Saturday, June 30, 2012

When It Rains It Pours...

... and lately it has been raining men!  Although I don't quite think I want to say "Allejuah" just yet.

Even though this past month has been rather stressful, I have been chatting with quite a few men online this past month.  I took the month of May off from the dating scene because I needed to deal with more personal and important issues in reaching that one year mark.  However, when June arrived, I felt like I was much more ready to begin dating and to potentially move on in this manner.  I know I had been on dating sites for a few months now and had been on a date, but I just felt more ready.  I really think I mentally needed to get past that first year.

June came and it didn't come quietly.  I don't know why, but there where so many men that were consistently chatting back and forth with me that I had a hard time juggling them all, lol.  I know, I am such a dork. But, I couldn't.  I don't know how people can actually date more than one person at a time... that's some multitasking!

The result of all of this... one date!  It's funny how things work out and how timing is so critical.  There was one week where I literally could have had 3-4 dates, not that I would have gone on that many, but I couldn't even go on one that week, my babysitter was out of town.  And the thing about online dating is that I feel like time is of the essence.  People move on and they move on quick!  So, there were a few men that the chats quickly faded and that was okay, I actually led them in that direction so that I could focus more on a couple that I had more interest in.

The date that I did have was a nice date.  This man was very sweet and the conversation went well.  But like my first date, it was just nice.  It was nothing more, nothing less.  Now, I am not looking for a "bad boy" by any means.  But I am definitely looking for more than nice.  I want to be impressed... moved... I want to feel something.

So I made plans to go out with another man who was completely different.  However, I ended up canceling them because there are things that I know I want and don't want.  I also know that this is a learning process and I will tweak those wants; however, there are some things that I know will stick.  Like, clingy.  I can't do clingy and this guy gave me that vibe and it is too early in the game to be that needy.  Maybe I assumed and maybe I am completely wrong, but I need to trust my gut and I did and that's more important than how many dates I go on.

Now that June is almost over, I feel as though things have started to simmer down.
But, that's actually okay, because I am leaving first thing tomorrow morning for the first of my big summer adventures and I won't be back for a week and an half!  Woo hoo.

I seem to have good luck meeting people on my little getaways... who knows!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Summer!

Today was my last day of school/work.  Although I haven't been counting the days, I have to admit that I have been looking forward to this day.  It feels good knowing that there's no pressure, especially for time.

On my drive to work this morning another thought occurred to me... we did it!  My son and I made it through a whole school year.  I know we had some help along the way, but we made it on our own.  I first thought about how proud I was of my son for how great he has adjusted and how great he has been in general.  But, I have to admit that I am proud of myself too.  There were a few bumps in the road (getting sick and locking myself out of the house) but they really were few and far between.

Summer vacation has officially begun and I have so much to look forward to.  I am leaving Sunday to spend some time with my family (and to attend my high school reunion, agh!) before we head out to the Adirondaks for a few days.  Before I know it, it will be August and will be on my way to California.  I am also looking forward to days at the beach, aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, park, Sesame Place, play dates, real dates, time with my girlfriends, and events that have yet to be planned.  Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


A single stalk of straw seems so minute, so insignificant.  However, as the well-known saying goes, "It is the last straw that breaks the camels back," it's a reminder that even little things can add up to be too much.

I feel like a camel right now.  I am exhausted.  There's been a lot going on and I feel as  if I'm reaching my limit as to how much I can take.  I've even been complaining, which I don't usually do.  So I know that things have really gotten to me.  But, I'm tired of it.  So I am going to use this forum to vent(hopefully) one last time and to add a silver lining (also hopefully).

I think that the month of May took its toll on me mentally.  It was a tough month to get through having been the month that marked one year had passed since my husband's death.  It mentally drained me.  Then eight days after the anniversary date, my dog died as well.  Although he had cancer, it hadn't spread and it was unexpected.  It was hard to take in.

