Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Laptop Speaks

Yvette recently admitted her cybersexual tendencies in her recent article: "Confessions of a Cybersexual". Let me tell you what it's like for me, her laptop. She's on me all the time, day and night. I'm worn out! I'm not a young laptop anymore. My performance is not so good. I don't know what it is...maybe I have some kind of a virus... All I know is I'm really slow. And despite my hard drive and excitement at all the content on gather.com, the other day, I wasn't even able to get the site up.

To make things worse, at a recent Halloweeen Party, Yvette went as a laptop dancer. Can you imagine my embarrassment and humiliation at being toted around on display...others feeling my keys, asking for alternative keystrokes... trying to turn me on, checking my rebooty action! Some wanted to play with my Num Lock key...others were into Caps Lock. Others just took Ctrl. I can't believe the audacity! They were even talking about plugging into my USB port.

Yvette finally got tired of lugging me around and stored me up in a spare bedroom away from the party and human fingers. It was there that I spotted her. Another laptop. She was sleeping peacefully and I just stared longingly at her beauty, so vulnerable and wireless. Thankfully, she did not awaken. I wouldn't have wanted her to see me in that state...my keys worn from overuse, recent fingerprints of strangers smeared carelessless on my keboard. The shameful "laptop dances" sign was still draped rudely on my monitor.

I'm home now. Yvette still is on me at all hours of the day and night. I feel trapped. I need rest and maybe some antivirus software. All I can think of is that beautiful laptop from the party. Are you out there? Oh why didn't I get your IP address when I had the chance?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Help Thomas and His Friends!

Today I entered another writing contest on gather.com. The prize for this one is $1000 for room improvement and so far, I'm winning! My story is below! If you like it, go give me a high rating at http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976824552


My name is Thomas. Thomas the Train Bed. I started my journey in this room with a cute little toddler named Scotty. I felt so at home, surrounded by stuffed animals and my friend, Donald the Dresser, proudly holding his choo-choo lamp. Lolita. Scotty and his friends crawled through my tunnel, happily declaring me the best bed in the whole wide world. Those were the days. But as Scotty grew older, a horrible truth emerged. Scotty, fooling the world with his innocent smiles was, in fact, a slob of the worst proportions.

Oh why couldn't I have had an owner that would neatly dress me each morning, clothing me in fresh, clean sheets? I'd heard of other beds adorned in cozy flannel sheets for the winter. Even new traditional cotton would be a welcome relief. Instead, I'm left with a boy that leaves my old sheets in careless disarray, dirty and threadbare. My coverings are so disheveled that often my mattress is exposed, stained from years of abuse. Imagine the shame I feel as the stuffed animals look on in sympathetic disgust. Donald can't bear to look at me, embarrassed himself at his overstuffed drawers and dusty shelves, Lolita looks away, too, her lampshade now broken, falling, exposing her bare bulb, vulnerable to glares and ugly catcalls from Furby. In addition to the ubiquitous clothes and old toys that are left scattered, this room, my home, is filled with what can only be labeled as junk. My tormentor has left trash, old candy, puzzle pieces, and legos lodged in places that constantly itch and irritate my frame. He's fostered kittens, adorable and so stupid. Do I look like a litter box? Wait! Don't answer that. For sadly I realize, I must. The coup de grace came one night unexpectedly. All was dark and tranquil, when suddenly, I felt it! Like a sudden gush of lava from an erupting volcano, chunks of repulsive vomit were spewed everywhere. The smell was unbearable. Despite the painful treatments of cleansers and scouring pads, scars remain. Remnants of bile are still stained upon my inner sideboards.

Over the years Scott's brought home more and more riffraff. He mounts posters, artwork and broken Christmas lights, thoughtlessly torturing the walls with tacks. Not long ago, he brought home Doxy, a desk from the streets. That's right. She was out in a neighbor's yard with a sign that said "Take me". He painted her, attempting to disguise her as a piece of furniture that belonged in a room with Donald and me. I wanted to scream out, "How dare you bring in that filth!" And then I realized I, myself, have become no better than street furniture!

Now Scott is twelve. He often chooses to sleep on the living room couch rather than grace me with his presence. His callous preteen attitude hurts more than I can describe. I cry silently at night at what I have become. I was once adored and now I am an abomination, slowly dying in this train wreck of a room. I can just imagine Sir Topham Hatt, proclaiming in that arrogant, annoying English accent: "Thomas is a really useless engine."

This final humiliation, a photo on the internet accompanied by my story, I'm enduring for only one reason. Hope. Hope that Donald, Lolita, and I might some day find a better home. Hope that someone might teach Master Scott how to respectfully treat his furniture and his room. Hope that order will one day be restored to this battle zone of outdated d├ęcor and rubbish. In the name of The Velveteen Rabbit and all other toys and furniture that have lost the love they once had, vote for me.

Note: Doxy is on her own. Once a street desk, always a street desk.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Free Hugs

Another fruitful week with lots of photos that are hard to choose from. There was my daughter's 22nd birthday, the first snow, and Halloween excursions. As usual, my week has been the typical roller-coaster of emotions. I still feel sad at my most recent "off-again" status with no new relationships in sight and fear that I'll never find love again. I so miss that comforting feeling of having someone hold me. And then a friend sent me this video clip http://youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4 . It reminded me how we can get comfort from anyone and give it to anyone, even a stranger. Last night I went to the PWP Service Auction and Shiloy, a sweet PWP'er who had helped plan the event, brought in a "Free Hugs" sign. Getting those free hugs from my PWP friends as we were dancing was definitely one of the week's highlights.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fabulous Weekend

















What a fabulous weekend! I couldn't limit it to only one picture because I did so much this weekend. It started Friday night with the Worst Date Benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Andy and I both made it as finalists! We invited friends and two other of my very handsome men friends were able to make it! So, even though I didn't win the "dream date" first prize, I got an elegant night out with 3 "dates" which is enough of a "dream date" for me! Saturday, I went on a bike ride in Waterton Canyon with Brian from PWP along with a couple of his friends and his son. I was out of shape, but finally back on the bike again, and the weather and scenery were perfect! Saturday night was a party for two of my Fisher friends who were having birthdays. I love the people I know from my Fisher class and every time we get together I feel like it's a family reunion. I know they'll be there for me whenever I need them. Today, in between typical weekend chores, I was able to grab lunch with Genet and then tonight went to a West Coast Swing Lesson and dancing with JP and Brian from PWP and a couple of Brian's friends. It was so much fun. This week I'm grateful for gorgeous weekend weather, West Coast Swing Dancing, a scenic bicycle ride, and most of all...friends!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Race for the Cure



This morning Scotty and I ran the Race for the Cure 5K at the Pepsi Center. I think they said there were over 67,000 people! This is the first year we did this race and everything went amazingly well. No wait for busses or porta-pottys or registration! This race was really much more about support of victims of breast cancer rather than about running. Pink ribbons and balloons were all over the place...not to mention pink boas, pink T-shirts, pink hats, and pink costumes. I told Scotty he should have worn the pink pajamas we bought him yesterday in preparation for his Halloween Energizer Bunny costume.

