2020-02-06 A Serious Reality Check

Spoiler Alert… It’s not all rainbows and butterflies (though I’ve had a lot of both very recently).

There is a story that most of us are taught, about life. A story that starts with beautiful beginnings and continues to wind its way through a path of happiness and wonderful moments. We are told that if we do everything right, life will be full and satisfying. It’s true, but as we also learn, through the act of living out that life, that it comes with ups and downs and bumps and bruises. I’ve spent a fair bit of time these last few days trying to balance out the way I am feeling. I’ve got mixed emotions and I’m trying to reconcile my grumpy mood and the empty/lost feeling that I’ve been having. I should still be riding on high from the celebrations this past weekend. But I’’m not.. It is quite the opposite. Though I’m still getting so much love and well wishes from people (mostly social media because I posted pictures of our day), it feels fabricated. Like, only one side of things is visible.

I need to take a little time and step through the days – not the Wedding, or parties, or all the things leading up to that (which I should also do), but what has happened after. Rewind to last Sunday at 3PM. Picture this…

The bride, standing at the bar with a drink in her hand having a conversation with a friend. There’s a small plate with a half eaten piece of cake and two macaroon cookies positioned on the bar next to her and several family members close by. She glances around and notices that people, most notably the man that she has just married, are scrambling around the room collecting decorations. Him and his children and a few others are dumping water from vases and putting flowers back into the bin she so carefully filled and carried and used the day before to decorate the space. What’s she thinking?

“What the hell is going on? Why are they doing that?” She looks at the plate with the cake and around the room again and then lifts her left wrist to look at her watch. Only she’s not wearing it because it’s her wedding day and she wore a bracelet instead. “What time is it?” She asks her friend.

“About 3PM” is the reply.

“Already?” Yes, already. A horrible feeling washes over her. It’s all over and what now? She had not thought much about this moment, other than wondering how she would feel. She looks at the cake again.

This is what I remember. Of all the things to remember from the last time, this is the same. I didn’t get to enjoy my own cake and I didn’t get to really talk to the people who came to support me because it all goes too fast. And then people rush around to clean up, and I’m all like “hey, but I’m just getting started”. Of course, I kicked into gear and started helping clean up too, because that’s what I do (and I wanted to make sure certain details were not missed).

An hour later all the stuff has been dumped in a room off of the garage in the house and we’ve changed out of our Wedding best and are sitting in the living room. We realize one of the cats is missing. We start to look for her. She’s nowhere to be found.

We spent what was left of the afternoon searching and even thinking she got out of the house somehow. Jim and Z and I walked the neighborhood calling to her and I carried food in a food dish, clanking it as I walked (as that is how I used to get her to come to the door when she went outside at my old house). This is not how this afternoon was supposed to go.. we were nervous and worried and thinking if she did get out, she could be long gone. She’s not used to this neighborhood, she has never been outside the house here. It was a terrible sinking feeling.

Several hours later the sun is down and we are back in the living room on the couch. The kids have retreated to their rooms and the mood is low. Jim has childhood trauma from a lost pet, and I’ve had several scares in my life to reflect upon. How do we even proceed with our day/evening. We should be happy and celebrating and falling into each others arms. We sit with anxiety and share our stories.

Jim goes to do a few chores as we had not yet had time to address the aftermath of the party at our house the night before. In the midst of doing that, he spots the cat slinking down the hallway. We have no earthly idea where she could have been sleeping that we did not find her but all of a sudden, there she was. We were elated and relieved. It was all so overwhelming it was like I had not exhaled for hours. All of a sudden, there we were in the kitchen and I was just sobbing uncontrollably. How could it all be over? How could this be happening? What now?

We continued to clean like it was a regular day after a party and I was already checking social media for pictures of events. That is when I started to feel a bigger let-down. I wanted to share the news of our day with the world, yet, I didn’t have any pictures. I wanted to keep the party going, but that’s not how it works. We had a few good snaps from friends and I posted the “life event” on FB.

