Thursday, March 28, 2013


I don't think I was ever in denial.  Absolutely there were times when I hoped and wished that he would open up the door to our home and walk right in as if he had just come home from work.  I can close my eyes and envision him from the birthmark in the crease of his right elbow to the scar on his chin from the one rugby game he played in college, all the way down to his pinky toes that curled out like hammers.  I think about how much he would have loved the new Justin Timberlake song as he loved his suits and ties as well and even better than that,  I can imagine him singing that song in a high-pitched tone deaf sort of voice.  But even in my dreams, I am fully aware that he is dead.  I have had dreams where it was some kind of set up and that he really wasn't dead.  I think I even dreamt that he came back to life.  I even dreamt that it was a murder.  Sounds like denial, but even in my dreams, I wasn't fooled.  I knew the truth.

He prepared me well.  It was made known to me very early on in our relationship his thoughts on suicide.  Most often, they came up randomly and he spoke about it almost as casually as if talking about the weather.  He knew that it was often looked at as a selfish act, but he twisted that into it being selfish to want and to ask someone who is in so much turmoil to continue on.  He never shared that turmoil with me, or as he described it, his demons.  He spoke of how I had a long life ahead of me and how he wanted me to be happy and to move on.  This he did as his eyes would glisten, while all of the other words were stated matter-of-factly.  However, he also said words that held and created so much hope that he never would act on it. 

He was highly functioning and to most, they would never suspect the thoughts that crossed his mind.  He was good at covering and hiding it.  He was very smart.  He knew what people wanted to hear and what to say.  He even knew how to play me as I was left feeling like I was walking on egg shells for much of the time, especially in the last few years.  And I think that I was in more of a denial before his death than after.  It was just as confusing and incomprehensible living with a suicidal person as it was grieving the loss of one.

He had been on medications and had seen therapists before meeting me.  However, he did neither of the two while he was with me until almost the very, very end when he was forced to.  It is not as if it was never discussed.  It is not as if I hadn't asked him to.  It eventually came to the point where he told me he didn't need them, he needed me and for me to do what he needed when needed.  That was not something that made me feel special or important.  I've never been an emotionally dependent person and I didn't understand what he was putting on me by saying that.  I just knew that I was his wife and that I would do anything to help him just as I would if he was sick from cancer.  The trouble is that I never knew exactly what he needed.  I listened to what I thought he was telling me.  I read and tried things on my own that I thought would help.  Nothing ever seemed to be good enough.  He became increasingly more and more frustrated with me.  And I came to feel increasingly helpless. 

This was not my life everyday.  In the beginning, I knew that he suffered from depression and his thoughts on suicide.  Perhaps to most that would be enough to send someone running to the hills.  But he was so much more than that.  That is what I saw.  And I was full of hope.  I never thought that I could save or rescue him.  More so than not finding that romantic as some do (Fifty Shades?), I never thought of myself as being capable of doing that.  I was just able to separate the man from the sickness and thought that he was magnificent. 

Hindsight is 20/20 as I can now look back and see how over the years things started to build up and everything started to escalate.  But much like someone who puts weight on gradually, you don't notice it right away, especially when you are in the midst of it all and living it.   That is not to say that I was in full denial.  He had planted a seed within me and I was always conscious and aware of the potential possibilities. I worried.  It slowly took over my life as I was never completely at ease.  It was always an option for him. 

I came to a point where I had nothing left to give.  It sounds awful, I know.  I gave everything that I had and in the process, I lost myself.  I didn't give up on him or even us.  When I got to that point, that is when I knew we needed to step out the cycle we had found ourselves in.  We both were unhealthy and we both needed to take care of ourselves individually.  It was at that point that I all I had left was to hope and pray and to believe in a faith greater than I ever imagined possible  that it would never end this way. 

So when it did, I did become numb.  I found myself in a state of shock.  But denial, no.  I had lived with reality of the potential possibility for far too long to deny that it wasn't just a potential possibility anymore. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I feel as though I need to process my thoughts around these different stages of grieving.  I feel that is the only way for me to grasp the reality of where I stand, how far I have truly come in my process of healing. 