I have a couple of friends who's mothers are victims of breast cancer. One of my friends wrote a few days ago that her mother learned the cancer is progressing. She'll be going through one more intensive chemotherapy round of treatments. The crowds were full of survivors and those celebrating and supporting victims of breast cancer. As I looked at the crowds, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the health my family and I are currently experiencing. We have not had to endure cancer in our family at all. I saw the strength and courage of the survivors, saw so many tributes and "in memories of" Moms, Grandmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends. And although breast cancer is more rare in men, I know they are not immune.

So today I'm grateful for the comraderie I felt as we ran through the streets. I'm grateful for the bands that filled the streets with music and the volunteers that made the event such a success. I'm grateful my incredible kid, Scotty, who got up at 6am to go run this with me, always full of smiles and energy. And I'm very grateful for health. For the families that are struggling with breast cancer, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Beautiful Fall Day

I want to start a new tradition with my blogging. It might veer away from the "single again" theme, but I want to upload a weekly photo and write about my week and what I'm grateful for.

Today the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I had a beautiful hike in Boulder with my friend, Genet. The leaves were changing colors and the sky was this beautiful blue against the Colorado mountains. It was absolutely one of the most perfect hikes I've ever been on. The air smelled fragrant and the colors were stunning.

And, of course, what made the hike especially enjoyable was Genet. She's such a classy, intelligent woman. She and I compare notes on relationships...we both are interested in "Enneagram-typing" and have had a lot of parallels with our relationships. I feel that Genet and I completely understand each other. She's always a supportive friend, a great listener, and, just an all-around beautiful person.

I was thinking that instead of feeling lonely or sad because I don't have a "romantic partner", I can enjoy each of my friends for the uniqueness and love that they bring into my life. Even though Genet is not a "romantic partner", I enjoyed this wonderfully romantic scenery with a good friend and had a fantastic day.

Sept. 28 was what would have been my brother's 45th birthday. He died in a car accident at age 35. He lived every day with energy and fun. I want to carry on his example. Life is too short not to enjoy all the beauty and people in our lives.

So...today I'm grateful for: my friend, Genet, the perfect weather, the Fall colors, the Colorado scenery, and that I've recovered from my recent cold/flu so I can enjoy them all!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Can We Be Happy Being Single?

The self-help books proclaim it is better to be happy being "single" before you are truly ready for a relationship. In my musings on this, I've come to the conclusion that there are 4 states we can be in:

1) Happy in a committed relationship (secure)
2) Unhappy in a committed relationship (trapped)
3) Unhappy single (lonely)
4) Happy single (secure)

Of course "happy" is a relative term, and most of us are somewhere between happy and unhappy regardless of what our relationship status is. Maybe one day we feel very happy in our committed relationship, then we have an argument and we quickly move to feeling unhappy. When I was married, I fluctuated between states 1 and 2 quite a bit. Now that I'm single I fluctuate between states 3 and 4 all the time. One day I might feel totally lucky that I am single with all its freedoms and the next I am feeling incredibly lonely and depressed.

The state I ultimately want to be in, though, is state 1 (happy in a committed relationship). Before I was married when I wasn't in a relationship, I was in state 4 (happily single) because I never doubted that eventually I'd fall in love and get married. And I was naive enough to think that when I got married, I'd never fall into state 2, and I certainly never thought I'd get divorced. I was very secure in my innocent, romantic, singleness.

I no longer feel that security and I wonder if it will ever be possible for me to enjoy a totally "happy single" state. I hate to give up the romantic hope of state 1, but age and experience have made me cynical.

I will most likely be single for the rest of my life and I'm trying to figure out a way to be happy and secure with that. It seems like the only way to be totally happy with it is to give up that hope of love. As long as I'm hoping, then the disappointment and loneliness of not having it keeps me in State 3. You hear all the time that when you stop looking, it will happen. But, if our motive to stop looking is to find something, then we are still looking...or at least still hoping...to find love.

I will probably continue to fluctuate between states 3 and 4 (hopefully, most of the time in state 4). I try to remember that even if I were to find that sought-after love, I'd be fluctuating between states 1 and 2. And in the long run, our real happiness comes from our relationship with ourself. My new goal: State 5: Happy with myself!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

So Many Men, So Little Time...

I have been officially out of a committed relationship for over a year now and I must say, it's been a year of growth and education on dating. I have really been "out there" doing online dating, speed dating, the bar scene and single's groups. I've read the books about finding "the one" and I've become an expert on dating. This is quite amazing considering I have about 8 nights a month when I'm free and I really don't like dating. I have gone through periods in the last year of feeling discouraged, ready to give up, and other times where I've felt excited by the freedom and fun of being single. I've been on lots of first dates, some second dates, and even had a few "relationships", though no relationship that developed into something that could be termed "committed". Many of the men I've met have become friends that I still get together with for Happy Hour or coffee to discuss our latest ups and downs with the single scene.

"Getting out there" has paid off and recently, I've met quite a few attractive men that I'd like to get to know better. But, wouldn't you know it, I'm having a problem with that, too! I'm just not cut out to "multi-date". It's so confusing. I have this annoying habit of wanting to be 100% honest, but it seems incredibly rude to mention to one guy that they are not the one and only person that I'm seeing. I also have a bad habit of disclosing way too much information, too early in a relationship. On one hand, I think that it's good to just get it all out there. On the other hand, most people don't want to know EVERYTHING so soon.

One of my problems is that I really don't like that getting-to-know-you chit-chat. I used to wish I could just skip to the familiar, fun, cozy, committed relationship stage. But, now that I've been so spoiled by the freedoms of NOT being in a committed relationship, there is a big part of me that doesn't necessarily want to get to a "committed relationship stage". I don't want to have to give up my relationships with the other guys that I casually date or friends that are a little more than friends. I keep thinking when I meet the right guy, I'll know it. But what if I'm so busy that I don't take the time to invest in the "right" guy? And what if in my quest to keep my options "open" I end up missing out on a relationship that might have developed into something serious?

I used to feel lucky if I even had one potential man to date. Now I have too many! If I don't focus on one, maybe I will end up with none. And with my schedule, I have often thought that there is only one guy I really have time to focus on. He's very cute and loves me more than anything. Yeah, he's kind of young, but he always makes me happy....so what if he's only 12?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

When The Kids Grow Up

I haven't been writing much and there's been so much that's been going though my head. In the last few weeks I've climbed my first 14'er, had a road-trip with the kids, and have had more action and potentials in the dating scene than I've had in a long time. But, I'll have to catch up with those blog entries another time. Today's entry is about my 19-year-old son, Matt.

