Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 214; My Merry Christmas

Christmas was costly, but I knew it would be.  Financially, at least.

What I hadn't factored into my budget was the emotional costs I would end up paying.   

Naively, I entered the holiday weekend with plans to sleep over with A and the boys.   There was just no way I was ready to be apart from them during this most holy of family traditions and times.

As Christmas Eve fell upon us, so did a feeling of general malaise and lethargy.   I was getting sick at Christmas!

A offered his bed and he slept in the bottom bunk in one of the boy's rooms.   I slept well, but felt horrible.  Christmas Day we happily waltzed through our traditional dance of gifts, breakfast casserole, eggnog, stockings, and more gifts to finally collapse amidst a mountain of goodies and torn paper and ribbons.

Perched on the couch, under homemade quilts, with the fire roaring nearby, I was in Heaven.

I looked at our boys, looked at A and truly wondered where and why I had fallen off the path.

I pretended, for three days, that life was as it once was.   Idyllic, slow, cozy, and warm.  
For three days I wore flannel, comfy socks, my hair clipped back off my fresh washed face and dreamed that A would fall in love with me all over again.

I pictured all of our good times, the best times, our dreams and hopes encapsulated in that weekend, like one of those Christmas tree ornaments that magically holds a photo inside the transparent bauble.

As the weekend came to an end and A prepared to leave for work yesterday, I tentatively broached the subject of us, our life, our ghosts...past, present, and future.

And again I was met with the same gentle, but firm reply.

Apart is how A wants us to be.   He can't trust me and I'm not sure I can either.   He can't give me what it is I"ve needed and wanted for so long.  At the end of the day, there is nothing left for me.

I struggled with the weekend, needing to know if it was reality or a dream.    I think it was something in between.

There were times in our life when the reality was dreamlike and magical and this weekend was one of those.

Part of me is happy my kids could witness their parents together, but separate.   Part of me aches at the thought of our future holidays where we spend time apart out of circumstance.

My emotional bank account is empty.   It's time to replenish it so I have more to spend when the next bump in the road comes my way.

Was it a Merry Christmas? 


Was it the hardest Christmas I've ever experienced?

Most definitely.

But next weekend heralds a New Year with new beginnings!

I say bring it on!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 209; Being Here

I don't know what is happening to me.   I keep feeling like I've made a huge, huge mistake.  Images are flashing through my mind of all the years A and I have spent together, all of our laughs, all of our adventures, even the not so amazing ones.

I miss them.  I miss him.

What have I done?

What am I doing?

Is this fear talking or is this how I truly feel?

It seems real to me, seems honest, seems true.

We have such a history together and three, beautiful children.

I feel sick to my stomach.

Being here tonight hurts.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, it's a busy day for sure.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 208; Patterns

I'm noticing a pattern with myself and will be curious to see if it continues through the year.   When I enter my PMS phase of my monthly cycle, I lose my strength and fortitude and ask A if he wants to reconcile.   It happened at Thanksgiving and it happened this week.

Come to think of it, it could have something to do with the holidays, but either way, I am onto myself and will watch closer from here on out.

Each time I've asked A if he thinks we should reconcile, he says 'no'.   We texted our way through it all this time around and even though I couldn't see his face, I felt his earnestness, his sincerity.   I didn't feel as though there was an overabundance of anger.

He said we were a recipe for failure and that he finally believed that we were not meant to be together.  He said I'd been indicating that for some time with my actions and he was just now ready to accept that and believe it.   He also questioned my motives for wanting to get back together, feeling that I was motivated by fear and loneliness.

Again, I couldn't necessarily deny those claims.

So, I asked the big question.

"Does this mean divorce?"  and he replied that it did.

Standing in the aisle of the toy store, the silent tears streamed down my face.    What he said hurt deeply, but I knew there was truth  in the words.

He said he wanted to focus on being a dad, the thing he does best in this world and that he deserved to find someone who loved him just as he was.

And he does.   I never meant to not be that person.  

I hope he finds happiness, although in all honesty, I am no where near able to envision that happiness with someone else.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite, but I promised to always be honest here, so there you have it.

As it stands, we plan to discuss the divorce after the holidays.  I am assuming we will start getting things in order the week after Christmas.

I could be sad, and will be.   Profoundly.

But I can also look towards a New Year with new beginnings.

There's hope in that, right?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finding Forty; Day 204; Winter Breaks

I don't know what to write about.

Earlier this week, I envisioned a blog about sleeping alone in my bed.   Yes, I feel like a four year old proclaiming my victory, stuffed teddy bear tucked under my arm.   Instead, I'm forty and I have a stuffed hippo who spends his nights with me.

The realization I had this week, as I snuggled into my cold bed, was that for the first time in my adult life there is no one there jolt awake as I place my icy, cold feet onto his bare legs.  There is no other body making warmth, stealing covers, snoring.   I used to like to listen to A breathe and try to synchronize the rise and fall of my chest to his.    The only night I spent with S, I kept my hand on his thigh the entire time.  

Now, I reach over and feel nothing but cool sheets.

But, the thing is, after that twinge of nostalgia passes, I am okay.  I grab a pillow, or stuffed hippo to hug and pay attention to my own breathing, my own thoughts.   It's not scary, it's not hard, it mostly just is what it is.

More and more I feel like it is time for me to find my own place to live.  I've loved having a safe, inexpensive place to be to collect my thoughts, practice being alone, evaluate my choices, but I miss my kids.

I want them to be able to more easily be with me and I want to be closer to them.

I want my own towels in the bathroom cabinet, my own dirty dishes in the sink.   

This nest has been lovely, but it's time for this bird to fly.

Possibly over the winter break, I will look for a more permanent place to live.

