog, where can I?

I am so angry. I want to express that anger. I want to let it fly. I want to spew it and all the reasons why all over anybody and everybody who will listen.

But I can’t. I can’t even do it in this blog. I can’t do it on Facebook. I can’t do it at work. I can’t do it on Twitter, or Instagram. It’s not just one thing. It’s 3 things. 3 distinct things that have all built up to a volcano sized eruption today but it has nowhere to go.

I’m mad about things I can’t talk about, except in whispers to a friend.

(Note to self: somewhere in-between work & mothering, make more friends. Local, preferably, for weekly sippin’ & bitchin’).

Social Media is the easiest, right? Stop, drop an explosive bomb, relieve the spleen, then walk away. But there are inherent problems with that scenario. Hurt feelings, sometimes rightfully, sometimes imagined, or those people, usually those least involved in your life, who plead for more information or offer the worst possible advice.

Or you can leave the cryptic, “I’m so angry right now I could just explode” comment that just irritates the living crap out of anybody & everybody who actually has an interest. No, can’t do that. I detest those posts.

So I’ll sit here and fester. I’ll feel hurt. I’ll feel rejected. I’ll feel overwhelmed, unloved, unsupported, overworked, under-appreciated, and it will just fester.

Maybe I should be more ruthless. Maybe I should care less. Maybe that would make all this easier.

But, fuck, I don’t know HOW to care less.

So this is my vent. My rant. My rage. This is all I can say.

And maybe just this: My love language is acts of service. When people do things for me, things that make my life just a little easier, that’s how I feel loved. I mean, I like touch & affection, gifts, and all that as well, but it’s acts of service that brings me to my knees. This is true in all relationships, romantic or otherwise, at work, and just in life in general. But when you do the opposite, when you make my life harder, when you hurt me and you make me angry, when you discount me, it’s like a slap in the face. Selfish bastards.

No hugs and kisses, or light and love from me today. I’m trying to let it go. Trying, trying, trying.

 

-Stef

#nyc #blogpost jour deux

I’m home now, but wanted to close out my whirlwind 48 hour NYC trip with some follow-up pics.

First, on my way to Macy’s at Herald Square (AKA the mothership) I walked right through the crowd at Good Morning America and had this lovely encounter, quite by accident:

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Saw the Empire State Building:

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Then had to do some work, get dolled up and head to a work event where I was speaking to a group of clients & prospective clients. It was exciting & nerve-wracking for me, but I got through it!

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After the work event, I went with some co-workers to the rooftop bar at the top of the Dream Hotel. Met some lovely people, chatted, and generally had a great little diversion.

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Thursday morning I only had a few hours before I had to head to the airport, so I moseyed up 6th towards Radio City Hall & Rockefeller Plaza, got a coffee & cake at Magnolia Bakery (really freakin’ good) and went to the Today Show taping.

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I had started to not feel good the night before but by Thursday morning I could feel the flu coming on. Every time I see that pic of myself at Rockefeller Center I can tell how miserable I was from the look on my face. But just after that my kids called, Facetimed, on their way to school so I was able to “show them around” the plaza and the Today Show windows. That was fun.

All in all, it was a great trip. Traveling home while having respiratory flu symptoms just absolutely sucked, but the flights were uneventful (on 9/11) so I’m grateful for that.

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And, oddly, I saw so many celebrities either on the street, through the GMA or Today windows (but so close!) and even at the airport ticket counter: Connie Britton, Harry Connick Jr., James McAvoy, Jeff Goldblum, the GMA & Today Show casts, and Austin Pendleton (the stuttering lawyer from My Cousin Vinny (among many other things)). I just saw Jeff Goldblum at Dulles in the Spring so I think it’s really funny I saw him again, same year, different city.

There is nothing like NYC for a little excitement, or to make me appreciate coming home to my quiet house and two boys waiting with hugs.

See the world & have safe travels!

xoxo,

Stef

(Ridiculous) #NYC #Selfie #blogpost

Hi! I’m in New York City! (NEW YORK CITY?!?)

This isn’t a real blog post. This is just a bunch of silly pics & selfies to prove I’m in the awesome City of New York. As if my Instagramming & Facebooking haven’t provided enough proof! I swear, it’s all about documentation and “look, look, look where I am!” I think it’s crazy, but I do it too.

Though, in contemplating this, I have to admit that I’m more of a social media whore when I’m alone than when I’m with a crowd. I stood in the middle of Times Square tonight, awed, soaking it in, but there was no one to share it with. I’m on business travel so that’s the way it goes sometimes but, man, I wish sometimes there was someone there just to say, “are you seeing this? This is amazing!” And then we’d take a duet selfie (OMG, that should be a thing (if it isn’t already!) #duetselfie for everyone!! Except me, when I’m business traveling. Apparently. Le sigh. Moving on).

So, long story short, no #duetselfie means I took copious pics & a vid and vomited them on IG & FB. Here’s a few for your viewing pleasure. Or not; don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.

(No, I have not been drinking).

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I didn’t see the spooky woman until later when I was looking over my pics. Maybe she’s my guardian angel? That’s a nice thought.

