a reason for coffee…

I have a question for you all, assuming that there are still readers lurking about…! lol =) As you may remember from 2014, I spent a GREAT deal of time wasting my time on fruitless coffee-dates with men who turned out to be in a class of their own… and not necessarily of the good variety. I met no axe-murderers, felons, or other deeply unsavory characters, but DID meet enough men to realize that there is no man in CT for me, save The Lineman, which is a sad and cautionary tale for another day, preferably while laying on a beach drinking cold beer, but I digress.

So I am off men, as I seem to have a penchant for loving truly and completely only those who I cannot have for the long haul. If things ever DO work out with The Lineman, I will be thrilled beyond words, but I will not go looking for something to distract me for the interim and prefer to have it be him or none. No worries, this was a happy-making decision for yours truly. =)

At any rate, I had a point back there a ways… OH YES! I am swimming, or rather doing water rehab every morning at the pool, and I was surprised at how many people take advantage of the early morning hours to work the kinks out of their broken backs, shoulders, and knees. We are a youngish bunch, and rather vocal, so the routine has become a source of interaction as well as breath-stealing pain for me. Of course (you know me by now…) I met someone who is interesting, non-threatening, and despite meeting me in my swimwear, seems to have no sexual or otherwise nefarious intentions towards my person, nor did he swim screaming from the sight. He is clever, pleasant, none too hard on the eyes, and well-spoken. He also is tall and has a goatee in the manner of the loves of my deep past, so while I am HONESTLY not going anywhere with this, he has captured enough of my interest that I speak to him as well, even in more than​ monosyllabic words. =)

You may remember that I am shy on friends of my own age-group, being fairly new to the area and in college with children, so meeting someone who does not make me want to slap them is a rarity, be they of the male or female persuasion. So… kind reader, is a goatee enough of a reason to put on actual clothes and have a conversation with this one on dry land? I would get a coffee out of the deal, which of course has me pondering the idea. BUT… how early is too early to let a man know you truly only want to be friends? Nothing else has ever even been suggested, but with my track record and advancing age, I will take no chances to get caught up in any kind of insanity with a new and grueling semester on the​ horizon​. ​Am I making too much of this? How can you tell when a coffee is just a coffee? And can a woman ever really be just friends with a man anyway? I had been seriously debating buying a cheap gold band to wear​ and telling​ the world I am a widow​, but that seems too much like tempting the Fates, and I have done​ that often enough to know​ the disastrous results that follow.

In other news, I am only down 3 pounds, but my shirts are fitting slightly looser in areas, so I am trying to stay away from the scale and focusing on the buoyant​ feeling inside of me after working out, as limited as it may be. Keep me in your thoughts, you all, and with any luck, I will be snowshoeing​ in smaller ski pants come the new year!!

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reasons why my ex is not Satan…

It is sad-making as well as appalling the number of women who broil their ex-significant others online, be it in their own space or on any number of social media websites. The irony is that as adults, we all know that once we put things out there, there can be no guarantee or privacy, and while I do understand the therapeutic quality of letting go once and again, am curious to what end these rants accomplish. Is it to feel empowered, to feel safe, or simply one-upmanship?

I am not speaking of people who endured abuse, regardless of situation, but of those who are getting a fair sum of money, support for their children, and in some cases, even a birthday card or two. WHY do humans delight in mudslinging over acts of kindness? In shrieking with laughter at the discomfort of others, when we know how painful discomfort is? Why must the collective WE continue to disappoint, wallowing in the base reactions of humanity instead of finding ways to uplift us all?

I am writing today about my own Hubby-no-More. He will not see this post, so it is not self-serving in this way, but in another, one for just me, and those of you who decide to grab a coffee and read my meager words. I am here to say that despite our differences, discomforts, and even down-right fights, my ex is not the enemy. Sure, he stands for a life wrenched from me, but one I also willingly mentally vacated years before his courage brought us to a sad goodbye. Without further ado, here are a few reasons why he is not Public Enemy #1, Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray, or any other manner of wretched human being that so many claim to have shared part of a life with.

