Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet coma bliss

I used to loathe the day after Thanksgiving.  During my retail days it meant waking up at the crack of dawn to be at the mall when it opened at 6am, only to spend the next ten to twelve hours working at the equivalent pace of a hamster running on a treadmill whilst being pelted with rogue shopping bags, attitude, and on more than one occasion, baby spit-up.  True story, that one.

When I finally got to 401k job status, I thought for sure my days working the grind on Black Friday were over, but working in mortgages during the boom, and then changing careers to work in healthcare meant that every day the banks were open or people were experiencing emergencies, I was on the clock.

This is the first year in a long while that I've been at my job long enough to a) have accrued a nice chunk of vacation time, and b) actually had the seniority to use it, so many months ago I requested off for today and didn't have to cover call for the weekend.  It was absolutely glorious to come home last night, slip on pajamas, and truly relax.

And then this morning, I woke up to 60 degree weather with blue skies, a respectable stash of leftovers, and fresh ground coffee set to brew at exactly 9am.

We are in grown up heaven here folks.

I took a cue from Jessica over at How Sweet It Is and threw a healthy portion of my leftovers in a pan, topped them off with two over-easy eggs, and parked it to watch my bf Jerry O'Connell rule the school on Live with Kelly.

This is my life today...

And this is my partner...

And in case you're wondering, my day after Thanksgiving breakfast hash consisted of mashed potatoes, crumbled up stuffing, and diced sweet potatoes.  I browned 'em up in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil, added chopped celery, bacon, and a sprig of sage, and topped with two over easy eggs.  Oh, and I also added shredded cheddar.  Because I had to.

Thankful and Tank-full

Hello everyone and the most delicious and warm Thanksgiving to you all!!

Man oh man, this day was wonderful.

Just a few things and then I'm settling in on the sofa with a blanket, new crazy comfy jammies (these are heaven), and a spoiled puppy with leftover turkey in her sweet little belly.  I think it's gonna be a Serendipity night, or maybe a little Family Stone.  We'll see how much emotion I'm up for...

This is my first go-round with Bex and her Thursday Latelies link-up.  As you'll see, I'm not very webcam savvy (there's a motion delay I couldn't figure out, horrible lighting, raccoon eyes not at all indicative of how much eyeliner I was actually wearing, and I think I fussed with my hair too much), buuuuut I'm trying to get back in to the swing of things with blogging and I thought sidling up with a blog I'm fond of, and a blogger I respect, might help me find some inspiration and direction.  

Mostly, I'm just trying to find my balance.  It's one thing to feel strong, quite another to feel grounded, and it's hard to open up when you feel like your walking the tightrope.  I'm getting there though.  I'm getting to a place where I realize, and fully embrace, that my mistakes are not the end of the world.  Not even the end of my world.  Nothing is ever all bad.  And most importantly, nothing has more importance than God's grace.  Nothing I can do will ever outweigh God's ability to forgive, and I am finally beginning to understand the gravity of that truth.

I've also come to appreciate that a loving, united family is a gift, an absolute gift, and cherishing that family is an honor, not a responsibility.  I'm blessed to have what I have, nothing short of an abundance, in friends and family.  I'm so very thankful.  Or as my cousin's two and half year old daughter would say, "Tank-full".

Happy Holidays xo

(And PS - what's up with Vimeo picking the most unflattering freeze frame possible?  Uh Vimeo, I haz a suggestion for you...)

(Oh, and PPS - I recorded this video before I realized I'd be linking you back to my actual blog, so of course you know where my blog is now and that whole shazazz in the beginning about not knowing my web address is redundant.. and embarrassing.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Remember who you are

It feels so good to be writing again, even if I really have no idea how to say what I want to share with you.  There have been dozens, hundreds more likely, of moments over the past however many months I've been off the grid where I've talked this post out to myself, trying to make it take shape. And then each day would bring with it new and unexpected challenges, making yesterday's thoughts seem no longer relevant.  There is also a hesitancy in detailing how you are struggling to recreate yourself.  Wondering if strangers will understand things you're not even sure of yourself.  I've been wanting to tell you where I have settled, and almost seven months later it seems I finally have.  Or at least I have begun.

This past April I moved from the suburbs to a tiny brick rowhouse in Baltimore City.  The house is smaller in actual living space than my first, much cheaper apartment, but it's comfortable and manageable, and in it I'm beginning to heal.  I had so many fears moving here that now seem so childish, like I was a kid going off to college for the first time.  Or heck, like I was seventh grade me going off to sleep-away camp for the first time.  Parking, grocery stores, where to walk my dog, can I even afford this, will I be safe on my own... will I be sane on my own.  So far I am thrilled to report that I'm doing well on five out of six - the sanity is a luxury item, most days I thrive on functional stability.  

