No Complaints

I read something tonight that I’m sure I’ve seen before, but I’m going to do my best to put it into action. It said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Try not to let one complaint escape your lips and see how your life will change.” This really got me thinking about how often I do just that – complain. At times, I feel like I’m standing outside my body and looking at the person I’ve become. I realized that I complain a lot! I complain about traffic, the people who live around me, the ones who park illegally in the handicapped spot outside my window, my boss, not being able to afford a house, etc. Hell…I complain all the fucking time! How did I become this person? What has made me so bitter? Why can’t I just see the good things in life and let all the little things, like I mentioned above, roll off me like water on a duck’s back? This is now my challenge to myself.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work after my gallbladder surgery. I’m not nervous, but I just have no way to know how my body will react. I’m hoping I’m not ready for a nap by 10:00 am, so I guess I’ll just have to see how I’m feeling as the day progresses. I would have every reason to complain tomorrow about being tired, my drive in, the amount of work to do, and so on. I’m going to do my best to be mindful of my attitude as the day progresses. I’m curious what my triggers are…or if there are even any triggers at all. Maybe having a more positive attitude is a habit just like everything else.

The truth is, I’m at a bit of a crossroads with my life. As an executive assistant I feel like all I am is a glorified event planner. I plan conferences and meetings and lunches. I’m never asked to consult on anything unless is has to do with one of the above. I feel like any person off the street could do what I’m doing…and maybe even better than I do. I don’t want to be a beck and call girl anymore, and the only way to change my career at this point will include a master’s degree. The idea of going back to school scares the shit out of me.

I don’t want to go into debt. After all, I already had to have surgery and buy a car this year. That’s way more debt than I’ve ever wanted…especially as a single person. I’m not really sure what I want to do in my career and how to go about doing it. I just can’t do nothing anymore, so this is pretty scary for me. I still need to publish my book but can’t seem to decide on a title. I need some focus. I need to engage my internal drive. A good friend once said that growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. Looks like I’m about to get REALLY uncomfortable!

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Fighting recovery

Last Friday I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. The shithead was giving me problems, so I decided it was time to go. My sweet mom came down to help me out and take care of me as I went through the surgery and now recovery. We get along well, but after a while my patience runs thin. I’m happy to say that things were going okay so far…that is until just a little while ago.

We had a nice day for the most part. I had my follow up with the surgeon and so far, so good. We’ve been watching shows & movies on my Amazon Fire TV, which she thinks is pretty cool. We finished a movie and she felt the need to clean things up in the kitchen.

Some of the things she was putting away were the items I use for my protein shake that I was most likely going to make in the morning. I told her not to worry about putting that away, as I was gonna use it when I get up. She began arguing with me and said she was just gonna go ahead and put it up. I finally told her not to put it away, as I was just gonna have to get it back out first thing in the morning. For some reason she got her feelings hurt and now she feels I’m ungrateful for her help.

I am grateful, very grateful, for her help this week. I had no idea that this one thing would blow up like it did. She then went into a story about when her mom came to help them out back when we were kids and despite her mom folding all her clothes the wrong way, she was very grateful that she was there. She then began gathering all her things so that she could leave tomorrow.

What the actual hell?!?! All this over me asking her not to put some items away?! I love my mom – more than life itself. I am grateful for all her help. I just feel like I say the wrong thing and she gets her feelings hurt very quickly. I actually had the “my house, my rules” thing going through my head but didn’t say anything.

I figured that saying anything else at that point wouldn’t be wise, so I just turned off the TV, finished cleaning up the kitchen and straightening things up, told her I loved her, and headed to my bedroom.

I’ve thanked her many times this last week for all her help, but I feel like that’s been forgotten. I’m still trying to recover from this surgery, but I’m thinking that doing that alone might be a good thing at this point. My place isn’t that big and it’s probably a matter of cabin fever on both our parts. I’m going to do my best to keep my cool in the morning, but if she decides to head home then that’s her decision.

