Monthly Archives: September 2010

perfect moment monday: 2-in-1

The first perfect moment:  How do you prepare to meet someone who has already read your diary?

There’s no preparing, really, for meeting Lori, aka Lavender Luz, of Weebles Wobblog fame.  She’s lovely, as easy to talk with in either small talk or soul-baring conversations, and I wish she lived here.

We’d exchanged some emails, she knew I lived in the live-music capitol of the world, and so when she was planning a work trip here, she asked if I’d be up for getting together.  If you ever have the same opportunity take it.  It’s kind of like meeting a rock star, albeit a very un-diva-like rock star who blogs.  And likes mojitos in the middle of the afternoon. 😉

The perfect part was when we said goodbye, it felt like the beginning of our IRL friendship, rather than the end of the evening.

(And if you don’t read her blog, you really should remedy that ASAP.)

The second perfect moment:  I’ve finally been feeling ready to start connecting with more people to let more people in.  The trick is how and getting started.

I won’t bore you with a list of the things I’ve been considering.  The moment is last night I received a call from the facilitator of my divorce recovery group, asking me if I would be one of the four volunteer facilitators for the group starting Tuesday.  I talked it over with my closest friend from the class, who is also volunteering, and I decided that, yes, I am ready to do this.  Six or even three months ago I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be ready to do this now, though it was something I might want to do “in the future.”  I suppose the future is now.  It is so amazing to see visible progress in myself.

You can read about other perfect moments here.

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well, at least it’s quiet

So, the cat is out of the bag, and my housemate knows she’ll have to move out by November 1st.

Let’s back up.  I live in my friend, um, “Nanette’s” house.  Nanette works away from home for months at a time.  She’s had this housemate for quite a while, but her bedroom would sit empty for extended periods of time.  Last year, when I needed a cheap place to stay, she let me move in to her bedroom.  It’s all worked out pretty well, and I figured that when she would be back home, I would move out and find a place of my own.  Well, in January, Nanette broached the subject with me, asking me if I would like to stay in the house if she came back and had housemate move out.

I’ve been peripherally nervous since January about housemate’s response when she would find out.  Well, Nanette told her last Thursday.  She’s pissed, apparently.  At me, apparently.  I am, ladies and gentlemen, getting the silent treatment.  As in, no response when I say hello.  She’s been spending a lot of time out of the house or in her room with the door closed.

It may be a long month, but it should be a quiet one.

iclw september: 3000 years of beautiful tradition

Welcome one and all.  (Any questions about ICLW can be answered if you click the link under the red icon in the right-hand column.)

I’ve been in a blogging valley of late.  I haven’t been posting as often, and when I have, well, they’ve kind of been downers.  I actually don’t feel like I’m in a slump in life,  but that seems to be all that I blog about.

I would like to perk up the place–have more Perfect Moment Mondays, more Famous Fridays, more posting in general.  A lofty goal, I think, but a worthy one. 🙂

I will give you a few random facts about me, and then I would LERV it if you asked me something in the comments.  I will answer your questions in a future post (and possibly in an email to you—just don’t hold your breath on the email).

  • I’m a social worker.  I work for a school-based non-profit with high-need families.
  • I’ve been around the infertility block, back when I was married to Mr. X.  All of that “family building” business is on hold.
  • I have 4 nieces, one nephew, and one more on the way gender TBD (we’ll know in a couple of weeks).
  • I get to meet Lavender Luz this week.  How jealous are you?
  • I have the cutest dog in the world.  Her blog-name is Miss Famous.  Here she is in her usual position: This is her in her other usual position:
  • I am a Jew-by-choice.  I converted before marrying the infamous Mr. X.  Yes, I’m still Jewish even though we are no longer together.  For an explanation on that, I bring you the Dude and Walter (if you are, um, sensitive to “strong language” you may want to skip this clip from The Big Lebowski):

OK, your turn—whatcha wanna know?

on not growing up at Disneyland

Lily Tomlin said that forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.  This idea has been barraging me the last couple of weeks as I confront my history.

No, not Mr. X.  Not that history.  My involvement with him is the symptom, not the root cause.

I was talking to a friend (who, well, let’s just say that she would win the gold in just about any “Worst Childhood Olympics”) this past week about this, and ended up saying at one point in the conversation that I felt strange talking to her about my childhood, because compared to hers, I grew up at Disneyland.  Well, it wasn’t Disneyland, but admitting that the facade of the happy childhood isn’t real is very hard to do and more painful than one might think.

This is not the post in which I blame my parents for every uncomfortable thing in my life, but this is the post in which I admit that I bring this baggage that I’ve carried since I was very young into my present day.  This is the post in which I attempt to acknowledge that nobody is going to rescue me from my own life, from my own past.  Nobody is going to rescue me from me.

