2020-03-26 Climbing the Pyramid is a Struggle

My basic needs are being met, and I’m grateful for that. By Maslow’s standards, I’m probably at Safety and while that’s ok, I’m desperate to go higher. But I’m stuck.

So many of my writer friends and acquaintances are writing their hearts out right now. Amid this crisis people are inspired to create. In times when you have more time because you’re isolated you can explore and let your brain wander and maybe, definitely that’s a good thing.

I’m not. And I haven’t been. I’ve got less time now, and feel less isolated, because my sanctuary has been invaded. My time has been raided and from before sun-up to after sun-down I’ve nothing left to give back to myself.

It’s work, which I’ve praised but it has transformed before my very eyes from saving grace to marauder. It’s got to level out soon. I think (I hope) today will be the start of that.

It’s not knowing how to, at the same time, homeschool. Sure, if I was twiddling my thumbs all day I would sit with my children and play task-master, checking in on their “enrichment plans”.

I’m not there, though, you know. I’m still adjusting.. fighting with my ex about where the kids are and why and all my anger and frustration that’s built up over the years comes pouring out. I just hate my ex. After all this time I’m still angry about so many things. Does one ever get over being treated so rotten by someone they love and trust with their life.

How is that possible? How can we have hurt each other so much? And when the bullshit just continues for years and years and you have to continue to take it and try to be amiable for the kids sake, it just doesn’t go away.

Yesterday I ripped him a new one on the phone and he acted like he had no idea where it was all coming from. Like an ignorant ass, he said my yelling was unfounded and something in me has changed. “You’re different now.” He said.

No shit genius. People change and perhaps I’ve grown a spine. Perhaps I’ve also been perfecting my throat-punch and he should be grateful that there’s a pandemic because if there wasn’t I might just go to his place and demonstrate my skills. I just hate him. And that’s a world I rarely use.

My son is here with me and my daughter is at his house. She’s not being very communicative and I’m just hoping she isn’t being persuaded to stay there. Gawd. It’s an awful feeling to know that the kids are stuck in this conflict with us, probably taking shrapnel from our verbal confrontations. It’s got to stop.

So, yeah, I’m just trying to figure out how to shelter in place and not lose my mind. I’ve not yet arrived at master of the art of homeschooling.

Oh, did I mention I’m behind on the whole writing a thesis bit? Or the lit-mag startup. Or, I dunno, supporting my husband and nurturing my marriage which is still less than 2 months old.

I logged onto Facebook today and that was a big mistake. So many people posting about every freaking thing and I just don’t have a positive note to contribute. Just because I say I’m grateful, doesn’t mean I’m bathing in gratitude and finding all the beauty in every little nook and corner. Facebook just makes me feel like shit. And those things I’m seeing are being posted by friends and family who I love. Why can’t I just find joy in their accomplishments and words of encouragement? What the hell is wrong with me?

Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical.

I’ve got a meeting today with the other “co-founder” of this not-yet-a-real-thing on-line lit mag. It’s been a struggle for both of us to find the time. This is a guy I just happened to be sitting across a lunch table from when approached by one of the mentors of the MFA program about this little idea. He’s a teacher and has kids so he’s in the same boat as me trying to juggle life.

We both bring unique and needed skills to the table, but we do operate differently. I like things to be organized and well planned out and he just seems to like to roll with whatever. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just an adjustment for me. We need to get shit done and were still at step 1, which is assembling a team.

Hopefully I’ll get more insight into what that looks like from his communications (which he has not copied me on). I’m a little miffed about that. If you were starting a new project together, it’s good to have Everyone have as much information as possible. So I feel a little bit in the dark on where things stand and can’t make progress forward myself until I’ve got the full picture. I’m sure I’m overthinking and overdramatizing this as usual. Hopeful today’s meeting will actually happen this time and that all will be revealed.

I mean, if our launch date is still June 1. We gotta get in gear and go. So that’s where the “go for it” attitude is such a positive.. we just really need to engage the whole team soon. Again, just hopeful we have a complete list today on who that is. we’ll see.

For now, I have to put that out of my mind so I can get to work. No place to hide.

