Archive | May, 2013

Just Breathe

30 May

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This evening I’ve decided to share a video with you guys.  It’s a little clip from a song.  Unlike the rest of the music I’ve shared on here, this one is of me.  Yep, that’s right… I’m officially going to make my internet singing debut…  Hahahaha.  🙂

Let me back up really quickly.  I have mentioned a few times that my Mom plays the piano.  She got a new one a month or so ago, and I got her old piano.  It’s in my living room, right as you walk into my front door.   That is a picture of it above.  That piano is special.  It holds a lot of memories and meaning for me and for my Mom.  Her parents bought it for her when she was 8 years old.  Her father passed away when she was 16.  I never had the opportunity to meet him (obviously).  This is the piano she learned to play on, and the one that I sort of learned how to play on.  I will admit that as a child and even a teenager I wasn’t very motivated.

My Mom gave me the piano at the perfect time.  I want to learn, at least a bit, although I have no illusions of becoming a concert pianist.  More importantly, I now have a chance to focus on myself.  This is really the first time I have had that opportunity in years and years due to the drama and neediness of my exes (both of them).  I also find myself craving a creative outlet with which to express myself (besides writing here).  Music has always been a cathartic, soul cleansing release for me.  Now I have another medium for that besides my guitar and my voice.  The more options the better!

A few weeks after getting the piano, I realized pretty definitively that I didn’t remember a darn thing about how to play it.  The next time I visited my Mom took me up to her attic and we grabbed some music books.  She also gave me a folder of “secular music” from a band that she used to play with.  I opened it up and found the song Breathe (2 am) by Anna Nalick.  Not only is it fairly basic, it is also on the piano originally which meant I could listen to it a few times to get a feel for it before attempting anything myself.  Finally, the song hit the trifecta because it has been featured several time on Grey’s Anatomy, which is possibly my favorite television show of all times.

The song also get major bonus points were assigned because of the title and lyrics.  Here’s the portion that I sang for the video:

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, its no longer

inside of me, threatening the life they belong to

And i feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud

And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,

And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table

No one can find the rewind button now

Sing it if you understand.

And breathe, just breathe

woah breathe, just breathe

I connect deeply with those words.  I am often up late writing, thinking, singing, and playing (like tonight, for instance).  It’s like my brain just can’t stop until I get it out.  I write so many raw, personal things here and share them with people who know me and those who don’t.  I am judged sometimes, but receive support so much more often.  This really is like my diary, though.  When I was writing music (and it has been a while), those songs were a little piece of me.  Now I give that by singing and playing the words of other people that connect with me.  I may even get back to writing one day.  The truth behind this song that hits me more than anything else is we can’t go back, only forward.  It reminds me to take a moment and a deep breath, and keep pressing on with my head held high.

Soooo… after a few weeks of playing around here and there when I had the opportunity, tonight I decided to try recording myself.  I was already filmed once today at work for a video that will be featured at our convention in July, so I figured what the hell – I’ll give it a shot.  I ended up with a pretty decent video.  Only after uploading it to my computer did I realize portrait mode isn’t exactly computer friendly.  A few tutorial videos on the internet later and I had at least figured out how to rotate the thing so people don’t have to tilt their heads sideways to read it.  Just for the heck of it, I went ahead and shot another one in landscape mode, too.

The truth is that neither of the takes are perfect.  I didn’t play and sing the entire song, which I know means that it’s completely useless for almost all intents and purposes.  I mess up some words, and they have multiple piano issues like pauses and wrong notes and inconsistencies.  But I like them.  I like that song.  I like the fact that I made some mistakes, but it’s still beautiful.  I even like that despite the fact that I’m irrationally scared of posting videos that hardly anyone will ever, ever see, I’m doing it.  So if any of you care to watch me sing and try to play the piano in my “READ” t-shirt, here are the videos.  Feel free to let me know which one you like better if you care enough to watch them both even though they are basically the same thing.

And don’t forget, no matter what you’re going through, to stop and just breathe.

Take 1:

Take 2:

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The Beauty of Family and Holidays

27 May

English: Picture of graves decorated with flag...

