2022-01-10 Another Year in the Rearview

And what a year it was! Am I right??!! 

Sometimes when I’m on vacation and I have extra time, I elect to write about how it’s going. If I have a lot of extra time, there are pictures. That’s lovely to revisit later, but who has that kind of time? 

I’m usually more about the future than the past and once a vacation or event is over, if I haven’t written about it, it fades into the abyss of collective human existence. 

It used to bother me if something noteworthy went undocumented, like a road trip, barcamp experience, or all those years from 1994 to 2008. Poof.. gone! Oh the regret. 

In more recent times, however, I’ve gotten better at letting it go. I’ve been coaching myself to not get so bent about missing what I cherish as a perfect reason to write. The lack of time helps.. if I don’t have it, there’s little I can do about it anyhow and being upset doesn’t help anything. 

Now that that’s been established, I have to flip the script because when it comes to talking about a whole year, I feel a little different.  Yes… we’re talking 2021 now. I need.. NEED to reflect a little bit so that I can turn my full and complete attention to the year ahead. 

About a week ago I went all numbers nerd on y’all and I believe that had a healthy recap of my stats for the year. Step count average, sleep duration, creative writing submission counts, and blog stats.

https://theorganicsugarcookie.com/2021/12/22/2021-12-22-its-a-numbers-nerding-kind-of-day/

But not everything can be translated into numbers.

For example, in match my mom went through a hell of an ordeal and the result was a diagnosis of stage 3c ovarian cancer, which is pretty grim if you google the statistics. She’s now had two major surgeries and undergone 6 months of chemo. The short story now is that she’s been declared cancer free. For now. 

The visitor restrictions due to covid meant only one designated visitor was allowed. That would be yours truly. Daughter number 1. It was a rough time for her for sure, and I do not mean to demean that at all when I say it was pretty terrible for me too. Like a full time job managing a situation with zero in return. When I say zero, I’m being serious. 

Cold, yes, but frightfully serious. I suppose that’s because I’ve never had a great relationship with my mom. It’s only proximity and availability that I was put on good daughter duty instead of my 3 other siblings; two in the Denver area, and one local but already has a full time job. 

I’m the end we all did our part. Mine was just bigger. 

My mom is already chomping at the bit to have more surgery to reverse the ostomy. It will take two more procedures. She’s schedule this week if she could, but the rise in Covid again has put the kibosh on anything considered elective. I’m secretly grateful for that as I’m personally not ready for that circus again. I digress. 

This year I also navigated the publishing process for my first book. So quaint and optimistic I say “first” as if I really think there will be another. But there might! 

Anyway, I don’t believe I’ve learned anything new about myself through the process other than I really can get over my angst about social media and post modestly for the sake of self promotion. 

The process has been mostly hurry up and wait. I got the requested materials to the publisher in late summer/early fall which included cover design, pictures, bios, and blurbs they could use to promote the book and put on the back cover. The rest of it has just been waiting. 

Waiting for it to go up on their site, mostly so I could tell people about it. And now the waiting game during this pre-sale period includes me randomly posting about it and emailing folks. I get an email every couple of weeks on how it’s doing; how many copies have been sold. Last count was the magic 55. 

See how hard it is to find the words to recap a year without going down all the rabbit holes along the way. I’m sure my year had more about it than my moms cancer and my book. 

I did have seventeen poems published in 2021. That’s something! 

I traveled to Beaver Bend State Park in Oklahoma, Arizona and the Grand Canyon, Dubuque Iowa, and Austin this year. 

My daughter turned 19 and is dominating the school scene at UNL. She’s also navigating her way through the early stages of her first relationship. 

My son turned 17 and is a senior in high school. I was successful getting him to take drivers ed this past summer so now he’s driving. That’s a big win. He’s also getting closer to making some decisions about his future which is great. He’ll have more of a plan than I ever did when I was a senior. In my book, that’s a win too. 

