Time for Some Serious Reflection

I keep coming back to this goal list I put together a few months ago.  I’ve made some major progress lately and I think it’s time to dive deeper into the list, note a few goals that are “on track” and where do I focus next.  So here it goes – thanks for listening.

MY GOALS (previous post)

  1. Short-term
    1. Raise happy, healthy kids On track – my kids are amazing and doing well.
    2. Spend more time near the water, preferably the ocean – work remotely and just go I’ve made some progress here and it pairs with #3 – booked a cruise with a few other moms and our kids around the holidays.  So stinking excited.
    3. Travel – spend the $$ and just do it Just debating where is next?  Likely Europe with my dad.  It’s been on his bucket list to see castles for as long as I can remember.  I was fortunate enough to get to go to Austria in December and it’s a must-see.  The USA is a great place to live, but “old” just isn’t “old” here.
    4. Make time to visit good friends even if it means driving in the car This one needs improvement.  Everyone’s schedules are insane, but planning a few trips within driving distance to see friends.
    5. Reduce work stress – it’s just not worth it Failing miserable at this one but there are just waves of time where work is nuts and you have to deal with it.  I booked an appointment for first thing tomorrow AM to try float therapy for the first time.  I can’t wait to try it out – pretty new idea for this little town.
    6. Reduce time with family and friends that create drama – it’s just not worth it Since I put this on the list, I’d say I’ve improved.  There are just some people (family and friends mixed) that are not worth the time.
    7. Try harder to not be angry for mom for not being around for me or the kids – it’s just not worth it Tough one – my mom just left again for who knows how long.  I’m angry.  We’ll keep this as a work in progress and needs improvement.  🙂  Might need to add this to the long-term list….
    8. Splurge (responsibly) – you can’t take it with you Bought a Jeep (nothing fancy just something we can cruise the back roads in – it’s been on my bucket list forever.  F it.  No regrets.
    9. Read – you love it – make the time on the porch alone for a real book and a glass of wine Totally failing.  I’ll work on it.
    10. Evaluate what I want out of a relationship  Here is what truly triggered the post today.  Finally called it quits with the person I’ve been seeing almost since my husband died (no need to tell me that was probably a bad idea, but I own it and it was my decision.  It is what it is.)  I’m sad, really sad.  The funny thing is – no one I know is sad.  I don’t blame them.  Outside looking in I’ve told myself I was stupid on more than one occasion but I am sure deep down I’m afraid to be alone.  I haven’t been alone since about 2003 when he and I dated in our 20s.  It’s scary and freeing?  I think he’s been a security blanket for me and a friend.  He was a terrible boyfriend 95% of the time but I also did what I wanted, when I wanted, raised the kids the way I wanted, etc.  Our Venn Diagram just wasn’t overlapping anymore.  He desperately wants kids of his own, but I question if he has it in him to put the time and effort into it – he’s extremely self-centered.  But, I will be ok and this too shall pass.  I wish we didn’t live in a small town because it makes everything much harder.  I could ramble all day, but it was the right decision for both of us even it it sucks.
    11. NEW – Exercise, exercise, exercise and plan meals.  I’ve been doing pretty well in the exercise department for 6 weeks except last week.  I was active and got the steps in, etc. but didn’t stick to my workout plan.  Running around and coaching the kids helps me stay on track too.  Way to many adult-coping beverages this weekend.  Back on track with this tomorrow.  I can’t deny how much better I feel when I feel good about myself inside AND out.  Need to meal plan just to keep my sanity and so the kids don’t eat PB&J for every meal.
    12. NEW – Find a new therapist because mine quit – piss poor timing on her part but can’t blame someone for moving forward in their life.
    13. NEW – Begin to start thinking about how I can help others like me.  Last week a girl from town lost her husband in an auto accident.  She and her daughter (age 3) were in the car.  I don’t know her but also didn’t want to overstep and contact her.  Today one of my friends who knows her asked me if she could share my information with her – yes, please do.  Being a recent widow with small children is hard enough much less trying to navigate Social Security and the rest of the paperwork.  I feel like I have more to give but not exactly sure how I want to do it.  For now, little things and maybe in the future, something bigger.
  1. Long-term
    1. Work part-time by the age of 50
    2. Get the f*** out of this area during the winter once the kids graduate from high school

That’s it for now.  Thank you for all of the words of encouragement and listening to me ramble! 

