Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With The Old And In With The New

I'm home. They are married. Mission Accomplished.

I'm not allowed to publish photos until they release their wedding video/pictures/montage/whatever-the-hell-they-are-doing. The trip had some highs and some lows, beautiful weather, a volcanic ash interruption, ID theft and cleaned out bank accounts (Bick's), language barriers, high tides, excellent food (and too much of it).

I'm spending some time this evening thinking about my theme for next year and setting intentions for the year.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live in peace and ease.

These are my prayers for us all.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Do it all with gratitude.

With love and thanks,


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Possibly the Last Post of the Year

This is possibly my last post of the year. I'm still working on establishing my theme for the next year. I got this idea from Meg, who in addiction to being a certified financial planner is also a certified life coach. I get lots of good stuff from dear Meg. Anyways, she suggests a theme for the year, rather than resolutions or goals. A theme can wrap around and through many areas of life plus having a theme doesn't feel so much like punishment. So finding my theme of the year will be something to ponder for the year. I'm sure it will encompass my year at The Closet and all that entails.

I'm moving slowly to integrate myself into my new neighborhood. Our lofts had a Christmas brunch on Saturday morning and I marched my happy ass right into the room full of people I've never met and introduced myself all around. It was nice. I had a couple of nice chats with some people. Met a very interesting (and very gay) man named Edward and we had a great talk about modern architecture. Not that I'm an expert, but a little of Pebbles has rubbed off on me. As soon as I get back from PR and get a bit more settled in, I'm going to start offering my services as a paid dog-walker. I need the exercise and it will allow me to meet more of the neighbors. It appears the majority of the tenants here are twenty and thirty somethings with decent careers. I think this would be a good thing for me. Anyway, something I've been thinking about. Plus, it gives me times with some dogs. I miss SadieLu almost as much as I miss Bick.

I'm doing Christmas with my Mom and sister today, which means I will introduce them to The Closet. I'm sure it will envoke all sorts of emotions and I just need to be prepared. There are a lot of very strange dynamics at play when anyone in the family gets or does something that doesn't happen for my sister. My mom gets jealous - not even my sister. But that is there issue and if I talk to myself about the options prior to the encounter, then I'll be better prepared not to get sucked in or to get my feelings hurt. The vast majority of what goes on with Mom is her throwing her own feelings about my sister back on everyone else. Oh, well. Enough family drama. I've initiated this contact as I do want a relationship with my sister. My Mom, too, for that matter, but she's not particularly good for me, so I have to handle that one with care.

I went to Dallas last night to see the play with Pebbles, Slater and Paris, Pebbles' first roommate out of college. I hadn't seen her in a long time. I just adore her so it'was great to catch up. I opted not to spend the night, as I'd be up and about long before the sleepy headed couple.

And the thing I loved about yesterday was something almost indescribable - it was a group of funked out Santas and elves - as if they were on their way to participate in a burlesque show. There were probably about a hundred of them just walking through Dallas, complete with bullhorns and fishnet stockings. They were just adorable. Made me want to wear a strapless Santa costume. Shelley, you could have picked up lots of ideas from that. I think my favorite may have been Huggy Bear dressed as Santa. Think about a combo of Snoop, Rick James and Saint Nick, if Saint Nick wore feathers. Seriously fun costumes. But alas, I could not get any pictures. I just sat at the light and laughed, waved and honked. Great Fun.

I'm going up to Bick's tonight to have Christmas dinner with he and Sandy. It seems our situation has dramatically improved their relationship. I think it's caused them to each get a little more honest about the elephant in the room. I think that can only be good for them.

Well, I've got to get around her a pick up The Closet so she can be ready for the family inspection.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to each other. Embrace honestly on all levels.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Applesauce Versus Sour Cream

I've been getting into the holiday spirit by listening to XM Hanukkah radio station. Bick found it and recommended it to me. Obviously, I didn't grow up listening to Hanukkah songs, but they are very joyful to me.

