Can you hear me?

When the world shifted on its axis two plus years ago with the worldwide pandemic, the way people interact with one another changed.  I think it had already begun, but the pandemic sped it up. We as a society are so disconnected…  Thanks to texting, tweeting, social media posting, etc. we have talked “at” each other more rather than talking “with” each other. It feels like everyone is a slogan or mini commercial. No one touches deeply doing that. We don’t even physically touch as much. We all need warm physical touch. I had a conversation with someone during the pandemic about creating “hugging centers”. Everyone needs a hug… especially when feeling isolated. Maybe now we are more accustomed to this isolated feeling – it doesn’t make us not need it, but we may have forgotten that we do.

I met with an old client last month because they referred someone to me and showed up with the new client to see a house. I hugged them. It’s the first time I have hugged clients in more than two years! For a moment – just a split second – I held back… thinking we don’t do this anymore. Then I thought fuck it – we are all vaccinated, and it’s important to acknowledge these people mean something to me. Admittedly – we all got teary eyed for a moment. I knew it was the right thing… they needed it (I did too). Actually Covid almost killed him in the last two years and she was T-boned on her way to work and almost died… I may never have seen them again. Always hug someone – you might not see them again.

Helping these people they referred, I realized I miss the interactions I used to have in business. With my clients, I have always gone pretty deep into who they are, and what they want and need. They felt understood – because they were. That is one reason why I am so good at my job and I can match people to the right house for them.  With my new clients, I dug into who they are and what they need, and they told me they felt more understood and more helped than they did with other brokers they had tried to work with the past couple years and were thankful my past clients introduced us. It felt good – I had a “connection” with a client again. They close on their new home in 9 days.

I have never really been a dating person. In the past, someone would basically “choose” me, and I would then be in a long-term relationship with them. I never did the dating thing… That’s why I didn’t understand it. I didn’t really need to sift and sort and make small talk. I would just decide if I liked the person who “chose me” enough to move forward. I don’t know if that was lucky or unlucky… After Robert died and I decided I should “date” – I really had no fucking idea what I was doing. You don’t know what you don’t know so much of the time. I guess I was waiting to be “chosen” again, but when people don’t really “connect”, they are on to the next shiny object before they even see how amazing you might be.  

I have officially been actively out in the “dating wild” now for more than a year. I realized something this morning… what I really miss in relationship is actual connection. We trade some random data, see if there is any chemistry and then move on. We have forgotten how to actually “connect”. Or maybe there are some who never even really learned to? The random data doesn’t make “connection” – it doesn’t tell you who someone is at their core. It feels like when you are a kid and try to talk to someone through dixie cups and string.

When I saw my friend Sandy last week and I said, “How are you?” I realized that question had more depth with her than the other dozens of times a week I say it, because I really know her. We connect. That was her invitation to fill me in on what I missed since the last time we spoke. When you ask someone you don’t know deeply or have a good connection with that question, all they can say is “good” or “fine”. Which is not usually the whole truth, doesn’t create a safe place to open up and share because the level of intimacy isn’t there, and is a connection killer instead of an opportunity to create better connection.

Being an introvert, I have wallowed in the isolation of the pandemic a little too much. I actually felt a sense of relief at not having to have real interactions with real, live, people for a time. But since I don’t have a partner, I have missed real connection. The deep, sweet, soul connection you have with a partner. I have connection with a few friends and my children – but that of course, is different than a partner.

Trying to date, I have made mental connections, physical connections and a couple emotional or energetic connections – but not the full meal deal… maybe it’s because we don’t really know how to connect anymore on all levels? Even though we didn’t truly connect, I connected with some more than anyone else has on some level – which is why the people tend to boomerang back and try to connect with me again and I get texts from random people I have interacted with (like Poly Paul)… maybe.

So how do we create real connection with people? I think one way is by being authentic but mostly by actively listening while being authentic… which is especially hard to do over text or instant message. I don’t know the answer. And of course so many people aren’t even vulnerable enough to be authentic. Sometimes when you are open and vulnerable… being authentic, the other person doesn’t open up at the same level of openness… or they try to coach you instead of actively listening and then returning the level of vulnerability (I can be guilty of this too). I will be thinking about this a lot this week to try and understand it.

Piper update: she is walking much better and has even started running a little. She is still adjusting to being blind in one eye. She started trying to jump yesterday, but has not been successful… and I’m not encouraging it yet either – can’t have a dog that can’t see falling off furniture and injuring herself. She has finally let me sleep longer than an hour or two at a time (last night I got 7 hours!) but it’s going to take me a few more days to feel caught up on sleep.

Observations on a Friday Morning

Must be something about being born on July 22nd… right now my dog is reminding me a lot of myself (we were both born on that day). She is fucking relentless. Persistent as fuck… it’s like something clicked in her brain and she knows she needs to get control of her limbs again. Every hour she is up trying to walk (all day and all night… heavy sigh). I have had to babyproof everything – block the stairs with gates, cover sharp edges, move things that could be a potential problem… It is very clear now she is blind in one eye and even though two of her medications are supposed to make her sleepy, they don’t. She walks around the kitchen and family room in a big loop (or the bedroom depending on where in the house we are) – sometimes successfully and sometimes slipping, sliding, bumping into things and falling on her chin because her back left leg is the least cooperative and her left front leg is the second least cooperative. She will walk round and round until she is very tired then will plop into a dog bed or face plant somewhere and take a little nap – 10 minutes later she is up and on the move again. I’ve gradually been shifting medication times so that one day next week I will be able to have 7 hours of sleep in a row… right now she is like and infant – but worse. I had it timed to get 5 in a row last night, but that didn’t happen… because she must try to walk every hour, or I will be subjected to her screaming. I decided fuck it and left the crate open – she has been putting herself back in… so at 5am she decided she needed to knock all the things out of the bedroom shelves because she needed to… I don’t know – walk in and out of the cubbies? Eat the dried starfish stacked in one? The past 24 – 36 hours she has decided she needs to not only walk but walk fast… gosh she is fast – I have to really be on my toes now. The prescription dog food brand and type the vet prescribed cannot be found. I went to five pet supply places yesterday and also tried the manufacturer and on-line stores. I finally had to order a different brand and wait for that retailer to contact the vet for a new prescription – which of course is going to delay the food. My plan today is to go beg the vet to sell me a couple cans… or completely lose my shit and scream at him for the wild goose chase for something no one fucking has – which is not the way I prefer to operate but I am approaching complete exhaustion. Today is officially an entire week of very little sleep. I had to get all her meds refilled yesterday… fuck that was expensive. So far – all in – the dog has caused me to spend enough for a 7-10 vacation in Hawaii… which I was in no position to afford at this moment in time (and sadly at this moment, I would prefer the vacation).

A friend has been by twice, which has been really nice. It was nice for someone else to help with the dog a little and to talk about random shit. She has finally, successfully broken up with her guy. They have been together for 8 years – he is half her age… I was always supportive of whatever made them happy but couldn’t really see what they have in common other than love of sex. She told me she has been trying to end it for 18 months. He is finally letting go and moving out. She is tired of the age difference, lack of commonality in all things – conversation, plans for the future, careers and drive… she has been made to feel like she has an appendage she is responsible for and does not wish to have that “mothering” type role. She is ready for an equal again. I showed her the current options on Match and Tinder… she agrees with me it is fucking pathetic. I think she and I both look younger than we are (and feel younger than we are) – although due to the current lack of sleep situation, I am looking a little older today. She agrees the men that are age appropriate for us (most of them) look 10-20 years older than men in their 50’s and early 60’s should. Maybe some of them are lying about their age? She also wonders, just like I do, why so much facial hair? Just… why? We do not want to date Santa Claus or a Duck Dynasty character. Some she wanted to see their profile just because of the horrendous choice of profile picture… We played with tarot cards and talked about life choices… I appreciated her companionship. Some people in my life basically said, “I know you will figure this dog thing out” and disappeared not even offering companionship via the phone … most likely to reappear later – when they want something.

I did on a few occasions ask my daughter to please take the dog duty for a little while, so I could go to the gym. She also babysat so I could power wash. In the Pacific Northwest, we get this green slime… well it’s slimy when it’s wet… and slippery. This time of year, when the yellow pollen flies everywhere, it sticks to the green PNW slime and creates this brownish green coating on everything. If you don’t get it gone, next fall it will be even more slippery (and even harder to get rid of). Hours of power washing has been completed – still so much to do… for the most part, everything I need to do has been put on a back burner to deal with this dog issue. Something has to give. This can not be the “new normal” … it is not sustainable for so many reasons. I am holding onto faith this is just a speed bump toward wellness.

My daughter has been on me about something. If you know the MBTI personality types and their traits, I am an INFJ and I do have a thing where I shut people out of my life instantly if I feel betrayed. Turns out it’s not just me – but common with my personality type. It’s called the “INFJ door slam”. We don’t yell or throw a fit – we just ice the person out. They are dead to us… gone… poof. I door slammed my friend Kevin earlier this year and she won’t let it go. She liked the person that he is (I did too) but readers of my blog know I have abandonment issues. He abandoned me after making a promise, so I told him I didn’t want to talk to him, that I had counted on what he said and he let me down, and that I didn’t want to say things in anger that I did not mean because I felt abandoned. Which I thought was actually a reasonable, mature way to handle things (there are some people I have door slammed who I didn’t even communicate any of it to – they are just shut out… done… gone from my life). She is sad about the Kevin situation because she saw we were good friends and she felt he was a good influence in my life. I agree, but I won’t reopen the door without appropriate acknowledgement and apology from him. I used to be the person who gave endless chances for decades, always assuming the person would show up the way I needed them to if given another chance… I’m just not that person anymore, I guess.

While driving around trying to find dog food yesterday, with the dog safely tucked into her crate snoring (also just like a baby apparently car rides make her sleep – too bad I can’t sleep while driving…) I realized I pay attention to cars. You should while you are driving but what I mean is I associate certain cars with certain people. Maybe all people do this? White Range Rovers make me think of the ex-con drug smuggler I met last year… what was his name? Dave? Horrible looking lemon-lime neonish Subarus remind me of Mr. 4 ½ weeks crazy psycho narcissist guy – Randy. I probably do this more when I’m over-tired. I had so many thoughts about why people choose the vehicles they do… and what it all means. I won’t share because it sounds very judgmental and not based on anything “real”. Which brings me back to the dating sites with my friend Sandy… some guys show pictures of themselves standing next to their vehicle. If it isn’t a classic, a collectable, or something special that indicates a passion or hobby… then why? Gee… you have a Ford… it’s what I’ve always wanted to ride to McDonald’s in – you are my dream date. Or a picture of their motorcycle. Gee… I’ve always wanted to risk my life with a guy traveling down the freeway on the back of his crotch rocket while his grey Santa beard flies back to smack me in the face… yeah – sign me up. Or one of the million guys who shows his truck with a camper thing on it positioned next to a tent in the woods… sure let me sign up for no showers or toilets to be on the hard ground with you and cook your fish you caught on an open campfire while you listen to sports before we hike and kayak – Go Hawks… No fucking thank you. You can find me somewhere clean, preferably with room service, reading a book or on my laptop.  Not that I don’t hike or appreciate nature – I just become “one” with it differently. You really want to impress me? Drive a Bentley or a Rolls and don’t brag about it or act like it is anything special – just own it because you like it. Or for that matter just drive what is practical for your life and don’t post pictures about shit that doesn’t matter.

I need a shower and 8 continuous hours of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe later… Piper is on the move again. I should change her name to Tri-pod Langmore (tiny little girl with only three semi-functioning legs, from a trailer home, with bad breeding and fierce unstoppable determination).

Faceplant nap in her sunshine bed between laps around the kitchen and family room… I need a sunshine bed.

Mayday

Piper

Mercury in retrograde, lunar eclipse, … and the sun, moon and Saturn creating a “harsh T-square” in the sky… it’s a fucked-up energy trifecta. I was already having a funky week, then it got worse.

Piper is my dog… she was born in a trailer park and taken away from her mom too young. When I rescued her, she was this tiny flea ridden little mop that didn’t know how to eat real food yet and tried to nurse on everything. But – they knew when she was born… on my birthday coincidentally… so I figured she was meant to be with me.

I brought her home against my fiancé’s wishes… (he was still emotionally recovering from the loss of another dog) but I knew he was a softie and would fall for her. He did. And she adored him… he was her favorite. Of course, he cooked for her, so that might have helped, and he was willing to hold her in the crook of his arm for hours while she slept as a puppy. Whenever he cooked a meal for us, he made Piper her own little plate. She is the only dog I know of that grew up eating Filet Mignon.

After Robert died, she waited on the stairs for him, watching the driveway… waiting for him to come home every day for months. It broke my heart. Eventually she allowed me to be his replacement. We have moved several times and life has changed a lot for us in the last five years… she started having a health issue a few years ago. Her genetics are not particularly good… kind of an expected risk with rescues. She went on a special diet for dogs with genetic liver issues. Even though she is approaching 8 years old, she still tries to nurse on things to fall asleep.

Last year I bought her a really expensive flea collar – supposed to be “the best”. It poisoned her and caused neurological damage (Seresto – if you google it you will find it has killed many dogs and cats). It took about 12 hours and a very expensive trip to the vet in the middle of the night to figure out that was the cause and get it off her. They told me she might never return to “normal”, there was permanent neurological damage. I worked with her and nursed her back to health, taught her to walk again and after a few weeks she was back to about 98% of her former self.

Friday night she started having Grand Mal seizures. She had 17 of them within two hours… I rushed her to the 24-hour emergency vet, and they admitted her to the hospital. The medications they gave her to try and stop the seizures didn’t work at first due to her liver shunt issues. After 48 hours and several thousand dollars later, she is back home. She is still having seizures, but not the big ones… they are called focal seizures. She is on five medications and can’t walk again. I’m keeping a seizure log to track her progress. First night home she had 57 seizures… She has the on-going liver issue and a brain issue.

I’m trying to nurse her back to health again… there is a chance her brain can form new synapses and she can improve again. There is also a chance she could have more big seizures and need to be euthanized. The first few hours she was home was really rough. She’s doing a little better now… I’m helping her learn to walk again. I made a sling with dishtowels to hold her up while she tries to move her legs to move forward. It’s a process… sort of like physical therapy. She tries. She has a desire to walk, run, and “do” stuff… her limbs just aren’t cooperating yet. I had to work with her to get her to eat again – her tongue was just pushing the food out… but she has successfully had two meals now. I am definitely a soft touch when it comes to animals… I won’t bore you with the list of animals that have ended up on my door step and been cared for over the decades.

I know it’s probably crazy to put in so much effort, but pets become part of the family… and I am not a quitter… ever. She is not in pain, so if I can give her more life to enjoy… and her quality of life can be good, then I owe it to her to try. She has been my little buddy. She has seen me through a whole lot of life “shit”. She lights up when she sees me, is super excited to go with me in the car when I’m working and unconditionally loves me. That’s more than I can say about a lot of the people in my life – LOL.

