I identify as a threat. My pronouns are try / me.

I’m a little sardonic today. You have been warned. You can click away now – no harm, no foul. (Seriously for a moment – no disrespect intended to anyone with the title of this post… I understand gender identity is a real issue… I’m just being sassy today).

I had an appointment today at 1pm. I arrived 10 minutes early (because that is the polite thing to do)… the person I had an appointment with was not there. So I waited… I checked my email on my phone (all eight accounts) but nothing to do… I had already dealt with all of it before my appointment because well, I had an appointment, and I am a responsible, polite human… Checked my Halo app – made mental note of steps taken so far for the day… checked for any YouTube things I might have missed…. Meanwhile, the receptionist is now trying to find my person… “They must be here somewhere”, she says. So I get on the dating app I have not returned to since I created the profile more than two months ago… I had messages and comments and all sorts of “things” to process there. The receptionist passed me off to a secretary who informed me the person I was meeting was in Texas today and had not answered when she just called and was not as of yet responding to her text – maybe a remote meeting was being accommodated she said. I refrained from uttering all the snarky things that came to mind… things about people scheduling things and not being aware of their schedule… I just said, “No worries – not your fault”. She then rescheduled me for another day. My dating app and I headed back to the car (now it’s 1:20… I’ve spent 30 minutes in the dating app rabbit hole… send help).

I responded to a couple of people who had messaged me weeks ago, blocked one guy because I decided I didn’t want him to see that I have been “active” on the site when I barely take time to respond to his texts (and often ignore them)… yes, I am now officially a douchebag. I figured blocking him he might think my profile is gone and it won’t hurt his feelings… right? I know at least one person did that to me in the past… and I bought it – until out of curiosity, I went searching a different way and found him and realized what he did… but oh well.

I have some observations from my time on the dating site today.  First and foremost I have to acknowledge I am now a jaded, arm’s length type of person I used to try to have real conversations with. I used to be so sweet and vulnerable. I used to trust that everyone was there on the dating sites “looking for their soul mate and forever person” and that everyone was honest – LOL. Now it seems my brain has changed when it comes to dating and interpersonal relationships (at least when interacting on-line). Someone from Missouri messaged me… my response was Missouri is a long ways away – what are you doing? LOL… his response was sweet – too sweet – in a huge paragraph too long to read seriously in a dating app, talking about how he is new to the dating “scene” (gagging a little), how I seem like someone he wants to know better, and distance doesn’t matter. What matters is love, trust, commitment and understanding… and something about looking into each other’s eyes years from now and knowing the love is just as wonderful and exciting as the day we met.  The new me says to myself either he wants to scam me for money or he has just watched the Notebook and has zero real life experience with dating and/or women (“like me” she adds mentally).

Another person who messaged me asked that I at least show some human decency and respond. LOL… Okay… read the profile and again a whole paragraph about how women should have the decency to at least respond. Fuck. A “feel sorry for himself” man who hasn’t had sex in a very, very, very long time. I said “Hi – Thanks for taking the time to reach out. How’s it going for you out here?” I’m just being polite. I know how it’s going… I read your profile and saw your pics. There is someone for everyone… keep looking buddy – but meanwhile, I will give your pointers. #1 Quit being pathetic. #2 Better pics. #3 Take out all the reference to having been ignored, overlooked and misunderstood. Replace with info about who you are and what you like in life. #4 Get a hobby… and meet someone through there… you can’t handle on-line dating.

Another guy with zero information on his profile asked me what I’m looking for… my oh my… I had so many smartass things I wanted to say… just to say them… but I refrained. I just said “My last forever soul mate. No pressure. LOL” – That should scare him away.

There are a ton of guys on there I saw two years ago… even some I saw when I popped in for a while four years ago. WTF? Why are they still looking?! Or are they like me – in and out? Do they get multi-year discounts? What’s wrong with them… they are still available…so??? (Yes, fully aware I am still available although I am a wonderful and mysterious creature that any man should be honored to be in the presence of… double standard applies… I have extenuating circumstances – LOL). Some I have even talked to before… yes the guy with the lime green charger and the Popeye muscles, I remember you… all you could talk about was your car and working out. Still not into you. Hmm… there is the one I talked to shortly after Robert died. He was a psychologist. Nice guy… listened to me whine about losing my partner and didn’t want to go on a date with me but willing to take me to lunch “as a friend” which I ended up declining (not surprising given my mental state at the time – wise choice and very humane). Another one I saw I remember was very into religion (no thank you) … then there is the one who wanted to marry me before we even met – he is still available (surprise)… Uh Oh another one I remember… the cross dresser (awkward). There has to be a dating app for that… not even going to read your profile – please don’t see mine… I hope you are more comfortable with yourself now…

I find myself swiping left for very random, silly, judgmental reasons… yep. I have become a douchebag for sure… Don’t like your Duck Dynasty beard (swipe left), socks with sandals (swipe left), messy room in the background (no thank you), posing with your Ford Fusion (Nope… don’t make me teach you what a real car is…), smug look (nope… So many reasons), describes himself as an “Alpha” (if you have to say you are, your aren’t…), so many boring, unfit, unkempt, melty vanilla pudding guys…  let’s just face it… I cannot take any of them seriously. And none of them will make me happy. I’m remarkably happy without them or anyone and currently it will take a lot to make me want to let one of them upset the perfect ph balance of my spectacular vagina – LOL. (Yes, it’s spectacular… it gave life and gives pleasure…) Mental note: It is not my job to help the guys on this dating site present themselves better and I should just stay off of it so I don’t be mean to people or become even more jaded and detached.

I may have reached a point in life where maybe I won’t have a real relationship again? Either that or I am going through a stage where I cannot be pleased. Someone wants to text me everyday and I want him to go away… isn’t that what I wanted? Regular communication? I don’t give a fuck how you slept or how many miles you walked or what your dog did… shut the fuck up. I want a man who fucks good and talks to me when I want to be talked to… that’s not the least bit unreasonable – LOL. And I just know in my soul the “regular communicator” who bores me would not be a good fuck… so what’s the point? I may be completely unreasonable at this point… fuck me when and how I want, communicate when and how I want… just read my mind and give me what I want when I want it!

Staying single and unencumbered is not a bad thing… I can binge watch weird things in the middle of the night (which recently has been YouTube videos of abandoned mansions – don’t judge me)… I can eat what I want for dinner with no judgment or statements about if there isn’t a meat and a potato of some kind it’s not a “meal” … I can spend what I want on what I want, and no one has a right to say anything about it… I don’t have to feel guilty for making more money than the guy (yes, this is a real thing… I could make an entire blog about it) and I won’t have to be financially responsible for someone else… or feel some level of resentment because they aren’t financially supporting me when that is what all of us women my age was promised when we were children… I don’t have to explain myself (about anything) … the toilet seat stays down… it’s all good. Relationships can be a lot of work. Good ones have a lot of value, but maybe I’m not destined to be in one again… if so, I’m fine. (For now anyway  – LOL). I cut about 10 years off my hair the other day… I’m focused on getting to the place in life I want to be. I’ve booked a vacation. I feel good.

Custom clothes, cocktails and conversation…

Today I went with my two oldest daughters to my middle daughter’s first custom suit order at a tailor. I am so happy she has reached this point in life. Men have been doing it forever…  It may sound shallow, but my daughter is a VP at a large corporation and leads hundreds of people… she has reached a point in life where she should have custom suits. Not to impress others, but for her own internal confidence. Off the rack never fits quite right and when you are a woman – especially in a man’s world (yes, we still live there), you need some “go to” power suits. Suits you feel comfortable and confident in. When you are making decisions and leading people – being responsible for people and their futures as well as their ability to support their families, you have to be comfortable in your own skin – not worrying if your clothes are hanging right or flattering. You have to be able to focus on the job with no silly distractions. I am proud she has made it to this point and proud that she is willing to invest in her suits and herself. (It is a beautiful gift to know you are worth it.) We chose everything, the custom lining… the custom monogram inside the jacket, the length, the angle of the pockets, the lapel, the fabric. It was wonderful 😊

After her fitting, we went to lunch. A long, happy, late lunch with cocktails and conversation.  A lot of our conversation involved my oldest daughter’s interactions with her monster-in-law. We delved into why people do the things they do and how they act sometimes. I continue to ponder these things tonight…

I have decided there is a segment of the population (possibly a very large one) who do not spend time in introspection. I do. My children do. Why? I’m not sure… maybe because I always spent a great deal of time alone and read books over my age as a child? Processing the ideas of Ram Das may have made me different? Maybe I made my children different because of how I parented and interacted with them? Maybe we are just old souls? I don’t know.

I think most people are more concerned with how people see them than how they actually behave… it’s all about facades and image rather than “realness” maybe. I pointed out much of what my daughter’s monster-in-law says and does have nothing to do with anything real. It all stems from her own lack of self-worth and needing attention and validation from others. My daughter already knew that… it doesn’t make it any more pleasant to be around… how do you help someone be a better version of themselves and quit being obnoxious? You can’t help someone who doesn’t even see the problem or acknowledge there is a problem. I think many people are afraid if they show who they really are – without the façade, people won’t like them or will judge them.

Why do people allow themselves to be controlled by fear? What’s that old saying? “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” – it’s true. When you make choices and decisions from love, it’s such a better choice. For clarity – I don’t mean the silly, superficial “love”, or ooey gooey “love” we see when people try to illustrate what love is… I mean the real thing… the love that is unconditional… in our dna and all our cells and in every spec of life in the universe… that little piece of the divine that is in all of us… that “love”. It’s easiest to feel that love for a baby or a puppy or a kitten… LOL, but with practice you can feel it for all of mankind and make decisions from that place. (I know sounds pretty naïve and starry eyed – right? Just put your inner cynic aside and keep your mind open.) After you have mastered that, you can then learn to love the people in your life at a deeper level… fiercely loyal… always assuming the best in them… and always loving them with no conditions on what they do or don’t do… that’s how I choose to love. I’m rambling now. I will move on.

Back to external validation. This is a big one… when you learn to be free of it, it’s a whole new reality. I try to make decisions based on who I am at my core. How others choose to perceive it is their experience and their reality and really is none of my business.

The word “honesty” is over-used. Being truthful and speaking truthfully are under-rated. Even if you don’t like someone’s “truth”, it’s important to hear it and allow people to feel safe in speaking their truth. It doesn’t have to be yours… you can allow someone to have a different perception than you do.

We all have some damage from life. Allowing someone to be who they are and accepting them in whatever form they are and for who they are is an integral part of living truthfully and loving unconditionally. It does not mean however that you have to allow toxic people to be in your life… you can unconditionally love yourself enough to create a safe space for yourself. (Thinking of toxic people I have known now, and my own personal “stalker” ….) There are no accidents. Everything in life can teach us something.  If we are open to seeing what there is to learn… It’s hard to learn things if you are afraid – so I choose to not be ruled by fear… now or ever.  I am here for joy. (Stepping down from my little soapbox now…)

Kindness reminder

I woke up this morning remembering something from childhood. Sometimes your brain wants to process something… and there you are.

I went to dinner last night with a friend. We went to a really cool dive bar with a diverse menu. Thank goodness I didn’t try to cook for him. He has a wheat allergy, a corn allergy, a gluten allergy an a dairy allergy… and probably others I don’t even know about (take away my butter and cream and I’m lost!). This dive bar had plenty of vegan choices. I had never been there before. The decor was very eclectic… a cross between wild west/rustic and “other”. One wall had a shelf with a big bundle of partially burned sage and some selenite crystals, another wall had a sci-fi painting, above the stage was a dragon, on the bar was a statue of a pug dog in a yoga pose and there were random gargoyles in various locations… it was “open mic” night which might lead one to believe it was comedy or singing but in reality it was musicians “jamming” together for fun with no formal play list. They also invited anyone in the bar who knew how to play to come up and use their equipment and join them… how cool is that? I only know one riff (a Kinks song)- so I will have to come back for that again when I know more – LOL.

I ordered a huckleberry lemon drop and my friend ordered an IPA and we talked about random things – we always do… just weird random things. We somehow got on the subject of broken bones. He has never had one! I guess I assumed all people of my generation have had them… we did not use seat belts or bike helmets, we played with fire crackers and jumped off things we shouldn’t have… it was how things were. He asked me about what I had broken and I started listing them off… right arm, left arm, collar bone, this ankle, this finger, that toe… I assured him when you break something it doesn’t hurt – at least not then. Your body does this weird numbing thing. It’s later that the pain sets in. And the first broken bone is likely the most shocking. He asked the circumstances of my first broken bone, so I told him the first time I knew for sure I had a broken bone.

I had wanted a horse. It was my 8th birthday and my step dad and I went to the fairgrounds where people were selling horses that day. He knew nothing about horses… I had already convinced people to teach me to ride and I had borrowed horses from other people for more than a year, but being 8, I didn’t know much either. We walked along looking at the horses and my dad occasionally stopping to talk to one of the ranchers that had one for sale. We had a budget… some of the ones I liked were too expensive. Then we came upon one that a teenage girl was sitting on. Her father was standing close by for the negotiations. I now know what I witnessed that day was seduction – LOL. She was very flirty and seductive and basically convinced my step dad that was the horse to buy… arching her back and smiling… tossing her hair after leaning forward in a rocking motion…(Later we found out it had been drugged to behave and was green – or untamed and unbroken) I happily led the horse toward where we had parked and it occurred to me we did not have a trailer. When I asked about that, he told me his plan was to load it in the back of the truck (that had no side boards) and drive slowly toward our farm. If you know anything about horses (or any livestock) this is a very bad plan. I suggested maybe we could pay the girl’s father to haul it for us or we could ask his friend a few farms down to come and haul it for us – I would wait with the horse – it’s okay. This made him angry. He told me he was going to back the pick up up to a mound and I was to lead the horse into the back and quit arguing with him about it. When trying to lead him into the bed of the truck, the horse started refusing to go. There was some conversation back and forth about it. I knew the horse might be sensing my apprehensiveness about it so I tried to relax… deep breaths… come on baby – let’s do this… placing my arm in his halter to try and prevent his continually trying to rear up… I guided him into the back of the pick up. He promptly jumped over the side, hurling me to the ground, and ran off. I sat up in the dirt – momentarily stunned to be on the ground so quickly – and my arm swung around and hit me in my back. That freaked me out so I started to cry. It did not hurt. My step dad swung my arm back around (which felt really crunchy and weird and made me cry more) and went to make arrangements for someone to hold the horse while he took me to the hospital. Later that day, after the cast, is when the pain set in (and I was told somehow this broken bone was my fault). That horse did move to the farm (by trailer), but remained green for another 5 years. My parent’s real estate person sold them another horse cheap and one of the farmer friends from down the street gave me one of his horses also (both delivered to us). So I ended up with a broken arm and three horses.

I did not share all these details with my friend, just the outline… I also told him about how I used to ride bareback and one day had ridden down to the general store to buy candy and cigarettes with a couple friends (yes, in the south in the 70’s kids could buy cigarettes – 50 cents a pack – I was 12). We had moved off the farm but still lived on acreage. On this day, when we came out of the store I saw a cute boy from school. I liked him… showing off – I jumped on my horse. I jumped a little too aggressively when trying to look cool and overshot a little and ended up falling off the other side. Broke my damn arm! Then I realized almost every broken bone story was not pretty and changed the subject.

