Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

'DO NOT BE AFRAID. For unto you I bring glad tidings of great joy which shall be for ALL people.' Unto us a savior is born. With all of the hope that the season brings, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Insult, Injury and Awesomeness

A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those days.  I posted on Facebook “Whoever coined the phrase ‘adding insult to injury’ must have had a 24 hours just like mine.”  I took it down almost immediately, when I realized that I was being one of those facebookers that I hate, that post cryptic, passive aggressive messages.  But, seriously, let me lay it out for you.

It started at Orange Theory on Wednesday.  (This is my latest obsession.  It’s seriously the best hour of my day. I absolutely love it.  It’s a super hard HIIT workout that I do five or six days a week and it’s hard on my body, but it’s so fun. I love the way I feel while I’m doing it, and after I do it, so I don’t care how hard it is.  I feel like I’m physically stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life.)  We did a series of major core exercises with lots of reps, (woodchoppers, dumbbell Russian twists with a press in-between, a few burpees added in for good measure).  I was fine after the workout.  I felt great.

I went on with my day, which included seeing the man that I had been…what would we call it? Involved with? Seeing each other? We were I guess dating for a couple of weeks in the beginning of October.  This is a man that I’ve known since, well, I technically met him when I was in 7th grade and he was in 8th grade.  I had a major crush on him starting the summer before my sophomore year of high school, and going on into that fall.  I’ve known him a long time.  He got divorced a year after Sawan died and started asking me out pretty quickly thereafter, and I always said “no.”  It just didn’t seem like it could work.  We had changed so much in adulthood that I didn’t think that we saw eye to eye on important issues.  I never really even considered it.

But, something happened this fall that made me re-think it.  We had had several good conversations that made me think that we weren’t that different after all.  Even if we didn’t agree on issues, he at least understood where I was coming from, and didn’t think that I was stupid (for my way of thinking).

So, I let him in.  We started dating.  It was like high school, actually, in some ways, with lots of long make-out sessions.  It surprised me that I was so into him, after feeling absolutely nothing for him but friendship before.  I think I was partially seduced by the fact that things were different with him than with anyone else I’ve dated since Sawan.  He didn’t make me feel like he was doing me a favor, dating a widow.  Maybe because he’s known me for so long.  Maybe because he knew us both.  Maybe because he’s just not an asshole.    The friendship that we’ve had for so long, the shared history, made it so much fun.  It was so comfortable. 

And then, every song on the radio was about him.  I hadn’t experienced that in a long time.  He said things to me like, “I think I could love you for the rest of your life…” and I believed him.  He told me that he was attracted to smart women, but that physically I had it all, too.  I have no problem in normal situations feeling like I’m physically attractive (call me arrogant), but this felt different.  I felt attractive in a whole new way.

But, after just two weeks he was headed on a long trip overseas.  The last night I was to see him before he left on the epic adventure, I said, “Ok, I’m sorry to be such a chick about this, but, before you go, I need to know where we stand.”  And he said, basically, “I can’t make you any promises.  I can’t take care of myself right now, much less anyone else. I don’t even know if I’ll be returning to Denver long-term.” 


We turned the lights off.  And that was pretty much it.  The next day I briefly told him I was mad.  That I had given him lots of opportunities to say those same things in the last two weeks and he hadn’t.  He left with “Well, for what it’s worth, I’ve really enjoyed the last two weeks.”  Well, shit.  Me, too.  But I’m not sure I would have done it the same way had I known that two weeks would be it.  Especially because, with his connections to my family, I’ll be seeing him around for the rest of my life.

And now we’re back to Wednesday night, and my 24 hours of insult and injury. 

He had one night in town between the epic adventure overseas and another two week trip. I was so excited to see him.  I had really missed him even though, well, we had left things on such sketchy terms.  We had communicated a tiny bit while he was gone, and I had convinced myself that he had to be just scared.  He had said that this was 20 years in the making.  He couldn’t possibly be over it after only two weeks.