1 day after (Monday), Jim goes back to work and the kids go back to school and it’s like nothing ever happened. Except that I have more cleaning up to do. I spend the morning sorting through the pile of decorations and vases and boxes to put some stuff away. I solicited for more pictures and kept my eye on FB for comments and other people’s posts. I had coffee and a chat with my friend Sarah who was still in town and that was really great, and felt like the best conversation I had all weekend. I guess I’m just better at one on one interaction (or at least that is what I prefer).

2 days after (Tuesday), Jim is at work and the kids are at school again. I space off my 10AM work meeting and spend the morning sorting through the party trash cans and separate the recycling from the trash, rinsing out glass and plastic. The kitchen smells like alcohol and I notice it is getting cold. By 4PM, I realize the furnace is not working. I’m exhausted and have not slept well for several nights.

3 days after (Wednesday), the living room and kitchen are cold and none of my troubleshooting efforts have paid off. I take one of the cars in for its regularly scheduled maintenance checks. I continue to obsess over pictures and frantically put together a scrap book of all the paper artifacts from the weekend, as if my life depended on it. I troll social media for more comments and post some of the pictures I’ve received of our big event. When Jim comes home from work, he looks at the furnace and we decide to call a service tech. I finally get my period (I had been spotting for about 7 days straight), and begin having bad stomach pains, which is not normal.

It is now Thursday, 4 days after, and the service tech has been and gone and the house is slowly warming up. Jim is at work of course and the kids are at school and I’m finally getting to sit down and really write what is on my mind. I’ve got a lunch meet-up today with a friend who was not at the wedding and plans later to grab a drink with my other friend who was. It feels very much like back to business as usual. But again, it’s strange because I’m not ready for it to be over.

You know, you work for weeks and months to plan something and when it is over and done, there is an emptiness that happens. I know I’m happy because I feel happy, and I am looking forward to lots of future stuff, but it’s like I’m so sad it’s gone. I thought I would feel relief. I thought I would be happy to get back to “normal life,” but I’m just not. I’m just sad.

Some of the flowers are in vases in the kitchen and they are starting to droop and wither. Soon, they will be too far gone and I’ll have to pitch them into the trash. That’s depressing.

For all the wonderful things and for all the happy moments, there is a balancing act that takes place. An equal and opposite feeling, a yin to the yang, a low to match the high. I’m definitely experiencing that. I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but I can’t ignore it either. It’s just a part of the big picture.

I have more to say, of course, but I’ve already gone on too long today. If you are still with me, thanks for reading. I’m going to try and break away from this funk today and just start enjoying married life. Married life??!!! I wonder what that’s like?!

Cheers through all the laughter and tears,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-24 One Way to Start a Friday

I woke up shortly after 3am and was immediately consumed by thoughts about everything going on. A veritable Rolodex of current events.

1. 8 days until the wedding. 😱

2. Cleaning the house for the party.

3. Being so scattered I missed my sisters birthday lunch and wondering if she’s going to hold it against me somehow and not forgive me (were supposed to go to a comedy show this Saturday and she’s not being very responsive over text).

4. The school work I’ve pretty much been ignoring for like 2 weeks.

5. My daughter’s senior picture dilemmas.

6. The endless to-do list I chip away at everyday and continue to feel like I’m not getting enough done each day.

7. Details about the ceremony, decorations, and clothing that’s not been ironed out yet.

8. The ice covering our driveway and sidewalks that needs to get taken care of before next Saturday and the weather is not cooperating.

9. My darling daughter finding a new program she wants to apply for for college in the fall which is a big change from what’s been her plan for just about this entire senior year.

10. My work wanting me to run a demo of some new software for a sales pitch next week and I haven’t seen anything but screenshots of it until this point. The main UX person is on vacation and they are like, we’ll get Shyla to do it. Sure, no problem guys.

11. And for the love of all the cheese in the universe, how I’m going to do my hair on the day of the wedding. Yeah.. that struggle is sadly a real thing.

Needless to say, I could not fall back asleep. When it got to 4am I opted to take half a Xanax. Incredibly, I still had trouble falling back asleep after that but eventually I did.