I’ve been thinking this week that I could sure use a sweet guy in my life to just put his arms around me and help me feel better. That idea is so distant at this point that I wonder if that will ever happen. I just really miss that and maybe I really need her to go back home so I can finally have a good cry.I’m now scheduled to go back to work on Monday and hope that I’m not completely exhausted by the time I get there in the morning. Getting back into a routine will be good, but I’m praying I don’t overdo it. I just want to feel better and not hurt. I want to be able to eat something without feeling ill. I want to be to the point that my medical bills are paid off. I know this is temporary, but damn…I need to find a way to speed up time.

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Is this what I have to look forward to?

“Is this what I have to look forward to?” This is what was going through my mind yesterday at my Weight Watchers meeting. I usually go on Sundays, but since I was on vacation last weekend I chose to attend a meeting later in the week. Missing a meeting wasn’t an option, so Thursday it was. I guess that lately I’ve been going through an awakening of sorts. I go to these meetings, week after week, and always feel like I am contributing and get some good information during them. The problem is that I hear people choosing to eat things I now know can cause all sorts of issues. They say the same things I’ve heard my mom say. They play the victim card yet they’re still drinking soda and eating crap. Sure, the new program allows for you to be able to eat anything, as there is no food or drink that is off limits. It’s all about staying within your points. That’s great as long as you track everything that goes in your mouth, but indulge and you’ll see the results on the scale.

I’ve been a member there now for over two years, so everyone knows me. I’ve gone through phases where I’ll track and follow the program to a tee, and other times, the only thing I do on plan is go to the meetings. It’s SO difficult for me to lose weight, and I HATE the idea that I’m going to have to track every bite, lick, taste, and sip (BLTS) for the rest of my life. As I was listening to the other members talk about their non-scale victories, new recipe ideas, and challenges they experience while on this journey, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is it. This is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life.

I finally took a vacation last weekend to see friends and family out of state. It was fantastic! My heart was overflowing with love and gratefulness for everyone I saw. I ate what I wanted and even splurged a little. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed! My normal diet consists of no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no soy, no alcohol, no coffee (reg or decaf), and lots of lean meats, fruits, veggies, etc. When I finally weighed in after about 1 ½ weeks (Sunday to the following Thursday), I had gained over 7 pounds!! What the actual fuck?!?! Why can I gain it in two seconds, but it takes forever to lose it?!?! Why is it a constant struggle?!?! Hell, I work out at Orangetheory Fitness three times a week, and those workouts are extremely challenging! There’s not much else I can cut out of my diet. I don’t want to live my life feeling like I’m starving all the time. I don’t want to have to track everything I consume. I’m not asking for a magic pill, but DAMN! If eating clean, exercising, and only having the occasional splurge isn’t enough to get me to a healthy weight, then fuck it!

This morning, I met with a new doctor. It was one that my sister referred me to. The practice looks at the person as a whole. They do look at blood test results, but “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean ideal or even adequate based on the big picture. I’m really excited to be working with her. It was nice to hear someone say, “You’re doing all the right things. You’ve done all the work. Now it’s time to figure out what’s going on with you.” I hate the “hurry up and wait” stage, but, 7 vials of blood later, I’m exactly there. I think most people will understand when I say that I really hope they find something wrong with me because to hear yet another doctor come back and say, “Everything looks fine,” is going to drive me batty!

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What gall!!

I’m in my 40’s and have never had any real surgery. (Knock on wood!) Sure, I’ve had my wisdom teeth taken out, and I have also gone through In Vitro Fertilization where they had to knock me out to retrieve the eggs from the follicles. I had a quick procedure called a hysteroscopy where they removed polyps and scar tissue from my uterus, but that was pretty quick as well. As of June 1st, this will all change. I am scheduled to have a WHOLE ORGAN removed from my body. Okay…so it’s my gallbladder and it’s being done laparoscopically, but still, it’s surgery.

Normally, I would think a person would be a bit nervous about having surgery, but right now, if I could do it myself, I’d cut this stupid thing out of my abdomen and be done with it! This organ is no bigger than 2×4 inches total and it is causing so many stupid problems. I guess this it has a Napoleon complex or something. I mean, how can something so small wreak so much havoc?!

