I got up this morning and put together an outfit that makes me feel amazing. I found a gorgeous drop-waist royal blue dress on clearance last week. I paired it with rocking black lace tights, Tahari peep-toe heels with little bows, and a long black necklace. For work I topped it with a tailored black jacket with bell sleeves. I feel like I need to come up with somewhere to go tonight to show off all of this awesomeness.
I know things have been quiet on my blog so far this week. One of the reasons is that I have been trying to process all of my feelings. Monday I was virtually useless all day. I couldn’t get my mind off of my dog’s vet appointment the next day. I don’t even remember one single detail from Monday. Nothing. I know I got up and went to work. I can’t remember if I ate or, if I did, what I ate. I have no idea what clothes I wore. I can’t remember what I did that evening. Mr. Mess was at school all day from 7 am to about 10:30 pm, so I didn’t even get to talk to him beyond a few quick check-ins. I went through the entire day on autopilot, zoned out.
When Tuesday morning finally rolled along, I was glad to get the ophthalmologist visit taken care of. I had to lead a conference call for work that morning on the way to the vet. As I was getting Buddy together, loading the car, juggling my phone on speaker, a leash and my purse, driving to the vet, and trying to facilitate the call, I realized it was too much. I was going to go back to work after the appointment, even if he had to get surgery, then come pick him up later. Somewhere during that call I decided that was not going to happen. I could not handle it emotionally, in the least.
The appointment was depressingly short. The actual ophthalmologist (the other person I saw was just filling in for him during vacation), was very personable, knowledgeable, and gentle with Buddy. Unfortunately, when he took the pressure in his eye it was still quite elevated. A quick look inside at the optical nerve verified what he suspected – there really was no hope for Buddy’s left eye. I had a sinking feeling all week that would be the case, so I should have been prepared. I didn’t cry or get upset or even react much at all; I was just numb. He said that they were ready to do the procedure immediately to stop fluid production in that eye, which would also lead to permanent vision loss. While they had him under, the vet said he would confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma and check the other eye for a malformation. With that, he walked out, one of the ladies from the front desk walked in, and I watched them take Buddy away to the back.
My Mom and I had already decided to have lunch together, so I gave her a call as I was walking out, even though it was only 9:30 am. I told her what was going on, and she suggested that I come by her house right then. Grateful for something to distract myself with, I headed her way. Our original plan was to go shoe shopping, check out some clearance sales, and have lunch together – a few hours of mindless fun. When I got there we started comparing recent purchases, and I talked her into keeping some really cute, cheap shoes that she had purchased the week before. We talked about what kind of outfits would go with them, how sexy my step-Dad thought the red pair was, and other completely shallow stuff that was as far away from the anxiety-producing thoughts of my dog going under the knife as possible.
My Mom is great. She can read me. She understands all of the emotions I have bubbling just under the surface. She offered her support and some calm reassurance. She played to my rational side, and treated this like what it was – a minor procedure necessary to help Buddy be comfortable and more healthy. She gave me a few minutes to call work and let them know I wasn’t coming in, then we moved right along with the business of going shopping in each other’s closets.
A few days before we were on the phone talking about random things, which my Mom is an expert at (we can literally have a conversation that lasts hours and isn’t really about anything in particular). She told me that she has been looking for a pair of flat boots to wear to college football games. Coincidentally, I had a pair that I purchased 2 years ago or so when I sprained my ankle. They were cute, but I found that I really never wore them. Those boots, along with light brown leather cowboy boots that were slightly too narrow for me and a few other adorable shoes that always seemed to be sitting in the back of my closet unworn went into a bag for my Mom. Tuesday I unloaded that bag, and she tried on the various shoes. She loved them all. That meant I didn’t have to worry about donating them or listing them on eBay. It’s great to have the same foot size as your Mom!
