Owning Who I Am: Bougie

The whole gift post has had me thinking quite a bit lately.  I want to thank everyone who helped me sort through some pretty angry and tense moments there….I love the blog for this very reason.

I think, when you don’t spend time with someone and know them face to face, personality and true human depth is hard to ascertain.  Sometimes we read the first few lines of a post and the last few lines and we make a comment on something the post wasn’t really addressing because those lines caught our eye.  I’ve heard this from a few fellow bloggers.

I have written about my selfish side more than once.  I’ve struggled with it.  Debated it.  And then, I finally embraced it.  That piece of me, the piece that fights for what I want and how I want it is what drives me.  It’s locked into who I am and always has been since I can recall.

Which is why I have struggled with it all my life in many relationships.

As I grow older, I have come to realize, while many see it as petty or immature (and it may well be to those that see it that way, after all perception is subjective) it’s still a piece of me and a very integral one.  In many cases, I have learned when this voice needs to be shuttered, how to be more grateful for things I do have rather than things I don’t, how to not worry if someone does for me because I’ve learned to do for myself.

I teach my children tolerance and the value of donating their time for those less fortunate.  I donate my time, their time and money to causes of significance.  I feel good about this when I do it, but I have control over these choices and how I spend my time and money.

I make sure people I love are taken care of.  I am the person who buys their favorite treats or surprises them with their favorite meal.  I pay attention to the small things many other miss, like leaving a bottle of water next to the bed when theirs is empty, or ensuring their favorite spot on the couch is saved for them with a blanket.  I always say thank you and express my gratitude for the smallest things, even when I get a nice text or when someone helps me with a problem at work, I try to say “I appreciate you because..”

I am a single mother with 3 children who I fully support.  I have a great job that I work really hard to do well at in order to secure a decent retirement and pay for my kids college and hopefully get them started on a strong path in life.

I have been through more trauma than most humans alive and no one really notices because somehow their lives don’t fall apart because I care and ensure everything is taken care of.

I love very deeply.  And I often hurt myself because I don’t do a good job protecting my heart.

I’m attractive, intelligent and very lucky in this life.

With all that Madeline-drum-beating, I am still a selfish individual.  I like my own time without my kids, I like my new car, I like to buy jewelry and shoes that perhaps I don’t really have to have, and sometimes I look around and wonder “why can’t I have that too?”

Sometimes it’s not enough for me to have what I have and I want more.  And that drives me to get it.

Yep.  All me.

Good. Bad. Pretty. Ugly.  But still, all Madeline.

I realized, finally and truly yesterday, that the things that are important to me are really important.    I don’t really have gray areas.  I am all black and white.  Things that bother many other people I am more than willing to let slip off my back or sacrifice myself to their ideals or positions because it doesn’t matter as much to me.

Our lives are give and take.  I give a whole hell of a lot and I think the gift giving thing has become, for me, a way that those closest to me can demonstrate that they see me and all I do for them.  That they appreciate me.  A few times a year, I want to be recognized in the form of a gift that means something to the giver as well as me.  That’s a lot of expectation, right?  A gift that carried the weight of a memory?  But that’s what I want to have, sometimes.  Not every time, but sometimes.  And this was sure as hell one of those times and I simply wanted Bennett to get it.

So, the gift thing off the table, I also acknowledge that there’s a shit-ton of other things going on within the relationship with Bennett that is making it untenable.  I realize I am in a mode where I am questioning everything he does: does he text within a certain amount of time, why doesn’t he say this or that, what’s different from before, what’s missing, where is he and why, why why?  I can’t manage myself with all these crazy thoughts and it comes out in a million-and-one way as stress.

Our relationship is suffering because of the situation, but also because I am literally becoming a drag.  I can’t stand it.  I didn’t understand this at all when I went through it with Bobby but it’s clear as day to me now.    I need Bennett to talk to his wife and come clean, if this doesn’t happen, then we have to end, period.  For once in my life I am actually making a very firm decision because I can’t function in this half-life anymore.  I need to let him off the hook if that’s what he wants.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, it hurts.  But having so much life responsibility right now puts everything in perspective.

I have to be selfish and protect my own interests.    And this is all tied to that same part of me that is selfish about getting gifts.  This strength of mind – it’s all the same thing for me.  All humans are innately selfish, most of the time I don’t buy that martyr bullshit for those that claim to be totally selfless, we all have our needs – mine is just different from yours and may come out in a different way, but I am happy to admit: I own it.