This is Memorial Day.  It’s a day that many people get off from work.  It’s when most pools open, and the unofficial start of summer.  Much more importantly, though, it’s a day to remember all of the fallen men and women who died defending our country.  I haven’t personally had anyone close to me pass away in a war, but I know those who have.  It is an ultimate sacrifice.  It is also what enables me to enjoy a day like this with my family close by.  I count myself very lucky to have so many people I love and to be able to spend holidays with them.

Today, though, our family gathering was a little smaller than usual.  My brother and sister both had to work.  My grandma just had surgery on her foot Thursday and wasn’t up for visiting.  That meant I spent time with my new family – my step-Dad, his daughters, and the husband and children of his youngest (his oldest is a single gal like myself).  My Mom was there, too, of course.

It’s a bit odd when you inherit a family through marriage, but it’s also a wonderful thing.  In addition to a step father, I now have two older sisters, a niece and nephew, and new aunts and uncles.  They’re all great.  My step-Dad is 20 years older than my Mom, but they really make the best match I’ve ever seen.  They’re wonderful together and compliment each other in every way.  That means my new sisters are in their early 40s and my niece and nephew are in their tweens.

Today we had a little cookout.  We had burgers and hotdogs and grilled chicken, watermelon, cherries, sweet potatoes, and all sorts of snacky things, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.  You would have thought they were cooking for an army instead of eight.  My Mom and I exchanged some clothes their neither of us are wearing much (we often do that kind of swap).  I got several new-to-me tops, a basically brand new pair of shoes, and a skirt.  My Mom got a few dresses and new nail polish.  I also got my gel manicure redone.  My nails are a brilliant shade of pink with a hint of blue shimmer that you can see in the sunlight.  We talked and congregated, played some cornhole (ahhh, what an attractive name for a game, huh?), and watched baseball.

It was a nice little gathering.  It reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for, and how much love I have in my life.  Everyone dissipated a few hours after we finished our meal.  The kids went to the (rather chilly) pool, one sister went for a nap, the other to trim trees, and now I’m back home writing this instead of the paper I have due tonight.  Any excuse to procrastinate.  🙂

What struck me is not just the family I have gained, but also the family that I lost and the family that he lost.  While my ex had a large family, they hardly ever got together for things like this.  Holidays came and went with no gatherings and not even a phone call.  It always struck me as so very strange.  To have everyone within a 20 mile radius and yet fail to reach out at all.  I can now recognize that as part of their dysfunction.  They didn’t spend holidays together except the obligatory family reunion around Christmas time, which not everyone even showed up for, because they didn’t have the close bond that I have with my family.

My family connections bring so many tangible and intangible things into my life.  Not just the food or the manicures or the clothes swapping.  No, what I mean is the really important stuff – the support, laughter, stories, hugs, and feeling that I am part of something bigger, something truly special.  It really is the love that makes a family what it is.  It’s the ability to be open and true to yourself, and to be accepted and embraced as you are.  It’s receiving encouragement to grow, understanding when you need it, and to laugh so hard that you cry.

Most days I wasn’t sure if my ex’s family even liked each other.  They spent so much time talking poorly about each other, tearing each other down to feel better about themselves, and gossiping behind people’s backs only to be fake to their faces.  Overall it was a mess.  There are many, many good people in his family.  His sisters are smart and engaging, his older brother is very funny, and the aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are quite sweet.  Instead of seeing the good qualities in one another, they honed in on the bad ones.  His intelligent, hilarious, and adventurous oldest sister was called a busybody or a bitch.  His gentle, caring, and big-hearted youngest sister was called a failure or an idiot for loving her pets so much.  The list goes on and on.  It’s sad, really.

I know that wherever I end up and whoever with I will make family a priority.  I want to leave a family tradition like that one I came from – one that is built around love and respect and kindness.  One that isn’t afraid to laugh loud, play hard, eat well, and cherish one another.  Although I miss some of the family that I lost, I don’t miss that dynamic.  We may have some straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is types in my family, but they’ll tell you to your face and give you a big hug when they do.  I will carry that honesty, love, and integrity with me always.  I count myself very fortunate to have that kind of family tradition, and I will make sure it continues on.

