Tag Archives: life

Enjoying My Single Weekend

29 Apr

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This weekend was fun, interesting, and not as productive as I would have liked. Still, I enjoyed myself and my single status quite a bit. I was able to relax, do the things that I wanted to do, and have a fulfilling weekend.

Friday night I went to the NASCAR race with my Dad, a co-worker, and a former co-worker.  We scored amazing seats in the very tip-top tower section with a perfect overview of the entire track. I don’t get to spend as much time with my Dad as I would like, even though he’s my neighbor.  He’s just the kind of man who gets things done and moves on. We do dinner every now and then and talk for a few minutes when he is cutting my grass or if we happen to be getting mail at the same time.  He is a NASCAR fan, though, so when I was offered the tickets I knew he would like going.

I don’t follow NASCAR or watch it on TV (how boring), but there is something really exciting about feeling and hearing the roar of the engines.  The pre-race show is always fun, too.  There are people who parachute down with the raceway flag and the American flag.  Being up so high and having them come down almost literally right in front of me was really neat.  They also have the fighter jets that roar overhead at the end of the Star Spangled Banner.  If that doesn’t give you chills, nothing will.

Saturday I mostly stayed home and tried to write my papers for school.  I only finished one because the group paper ended up being more on my shoulders than I had anticipated.  I had hoped to finish both that paper and my individual paper as well as get started on the papers due beginning tomorrow (because it is my last week in this class and there is a LOT to do).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to it.  That means tonight I will be finishing up that paper and doing my team evaluation (which always takes more time than I anticipate).  I can handle it, though.

Sunday was the most fun day of all.  I joined a site called Meetup.com.  One of my blogging friends is an organizer of a group on there.  I had never heard of it before then, but basically there are groups for people who share the same interests.  Some of them are book clubs or dinner clubs, Mom groups, exercise groups, or just anything you can think of.  My friend runs one not too far away and suggested that I join and maybe go on one of their outings. I got on the website and started looking around.  In no time flat I found a few groups for Richmond.  After joining, I discovered that there was one group meeting for brunch at one of the top restaurants in the city on Sunday. There was a wait list because it was full, but I joined hoping to get the chance to go.  Sure enough, someone cancelled, so I got a spot

I woke up early, hoping to get around to my paper.  My dog wanted to play and go for a walk.  Then I got distracted with blogging and emails, and before I knew it I had to leave immediately or risk missing the event altogether.  When I got there I was pleasantly surprised.  There were about 14 of us that showed up.  The majority were women of all ages and occupations. There was one married couple and one single guy.   At least two other people were also “first-timers,” so it wasn’t awkward or cliquish.  It was cool to eat good food and meet new people and have interesting conversations.

I  also found out that it was Richmond Restaurant Week last week.  Twice a year some of the top restaurants come up with a 3-course price fixed menu – appetizer, entrée and dessert – for $25 per person.  I usually make the rounds to several restaurants on the list, but this year it totally snuck up on me.  One of my favorite restaurants specialize in seafood.  They have really wonderful dishes, many of which are on the Restaurant Week menu.  Because I found out about Restaurant Week on Saturday, and it was over the next day I made myself a reservation for that restaurant for last night.  It was delicious, as I anticipated, and I had a really nice time.

I hope the rest of you are enjoying your lives, whether you are single, married, looking, or in limbo.  There’s no time like today to grab life by the horns and have fun!

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Progress

20 Apr

This last week has seen some significant progress in my world.  The papers were officially delivered to Chris (a.k.a. Mr. Mess).  I have an appointment for a deposition with my lawyer.  The ball is rolling, and things are going in the right direction.

School has been busy, but good.  I’m learning quite a bit and enjoying the ability to stretch myself.  There was a work trip that took me away for the weekend during a time when I had a lot of work to do for school (3 papers).  It also coincided with a surgery that my dog needed to excise a tumor and check it for cancer.  Needless to say, last week was incredibly stressful.  However, the papers got done impeccably, I generated new leads at work, and my precious Buddy is cancer-free and recovering well.