I woke up this morning thinking about and re-living a little my collar bone break. I was 7 and in trouble for something. I had not been allowed to eat as part of my punishment. I was told to work in the attic. We had a sharecropper shack with a tin roof and it was a hot summer day. My parents were remodeling the shack. I was to scrape up the old linoleum flooring in the attic, trying to keep it in larger pieces, and toss it down the stairs. Later we would load it in the truck. I remember it being so hot… hotter in the attic than anywhere else (further made hotter by the tin roof) and I was sweating everywhere… places I didn’t even know you could sweat. My step-dad had checked on me a couple times to make sure I was working hard enough. I told him I wasn’t feeling well. I was kind of dizzy. He told me to just get the job done. Sometime later, while flinging pieces of linoleum down the stairs (which was decades older than me and probably contained asbestos – LOL), I either fainted or passed out and fell down the stairs. The sound of my falling scared my mom and she came to see what happened. When I woke up she was fanning me and talking about how no food, no water, and the over 100 degree heat was probably not okay. I was allowed to have some water and rest. Later that night I was complaining about pain in the back of my shoulder by my neck. They talked about if I should see a doctor. My stepdad decided I was being “melodramatic” and “trying to play on my mom’s sympathy” and sent me to bed. It hurt for a long time but I didn’t tell them because I would have been accused of trying to manipulate them in some way. A few years later when the school was doing back checks for scoliosis it would be discovered that I had broken my collar bone that day and it had healed crooked. Which to this day still prevents me from doing some yoga poses or putting my hands behind my back properly. When the school sent me to be further evaluated and the incorrectly healed bone was discovered, the only option to fix it would have been to re-break it and put me in a body cast – which my parents decided against (not for my own comfort but because of the expense).

If, before we incarnate, we choose our parents and basic life situation, I apparently chose one that would make me tough. I don’t have any anger or resentment about it. We all do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time… I just always endeavored to have more knowledge and do better than they had. This morning I felt sorry for the girl who hadn’t eaten and fell down the stairs… and hadn’t been shown the love and compassion she deserved… I must remember to be more kind to her.

This dive bar was so much fun. It was good to get out of the house socially. .. and Yes, I will be more kind to her.

Trying to shake the disappointment…

I’m suffering from disappointment. Let’s dive in and talk it through… so I can feel better – LOL.

New Year’s came and went. I did not get a New Year’s greeting from some people… (says the pouty child within). Hotel Boy did wish me a Merry Christmas, but New Year’s was silence. I have carried a torch for this powerful connection for approaching two years now. I need to let it go once and for all. Perhaps I am the only one who felt the power of it… He even inspired the name of this blog “A little bit of everything”, by introducing me to that song. Honestly, I still think of him multiple times every day… at least it’s not multiple times an hour anymore. I did wish the drive-by FB a Happy New Year and a happy day on the golf course. I had seen him a couple days previously… he did not respond. I had hoped we had turned a corner and would be able to have a more communicative relationship… but no… that is not happening. Letting him go now. The poly guy/friend (with no blog nickname) who wanted to connect again has been silent. He had indicated he wanted me to reach out more. I did between Thanksgiving and the days following Christmas… I realize he does not have the time for anything genuine. I don’t want calls while he waits for his breakfast or while he is driving to the DOL and nothing else… like I am wedged in as an afterthought. He did not wish me a happy New Year. Letting him go now. I had told myself if these people did not reach out for the beginning of the new cycle, that indicates they don’t belong in the new cycle for me. Funny thing is these are the first three people I met when I started trying to date in 2021. I have interacted with so many people – on-line and in person… not sure why these three stuck more with me than the any of the others. But I refuse to be treated like low hanging fruit… I am not… I’d rather be alone than settle for being someone’s “possible option” rather than the only option that makes sense.

I did try to release the Fishkisser. He won’t really go away. If I don’t want to be romantic with him (which I don’t), he still wants to be in my life. That’s fine… he has depth. It’s a shame I don’t have a spark or chemistry for more.

Another disappointment, a couple I have been working hard for has decided to hold off and not get a house now. I devoted so much time to them… it’s the way the business goes sometimes… but very disappointing because I needed the sale. I always need the sale, but this one was going to help pay the bills for a couple months and give me a sense of security and inner calmness.

I’ve been working on my vision for the future. Instead of a vision board, it’s a vision book. That makes me feel a little better for blocks of time.

It’s too rainy to ride my bike. I pay for a gym membership but haven’t had the time combined with inspiration to go… I’ve been house and dog sitting for one of my adult daughters for 10 days, so I feel like I can’t do yoga – the carpet smells like her horse sized dog…I just can’t. I did get a guitar and am teaching myself to play. That is harder than it looks but I am enjoying making sounds. I have learned a “riff” and am still trying to learn chords. My nails are now short but may have to get even shorter to be able to play properly.

Another thought on my mind… why do people have a hard time admitting they were wrong about something. I admit it all the time… I am wrong often. When I am, I own it. It’s no big deal. I’m learning and evolving all the time. Some people seem to be so averse to admitting when they are wrong, they’d rather do anything than admit it… they shift blame, shift perspective, ignore it… what is the big deal? It’s not a reflection of “who you are” if you are wrong about something. It’s more a reflection of who you are if you don’t take responsibility.

So why I am I wallowing in disappointment? Maybe it’s the gloomy weather combined with my plans not moving as fast as I would like? Maybe it’s the lack of meaningful connections in my life since Robert died? Maybe I just need some good sex? I’ve dragged you down here with me and I’ve got nothing… no real answers. I’m considering deleting my blog. I marked it private for a week… maybe I just don’t need to be here? (I’m not suicidal if that’s how you interpreted that – I’m not depressed… just carrying disappointment right now). Maybe I have no things of value to reflect and blog about? Maybe I’m just a mediocre woman, living a mediocre life, trudging through a bunch of nothing… disappointed with how things are going.

Okay… time to find some inspiration. I think I will go cook some things. Listen to Alan Watts or Ram Das while I cook. Then curl up in front of the fire and read a book. Maybe I will brave the carpet and do some yoga… that always balances me. I hope your first week of the new year has been less disappointing than mine. Namaste.

Happy New Year

I read something today that surprised me. Ready to be surprised? Here you go…

  • “An extensive study in the U.S.A found that the most productive age in human life is between 60-70 years of age.” (I had to read that several times for it to actually sink in).
  • “The 2nd most productive stage of the human being is from 70 to 80 years of age.”
  • “The 3rd most productive stage is from 50 to 60 years of age.”
  • “The average age of NOBEL PRIZE winners is 62 years old.”
  • “The average age of the presidents of prominent companies in the world is 63 years.”
  • “This tells us, in a way, that it has been determined that the best years of your life are between 60 and 80 years.”
  • “A study published in NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE found that at age 60, you reach the TOP of your potential, and this continues into your 80s.”
  • “Therefore, if you are between 60-70 or 70-80 you are in the BEST and 2nd best stage of your life.”
  • (SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine 70, 389, 2018)

It’s time to rethink aging as a decline instead of as a gateway to your best years!

Every year I spend so much time mourning the passing of time and feeling that I somehow haven’t done enough…haven’t lived up to my potential enough… and that life is almost over… I need to hurry. Reading those above statements, the fact I do that seems absolutely ridiculous. I’m not even 60 yet, so rather than worrying I don’t have much time left and I haven’t done all I want to do, maybe I need to focus on the fact maybe my best years are ahead of me? I think I will adopt this shift in perspective…

Whenever we start a new year, I think all of us try to figure out what we should change about ourselves. What do we need to quit? What do we need to improve? We “resolve” to do better and change things in ourselves. What if, instead, we decide to just embrace who we are and be more authentically that? Wouldn’t that be so much better? I think it would be…

I believe in magic. Not the kind with the rabbit and top hat… everyday miracles. That kind. I will never not believe in that magic. It’s everywhere all the time… from watching nature to manifesting a parking space.

I believe in love. I will always…

I believe in the power of forgiveness.

I believe there is something to learn from every life experience.

I believe there is beauty in imperfection.

I believe you can find joy and happiness in simple things…

Some of the things that bring me joy are:

  • Looking at the stars while laying on a beach with a campfire.
  • Cooking yummy things. Cooking is kind of like meditating for me sometimes… (except seafood – I don’t cook that)
  • The smell of fresh herbs… rosemary, basil, thyme, dill
  • High thread count sheets
  • Soft clothing
  • A cozy home with a fire in the fireplace and scented candles
  • A nice Grand Cru
  • The sound of waves and the smell of saltwater
  • Meaningful relationships (long ones or short ones)
  • Laughing with my adult children
  • Flowers
  • The smell of Christmas trees
  • Looking for seashells
  • Books and bookstores
  • Music
  • Going on “adventures” to new places
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • and Grilled cheese sandwiches

If you are reading this, I wish you much love and happiness in this new year. I hope you will be gentle with yourself (we are all works in progress), and remember – the best is yet to come.

(I took the above photo while walking down a random street in Italy with no particular destination in mind… just enjoying being there and observing the beauty in imperfect things.)

Christmas

Christmas was nice… I slept in. I did spend time on the phone with a friend who was feeling down. She is sick and was alone on a holiday and laying on the couch crying. Of course, there was no way I could ignore that… after talking for an hour, she felt better. We can get stuck in our own head sometimes. It happens to everyone, I think. That made me late to my daughter’s house – but that’s okay. My adult children and their significant others and I ate too much, laughed too much and laid around watching movies. It was lovely. I did have to tell my buyers they did not get the house we made an offer on a couple days ago – that’s shitty news to have to deliver on Christmas.

One thing my friend was sad about was a past relationship. She ended it for many reasons, but they did connect and have sex recently. The sex was so good she was feeling conflicted about having ended the relationship. I understand this… I think one of the best pieces of advice I ever received about relationships (says the single person… but I still know it’s great advice and works – LOL) is to be very clear about what is important to you… Make a list of what you want in a relationship or lover, then be that person. Not that you aren’t being yourself, but just be sure to be the qualities you want. Energetically, it helps to find the connection of those qualities in others. For instance, honesty – I can’t expect that in my partner if I am not that way myself and dishonest people are not an energetic match to me. I also know a great relationship requires more than just great sex… although that is a key component for me.

I spoke with someone a few days ago who thinks they may want to connect with me again… that made me think about the submission dynamic in the D/s relationship. He does have the power to make my mind go to that soft submissive state… what is it about that?  Just one little thing he said sent me into a floaty sub-space for most of the day. For me, it’s not really the act of “doing” submissive things, it’s about the feeling of “containment”. It’s a feeling of safety.  It’s trusting someone enough to relinquish control – knowing they know what’s best for you in that moment… knowing what you want and need. It makes me feel safe, protected and valued. (Unless part of the domination involves name calling – that does not make me feel “valued”.) A good dominant has quiet strength, compassion and kindness yet has a sternness and strength. Some “doms” are confused about how to be a good dominant… a good one for me anyway… they think it means being a controlling dickhead. The issue I will have to really ponder here is can I deal with his poly lifestyle. Can I really share when I feel I deserve all of someone? I have done it in the past, but I am not the same as I was…

I received Christmas wishes texts from three people while I was watching movies with the girls. The first from Mr. Fishkisser – I must deal with that this week. I need to be honest with him in a kind way and let him know there is no future between us, and he needs to move on. The second was from the drive-by fuck buddy whom I have not heard from for a month. I told him last month I don’t want a sex only connection with someone – I want the real deal… a real relationship. I had sex with him anyway… because I wanted to but then didn’t hear from him. So, I took that to mean he heard me and wasn’t going to try to build something deeper. We seem to have a hard time having a conversation that isn’t sex related. I’m not sure how to fix it. I see he is soft inside… real… I like him as a person when I see that realness and softness. My response to his text was probably kind of rude, even though I was happy to hear from him since I was disappointed by his lack of communication in the last month… but I had not tried to communicate either. I was concerned if I did it would encourage the continuation of a sex only relationship – which I had been good with for a while, but really, I long for deepness and something real to pour my time and attention into. The third text was from who I used to lovingly refer to as “hotel boy”. The fact he reached out made me happy, but the conversation failed to progress… as always… “failure to launch” into anything… which will make me sad if I focus on it. For reasons I have shared far too many times.

I have a busy week this week. Most of it in preparation for the new year beginning.

2023. I am looking forward to it. It feels like it will be a wonderful year… a completely new cycle. I’m letting go of any disappointments of 2022. I’m ready to thrive again. Good stuff is coming 😊

Glad Tidings

What a crazy, busy month it has been! We have just enough snow to make it feel like Christmas but not to trap me like it did last year!

I have been busy working, and redesigning my life…doing all the things. I moved my license to a Wallingford office that I love the people in. It is owned and run by lots of really strong, smart, powerful, funny, wonderful women. They are my tribe 😊 and will inspire me to new levels. The former potential business partner called me the other day and said he was “shocked”. What did he think? I’d be lost without him?! That makes me laugh out loud every time I think about it. I just told him I was surprised that he was “shocked”, and I am overjoyed with the decision. I even negotiated with the old office where I had my license to give me a percentage for 3 years on special business there. Yay me!

I’ve been looking (all over the map) for where I will move to live… there is no rush, but I am ready when the Universe wants to send me the right place.

I have not had any free time to devote to my dating profile that I signed up for in a weird moment the day after Thanksgiving. It still says I will add info soon – LOL Somehow it doesn’t keep people from reaching out to me… a few interesting conversations are going on there 😊. Thank goodness I didn’t bump my head and join Fetlife! Mr. Fish Kisser still texts me daily, although I haven’t seen him again… he still wants a second date and thinks I’m “really pretty” … energetically, he just doesn’t feel right. He’s so sweet, I just don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Mr. 6 ½ weeks is still texting periodically… this is what women have to put up with –

Really…. don’t ever do this… if someone is ignoring you, there is a reason.

Today is winter solstice. For some reason the solstice always feels to me like a new beginning… more of a new beginning than January 1st. Today I will vision board and set my goals for the new year – boy do I have some big ones!

The energy has been so interesting lately. Super-charged. (I know… there she goes talking “crazy” again – LOL)

Isn’t it funny how so many people are afraid to be open? Well, it’s not funny – it’s actually so sad. What are they afraid of? The older I get, the less I seem to tolerate superficial bullshit. If you are open and authentic and someone doesn’t like you… they aren’t your people. Just keep going. No big deal.

People who can’t take chances, take a leap of faith, be “real” – open and authentic, are not my people… No more “Burger Kings” for me. (“Burger Kings” are phony people who are super ego-based and have to have everything their way.) Not in business… not in life.

I got a nice surprise yesterday. I opened the garage door to leave and found my neighbor had shoveled my driveway and sidewalk for me. It was so nice! I made him a pot roast and delivered it as a “Thank you”. He was thrilled. He works weird hours as a police detective and doesn’t often have time to cook for himself. I have been a cooking machine lately. I have delivered food in 3 counties – LOL. It has brought me joy.

Listening to Van Morrison while making Gumbo and cornbread…

Picky and painted black

The flare-up has subsided for the most part – which is good. I had a date on Saturday. I hadn’t really intended to have one… I had been texting back and forth and had a phone conversation with a new guy. On Saturday he was asking about my plans and indicated he really wanted to meet me. After a long week of fibro and subsequent flu shot and booster tiredness and soreness, I didn’t really feel like going somewhere… it seemed like a lot of extra work. Instead, I suggested that he just come over… bring his dog… we can order in and hang out getting to know each other. He gave me $20 for his dinner after I said I would get it this time… I appreciate the gesture but it’s clear he doesn’t order in, or he would know that isn’t half – LOL.