It's impossible to describe the love you feel for your children. Just the thought of losing one of them is enough to make me get so teary-eyed that I have to remind myself that they are all perfectly healthy. If one of my children were to die, I don't know if I'd be able to go on. My love for them is so strong, and I think partly it's because they are the three people that really have always needed me and somehow that has given me purpose.

Matt no longer depends on me. What's strange is, after the divorce I inadvertantly became dependent on him. Matt was 16 years old when I got divorced. He has always been one of the most reliable, protective, smartest kids anyone could ever hope to know. He's the consumate Boy Scout, always prepared, always knowledgable about what the "right" thing to do is in any situation. When I got divorced, it was Matt that became the "handyman"...well, to an extent, he was the handyman when I was married, too. He knows how to fix things. Matt also enjoys putting on the "protective father" show, kidding me about my dates and my new single status.

Matt's Senior year was very tough and stressful. Without going into the specifics, we both were going through very rough times, going to therapy separately, and together. It was a year that was incredibly painful, and I wondered if I would lose the relationship I'd treasured with my older son. There were many things going on with him...girlfriend problems, school pressures, and other typical teen stuff. But, I think he'd also felt this pressure to "take care of me". I was in this vulnerable spot and really felt so clueless about so many things. Matt did not want to have to be the grown-up in our family and for that year, he rebelled.

We made it through the year, and he fullfilled his goal...he got accepted to UC Berkeley. Somehow, with the therapy and emotions of graduation and his excitement of living his dreams, we found a way to reconnect on a deeper level. I cried most of the summer last year. I cried because when I thought I'd finally gotten back the relationship with the son that I'd remembered, I had to physically lose him. I cried because I knew that I had become dependent on him and that that was part of why he had to leave. I cried because I felt that I was losing one more person from my family.

We all survived Matt's Freshman Year and he's been home all summer. Matt is more mellow and good-natured than ever. The stresses of Senior Year are far behind us. He tells me he loves me often. He plays with his little brother. He helps me around the house. He is thedependable, loving son that any mother would die for. And in half an hour, I need to drive him to the airport to go back to California for his Sophomore year of college.

I know I am much more prepared this year than I was last year. I can live without Matt. I am more independent and emotionally healthy. I am so proud of the man that he's become. But I will miss him so much.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Do We Ever Stop Yearning for Romantic Love?

I have so many blessings...health, 3 incredible children, a good job, so many loving friends, a family that has always been supportive. The truth is my life has never been this problem-free and I am grateful. Almost every person I know is dealing with terrible problems and grief. I have a friend who's husband just died of cancer. Many of my friends are out of work or are losing their jobs. Many of my friends suffered so much more from their divorces and are still going through terrible emotional pain.

I put things in perspective and think: I should be the happiest person in the world. I am wasting this best time of my life feeling lonely.

It seems like such a relatively little thing to be unhappy about. Someone that loses a child cannot become a mother again if they are too old to have children. As sad as it is, they accept that that part of their life is over. Do they stop yearning for it? Does that happen with romantic love too? There is a big part of me that says I should be grateful for the happy marriage I had and accept that I will not find that kind of love again. I know it's a pessimistic viewpoint, but is it better to accept it than to hope for something that won't happen?

I'm not comparing the death of a child to divorce...I cannot imagine anything worse than going through the death of a child and (unlike divorce) I'm sure it's a grief that never goes away. For those that have lost a spouse to death, perhaps the analogy is more accurate. I am just wondering if the yearning we have to be loved...in one case, by our child, and in another case, by a spouse...ever goes away? If we accept that we will most likely be alone, will our lives be happier than if we are always hoping? We have "child-bearing" years and once those are past, most of us happily accept that we will no longer have children, especially if we were lucky enough to have had children. Could it be the same with love? Once we get past a certain age, is it better to just accept that marriage is unlikely and instead, embrace singleness?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Most Embarrassing Date

I'm entering a "Surviving Your Worst Date" contest. I haven't really had many bad dates...even this one was one of my favorites, but it was pretty embarrassing. I liked it, despite the embarrassment, because we laughed a lot...

I was in love. I was a 43-year-old, newly divorced, petrified, exhilarated, infatuated, obsessive lunatic. I had fantasized for two months about my friend, Jim, a 43-year-old single Dad, who had suddenly become the center of my every thought. Why had I never noticed what a Sex God he was? I finally got the courage to hint of my interest and to my intense delight, he asked me out.

Everything was going perfectly according to plan. Before long our first overnight at a romantic inn in the mountains was planned. I was ecstatic. There was one little problem. Somehow I had to transform myself from a middle-aged-Mom to a Sex Goddess in 2 weeks. After a crash diet and Victoria's Secret shopping spree, I felt a little more prepared. Experiments with lighting revealed exactly how dark the room would need to be to show off my sexy underwear, yet not reveal those unfortunate ripples on my upper thighs. As long as my push-up bra stayed on, I might be able to maintain an illusion of cleavage. My breasts had been through three children, all of whom I lovingly breastfed, little realizing that those suckers would ruin any chances of future strip shows.

The day finally arrives and I feel prepared. I've done my homework and have rehearsed for my debut as "Sex Goddess". We hike in the beautiful, romantic, winter wonderland. We flirt and hold hands. We dress for dinner and look gorgeous. I am feeling good! He wants me, I can tell. This is straight out of a romance novel. The dinner is delicious! I don't have to worry about that crash diet anymore. Suddenly, I have an outrageous appetite. I eat and eat and eat. Everything just tastes so good. We are both amazingly witty and the conversation gets more titillating as the wine continues to flow past our lips.

We head back to the room with great anticipation. Those butterflies in my stomach seem unusually active. So active, in fact, that they feel like they have now become attacking killer moths. The unique combination of my unusual eating habits, nerves, wine, and a tight skirt cause an alarmingly loud grumble to sound from my full belly. In one sitting, I seem to have gained twice the weight I lost on my crash diet. My plans for seductiveness never included popping the buttons off my skirt. I try to remain ladylike as I discreetly squelch my belches.

As I relieve the pressure by unbuttoning my skirt, Jim takes his cue and moves in closer. The moths have now morphed into birds or lions or some kind of devil which makes noises that are getting progressively louder and more embarrassing. I panic. OH MY GOD! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, DON'T FART!

I politely excuse myself. The walls in the bathroom are way too thin. I run the faucets hoping the sound of running water will drown out any other "noises" that might emerge. The water is quiet and I am too embarrassed to risk releasing the enormous amount of gas that is apparently trapped in my body. So I sit on the toilet in a complete state of discomfort wondering if I can manage to redirect the gas towards my mouth and burp it out.