 

Future of this Blog?

24 May

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The original purpose of this blog, which was to deal with my marital issues and my husband’s infidelity and sex addiction, is something that no longer really exists in my life.  I know that a lot of my followers came here because I addressed those issues and others, like codependency, separation, and recently divorce.  Now that those things are wrapping up I wonder if continuing to update this blog is helpful to anyone.  I feel like I have less and less to say that is “on topic.”

I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing, personally, because it means that I am moving on and healing.  However, I wonder if my followers are getting anything out of this blog anymore.  I’ve been contemplating what I should do moving forward.  Not blog?  Start a new one?  Stay here and change the general theme?  I thought I would reach out and ask you guys what you would like.  Do you even care about the general updates about my life and other things I’ve been posting recently?

The good news is that I’m still a mess, just a little different type of mess.  But does anyone really care about that?  I worry that this has started to devolve into the type of blog I never wanted to be where I just post random shit about my life with no real value to anyone else.  Are there topics you would like me to write about?  Things that would be more relevant to you as readers than what I’ve been posting lately?

Look It Up

22 May

I ran into this song today through Spotify, and it is hilarious.  The video made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Look It Up

The word is “faithful,” look it up
It don’t mean sneakin’ around behind my back
Like you ain’t gettin’ enough

How ’bout “forever”
Just look it up
It means through thick and thin and pitchin’ in
Even when the times get tough

The word is “easy”
Look it up
And you’ll see a picture of that piece of trash
Ridin’ ’round in your pickup truck

Let’s try “liar”
Just look it up
But you’ll need boots to wade through all the bull
You tell me when you come home drunk

It’s just like you to be so clueless
‘Cause you never thought I’d do this
I said go, goodbye, get lost, get out
Get gone, the word is “over”
Look it up

You said you’re “sober”
Look it up
It’s right next to hell is freezin’ over, flyin’ pigs
And all that stuff

And how ’bout “baby”
Look it up
It’s what you call me and it’s how you act
Every time I call your bluff

It’s just like you to keep denyin’
Save your whinin’ and your cryin’
I said go, goodbye, get lost, get out
Get gone, the word is “over”
Look it up

The word’s “forgiveness”
Look it up
It’s what Jesus has in store for you
But I don’t, no matter what

Quit your beggin’ and your cryin’
Can’t you hear what I been sayin’?
I said go, goodbye, get lost, get out
Get gone, the word is over
Look it up

Asshole
Just look it up, look it up

My Adventures at the Hospital

21 May

It has been quite a stressful few days.   My father is only 51 and has been in excellent health (at least from what anyone could tell).  He’s active and fit, so it was completely unexpected when he ended up in the ER Friday with problems breathing, high blood pressure, and irregular EKGs.   I posted a little blurb when I was on my way there, and have hardly had time to breathe much less think in the meantime.

My Dad was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after spending the night in the ER.  He was pumped full of all kinds of medication and scheduled for a cardiac catheterization first thing this morning.  It was quite taxing trying to understand the process and terminology while serving as the disseminator of information across family members, translator of “doctor speak,” and general calming force (I am the oldest and most level-headed of his children, and my step-mom was a nervous wreck).  Trying to tackle my masters program on top of all of that was simply brain-numbing.  I spent all day yesterday reading the book, researching for a paper that is due today, and sometimes just staring into space trying to get my brain to function.

As if that wasn’t enough, my grandma (my Dad’s mother) ended up in the ER this morning for something totally unrelated at literally the same time my Dad was going in for his procedure.  I spent today running from the ER to the ICU to my grandma’s house to get her things together back to the hospital and between the two rooms my Dad and grandma were in.  My father ended up having a 90% blockage in his main artery, which required surgery.  It was a bit of a mess.  Thankfully everyone is doing well for now.

We still don’t know if my grandma will need surgery or not.  They found infected abscesses around her duodenum, and admitted her to the hospital.  She is on strong antibiotics and restricted to no food or water until some undefined point in the future when they determine how well the current treatment is working.  The doctor said that she will most likely be in the hospital for the rest of the week.  The good news is that my Dad should hopefully be released soon, provided the tests they give him tomorrow look good and his recovery is according to schedule.

