bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

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a tune for Tuesday vol 50

The more I hear this song, the more I like it.
This is The Band CAMINO with their song, Daphne Blue.

Please listen responsibly.

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t-minus two(ish) days

YBW and I leave early Wednesday morning for our trip.
I have taken my sweet time to get ready.
I’m stressed about the packing organization and prep more than I knew. I’ve been clenching my teeth for about a week now. The discomfort it causes is actually severe, but it took me until Saturday to realize what I was doing. So I’m paying much more attention to my body right now. When I find myself clenching my teeth I stop and take a few deep belly breaths in an attempt to settle myself.

It’s not just the trip, the packing, etc. each of my girls is going through a troublesome emotional place right now and I’m having a hard time knowing I’m about to go radio silent. I know they’re strong and capable women, but I also know I just want to be available in case somebody needs their mommy.

Today my teeth clenching is better, I’ve only had to stop myself twice since I got up at 7:30!
I spent the better part of Saturday organizing and beginning to pack.

Everything but undergarments in this stack of rolled clothes.
I was feeling pretty accomplished.

Sunday morning I went to get my hair done.
When I got home, YBW was in full on packing mode. Y’all, I love to watch him work! His process is so different from my own that I can’t help myself! He wrote down what clothes he’s wearing together on what day. I LOVE this! I would never think to do that! I just roll up stuff and put it in my bag. Of course, wearing dresses is much simpler than wearing pants and shirts…
Anyway, he inspired me to finish the task. I was feeling pretty confident in my choices, and in the way I packed them, and then I checked the weather in San Francisco again.

Temperatures dropped another ten degrees.
This changed everything! I would not be warm enough, especially on the visit to Alcatraz (which I have consistently, and in all sincerity called Azkaban each time I’ve said it)
I immediately began to unpack.
Oh how that irritated me.

However, I knew I was over-packed, and not over-packed by Roby standards, but really and truly over-packed, so this gave me an excuse opportunity to handle that situation. I was able to remove things I knew I wouldn’t actually wear which left me at the perfect level of Roby over-packed.
And my jaw relaxed.


Removing these things provided enough room to pack warmer (and therefore bigger) things to ensure my comfort in San Francisco.
I created more room for toiletries, protein bars, and my writing and reading materials.

The spiral notebook and The Immortalists will go in my carry on so I’ll have access to them on the plane.

I completely organized the bathroom stuff, meds and supplements, all the other last minute things and it’s ready to go into my suitcase first thing Wednesday morning.
And my jaw relaxed when I wrote that.

I got this!

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a break up story, or the power of being in a relationship with herself

When the girls were here, Thing 2 talked about how it was time to end her relationship with Boyfriend J. She is in a place of deep self exploration, healing, and growth. She needs her partner to be in a place of personal growth, so they can parlay their individual growth into positive evolution in their relationship.
Boyfriend J is not in a place of deep self exploration, healing, or growth. I don’t believe it’s a choice he’s made, I just think that’s not where he is in his personal development. From conversations I’ve had with Thing 2, it’s not that he’s unwilling to enter a growth mindset as much as he honestly doesn’t know where to begin.
Perhaps that’s lack of maturity?
Perhaps that’s lack of a properly built foundation?
Perhaps he’s simply not there?
To be perfectly honest, he may just need time. He’s newly twenty-two and still in the conceptual ‘figuring out’ stage of development.
Thing 2 is in the active ‘figuring out’ stage, and needs her partner to be in this active stage.

Lack of love is not their problem.
They love each other truly and deeply.
Thing 2 realized however much they love each other, she needs to love herself enough to make the hard choices.

This is from a conversation in our girls group chat.
Monday morning Thing 2 wrote:

I am…uncomfortable but that’s okay. Boyfriend J still isn’t awake yet, but to calm myself down I started the list in my phone of things that are his…I feel like a shit human for getting so far into the clinical-planning-stage, but it is making me feel better to be more prepared…
I went to the gas station to buy nos to soften the blow. I really missed my car. I wanted to just drive around to try and clear my head, but I know that I would’ve actually just been running away from the situation…I’m proud of myself for realizing that. But I also know that after have the conversation and the dust settles, I’ll want to get right back in it. I’m going to be very mindful and respectful of his feelings and where he’s at before I leave. I think after we properly discuss it, I’ll ask if he would like my company while he processes (because we don’t have to start packing things right away) or if he would like to be alone for a little while. I think that’s the kind thing to do
And if he needs me to be with him, I will stay. And if he needs to be alone, I will drive.