1. He willingly gives me more, by a good percentage, than the court requires.
2. He pays for ALL of our foxling’s medical care, including insurance, co-pays, therapy, meds, and everything else, literally, leaving me with a 0% liability.
3. He does these things so I can stay in school without working, thereby allowing me to qualify for scholarships not otherwise available to me, as well as allowing me to keep the near-perfect GPA.
4. He encouraged me to re-sign my lease for another year, at an increased cost to himself, in order to give me weekly access to our child, even though said child is almost​ 17 and really couldn’t care less if I resided here or on Mars. =)
5. He responds to my texts usually within 24 hours, even when he pulls a 12-hour​ shift at the hospital. This is better than my school advisor, mother, and several friends. ​
6. His girlfriend invited me over to meet their new kittens, because I do not have any of my own, and we visited all morning without weirdness. Ok, this one really isn’t him per se, but it was his house, and his kittens​, so it counts in my book.

I could go on, but have classes this afternoon, a presentation, and working on an independent research proposal for next spring. My point? I realize many people, both men and women, have an ogre for an ex. BUT… not all of us do. Not every human in possession of a dick is a dick. And for us to air only our dirty laundry instead of our blessings is to perpetuate the stigma surrounding divorce and parenthood under less-than-ideal​ circumstances. I am tired of reading only about the negative, so thought I would​ share some positive vibes. Please chime in if you have something​ to share. Thanks as always for being there, peeps… Have a lovely!

a sad realization​…

Try as I might to blog on a more regular basis, school has really been ramping up and when looking for ways to squeeze extra minutes from the daylight hours, small spaces like this one get pushed to the back burner, then the broom closet, perhaps put in the trunk with the clothing donation I still need to drop off…

Applaud if you can relate…! =)

I am enjoying my cross-cultural education class, as well as the inquiry-based technology class this term. But I have a small seed of unease growing in my tummy, right nest to the watermelon seed I accidently ate last summer… As I turn further away from the mechanics and beauty of the written and spoken word to focus on hypothetical classroom scenarios that will apply to, at best, 10% of the graduating teachers who land sought after spots in affluent districts, I realize a little more of my spark is extinguished each day. I am most emphatically NOT looking for that cushy job with a Keurig in each of the 4 teacher’s lounges; instead, I am searching for the poorest school, the one in which the children desperately need every moment of instruction that I can dole out, until I finish the Doctorate program, after which I can live my passion by relocating and working for a Tribal school out west, where my heart resides and is whispering to me still…

Here is a statement that is going to break the internet… but I need to say it, because I am exhausted by the now-familiar undertone that my professors and classmates alike have when speaking to my specifically. It is not my fault I am white…