I am frivolous, truculent, petulant and petty at times.  Yep.

The thing is …. I don’t hate it about myself, even if others do.  And it’s just one of those things that I can respect your opinion, but it won’t change mine.

If I was younger, I would have cried at some of the comments, but I held my ground because I know it’s me, I know what parts are stuck in there for good.  I have embraced those and turned most of those characteristics into good ones, ones that my friends and family find to be singularly Madeline.

While I still see years of growth ahead of me, I still like my current reflection in the mirror.  Last year provided me with growth on a massive level, so no sense in slipping back now.

First thing that made me smile today was this office conversation with a designer:

“M, fabulous Chanel bracelet!”

“Thanks, I scoured a vintage store in Paris on one of my trips and was lucky to find it, it brings me such joy!”

I’m bougie, I admit.  And, I love it!

 

“Bougie” Lyrics

Jessi Malay

From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
Bougie, bougie
I always stay bougieI’m poppin’ tags
Got that new Fendi bag
Fashion week New York

Sittin’ in the front row
Where you at?

LA to London
Louboutin and Berkin
Yeah I’m always workin’ it
I’m workin’

Read more: http://www.letssingit.com/jessi-malay-lyrics-bougie-qhsq8ml#ixzz4VZMqdRul
LetsSingIt – Your favorite Music Community

 

 

 

Remember to Write

I really haven’t had the time to sit and write the way I used to.  It’s not just the time, but the inclination.  So far, on this blog, I have only written as a diary and real life situations, but I also like to write fiction.

I’m not a very good writer, my fiction was never really intended for public consumption, but for the man I was writing it for.  I have been lucky to meet several men in the past 2.5 years that enjoy my writing and my stories.

As I have been struggling to determine how to make it through another 5 days of holiday apart from Bennett with lots of negative emotion swirling, I had been wracking my brain to think what I could do to turn away all this negativity and it occurred to me I could write.

I would write for him.  He loves a sexy story, and I could write us into some kind of sexy adventure, much as I had done in the past.  I had started this for him right before I started my new job, but, once I started that job, I couldn’t focus on any personal writing.  What little I did write was sheerly personal here on the blog, to clear my head.

I refuse to fall into any kind of depression over Bennett and our inevitable conclusion, I won’t live through a repeat of last year when I knowingly and purposefully chose this path.  Those words sound so strong but my emotional constitution is laughing at me and saying”let’s see who wins this round!”

Well, then, game on.  I am going to put myself into a positive place.  One where I remember what it means when you first mean someone and feel that pull of limerence that feels so much like falling head over heels in love.  What it was like when I saw it directed at me for the first time in such force and clarity.

I’m going to write a sexy story for him.  For me.  Just to write about anything that makes me feel good that’s not grounded in reality.

January is around the corner, which means, if I’m true to myself, so is this last chapter of my life.  I am really ok with that because I chose it.  Somehow I am going to keep reminding myself that I make conscious choices every day and one of those should be self-care.  I love to write, so write I will.

Now, I realize many of you don’t like fiction…so I won’t be offended if you don’t read because I’m doing it for myself.  But if you do read, I hope you enjoy my dreams and fantasies.

Patience: NOT My Virtue

I can’t keep my mouth shut. When something bothers me, I have to say it right away. I try, so hard, to filter and it doesn’t work. I have to get it off my chest.  It a bad habit. One I wish I could overcome for once and for all. 

Some times are better than others and I have a little self control. Other times I’m really good at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.  

I decided that I need to practice. Maybe each time I think I “have” to say something I can write it here.  I try, really try, to think of good advice ASV once gave me: what will you get by saying that? (Or something along those lines).  What’s my expected outcome?   

Does anyone have good pointers on how to do this?  How do you control your emotional thoughts to have a logical conversation?  Or maybe, to have or avoid a conversation?

My dilemma right now is probably obvious: I am very frustrated as the other woman around the holidays even though I knowingly accepted this role. Making things worse are the death of his mother, creating an additional influx of family, friends and gatherings.  Deep down I understand this is no place for me, even if he was a free man,  this is family time.   