Aloha, from the Big Apple!

Stef

Autism: A day in the life

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At almost 1 am last night I had just fallen asleep when I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I was momentarily scared out of my wits until I realized it was my 10 year old, J-man.

“Mom, I can’t sleep.”

“Okay buddy, go pee & I’ll get you another melatonin.” (Because any time I can remind him to pee at night may save me some laundry tomorrow).

I got him situated back in bed, gave him a sleepytime pep talk, went back to bed and promptly fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At 6:50 am I kept hearing movement in J-man’s room, across the hall. He is usually a late sleeper so I immediately realized what happened.

“J-man, come here.”

He came in, fully dressed with shoes & a hat on, holding a piece of paper and pen.

“Mom, look, I made a to-do list for today! And guess what? I lost another tooth!”

“J-man, did you sleep?”

“Nope! I stayed up all night! And the first thing on my list is to paint a Pacman on a ball!”

“What’s the second thing on your list?”

“Play Minecraft.”

“Okay, go do that so mommy can go back to sleep. No painting until mommy wakes up, ok?”

“Okay!”

And off he ran, like a shot from a cannon.

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7:30 pm and he’s still going strong. Mommy could use a nap though.

Sometimes it’s hard but, I have to say, I’m grateful for his Autism. He makes the world a better place by being so real, without artifice, and he makes me a better mom because that’s what he needs from me.

XOXO,

Stef

I’m bringing sassy back

I am sick & tired of feeling sad, bad & mad! I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m not.

I tried so hard but things just didn’t work out as I thought and hoped they would. Acceptance comes in waves, but I’m tired of waiting for it, dammit. At some point you just have to say, hey, this is my life now and it’s not that bad, comparatively, and I’m going to survive & thrive. Even be abso-fucking-lutely happy. Because it’s my life, and I have the ability to choose my state of mind.

Man, seriously, what have I got to be sad about? We’re healthy, I have a great job that’s moving along on a good trajectory, I have a house, a car, and all those little material things we get to make our lives more comfy. So I think it’s time I stopped bitchin’ & cryin’ and started accepting and living!

I was recently told that I was “the whole package” and when I jokingly responded with, “you mean I’m a catch?” The response I got was, “no, Stef, you’re the catch.” My goodness, do you know how that feels? Do you know how that feels . . . after seeing your estranged husband driving around with his girlfriend? Well, if you don’t, it feels damn good. For my worth to not only be recognized but valued as well. Isn’t that incredible?

And, dammit, I am a catch. First and foremost, I’m a warm, loving, touchy-feely mom. I like to do things with my kids. Explore. Go on adventures. Or just have our Friday night movie nights. Second, I like to cook & take care of my people. I’m a nurturer. Maybe too much so, but it’s just because I care. Third, I kick-ass at my job. I manage a team and I’ve found I like nurturing my team members but in a way that will help them grow. Fourth, and completely unrelated to the third, I like sex! (Please, God, don’t let my dad read this).

Plus, the other minor shit that I think are pluses – I bathe (mostly) daily, I don’t wear patchouli, I keep a somewhat tidy house (no white gloves, please) that I think has a bit of charm to it, I pay most of my bills on time, I know how to laugh & cry mostly at appropriate times & I’m a pretty strong, independent woman. I travel by myself regularly. Dine by myself. I don’t feel the need to hide my aloneness from others because being alone does not equate to being lonely.

Maybe I AM a catch!?!? Damn right, I am! For the right person and at the right point in time.

I believe in intersections of time & growth & space. What may have been right at one time possibly isn’t right down the road – where there’s been an element of growth & space that’s shifted things.

So this is the thing – it’s time to get off the mat. It’s time to get up and be happy and proud and thankful for all that I do have. It’s time to forgive those who have hurt me because, though I thought so at the time, those people aren’t my destiny. They aren’t where I belong right now, at this time. They served their purpose in my life and for that I want to just be grateful.

Stop the badness, madness & sadness. It’s time to embrace love and laughter and life again. It’s time to be me! To bring sassy, smart, sexy, shy/not shy, smiley ME back. And I will!!

All my love,

Stef

The passage of time

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Tracking dates is sometimes very important to me and I’ve been wondering why. Is it because it helps with my obsessiveness? Because I can then say it’s been 1 year since such & such happened?

And what’s the significance of a year anyway? Just because it’s been the time it takes for the sun to complete its orbit should have no significant impact on the activity in my life or reflect my feelings at all.

But it does. Suddenly when you say it’s been a year then that designation carries more weight. Conceptually, the thought process is that the further distance you get from a hard event the easier you’ll feel about it. But it just gives further fodder to my tendency to obsess over those precious, catalytic events in my life.

In reality, I wish I could just move the eff on already. I don’t like being obsessive. I don’t like holding on to all this life-sucking emotion.

But still, I sit here and say – a year ago today this happened and I felt like this and how did that year get me here? And could I have imagined that? What should I have done differently?

Over-analyze. Obsess.

Hindsight = clarity, sometimes acute humiliation and recognition of the forest when, during the event, you can only see the trees.