Shock.  I remember getting the call very early that Tuesday morning.  I can remember the pause in my sister-in-law's voice between saying my name and telling me what had happened.  I remember doing the same to my own sister who was the first person I called.  I remember feeling like I wanted to cry but nothing would come out.  Inside, it was like the waves of the ocean crashing up against the rocks.  I remember going into my son's room and lying on the floor.  I wanted to be with him, but I didn't want to wake him.  I remember talking to my husband.  I thought that his released spirit would be so new and perhaps confused, but I was hoping that it would have come straight to me and my son and I wanted him to know how much we loved him.

I remember later that day, my family started to trickle in.  My brother was the first to arrive.  Followed shortly by my parents.  My sister arrived that night.  I remember how they all slept in my small living room... two on the couch, one on the chair, one on the floor.  I remember my mother-in-law coming to the apartment to talk about the autopsy report and the funeral arrangements.  Because I was alone with my son until mid-morning when my family began arriving, I never went to the place where it happened.  I didn't have to talk to the police or the coroner or whomever else needs to be spoken to when someone dies.  His parents did all of that.

I remember going to see my therapist the next day and all I wanted to do was to talk about him and remember him.  She had her own agenda that I didn't full appreciate until much later.  Her focus was on me and making sure I took no blame in the choice that my husband made.  It was such a difficult and confusing session for me because I thought that could wait.  I just wanted to think about him.

I remember arriving at my husband's hometown a couple of days before the funeral.  How weird it was to be there.  That was him, his home.  Not mine.  I remember feeling that piece missing with agony.  

I remember out of town friends arriving and how we all stayed together in the house the night before the funeral.  I remember the stories, the tears, and even the laughter as we shared our own stories of him.  I remember staying up late writing that night and waking with dread as for what that day brought.

I remember arriving at the funeral home very early that morning with my husband's best friend from high school, the best man in our wedding.  I remember seeing my husband for the first time.  The lifeless body of what was once the man that I had known and loved for almost half of my life.  I remember reading a letter that I had written just for him out loud to him and then placing it inside of his favorite suit, above his heart.  I remember placing some photos, a book, and the blanket that we brought our son home in from the hospital all with him.  I remember thinking how it didn't look like him.  I remember thinking to myself how it is just a body and that his spirit is alive and how I truly believed that and how shocked I was that I did.

I remember how much it had rained that week.  I remember how on the day of the funeral it was sunny and beautiful.  I remember crying throughout that week and having moments during the funeral.  I remember my best friend looking after my son the entire time.  I remember the little suit that my son wore.  I remember my son walking up the casket and the silence that it created as I think every one's heart in the room sank just a bit deeper.  I remember the pastor's beautiful words as she did not deny the cause of death, but embraced it in a dignified way.  I remember my own words as I gave the eulogy.  I remember how nervous I was in not being able make it through all that I had wanted to say.  I remember how something turned on inside of me that allowed me to make it through, but how that something shut down the emotional side of me.  I remember feeling numb after that day.  Shock.

I remember all of those things... but in a fog.  I remember slowly starting to come out of that numb state.  I was able to cry again.  But I never cried like I would have imagined myself crying under the circumstances.  To an extent, there is still an element of shock that lingers.  I believe that is partly due to how difficult it is comprehend all that had happened. 

However, the shock did not disable me.  I couldn't let it.  My parents stayed with me for about two weeks  after the funeral and then I was on my own.  Literally.  I had decided to stay in NYC where I had no family and no friends that would just drop by to keep me company or to lend a hand.  I had work, day care for my son, and my therapist.  So although I may have been in a some form of shock, the reality of my new life didn't wait.  And I did my best to climb aboard.  I didn't want to be left behind in despair and desperation.  There was not a single day that I didn't get out of bed.  I had a 20 month year old to take care of.  He was a constant reminder of all that is beautiful and wonderful in both my husband and in life.  And for him I will always be grateful. 

Shocked yes.  But never in denial...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Survivor

Did you know that the loved ones left behind by the one who commits suicide are called suicide survivors?  I remember reading that for the first time and being somewhat shocked by what that term actually meant.  I am a suicide survivor.?.

