Each evening I snuggle down into bed. Usually my feet are freezing, I flip on my heated blanket, and wait for my toes to thaw out.
It’s usually been a few hours since I put Magee to bed, but as a mother I always listen for her little feet on the stairs. I sleep in the basement, I’m half deaf, but still I hear her feet two floors above me. She comes down to me if she’s had a nightmare, or is feeling ill. Those two little feet in the night usually signal a sleepless night, but I wouldn’t trade the sound of them for anything.
My brother who also lives with me is a university student. He often doesn’t come home until late after I’ve gone to bed. His footsteps are akin to those of a woolly mammoth. He will clamber into the house, throw his knapsack down and scurry around the kitchen looking for leftovers and his mail. As he climbs the stairs to his room, I hear his giant steps until he hits the upper landing. As much as those feet drive me nuts, I know in a heartbeat they’d run to my side the minute I was in trouble.
There are a set of feet I search for every night. Deep under the covers, I look for my husbands feet. We generally sleep with our feet entwined, it’s a simple connection that for some reason has lasted.
Elliot left to go back to the states a little over a month ago while we work on his immigration on this end. Every night I wake up ever so slightly, looking for his feet. I’m always awake enough to have a bit of sadness wash over me when I realise again that they aren’t there.
So many feet in the night, but not the ones I want.
Willie Nelson once said “I like myself better when I’m writing regularly”.
I’d have to agree with him. I like myself better when I take the time to sit down and put my words down. However mundane, witless, or boring; I just feel centered, more in touch with my life.
Like any person, I don’t generally take the time for myself. I don’t spend the time I’d like to spend writing. There is always something to be done, or finally at the end of the day I feel like my brain is mush. I don’t know how I did it as a student. It seemed no matter how tired, hung over, or even drunk I was, I still managed to write and get kick ass grades. Somehow I’m guessing I would score far less stellar marks. Far. Less. Stellar.
I think part of the reason I do this whole stop and start thing to my writing is, I stop when things are going well, writing has always been my ‘therapy’ and when life is good, I don’t need it. I tend to turn to my blog when things are shitty, sad, or I’m angry. Right now, I’m none of those things. Life is wonderful. Really fucking good actually.
Elliot has been here since June, he’s actually back in Wisconsin for a few weeks visiting Family. There’s a new niece, and people who’ve missed him tons! Joel has been here since May, my daycare is full and my Paisley is awesome. She loves school and is doing great.
I’ve talked about making our third bedroom an office/writing area for us, I’m really hoping to do it soon. I think if I can get my ass away from everyone else and all the household distractions, I may actually sit and write more often. Here’s hoping.
So my goal for the next 2 weeks is to spit out 3 blogs. It’s time to get this train back on the tracks.
One more quote. This one by Cyril Connolly: Better to write for yourself, and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
It seems like no matter which direction I look in these days; change is happening, whether I like it or not.
I’m relatively easy when it comes to change, I tend to adjust, and go with it. This last year has been one change after another, the decision to end my marriage, the decisions that needed to be made for my cancer diagnosis, changes in my job, my family, my brother moving in with me…it’s been like rapid fire.
Now, I am facing two more big changes, both are exciting, and scary.
Shaughn completed his third interview with Toyota today, a job that will offer him more money, full benefits, and a pension. It is also a job that will (by choice) take him away from his daughter. While I am very excited, about what this means for him, his future and our Paisley’s future, it also brings with it many unknowns. By choosing to move to a new city, he will be much more limited in the amount of time he is able to spend with her. This will have many trickle down effects, and I’m not sure that it’s the best thing for her. She is just now, a year after our separation starting to exhibit some behaviours associated with her father moving out, I fear that they will be exacerbated further when their time together is cut shorter.