I wish I had been brave enough, or together enough, to include you in the journey all along.  This summer was full of adventures and fun and deep laughter with friends who stood by my side without having to be asked.  There was the first sunny day I walked Daphne to Federal Hill park and saw the view of the Baltimore Harbor.  Water and old city buildings, people playing volleyball and boating in the marina across the way.. it was beautiful, peaceful, and revitalizing... and I realized that this is where I live. I sat on a bench taking it in while my pup snoozed on the grass, feeling incredibly blessed to have landed in this place, and it was one of the many, many times that I mentally penned a love note to you all.

Now I'm in a place where I'm starting to feel pieces of me coming back to life.  Sometimes it's painful, like waking a limb, and sometimes it's a piece that's been dormant for so long, I have to pause and remember.  Remember who I am, who I want to be, the kind of woman I was ultimately created to be.  It's funny how much numbness you have to go through to actually get to the healing, but here I am.  Pins and needles.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The other side of the wall

Two weeks from today I'll be moving into a tiny house built for one.  I'll be leaving behind the dream house we bought together a scant five months ago, the house we bought to make room for the next phase of our life.  I'll be leaving one dog, our boy, and taking my little furry funny girl with me.  I watch them laying side by side, twirled together in an old blanket on the floor, and my heart just aches remembering the days when I used to fret like a nervous mother, wondering if two and half year old Brutus would ever warm to ten week old, three-pound, puppy teeth wielding Daphne... and now they are the best of friends, brother and sister.

The title of this post is borrowed from an episode of Sex & The City. The one where Carrie and Aiden decide that their relationship has reached its end and Aiden spends their last night sleeping on the floor of the apartment across the hall.  Carrie goes to join him and in the closing monologue she says it was the only night they spent on the other side of the wall.    

That is where we are, where we have been for five months, though neither of us had any idea until recently.  I'm going to wake up tomorrow.. in two weeks.. and this time will be over.  I still have hope that after this trial we may find ourselves in a new and better place, but right now every day feels like the last long night.

This blog will not become a diary of my separation, but lately that is the origin of almost every thought and the only words I can string together are to describe the emotion and the changes that it brings.  I hope you can bear with me as I not so steadily attempt to cross over.

Also, I can not leave this entry without acknowledgement of the devastation in Japan.  I have a home to go to, no loved ones lost forever, my world's still here, just altered.  To all our brothers and sisters on an island that suddenly seems not so far away, all my love to you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A truly awful sweetness.

I have versed and outlined and put this post into rough draft at least a dozen times.  I’ve talked it out in the car as though you were there, trying to unearth a way to explain my absence that is apologetic but grateful, relevant without being egregiously revealing.  I want you to know what’s been going on, but I don’t want to drag you through the mire – especially not in your cute outfits. J  See?  There are still smiles.

The root of the root is this… After several months of trying at all costs to avoid this eventuality, my husband and I have, with heavy hearts, decided to separate.

In previous posts I mentioned that the road for my husband and I has not been easy.  We are a couple that came together despite obvious, and some would argue, fundamental differences that may have, in times of greater clarity not blinded by consuming 20x26 year old love, been reasons to amicably end a burgeoning relationship, rather than push it ever forward.  We have always been on the cusp of a new transition, a life-altering change, and with that we would habitually say “As soon as we this… that will be better.”  Stress, change, and trial have always revealed our weaknesses as a couple, rather than enhance our strengths.  We loved each other, we spoke a language that was uniquely our own, and the thought back then of ending a relationship where love really did exist seemed the most illogical of all culminations.  It never occurred to either of us that perhaps the most loving act we could do for each other was simply to let go.

There has been hurt and wrong-doing on both sides.  There are regrets and remorse that I will carry with me for a long, long time, and that I imagine, and maybe selfishly hope, so will he.  There is a continuously running reel of mistakes and shortcomings, moments of doubt and indecision playing in my mind, weighing on my heart, and rather than try to explain what is essentially our life, I will just say what most of us already know - that no one but no one can ever fully understand the intimacies and idiosyncrasies kneaded within the daily bread of two people.  I can hardly make sense of it myself.

We have these moments now.. now when my departure is within a few short weeks and not months.. moments of kindness towards one another that absolutely ache with the knowing of what’s to come.  Knowing we will each miss our friend, our lover, our companion, the holder of all the memories yet to be made in the life we thought we would have together, the only person who knew our grandparents when they were still alive.  I wish I could collect these moments in a jar, keep them on the night table by my pillow, hold some in my pocket throughout the day… but there are some things for which there is no real comfort, which must be felt completely, in the length of their entirety, wept for until your lungs go dry.  Before, our arguments meant we were still engaged, still here, still choosing life together.. the kindness now, though precious, feels like defeat.

I wrestled with whether or not to share this news.  This blog is a tiny little half-written diary that hasn’t yet found its voice and I thought who even cares or wants to know?  This post, this letter to anyone out there, is a bit of a catharsis for me, but in many ways close to my heart, this post is for you.  I have cherished each and every email I have received from readers and followers – those received most recently expressing concern, or just plain desire for me to come back and write, especially… These unsolicited kindnesses are an immeasurable comfort, and a sweetness I’m not sure how I can repay.

Enter the decision to share and disclose, and hopefully continue on.  Deep breath, preview, publish…