This guy is different. Deeper than most I have come across out there in the “dating wild”. I played with his dog (gosh I miss mine) and we talked. He also brought his guitar and played for me (how sweet is that?)… we have many things in common… and he is a very nice guy. He is in IT and is quite smart. He knows how to be open and genuine. He texts and/or calls every day (how weird is that?), and he seems to really like me. So what’s the problem you might be saying to yourself… grab this guy and live happily ever after… he asked toward the end of our date if he could kiss me. I said he could… he is NOT a good kisser. You know those plastic fish mounted on a plaque that mechanically move their mouth as if they are singing a song? That is all I could think of when we were kissing. I don’t think you can teach a full-grown man how to be good at kissing if he doesn’t know how to. My ex-husband was a bad kisser… I was never able to help him… and my mind says if he can’t kiss well, then he probably doesn’t fuck well either. And that is kind of a deal killer. I’m moving very slow with this (so not my normal style) … we will see. There is no spark for me either… maybe I am just too damn picky. He wants to see me again this weekend… I find myself being non-committal and finding excuses why I can’t. That has to be a “me” issue. This guy deserves a chance…

This “moving slower” thing is a whole new vibe for me. I am letting things unfold naturally. Not in a hurry. And perhaps a little tired of opening myself up completely to every person that crosses my path instead of the “here I am in all my weirdness” usual way… he does not know about my blog. Normally I would say he doesn’t know I write, but I don’t feel much like a “writer” anymore. I did let him see my drawings. I don’t usually let anyone see those… I let a little time go by and throw them away. They are not for anyone to see… although I have shared them here on occasion.

I closed the door officially with the ex-potential business partner. Made him pay me what he owed me – although that was not an easy feat. I basically wasn’t going to leave his office…ever…until he did. It was going to get uncomfortable. He asked if we could potentially work together on specific projects in the future. I told him “No”. It feels good to be done with that.

Now I’m strategizing my next steps. I will be moving… I’m trying to decide where to move my license and where I want to live and how I want to redesign things… not a “new chapter” but a whole new book – the “sequel”. Too bad I don’t have a cool name for it.

I am currently obsessed with cello music. I have Wednesday to thank for that. I love the sound of the cello. Wonder if I’m too old to learn it… I got obsessed with the saxophone once and tried to learn to play it – that is MUCH harder than it looks. It’s funny (to me anyway), I dressed as Wednesday for Halloween because I have always related to her matter-of-fact, emotionless dark comments, then I watched the series with my girls and so many times they said “That is something you would say” (and it was kind of true – LOL). I used to watch the old show when I was a kid. I always liked her… and of course, I too, am allergic to color.

Self-care

This is what self-care looks like sometimes…

The doctor suggested, since I was already knocked on my ass with the fibro flare-up, I may as well top it off with a flu shot and a Covid booster. What’s a little more discomfort? May as well… When I woke up this morning, before trying to move, I imagined I would go to the gym today and then get out the Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, that won’t be happening – I can’t.

The soon-to-be-not business partner doesn’t even know I have fibro. I do not tell most people… he has no idea I am incapacitated at the moment. I wouldn’t give him the power of that knowledge… he wouldn’t understand it anyway. His shark-like behavior has escalated with regard to me the last couple days. I decided to google sharks to make sure I was making an appropriate comparison. Here is what I found:

“They are cold blooded; they feel their opponents’ fears through their skin. They’re able to look closely and find someone’s weak points to attack them. They are not burdened by conditionalities, they are used to going straight towards their desired goal. Sharks put their own interests first. Such people can be simply unpredictable. Their intelligence, ability to plan things and handle emotions help them leave their competitors in the dust. And their intuition is just incredible. They can also masterfully manipulate others. But they completely lack the sense of proportion. Sharks are ruthless, determined, and aggressive predators. Often, people are called sharks when they have taken advantage of an excellent opportunity – especially in business. Their advantage is often at the expense of others. After all, sharks are ruthless creatures. They will often hover in dark corners or at a distance from the action, waiting for the perfect time to pounce on their prey. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, sharks will attack without hesitation, which makes them one of the most feared creatures in the world. sharks won’t be friendly with one another. They won’t share food and will fight for themselves, and not care for their fellow species. They will go in for the kill and take down their prey without second thought.”

That sums him up quite efficiently. There was a sales book from long ago… “Swimming with Sharks”, I remember reading it in my 20’s. I have never been a shark. I’m more of a compassionate dolphin. But according to some random quiz today, I’m a “wild cat”. I’m not sure that is actually very flattering… Then I stumbled across the “Cube test”. That was kind of fun… it said I was an authentic, open, achievement minded person, who subconsciously needs the focused attention of my partner and I need to have some control – LOL.

I have binge watched everything I can think of… I’m bored but don’t feel well enough to go do anything. Ugh. I do not like this…

Time to find a new book to read. Maybe I will work on that damn dating profile… I need a mani/pedi, but that would involve movement… besides it’s snowing again.

Bad day…

Fibromyalgia. I can’t remember when I had my first symptom… how old I was. Young… too young for a problem like this. For decades doctors blamed it on various things, when I was 10 it was “weak muscles”, at 18 it was “hyper-extending joints and overstressed ligaments” … I’ve been tested for everything – including Lupus. I can sometimes go a long time with no issues. Then it can sneak up on me when I least expect it. Much like a woman who experiences childbirth, you “forget” how it is – until it’s there again and then you tell yourself “Oh fuck, I remember this.”

I should have known it was coming. I have been under a lot of stress, which has been compounded. I should have realized when I had so many headaches last week (I blamed it on allergies) and was so exhausted just taking a shower or driving to my daughter’s house (was up late the night before each time) and my sleep schedule got all wonky (finding things to binge watch at midnight as an escape from stress). Then the bad dreams and unrestful sleep. I woke up yesterday with that familiar pain. Fire in the knees, stiff and painful joints, hip pain that feels like gnawing in the bones, back ache, neck ache, limbs not cooperating with my commands to move. Fuck… this is a bad one. Flare-ups can be mild or big and last from a day or two, to many months. At least the fog hasn’t completely set in yet…

Fibro fog is when your brain joins your body in deciding it doesn’t like you anymore. Simple words get lost. You try to have a conversation with someone and words you know can’t be found… hummingbird is gone and has to be replaced with fast moving midget bird. You can’t remember simple things – today I needed to submit a report and couldn’t remember which browser had the correct bookmark – checked them all and couldn’t find it… not remembering I have a folder for such things, it took 40 minutes and two different computers to figure it out. This is a report I do every month… there is the tab and the link… very frustrating.

You know it’s bad when you try to decide if your thirst is worth the effort of moving your body that far to get a Perrier. I am a big “mind over matter” type person. I have spent decades berating myself about this condition and trying to pep talk or force myself out of it. There is nothing you can do… you just have to ride it out and hope it won’t last very long this time. So here I sit… in bed… pins and needles all up and down my legs, burning hips and stabbing back pain, trying to distract myself. I did force myself to do the dishes with the promise I could take a nap afterward… but exhaustion without the ability to really sleep is real. Thank goodness no one is home with me yesterday or today. I always feel compelled to try and act “normal”. I don’t ever want someone feeling sorry for me or thinking I’m looking for attention or something – far from it… I want no one to see this. I wish instead of doing yard work last weekend, that I had gotten a massage instead… maybe I could have circumvented this bodily revolt.

Someone got angry with me once from a dating site because I had not disclosed this condition. Further shaming me into hiding… speaking of which, I joined one again yesterday. I haven’t had the energy to complete my profile or interact much yet. I wish I could have a refund… another bad decision. I just miss having a partner I suppose. Robert knew when I had a flare-up and he didn’t make me feel bad about it… he would run me a bath, lay in the bed with me… massaging my achy body parts, and distract me with Romcoms and snacks. Once when trying to apologize for my lack of being able to do stuff during a flare-up, he told me it kind of made him feel useful since I so rarely allow anyone to take care of me. I do not ask for help. It’s not who I am. I don’t mind when others do, but it feels bad to ask for it myself.

I have a regular doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. Hopefully, this will be gone by then. If not, maybe I will allow for some sort of medicine this time… but probably not – I hate the idea of being dependent on anything for my “normalness” … or it could be worse – what if I have trouble walking on Tuesday? I don’t belong on a dating site – what man would be willing to tolerate random incapacity? Again, I question my therapist’s decision… I should email her… tell her I’m so fucking resilient (as she used to say) my body has gone on strike leaving me stuck in bed in pain – how can I not be a fucked-up person who needs therapy? I really want a body that will cooperate with me… we have not regularly worked together in harmony for a long time…. We get in the groove sometimes with yoga, but I can’t even do any today. I’m too tired. I would order UberEats, but I would have to go all the way downstairs to the front door to get it… just the thought is exhausting.

I miss my dog. I miss my partner. I miss last week when I didn’t feel this bad.

Time for another reboot

I did a lot of cooking this weekend. I shouldn’t have, since Thanksgiving is in just a few days… but I suppose I can freeze some. I cook when I need clarity. It calms me… boeuf bourguignon, French onion soup and coq au vin… all from scratch. I love French food. Butter and wine make the world a happy place.

My need for clarity involves business. I have not signed my partnership agreement yet. I’m not going to. We have been through months of negotiating… I have come to realize over the course of working together, we do not have the same ethical and moral business values. I have decided I will wait until the first of the year before I tell him. I need some time to strategize next moves. I will find a way to exit gracefully… with minimal exposure to potential damage. I really thought I could make a mutually beneficial arrangement. I hadn’t realized his propensity to be a shark. Sharks are fine… if you are one… or respect them. I chose long ago to be different…  It is not my job to help him be a better human.

I’m thankful I realized it now and not later. I’m better at listening to my gut than I used to be. I’m probably a little more life smart now too, but still not as smart as I should be. Sometimes you can’t really see how a person truly operates until they let their guard down. Luckily, I was smart enough to not give him access to my business contacts yet… although just a few days ago he was pumping me for information… I glossed over it and told him all my institutional clients have different rules and expectations and it’s complex… I confused him with some things he didn’t understand. I knew I was having second thoughts but hadn’t had time to process my thoughts and feelings yet.

I brought someone into my business in 2014 for a few months. I learned from that experience; knowledge is power. She tried to sabotage my relationship with my institutional clients when I let her go and tried to sue me. She wanted a piece of my business. She was not a nice person. She, too, was a shark. Some people think they can have success by taking someone else’s… I believe there is enough business for everyone and if you are willing to work hard – honestly and ethically – you can have it. And I believe you have a responsibility to help others achieve success too, but it doesn’t mean you should be a doormat and let people steal from you… or condone questionable business practices.

A couple weeks ago I was so pissed off I wrote my business partner a letter… 4 pages… I was not going to send it until I calmed down and toned it down to be more professional. Unfortunately, he called me, acting like everything was just fine, and I told him about being so pissed off. I also told him I wrote him a letter and he wanted me to go ahead and send it… so I did. So, he does know everything is not peachy, but he thinks he has smoothed things over to some degree, I think. I’ve come to call it the “Ten things I hate about you” letter. I am not good at pretending. But it’s also given him a heads up and I think he is positioning… which is another reason he was prying into my client relationships the other day. I have to think like a “shark” a little myself to avoid getting bitten… not exactly my forte. I suspect I will be doing a lot of cooking in the next month or so… maybe I will buy some Ziplock containers and deliver some to the homeless people I drive by… wonder if they like French food… maybe my neighbors need some food… my adult children are always happy to receive some…

I’m getting a little tired of rebooting and starting over. In business… in life… what is the Universe trying to tell me?

Ambushed by the Hallmark Channel

You file memories away… thinking they are done and sorted, just tucked away with all the others. A song, a feeling, words spoken, any little thing can bring them back to the surface when you least expect it.

I flipped on the Hallmark channel today (Christmas movies from Halloween to New Year’s). I saw someone being hugged… a big, warm, lingering, embrace. My heart ached a little… I miss coming home and feeling someone envelope me in their big arms and all the stress of the day just dissolving as I melt into them.

When Robert was hospitalized before his surgery, we had to wait for his heart to get strong enough for the operation. He was having heart failure. The first five or six days my girls stayed at my house to care for my grandmother, my dog, and my business. I felt guilty putting their lives on hold because mine was turned upside down. I told them to go home. I would manage… now that there was a plan and a sort of “routine”. I could go to the hospital as soon as I gave grandma her breakfast at 8am (she was 96 and had to stick to a routine), make her lunch ahead of time for her noon lunch time, pop home to give her dinner, go back to the hospital when she was done with her 5pm dinner and be back to tuck her in at 10:30pm. I could run my business from my laptop in the hospital room and step outside to return calls.

I remember one day waking up too early. Anxious to get back to him. Watching the clock until grandma’s breakfast time arrived. I was showered, dressed, had all her meals made for the day, had already fed the dog, been through email, added chemicals to the pool, watered the flowers… it was killing me I had to wait until 8 to bring her breakfast and meds to her. As soon as she was settled and I made sure she didn’t need anything else, had her cell phone and it was indeed fully charged and once again posted my cell phone number on a large piece of paper taped to the wall next to where she would sit to read and watch TV, I headed out. I had an overwhelming need to just be held by him. I remember thinking how silly it was… he probably needed me to hold him, if anyone needed holding… but I just needed to be enveloped by his arms. Weaving the Bentley in and out of traffic, driving too fast, so completely focused on just getting there again… It seemed to take an unusually long time to get to the James Street exit.

He called to say good morning while I was driving. I told him I was on my way. He asked about grandma and the dog – Piper… I answered his questions and asked how he was feeling… but he could tell I was crumbling a little. Not my normal “manage the situation” attitude. He said, “Relax baby” “It’s all okay”. I started to cry. I told him I couldn’t talk, drive and cry at the same time and I would see him soon. He said he didn’t want to hang up and would I please just take some breaths. I explained I woke up with a need to have him hold me and I’m just feeling so anxious. Again, he said, “Everything will be okay my love”.

I took some deep breaths, regained my composure, found parking, and went to the elevators driven by a need to hurry up and see him. I greeted the nurses on my way by their station. When I got to the hospital room, I took off my coat and burst into tears again. He said “Come here sassy. Let me hug you.” After hugging me for a couple minutes, I pulled myself together again and offered to get him juice or water or something… anything… asked him how his night was and if the doctor had been in yet for morning rounds… then I said, “I know you’ve got all these monitors and IVs and stuff… but do you think I could climb into bed with you for a minute?” He said “Of course! Climb on in here.” So I did.

His body was so cold. I asked him if he was cold, needed more blankets… and did he know how cold his body was. (Normally he was a heater – nothing to fear if the power was ever out… he would keep you warm). He wrapped his arms around me like we were at home, cuddling in our bed. I kept rubbing his chest, trying to warm up his skin and trying to somehow send love through my hands into him to somehow heal his heart. I imagined sending healing energy into him… wanting to warm his body and circulate his blood with my thoughts. We turned on Naked and Afraid and watched episode after episode. Occasionally nurses came in to check vitals or give meds, many said they would just come back later… he held me and filled me up with his love again, bringing back my sense of confidence that things would be okay. As it turned out, this would be the last time we would be able to cuddle like that.

After a few hours his cell phone pinged. His brothers had arrived to visit and brought some of his friends along. I got out of his bed and told him I would take my laptop to the cafeteria and let him have “guy” time, but I secretly hoped I could climb back in with him when they left. It turned out when I got back to the room, they had bumped up his surgery. They would be taking him in at 5am. I made some calls to get coverage for grandma and the dog. All of a sudden, my calm was gone… I had to switch into efficiency mode. I made some calls he asked me to make. He had some people he wanted to see. I gave him privacy for those visits too… he didn’t ask me to, but it felt like the right thing to do. I ran home and checked on grandma and told her the plan. I would sleep at the hospital, in the fold down chair by the bed… he wanted me there. I walked the dog, locked the house, set the alarm, confirmed which of my children was on their way to stay with grandma, and drove again back to the hospital… which felt further away with every trip. We held hands while we tried to sleep. He kept staring at me. I asked why. He said “Just sleep. I will get plenty of sleep while the doctor works.” He also told me if anything were to happen, and he didn’t “make” it, that I should not allow his brothers into my life. I pushed for an explanation… I didn’t understand. We rarely saw them, but they were his family… he told me “You don’t know. I keep a distance on purpose.” “You are too sweet. They will take advantage of you.” I tried to discuss this with him, but he said, “Just promise me – I don’t want to talk about it”. I said “I promise. But when this is over, and you are okay – which I know you will be – we need to talk about this.”

