Monthly Archives: September 2009

Pillow Case Reminder For Your One Night Stand

Maybe I should think about getting one of these…

Pillow Case Reminder For Your One Night Stand

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A general observation about doing nothing.

When I was married, I never minded not having plans because there was always someone to do nothing with. When you’re sitting with another person, watching TV or whatever, it seems to be more valuable because you’re spending time together – even if you’re not really communicating.

It’s interesting how my perspective has changed now that being home means being home alone. I find myself making plans well in advance just to make sure that I have them. Staying home is no longer the default; it’s become something that I made a conscious decision to do. Or not do, as it goes.

The problem is that I like being home. I’m starting to like my house; I’m exhausted from teaching all week; I have lots of interests that are home-based, such as drawing, calligraphy, painting, knitting, sewing. I don’t always want to be out, but I don’t always want to be alone.

And laughing is weird. Seriously. When I find myself laughing uproariously at something in a movie, for instance (or tonight, when I was watching the season premiere of The Office), sometimes I stop myself and thing that it’s weird that I’m laughing by myself. Like talking to myself. I know it’s not the same, but it felt strange at first.

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What are they waiting for?

Observations upon perusing this evening…

It’s been about a year since I signed up for JDate and Match and I spent a little time going through Match tonight. So many of the faces are the same as I saw last year, including;

• one man I emailed who responded that he wouldn’y get involved with me because I was too new to the divorced scene
• one man I emailed who never responded, and
• one man I emailed who responded to me that he wasn’t dating right now because his father is ill (and yet, that didn’t seem to stop him from logging in that evening and many times since).

What are they waiting for? Is the problem with online dating the abundance of women on these sites? Are they afraid that someone better will come along?

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Is it weird?

To log into JDate and see that the last person who looked at your profile is your ex-husband? Just sayin’

to my Jewish friends – happy new year!

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Isn’t it romantic?

I was out to dinner with Mr. Engineer last night. Now, I’m not really interested in him romantically. He’s very nice, but there’s no spark at all (even though he’s an engineer – pun intended). But I enjoy going out with him for dinner and I feel like it’s good for me to remind myself that I’m capable of speaking to men to whom I’m not related and haven’t been working with for 15 years. Not that, being a teacher, I work with many men anyway.

He mentioned during the course of our conversation that he has sleep apnea and uses one of those machines that wakes you if you stop breathing during the night. That’s why, he explained, he doesn’t travel much outside the US – he’s worried about the electricity (makes sense to me).

I have carpal tunnel and use wrist braces at night. They’re essentially ace bandage supports with metal splints to keep my wrists straight. If I don’t use them my wrists tend to bend and lose circulation and then my hands go so numb that it wakes me. I could never figure out how numbness could wake you – but that’s another post.

So I get this mental picture of a romantic first liaison. He with his sleep machine, me with my wrist braces. Not exactly like when I was in my 20’s and the only thing you worried about was whether or not your roommate would walk in. Or in my 30’s when we worried about whether or not the kids would walk in. Now I feel like I’m just one step away from worrying that he’s going to knock down the water glass with my teeth in it.

Isn’t it romantic?


Filed under Dating, Made me laugh, Moving on

Elul reflections

We are in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish calendar. As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we take time during Elul to reflect on the waning year and to prepare for the time of renewal that the High Holy Days bring.

As I reflect on the last year – and on the previous 30 years – I’m trying to use this as a road map for the coming year.

I don’t regret doing the things I did to give my children as wonderful a childhood as I could. And I am reaping the richness of doing so; my daughters are amazing individuals who live their lives with integrity, purpose, kindness and conviction. I stayed in my marriage because I thought that was best for my family and, even though the marriage has ended, I still believe that it was a good decision (btw – it’s taken almost a year of therapy to say that). I also benefited from my decision in many ways; I have a career I love, with colleagues I love, and have found ways to earn a reasonable living doing it. I developed a strength that I may not have developed in a different relationship – a strength that serves me well today.

Of course I have some regrets. I worry that the strength I nurtured will make it difficult for me to ever enter into a relationship with a real man. Not a real man as opposed to a fantasy man, of course, but a mature, responsible man with a genuine sense of self. I worry that my “guard” will be too hard to break down. But I’m starting to understand that that will take time – and the right person – to address.

My more immediate regret is that I subjugated myself in so many ways. And I see this same subjugation in many of my friends. Because we moms and wives put everyone else’s needs in front of our own, we forget who we are and ignore the things that nurture us.