Jim and I had our 1st anniversary as a married couple. We celebrated by going out to dinner for the first time in a year. That was last February, so the next me is coming up quick. 

I’m struggling to think of anything else noteworthy and I think that means it’s time to wrap. 

Perhaps if I think of something else I’ll return to update this post so it’s all in one place. Hey… I can do that. 🙃

Cheers to Endings and Beginnings,

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-05 Decisions Can Be Difficult but Sometimes the Path is Clear

I fielded an email yesterday that I initiated with the counselors at my son’s school. I had asked about the possibility of him dropping Algebra 3 for the second semester. He’s a senior and has one semester left before graduation. 

Their response asked if we’d considered the consequences. He’d no longer be eligible for most 4 year university programs without 4 full years of math. Yes. We considered that. 

We’ve been considering that for about two years. We considered it when he failed Spanish. We considered it when he dropped out of German half way through the year to avoid another F on his GPA. We considered it every time we begged him to put in more effort and he got exhausted from us asking and we got exhausted from him refusing. 

My son doesn’t want to be a failure and it weighs on him that he’s quitting. But he doesn’t need algebra 3 to be a healthy, well-adjusted, successful human being. And when I say successful what I mean is by his own definition of success. (As long as that extends beyond his current “eat.. sleep.. game.. repeat” lifestyle.😉)

Hell, I had 4 years of math in high school including the tough-as-nails AP calculus class. I know for a fact it won’t help him on his path any longer. The last semester was, at a stretch, only good for raising his ACT by a few points. Even THAT probably doesn’t matter. 

If he wants to follow in my footsteps and go into software development, math with the left brain logical thinking required and he’s got that shit down like a wizard. He’s got an analytical brain and is sharp as a whip. Yes, he struggles with the written word but he’s been blowing reading test scores out of the water since he was in 3rd grade. His vocab is bomb. He’s a strategic thinker and can argue his way out of most things in a smooth way you don’t even know what hit you.

I replied back to the email politely and said I would speak to him one more time to be sure. I also added that his decision at this point is to pursue a focused two year program or other boot camp in the Info Tech space (hey, just like mom). Those programs are better at teaching application whereas the 4 year schools are more about teaching theory AND making a person well-rounded by having them tackle more core curriculum. In my opinion he doesn’t need that and what he does need he can learn and hone during his time in daily life and on a job.

He admitted to being a little disappointed but also that a weight had been lifted. I told him having that mixed emotion was human. And I told him that I love him. 

Today his winter break is over so that final semester has officially started. I drove him to school because his car is sitting in his dad’s driveway and won’t start. The Universe only knows when that will be fixed.

It was kinda nice to play mom-taxi again, an easy ride with a little conversation but mostly quiet contemplation. He’s a great kid and I have a feeling that no matter where his path leads, he’s gonna go on and do some pretty incredible things. 

Love you C!

~Mom

2021-12-29 In What Universe is it OK…

… that the answer to the question “Do you like pizza?” is different than the answer to the question “Do you eat pizza?”?!

The answer to the question is that in no Universe is it OK (unless you have some health reason not to). I am surrounded by people who can’t eat things. Gluten intolerance, IBS, lactose intolerance, shellfish allergy, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, peanut allergy, and the beat goes on and on and on. What has happened to human beings?

Do you know what is arguably worse than that? I am one of the only people I know my age or older who can still eat anything I want but I don’t. We’ll I sort of do, but I really don’t.

Hold up. What?! 

I like ice cream. Scratch that… I LOVE ice cream. But I don’t eat ice cream because it makes you fat. And by you, I mean me. I love cookies, and candy, and chocolate, and pie, and Lucky Charms, and THAT beat goes on and on and on.

I’ve got a real sweet tooth and always have. When I was a kid I used to spend every dime of my dime-a-chore allowance on candy from the corner store on Harrison Avenue. Empty pockets and a satisfied tongue were just a short bike ride away. I also got in tons of trouble stuffing the empty wrappers under the cushions of our velvet blue and gold flower couch. But now every time I think about eating something sweet I have this self-loathing argument in my head about it.