Change is inevitable. I know this. There will come a day when I will have to make a hard decision about Piper. I just can’t do it today. May is a tough month for me. I don’t need another event in this month… June isn’t great either… She’s a tough cookie… we will get through this.

(Update: she is showing improvement already… less seizures, more time of body control… took some steps without assistance.)

Rainy days and Mondays

I am feeling melancholy today. There is no one reason… when I feel this way, I do stuff. I mowed the lawn (and the neighbor’s lawn too… didn’t want to make a line between our houses like some sort of selfish dick). I cooked… a lot. It’s what I do when I feel like I don’t have as much control over the world as I would like… I cook. I can control that. I can accomplish something.

I used to love the Spring. Fresh starts. New beginnings. Longer days. More daylight and sunlight. I still do… but now it also comes with other stuff. Mother’s Day I was alone – which is fine… I don’t mind being alone… I actually like it. My kids postponed our celebration of the day… which truly is okay – it’s just a day… I was alone Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s… I delivered groceries for Instacart on Easter.  My mom has been gone a long time. She was killed on Memorial Day weekend in 1995. I came to terms with it and have been at peace with it – for a long time now. When I was married, I was often unhappy that holidays carried so much obligation – obligation to family gatherings with in-laws… the day was never my own back then. I never want my kids to feel obligation like that. I want them to be free to spend every holiday doing whatever makes them happiest.

Maybe I am melancholy because I spend too much time alone? Maybe it’s just May. May 15th was the day Robert and I met. We considered it our anniversary since we never left each other after that day… until he died of course. This will be the 5th anniversary without him. His birthday was May 23rd. He died June 26th, 2017. So maybe that is what’s bogging me down… These upcoming dates… combined with mom’s murder date.

Maybe shedding holidays and other “dates” is just more letting go of ego things. Part of the process of being a more evolved, more aware consciousness. Maybe it’s okay to not try to control anything external… or maybe I just think too much. I found myself watching for death beetles today. They were on the deck and a few in the kitchen the year Robert died. I did not mention them to him… I told myself they didn’t mean anything except maybe there was some rotten wood somewhere. I saw some the year Grandma died too – different house. She died May 15th, 2018. Now it’s May again, and I don’t want to see more beetles…

When my mom died, I knew she was dead before anyone called me. I felt a warm wind for no reason, that reminded me of Texas and made me think of my mom and I felt “watched” – I just didn’t know for sure it was her until an hour later, I got the call. She was 49 – she should have had a lot of time left… Robert was 47. A palm reader had told him he would live to be in his mid to late 80’s. He owed me 40 more years together. Grandma was 96. She left me a card – I found it after she died… she thanked me for taking care of her the last years of her life and said she was ready to go now that she knew I would be okay… I guess she was worried about me managing the loss of Robert. Mom died before – she died for a few minutes during my birth. She told me she saw the room from up at the ceiling in the corner of the room. She could see the doctor and the nurses start to panic and calling to her to stay with them and telling her to breathe… she said she went into the light… had a conversation and then came back.  She said it wasn’t her time. She tried to kill herself 7 years later… she told me when I visited her in the hospital afterward, it didn’t work because it still wasn’t her time.

I pulled a tarot spread this morning… it was all good… it showed new beginnings, and someone coming forward with love… the end of old cycles – there was not a single negative thing in it. There is no reason to be melancholy… maybe it’s a habit for this time of year now… I want to go back to Spring feeling hopeful and magical again. Cooking does make me feel a little better… I even made pudding from scratch for my youngest… food is a love language for me.

As far as “new beginnings” and “someone coming forward with love” … well… I’m not sure exactly what to say about that… There is someone who likes me – maybe a lot… I’m waiting to see how that shakes out… not getting carried away. There is another man that really, really wants to have sex with me and says he has been waiting for someone like me his whole life (that seems a bit melodramatic) … so far, I keep turning him down… mostly because it would hurt the guy that really seems to like me. I almost feel like I can’t really truly commit to being with anyone right now… which is weird, because I have spent the last year trying to get into relationship. But I’ve made a lot of mistakes, so maybe I’m just going slow now. All I really know is I don’t want to hurt anyone.

People seem to be trying to change me lately too. I know they mean well, but right now I seem to be attracting lots of conversations about religion and politics. I don’t do formalized religion – nor do I want to. I don’t do politics… it makes me feel helpless. And I don’t follow sports… it seems boring to me… I would rather read about science. Right now, I’m reading about quantum entanglement (giving string theory a rest for a while).

Off to do some yoga now… trusting I will be my sunny self again soon.

The Zen in Letting Go

It occurs to me this has been a life lesson for me. The art of letting go… of non-attachment. If we sign up to learn specific things in a lifetime, I took a crash course in this subject this lifetime.

The Buddhist concept of “non-attachment” is about not being attached to outcomes and “things”. Some things are easier for me to practice non-attachment on… I am a work in progress for sure.

Non-attachment doesn’t mean you don’t care about material things or own material things – but those things are not “you”. We have a habit of being attached to outcomes of how something plays out… or to achieving something – but being attached to it doesn’t change the outcome and our attachment to it or our expectations of how it will look cause suffering. My hippie parents first started trying to convey this message to me when I was about five years old, and a million events in my life have hammered it home.

The Universe has many ways of teaching us to learn impermanence and non-attachment. For me – from my biological father disappearing from my life when I was 2, to moving 39 times in my life (at last count), to losing my mom through her murder in my 20’s, to our family home being robbed twice when I was a child of every single item in it (I mean every single thing – empty house… no stuff anymore), to my deciding to walk away of all my possessions several times, to my fiancé dying unexpectedly… the list goes on and on… I have been taught a deep (and often painful) understanding of non-attachment. I have been attached to things, places, people, situations, and outcomes – and had them absolutely ripped away. I’m sure we all have – to one degree or another. Now before you think my therapist let me go too soon, let me elaborate on what I learned…

Things come and go; people unfortunately come and go as well… situations arise – they come and go also… you continue to exist. You are not the stuff you have or the people you love or the external achievements you accomplish. You can really appreciate things and people and situations, but you can’t hang on to them. Everything is temporary. It’s all about perception. For my mom, moving was exciting. She didn’t think about the things and people she was leaving behind, she thought about the joy of creating a new version of life. She equated it to a snake shedding its skin – not that she was without issues (deep, dark ones) – but she embraced the “letting go”. Non-attachment is about acknowledging things are temporary, having perspective of the situations in life, the flexibility to roll with it, adaptability through change, and an understanding that we cannot control things.

When you stop trying to micro-manage every aspect of your life and accept things as they are – you actually find a freedom that allows you to grow in any direction. Buddha basically taught that pretty much all of our struggles, from frustrations to anxiety, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry, all stem from the same thing … The struggles come from being too tightly attached to something or what we expect it to be like.

When we’re worried – we are attached to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting whatever might happen when we put forth our best effort. When we’re frustrated with someone – it’s because we’re attached to how we want them to be, rather than accepting them as the wonderful, flawed human they are. When we procrastinate – we are attached to things being easy and comfortable (like distractions) rather than accepting that to do something important, we have to push into discomfort. And so on.

If you’re willing to accept that being too attached or clinging too tightly, is the cause of our struggles … then the answer is simple, right? Just loosen the attachments… Just let go. Easier said than done for most of us – LOL. When our minds are clinging tightly, we don’t want to let go. We really, really want things our way. As a Zen Master put it, “Everything breaks. Attachment is our unwillingness to face that reality.”

Attachment really comes from not acknowledging things are temporary. We suffer because we’re holding onto certain things or certain expectations. Why do we do this? It’s because of ego. Honestly, our ego is a self-indulgent asshole who focuses on the wrong things and calls it “life”. It takes practice to let go. It also takes the understanding and faith there is more… more coming that we will enjoy and savor. It takes acknowledgement that we are more than outside “stuff” and that absolutely everyfuckingthing is temporary. That if we release our desire for a specific thing or outcome – (not allowing it to own us) we don’t cease to exist – we exist in a better way… not clinging – not desiring – just appreciating.

If you are goal-driven, and striving endlessly to some specific outcomes – thinking this goal is the “everything”, then a setback of any kind is going to cause you stress and pain. What if you reject the idea of a goal as the “end” but merely a temporary marker to the next while enjoying what is front of you in the here and now? The goals or milestones are not the problems. It’s when we allow those things to own us or define us that it becomes unhealthy. I think it’s completely appropriate to have goals, to have milestones, that you set in life, or in your career, or in various phases of your life. There’s nothing wrong with that… It’s when we become trapped because those things own us or in some way define us that it’s a problem. Goals or desires are temporary. You work towards it and you either accomplish it and move on, or something changes – and it doesn’t work out. That’s where adaptability comes in – because the moment life presents something new, you can adapt and create a new goal or a new desire. You use it as a tool – not an anchor. Things are as they are, we suffer because we imagined different. We need to create in life – we just can’t be attached to and defined by the results.  We have to keep the ego in check… remind it that it is not us… it’s just part of our mind that helps us understand duality and expand our consciousness – it’s not our soul. If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you already know… just reminding myself by including it – LOL.

Specific expectations cause suffering. By allowing your expectations to fall away, and focusing on the “now” of every moment, a new level of awareness and enjoyment creeps in. And you most likely will even find your capacity for appreciating the “now” increases. Your limitations, just like your expectations, don’t really exist in the real world, you have just invented them. By removing mental boundaries of limitations, expectations, and judgments – you can focus on fully engaging with each moment… adapting to each change… and appreciating life’s beauty with no distortion.

There is a parable… where the Buddha was with his monks and he asks if somebody were to build a raft and they are crossing the river with it, at the time that they finally make it to the other side, is it wise or unwise to continue with that raft with them. To me, this really illustrates non-attachment. Letting go of the raft, whatever the raft may be…is letting go of things that are temporary or no longer needed. Non-attachment is not a form of indifference or a form of self-denial. Non-attachment is a way of not allowing the “things” in your life to own you.

This can apply to relationships, friends, experiences… even our moment-to-moment experience of living – if we’re attached to it, it can be the source of a lot of suffering. By accepting the true nature of things as being impermanent, we can open our hearts and just accept the beauty of that moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh said, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” Loving in a non-attached way, is loving in a way that the person that you love feels free – free to be completely authentic as they are… while appreciating what you have, while you have it, with respect for the other… letting go of expectations. It’s freedom.

Jack Kornfield (a Buddhist teacher) says “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” – It’s so true… everything is temporary. We just have to be at peace with that.

Life is like a river. The water that’s flowing is continually changing. The edges and banks of the river are constantly eroding and shifting. If a big storm comes, and the water rises, the shape of the river can change too. The water finds a new path and that becomes the new path of the river. There’s no aspect of the river that’s permanent. If we, in life, are floating down the river and enjoying the scenery, it’s easy to want to take hold of something and say this is where I want to stay… this is beautiful – this is what I want… and cling tightly to it – but everything keeps going, we can’t cling there forever without a whole lot of suffering – rather than getting caught up in the wanting of that spot, we have to let go and continue the floating down river and enjoy all the other beautiful spots ahead. Or I suppose we could get out of the river and build a structure and stay there… but we would suffer anyway thinking we screwed up and there is somewhere else we should be. We just have to appreciate the moments and not cling too tightly to any of them…

Non-attachment is also really about not comparing. What if we allowed the present moment to be free just as it is? … without comparing the present moment to a previous moment, or to a future moment, we just allow the present moment to be completely free to be what it is. Right here and right now. We’re not very good at that. We get attached to it and become defined by and owned by it.

Non-attachment is freedom. It can be to ideas, relationships, the present moment… there are so many things in life that non-attachment would be a much healthier way to approach it. It’s recognizing that everything that I’m experiencing is impermanent. Every start has an ending.

There is another parable about the two monks who were crossing the river… the two monks arrive at the edge of the river and there’s a young woman in a wedding gown. The senior monk picks her up without even thinking. They cross the river. He puts her down and then at some point on their journey, the young monk is just going nuts trying to figure out what he had just seen. He finally tells the senior monk “Hey, what are you doing? We’ve taken vows to not touch a female and you just picked her up like nothing and carried her across the river.” The senior monk pauses and just tells him “I put her down on the other side of the river. Why do you continue to carry her?” Non-attachment is being able to do what you need to do in the moment, and then when it is done, it’s done – and we just let it go.

Our natural, human tendency in life is to try to hold on to things – freeze them and make them permanent things – kind of like we do with sentences (I read this somewhere). When this sentence is over, there is a period. That thought is done. It’s locked and now I move onto the next one. I think that makes a lot of sense in some ways, especially with writing, but what if life wasn’t about putting periods on things? What if it was always a comma and then you keep going? Then you add another comma, and you keep going, like one infinitely long run-on sentence? Which I know is really going to bother some of you who are into grammar, but think about that in terms of life – Don’t put a period on it. Just keep going… let the previous thought/moment/expectation go – let it dangle unresolved – add a comma and keep moving…

The Dalai Lama said, “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist, use it to be a better whatever you already are.” I had plans, they changed. I had hopes or expectations, they changed. I’m just always trying to be a better whatever I am… I’m not trying to convince anyone who reads these words to think the way I do (you do you boo… it’s all good!). I just write to sort these things out for myself and cement the thoughts. I’m reminding myself continually to let go… not be attached to things… I’m human – and all that entails… I have to remind myself. At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie – it’s not about the destination, it’s always about the journey.

Insomnia, rumination & action

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead of fighting with myself, I decided to watch a movie. I love movies… Some I will watch periodically even though I’ve seen them many times because they are comforting and almost like an old friend… and I have missed them. Some are just clever, and I appreciate that in them. Last night I found a movie I have never seen… it came out in 2007. There are blocks of time in my life where I was working so many hours that I missed pieces of history, movies that came out, music, books… it’s like I was just not there.

This movie also had John Cusack in it, so it’s extra shocking I have never seen it, because I adore him. I have always had a bit of a “thing” for him… I don’t know why. Him and Ryan Reynolds… and Richard Gere. I probably have weird taste in men – LOL. The name of the movie is “1408”. I usually don’t watch any movie that looks like it might be “scary” – for several reasons… but this is John Cusack… I have to watch it!

In this movie John is a writer. It also involves supernatural stuff, internal demons, and healing. It also brought up the subject of “evil” though. Does “evil” really exist?  There are “evil” things – meaning “bad” things – discomfort, hatred, bringing harm to people… there are people who have done “evil” things – murder, rape, abuse… but is there a force or entity of “evil”? I have always rejected that notion. I don’t think there is a place called “heaven” where angels float on clouds and harps are the background music of the day and some omnipotent man is taking our orders and requests for “stuff”… I don’t think there is a place full of fire and brimstone with people chained for eternity to suffer for their sins either. We have free will to interpret our existence however we see fit – we have free will to do harm or do good… many behave a certain way to earn “heaven” or avoid “hell”. I believe those are actually just states of consciousness. You can choose to live in either place.