I am a 40soemthing, white woman. I did not order this body or these life circumstances, but I am in possession of them, and like people of every other color out there, I am trying to live my best, authentic life within the confines of said life. Every suggestion I make, no matter if it comes robbed shamelessly from the professor’s textbook itself, is met with “Well, ok, but the kids REALLY don’t need another white teacher to go in and save them.” Ok, valid point, but I do not want to SAVE them, I want to EDUCATE them. Maybe then, with a solid background and degree, they can go back to their towns and teach their children in a way that I cannot because I do not share their cultural similarities. Additionally, I am not looking at a “me versus them” scenario, instead I see myself as a resource that ALL my students can utilize to reach their own, best potential. I have to say it just one more time, I am not white because I tried to be white, I am because I was born this color, and no amount of tanning will erase my Scots lineage. And I am exhausted beyond belief from constantly apologizing for myself, and trying to smallerize my big and happy self in order to appease other students, who are getting a mere fraction of my GPA. Perhaps if more time were spent in studying and pursuit of the A, and less time criticizing my innate desire to push forward equality, everyone would have the grades I work so hard for, and the opportunities and scholarships these hard-won grades have EARNED me. But today, these “perks” are not seen as my hard work, but as something I was handed, due to my skin color. What no one in class sees is my anxiety over how I am going​ to pay rent without working and thereby making myself ineligible for thousands of tax-free scholarship dollars, or how my insurance tax credits got revoked, cancelling my policy, because I earned $499 more dollars, for a total of $17,620 in 2015. Or the fact that I take care of my car because it is an affordable lease that I am trying​ to keep spotless so I do not pay damage fees when I return it, even though it has a smooshed front bumper from a trip to the grocers. They do not see that I am a part-time mother​ who sees her child on the weekends only, during which time I am frantically working to keep that GPA up in my 6-7 classes a term, while my contemporaries take 4 classes and live on campus. I do not wear fancy clothes or have a nice haircut not because I am “old and lazy,”but because I simply cannot afford​ them. Funny… were my skin ANY other color, I would be told I am being marginalized. But I am white, so I am merely complaining.

And this group of “peers” is the ones who I will be spending the next 3 years with. No, they are not the teachers and families I will be interacting​ with in South Dakota, or New Mexico, but it is a long, hard road to that point, and I am tired. So let’s just say that skin color has nothing to do with one’s​ ability to be exhausted by the bullshit that life throws our way in the form of small-minded people. And maybe, in the future, we can celebrate our differences, and when we see someone trying to help those who have been given less-than, we can support them, regardless of their age, color, or pant size.

crickets…

Hmm… the sound of silence… trite but true. Things have been getting quieter and quieter as the days melt by, and I wonder if you all ran away to some deserted island without internet access… and if so, WHY didn’t you bring me too??!! =)

I am sitting here, trying to get warm after a long morning of hiking, coffee with friends, laundry, groceries, and mopping the ever-filthy kitchen floor. Which is something else I don’t understand, as he does not wear his work boots​ in the house, and even if he did, HOW would he levitate into the back of the house where the kitchen is? Curiouser and curiouser…

The wind is blowing​ ferociously out there, and while the sun is brighter than ever, it is damned chilly! Days should be mid 50’s which is lovely for this time of year, and with any li=uck, should keep the white stuff at bay. While I would adore a white Christmas​ with an inch of fluffy snow, I am by no means ready for the ice-scraping, shoveling, slippery roads bullshit that comes along with the season.

I literally have nothing, but wanted to check in before I attack the mountain of research sitting here, threatening to spill over and knock me off the couch. Lmfao.

Namaste, peeps. =)

unable to even…

I could not care less about this man’s hair. His orange spray tan is inconsequential. That braying, derisive laugh? Not on my mind…

BUT… I am bothered by the hatred that America, in part, embraced. I am bothered by the fact that a strong and confident, caring First Lady who tried for 8 consecutive years to make a safer and healthier country for our kids is being replaced by a fashion model. One who will do nothing to uplift her husband, the new leader of our precious country. I am bothered that this leader’s default setting is not respectful introspection, but full on tantrum-throwing. And that he now has access to our launch codes. That this leader thinks it is all in good fun to threaten sexual assault on any woman he deems worthy enough…

HOW did we get here? We lost the collective US and focused instead on personal agendas, the very thing we scream at the parties for doing. Instead of uniting to become the greatest and strongest pool of people on the planet, we allowed emotion to get in the way of the issues. Some of us simply didn’t vote, because after all, “we live in a blue state, so whatever.” We allowed our passion for our guns to override common decency. We decided that helping others is not important, but he who can collect the most and keep it is king. We decided screaming is more important that discussion. We decided that it is not just acceptable, but reasonable to want someone else to die or be forcibly removed from within our borders so we can perhaps grasp a bit more of the pie​ for ourselves, to be eaten in the dark by the fistful, of course.

