Monthly Archives: March 2010

show and tell: two things

(It’s been a little while since I’ve done a show and tell.  Gettin’ back in the groove, now.)

This show and tell is brought to you by the society of two things that have nothing to do with each other.

The first thing:  So on Sunday I was walking La Famosa and I came upon something interesting floating in a puddle.  I looked around to see if it might belong to anybody, but, alas, we were all alone on that street, no other soul around.  So, I took it home, rinsed it off (it was already wet), and took this photo so you could wish that you had found one just like it:

The second thing:  This is maybe my favorite funny video of all time.  It’s been around a couple of years, so you may have seen it.  Pesach (passover) started on Monday night, so in the spirit of the season (and with a warning that there is one NSFW word), I bring you:

seder report

Well, I was pleasantly surprised.

I left at midnight, before the afikomen was found (basically the end of the seder).  We all showed up at 7 but things didn’t get started until about 8.  We started the meal portion of the seder about 10:45 or 11 (things are fuzzy to me at that point).  Before going, I had discussed with a couple of people some of my anxieties, and my expectations about how long things would last.  Well, it was really a lot of fun, and I only wish that things had moved a bit more quickly toward eating (I did eat before I went, but by 11 I was starving again).  I met some interesting people (maybe friend potential?) and was generally pleased by the evening.

One thing I noticed was that it was assumed that I was a Jew-by-birth.  I think that I go around (in Jew-y type settings anyway) believing that I’ve practically got a big sign on my forehead that says, “JEW BY CHOICE.”  Well, I guess I don’t.  I got a couple of comments/questions about “growing up learning Hebrew,” etc. (we had some good talks about language acquisition—one of my favorite topics to geek out on) and it really surprised me.  I just said, “I didn’t grow up learning Hebrew,” and I think that was just taken to mean that my family just wasn’t very observant.  I would have been happy to clarify, but the conversation went as conversations go when there’s a bunch of gregarious people in the room, and the opportunity seemed to have passed, and it didn’t seem like I needed to announce to the room, “I CONVERTED.”*  There were two women there who seem to have some friend potential, so we’ll see how that goes.

All in all, I went home really happy, though really tired, and now I’m trying to finish paperwork for the job (can’t you tell how hard I’m working?).  I have in my head that little voice saying, “You shouldn’t be working on the 1st day of Pesach…”** but I am exercising my freedom (it is zman heruteinu—the time of our freedom—after all) and am choosing to be Jewish in the way that works best for me right now, and not for my warden Mr. X.

Definitely a different beginning to Pesach than last year.

Chag Pesach sameach.  Happy Passover.

*Um, run-on sentence much?

**The first two and last two days of Pesach/Passover are considered “chag” or “holiday” and Jews more observant than myself refrain from doing a number of things, including working.

change

The first thing I have to say is that I don’t really want any advice.  The thing is, when I get unsolicited advice from people I can’t see right in front of me, people I don’t know very well (and knowing you only on the internet means I don’t know you very well), without the benefit of tone of voice, facial expression, etc., etc., I tend to take it as criticism.  I recognize that this is my issue, not the would-be advice givers’, but there it is.  I don’t want to be paralyzed by my fears of “what you might be thinking,” dear reader, so, please, unless I ask for it, please give no advice here.

OK, with that out of the way, maybe I can blog.

More and more I have noticed lately, that I have been feeling bored and lonely.

This is progress.

If I’m feeling lonely, it means that I actually want to spend time with people, and not just holed up in my room reading or watching DVDs and snuggling with the dog.  Though that’s good, too, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  I think I’ve been overcompensating for all the years that I couldn‘t do that, that’s part of it.

The other part of it?  I’m scared.

Way before I lost relationships when people were offended that I converted to Judaism, way before Mr. X and all of his confidence destroying ways, way before all of that, I was the kind of person who was fairly careful about who I let in.  I have always been cautious about who I choose to be friends with, and (quite ironically) even more cautious about who I would date.  Well, the two things I referred to at the beginning of this paragraph have only served to carve into stone my previous tendency toward caution in relationships.  Before, at least, I thought I was pretty good at judging character.  Well, we’re not so sure about that now, to put it lightly.