Since we are all made of energy – and everything is made of energy – I think places can sometimes hold the energetic imprint of the people who have been there. Especially if there was trauma experienced by people in those places. I have read that collective consciousness of a group of people can create a physical manifestation of something “evil” … and evil energy. But I also feel there is nothing that can’t be overcome with love. Since the energy of love is stronger than anything, so it has the power to alter and transmute any lower vibrational energy… and I feel that we are incarnated to learn to expand our consciousness and learn to transmute lower energy more of the time. But that’s just me… weirdo raised by hippies… who knows?

I also read thoughts are not the property of the person who thinks they thought it… they float around until someone resonates with it and takes action. Like every book written, every painting painted, every invention to be invented is just out there in the ethos waiting for the right person to meld with it and “create” it. If you don’t grab it when it floats by you, someone else will. In a way that resonates – there are a couple books I thought about writing but didn’t take action, and then someone else wrote them. In a way, whatever we create isn’t truly “our” creation… we are just the conduit for it.

I’ve gone way, way down the rabbit hole on this thought train… shake it off. Why am I having trouble sleeping lately? I wake up with vivid dreams and then can’t sleep. Maybe I need a supplement of some kind…

I bought new glasses. I did it on-line (gasp). It was much cheaper, and I really needed them. The last pair I bought last Spring had to be replaced a couple times because the chain (who shall remain nameless) put defective glare resistant coating on the lenses that malfunctioned – and each time they wanted to blame me… I have had glasses since I was 6… trust me I DO know how to care for them… not my first rodeo! Each time I get a new pair between the kind of lenses I need and the designer frames, it’s $1000. This time I did the on-line thing with the virtual try-on for a quarter of the price. In the interest of saving money and being “fiscally responsible”, I did not get designer frames. I am accustomed to Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada. These glasses feel like they came from the Dollar Store (heavy sigh) – light, thin, plastic-y. I hope they don’t break or something… at least the lenses seem to be okay – so far… I should be brave and get Lasik. But my eyes are changing… every exam they are better – so… I don’t know what to do. I most likely didn’t need glasses when I first got them (actually, I am sure I didn’t) and my eyes got messed up from wearing them (that’s a sad story for another day) … I go without them now whenever I reasonably can – maybe that’s what is making my vision improve the last few years?

I’m headed for the gym – in hopes this time of day no one else will be in the free weight (off limits) area. Then off to Super Supplements to find something to help me sleep. I was supposed to work for Ed today, but he rescheduled last minute – so I have an unexpected day off… I should clean the house – but I don’t feel like it… I should write – but I don’t feel inspired… I should turn in the sale for the house I sold this week – but I don’t want to jinx it by turning it in before the home inspection, which is happening tomorrow… I should mow the grass – but I just got to a point where I can breathe again since the last time… I should take a nice long nap – but then I might not sleep tonight because of that… I should quit “shoulding” myself and just get my butt to the gym 🙂

In the “off limits” area

I was recently taught how to use free weights. It really does feel like a better workout than using the machines. You use so many muscles making microscopic shifts to keep balance and posture rather than sitting in a machine that just restricts and focuses your workout to a couple of specific muscles. I’ve already noticed a few things in a short period of time… For example: I get big packs of water – usually lifting with two hands and thinking they are heavy… now I just reach down and get a big pack with one hand, and it doesn’t feel heavy. (I think to myself that feels kind of like a 5-pound weight – or maybe a 10… LOL).

I have never previously gone to that area of the gym – in this one or any other gym. It felt… “off limits” or like I would be an intruder in a private male club of some kind. But… a guy went with me several days in a row to teach me how to use them – so I had a pass because he was there. And one day, I did see a woman in that area… so sometimes it happens. I guess I am allowed. I noticed that men feel entitled to take up space anywhere. How did I learn that it is not okay for me?

My middle daughter came by on her way home from a board meeting last week and I told her about free weights. What is the best way to really know something new? Teach it to others – LOL. We belong to the same gym franchise but different locations, so I told her when I came up to help Ed, I would show her how to use them. Last night we went…The first words she said? “Are we allowed over there?” Geeze – she feels it too! I told her “Of course we are. We pay the same monthly fee as the guys that are working out there.”

She felt uncomfortable at first. She wanted to take weights around the corner near some machines that weren’t being used… after a while I told her we needed a bench for the rest of the things I wanted to show her. She felt so awkward about that at first… I reminded her “We are allowed to take up space here. We are working out too.” She felt guilty taking a bench a man might need for his workout. Did I teach her not to take up space or did society? We both unapologetically (mostly) take up space in male dominated jobs… but we aren’t allowed to take up space at the gym? It makes no sense! By the end of our workout, she was feeling much better about it. And mentioned she was glad we didn’t need to strut and pace between sets like the guys – she had said she thought that might be a required part of it – LOL.

Tonight, at the gym I felt it again… like somehow, I don’t belong in this part of the gym… not welcome… an imposter of some kind. Where does this come from? I am determined that I will keep fighting this feeling and learn to feel at home in this area of the room. I am liking the workout. I will go with my daughter at her gym again tomorrow night to show her another group of free weight moves, and I will need to be extra confident we belong on those benches – so she will feel confident.

I need to help her with the breathing more too… are women the only ones who have the urge to hold their breath?

I kind of wish there were private cubicles – LOL.

Cape optional…

I’ve spent some time working for my ex-brother-in-law lately. Of all my ex-husband’s siblings, I do like this one the best… and he and his wife were and are the only ones who still talk to me. Time spent with them always reminds me of so many things though…

Ed calls me in a fit once or twice a year, “at the end of his rope” he says – always the same thing… “I’m slammed with work, my office looks like a bomb went off, I can’t find my files and I have deals that have to be turned in so I can get paid but I can’t stop working long enough to find anything… HELP!” it is also usually followed by “My wife is mad at me for all the things being a mess and she just keeps screaming at me and telling me she is sick of it all… why can’t she just calm down and help me?” After an hour of counseling, I usually go over and make his life function for him again.

Every couple of years, he wants to “hire me full time”. I have told him for decades that he can’t afford me. He really can’t (at least not prior to Covid times) – I need my base to be what I make normally without much effort to even consider it – which is always a shock to him. One time he made that announcement again – that he wanted me with him full time – when I was in the middle of a super busy year and had a staff of 14… I told him that time “Fuck Ed, I don’t have time to eat – much less take on more work!” Another year, he wanted to “Combine our businesses – for mutual benefit”. I explained that mine was very different from his and I also know him well enough that I know he would try to change my business to be more like his… it would never work. Plus, I know him well enough to know he thinks everyone needs to do things his way. I do things my own way. He goes through assistants like rolls of paper towel – I keep trying to teach him how to be a better boss, but he is a work in progress on that… hires wrong, manages wrong, then is continually shocked it “didn’t work out”.

I have known Ed since I was 21 and was introduced to “the family”. He lived with my husband and me for a while when we were newlyweds and having our first child. Back then Ed was a sharp dressed, Porsche driving, womanizer who was business partners in a jewelry business with another one of the brothers. He lived in the basement and came and went at random times of the day and night. I had to remind him there was a baby sleeping and this was not a frat house. I told him “I don’t care if you bring women back here, but I do not want to meet them at 2am”, and “by the way, we can hear it all…so the one that likes to scream “Yes” and “No”, would you remind her there is a baby sleeping?” My nickname for him was “Ever ready fast Eddie”. I secretly hoped back then eventually my husband’s sex drive would kick in like his brother’s – Ed was older, so I thought maybe that had something to do with it.

I always made a big breakfast for him and his flavor of the week… I was making it for my husband anyway. My husband asked him to move out at some point because he wasn’t paying rent consistently. I heard them arguing in the driveway… somehow it got blamed on me… I heard Ed say, “You’re pussy whooped… wrapped around her finger”. He was not – but whatever. When he finally decided to settle down and ask someone to marry him, he wanted to talk to me about it first… what did I think of her? Could I see them having children? Did I think she would be a good wife for him? All the questions…

He used to pop by unannounced for decades, even after he was married. He was the “fun Uncle” for the girls – he is the one that would show up unannounced right after they went to bed and encourage them to get up and see him – have some ice cream with him – have a stick of gum. He also gave the “noisy toys” on Christmas and birthdays – I vowed to get him back for that when he had his… I was there in the room for the birth of all of his boys. He was too busy being ADD and making calls and joking to support his wife – so I did.

Ed is also the only one who ever stood up for me in that family. One day he popped by for breakfast, I was cooking and on the phone negotiating something and my husband wanted me to hurry up and iron a shirt for him. So then I was negotiating, cooking and ironing… got that wrapped up – hung up, hadn’t had time to eat anything myself and my husband wanted me to map some things for him. Back then, we didn’t have an app for that – I was the app. I would get out the Thomas guide map book and write on each listing turn by turn instructions of how to get there. I put them in order and mapped one from the other. (I was also a walking Rolodex – I knew how to spell everyone’s name, knew everyone’s phone number, and most birthdays and anniversaries. Photographic memory… so he would say someone’s name and I would tell him their phone number – instantly, on demand, no matter what I was doing… which he came to expect, and I came to really resent – write it down dude…). On this morning, my husband started screaming at me… I wasn’t doing it fast enough for him. He was right up in my ear, screaming at me. Ed put his dishes in the sink (my husband did not… it was considered my job) and he told my husband to stop it. He told him “You are abusing your wife. Knock it the fuck off before she leaves your dumb ass.” My husband basically told him to mind his own fucking business and that he wasn’t nice to his wife either so who the fuck is he to say something to him… Ed told him “Your wife runs two businesses, runs this house really well, makes all your meals, does all your laundry, manages the kids – I can’t even get my wife to do the laundry, much less anything else. You’ve got it fucking made – you need to be nice.” I had never heard anyone say that before. It was nice to be acknowledged. (Yes, I am aware of how pathetic that is)

After I left my husband and was immediately iced out by the people (” the family”) I had been so supportive and loving toward for 24 years, Ed and his wife were the only ones who talked to me. All the family gatherings I had taken part in, all the care I gave their parents (including physical care of their mother), all the birthday’s, graduations, babysitting of nieces and nephews, family disagreements I helped mediate, holidays, moves I packed and hauled stuff for, and financial bumps in the road I had supported for all these people meant nothing to them. I was dead to them. Except for Ed. And when my husband started stalking me, he is the one who called a “family meeting” to discuss it and the only one who took it seriously until the day my husband jumped out of the bushes with a gun. The rest of them told me I was just trying to create drama (so not my style – did these people ever know me?).

I guess I will always be supportive of Ed. Every time he calls, I will go help him. There are things that remind me of my ex-husband about him, but I deal. He is not bi-polar, so he is easier to deal with. The family learned a lot about my ex after I left – not because of me – but because I wasn’t there to act as a buffer and protect my husband from people knowing stuff. They had to deal with his mania and depression without me. He died 4 years after I left… he was smoking two packs a day and existing on iced mochas and Taco Bell and had a heart issue (mitral valve prolapse) – so he had a massive heart attack (“widow maker”) one day while moving a fridge for one of his other brothers. My fault… if I hadn’t left, he would have been taken care of and had less stress – eaten better, and I would have kept his smoking down with my constant reminders to live more healthfully, etc.

Ed still occasionally asks me to consider working with him full time. I did try for a month in 2018. I couldn’t do it. I quit for so many reasons… I told him I didn’t want to discuss them – I’d rather stay friends and the things I would say would make it difficult to stay friends (It involved boundaries and respect and some things he was doing that reminded me of the ex). But I will still work for him occasionally when he is overwhelmed. I have a gift of being able to create order out of chaos.  

His wife and I visited for a few minutes yesterday. She pointed to the kitchen table that she has not seen the top of for many months – once his office got too far out of hand, he started working at the table. And there are boxes in the family room and living room with papers and receipts… she doesn’t know what to do with them. She told me “I give up. There is less and less of the house I can use or have control of.” I understand. Been there. Done that. I was told at one point not to touch any of my husband’s things… tools were on the kitchen counter – I had to cook and serve around them because he wanted them there. It was a power play in that instance – not an overwhelmed, disorganized situation, but I get it. I took back her table for her and removed all business things from the living room and family room. I took all of the items that belong in the garage out of Ed’s office where he left them and returned them to the garage. His office looks like a normal one once again, his files are organized, he can find his keys. It always shocks him (even though I have done it dozens of times). I explained the systems again – everything is logical – every “thing” has its place… and the files are color-coded. Green folders are listings, Blue ones are buyer sales, Yellow are leads or in process but not a listing or sale yet. This red folder – this is the urgent thing you couldn’t find and need to do right away…

I’m going back tomorrow to do the rest of the house… (No Ed, your shoes cannot be lined up along the bedroom walls… who wants to fuck looking at all your shoes?) I will probably have to spend time listening to his wife… I have acted as marriage counselor for them so many times that I should have a degree by now. I always end up explaining why he does what he does and how she should interpret it. I know way more than I should about their sex life too… I am the one who worked through his wife’s issues with his kink – although I don’t think he knows it… he would probably be really embarrassed if he knew I knew… (you are welcome, Ed). I was the perfect person for her to talk to about it. I understand it. I am 100% sure her wine drinking girlfriends did not understand and were giving her the wrong advice. She was sure I would give the same advice they did -tell him to “fix” it or divorce him. But I did not. I like her girlfriends; I have known them a long time and once in a blue moon had wine with them. I just don’t thrive in an environment where people talk about things that I don’t think matter. They are nice and well-meaning, just not knowledgeable about non-vanilla things. I was able to explain things they don’t understand to help her understand, and also to tell her how to express her wants and needs (and how to figure out what they are) so they both get what they want and need… There is nothing to “fix” except understanding and communication. Kink is not a bad thing. I was also the person who explained to her she was the one ultimately responsible for her own orgasms and talked to her about toys (you’re welcome again, Ed).

Today I have my own things to take care of and I need a bit of a break between visits with them… tomorrow I will be refreshed and ready to tackle more of their “stuff” … although I hope she won’t want to talk about sex when I’m working in their bedroom tomorrow… I don’t want to talk about stuff I’m not getting – LOL.

If I were a superhero, I guess I would be “Chaos controller”… not very cool sounding… I would want a costume like cat woman… without the ears – I don’t like hats and things on my head.

Just thought of that song… Super Sexy Woman (Sufjan Stevens)

Here are the lyrics…

She’s a super human girl
She is super woman.
She is Superman’s cousin
She’s got superpower lovin’

She’s got super human eyes
For seein’ through superhuman vision
She’s got super human thighs
Sexier than television

She is super duper smart,
I like her for her mind
She’ll shoot a super fart,
The deadly silent kind

She’s got super human lips, for super suction
She’s got super power hips, for super reproduction

She’s a super human girl,
She is super woman.
She is Superman’s cousin
She’s got superpower lovin’

She’s got super human eyes
To see through super human vision
She’s got super human thighs,
Sexier than television.

She’s a lot like Catwoman
Just without the leather
She likes whips and chains
And an electronic feather.

She’s got a super long tongue
And spandex underwear
She’s got Superman’s smile
And Wonderwoman’s hair.