The irony is that most of you reading this voted against this hatred. Am I, therefore, accusing you all of not standing and fighting for what we collectively believe would create a better tomorrow… not perfect by any means, but better than today? Not by a long shot, peeps. We are finally reaping​ what our country has been sowing, and the crop is terrifying to this old gal in the Big Wood.

Do not despair, do not give up, do not feel as if it is over. It is just beginning. This is NOT about a woman in office, this is NOT about party lines, this is NOT about all the bullshit we have been spoonfed. This IS about change,a time of growth that will be painful​, especially​ knowing what we are growing into is not what we would like to be. So what now?

Declaration, communication, education. Cultivate, enlighten​. Strengthen and persevere. But not while screaming, accusing, demeaning. Time to take it back. Do what ancient civilizations and great leaders alike know to be effective. Do it softly, persistently. Speak softly and carry a big stick. If we whisper, they must lean in to hear. If we smile, the burden passes to them. The only way a maligned group rises is through tactical genius and biding their time until that final, bloody campaign. Now is not the time. Checkmate is not possible on the first move. So we must careful consider our strategy, bide our time, stun them with our ability to hold onto grace and peace. I know this is miserably hard for we have been fighting so long, so hard, uphill all the way, and are exhausted by the fight, but know we cannot stop. This is not the time to fight. Slow down and heal. Think what you can offer “the cause,” be it canvassing, educating, listening, creating safe spaces, whatever. You know your​ talents, you know what resides in your​ heart. THINK. BE STILL AND THINK. Then breathe, and then, consider carefully your​ next step. The only strength here is in numbers, so we must do everything in our power to ensure when this cycle begins again in 3 years(but it has already begun)we are amassed.

Loving-kindness and peace, light and love be with you all today. This is not giving up on who you are and in what you believe. This is regrouping. This is smart. And this is the only way we will get through this day without becoming a screaming, incoherent mess similar to the one who now wears the crown.
​​

the reset button…

It was a no good, really awful, bad day in Little house in the Big Wood. Nervous pacing, financial strain, Uni trouble, the death of a classmate, transfer applications, phone meeting with the tax man and scholarship committee…

Frazzled does not even begin to describe yours truly. More like Bill the Cat dancing in a drug-induced haze while in flames. Seriously. My day did not go well.

After breathing my way through anxiety that had me shaking like a leaf, I remembered something that Hubby No More told me. He was cautioning me not to “press the reset button just yet.” I know that in most instances, emotional or knee-jerk responses are contraindicated when trying to make the best decision. But as I mulled this over for a while, I began inexplicably to calm. Running away is not a real option. Or is it…?

“Running away” sounds so juvenile, how about we say instead “relocate?” Would it be so bad to stop fighting and let the tide carry me down south? Sure, it would mean at least a year out of school to establish residence. Sure, I would​ lose a considerable number of credits in the transfer. ​​Sure, it would set me back by 4 years total. Sure, it would​ necessitate breaking it off with the man I love. Sure, it will cost at least thrice what I would​ pay up here. BUT…

It really and for true is the reset button. And now that I see it over there, under the shiny glass bubble, can I persevere and NOT flick up the top and satisfyingly smash my palm down? Push the button or struggle ahead? They both entail a LOT of change, uncomfortable growth, and no small amount of “But I don’t want to…” Of course, what decision in life is nothing but candy floss and sunshine?

I guess what it really boils down to is this: Do I want to start over alone but dependent on family in a place of unlimited growth, or do I stay and fight harder than ever before to hold onto the place I have earned here, standing beside Paul?

Sounds silly, but I would never want to be the one to turn the key and activate nuclear launch codes. Greater people than I have stood at this precipice, wavering with uncertainty in a similar fashion. The trouble is that this is life, MY life, and there are limited do-overs. This is one of those defining moments, and by all that is holy, I do not want to deal with the ramifications of either choice today…

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