On the last day of May, one thing that I had been looking so forward to was the arrival of my artwork, Brilliant.  I posted how it arrived damaged.  It has been almost a month since this piece arrived and it still has not been completely settled.  It turned into a big fiasco.  Up until about a few days ago, I wasn't really sure how this was all going to play out.  Part of me knew I'd either get a replacement or a refund, but there's was another part that couldn't settle because I hadnt' been told anything definite and I had paid so much for this piece.  (This is a posting all on its own!)  So it caused me a great deal of unnecessary worry and stress.  The silver lining:  I will be getting refunded for this piece.  A potential extra silver lining:  I have been "chatting" with an extremely handsome man online who's background is in art history and auctions art, hmmm..... :)

My husband comes from a family that suffers from mental illness.  I am not going to elaborate too much on this one.  However, it has been extremely difficult to keep my face in the sun when I have contact with them.  There is a dark cloud that lingers and I am struggling with finding the right balance of keeping my son in the sun and allowing him the opportunity to know his father's family and his father through his family.  This is an extremely difficult situation and one where I am yet to find a silver lining.

This past Thursday, I locked myself out of my apartment.  I have done this about 4-5 times this past year.  Every time that I have done this, I have been overwhelmed.  I have been overwhelmed with all of the above, and with work.  This is a busy time for me as I create multiple slide shows for three graduation ceremonies at my school.  As much as I prepare ahead of time, there's always last minute changes, etc. which puts me in a time crunch.  Thursday, I was headed straight to the graduation when I locked myself out at 7:30 am (and my neighbor was still asleep).  The silver lining:  I live close enough to the subway and had a colleague's phone number to call so that I got to work quickly and stopped the other's from leaving without me.  All of the graduations are done and on the technical aspect, all went smooth.  I also told my neighbor that my husband had passed away (he never asked last year when I gave him my keys and I never told).  He thought he was in the military and was deployed.  He was shocked and sympathetic and I actually felt good to tell him the truth.

Friday, I got a flat tire.  I had to buy a new one.  The silver lining:  I got the flat as I was parking, not driving.  I did get a good parking spot.  And, the one male teacher at my school put the spare on for me and it stopped raining just in time for him to do so.
By this point, I had to just laugh.  Really!?!

So I am tired.  But I am tired of being tired.  "Relax, take a deep breath, and smile."  That is the message I left tonight on my kitchen board for myself to read in the morning.  I had very little control over all of the events that I have written about, but what I do have control over is myself.  I control the decisions that I make and the reactions that I have to certain events.  So, I am going to wake up early tomorrow morning, read my message, make fresh blueberry pancakes for breakfast and go from there.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Quiet Day

Today was a quiet day.  I knew this day was Father's Day.  I had sent out cards to the grandfathers earlier this week.  I spoke to my own father today.  But outside of that, it didn't feel like a Father's Day.  It felt like a typical Sunday, but it felt quieter.  There was not an overwhelming amount of sadness felt, like last year, but there was just a feeling of quietness.

Today my son and I kept it low key.  We went out for lunch at a nearby cafe.  After lunch we went to the park to feed the ducks and swans.  We also ran up and down a hill (huff...puff, repeatedly) and played a little bit of soccer.

In keeping with the tradition that we began last year, we did plant flower seeds today in memory of my husband.  We will care for them until they grow strong enough and hopefully until they bloom.  Then we will take them to the cemetery and plant them at his site.  Last year, I did not take my son to plant the flowers that we grew for his father.  This year, I do plan on taking him.  I will tell him that we are planting flowers for daddy in a special place to remember him.

I also came up with an idea just today that I think will also become a tradition, making a Father's Day book.  I have written so much in this past year, but all of the writing has been done (obviously) from my perspective.  This book is going to be told from my son's perspective where he will have the opportunity to tell his father everything that he has done in the past year.  Since he is presently only 2, this first book will be created mainly by me, but my son has so much to say and so much personality that it will be both fun and easy to imagine what he might say if he were creating the book himself.  As time goes on, he will be able to contribute more and more until eventually (I hope) he will be able to do this on his own.  I feel like this would be a great opportunity for my son to stay connected with his father.