She’s a super human girl,
She is super woman.
She is Superman’s cousin
She’s got superpower lovin’

She’s got super human eyes
To see through super human vision
She’s got super human thighs,
Sexier than television.

She is Supergirl, Superwoman, Supersexywomannnnn..

Sunday morning…

I am peopled out today… but I have to work today anyway. It has been a long week… while still recovering from the sinus infection, I have worked three different jobs, begun a new fitness routine, spent the last day with a child in tow and see no day off in the foreseeable future. It’s all good… and important… but I need more alone time. People require conversation – and that is tiring. My body hurts. Especially my thighs. I can’t sit down or get up without making some really unattractive grunting noises that Ibuprofen and Epsom salts seem to have no power over, and that thing… where women tend to walk around all day with their tummy pulled in a little – I can’t do it. Everything is fatigued.

The child I have had in tow the last 20 hours is bright and a delight to be around. I have known her the entire time she has been alive (although I forgot her age for a moment). My youngest used to be her nanny. She is 5. The story of how she ended up in my charge for a day is long and involved and irrelevant. I like her a lot. She is tiring though… I treat all children the way I treated my own… I don’t talk baby talk, I don’t give non-answers… they deserve the truth even if slightly softened for their age.

Conversations with a precocious child…

Clara: “What does regret mean?”

Me: “It means you wish you made a different choice.” (we talked about examples of that…)

Clara: “What does all in a day’s work mean?”

Me: “It depends on the context, but most commonly it means what you did is what you always do and it’s not a big deal.” (Followed by her giving me examples of when she might use the phrase on her parents… )

Clara: “What are these?”

Me: “Rocks really, but we call them crystals. Some of them were inside other rocks and broken out, some were just polished to look real pretty.”

Clara: “Can I keep one?”

Me: “Yes, why don’t you choose the one you like best, and we will look up in my book what its name is so that you know.”

Clara: “I want this one.”

Me: “That is pink calcite.”

Clara: “Calcite… uptight…good night…do right…”

Me: “It is the crystal for love. And compassion.”

Clara: “What does compassion mean?”

Me: “It’s kind of like caring about other people and how they feel. Like when your best friend is sad, it might make you feel a little sad because you have compassion for how she feels and wish for her to feel better.”

Clara: “Yes, that is what I do. I have compassion for Shelby.”

Clara: “Does your daughter want to have children?”

Me: “I think she does. Especially if she could have one as smart and capable as you are.”

Clara: “So one like me… yes, I agree. She should have one like me.”

Clara: “Why does Julia live here too?”

Me: “Because she wants to and because she and Chelsea like to be with each other.”

Clara: “Does Julia sleep in Chelsea’s room?”

Me: “Sometimes. But she has her own room also.”

Clara: “Okay. Can I see her room? I didn’t know grownups could be in a house together and not be a mom like you.”

Me: “Sure. Sometimes when grownups live in a place together, they are called roommates.”

…And that was just in 15 minutes. Out of time… off to work… possibly to be continued… also FYI, I discovered I’m too old for the monkey bars now, or maybe my arms were too fatigued… after watching her be a monkey it looked so fun, I had to try… landed on my ass in the wood chips!

Just another day on this spinning ball

I am sick today. I admit it… I am actually “sick”, not just allergies. Prior to the pandemic, I got sick maybe once a year. One big inconvenient cold… once a year. During the pandemic, everyone was on high alert – every sneeze, every sniffle, came with the question “Is it COVID?”. Since we were all hypersensitive, I stayed home and isolated every time I felt a little off. I had a really bad cold at the end of 2020 (had to wear gloves and a mask every time I left my bedroom just in case the COVID tests weren’t accurate with an immune-compromised adult daughter in the house). I had allergies in 2021 really bad… and a number of days I just felt “off” … a few weeks ago my allergies started again, but now I have a cold and sinus infection on top of them.

Being sick reminds me I miss my partner (or a partner period) … he was the only one I ever allowed to take care of me when I was sick. It would be nice to have someone bring me soup, cuddle me in bed and watch movies while I doze and blow my nose… tell me everything will be okay… it’s okay that I can’t work today… it’s okay the house is a mess and I need groceries.

My current condition has me thinking about some things… I remember every little thing would send my mom to grab the Sudafed or Contact or some other medicine. I rarely take a Tylenol. I forget how effective medicine can actually be… I hang my head over boiling water and try every “natural” thing I can before actually getting medicine. Partly because I’m over-sensitive… a children’s Benadryl can knock me out for 12 hours (not always a horrible thing – sometimes that is useful to get well), but mostly because my mom had a tendency to become addicted to anything and everything and I’m afraid of being that way. She was addicted to nose spray (Afrin) for a time (not sure why). She was always looking for the magic pill to make life great… uppers, downers, diet pills, sleeping pills, Valium to calm her “nerves”, Codeine for cramps… she was a walking pharmacy. What became her favorite or most socially acceptable drug of choice was alcohol… it allowed her to be bolder and more confident, and in her eyes, more “fun”. Combined with her other addictions, some days she was flying very, very high. She was a product of her environment and in a time in history when many people did the same thing… but not everyone was an addict.

I wonder how many people out there are like me. So hypersensitive to “becoming addicted” they forget to take a Tylenol for a headache or are afraid to have more than one glass of wine once in a long while… the addiction rabbit hole is the scariest thing in the world to me. I saw the hole my mom was in and there was nothing I could do to get her out. Sometimes I tricked myself into thinking it was “normal” – just not a “normal” I wanted to choose. The alcohol was how she tried to medicate her inner pain. We all have it to one degree or another (inner pain) … some push it down and ignore it, others unconsciously pass it on to others with their actions and words, some try to fix it through acceptance and validation from others, a few find acceptable ways to process it.

Actually, we all have some addictions… sugar, nicotine, sex, approval, working out for the endorphin high, even rage can be an addiction… the thing is I think being conscious of them and making choices that support our overall well-being (and those around us). If left unchecked, it gets bigger. If I see myself getting addicted to something, I take control before it gets too far. But I’m a control freak… or maybe one of the many reasons I am one.

My mom’s struggles with addiction went so far, the last six months of her life she had started huffing paint. I have never actually said that out loud before… it’s our secrets that make us sick, so I vowed at some point to not have them anymore, but I still wanted to protect people’s memory of her – for her (always the co-dependent daughter). If she hadn’t been murdered, she undoubtedly would have died as a result of addiction. She was more than her addictions, but that was all some people could see after a while. She was a beautiful soul, who felt too much. She was an artist and a poet. She loved every living thing with her whole heart – except herself.

Why do so many people fail to love themselves? I think we are taught not to. We are told “don’t be conceited”, “don’t be selfish”, “put others first” … We even think to ourselves when we hear the air mask instructions before taking off in a plane “they say to put my own mask on first, but I will make sure the kids and husband have theirs on first anyway”. At least my generation was raised that way… I suspect some of the later generations were raised differently and got different programming making them more self-acknowledging (worked really hard not to use judging words like self-absorbed, selfish, etc. LOL). It’s really hard to love yourself when you are taught you don’t matter or matter less. Your “duty” is to put everyone and everything ahead of yourself. Women, in particular, were taught this. I’m not real clear at this moment what men of the same generation were taught…

Those paradigms are precisely how I ended up married to the wrong person for 24 years. I put him and the kids first. There came a time I had to put myself first to continue to exist. That’s why many people hated me when I left the situation… it was not what a “good” person does per our societal programming. Of course, none of those observers actually knew what my life was like behind the carefully chosen façade, because as a good little co-dependent adult child of addicts I would protect my husband from people knowing the real him. (There was one sister-in-law who said to me “I can’t believe how brave you are. I wish I was that brave.” We have never spoken since – her husband won’t allow it).

People are afraid to be authentic. I am too sometimes. I recently made my blog private for a few days because that fear reemerged. We have a survival instinct that makes us need to be liked and approved of. Sometimes my words can make people feel uncomfortable or even hurt…I have a fear of hurting others with my honest and authentic self sometimes (it would never be my intention). I show all the sides of myself in my writing… including the sometimes-unbalanced processing of childhood or life wounds… not all the sides are pretty or cute. Some may judge my choices (particularly when it comes to men or sex), but they haven’t walked in my shoes… they don’t know what I need to be balanced or to heal or learn in this lifetime.

The thing is… I think we all have a hard time loving ourselves. At least the majority of the time. You have to love yourself – I mean really love yourself – before you can give real love to others. If you love and accept yourself, with all your flaws and imperfections, then you have some solid foundation… you are with yourself your whole life so you need to or you will be miserable and spend all your time looking outside yourself for love and validation no one can give you. Once you love and accept yourself, the love you give to others has the same level of acceptance of flaws in it… unconditional love. I can love someone regardless of what they do or don’t do, not ever expecting perfection in them – their imperfection is what makes them individuals, without expectation of it being reciprocated because I know my own worthiness – that is unconditional. Honestly, I do forget my own worthiness once in a while… but we are all works in progress… doing the best we can with the tools we have.

Shaken, not stirred

Working out is boring. There I said it… Here are my thoughts in the gym yesterday.

The most boring part is the treadmill I always start with. There are about 20 TVs mounted to watch – but I just put my airpods in and listen to my music. I try to go when the gym is not busy. I don’t talk to anyone – except for an occasional “Please” or “Thank you” to the staff. I try to entertain myself by pushing all the buttons… adjusting the incline, the speed, etc. and I watch people. I make up stories in my mind about who they are and what they do… after all, who has time to be at the gym at 1pm on a Tuesday? I see some housewives… a few people I decide have night jobs… she looks like she works at a hospital, he looks like a bartender… a few elderly people… the guy on the stair stepper looks like he might be an exotic dancer (do we have those in the Seattle area?) …

Crap – two guys made eye contact with me… I do not want to talk to anyone… head down – look at my feet. First guy has a man bun. I know about “man bun” men. Probably poly, 420-friendly, vegan… Second guy has gold sneakers – like shiny, gold… I don’t understand those. He looks Latino… wonder what he does for work… probably boring and selfish in bed (he keeps looking at himself in the mirrors). Man bun guy keeps walking back and forth now… trying to get me to acknowledge him. Probably good in bed, but into talking about “feelings” and tantric workshops.

After the appropriate amount of time and distance on the treadmill, I move to weights. I like the weights. Thanks to the machines there are less people in your line of sight. I worked the legs, arms, and abs… In between sets, I continue to make up stories in my mind about the other people there working out.  I notice Latino guy is trying to make eye contact again… please leave me alone I think… the signs everywhere say this is a safe and judgement free zone… I don’t want to meet anyone or talk. Go away.

After working out, my “reward” is the whole-body wellness machine and the hydro massage table. The whole-body wellness machine is supposed to help your skin with red light therapy and the floor vibrates to reduce cellulite and help your muscle tone… I step into the big tube (kind of like a cocktail shaker) naked, for my 12-minute jiggle. I have no idea if it really does anything beneficial for the body, but it does seem relaxing. I always have an urge to dance in there – probably not recommended… but I’m naked in a tube listening to music, so why not? I think if you held yourself in a certain position, it could probably result in orgasm… but I wouldn’t… shouldn’t… I wonder if this is similar to the thing in the 50’s with the belt… doesn’t really do anything but people think they are accomplishing something…

Then I get dressed again and request the hydro-massage table. 10 minutes of water pressure running up and down your body (there is thick rubber between you and the water). I crank up the intensity to 10 and move the speed down to 1. I found out the other day when one of my daughters offered me a massage slot she had booked and wasn’t able to make, she booked a “light massage”. She said, “You’re okay with a light touch massage – right?” I asked her “Why would you waste the time and money on light touch?” I am a deep tissue girl… on the hydro-massage table, she is probably a 1 on intensity… it hadn’t occurred to me that my girls would be different in that regard. (Break me – I need to know you were there – LOL!)

I always say “Thank you” on my way out the door – I have no idea why… I wonder how I can turn this 2-hour endeavor into less time…

Random thoughts for today

The weather has been so weird. It is sunny, then hailing, then raining, then snowing – all within 15 minutes. It’s been happening for days – it makes it very hard to know how to dress for the day! It’s kind of like an outward expression of me lately… I have become a —- (I hate to even say it) — a person who cries. That has been a daily thing lately also. I have gone decades with hardly a tear, now I’m a fucking crybaby. Oh well. It will pass… maybe. Sometimes it’s a song, or a memory, or something someone says. I am trying not to judge myself too much – it is what it is.

I’m stuck in the book writing. I guess it’s “writer’s block”. I’m trying not to push on it too hard and make it worse. Yesterday I woke up filled with things I wanted to write, then upon standing my sinuses shifted and I got an instant headache. (It’s allergy time again.) I do think I may have a sinus infection though… after medicine and coffee, I had nothing to say again.

I’m staring at the tax paperwork… I’m blocked there too. I am filing an extension to take the pressure off – but I will probably finish them on time anyway.

I wish I could drink tap water. I try. It does not make me happy. I am out of Perrier and San Pellegrino again… So a stop at the store on the way to the post office is in order. Why do I have to be such an expensive bougee girl? It just tastes better. Even if I take the tap water and make it fizzy with the expensive thing I bought for that, it’s not the same.

Since I’m dressed and have to go out, I will go to the gym also. Hopefully my new client won’t say they want to see a house while I’m in “grungy gym mode”… I am very thankful to have them though. I will go no matter what I look like.

I’m making application for yet another side job… (if you are counting, that will be 3 active side jobs and 7 total side jobs since COVID started). What’s a girl to do? The bills are non-negotiable. Just a reminder I should have been so much smarter about money for so many years… Also checking on selling some of my erotic stories although I was compiling them for a different book…

I have recently discovered there is such a thing as a “Sigma Male”. Although it is rude to even try to label men like “Alpha”, “Beta”, etc., it is a way to describe some personality traits that might be attractive or unattractive to people… you know we as a species like to sort and categorize… it can’t be helped. I think this type of man may be my perfect match… I keep saying I want an “evolved Alpha male” but maybe I want this instead? Different from an Alpha, but similar. A recent Google search revealed: A Sigma Male is independent, self-sufficient, confident, and strong enough to be Alpha. He lets possible mates come to him, just like he does with friends and career opportunities. When these things come to him, however, he can be easily good at them. Sigma Males are often the ones who step outside their comfort zones, create amazing things, start businesses, are quiet and confident partners, and hard workers. While some people may think that Sigma Males retreat from society because they are lazy or don’t want to work, the opposite is true. How can you tell a male sigma? They are self-sufficient, seemingly strong, and capable of taking care of themselves. Sigma males are independent without even trying. They may have a close friend or two, but these friendships likely offer up companionship and not necessity. A Sigma male is intentional about who is in his life, including who he dates. That’s because a sigma male personality has faith in his decision-making and the kind of woman he picks as a lover. He trusts her judgment and knows she’ll never betray him. Sigma males need their own space in a relationship, and they give the same space for their partner to find themselves outside of the relationship. Here are a couple of articles about them:  https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/sigma-male/  and https://liveboldandbloom.com/10/personality-types/signs-sigma-male Now I wonder if I am “Sigma Female” of some sort… because I do tend to be a bit of a independent rebel… Per this article, I may be one https://subconsciousservant.com/sigma-female/ (Except for what it says about “holding the attention of every room they go into” – LOL – no thank you).