I could really use a deep sleep and a break from everything right now.  Instead, I have a paper to finish before midnight Arizona time and tomorrow I get to oversee the transition of my company from one server to another.  I just keep reminding myself to breathe.

Hospital Visit

17 May

So… I’m on my way yo the hospital with my step-mom.  My Dad is in the ER.  He was having trouble breathing so he went to the doctor.  They took one look at him and sent him to the emergency room.

Apparently his blood pressure was 220/100 & something.  I headed over to visit, talk to the doctor, and pick up his car.  You read that right.  My Dad, being the stubborn guy he is, drove himself to the ER with a skyrocketed blood pressure when he could barely catch his breath.  With me less than 5 minutes away.

If I wasn’t so worried I might fuss at him.  I probably still will once I find out he’s okay.  I’ve gotta be the rock in this because everyone else is freaking out.

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Got the Ball Rolling

10 May

Man's Hands Signing Document

Wow, it’s May!  I know it’s been a little while since I was on here.  I have been biding my time and filtering myself here since my STBX is now following my blog through Facebook.  I am hoping to make this divorce process as smooth as possible because I just want to be rid of him.  Today I found the “ban” feature on FB, so I have him banned from my page.  Not that he can’t still come here and read…  But oh well.

The exciting news that I have to share with you all is that the divorce process has started and is on it’s way to its final destination.  Unfortunately, there are still some additional steps along the way.  Yesterday my Mom and I did our depositions at the lawyer’s office.  That is Step 3 in this process.  Step 1 was filing papers with the court announcing my decision to sue Chris for divorce.  He got a copy of the papers mailed to him the middle of last month.  Step 2 was having him acknowledge receipt and waive his right to 120 days to have his lawyer (which we all know doesn’t exist) review and possible rebut.  Since this is a no fault divorce, there really is no need for him not to agree unless he wants to be an ass.

The day that I posted my last blog entry, April 29th, Chris has texted me that he was going to go by the lawyer’s office and sign the acknowledgment and waiver.  The papers were filed with the court on April 15th, so that was already two weeks from when he could have.  With that promise from him secured, I set up a deposition with my lawyer on the first available day that worked with my Mom’s school and work schedule (because I needed another witness who knew how long we were separated).  Yesterday was that deposition date.

Wednesday afternoon when I was blissfully enjoying my lunch, I got a call from my lawyer.  Chris had never come in to sign the papers.  Oh, and we couldn’t move forward to the next stage (depositions) until he did.  So, unless he got in there within the next 24 hours or so everything would be delayed that much longer…  Geesh!

asshat

I asked if they would call him, thinking that maybe if someone else was involved besides me he might actually comply.  So, they attempted to call him.  Several times.  He never answered, and his voicemail was apparently “full.”  What a jackass.  My lawyer said he just doesn’t understand why he is being so difficult about this because this whole process is “basically nothing,” especially compared to some of the other cases he deals with.  I told him that I know, believe me, and this is just one more reason I’m divorcing him.

After I got that lovely notification from my lawyer I realized it was up to me.  Guess I have to contact him after all.  Yuck.  I tried calling, too, and experienced the same bullshit as my lawyer.  So I sent him the following text: “I have a deposition scheduled for 4pm tomorrow so that this divorce can happen, but nothing can move forward until you sign the paperwork.  You said you were going to do that April 29th, but they just called and said that you haven’t.”

His response was, “I told you i would try and get by there.  I have arranged to have Friday off so i will get by there around noon and have everything signed.  I will even text you when its done.”  Oh, how magnanimous of him! (dripping sarcasm, of course)  For the record, his text to me about signing the papers was this: “Just so you know i will be going by your lawyers Monday afternoon to take care of what’s left.”  There was no “try to” in there.  It was an “I will be.”  Why was I idiotic enough to take him at his word after everything?  No idea.