I get an idea. "I think I'll take a little bath" I sweetly say, refusing to admit the reality of my situation. The bath water is louder and I have hope of a slow underwater release that, if I'm lucky, will go unnoticed from the other side of the bathroom door. A valiant try, but I'm getting no where. I'm nauseous now, as well, and not sure which way I should use the toilet. In my efforts to be as quiet as possible, I spend what seems like an eternity in the bathroom.

When I emerge, looking anything but sexy, Jim looks at me with an amused expression and asks if I'm OK. "Not really", I say. "Maybe we should just try and get some sleep".

A few minutes later I hear another sound, only this time it's from him. Is that him snoring? Yikes! I decide instantly that I will never be able to marry him. Absence of a snoring partner is one of the few advantages of singleness that I'm not willing to give up. And, how dare he fall asleep rather than be lying awake restless and frustrated by his overwhelming desire for me.

Despite my disappointment at the foiled plans for romance, I do take advantage of his snore-filled sleep to sneak back into the bathroom. Finally, by about 4am, I'm feeling relatively normal. I tiptoe back to bed, unsuccessfully trying not to wake Jim. He asks again if I'm OK and puts his arms around me. I realize I am no Sex Goddess and he is no Sex God. And as I snuggle closer, I find I am more than satisfied just being a middle-aged-Mom in the arms of a middle-aged-Dad.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cybersexual

Blog, honey, I have something to tell you. First of all, I've discovered I'm Cybersexual. That's right. I fall in love with computer media. I spend all day with computers and we have such a good time together. Lately, I've been quite infatuated with the Parents Without Partners Forum. I've had a lot of extra time, and I've been spending a lot of it with Forum.

So, Blog babe, I guess this would mean I've been seeing someone else. The Forum is a lot more communicative than you are. I pour out my soul to you Bloggy, but you never talk back. It's starting to get serious with The Forum, and I'm thinking he might be giving me more of what I need. I know this isn't easy. You've been good to me and I have learned a lot from our time together. I hope we can still be cyberfriends.

We can still see each other, Blog, but I wanted to give an explanation for why I've been so absent lately. I hope you don't feel betrayed. We never talked about having an exlusive relationship, and I just felt like you really weren't "into me". I've read the book, and you were showing all the signs...my comment fields were always empty. We've just grown apart.

Please don't think it was your performance online. You showed me technologies that I'd never experienced before.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Soul Searching or Soul Mate Searching?

Sleep and Mood have improved immensely since my last blog entry and with no drugs! Yahoo! Maybe all the self-help stuff is sinking in. Or maybe I'm just finally "over" FB...kind of. We're still friends and I'm still attracted to him, but I have stopped feeling hurt that he is thoughtless and not "in love" with me. I think having been hit first with a husband that divorced me because he wasn't "in love" with me and then having a boyfriend that was not "in love" with me, just left me in this very vulnerable state of feeling that no one would ever be "in love" with me. And....maybe my days of being "in love" myself are over. That's sad, but life is not over. In fact, being "in love" is temporary, but "loving" is permanent and it's something you can do with everyone. I do not want to give up on romantic love, but I have come to accept (at least for today) that I may not find a "soul mate". I did do some "soul searching" and put together a plan for finding romantic love. Through the thought process, I have come to the conclusion that I can find a lot of the perks of romantic love through loving myself, my family, friends, and God. Here's my plan:

What do I want from Romantic Love?:
- Feeling desirable and desiring someone else
- Being with someone that I enjoy
- Physical Intimacy
- Emotional Intimacy
- Someone to share romantic experiences with
- Someone I can spoil with attention
- Companionship
- Comfort
- A sense of peace and emotional security
- Someone I can count on
- Someone who cares about me

Many of these things I can get by loving myself or loving others.

Plan to find romantic love:

1) Love self:

- Do things that make me happy
Goals
Read
Exercise / Eat well / Take care of myself
Enjoy beauty, life, people
Find passion / Learn something new
Journaling

- Look my best / dress well / take care with makeup, etc

- Foster spirituality. Get closer to God. Find romance within.

Contributes to fulfilling:
- Feeling desirable (by feeling good about myself)
- Emotional Intimacy (with self through journaling)
- Someone to share romantic experiences with (self)
- Someone I can spoil with attention (self)
- Comfort
- A sense of peace and emotional security



2) Love others:

- Spend quality time with family

- Foster friendships
eCards
invite people over at least once a month
have lunch with friends
Practice good listening skills

- Help those in need
Volunteer opportunities
Help friends with whatever they need

- Spend time with FB but don't have any expectations
Don't take his lack of attention personally
Be as intimate with him as what I want and feels comfortable

- Find friends that I enjoy with no worries of physical relationship
- Open up and share my personal feelings with others.
- Don't be afraid to touch...hug, hold, show I care through touch
- Make at least one new friend a month

Contributes to fulfilling:
- Someone that I enjoy being with
- Physical Intimacy
- Emotional Intimacy
- Someone to share romantic experiences with
- Someone I can spoil with attention
- Companionship
- Comfort
- A sense of peace and emotional security
- Someone I can count on
- Someone who cares about me


3) Look for opportunities to find romantic love

- Try to do at least one new social thing a month with a friend
- Look for classes to take that I enjoy
- Go Dancing
- Spend time to explore singles event opportunities

Contributes to fulfilling:
- Feeling desirable (or not)
- Companionship

Friday, March 10, 2006

Depresomnia

Insomnia and depression seem to go together. The question is, is it depression that's causing the insomnia or insomnia that's causing the depression? I think, in my case it's the insomnia that's causing the depression. However, I can't get rid of the insomnia. I have tried all the remedies, natural, homeopathic, herbal, over-the-counter, and prescription. The prescription drugs work best. Even with those, I normally wake up around 5:30 or 6:00, but that's much better that 2:00 or 3:00. And, of course, they're considered addictive, so my prescription is limited. I have been using the pills sparingly, only taking them on nights when I've gone several nights in a row with barely any sleep. I keep hoping that if I can just get my body into the habit of sleeping again, it will cooperate.

The doctor gave me a prescription for Prozac as well, saying the insomnia was most likely caused by depression. I did an experiment and decided to just take the sleeping pills without the Prozac. Sure enough, when I got more sleep I wasn't depressed at all. I was in a wonderful mood! Prozac, Schmozac...no need for that! I was dancing in the street, I was so happy!

Then, in an effort to "save the sleeping pills" I don't take them, and go right back into my no-sleep-mode. Suddenly, I'm crying at nothing, feeling lonely and sad and unjustifiably rejected. I'm experiencing the classic signs of depression and thinking "Maybe I do need the Prozac." "Aren't mood swings a sign of depression?" "Isn't it depressed people that resist the notion of being depressed?" "Yes", I convince myself, "I'm suffering from depression!" and then I get depressed about that, because I know that I have nothing to be depressed about.