Stuck at Safety,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-03-03 A Monumental Day in SugarCookie History 💗

I have a myriad of topics I’d like to write about today. Which one will emerge as the winner is anybody’s guess. Perhaps I can dabble here and there and satisfy my want to think through a few things and not linger with too many words on just one.

Today is the two year anniversary of the day I swiped right on that picture of the man who would make me so happy and make feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It also happens to be the day we also started chatting on the bumble app, and had our first phone conversation, and oh yeah, met in person for the first time. Yes, all in the same day.

If there was one thing we both knew for ourselves and came to appreciate in the other person, was that we had spent enough time sorting out what we wanted and did not want in a partner. And though things moved fast, we were on the same wavelength every step of the way.

From saying “I love you”, to introducing each other to our parents and kids, to my spending all my parental kitchen passes living at his place, the timing was spot on. The first thing we did not agree on as far as timing goes was when to get married. If he had his way we would be celebrating our first wedding anniversary today. It’s true. This is the date he originally threw at me and at the time I was like “whoa there love, that’s like not even possible (it was October and we had not even officially moved in together). I put the brakes on and serendipitously discovered that palindrome date which was perfect.

We’re not really doing anything to celebrate. I actually think he might have forgotten but we’ll see.

My day today will be largely comprised of what I’m now calling household engineering. A fancy way to say that I’m cleaning litter boxes, taking trash out, going grocery shopping, among other random tasks. Our cat Doug has recently decided that he’s fascinated with water sloshing in the water dishes and pushes them all over the floor, spilling water everywhere.

This means that not only is the floor a mess (think water soaked cat food pieces floating in puddles) but also the dishes become empty and they don’t have anything to drink (except Emma who will drink from the toilets). It’s funny but also gross.

I bought this boot tray thing you set your wet boots on in winter to dry out and put the dishes on that. Now instead of the floor being a mess, the tray fills up with water and the stray food pieces disintegrate completely in a quarter inch of water. Also gross.

We’ve watched him do it. He’s completely mesmerized by it and does not seem satisfied until the dish is almost empty. He’s almost able to flip the dish over.

OMG… how I got from my anniversary to bad cat behavior is incredible!! In my defense, cats and their strange ways have become iconic. We started watching a documentary of how cats have taken over the internet. Memes, videos, Instagram accounts, hash tags. They are everywhere. We only watched about 10/15 minutes of the show because it wasn’t very well put together. And I don’t have any time for bad TV except of course The Bachelor.

Which I have to watch soon so that I’m not accidentally served a news story from Google spoiling the outcome of this latest season. The finale was last night.

The question now is, what’s more important: watching the show or getting my weekly submission in or editing the final 10 poems for my thesis or working on the new lit mag project or driving to Benson for burger wars today?

Those are my options when I finish with my household engineering. I will be editing tonight with my weekly writing group so I can probably use that as an excuse to cross that one off the list.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what emerges as the winner. My life is so exciting. 😜

I’ve got to cut here get after this taco Tuesday extravaganza.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Today’s featured image is a picture of some landscaping on the path outside our hotel room in Kauai. 

2020-02-24 On Being Cinderella

Do you suppose that once Cinderella married the prince her life changed at all? Do you think that she was released from those chores of hers, scrubbing floors and doing dishes and also the thing that was too unmentionable even Disney didn’t even go there (toilets 😱)? I suppose the general assumption is that once married, dear Cinderella and her ball gowns hire someone else to do all the dirty work. But imagine if you will, that it wasn’t how the story went.

Four and a half hours into my day and I’m just now sitting down to do something for myself. I’ve been on my feet that long, tending to all the needs of Monday. The cats don’t rest much either when this is going on because they are too curious about what all the fuss is (or anxiously waiting for me to get to their litter boxes). They are clearly relieved that I’ve now plopped myself down on the couch with my laptop and have both found a nice cozy spot for their mid-morning nap.

Yesterday I was all lit up with motivation to make some commitment or resolution—something that was going to bring me a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. And now? Now I just want a nap. Something inside of me with about 38% authority wants me to at the very least go down to the gym with my tennis shoes and walk while I type this. But 38% is far from the majority and so here I sit. At the very least I should find another place to sit, to get a different perspective. But I really like being with the cats. It’s just the way it is. Plus finding a different spot would mean I have to get up and move again and I just don’t want to do that.