I had dinner with another friend last week.  She has recently decided to quit her job and step into the great unknown.  She admitted that she was hoping a certain thing would happen so that she could leave her job with an excuse; she was hoping to be rescued.  “Nobody’s going to rescue me,” she said.

Her statement has been bouncing around my brain ever since.  This is familiar territory for me, this waiting for the-thing-that-is-just-around-the-corner-and-will-make-everything-okay-as-soon-as-it’s-here.

So I’ve fallen into that old well-traveled way of not thinking about the pain of right now by thinking about everything else or nothing at all.  And it slipped up on me, but I can see now it’s been gaining steam ever since I started confronting the truth that as a child I didn’t get enough of what I needed, and much too much of what I didn’t.

I don’t know that it’s as much about forgiveness as acceptance that this is the way it is and relinquishing the notion that things will look different if I just squint hard enough.  There aren’t any do-overs for childhoods.

I was going to try to end this on a perky note about new years and new opportunities, but some things don’t have a perky ending.  Some things just are, and we have to figure out how we will deal with them: to fight them, to ignore them, or to accept them.  The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, or something like that.

in awe, part 2

Here we are, in the last waning hours before Yom Kippur.

It’s been a week since I’ve posted.  I thought I would be posting every day this week, but life did what it does and here I am a week later.

I’ll be in shul tonight and tomorrow.  As I mentioned before, I’m not so much for the idea of atonement.  I spent too many years wracked with guilt, too many years atoning for anything I could think of.  Tonight I am taking the opportunity to focus, to reflect, to connect.  Tonight I am not embarking on a journey of self-flagellation.  I’ve been down that road before.

The High Holidays have grown on me.  I finally got to the point where I could give myself permission to do my own thing, to use the time how I need to, and to float in and out of the words on the page and not be chained to them or to the often problematic theology of the day.

Tomorrow morning, before joining the congregation, I’ll attend a memorial service for my friend who died in the floods last week.  They found her body and we’re going to say goodbye.

I feel like I’ve got about 10 posts in me, but I’ll end it here.  I don’t have to make this the perfect post; I don’t have to say it all.  For those of you observing Yom Kippur, I hope it is a meaningful day for you, whatever you do.

remembering and hoping

A friend of mine died this week in the flooding we’ve had here in my state.  She was in my “When Your Relationship Ends” class and was one of my favorite people in the class.

I am very sad for the ending of her life, for myself, for her children, for her friends.  In this season of reflection I remember her, and hope that not only will her memory be for a blessing, but so will my own, when the time comes.

in awe

We are now in the Yamim Noraim or the Days of Awe (though some say we’ve been in them for about a month already, nobody can deny we are definitely in them now).  The ten days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur are also called Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, or the 10 days of repentance.  Now, I’m not too big on the concept of repentance (I overdosed on it several times while growing up), so I prefer another meaning that the word “teshuvah” has—returning.  The “ten days of returning” is something I can deal with without doing too many mental gymnastics or getting painful flashbacks from my childhood.

The idea of “returning” reminds me of something my therapist said to me a few weeks ago.  We were talking about ideas about God, ideas about belief and spiritual practice.  She told me that she thinks that the reason that regular spiritual practice is so important (her example was “even just sitting in church for a couple of hours a week”) is that it helps us reconnect to ourselves.  Growing up, I would have thought this bordered on heresy (after all, we’re supposed to be connecting with God!), but this makes a lot of sense to me now.  Maybe I’ll talk about this more another day.  Maybe not.  The point is that I am seeing these ten days, and especially the hours I’ll be spending in shul (synagogue) as a time to refocus, to renew, to reconnect with the deepest part of myself, the part of myself that connects with the eternal.

As a part of this, I have decided to participate in 10Q this year.

10 Days. 10 Questions.  Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection…Next year the whole process begins again. And the year after that, and the year after that.

(And you definitely don’t have to be Jewish, so check it out if you’re interested.)  I’m planning to post my answers here.  So here goes, question #1:

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

The most significant thing(s) that happened in the past year all have to do with breaking my ties to X.  In the past year we went to mediation for the divorce, the house was foreclosed, the divorce was finalized, he gave me a get (Jewish divorce), I went through the When Your Relationship Ends class, and he married ____.

Today I am so much more free than this time last year.  Last year at the holidays X was so very much an anchor holding me down, a very heavy weight on me.  Last year he was almost all I could think about.  This year I am thinking about how I can live my life to the fullest.  I am thinking about how I can let others in.  Last year the best I could do for myself was put up walls of self-protection.  This year I am thinking about how to bring them down.