I leave tomorrow morning for a fun-filled trip back to my home state. I’ll get to visit with friends and family, and I couldn’t be more excited. The thing about traveling though is that you’re out of your element. I’m away from home, from the conveniences of my things, and normally that would be just fine…maybe even downright exciting. Right now though, with the way I’m feeling, I’m praying that I can find a way to calm down this irritated internal invader so it doesn’t mess up my merriment.

Either way, my gallbladder is only going to be with me for a short while longer. It will so be evicted. The events of the month are making time fly, so I don’t want to rush the good times. I just wish that there was some way to ease the discomfort in the meantime so I could actually enjoy myself. My gallbladder has definitely outstayed it’s welcome. Time to go, you little asshole!

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My Verbal Trigger

Sometimes a song comes on that reminds you of something from your past. Other times it’s a certain scent. These both can elicit strong emotions and vivid memories. Tonight it was neither of these two that brought me to tears. Instead, it was a simple line on a TV show. During the episode, the husband had lost his loving wife of 60 years after undergoing surgery. When he had made the arrangements for her and was leaving the hospital, he realized he’d arrived in an ambulance and was going to have to take a taxi home. The doctor who was with him offered to take care of calling a cab for him, but he replied by saying that he was going to have to figure out how to do things on his own now. Just those few words spoken by him immediately caused me to be reminded of a very significant time when those exact words were not only spoken by me, but someone else. That person was my ex-husband.

I’m not sure how other couples experience the moment when they decide their marriage is over, but as for my ex-husband and I, it was very touching. We had originally decided in a bit of an abrupt manner two days after our 16th anniversary. The night that it was first decided, I had found out the reason I had been feeling so awful was because I had strep throat. My husband at the time offered to make me some soup or get me some sprite, but I told him not to bother because I was going to have to figure out how to do things on my own.

Two days later, after I went to an individual counseling session, we both agreed that, just to be sure, we should go to a couples counselor to make sure this is what we really wanted. Fifteen minutes into the third counseling session, it was obvious that it would be our last session as we were at a critical decision-making time. The next day, my husband wrenched his back so badly that he could barely walk. He’d hoped it would be better the day after, but instead he looked like an elderly person as he tried to go about his daily activities. I tried helping him but he refused to accept any help. It was breaking my heart to see him like that.

Finally the next day, he made a trip to the doctor’s office whereby he was given two prescriptions. One was for a muscle, and the other was for pain. How he drove there I will never know. He came home after picking up his prescription and went to the bedroom to get some rest. When he was moaning in pain, I asked him if his pain meds were working. He said that he didn’t get them because he was afraid they’d make him sick. I told him that he can’t go on like that and that I was going to go pick them up from the pharmacy. He argued with me about it, but I stood my ground and told him I’d be back in just a few minutes.

When I got back home with his pills, I entered the bedroom where he was trying to rest. I got him some water, took out the recommended dosage, and handed both to him. At that point he was sitting on the side of the bed facing me. He took the water and the pills and, after swallowing both, told me through tears that he couldn’t have me helping him because he was going to have to figure out how to do it himself.

We both knew that was it. It was over. This was the moment we decided to end our marriage. I gently held him in my arms as our emotions took us both over. We talked and together agreed that we were done. Looking back, it really was a beautiful moment. What surprised us both was that once we made this decision together, all of the stress we’d been feeling for so long was finally gone. That was yet another reason we knew we’d made the right decision.

Things for us ended amicably, and he is remarried with two daughters of his own. I, on the other hand, am still single but very content and happy with my life. I guess if things were going to end with my marriage, I’m happy to know that despite all our differences, it was the one thing we could agree upon together.

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The Family Downfall

When I got divorced, my ex-husband decided it would be best to keep his distance from me. I know we both needed that break to move on with our lives, so we did just that. At first, I would occasionally see him only when he and I agreed it was a good time for me to visit our dog who was living with him. Once our dog died, my contact with him all but ceased.

About five months after our divorce, he started dating a woman I met under very odd circumstances. It was about a year later that my dear friend broke the news to me that not only was my ex getting married to that woman, but they were expecting a child. After going through at least eight years of infertility treatments, this was a very hard pill to swallow. They now have two daughters, the second of which was born earlier this year.