My therapist told me that death by suicide is complicated and therefore leaves us suicide survivors with a complicated grieving process.  Even the stages of grief are different.  For most, the stages are:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  When you lose someone to a suicide, the stages are:  Shock, Denial, Guilt, Sadness, Anger, and Acceptance.  Some other emotions that may also be exhibited are those of disconnect and the stigma that surrounds a suicide.

Everyone mourns and heals in their own way and in their own time. I have been thinking about my own process lately and I feel as though there are some stages that I haven't full reached and dealt with yet and I am feeling the repercussions of that.  I don't feel as if I have skipped any intentionally, I don't know if I would be capable of doing such a mental feat even if I had wanted. I feel more as if I have been protecting myself and enough time has passed and my mind has slowly allowed myself to feel some of the emotions that were so painful that I just wasn't ready.

Although I feel that I am ready, it doesn't make it any easier or less scary.   It's amazing how powerful our mind truly is.  My mind has been protecting me for years and is very good at it.  I think that is part of the reason why I have been able to handle all of the trauma that I have experienced as well as I have.  But its time to let go.  Perhaps the reason that now is the time is because I am wanting to move on with someone else.  But I don't want to move on with someone while I am still being protected in layers.  I need to face my fears and shed the emotions that I can.  I don't think until then will I truly be able to find all that I think is to be amazing in any future relationships.   

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I've never been one who was into astrological signs.  I even found it odd that some of the dating websites specifically ask about it and make it a part of your profile.  I know that I am a Sagittarius and other than very, very rarely reading my daily horoscope for pure entertainment value only, I don't give much or any thought towards it. 

I have felt recently that I need to change things up a bit.  I have settled into a routine and have a great balance of managing working full time and being a full time mommy as well.  I have managed to keep up with the little things of running a home, going out with friends (and even an occasional date, lol), and just some me time... like going to the gym.  I've felt though like I've needed to shake things up a bit.  Not much because I am truly grateful for some of the things in my life that truly make life and the balancing of it all that much easier.  To shake things up for instance, I have decided to put my gym membership on hold for a few months and I am instead doing p90x just to give workout a little pizazz.  I've also spent a good amount of money and time (thinking and planning) shopping and redecorating my home just to update and freshen up a bit.  Like I said, nothing drastic, but just enough. 

Today at lunch, I was eating with my daily group of coworkers, and astrology came up.  Some people are really into this stuff and take it very seriously.  To me, it still sounds fun.  However, I gained a different perspective as well, and that is... why not?  I have told myself just about anything that I think I needed and wanted to hear to get through some tough days and tough times.  I constantly am looking for the silver lining in situations and have even dedicated 99% of my blog posts to doing just that.  So, why not add another flavor to my life?  I am not going to get hard core into the signs, but if I find a reading that works for me on any given day, there is no harm in that.  And after I read my daily horoscope, I have to admit that I uploaded the app onto my phone and I sure that I will find some time in the early a.m. to read my horoscope for that day as well.

I feel as though I am going through another step of growing pains.  This one my be the most difficult.  I say that because I feel that this is what my mind has taken great care in protecting me from.  But, I wasn't ready to face this yet.  Through a series of more recent events, I feel that shield slowing moving to the side as I become more and more ready to deal with what's behind, what I have been protecting myself from.  I am not trying to build suspense.  I am still trying to grasp my true thoughts and feelings and what this all means, to me.

But here was my horoscope for today...

You may have invested a lot of time and effort into something that doesn't seem to be turning out so well.  This is probably a great cause of disappointment, Sagittarius- but it needn't be.  No matter the outcome, you have already made an essential connection or learned something that you needed to know, and that may have been the only reason you were involved in the first place.  If you can accept that you are exactly where you are meant to be, and that precisely the right thing is happening, you will "get" the point of it all.  

I had a bit of an epiphany on Sunday.  Had I not, this horoscope wouldn't have made such an impact.  But on this day, it makes perfect sense and it fits not only the situation but my frame of mind as well.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Happy Soul

My son was a happy baby.  Sure he had his moments when he was overtired and cried... and cried... and cried.  But, he was a good-natured, happy baby.  I remember walking down the street, with him in front of me looking out and smiling to the world in the Baby Bjorn, and people would either walk by and smile or even stop to talk just because of my son.  There was just something about him (and I am sure many, many other babies, lol) that captivated people.  Even know, at the age of 3.5, he still carries with him a sweetness that is so pure and innocent he oozes it out at restaurants, on the subway, or on the streets.  My son will talk to and have a conversation with just about anybody (let's just forget the safety issues with that for a moment) and he just makes people smile.