Briefly when I had that thought about Cinderella (which is not the first time I have gravitated toward that analogy), I thought about the Bachelor. The TV show I get sucked into from time to time and happen to be thoroughly enjoying this season. During that process all these beautiful girls jockey for position as they simultaneously date the same guy. It’s truly absurd but for some reason, I find it highly entertaining.

Anyway, they start the show off in this grand house where they all live and converse and have cocktail parties and pool parties and then gather in a dramatic ceremony where some girls get to stay and continue dating the guy while others are sent home, heartbroken. I probably don’t need to explain all that since the show is in like its 25th season or something outrageous like that.

At some point, they all travel to exotic places and get filmed doing fun activities that would make any globe-traveller jealous. All these cool dates and romantic dinners, concerts, etc, etc. They always interview these women and on the show, info about them pops up at the bottom of the screen to remind us who they are. Here is “Victoria F., from Virginia Beach, 26, Medical Rep. That’s all we know. Their name, age, hometown, and reported occupation. Hmmmm… kinda like how Bumble is, come to think of it.

Rarely do we see the couple de jour discussing what life will be like when they are off the show, if they end up together or engaged or whatever. You never see him saying “Well I have a house in Florida and that’s where I want to stay so if you don’t want to move away from Kansas City or Des Moines Iowa or wherever, then that’s a deal breaker”.

You also rarely hear her say “I really want my partner to be home helping me raise the children more than 50% of the time, so you would have to find some career besides being a pilot to earn a living”. Nope. Either they don’t talk about that stuff, or they have found that it is too boring to include in the drama of the show. I personally would love to see those conversations, especially over all the inebriated crying. Good Grief!

I can tell you that from where I sit (on the couch in my castle), those conversations are extremely important. But who I am I to say? Yes, the connection between two people is really important. Romantically, intellectually, sexually, spiritually, etc… But I think part of the secret to success is understanding where your partner is at in their life and what their goals are so you can support them, and also having that be a two way street. That includes logistics about career, how many kids you want (if any), and where you are going to live and what your lifestyle is. Obvi you can’t spend the rest of your life jet-setting off to exotic places.

I just don’t see how this Bachelor thing ever works because it seems everyone involved is just so concerned with the “connection” and also “winning” Heh! Plus, it’s so ridiculous that all these girls have to live together and witness the guy they are dating going out and making out with other women. If I had to endure that, I would be all like— no thanks. I want my man to have eyes for only me. It’s just so cray-cray. But I love it anyway. Perhaps some part of me craves that kind of drama and is better off getting a fix from some stupid reality television show than looking for it in my own life. For sure.

The stats for the final “couple” in most seasons is not great. Only a handful have stayed together and an even smaller number have actually gotten married. Yes, I did spend a little time just now researching the stats cuz I’m a big nerd like that, but it doesn’t matter really.

I think I’ve not exhausted my couch break now and really, really want to figure out what those new goals are going to be now that my own season of the bachelorette has now ended. So happy to have met my match AND gotten that final rose so that my Cinderella story can return to it’s regularly scheduled programming.

Happy Cat Napping,

~Miss SugarCookie

 

2020-02-02 At Long Last! It’s Here!! 🥂💍💕

We’ll folks, this is it! It’s finally here!!!

No, I’m not talking about Groundhog Day, though that’s today too and Im happy to report Phil did not see his shadow so we are having an early spring!! 🌷🌷🌷

No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl either, though that is also today and I’m sure the Chiefs and 49ers are going to put on a good show. 🏈🏈🏈 It won’t be as good as what I have going on today.

I’m talking about my wedding!! The countdown hit zero at midnight and just a few short hours I’ll be walking down the aisle arm in arm with my children. I’ll be greeted by the man of my dreams and a whole room full of people will be there to witness as we pledge our lives to one another. 💍

I have so many emotions, where does one even begin? As you might guess, I don’t have a lot of time to write today. I’m just taking a few minutes alone, while the house is still sleeping to reflect on the last 24 hours and think about everything that’s happening today.