We then went upstairs where it was my turn to shop. My Mom has been on the South Beach diet for the past 3 years or so (usually on phase 3, but sometimes going back to the earlier ones for a weight-loss boost). She is about 2 sizes smaller than I am now, but there was a time she was in the same transition phase as me. After losing approximately 25 pounds in the past 2 months, I also lost about 2 pants sizes. That meant I could fit into some of the nice clothes that are too big for her and have been just taking up space. I played dress-up there in my Mom’s big walk-in closet and found that her old clothes look amazing on me. My ass is killer! I ended up going home with 4 new-to-me pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, 2 cardigans, a fly-away jacket, a necklace, and an amazing pair of khaki colored boots. Score!
We also went to lunch at an amazing little restaurant run by a well-known chef. Right as we were completing our lunch order I got a call from the vet. Buddy had come our of surgery well, was just now coming around from the anesthesia, and would be ready for pick-up in about an hour. I fought my natural urge to jump out of the booth and go speeding over to get him. Instead, we had a nice lunch followed by a trip to Sally’s next door where I picked up two new hair accessories and admired pretty-colored nail polish.
I had ridden with my Mom to lunch, so we returned to her house where I gathered up my bags of clothing. After a quick pit-stop, I found a special treat for Buddy waiting next to my purse on the table. If I weren’t so numb I probably would have cried. I gave my Mom a hug, and thanked her for lunch and the great, free shopping trip, then headed out.
When I arrived to pick up Buddy they gave me some medicine to give him over the next few days and a piece of paper that said (in part):
Diagnoses Left Eye: Primary Glaucoma, chronic
Diagnoses Right Eye: Narrow angle
Gonioscopic examination of the right eye indicated a significant risk of glaucoma
There it was in black and white. I knew it, in my head. I thought I had accepted it. Buddy wasn’t making it a big deal. So why did that hurt so bad? The vet explained there was really nothing I could have done. He said that usually by the time the damage is noticeable it is usually too late to do anything. He said that it was a good thing that he is 9 years old when it first presented, not 2. He also said that we now are ahead of it in the other eye. We have medication to delay its progress. We have an emergency plan and medicine in case his other eye acts up. We are really in a much better place with Buddy’s health this week than last week or even the week before.
I guess it just made me have to recognize the fact that Buddy will not live forever. I knew that, too. I’m not a moron. I am just very connected to him. My husband has made fun of his sister for saying she would sleep in a tent before she got rid of her dogs, but I get it. He is my family. His whole body wiggles with joy when he sees me. He snuggles up to me in the most adorable way. He has been there for me through lots of tears, and he always makes me feel better. When I got him home he was still groggy from the anesthesia, and he fell asleep on my lap. He is so sweet and soft and wonderful. I know he isn’t mourning the loss of his left eye, but I am. I am mourning the fact that he is getting old and may die sometime sooner than I am willing to admit to myself. He may have 5 years left, maybe more. It doesn’t seem like enough. Once again, I am faced with something I cannot control, and I do NOT like it. Not one little bit.
Yesterday I had a long day. I left my house at 5:30 am and didn’t get back until after 8:30 pm. I had a training/ roadshow for work yesterday that was held 3 hours away, then had to play IT person when I got back because internet had been down most of the day and no one knew how to fix it. I didn’t have a chance to think much at all. The last week I have also been pushing my feelings down with shopping. That worked for a little while, and I am definitely more stylish and confident today because of it, but that high finally ended. Today I am crashing. I am finally feeling my feelings. It feels crappy.
I know, I know… It’s necessary. We have to sit with bad feelings, give ourselves a chance to mourn for things that are lost, even if they are intangible. I have to get better about that. I need to stop avoiding my feelings. Today they caught up with me, and I’m feeling down. That’s okay, though. Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter. In the meantime, I haven’t forgotten about doing at least one thing for myself. Today I took the time to write this blog. I also wore a cute new pair of pants, one of the flirty cardigans from my Mom, a teal, ruffled, lace shirt that I haven’t worn in ages, and these fantastic new shoes.
I hope everyone else is having a good Thursday. If you have some good news, a funny story, or are having an especially great week so far, I would love to hear about it. I need a little sunshine today.