Throughout my divorce and since then, my only hope for the man I was married to, and loved most of my life, was that he was happy. Was I a bit jealous that he was married with kids of his own? Sure. I have no problem admitting that. Again, the jealousy was overshadowed by my hope and wishes for his happiness. I felt like he was a good man and deserved that.

Since our dog passed away the year after our divorce, I’ve only seen my ex twice. The first time was at my niece’s high school graduation party, and the second was at my nephew’s wedding last October. That’s it. My niece and nephew belong to my ex’s brother. My nephew is actually his stepson, but he might as well be his son given that he’d basically raised him since he was about three. He and my niece, his half-sister, are my only niece and nephew, and I love them dearly. Just because I’m not married to their dad’s brother anymore doesn’t mean my feelings for them changed. They are now 28 and 20, so they were at least young adults when we got divorced. We don’t talk or see each other too often, as they both have their own lives, but there is no doubt in their minds that their aunt loves them.

My nephew and his wife live not far from me here in town. His wife is absolutely perfect for him and I love her like a niece. I’m thrilled to say the feelings are mutual. On Easer Sunday this year, I got a random text from my nephew. His text to me said thanks for never making his sister and him choose sides. He then went on to say that I’m his favorite aunt and always will be.

Well…that made my heart swell!! It was nice to know I meant so much to my nephew. At the same time I was thinking this, my heart sank. What could have happened to have triggered this? When I asked him that, he said that he’s decided to cut my ex’s family out of his life for a while. His mom and stepdad unfortunately see the same things, so they understand. Ugh! Now, I know how my ex’s family can be, so I guess I can imagine a few scenarios, but since we decided to meet for dinner on Thursday, he said he’d fill me in on the details then.

I met my nephew and his wife that evening, and we had a great visit. They told me about their move next month and we talked about our jobs. After catching up on all the important stuff, I finally asked him what happened with the family. He told me that my ex’s new wife basically HATES the fact that my ex-brother-in-law and his family keep in touch with me. Ummm…huh?! Again, I’ve seen this woman a total of THREE TIMES since they met back in 2013. I don’t think she even said a word to me the last time I saw her. I’m happy to strike up a pleasant conversation, but the two of them have chosen to pretend I don’t exist. Fine, whatever. Why then did I get brought into this by her? I’ve been in these people’s lives for at least 20 years now. I was married to HER HUSBAND for more than three times the amount of time they’ve been married. I was floored.

My nephew and his wife then proceeded to explain that because of our continued contact, they all get ignored. When my ex celebrated his birthday this year, they weren’t invited. Again, he didn’t invite his OWN BROTHER to his birthday party. When they went back their hometown for his best friend’s daughter’s 17th birthday party, which is where my ex-BIL lives, and is 3 ½ hours away from here, they didn’t invite them. When my ex-MIL called her oldest son to ask why they weren’t at the party, my ex-BIL asked her what party. They knew nothing about it…and they live not even 10 minutes away!! Turns out, at this party, my ex’s new wife got staggering drunk…AT A TEENAGER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!! I would have been mortified!!

As I mentioned, my ex and his wife now have two daughters. When they got pregnant with their first, my ex-MIL & FIL sold their house in their small hometown and moved into the house my ex bought here. They wanted to be closer to their grandchild since their oldest one (they don’t really consider my nephew a grandchild) was now living with her boyfriend. It turns out, my ex-FIL has become very depressed because he doesn’t like living here. My ex’s wife now dictates to my ex-MIL about taking care of the new baby. She doesn’t ask if she can help her, she just expects it. When my ex-BIL said something to my ex about it, he said, “So what? You think you’re the only one to get free child care from them?”

My jaw dropped. I was speechless!!

This was a man who I so desperately want to have a family with that I put my body through countless treatments and procedures. I endured failure after failure and disappointment time and time again. In the end, my marriage ended because he simply did not want to adopt. Now, here he is with two children of his own and he’s married to a woman who treats her MIL like unpaid help?!…and to make it worse, he hasn’t done anything to stop it.