I even found a website that can publish this book (in a variety of styles and sizes) for a very reasonable amount.  It is called Blurb (  I am excited about this because I think a published book will be a keepsake that will better withstand time as I not only would like to save these for my son, but I also want to read them with my son as much as he would like to read them.

We concluded our day by watching a short video clip of my son playing with his father.  (My son is all smiles and giggles in this video.  This seems to be my son's overall disposition.  However, it always felt like a special time when he was acting this way with his father.  I honestly felt that way in that moment, not just looking back at it now.)  It brought about lots of smiles and giggles from my son today as he watched it and we had to watch in numerous times.  He did ask me where daddy was and for the first time, I didn't say he was in Heaven.  I told him that daddy was dead and that meant that we cannot see him anymore, only in pictures and movies.  I know that is a bit too much for him to comprehend, but I recently read to use the word "dead" even at this age so that it becomes a term he is familiarized with and it won't sting as harshly when he is old enough to comprehend.

For me, his smiles and giggles are enough to soften any situation as his happiness means everything.  As for today, I feel as if the quietness filled in for his absence rather than it was quiet because of his absence.  I'm not quite sure how to explain that one though.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yo Yo Ma

One thing that I owned up to yesterday was my interest in classical music.  I have yet to mention Yo Yo, surprising since I have a crush on him.  Seriously.  I only discovered him a couple of years ago when I was pregnant.  I would put headphones up to my belly and play his music.  Apparently those intimate moments made quite an impression on me.  Since that time, I have thought about becoming a Yo Yo Roadie.  I have looked up his concert schedule many times, hoping to go see him play.  I was willing to travel and even wanted to travel to see him play.  However, the dates never seemed to work out.  Until...

June 26th!  Two weeks from tomorrow, he will be at Lincoln Center.  And guess who else will be there?  Me!  I even found a friend who wanted to go see him and is just as excited about it as I am!

He really is an extraordinary performer with an exquisite talent.  I had wanted to find a very classy video to share, but I came across this one instead.  I thought it was really awesome for so many reasons.  One, I thought it was cool for Yo Yo to play Empire State of Mind.  It just goes to show how timeless instruments and classical music can really be.  Also, I loved watching the children's faces when they realized what song it was that he was playing.  It was great to see this not only as a teacher, but as a New York City teacher.  I support public education wholeheartedly and there are some wonderful, wonderful programs and experiences that only my city of New York can offer!  It makes me feel proud to teach and work where I do.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Own It

This is my much delayed post.  The one that I thought would conclude the month of May.  The month that not only marked that my husband had been gone for one year, but that I had one year to heal as well.  This is a reflection of this past year as one in which I had to rediscover and find myself once again in this new chapter of my life.

As I made this journey to a more keen awareness of my self-discovery, I realized that was only half the battle.  The other half was accepting what I discovered as well as what I already knew about myself.  The theme for The Happiness Project for May was "Leisure."  But what Gretchen wrote about in finding time to do the things she really enjoys, is that she had to own what it was she truly enjoyed.  It didn't make her happy to pretend to enjoy something because it seemed sophisticated or on the flip side to pretend not to enjoy something because it was too childish or simplistic.  That was the big idea I took from THP for that month and it coincided so well with my self reflection.  I'm just a bit behind on my writing.