Bennett had a very good life. Other than not having a true martial relationship, everything is very good on the outside.  He has built a good life for his family.  I don’t truly see him leaving this life for me. Regardless that he has no intimate relationship with his wife, they are good partners and good parents together.  He plays his part very well.  He said this creates self-loathing within him but I’m not so sure I believe or truly understand that.  When I got to the point that I felt self-loathing, I got out of my relationship.  

I agreed to stay through January. I want to enjoy my time, I just don’t know how to actually do it without losing my patience.  

I’m getting dangerously close but I know there is no point in pressing him. I don’t actually believe he will make a change and I feel I just need to plan my own exit strategy come the New Year. 

But how do I not explode in anger, bitterness or sadness in the meantime?   How do I maintain my patience and composure for the long game?  I have come to keenly realize I am not good at planning long term (in all facets of my life) but very good at short term, tactical response.  How do I focus on my actual goal of self care and self preservation?  

If Bennett and I are meant to be, how do I focus on the result and not the path to get there? 

How do I keep my patience when I’m turning into a boiling kettle? 

I don’t know and I don’t like the angst I am feeling. This isn’t his fault because this was my conscious choice. Just like it’s my choice to make it through the month ahead. Regardless of his actions, I need to have control over mine no matter the outcome. 

I wish I had some kind of secret key to my head!

In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

Seth DoyleMaybe you were just looking in all the wrong places. Maybe you forgot about finding happiness in the small things. Maybe you forgot how blissfully calming that first sip of tea in the chilly mornings could be. Or how perfectly cozy you felt curled up and sleepy under your soft, warm quilt. Or the smell…

via In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

300 Readers and a Little White Lie

I am always surprised when I look at the number of readers that follow my blog.

I just realized I am over 300 readers, which is already more than half of the number of readers I left behind at the old blog after 2 years…and somehow, I have 300 readers in 9 months here.

I am glad you are here with me, sharing my unique journey.

This year – as much as it could have been an awful year – has truly turned out to be one of the best years of my life.  I take all the sadness and misery along with my happiness and joy…I take all of it because it makes me uniquely me.

I feel blessed and grateful for my life – truly not something I have felt in the past.

Oh, and I can share one little (or big, call it what you will) lie that I have been telling way too long….and I can give you a hundred or more reasons why I lied about it, but it doesn’t matter, I have finally chosen to accept it along with all my other bruises and worts…..I turned 49 years old this past September (not 47) and that means next year is the banner year of 50.

I just figured, why was I going into an amazing year of my life telling a silly lie about my age?  My mother did it til the day she died and somehow I adopted the practice.  Bennett was the first person I was finally honest with about my age in more years than I can recall.

My friends all laughed when I told them and couldn’t believe I had kept the lie up for so long.  I even said my age in front of my children, eventually they will put two-and-two together as well.

Anyway, thanks for always reading, commenting and inspiring me to think harder and more thoughtfully.

It’s been a wonderful journey for the first half.

 

A Strange Satisfaction

I think it’s rare in Corporate America to find that “perfect job” because unless you really love to play at politics, you are always dealing with some level of bullshit you just don’t want to be dealing with.

In Corporate America, you often lose the ability to make good decisions because your boss, group leader or company just want the business to move in a different manner.  And you get left to execute something you don’t believe in.

But, I think I was lucky in the role I started in September.  This company is so far behind the times that the opportunity for change is ripe, and I love change.  Consider me a change-agent.  It’s why I was so interested in the role to begin with.

What I find most fascinating about my new role is the level of thankfulness people feel for having me here.  One person mentioned to my boss that I was the most “natural and organic” transition that they have ever experienced.  Another mentioned to him they thought I had been here a long time based on how I was able to navigate difficult conversations.  I have had nothing but a wonderful welcome.

Me being me questions this as much as I try to embrace it.

Is it too much of a good thing?

I have made two “friends” already who defer to me for advice – which is fascinating when I have been in the role for about just about 8 weeks now.  I feel very useful and this seems to be a big unlock for me.

I think I have questioned my “usefulness” in many different ways over the years.  Was I a good daughter, friend, wife, mother, lover or employee?  Did/do I give the people around me what they need from me?  Often times I neglect my own well-being for the better being of others.  I feel best when I am serving others in some capacity.