Right now Shaughn has full access, he has his set times to have her, but often will hang out with her in-between his allotted time. I think it’s wonderful. He has always been a hands on Dad, they often spend time building things, doing crafty stuff, going to the park and researching My Little Pony shit. It’s such a special and sacred relationship, I am just afraid it will be lost. I question if I am being selfish, but no, I don’t think that’s it, I have nothing to be selfish over, I’m quite happy to be mummy 24/7 with the occasional break, but I have family and friends to fill in the gaps. No, I really am concerned about their relationship and it’s continued growth.
Alas, things change.
The second major change I’m facing is also a familial change. My lad is moving up from the states and will be living with us. This is scary and exciting at the same time. Another huge life change!
Elliot and I have been together long distance for 8 months, with him living with us off and on for close to 3 months. I’m beyond excited to have him here, I’m done with this long distance crap; although it has afforded me the chance to learn and grow…(read more about that here:https://simplysomeday.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/where-my-heart-is/ ) I’m ready to ditch the 6000 text messages and FaceTime chats.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve lived with a partner, It’s been a year of doing things on my own, on my terms, how I want them done. I’ve had a year to be selfish, and concentrate on my needs and wants (and Pais’) without having to really consider another person. We often have PB&J for dinners, on the weekends we try to sleep late and maximise every minute we have together, I can use my favourite snuggly blanket because I’m always cold, I can sleep in my WHOLE bed, not worrying about kicking the person beside me! SELFISH!
As much as I’m joking, I am nervous about sharing myself again, opening myself up to vulnerability, throwing my whole life and heart into an ocean and hoping we can swim; not just tread water, praying we don’t drown. I know in my heart that things will be good. I know we’re in for rocky times like any relationship, but I also know that there are so many wonderful things in store too. I can’t wait.
This move has brought up feelings in my extended family that I am not thrilled with. I know certain people disapprove, and when others find out they will more than disapprove, but really; I’m an adult, and frankly I don’t give a flying leap what others think about my relationship or how I live my life.
So bring it, bring the changes, bring the unknown, uncertainty, the doubt, the second-guessing, and bring the joy of change. I’m ready for it.
Having a conversation about music last night sparked a simple and fun blog idea….
What do I listen to?
Music has always played a huge part in my life. I’m a huge opera fan, I love jazz and the blues. I generally listen to talk radio, but when it’s time to rock out, I break out my phone, plug it in to my stereo and blare it! The louder the better…lately my musical selection has been an all empowering “Fuck You to the world” play list.
My Big FU song these days is ‘So What’ by P!NK. I love her. I’ve always loved her. Her music is inspiring, uplifiting, and makes me feel like it’s all going to be OK. She has an awesome sense of humour to boot! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJfFZqTlWrQ
If I’m feeling sappy and missing my lad, I plug into my Canal and Bowery playlist. On it you will find: Bright Eyes, The Lumineers, Jason Mraz, Hedley, Damien Rice, Train, Josh Radin, and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKU3UuJhIxU
I also have some Ed Sheeren, Of Monsters and Men, Philip Phillips, and my guilty pleasure (Pais and I will grab our wooden spoons and sing this at the top of our lungs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F57P9C4SAW4
So there you have it, some of my music, the stuff that gets me through my days.
So this past week has been a test of co-parenting for me. I felt very out of my element, angry, hurt, and helpless. I’m not going into details, they really don’t matter.
Shaughn and I had a disagreement on what each of us thought was ok for Paisley. What I thought (and still do) was not appropriate, he thinks is just fine. I’ve constantly had to remind myself that this is how you co-parent, this is how things work. I cannot control what Pais sees, does, hears, or experiences when she’s not in my care.
I’ve had to remind myself that Shaughn would never do anything to endanger, hurt, or harm our child. I’ve also had to remind myself that it’s ok if he raises her differently than I do. It’s really ok. When we were together, I did the bulk of child rearing, just as I still do. I’m able to decide what Pais wears, what shows she watches, who she plays with, and what she plays. I make many of those decisions for her as in many cases, she is too young to make appropriate decisions; if I left it up to her she’d wear her bathing suit in December. Shaughn, due to his work schedule, then school, had little to say about things, and we were generally on the same page anyway.