Every, damn, time! But why? 

Because I’m damaged, that’s why. You don’t get to be my age without some sort of damage. Life is like that and it’s frightfully unavoidable. 

My damage was an eating disorder I developed at the uncanny age of 34. Might have started slightly earlier than that, but it was full-blown by the time I was in the midst of my divorce and trying desperately to control one of the few things in life that I could control–my weight. 

I became so obsessed with being in control that I began to take extreme measures to push my body to see how low I could go. And because my soon-to-be ex-husband had conditioned me to think that paper-clip thin was sexy, I actually thought I looked good. To be fair, people around me also supported this notion by telling me that I looked great so part of my distorted self-image came from society as a whole lifting up a slender physique as the ideal. What a load of garbage. 

I think by now everyone can guess what “extreme measures” means and that’s not really my focus now anyhow. Right now I’m mostly concerned about the mental scars I still suffer from because of what I went through. 

Once I was on the other side of the problem, which is to say, once I felt like I had overcome my obsession and was really back in control, I kept that shit inside like a dirty secret no one could know. For a long time. I felt as if I was over the worst of it but would carry those experiences with me for the rest of my life. I guess one could say, never really cured. Which is how it went. Always a little nagging magpie in the back of my brain pecking away about fat and carbs and quantity and calories and numbers on a scale. There were no more extreme measures, but there sure was (is) one hell of a body-image issue.

That, however, was small potatoes compared to other things I had going on in my life. I was a single mother of two, a full-time working woman, and a homeowner with a desire to have more of a life than just those three sides. I didn’t have time to worry about the numbers but I didn’t really need to either. 

I ate right, exercised enough, and had a pretty good metabolism. When my clothes got a little tight, I just cranked up the exercise and paid a little more attention to what I was putting in my mouth. It balanced out naturally. But it doesn’t anymore, which IS the focus now. This struggle I find myself living with day in and day out. 

In the last year, I’ve gained weight. I’m not getting any younger and my metabolism isn’t getting any faster so it has become more and more difficult to lose a few pounds. My sizes have all gone up. The clothes, the bra circumference, and yes, even my underwear drawer is in serious need of an upgrade. Everything I own is uncomfortable and I have started getting mad about it. Really mad. 

I created a “Goodwill” pile and every time something doesn’t fit, I toss it on the pile. I’m getting thicker and my wardrobe is getting considerably thinner. I hate it. 

I don’t want to give up. I want to fight harder but I also don’t want to deny myself all the food that I love. Including pizza and cheeseburgers and fried fish tacos and yes, ALL the sugar too. This daily struggle has become too much an obsession. 

I wake up thinking about it. I constantly argue with myself about whether I should eat breakfast or not, if I should have coffee with cream and sugar or try to give it up, how much I eat for lunch and if it should be simple and healthy or 

Something I want because I like the way it tastes. And the best goes on and on and on like that until the last decision of the day is upon me. Do I allow myself to have an evening snack.

I use twisted logic to convince myself of doing what I really want in the moment and then get angry thinking about how I need to go shopping for new clothes. It’s ridiculous. 

My husband says I’m sexy and beautiful and at the perfect weight right now. He wants to “deprogram” my lines of thinking and help me to see what he sees. He tells me to treat myself to some new clothes and says that I deserve to spend money on myself. 

It’s not about the money. It’s about the shame of not being able to fix something I’ve always had control over. But have I always had control? 

That’s how it started, yes. As I said, I could control my weight but in the thick of bulimia and anorexia, it’s definitely a situation that was completely out of control. 

The question I have to ask myself is am I out of control now? What can I really do to help myself and fix this? 

Therapy maybe. Set a modest goal yet allow myself to indulge and enjoy. Be reasonable. Take my husband’s advice and go shopping. Be kind to myself and try to make peace with these 10 extra pounds. Take the pile of clothes that don’t fit to the Goodwill. All I can say is that I’ll try. Keep trying actually as a lot of this is already a part of the daily conversations in my head. 