However, when I serve and do well, I also like to be rewarded in some way.  I am not selfless for sure.  I don’t like to give and not receive.  It could be simple acknowledgement, some words…this certainly plays right into my love language of Words of Affirmation.  If you can affirm that I am doing well, I will keep doing it, even trying to do better.

This job has put me on a pedestal.  While I love it, it also makes me a little nervous as I can get on my high horse.  I have to watch my opinion of myself very carefully and be sure my ego doesn’t inflate disproportionately.  I can see this happening.  It’s always been something I have to keep an eye on.  I just think now, at my age, and hopefully with some wisdom, I know when it’s happening and I can have my inner compass guide me in a more appropriate manner.

I am traveling on a 2 week trip to Asia and Italy.  We are meeting with about 60 vendors to negotiate terms and contracts.  This is the first time I am sincerely on the line for cost savings….there is no “boss” above me to be responsible for failure.  Of course I do have a boss and a bosses boss etc, but this time the win/lose proposition is my responsibility.  I am equal parts excited and nervous for this trip to happen.

Stepping up to this role at this level was a big win for me personally.  I had released the thought of this happening about a two years ago when my new boss at my old job clearly didn’t like me or appreciate what I could bring to the table.  He wanted things done his way, he wanted minions.  I couldn’t work that way.  As much as there was a corporate downsizing, I would be a fool to say I didn’t play a part in my boss being able to make the decision to let me go based on our relationship – I didn’t work to nurture it or play the game his way.

In hindsight, that was the best thing I could have done.  While I didn’t exactly leave the company on my terms, I did leave with my professional integrity intact.  Coming into this new role where all of those values and qualities I hold dear are admired, has been a huge boost to my self-esteem.  The fact that people are so encouraged I can make a difference is driving me to be the best I can be in this role.

This is deeply satisfying to me.  Combined with a wonderful summer of spending time with my children, the ability to purchase my home and pay off my x the lump sum from the divorce decree and purchase the car of my dreams, I have landed in a very gratifying position in life.  I haven’t felt like this in as many years as I can remember.

Perhaps the last time I felt this satiated in my life was when my children were young.  I was a great mother with a good career.  My parents were alive and well.  My marriage seemed stable, if not entirely happy.  Things seemed full to me.

This is also probably the reason I am better able to navigate breaking up with Bennett.  So much is right in my life, that it’s hard to dedicate much time to what’s not right.  My priorities are in order.  I love Bennett, deeply, fully….but I need a man who I can call my own freely.  I wish it could be him, I do.  But I have come to realize that I cannot make us both crazy that it just cannot be right now, or maybe ever, I don’t know.  It is out of my control.

Some days I do worry that my job is so encompassing now that I am not being the best mom I can be.  I am not even sure if I could be a better mom – I struggled with that all summer.  While one child is so mild and loving I wonder what I did to deserve him, the other two present their own unique challenges.  I pray that I find the path to lead them along as they come close to their adulthood.  I think every day now that I wish I had my mother to speak to.  I wasn’t an easy child by any means, and perhaps she could give me some guidance on how she managed / didn’t manage me.  I see myself in my older teens.  I find it hard to walk that line of understanding them as teens and wanting to parent and discipline them appropriately so they learn their lessons.

So, while the next few posts may be about the loss of Bennett and how that makes me feel, I needed to say out loud that life is good right now.  I feel very lucky to be where I am, and I am not sure I have ever been this grateful before.  There is a certainty about my life I have never felt.

Strange how that comes to me now, when I am on my own.

I’m off for two weeks and generally speaking, I usually like to write while traveling long hauls.  Maybe I will give my hand over to fiction again for a while.  Maybe I will write travelogues.  Maybe I won’t write at all.

Either way, my head is on straight and I’m not drowning in deep despair as I was this time last year.  Of course, I could be happier – couldn’t we all?  But I look at it this way….if everything I wanted was so easy to obtain, what would I have left to work towards?

 

 

Self Awareness

There was so much of confusion and pain from Bobby, that I felt a rush of “oh, spare me from that suffering, again.” But, now I feel that this  relationship means something different to me, it feels like it is happening for a new and totally different reason, at this time in my life.  I have said it a few times, but it’s worth repeating, Bennett brings me peace.  A calm sense of well-being.  As cliche as it sounds, he completes something within me.  This completion is something I have been longing for and felt was lost to me.  I began to believe that such a wonderful love was never to be found and I was beginning to accept this reality.