- Bad News and Continued Birthday Celebrations (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
- That utterly useless feeling of uselessness, #1 (mooooniez.wordpress.com)
- Feeling down? (tangledchatter.wordpress.com)
- The First Day with a Blind Dog, Part One (Background for those who need it) (laurayoung.typepad.com)
- Shopping In My Closet (seniledenial.wordpress.com)
Today I’m feeling super, extra-special cute, so I thought I would share my Friday fashion. Fridays are normally casual in our office, but I have to attend a meeting at our corporate office today. So I decided to forgo the jeans and opt for a cool, summery look with white capri pants. Last night I went shopping at Macy’s to take advantage of some great sales and clearance deals they have going on now (thanks Mom for the heads-up!).
I ended up purchasing a really great pair of semi-flats at a really great price (I love 75% off!). As I was walking away with my new shoes I realized that I still have part of a Macy’s gift card left from earlier in the year. I pulled it out and saw that I had written on the back that it still had $12 left. Rather than go back and try to change my payment method for the shoes, I set off to see if they had any cute tops.
Instead I ended up finding two adorable flyaway cardigans. They were marked at $20 (50% off the original price), but there was a third with a lower price listed. The ones I liked were white and pink respectively. The cheaper one was green. I brought all three up to the cashier and asked her to check on the prices for me. She told me that the green one was ringing up at $7 and the other two at $14. She said that she would match the lower price for all of them (yay!). I told her to ring me up for the white and pink, then pulled out my Macy’s gift card. Apparently, just having a Macy’s card or gift card entitled me to another 20% off, so I ended up paying about $11 for both of them! Talk about a deal. I now have an entire $0.38 left on my gift card for later. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find something that will cover completely, despite how good of a deal shopper I am.
I am wearing the pink one today, which has 3/4 length sleeves with rouching up the arms. I have also thrown on a long necklace that I picked up at the outlet mall and a beautiful teal silk top from Ann Taylor. I added some blue topaz studs, a beautiful blue topaz ring that I purchased in Jamaica, and my new Movado Metio watch, which was a treat to myself during my
So here are a few of the pieces that make up my ensemble today:
So, what do you think? Too much or just right?
… and I’m in a funk. We are barely speaking right now. Turns out he finally picked up his prescription yesterday after threats from me and a night on the couch. He apologized for his reaction and said that he hopes to get things under control. Somehow it really doesn’t feel like a victory. He also went to an IC session, which he said was available at the last-minute. I have no idea what they talked about, and I am losing the will to even care. I have to remind myself of the truth that he isn’t reliable right now. I can’t feel safe if I’m depending on him to make me feel that way. It’s just sad.
I am okay today: not great, but not miserable. I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of working. I have deep feelings of avoidance. I look at the things on my desk and in my inbox, and that’s it… I only look. I have a few phone calls to make, some interviews to line up, and a bunch of miscellaneous things to take care of, and all I want to do is crawl in a deep, dark place to be alone with my thoughts and a few good books. It’s not a very celebratory feeling. I have no idea how tomorrow is going to play out.
I have to focus on today, though. One moment at a time. I need an S-Anon meeting pretty bad. I should have gone to one last night, but the one on Mondays is about 45 minutes away. Instead I read. I bought about 10 new books over my vacation and have been making swift progress through them. They are fun, light, and have absolutely nothing to do with infidelity or codependence. Reading has been a great escape. Today I’m going to do a little more reading. I also wore one of the new shirts I bought on my outlet shopping trip. I feel pretty and polished. But also very funk-ish. I know that isn’t a word, but I don’t care (I’m sensing a theme here).
Sorry for the dark mood and depressing post… It’s just about all I can muster. I don’t even get a good lunch break today because I have to go to a meeting that I’m not looking forward to. I think his birthday tomorrow is just weighing everything down. I have been preparing for a month now at least. I was very excited. There are presents and fun plans. I’m just not invested in them anymore. I’m trying to find my happiness, but it isn’t bubbling up to the surface. I think maybe that’s okay sometimes. Being authentic entails an entire spectrum of emotions, and I’m at peace with that.