Actions speak louder than words though so I think it’s time to end the conversations and make up my damn mind so I can stop wasting so much time arguing with myself. If I like pizza, which I do, then I should just eat the damn pizza.

With that my time is up. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-04 Signs of Change

Lately it is so strange that each day feels nothing like the day before. One would think that at my age, shit would start being more predictable. Predictable like.. boring and comfortable. But ohhhhh those mood swings and ahhhhh that unpredictability. One night I get a great night’s sleep and the next night sucks ass. One day I feel hot and bothered and my bod is revved and ready and the next day I’m bundled in sweatshirts and thick socks saying “don’t you dare touch me.”

I think it might be perimenopause. I can’t think of a worse confession at this Universally unpleasant hour of the night. 

I can’t possibly be going through THAT because I’m only 34 and have a long road of ovulation cycles ahead of me. In my head my mom is only 40 or maybe 42 and just gave birth to my little sister who happens to have turned 31 this past year. See how the math just doesn’t add up?!

A few months back my husband and I had some new friends over to the house and I might have been talking about not being able to stay asleep in the middle of the night. It’s been a chronic problem for a while. I talked about the bad habit of getting up and out of bed and working on my laptop when sleep was elusive. I also mentioned Jim’s heavy breathing. 

The therapist in the group inched forward and gave me some suggestions and also alluded to the fact that hormones play an important role and that I might be experiencing some of what comes during this transition. She might have used the word perimenopause. I cringe at both those words actually.

I wholeheartedly agree that hormones are like the body’s balance beam. When things are off, it makes it terribly difficult to not fall. I’ve believed that for as long as I can remember or at least as long as my daughter is old. Having her was the result of my figuring that balancing act out. When I was finally successful at conceiving, it wasn’t with the help of hormones supplements. It was a matter of getting my blood sugar in check. Who knew a medicine for diabetics could cure infertility. Infertility isn’t the right word. I was just my body being off-kilter. 

I told my new friend thank you for the advice and said I would try her suggestions. I admit that I have pretty much failed at that so far. Like right now, sitting in a recliner with my laptop open instead of a book at 1:45am. That’s my lesser confession tonight.

About 4 months ago I had a “once in a blue moon” meetup of dinner and drinks with a few of my high school girlfriends. It was a lovely evening except for the conversation that kept creeping in about getting old and experiencing signs of “the change.” The change??!! What are we 60? I don’t know anything about the change and I’m good at rolling with most changes but at that moment I pledged to resist the idea for as long as I’m able. After all, I’m only 34 and that shit is miles away from where I’m standing. 

I really know nothing about menopause or what age it typically happens because frankly I don’t spend time researching things I’m not ready to deal with. So far, I’m OK rolling with the idea that in this case, ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, one of the ladies at dinner said that her man used to get upset because their temperatures were so opposite and they couldn’t share the same room or bed without one of them being uncomfortable. He was always hot and she was always freezing. She elaborated on how he said nowadays sleeping with her is like sleeping next to an oven. For them, the change has been good.

I’ve historically been in the “freezing” category too and have been notorious for controlling the temperature of any room to the point where other people feel uncomfortable. It has been an issue with past relationships for me too so I totally get where she was coming from. 

In fact, when I worked at the hospital I had a thermostat and wall unit in my office and people joked that I kept it 90 degrees just so nobody would visit me. That’s half true actually, but that is the way I liked it. People would come in and sit down to chat about something or nothing and before long they began to squirm and then just get up and leave. It was good because then I could turn my attention back to getting work done. 

Lately I’ve been noticing that my temp is going up. I’m opting for less clothing and turning the thermostats down in the house. If I hadn’t already had that premenopausal seed planted, I would have dismissed it as nothing. It’s not nothing. But realizing it, admitting it, and accepting it are three entirely different stages of grief. Grief over what exactly though? Would it be so bad not having a monthly cycle anymore?