I and my sinuses would really like to get back in bed and watch movies all day and order some Irish food from UberEats (have a new favorite place and it feels so comforting) … babying myself does not pay the bills and is not responsible… going out into the world now… like a responsible, decent human “adult” … with my sunglasses and umbrella, winter coat and light sweater…

Hi. My name is Wayward Yoga Girl.

I’ve been called out on something… so time to dive deep again. I keep thinking I’m done working on this, but here we go again. I guess becoming “healthy” or “healed” may be an on-going process… there are so many layers to the onion.

The issue again is abandonment. I ask myself “Why would I unconsciously or subconsciously try to put distance between myself and other people?” The answer… I think… is to put enough space that I won’t be surprised by another loss again. Abandonment, I read, leaves an “emotional blueprint on the brain”. Therefore, I need to constantly analyze what I’m doing and keep myself in check. Apparently, my subconscious will go to great lengths to try and keep me “safe”.

A few of the patterns resulting from abandonment are (per aconsciousrethink.com):

You Overanalyze Things – Your mind isn’t one to let anything slip by unnoticed. You see and hear everything and then set to work trying to figure out the hidden meaning in it all. There’s no such thing as a small comment or an insignificant act when you’re around. You’re capable of taking every little thing and assigning far more weight to it than it deserves.

You Pick Unavailable Partners – You pick partners who are either currently unavailable or wholly incompatible with you. This helps you avoid any situation that may result in emotional intimacy or require you to invest fully in a relationship. You know nothing serious will ever come of it, but that’s actually a relief to you.

You Sabotage Relationships At Every Opportunity – You fear abandonment and avoid ever reaching a point where your heart can be broken the way it has been in the past. It’s an unconscious defense mechanism designed to prevent emotional pain.

You Blame Yourself For Every Breakup – If you have genuine abandonment issues, chances are you aren’t very good at maintaining long term relationships. And with every one that comes to an end, you can’t help but shoulder all the responsibility and blame. You tell yourself you were never good enough for them – not physically, not intellectually, not emotionally. You’re convinced that it’s your fault things didn’t work out.

In an article about abandonment at emotionalaffair.org I read; “Fear of abandonment is in the heartbeat, voice, fight/flight/freeze, bonding and stress hormones, in your body sensations of closeness, vulnerability, giving and receiving, trust and fear. Your abandonment issues came to live inside you through natural, automatic, mostly unconscious and biological mechanics of learning through experience. Just as abandonment issues are learned from experience, we can learn from new experiences. We can use intention and imagination, inner guidance and higher truth to create what we learn. We can change what we “see” and how we respond. When these hidden significant patterns are repatterned, there is a spiral UP instead of down. Deep energy-reserves of awareness, understanding, forgiveness, confidence and calm emerge. How you see yourself, how you see life, and how you react changes. You come to know yourself as a person who can deal with anything and emerge wiser and stronger for it.” So, there is always hope for improvement. And I am a bit of a “self-cleaning oven” when it comes to healing. I am always analyzing and trying to improve.

Per the same article, “Abandonment is about loss of love itself, that crucial loss of connectedness. It often involves breakup, betrayal, aloneness. People struggling with abandonment issues include those going through the ending of a relationship as well as searching adoptees, recently widowed, and those suffering the woundedness of earlier disconnections. Left unresolved, abandonment wounds can express themselves unconsciously, causing the person to develop deeply entrenched patterns of self-sabotage. Abandonment represents core human fear. We have all experienced it. When a relationship ends, the feelings harken all the way back to our lost childhoods when we were helpless, and dependent. Our adult functioning temporarily collapses. We feel shattered, bewildered, condemned to loneliness. Abandonment is a cumulative wound containing all of the losses and disconnections stemming all the way back to childhood. Abandonment overlaps with bereavement in that they both involve loss. For the abandonment survivor, the loss is just as disruptive and painful as it is for any other type of grief. Closure is incomplete because the person has not died but has chosen not to be with you. Rejection, withdrawal-of-love, criticism, and desertion create a devastating personal injury – a narcissistic injury. ‘Being left’ cuts us all the way to the core. We lose not only our loved one, we lose our sense of self. We abandon ourselves.”

“Unresolved abandonment is the source of our insecurities, addictions, compulsions, and distress. Unresolved abandonment is the insidious virus invading body mind and soul – the culprit for the anxiety we are forever trying to self-medicate with food, alcohol, shopping, people and a host of other self-defeating behaviors. Unresolved abandonment is the roadblock to reaching our potential – the invisible wound that drains self-esteem from within – the hidden trap that keeps us stuck in patterns of self-sabotage. Unresolved abandonment is the chronic insecurity that becomes the scourge of human relationship. Unresolved abandonment is the internal barrier to fully connecting to others. Fear short-circuits our attempts to find love – we struggle to find and keep relationships.”

The article goes on to explain: “Why do we carry a torch for so long when someone has broken up with us? Someone who leaves you becomes very powerful to your emotional brain. He or she becomes powerful simply by being able to inflict so much pain by being absent! Being left is perceived by your mammalian brain as an attack upon your personal being. It etches an indelible impression in a primitive part of the brain that acts automatically to protect you. It conditions your mammalian brain to react with fear each time you encounter the person whose absence it perceives as dangerous to your well-being. If your caretaker had left you all alone as a young child, you wouldn’t have survived. Acting beneath your conscious awareness, your mammalian brain maintains a constant vigil on your abandoner. You experience this as being temporarily obsessed with the person. Your nerves are set to ‘go off’ if you should unexpectedly bump into them later on or see them with a new love. This makes you think they are very powerful indeed, that they, alone, hold the key to your wellbeing! This enduring emotional reactivity toward the person is known as ‘carrying a torch.’ You are confused into thinking that if the pain can last that long and feel so strong, he or she must have been very special. But this is not so. You can feel this way over anyone, even someone who had nothing special to offer. It is just your mammalian brain efficiently trying to warn you not to make the same mistake again, to caution you in its primitive way that this person is dangerous (caused pain). We become abandoholics. Abandoholics are those who are attracted to the unavailable and get caught up in cycles of abandonment.”

“Abandonment survivors are those who have experienced the anguish of love-loss and have the courage to go on believing in life and in their own capacity for love. This is a select group of survivors, but membership is not restricted to those who have achieved success in their relationships. On the contrary, its members are those who continue to struggle to remove obstacles in the way of finding love. There are many crushing feelings rising out of the unresolved abandonment wound that make it difficult for many to get to a place of trust and security within a relationship. The membership also includes those who become securely and happily coupled. But for all abandonment survivors, the impact of abandonments past or present, is evidenced by the fragments of unlived life, unreached potential, and unfulfilled dreams still waiting to be redeemed through abandonment recovery. Imagine a relationship where each person realizes their power to manage and evolve in their own inner process – where no one else is to blame for how they are acting or what they need.” (I had this healthy dynamic with my fiancé… but then he died and abandoned me anyway – LOL)

I choose to quit being an “abandoholic”. I choose to be a survivor.

Hi – My name is Wayward Yoga Girl… and I am an abandaholic. If you are available, I will leave you before you can leave me. I won’t ask you for help because I have to prove I don’t need anyone because they are going to abandon me anyway. If you are unavailable, I will attach to you and break my own heart because at my core I feel unworthy. I am recovering… breaking these patterns… be gentle with me.

Which brings me to the next thing I was called out on… over-independence. Extreme independence or hyper-independence is a trauma response. It is part of the abandonment issue… combined with some sort of shame in asking for help. We are built to be interdependent. There should be no shame in that. I guess my lizard brain doesn’t want to give a person another reason to leave me by “needing” something. Another little thing to consciously work on… while reminding myself if someone says “No” to the help I ask for, it doesn’t mean they are rejecting me or that I am not worthy. I will take baby steps. Baby steps by asking for help with little things while I get my footing.

Living in a conscious way sure is a lot of fucking work. But it IS what I have chosen – I refuse to be the person who goes around unaware of how they interact and the motivations behind what they are doing or not doing. I have to continue being a self-cleaning oven in that regard, and not let my inner little girl run the show. (Thanks JD, for the gentle kick in the ass)

Reminder not to do dumb stuff

So… I am kind of a dork. People who know me, know this. But it sure is embarrassing to be caught being one by other people – who don’t know me…

I have been working long hours so far this week, so I thought since the sun was out, today I would do some yardwork that I was behind on… I’m out in the yard with my airpods in – mowing, weeding, sweeping, washing things. I was out there for hours and filled up the entire yard waste toter. I’m listening to music loudly and can’t hear anything, lost in it… I’m in the zone… then a song comes on that makes me want to dance – so there I am dancing in the front yard. Not gently, discretely swaying – but full-on awkward dork dancing… I turned around to find my police officer neighbor and his buddy leaning up against his truck just watching me with these big grins like “Isn’t she an idiot”. Fuck… how embarrassing… so I take out an airpod (which makes the music stop) and said “hey – Hi”. What could I say? It’s like getting caught standing on your bed singing into a hairbrush. I moved to the backyard where they couldn’t see me anymore. I told my youngest how I just made a fool of myself in front of the neighbor, and she said “Geeze mom… by the way your t-shirt is mostly see-through. Maybe next time you’re going to do yard work you should put out a tip jar… we have rent to pay.” Little smart ass… no empathy… I mostly don’t really care what people think (at least I tell myself that) but I am mortified. I’m going to wait until after dark to get the mail… forever.

Here’s today’s playlist if you have some yardwork to do too… Just watch out for Nelly… that belongs on another playlist.

Family Dinner

Last night I had “family dinner” with my adult children and their partners. We have vowed to make this a more regular thing… I adore my girls. They are so much fun. We laugh so hard our stomachs hurt and tears run down our faces, and we threaten to pee our pants.

The two older ones want me to move closer. They are tired of me being an hour or more away. I moved south 10 or 11 years ago… mostly I needed to distance myself from my ex and his family… I needed room to breathe.

I feel a little bad about the fact that when you get me and my daughters in one place we cut up and laugh so much with each other that their partners are lost in the background. I need to figure out how we can actively include them more…

They are so much smarter and have more figured out than I was and did at their age… But I had three babies and two businesses at their age, so my focus was different than theirs is… they chose different lives – better in many respects. I love how we can go deep on any subject and talk about anything together – albeit at this moment have more deep conversations with the youngest since she lives with me… I have not discussed ENM or threesomes or things like that with the older ones – although I would – it just hasn’t come up.

It astonishes me up that in public places when we laugh and have fun, people assume we are all sisters instead of three sisters and a mom – that’s always good for my ego – LOL – but it’s probably my long hair that makes people think I’m younger than I am…. Honestly, I will probably never really “act my age” and will always have to do the math to figure out how old I am. Last year I realized when I started dating, that I had miscalculated and for a time told people I was a year older than I am – LOL. I would love it if age didn’t matter to society at all… I actually never thought I would live past 28. On my 29th birthday I realized I hadn’t planned on still being around – it came as a shock. I had to tell my husband, “Apparently I am going to live longer than I had expected – I’m going to have to plan the rest of my life now”. I’m quite sure he thought I was nuts… or joking. I was talking to a past client the other night and she had always had that same exact thought – but her age was 25. She was recently t-boned by a semi-truck and that is how we ended up talking about that stuff.

All my girls understand energy – they should I guess, since I have talked about it all their lives – that is another subject that tends to leave their partners out in the cold in our conversations. That, and ghosts, and shared past, and shared family (ex-husband’s family), and real estate… I always included the girls in my business… as small children they were in the backseat of the car pretending to make deals, write contracts, talk on cell phones, while pouring through the listings books pretending they knew about all the houses in them (I remember one of them holding a pretend cell phone saying “Would you like 3 bedrooms or 12 bedrooms?”) … when they were older, they did trashouts with me in my side business and learned about billing for reimbursements and making spreadsheets to track lots of data… then got their licenses (which 2 still hold as side businesses) and worked with me in the office through college. I used to threaten that we would need to buy a cul-de-sac of homes so we could all live next door to each other when they were adults… now they seem to wish we had. (I bet their partners don’t – LOL)

We have a close relationship… I love the special, quirky, wonderful people they have become… and I absolutely adore them.

Clarity (or momentarily absofuckinglutely crazy)

Last night before going to sleep I set an intention. I wanted communication or guidance from my guides while I slept (I did request it with a “please” so as to not sound demanding – LOL). I slept very deeply for 11 hours… I don’t remember any dreams… or anything at all. But I woke up this morning with a realization… a “knowing” of something. It feels like a deep, unshakeable epiphany of understanding something. On other occasions I have “known” stuff – it has usually been correct, and I have learned to trust it.

(Here is where I may start to sound like a crazy person. [- edit – was being a crazy person 🤦🏼‍♀️]) I have a knowing that I am meant to be with someone. Someone specific. I met them in person 3/10/21 and had an on and off mostly physical relationship with them. I have not seen them since 10/4/21. Yet they continue to take up real estate in my heart and mind… there was an energetic “thing” with him… and it caused growth (as well as sadness, joy, and a plethora of other emotions). I realize I have woven him throughout my blog posts since we met. The first one here https://undomesticatedbitch.wordpress.com/2021/03/12/what-kind-of-dom-is-this/ about a dream the night after we met.

I realize this energetic connection is something I do not have control over. I have been trying to duplicate it with others, deny it, bury it, or break it – since the moment it happened… I have been sort of… or a version of … “lovesick” the entire time. (My gosh – I sound sooo dramatic and I am not a “dramatic” person). I realize almost every post has a mention of him in some way or thoughts of him wrapped in them somehow… this one is – well, downright “crazy” Willful submission – a little bit of everything… Then asking him to stay away because the feelings were not reciprocal, caused pain, art and poetry… and weird, vivid dreams… and heartbreak.

This has caused a lot of growth. I have cut energetic cords, but yet sometimes I still “feel” him. It is and has been very confusing. These weird dreams of him still happen sometimes. The last one (a couple weeks ago) I can’t even really put into appropriate words, but it conveyed a message of understanding… it became clear he had a fear I wouldn’t unconditionally love all aspects of him and that he hid parts of himself away behind various facades so people couldn’t see them. In the dream, my heart said how could I not love every part of you – you are safe with me (I know this sounds nuts… fully aware I sound like a crazy person).

So this “knowing”… Even though I don’t know his daily routine or thoughts, he has shared very little with me about his life, and I’ve never even seen where he lives – the energetic “thing” triggered me and bound me to him. It caused energetic waves you have to experience to understand – even as a writer, words cannot convey what it is. Waves of energy coursing through all my chakras – so powerful and intense. It caused growth. No matter how much I try to remove him from the corners of my being and forget him – I can’t. Deeply conflicted – a little bit of everything… This “energetic thing” can cause the most amazing orgasms with him… even when not touching a typically sexual place… it’s fucking crazy! I woke up knowing that even if he doesn’t feel the energetic connection, it exists. I won’t find it somewhere else. I am meant to be with him. (Side note – weird coincidence… he has the same name as my ex-husband, same sign, born and raised in the same geographical area and both spent time in Korea…. No other similarities that I can see – but this is weird right? What are the chances?)