Now, with sharing our time with Pais separately, I’m finding that they are doing things that I would never do in our house, I was having a very hard time wrapping my head around the fact that things are different. That they are doing things that I am so opposed to. Is she being hurt? Nope. Is it ruining her chances of being a productive member of society? Nope. They are just not things I would ever let her do.
I know Shaughn thinks I am a control freak. To an extent I am. I have to be. I don’t have the luxury of not being that way. I live my life according to schedules, I don’t divert from them often. I insist that Pais follows them, she needs routine just as much as I do. When I say it’s a luxury to not have to live by them, I mean it. I don’t want to be this way, I don’t want to have to get up early, get her dressed and fed by 8:30, I don’t want to have to worry about her 7:30 bedtime each night and fitting in dinner, quality time, and a bath. I would love to be the fun parent who lets her stay up late, I would love to stay in bed a bit longer on the weekends, but I can’t and don’t.
This has been the hardest adjustment for me thus far. And now that I’ve calmed the hell down a bit, I can see more rationally.
I know we aren’t going to raise her exactly the same, I know they will do cool stuff that I can’t, and she and I will do cool stuff that they won’t. I know he may give her heck for something I wouldn’t and vice versa. And it’s ok. I just need to take a deep breath and remember…It’s Ok. Shaughn will ALWAYS have her back, and he will always have mine. We will always disagree, but we will always try to see the others point of view, and on the big stuff we will present a united front.
This was the first of many issues that will arise, but I know we’ll be ok. Because we always are.
Thank you Shaughn for putting up with my control freak, I appreciate it.
Each day I marvel at my life, I sit for just a minute or two…sometimes I’m only afforded 30 seconds, but I sit and say thank you for my beautiful life.
A friend visited me yesterday, she brought along her little lad, Liam. He is fresh from the oven so to speak, with only 4 months life experience. He is Lovely; cuddly, squishy, smiley, chubby, and delicious. Yes, I could eat him. He’s that adorable.
Visiting with Mel and Liam made me realise just how quickly the last few years have flown by. Literally flown by.
I can’t believe it’s been five years since I first held my daughter, and now, the number of times I’ve held her or cuddled her is countless. The only way to measure it would be to measure the love she herself puts out into the universe.
I remember countless nights, just waiting for morning to come so another day would pass…literally wishing my time away. As Paisley screamed with colic for hours, all I could think of was the day she wouldn’t, and when would that be, and how many more nights would I have to spend this way?
Looking back now, I remember the soft early dawn light, when Pais finally stopped crying, and we would watch the sun slowly make its way above the horizon. I would hold her in my lap, sometimes I would be crying from sheer exhaustion, but other times, I would sit and hold her, thanking god for another beautiful day, thanking god that I had this beautiful, healthy child in my arms. I remember those quiet moments now and would give anything to have them back.
As adults we tend to forget the quiet times, amidst the craziness of our everyday lives, it’s not often that we just sit and take stock of the world around us. We are caught up in jobs, chores, the news, families, and friends; we forget that the flowers are just starting to peek out of winter soil, that the birds are up and singing far earlier than we are. We forget that even in the April snowstorms, there is still beauty and stillness to be admired.
When Paisley was sick a few weeks back, throwing up over and over, I sat there wishing it was over. I was losing money by not working for the day, I was tired after being up all night with her, I was horrified each time she emptied her tummy thinking “here we go again’…it wasn’t until later that I realised that I had the day cuddling, reading books and holding my daughter, just like when she was a baby…I again missed the beauty, wishing the illness would just end. Did I suffer from missing a days work? In retrospect, no, not really. Did I catch up on my sleep? Yes, of course I did.
I, like so many others need to stop, take stock and admire the beauty around us. See the sun filtering though the windows with dust motes dancing in the rays; notice the grass is greener than it was just a short week ago. Take a moment to talk, and listen to your child, REALLY listen to them. Play your favourite song, and feel the music, dance and sing like no one is watching, judging, or listening to you. Take a few minutes to enjoy something, anything. Just enjoy it.
Our life is short, our children grow up so quickly, sleepless nights with colic will soon turn into sleepless nights while your child has your car keys, that friend you meant to have a coffee with might move away, your parent won’t always be there, call them to chat.
Enjoy your day, THIS day. It’s the only one you’ll ever have just like it. It will never be the same again.
My entire life I’ve felt like the elephant in the room, not in the traditional sense of the phrase, but more literally.
Since puberty, I’ve been curvy. So since about 10 when I got boobs, I’ve always been slightly bigger than my friends. As I became an adult I’ve packed on the weight. Dealing with depressive episodes, life circumstances, and boredem, I turned to food to fill this void.
Now, I am fat. Yep, I said it. FAT not to be confused with Phat…but I’m that too (Pretty, Hot, and Tempting). I embrace it to a degree, I don’t mind being curvy, I like boobs and butts, but, I’ve reached a point beyond that. I’m not comfortable in my own skin.
When I’m with my family and friends it’s obvious that I am the largest person in the room, when shopping I can’t get the latest fashions or styles without spending a fortune.
In this day and age when society is on a push to be fat positive, and to be body positive regardless of shape and size, I find myself being embarrassed that I don’t. I am ashamed that I look at the pictures and compare myself to them and think, “well, I’m even bigger than that, I don’t even fit here”.
To go along with my body shape/size, I also have a big personality which I think just exacerbates and brings to the forefront, my physical size. I’m the ‘biggest’ in every sense of the word.
So now what? Like many women, I’ve tried the diets, starvation, weight watchers, vegetarian diet, high protein low carb. I’ve tried intuitive eating…the problem with that one was, I intuitively always want to eat…ice cream, chips, pop corn…. I had very good successes with numerous attempts at weight watchers, but due to money and lack thereof it was something that is just a luxury I can’t afford. I’ve had gym memberships which have also gone the way of weight watchers. I love the gym, I love Zumba, swimming, dance areobics…but being a single mum with limited time and income, the gym isn’t something that fits into my life. People tell me that I have to make fitness a priority, which I agree with, but caring for my daughter is the biggest priority.
I enjoy walking, but again, when I have 2 hours between finishing work and Paisley’s bedtime, It’s tough to fit in dinner, baths, books, and cleanup, let alone an hour to walk each night, or even every other night. I’ve tried Zumba on the Wii, but there’s something sad and depressing about doing it in my small living-room alone. Sigh.
I’m not sure what the answer is. I enjoy playing games in the yard with the kids, tag, soccer, races. These things get my heart rate up, but not as much as it should.
I’m not making excuses, I know why I am the size I am. Now I just have to find something that works for me. Something I can stick to, something that I find satisfying and that will keep me motivated!
I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on my life this last year. It’s been a helluva year, but it’s done. I survived in more than one way. When I think about what my 36th year will hold for me, I’m excited; I’m looking forward to the unknown, and am waiting for new adventures to unfold.
No one sets out and says “God I think this is going to be a shit ass year”, but last year I did. Last March I was in a bad place. I was trying to play family with Shaughn, keep it together while he was gone 14 hours a day, run my business, be a friend, a daughter, and a mummy. I knew that it was going to be hard. I didn’t anticipate cancer, or our separation.
I’m starting this year differently. I’m mentally in a better place, I love my new life despite a few blips in the chart. I’m cancer free (Almost 6 Months!!!!), I have a much better relationship separated from Shaughn than I did with him, and am in a relationship that makes me happy.
I’m starting 36 feeling renewed, like I have my whole life waiting for me, I just have to get out there and grab it. I am starting to think about things I’ve not done in years, I’m planning things that make me happy, I’m doing silly things, because they make me HAPPY! I’m over the days of caring what others think of me, I’m living my life as me. Like it or lump it.