Goal #10: Evaluate what I want out of a relationship

I haven’t blogged lately because honestly, life has been busy and I haven’t felt the need to rant anonymously because overall, life has been decent.  However, it’s time to address one thing on my list – evaluate what I want out of a relationship.

I have been in a relationship with a long-time friend for about 3 years now.  We got together shortly after my husband died.  He was a good person to talk to.  He knew me well enough that I didn’t have to retell my life story.  We had dated over a decade ago – it was still oddly famliar.  Maybe we jumped in too fast, maybe not.  I don’t think there’s a true time limit on that after having gone through it.

When we first got together he swore he would love my kids like his own, I considered having another kid, he was around more and gave a shit.  Over time, he was around less, rarely sees the kids (and me), and is mad that I chose to not go to his family gatherings because let’s face it, we are in limbo and I’m not one for presenting a false circumstance (oh, and he didn’t ask me to go, just got mad when I didn’t).  So why would I ever think I was wanted there other than for show?

He went on a few vacations lately and didn’t even let me know he got there safely (correct, I was not with him).  WTF is that.  After 3 years, have a little respect.  Oh, and there’s been no sex lately either – strike 8 (no wonder I’m cranky).

So, how do you know when a relationship has run its course or if it’s a rough patch?  I keep making pro/con lists in my head.  I can’t decide if I’m afraid of losing him or the idea?  I surely don’t want to see him with anything else but am I living my best life?  Probably not.

I could ramble on and on, but really, what is the bottom line?  Why are we all so afraid of failure?  Living in a small town sure as hell doesn’t help.  The gossip never ends around here.  I hate it.

My kids know him.  I don’t want kids to see guys coming and going, but since he’s hardly around, maybe that’s not the best example either.  Rambling – that’s what you’re supposed to do in a blog right?  Going for a walk to ponder – open to suggestions.  The answer is likely clear to the rest of the world – why am I struggling with it?

 

The Struggle Is Real And Maybe Signs Are Too?

I try to put a positive spin on things as much as possible, but sometimes there are those that just can’t see the positives.  Losing my husband in the accident was the worst day of our life.  We would have him back with us in a heartbeat if it was an option.  However, I look at my two healthy, smiling, loving kids and I know from the bottom of my heart that if one or both of them weren’t here and my husband and I were, we would have not been able to live with ourselves, much less together.

His family struggles.  A lot.  I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child.  I’m not sure how I would cope if the kids weren’t here to keep me going much less if it was one of my children.  Don’t get me wrong, we struggle too but we do a lot of work to maintain functionality.  We started therapy immediately following the accident, we talk about it – all of the time, I encourage the kids to talk freely about their Daddy and his name goes on every drawing the kids do.  At times it’s relentless, but if that’s how they need to express how they are feeling then so be it.  To date, his family has not tried to find someone to talk to and instead crawl into a dark hole.  I try very very hard to accommodate their schedules and requests but I worry as the kids get older and busier, what they are going to grasp to if they can’t find themselves a bit of inner peace?

What started this rant?  His dad stopped by today to bring the kids ice cream but they are camping with my dad.  He started to go on about his depression and how he can’t get out of his funk (normal).  Up on the hill was a cardinal.  I almost giggled out loud.  I am less than religious but sometimes I just wonder if signs could be real.

I guess he owes me another one for listening to his Dad rant today.  I have a feeling he was probably giggling at me talking/tolerating to his Dad and crying at the same time.  I wish he was here to tell him to pull himself together – he was the only one who could get away with that.  At the very least it brings a smile to all of our faces every time we see a cardinal and wonder if it’s possible that there’s someone looking down on us?  I doubt it, but if it makes us smile – who cares!  I also ate one of the DQ blizzards and it was awesome….

The Daily Tightrope Walk

This week seemed like an appropriate time to chat about the daily tightrope walk between work, kids, life, and all that comes with it.  I’m very fortunate to be able to work from home a few days a week.  Without the flexibility of my job, I really have no idea how I would gettightrope anything accomplished.  Our schedule for the week –

Sunday – get back at night from a vacation after 13 hours in the car (rough, I know).  Kids are cranky to start the week.