So, I will go on about my normal life. Go to the gym, write, work… there is nothing else I can do – but I won’t fight the energetic connection – I will accept it. If he never wakes up to it, I will spend the rest of my life just doing my normal things alone… and that would be sad – but I would still be okay.

I see things everywhere over the last year that grab my attention… little synchronicities – unexplainable “things” – I seem to always look at the time when it is 1:11, 11:11, 2:22, or 4:44. I was driving the other day, looking for an exit, and I swear I saw a sign that had his name – first and last in 2 miles– then I looked again and realized it was a name but not his name, it just had the same beginning letters. (I was supposed to take exit 111 – by the way). There are a million quirky little things like that. Some would say it’s my subconscious playing out some sort of obsession or something – but it doesn’t feel like it… I was completely focused on someone else in that moment, but it was like the Universe was directing my attention back to where I belong. (Still aware of how crazy I sound….)

I woke up knowing the guy I’m “seeing” now is meant to just be a good friend (Sorry if you are reading this before I have time to talk to you about it – and it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have sex… I haven’t had any in months…). Everything happens for a reason. Maybe we have something to learn from one another.

I will delete myself from the dating sites again – there is no point. I don’t need to in any way be out looking for someone – no one else is going to have this energetic thing with me. I have to leave him just hanging out in my peripheral vision until he… maybe, someday wakes up to the connection. I need to surrender to it and let it just be whatever it is… no labels, no defining, just an unconditional energetic “love” type thing. Maybe we knew each other in a past life? I do not know… I just know I am connected to him – whether he is aware of it or not.

[Edit – a person with abandonment issues attaches to unavailable people… it’s part of the issue 🤦🏼‍♀️. Releasing this bullshit… leaving it here… although it’s embarrassing, in case someone else needs to see and acknowledge their issues too. I’m a dumbass sometimes.]

Swearing, cooking and shining

I wanted to share a couple things from my email this morning before I head to the gym (yes, reading 400+ emails and working out this morning… all sorts of diversions to avoid sitting down to focus on taxes – LOL).

The first – an email I get from authors of a cookbook. I love their recipes as well as their emails. Highly recommend 🙂

The Words and The Bees

people are dealing with a lot, let them curse

artwork by Nick Hensley

Since our first cookbook release we get weekly, if not daily, asks from readers hoping we’d release a ‘kid-friendly’ or ‘clean’ version of our books. We’ve never fully understood what that would look like since salty language is kinda our schtick.  We’ve also caught our share of hate mail about the profanity we use in our food writing. Grown-ass adults clutching their pearls to dust as if everything we created was to upset them specifically. Our favorite is “what if a child sees this?”. We like to imagine a kid accidentally cooking themself a snack after snickering over our forbidden text. ¡QUÉ HORROR!

Parents, we can assure you that your children didn’t learn the word fuck from reading our recipes. Also, is swearing really some huge character flaw? Studies prove that people who regularly use profanity have a larger vocabulary than those who don’t. So if swearing makes you tetchy, don’t tell others to expand their vocabulary. That’s on you. Not all swears are invectives and most invectives aren’t swears, so let’s stop language policing. Plus, other studies have shown that people who swear a lot are not only more honest in their daily interactions but also have more integrity at the societal level. Screaming fudge when your mean fuck is kind of a smoke screen, no? Sounds like a lil more swearing could make all of us a lil happier, kids included.

Kids experience all kinds of outside stressors just like adults, so expanding their vocabulary with contextual understanding isn’t a bad thing. Swearing has also been found to increase strength and help alleviate pain. When you burn your forearm for the 700th time on a hot oven rack and scream “FUCKKKKK” not only are you being honest but you’re practicing self-care to alleviate your pain- even if it’s just a little bit. Kid or adult, we all need something to take the edge off of reality. This is the inclusive wellness movement we’ve all been waiting for: eat more vegetables and swear whenever the fuck you feel like it. All ages, incomes, and backgrounds welcome. At a time when all of us are burned out, exhausted, and stressed past the point of sanity, we should be swearing more. 

All these years later, we’re still surprised by how much push back our recipes get because of the swearing. It makes paying to promote our work on social media all but impossible, and we have to obscure the swear words on our book covers otherwise no one will stock us. Our book covers get run by reps at all the major booksellers for approval before our publisher will even sign off. You’d think we were publishing state secrets with all the fucking red tape we have to deal with, instead of affordable, delicious plant-based recipes with a pinch of humor. The dictionary publishes swear words too goddamnit. Can’t we just trust people to not buy the things they don’t wanna see? So much for a free market

Proof vs final publish – everytime we write a book the cover has to be approved by retailers like Target, so much to the point we’re obscuring swear words incrementally with food and a hundred emails later someone says “perfect”. Seems like a collective waste of everyone’s time.

There’s lots of things we as a society need protection from- but it’s not swear words, the LGBTQ+ community, or books . Kids today are growing up with the internet- a bastion of the best and worst humanity has to offer- at their fingertips. Hell, when we were kids? The internet was a landscape of creepy chat rooms, pirated media, shock gore sites, and bum fights. We’re the generation of goatse, 2 girls 1 cup, and lemon party. If you’re unfamiliar with any of those, DO NOT google them, or fuck it punch your ticket and enjoy the ride. Point being, we are the generation responsible for the NSFW tag so let’s ease up on the prose policing. There’s worse things to see out there.

Right now all of us have access to more knowledge and centuries of human learning than anyone ever has. EVER. That toothpaste ain’t going back in the tube, folks. All these faux culture wars do is add to our diet of bread and circuses and keep us distracted from the pain these dumbshit campaigns and laws do. Instead, we could be focusing on how to make life better for each and everyone of us. If we can relearn how to focus, that is. So let’s all just fucking relax, read a banned book, cook something, and swear as much as we goddamn please. And maybe, if you don’t like how things are going, run for a local office.

(This is required cooking)

You can get started on your new chill outlook this week with our Garlic Sriracha Noodles with Broccolini. This forever fan fav will have you swearing with goddamn delight after each bite. Trust us. We swear. >=)

Thanks for being part of The Broiler Room. Tomorrow TBR’s paid supporters will get part 3 of Salad Boot Camp with a DIY dressing tutorial and accompanying recipes that you won’t wanna miss. If you’re not signed up yet, there’s an easy way to fix that. Subscribe now

Second share is from The Daily Om…

Letting Your Light Shine
  When we undermine our light by hiding our aptitudes and quashing our dreams, we deny ourselves and others a wealth of experiences.

We are each born into this world with unique gifts. Within us is a glimmer of the divine, a light that can potentially make the world a more beautiful place. But in many, that light lies dormant, snuffed out by fears and feelings of inadequacy. To spark it is to attract attention, face the possibility of rejection or the responsibility of success, and risk being labeled immodest. Yet when we undermine the light by hiding our aptitudes and quashing our dreams, we deny ourselves and others a wealth of experiences. Your abilities are a part of who you are and when you take pride in them, you affirm the love, esteem, and trust with which you view yourself. Moreover, as you express the light within, you grant others permission to do the same, freeing them to explore their own talents.

For some, we are taught to hide our light from the world since childhood. Relatives caution us that the professions associated with our aptitudes are unattainable. Our peers may be envious of our skills and thus overly critical of the activities we instinctively enjoy. And authority figures admonish us to be humble and avoid showing off. But there is a vast chasm that separates those who let their light shine and those who seek only to draw attention to themselves. When you dare to share your light with the world, the beauty and perfection of your soul become clearly visible. You become a whole being — the literal embodiment of your vast potential. Whether you are a wonderful dancer, a first-rate cook, quick with numbers, or a natural negotiator, you’ll come to understand that you do the world no favors when you hold yourself back.

If you have hidden your light for so long that it has shrunk to an ember, make a list of everything you do well, however impractical, silly, or seemingly inconsequential. Then ask yourself how you can positively utilize those abilities in your daily life. The gifts you were born with were not granted to you arbitrarily. While you may never discover what impact your light has had on others, you can be certain that when you embrace your talents and share them with others, you will spread illumination in the world. 

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Unpacking

I have a lot to unpack here today (both mentally and physically). I have been out of town… it was a girl’s trip – it was fun… but I am also a person who requires alone time (probably too much of it) so I have a level of internal exhaustion. Plus being around a lot of people and crowds, especially energetically charged people (both positively and negatively) is extra exhausting to me. Why do I always forget to put up some shields or energetically protect myself in those kinds of environments until it’s too late? (There is that recurring amnesia again…) I’m not complaining. All the people I came across are still hanging out in my mind a little… I am deciding not to think about them – just let them pass through. It must be the “writer” in me… I observe too much… and think too much. Overall, it was a good thing to get away and connect deeply with the girls I was with, I’m just a little drained now.

I did sleep for about 10 hours, which is really good. And I have control of my environment again, which is really good. I will get rested and organized today – that also, is really good. Later I will figure out how to get the coffee out of my Luis Vuitton. My laptop was in there too… so I have random coffee drops I keep finding on and in that as well – even though I have wiped it down numerous times. Somehow the taxi driver’s elbow knocking my coffee into my bag is really bugging me… “Sorry ‘bout that” doesn’t really cover the feeling of internal despair for a person who likes to keep their things nice and it being a $2k bag…. So what is the Universe trying to tell me? Relax? Go with the flow? Don’t drink coffee in a tiny car on the way to the airport? Don’t be so attached to material things and my control over things in general? Of course, I was gracious about it… that’s what I do… I never freak out or raise my voice about things… I did mutter a very soft “fuucck”… I still tipped him as if nothing happened… Why is it bothering me so much? A bag is meant to be used. It will over time get dirty or stained. No one did it on purpose. I need to let it go. It was just the cherry on top of a mounting energetic “ick”… followed by my video entertainment not working the first 2/3rds of the flight – just another reminder “you are not in control… go with the flow” testing my resolve to be a patient and understanding person… and so much turbulence on that flight making me ask myself “If I die today, am I okay with that?”. I was at peace with it – although don’t feel I have lived out my life’s purpose yet… so I’m glad the plane stayed in the air until it was supposed to safely land in Seattle. Alive with a bag full of coffee.

I will go to the gym today. That will be good. I have recently been going again. I could not risk it in the past two years with an immune compromised person in the house. I feel like I can now… I still mask and of course sanitize… I need the equipment. I don’t really discuss my body much. There are things I want to work on fitness wise – not for the world but for me. I did spend the majority of my life pretty disconnected from my body… and working too many hours and under too much stress and putting everyone and everything ahead of myself… better late than never to course correct I guess. I do know in the last decade I have become more comfortable being “in” my body and more accepting of it’s flaws.

I have a first date tomorrow. I am trying to be calm about it. God knows I have had a lot of first dates in the last year… but this one is kind of different. We have talked for hours. Every conversation is a couple of hours… the time just flies by. We connect mentally very well. If nothing else, we may have found friendship and maybe even a writing partnership… which in itself, (the writing part) is both exciting and scary. I write with my own distinctive “voice”. Can I write someone else’s “story” without too much of my own voice? Should I? I like the challenge…

Then of course when you connect with someone really well mentally there is the small, insecure, little girl of a woman that steps forth internally – worried he won’t like her in person – and fusses about what to wear… should I wear make-up (I usually don’t)… should I wear a dress (It’s a nice place) or wear something I normally wear on a daily basis… how should I do my hair… what if I disappoint? What if he disappoints?

I need to remind myself to shake off the pressure of it. It’s no big deal. We have both been very transparent in our communication and haven’t scared each other off. Everything will be okay. I do feel there is something… (can’t quite put my finger on it) something he isn’t sharing yet… Some people wisely hold back a couple cards until the timing is right… maybe that’s it. I, on the other hand, fling everything out there – ready or not – “here I am in my authenticity” … which is not always the wisest thing to do. I don’t have a “dating façade”. Most people I think do. They have a “social façade” and a “dating façade” and maybe live their whole lives presenting versions of themselves to others. I know I do have a “business persona” I don for being professional in work related things. That’s my only real persona I use that I am aware of these days. I guess I used to have others… the PTA mom… the nice neighbor… the dutiful daughter… the compliant wife… I just have shed them. I prefer to show up as myself in most situations now… fuck anyone who doesn’t like it. A “dating façade” would offer a level of “protection” while getting to know someone, but is that dishonest? It feels like it would be. If someone is uncomfortable with authenticity and transparency, then maybe they are not for me… in any aspect of my life.

It takes courage to be who you are. I prefer to be around other people who can be courageous.

I need to line up some work… (still waiting for my regular business to pick up) I am also contemplating attempting to sell some of my writing. I have been published by various trade magazines for free. I have also had some of my writing published other places and not been paid for it. Maybe it’s okay to be paid for something I have a passion for? (If they will have me) I’ve also discovered the more I continue to confront things within me that still require healing, the more those shadows have light. Maybe the light can help others with their shadowy places? We all have things to heal or shed light on. It’s part of being human.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Daddy kink dynamics… I may be back later to share some thoughts and observations about that. I think clarity is always a good thing.

Okay… time to get my butt to the gym before I decide my bed really needs more of my attention. It was so glorious to be in it again and to sleep naked again (big inconvenience sharing a room with other people…). My bed is wonderful. I have a wonderfully indulgent mattress and I love it… with feather pillows and a feather comforter and high thread count sheets… it is a luxurious cocoon… I made the bed as soon as I got out of it today so it wouldn’t lure me back … quite as easily anyway (quit thinking about it Adrienne… go to the gym – it will be there later).

Intimate strangers

In my real life, very few people know about my blog. It is a very private journey. I make a choice to make it public on the off chance something in it helps another person in some way, … but rarely invite someone from “real life” to have access. Being that totally open and vulnerable is scary. And not everyone in my life should have access to all my thoughts, feelings, and details of personal growth… not everyone can be trusted with it nor should have that much intimate knowledge about me… but meaningful (or potentially meaningful) connections we should be open and “real” with. But is sure feels uncomfortable. Every time I have granted someone from real life access, it makes me very anxious. Not at first (that amnesia problem I have where I forget things I already knew), I extend it in sincerity so they can know me or make fun of me – with me – at dating debacles, then afterward – the anxiety hits. What if I have exposed too much of myself? or my intentions are misunderstood? or they think I am horrible in some way? That is something I have been struggling with the past couple of days.

I have to remind myself of a few things… I am allowed to be authentic. Anyone who sees it in a negative light, or has negative judgements about my honest inner workings, should not be allowed to make me feel like I should close off. It’s okay if not everyone understands me or appreciates my honesty. They haven’t walked in my shoes… but it sure is an uncomfortable, vulnerable feeling. So… trying to breathe deeply and let it go… it’s okay (right?)… everything is okay. I’m just typing to calm myself.