However, he also possess what I am told is "normal" three year old behavior aka "the terrible threes."  I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if he is losing that baby happiness that he had and it really worries me.  I try not to think and worry too much about my son's mental health, especially now at this early age, but it crosses my mind and it is a very real concern for me.

So yesterday, my son and I were walking home from the library and he was singing and jumping as we made our way down the street.  He was doing this as we approached an old man.  The old man stopped, looked at my son, smiled, and said, "What a happy soul."  (My eyes just immediately filled with tears right now as I typed that.)  I thanked him for saying that as we passed, but not to the extent that would make that man ever realize what that comment truly meant to me.  What I want more than anything for my son is to be happy in his life.  Of course I want him to be happy with his job, marry the woman of his dreams, etc.  But the happiness I am speaking of is the happiness that comes from within.  I want him to love, honor, respect, and be at peace with himself.  That was a characteristic that his father did not possess and I wish that for my son more than anything else, inner happiness... a happy soul. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Time Travel

Yesterday, as I was waiting with some of my students for the bus to arrive during dismissal, I was asked what time in my life would I go back to if I could time travel.  It was such an innocent question and rightfully so considering it came from a nine year old girl in 4th grade. 

It took a me a few seconds as a few moments popped into my head that would be wonderful to relive.  However, once the idea came to mind, I knew exactly what time period I would want to go back to, despite there being many other significant and wonderful times to revisit.  If I could go back in time, I would go back to my freshman year in college when I first met my husband. 

Ignorance was bliss for me back then and I was guided by love.  I can't say that I didn't think at all, but I didn't act on most of those thoughts that my young, innocent, and inexperienced mind had.  In no way am I suggesting that I regret my life with my husband.  I don't and never have.  In some ways now I envy the girl that was able to be guided by love as opposed now to the woman who is trying so hard to balance feelings with rationalities based on life's experiences.   Life seemed so much simpler back then. 

However, in going back to the time, I can now see how behaviors (in both of us) were developed and accepted by the other.  There were issues that came up back then that I wish I had better addressed or addressed at all.  I wish that I had been a stronger person back then.  I could make a list of wishes, but the main reason for those wishes would not be to put me on an entirely different path.  The intentions of my wishes would be for me to have been a smarter person so that my husband and I would have started off with a stronger and healthier foundation. Would that have led to a different outcome?  Obviously I have no idea.  But I just feel that the beginning of us seemed to be the best place to start.

One of the time periods that passed my mind was of course two years ago.  I would never want to relive those last few months.  My husband was not (himself) my husband and it was hell.  In those last few months, for the first time, I did possess both components of rational, healthy thinking and pure love.  Looking back on that time, I am not sure what I could have done differently.  I acted and spoke with both respect and love towards him.  I loved him perhaps to a fault and I believe with all of my heart that he knew that.  It just wasn't about love.  It was about so much more even though I still don't comprehend the complexity of it all.

These are not places I go on my own.  My mind wandered here yesterday because I was asked a specific question and I let my mind wander down this path.  I know the dangers of walking down this road because like I even stated above, it leads to the "I wish" and the what ifs and you just can't do that to yourself.  What I can take from this is that I feel happy in what I didn't feel I needed to wish for.  I don't feel like I would need to go back and tell him that I loved him.  I don't feel as if I needed to wish that we had done x, y, and z.  Despite all of the complications and the depression, we did live a full life.  And I loved him unconditionally. 

But it would be priceless to see him once again even if just for a moment.... full of life and with our son.  :'(

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Google: Friend or Foe?