Monday – work, daycare, kindergarten orientation mid-morning (how the hell are people supposed to accommodate these crazy school schedules that are ever-changing?), pool is being replaced and I can’t think straight enough about where to put the abundance of random rocks the previous owner has everywhere so put them in a pile and that will be tomorrow’s problem, water the porch plants because they keep dying (put buy new plants on to-do list), grandparents show up to “visit”.  They are mad because they planned a random camping trip and we have plans (insert attempt to figure out scheduling into tomorrow’s agenda).  Get kids into the shower so I can clean up from dinner and get them to bed.  They want a story but I’m too damn tired (fail – see future rant on reading), get them to bed – phew.  One wakes up – he had an accident- deal with that mess.  The other one wakes up, bad dreams and refuses to go back to bed.  She’s notorious for fighting with me in the middle of the night.  Sleep a bit?

Tuesday (so far) – work – the boss is very pissy and I’m sure it’s a matter of time until it’s my turn to be the target.  Attempt to be productive in the meantime but the network at the office can’t handle the size of my file and keeps crashing (super).  Screw it and let files recover while I catch-up with the office staff, buy LIVING hanging baskets, a few 2-for-1 plants, dip for a party Saturday and pick-up lunch for the girls in the office.  Get back to office and the files still aren’t cooperating.  Have a few conference calls that were actually productive (yay!) and opt to drive home so I have a working network.  I grab the kids on the way home to save myself a trip.  Groceries were delivered and I now have flower petals all over the back of my car (yay!).  Ok, all of that is taken care of and the flowers are watered.  I tell the kids no to mac and cheese 80x – done.  I sent them to the basement playroom so I can eat the raspberries that just came – alone.  They ate all of the cucumbers yesterday.  They eat food as fast as I buy it these days!  Sitting down to work a bit more before we eat something before the baseball game that won’t end until after their bedtime.  Amazing how much we do in a day even when we just hit the highlights.  🙂

I’m tired of typing, so not even going to go into the rest of the week at this point.  You get the drift.  Welcome to the zoo!

Life Goals

I promised myself I would accomplish this today and although they need a little refinement, it’s a good start.

MY GOALS

  1. Short-term
    1. Raise happy, healthy kids
    2. Spend more time near the water, preferably the ocean – work remotely and just go
    3. Travel – spend the $$ and just do it
    4. Make time to visit good friends even if it means driving in the car
    5. Reduce work stress – it’s just not worth it
    6. Reduce time with family and friends that create drama – it’s just not worth it
    7. Try harder to not be angry for mom for not being around for me or the kids – it’s just not worth it
    8. Splurge (responsibly) – you can’t take it with you
    9. Read – you love it – make the time on the porch alone for a real book and a glass of wine
    10. Evaluate what I want out of a relationship
  2. Long-term
    1. Work part-time by the age of 50
    2. Get the f*** out of this area during the winter once the kids graduate from high school

The Rants of a Widowed Mom

Good morning!

I have been thinking about starting this blog for a few years now and today is the day – doing it.  I’ve found it so therapeutic to ramble anonymously daily, weekly, or whenever the mood strikes me.  There have to be more of us out there that could use a forum that is casual and supportive, so here it is.  Please feel free to share your stories, your day-to-day challenges (and wins!) and interact with the other followers.  I’m a newbie at this, so bear with me while I learn more about this platform.

I was widowed at the age of 33 in 2015 and left on my own to raise two toddlers.  We were all involved in a multi-car accident that killed my husband on-site at the age of 35.  By some miracle, myself and the kids made it out with minor injuries and alive.  I still believe we had no business walking away in one piece.  Long story short (for now), I put my big girl pants on as much as possible (likely I was in shock for a few months), pulled us back together, relocated our family, sold/bought a house, found a new full-time job and here we are.

Now that you know my background, it’s time for my blog for today.  I drove to and from the OBX myself with the kids.  It’s an annual trip but I haven’t done it by myself before.  This time I opted to drive alone so I could have some self-reflection time.  I think it was worth it, but I’m pondering the bigger picture.  Day-to-day life tends to get us down and we get stuck in routines and forget how big the world is.  Don’t get me wrong, we try to enjoy life to the fullest, but I’m a chicken when it comes to changing anything major.  I didn’t used to be, but kids and major life events change a person.  Stability is great for kids, but sometimes it drags me down.  I’m working on re-evaluating my goals.  Where do I want to be when I’m 50?  What do I want for the kids?  What is it in my life today that just pisses me off?  My job has great benefits and pay, but is it at all satisfying?  I’m thankful for what I have, but if I look back when I’m 80, will I feel like I took full advantage of the life I was given?  My goal for this week is to draft some goals and I think I will find some things in my life are inline with the long-term goals and some are sucking the life out of me.  More to come.