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
- Lewis Carroll
This is just a quick little update. Yesterday was rocky. Mr. Mess was home after working overnight Sunday into the wee hours of Monday. I won’t go into details, but things got off to a rough start immediately when I found a 2:30 am call from an unknown number and he was cagey and secretive about it before finally admitting 6 questions in that it was a woman at work. His inability to be up-front and honest caused a blow out (which mainly consisted of him yelling, cursing at me, and being an all-around sarcastic ass). This all culminated with the discovery that he hasn’t been taking his mood stabilizing medications since the end of May!
Yesterday I admit that I got too caught up in all of HIS mess. Not today. After a night sleeping apart and a wonderful waking time of 9 am, I felt good as new. My Mom called and said she had tickets to an Indian exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, and I headed over to meet her. We had a nice lunch, spent over an hour in the special exhibit, then a few more wandering through the rest of the building. We saw tons of stuff, from ancient Greece civilizations to a real Mummy to Civil War relics and even Renaissance art. They have paintings, sculptures, furniture, and evening a solid silver carriage that an Indian king ride in. I do have to admit that I don’t get a lot of the modern pieces. There was one that I swear was literally a bunch of junk from a dumpster and scrap yard piled on top of each other. Weird and ugly.
We also spent a fairly significant amount of time in the gift shop, which is almost like a museum of sorts itself. I picked out fantasy decorations for my future dream home (once I have millions, since this stuff was expensive!). I discovered that I have very good, very pricey taste. I also saw some really cool pieces, like a purse made from soda can tabs and string. So fun and cute! I would own an adorable one with teal accents if it weren’t $250. Eeek!! I did, however, purchase myself a journal with an intricate, beautiful blue and silver cover and a girly, white onyx and pearl ring.
I spent some time on myself today, and it was amazing! I’m looking forward to the rest of my vacation, including a haircut and shopping tomorrow. Yay!! I have already gotten a manicure and pedicure with gorgeous fuchsia polish that has a glimmer of purple when it moves in the light. I’m afraid I’m going to get hooked on this because I already don’t want to go back to work next week.
I am counting down the hours (less than an hour now, actually) until my weekend officially starts. The best thing? I am off for the entire week next week! That’s right! In fact, this is the first full week of vacation I have taken since my honeymoon back in September of 2010!!! This might not seem like a big deal to many people, but I am the kind of person who needs a full week of vacation AT LEAST every 6 months to feel sane. No wonder I’ve been feeling so crazy lately!
What big plans do I have, you might ask? Absolutely nothing. One of the reasons I haven’t taken a vacation in so long is because my husband still doesn’t have any vacation time where he works. Additionally, his school schedule leave very little window for vacationing, especially since he takes summer classes, too. So, no vacation for the husband and my urge to save means no big travel plans.
I might have under-estimated things a bit when I said I would be doing “absolutely nothing.” I am planning to get a haircut, sleep in late every day, and do whatever the hell I feel the urge to do. There might be a trip down to the outlet mall one day. I may dance around naked (not at the outlet mall). I might even try to find a new tattoo artist to get my next piece done because the one I have been dealing with is still “sketching it out” over a month later. What a lazy-ass!
Tonight we are going to a rodeo. You heard that correctly, a good old-fashioned rodeo! I am so looking forward to it. I know there will be bull riding, calf roping, bareback bronc riding (get your mind out of the gutter!), barrel racing, steer wrestling, and more. There will be several country bands, lots of beer (I’m sure), and a good time for all. As far as exciting events planned, though, that’s all I’ve got.
Do any of you out there in blog-land have any fun suggestions of things to do that don’t require traveling to some exotic location? I am stumped after haircut, shopping, and naked dancing. There have to be more fun and exciting options out there!
I have a problem. With shopping. Most of the time I can control it. In fact, 85% or more of the time you would think the opposite – that I am tight-fisted and even downright cheap. The majority of the year I don’t buy myself a single thing – not one piece of clothing, not even a soda or bag of peanuts at a convenience store – nothing. I save nearly every extra penny that I have.