The most overwhelming feeling I’m having right now is love. Last night we had a house full of guests and there was so much joy and energy. To think that all these people came here to celebrate with us and support us, is quite incredible. I’m just so grateful, and can’t even find the words right now.

Time and it’s fluid relativity is a constant factor in all things. When life is tough, it serms like it slows down and you feel every ache as it creeps by. When things are good, it speeds by and you wonder what happens to all those days and nights. At this point I’m on the highest of highs and I know I’m my heart this day will be gone in a blink. It’s going to move so fast that I will have to remind myself to stop and breathe and just be present, in the moment.

That’s it for now. I’ve gotta start getting ready to get me that new last name! 💃❤️💃

With Peace and Love, Gratitude and Mindfulness.. Always,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-21 Nothing to See Here, Just a Little Clucking Going On 🐥

I know what I’m gonna want to know 5 years from now when I look back on this day. That it was 0 degrees when I woke up and I didn’t want to leave my house and oh, by the way, I’m getting married in 11 days and trying really hard not to freak out.

It’s gonna be fine, ya’ll. It’s all gonna he just peachy. But really I’m having a hard time with my brain. The lack of focus is serious and I’m sort of like that chicken with its head cut off or trying to cross the road and not knowing why or something else like that which has everything to do with being a chicken and making excuses for my behavior.

Yesterday I had a date with my mom and sister for lunch for my sisters birthday (which is today) and I completely spaced it. That’s so not like me. I’m typically a really reliable human being. But there I was, standing in my kitchen at 11:42am trying to decide what to eat for lunch. Then I get a text from her “you coming?”. Total face palm.

I felt like such an asshole but what can I say. There’s no excuse really. I’m not actually a chicken so there’s no excuse.

In related news, I’m supposed to go to a comedy show with her Saturday courtesy of her fiancé and when I told her I’d take her out to dinner before the show she says, “what show?”. Double face palm. Was that supposed to be a surprise and nobody told me?! Whelp, that one is not really on me I think.

Anyway, I’m wandering around like I’m from Iowa and tried this morning to put together a to-do list. Today that involves one last meetup with the gal from the event space to finalize preparations and check the AV setup and make sure that all works smooth with what we have.

As I type this I’m taking video of the cats in the kitchen to see how much video I can get on the memory card I have. We’re doing our own since it costs like $$$ to hire a human being to push a button. I’m so cheap.

It does bear repeating though that anything and everything with the “W” word attached costs like a gazillion dollars more than it should. Literally hundreds to thousands of $$& to get someone to take pictures for a couple of hours. I called this morning to see how much the cleaners near our house charges to steam the dress (it’s kinda wrinkled) and she said $85. Wut??!!

That’s 85 bucks to produce some steam near the skirt and get the wrinkles out. I bet I can do it for free. I just don’t want to ruin the material but how hard can it be? As long as the hot iron does not get pressed down on the dress. That’s the kind of thing I’m wandering around thinking about.

Oh, and I missed Jazzercise this morning because I was pressed for time to get some progress on a work project before my 10am meeting but now that’s being moved to Thursday. But it’s ok I missed Jazzercise cuz it’s still single digits outside. Brrrrrr. I do have to go to Nuri at 11 but now I’ll have time to take a shower and get dressed like a proper human.

What else? Oh yeah, because it’s my sisters birthday today, that means it’s also my exes birthday. That would be Matt not Brian. I was thinking about him last night and a little melancholy. I hope he’s well. He probably does not know I’m about to get married. I mean, he knows I’m engaged but there’s really no reason he would have insight into when. We have a few mutual friends but nobody that’s coming to the wedding.

I always thought we would get married someday, but that life never happened. It’s strange to be thinking about that with about a week and a half before I marry someone else. It’s strange to know you still have love for someone like that. I wonder if I’ll ever really be over it? And is that ok if I’m not? Does it take anything away from Jim or our life together? I don’t think so.

I think the depths of the human heart are vast and the capacity for love is great. I don’t have to let go of anyone I’ve ever loved. I can just hold it all in a special place inside and know that it’s just a part of who I am.