Real connection with others is important. Authentic connection is precious. I’m trying to keep an open heart, an open mind and just see where it goes. Truth, honesty, complete openness and transparency is what is required in real connections and in truly honoring of each other’s souls. I can be intimate with my readers… you don’t know me – although you know me better than anyone… I just won’t bump into you at Met Market (at least not that I will be aware of).

Some may see me as naïve, but I will continue to willfully reject irony. I want to just be simple and sincere. It’s okay if that makes other people uncomfortable or if they don’t understand it. Right?

On other fronts… I’m getting ready to go out of town. There must be some law about everyone wanting things from you when you are getting ready to leave… I don’t know the name of it, but I am certain it exists. My phone has been ringing all day with requests – “one more thing before you leave town”… if this keeps up I won’t be able to properly pack. My daughter and her partner are out of town already – so I just got the call I need to pick Lohan up from jail tomorrow morning. He is being released pending sentencing now – turns out it was against the rules for him to be immediately remanded into custody on the charge he was found guilty on – which is good, he needs some doctor visits and medications for his cancer. Hopefully he may get a chance to file an appeal.

Great… now I have a disaster response also… have to go – I’m the closest responder. I may have to come back and finish these thoughts later.

Do you hear the music?

Philosopher Alan Watts explains that there is a danger in thinking life is a journey, some sort of a pilgrimage with a purpose at the end. Life is to be lived along the way… in the same way that music is to be enjoyed. If music were only about endings, composers would only write finales, he says. There isn’t some destination you’re supposed to arrive at. Life is music all along. Watts says, “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.” This is what I’m thinking about today.

Here are some short videos to help inspire us to dance more in life… and savor the moments…

Weird week…

My week was much different than I anticipated.

My youngest daughter, who is 30, is living with me for now. Her partner, Julia, also lives here. Julia is technically married to someone else – a Brazilian man. Welcome to 2022 – where families and relationships look different…

The husband (Lohan) was accused of “Rape” of a previous wife 6+ years ago and had to go to trial this week. Julia needed moral and emotional support and my daughter had to work, so I went with her. At first, I had just planned to go the first day and help ease her over the jitters of the courtroom and learn the lay of the land. I ended up going to the entire trial. A real, live, telenovela.

I had only met him once – we had him over for Thanksgiving in the middle of the pandemic and he and the girls ate on the porch. He is a musician, has stage 4 cancer, and speaks in broken English. He has no family in this country and his parents died when he was a child. He felt like he needed support in the courtroom also. I didn’t ask him anything about what had transpired – I figured I would listen to the evidence along with the jury.

There was a time – long, long ago, when I really wanted to be an attorney. I took some law classes at Brandeis before deciding I should focus on work and go to school later – once I had earned the money to go. Of course, life started, and I never went back. I considered going back to school and pursuing a law career when I was in my forties – but my stepfather told me it was too late. (I should not have listened to him… I have a very logical, analytical mind… I would have made a good attorney). I realized this week I felt very at home in the courtroom. I really should have gone that direction. That would have been my alternate reality if we could go back in time and change a choice.

I listened to the testimony. I listened with an open mind. No bias. Really, I don’t know either party. It was a convoluted tale… the accuser didn’t remember very basic things – like when she moved in with her future husband, or when she got married. It was clear to me she was and is a rather emotionally unstable person. She got married December 3rd 2015, after living with the man for about 6 months. A couple weeks later, she found out she was pregnant. They went skiing a month later. She testified that after finding out she was pregnant; she was considering leaving her husband and being a “single mom”. She testified she had checked into what state said she might be eligible for as a single mother.On the ski trip, the husband injured his knee and ended up on crutches with torn ligaments. A couple days after skiing. She miscarried. She miscarried around February 3rd. When she started bleeding, she got in a warm tub (not smart) which of course made her bleed more, and her husband ended up calling an ambulance. She stayed in the hospital overnight (taking selfies). They were both distraught about losing the pregnancy – particularly him because he had previously been told he was infertile.

As Valentine’s Day approached, she bought lingerie for the holiday, and they talked about if they should try to go out of town and planned romance. The day before Valentine’s Day they decided to take a walk along the waterfront. He was still recovering from the knee injury, but the walking path was a sidewalk and not difficult. He decided it was fine and made his wife happy. After the Marina walk, she wanted alcohol. He suggested they go to a bar that had an arcade. He usually did not drink, and he could play games and she could have a drink. She said she preferred to go home. They stopped at the store on the way home and purchased a bottle of vodka, ice cream, chocolate and whipped cream. They went home and played a board game in their bedroom (they had roommates and preferred to be in their room). She testified that he did not normally drink and she had never seen him drunk. They at some point changed the board game to be a drinking game. Each round the loser had to do a shot. Then they changed the board game to be a sex game. The loser would have to perform oral sex on the other if they lost. At one point the man did not want to drink more and she got upset with him and started trying to force him to drink – telling him “Drink don’t be a pussy Bitch” and trying to force vodka into his mouth. She indicated she did not remember saying that, but that it sounded like something she would say being playful. She offered to put on the lingerie she had purchased, and he indicated they didn’t need to do that right now. At some point they ended up naked on the bed. Here is where things get complicated… she says although she was naked, and at one point on top of him, and clearly drunk because she does not recall how their clothes came off… she says at one point she told him “No” and then told him “No” a few more times when they were kissing and fondling one another. She testified he entered her while on top of her with one hand on her mouth and one hand on her throat. She said she turned her head and got emotional. At which point he stopped, and they argued. He says, he was confused by her as sometimes she said “No” in passion and her body language indicated this was one of those times.  When he started to withdraw, she wrapped her legs around him and locked her ankles. He denies having his hands on her mouth and throat as he had to hold his own body weight and with the injured knee had to avoid hurting it further. When she turned her head and became emotional, the sex stopped.

They had consumed a lot of alcohol, and both were distraught about the lost child. She said the doctor had told them “No vaginal sex for two weeks”. He said he never was aware of that. (It had been 10 days) She said she straightened and locked her legs when she said “No”. He said she wrapped them around him and pulled him back while moaning. She said she pushed against his chest. He said she had her hands on his back, pulling him in. He said she often played this way and “No didn’t always mean No with her”. After the encounter stopped, they argued a bit – he did put his hand on her mouth when she was yelling at him – concerned it would disturb the other residents because it was very late, then he left the house for a few hours, and she took a selfie and went to sleep. The next day she moved out. Two weeks later she had lunch with a male friend and told him she was raped. He encouraged her to report it and took her to the hospital for an exam (seems dumb that much later) and also took her to file a police report. She had not mentioned it to anyone else – including her brother whom she had moved in with after leaving and who had picked her and her things up the day she left. The police went to the house to interview the husband, without an interpreter, took a statement and filed it.

When the officer testified, he indicated he felt it was just a misunderstanding between the married people. There was no real evidence of an assault. The doctor who did the rape exam also indicated there was no evidence visible to him – no bruising, etc. The husband had no idea what an official “statement” was, did not know he should probably get legal counsel, and had limited English (it was his third language). His lack of detail offered in his statement was used against him. The officer had not asked for a blow by blow description of their sexual encounter the court had required. Most of the questions asked of the accuser were answered with “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”. The questions answered by the accused were more comprehensive and seemed thoughtful and that he basically did whatever would make his wife happy. A roommate testified she heard laughter and music as well as the accuser telling him to “Drink – don’t be a pussy Bitch”. A month after filing charges, she cancelled them. She told the police via email that she no longer wanted to pursue the matter. They had the marriage annulled.

A year later, when his new wife texted to inquire if they could retrieve the guitar his father had given him that she had taken. She decided to re-file or re-activate the charges because she “could not believe they had the nerve to contact her” she stated. Meanwhile, she has received free therapy as a “crime victim” from the state since filing charges, which she testified she really likes.

The jury was given instructions – including not to take the attorney’s closing statements as evidence of any kind. The prosecutor had made statements that were nowhere in any of the testimony or evidence – which were objected to. The charges were either Rape 2 (with force), Rape 3 (without consent) and if either were deemed to be “Guilty” then the special ballot would need to be answered “Yes” or “No” of the question of if the two people involved were residing in the same household (automatic domestic violence). The jury deliberated a few hours. I was quite confident, based on what I heard with my own ears and the demeaner or both of the parties, the verdict would be “Not guilty”. I was wrong. They decided “Guilty” on Rape 3 with the automatic DV because they were spouses at the time of the incident. He was immediately remanded into custody and taken to jail, and they won’t even meet to discuss the sentence for more than a month. I wish I had been in the jury room, because they did not reach the same conclusions I did… I did feel like the defense attorney did not do a great job on part of his closing statement – but there was so much reasonable doubt for an actual crime I wasn’t concerned.

I do understand over recent years consent has become a real hot issue, but as with many things sometimes the scale gets out of whack the other way for a while before balancing out. One thing his current wife told me after the verdict was that many times, he actually told his former wife “No” because of not feeling well because of his cancer, and she proceeded to give him oral anyway and make him change his mind to meet her desires. That maybe should have been included in the testimony to give additional context to their sex life. I feel like he would have received a more fair trial if he spoke more English and didn’t need a Portuguese interpreter. I can’t shake the feeling she just wanted to be vindictive and is just not a very nice person – and taking advantage of state offered free things.

I have no investment in who wins or loses – emotionally or otherwise. I feel like I was just an observer. And I feel a little dismayed by the whole thing. I don’t think it was correct in its outcome. I enjoyed all the legal machinations – the interactions, the rules. I was disappointed at some of the trickery used by the prosecution – especially when used in a way to confuse a person whose first language is not English (the trickery would have confused anyone – but particularly someone with an interpreter). The court appointed defense attorneys were sad about the verdict. They indicated he could appeal. In all reality – it could take years… he will most likely die of his cancer first. Once his sentence – however long it ends up being – is over, he will be deported.

Julia is brokenhearted about it. At least I was there for her… which feels supportive of our current household situation (although I would love for them to be on their own… I don’t really need to be living with an adult couple!).  I would not be surprised if we end up with his dog… which will not make our current dogs very happy.

Time to get my nose back to my own grindstone…

Conflict Resolution

I decided to cancel today and tonight’s social commitments and go to Olympus Spa – or the “naked lady spa” as my daughters refer to it. I spent time sitting in heated water with other naked women, in silence. Spent time in the meditation room. And the steam room. And the salt room. Had some lovely Korean food that I have no idea how to pronounce or what was in it, but it was sumptuous… Had a massage. No phones allowed. Just blissful silence. Filled my senses with eucalyptus, rosemary, and other lovely, scented oils. I am relaxed and centered again.

I did not text the man I wanted to text. I reminded myself that I deserve more. I won’t settle for less anymore. Real intimacy… a real relationship… all or nothing. Sex only relationships are too shallow. He was just a glimpse. Just a glimmer of a piece of what can come in a future relationship. If I have learned nothing else in the dating wild, it is that a man will pursue what he wants. If he doesn’t pursue it, he doesn’t want it.

I am busy creating the life I want. Work is going to get very, very busy. The next five years could easily cover my entire retirement. I have a vision of the beautiful life I will build… someone can join me in it… or not. Either way, I will be fine.

I don’t know yet what I will do about tomorrow’s dates. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. Tonight, I will get back to writing. The book my therapist wants me to write had me stalled out for a minute in my writing. I will just plow ahead, even if it means skipping a few chapters and coming back to them later. I don’t suppose creation really has “rules”. It is created however it comes out. Some chapters of life are more ugly than others. It goes against my nature not to dress things up a little, sugar coat a little with optimism… but I also have a deep need to be authentic. Not everything is pretty. But I smell pretty thanks to the spa.

Deeply conflicted

I have an internal conflict today, so I have to spew it all out on virtual paper to sort it out.

The situation is… I have had feelings for someone for quite a while. I get them under control, stifled… then they come back. It’s all in my own mind. I know that it is. He just touched a nerve. Some sort of energetic nerve. And I can’t seem to shake it off no matter how hard I try. I have seen so many other people since then in an effort to try to sort it out. Thursday was the one-year anniversary of when we met. I told myself if he didn’t text me, then he isn’t aware and therefore further confirms I was nothing special to him. He did not.

Sometimes I wake up thinking – “That’s it… he lost his chance with me… I am done with him”. Then later I want him. Is it just because people want what they can’t have? I have only seen him three times since April. We had sex a lot in March and April of last year. With each new guy I meet, I look for that energetic “thing”. It’s not there. Twice I had it for a fleeting moment with someone else – then gone. We probably don’t really have anything real in common with each other. No basis for anything real, meaningful, and lasting – I’m just “stuck” because of this energetic “pull”.

I have dates scheduled all weekend. Part of me wants to cancel them. One guy, I know for sure I will end up having sex with. But will it be empty and meaningless, and will I regret it? One more feeble attempt at finding the energetic connection I had with the other guy. Why does life have to be so messy?

Right now, I have such a strong urge to text the guy I still have recurring “feelings” for and see if by chance he is open to fucking… I’d like to know if there is still an energetic “thing” or if it’s gone. If it’s gone, I can really let it go. If it’s not, I would set myself up for heartbreak for another six months or more. That is… if he is even open to meeting again. He is aware of my recurring “feelings” and they make him uncomfortable. He probably never even thinks about me…

I “should” just bury myself in work. Close off to any physical or emotional connections. Keep working on myself. But I am a very physical person… and I really need human touch and sex… and the kink that I can’t get just anywhere… (Maybe my therapist was wrong… I shouldn’t have been moved to once a month… I clearly have “issues”. They are deep and they are dark – LOL).

Fuck. I don’t know what to do. And how unfair to the guys I have dates with this weekend. They may not even have a fair chance. Another reason to cancel them. Ugh. I don’t have any answers. Maybe I need to work out. Really hard. All day. And clean the garage. Sort that mess… maybe that would bring clarity. Prepare for way too much information… I can’t even get myself off lately because I refuse to think about him while I do… therefore I can’t. I can’t find something else sexy to think about, so I end up thinking about work and give up. That really sucks. Maybe a date with someone would help that?

What do I do? Bury my head in my business and generating more? Get on my exercise bike for 20 miles of riding? Clean the garage? Go back to bed and try to sleep my way through it? Go on the scheduled dates? Text the man I really want to fuck? Grab the Ben and Jerry’s safely tucked in the freezer? What do I do?

Silly shenanigans ~

I am a little goofy today, so I apologize in advance…

I see you… a little creepy huh?

I had to drive all the way to Kitsap Peninsula North today to get a sign and a box off a listing (Yes folks, momma’s getting paid! Wahoo!). On the way I took some pictures I always want to take on this route, because in all likelihood I won’t be this way again for quite a while.