Anyhow, the day before yesterday was really great and there didn’t seem to be anything magical about it but then yesterday something shifted and I was back in a funk. Nothing happened to cause that shift as far as I can tell, so it has to be all in my body and my mind. Maybe if I am able to go back to sleep now, and wake up, it will have shifted back. A girl can dream right? 

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-10-09 Where to Begin… ✍🏻

I forget what day it is. I wonder why I’m still here. I fail to find what I’m looking for. 

Some days I get upset thinking about how many years I wasted working for the man, living that picket fence life, and not wanting anything more than I had. 

Other days I second guess that disgruntled feeling. Didn’t I just have it all? Happy and oblivious of having more purpose. Way back when, the point of living was just to live. Was that better than now and I’ve gotten confused in my pursuit of more?

Maybe there was a reason I didn’t write for 15 years. Maybe it was because I didn’t need it. And then one day I snapped. Or rather was snapped. Bent and broken and found myself lost and searching for answers. 

How many times have I thought about that moment—those moments? Too many. The story written and rewritten in essay after essay, poem after poem, bit by bit until I was whole again. 

This is where I find myself today. Whole again but with an insatiable desire to do more and be more. Like there’s a beast deep inside that was stirred from slumber all those years ago and will not rest. It eats me from the inside out and will not let me rest. Why can’t I just rest?

Why can’t I just enjoy the happy medium of a well balanced life with both purpose and obliviousness? 

Good gravy I think I’m asking the Universe for a vacation from my newly found charmed life. A break from being the “Unsuspecting Cinderella.” A kitchen pass for a weekend away by my damn self. 

You see how this is such a puzzle? I don’t even know how to begin. Beginning used to be my jam. Pick up a pen and start anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Everything is a trigger. Every town a new opportunity to create something brilliant. 

I still have a lot to say. 

I blew a gasket this week…

I had a personal communication from an editor of a reputable magazine giving me edit suggestions on a poem I submitted…

I kicked myself for my inability to self promote and also for my hatred of social media…

My “good daughter” duties got the best of me and usurped every other damn objective I had…

I picked a fight…

I daydreamed about going postal in the Verizon store on Maple street…

I wondered if my newly prescribed pharmaceuticals were the reason for the rise in my temperature and temper…

I didn’t write one damn thing (save this)…

And right on que, the song “It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)” pops into my ear. / Thanks Universe!

I really have nothing more to offer. What a waste. 

Peace, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-25 Happy FIVE-OHHH Bro! 🎉🚀🌕

Today I’m walking to try and rid myself of a headache that was probably induced by too much to drink at dinner last night. Some cocktail with a clever name I can’t recall. I suppose if it was really clever I’d remember it. 🤷‍♀️

After two of those I switched to amaretto sours which have considerably less alcohol I’m sure. Still, the headache is definitely from that because after dinner we went straight home and I didn’t have another drop. It doesn’t take much these days. Probably because I’m getting older. 

Older. 🤔

My older brother turns 50 today and it’s a numerical impossibility because there’s only two years between us but I just turned 34 last month. 

50. Five-ohhh. Half a century. That’s a long time to be hanging about. 

He’s as fit as anyone I know. Lives in Colorado near the mountains and hikes all the time. He’s got a wife and two smarty-pants kids in college. He’s got a solid gig as a rocket scientist. It’s a tired family joke… his career in working on “stuff” for NASA, etc. The Universe forbid asking him about it unless you want a long conversation that’s mostly over your head. 

I kid. I understand most of what he talks about, but he likes to talk about it so the “long” part of that description is accurate. But like I wrote, he lives in Colorado so I don’t get to chat with him very often. 

Once, when I went to Boulder I got to have a tour inside one of the Ball Aerospace buildings where they actually assemble some of the crafts they launch into space. That was beyond cool.. walking the halls and peeking inside clean rooms and windows where 3D printers were printing who knows what for who knows why. I even got to go into a huge room that had a rocket that was being assembled. It was neat-O. 