I break down and take a sleeping pill, get sleep, and am happy again. Happy at feeling rested. Rested enough to exercise and to be productive and to enjoy people. And I am convinced that I am not suffering from depression. And the cycle continues.

Right now, I'm thinking I should just try the Prozac and see if that helps. Unfortunately, it takes a few weeks before it kicks in. And even when it does, it's aim is to cure my depression, not my insomnia. In fact, insomnia can be one of the side affects! I know what will cure my depression...it's not Prozac, it's sleep.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Birthday Presence

Today I'm 46. It's been a year of looking for love. Last year, I went through my usual panic...mid-40's and no husband. All year I have been searching. My moody pessimistic self would look at the past year as a failure. I didn't fall in love. I didn't have much romance. I had a lot of disappointments. I spent a lot of time pining over someone that didn't love me. I saw more wrinkles and gray hairs.

But then I remember all I did find as I was out looking for love. I made more friends last year than I probably have made in the previous 20 years and I have learned from all of them. I've read more self-help books, been on more dates, had more self-introspection, lived more life, had more freedom to be myself, than ever before. It's been a year of growth and love. I have to stop thinking of "love" as only something you get from a romantic partner, and remember it's more about what you give than what you receive. Because with each loving thing I do, I feel the happiness that comes from love, regardless of what I'm getting from other people.

Last week FB's mother died suddenly. When I heard the news my heart broke for him. His father died just a few years ago and he had still been grieving from that loss. He doesn't have many people in his life and he was very close to his mother. We went to dinner on Friday and I listened as he described the pain of watching his mother die. Death is a wakeup call for the living. Life is short. Don't waste it worrying about trivial annoyances. Don't waste it having expectations and being disappointed when things don't turn out exactly as planned. Don't waste it looking for love instead of giving love.

I had been, as usual, a little sad that my birthday would most likely come and go relatively unnoticed. People are busy. I'm not a little kid. There aren't too many presents and I'll be making my own cake. Another year older on match.com which will exclude me from searches. One more year closer to that dreaded day when I think I will no longer be desirable at all.

And then I heard about FB and his mother's death. I had my own wake up call without having to suffer through my own mother's death. It's time to stop wasting energy on negative thoughts. It's not birthday presents that are important, it's my own birthday presence. Today I am going to give my full presence and love to those people in my life with no expectations about what they are or aren't giving me. And I will undoubtedly feel more fulfilled than ever. Year 45 was spent looking for love. Year 46 will be about giving it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Moving On

I missed my goal of writing in my blog last week. Admittedly, I have been a dead beat for the past two weeks. I haven't cared about any of my goals. I haven't cared about much. I've been in a pathetic, pitiful, feeling-sorry-for-myself-for-no-good-reason mood. My insomnia was so bad I went to the doctor to get a prescription and he not only prescribed a sleeping med, but he prescribed Prozac. I was tempted, but I refuse to go onto anti-depressents when I know it's stupid to be depressed. I've been through the death of my brother, a divorce, problems with kids, parents, health, finances, and work and I refuse to go on Prozac now about something as stupid as the loss of a fantasy that I knew was never going to happen.

Yes, putting things in perspective, life is wonderful for me. I have so much. I think what has so upset me in the last two weeks wasn't necessarily that FB isn't with me...it's that he's moving on, along with so many other people in my life. Almost all my Fisher friends have "hooked up"...either with each other, or with someone outside of the Fisher group. Most of them are revelling in that happy feeling of new love. My older kids are independent now with happy lives of their own. My ex-husband, of course, happily moved on and remarried so soon after our divorce. My girlfriends, for the most part, are busy....either with kids and husbands or kids and boyfriends or just with kids! My flirt buddies are rapidly becoming depleted as they find someone that will do more than flirt with them. I have Scotty, but I know he is quickly approaching that age...the age when friends are a lot more cool to hang out with than Mom. He tells me about the things he does with his step-sister and his step-Mom, and I feel that jealous feeling again...like I've lost even him. I want all these people to be happy (well...I haven't quite yet gotten to the point where I want my ex to be happy) but, I just feel like I'm missing something. And I feel like they no longer need me. They've found the love they need from other sources. Why can't I find someone? And even if I don't, why can't I find peace and contentment with all I DO have?

I know it's stupid. My kids, my family, my friends...they all love me so much and I feel so blessed. I know that I probably have much more love in my life now than when I was married. But, there was a part that was holding out for FB to realize he loved me. He finally had said he was ready for a commitment and I had stupidly thought he meant with me. Now I think he was just trying to psyche himself to "get out there" so he could meet someone he'd fall in love with and marry. I guess in the mean time, he felt I would be good enough to hang out with. And honestly, that's exactly how I had been thinking of him. Little did I know he would be able to find someone to kiss within a day of "getting out there", not to mention when I was "out there" at the same party.

But, two weeks is two weeks too long to mope about something like this. It's a good thing this happened because now I, too, maybe can really move on. I don't want to do the "getting out there" thing again, but I will. I will do my 90-days-to-Mr.Right homework, I'll check out all the online dating sites, I'll put out my "I'm available" vibes, and before you know it, I'll be excited about someone again. And in the mean time, I've gotta make up for lost time on my February goals. Time to get moving! Moving on, that is.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cathexis

I subscribe to Webster's word of the day and the word or February 2 was cathexis: : investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea. I still am a little unsure of how to use this word, but I can definitely say I have invested more mental and emotional energy in FB than I thought possible. Maybe you'd say I have a "cathexis" when it comes to FB. I obsess about our relationship. I bore my friends to death with the analysis. I write about him in blogs. I just can't seem to get him out of my mind and out of my system.

He has been more attentive in the last two weeks than he was when we were dating. He's called me, emailed me, asked me out, flirted with me, and finally on Friday we had the "talk". I had not wanted to pressure him, but I needed to know what was going on. He told me he was getting old and he had to stop spending his free nights listening to progressive radio. He wanted love and marriage after all. I suggested maybe just feeling comfortable with being a boyfriend might be a good start and I told him I'd be available if he wanted to practice. He was cute and funny and assured me that he could be a good boyfriend. Then he invited me to come over to his house but it was 10:30pm and I didn't want to just go over for sex. If he was really going to be a boyfriend, I wanted it done right...a little wooing, a little romance. And I really wanted to be cautious. I wanted to go slow enough that I could judge whether or not this new commitment was "real" or just lonliness.