All of that has given me the ability to breathe again, and a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that the divorce is proceeding.  I even had the opportunity to have a little fun!  Last night I did a duet with a friend of mine who was opening a sold-out show.  We sang Jason Aldean’s song “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” featuring Kelly Clarkson.  We did an acoustic version with him, me, two stools and a guitar.  It was amazing.  We rocked the house.  If you aren’t familiar with the song, here it is:

It was so amazing to go on stage and perform again.  People were cheering and loving it.  I had so, so many people come up to me afterwards and say that they were just blown away.  I’ve missed having music be a part of my life in that way.  I also got to pick out a cute outfit and break out my pink hair extensions again.  I thought I would share some self-portraits from last night.  Pink streaks are fabulous!

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Finally, for some levity, I would like to share a little ditty from today.  I decided to treat myself to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner tonight.  When I went by to pick it up, the owner who is an older, small-statured gentleman from Thailand, started asking me about how things are going for me.  I’m a regular there, and used to go at least once a week when I worked close by.  He said that he has noticed the man I used to bring in with me is gone.  I laughed and said yes.  He said it’s easier that way.  I told him he was soooo right.  Then, in his broken English, he told me, “Next time, you get better looking one.”  I burst out laughing!  I’m still chuckling to myself.

Yes, next time around I will get a better looking one.  More than that, though, I’ll get a better all-around man.  🙂

12 Changes

12 Dec

In honor of 12/12/12, here is a little inspirational photo with 12 signs that you are experiencing a “spiritual awakening.”  I’m not sure how I feel about that term, but I do like the 12 “symptoms.”

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Here are 12 positive things I have noticed about myself and my life lately:

  1. When I’m not being crushed by lies and depression, I’m apparently a very fun, bubbly person who people like to be around.  Go figure!
  2. I enjoy being active.  The more I do, the less tired I am.  It’s weird and counter-intuitive, but I’m loving it.
  3. When you are enjoying life, taking positive action, being active, and connecting with people there is far, far less time in the day for watching TV.  I’m not missing it at all.  (Okay, in all honesty there are still a few things I won’t be able to stop watching – The Middle and Grey’s Anatomy – there will always be time for you!)
  4. Smart phones are awesome.  I shouldn’t have held out so long before I caved.  Having a phone from the 21st century has its perks.  My smart phone is almost smarter than me, but I’m learning.
  5. Smiling is amazing.
  6. People can be amazing, too.  They also sometimes cause the action in #5 instead of pain, hurt, betrayal, and tears.
  7. I can be my different, sarcastic, irreverent, honest, goofy, vulnerable, sappy, smart-ass self and those people I mentioned in #1 and #6 seem to like me more.  It’s an odd sensation, but one that I’m starting to enjoy.
  8. I am my worse critic.  I realize now that that when I shut up and let myself be me, flaws and all, I can still be happy.
  9. I deserve to be valued and respected.  As soon as I recognized that, the universe delivered people who see my value and give me respect.  I guess when I stop trying to make things happen, they do just happen.
  10. I have the absolute best family in the entire world.
  11. Peace of mind is priceless.
  12. I have to love myself first and foremost in order to accept love from others.  I am still working on this one.  However, I am more and more confident every day that I am getting closer to understanding what I need, what I want, what I deserve, and all that the world has to offer.  In the meantime, I’m going to have fun and not overthink things (or at least try not to).

I also want to express gratitude to the various people who have given me awards lately.  I hate being ungrateful, and I’m not ignoring you.  I just find that I have less and less time to blog now that I’m being more active and doing more things outside of rooms with computers in them (both in my work and personal life).  Also, the holidays are approaching (rapidly), and I am less prepared than I have ever been.  I want you all to know now that I am honored by the awards.  I will get to accepting them all and following all of the rules.  I swear!  I just can’t promise you when that will be.  😀

I’m Seriously Lacking Self-Compassion

15 Sep

Quite a few things this week have led me to examine the way that I treat myself.  My husband and I try to get together daily and spend at least an hour talking, followed by 20 minutes of dialoging.  Some days we have topics that one or both of us want to touch on, so that is what we use as our dialog question.  Other days we use questions from the Retrouvaille workbook.  I also found a great website with a huge list of questions by topic (with everything you can possibly think of organized A-Z), and a random question generator.