I have to drive over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I love this bridge. I don’t know why… it just seems “special” in some way. Although I have to admit, as I approach, I block receiving any energy while I’m on it. There is some weird, vague, anxious energy that I have no idea why it has. I still think it is really a pretty bridge and the pictures do not do it justice. (Yes, I am aware I should not photo and drive (or drink and drive, or text and drive) … but well, traffic wasn’t bad, so I did it… my bad… both headed West and East)

Yes, I do have nasty huge rock chip on my windshield. I got it the first week I had my new car. I drove immediately to the people who advertise on TV they take care of this sort of thing, and they told me they couldn’t. It was too big. I need a new windshield – so I’m trying to get my money’s worth before spending $1500 that way…

Next is a photo of part of the road to KPN that always feels enchanting… like I am somehow not in this part of the country (not sure where… but not here – LOL).

I love that there is water on both sides. It feels like you are going somewhere special.

Then you drive through big trees, like you are in the forest…

I feel like most of Washington looks like this but when you spend so many days in the more urban areas, you forget for a moment.

This next picture just appeals to my silliness today… Joe – I am available… single AF – LOL

I have decided in interactions of the “dating sort” from now on, I will have “rounds”. You only get to be in relationship with me once you have passed all the rounds… complete with announcements “Congratulations sir, you have now made it to round 2”, (in my best announcer voice) “Would you like to continue? or be eliminated from the competition and leave the island never to return?”

So far, the rounds look like this to me… Round 1 – prove you are a decent human, not a douchebag, and are physically and emotionally “available” for an interdependent relationship that very well could knock your socks off. Round 2 – Prove you are smart enough and evolved enough to not make me bored as fuck. Do you have interests? Passions even? Like to have fun? Know how to be serious? Do you read? Do you see and appreciate what a wonderful creature I am? Round 3 – Do you know how to fuck well?… I mean really well. Is there chemistry? Do you have a little kinky side? Round 4 – Is there an energetic connection beyond the physical and mental? Round 5 – Congrats… I’m all in… unconditional love will now be yours. (I know – that sounds nuts after all the aforementioned pre-conditions but trust me – you can’t just go around throwing out unconditional love all willy nilly, although Ram Das would beg to differ, and I can unconditionally love everyone from a distance, but I don’t want to be in relationship with everyone today). Not only have you won “unconditional love” by making it to Round 5, you will never get rid of me! – LOL… (unless you die on me – please don’t… been there, done that, not fun, can’t do it again).

This picture of this guy – I just had to share. It cracked me up. A guy who can make fun of himself a little might be a good guy. He is on one of the dating sites. Thought I would check and see if there was anyone in there… Unfortunately, the only words he seems to know are “Hey there” (Which he does say every day) and “TTYL” after really nothing much in between (which in case you didn’t know really means he’s just hoping for sex not into a real meaningful connection, but he doesn’t have the balls yet to say it). Trying to make conversation with him is kind of like trying to make conversation with a rock… he and the rock both put forth no effort. But the picture still cracks me up… (wonder who took the picture).

Life is such a balancing act. I feel like I am getting a better grip on balancing fun with work, hopefulness with stress… at least for the moment. But that’s the thing – balance only lasts for a moment. You have to keep readjusting.

Dazed and Confused

I had a very busy, but productive week. The current response operations are coming to a close, and I’m feeling pretty damn optimistic about work. Last night, after being busy for 14 hours straight, it occurred to me that although I have decided not to go looking for love – it can’t find me if I’m in my home office on my computer all day and night… so what’s a girl to do? Put herself out there – right? So, I spent from 10pm until shortly after midnight messaging with random dudes on dating sites… again. LOL.

At least I am discerning…way more discerning than I was previously. I have learned a lot and clarified with myself my standards. I require a lot. I won’t allow myself to be sucked into a physical thing anymore just because I love sex. I also won’t be at the other end of the spectrum and spend so much time on the intellectual connection that I fail to realize the person I am interacting with is asexual or nonsexual or too rigidly vanilla or has no drive (like the guy who turned out to be a cross-dresser). I don’t want just a physical connection with no emotional intimacy or emotional intimacy with no great physical connection.

The trouble is… the guys. They build enough trust to get your number – then boom dick pics arrive. And in last night’s case – a full video of him pleasuring himself. It left me a little bit dazed. For starters… if a woman doesn’t specifically ask you for these things, don’t send them. It’s not consensual… and she can’t “unsee” them. This is the same type of man that would not wait for consent before sex, push himself on her, and then blame the woman because she had a vagina and came within 3 feet – therefore “wanted him”.

Secondly… help me out here… why do some men say things like “you want this you little bitch?” or “you’re gonna get this you hot little cunt”. That is so not sexy to me. Even if hypothetically, we were on the same page and I was thankful to see your genitalia unannounced, what is supposed to turn me on by being called names? Never mind that “gonna” is still not a word (one of my regular pet peeves). This is not the first time this particular thing has played out exactly like this. It seems to be a “thing” with guys that are somewhat age-appropriate. Last night’s guy was admittedly 10 years younger than me…

Now I’ve had to spend time today deleting a ton of email notifications about the messages that came in last night as well as blocking the dud (“dud” was a typo – was trying to say “dude”, decided to leave it… because “dud” is appropriate) that got my number. Another wanted it too – but I decided to wait- having just been gifted the aforementioned visual display. Don’t get me wrong – pics and videos, as well as phone sex can be great under the right circumstances. You just can’t jump there with no foundation. It has to be part of something bigger and deeper… more like an occasional small bag of chips. (Uh oh… feel more food references coming on…)

I can promise one thing… a situationship starting out with a masturbation video is doomed from the start to be anything real or meaningful. A quote I try to live by is, “Submit to love without thinking.” (Rumi) But I am quite sure Rumi never got unsolicited videos. I am completely done with things that are not real or meaningful.

What I seek is unconditional love with someone I like enough to want to spend my time with… that beautiful, soul satisfying partnership where everything just flows… I just have to find someone I like enough who likes me back enough (part of “liking them enough” also includes sexual chemistry and compatibility…).


Per Wikipedia, “Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging.”

Per Mark Manson (Author), “Unconditional relationships are relationships where both people respect and support each other without any expectation of something in return. To put it another way, each person in the relationship is primarily valued for the relationship itself—the mutual empathy and support—not for their job, status, appearance, success, or anything else. Unconditional relationships are the only real relationships. They cannot be shaken by the ups and downs of life. They are not altered by superficial benefits and failures. If you and I have an unconditional friendship, it doesn’t matter if I lose my job and move to another country, or you get a sex change and start playing the banjo—you and I will continue to respect and support each other. The relationship is not subjected to the coolness economy where I drop you the second you start hurting my chances to impress others. And I definitely don’t get butthurt if you choose to do something with your life that I wouldn’t choose.” Here is where you can read more Mark Manson articles – (I usually resonate with what he has to say) https://markmanson.net/

Of course, my need for sex is an ongoing issue… I’ve been trying to stuff that genie back in the bottle. I’m really trying my best not to eat too much Ben and Jerry’s to help stave off that urge. Nobody loves me better right now than them… When I do meet Mr. Emotionally Available, that I like enough to unconditionally love and adore, I don’t want to be too much woman for him… literally. Which reminds me… the other day on my way out of the supermarket (with more ice cream in my bag), a group of young men (Late teens – early 20’s) were standing on the sidewalk. One of them looked me dead in the eyes and said “hmmm… fuckolicious”. Is this a pickup line these days or a joke? I’m confused.

So, there you have it… the weekend has just begun, and I’m already dazed and confused. Oh wait… that is a song. I haven’t heard it for a long time. Zeppelin coming out to play…

Uh… Okay

So… I feel a little self-conscious talking about what I’m going to share today… but I write for me – not for anyone who may read it… So, I guess I will go ahead and write about what happened today.

It’s weird… I’m surprised, a tad bit shocked, maybe a bit confused. I had therapy today – we went an hour over again… she said she feels guilty charging me and that I don’t need her. She wants to change to touching base once a month or even once a quarter… and mostly only because she wants to nag me to write and hear about my adventures. How weird is that?

She said that I am the most “well-adjusted, capable, healthy, strong and resilient person she has ever met”. She wants me to write – share my life with others. An autobiography. She thinks it will inspire other people. She says the way I handle things is “appropriate and healthy” and “if nothing is broken, nothing needs to be fixed”. Nothing from my past is interfering with my daily life. If something does trigger me, I deal with it in a healthy way. She wishes I would write a book that would teach people resilience and inner strength also. The way I compartmentalize is also appropriate and I have in an “astounding number of tools my toolbox for coping, surviving, and thriving”. She has searched and searched for ways to be of use to me and she can’t really find any. There is no need to dig up traumas from the past just to do it when I am so highly functioning and healthy.

Everyone I know in therapy has been there for years… or decades. I feel like I enrolled in an honors class, was given the final – passed – and have been dismissed.  I’m a little shocked… She would like to be a “beta” reader as I write. I guess it’s my final homework assignment… She says my life is fascinating and she finds me very interesting and can’t wait to read it.

I have never heard of someone’s therapy experience going this way.

No Namaste Today

What a crazy week… 18-hour days of non-stop going. I’m not complaining… I have done this for years before, just not lately… When I’m not busy prospecting for new business and doing signings, I’m still on this disaster response and now also have a second one in progress. All day I have been trying to prevent 82 people from being homeless tomorrow morning… I think I have it covered now – almost secured. It’s hard enough for people to recover from a big fire event and all that it does to their life without the added stress of nowhere to sleep.

I did take a little time the other night to try and do my therapy homework – “find feelings in my body and see what they have to say” (sounds stupid as fuck to me – but I’m trying…). I got nothing. Silence. No feelings waiting to be felt. Just thoughts. Not a single fucking feeling. What does that mean? Maybe I process all my “feelings” through blogging so there isn’t anything backed up and stuck that needs to be “felt, processed and released”? That night I did dream about sex… but that’s not really a “feeling” – LOL. I seem to feel more when I am meditating and doing yoga every day and/or being a softer version of myself– which I haven’t had time for lately… last night I ended up falling asleep with my air pods still in. I’ve been on the phone so much I didn’t realize I still had them in… no time for “heart centering and namaste”. I am an “achiever” (per the enneagram – LOL) though and I don’t like not completing my “homework”.

I did realize in the shower this morning that I am allowing someone I no longer see to still take up real estate in my head and my heart. That’s not good. Real estate is valuable – even if it isn’t dirt and structure, but just “space” in me. (…Is that technically a “feeling”?) I’m not a child. I should be able to move on. But somehow, they are always in my thoughts… hanging out on the edge… in the peripheral vision… sometimes I get them gone for a moment and think “good – done”, then they are back in my thoughts a day later. It’s almost the one-year anniversary of meeting them… It’s fucked up.

Maybe it’s just my terrible MBTI personality type that makes me not let go… although there are so many people I have completely “let go of” the moment I decided to. (Including the comet – who is now blocked so I can never be tempted again).

The one benefit of managing disasters again is it makes me feel less powerless. I can usually see the clear path for responses and managing all the moving parts and the path for people to get in a good place again. It takes the focus off of where I am… and I start acting like I used to more – just moving forward not “stuck”.  I even managed to make beef bourguignon while on the phone with disaster responders, clients, and emergency management – which felt like old times, when life was more in control – able to efficiently multi-task… and made the house smell amazing.

I have devoted zero time to dating this month (*correction – one date… the boring AF one where I never got dinner). That’s probably a good thing. Maybe I should just stay in “time out”. Now that we are physically – in person – responding to disasters again, maybe I will see Captain Joe again… he asked me out to breakfast 2 years ago after a fire we worked together… I said “not this time” not realizing he was actually asking me out until I was driving home. I’m obtuse sometimes. I was tired. For that call, I had been pulled out of bed in the middle of the night for 158 units and hadn’t even decided to date again yet. Nah… I won’t focus on any “dating” direction. The Universe will have to just send me the right person. It’s weird to be responding in person again instead of virtually. Pretty soon the mask mandate will be done and then I will have to go back to being careful what my face says… I have kind of liked that part of the masking – no one being able to see what my face says when I’m not paying attention to it.

Now that I have everyone sheltered for the night and all emergency needs met for the day I can go back to working on my business. Researching… so I know where I need to be and who the players will be… reading recorded documents and notices of Trustee sales.

I have to get back to my “sharkier” instincts. Quit playing around in sunshine and rainbows/empath/sweetness/”we are all divine energy” bullshit. No more softness. Walls up – heart of brick – down to business… (No wonder I can’t find my feelings… I’m such a fucked up contradiction of stuff).

Wild and Free

All good things are wild and free.” – Henry David Thoreau

I was thinking about this in the middle of the night. When I began writing my other blog, Undomesticated Bitch, I was searching for and wanting to get my “wild and free” self, back. Find my voice again… my authentic self… the one that had been sacrificed for the sake of my husband, children, societal expectations to be what others thought I “should” be rather than who I was/am.

A decade later, I ponder these thoughts again…

One writer, named Amy Beth Hacker, said “Healthy women have a playful spirit, are powerfully devoted to those they love, possess immense strength of character, and draw on a rich heritage of instinctual and intellectual wisdom handed down by generations of women before them. They are wild and free in the truest sense: unapologetically and entirely who they are at their deepest, most authentic core.

When we are not free, we are held back, closed off, and we feel overwhelmingly stuck. Our voice is silenced — by the outside world or, more often, by ourselves. We live in the black and white margins of life, unable to feel safe in the gray areas.

To be wild and free means to live from a place of your inherent worth and value. It means owning your imperfections as much as your strengths as worthy and valuable parts of yourself.”

I do now own my imperfections as well as my strengths and I continue to grow and learn to live from a place of my “inherent worth and value”.

She also says “Women who are wild and free know that their worth comes from who they are, not what they do. She creates because creating is an expression of her authentic self, not because she is looking for the love or approval of others.

She is conscious of her strengths and weaknesses and uses this knowledge to her advantage. She is comfortable with the concept of “good enough.” She values her own dignity and sovereignty above all else because she knows they are what keep her connected and autonomous.  

While she doesn’t strive for perfection, she is always looking to grow herself: her knowledge, her abilities, her talents, her strength, and vitality. She knows that growth involves work, and often also involves fear, and she is willing to be brave and flexible to reach her goals.”

I believe being “wild” means to be authentic. Authentic in interacting with others from the true core of who we are. It means having the courage to not only be who we are, but to be passionate about things (and people) we care about. It means being my own leader and making my own choices… unapologetically. It goes hand in hand with being free. Freedom involves living from and making decisions from your soul. It also means being spontaneous… and flexible.

But then comes the idea of free will… Or the illusion of “free will”. It requires consciousness of why you make the choices you make to decide if you really are “free” and exercising free will or if it is just an illusion and a compilation of everything life, your parents, and society told you about things. Sometimes we are not as “free” as we might like to think… I will endeavor to be free anyway.

I’m fierce – but fragile at the same time. I guess that’s part of being my authentic self. I am a different woman in many ways than I was a decade ago… relationships and how I “am” in them look different now too – my standards and expectations have changed as well. I really don’t have that many regrets. I’ve learned something from every experience in life. I’m also learning to control less… surrender more. Surrender to possibilities that exist… the beautiful joys I didn’t expect, the synchronous and serendipitous… trusting the Universe to send good stuff my way. I just have to remember to savor the sweetness more.

What I’m listening to today…