But, the conversation Wednesday night didn’t go well.  He basically said that he thought that it was going to be different (I think that he has this adolescent fantasy about what love is and honestly nothing real in the adult world is ever going to do it for him. I told him as much.). He never meant for me to get hurt.  He loved me but not in “that way.”  Yikes.  I’ve honestly never been the rejected party before.  It kind of sucks.

Too many beers in to drive home, I slept at his house.

When I woke up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I couldn’t stand up straight.  I had tweaked my back somehow, and I was in incredible pain (damn Orange Theory).  The next morning it was even worse, and I felt sick from too many beers and not enough (or any) dinner.  When I told him goodbye, I told him not to text me or call me.  I didn’t want him to string me along.  Then, I got in my car and drove home.

Except, on the way home, I puked in my lap.  Yep.  I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t going to be sick, but I couldn’t hold it in.  By the time I realized that I was definitely going to be sick, no way to talk myself out of it, I had time to pull over but not to get my window down or my door open, so I just puked all over my lap.  Classy.  Isn’t it something, though, how you puke and then feel like you could climb a mountain?  I could have if it weren’t for my stupid back.

I also realized on the way home that I had left my fitbit (and later, also my favorite pair of earrings).  Seriously?  So much for no calls/no texts. 

I got home and laid on my bed, realizing there was no way I could work with my back in this condition.  I called all of my clients, then my amazing bodywork guy, who got me in that day to work on me (this is something of a miracle, considering his schedule).  I cried the whole time, from physical or emotional pain, I’m not sure which.  He thinks that with all of the Russian twists I did, I Russian twisted my vertebrae out of allignment.  Or, he said (ever the Buddhist), alternatively, pain in the back comes from relationship pain.  Feeling like you’re not supported.  Yeah. Either way.

I went home and cried the rest of the day, and watched How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. 

In spite of the fact that I’m hurting and I’m really mad, I find myself still believing the best of the man I had been seeing.  I know him.  I know that he really didn’t mean to hurt me.  I think that he’s self-centered and therefore didn’t think about the consequences for his actions, but I think he probably means it when he says “I love you.” (and that, “just not in that way,” is also accurate).  But I’ve also never been the type to hang on.  I do not need to convince anyone to love me.

When I woke up on Friday, my eyes were so swollen from crying that I looked like someone had punched me in the face.  I looked in the mirror at myself and said aloud, “F#ck. Him.  And then, as Barney (on HIMYM) would say, “Whenever I feel sad, I just stop being sad and be awesome instead.  True story.”

So, that’s the gross 24 hours and the 24 hour turn around and recovery.  The moral of the story?  Don’t date your childhood friends. Trust your gut. Don’t drink four beers and skip dinner. Don’t work out so hard at Orange Theory.  I don’t know, maybe it’s one of those. Or, maybe it’s: BE AWESOME.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fair Warning

I was talking about my writing today, and sharing about how I had offended someone in the last post, and so I had stopped posting for a while.  Even though I had tried so hard not to hurt feelings (I wrote the paragraph in question over and over and over on Whatever), I still had done so.  I felt terrible.  It made me so sad.  But, I let that control me, manipulate me.  I let them take my voice.  No one should have that power. 

I was reminded of, and am claiming this for my own:
I will do my best to be honest (and not make myself look like a hero).  I will try (I will write and re-write paragraphs) not to hurt feelings.  I am not taking license to be snotty.  But, fair warning.  This is my story. I will tell it. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Anne Lamott lists the three essential prayers, according to her, in her book Help, Thanks, Wow.  But when I saw her speak about a year ago, she said, and I’m paraphrasing, that she had not realized until after the book was published that there is a fourth essential prayer, whatever.  (Help, Thanks, Wow, Whatever doesn’t quite have the same ring, so maybe it’s for the best that she didn’t come up with that ‘till later.)

I thought, “Whoa.  How often do I pray that prayer?  ‘Whatever, God. I just don’t get you.’”

For the last few weeks, that has pretty much been the meditation of my heart.  I’m not saying it angrily.  I’m not really pissed at God (well, not about that, anyway).  Just confused.  I just really don’t get him sometimes (OK, almost all of the time).