The normal exception to the rule is the month or two leading up to Christmas. I generally can’t control myself when it comes to buying gifts for the people that I love. I have always prided myself on thinking things through and finding the perfect gift for each person – something they would treasure, something that fits their personality or interests, something they have probably wanted but just didn’t splurge on for themselves. I would also make sure that all of my gifts were wrapped up really pretty and had a special feel. No cop-out gift bags allowed! Sometimes half of the fun is unwrapping a gorgeous gift, anticipating what may be inside, and seeing a peek, just the corner, before revealing the prize.
The last few months, though, I have blown all of that out of the water. I made my Christmas spending last year look like a minor blip. Even at Christmas-time I usually don’t raid my savings. I’m just not putting all of my spare cash in there like normal. This time around it is a whole new ballgame.
Here are some examples. In the last month and a half I have spent probably $400 at Victoria’s Secret alone. Yeah. Damn you semi-annual sale! I have spent $530 at my chiropractor and need a “refill” for my next 10 adjustments of another $530. I spend a few hundred on a new tattoo and piercing, and I plan to spend another few hundred on another tattoo soon. I have spent over $1,000 on my diet products and paraphernalia (scales – both for food and my body, shakes, juice, diet drops, multi-vitamins, specialty products like coconut oil, green tea, etc.), not counting the food. Eating healthy is way more expensive! I am the queen of deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, Woot, and others. I have spent money on t-shirts, kitchen gadgets, clothes, shoes, and more. When I see something I like or want, I just buy it. I have never been like this ever.
My husband’s birthday is also coming up really soon. He isn’t someone who does a lot for birthdays (a point of contention with us in the past), so he also doesn’t expect a lot. He would be happy with a “Happy Birthday” and a kiss. I just cannot accept that. I have to do more. It is a compulsion. I don’t even know how much money I have spent already on his birthday, mostly because I don’t want to know. Everything I have gotten he will use, he will love, and he has either talked about wanting or fits in with his current interests. That’s not really the point, though, is it?
This is a new experience for me. It is a new feeling. Not caring how I spend my money, getting whatever I want, indulging myself, splurging without guilt. Well, not entirely without guilt. I wouldn’t be writing this otherwise, right? I know I am worth it, but does really mean I need to spend it? I know the answer is a resounding “no.” Still, when I get a new email from Victoria’s Secret or Yankee Candle or Amazon, I can’t help but look. And when I find that next thing I want, I may just go ahead and buy it.
When I take a hard look at all of this I know it is just another way to make myself feel better. It’s a self-esteem thing as much as it’s about the “stuff.” Do I really make myself feel better in the long run by spending money? No. Because at heart, I am a saver. I feel good when I have security. When I have a “back-up plan.” When I can open up my savings book and see a lot of zeros. At the same time, it does feel good to be a little out of character. To think about myself first, for once, and not worry about “what ifs.” It feels nice not being the “responsible one” all of the time. Now I can see the draw of being a bit reckless and rash.
I think what I need to find is a little balance. Some moderation. I’ve officially decided that I am done with my shopping for Mr. Mess’s birthday. I also deleted an email from Victoria’s Secret this morning without checking out the cute dresses that they have on sale right now. I am trying to stop when I have the urge to buy and see what’s really behind that impulse. Feel whatever it is I am feeling. Give myself an hour and see if I still want it. So far so good.
I don’t think I’m going to go a year anymore without buying anything for myself, though. That’s too frugal.
A few days ago I changed the look of my blog to make it perkier and give it a lighter ambience. One thing I made sure was consistent, though, is the color: pink. I have had a love-hate-love relationship with pink throughout my life. I thought today I would give you a little glimpse into me using the color pink as a framework.
When I was very young my parents were members of an Apostolic Pentecostal church because my uncle was a pastor there. One foundation of that faith is that women (and girls) are required to only wear dresses and to keep their hair long. There are all sorts of other strict rules, but the basic idea is that femininity is required – even for babies. That means that I actually learned to “crawl” in a dress. I put crawl in quotes because I couldn’t really use my knees like most children do since the dresses made it virtually impossible. Picture this: me in a frilly pink dress, hair that had never been cut, “crawling” around on my hands and feet in this weird hunched/ crouching position so that I could maneuver around without tripping myself. I think I have a photo of that somewhere, actually. I will have to try and find it.