I am feeling a bit better, but still not out of the woods. I did go to work today and my boss ran home and brought me some of his muscle relaxers which he promises to have me right as rain by Sunday. Better living through chemistry.

I'm feeling very urban this evening. I'm posting/reading/hanging out at the coffee shop mooching off the wifi and sipping a coffee. Tomorrow I don't have a lot planned during the day but I am going to Dallas to spend the night at Pebbles' and Slater's and see a local production of The Santaland Diaries. I am looking forward to that. Plus, Pebbles and I will make up more of the favor boxes for her to use to send home cupcakes with her party guests. She and Slater are hosting a Cupcake and Cocktails party the night before her 5:30am flight to PR. I am obviously very, very old, but that whole idea seems like lunacy to me.

Food and exercise are in the unmentionable category. I am sort of packed and I am getting excited about the trip.

That's all that's going on with me and this will probably be my last post until my return from PR. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. If you look for joy, you will find it.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh, My Aching Back

OUCHY! I woke up this morning with a stabbing pain in my back when I tried to move. I hobbled over to the gym thinking I could walk it out. And I did feel better - as long as I stand up and walk. Anything else, any bendy movement and it's a knife fight. So I've called in today and made my way over to the store to get some sort of medication. Aleve - my OTC back pain medication of choice. It's crazy expensive to start up another household. It didn't occur to me, nor did I have the time to split out all those things that we routinely keep in our homes that we accumulate over time - such as pain killers, antacids, cotton balls, spices, detergents and the list goes on and on.

And since I don't have internet access yet, I stopped by the local corporate coffee shop, bought a card and now I'm wifi-ing it from there - checking my work emails and blogging a tad. I must get better, I just must. I've got a car trip to Houston, followed by a 4 hour plus flight. I cannot be sidelined by this. I bought some of those heating pad thingies and I'll head to the doc for heavier duty options if I don't feel better tomorrow.

Eating yesterday was HORRIBLE. If it was a sweet, I ate it. Hadn't had a day like that in AGES.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Bend and stretch.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tick Tock: First a minute, then a year

Today will be a long, long workday for me. Then tomorrow has me doing a demo of a new feature for a VP, plus other meetings and sundry stuff. Friday looks pretty clear so far, so I'm going to try to get in a pedicure so my toes will be sand-worthy.

I still don't have a travel folder put together for PR, but I'll just try to pencil in one activity/site per day and let it go at that. And speaking of PR, Bick is going with us and I'm glad of that. He has asked for some time to get his stuff together. He's talking about going into treatment after the first of the year - new insurance issues, etc. I'll believe it when I see it. Not that I necessarily doubt him, but the bargaining part is pretty normal, although he has never been one to take the easy way out. He has fiercely defended his alcoholism when it would be easier not to, so perhaps this will be a turning point for him. Right now, however, he is in pain, so is liable to say anything. What he decides to do will be whatever he decides to do. I am working on me and my stuff. If at the end of this year it turns out we can regroup, then great, and in the mean time, I'm building a life for myself here at The Closet.

One of the concerns I'd had before moving in with Bick was whether I was capable of living with someone full-time. My alone time dropped down to next-to-nothing. I've always had copious amount of me time, even when married. I do believe it took a bigger toll on me than I'd expected - that plus the two hour commute time each day. That's not to say that I didn't get lonely before Bick, because I did, but like many things, there has got to be a balance in there somewhere.

Went to the gym last night, milled and watched tv for a while. There were about 5 people there at that hour about 8pm. I came home and got ready for bed and then got up at 3am and worked around the apartment rearranging a few things for an hour. Sigh. Got up and made myself a wonderful zuc, red pepper egg white omelet. I'm finally getting on board with the egg-white stuff. Bought a carton of it. So far, so great.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Live and let live.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In The New Year: Financial and Fiduciary

Just to get them down on paper now, as I won't have time to do so before the year-end - a few things I need to accomplish/finish early in 2010. There will be more of these as I cycle through the other areas of my life.