I had a brutal summer.  For some reason, the grief of widowhood just kicked my ass this year.  Summer is always hard but this one was worse, for some reason.  whatever.

I turned off the last of my online dating profiles today.  I give up.  I’ve had a few ridiculous dates this summer.  Only first dates.  The profiles I see don’t give me much hope that there’s anything better out there.  A man in your age range, with a job, that will have children?  You’re asking way too much, Noel.  whatever. 

Plus, even if I find a guy that ticks off all of my deal breakers, he’ll probably just end up being like the last guy, that technically met all the deal breakers, (and I’ve decided not to use this blog as a platform to say mean things about men I’ve dated and broken up with, but I have nothing nice to say about him at all).  So, without giving details, I’ll just say that if the available men are like him, then I’m content to be single for the rest of my life. whatever.

The whole thing about the “Biological Clock Ticking” that you hear about on the movies?  That’s a real thing.  Only, in the movies they’re always joking about it, and in real life, it’s not funny.  It’s so incredibly stressful.  It’s constantly on my mind.  The pressure that it puts on dating, that it puts on me as I give up dating is so intense.  Whatever.

The IRS just imposed a levy on me, for unpaid taxes from when I owned the salon in 2007.  That whole thing about not needing to keep tax records more than seven years?  That’s not really a thing.  There is actually no statute of limitations for the IRS to come after you.  Turns out my accountant still had my 2007 records, and I had paid but misfiled the 2007 taxes, so we’re getting it figured out, but sheesh.  The stress.  And the hours spent on hold.  The hours spent working on finding files, on re-filing the proper forms.  The feeling that I’m being accused of being dishonest. Whatever.

My parents are moving.  My dad got laid off in March, a victim of the low oil prices.  After the stress of looking for a job for six months, he finally got an offer. (Yay!)  In Montana.  (Boo!)  In my whole life, I’ve lived in a different place than my parents for 4 months.  It was in 1996, when I came back to the states to finish my senior year of highschool and they stayed in Ukraine.  This makes me know that if I could live away from them when I was seventeen and they were in a whole other country then, now, as an adult I’ll be fine, but it just sucks to know that I don’t have them around to bail me out.  Especially as a widow.  They’ve taken up the slack with things that my husband would have handled.  My dad helps me when my car won’t start.  My mom takes care of me when I’m sick.  Whatever.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know that I have things to be thankful for.  In a few days I think I’ll be able to get to where I can think about those things.  But right now, this sucks.  WHAT-EVER!

Isaiah 55:9
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Not So Perfect

I bet you guys want an update about my date with Mr. Perfect.

He was, alas, not perfect.

I had a perfectly great time.  He was perfectly normal.  Handsome.  A perfectly cool guy.  I think that may be my longest first date on record.  We went to a baseball game and then after that I did not turn into a pumpkin (as I normally would) and we went and got something to eat.  He was a perfect gentleman (he got my car door and he paid).  He didn’t meet all of my criteria, in fact, he didn’t meet two of my major three.  But, I had such a good time (we never ran out of things to talk about) that I was willing to overlook my list and try again.  He said he wanted to see me again.  We even talked about possibilities for this week.  But, as I write this on Wednesday night, exactly a week after, there has been perfect radio silence.  So, there you have it.  Easy come, easy go.

A perfectly ordinary dating story…  The dude didn’t call, and I have no idea why.*  After last weeks’ post, though, he will join the Spitter  in the ranks of the Attribute Men (whose names I don’t remember) as “Mr. Perfect.”

*At least he didn’t kiss me.  There was the one guy last fall, The Kisser, who, on a first (online) date (which made this seem forward), kissed me, told me he wanted to see me again, complimented me on my beauty and the fact that I smelled amazing, and then I never heard from him again.  And he blocked me on the online dating site that I met him on.  I thought, “Huh.  Did I drive away weird?"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mr. Perfect

I called it off for good with the Boyfriend a couple of months ago, and I’ve written a couple of posts about it, but I subscribe to the Thumper rule of blogging: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  So, I haven’t posted on here in awhile.