Maybe a good way to look at it, is to see how I take care of myself or how I think about myself, through it. Rather than try to figure him out (as I did with Bobby), this could be a new time to pay attention to me.

Like how I  trust myself.  I have  shared a lot of good reasons how he is different and the feelings he brings to me – sincere attention, care, and compassion. Those are great qualities. So maybe this is an opportunity to tune in to my deeper feelings. If something feels off, I need to try to decide if I am simply nervous because I’m afraid to make another mistake, or if something really feels off. I need to build trust with my own inner voice. What is the saying? “If you don’t hear, you feel.” I need to trust that I know what is best for my happiness. I am the only one who does.

Bennett brings me happiness.  He is the first man to meet any of my children and the first man I have called a boyfriend out loud to my x.  I know this is dangerous, but there comes a time when your children need to understand that you have a life beyond them and I have waited two and a half years before introducing this to them.  Bennett is the first man that I could see being part of my family….I NEVER saw that with any other man I have met since my separation.

Of course there are a million opinions and tons of back-up why affairs never work out.  But beyond assuming that we ultimately end up together, there is the short-term result that I am happy and fulfilled to a great extent and this is bringing me a sure sense of well-being.  I need to focus on this short-term piece in order to remain calm and reduce any frustration around the situation.

I think that worrying about whether the other person was happy or not is what happened with Bobby. It was emotionally draining, and certainly didn’t create a happy ending for me. So bringing the focus back on to myself might be a wise choice. That perspective can allow me to no longer look to fix, change, or save anyone, nor restore their faith in relationships. I am more aware of what I am needing in my relationships. My focus returns to me and my heart and my life and my needs. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-aware way.

I am taking responsibility for this new relationship, in a good way. If I take the time to re-evaluate previous relationships, understand my new standards that I have for myself and my relationships, and claim my right to own happiness – I believe I will become a happy, more whole and joyful person.

I could go on and on about how I feel about Bennett and all the reasons why I see him as a long-term possibility but nothing is relevant until there is true opportunity which means freedom from his current situation.   I can’t control his struggle.   These are decisions he needs to make for himself.  If he loves me the way he says he does, things will change in time.  Maybe a break is required, maybe not.  I have to relinquish any attempt at controlling the situation and solely focus on my needs.

I am trying to talk myself out of a relationship with Bennett because he is married.  Otherwise, he continually fulfills my needs and tries to consistently improve our relationship in any way possible.  I have never experienced anything/anyone like this before.  His entire aim is to please me simply because he loves me.  As some bloggers correctly pointed out, I have probably taken advantage of this in some ways.  Not that I don’t return his attention and affection in spades, but I can actually be a better human to him

Those are the most concrete thoughts I have around this relationship.  Food for thought. Exploring these things, without judgment,  expanding my thinking and finding new self empowerment and peace, while pondering the situation from many different angles.  I am not so foolish to realize that extracting myself from this relationship will hurt, but it will not break me this time.  Maybe that only happens once in life…maybe I needed to be so broken to understand how I cannot allow that to happen again.

Then again, maybe I am thing I have too much control over my own heart.

All I can say is that this is different is so many ways than before.  My gut has refused to weigh in on the matter because its satiated.  My heart is happy.  It’s my head trying to control everything that keeps yelping.  And, it’s not wrong, I get it.

But, really, there is no other way to protect myself from heartbreak at this point.  I will get hurt if Bennett doesn’t choose our relationship.  I just refuse to make all the same mistakes I made the first time.

 

Peace

The first two weeks at my new job were fantastic.  I have never felt such a sense of certainty about being in the right place. I like the people, I love the job and it’s a brand I’m excited to represent.  I can already see the potential if I perform accordingly which is super stimulating. My brain is in overdrive with all that I can achieve with a lot of hard work and elbow grease. The best part is, I’m ready for the challenge and I look forward to it.

I feel more in tune with my career than ever.  The right place at the right time.

I am still a bit in awe how things fell into place for me.  I don’t think I live a charmed life, but nor do I look at the trials I have endured as difficult as others may have to endure.  I try to keep my life in perspective.  In this case, I can’t help but think I had help from a higher power.  My last paycheck and insurance completed on October 1st just as my new job and insurance rolled in.

The fact that my x had to pick up the kids on his health insurance is also a small win that wasn’t anticipated.  Since he doesn’t pay any child support, at least I feel like this is a contribution, even if it is a small one.

Now I need to get used to a longer commute each day and determine how I am going to fit in my fitness routine.  I was dedicated to my trainer for 3 months and I felt great (though I didn’t focus on weight loss, unfortunately, just strength).  Now I have to figure out which nights I can get home in time to get to the gym by 8pm, which is the latest session he offers.  I can couple that with one Sunday session and at least have 2x a week with him.  It’s not ideal, but it’s something.

My clothes from last year are too tight so I have to drop these 12 lbs I added on over the summer.  It still keeps me at about 30lbs total that I would like to lose permanently.  I know I need to get back on Isagenix to do this because that particular routine works well for me and is easy to follow.  I’m just trying to figure out the lunch and kitchen situation in my new job before I bring my very loud little shake maker to work!  I did buy a few new things with the start of the job so I have plenty to work with, but want to get back into some of my sexier things from last year.

The morning routine at home seems to work well.  Luckily my new job has a late start so I can wake at 6am and still get ready, makes the boys lunches and get out the door to be here at a reasonable time.  They have to make their own breakfast, but it seems like they can manage or not eat.  I’m gone for work already so I’m not sure what they are doing.

The afternoons when the kids are home hasn’t proved as easy.  The older boys didn’t put away their shirts for a month and I stopped doing laundry…..they learned pretty fast that they need to put away their laundry if I’m going to do it for them.  They don’t clean up after themselves, forget the lights, and leave food everywhere.  I realize we are on a learning curve, but I don’t like coming home at 8pm to a messy house and having to straighten up even if it takes 15 minutes.  I’m as spoiled as they are.

I hired a 28 year old girl to help with laundry and dinner two nights a week but she might be more work that it’s worth.  She needs too much guidance and I think we can manage on our own.  The only thing that still bothers me with no adult at home is that my youngest can’t have friends over, ever, after school.  And, chances are good the boys don’t eat healthy meals.  At least I know 2 nights a week they eat properly.  For now, I will keep her around and see how it goes.  It offers me peace of mind that they are not home alone those 2 afternoons/evenings, they can eat well and have a normal dinner routine, and that my youngest can have his friends over if he likes.  I hate the idea that my job disrupts their lives, if I can help it.

So two weeks in and all is pretty good.  I would say that overall, I have never felt such a sense of balance in my life, even with the adjustment of living without an au pair.

 

 

 

The Changing of The Seasons of My Life

 

When Bennett sent me this song, I sobbed.  I had no idea why so much emotion was raised in that moment.

But there were clearly a few things that impacted me, one of them was the lyrics:

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time made you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time made you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
Oh, I’m getting older too

For sure, I was struggling with getting older, losing my job, my first heartbreak, and being a mother full-time.  There were just so many points in the song that seemed to resonate for me.  Add Stevie Nicks voice to that and, well, the tears just flowed.

I had a moment when he sent me this song, some things crystallized for me.

I had been interviewing for a position that literally fell into my lap.  This was my dream job (in a sense, if any corporate america job can even be a dream job) and I so desperately wanted to hold this role.

I had started to fall in love with Bennett and was fighting it the same way I fought the feeling with Bobby.

I just couldn’t seem to find my groove with my kids at home.

And, as strange as it seems, I heard this song and my heart opened up and I let go.

If I was meant to get the job, I would.  I would be sure to work as hard as I could for it, but it would be out of my hands ultimately.

I decided I would allow myself to love Bennett in full and see where it leads.  I refuse to pass up something that feels deeper to me than any other romance in my life.

I just let it be with the kids and suddenly found my groove as a full time Mommy.

And then, things just seemed to open up for me…..the months of August and September really passed full of happiness with my life.   I was ok with where I was, finally.  Everything just seemed to fall into place.

I was going to manage this season of my life, like any other, but I felt like it was “my” season this time around.   I feel like it’s my time now.  I spent the last several years truly struggling and fighting uphill battles.  I feel the tide has turned.  For the first time in my life, I feel clear and open.  I’m not sure that I can articulate this properly, but I let all my shit out for the universe to take care of it, and it did.  I am ready for what’s next and I’m embracing it.

There are big changes taking place.