1. Finish will, POA, medical POA and living will
2. Finish financial planning paperwork to give to Meg
3. Go through and organize my files
4. Get ready for tax season – don’t forget Malibu Ken’s deduction
5. Complete my “What If Something Happens To Me” workbook
6. Develop a personal financial plan/budget with Meg’s input and advice including allocations for travel, repair costs for Reata South and retirement investing.
7. Implement a “Buy Nothing” month or months.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Plan for your future.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Awkward Familee Fotos

The ExBubba has fully embraced the biker lifestyle since our split. This photo was the about the third one taken of us and Pebbles had just made a smart @ss comment that cracked me up. Probably the best picture of me the whole day, but The EX looks scared to death. Our relationship really is much better than it appears from these photos.

The luncheon went off without a hitch. Pebbles said it was exactly what she wanted, so I even if she was fudging the truth a bit, it went okay. There were no scenes, no blood was spilled and no cops were called :-) All good things. Oh, and my sister called me late Friday night asking if it was too late for her to attend. So, she broke rank with the rest of the crew and joined us. That made me pretty darned happy. So all in all, it's done and I did my best to stay present. I've been fighting the tendency to second guess myself. "Oh, I should have done that. Or, I wish I'd said this." But I'm trying to nip that sort of thinking in the bud. It's over, it's done. Just let it be. No good can come from hashing and re-hashing.

The food was wonderful and the service spot on. Pebbles was right about this being really fun food. It was fun and it was good. The perfect choice to keep things from getting awkward-er.
I certainly fully indulged. I will not weigh again for days - so much for those low numbers I've been sporting. Oh well, today is back to the routine.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Relax.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Now That's Cozy

This story makes The Closet's 500ish sq feet seem mansion-esque by comparison.

Today is the office Christmas luncheon, followed by the family luncheon tomorrow. I will be glad when it is over. I will have to practice all sorts of centering in order to be present and ENJOY what is actually happening rather than considering it just the next thing to get through.

Logged some more time on the treadmill last night - mostly an excuse to watch some television. I'm now the poster child for slow media - I've got no attachment to the outside world other than 9-5 at the office. No tv, no internet, no radio - a blackout, of sorts. I will change some parts of this, but certainly not until I return from the wedding. No need to pay for something I'm not going to be around to use. Plus, this gives me an incentive to get to the gym.

The thing I loved about yesterday was the raspberries I bought to make a sauce for my salmon. I ate them out of hand. They never made it to the sauce.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get closer.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lemony Persnicket(y)

Just two days until the family luncheon, one hellish week at work and then it's off to Puerto Rico for the actual ceremony. I finally went out and bought a travel guide and road map yesterday. I have planned nothing for those eight days. Those who know me, know that I usually approach travel with a overflowing folder full of information and a pretty detailed itinerary. I don't know that I will have time to do that for this trip.

I'm also rethinking that whole strategy anyway. Isn't it really an attempt to control things in some ways? Probably. I do believe that without some sort of plan, you do miss out, but I think I need this to be rather "chill" no matter who is on the trip. I know I will have to chill if I plan on doing or seeing anything with Pebbles and Slater, as Pebbles is the WORST TRAVELER EVER! Obviously, our styles are a bit different. She knows nothing of time, itineraries and travel plans and just wanders around by the seat of her pants. I seem to recall an afternoon in Rome that had me in tears at the time. It's pretty funny now, but it was not then. I do not want a repeat of that. There's got to be some middle ground, I think.

Got up and hit the gym for a bit of a run this morning. It felt good. I'm thinking I might want to start up again. The Closet is right across the street from a running store that holds group training sessions for upcoming runs. I may check it out. I'm also very close to some really good running trails. This may be the time to get back into this. I do enjoy the "boost" I get when I'm sticking with an exercise routine that challenges me. I want to take advantage of all my options here at The Closet Retreat. Seriously, I've begun to think of this time as a year long retreat where I try my best to live mindfully, to treat myself well, which includes plenty of rest, good for me foods, and exercise, along with my spiritual practice. If I've got the lemons, I might as well make the lemonade.