It is amazing what technology and the Internet have done... one could argue that it has put the whole world in our hands, so to say.  I love my iPhone and it is probably one of the best purchases that I've ever made, sad but true.  
I also love Google and I use it all the time.  It truly has made me smarter and on a vast variety of topics as well.  However, I have to admit that recently I have been using Google in an embarrassing sort of way (blush, blush).  My recent history consists of any and every sort of question that you could muster up about "he loves me, he loves me not?!?!??!!"  I have Googled so many questions about relationships that honestly, I am all out.  That is probably a good thing since I feel that all of the crap information I read is going to make my head explode! 

It's not just Googling relationships that can cause you to go batty.  I have a few friends who have Googled a bit too much about pregnancy while they were pregnant... too much information can cause unnecessary worry.  I too did alot of Googling about different mental illnesses after my husband died, just searching for anything that would give me some more clarity and understanding.  I just needed the confusion to go away. 

Ignorance can be bliss, but only if you are truly ignorant. The problem with that is what happens if you wake up?  The truth can come back at you with a vengeance.   If you are in denial, then you are trying to shield yourself from the fear of the truth.  I know both too well and I want to try to avoid them as much as I possibly can.  That is why I have such a desire to gather all the information that I can.  I don't want to be ignorant or in denial.  A state to find yourself in that is just as bad is that of confusion.  The only thing that can battle those three is the truth. 

Sometimes you can find the truth out there on Google.  Sometimes or more often than not, you are finding someone else's truth.  It is good to be aware of all the possibilities, you can find hope just as much as you can find despair.  However, when it comes down to it, you have to make a decision on where you stand, what you believe with all of the information that you gathered.  What you decide all depends on your perspective and state of mind.  I recently felt with all of my Google searching that I lost my own thoughts... my optimism (exclusively in the world of dating) and it's put me in a bit of a rut.  I wonder... do you think I can Google how to get out of it?  ;)

Sunday, March 10, 2013


He's always there.  Even as time has begun to glaze over the memories.  They are still alive despite being stuck in time.  You never know where and when a memory will be triggered just as you don't know what memory will be plucked from your mind.  Most of the time the memory is something that I keep to myself, acknowledging it with a smile and then moving along in my day.  Sometimes it will cause me to share a little story with my son about his father.  Sometimes though, the memory is a tough one to handle.  It may be one that I prefer to not to remember.  You just never know until it hits you.

Today it hit me as I stood in the deli line at the grocery store.  It was the song that came on the store radio that joggled me mind.  As soon as I heard it, there became almost an instant battle within my brain between wanting to shut the song and the memories out vs. wanting to shut the world out so that I could just feel it.  I could feel the tears start to well up and somehow I just shut down everything so that I could continue in a normal manner.  Twelve hours later, here I am and I am just now releasing some of the emotions.

The song, "You Found Me" by The Fray is probably one of the most painful songs because of what it lures out of me.  The song questions God as to where he was when he was needed most.  The lyrics are not thoughts or questions that I ever had.  But I know that towards the end my husband asked those questions.  I know that because I heard him ask them out loud in front of me on which ended up being the last night that I ever spent with him.  That was not the last night of his life, but it was the night that his illness overtook him in such a way that I don't think there was ever any turning back from that point in his mind. 

Two years ago, I was living in a nightmare.  One that I still find difficult to grasp onto and fully  comprehend even to this day.  For me, I honestly don't remember ever questioning God.   Once my husband was gone, I needed to believe more than anything that God was with him and taking care of him and that my husband had finally found the peace that he so desperately needed.

I was recently asked, if given the opportunity, if I would want to speak with a reputable medium.  My answer was immediate and without a second thought.  I have worked so hard to accept what had happened and to find peace despite what had happened.  I believe to the very core of me that my husband now too is at peace.  There is nothing that a medium could say to me to make me feel better.  Essentially, I believe what I want to believe.  I believe what allows me to fall asleep at night, to function and to smile and to be happy during the day, and to raise my son with absolute love and enjoyment.  I found my peace.  There is nothing that could be said to me to add to it and there is no reason to puncture the life that I have worked so hard to creative with even the slightest shred of doubt that my world, my beliefs are anything else but true.