I wonder if I should wish him happy birthday? There’s no harm in that right? I dunno.

***

I’ve got to go check the video camera and move my 10am meeting to Thursday. Perhaps there will be more clucking from this chick later. (Probably not).

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-17 The Perfect Storm for Dissolving Doubt

It feels like a Saturday because everything is closed. The radar when we woke up today looked like something from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”. A storm cell covering 1/4th of the country, starting in Minnesota and going all the way down into Texas, covering all of Nebraska moving slowly into Iowa. School was called off last night before I went to bed and this AM I was surprised that the alarm did not go off, which meant that Jim’s Office was closed too.

It was perfect timing as we really needed this extra day together to kick the final wedding prep in high gear. We’re making the most of this snow day and have already checked a bunch of boxes. I’m feeling good about things, finally. Mostly I just needed to check with him to review and get buy-in on what I’ve decided- readings, decor, cake, etc. it’s all good.

We are running a few errands today and among them is the courthouse. One of our to-do tasks was to apply for a marriage license. I was sort of on a caffeine/wedding planning/butt kicking high but then the form happened. Nothing kills a good vibe buzz like having to mine your past looking for your divorce date. Why is it with all the paperwork I’ve saved over the years my divorce decree (the official one with the dates) is not in my possession? I literally have my taxes saved back to 1993. I also have most important events in FB back to 2008ish, but not that. Why?

I Ended up digging into my old journal entries to find the exact date. But wowza if reading the surrounding words aren’t a mood killer, I don’t know what is. Not only that, but I found the reason none of it was on FB. I apparently deleted all of it. Or rather.. cut it and pasted it all into that word document at the bottom of my journal entry from March 14, 2010. All the surrounding posts with thoughts, poems, likes, and comments all retained just for this very moment for me to find.

So my divorce was final March 15, 2010 (the Ides!! How appropriate!!!). I kinda remembered that but now I know for a fact that was it. 10 effing years ago almost. And scrolling back through the last 10 years of ones life on FB is trippy.

The last 5 years I’ve not been very active since I hate FB and social media in general. But before that, I apparently posted a bunch. Events, check ins at restaurants, vacations, holidays, etc. I scrolled back through past relationships, Matt and SV and my jobs at OTTR and Methodist Hospital. Lots of pics with people I don’t see or hang out with anymore. Lots of history and also sadness for losing touch with people. Also sort of holding my breath on a few folks I’ve invited to the wedding, hopeful they will show despite not getting RSVPs back (looking at you RH!!!)

Reading that journal entry reminds me how conflicted and confused I was. I was pulling the trigger on a big life decision and yet still held so much doubt. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s exactly how things are now. Doubt is just a part of life I guess and you can never be 100% solid on your decisions.

Things are more 20/20 in the rear view. Getting married at 19 was naive, but i wouldn’t trade it or my life to follow for the world. Getting a divorce was also the right decision. No two ways about it. All the big decisions before and after that have all been good ones. Leaving the hospital after 17 years was good. Leaving OTTR after 5 was one of my best decisions ever. Leaving Matt was also a good call, and now, thinking about all of this, I have gained more clarity on what’s going down 15 days from now.

(Yes.. 15 days to go! 💍💕)

It’s the right decision and my doubt is fading fast. Maybe it’s the adrenaline of this caffeinated snow day that’s got me in this mood. Maybe it’s the worry in me that’s just giving up the fight. It’s losing/lost the battle and walking away. I’m finding myself in the sweet spot between doubt and party/wedding day anxiety.

Jim being here probably has a lot to do with that. He’s such a constant stabilizing force. He’s just amazing. I’m a lucky girl. 🍀💚🥰

That’s enough mush mush for today. What a wild ride for a Friday. Looking forward to the weekend.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-04 MFA Day 7 – It Will Find It’s Way Out

(making up for my brevity yesterday apparently so.. long post)

Your voice, your words, your emotions, your suppressed or unsuppressed opinions and thoughts. The things pushed deep inside or those loitering silently just below the surface. Whatever it is, it will find it’s way out. Especially in moments when you feel like you can trust the ones around you or if you are pushed to your limits.