He had told me earlier in the week that he was coming to the Parents Without Partners (PWP) dance that I'd invited all my single friends to. This was very surprising to me since it is so out of character for him. I have to admit that one of the reasons I go to PWP events is to keep myself open to new relationships. I wasn't sure if the reason FB was interested in coming to the dance was because he wanted to dance with me or because he wanted to possibly meet someone new. I asked him and he had said he wasn't looking to date someone new. He just wanted to dance.

We each went separately to the dance, me with a couple of girlfriends, and him with a guy friend of his. When he first got there things were great. We danced and flirted exactly the way I would have wanted. I still mingled with other people and so did he. But as the evening wore on, he found someone that he found very interesting, apparently interesting enough to kiss. I don't know where this kiss occurred, but FB was so private when he was with me that he never kissed me in public. When we were in public, most people probably wouldn't have even realized that we had a romantic relationship. Yet, here he was, already kissing someone he had just met...and kissing her at party that I had invited him to. True, he wasn't my "date" but we had just talked about rekindling our relationship at a deeper level the night before. I have to say, I was devastated. Three glasses of wine and two margaritas did not help matters. I couldn't stop crying.

I'm angry at him and I'm angry at myself for letting myself get back in this spot. How many times do I have to be reminded that he doesn't love me? Yet, I have once again, grown so used to his companionship. I chewed him out....told him how much I was hurt by this. The pattern will be for him to withdraw. He won't email or call. I have so often kept it from him when he's hurt me because I know that when I'm hurt he stays away. I wish he could just hold me and tell me he would much rather go out with me than this new woman, but he doesn't. He just apologizes for hurting me and confirms what I already know...that he is just not that into me. And he and I both know we can't keep going through this...he hates to hurt me and I hate being hurt, but it seems to be a constant in our relationship. So the thing I feel the saddest about isn't that he found someone new...I doubt it will develop into anything serious. The thing I feel saddest about is that I know I must give up the cathexis and that means giving up the relationship.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Chemical Inreactions

Week 2 of the 90-day-plan, for those of you following along, explores much more about the type of person you're attracted to. There are lots of questions to help you figure it out.I love to explore personalities and analyze relationships and why people act as they do. I've done all those different online quizzes that explore what type you are and what type you're looking for. Often they have those on the online dating sites. I think one labelled me as a "Romantic Realist" which sounds very accurate.

Maybe one of the reasons I have such difficulty finding a perfect mate is because there are so many contradictions to my personality. I'm relatively independent, yet still quite old-fashioned. I'd really like a strong, protector that values tradition...likes to spoil me with attention, open doors, buys me flowers. But...I can be assertive and strong myself, so don't really fit in the "damsel in distress" role. I guess I want the romance of the protector, but I want to be respected as an equal partner as well. Most of the men that are interested in me are very liberal. I'm in between liberal and conservative, so I don't fit either mold. I value equality, but I love the romance of being spoiled like a princess. I love the tradition of religion and finding faith through God. But although I'd like someone that honors God and faith, I would not be comfortable with someone that was very religious. I want someone that can make me laugh...don't we all? But I prefer introverts...perhaps because the life of the party usually has a flock of followers. I value men that are family men, great fathers and husbands...but, of course, most of them are married. Some are single by circumstances out of their control, but like me, they may be so busy or focused on their kids, that a new relationship takes a back seat.

All this is very interesting. We can do these exercises all day long. Unfortunately, knowing the exact type of person we want does not make him/her any easier to find. And, of course, there is the most illusive characteristic of all: chemistry. My chemicals just are not reacting these days. I'm afraid their expiration date has past. Or perhaps the explosion from the last chemical reaction has rendered my chemicals defective.

FB is back in my life and messing with my chemicals. He's there, but not really. He shows me attention and my heart melts. Then he gets scared because he knows he can never give me what I want...love. So back to Week 1 exercise...why I'm glad my last relationship ended: Repeat a million times: he doesn't love me. Unfortunately, the more unattainable something is, the more I seem to want it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Margarita Magic

Yahoo! Another goal fulfilled! My Margarita Fiesta was quite the success. For many people this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but despite my desire to be more "laid back", I'm quite the opposite. I am what one might call "high strung". I tend to get extremely nervous about things like hostessing parties. I don't know why I feel so personally responsible for people having fun at a party I hostess...after all, it's really kinda out of my control. I worry about stupid things like how clean my house is or how old and tacky my furniture is, whether or not people will like the music or the food, whether the people will mix, whether they'll have places to sit, whether they'll find parking spots, and the list goes on and on.

When I went through the list of all my worries my mother assured me: "If they're your friends, they won't care about any of that stuff" and I ask: "But what if they're not my friends?" 'cause as it turns out, I didn't know about half the people at the party. I put out an open invitation to Parents Without Partners and many of the people that came to my party were new to the group and didn't even know me. This, of course, added to my unreasonable case of hostess jitters.

Then, of course, there was the "drunken" brawl worries. I'm all for that wonderful sense of euphoria one gets from alcohol, but a margarita party can quickly turn into a frat-boy Animal House party and I didn't feel at all prepared to handle that. I absolutely didn't want anyone to drink and drive, but I wasn't really too crazy about the potential of hosting a 50-person slumber party.

As it turns out, my friends (including those that I'd never met), made everything easy for me. They brought tons of food, made marvelous margaritas, told me I was a wonderful hostess, drank just enough to think the party was great fun, but not so much that they barfed all over my house (something I'm afraid that I was once guilty of) and if they DID have too much to drink they made sure they had a designated driver.

My Fisher Friends and my PWP friends and my friends that are neither Fisher or PWP all got along well and didn't even tease me at my insistence on name-tags and mingling with people they didn't know. So, once again, I stepped out of my comfort zone and found out that giving a big party was nothing to be scared of after all. It turned out to be great fun.

FB (that stands for Former Boyfriend) was there and he was my party hero. He's been a good friend lately. He's called me a lot since the New Year, including 4 times when I was running the marathon. Normally, he wouldn't even want to come to a party at all, let alone one that was filled with people that he didn't know. I invited him, but never expected him to come. But he came early with his blender and he was so sweet, staying quietly in the background, but seeking out and socializing with people that were by themselves. I asked him if he would stay until everyone else was gone and he agreed, albeit reluctantly, cleaning up and making sure I wasn't left alone with any "party strays". As independent as I try to be, I wanted him with me, and he didn't let me down. So between the margaritas and my gratefulness at his temporary-boyfriend-like-behavior I asked him to stay even later and be my FwB-Friend with Benefits.

Of course, I know this is not on the 90-day-plan to find Mr.Right. As much as I know that FB will be whatever acronym I want FB to stand for, he just can't be a regular BF (Boyfriend). When we were together he tried to be a good boyfriend and I think sometimes he really wants to try again, but it just isn't natural for him. I think he's just too scared of the commitment. At this point, maybe I am too. And in my quest to be more laid-back, for once maybe rather than worrying about it and overanalyzing it, I'll just enjoy the fact that I had a wonderful party and even better after party.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Meeting Mr. Right

We are 19 days into the New Year and I am doing quite nicely with my goals. For January, I have 4 big goals: Run a marathon in < 4.5 hours (check!), Clean the basement (half-check!), Write and submit a magazine article (half-check!) and Have a Margarita Party (will be checked off this weekend).