Some people haven’t liked it. That’s ok. I’m not looking for their approval, I don’t need it. All I need is to do what is best for Paisley and myself. She is and will always be my first priority. As long as she is safe, happy, and has her needs met, I think we’re doing well. Fortunately, she is and has all of the above. Fortunately, so do I.
Tomorrow I am spending the day in yoga pants, alone. I’m not getting out of my bed, I’m not seeing friends or family. I know this has also upset a few people but I need some time for myself. Alone.
The only thing I’m missing is a pint of Ben And Jerry’s ‘If I Had 1,000,000 Flavours’
Happy Birthday To Me, Here’s hoping 36 is everything I’m thinking it will be.
Sometimes I hate being a single parent. I appreciate the fact that her father wants to spend time with her, I love that she wants to spend time with him. But holy fuck do I miss her.
I miss my kiddo.
I’m in a piss ass mood and I’m having trouble shaking it tonight. I just want to snuggle with my girl, read another Fancy Nancy book, and tuck her in. But I can’t. I am sitting here instead blogging about it.
She’ll be home tomorrow, and by the time it’s her fathers weekend again, I’ll be ready for another break, but right now, I just want Magee home.
I rarely question my decision to be a single parent. On the whole I’m happier, not as angry, and a better parent; but I often feel stretched, and I miss parts of my old life. I miss some of my freedom. I miss my friends and socializing. I miss not being able to attend things because I chose this life.
But tonight all I miss is my girl, her skinny five year old arms wrapped around my neck, asking me to rock her like I did when she was a baby.
Tomorrow will be a better day, I get to read bed time stories, I get to bug her to tidy her room, help me fold laundry and put dishes away. I get to work on her school work, practising math sums and printing.
Some days I do just want to give up, give in, and just hide. I’m tired, overworked, underpaid.
Some days I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, but then I remember where I was a year ago, and I take a deep breath, and I smile. Life is so much better now.
I’ve made a very conscious decision to start living more simply, I’ve let the past fall to the wayside, and am filling my days with the things that make me happy. I’m letting go of anger, fear, and I’m moving forward.
I’m just trying to live more simply.
This hasn’t been an easy task, and it means I’ve had to let some things in my life go. I am not going out as often, I’m choosing to be at home with Pais rather than go across London on a bus for a coffee date. I’m choosing to cook more, bake more. I’ve been watching less and reading more.
I had spent many years feeling pulled in many directions, trying to be there for everyone, trying to please my friends, family, and job. I would make myself crazy trying to do it all. I would be making pot luck dinners for S’s classmates, meeting my sorority girls twice a month, making dinners and lunches for college kids, spending my Saturday’s at the YMCA with Paiz for swimming, and dancing. I was trying to get in family time with S and Pais, as well as with my family. Unfortunately S didn’t want to spend as much time with my family, but did just our’ little family’.
I made the commitment to myself, and Paisley to start living simpler. I started saying “no”. No, I’m sorry I can’t go out tonight for the third time this week. No, I’m sorry I can’t make two separate dinners. No I’m sorry Paiz can’t go on yet another playdate. No, No, No. I did start saying yes to the things that are important. I started saying Yes, we can hold off on dinner for 10 minutes while we dance around the kitchen blaring P!nk and singing into wooden spoons, I began saying Yes, I would love to come for Sunday dinner but can we do it here to make things a bit easier on me. I will say Yes Paiz, lets bake cookies and muffins instead of buying them.
I started to make different priorities in my life. If I’m feeling too pulled, I slow down. I think about what is most important and focus on that, not all the outside ‘noise’ clouding up my life.
I occasionally fall back into old pattens, and I need to check myself and remind myself that my friends will still be my friends if I am unable to attend a function, and that my family may be disappointed that I don’t make a Sunday dinner, but it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it’s really hard, but I’m doing it.
So my crazy life is becoming simpler, I’m slowing down, taking stock, and doing what makes me and Magee happy. I’ve mostly left my chaotic life behind and am working towards an easier, kinder, and loving life.