In my early childhood pink was a staple. Even after we changed churches and parted ways with the stringent guidelines I owned tons of cute outfits, hair clips, and chunky plastic jewelry that was pink. When I was about 6 years old my parents bought 10 acres of land in the country, and my Mom started designing a new house for us. We got to pick everything, which was very exciting for me. I picked out pink carpet, pink paint for my walls, pink wallpaper border, and a pink bedspread. We moved in when I was about 7 years old, and I loved my new room.
In the next few years I got more active in sports (softball and horse-back riding mostly), started exploring those 10 acres, and became a tree-climbing, tough, tomboy who loved getting dirty, didn’t mind a few cuts and scrapes, and spent more time with my horses and dogs than playing dress-up. I started hating the color pink with a passion. I decided orange was my new favorite color, I think mostly because it isn’t “girly” at all. I named all of my stuffed animals “orangey,” even the ones that had absolutely no orange in them. I also spent some time ripping the heads off of my sister’s Barbie dolls just to prove how not interested I was in being frilly and delicate.
As I changed from a pre-teen into a full-blow teenager orange was no longer my favorite color, but pink was still at the very bottom of my list. I gravitated to blue, gray, black, and anything that made me feel tough. I think part of that had to do with the fact that I was very picked on in school. I was home-schooled by my Mom until 6th grade, which I thought was wonderful. I was super-fast with my school-work, which allowed me to skip a grade and have more time to play outside. I could finish my lessons for the day in just a few hours at home.
Then I changed to private school for 2 years. Not only were the lessons excruciatingly, unnecessarily long (it took 3 or 4 times what I had been spending to go over things that I found incredibly simple), but the kids were mean. Private schools sound good in theory, especially to religious parents who think their children will get the benefit of Christian teachings, prayer, and smaller class sizes. Let me tell you something – the reality is much different. Private schools are full of kids who have been rejected from public schools because of their bad attitudes, problems focusing, and in some cases drug habits. Sure, there are only 15-20 students in an entire grade. That just means you can’t get away from the bullies. Ever.
I was very glad to switch to public school for 8th grade through graduation. At least there I could blend in, fade into the background a bit, and hopefully find a niche for myself. Still, I was the “new kid.” Everyone had been together, known one another, and formed their social circles since elementary school. I wasn’t especially popular, outgoing, or interested in the “normal” teenage drama. I came to despise the color pink even more because it was associated with the narcissistic, cruel, and shallow group of “mean girls.”
I did end up finding my own comfort zone in show choir, academics, and a few musicals and plays (even though I never fit in with the drama crowd). I had a few close friends, I was relatively well-liked and respected, although not popular by anyone’s standards, and I was able to avoid being ridiculed for the most part. I graduated at the top of my class, and couldn’t have been happier to leave it all behind.
I will skip most of the stuff in between then and now because it really doesn’t relate to my journey with the color pink. Once I became a more self-assured adult something slowly changed about my opinion of pink. It started with just a few nice pops of pink in a pretty shirt. I realized I was okay with being feminine – in fact, it was something that made me feel good about myself. I bought a bright pink shirt for the summer and noticed how much it flattered my dark hair and fair skin.
Slowly pink started making its way back into my life. Now it represented confidence. I could own pink for myself, not as something forced onto me by religion, culture, my parents, or the “in crowd.” I also found that since I was more confident in myself I was okay with the vulnerability and softness that pink sometimes implies. I didn’t have to be tough all the time. I didn’t have to be strong, invincible, and shielded from the world. I could just be me. And I discovered that “me” likes pink.
I have been shaped by my life experiences and have grown because of them. I still like black and gray, but I also enjoy silver and pink. In fact, black and pink were the colors of my wedding. I wanted this blog to have a pink theme because it reminds me of the journey I have taken to be okay with pink. It reminds me that I can be vulnerable. It reminds me that I am fluid – changing and becoming a different person every day. That is why pink is important to me.