Tonight I have a date.  It’s a set-up, which doesn’t happen very often, so I know almost nothing about him, except that he’s safe, since my friends have vetted him.  (No friends are going to set me up with a serial killer.  Hopefully.)

Most of the dates that I go on are with men that I’ve met online.  With them, I know what they want me to know, from our few online conversations, sometimes from phone conversations, and from their carefully crafted online profiles.

This guy, though, is a perfect stranger.  I’ll meet him in a couple of hours and he’ll become a reality, but for now, he’s perfect.  He is attractive (I’ve seen his Facebook photos).  And other than the few things that my friends told me about him (and I can ignore whatever parts are less than favorable if they dont fit into the fantasy since it's my fantasy, after all) I know very little.  So, I’ve been able to craft my own image of him.  I have a fantasy about who he’ll be and since I'm fantasizing, why not make him, well, perfect?  I almost don’t want to meet him.

Tomorrow, either he’ll be some less than perfect version of reality (they never can be exactly what we dream they’ll be), or he’ll fade into the list of men that I’ve gone out with once that no longer even have names, and are just remembered by their strongest attribute (The Short Guy.  The Stutterer.  The Slurper.  Or, like the last train wreck from a couple of weeks ago, The Spitter.  He spit on me no less than 5 times during our conversation, I lost track.).

I don't really have my hopes up.  But it's been a fun few hours, with it an unknown, it could just workout, you know?

Wish me luck with Mr. Perfect.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Complete (A Mother's Day Post for the Child-less)

Today is Mother’s Day.  It’s one of my Hard Days, as I call them.  One of the days where my face randomly leaks at any given point.

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you guys this, but I feel like I got “this close” to being a mother before Sawan died.  I was ready to try for a baby a long time before he was, and it took a lot of “discussing” to get him on the same page, but, literally two weeks before he died, we had this amazing conversation and we decided that we would start trying as soon as we got the salon sold.  The closing date for the salon was September 1, and he died on August 24, so I never got the chance.  I have people that ask me, when they find out that I’m a young widow, if I have children, and when I respond “no” they say that I’m lucky.  I want to punch them in the face.  I feel like I lost my husband, but I lost my babies, too.

It’s a complicated thing, this being 36 years old and childless.  I (except for a brief period in my self-centered twenties) always wanted to be a mom.  I was one of those little girls that carried around a baby doll everywhere I went.  I know that I’m not the only woman that is constantly feeling that it’s almost too late (or maybe it already is and I don’t even know) to be a mother.  The pressure that that puts on relationships is ridiculous.  The pressure that it puts on me to be in a relationship is enormous.  I just stayed in one way too long and one of the main reasons was that I thought it might be my last chance to have a family. 

Here’s what’s strange about that.  When Sawan and I were dating, I was (and still am) this super strong, stubborn, independent woman.  I made a big deal about not needing him to come and rescue me.  I think that somewhere in the beginning of our relationship we watched Jerry McGuire on TV and we talked about how neither of us needed the other one to “complete” us.  Gag me.  I don’t buy into that line of thinking in relationships.  He was a soul mate, for sure, and I loved him with every part of my being, and when I lost him I felt like I had lost part of myself, but he didn’t complete me. After we were married, though, I think I somehow bought in to the world’s idea of what a woman should want and be.  I read all of the sappy quotes about how you’ll never know true love until you have a child.  I thought I needed a child to know how to really love.  I thought I needed a child to complete me.

It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally come to the realization that that way of thinking is so wrong.  You know, this may be “it” for my life, and that’s ok.  I guess I’ve just realized that for now, I’m as complete a person as I’m supposed to be.  I’m as complete a “lover” as I’m supposed to be (at least at this moment).  If I was
supposed to know how to love like a mother, then I would be a mother.

Don’t get me wrong.  It is my heart’s deepest desire to find another love, to have again the kind of man that I can imagine being on a team with for the rest of my life.  And then, to get to have a little person grow inside me, to get to hold a tiny baby that has half my DNA, to get to teach them all about life, to hear someone call me “Mommy.”  I hardly ever spend much time thinking about it because it hurts so bad knowing the dream may never come true.

I think that there are lots of women out there who feel similarly to me, who, for whatever reason, have not had life turn out the way that they thought it would.  If you’re one of those women and you’re reading this, to you I say, “Don’t buy into it!  You’re a whole person just as you are!”

And, who knows?  I may still get to be a mom.  All of those dreams could still come true.  But if not (or until then), I’m going to practice being the best lover of people that I can possibly be.  I’m going to love with all of the love I know how to love with.

On this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking about how I get to love on my siblings’ and cousins’ and friends’ kiddos.  I get to be “Auntie” and “Tia” and, sometimes just “Noey” (it’s awesome when I get to be “Noey” and the kids have to call all the other adults a formal “Miss So-and-So”).  I get to be a daughter to an awesome, still living Mom, whom I actually really like (and got to spend Mother’s Day with today, don’t think I don’t appreciate how special that is).

I don’t need a child to complete me.  I’m whole and complete, just as I am.  (It sure would be nice, though.)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Breaking Up is Hard to Do...

After writing that last post, I’ve been AWOL for a month.  I haven’t quite known what to say.  You see, two days after I wrote that, I broke up with the Big Strong Man.

Since I had just talked about him on the blog, and I was hoping we were thinking we might get back together, I didn’t know what to say on here about anything.  Especially since I knew he would be checking the blog.  So, here’s what I will say:

He’s a great guy.  I’m just not sure that he’s the right guy for me.  The jury’s still out, but in the mean time, I don’t like not writing.  So, you guys will have to be as up in the air as I am about the relationship, but now that I’ve addressed that I feel like I can write about other stuff. 

Phew.  Feels good to get that off my chest.

Ah, relationships are tricky.  And I still haven’t figured out how to handle relationships and blogging.  I wish the blog was a secret (ooh, which reminds me of a funny story about when I started dating the Big Strong Man and the blog…I’ll tell you later.) and I didn’t have to worry about him seeing it, so I could do all of the processing on here that I wanted.  But, it’s not a secret, and he’s alive and well and can read all of this stuff.  So I have to be careful not to hurt feelings. 


Friday, February 27, 2015

"Colorado Babe"

I’m sitting in one of my favorite little coffee spots in downtown Denver, the Market on Larimer Square.  I’m just doing a little people watching and remembering all of the different people I’ve sat here with in all of the different phases of life.

Really, I’m thrilled just to be out of the house.  I’ve had the crud for the last two weeks. Solid.  I’ve been disgusting.  You know how it is, pink, drippy nose and low, almost-sexy-voice-but-not-really-who-am-I-kidding?, because of a deep cough.  And though my sleep numbers on my “misfit” (read that- poor man’s fitbit- it tracks sleep and number of steps) are AWESOME right now, my steps seem to be sadly lacking (yesterday was the first time I’d hit my goal in the whole of the last 14 days).  What I’m trying to say is, cabin fever had truly set in, so when I had the opportunity to join my Big Strong Man downtown while he went to a meeting, sit in a coffee shop and then join him for lunch, I jumped at it!

It’s been snowing for the last several days, it’s as though Denver finally remembered that it’s winter.  I’ve loved our weather this winter.  It’s been pretty mild, with lots of 60 and 70-degree days, and a few actual winter days sprinkled in, (you know, with snow and cold).  I love it when it gets cold; it gives me a chance to dress in what I call my “Colorado Babe get-up”.  I have Sorrell boots for the first time this year, and a Patagonia down sweater parka, a cute wool scarf and gloves that my sisters picked for me on a trip to New Zealand, and two super cute beanies that were literally custom made for me by a client.  What could be better?