Then when I had to wake up at 6:30 to roll with the morning routine, I was super groggy. I prepared breakfast in the dark, fed the fishes, loaded the dishes into the dishwasher, and trudged around the house making sure the grumpy teenagers were awake and getting ready to go. Thing 1 is not a morning person and her eyes and voice (when she elects to speak in the morning which normally she doesn’t) are daggers stabbing anyone who speaks to her or crosses her path. Thing 2 is generally in an ok mood in the mornings but has a serious problem getting out of bed and getting ready to go. He takes his meds, puts shoes on, and gives me a hug and tells me he loves me before following her out the door.

Everyday that nobody gets murdered is a good day. 😂

Jim comes in to eat “can I turn the lights on?”

Me.. /shrug “sure.”

By 7:30 everyone is gone and I turned all the lights back off and went back to bed. I still laid there a bit, awake and thinking about everything but again, I eventuality fell back asleep. I really need it. I thought.. I’ll wake up at 9 and go to Jazzercise.

I woke up at 9:30 and was like “whelp, so much for that master plan”. I was still super groggy and probably laid there for another half an hour trying to really wake up.

I mean, I’m not super excited to get up when cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, and dusting is the itinerary for the morning.

Despite how I’m always feeling that I’m not productive enough, I do feel like I’ve gotten a lot done this week. I promised myself I would take a little time Friday for doing something sort of pamper-y. Hey!! Today is Friday!!

I’m done with my morning chores and the bathrooms and basement are behind me now. I had a bite to eat and now I’m walking the treadmill and looking forward to treating myself to a pedicure this afternoon before I pick my son up from school. I haven’t had a pedi at a nail salon in like forever. 💅

***

Eight days from now I’ll be getting ready to walk down the aisle and take a vow.

Sixteen days from now that will all be in the rear view and I’ll be headed to Hawaii.

Twenty four days from now I’ll be coming down off of the high of all of it, facing reality and my new life as a married woman, wife, and looking toward the future and all the possibilities. I have no delusions that life is going to calm down. You always think it will, and then it doesn’t. That’s just the nature of things.

On that note, it’s time for me to roll out.

Cheers to Pedicures, Pampering, and the Weekend,

~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

2020-01-14 A Fast Moving Train

Full speed ahead. 18 days to go and last night before falling asleep I touched my forehead to his forehead in bed and asked for him to help me with my anxiety. He promised me it would be alright and that when it comes to it, he’ll talk me away from the edge. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. That’s all I’ve needed, all my days.

I’ve spent the last hour googling love poems and marriage poems and reading through old and new poems, funny and poignant, long and short. I need a few for the reading we are having as a part of the ceremony and it’s one of those details I’ve been procrastinating. One of the many details.

Things are moving fast now though. The days are numbered (for real!) and as the numbers get smaller, my unease becomes more intense. My to-do list today is about 75% wedding related and 25% work and school.

I’ve been pulled into a project for work which may take like 5-10 hours a week and yesterday I got the feedback for the first half of my MFA thesis manuscript and I’m itching to pour through that. I’m easily distracted by these shiny objects but I can’t put off some of this wedding stuff any longer. What I’m trying to avoid is a mad scramble the last 7 days where I lose my mind.

But.. if I do, Jim has promised to talk me away from the edge. I’m keeping those words in my back pocket.

Getting a little cray-cray is probably unavoidable at this point. I need to just focus to get stuff done. I haven’t been able to write much since returning home from Res. I start but then I just sit thinking and can’t seem to find any words. Even now I’m struggling.

I think I’m gonna cut and run for today.. before this post turns into a Tuesday to-do list.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-10 Frying Pans and Forest Fires

One of my goals at Residency is to blog my experience every single day. I almost made it. 8 out of 10 days made their way into the official record. Then things just started moving way too fast and my priorities and desires went elsewhere (appropriately).

At the time I thought to myself that I would catch up on Sunday but I was in serious need of a down day and had to try and recover mentally and emotionally and get myself together. And, oh yeah, sleep.