So now I find myself in somewhat of a bind.  I’m wanting to start hanging out, having close friends around, but, alas, I am now overly cautious, which translates into spending a lot of time alone.

Of course, I’ve talked to my therapist about this.  At the root of all of it is a fear that I will get stuck in a situation/relationship that I won’t be able to easily extricate myself.  She thinks that that’s all about my not liking to tell people “no,” not liking to set limits with people.  It’s fairly easy for me to set those limits when I don’t know you, but once I let you in, well, I don’t know.  In the past I’ve had a hard time saying, “no.”  (See: Mr. X, our entire relationship)  I hope that I’ve learned a thing or two about boundary setting, but, see, I don’t really trust myself so much in this regard.  I’m uncertain of how I would respond in an actual friendship situation, and so, I find it easier, safer really, to just opt out.  I’ll just sit over here on the sidelines and observe, thankyouverymuch.

The problem with that is, well, it’s no fun.  No fun, kind of lonely, and starting to get pretty boring, too.  Like I said before, this is progress.  A couple of months ago, hell, a couple of weeks ago I was pretty content to just play the part of the hermit.  Now, not so much.  There’s a quote, and I couldn’t find who might have said it first, but it seems pretty big in the Alcoholics Anonymous world:

Change occurs when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing.

Staying the same, i.e. avoiding life, is beginning to become more painful than my fears of changing my patterns.

I’m making progress.  Who knew?

out of my groove

My posting groove that is.  I kind of got in a blogging funk and can’t seem to get back into it.  Sunday night I had a good idea for a post, but for some reason I thought, “Oh, I’ll write it tomorrow,” and of course Monday came and all my gumption went out the door.

I’m also not doing ICLW this month, as the last few months my participation has fallen between “mediocre” and “a joke.”  I think, though, that it helps motivate me a bit, so I’ll try to get back on that next month.

Passover is next week.  I will be going to a seder—cue surprised reaction.  Surprised reaction, because, well, I’ll be voluntarily going to a religious event in an intimate setting (around the dinner table) that will last hours with mostly people I’ve never met.  When I told my friend Cherry I was going, and whose seder it was, she gave me the sage advice pertinent to seder-goers everywhere, “Eat before you go.”  “Why?” you may ask.  Well, they made a movie a while back with the seder as the theme—the title, When Do We Eat? , should tell you…seders can be long, and the people leading mine are champs of the long seder.  Hence, I’ll be having a hearty snack before I head to their house on Monday night.

At some point, I’ll write a post that takes a little more thought.  Hopefully I’ll get my blogging groove back soon.  Maybe I’ll do a question/answer post…what do you think?

sundries

♦ I had been meaning to continue the daily posting, but then a friend came to visit, and, well, I was having fun.  (This is the same friend who was here last week for a night.)

♦ The only weirdness about the visit was with her giddiness about being in a new relationship (she split up from her husband last May).  This part is totally about me and not about her in the least.  This new guy sounds great, etc., but I noticed a fair amount of skepticism/cynicism in my reactions (which I did not share with her at all).  I wonder if I will ever lose this cynicism, this feeling that the giddy in-love phase is not real, this feeling that I can’t trust those feelings.

♦ I start my divorce recovery group on April 6th.  It seemed so far away when I signed up, now it’s right around the corner.

♦ Last day of my spring break today.  Back to the grindstone tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll finally get used to daylight savings time…

meanwhile…

Well, though I was in a blogging funk, and didn’t update for over a week, and the last few posts before that were about how I was in a general funk, life did continue to swirl around me, cooking up its usual mischief.  So this is an outline of the things that I was wishing I had had the energy to blog about at the time:

◊  I had a big conflict at work last week with my boss.  It’s a bit convoluted to go into here, but the important part is that I stood up for myself (despite being SUPER scared) and walked right into the conflict and came out alive.  For someone who used to be called “The Queen of Conflict” (by one of my besties), I sure have backslid a lot in my approach to/fear of conflict.  I had made so much progress in this area, oh yeah, before Mr. X was in my life.  Like in so many other things, my self confidence for confrontation has taken quite a beating.  But I’m coming back.