Later that afternoon she wrote:

I am sorry I’ve been mia all day. I did the deed and we talked and then just sat for a long while, then I decided I needed to take a drive so I’ve been in my car since 3:30ish. I got tired of driving so now I’m sitting outside of the laundromat place where ACA is waaaay too early. I was going to go back to the house, but I knew if I did that I wouldn’t come to the meeting tonight

This morning she texted me:

Feeling very adult-y getting my oil changed and my tires rotated before taking Boyfriend J to Jacksonville tomorrow. We finished packing his things last night and tonight we’re gonna be with the boys

I replied:

How’s it going? I want to know where each of you is emotionally, but also be respectful.
I don’t want the gossip, I want to hear the story of your life.
How is Boyfriend J? How are you? I’m awed by your strength! I am so hopeful each of you moves successfully forward

She wrote:

He is very sad, but I know that I can’t do anything about that. I love him very much, and I hope that his mom makes good space for him. And I hope that his stepdad pushes him to participate in his life, but is gentle with him. I worry for him, but I know that this is what I have to do and that it might suck to be him for a while–but he needs this too. I just hope that he realizes that and can find his own path and happiness.

I wrote:

Yes!! My God, Thing 2! Yes x infinity! You SO get it!
Brava, baby!! You’re living for you while still having compassion for the people you love!! You are actively doing it!!!

She replied:

It fucking hurts, but I know that I will be alright. Talking with Alex yesterday was really helpful, there’s a lot of similarities between his ex and my situation. I know that it will hurt less with time and space. I’m hoping that I will notice a change in myself. Going through the dusty disorganized bookshelf made me reflect on where I’m at. I think I’ll take Sunday to be alone and get rid of things and organize more. I think I might rearrange my room again, I’m not sure how yet, and I love the fort, but it’s like after Boyfriend D finally left–I have to move my bed.

Alex is one of the bartenders at the Asian fusion restaurant where Thing 2 works. I absolutely adore him! I love him as a human, but I also love how he’s a friend to my daughter. I’m looking forward to the next time I see him so I can squeeze him tightly!
The fort to which she refers is sheets, sheers, and fairy lights hung from the ceiling around her bed.

I wrote:

Deep cleaning, organizing, rearranging your room. These are all SMART choices! Do you smudge? That would be a great thing to do before, during, and after you purge, organize, rearrange!

She replied:

I’ve never done it before, but I didn’t hate the smell when we did that at Thing 1’s house. I was worried it would bother my chest, but it didn’t

I wrote:

I love the ritual of bringing the smoke to your heart, mind, and body before you begin

She replied:

That’s really beautiful. And you think before I rearrange would be better? Or should I wait until I’m finished? Or before and after? I don’t think I can do it during just because of how much shit is gonna be laying around and my hands will probably be full the whole time. I’m thinking it’s gonna be SERIOUS changes. Like moving everything and deep cleaning as well as getting rid of and organizing. I’m talking baseboard scrubbing kind of cleansing

I replied:

In that case, before and after.
Before to help rid the icky
After to make sure nothing got stirred up and to ensure you start fresh and clean
A catharsis for your physical and emotional self and space.
What could be more beautiful self love?

She wrote:

I think you’re right, that seems like the best way to do it. If I’m gonna do it, I want to be as thorough and effective as possible
I’ve been seeing so many empowering messages of self-love lately. I’m tired of everyone telling me that I’m brave and that they’re proud of me, but I am surprised how steady I feel within myself. Also Alex with those damn fortune cookies, he kept shoving them at me all day yesterday and every one of them was like “positive change” “take an opportunity” and shit like that, it made me mad and feels-y but it was very kind and funny of him, in an odd but encouraging way

Again I say, I love Alex!

I wrote:

When I left (your dad) everyone told me I was brave and strong. I felt neither. I just inherently knew I was doing what was best for me. So I understand what you’re saying down deep in my soul.
I’m proud *for* you. You made a terribly hard decision in a loving and mindful way. You considered Boyfriend J’s feelings without sacrificing your own well being. That’s HUGE! So many people won’t or can’t do what you’ve done.
So yes, in some ways it’s brave and strong. But mostly it’s you taking the best possible care of yourself

I asked her permission to write about this. I told her it’s a powerful story. I asked, is it too personal? I want to respect her privacy.

She replied:

I don’t mind if you write about it. It seems a little silly, I’m not sure how many of your followers care about Thing 2 and Boyfriend J hahaha. But I think it’s relevant to your past/story and I hope that people will be able to read it and see some part of their own life in it, not just some 20-something drama. You have my consent to tell this story in your powerful words

I wrote:

Tears of love and joy in my eyes.
Your story is powerful and meaningful, not 20 something drama.
I think more people will relate to, and/or be inspired by it than you imagine.

She wrote:

Thank you for your endless support

To which I replied:

Until the last breath leaves my body.

Then I made a stupid joke à la Joss Whedon to undercut the love and gratitude.
She responded with:

My girl comes by her ability to add well timed, though possibly inappropriate humor naturally, however she’s honed her skills to an art that far outstrips my own.