And in other nuptual news, I did manage to decorate the favor boxes last night. Boy, was that an eye-opening experience for me. I really became aware of how tense the whole process made me and how much weight I was putting on the outcome of decorating some stupid pasteboard boxes. I fussed and fumed around with them and finally just had to let it go. They do not matter. At all. Why do I let myself get so worked up over silly things like this? Too much money and too much emotional energy for very little ROI. I am hopeful that is a lessoned learned. Hell, I know it's not a lesson learned yet - I'm still in the recognizing this as a habit/tendency stage. It'll be a while before I get good enough to recognize this BEFORE I get enthralled. But overall, given that this is a wedding, I've done pretty darn well at keeping it low-key.

The thing I loved about yesterday
was the cookie I didn't like. Here's the deal - I went to the bookstore with a co-worker yesterday to pick up a travel guide. There is a fancy-pants bakery right next door to the bookstore, so we decided to drop in for a little treat. Now I am not anti-treat when there is built in portion control. I was going in for a small something and I was going to savor and enjoy every morsel. I chose a lemon cookie sandwich. We didn't eat them there, but instead, chose to bring them back to the office. As we were walking back into the office, I told my co-worker that I really wasn't hungry that I was actually more thirsty and that I wished I'd recognized that fact before buying the cookie. But did that stop me from eating it? No. I did, however, take two bites of the cookie, decided I didn't love it and I threw the rest in the trash. In the past, it wouldn't have mattered if I liked it or not, I'd have eaten it all. But I didn't love this cookie and so I didn't finish it. I can't say that I've ever done that.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. If it's an indulgence, make it worth it.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cleaning My Side of The Street

I've been spending time in the evenings, working my own program of recovery from codependence via reading the literature. Unfortunately, I find myself falling asleep while reading. Last night I fell asleep about 8:30. I don't know how much real work is getting done if I can't stay awake!

I'm working to re-establish the exercise habit, although I chose sleep this morning. I'm so sleep-challenged, that I will always chose sleep when I can get it. Eating has been clean and I'm feeling pretty good. Right now I'm focusing on wedding activities and I haven't had to really acknowledge my change in circumstances, since I've not said anything to anyone IRL. That all changes after Puerto Rico.

And for the inquiring minds that want to know ;-), PR is still up for discussion. We've already bought and paid for the trip. And it's not as though we hate each other or got into some screaming row and called each other vile names or took after each other with SUVs and golf clubs. So we could still go and have a reasonable time, in theory. My number one priority right now is my daughter's wedding and Bick is free to make whatever decisions he wishes. In the overall scheme of things, whether he goes to PR or not won't have much bearing on the outcome. It's not my job to "teach him a lesson", it's my job to keep my side of the street clean and do what's best for me in the long run.

The thing I loved about yesterday is more Closet joy. The Closet has a garbage disposal. Trash? Garbage? I'm sensing a theme. Seriously, I've never lived anywhere with a garbage disposal. Not that I have anything to put down the disposal, but I could if I wanted to!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Peel back the layers.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cruel Shoes

I made myself head-bobbing lame yesterday trying to wear my new cute shoes. That's it. Sandy can have them if she wants them. My feet hurt for hours even after I took them off. Hell, they still hurt today. I desperately needed to go to the store last night, but I could not make myself take off my slippers.

So today, I am shod in a less painful fashion and it's off to the store(s). Jeez, there is so much to buy. I let Pebbles have so much of my stuff when she was initially moving to Dallas and I was moving in with Bick and now, I've got no iron, ironing board, no coffee pot, no vacuum, and the list just goes on and on. Hell, I've got nothing much to cook with. But I'll get it all replaced in some form or fashion, either by purchase, swap or barter.