I digress. 

He’ll be coming back “home” in a few weeks to help out with our mom for a few days. I’m sure by then she will be out of the hospital and it will be a welcome break. He only has been one long four day weekend to spare, so that’s kind of a bummer. But I’ll take all I can get. 

My mom is doing fine. She’s still in ICU and yesterday she was really grumpy and nothing seemed to help. She feels trapped and uncomfortable and I get that. 

She complains about the staff as soon as they leave the room and is not satisfied when I say “they are just doing their jobs.” So I’ve stopped saying it. 

Mostly I just listen and roll my eyes when she’s not looking. Does that make me a horrible person? Rolling my eyes because I’m irritated by her? 

🤷‍♀️

When I’m done walking I’m going to head to the hospital to check on her. Soon… my time is almost up here. 

I still have a headache. I probably need to eat a piece of peanut butter toast or something. What I really want is a coffee. Maybe I will have that too. Maybe. 

Until next time, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-12 Twenty Years

I didn’t write anything yesterday. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about nine eleven either except little discussions and rememberances that popped up in the course of conversations with Jim. Where he was. Where I was. How he had a one year old son and I had my first child on the way.

He told me a story about where president george bush was at the time and how the news was broken to him. Then shared the still motion photo he found on the internet—the one that was captured of the president as one of his aids was speaking to him at a visit to an elementary school.

I still can’t get my head around it completely. It really happened and human beings really do conspire to do horrible things to each other.

We visited ground zero on our trip to New York in 2019 but that did not come up in conversation yesterday. Still.. all those artifacts we saw are burned in my mind and I can’t help but become emotional if I think about it too long. Seeing all that made it a whole lot more real. Like sometimes you know something is real but your mind kind of denies it anyhow. I think that’s how it is for me. 

Twenty years. 

Where are we now? What’s become of the situation and people involved? How are people coping and healing? 

The truth is, that not a lot has changed and there probably is no real coping and healing for those most affected. They just have to keep living life like the rest of us and they either do it, or they don’t. 

Don’t get me started on the Taliban or Afghanistan. What a mess! 

One thing I find necessary yet frustrating is that the day, “9-11,” has developed into a day made for rememberance. The memorials and events designed to do what? Not forget? Yet it comes and goes and then that’s it for another year. It feels too fleeting. Tweet your tweet. Write your blog post. Google the news. Maybe share a memory. Then the sun goes down and comes up again and we all go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Again.. what else is there? What more should I expect? What more can I do? The answer is not a lot. And the other answer is that I just have to keep doing the best with what I’ve been given. Because if there’s anything that 9-11 reminds me of, it’s that time is a gift and we should not waste it. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-08-11 Happy Birthday Erika 🎂

Days like today I think about all the memories I’ve made with friends who are not in my life anymore. A baseball game I went to for a new friend’s birthday when I was 12 where we laughed so hard (at what I don’t recall) we cried. Years of pre-Christmas baking sessions and ornament exchanges. And many celebratory birthdays, engagements, weddings, and baby showers. Where does all that time go? 

Then the moment passes and I’m back to thinking about today. My mom’s last (hopefully) of 6 chemotherapy treatments before her next big surgery. Taking my son to a new doctor for what will likely be a lifetime of visits to check his free T-4. And returning home to not one, but two broken air conditioners, a house that’s hot as Hell, and endless laundry and dishes. Good gravy! 

I’ve been pretty uninspired lately and there have been a lot of rejections coming my way. This time next week my daughter will be back in the dorms in Lincoln and my son will also be back in school. You know when you hang your hat on the stay at home mom thing and the kids are either gone or totally don’t need you anymore, there is a hole that’s left and needs to be filled with something else. 

My problem lately is that the typical set list of activities I would gravitate towards to fill that hole feels very “meh” to me right now. I don’t feel like writing (even this blog) or reading or gardening and my mood has been downright rotten. What’s a girl to do? 

So strange to, just a few short months ago, feel great about the future and be high on life and now this? I just don’t understand it. 

Yesterday was a challenge and I ended up in tears over a few words with Jim. Not seeing eye to eye on something is not like us. I am looking forward to our next vacation together but is that what life is going to be like now? Me twiddling away and feeling very not needed and unimportant? Why can’t I just do the things I usually love and be happy? 

How many episodes of Masterchef do I have to watch before I get sick of wasting my time on it? 

All the time that’s gone and all the time I’m not sure what to do with. That’s life. 

With peace end love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-07-22 California Adventure Day 0: No Love for San Fran (But Big Love for My Z) ❤️

San Francisco and I have a storied past. In all honesty, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t visit again. I’m not really a fan. I think the city is overrated and don’t quite understand the appeal. Am I not cultured enough or hip enough to “get it?” Perhaps. But arriving yesterday I was reminded not only of how uninspired I am by this 7 by 7 town, but also all the “meh-mories.”

First trip in my early 20’s with my mom and sister with a primary goal of visiting my brother who lived in Santa Clara at the time. I don’t remember much except the few touristy things we did which included a ferry ride on the bay and visiting the Pier. That trip was overshadowed by the one and only time I had the gumption to have words with my sister in law who (to this day) is a unique piece of work. 

I visited again in my early 30’s with a girlfriend and her friend. My first real “girls trip.” Of course that was near the end of my marriage and I was a little bit of a wreck at times. I remember drinking too many Bloody Mary’s  on the layover in Vegas on the way here and ending up with the most splitting migraine on the afternoon of my first day here. It took me out for a day, but I bounced back enough to do the touristy things, like riding a cable car and visiting the Pier. I also remember we went to a club one night that had salsa dancing and I had a great time. The man I danced with was a strong and brilliant lead and I remember thinking THAT was what I wanted from life (or rather who). 

Fast forward about 4 years to 2012. By then I had been divorced about 2 years and was newly dating Matt. We had our big two week California adventure which began and ended in San Fran. We flew in, took the Starlight Coast train to Seattle and then drove back down on highway 101. It was a good trip but visiting the bay area was mostly just in and out. Of course we made time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge and, you guessed it, the Pier. We also had friends, Rahul and Sarah, we visited here and that was probably the highlight of our stay in the Bay. 

Matt and I would travel to San Fran several more times during our five year relationship. He worked for a start-up that had regular meetings and I loved to travel so I would tag along. I don’t remember much except drinking and food and quit doing the normal touristy things. How many times can you see Alcatraz or the Sea Lions and not have it be sort of “so-what?” 

I also can’t help but have a few memories about Matt from here that sadly (but fittingly) remind me why we were not a good match for each other. I could spiral down into that here, but I’ve not got the time or emotional energy for it right now. The point is, I’m so not in love with this town. I’m not even in like with it. So why am I here?? 

The short answer is because of my darling daughter, Z. She’s never been here before and when we were working out where she wanted to go for her High School Graduation gift trip, visiting this town was a big part of our grand plan. Of course that was last year and then the pandemic hit and all our plans got squashed, but we finally made it to the coast, about one month before she goes back to begin her sophomore year at UNL. Originally we had concert tickets for Fall Out Boy and now that’s not happening until a week after she goes back to school so instead we are planning our own little drive down the coast to go to Universal Studios in Hollywood. 

For now, we have about 3 days to explore the area here and she does not know the extent of my feelings about the town so I’m open to doing whatever she wants to do. I’m sure that will involve many of those touristy things I’ve grown to groan about. But this trip is not about me, it’s about her. I want to make her experience as fun, memorable, and positive as possible. 

Yesterday was day 0, travel day, which began super early and was very long. We had our first view of the bay, the bridge, and the pacific ocean. We had pizza for dinner at a local place that’s supposed to be one of the best followed by a quick stop at Ocean Beach to see the sunset. We also hit Target and TJ Max to pick up a few essentials and snacks and with that, I think we are set for getting the most of out this trip. 