But there is one goal, I just can't quite get a handle on....falling in love. This has been a point of confusion for me since my divorce. I have gone from feeling desperate to marry again to feeling sure that I NEVER want to be married again. Clearly, I don't know what I want when it comes to remarriage. But, I do know that I'd like to be in love (but, PLEASE, let it be reciprocated!)

Now, when I have a goal, what works best for me is if someone gives me a day-by-day plan of what exactly I need to do. So, when I saw this eBook: "Meet the Right Person in 90 Days" free on match.com, I figured I had to give it a try. I would follow the step-by-step advice and in 90 days, voila!, I'll have met my dream-man.

I can give all of you readers the inside scoop on the exercises and you can follow along with me. Are you game? If so, POST A COMMENT! You don't have to post every time, but just give me a little positive reinforcement here.

Month one is all about self-awareness. Easy stuff! Especially for me...a person who has spent the past two years over-analyzing everything about my relationships and myself. There are 3 exercises for Week 1:

1) For each person you've dated list:
- How long it lasted
- Why it ended
- Should it have ended sooner or lasted longer
- One word that sums up the relationship

2) Fill out the end of the following sentences:
- My biggest strength in a relationship is.....
- My biggest weakness in a relationship is....
- I should listen to my instincts when....
- The one thing I won't compromise in a relationship is....
- I surprised myself by learning that I like....
- I surprised myself by learning that I dislike....

3) Make two lists:
- "Why I'm Glad My Last Relationship Ended"
- "What I Want From My Next Partner"

Basically, the idea is to learn from your past relationships. Since I really haven't had that many past relationships, I was able to do these exercises fairly quickly. The biggest thing I learned is that I usuallly end romantic relationships before they even begin. I'm either too picky or too scared to get involved because I think it won't last. The three serious relationships I had in my life, though, were incredible, and giving them up was very hard. In fact, I never seem to be able to give them up totally, which may be part of what's holding me back from falling in love again.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

There Comes A Time In Your Life

I'm sick with a nasty cold so rather than try to write something witty myself, I'm going to copy something that got passed to me. I don't know who the original author is, but I think it is quite inspiring:

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all you r fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ~ ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella.

And you realize in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you're not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that's okay.(They're entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche.

You begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you wouldha ve them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes-bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state ~ the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Single But Not Alone

I had to write once more about the marathon because, after all, there aren't many days when one has a day like today. I'll spare you the details of my incredible pacing accuracy, though I did come in at 4:29:34, less than 30 seconds under my 4:30 goal. My game-like mind likes to play "Time is Right"...a variation of "Price is Right" where I try and come in as close as possible to my time goal without going over. I did pretty damn good to come within 30 seconds in a marathon.

The day was indescribable. Although it was cold, it wasn't windy. And I'm from Colorado. I can live with a cold run. Easier than a humid run, right? Running through the magic of the Disney Theme Parks was...well...magical. It is Disney, after all. Rather than a gun, it was fireworks that signaled the race start and all along the way there were characters, bands, and cheering spectators, all engergizing beyond belief. Who can think about aching legs when there are fans to impress?

But my real success was my VRB (Virtual Running Buddy) program. Since none of my friends or family could come with me to Orlando, I recruited several friends and family to call me throughout the race. It was awesome! My list of VRBs included my kids, relatives, my coach, recent friends, very old friends, and many friends in between. Headset in place, I had no problem getting calls every 10-15 minutes and my VRBs did everything from sing to me, cheer for me, read me quotes and poetry and even give me a Cosmopoliton Survey on what type of women in which men are most interested. Expert that I am, I scored well. Best of all, I was able to briefly share this incredible day with people I love. I think that's what's been hardest about being single...not having someone to share life's joys with.

But today I wasn't alone. I had thousands of runners all around me, enjoying this challenge by my side. I had thousands of friendly strangers on the sidelines, shouting "Go Yvette" (thanks to my handy nametag! They even pronounced my name right, without my giving into the temptation of providing a pronunciation guide) cheering and giving me high-fives. I had Ethan's spirit, the 2-year-old son of my teammate as well as Hunter's who is in remission. I had Mickey, Minnie, and a whole crew of other Disney characters, Nan, my roommate, Ashley and Erin and countless other Team in Training staff. I had my wonderful, unique and personal cheerleaders, my crew of VRBs. I may have come to Orlando alone, but today I felt less alone than I ever felt when I was married. Maybe the key to not being alone is to let people in your life. I don't think I did enough of that when I was married. I'm learning that being single isn't about being alone. Being single may have helped me learn to be less lonely than I've ever been in my life.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Jittering

Do you get the jitters when you're cold? Is it another word for shivers? Or is it only a word to describe being nervous? Well, I'm both cold and nervous, so I'm going to proclaim that I have the double-jitters and am, in fact, here jittering in my Orlando hotel room.

It's the day before the big Marathon and I'm trying not to stress that, apparently, this is the coldest weekend they've had here in about 30 years. Today my roommate got up at the ungodly hour of 1:40am ET (11:40pm MT to our unadjusted bodies) to prepare for the half-marathon she's walking. The buses leave between 3-4am and we have been warned multiple times that we are NOT to wait, but to catch the early buses. The actual race does not begin until 6am. Nothing like waiting around for 3 hours in record cold to even START running. And although 1:40 was clearly earlier than necessary to rise, my roommate was restless and nervous as she went through her morning rituals, trying to prepare for the race for which we've been training for the last 18 weeks. I'll be doing the same thing tonight...or is it tomorrow? 1:40am doesn't quite seem late enough to qualify as "tomorrow."

Besides my lack of sleep and worries about the frigid air...oh yes, and then there are the worries about looking ridiculously dorky, and having to go #2 while running... but that's just TMI (too much information) even for a blog, I'm having the time of my life. The comraderie between the other runners...oh, I mean, ahem, "athletes", as I suck in my tummy and look very jockette-ish...is amazing. We smile at each other with nervous excitement as we strut around the hotel in our running gear.

Yesterday was the Pasta Party, where we got a heros reception from Team in Training, getting tons of recognition for our fund-raising efforts. Victims and parents of victims of leukemia and lymphoma were there to thank us. Seeing the children with their little bald heads and their beautiful smiles brought tears to our eyes. How could I be so selfish to worry about fund-raising when these kids go through so much? It was very inspirational and I thought, again, how lucky I am to have three healthy children. I remembered why I had vowed to do this every 5 years. So, nevermind that during the training I said "Never again".

I try to keep this blog on "Single Again" topics and I realize I'm diverging to running rather than dating, love, or relationships. However, I've read over and over that the key to finding love is to first love yourself. Do what makes you happy. Get in touch with who you are. I don't exactly love running. In fact, a lot of times, I don't even like it. But I love this feeling of doing something exciting and challenging and helping out a good cause. For the past 4+ months I've been getting farther and farther away from my pitiful "Nobody loves me" sob story and realizing that life is about more than having a romantic partner in your life.

They say, you'll find that romantic relationship by doing the thing you love. I haven't found any romantic prospects in the running community. But I've met lots of people and made new friends. I've gained tremendous respect for all those that donated. I've enjoyed the company of my coach and teammates. I've made friends with those that are here in Orlando with me, including my 59-year-old-roommate, Nan, out there walking in the cold right now! A lot of people have touched my heart through this experience...the other runners, the survivors, Serenity..my teammate who lost her 2-year-old in July to Leukemia, the contributors, my friends and supporters. I may not have found romance, but I have found a lot of love.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dorky Runners...Warm But Not Cool!

Here I am in Orlando, holed up in the hotel room with my laptop. It's cold! In fact, I just watched the weather channel and hear that Orlando is having a cold front with freezing temperatures expected Saturday night/Sunday morning, the night I will be up at 3am heading out to the Disney Marathon. While back in Denver, the weather channel informs me, they are looking at cozy 70 degree weather for the weekend! Unfair! I should at least be escaping Colorado cold if not enjoying Florida warmth!

This is going to present a problem with my marathon attire. I have brought my "throw-away sweats" and a trash bag...both recommended as items that would help keep me warm, but could be disposed of during the race when things warm up. And then there's the water-bottle-carrier-turned-cell-phone-carrier that will be strapped around my middle. If I'm wearing that over a trash bag, I'm sure it will rival past Halloween costumes for "most ridiculous look" award. I'm not exactly photogenic in the best of circumstances, and my "running look" is not flattering. Add to that, dorky clothes, and I can kiss that Runner's World cover shot goodbye. It also will completely ruin any notion of flirting with the cute guys along the way, trying to find a date for the Victory Party. Do I want to look cool at the risk of being cold? Well, I suppose I'll decide on Sunday morning.

Outside of my worries of warmth, I'm having the time of my life. 18 weeks of training are over...minus the 20 minute run I must go out and do as soon as I get this posted...and now all I have to do is run for 26.2 miles! In my newfound quest to be outgoing, I've met other runners with Team in Training and we are all excited and nervous. This afternoon is the Pasta Party over at Epcot and a chance to pig out, always a fun part of running.

OK, off for the last training run, in Orlando, but still with sweats.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Is Love a Choice?

I once had a long debate with my mother about whether or not someone can choose to love. I was talking about the non-romantic sort...that between friends or family. I believe that you can love anyone you decide you're going to love. You see the good in them, you believe in them, you support them, you listen to them, and you are there for them when they need you. Sure, there are a lot of people that we choose not to love, because most of us probably only give our love unconditionally to our children. For almost everyone else, we have to feel that the love is reciprocated. If it's not, then we just worry that we're becoming a pest or we're being used. We can have a range of negative emotions with unreciprocated love: anger, hurt, insecurity, embarrassment, rejection. Should we feel this way for loving someone just because they don't love us back?

So, let's move on to romantic love. Is it the same? Can you choose to love someone? I read that there are three C's to romantic love: Chemistry, Compatibility, and Commitment. The chemistry (the attraction) and compatibility (what you have in common) are probably things you can't control. But, I believe we have the power to choose to commit and that it is a major component of love. Both people have to commit or they won't find love. That commitment piece of love is what I'm talking about when I talk about loving friends and family...it's what I described in the first paragraph. But all those emotions involved when it's unreciprocated are magnified to the degree that many people don't want to take the risk.

Twenty-two years ago I was dating a man that I didn't love. I liked the attention he gave me and there were things about him I liked, but I repeatedly told him that I didn't want a serious relationship. Our courtship was very on-again, off-again. But during one of the on-again periods, I ended up pregnant. We decided to get married and it was at that point that I decided I needed to commit to this man. For the first time, I felt fully in love, but it was a choice that I mentally made. I went from a dating relationship full of turmoil to a marriage full of love because of a conscious change on my part to be committed.

I had a 19-year marriage and during that time I didn't question my love for my husband. We had our ups and downs as husbands and wives do, but he was my husband and regardless of changes with the chemistry and compatibility pieces of love, the commitment, especially because of the kids, was enough for me to feel secure in what I thought was mutual love. In the end, he lacked the commitment piece and so we're divorced...but that's another story.

What's my point? If you're dating someone that you feel you have chemistry and compatibility but there seems to be a lack of commitment, why not just "fake it 'til you make it"? Suggest to your partner that you both try giving your full commitment to one another, even if only temporarily to test it out. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the freedom of loving someone fully without that fear of rejection..with the knowledge that they were going to give it back to you?

I decided to try this little experiment When I was dating FB it was he that had that lack of commitment. I was never free to fully "love" him because I knew it would scare him and he'd feel pressure to reciprocate or worry about hurting me. Last year we went away for Valentine's weekend. I told him that I knew he didn't want to "have a serious relationship" yada, yada, yada, but I wanted a weekend full of romance and I wanted us to "act in love." For one weekend I wanted him to give up the commitment-phobia. I give him a lot of credit. He bought me roses and did all the classicly romantic things. He tried to give me what he thought I wanted. But, I guess underneath I knew that it was an act and that it would only last the weekend. FB was not really choosing to commit, but pretending at my request. I used to rationalize that he wouldn't have done that much if he didn't feel some love for me. Why wasn't it OK for me to keep loving someone just because he didn't love me "as much"?

But now, I have experienced being on the "other side." When someone offers their love and affection to me, I worry when I don't feel the same way. I don't want them to feel the same hurt and rejection that I've felt. If I were to "choose to commit" rather than naturally wanting to commit, I'd feel like I was being dishonest, leading them to believe I have deeper feelings than I really do.

On the other hand, maybe many of us are subconsciously (or even consciously) choosing NOT to commit. Maybe we want to wait until the chemistry and compatibility factors are off the charts and THEN decide to commit. If I hadn't gotten pregnant, I probably never would have gotten married and I would have missed out on love, a 19-year marriage, and my 3 children.

When it comes to romantic love, I don't know what's right...choosing to love or hoping it happens naturally. As for friends and family, I firmly believe we have the power to choose to love and should take every opportunity to do so. So on this first day of 2006 I'm going to resolve to love more often and more freely. Happy New Year! I love you, blog readers! :-)