It also gives me a chance to make lots of yummy soups.  In the last two weeks I’ve made a Potato Soup, a Beef Stew, Cajun Red Beans and Rice, and Homemade Chicken and Dumplings.  I’m cooking again, or maybe this is the first time in my life?  I don’t really remember, but the kitchen in the Pinkhouse is actually getting used and I’m not afraid of using Sawan’s kitchen stuff (that was a problem for awhile) and I’m really, really enjoying it.  I love how cozy my little house feels when I’ve had soup bubbling on the stove all day. 

Standing on the platform in 15 degree weather to ride the lightrail downtown.  Burr.
So overall, even though I’ve been slightly yucky feeling and gross, I’m loving life and I’m happy.  Just thought I’d check in and let you all know.

Monday, February 16, 2015


I wrote this last week and forgot to post....

This week, for the first time in my life, I shoplifted.  Yep.  I did.  It was premeditated.  I stole. 

I use Tide laundry detergent, and even though I’m a single woman, I buy the big ass container at Costco.  Somehow, I either lost the little plastic cup to measure the detergent, or never got one.  So when I was at Costco this week I went down that aisle just to steal a plastic cup.  I looked around to see if anyone was looking, and when no one was, I stuck the little cup in my purse.

Now, I’m the kind of person that if I realize that I didn’t pay for the soda on the bottom rack of my cart at Target, I go back in to pay for it.  I’m over-the-top honest about stuff like that.

But, for some reason, I’m annoyed at Tide or Costco that I haven’t been able to properly do laundry for the last several months, and so I feel that they owe me a plastic cup.  Plus, if I knew how to buy just the plastic cup then I would have done so already. 

So, laundry today felt like sweet success.  No more eyeballing it for me, I stole what I needed, and I didn’t get caught. I’m not feeling even the least bit guilty about it. 

It’s been a slow week around here, when all I have to tell you about is stealing a laundry measuring cup….

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2014 in Six Words

I think I’ll take a quick minute to fill you in on what I’ve been up to for the last year or so.

2014 was a pretty great year. 

Winter highlights:

I got out of town twice.  The first trip was to Arizona to watch my dad participate in Colorado Rockies Fantasy Camp.  It’s always so much fun to watch him play baseball, to enjoy the awesome weather, and to meet some of the old players.  Would you guess that Ryan Spillbourghs, (read that, Noey’s pretend Rockies Boyfriend after Matt Holliday) is actually kind of shy? 

Ellie and I watching a game
Dad in catching the game

shade, a book and a dirty monkey=heaven
The second trip was Mexico, baby!  I try to go once a year, and it used to be a “Girls Trip” but this time my dad wanted to crash and so we decided to let him.  Even though I was 35 years old, he was still Protective Dad and didn’t want to let me run on the beach by myself (I was regretting deciding to let him join us on our trip) but, the compromise was that he would either workout in the workout room with me or go for a run on the beach with me, and that ended up being one of the biggest highlights of the vacation for me.  I wasn’t much of an athlete until about oh, four years ago (ok, still not an athlete, just pretend like I am with a 45 minute run 5 days a week), and he was not in the best of shape for most of my adult life, but started working out regularly about two years ago, so if you had told me five years ago that the highlight of my Mexico vacation would be working out with my dad, I think I would have fallen over laughing at how preposterous that was for both of us.


If I had any spare time in the spring or summer of 2014, it was either spent watching the Rockies lose, or in the yard at the Pinkhouse.
Rockies game with one of my favorite parts of 2014, my new friend Mary Kate.  She's ducking down in this photo.  In real life she's 6'1" of awesomeness.

Literally a $hit-ton.  Free compost.
Let’s talk about the part of that last sentence that’s more fun than sad.  I completely re-landscaped my front and back yards.  We’re talkin’, I completely tilled up all of the weeds and grass, laid sod and a sprinkler system, and xerescaped the front so that it’s now xeric flowering plants.  I did it all by myself.  Not really.  I had lots of help from my Mom, both in the design department and in practical help.  My brother pretty much did the sprinkler and sod, and then random friends (even my baby sister who never likes to help came more than one day and participated!) helped out both in practical ways (tilling, digging, laying out sod) and just in encouragement (stopping by with me filthy from head to toe and enjoying turkey burgers and beer post-workday).  It was such a huge project though, that it had already snowed once before I got the final tarp with the materials moved from the front of my house.  In my vanity I have to admit that my favorite part of the Pinkhouse’s makeover was the makeover to my bod- everyone was asking what I was doing to get the muscle tone in my arms.  I told them manual labor (hauling gravel around is heav-y!).