In my own case, I’m talking about my creative energy. Over the last year I realized that my energy went into my family; making the best home I could with limited resources, giving my girls things like camp, and propping up my husband for thirty years. Again – I have no regrets. I made these choices as a free woman and I would do it all over again (although I do think that I would have ended the marriage five years ago, rather than working so hard to repair it at that point).

All the things that bother me about my home seem to stem from the lack of creative appearance. I want color, texture and inspirational surroundings. My wardrobe is the same – I want to wear what reflects on the outside what’s on the inside (rather than what, sadly, fits and is affordable). I want to entertain creatively and live creatively, too.

I’m going to start a creative journal – one in which I reflect each day how I’ve done something creative to enhance my home, my wardrobe and my social life. I think it may have to be unelectronic, because I’d like to use watercolors and ink, but I’ll try to scan pages where I can.

In closing, I quote the great American prophet, Tina Turner. Seriously – can you imagine anyone better to look to when transforming your life?

Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.

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Filed under Creating a new life, Haven for one, Moving on, Singleness, Transition

Toward inspiration

I was just watching something about how survivors of an airplane crash have this new attitude toward life and what’s important. About how they have this “second chance” approach now.

In some ways, that’s how this divorce after a long marriage thing works, too. At least in my case.

For nearly 30 years I was in this life where I did what I had to do; I responded to what was right in front of me. When Mr. Ex lost one more job, I decided that I had to put younger daughter in full time day care, find after-school day care for older daughter, and get a job. I did that. When it became apparent that without more income we wouldn’t be able to pay for school supplies, camp, after-school activities, or bat mitzvah celebrations, I found it. When I was offered an opportunity to take on more work at my full time job – an offer that I knew would bring us just a little more security – I grabbed it (by the way, when Mr. Ex left, this was one of the things he threw in my face: that late at night he would beg me to close the laptop and I insisted on working until the wee hours. It occurred to me that was like a wife who sits home doing her nails all day yelling at her husband for working too hard).

My home was never a sanctuary. Never an inspiration. Never my muse. It was filled with hand-me-down, dog-eared (literally), bought-because-it-was-cheap furniture. I dreaded coming home when he wasn’t working and seeing the house look just like it looked when I left – couldn’t he do something? In the days when he was playing at becoming a cantor I would come home and say “what did you do all day?” and his answer was always, “studying.” I guess – because he certainly wasn’t cleaning, straightening or throwing away.

Okay, okay. I can’t write those things without thinking, “WTF? Why on earth did I put up with that for 30 years?” Enough – I could be in therapy for the rest of my life (and I imagine I will be) and I can’t come up with a better answer than I did what I thought was best for my children. And then, when they weren’t an issue, I guess I figured we’d make it work since it was just the two of us. Whatever.

But now I have this chance to remake my home into a muse.

I want to come home and breathe. I want to come home and fee like I’m being hugged. I want to come home and feel like I’m in this nurturing and inspirational environment.

And all in a space that I may still want to sell, so it can’t be anything weird or too “out there.” Luckily I’m not “out there,” so I can probably make it happen.

I’ve already started with the purging. Not only was it cathartic to get rid of all of Mr. Ex’s things, it’s been incredible to just be able to see the floors, not have stuff on every surface, and to be able to walk into a room without picking my way through piles. After I put those bookcases up in the office I went in there at least five times just to admire how it was so neat and tidy and all the books were on shelves just like they’re supposed to be.

But it’s got to be more than that. I need to be surrounded by the things I love and be able to put away the things I need to keep but don’t have to have in my face all the time. I need colors that speak to me and textures that inspire.

I need the flaws fixed. The water-damaged ceilings need to be fixed, the leak in the roof needs to be fixed, the downstairs bathroom needs to be – yeesh, I have no clue what THAT needs – I just know it needs something . . . And it all needs to feel pulled together.

Ironically, I can afford it, too. I have some money from my mom – not a lot, but certainly enough to do some of this. I don’t have to have anyone else agree with me; I can whatever I want, wherever I want to do it, and however I want it done.

It’s almost overwhelming. That’s the problem. I have too many choices. I’m not used to options. I’m used to settling. And now I don’t have to, and it’s almost paralyzing.

Step one: verbalizing the problem. Step two: making a plan.

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Filed under Creating a new life, Haven for one