At 4:30 in the morning, an overly cheerful Jamaican orderly came to prepare him for travel down the hall. Robert made jokes about how many they might wheel down the hall who don’t come back… the orderly assured us both the doctor is good, nothing to worry about. One last kiss… one last looking into each other’s eyes… Robert squeezing my hand, telling me “See you soon baby”. The nurse told me I could take my time gathering our things and when I was ready, I could go down to the first floor and wait. I felt a small sense of panic that we wouldn’t be in that room anymore – 444. I didn’t know how the day was going to go… how long the surgery would take… would they remember I am waiting to hear? I took everything to the car. Asked a stranger who was smoking if they had an “extra” one… immediately regretting how it was going to make me smell once I lit up. My kids texted they were on the way to wait with me… again making me feel guilty for disrupting their lives.

They arrived with bakery items (even though there was no way I could eat), Earl Grey tea, and smiling faces. I told them they should just go to work, and I would call them when there was an update. They emphatically told me “No”. “We are here for you. And for Robert.” The wait was so long. I met a family member of his I had never known existed and spent hours listening to this person tell me things I had never known about my partner. That was kind of surreal. At first, I acted like I knew everything he was saying… after a while it became clear I did not… I explained that early in our relationship we had decided not to dwell on ancient history – we both had lived through ugly things – all that mattered was “now” and “us” and living honestly in the now and in our future and the life we were creating together.

At 4:30pm the doctor called me. The surgery was a success. He wasn’t awake yet, but I could go into the ICU for a few minutes. Only one person could go. I looked at his brothers. They said, “You go.” They decided they would hit the road since everything was good.

I went into his new ICU room where there were two nurses very busy emptying things, tilting him up in a special bed so he was almost vertical – tubes still in his throat. His eyes were open and on me. I told him it went well, and everything was going to be okay, holding his hand. He looked into my eyes and tried to talk – which he couldn’t with tubes down his throat… he was fighting the things holding him on to the bed and looking frantically into my eyes shaking his head “No”. I was momentarily confused – telling him again it went well, he was okay, everything is good… still frantically looking into my eyes and shaking his head “No”. I tried to talk to the nurses about it, the doctor rushed in and told me to “Get out” “Get out now!” and shooed me out the door and closed it. I went to the new nurse’s station, asking what was going on and telling them he was telling me something is wrong. They told me I had to go back to the waiting room I had been in and “No, he was not communicating with me – he is still under the influence of anesthesia.”

Back in the waiting room, I told the girls what happened, and we waited. An hour later the doctor called me again. He apologized for his rudeness and explained they had to open him up again and didn’t have time to explain to me what was going on. Something had gotten pinched when they closed his rib cage and caused some internal bleeding. All the work was good though, he double checked it all – occasionally something not involved can get pinched, it happens. But everything is okay. He told me Robert would be asleep the rest of the night and I should go home and sleep. Later when we talked about it, he did not remember the exchange we had.

I didn’t mean to tell this much of the story. The memory that bubbled up for me was the being held in his hospital bed. I miss being held. I miss being loved like a partner loves you. A hug would be nice. It’s been a long time ago now, but maybe I am still not equipped to handle the Hallmark channel…

I need to stick to the science channels or the history channel, I guess. I hate being ambushed by feelings. Once I have a new partner, I suppose these memories will fade away – replaced by special memories with someone else. Universe… I have waited patiently. I’m ready. One good partner please – who is a good hugger… and holder…

poem

Wild in the heart
Invisible girl
Bare feet in red mud
Take care of yourself and do your part

Wide open fields
Sitting in the middle drawing trees
Thick forest walks avoiding the moonshiners
Silently using the brush for shields

Rain on a tin roof, hot lightning across the sky
Lightning bugs smashed on a finger like a glowing diamond ring
Ratty braid, wearing homemade clothes
forgetting her shoes again
So many places to hide

Days all a blur
Not afraid of dying
Fire and brimstone sort of love
No one coming to save her

Stubborn child defiantly standing after each round
against those four times her size
The damp smell of the fruit cellar he came flying out of, in rage
Imagining the oversized tractor tires flattening her into the ground

It would be easier on everyone
No money for lunch and no room for her
A can of corn and a sugar sandwich
No one would notice the invisible gone

Uncommitted to Gods
Still wild at heart
Just needing to be loved
Enduring against all odds

Confused

I’m feeling confused.

I’ve been getting to know someone new… Now granted, interpersonal relationships are not my forte… I show up – I just “be me” … I’m open, honest… have been known to over-share or not filter what I say – that is a flaw I have. This person I’m getting to know keeps saying things like “You appear to be too good to be true”, “when am I going to see the “real” you?” and “you seem to be the “whole package” – what’s the catch?”

I just don’t even know how to respond… I don’t understand.

Is it possible that at times people become so jaded by their life they can’t take someone at face value? Someone who doesn’t pretend to be something they aren’t. This is me. I’m human. I have made monumental errors in life (I own them) … I’ve also done some good things. I always try my best… and I’m honest.

The fact they doubt me so much, does that mean they aren’t being “real” with me? Why can’t people just be who they are? I have been working crazy long hours so maybe my judgement is off. It seems like if people think you aren’t who you appear to be that maybe they aren’t who they appear to be and that’s why they think that? This feels like a high schoolish situation I should have mastered by now.

Thank goodness for my drive-by FB for stress relief. I don’t know how long I will keep seeing him… I need a real relationship. One that contributes to thriving.

I had to set some hard boundaries with my business partner this week. I must have balance and a certain amount of control in my own life… long term, that may end the partnership. If it does, that’s okay.

On a side note, the “six and a half weeks” guy from last year continues to randomly text me. I have not blocked him in case I need a restraining order and I need proof of what he says… I just do not respond. Now I have a Facebook friend request from him too. I’m confused by this also. Why doesn’t he just go away?

Tip of the Iceberg

Work has been so busy… I am not complaining, just observing. Lots of 15-hour days. While in the car, instead of listening to music, I am in a listen to talking phase. I do this sometimes – I like to learn new things or look at things from a different perspective. Ted talks, random people I follow on YouTube or podcasts.  This creates a lot of random things floating around in my brain as “half-thoughts” – no time to focus in depth… just ponder for a moment and allow it to sit in there…

This blog post may turn out to be a brain dump of some random things to come back to later – LOL. One of which, is thought about my business partner. I was in his family for a very long time (married to his brother for 24 years). Why on earth, after breaking free from those people and cycles, have I put myself back there? Or allowed my self to be energetically drawn back into the edge of them and their lives?

My ex died a few years after our divorce. He was exhausting… I tried so hard… his family is still exhausting. I used to have conversations with his father and tried to help him evolve and see things from another perspective… I used to joke with him that he could “get it” in this lifetime or maybe be reincarnated as a black lesbian woman next time to help him see things differently – LOL. Maybe…just maybe… I have an obligation of some sort to try and help the people I interact with to be a better version of themselves? Not that I am perfect – I’m far from it… but maybe that’s why we cross paths? To learn something from each other. I know it has taught me extreme patience.

I’m still surprised I have allowed myself to become entangled in some way again… because of the BP (business partner). I do know I help him… I help him be a better husband and father by helping him see some things differently sometimes. I also know I am having another effect on him and his judgmental mindset. He started to make a comment the other day with regard to someone based on their race and stopped himself. He said “never mind” mid-sentence followed by “I don’t need a lecture right now” – which tells me he is slowly internalizing and comprehending a few things.

I have been thinking a lot about happiness. I wrote a whole book (albeit a little one) about happiness in 2019, so it seems I always have a lot to say about the subject. I also participated a couple years ago in Harvard’s “A Course in Happiness”. To further elaborate on my thoughts about the subject; I have come to understand happiness is a balance between the soul and the brain. They need to be in alignment. You can’t let the brain get in the way… you have to let your soul take the lead but have a nice balance.  You really have to “feel” your way through life… and be true to your soul. And decide you want to be happy… and take chances… and look for the love in everything… I will stop here – no need to write the book again.

Energetically, there is a lot going on right now. The way the planets are aligned, retrogrades, shifts, etc. are creating an opportunity energetically through the end of the year. This is a great time to make decisions about what you want to create in your life… re-design and manifest. Someone I listened to indicated this particular energy opportunity won’t be back until 2027… seize the day… get clear… make some decisions. I will be doing that… getting more clear. I have felt this energy a lot the last month or two… I’m just flowing with it.

Speaking of energy, I have a client I recently started working with who also feels energy the way I do. It’s actually kind of funny – we went out looking at houses together all weekend and had the exact same reactions to each house… some we instantly knew there were anger issues, addiction issues, etc. Usually, I’m the only one who knows immediately what the energy is. It was really cool we could compare notes and see we both felt and knew the same things. It’s funny because you can go into a clean house that looks “normal” and nice and “feel” how it really is. We will stay friends after she buys a house. I like her. She’s a police officer and although they are trained to spot inconsistencies or changes in behavior, if you know energy you can feel it. We laughed about how you just “know” when someone isn’t telling the truth or the “whole” truth sometimes without training or those telltale signs they teach. Because I am a Pollyanna, I always discount those “knowing feelings” and try to give people the benefit of a doubt… but in my core, I always know… I’m working on trusting my knowing more and giving less leeway – but that has been one of my life lessons maybe.

I do believe everything happens for a reason. I am thankful for the people that come into and through my life.

I have so many thoughts to share but I have to get back to work – my “To do” list is long… I will have to continue this later. I have read some blog posts I need to comment on also but haven’t had time. Some fellow bloggers are on their own journeys that are challenging – I want to offer love and support. I do it energetically even if I don’t have time to type them something… Know that you are supported by me. I can’t believe it’s about to be November. Time is going so fast.

It’s been 385 days…if I was counting

385 days since I last saw his face…593 since the day we first met…again, if I was counting. Would I even recognize him on the street? … Not sure I can remember his face. The energy I remember… That I would recognize. I wish him the best. I really do. I hope he doesn’t spend his life regretting chances never taken – choices never made. I can’t allow myself to spin out about it ever again. It makes me feel foolish. I don’t settle for “less than”.

I am a risk taker… I take chances. I always have. You have to go out on a limb sometimes to get the sweetest fruit. It doesn’t mean I don’t ever fall out of the tree on my head… which I think surprises people sometimes because I tend to be quiet – which makes me seem timid and shy and not a risk taker (I learned that quietness as a child… becoming invisible) – but it’s because I’m observing. (And being a Cancer/Leo cusp it’s probably the Cancer in me curbing the Leo’s desire to be seen.) I’m just a contradiction. But that’s okay. I’m just me. I’m not the kind of person who can close their heart. It’s always open… like a 24 hour diner… I just put it out there even though there is always a risk of being hurt. If you don’t interact with the world with an open heart and a curious mind, you miss out on what life is about.

It’s time to focus on what I want to manifest for my next chapter… I am feeling like there are no limits or boundaries, which is cool. I don’t have much tying me down… I may even leave the country semi-permanently – I’m still playing with that idea… I’m not “attached” to anything. I am open to whatever wonderful options the Universe wants to present. There were times in my life I was so attached to things “being a certain way” for safety or security – but I’m not that way anymore. Hanging on to things doesn’t ensure they stay. Attachment is because of ego. Life is too short… (and going faster all the time). I have more places to go and things to do before my time is up… and happiness is key to everything. Happy is better than rich or secure or pretty or anything… happy is basically love. Love – love for others, love for the beauty around you, love of your life and all you can experience and learn… it’s the only thing really truly worth having. Welcome to my open 24 hour heart diner.

Is it just me?

It’s been a weird week… something feels a little off in the energy. Like the energy of everything this week. I can’t really put my finger on it… it feels like everything is in a transition of one kind or another. The energy is electric and heavy at the same time. The air is polluted from all the forest fires all over the state. It’s been that way for so long now, haze is beginning to feel “normal”. What would normally be considered bad air quality is now called “moderate”, which is just confusing.

I feel a little guilty that I’m not at a shelter helping the non-profit shelter, feed and support people displaced. I didn’t even hop on a plane to help with the hurricane relief efforts in Florida… but that’s okay, I think. I don’t need to put everyone else in the world first… right? They got four years from me… more than 6,000 hours of volunteer time… it’s okay to not do it.

The weather has been so weird it’s hard to get dressed. It’s cold in the morning, hot during the day, then cold again in late afternoon. It just makes the simple act of putting on clothes hard… pants? dress? sweater, coat? I don’t remember other Autumns creating such conundrums. I just keep bringing more things out to the car (and forgetting to bring them back in) … extra shoes, sweaters, coats… pretty soon I may have to go out there to get dressed.

My interactions with people have been strange (I think because of the weird energy). I met a client to list his property. It should have been a 20-minute thing. Instead, we talked about really random stuff for 2 ½ hours. Like weird stuff you don’t talk about with someone who isn’t a “friend” – as we walked around the yard, he told me “It’s kind of weird I never got married and had kids. Instead, I have all these properties.” He talked about work ethic, parents, childhood… I now know more about his childhood than one thought possible… (In the back of my head I kept thinking – this feels kind of like a date…). I don’t date clients. The last time I sold a property for him, all our conversation was brief and strictly business. Why the random sharing? He even said at one point, “I never talk with anyone about these things. I don’t know why I’m telling you about them.” When leaving, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to hug him goodbye or what… I just awkwardly said it had been “nice visiting” and “talk to you soon”. It was just a little “off”.

The next day I went to a conference at an office where I used to work. When I was there, I had a team and was a “top producer”. I got divorced and it got weird – my husband had been on my team, so I moved and started over in a new place. Now coming back a decade or so later, there were many new faces and many that looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember their names… they remembered me though and knew my name and were so… what’s the word I’m looking for… they made me feel like I was kind of like a celebrity in a way. THAT is such a weird feeling… like people know more about you than you do them and you feel bad because you don’t know even their name. One lady (still can’t think of her name… maybe Theresa something… God I am a horrible person sometimes) said I had inspired her to keep going in the business and I had really helped her with advice (I do not even recall what I may have said – undoubtedly something stupid and overly optimistic). She said, “You are a legend”. All I could say was “We all have moments in the sun. Now I’m more of a cautionary tale (followed by a shrug and a laugh). Nice to see you and I’m so glad you are doing well.” Another person, whose name I unfortunately do remember, is still trying to be a player. He grinned at me, called me “Darlin’” and put his hands on my waist. That felt out of line… do not touch me… I backed up and asked him how his girlfriend was (he always has one) while still being polite and saying the obligatory “Nice to see you again” (Please don’t make me lie to you… just go away).