My average night of sleep at Res was 4.5 hours. Longest night being 5.5 hours and shortest being 2.5. It’s not because I was staying up late drinking and socializing. It’s just cuz I don’t sleep well during immersion. Too much stimulus and I can’t turn my brain off. I digress.

The other reality when I returned home was that there were responsibilities waiting. Not only did I get tapped on by work for some ASAP stuff, but I also had the return of the kids and daily life. If that was it, no problem. But wait, there’s more.

The procrastination has finally caught up with me and now I’m in a mad scramble to move on some wedding planning details. Meeting with the caterer/event coordinator, ordering a wedding cake, gathering supplies for decorations, and touching base with my officiant who, by the way has not met Jim yet. 😱 I’m compiling RSVPs and thinking about readings and vows and the flow of the events (of which there are two), the wedding and the party the night before).

There are 22 days to go, and counting. I’m so full of anxiety that I can barely eat. I mean, I can eat but I’m walking around all day feeling sick to my stomach. I’m not great at asking for help. I’m not great at accepting help. I need to get over that.

That’s really enough, to keep me off my daily routine. But wait.. there’s more…

Because of the wedding planning, wedding, honeymoon thing, about 2-3 weeks of my semester are going to be lost and I had to adjust my deadlines accordingly. This means that the first packet which includes a first draft of my thesis manuscript had to be moved up. That deadline is today. Yup, 75 pages of creative work organized into a cohesive collection with some overarching theme.

Thankfully, I have about 100 passable poems to work with! I literally put that shit together in the space equivalent to about 2 work days. I have to remind myself that it’s just a draft and I have all semester to revise and move things around. But it had to be done ASAP because it needs to be in the hands of my new mentor who has not had a lot of exposure to my work previously.

My thought process was to get this little nugget to him and then shift my focus back to home and work and wedding planning. It’s not a little nugget, it’s a lot to chew on. I’m hoping he takes a couple of weeks on it. If not, At least a week.

I sent two large documents to him this morning with a substantial letter. I’ve sent a draft of what is sure to be a masterpiece into the universe and now?? Now I release myself to walk on my treadmill (which I have not done in 5 days) and write and truly get my thoughts together.

That pretty much sums things up and brings me to the current moment. I’ve been walking for 40 minutes and will keep on till I hit my hour. Then I’ve got a huge set list of tasks that need my attention. Work, house chores, wedding prep, and a few errands. I’ve really got to just take things a task at a time and not get overwhelmed by the list.

First up is house chores. Yay! 😏

I will say that one of the saving graces of my return home and a big part of how I’ve been able to stay sane is Jim and how he did everything while I was away. He even put ALL the Christmas decorations away. That’s hours and hours of work that I didn’t have to do or think about. It was just done. He’s truly the best and I’m a lucky girl!

Ok.. I think that’s really it now. That’s enough already though right??! 😉

Looking Forward,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-12-21 Winter Solstice Baby

We had a great Friday night last night hanging out and talking and randomly flipping through shows to watch, though we never found one. It feels a rare treat to get that QT with my fiancé with no kids and no obligations to go anywhere or do anything.

For a long while we just hung out in the kitchen drinking and he was able to chill while I stayed busy wrapping a few more gifts. The floor around our tree is a cup that runeth over and it’s a beautiful thing to see. It’s mostly things if course, but that’s just the nature of the season. It’s lovely to be able to give the kids what they want. Even the cats have stockings hung on the mantle and gifts under the tree. Yeah, we’re all pretty spoiled and I know that but also extremely grateful.

Today the kid-less train keeps rolling and our big plan for the day is to get down and dirty with the wedding planning (43 days to go 😱) and those conversations are desperately needed by yours truly as the whole thing is something I’ve discovered (like a lot of things in life) that I just wont do without accountability to another person or people. I just need that little extra push push of support to get it, whatever IT is, done.