◊  A really good friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen for years (she moved out of the country) is back in the States for a visit this month.  I got to see her last week briefly, and she’ll be coming back at the end of this week to spend two nights.  It really did my soul a lot of good to be around someone who gets me.  I think that her being here was the last little boost I needed to get out of the slump I was in.

◊  Saw the family for my dad’s birthday.  My older sister, who is bipolar, but has been managing her illness extremely well the last three years or so, was there.  Over dinner she talked about a reaction to a medication she was put on for a sinus infection.  I told her about how a friend of mine is on that same medication long-term and she has some of the same side effects (primarily, not being able to sleep without a sleeping pill).  I didn’t think too much about the conversation other than feeling bad for my sis.  Later, she pulled me aside and thanked me for telling her about my friend.  Apparently she was worried about herself, worried that she could be going into a manic phase (the “up” end of bipolar vs. the “down” end of depression—mania’s no picnic).  It was so amazing, amazing for her to talk to me about this. (She used to NEVER discuss her illness with anyone in the family.  Ever.)  A few years ago I had given up hope that she would ever be “okay” for any significant length of time, and here she is talking about her illness, being aware of her symptoms, taking care of herself.  I almost made this my perfect moment for the week, but the other post just kind of wrote itself first.  I wrote about my sis a while back here.

◊  I’ve had really conflicting feelings lately about Mr. X and “Dolores,” who are living together now.  When I imagine them together, part of me is so relieved to not be with him, to not be in the middle of all that crazy-making.  Part of me, however, feels incredibly rejected, having been “replaced” so quickly and I can’t help but compare myself to her, and feel like a failure.  Not logical, I know, but that’s the way feelings go sometimes, isn’t it?

◊  I am currently in the middle of my spring break.  With my job, I get the same holidays that the teachers in the local school district get (except for summer break, boo), so I am off this week, and thoroughly enjoying it.  The only downside is that I probably won’t adjust to Daylight Savings Time until next week, when I actually have to get up in the morning at a certain time, and not just when Miss Famous decides her bladder can’t wait any longer.

perfect moment monday: this time of year

Just about one year ago today, I was reading the book that removed the last bit of blindfold from my eyes.  I started to understand why my marriage, my entire relationship with this man that I loved with all my heart was so. damn. hard.  Once I realized, once I knew that we didn’t just have “problems,” but rather that our whole relationship was built on the quicksand of emotional abuse, nothing was the same.  Knowing brought clarity, but I can’t tell you that I didn’t wish then that I could turn back the clock, un-read that book, un-ring that bell.

Well, unless it’s your first time here, you know that there was no way back for me, and that it became obvious that I had to leave, for my own sanity, my own safety.  And after I left, he confirmed, over and over, that I had made the right decision.

One year ago I didn’t know all of that.  One year ago I didn’t even know that I would leave.  I just finally had a name for the mind-game that was my marriage.

One year ago was the end of my delusion, but it was the beginning of the most difficult changes I’ve ever had to make.

I’m coming up on a lot of important dates. I’ve been watching their place on the calendar, the sharp point on the compass that pulls me back around into a full circle.  Soon will come the date that I decided to leave, then the date that I last saw him before his out of town trip that would give me the cover to pack and leave (coincidentally, this was also the date that he stole my debit card out of my purse), the weekend I had to sleep at the Dynamic Duo’s because I couldn’t bear to be in my house, even without him in it, and finally, the day that my mom arrived after a two day drive and the three of us (my mom, Miss Famous, and I) left in our rear-view mirrors the city that held the last place I would call home with X.

There was a vast amount of change in a very short period of time, and now, finally, the things outside of me have calmed down enough, for long enough, for me to really address the chaos within.

I just went through a valley in this journey to healing.  I don’t expect it will be the last one, but hopefully, with each one that comes, I will gain a bit more confidence that I will get through the pain, that feeling it will not kill me, and that there is light on the other side, that there is another side.

Almost a year ago (11 months and two weeks, more or less), when I drove across the border into my home state again, almost immediately, I started noticing the bluebonnets.  Kind of corny, I know, but I really felt like they were welcoming me back, this symbol of springtime that I grew up welcoming each year.

Last week, I noticed some familiar blue blooms on the route that Miss Famous and I walk every morning.  Welcome back, springtime.

You can celebrate some more perfect moments over at Lavender Luz’s.