Then, I bumped into someone there who I used to be “friendly” with. She and her husband had big parties at their house often, and all of the group of “friends” would drink too much and end up with a bonfire in their back yard (it was acreage). We had so many shared times of stupid stuff – drinking on a summer night and shooting cans, riding ATVs around the property with our home-made obstacle courses (until there was a flipped ATV one day and a trip to Harbor View). She was always a bat shit crazy woman… she was nice one minute and a raving bitch the next – imagining insults that never happened, spreading gossip and backstabbing at every opportunity… like nothing I had ever seen. She emptied the house one day when her husband was away on business and left him. They got divorced. The parties continued without her… we were there to pick up the pieces for him… and bring him furniture and towels and tell him it would all be okay – he was better off without her, etc. – Until my own marriage imploded and I moved away. She is not to be trusted…ever. When I saw her, I hoped she wouldn’t recognize me or that she would pretend not to see me. That… did not happen. She is still a beautiful blonde skeleton. Tall, size zero, with fake boobs. We chatted briefly, she made passive aggressive comments like how “she can’t believe I’m still single with all my cute shortness and curves” – she knows someone (No Thank You). I’m quite certain she called her bestie later to say how sad it is that I don’t have the preferred body type… I should just work harder at it. Stop consuming food so I could be anorexic too and wear heels instead of flats. I didn’t bother to tell her I was in a great relationship for years – he just died one day is why we aren’t together. I didn’t bother to tell her all the ways my life has changed and I have changed. I didn’t bother to tell her I see her for who she really is. I didn’t bother to tell her she is shallow and plastic and untrustworthy… and focused on superficial stuff that doesn’t matter. She suggested we get together… I just said “Of course” and smiled, while thinking not on any fucking day… let’s just take that crazy idea and sweep it right under this rug right here… nothing to see. Normally I would be a more honest and straight-forward person, but you can’t be that way around her and survive. She said “You and your daughters always reminded me of the Kardashians. You guys are so awesome.” (What?? What the actual fuck? I have no words for that.) I have not seen her in a dozen years – why, why, why would I bump into her now? I guess I should just be thankful I have grown so much I can’t be sucked in by her… she can be really charming and make you feel like you are a real friend if you don’t see behind the mask. She has very shitty energy… made me want a shower.

One weird, random interaction after another… a checker at the grocery store stopped ringing up my groceries and told me she wanted to quit her job. I asked her if she was having a bad day, or it just didn’t bring her joy. She asked me if I thought she should quit. I said, “You seem to do your job well enough, but if it doesn’t bring you joy, then maybe?” (shrugging) She finished ringing me up and thanked me for talking to her. It left me feeling odd. Please don’t make a stranger responsible for your decisions…

My business partner shared he is always afraid to know his numbers – which caused him to get red cheeks and giggle in embarrassment. That is probably the most honest thing he has said in years. It is mind blowing – for a lot of reasons but mainly because this guy has so much ego he never admits to being intimidated by or afraid of anything… also – more importantly, how can you be in business and not know your numbers? He has always acted like he knew the numbers… I know his numbers… let me introduce you to your profit and loss statement sir. Spreadsheets make his eyes gloss over and he can’t absorb the information. I will have to make a bulleted summary for him. Heavy sigh. We also had to have another “font conversation” … he wants all paperwork in Times New Roman 12… I’m still a Calibri girl. This is a silly little wrinkle, but neither of us wants to concede… There could be worse impasses I suppose.

Those are just a few examples of the weird week. I’ve even received texts from multiple people that I have no idea who they are but they want to connect with me… Did I delete these people? Did I ever meet them? What the hell? Why? There have been break-ups between people, an accidental medication incident (not with me), a racoon pooping on the porch, really loud birds squawking at me… it seems like the world is a little bit on tilt. Everything is so energetically off, it’s just confusing. Can’t get dressed, can’t have “normal” conversations, even the animals are being weird.

Breadcrumbs are for ducks…

I deleted the original text that was in this post. Rather than put you through another post with me spinning out, I marked it private for a while until I felt better and could better express my thoughts in a different energy.

Out there in the world, we interact with other people. Every interaction is an energy exchange on some level… whether you are consciously aware of it or not. Most times people flow in and out of our energy field without serious consequences. Sometimes, you, on some level, instantly don’t really like someone – that is usually because they aren’t a compatible energy for your energy. Sometimes you like someone fine – can take them or leave them. Friends you tend to really like and have compatible energy with you. When you have a romantic connection with someone, often they are really compatible with your energy at that moment… but don’t always stay compatible – at which point, you move on. Thank them for what they taught you (everyone teaches us things) and let them go. Once in a while, the Universe puts you in the path of someone who has such a deep and powerful connection – on a soul level – it almost takes your breath away. This kind of connection is a feeling of alignment and intimacy between two people that goes beyond just physical attraction, having fun together, surface-level conversations, or even intellectual similarities. Instead, it feels like you’re connecting on a deeper soul level. I suspect those come along to teach us things as well.

When we are out interacting in the world, it sometimes feels like people have forgotten how to be honest and sensitive to other people. One thing people do these days, especially when it comes to personal relationships, is called “breadcrumbing”.

“Breadcrumbing” might be one of the most damaging things people do to each other these days. It’s when someone isn’t “in” with you – or “out” with you – they just keep a little string dangling… so they can come in and out as they please without opening up or committing to anything. They communicate once in a while, just to keep you “kind of” engaged. (They don’t let go of your energy either – they hang on to it a little, which in turn forces you to hang onto theirs a little. This long, drawn-out energy exchange doesn’t feel good.) If you don’t care for or about the other person, it doesn’t “hurt”. You just forget about them or ignore them when they occasionally interact. Some people… well… we just care about – which causes this breadcrumbing behavior to be painful. It makes you question yourself – “Why aren’t they “in”? Why aren’t they “out”? What does this mean? What is wrong with me?

Here is what Psychology Today says about it:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Signs of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing can be a confusing experience; learning to spot the signals can help people name the behavior and process it. The signs include:

Behaviors you can observe from the breadcrumber:

  • Inconsistent and erratic communication
  • Speaking via text or social media but not committing to spend time together in person
  • Not following through on plans that are made
  • Surface-level communication that lacks depth, vulnerability, or details about the person’s life
  • An imbalanced relationship—they don’t reciprocate your level of interest
  • Focusing on the physical side of the relationship rather than focusing on all sides of the relationship

Feelings you can observe in yourself

  • Feeling confused and uncertain about the state of the relationship
  • Feeling a roller coaster of emotion, such as sad, then hopeful, then disappointment once again
  • Feeling self-doubt, such as questioning if you did something wrong
  • Feeling anxious or dependent on the breadcrumber for the next point of contact
  • Feeling used or manipulated
  • Feeling badly about yourself after interacting with them
  • Feeling lonely or hopeless about the relationship

Breadcrumbing generally refers to dating, but the behavior can also occur in familial relationships (infrequent and conditional love), friendships (connecting then breadcrumbing), and professional situations (dangling illusive opportunities).

The Emotional Consequences of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing involves a sporadic, shallow pattern of communication. These occasional moments of connection keep the person hopeful that a relationship may yet be possible. This often prevents the breadcrumbee from ending the relationship, even though they may be struggling with confusion, frustration, or disappointment. The person is stuck on standby, leading to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and invalidation.

Has breadcrumbing become more common over time? Technology and social media have made it easier for people to drop in with occasional contact, such as through likes or DMs; communicating in small, occasional doses is easier now. The world of online dating also presents unlimited options, which contributes to the tendency to designate some potential mates as backups to keep exploring one’s options.

Additionally, research on ghosting has found that people who were ghosted were more likely to ghost someone else. This finding suggests that the more these behaviors occur, the more they are normalized.

Is breadcrumbing intentional? The breadcrumber may or may not realize what they’re doing and the effect they’re having. For example, they may not realize that the person is interested in pursuing a relationship, or they may be overwhelmed and not able to commit to a relationship at the moment.

Others may be more manipulative and recognize that stringing someone along allows them to benefit from the relationship when they want to without investing further.

How can people cope with someone’s inability to commit? It can sometimes feel like society today struggles with commitment—when dating, in friendships, or at work. One way to handle flakiness is by acknowledging that it has affected you—rather than thinking that you “shouldn’t take it personally” or you should “just get over it.” Honor your moral integrity and the integrity of the reliable, committed people who surround you. Reflecting on your integrity and vowing to uphold it can help you recover your power after being treated disrespectfully. (I can attest to the serenity of living with integrity. When all else fails in a world full of noncommittal behavior, at least I have my character to hold onto.)

Because you cannot ever know someone’s absolute truth, you resort to making up explanations for what seems like the other person’s mixed messages and unavailability. And where will you get those explanations? You will get them from your past experiences and your understanding of the world. You will get them from your attachment style and the roadmaps of the world given to you by your parents when you were young. (I blogged about attachment styles here Attachments Styles and Dating Lexicon.)

Attachment styles are ways that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are organized to match your parents’ pattern of availability when you are a child (be they consistently available [secure attachment], consistently shut down [dismissing/avoidant attachment], unpredictable [preoccupied attachment], or volatile/scary [fearful attachment]).

If you have a secure attachment style, you are likely to be a bit disappointed and irritated by the dating situation. But you probably would not spend much time trying to figure it out. You might even keep dating them if they were interesting enough and you didn’t have anything else to do. In short, your reaction to the initial phase of a short dating (not committed) relationship would be well-calibrated in terms of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

If you have an avoidant style, you would probably tell yourself that this person is not that interesting and you really don’t care if they come or go anyway. Next! Your reaction would probably be under-calibrated or missing. You just wouldn’t deal with it and would let the person fade into black.

If you have an anxious/preoccupied attachment style, you might have a very strong emotional reaction and potentially feel abandoned, even after just a few dates. You would keep trying to figure it out. You would likely try to have more conversations, explanations, and understanding… but it wouldn’t help. You would stay activated for a long time and your activation would be intense… but you would probably hang in there and keep trying. Your emotional reaction would be over-calibrated.

If you have a fearful attachment style, you would do everything that the anxious/preoccupied person would do but you would probably blow things up quicker. You might become confrontational and ask for an explanation. You might accuse the other person of leading you on or ask if they are seeing someone else (which they might be if you aren’t committed). Or you might start picking on other faults that they have. You also might just tell them where to go and block them on your phone and social media.

And here is the key point… you don’t even know if you really like this person or would want to be in a relationship with them. What happens in these instances is that for anxious and fearful people, the attachment exploratory system—that part of our emotional architecture that leads us to venture forward and explore new relationships when we are feeling safe and secure—quickly switches to the fear-based attachment security system. That system calls on you to re-establish your security when you are under threat by seeking closeness with trusted attachment figures.

Because anxious/preoccupied and fearfully attached people had unpredictable parents (attachment figures) in childhood, their emotional systems identify the new dating partner as an attachment figure prematurely and try to get closeness/reassurance from them. But, this other person is already showing you that they are unpredictable and willing to feed you crumbs in terms of time and emotion… and this is exactly the type of parenting you probably had in childhood that created your attachment style in the first place. We call this “recapitulating your core conflict.”

So… before you start dating someone:

Have a trusted secure attachment figure lined up—a good friend, family member, or trusted therapist—not the person you are trying to date.

Practice interacting with dating partners without becoming attached too quickly. You need enough time to figure out who they really are. Go to other people for support.

Don’t blow off a dating partner too quickly… hang in there and practice the preceding two points.

Overall, don’t assume that the person you are dating is avoidant. There can be many reasons for being unavailable or unreliable. Who knows, maybe the person’s therapist told them to move slowly and not turn you into an attachment figure prematurely.

Through no fault of our own, too often, the bottom falls out of the commitments we strive to uphold. We’re left holding the bag, disappointed by the lack of commitment or follow-through from those we count on at home and at work. The demands of living in pandemic times could be making us more tentative and noncommittal while our reliance on smartphones allows us to easily back out at the last minute. Fast, flaky, and empty promises seem to come around and go around, making the world feel unsolid and unstable.

Research shows how our well-being and mental health can be damaged by noncommittal behaviors such as “disappearing acts” by others (ghosting), no-shows, unreturned voicemails, being strung along (breadcrumbing), or unfriending. This cold, transactional behavior is increasing everywhere and it’s tempting to just give up on human decency. Changing social norms at our workplaces and in our personal relationships are enabled on apps that invite us to treat each other badly with one-click solutions. We feel forced to lower our expectations of considerate correspondence. “Why bother?” “Who cares?”

“That employer just strung me along for months—and then hired someone in-house.” “Not even a simple thank you for all that time I gave them.” “She was one of my best friends, but for some strange reason, she just never called me back—never heard a word.” “Does anyone get back to you anymore?” In this world full of uncertainty, broken commitments, and erratic behaviors, we are starving for reliable people who live with integrity.

Given these ambiguous times, we might not always be able to count on others, but could we count on ourselves to hold on to our own reliability and integrity? When others have let us down, don’t we owe it to ourselves to show up for ourselves? Showing up, even if no one else does, that’s essentially what integrity means. C.S. Lewis may have said it best: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Merriam Webster defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

We can begin to honor our own integrity by first acknowledging that we have truly been affected by ghosting, breadcrumbing, and other pitfalls of noncommittal behavior. Even though we’re supposed to believe that “not taking it personally” is the answer for any disrespectful act, the truth is that it does hurt when we are ghosted, played, or betrayed because human beings are hardwired for it to hurt, as neuroscience shows. It is important that we take a kind look at our grief, or the sense of disappointment and distress that comes with dashed hopes, a sense of betrayal, or the sting of rejection.

As a former rehabilitation counselor, relying on what is hailed in our field as a strengths-based approach, I encouraged my clients to recognize their integrity and moral courage when they had been let down by others or downright rejected. Even when they couldn’t count on others, they could count on their integrity by naming the ways they had done the right thing (“worn the big pants”) day in and day out, “even when no one was watching.” By validating their own character strengths that were put to action in their everyday accomplishments, they could attest to their integrity. This recognition of their own mettle gave them peace of mind at the end of the day, even if they had only muddled through.

Especially on days when we’ve been ghosted or breadcrumbed, we can give ourselves this guidance: Believe in your integrity and keep true to your word (even if no one else does). Why should you lose your standards, your values, and your character over people who don’t care? At the end of a tough day, we can find a sense of serenity by counting the times we did show up to our challenges, even in small, brave steps: returning a phone call, sending a belated birthday card to our aunt, clearing up a misunderstanding with a co-worker, following up with a sincere thank you note.

And on a deeper level, we can console ourselves by appreciating the truly reliable, committed people around us—the teachers, nurses, cousins, neighbors, friends, co-workers—who do show up, keep up, and hang in there when all else fails. They do the right thing almost every day, even when no one is watching. It’s high time we did watch them, notice, and recognize those unexciting qualities that don’t get attention on Instagram, Youtube, or Facebook. And more importantly, it’s well past time that we recognized these “boring” reliable qualities in ourselves, the grit of our integrity, our mettle. The stuff that might not get “likes” but holds us through the worst of times.

More than anything else, vowing to uphold our integrity is a rewarding way to get back our power after being treated disrespectfully. We can set our intentions not to ghost or breadcrumb anyone, nor thoughtlessly flake on others—no matter what everyone else does. We don’t need to cave and play along with the pressure of social media. Selfish behavior ends by doing what we believe is responsible. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is the energetic side of things… When we are in a loving feeling or a deeply connected soul state, we feel a pleasurable openness… a receptivity that makes it so easy to feel the spirit of another through our own spirit. There is a deep energy exchange when you are open and energetically connected. It can be very powerful. (Side note: It is the connection to our own spirit that really is magnificent and if someone else helps us feel that, then that is a beautiful thing. As time goes by you can create a dependency for happiness if you don’t focus on your own connection to joy and beauty separate from your “partner”.)

When you open yourself to a deep soul connection, you energetically allow someone deep into your energy field. Connected at that level, you are much more susceptible to feeling each other’s emotions and energy. It is also hard to break those energetic cords… it’s almost like you are linked no matter what.