Loved ones lost... there are pieces of them all around.  They are always around.  Always. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Un-Waiting Game

Earlier this week marked one month since last hearing from that guy.  I have to admit that every time I picked up my phone, I was hoping that there would be a message waiting for me from him.   But although I wanted that, I really didn't want that.  Why?  Good question.  ;)

I think that I have established that I really liked him.  In this past month, I thought about why I really like(d) him.  I went back and reread old texts, thought about things we said and did, etc.  I have to admit that I got the best of him in that first month and like I stated before, he was wonderful!  We didn't go out to the finest of restaurants and he never bought me flowers... but that is not how I want to be impressed.  He did do all of the little things... he listened, he was patient, he was sweet, he put me first.  He also complimented me with words like beautiful, amazing, and sexy.  He took interest in my son (although they never met) and when my son was sick, I got texts asking just about him. Many of those great qualities leaked over into the months following that first, but there was a definite distance that developed after all the drama that happened to him at the very end of that blissful first month.  At the time, I felt as though he was really into me and even as I went back and reread words knowing what I know now, I still feel that he really liked me.  He did tell me that and at first his actions matched, but then they did turn on and off.  

So why the distance?  I have spent an embarrassing amount of time on Google trying to figure that out (perhaps that will be my next post, lol).  But apparently this happens and it happens all the time.  Perhaps I should have been Googling before I started dating, lol.  In his case, I think it mainly has to do with how it all ended with his ex.  It was just bad.  I don't think it's lingering feelings that got in the way as it was fear going into another relationship.  Everyone needs time to heal and I think he tried to rush it with me but in reality he became emotionally unavailable.  And I did exactly what I needed to do, get out.  But, I have to admit that I would like to hear from him again.  Just not now.  It is way too soon for him to have "healed" to contact me.  I also feel that the longer (I'm not talking years) he waits, the more respectful that is towards me. 

Am I kidding myself?  Absolutely not.  One, I am a great catch.  Two, he really is a good guy.  Three, I will not contact him and I am not sure if he will contact me or not.  What I am sure of though is that I am not waiting.  I am moving along just as I have been doing for the past year and a half.  Should he ever decide to contact me, I will be that much better a person.  Oh, and I am not about to settle by any means so I expect game on... I will accept nothing less than to be completely impressed and amazed.  So anyways, let's get to the point of the post... "The Un-Waiting Game."

One thing I told him was that "part of any one's journey is to continue to learn and to grow and that will not happen if one stops."  I have been so busy this past month and for that I am really proud of myself.  (Just because I love lists...)
  • I have gone out a lot with my girlfriends!
  • I even met up with some new "friends" and had a play date with them (and our kids too ;)).
  • I cut my hair to try and give myself a new look.
  • I have made many changes to my apartment and have completely changed one room entirely!
  • I went out on a date.  I also got "dumped" and "stood up"... but that's not my fault, I am trying!!
  • I think planning a vacation on my own is still a big deal.  I'd very much prefer to not go alone, but I am not going to let that stop me from going somewhere I really want to visit.  
  • I have decided to take my self work to the outside... Wednesday is the big day... p90x get ready for me.  Lol... I know, it's really the other way around.
Perhaps its not time for me to meet my amazing yet because I'm not quite amazing myself just yet.  It's not about the other person if you choose to sit around and wait.  It's about you and the opportunities that you miss out on in your life... learning and growing, but even more than that... having plain old FUN!  Don't wait and miss out on that.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Summertime Fun

By this time last year, I had already enjoyed vacation #1 in Las Vegas.  I already had my California trip planned and paid for as well.  This year... not so much.  I decided to take my solo trip this summer rather than in the spring.  So I did consider taking a vacation with my son this spring, but boy am I glad that didn't work out.  I had originally planned on taking a cruise with him at the end of March.  But, I procrastinated and the prices shot up.  Good thing though because after the whole Carnival Cruise debacle, I just don't think I could find enthusiasm in going on a cruise right about now.

Instead, my son and I will be joining my sister and her family in Maine for a week in the beginning of July.  We've rented a house near the ocean and I am sure we will have a blast.  I have 3 nephews (and 1 niece) and my son loves to play with them.  Even though they are all quite a bit older than my son, they play so well with him.  It will be nice to have them to help keep my son occupied.  It will also be nice to have some adult interaction for me in having my sister and brother-in-law.  I was in Maine in October of 2011 and it was a great time to be there.  However, I am sure that Maine in the summer is going to be just a nice.  I am very much looking forward to this trip!