Here in this place I have both conditions active so it’s no wonder that the things I hold inside find their way out. It’s not in the group dynamic mind you, it’s in those intimate moments where I’ve had the opportunity to talk, really talk, one on one or with just two other people about what’s happening in our lives.

And surprisingly it’s not sharing what’s going on with me but listening, really listening, to those people. Feeling with them in their moments of reflection, contemplation, and clarity. It’s incredible actually. It makes me feel like a whole person.

One of the things that have been different about this residency compared to others is that I haven’t given in to the flight or flight response that has caused me to have a need to get in my car and drive home. In past residencies I’ve found myself at a breaking point and just made the executive decision to leave for the night. Not just to sleep in my own bed but to disconnect enough to be in my own space and consider my own issues and make sure I can still reach my center of gravity.

What happens on those 45 minute car rides was unexpected but somewhat reliable. I’m on the highway like 5 minutes, enough time to get out of town and confirm I was headed in the right direction and let go of that and start letting my mind wander. Almost as if a switch has been flipped, I think some thought and am moved to tears.

And not just a teary eye, and uneven breath, but uncontrollable sobbing. The kind where you can’t catch your breath and the highway ahead becomes so blurry like a massive rainstorm when windshield wipers can’t keep up. It’s raining on the inside and everything on the inside just comes out. it pours, for a good 20 minutes and then just as suddenly as it came, it’s gone.

It’s not one thing, it’s all the things. It’s an overwhelming force, but once it’s over, I return to a state where my head is clear and I can start to put together my thoughts in a logical fashion again. I arrive home, find my center (or like I said, at least confirm it’s location), sleep, wake up, and return for another day.

So what’s different this time? I guess it is that I am getting more comfortable, have established relationships and trust with people here, and no longer feel that fight or flight in the same way as before. I have not gone home. I won’t go home until tomorrow when this is all over.

But that buildup of stuff, whatever it is, whatever has contributed to it, whatever it is made of is still happening and has been happening since day zero. I’ve felt myself teetering on the verge of tears. I don’t particularly like crying in public (though it did happen once last Residency and big time), so I breathe through those moments and maintain my composure.

Late afternoon yesterday the last of three graduating students presented their reading. One of the requirements to graduate is to give a 20 minute reading of content that you wrote during the course of your time in the program. She presented three pieces, two narratives and a one act play. It was exquisite. It was so moving and so well written that the narratives felt like long prose poems, constructed with language that carried powerful meaning while also singing and and creating a unique aesthetic experience for those of us fortunate enough to be in the room to hear it. And hear it in the authors voice, which was both soft and and strong in conviction with confidence and, a few times, with the brief line or two which were actual song.

When it was over the typical routine is for people to applaud and then approach and offer hugs and words of encouragement and congratulations. That happened, but as she started receiving hugs the applause did not subside and people began standing. A standing ovation. A first for me to witness here.

After the first hug and words ended, the author looked up and realized it. She was stunned. It was incredibly moving. I was moved to tears (still standing and clapping mind you). A line formed for continued hugs and those quiet words whispered into her ears. I took my plane in line. It was an honor to witness the moment and an honor to be able to tell this woman, who I barely knew, how her writing and presentation moved me.

After that the group dispersed and continued on with their own objectives and plans. I did too.

This morning I woke up just before 4. My mind was immediately there, back in that moment. Perhaps I was dreaming it all over again and moved so much it woke me. I sat up and realized I was about to cry. It came on like that rainstorm in the car, so suddenly and so hard. I wasn’t even fully awake or aware of what was happening. 4 am and it found its way out.

I had a good cry, albeit brief and that was followed by an epiphany. A rush of thoughts about my thesis and it’s content and organization and preface and the accompanying lecture and reading. All in a rush it came to me. What it is and what I have to do next.

I spent the next hour making notes. And now I’m well past an hour (approaching 1.5 hours) on this treadmill writing this post.

Because of the extra time I took today I’m running a little late to find Miss Margret up in the dining room to have our morning breakfast chat. Which means I’ve got to go.

Lots to do In the next 24 hours.

XOXO,

~Miss SugarCookie