Relationships can be extremely tricky and difficult to navigate. There are so many mixed vibes that we have to attempt to process and act on. Do I focus my thoughts on this person, or do I not? Do I spend my energy on them, or do I not? Do I trust this person… or not? Luckily, as humans, we have animal-instincts that give us the power to feel whether or not a relationship aligns with our vibration.

Think about it this way — when your dog starts growling at someone as they approach, or your cat curls up on someone’s lap and falls into a relaxing sleep, that behavior comes from tuning into their instinctual vibes. We can learn a few things about approaching relationships from our pets. Just like animals can sense danger, our very cells instinctually know what relationships are healthy versus which ones are toxic through energetic vibrations — it’s our design by nature. Some relationships are constructive and energizing, while others are destructive and depleting. We can feel it. (You have to tune in and listen to your intuition)

Every single relationship you have — friendship, romantic, spouse, coworker, parent, sibling — is an energetic connection and cohesion of energy. You are contributing your personal energy to them, and in turn, you are absorbing energy from their field. Relationships, good or bad vibes, are an unavoidable energy exchange.

We can use our instincts to tune into these vibes if we listen to ourselves and trust our own intuition, just like our animal friends. These vibes are here to guide our relationship behaviors and how we interact with others. However, we humans don’t have simple minds like our pets. We’re balls of extremely complex energy. Our heads and hearts get clouded. We also tend to overthink and overcomplicate things. For example, sometimes we are wearing our rose-colored glasses and giving too many people the “benefit of the doubt”. Although their toxic behaviors scream to run the other way, we think they might just be going through a phase, or that we can fix them.

And of course, the kicker is that most people have a need to be liked or loved by everyone. Even if you don’t like someone and you know they’re not a good person, you want them to like you. You put more effort into winning the affection of others than you do respecting yourself and valuing your own self-worth. If anyone rejects you, you question your value. I know first-hand how all of the above works out, and trust me, it’s not worth it (love yourself and anyone who doesn’t like you can fuck off). Destructive relationships are a quick way to completely dishonor and disconnect from yourself. In our reality, sometimes we are forced to interact with people who are destructive to our field because of an obligation. Maybe you have a boss who thrives off belittling you, an entitled coworker who disrespects you, or an abusive family member who constantly causes you pain. The list goes on and on.

The reality of life is that we don’t always get to choose our relationships nor how they evolve. However, it’s important to understand that we do have a choice to set personal boundaries in order to protect our energy and well-being. It’s our duty to decide what our role in the relationship is, or if we should be giving someone any of our precious energy at all.

Most importantly, often an “obligation” is an illusion or false expectation that needs to be carefully measured. You should not feel obligated to anyone who causes you harm unless they are your own dependent children, or your life truly depends on it.

Find those relationships that feel like sunshine, so much so that you will want to curl up in their lap and take a catnap. When you spend most of your energy and physical existence with someone, there should be a vibrational match that feels undeniably good. Not sometimes, but always… or at least 95% of the time (because we all have those bad days).

Everyone is tuned into a certain frequency. The goal is to surround yourself with people who keep you balanced in your natural frequency or uplift you into a higher one. When your vibration aligns with someone else’s, they make you feel like the best version of yourself and you can be truly you around them, and vice versa. They don’t try to change you nor dim your inner light. You have soulful conversations, carry mutual respect, share deep compassion, honor open communication, and hold zero judgments. You look at life through similar lenses, and together, you see brightness.

There will be certain high-vibe people who come into your life and make you feel absolutely amazing just by being around their presence. They will bring you positive outlooks, inspire you to make big leaps, and bring enlightenment. They naturally bandage your wounds and help you heal. Of course, it’s important that positive energies also flow from you onto them, as healthy relationships are an exchange of balanced energy at similar wavelengths. The energy flows in and out, both ways.

On the other hand, some people who will make you feel drained, anxious, depressed, or uneasy — even when they don’t say a single word. That’s because you are feeling their energy field, which is vibrating at a lower frequency.

Ironically, these low vibration relationships can also bring enlightenment. You start learning to stop taking things personally when a low-vibe person attacks and disrespects you. You realize their problems have nothing to do with you, but only with their own resentments, insecurities, and unhappiness. You learn to honor yourself and shield your energy supply. You learn what not to be, and how to avoid others just like them in the future.

Feeling someone else’s energy versus recognizing your own: I need to stress that there is a big difference between feeling someone else’s energy and perceiving someone a certain way through your own internalizations. Your personal beliefs, resentments, insecurities, jealousies, and projections should not be confused as someone else’s energy. All those things belong to you and make up your own personal energy.

The unspoken and unseen feeling of energy is universally felt and not personal. When someone walks into a room, everyone at a certain level of consciousness – feels that person’s unique energy casting out from their field. It’s a vibe and cannot be denied. When people drop out of your life or you walk away, it’s because your vibrations are not complimentary. You live on different wavelengths, in which your perceptions and intentions just do not align. When you outgrow a relationship, that means you’re evolving. It’s a good thing. Always be evolving and honoring yourself. People will flow in and out of your reality, just like the energy within and around you. Some will love you, and others will resent you, no matter what you do. It’s not personal, it’s energetic. It’s as simple as that.

It’s so much easier when you don’t care about someone… or have some sort of “energetic connection”. I have reminded myself some people don’t know when they are hanging on to your energy… or breadcrumbing… no one is intentionally trying to hurt me. It’s up to me to shake it off and carry on.

Bubbles and Clouds

I exist in a bubble. I know this –  I choose it… I only allow into it the people that I like, or things that bring me happiness or sustenance… I forget I do sometimes. We create our own reality, so I choose to focus on good things.

I don’t watch the nightly news. I don’t get twisted up in political nonsense. I don’t expect bad things and bad people. What you focus on expands… so I try to choose somewhat wisely. That being said… I was clearing email and had one from twitter about a post from a fire department I followed when I was heavily working with the humanitarian organization who helps people after a fire or other natural disaster (not naming the name because I do not want a Google search to link my blog to anyone looking for that organization). Commercial fire on State Street this morning… blah, blah, blah. No need for me to call in to help with any big response.

I have a twitter, but I don’t use it. Not a huge fan of social media in general – for many reasons I will likely elaborate about another time. Under this post, was another twitter post… a video about a bear and a hammock. I clicked on it to watch it. Super funny – I feel that bear… I have done the same thing attempting to get into a hammock (yeah – I know… I’m a dumbass sometimes). I notice I have a kazillion notifications I had not seen, so I clicked on that. Holy fuck.  

In less than 30 seconds I see: a body was pulled from the Columbia River, someone complaining their son’s school emailed them after he had been out sick, Jeff Bezo’s former wife has filed for divorce from her 2nd husband, a guy was killed while stealing a package out of a UPS truck when he was hit by a mirror on a passing Ford truck while exiting the UPS truck, someone named Denise entered a chat so now things are getting spicy, the heartbreaking toll of Ian’s devastation in Florida, multiple officers are on scene at Tahoma High school for reports of a student seen with a firearm in a bathroom, child rape suspect wanted, an extremely violent drug cartel has made it’s way into Washington state,  a notice to avoid Snohomish at 180th and highway 9 due to shots fired and an armed suspect in vehicle, charges to be filed against Trump, Chick-fil-a tweeted something about someone’s race, Trump tweeted something about a guy’s weight so a bunch of people are mad, barricaded suspect and woman deceased in burning Montlake home, Lisa Rinna being fired from Real Housewives show, Caitlyn Jenner is upset about some child with a penis in Vermont (not sure why), Ryan Reynolds (adore him) said something was out of hand and he needs a martini… YES Ryan… THIS is out of hand and now I need a martini too.

I didn’t even dig into it. This was just a glance. Holy fuck. This is why I do not “do” this stuff. I was instantly overwhelmed and confused – LOL – an instant zap of frying brain cells on so much stuff I did not need to know! (Now by you reading this, I’ve wasted your brain cells too. I’m sorry) Can’t we just have a site somewhere where we can see cute bears trying to get into hammocks and other relaxing animal stuff? No politics, no violence, no sad shit – just cute animals… doing cute animal things? How much time do people waste every day with Twitter, Instagram, FaceBook, SnapChat and stuff like it?

Call me old fashioned (or old – whatever – you do you), but if I have free time, I’d rather spend it interacting with live people, real animals, nature up close and personal… I think this is why people have a lack of focus. It seems like everyone’s attention span is incredibly short. I get enough information to sort receiving 300-400 emails a day (that’s even too much at times!). I like to give things focus… but I’m a weirdo. I don’t even tolerate commercials really… I record everything so I don’t have to hear them (plus it’s a more efficient use of time – LOL).

I have a theory. I think if you actually put your phone down and focus on the person in front of you when you speak to them, it might make you kind of memorable. If you actually listen when someone speaks to you… without thinking about what you are going to say back while they are speaking or 49 other random things, but actually listen – it may make the person you are listening to feel heard… and maybe valued. Maybe people are forgetting how to really interact? Maybe younger people aren’t even learning a healthy way to genuinely interact with other people. People crave connection. They have a soul need to feel valued. You can’t create real connection with distractions.

People’s inability to focus makes me stand out a little in business. I focus like crazy. And accomplish a lot. It makes dating more difficult… but it is what it is. I also notice people are suffering from chronic dissatisfaction. They have forgotten they have a choice and what they focus on, they create more of… I would like to start a movement of some kind. Let’s focus more on what we like, appreciate, feel grateful for and want more of, instead of what’s not going right or what we want to fuss about. Instead of saying I like this or that BUT they do this or say that, or they lack this thing… let’s just end the sentence with a period at “I like this”. Forget the rest. Nothing is perfect, but we don’t need to focus on what isn’t.

On a side note, I stumbled across a movie on Netflix last night that was kind of interesting. It was called “Soul Sessions”. It basically had basic “beginner” type information on past life regression and soul stuff. It was kind of refreshing to see something in that direction. I don’t think it had anyone particularly famous or anything, just a different movie – nice because it was different. But again, I’m in a bubble… meditating, thinking about soul stuff and how I want to show up in the world, so it was right up my alley.

People can stay out of my bubble… unless I want them there – LOL. Hey, hey, you… get off of my cloud!

Feeling a little too much

I feel energy. I always have. Sometimes it’s energy around me – like if I am near someone. Sometimes it’s the energy of people I have an energetic bond to. I realize this probably sounds a little nuts.

All day today I have felt some energy that isn’t mine. I keep checking with myself… “Is this my emotion? My energy?” The feeling or answer from my soul is “no”. I’m working remotely today – so there is no one in my space… I have checked on people I have an energetic bond with – like my kids… they are fine. I keep releasing it – then it comes back. It’s so… heavy… sad… heartbroken… almost a feeling of also being angry and disappointed in “self”. I even took a nap to try and shake it. I don’t know who is so fucking unhappy today, but I send them love right now… it’s all I can do. I need it to stop – it’s making me nauseous.

It reminds me of when I was a kid. I had a really strong energetic bond with my mom. I felt it when she was having a rough day – no matter where I was.

I need to distract myself…

I will just riff on thoughts for a while… the illusion of control. We all have it, want it, fight to keep it. Truth is – so much of “control” is just an illusion. You can’t control the ocean… or the sun… or other people… when we feel out of control or disappointed by life or where we are in it, it feels like something must have gone wrong. Nothing ever goes “wrong”. It’s all part of deepening our life experience – learning, growing, expanding… sometimes the “wrongness” is divinely inspired for our higher good… our growth.

Sometimes life has to feel like it has taken a major wrong turn to wake us up. It humbles us and helps us see the bigger picture… and let go of our ego… learn to trust our soul more. I sometimes feel like some people I interact with are so out of touch with their own soul they wouldn’t even recognize it… which makes me sad. I always feel compelled to give them hints. Not sure if it ever helps.

Life is a mystery. It’s supposed to be. The joy is watching its unfolding. Things appearing when and where we need them… releasing resistance… trusting… flowing with it… appreciating… feeling gratitude… that’s where the beauty is.

Unconditional joy is available to all of us all the time…whether things go the way we expected or not. If you surrender to whatever is going on around you and flow with it and through it, you reach acceptance and appreciation… and joy. There is no light without dark. The dark is always temporary. The secret is appreciating whatever the darkness shows you.

Some people know the price of everything – but the value of nothing. This phrase just came to mind and reminds me of some people I know… (namely my business partner) … I figure if someone is in my path – for however long – it’s my karmic duty to try to help. It’s tiring. I trust the right words will come out of my mouth at the right times to help him see for himself some “Universal truth” that will help him be a better human. He and his brother (my ex-husband) and their entire family think and have always thought I am a “Pollyanna”… sometimes they think I’m not very bright… that’s okay. I’d rather be happy than bright (or right).

This song is playing in my mind… I had to find it and share it. Off topic – sorry. It reminds me people need to “feel” your love, not just hear the words. I have so much love in my heart for all the people I know.

Weird… YouTube thinks I’m in Italy… I didn’t even have my computer with me there… wish I was still there…

Settling Up

I stumbled across the words below on line. I felt them deeply… tucking them in here for safe keeping so I don’t lose them. Unfortunately, I can’t give the author credit because it was signed “Unknown”.

“There is nothing sexier than a man who knows how to traverse the juicy pathways of his own heart. A man who can stand to be called out on his wounds. A man who, when you boldly ask him to be there, says yes-hell yes…and shows up beautifully, with every ounce of his beating heart.

There is nothing more beautiful than a man who talks openly and passionately about what’s on his mind rather than pulling far away and glossing it over with a generic response of
“I’m fine.”

There is nothing more breathtaking in the world than a man who knows the salty taste of tears. A man who lets you see him on his worst days…stripped, sad and raw…vulnerability hanging out of his split-open heart like ripped ribbons.

There is nothing more bone-suckin’ delicious than a man who knows how to take care of a woman, how to touch her softly and fiercely at the same time, how to make love to her wildly while gazing gently into the sapphire depths of her soul, how to set her free while claiming her and make her feel like a cherished jewel of divinity, like the goddess she is.

There is absolutely nothing more astounding than a man who kisses like he could die five minutes from now. A man who understands the preciousness of this breath, this inhale…and exhale. A man who wants nothing more than to face the world together as you both smile, breathe, set the air around you on delicate fire, transcend darkness and ascend towards nectar galaxies far too beautiful to comprehend.

There is nothing more maddeningly magnificent than a man who pulls you close and declares his love for you, and shouts it from the rooftops like music, and weaves his fingers through yours with ripe enthusiasm, and isn’t scared to call you too soon, and call you out on your darkness, and call you the luscious love of his life.

There is nothing more goddamn gorgeous than a man who is fiercely himself, who holds the strongest heart space in his warm, sultry embrace…for you to bloom, blossom, flourish and soar…as he does the same.

At the end of every dissolving sands, apricot sunset-soaked day —
There is nothing sexier than a man who knows how to love himself. A man who values the truth running through his veins like sacred ink. A man brave enough to be there for you and himself when darkness is beautiful and when it’s completely falling apart.

This is the kind of man you deserve. A man who isn’t afraid of emotion. A man who shows up one hundred percent. A man who is ready…who craves every drop, drip and ounce of an authentic, earthy goddess of a wonderful woman like you. Let him kiss you with his entire being until you remember who you really are.

Don’t settle down with him…
Settle UP into a more luscious, technicolor life. A life so beautiful it hurts sometimes. A life so fulfilling you’ll never be thirsty again. A life so freeing and spun of soul it makes you dizzy. Anything less than this heartfelt, present, purely sacred beauty is a goddamn tragedy.