My solo trip... will be in the beginning of August.  My parents are ready and able to watch my son for that time and I am grateful for that as I do need some time and space away from him (as he does from me) as we are together every other day of the year.  I was hoping that this year my solo trip only meant solo as in without my son.  A few months ago, my best friend and I had talked briefly about getting away for a girls' vacation.  I don't think that is going to happen.  My friend is in the process of applying and beginning a doctorate program and she doesn't think the timing is going to work.  I have to admit that I am very disappointed.  I was not only looking forward to vacationing with someone but I was also looking forward to spending some time getaway time with her as well.  So instead, I think it's going to be me... alone... again.

It's not that I am completely friendless.  Many of my friends are married, most with children.  Summer is just a very hard time to schedule things because there are so many other things going on.  I do have distant cousin who was interested in going on a trip, but I think she was interested in going to Denver.  I kind of decided that I really want to go to... Seattle and Portland!   Back in May I posted "Simple Beauty"and at that time, my new love affair with landscape photography.  I wrote about going to the Northwest in the fall, but that never happened.  So... why not now?  I have already found some great hiking tours in Washington and one in Portland that is both a wine tour and a tour to the waterfalls.  "Brilliant"or more accurately stated, that tree was also photographed outside of Portland.  Since it didn't work out and I don't have it hanging on my wall, I would love to see it in person and take my own unprofessional photograph of it.  So there are many reasons for me to pick that area and I am really excited about it.

So, so far those are my two biggies.  I'm sure there will be little day trips and weekend trips that come up as they did last year.  But, I am happy to have these getaways to look forward too!  (And hopefully, p90x will give me that great bikini bod... even though both places are really known for the their beaches, lol). 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Body Over Mind

I have spent more than a year and a half taking care of my mind... letting myself grieve, accepting my loss, letting go of confusion, starting over, refinding and defining myself, and becoming more confident in who I have become.  I will always be a work in progress as there will always be learning and growing to be had.  However, at this point in my life, I feel that I am in a good place.  I don't feel as if I need to focus so heavily on the health of my mind. 

It's time for me to start taking better care of my body from the outside.  Overall, I think I do a decent job.  I try to eat healthy and I do exercise regularly.  However, I know that I can do a much better job.  For my age (34) and for having had a child, I do think that I am still in really good shape.  There are things about my body that I wish were different, like longer legs and bigger boobs, but there's not a whole lot I can do about that except to have surgery and to go on a mega high heeled shoe shopping spree (hmmm... the shoe shopping sounds fantastic!).  But there are some things that I want to tone up and maintain that I do have control over.  I feel that I am at a critical point in my life right now where I can be content with having a nice shape that slowly plumps, sags, and ages.  OR, I am still in good enough shape where I don't have to put in an extreme amount of effort to tone up and look even better as I head into my mid-thirties (ugh).  I am opting for the latter.  So, I am opting for... p90x!

Ever heard of it!?!  It became really big a few years ago and luckily I know someone who bought the program that no longer uses it, so I get to borrow it for free, yes!  I am nervous... I really want to be dedicated and stick to the program so I hope that I will, but I am nervous that I won't, mainly because it's an at home workout and I have no one here to push me or guilt me.  It's going to have to be complete self dedication, encouragement, and reinforcements (new shoes!?).  But, I really do want to get my abs and booty back in awesome shape.  And if I start very soon, I will finish the 90 days just in time for June and the summer! 

One of my goals for The Happiness Project for March was to figure out a way to exercise more regularly and rigorously.  I think I found what I was looking for.  So nervous yes, but I am excited too.  I hope that excitement will be enough to carry me to the point to where I start seeing some results.  When that happens, I am sure that I will be able to see this program through to the end... mind over body, body over mind.  

Aiming Higher

Happy March everyone... a new month, a new Happiness Project topic.  And the topic for this month is... work!  I just read my post from last year about March's HP focus and I have to admit that my goals were pretty lame.  I didn't put much thought into them.  So I am already "aiming higher" this month in goal setting alone, lol.