I started my first job on March 5 many, many moons ago.

I my heart broken for the first time on September 18. Same year.

I moved out of state Nov 15, 1997 for the first time.

I made a decision that altered the course of my life forever on September 25, 1999.

I was 6 weeks pregnant with my first son on September 11, 2001.

In 4 days it will be 16 months since my beloved Grammy passed away.

On July 14, 2014, I will have been married 14 years.

It was around this time a year ago that I altered the course of my life again.

I don’t take these events lightly. They impacted me significantly and contributed to who I am today.

Dates and the passage of time define our activities, our events, our milestones. But they don’t actually reflect the heart, do they?

Time is not a barometer of emotion. It’s simply the measurement of how long I’ve been happy/sad/hopeful/miserable. It’s the ruler to know how long it’s been, my penance, my joy, my pain. An instrument of reflection.

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Maybe it’s time to move on. Time to stop the obsessing. Time to recognize and appreciate these events for what they really are: life experiences!

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Move on? Move forward.

With love,
Stef

On Writing Blood

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Hemingway. HEMINGWAY. A man of unfettered passion. He lived his life fully, he wrote from his vast experiences; he dominated his life.

I was having a conversation with a friend last night about the poetry I write. I generally don’t share it because it is often intensely personal. I write it when I’m feeling strongly. I write it from experience or longing. I write it when I HAVE TO GET IT OUT.

Hemingway has a quote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” To which I say YES. YES.

I write from my heart. It’s not going to always make sense to somebody else. Sometimes it barely makes sense to me – these mutterings that sometimes only resemble coherent sentences – but they are the words that cascade from my heart, tripping through my brain and down through my finger tips.

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I want to live my life and feel every moment and then I want to write about it. Fully. I don’t want to apologize for the things I felt. I don’t want to hide what I felt and not be honest. I want to say this is what I did and, dammit, this is how it felt! And I’d do it again. Or I wouldn’t, because it hurt too damn much, but at least I felt something. I didn’t hide away and forget to live my life. I want to love and be loved. I want to feel and experience and when I’m 90 I want to say, boy, I can’t believe I did that but it sure was fun!

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I’m so practical. I’m so inhibited, most of the time. But I’m also such a romantic and I can be very creative – but I bury it. Because.

Because . . . why? I’m scared. Of doing the wrong thing. Of hurting others. I’m scared of judgement & condemnation.

I want to live without apology. Without guilt. Without worry. I want to LIVE. Why should I apologize for wanting to make the most of my life? To celebrate life? To love, to dance, to kiss. To have Wednesday afternoon dance parties with my sons. To have midnight walks with friends. To have adventures. Why should I apologize for that?

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Hemingway. I want to be Hemingway.

 

With love,

Stef

 

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Sayonara 2013!

Adios! Hasta pasta! Bon voyage! 2013 can go suck an egg!

I say that with some disdain, with some negativity. I say it with a heavy sigh. But, in all honesty, 2013 can only be described as bittersweet.

The hardest year of my life has also brought out my greatest strengths. I fell to the deepest depths of my despair. I hit my point of no return. I got to numb and went past it. But without this strife, without the hard decisions I had to make, I wouldn’t be bravely standing here today. For that, I have to be grateful for the journey.

New Year’s Eve 2012 was the worst I ever experienced. A year later I’m in amazement at how significantly my life has been altered. Through pain, peace.

But since making those hard decisions I have experienced amazing joy & hope & satisfaction. A peace in my soul amid the chaos still rolling around me.

Through all that pain I experienced I have no anger left in me. Sometimes exasperation, frustration, but no anger.

I am still very sad. I still love my husband. Not in that first-romance-roll-in-the-hay way, but in a father-of-my-children and former-best-friend way. I miss that companionship sometimes very much.

It’s been a year of firsts. Or firsts, again, if that makes sense. I haven’t lived on my own in 15 years! I’ve never been separated with a likely divorce looming ahead. I’ve never had to really imagine or experience being “single” at this age, and with children. Not to mention with a mortgage, student loans, credit cards, wifi complications, cell phones, instant messaging, Facebook, data packages, middle school fundraisers, 4th grade school parties, soccer registration, business trips, and the insane and constant desire to just be on my couch, in my jammies watching NCIS reruns.

Side note: I hear so many divorced women say they never date, never meet anyone, etc., but I have to say that I think it’s just because they are exhausted!! And I don’t blame them! Jammies. Couch. Blankie. Remote in hand. Oh yeah, baby. Sometimes that’s all I need to bring my anxiety to its knees. Jammies, a blankie & a diet Pepsi: the modern mother’s anxiety-armor. (Substitute wine where needed!)

Some days I need more. Some days I crave more. And I know it exists. There will be love & romance again one day. But, hey, that’s a post for another day & another time.

For now, let me just say: I’m stronger today than I was yesterday. I’m sadder, yes – because something broke that I never wanted to break and all the glue can’t fix it – but I’m oh so much wiser too.

2013 – you had your place & time. Buh-bye!

C’mon, 2014! Let’s do this. It’s our year.

All my love,

Stef

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