  • I'm reserved.  I always had been.  I thought that with this past year and all of my experiences and even with age, that I would have "outgrown" this.  No, this is me.  So in accepting myself for not being a cool outgoing person, I tried to understand why I am this way.  I am reserved because that is my protection.  When I meet a new person, I present to them my real self.  I, of course, put my best foot forward and tell my best stories, but I tell them as I authentically recall them.  I don't pretend to be someone else or better than I really am.  Being genuine can put you in a vulnerable position.  That is why I am reserved.  For those who stick around long enough find that I really am not reserved or anti-social.  It also depends on the person too.  My guard, can come down very quickly.  This is not even something that I even think about, it just happens.  I can't fight it either.  And in accepting this, I don't have to anymore.  
  • I'm nice.  Genuinely nice.  This not always a good thing.  I know that people have and have tried to take advantage of me knowing this.  This also makes me a target for creepy people, like my neighbor, who easily mistake my politeness as a door to invite themselves into my life in a way in which I have absolutely no interest in.  But being nice is my disposition.  It makes me feel happy and optimistic.  I'm not going to change this, but in accepting this, I do have to change another area of myself, which is...
  • I don't set boundaries well with others.  I do think about what other people will think and say.  I don't want to be a bitch.  What I have come to accept is that setting boundaries does not make you a bitch.  Setting boundaries shows that you respect yourself enough to take care of yourself within the purpose of that boundary.  You cannot live for what others think of you and those who know the situation and you probably wouldn't be the ones to think negatively of you.  The ones who do, do so out of ignorance and therefore their opinions shouldn't matter one bit.  
  • I don't have a specific hobby or interest that I am devoted to.  I get asked this all the time, either to list it on my online dating profile or by people I am getting to know this way.  I hate this question, mainly because it makes me feel like I am lacking that I don't have one, but I don't.  I do and like many different things.  I am not an "expert" in any one area.  It's not that I can't commit or that I lack passion, it's just that I find too many things interesting to commit an abundance of time to one.  There are definitely things that I do enjoy more than others, but I don't have that one thing, I'm a hodgepodge.
  • My hodgepodge?  I've been reflecting on where and what I have chosen to spend my limited time doing (outside of my son).  In this past year I have read so very little.  But I have written so very much.  I have enjoyed going to the gym either running, taking a Pilate's class, or just working out.  I have become obsessed with Dustin O'Halloran and really enjoy classical music.  I also love landscape photography and have a new appreciate for art.  I love just walking around the city and enjoying the parks and/or architecture.  I also like to shop.  I like going out for dinner with friends and I also like hosting dinner at my home as well.  These would be things that I wouldn't want to loose or give up when/if I meet someone.  Having the time to do these things are now important to me.
  • I can't dance.  I wish I could.  In my mind, I can choreograph a Beyonce video.  But in reality, I have a whitest of white girls' rhythm.  
  • I'm low key.  Going to clubs, sounds fun, and I'd do it, but that's not me.  I wouldn't even say that going to a bar is me, although I do that, but not that frequently.  If it were solely my choice, I'd prefer drinks with dinner.  Or a wine bar.  Or even a cigar bar.  I don't like the hustle and bustle of noisy bars.  I don't like drunk people.  I don't even like to drink all that much myself.  Drinks with dinner works for me. I used to think that made me dull, especially when everyone else was going and I didn't want to.  Or if I did go, depending on the crowd, I felt out of place.  I just have a preference for a different environment and what that environment can provoke.  
  • I am a teacher.  I work in an urban school district, the largest in the nation as a matter of fact.  My salary is public knowledge.  My salary is based on steps and no, I am not rich.  I live on a budget and money is not disposable.  
  • I am a single mother.  I was married for almost thirteen years before I lost my husband to suicide.  
  • I am proud of myself.  I love life.  I am happy for this life that I have.  
In July I will be going to my 15 year high school reunion where I will see people that I haven't seen in... 15 years.  I did not go to my 10 year reunion and not so long ago, had absolutely no intention of going to this one either.  However, what better arena to truly own yourself when you meet up with people whom you haven't seen in 15 years and will be questioning you on the past 15 years.  I can't just talk the talk of owning it.  (However, I will not be doing this alone.  I will have my best friend by my side.)