Before.  Weeds.
After.  Gabe watering the sod.


In September I half-ass quit smoking.  It was just time to say goodbye, I had decided.  But I kept smoking every four or five days.  You know, just for fun and to make myself completely crazy.  I quit for real in November (as in, I haven’t had a cigarette since November…*sigh*).  I miss it.  It was one of my favorite things, like one of my best friends.  It was surprisingly linked to comfort in grief.  I find that since I’m not taking that few minutes for myself, especially at the end of the day, I’m not talking to Sawan like I used to.  I miss that, too.  I would always talk to him with the last cigarette of the day.  But, I don’t know, maybe it was time to say goodbye to that as well.

Also in November, I met a man.  Well, I meet lots of men, but this seems remarkable because I found one that for now I want to spend quite a bit of quality time with.

And that pretty much hits the major points.  My year in a nutshell.  I could have done it in fewer words:  Mexico, Baseball, Yard, Quit Smoking, Dating. 

Ta-Da!  Not a bad list of words right there.

Now that I’ve caught you up on what’s been going on in my life in 6 words, I’m not really sure what I’m going to write about next….

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good Grief (But can we ix-nay the WIDOW part?)

I know I left you guys a bit high and dry.

Here’s the thing.  Or maybe not the thing but part of the thing.  I’m doing really, really well.   I realized, about this time last year that I was no longer actively grieving.  When I wrote, especially for the book, it churned stuff up inside me and facilitated active grieving that I just didn’t feel was necessary at the time.  So I decided to take a break from writing the book.  I fully intended to keep writing the blog.  But, for some reason, the break ended up extending to the blog, too. 

I feel like even the title of my blog has widow in it, and I just no longer really identify myself as such.  Well, that’s not true.  I definitely still identify as a widow.  I still, five and a half years in, do not leave my house without waterproof mascara and packin’ a cute mini Kleenex pack.  When I hand one over to someone that I’m’ chatting with, and get teased for being a girl scout, I shrug and explain I’m not a girl scout, I’m a widow.  I will never not be a widow.  Widowness got in there and changed my DNA.  I don’t have the luxury of living the carefree life of not considering the “What ifs” because one of the craziest “What ifs” actually happened to me.  But, all that being said, it’s no longer at the forefront of my brain.  I don’t walk into a room and think that it’s the first thing that people should know about me.  I’m not only a widow.  I’m much, much more.

So now what do I do with the blog?  How do I write about musings now?  How do I include what’s going on in my life when most of what I’m processing is about people who are living?  I have to consider feelings being hurt and relationships and crap like that.  It’s complicated.  It was simpler when the object of most of my writing was dead.

But I feel like writing was really good for me.  And, when I started this whole thing, the point of it for me was to help other widows.  To help them by showing them my grief journey, and I feel like it might be helpful to them to know that for me there was real life to be lived and enjoyed again eventually.  Eventually I got to quit actively grieving!

I remember in my first few months as a widow, I would be finally getting out of the house and my mom would tell me, “Have fun.”  And I would tell her, “I don’t have fun.”  I knew that I was a drag to be around and that I was literally incapable at the time of having fun.  But that changed.  Now, I have fun.  I also remember meeting new people and thinking, “I wish they could have met me before.  I was funny.”  But, I’m funny again.  I think people like to be around me.  Life returned to a new normal.  It took a long, long time, but it happened.  I want new widows to know that.

So, if you’re still around and you want to join me as I figure out how to write Good Grief about a young widow (that doesn’t feel that young anymore, holy cow, I just turned 36!) who doesn’t identify so much as a widow anymore, than I’d love to have you!