Don’t settle Down…
Settle UP. ‘Cause when the divine masculine meets the divine feminine, magic happens.

The sweetest magic of all.

– unknown”

Sex, lies and no video

Prepare for TMI. I had the most amazing sex dream this morning. I’m still tingling all over hours later… so now, of course, I have to over-analyze it…LOL In the dream I was with someone I have had sex with before – but not for a year. Why? Why am I having such a delicious dream about him? We had amazing sex… 10-12 different occasions… but I haven’t seen him in a long time. (Was tempted once to write a blog post “12 Hotel Rooms”  – but there was a movie called “27 Hotel Rooms” and I was concerned because of the movie, the post would end up seeming ingenuine…) He did text the other day – which left me dumbfounded for a moment… I guess because I expected to never hear from him again. I was almost always the person to reach out. It was not at all sexual or anything – just a “hey” and then not much of anything… “I’m fine – same ol’, same ol’ ” sort of conversation. I admit, I was happy to hear from him.

I am still in quarantine from being exposed to Covid… almost done. I haven’t gotten sick, and I’ve tested twice – negative both times – but trying to be a responsible person. Due to quarantining, I have not seen my drive-by fuck buddy since before my trip. He called last night. Maybe that’s why I had such a great dream. I don’t really feel like he inspired it though… He and I are not 100% sympatico sexually… he was really horny last night since I’ve been gone and then in quarantine… we attempted to video chat numerous times but our phones were not cooperating (very odd that two iPhones refused to video chat), even tried Whatsapp – the minute one of us switched to video, it failed. I ended up sending him some requested pictures… I wasn’t really in the mood – but I am an accommodating soul… which reminds me – he is a selfish guy . He assumed we were both good. Which is not surprising, nothing new and I would be silly to expect anything different from him. The next time I see him I might be changing the dynamic on him a bit… but those are thoughts for another day. He doesn’t mean anything to me on any sort of real deep level at this point. So maybe I went to sleep with sex on my mind?

I really cannot allow myself to go down that rabbit hole again of longing for someone who doesn’t long for me… I deserve someone who wants me as much as I want them… I won’t settle for less than that. Could one simple “nothing” text make me spin out into that again? Fuck I hope not.

A Tarot reader that I know pulled cards that said the guy who texted me is a deep soul mate but got love wrong all his life. He also said I have a new person coming toward me who is also a soul mate, but this one will “rock my world”. He said the first guy actually manifested me into his life, then rejected it – for a lot of complicated reasons, but I was his “wish fulfilled” and he blew it off. This new one that is coming is one I have manifested and is better than I have even imagined… he said don’t go specifically looking for him – just be aware and when he crosses my path, I will know… I will feel it. There will be no hesitation on either side and it will be equal give and take… balanced. I don’t put a ton of stock in the cards, but I do acknowledge sometimes there is an accurate energy read. But energy shifts. Like the wind. So, who knows.

I refuse to worry about it. Worry always screws up energy. I just move forward… with conviction… everything is always working out for my highest good. I trust the Universe has my back… it’s only me who sometimes doesn’t – LOL

I got a call the other day from my friend that I stopped talking to in February. He had let me down… so I walked away from our friendship. I saw him calling in and took the call. We decided not to rehash what led up to us (me) not talking to each other and just move forward as friends again. That feels good. I don’t need an apology or to retrace those energetic footsteps of what happened. It’s okay. I like him as a person… we all don’t always behave the best. We are good.

I did a dumb thing… I texted the guy I had the delicious dream about and told him I had an amazing sex dream about him. I felt compelled to tell him… I don’t know why. I often wish there was an un-do button on texts… I have no idea why I need to be so honest about every little thing… my friends and family know – don’t ask unless you want to hear the truth… of course he didn’t ask for my honest sharing… but “compelled” is a weird thing… sometimes you just have to do something even if it’s dumb.  Oh well. I sure hope I didn’t sound like one of those past lovers I get a text from sometimes that make me cringe… I’ve had quite a few of those…

Speaking of cringe-worthy things… my business partner is holding a public open house today when he is still having Covid symptoms. I lectured him repeatedly yesterday about his irresponsibility. I read to him CDC guidelines and all about the risk of harming someone older or immune compromised… all he could focus on is that he “feels fine” – just has some residual sinus congestion. When I suggested he at least wear a KN95 to try and reduce the risk of exposing someone, all he could tell me was that he “doesn’t like masks” and they “seem unfriendly”. I told him nothing is more unfriendly than risking someone else’s health and it’s very dishonest (a lie of omission) to not mask when he is positive for Covid. Ignorant insensitive douchebag… I sense a theme… why am I surrounding myself with selfish, insensitive men? Granted, I do not allow them or their insensitivity to affect me – but why on earth am I attracting this sort of person to be around me? Maybe I’m not “attracting”, just acknowledging they exist…

I’m off to do some yoga and bask in the residual energetic feels of that super delicious sex dream… may as well savor it…

Lights will guide you home…

Today’s song…

My way of eating has changed. I crave fresh – only fresh stuff… and olives and cheese… who wants to eat only fresh veggies for a meal? Me. I do. (Raising my hand – LOL)

Here is my first attempt at “real” pizza. The crust is not right… close, but not right. This will require tweaking to my recipe. I probably need an authentic Italian flour (and a pizza oven).

Here is my take on a salad I had in Greece – I marinated the onions and cucumbers overnight in olive oil, vinegar and caper juice. I could not find caper leaves at the grocery store the other day…

I made a lovely croque monsieur last night with croissant loaf, gruyere, and thinly sliced white ham… so yummy. (No picture… sorry)

I tested negative for Covid today but got a call this morning I was exposed again by another person – my business partner is sick now. He was not on my trip but I did go to work Friday so was around him ☹ – Side note: he tried to blame me for him being positive… he’s the dumbass who runs around mask-less all the time telling people they are stupid to worry about a “cold”… and he went to the funeral I did not attend yesterday ☹ – which makes me sad because I know he exposed everyone to Covid and he shakes hands still and gets right up into people’s personal spaces to talk to them…

I keep dreaming about France. I can’t wait to go back… maybe I need to marry a French man so I can stay – LOL

(Pardon the slouch and tote bag full of water… I wasn’t expecting my picture to be taken).

I should be working on this laptop while isolating back in the bedroom again… but it’s Sunday… I don’t really want to. Instead I am making far too many Amazon purchases… I now need a French linen duvet cover…

…lost and choking on hello

This song is on my mind today for some reason…

I’ve been up since 3am… seems to be my new normal – LOL. I get “messages from the Universe” in my email. While sorting the 4,000 emails waiting to be dealt with this morning, I read this one… (I’m sharing it because I liked it)

“Being spiritual means a good many things, Adrienne, and most of them are misunderstood by a good many people. So, to clarify, here’s how I see “it” and you:
Being spiritual means seeing yourself as divine, not just of the divine; a creator, not just the created. You needn’t be saved, forgiven, or fixed. You’ve already changed the world, added to its brilliance, and done enough.
You’re in time and space today, Adrienne, because in some long-forgotten time, you already earned your wings.
From a longtime super-fan,
  The Universe”

I am going to a funeral today… somehow, they waited for me to get back from Europe… Funerals are not for the person that passed away. They are for the people left behind. How do you keep going when your partner dies… how do you even keep breathing… you have to learn to all over again – moment by moment – one breath at a time… I am going for Pam and her children… I will hug them tight and remind them to breathe. Oops – I guess I am not going… I just found out one of the girls has Covid from our trip.

Looks like I’m on lockdown for a while. I would not forgive myself if I unwittingly passed on the germ to someone medically fragile. I have masked around people since I got back – especially my immune compromised daughter – because I was in proximity to hundreds, if not thousands of people, in multiple countries. I masked in crowds and on the plane, but still was exposed to so many people… and I know I was near at least two people with Covid – both Americans who pissed me off. One was in the airport – unmasked – coughing his ass off in Italy, having his wife get all the luggage because he didn’t feel well. I was sitting next to him until I realized. The second was staying next to us in Greece and was coughing like crazy when we arrived but checked out the day after we arrived… I wondered about the maid staff servicing that room before coming to ours (if you are sick, don’t let the staff in and keep to yourself) … and there was a wall between our patios and pools but made mental note the wind was blowing our direction when he was outside unmasked coughing. People are still dying from this, yet so many people – especially Americans – are so fucking cavalier and insensitive. I did take some risks… it was hot as fuck and staying masked didn’t always make sense… but I knew I was, and they were “calculated” risks – but risks none the less – hence the masking since I have gotten back, just in case… I better go Lysol wipe all the things I’ve touched in the kitchen and other communal spaces… heavy sigh. The girls and I shared food, drink and tight spaces/small places. We share – it’s what we do… sample each other’s choices and experience more great stuff.

Adventure – Conclusion

We left Greece and went back to France for a day… I am not homesick – which seems odd… the only thing I have longed for is my comfy bed. I have so thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. It makes no sense, but I feel more connected to myself and everyone else on the planet… I can’t wait to go again as well as other places. If you see a woman on a corner holding a sign “Will work for travel money” – that’s just me… gathering pennies for my next travels – LOL. I almost bought a shirt on vacation that showed a woman on a corner with a sign that said “Need money for Chanel” … it made me smile… I, too, need more money for Chanel… just kidding – I appreciate quality very much but don’t need the name. I have a pair of Gucci flats I have been wearing for 7 years – they are still fabulous, and I wore them quite a bit on vacation. Quality lasts. I saw other shirts I found humorous – a couple pictures to follow…

Home now, I just have no desire to go back to the fast pace of normal life… I just want to linger in my bed thinking about the places I went, the people I met, the wonderful food I had… My hair still smells like French shampoo… I’m craving those little Greek tomatoes and some Italian coffee. I have over 4,000 emails I have no desire to read. I called my business partner and told him I would not be in today. I alluded to jet lag… but I don’t really have any – other than needing to wake up at 3am and eat something… I made an omelet but wished I had some French cheese for it… I just feel contented and happy and want to linger in that feeling a while longer. Maybe start planning my next trip… Ireland is still calling to me… I also dreamed about renting a house somewhere in France near the water…

I feel different. My soul has been soothed… but at the same time ignited to new levels of passion for life.

Adventure – Part Four

Greece is lovely. Significantly more touristy than I anticipated- but lovely. We were here for the annual volcano fireworks show… amazing and difficult to describe… they simulated lava! The food here is scrumptious. We grew weary of all the tourists and chartered a speed yacht to explore the island from the water side, and asked to be taken to “locals only” type areas. We went to a restaurant where the catch of the day (sea bass) and other things I can’t pronounce or spell were a life altering culinary experience.

We spent hours with a lovely man named Nikos… and another named Christo filled us in on the history and culture. I am feeling so satisfied…content… filled with joy. If I had taken these travels in my 20’s I would be a different person… we snorkeled and swam in a cove near where the fishermen live… I’d rather be a “traveler” than a “tourist”.

Which reminds me – I have seen the most egregious behavior from other Americans here… obnoxious, entitled…disrespectful… may I never, ever, be that kind of human.

It makes the locals incredibly happy if you attempt the language… it seems so few even try here. Either that or I’ve said the wrong thing which makes them beam because it’s so funny? When I attempt the language, even though I’m quite sure it’s mangled – it makes people extra kind and they try to give you free extras – which I think is funny. The ice cream man taught me to count in Greek, then gave me free ice cream. Which reminds me, I now believe affogado should’ve a breakfast alternative… love it… want it all day please.

Adventure – Part Three


I have a problem. I seem to fall in love with every place I go… Rome now has a piece of my heart as well. The people are warm and friendly and resilient. The food amazing. Italian coffee is true delight. I thought I might get one the other day “to go”  so I could drink and walk. The sweet man behind the counter said, “no go with it… sit, enjoy” as I looked at the stack of “to go” cups… then he says, “do you have appointment to be somewhere?” I said No” so he ushered me to a table outside to “sit and enjoy”. Oh my God… best coffee ever… that then became my “thing” sitting to enjoy a coffee and people watch. 

At lunch we ordered some pastas (too incredible to even describe)and salads at a highly acclaimed restaurant (a Bourdaine place) and toward the end of the meal, the waiter asked if he could tell me something without offending me. I told him absolutely – tell me anything. He wanted to tell me we ate the bread wrong. You don’t eat it while you wait for your food and spoil your appetite – you use it to sop the sauce. He brought us more bread and said “please try – use hands- break and sop”. Wow… he was so right. Now I had to eat more although I was full! 

One thing I have enjoyed in both Paris and Rome is early mornings and nights. Having coffee at an outdoor cafe early in the morning watching the city wake up and come to life. Both cities are beautiful at night and have things to see and do. Street performers are also amazing. Jazz played on a street in Paris, an amazing operatic singing and circ de soleil type performances in Italy. 

Tiramisu.  I thought I had eaten it before… the “real” thing is like nothing I’ve had before. Again I am now forever spoiled…

Sitting, eating, visiting… lingering over wine. That’s what people do in these cities. No one hurries to bring your check. Food is not meant to be inhaled in a hurry as sustenance between things. It is a “thing”. An important, soul satisfying, “thing”. 

Seeing the sites is lovely but I love it more in the rain or in the evening – then it’s more personal – if that makes any sense. So many fountains in Italy… they are all… I’m overusing the word amazing (reminder – must expand my vocabulary to fully express all this amazingness) and they are all so beautiful. 

Paris has these special fountains installed by Sir Richard Wallace in the 1800’s. I did not bring my laptop and I’m blogging by phone so I can’t go into detail, but Google “Wallace fountains” and you will know the story. It brings my heart joy that a wealthy man cared enough about others to have these installed. One local said they bring happiness and prosperity to your life like “magic”.  I have found two… 118 to go – so I will need to go back again. 

Arrivederci Italy… I will be back here also. I ensured that with the backward right arm coin toss in the appropriate fountain 😁

Adventure – Part Two

I love Paris… I will be back. I even felt comfortable enough with the metro to go to the Eiffel Tower at midnight to watch the lights (most definitely a different vibe and more colorful people in the middle of the night though). There is still so much I haven’t seen! I hate to leave. Plus other places in France I’m sure will be different and wonderful in other ways!

I left Paris from the other airport (Orly) and arrived in Italy today… and yes, today we had a driver. (So appreciative!) I’m in the Campo deFiori part of Rome. The buildings are amazing… almost feels like a ruins in places… amazingly old, yet full of life. We have rented an apartment. The building is very old, hundreds of years… FYI if you turn on all the air conditioning units and the washing machine at the same time in a building this old, you will blow a fuse and you may very well sweat to death waiting for a fix! After our lesson in fuse panels, we went walking. I discovered at lunch that I thought I knew what pizza was, and I was so incredibly wrong! The pizza here is so amazing I have been spoiled for life now. I’m sorry but no American version – even at a fancy Italian restaurant can compare! Not even the same food! (Mental note – must buy a pizza oven and learn to make real pizza). 

Also after wheeling heavy luggage down cobblestone streets in two countries now, then hoisting it up two flights of the craziest randomly sized and heighted skinny marble steps, I will never travel with normal luggage again. Besides, I’m finding I don’t need much… I have some favorite dresses I keep throwing on… all I really need is a backpack (this time of year anyway). 

I’ve also learned you can’t always be open, friendly and trusting… sometimes you have to be cold and shut someone down (not a natural strength for me)… in Paris a Serbian man decided he liked me, wouldn’t leave me alone… sang to me, followed me, and kept trying to kiss me. The girls had to step in and get me away from him. Apparently making eye contact – which I am accustomed to doing when I speak to people – can be misinterpreted in other countries. Who knew?