From Jazzercise classes to writing groups, a little accountability goes a long way. This wedding planning business is no exception. Jim declaring this Saturday as THE day we’re going to get a lot done I’m that department is glorious. Not only will it push me to work on those little things I’ve been procrastinating (like the whole cake thing), but also helps with the feeling that I’m alone on an island and everything is just up to me.

So that’s happening. Not to be minimized though is the fact that it’s opening weekend for Star Wars Episode 9 and that’s a big deal. Huge! We have tix to see a 6:20 show at the Majestic. I’m super excited.

What else? As far as Christmas is concerned, I only have a few things to do Monday that can only be done last minute because they are time sensitive.

I think that’s it. Time is short today since it’s Winter Solstice and the shortest “daylight” day of the year. Let’s go!!

XOXOXO,

~Miss PeppermintDelight

2019-11-24 The Current Trifecta

It feels like time is moving too fast. At the same time the minutes and hours of every day seem to creep by. I’m keeping a close eye on the calendar and have a growing list of things to do. Most of it has something to do with one of three main topics.. wedding planning or school stuff or parenting. Ask me any hour of the day and that’s what’a consuming me.

As far as wedding planning goes, I’ve successfully ruled out having a big wedding cake and am going to opt for a dessert table instead. I also was ducking floored by photographer prices and were not cool with that either. I simply hate the fact that people hear the word “wedding” and the price triples. Now all the alternatives are stacking up into a lot of work the days leading up to the ceremony. And I’m starting to feel like I’m going to end up running around the town like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I should probably start asking for help. I’m no good at asking for help.

As far as school goes the MFA semester is winding down and I’ve received what I think will be the last bit of feedback. That came in yesterday and I was really hoping for a little more and maybe another in-person meet up but that’s not the vibe I’m getting. I feel like I’ve been quite spoiled this term with such an abundance of feedback and encouragement that this last go-round feels almost like leaving unfinished business left on the table. I may be reading the tea leaves wrong though, as this last communication comes so soon after I’ve been triple-dissed by other persons. Too many grey clouds looming in my brain right now. I should probably just smile and nod and move along, but that’s tough for me too.

My on campus class is also in a bit of a lull and the last assignment was one that I didn’t necessarily resist, but the result is a poem I would never submit to any publication, ever. Not to say it’s terrible, it’s not. It’s very average but the subject matter is something I didn’t want to write about in the first place. It’s about my mom and it doesn’t paint the best picture. I may spend some time trying to do a new one so I don’t have to turn the other in. I dunno. For that class I just have one more poem reading response and a 3-4 page book review to do. Easy enough I suppose after tackling a 45 page craft paper.

All-in-all the semester seems to be running long and I’m kinda feeling just over it. I’m looking forward to a break. I’m also looking forward to that break for my kids too. Both of them.

The semester has gotten long for C and he’s fighting losing battles in several classes. Our weeks together are a constant struggle to get past due assignments and he’s now on a fast track to failing German. Of all the things I’ve been dealing with, this makes me the sickest in my stomach and in my heart. I want to help him and don’t know how. Of all the things I don’t know how to do right now, this is the worst.

And then he goes to his dads and I turn a blind eye. Relief for a few days where I can ignore it and focus on other things. Then I feel guilty. It’s a puzzle which doesn’t seem to have a solution.

On the bright side, things with Z are fairly positive and I don’t have to worry about her in the same sense. With her my worry is more about her independence and driving and I wonder how long that feeling will stretch out into the future. Last night her and I went to Frozen 2 which she’s been talking about for weeks.

The movie wasn’t as good as the first but I’m glad her and I had that time to spend together, just us. We both cried at the end of the movie. Then we came back home and I sat with her while she went through all her mail. All sorts of communications from colleges wanting her to apply and done she’s already been accepted to.

At this point she’s been accepted to all 5 places she’s applied and I’m proud of her. My thoughts might be consumed with my wedding and my school but we also have her graduation in spring and that’s a huge deal. The whole time I’m looking at pictures for my wedding video, I’m also thinking about her life and the graduation party we will be having for her. It’s going to be grand.

That’s my hour for today. Time to Jam.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie