Living Single While Very Married..a little bit of normal

Since  I have been writing this series of blog posts it has not been written in real time for many reasons.  I have decided that this has  gotten a little too confusing for me and it would more fun to write it as it happens.  I have a bit of catching up to do to get everyone up to date but for now here is what is happening in “real time”.

Paul is home for a bit.  While we see each other every 6 – 8 weeks its not always here at home. So as things worked out this is his first visit home since January.

Six months since he has been here.  Six months since it hasn’t solely been my responsibility to lock up at night, walk the dog, fix things, or vacuum ( our dog sheds his entire coat once a day or so it seems)

Six months since “Hey what do you want for dinner”, “Want to take a walk?”, “Should we make it “Donut Sunday”? (Yum) “Need anything from the store while I am out?”

Believe it or not I even smiled when I saw his smelly workout clothes piled in the bathroom ( actually I smelled them before I saw them). I’m not going to lie, I smiled but that is one thing I really don’t miss.

Six months since my week-end didn’t really suck (not all of them suck but we find week-ends are especially hard when we are apart). The week-end didn’t suck not because we did anything special but just because we were together.

Nothing here is earth shattering or huge but it is all a little bit of normal, our normal.

I’ve learned so much through this experience and yet appreciating the things that often go unnoticed and yet are so valuable is the best gift ever.

So while he is here I’ll take a little bit of normal with a side of just being together all day everyday.

Of course watching him get “loved” by the grandkids never gets old. That doesn’t happen everyday so it’s always fun.
FullSizeRender (2)As always, keep triing..its what keeps me going!

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Are you guilty of this bad social media habit?

Social media has led me  to  develop some bad habits.  Shocking I know.  Let me just add those to the list of my less than desirable habits that even annoy me.  The top of that list is forgetting to close cupboard doors  (or any door for that matter).  I have been painfully reminded of this many times when I have banged my head into the open cupboard door.  My friends would say that explains alot 🙂

As far as social media goes I often fall into that mistaken belief that everyone I know and care about has seen my updates or photos.  This is especially true of big events ( weddings,baptisms, birthdays)

I KNOW lots of my family and friends are not on social media and yet I still forget.

If you are thinking “Well these friends and family just need to get with the times and jump onto social media”, remember that for some ( especially older relatives like my parents) it is just not going to happen.

AND social media is a poor substitute for a REAL phone call, a REAL piece of mail and a REAL printed up photo.

So here is where it gets really cool.  You can use social media to send a real printed photo postcard. Honestly I just discovered this so I am going to experiment with the different apps to see which ones I really like and in a week or two will share this with you.

One  app that I know is great is Kicksend.  It will send photos from your phone to a local place to be printed up and then you can just pick them up.  I have a couple of friends who use this on a regular basis after having their photos lost on their phones.  There is nothing worse than realizing you just deleted a photo you loved or your favorite two year old got your phone and cleared it for you.

Toddlers are pretty tech savvy these days.  Remember the 3 yr old who bought a car off of Ebay?

Watch this! And poof everything disappears!

Watch this! And poof everything disappears!

So if today is not the day to send a photo then  pick up the phone.  Let someone you love know you are thinking about them. If someone keeps popping into my thoughts I KNOW I need to talk to them.

The whole purpose of Thoughtful Thursday is to make it a day to remind you to connect with someone.

Now go make it a Thoughtful One!  And if you find an app you like please share!

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Running on Wisdom

So here is the best thing about running at my age.  I can run with wisdom.  I am not trying to be first, not trying to be the fastest, or do the longest run.  I am doing it because, well because I can.  As the saying goes ”

“Today I can run.  One of these days I will no longer be able to run.

Today is not that day”

So as I wrote earlier ( catch it here ) I had to start over with my running.  Well my running endurance and building up my distance.  Kinda bummed about it but it is what it is.

Yesterday I woke up after a very long day on Wednesday and a crappy nights sleep.  I wanted the number of the Mac truck that hit me.  I felt beat up.

So I gave myself a break and didn’t run.  No guilt. No “I should have gone running.”

Nope.  I just knew it was ok to take a day off.

WHAT??  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I know people that would think this is unthinkable and unacceptable.  You just have to get out there no matter what.

Too bad.  Would music be music without the spaces between the notes?  Would you be able to read this without the spaces between the words?

So it goes with running or anything else.  Rest is part of exercise. Rest is part of being able to do what we want to do.  Rest is as IMPORTANT as the activity.

OMG

Quick..some people are going to need CPR over this one.

Okay..yes someone famous said ( Einstein maybe?) “That an object at rest stays at rest”   So true.  I would add that an “Object in motion stays in motion until it runs out of energy or gets injured”

Listen to yourself, listen to your body.  It is YOUR body!!  You know it best.

This works except when one day off stretches into a week, stretches into a month.  I’ve done it so I know  🙂

So I went out today..did well, not far.  Maybe a little over a mile ( my Garmin needed a day off and a charge) so not sure how far I went.  It felt great.  And I was on my own to decide when to walk and when to run since Miss Garmin was resting.  Surprisingly  I ended up running more than walking!

And then I went to treat myself with a homemade chocolate chip cookie I had stashed in work bag.

I may be a little wiser when it comes to running but when it comes to cookies my dog, Max, is much smarter.  He was licking his chops when I got back and he wasn’t sorry in the least…well maybe a little but he rolled over for a belly rub so I am guessing he really wasn’t.

Max ate my cookie

Here’s to wisdom and chocolate chip cookies ( out of Max’s reach)!  Keep Triing!

 

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Finding joy in starting over…

I just went for a run.  The first in a very very long time.  The list of reasons is unbelievably long.  Everything from traveling, to bad weather, to hating the “dreadmill” to the simple “I don’t wanna do it”

Of course, when I decided enough was enough and it was time to get out there again I caught a nasty respiratory infection that sapped my energy.  I could barely walk the dog let alone run.

I was smart enough to take care of myself as I watched some glorious perfect running days ( 70’s, no humidiy, light breeze) pass me by and I proceeded to beat myself up for NOT running all the times I had the chance to run when I wasn’t coughing up a lung.

So today was the day to start over.  I knew I would pretty much be starting from scratch.  I set my Garmin to run 3 minutes, walk 1 and decided to do a whole mile.

HOWEVER  I also gave myself permission to let go of what could have been, all those missed running days, and all the running stamina I used to possess.  And most importantly I let go of my ego and gave myself permission to do what felt good.

I made it 2 minutes and decided I needed to walk.  I enjoyed the beautiful day.  I walked 2 minutes and then decided to try the run 3  walk 1 again.  It was amazing.  When my watch signaled it was time to walk I was surprised.

I did my mile ( well .95 of it according to Miss Garmin)  Makes no matter.  I did it.  You can too! It doesn’t have to be running.  Do what makes you feel good, walking, zumba, yoga, or biking.

Let go of the past and what could have been. Let go of what others think is a the “best” exercise, an impressive amount of miles, or time, or the best yoga poses or the hills you “have” to do to be considered a cyclist.

I have lots of running medals and yet today I feel more victorious than ever because I listened to myself and I did it just for me!

Find the joy in whatever you choose to do. It makes all the difference!

The courage to start

Keep Triing,

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday..an easy way to make a difference


Take a minute and think about someone who made a difference in your life.

Chances are you just smiled.

You remember how happy it made you, how it changed you or how loved you felt that they took the time to do something for you.

Was it a huge thing like Oprah did when she gave away those cars?  Or was it something on a smaller scale?  It might have even been something they did without  realizing they made an amazing impact on your life.

While we would all like to have the ability to do really BIG things most of us can’t give away cars or houses or fancy vacations.

If you go back to the first question and remember what first popped into your thoughts it probably wasn’t something big.  It was probably something much smaller and doable and yet it was still HUGE to you.

This past Monday I had my day all planned and it was going to be so productive.  I got up early, I ran, I cleaned up and I sat down to work.  My computer had different ideas about my day.  I spent all day Monday, some of Tuesday and will spend a little bit of today getting this one issue,that could not be ignored,fixed on my computer.

Monday was NOT a good day.  Fortunately I did not also have to suffer through “crunchy coffee”.  If you missed out on that adventure go here.

So after some mind bending hours in front of this blasted machine I took the dog out since his little dance could not be ignored . I got the mail and my day turned around when I found these:

 

Letters for Thoughtful Thursday

 

Neither one of these friends could have possibly known what kind of day I would have when their note arrived.  I tore into them, read them several times and now they sit on my desk and make me smile.

They made a difference by taking a few minutes to write me a note.  It wasn’t a car or a house or a vacation but it might as well have been because that is how huge it felt to me on Monday.

Want to make a difference?  Make a list ( either written or in your noggin) about all the ways you can turn someones’ day around.  A smile, a note, holding the door open, a compliment, a post it note on the steering wheel or someones’ desk.  A lunchbox note for someone who might never expect it.

FYI we never grow too old for lunchbox notes.

Watch it come back to you in so many great ways including just making you smile when you think of the person finding the note, seeing your smile or savoring your compliment.

Now you know the drill.  Go out and make it a Thoughtful One!! 🙂

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Dear TV police..please arrest ABC for theft

So I am an on again off again TV watcher.  After getting Netflix a few months ago I now understand the love affair between people and their DVR’s.  Commercial free veiwing is true bliss not to mention a real time saver.

That’s not what I want to write about though.  If there really was something like the TV police I would put everyone at ABC in jail for theft ….of several of my IQ points.

I was originally only going to write about one program but then this morning on Good Morning America they stole at least one more.  Plus they are aiding and abetting the dumbing down  of America.

It all started with the show “The Bachelor”.   Just to be clear I have been, in the past, a fan of this show. Also I realize that this is some people’s guilty pleasure and others watch it for pure comedic value.  It makes no difference why you watch it, no apologies needed.

I do have to share the very first time I saw an episode.  I was channel surfing many years ago ( at least 8 because it was in our old house) and I saw this girl sitting with a bunch of other beautiful women practically having a nervous breakdown and a guy handing out roses and I was like “What the???”  What is going on here?  This guy must be some kinda special.  Turns out he really wasn’t but I was hooked.

Fast forward to when Melissa Rycroft was on and officially ended my Bachelor watching days except for a glance here or there.  If you recall Melissa was the final choice except during the time filming had ended and the show actually aired the jerk changed his mind and secretly started seeing the runner up and humilated Melissa on the “After the Final Rose” show to which she replied “you bastard” which is my all time favorite line from the the Bachelor EVER.

He did Melissa a favor as she went on to bigger and better things and married a nicer guy.

So this season found Farmer Chris trying to choose his perfect soulmate and move her to a town in Iowa where everything is closed except of  course his farm which explains why he had to be on the Bachelor because there are no women in his town.

So a couple of things I have realized since my days of watching:

  • It’s not a show about finding love, its a competition
  • It’s so edited that even the nice girls come out looking like drama queens
  • They pick the girls so there is at least one girl who will get naked, one with a tragic background, more than several that can’t talk without swearing , a couple that can’t hold their alcohol or don’t know how to stop, the party animals, and the ones that cry ALL THE TIME..oh wait that was Chris  the Bachelor
  • Throw them all in one house with one guy as the prize and you have great ratings.

Please..I saw a part of the show with the final dates and the final show.  It was painful.  Painfully stupid.   And the only reason I watched was for some laughs from all the twitter comments.  I did however especially like the part where he shut the car door on the girl he didn’t choose ( she wasn’t sure she could move to a town where everything was closed..smart girl)  He shut the car door with an attitude and I’m sure mumbled under his breath “don’t let the car door hit you in the spanks on your way home”

Here is my favorite photo of Chris that was rampant on twitter:

Chris with an ear of corn

On top of that the shows’ brainiacs could not choose a new Bachelorette so instead there are two women who will get to compete for the position and the voters will be the guys competing for her love.  Seriously??  Walk away girls Walk away..and there goes another IQ point.

It must be rampant at ABC..the dumbing down that is ( except for Shonda Rhimes) because just the other day on GMA they were featuring Antonio Sabato Jr ( I think it was him or some other cute Latin hunk) who is now into decorating and fixing up homes.  So they decided to give Ginger Zee and Amy Rhoback a quiz ( where you hit the buzzer and yell out your answer) So here is the first question ( turned it off after this, couldn’t take it)

If you want to hang a picture in your home for a focal point on the wall and a splash of color, which of the following do you NOT need?

      A.  A stud finder

            B.  A hook and nail

C.  A trowel

And  Ginger Zee with way too much excitement hits her buzzer and yells out C.   OMG  and Duh.  So I shut it off. Then I had a thought.  That quiz was rigged because any college student knows a trowel  (or a shoe, book or spoon) can work as a hammer.  So the real answer is  D. All of the Above

Have to run, if you need to find me I will be applying for a job as an ABC executive overseeing the Bachelor.  Oh wait, I’m too smart for that.

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Thoughtful Thursday…Finding Love and Support in Unexpected Places

You just never know where you will find love and support these days.  If you have just one person in your life that offers unconditional love, that you can share frustrations and know it will be understood and not shared and you feel supported then consider yourself lucky.

Most relationships come with more than a little baggage.  It’s that baggage that can trip us up, frustrate us and keep us from feeling free to share, vent and cry when we really need to do just let it all out.

And yet I have found more than one person.  Actually a whole group.  When I joined the group I would have never expected it to become what it is today.  The group was started really out of a need to find a safe place to vent about a direct sales company that slowly and painfully closed it doors leaving many people without their main source of income and their retirement now non existent.  The answers that were coming from corporate often made no sense and when questioned in their online group you were either banned or your post was deleted.

A group was created and we all congregated to  make sense of the nonsense.  That was close to two years ago.  While the original purpose of the group has faded a bit we have gotten to know each other even though many of us have never met in person.

The person who founded the group had a few rules we all abide by one being no bad language.  Finally a place where I don’t have see the f-bomb as every other word. I really can’t remember the other rules but whether stated as an “official” rule or not there is always respect for one another, we never discuss politics or religion and we are by far one of the funniest group of women that ever existed.

It has become a very safe place to vent but more importantly a place to find support and very kind words.

And that is why I am honoring this group on Thoughtful Thursday.  It really became evident when my best friend shared the loss of her father.  While not unexpected it happened rather quickly and caught her family by surprise.   She shared her pain with the group and the support and kind words from those who had also walked this painful path and others words of support and love were amazing.

As a writer I can tell when words are sincere ( really I can) and there were never any words more sincerely written to support my friend.

Social media often gets a bad rap ( and for good reason) but in this group we have the freedom to share, support, love and laugh.  It is one of those rare things you find in life that restores your faith in all that is good.  I for one am grateful for all the love and support from these sincere women.

Now you know the drill..go make it a Thoughtful one!

P.S.  My spell check wasn’t working so all typos are my gift to you  🙂

Clouds

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Dear Monday, I am breaking up with you!

I usually love Mondays.  A brand new week and a fresh start.  A chance to do even better than last week which for me would be something as simple, time consuming as finding the top of my desk.

Not this Monday, nope not in the least.  Really really wish I could go back to bed and have a do over.

Speaking of my bed that is where it all started at 4am ( damn time change) and it went downhill from there.  I should have known if things started going wrong before my feet even hit the floor that the best idea would have been to just stay put but NOOOOOO  I had to get the ball rolling by actually getting up.

So here goes:

  • I wake up at 4m..a little too early ( the plan was 5am) grab some water and back to bed
  • what seemed like 2 minutes later it is 6:30am  Ok no biggie since I work for home ( not as glamorous as it sounds)
  • notice I have something in my eye that is really irritating
  • am blinded in the bathroom by the uber bright light bulbs Paul thought we absolutely needed and my eye waters even more
  • give up looking in my eye, head for coffee, eye is killing me
  • make coffee or so I thought, seated the filter wrong and I find myself straining my coffee so its less crunchy
  • eye is killing me, back to the bathroom..nothing but my finger in it
  • hot compresses and 2 hours later I find a teeny tiny piece of black something in it
  • only have almond milk for my crunchy coffee and discover it tastes like &^(*%$
  • have my intelligence insulted by Good Morning America ( my next blog post )

At this point I am 2 hours behind, my eye is still watering and I have a coffee headache, I need to get photos printed up for a project that HAS to go in the mail today and my computer got hungry and seems to have eaten them overnight.

Oh and our taxes are ready as in Uncle Sam wants more of our money.

If you need me I will be in bed blowing bubbles with my crunchy coffee watching ABC for more blog material..as in see next blog post.

 

IMG_1740

Happy Monday! NOT!!

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! How to answer one of the most important questions ever…

A young friend of mine answered a simple question with such grace and inner wisdom that I will never answer that question again without thinking of her and the gift she gave to all who asked.

My friend found herself in the middle of joy and sadness all at the same time.

  • Her new baby girl was bringing her and her husband immense happiness.
  • Her business was flourishing.
  • Life was so good!

And then without warning ,in the middle of all this euphoria,  came devastating news:

Her mother was ill with cancer and the  prognosis was not good.

So we all asked a very simple and natural question:

What can we do to help?

And she did something remarkable .

In the midst of all that was going on she had the presence of mind to ask for what she needed.

More importantly she also told us what she didn’t need.

I swear there needs to be a class in this…a whole class in asking for what we need.  Not what we want but what we need.  I know what she wants.  She wants her Mom not to be ill.  She wants her Mom to see her baby  grow up.  I prayed  and hoped that would  happen but at that moment  she had needs..she had big needs and she had littles needs and those of us who wanted to help could breathe a sigh of relief because we knew how to help.

And here is a little confession.  I am lousy at this.  I either don’t answer the question, or say I am fine or somehow manage on my own until I am drowning and have to make a desperate plea for some assistance.

I have no idea where this comes from but I know I am not alone.  I also know, for me, it is a deeply ingrained response dating back to when I was 5.  As I walked to kindergarten I stepped in a puddle and my shoes and socks got wet.  Rather than ask for help from the teacher I took off my shoes and socks and put them in the sunny window of the classroom to dry and then went to the dress up bin and put on a pair of high heels and wore them the entire afternoon. ( this was back when most of kindergarten was playtime) .

Yes I was resourceful.

Yes I was independent and solution oriented ( I laugh at this term when I think of being a solution oriented kindergartener)

Great qualities to have but not when things get bigger than wet socks and shoes.

Times when  I really need help.

Even when it might be something as simple as someone just being there with me and keeping me company.

Ironically I am the queen of wanting to help and giving help and being there.  ( guessing most of you are that way as well)

How very thoughtful of Valerie to give us a list, to be honest, to be open and what a relief to those that wanted to help.  It was roadmap to really being helpful and knowing it was what she wanted and needed.

So on this Thoughtful Thursday sit down and think how you will answer the simple questions:  How can I help?  What do you need?

It’s one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and those people in your life that really want to be of service.

Now go make it a Thoughtful One!

P.S. On a really amazing and awesome note, Valeries’s Mom underwent chemo and on Valerie’s birthday of all days they got the wonderful news that her scan was clean.  No cancer, nada, nothing and just recently a second scan with the same news. So happy for them!

Pretty cute for a "solution oriented kindergartner"

Pretty cute for a “solution oriented kindergartner”

 

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Living Single while Very Married: Hellos and Goodbyes

One of themes throughout our relationship has been the many hellos and goodbyes !  I can best sum them up with this thought I posted on facebook when saying goodbye yet again:

The hellos get sweeter and the goodbyes get harder…

   Our first true goodbye after we were engaged  is still as fresh as when it happened on July 5, 1978 .  We knew it would be several months before we saw each other again.  I remember the date not because I have such a great memory but because when I went back inside the house after seeing Paul off I found this written in my “Nothing Book”.  What he wrote was really something!photo (20)

.…”goodbyes, however temporary are often painful…the months ahead will be rough but nothing in this world comes easy, especially the items we treasure most….

And so began a series of Hellos and Good-byes…Navy Deployments etc.  Most hellos were fabulous..the goodbyes not so much.  Out of it we learned to treasure our time together, trust decisions that needed to be made and made the most of what communication methods we had at the time which mostly consisted of the good old fashioned letter.

photo (21)

There was one deployment where the only way to communicate besides letters and the rare phone call was over some sort of radio frequency that came over the phone.  I remember how strange it was to say “I love you” “Over” but I hung on to it.  Plus Paul sounded just like Mickey Mouse.  When he finally called on an actual phone about 2 months later and I heard his real voice I cried.

And with goodbyes come some really sweet hellos.  I am fortunate to have a photo of one of the sweetest hellos we ever had.   February, 1984, Barbers Point, Hawaii  Our oldest was almost three, I was very pregnant with our second as in about 10 days away from having her.  The photo says it all:

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That is a little of our story of hellos and goodbyes.  I would like to say we were well prepared for our present adventure but there have been adventures inside the adventure.  Most have been pretty funny ( so thankful for that) others not so much but holy cow have we learned a lot.

I’ll end with some wisdom from Winnie the Pooh.  For a bear he sure has a way with words!  pooh goodbye quote

Be on the look out for my next post as we start this new adventure with the quintessential ROAD TRIP!! Woohoo!

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