This afternoon I see my therapist for the first time since August.  There will be much to tell her about and I can get her advice on my next move.   I need to talk to A.   I still feel like reconciliation isn't what he is interested in and I can't say with 100% certainty that I am either, so living apart works. 

As for divorce, I am not sure.  I think  he's more focused on what is happening with the business and I understand.  I don't mind affording him time and space to work on the other issues.    

I just want to help him more with the kids, the daily stressors, the ups and downs of parenthood and I know I can do it if I move closer and establish my own routines.

So today begins my two week break from work.  I plan to use the vacation time wisely, thinking and mapping out the next path I will take.

I can do that, all by myself, wrapped in the warmth of my own breath and blankets.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 202; Time's A Flyin'

I have things to say!  I have no time to say them.

That isn't altogether true, but my excuse this morning is that I got up and ran on the treadmill.

Not a bad alternative to writing, I'd say.

But I will be back, hopefully later this evening with some thoughts and an update.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 196; Father Christmas

Friday morning and it's my weekend with the boys.  I didn't see them after school yesterday and I already miss them.   I need to move closer than 20 minutes away.

I went to get gas on Wednesday and my credit card was declined.   At first I thought it was the particular gas station, so I drove to another.   "Please see cashier" flashed on the screen.   The other place said "Please try another card".  

There is no other card to try.   Luckily I carry around a stash of emergency cash.   Luckily this happened when I was alone at a gas pump and not the evening before when I had $100 worth of groceries on the conveyor belt at the check out line.  

I am not above being poor, but I, well, I just would never want to have to go through that.

I am not sure the situation is fixed.  I  never heard from A one way or the other.  I know that's a burden for him, but a little communication would be nice.   I don't know about the business.  He continues to go and make things, but I think he's surviving on borrowed time at best.

I want to just move on or dive in or jump off or whatever metaphor you can envision for getting past all of this!

If we end up bankrupt, let's do it.  If we divorce, let's do it.  If we reconcile, let's do it.

I keep trying hard to just BE in the moment but I'm even finding it hard as I type this blog.

On an up note, I received an email yesterday morning from my dad that was amazing.  He wrote to say he was sending me money to help with Christmas.  I was so happy.   What was even more special were the things that he said in it.

I think I'll share it, it's too good not to.   When I read it, I do believe in the magic of Christmas.

Good morning Sweetie ; Hope things are going as well as can be expected and that A and the boys are fine . It was good to see you guys recently . Please send me your current address . In a week (payday) I will be sending you $1,000.00 for Christmas. Please give the boys their hundred , A a nice shirt and tie or sweater or something appropriate and you keep the rest to help you with Christmas . Of course I wish it were more as there is nothing I would not do for you . As you know you two girls are the love of my life and I am proud to be blessed with wonderful children .
The house is coming along and I think it will be  just right for me . Enjoy these next few days and don't forget to forward that address .

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 192; Him

I'm slipping into sadness tonight.  Perhaps I should just try to go to bed and get my mind off him.  

Which him, you ask?

I don't know.

 I think the 'him' I'm thinking about is the next him.   Will he be a stranger or someone I've known for years?

"Him?" you ask.   "Why not her?  Why not you?"

I flush with embarrassment and stammer.  I know I should be focusing on me and not giving one whit about another him, but I am.

I've always thought about him in some form or fashion.  I've always had crushes, always checked out guys, always dreamed of love and being in love.

Now I move through my days longing for a him to smile with me, make me laugh, hold my hand, want to talk to me at night or go places with me.

I walk into the grocery store or a restaurant and wonder, "Is that him?"

I fear the harder I look and the more I think about him, the more elusive he becomes.

This isn't all consuming, it's just what's on my mind lately.

I've been picturing myself at the beach for about a week now.  I'm wearing white and I am with him.  We spend long, luxurious afternoons making love in our bungalow and then talk for hours over dinner and wine before walking on the beach, hand in hand.

It's a silly, little fantasy, but I've been enjoying it.   The best part of all for me is that my him is faceless.  I don't pretend like it's A and I haven't even considered it being S.   There's an old friend from Jr. High I wouldn't mind it being, but he's not an option either.

So, for now, I'll just go along with him being unknown.

He is in "real life" anyway.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 190; Morning Musings

Kenya, my therapist is coming back to town!  Finding that out was a highlight of the week and I immediately made an appointment.

Yes, I realize that my money is funding her jaunts, first to Kenya and then next to Canada, but she's the one I want to tell all of my woes and worries to.  Well, her and the world wide webz.  But, you get my point.

I can't wait to get her up to speed on all that is going on.

More and more, I think things with A are done.   I saw him last night at our neighborhood Happy Hour, but I am not sure we spoke more than one or two sentences to each other.  It makes me a little sad to type that, but in the moment I certainly had no problem with it.

I texted him on Thursday night and again he said he likes being apart more than being together.  Not too much a person can do about that.   But if that is the case, I want to conclude the detachment.  These lingering threads that bind us (other than the kids, I know we will forever be bound in that way) are far more painful than I realized.

I want to be able to look at him with nothing but neutrality and friendship in my eyes.   Looking at him and longing for something that neither of us can muster hurts too much.

I'm working on just being.   Being alone.  Being me.  Being happy.

I think "June", one of my followers asked if I ever tried to just be happy in the moment (or something to that effect) and the answer is yes!  Yes, I do!

R and I laugh all the time.  I love her and miss her.

I love the sunshine and turn my face to it always to let it warm me from the inside out.

Music is my salvation and while it can bring me down at times, it also lifts me and helps me soar.

My job is wonderful, even when I hate it and I thank God for it daily.

And then there are my kids...with their stinky heads and sweet smiles.  They bring supreme joy.

I'm gonna make it a good day.  With or without A or S or anyone.