Of course, his gracious offer of going by on Friday, after the time we had the deposition scheduled, requiring me to cancel and reschedule, didn’t make me jump for joy.  Oh, you can do me the huge favor of taking care of signing your fucking name on a waiver 11 days after you promised to do it and 25 days after the first time you could have?  I’m sure he was expecting me to praise him for his selflessness.  Gag!

I choked down my vitriol and urge to scream, and sent him this text:  “That throw everything off because it was planned for you to do it weeks ago so this deposition has been scheduled, I’ve taken off work, and my mom has rearranged her schedule as well since I need a witness to how long we were separated.  My lawyer even tried to call you and leave you messages but your mailbox is full and won’t accept them.”  I made sure to throw in information about my Mom and my lawyer so he’d know that his irresponsibility wasn’t just inconveniencing me (since that wouldn’t matter at all to him).

Two minutes later he responded by saying, “I will do everything I can to get there before four tomorrow.  Let me call and see what I can do.”  I just said, “Thank you,” and held my breath.  I wanted to say so much more, but I held my tongue and played the role of grateful, groveling wife that he wanted me to.  A few minutes late he said, “I will have them signed tomorrow by 1:30.  Call your lawyer and let him know.”

I let out a sign of relief, although I didn’t get my hopes up too much considering what happened before.  There was always the possibility that his narcissist self would decide something else was a higher priority or that he would say “something came up” or just not do it.  However, I was banking on the fact that he didn’t want to look like even more of an ass to my Mom.  I tried to play off of that imagine conscious thing (hahaha, such a joke) that narcissistic sociopaths have.

It worked!

He actually went by and signed (and was sure to send me a text).  I called the lawyer’s office to confirm.  I’m sure he felt high and mighty.  In his version of this story I bet he would extol his virtues as a wonderful person for dropping everything to do this “for me.”  He would most likely say he texted me out of the goodness of his heart to ease my mind.  Ha!  Others may believe that, but I’m certain it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with stroking his twisted ego.   I believe that he intentionally waited to the last second to fuck with me.  Maybe not.  Maybe he’s just an irresponsible, self-centered piece of shit who doesn’t really care how quickly this divorce is over, even though he’s married to a “nut job.”  He’s certainly not suddenly so busy and so important that he hasn’t had the ability in almost a month to take care of this.

one-fingerThe thing that kills me is that he literally has only ONE responsibility in this divorce.  Sign the required papers.  That’s it.  I have paid all of the fees.  I wrote up the separation agreement.  I do all of the depositions.  I line up the witnesses.  I have all of the meetings with the lawyer.  I am footing the entire cost of divorce.  Now I even have to make calls and texts to remind him to sign his name!?!  Holy shit!

But I digress…  My lawyer explained that the rest of the process will go like this:  They will type up the deposition that my Mom and I gave.  They will attach that and all of the required paperwork and exhibits along with an official request for divorce judgment.  These papers will be mailed to me and to Chris.  At that point he will have to sign that he agrees to a divorce.  Once he does that (however long it takes), the final paperwork will be submitted to the court.  They will also mail me a copy.  Once the paperwork is in the hands of the court it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for the judge to sign them.  My lawyer knows all of the clerks (and my Mom has one as a client), so hopefully my case will be presented as soon as possible.  However, my county only has one judge and he only deals with divorce matters on Fridays.

He said that IF Chris goes by and signs everything he needs to by the end of this month, the worst-case scenario is that I’ll be divorced by July 1st.  That’s just in time for my big trip down to Amelia Island, Florida for work, which is just a week or so later.  I was already planning to make it an extended vacation, and now it can be a celebration, too!  All in all, that’s great.  I can’t wait for this whole thing to be done, but I’ll be patient.

Yesterday I also made sure to take time for a mini-celebration.  I treated myself to a haircut and gel manicure.  I went out to dinner with my Mom and step-Dad to a really nice, trendy new restaurant.  I ate delicious food and spent time with two of the people I love most in the world.  It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and I drove around with happy songs blaring from my radio.  The car windows were down, and of course I was singing along.  I also wore my favorite pink flyaway cardigan that looks amazing with my skin and hair.  I’ll leave you with a few snapshots of me from yesterday.

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