Before I get to all of that fun, I want to reflect on January and February.  Entirely for my entertainment and benefit, not yours I know, lol.

January:  Organization
Other than going through junk mail and paper shredding, ugh, I have to admit I have been pretty organized!  The fun in that (besides just feeling more peaceful and relaxed) is that it gave me the space to reorganize in a new and exciting way... redecorating!  Since I rent my apartment, there is a limit as to what I can do and what I am willing to do.  However, I did start in the bathroom with a completely different color scheme.  All I had to do was change out the shower curtain, add new wall decor, a new hamper, a new rug, and a new faucet (that one I did fork some $$ for) and it looks so much better.  It's fresh and modern and so much more happy!  I didn't do too much in the kitchen besides buy a new island, I finally have granite, lol.  I also added hardware to the cabinets and I just bought paint for an accent wall.  I want new chairs and a new rug and possibly a new faucet.  So this room is still a work in progress, but the changes I did make really made a difference.  I didn't do much to my living room.  I worked on that last year and I really like it.  I did remove a bookcase to give it a more roomy and airy feel and I also bought a new plant. I still have a huge wall with nothing on it... the wall that was supposed to home my infamous fine art, "Brilliant."  But I think this spring I will walk the streets of NY and find some local artwork.  My "office" has seen the most work.  I have to admit its a bit of an Ikea showroom room.  I couldn't help it.  Ikea is just very different from what I currently had.  Its close and easy to get too.  And the prices are reasonable.  But I switched out some of my son's toys for a chair that was in his bedroom.  I got rid of my paper collecting desk and another little table that I always cared little for.  Now all I have is a big, cozy chair, a new modern book shelf for books and puzzles and board games.  I have a couple of new little tables for those games and puzzles, a wall full of pictures of my son and some of our trips this past year, and a new rug.  This room has been very simplified.  There is no place to put cluttering junk mail.  It's our "nerd" room and I love it.  I've decided to redo my son's room in September when he turns 4.  I never really redecorated when I swapped out the crib for a bed.  But, I think its time.  My room will be last, alas... someday.  All of these changes were not only fun, but significant too.  They were significant in that I removed many more pieces that were part of my past.  As time moves on, it is easier to let go of more things.  It is also significant in that I am investing myself more into this apartment.   I'm really settling in here and trying to make it my real home.  I have to admit it feels pretty good too.  :)

February:  Love
I wrote a lot about love in February, not in a way that I would have anticipated or had wanted, but love none the less.  It's a process I know and it will come.  But to quote Hugh Grant from my favorite movie (Love Actually) "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."  And it is.

March:  Aim Higher
Finally... March.  I've decided to extend this "aim higher" notion to a more broad spectrum of things that I want to improve on.  My list...
  • I have been thinking more and more about making this blog more public.  I've just joined a new network for people who have lost a loved one.  I have the option of posting on it.  I was thinking of sharing either the link to this blog or just writing on that forum as well.  I also found a great site where I could potentially be a guest blogger.  I need to decide for sure what I want to do and just go for it.
  • I need to work(out) harder.  I would like to make more of an effort into going to the gym.  I am so hot and cold when it comes to the gym.  I should really create a schedule and stick to it, especially when my gym has free babysitting.  There's really no excuse.
  • I still need to take the state teaching test to get my certification for technology.  Relax, I'm totally a legit technology teacher and I am not working outside of my current license.  This is just something I should do so that I have it and can cross it off of my list.
  • I recently met up with a group of single moms from for a playdate. It was... okay. It's hard to talk let alone get to know someone during a play date, especially at a Bounce U.  The mommies do meet up (alone) about every other week, but I can never make those days.  I really should look for a new group or start my own.  I think I am going to look for a new one first though, there are so many.  I'd like to look for a group, outside of single mommie, just to meet new people and do different things with.  
Funny, how I really don't have any "work" related goals, other than the teaching test.  I am content in where I am and what I am doing for right now.  In the future, I would like to broaden myself career wise, but for now, its just one less thing to worry about.

I know that I don't have too many goals.  But I can already see how accomplishing what I have set will take both time and effort and if I am able to, I know it will help me to become that much more happy.  :)