On Wednesday we decided to give that a try and decided on the randomly generated question, “Do I judge other people by higher or lower standards than I use on myself?  How do I feel about that?”  Below is a portion of my answer:

Generally speaking, I judge others by lower standards than I use for myself.  For example, I would only accept strait A’s for myself in college, but I don’t expect the same from you (my husband) or my sister.  I can be very proud of you when you get a B in class, whereas if I got a B it would be devastating, embarrassing, and traumatic.

I also expect perfection, or near perfection in almost anything I do.  As such, I feel less than or embarrassed (yet again) anytime I make a mistake or have to ask for help.  I put immense pressure on myself in a way I would never dream of putting on others.

At the same time, I believe even my lower standards for others are sometimes higher than they are used to.  My overall philosophy is to set the bar high and expect 100% effort.  In that way, even if someone falls a little short they still achieve more and push themself harder than they would with little to no expectations set forth.  I always responded much better to teachers and others who wanted the best out of me.  It made me feel like I was someone with value, who was special, and I want to do the same with those that I love – let them know I think highly of them and their abilities.

I have mixed feelings about my answer.  When I think of the increased pressure I put on myself, I feel sad.  This sadness is a feeling of dismay, probably a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.  It feels unfortunate that I would judge myself so harshly.  The physical sensation is like a twinge or a pang of pain in a sore muscle after a few days of recuperating.  It isn’t sharp and powerful, but more of a remnant.

My second response is in response to my lowered, yet still high, expectations of others.  It seems like a more reasonable approach, and it makes me feel like an inspirational person who gives encouragement.

Keep in mind that the above was written in a 10 minute span with no opportunity to edit or review my thoughts as they were going onto the paper.  The fact that I am even posting it here, unedited, makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable.  I suppose the best way to get over my issues is to attack them head on.

After my husband and I exchanged notebooks and read each other’s answers, we started dialoging on our feelings.  The point of the 10 minutes of dialoging is to really understand the emotions of your spouse.  I actually wrote a bit too much about my thoughts and not enough about my feelings since I ran out of time.  However, when my husband and I dialoged I was able to delve into my feelings much more.  Of course, I ended up in tears.  That was the first smack in the face that my approach to myself is really not healthy.  I knew it before, but I pushed that realization to the back of my mind and never let the emotional aspect come out.

Then Friday while reviewing the blog of a fantastic writer who has done a lot of self-reflection I came across a post about self-compassion.  The words really resonated with me, even though he is far more compassionate to himself than I am.  He included a link to an online test that he took.  I decided to head over there and see how bad it really was.  Here is the scoring rubric and my scores:

Score interpretations:
Average overall self-compassion scores tend to be around 3.0 on the 1-5 scale, so you can interpret your overall score accordingly. As a rough guide, a score of 1-2.5 for your overall self-compassion score indicates you are low in self-compassion, 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high. Remember that higher scores for the Self-Judgment, Isolation, and Over-Identification subscales indicate less self-compassion, while lower scores on these dimensions are indicative of more self-compassion (these subscales are automatically reverse-coded when your overall self-compassion score is calculated.)

My Scores:
Self-Kindness: 2.40
Self-Judgment: 4.40
Common Humanity: 2.00
Isolation: 3.50
Mindfulness: 2.75
Over-Identification: 4.00
Overall score: 2.21

So, there it is…  I’m not very compassionate to myself, and I’m extremely self-judgmental.  Sadly, that sounds about right.