Breaking up is hard to do. (I know…but he wrote that song because it’s true)
Ending a relationship is difficult.
Being mindful about how you end a relationship is even more so.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend J have so much love between them, but simply aren’t in the same place in their individual lives. That there is still love must make it harder to end their relationship. Thing 2 agonized over how it would affect Boyfriend J. She was so worried about his feelings, about his pain. She did not want to hurt him. But she knew that she was hurting herself by staying in a relationship that wasn’t feeding her personal growth.
That’s a ridiculously difficult decision to make. Many ‘full fledged’ adults won’t or can’t do it.
But this twenty-two year old, this tiny young woman made the hardest decision because she knew she would be better off for it. She is hopeful that Boyfriend J will be better off for it too.
She broke both their hearts to create a better life for herself.
Y’all, that’s brave!
She doesn’t feel brave. She doesn’t have to say it because I know this on a deep and personal level.
But brave she is.

To be as young (yet old) as she is, and doing this hard and powerful work of self with as much love and awareness as she is, it’s so inspiring!
Thing 2 did what was best for her, even though it hurt her to do it. Even though it hurt Boyfriend J. And she did it with love, kindness, and integrity. And she did it with hope.
She is hopeful that her difficult decision to end a loving yet stalled relationship will facilitate further personal growth. Not only for her, but also for the young man she loves.
She is hopeful about being in a relationship with herself for a while, she told me the idea of being alone isn’t such a scary and negative thing if your mind is in the right place.

That’s why I wanted her permission to write about it. I know she understands the power of her decisions. But I’m not sure she really understands how powerful her story is.
It might inspire others in the process of making a difficult decision.
It might be relatable to others who’ve made those kinds of difficult decisions.
The story of Thing 2 and Boyfriend J’s break up is personal. It’s small in the grand scheme of things.
But the story of being mindful and loving when making the hard choices. Of doing what’s best for herself while still working to keep him safe and loved.
This is where the power lies.
The power of love.
The power of hope.
The power of learning to love yourself and have that be more than enough for the time being.

Categories: love, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 49

I love this song, Charlie by Mallrat.
“I hope your dreams are amazing. I hope your dreams are amazing. I hope your dreams are amazing.”

Please listen responsibly.

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three weeks in November

YBW and I decided to celebrate 10 years of us by going on a three week trip.
We’re doing a full-transit Panama Canal cruise.
We’ll spend three days in San Francisco before board the ship.
Over fifteen days we’ll visit five ports of call and spend Thanksgiving day going through the canal.
On day three, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Four days later, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
The next day, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Two days later, Fuerte Amador, Panama
Canal day
The next day, Cartagena, Colombia
Three days later, we disembark in Florida.

We were delighted when we realized this trip was on each of our lists for years. I think it’s fun we get to do together what we’ve each wanted to do before we even knew each other.
I’m most excited about exploring Cartagena!

Actually, this trip came about quite by accident. One sunny afternoon about 18 months ago, YBW got it in him that he wanted to stop into a travel shop on the way to the grocery store. He was like, let’s just see what’s up. I was game, so in we went.
Turns out Princess Cruise Lines was having a fantastic deal and we were able to capitalize on it. Our room got upgraded to a club level mini suite, we each got a full drinks package, all our gratuities are being taken care of, and there’s a laundry list of other amenities I can’t even think of at the moment.
For so long, it felt like the trip was so far away, but in writing this I just realized we leave in nine days!

YBW is already making lists…I need to get it together! I haven’t even begun to make a list.
I have an idea about what I’m going to pack, but no real organization as of yet. I’ll spend the next couple of days creating a list and getting pre-organized.

We decided to embrace the opportunity to be ‘unplugged’ and made the choice not to purchase wifi access on the ship. We know this will be tricky when it comes to keeping up with the news in the world, and with our family and friends, but I’m actually kind of excited to shut out the world and just be with my Sweetheart for fifteen days.
We travel well together.
YBW gets a bit of travel anxiety about getting to the mode of transportation in a timely manner. I get a bit of travel anxiety if we don’t have enough of a plan.
But we know this, so we know how to plan for and accommodate to ease each other’s anxieties. In all honesty, I’d much rather sit at the gate for an hour with a book than be running to board a plane at the last minute anyway.

Speaking of books, YBW has loaded up all his books from his kindle to his ipad so he has his music and books all in one place.
On the other hand, I only read ‘real’ books so I’m having to be mindful about packing. Only paperbacks so they won’t be too heavy. I’ve planned ahead as I read my TBRs, trying to knock out all the hardback books first and saving the paperbacks to pack.
Perhaps I’m a teeny bit organized.
Not at all as organized as I normally am, or would be.
I’ve been distracted by the girls and baby being here, and Halloween.
But they left yesterday, so I’m giving my all my attention to getting organized and packed.
I’m actually going to create my first list as soon as I finish writing this.
Then call my doctor for some scopolamine patches…just in case.