I have also learned that Google maps combined with Google translate opens the entire world to me! I do not speak Italian (yet), the girls do – but with these two little tools, I feel like I could go anywhere! 

Welcome to Rome… dinner was meat from the butcher, fresh veggies from the market and bread from the bakery, followed by a walk for gelato.

Adventure – Part One

I am a very relaxed traveler… I just always assume it’s all part of the journey. I packed 15 dresses, 2 skirts, 6 tops, 3 swimsuits, and 7 pair of shoes… which may seem excessive, but my suitcase was only 35 pounds. I had a carry on with two changes of clothes(just in case), and snacks. I had to leave for the airport at noon – which is perfect… not stressful. The girls arrived frazzled, with overweight bags – so we repacked them, put some of their things in my bag, and had them leave behind a few things they honestly won’t need. I managed to get them to take some deep breaths and get less stressed. Although one of the girls can never really relax about flying. 

We left for the airport on time. We all had TSA pre-check so smoothly made it through security and to the gate with plenty of time to spare. The flight was delayed an hour so we had a lovely meal at a sit down restaurant (vs a bag in our lap at the gate), with lovely dumplings and tempura green beans… normally I fly first class but that is VERY expensive for a flight to Europe so I conceded to fly not first class… I’m happy to be going – no need to be a diva. 

We boarded the plane and got settled. I pre-loaded an iPad and a kindle in case we were bored with selections offered on the plane. I had 14 movies, a few series, and many books available.  Good to go 😁 – it was going to be a very long flight but we were all set. 

The plan was to change from our plane clothes into something clean and more chic at the airport, then drop our bags at the hotel and go exploring. In coach it feels as if you have a one foot square space to be in. Sleep was not possible.

We arrived at Charles deGaulle airport at 11am with all of us tired and one of the girls feeling sick (mostly from being overtired but she also has a very delicate digestive system). We decided to skip changing clothes and just get our luggage and get out in the air and maybe eat something. As we were walking down the ramp from the plane, following signs for baggage claim, I saw a huge herd of people. I thought to myself – gosh, they look uncomfortable… mental note plan to be early when leaving… assuming they were all waiting to get to gates. Winding down and around, I realized we were joining them… there must have been a thousand people… I have now been in a mask for about 16 hours, I’m tired, hungry, my ankles have swollen to an unrecognizable size, my body hurts from being cramped up so many hours … and this is the only way out. The lines do not appear to be moving at all. It took a moment to figure out the queue system and we got in the line for those with American passports. 

It took 3 hours to get through customs to be able to get to the baggage carousel. The entire time we were questioning ourselves if we were even in the right place… the girls took turns being agitated and/or frustrated as this wasn’t the plan in their mind. Me, being the annoyingly optimistic person I tend to be, kept telling them “It’s okay… we’ll be through soon… just go with the flow… it’s all part of the adventure…” meanwhile it’s hot. It’s sticky. The people around us are unhappy in dozens of languages… I remember Mercury is in retrograde and that is likely part of the problem- we just need to chill about everything… so I announce that to make us all feel better – which makes a man near me literally roll his eyes… (yes, I am aware I can get on a nerve… I am very sweet and lovable though). 

We finally get to the bags and I assume we will taxi or Uber to the hotel. I usually have a car service lined up but I was being easygoing and allowed the girls to take the lead on this as they felt it was unnecessarily extravagant (although I was so tired by the time I had my bag, I looked at all the drivers holding signs anyway – on the off chance the Universe gifted me a chauffeured SUV with air conditioning). Consulting their phones, comparing prices, they decided we would get a train pass. “Affordable and convenient” we could use it multiple times navigating around Paris… okay. In line for the train pass. Oops wrong line – must get in line for photos first – then back to the train pass line. Two more hours pass. (Welcome to Paris) we have now been off the plane for 5 entire hours but have not managed to leave the airport… which, by the way, is absolutely humongous! 

Finally, train pass in hand, we are leaving the airport. I’m just going with the flow… happy for a moment of fresh air… I see a train but they say that’s not ours. Ours comes in 8 minutes. Then at last minute the girls decide it IS our train – they were looking at when it departs- so quickly we get ourselves and the three suitcases and three carryons on to the train and find a seat. It’s not a spacious train… it’s like an above ground commuter train… there is not a lot of room for our suitcases and we really wedged in with them. I asked the girls where we get off, how many stops, etc. They are busy trying to read the map… one of them says it’s a hour and 18 minutes until we get off – but then just a 4 minute walk to the hotel. I said I didn’t understand that… we are in Paris and the hotel is in Paris so why so long? They weren’t sure, but indicated Paris must be rather large… okay… I’m going with the flow… it’s all an adventure. 

I chatted with a few people on the train. People got off… others got on… the plastic seats were hard and uncomfortable… there was no air conditioning and it felt like 100 degrees of stagnant air… the windows wouldn’t open and I’m still masked… apparently “rush hour” happens all over the world and this train just kept getting more and more full… people are packed in standing in every available spot… no air flow… then the train stops unexpectedly and stays stopped. Announcements are made… that I do not understand… no matter what country you are in, if announcements are made and the speaker doesn’t annunciate well, it’s hard to understand what is said and even harder if it’s not your language… factoring in various accents… you get the idea. The train is broken. Something about switches. We finally get moving again for it to break again a few more times… then a very tall man – maybe 7ft tall, very thin, dark skin, a woven looking thing on his head (akin to a yamaka) and wearing a long white priest-like robe makes his way through the people to where I am seated. Meanwhile I am so overheated, fatigued  and smothered by my mask which has now been on my face approaching 20 hours, I’m feeling like I may faint – which I never have, but I imagine this is how you feel when you are going to. 

This towering man in the white priest garb flashed a card at the man seated across from me. That man got up and the robed man proceeded to yell at me in French. From what I could gather, my luggage was taking up too much room. He was pointing at a sign, which I believe said the seat was for pregnant women, or those with disabilities or age… none of which seemed to apply to him… I apologized and tried to explain I had nowhere to put the suitcase and indicated I would ride standing. Others on the train started telling me to sit and just ignore him.  He picked up my bag and hoisted it in air and set it on Meg’s bag – making me wonder how I would ever get it down again… I continued trying to calm him and ask him what he needed from me. The other passengers were angry with him and just kept telling me I was fine. I sat back down… tears welled up because it was such a long day. I put on my sunglasses so no one could see and pondered the fact he seemed to regard himself as some sort of holy man and no truly holy man would act so boorish. Then he picked another argument with a man who had to ride standing – indicating the standing passenger was encroaching on his space. It was getting very heated and more passengers were joining in against this bully – all yelling in French. I’m pretty sure swearing was involved.

Communicating with sign language, the girls and I agreed to get off at the next possible stop. You have roughly 30 seconds to get out – not an easy task with standing room only and all our luggage. With many pardon mois and much lack of grace we managed to get out… barely… suitcases tumbling over. That’s when they told me they made a mistake and we got on the wrong train, we were not in Paris and we were actually lost. That was my breaking point… the final straw… no more going with the flow… no more Namaste. I had to cry for a minute. The girls were overflowing with apologies about the wrong train, the mean man, their earlier grumpiness…(which just made me feel worse – I never want someone to feel bad because I’m having a moment). But also had to say I would never yell at someone who clearly was not from where I was and was struggling with the language… that’s just rude.

I told them to just give me a minute, it has been too long of a day. Then we ordered an Uber to come and find us and take us back to Paris and to the hotel. That did require some translation assistance… but I was so thankful to see a beautiful black Mercedes with air conditioning arrive to save the day. The good smelling driver loaded the bags and opened our doors further accentuating the fact I had spent hours smelling body odor and urine of countless strangers… merci beaucoup… I think I love you… still rush hour(s) but leather comfy seats and AC – I was beginning to feel human again. 

Our hotel is in the 7th Arrt with beautiful old buildings all around. We pulled up to building with a discrete hotel plaque (no gawdy neon here!) and was greeted by the very pleasant hotel staff who wisked us to comfy chairs with lemon water as they sent our luggage to the room, eager to hear why we were so late to arrive and then offered us free adult beverages to help us relax and recover. 

The concierge then made us dinner reservations at a place she thought we would like, ushered us off for showers and said she would show us where to go when we were ready. Dinner was a pleasant walk away and was absolutely amazing… after sumptuous food (that I should go into great detail about because it was so wonderful), more adult beverages and lots of laughter we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Today has been really lovely. I have mastered “le metro” and am now zooming all over Paris doing all the things… the metro system is fabulous! We went to a lovely boulangerie for breakfast and have taken a walking tour through the 18th Arrt sampling the food, hearing about the history, seeing the sites and then had wine, champagne, and cognac with the other people on the tour – a couple from England, a couple from New York, another couple from Colorado, and a couple from Spain – we had a special room we went to drink and toast to love and life in the hotel where Edith Piaf sang and met the love of her life who inspired her famous song La vie en rose. We are the three American women who made friends (and made them laugh for a while) with them and the 1/2 French 1/2 Italian tour guide who is working his way through interior design school. We laughed, shared stories, and had a wonderful time. I discovered I like cognac. Now we are resting a bit before showering again and taking the metro out for more adventures. 

The time change has me a little thrown off. If you are in the western United States, I’m actually writing this from the future… it’s tomorrow here. It confuses me – LOL.

I am really enjoying Paris… a baguette with salted butter and white ham makes me very happy… I could just stroll the streets with one in hand forever and be deliciously content… and croissants make me happy. I can get behind a people who eat bread at every meal… and so many wonderful cheeses… I have not had anything not absolutely superb. I have found most of the people I’ve met are quite warm and friendly. I’m having a fabulous time now. I have two more days here before we journey off to Italy.

Internal rambling…

Warning – I’m going to talk about some stuff that may make you uncomfortable… but remember this is my personal diary – so if you don’t like it, don’t read it. This is where I sometimes sort stuff out. It makes me feel better to type it out… sometimes it even helps me make sense of stuff.

I have been on a self-imposed sex desert… the Sahara. I have forgotten why I put myself there… I suppose I could go back and read through old posts and figure it out, but whatever. If you’ve been here a while, you know sex is important to me… it’s part of being human… and alive. Even if I’m not in a loving couple relationship, I need the physicality. I’m ready to leave the desert and go back to swimming in the lake. Lately I’ve noticed I get a little tingle when I see email from GoDaddy and move it over to the GoDaddy folder… saying the word in my mind GoDaddy… Am I alone here? LOL – Probably… also the “submit” button… that gets me too. Yeah, I know… I’m a freak.

The other day, while making the long drive to work, I was thinking about penises. (You were too? See… we are friends – LOL) There is one in particular that is perfect for me… but I can’t have that one… I had even forgotten at one point how perfect it was for me – then when we reconnected a few months later, I was so pleasantly surprised and thought “Yes, this is perfect… the perfect penis for me!”… but those are thoughts for another day. There is a close second that I have enjoyed a number of times… I had recently considered texting the owner of that one but talked myself out of it a few times. At a meeting with a builder the other day I found myself wondering if he was married… if he had a good penis… if he was good in bed… I realize this is not considered “normal” female thinking. It’s the way I’m built. I’m very sexual and when not in a relationship and having regular sex, these thoughts crop up. So sue me.  

While driving and thinking about penises I went ahead and texted the owner of the runner up. (I know – don’t text and drive.) I was prepared for a wide range of possible responses… from “I’m seeing someone” to “Why haven’t I heard from you in so long?” to “Not interested” … I was even prepared for silence. What I got was an instant, very warm response.

I didn’t go immediately straight to the point… I did say “Hi” and “How are you?” … then asked if he’d like to fuck one day soon… He wanted me to come over right away. I had to explain I was working, so I couldn’t go over now, but could later. He was so pouty about the “I can’t this moment”, I thought it was going to turn into a “forget it”. I did have to explain I didn’t know his current status or receptivity and had anticipated needing to plan ahead a bit if he was receptive – most people would not be like “yes it’s 8am on a Thursday, let’s do this”. He did get over it and we made plans for after work. I talked about it with him, and he is completely up for me swinging by any time for sex. No “relationship” just sex. No scheduling days or weeks in advance or coordinating calendars – just “let’s have sex now” or “let’s fuck” works for him. This makes me happy. He is right off the freeway I drive up and down every day. It’s convenient.

When I was going through my divorce, I had a fuckbuddy. I had one accidentally for a while last year. In this case, neither of us has any illusions this will be “more” or “different” than what it is – just sex. I’ve known this guy a while… about a year and half. He’s not soft, sweet, or “romantic”. He manages IT for a very large organization, very analytical… very direct… he is a guy that will competitively race motorcycles at 100mph for fun and cares more about his pit bulls than he ever would any woman in his life. I’m okay with that. He’s good at sex.

I think if I ever talked to him about energy, intention, or meditation he would think I was soft in the head. He and I have trouble talking about anything really… we have tried. I seriously doubt he will ever stop being a quintessential “overly hard and jaded masculine” bachelor. There was one time last year when he tried to be sweet… I told him I wanted to have conversation and food… he tried… it didn’t end well… That’s okay – that is not what we can have together – we fuck.

There is one thing he said the other night that I keep remembering though… it’s weird. And kind of under my skin a bit I guess if I keep hearing it in my mind. We always have some pleasantries – like “How was your day?” or “Drive safe – text me”, but we don’t try to go “deep” or “real” or “soft”… it’s just all about the sex. In the middle of sex he said something that caught me off guard and was not something he would ever normally say… he said in a soft, almost vulnerable way “You know how sexy you are… don’t you?” Normally if he were to ask me something, it would be in a different tone of voice, and I would answer – it’s part of the game… the role. This was different. I chose not to answer. I think I may have paused for a moment… but said nothing. Then we went back to our play… but it has kind of haunted me for some reason. He probably meant nothing “real” by it, but it stuck with me.

So now I have to analyze it… my first thought was “No… I’m a middle-aged chunky woman whose tits have succumb to gravity.” Then I think – “middle-aged” is generous… I will not live to be 116. I like to “feel” like I can be sexy and desirable… but let’s face it – I am not a hot 20 something (anymore anyway) … I look okay for my age… some I know have not aged as well… I could be better if I worked at it… who decides what “sexy” looks like? Robert found me sexy… but he’s dead. Do people ever think I’m sexy? Does it matter? My therapist said I don’t need therapy why? In my mind, maybe “sexy” is more of an attitude? A way of “being” in the moment? It doesn’t matter – it only matters however I am makes my fuckbuddy’s dick hard – right? The neighbor is always looking at my ass or my boobs… does he think I’m sexy? I don’t care if he does… he needs to buy a house – I focus on that. I did the same mental spiral once when someone asked me if I knew how pretty I was. I had assumed people just said that kind of thing to be nice, but I finally did concede that I have pretty moments… we all do. I have always been taught it’s the inside that matters. I never learned to use my feminine features the way most girls and women do… I have always felt I was broken in that regard… someone finally taught me how to put on lipstick when I was 40, and I rarely ever wear any make-up. I went through an eyeliner phase as a teenager, but I have never been a make-up person. I just work. I make things happen… it doesn’t matter what I “look” like… it just matters who I “am” – right?

That’s why it’s so easy to pack for my trip. (Suitcase is open – I’m ready) I don’t need to take a bunch of things. Hairbrush, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, razor, moisturizer, swimsuit, dresses, shoes, money, passport… done. I am going to get a manicure before I go, so I don’t look like a homeless person… and have a little more drive-by sex so I don’t end up getting random international sex… although… would that be horrible?

There you have it. Welcome to the rabbit hole in my mind. Okay… my dirty mind and I must get back to work.