As I mentioned before, the only thing I have ever wanted for my ex was for him to be happy. To think that not only is he not happy, but taking advantage of his family, and letting his wife do the same, absolutely broke me. Why? Why did things get to this? Why did my ex’s wife think she could use me as an excuse to be a complete asshole to her husband’s parents and his family?! I adored these people. I’ve just been struggling with this so much since he told me. My ex-MIL & FIL are so unhappy. My ex-BIL and his family have been shunned because they’ve chosen to keep in touch with me. Is she jealous of me? Does he not have a backbone to stand up to her shit? Has he turned into a bitter, unhappily married man? This is a choice they’re all making, and it seems the new wife is running the show.

This all just absolutely breaks my heart. How did it come to this?!

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Faith and Loneliness

As a single person, you tend to spend a lot of time by yourself. It’s not always easy, but you get used to it. Lately, I’ve found myself with a lot of alone time…alone being the operative word. I’m alone at home, I’m alone when I go out, but mostly, I’m alone with my thoughts. This can keep me from sleep, as it’s doing now, or it can even bring me to tears, as it did earlier tonight. I’m at the point in my life when this solitary meditation can shake me to my core, as the biggest issues I have come to the forefront of my mind. The two issues I’m struggling with now are loneliness and my lost faith. I guess when I think about it, they sort of go hand-in-hand.

I’m not sure anymore if I’m single by choice or not. Yes, I am very selective with whom I decide to spend my time, but I’m a bit tired of the online dating scene which pretty much leaves me nowhere. Part of me is fine with that, but then the loneliness creeps in, and I find myself falling asleep to a tear-stained pillow wishing I had someone to hold me. It’s especially difficult when a close friend of the family passes away and I have to attend yet another funeral alone, which unfortunately happened this week. This brings me to my other struggle.

I was raised Jewish, however I’ve felt quite lost the last few years and have all but given up on religion. At a dear friend’s funeral this week, I found myself surrounded by friends who have become family over the years. Many I’ve known since I was in elementary school. Others, now grown with kids of their own, I once babysat when they were infants. The one person I got to see this week who I haven’t seen in probably 15 years was my rabbi. I call him “my rabbi” because he was the one who officiated my Bat Mitzvah when I was 13. He was our synagogue’s head rabbi for many years. About 20 years ago, he left and moved to Boston and has been there ever since.

He flew in to do the eulogy at the memorial service, and it was the perfect combination of humor combined with faith and love. Even now, I’m in tears thinking of what my rabbi meant/means to me and how good it was to see him after all these years. The minute he saw me, he stepped away from what he was doing and gave me the biggest hug. The first thing I said to him was, “Are you a sight for sore eyes.” Truer words were never spoken.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him this week, as I’ve spent the majority of the evenings this week by myself. I feel like I need him to help set me straight when it comes to my faith. I know I can always reach out to him, as we are Facebook friends. It’s just different seeing the 3D version of a person. Being able to sit and talk with him would do me a world of good. Sadly, our visit was extremely short-lived, but there are just certain people with whom you have a connection. He has always been one of them.

Adding to my struggles, I sit alone again tonight…the first night of Passover. I could have had the opportunity to attend a Seder either here in town or back at my parents’ home, however the latter would require making the same three-hour trip I made earlier this week, and, with Easter being on Sunday, it would make for an extremely heavy traffic commute. My mom continues to hope I’ll change my mind and “be Jewish” again, so I’m trying to keep my patience with her as I know this is a struggle for her as well seeing her youngest child turn away from her family’s religion.

I honestly want nothing more than to find my faith again. I see others who follow theirs and it just seems so easy for them. It’s just not easy for me anymore. I have too many questions and don’t even know where to start. I feel lost. Combine that with feeling alone and you can see why I’m wiping away tears as I write this. Maybe this is just a phase I need to go through before I find my way back. Maybe it’s a long detour just like I would take to get around a traffic jam on a holiday weekend. Whatever it is, I desperately hope that I can finally find a path to a comforting place where I don’t feel like I’m going through this by myself.

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