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October gratitude

As I look back on October, it was chock full, and I have much to be grateful for.

While this may not be what I’m most grateful for, I can assure I am most excited about it.
My Washington Nationals winning the World Series!
Those seven games were something to behold! Winning four away games, losing three home games. We laughed. We cried. We were ready to admit defeat. We literally jumped for joy when we won game seven! This post season was some of my most emotional baseball, but every moment was worth it!
My baseball bae (third baseman Anthony Rendon) and side bae (first baseman Ryan Zimmerman) celebrating the end of game seven.

Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

I’m also super grateful for these things:

my acupuncturist
popcorn and coke with YBW at the double feature of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Bobby Flay’s new cookbook
teaching and learning with kindergartners, second, fourth, and fifth graders
celebrating our anniversary (4 years married, 10 years together)
whiskey cocktails at the distillery with Holly
my favorite bookshop, Bards Alley
breakfast with Nora
a visit to Naked Mountain

HGTV’s Rock the Block
going to the movies by myself on a Friday morning
Thing 1, Thing 2, and Baby K here!
cocktails
weird weather
Baby K’s giggle
Halloween as the Mystery Gang

(Thing 1 as Velma, YBW as Freddie, Baby K (in the wagon) as Scooby Doo, Thing 2 as Shaggy, and me as Daphne)
good talks with my girls
celebrating Meredith’s ninth birthday
truly wonderful friends and neighbors
Baby K still smiles when I say, “Birdie loves you, girl!”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 48

This song’s grown on me and I find myself quite liking it.
Check out The Griswolds with Nice to Meet Ya!

Please listen responisbly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 47

Absolutely love this song!
Here’s Cage the Elephant with Social Cues.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

practice makes perfect or don’t come in here with your bullshit

If I learned anything this week, it’s that I must continue to work at accepting what I can’t change, paying attention to my feelings and behavior, and creating healthy boundaries.

I feel good that however wrapped around the axle I was in my frustration, I did not behave reactively.
I sat with my thoughts and feels and made an attempt to sort through them by writing.
I’m willing to admit I may have overreacted. But I did that in my head, and here on this blog.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not even mad about it anymore.
I’m concerned about the unfairness of YBW being taken advantage of, but trust he’s capable of handling it.
I’m concerned Thing 1 felt responsible for causing drama, but I was clear that I didn’t believe she was at fault.

I was mad because people I love were unfairly treated.
Do not fuck with my brood.
I am the mistress of all evil and I. Will. Cut. You.

But the reality is I cannot change anything about how anyone else behaved in the situation.
Only me.
I was respectful to Thing C as he was explaining the conversation with his mother. I was less respectful when YBW read the text from his ex.
I sometimes wonder if he tells me those things because he knows I’ll get fired up. And if I’m over here being mad AF, he can just breathe. He doesn’t have to get frustrated and angry with her behavior because he knows I’ll do it enough for everyone.
I don’t mean he does it purposefully, he may not even be aware that it happens.
But I know she frustrates him. I know he will sometimes feel angry about her behavior. But perhaps it’s simpler for him to not because I do.
I don’t know. I could be way off base.

I work very hard to walk my talk. And I’m committed to paying attention to what I can and cannot change, and accepting as much as possible.
So if I’m honest and unmerciful with myself, I have to admit I got more spun up than necessary.
I said more than once, I’m so tired of the drama.
YBW was over there like, only drama I’m seeing is you overreacting to this bullshit.
He’s not entirely wrong.
I didn’t start the drama, but I reacted to it.
I mean, I know why I did. I felt protective of my husband. I don’t think he gets treated fairly and I’m not afraid to say it.

I’m also struggling with being apart from him for Christmas.
Like I’m choosing Baby K over him.
Of course it’s not actually like that.
I’m stuck in my feeling place.

Can I control the situation? Perhaps not.
Can I control what I feel? Perhaps not.
But I can sure as fuck control how I behave based upon what I feel.

I said it just last week, we are not our feelings.
I am not my feelings.
I feel them. Oh, I feel the fuck out of them.
But I am not them.

I am working hard to pay attention, working hard to accept.
I realize not being able to change something might frustrate me, but doesn’t have to impact my behavior.
So I keep working.
Sometimes I’m better at it than others.
So, I practice.
They say, ‘practice makes perfect’ but what they mean is, ‘don’t come in here with your bullshit’.
And I’m coming in with my bullshit like,

Practice is life long.
I’m never going to be perfect. I’m going to do the best I possibly can.
That’s not me coming in with my bullshit. That’s me being self aware. That’s me doing the hard work of making a better me.
My me won’t be perfect. I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be the best possible me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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