This morning in my S-Anon meeting the topic chosen by the group (not proposed by me) was self-care.  Yep.  I definitely needed to hear everyone’s shares on how to take care of yourself, give yourself grace, and put your feelings and needs first.  I have been getting slightly better with self-care in areas like eating better, exercising (I absolutely love karate), and doing little things for myself every day.

I still have a very critical mindset towards myself, though.  I am still a perfectionist.  I still set myself up for failure, then beat myself up when I do fail.  Now that I am really aware of it and how it affects me emotionally, I’m going to have to find a way to contradict that voice inside that tells me I will never live up to anyone’s expectations for me, or my own expectations for myself.  I have to really accept that I am enough, that I am exceptional just the way I am.

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compassion hearts (Photo credit: journeyscoffee)

Being Busy

27 Jun

I know I have been away a bit longer than just through the weekend.  Ooops.  I have been running all around like a crazy person lately.  Some of it has been good – but it sure has been hectic.  So here’s a quick rundown.  This weekend I attended a wonderful party that I wish we could have stayed at longer, then drove 2 hours to a fantastic concert.  After seeing 4 amazing bands we then had to brave that 2 hour drive back home… not so fun.  Good thing the next day was Sunday, though, because sleeping in was definitely in order.

Fast-forward to Monday when we had a terrible storm blow through.  Winds reached 86 mph, there was driving rain, hail, lightning, and some tornadoes a little farther out from me (thankfully I didn’t see any).  The wind and rain were so hard and heavy that water was actually forced under the front door at work and caused a semi-flood in our foyer and warehouse.  Oh, and it knocked the power out.  I’m sure you can imagine the fun time that ensued attempting to clean up the water in the dark.  Thankfully we have lots of windows – except in my office (of course) – yay!

Since I live only about a mile from work the power was also knocked out at my house.  We weren’t quite like the people in the picture above, although I did have tons of candles lit.  Thankfully my Dad lives next door (another story entirely) and he has a generator.  We plugged in an extension cord and stretched it on over to run our refrigerator, A/C and television.  That really was a lifesaver!  Except our cable and internet were also down.  Thank goodness for Criminal Minds on DVD!

Work was an entirely different story, though.  We really, really need our computers to be able to invoice items and all of the other daily operations.  Generally power comes up pretty fast for the business where we are, but not this time.  There were over 100,000 people without electricity not counting the businesses.  We thought we would get power back in the morning on Tuesday, but when I called there was still no estimated time to get it back.  I tried limping through work on my tablet and cell phone, but by mid-day it was obvious that wasn’t working and becoming more and more clear that power wasn’t coming back.  Cue shopping trip for a generator, setting it up, gassing it up, and stringing together several extension cords throughout the office to get our key equipment up and running.  Let me tell you, it was fun crawling all around on the floor – not!

Did I mention that in the middle of all of that I was recruiting for a job opening?  Trying to set up interviews on a tablet in the dark is not as fun as it sounds.  I also conducted a few phone interviews and coordinated with the President on his schedule for face-to-face interviews.  In my dark office.  Oh yeah, and I had a funeral to attend in the middle of all of that.  I also had to sing 2 songs yesterday so I had to get some music together and try to practice – without a printer or the internet as a guide.  Thankfully I’m good under pressure and can “going with it.”  No one had any clue that I hadn’t devoted my normal hours of preparation and practice.  Everyone said I did wonderfully.  Phew!

Today we finally have power, internet, and phone service back in the area – at home and work.  That is such a relief, but it also means picking up the slack for the past 2 days without power.  I promise I will get back to thoughtful writing and introspection… Tomorrow.  I’m feeding my procrastinating side today.  Well, not really – I still have a therapy appointment, chiropractor, and dinner with the girls in my group tonight – all by 6:30 pm.  And I need to pick up a Redbox rental on my way home to care for my sick husband – who has been vomiting today.  Hopefully it’s not from the boil advisory we received for our water – because I drank that stuff, too (The power outage also knocked out the water processing plant, so we could have any number of unknown bacteria in our water – which they didn’t deem worth telling us until 12 hours after we had been drinking said water from the tap).  See you around soon!

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