Today, thankfully, we are getting out of town and heading north to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom where Z is getting to meet her friend Alex in person for the first time. They met online and have been friends for a number of years and she’s one of the reasons visiting northern california was so appealing to Z. I’m excited for them. I’m not particularly jazzed about the amusement park, but we’ll see how that plays out. 

We’ll see how all of this plays out. Maybe San Fran can redeem itself on this trip. Maybe something about it will change how I feel? A girl can hope right?? 

On that note.. It’s time for me to get up and get ready for the day. This early AM writing without my treadmill is very different but I’m going to try and document as much of this trip as I can for posterity.

Cheers to West Coast Wandering,
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-07-01 The One To My Ex About Actions and Consequences

To admit you feel as though you want revenge is to admit to being human. That’s my excuse. I’m human and therefore flawed in all the miraculous ways human beings are. It’s a miracle that we are here at all— stranded on this spiral arm of stars. 

I’m flawed for feeling as though I’m enjoying a version of revenge served not by my own hand but the hand of fate which is, indeed, the sweetest kind. A dish best served not only cold, but guiltless and stringless. 

That I was a victim of your circumstance is circumstantial when so many years have passed. But we are all victims of our own circumstance, dear. Who would not agree? 

Scratch that. You probably would not agree—the consummate devil’s advocate in you has been nothing but consistent. But that was just a fraction of our fractured past. A piece of glass not worth looking at most days. But it’s on my mind today. 

Rewind a few days when I had to be the go-between in a disagreement you were having with our son. Except it was more of a one sided argument that you started when you didn’t like something he did. You just wanted to rant and lecture without any thought about the consequence or end.

The irony in it is that his behavior is learned behavior. Behavior he picked up from you. How many times have I tried to communicate with you only to be “ghosted”? So it’s not a surprise when you reach out to him and he ignores you. 

More irony in that you say he can’t just do what he wants when he wants and that there are consequences to his actions. Because that’s all you have ever done in your life—whatever you want regardless of the consequences. Quite literally.

You tried to pull me in and play the “unified parent” card for “his own good.” It’s bullshit. I’m not playing. 

You call me an enabler. You pigeonhole our son and predict his future to fit your own agenda. You say he’s a manipulator who plays us against each other. You say he hides from the world because he’s lazy and lacks confidence. I say, “sounds familiar.” 

For as much as he’s like you, he’s also like me. An introverted kid who keeps to himself and stays in his room doing what he enjoys most. He’s not motivated by your approach. He’s just a teenager who is vulnerable, impressionable, and probably lonely. To which I say, aren’t we all? 

Last night I scrolled through my text messages to find my last message to you, which you never replied to (two days old now). You had just finished ranting and preaching about “social contracts” and the courtesy of responding to text messages and then you undercut your own point by not responding to my attempt to communicate some sort of a plan to get our son more active. Typical.

Of course I know we both want what’s best for our son but in this case, I don’t happen to agree with you about what that is or how to achieve it. 

You hardly ever see your daughter and I wonder if you realize why that is. You burn bridges and then throw your hands in the air and wonder why people don’t come back to you. 

I began this writing about revenge. Or something that feels like revenge. When in actuality all I’m really doing is enjoying my life and the positive, open, and caring relationships in my life. Revenge implies I have something spiteful to get back at you for. 

For many years I held it against you that so many years of my life were wasted trying to make something out of us. I’ve since come to realize that none of it was wasted and that time is short and all we can ever really do is make the most of what we have been given. This is exactly what drives me now. 

Stop burning and start building. Or don’t. It’s your life and your relationships with your children. 

The only question for me now is whether I let this incident go, or say something more to try and get through to you? For your own good. For theirs. I’m just not sure. 

Waiting and watching 👀,

~Miss SugarCookie