The thing I loved about yesterday
is my trash concierge. Seriously, here at The Closet there is a walk around trash service every evening at 8pm. The management even provides the trash can for a more uniform look. So between 6pm and 8pm, just place your trash and recyclables right outside your door and it magically disappears. Yes, I know I pay for this, but I hate taking out the trash worse than just about anything!

I've got one more little luncheon related thing to do before Saturday. I've got the favor boxes for the take-home red velvet cake and I think I'll go to Hobby Lobby or Michaels to see if I can find some easy way to jazz up the 4X4 plain boxes. I'd appreciate any easy ideas as supplies and time are limited. Also, I do need to buy trash bags for the aforementioned trash service. And I will look for some low-rider brown shoes. Everything I have is heeled and strappy. I need some shoes for winter. I've got nothing that is closed-toe.

Went to the gym this morning and had some company. There were three other people that came and went. Tomorrow I will try to take some pictures of life here in The Closet.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Put on your walking shoes.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Two Hours

I am moved in and mostly settled. For the time being, I'm dubbing my new home "The Closet", as it is 1. very small, and 2. I've got lots of stuff, well, stuffed in the closet.

I was surprised at the stuff I actually did have. I view myself as, while not quite minimalist, certainly not overly prone to consumerism. But my aching back hurts from moving something, for sure. Pebbles and Slater did an admirable job of helping me move. Honestly, they did the heavy lifting. I had most everything packed up and in one area of the house. I'd rented a 17 foot truck and they just backed it up and started loading. That was the easy part. Figuring out that the truck was too tall to come into the parking garage was the hard part. We ended up using Pebbles' Matrix as sort of the wheelbarrow. We'd offload from the truck to the Matrix and then ferry the stuff up to the third floor. But it's all in now and sort of sorted out.

Yesterday was spent unpacking and searching for a shower curtain. Honestly, I went to about four stores looking for a shower curtain and could find nothing I liked. So for now, I've got just a liner up. But it's coming together.

Pebbles pointed out that I now have two more hours each day. Two hours that I no longer spend commuting to and from work. Two hours is significant. I feel like I need to put the time to good use. After work I think I'll hit a CODA meeting. Normally I attend on Friday nights, but it may be time for a change there too.

Sandy came into to town and I took us to dinner last night. We had a good long talk about Bick, alcoholism and alanon. I don't know if she will go, but I gave her the info. She did tell me that SadieLu is mourning my move as well as her dad. I do miss my life there and I will continue to do so, I'm sure.

I did get up an avail myself of the fancy new workout facilities that The Closet offers. It is in the other building and it's both a physical and mental exercise to even get there. It's like this maze that you have to find your way through, but I did and I had the place to myself this morning. Plus, cable tv! Yay. I don't have a tv nor internet nor a radio, so it's pretty quiet around here. But I do have books and I plan to read a good deal.

It is also my plan to live as much of my life on foot as possible. Which means NOT IN HEELS, so I've begun the search for comfortable, cute, stylish shoes that are not tennis shoes and don't make my feet look more gun-boaty that they already do. I'd be six foot tall if I didn't have so much turned under for feet!

I had a good conversation with Bick over the weekend. I don't know if I will impose a "no talk" rule or not. Right now, that just seems too hard on both of us. I'll play this part by ear and trust my judgment.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Spend your time wisely.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Breaking It Down

Today was a bridal luncheon given by my office for Pebbles and Slater. I don't plan on telling really anyone about my move until after I return from the holidays. So that left us with some difficult situations today, but I had asked Pebbles and Slater to just go with it and they graciously did. I do feel badly about it, but I am not ready to talk about it now and I think everyone would be uncomfortable. So there we were. I'll talk when I'm a little less tender.

I am working on applying some cognitive behavior therapy techniques to my situation. I find myself starting to tear up at times and get emotional, which is fine, but rather than let my emotions run away with me, I am trying to pin down exactly what am I getting emotional about. Yes, the emotion is warranted, but am I engaging in thinking and logic errors right along with those emotions? If I behave as usual, then I tend to engage in "all or nothing" thinking, fortune telling, awfulizing - all the usual suspects. I am trying to keep my emotions real, true and honest but not let them drag me and keep me in some bad place. I do believe that it is important not to allow myself to engage in obsessive, thought churning. I'm using CBT techniques to turn myself away from that. So far, so so.