I’ve written about being in love with Bennett and I plan on staying here for a while, he makes me feel whole, every minute of every day.

The kids and I are in a groove….which is about to change because, for the first time in their lives we have no additional home helpers.  No Au Pairs.  While that may seem like no big deal at their age, they (and me!) have been spoiled for a long time by always having an extra pair of hands in the home.  It’s not an easy transition to suddenly have to wake yourself up, make your own breakfast and lunch and get to school after 17 years of someone doing it for you.  It also puts additional burden on me because they are typically thoughtless teens.  It will be an interesting transition.

And, the biggest transition of all, I start a new job next week.  Yep.  I got the dream job.  I worked hard, I fought for it, I negotiated a great deal and I am super excited.  I’m also super scared I can’t do it!  But, it’s my time.  I feel it in my bones.  It’s my time to take something on for myself and be a super star.

The seasons change and life changes too.  I feel ready for this next season.  I feel like I have a clear head for the first time in years.  I am happy and at peace.  I feel grateful.  I really feel blessed that I had this opportunity in my life and that the universe has granted me so many good things in a relatively short time.

Soon, my final divorce proceedings will also complete.  The payments to the x will be finished and I can start with a clean slate by obtaining my mortgage now that I have employment.  The relief I feel from this is amazing.

As we head into the Fall and the leaves fall to the ground, I am also ready and accepting that there will be more change to come.  We will start thinking about colleges, if my relationship with Bennett actually has legs or not, and settling into the new role.  I’m looking forward to it.  I know my road ahead isn’t easy, I have made difficult choices.

Loving Bennett is not an easy path and I don’t dismiss his situation, I just don’t focus on it.

Having three teens that have to learn how to care for themselves will probably be frustrating at best.

I will have to completely give myself to this new role for the first year.  There will be long hours and plenty of overseas travel.  I will have a large team to manage and restructure.  I know I am jumping into a burning building, but it seems, based on my past behaviors, I like a little self-torure, so I might as well add burns to my list of wounds!  I am hoping the amount of focus the role will require will also provide some distance between Bennett and I and give us both a little more clarity.

I’m hoping my kids reflect on how much of a presence I was over this summer, I think they will.  They are already upset I’m heading back to work.  It was the first time they can recall having a full time Mommy.

It was a great 5 months.

And I’m ready for the change of seasons.

 

 

Hiatus

Considering I’m not working, I can’t even believe how busy I am. Days pass filled to the point where I collapse exhausted. 

I over committed this week because I never like to have too much down time and finally realized that I had to put myself first in order to do what’s best for me. Wrangling my children and my x isn’t always easy because of the humans involved. It’s not like a work project that I can schedule and manage towards a deadline. These humans change things on the fly throwing an entire morning, or even a day, into disarray.  Then they wonder why I am not always compliant with their changing needs since “I have nothing else to do.”  

But see, that’s where they are wrong. I have plenty to do. I spend time at the gym, on a schedule I keep each week. I have books to read, a house and family to run, vacations to plan, and actively ramping up my job search and networking activities. So much to fit into a day that my days have filled to the brim.   

I admit I could wake an hour earlier, but why should I?  I don’t have to spend at least a half hour-to-hour each morning on my back deck with my coffee chatting on the phone, reading or simply sitting and looking at the nature around me. But I do this now because I can. I never could do this before because there was no time to slow down.  I have built in some down time to be grateful every morning.  To think about my life and what I want from it in this next chapter.  

I’m breathing slowly and feeling healthy. My kids and x just have to get over it. I say no to them often and feel less guilt. I’m not a maid because I’m out of work.  My kids have been spoiled their entire lives by nannies so I get it, change is hard for them too, but they are too old to stay spoiled and while I can teach them the value of time, of my time especially – I will. 

With all that said, I’m taking a blog break.  I’m about to head out west for our California vacation for a few weeks and any stories kicking around in my head can wait.  As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve allowed the men to dwindle down to almost nothing.  Bennett remains in the picture on a consistent basis and Ayden will probably check in on me once or twice before asking me out after vacation.  The others are much more peripheral players and can drop by the wayside and I wouldn’t much care. I’ve been so busy with life, and constant communication from Bennett, that there’s no time for much else and that’s ok. 

I may find time to write on vacation, maybe not. But wishing everyone a very happy August and enjoy the home stretch of summer. 

I know I will.