I picked up the keys, signed the lease and got my new address today, but it took so long that I didn't have any time to go up and pack, so all of that is left for tomorrow. I got an email from Sandy today. I responded and told her about Al-Anon. Alcoholism is a family affair and the group might be of benefit to her. It might have been the wrong thing to do, but I did it. I also said that I was available to her if she needed me.

So, I'm back at the hotel for one more night after spending a couple of nights with Pebbles and Slater - they have plans tonight and I wanted to just veg, surf and watch some cable tv as a bit of a treat. I'm thinking that I will not even get a tv at the new place. And I'm unsure about internet access. I've got a while and I can always change my mind, but I do want to do everything I can to encourage me to get out of the apartment as much as possible.

So there it is. Some really lovely parts to today and some rough patches. I am feeling better about my abilities to not get carried away. As I think about what other people are facing and going through, my stuff pales in comparison. It's all about perspective.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Emotions are not necessarily truths.


PS: I do so appreciate the support and insights that are coming my way via comments, emails and calls.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

City Mouse

First let me say thanks for the generous support in comments, emails and calls. I appreciate it. Y'all are good folks.

When it became apparent that this move was going to happen, my first inclination was to find the cheapest place I could and just hunker down. Curl up and get small. But as I thought about it, I decided that I had some options. I know that I am going to be sad. Hell, I am sad right this second. I will continue to be sad and lonely and a myriad of other feelings that haven't hit yet. I know that I have a tendency to isolate emotionally and I didn't need to add physical isolation to the list. So I plopped myself right in the middle of the action. I wanted a space to "feed" me as much as possible. I looked at the incremental cost of space versus interest and I decided on an apartment/loft in a new urban and pedestrian development. I may hate it, but the activity level should be higher and I could use a pinch of distraction as I work my way through this. It will certainly be a change to everything I've ever known. I hope that it makes the transition easier. Living in a hellhole wouldn't do a thing to improve my situation. I'm giving myself every opportunity to get through this. So for this next year, I'm a city girl. And I already have my first houseguest booked for February - thanks, Meg.

I pick up the keys to the new place tomorrow and the actual move will happen on Saturday. I was staying in a local hotel, but spent last night and will spend tonight at Pebbles' and Slater's new place.

I go to Bick's on Friday afternoon to begin packing and then on Saturday, I will do the actual move. I am dreading that on every level. We can't seem to see each other or even talk on the phone without both ending up in tears. I've asked for some privacy when moving and he's agreed.

Just for today, right now, this second, I am doing okay. I will be okay. I will be sad. I will be lonely, but in the long term, I will be okay.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make yourself comfortable.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Urban Renewal

It is with deep personal sadness that I announce that I’ve moved into the city. My relationship with Bick, as caring and loving as it is, has reached a stalemate and I have no other choice but to go on with my life sans my very best friend. Bick is an active alcoholic, a high functioning daily drinker. And alcoholism is a progressive disease. There is no future for me there. It is my sincere hope that he chooses to get some help.

I knew he was an alcoholic when we got together. I thought I could handle it – that I could detach from his disease and let it be his. I told myself that when his addiction started to make my world smaller, then I would leave. My world was getting smaller and I have fought too hard to allow his choices to further impact my life. And I will miss him so. My heart is broken.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hurdle #1

Hurdle number one is tomorrow. There is a work celebration that I am coordinating and it's got my trousers in a twist. By tomorrow at 4pm, it will be over. One hurdle jumped with more to come. I'm just taking them one at a time and I am allowing myself to stress over them far too much.

Then there are other events this week and weekend - the next hurdles in the race to Puerto Rico.

The thing I loved about yesterday was for one brief moment I thought first and acted second. It was a small victory, but a victory all the same.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Might as well jump.