My Solo Summer Begins

on June 9, 2011

I am a single mother and have been for nearly ten years. An unfortunate aspect of this reality is the dreaded summer separation. This will be my sixth year of sending my daughter more than 2000 miles away for two and a half months.

Other than the major savings in childcare, this situation comes with a pretty nice perk – total and complete freedom for ten full weeks.

[I’ll pause here while the moms who do not have this luxury take this in. You good? Okay.]

I can go where I want when I want. If someone says, “Want to catch a movie Friday night?” I can say yes without the hassle of finding a babysitter. (Not that this ever happens, but if it did, I’d be ready.)

There’s less laundry, less yelling, and more hot water.

At the same time, there is the negative. I lose my daughter for ten weeks. My daughter is my best friend. We do everything together. Which means when she’s gone, I have no one to hang out with. And now that everyone knows I have no friends, we’ll move this along.

There are stages to this ordeal and I’m currently in what I call my trying-not-to-think-about-it stage. We’re at T-10 days and counting so this stage should continue through the weekend. However, next week, I slide into the grumpy phase. This is when not thinking about it is no longer possible but thinking about it makes me mad. I growl. A lot.

Then a two day drive and my solo summer begins.

The best way I’ve found to get through is to have a plan. So far, in all five previous years, my plan has been derailed immediately and by the time Kiddo gets back, I’ve accomplished nothing. So my new plan is not to have a plan. Instead, I’ve set one goal.

Finish the current rough draft no later than August 15th

I realize this might not seem like much, but that’s at least 70K words in under two and a half months. So maybe I should add one more goal – come out of this summer with a complete MS AND my sanity.

And We’re Moving On…

on August 28, 2010

The new condo I was so excited about that I was supposed to be moving into next weekend is officially kaputz. Well, the condo is still there, we’re just never going to live in it. And before anyone says “That’s too bad”, I have to say, no it isn’t. Not at all.

This thing fell through for a few reasons, but the bottom line is that by the time the contract ran out, I had plenty of reasons to no longer want the property. So really, it worked out for the best and the way I see it is I dodged a good sized bullet. Since the problem had nothing to do with me, I’m good to keep looking. Stay tuned to see if we hop back on the home buying merry-go-round.

Now it’s time to get back to my life. The life I had planned way back in May before this cluster began. I’m going to finish this Erotic Romance short story, write a short short for submission to Woman’s World, and then dig into this MS and get her polished and ready to go. My goal is to do all this by September 30, which I realize is a bit overly-ambitious, but aim high, right?

However, before I dig into any of this, I’m off this weekend to bring Kiddo home. Then Sunday night my dad flies in for a visit. Right now he only has a one way ticket, and I’m partially suspicious my mother is trying to shake him. Never fear, he will be returned. It’ll just be interesting to see which one of us breaks first.


on April 16, 2010

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I updated this. I mean, I knew it had been a while, but dang.

Well, this update is to say I won’t be updating for a while. Life is picking up and I’m on a mission. A mission that requires discipline, dedication, and lots of hours of my time. I will have this blessed manuscript finished – first draft that is – by May 28 in order to then use it in my six week revision class that begins June 6.

To accomplish this mission, I must write thirty pages a week from now until deadline. Since setting this goal, March 28th or there abouts, I have written 73 pages. Yes, I’m as stunned as you are.

But I’m doing this in the midst of the day job and the kiddo’s volleyball season and normal life that for me means the usual controlled chaos. And dirty socks. (For a girl, this child has the nastiest dirty clothes. It’s awful.)

All this to apologize in advance for my absense and say I have not forgotten about this blog, I simply can’t fit it into my life at the moment. Should any break throughs or major announcements need to be made, I’ll be sure to make an exception and find the time.

Hope everyone is having a great spring (YEAH for warm temps and pretty blooms!) and your own controlled chaos is more control than chaos. 🙂

Random Observations/Revelations

on February 21, 2010

I think I’ve hit some kind of transitional time in my life. Or a few brain cells have grown back. Either way, I’ve made some recent discoveries/observations about life in general and my life in particular.

We’ll start with life in general.

1.) When did tooth brushes become impressive collaborations of engineering and artistry? My new tooth brush could hang in a museum. Four colors, ridges, bumps, ergonomic shape and three different textures. The bristles are not only different colors, but different lengths and pointing in different directions. What exactly is going on in this mouth of mine? I mean, I know my teeth are crooked, but how could they know that?

2.) What must it be like to have thighs that don’t touch? I’ve noticed women like this over the years, ones whose thighs have never been introduced. Strangers performing an important task autonomous of each other. Oblivious even. Though I like my curves, sometimes, part of me would like to know what this would be like. It’s so foreign, I can’t even imagine it.

3.) When did common courtesy become extinct? On the roads, in restaurants, at the mall. We won’t even mention public restrooms. (Okay, technically I’ve mentioned them. Whatever.) It’s a wonderful day if I make it from point A to point B without using language seriously unbecoming a lady. In fact, I can’t remember the last time it happened.

4.) Cell phones are the final straw in the decline of civilization. I’ve sat in a restaurant sharing a meal with as many as half a dozen people, and everyone at the table was on a cell phone. Except me, as my child was using mine. Recently I witnessed two women out to lunch together and ignoring each other while texting other people. Texting while driving is the newest threat on the highways. As if we needed another hazard. The bloody things should be outlawed and we should return to the days when we didn’t have to be in touch every second of the day and night.

That’s enough whining about the world, time to move onto me.

1.) Life is for the beautiful people. I realize that doesn’t sound like it should land in this section, but it should.

2.) Though I’ve found getting older has many benefits, some things never change no matter how old you get. I have no discipline. None. In fact, getting older makes one more aware of exactly what they should be doing. Being aware and actually doing these things are light years apart.

3.) I’ve figured out why I eat too much and fail to exercise. No, I’m not typing it here. It was hard enough to admit to myself.

4.) My daughter has reached *that* phase. This weekend, I attended a basketball game. I didn’t know anyone involved, but (and this should say it all) there were boys playing that my daughter knows. Yes, we’re now going out of our way to attend events for no other reason than there are boys involved. I’m frightened and a little excited at the same time. And admit, the game was sort of fun to watch.

Anyone have anything to add? I’m off to have a brownie. Or three.

Timing is Everything

on September 29, 2008

In recent years, things seem to happen for me at just the right times. Even the bad things. Back in August, I had a conversation with a friend where I said I felt I was ready for a change, only I had no idea what that change would be. Lo and behold, I come home the first week of September to find an eviction letter in my door. In truth, it was just a “scare tactic” used by my apartment complex office to get tenants to turn in their lease renewal paperwork. But the dang thing gave me a heart attack, much needed motivation, and the legal out I needed to pick up and move. So I did.

Move to timing number two. The morning after receiving the letter, before I knew it wasn’t for real, a co-worker suggested I try an apartment complex in which she’d lived several years ago. It’s in a beautiful old neighborhood in Virginia Beach with super schools. Bonus – it cut my commute to work by half. I called and they had an apartment available almost immediately. From what I understand, there is usually a waiting list for this place. I loved it, loved the area and signed the lease the following week.

Another thing that happened back in August, I met a guy. Things seemed good if confusing and uncertain at first. But that’s pretty typical. Turned out well since he and a few other people I recently met helped me move. Never could have done it without the manpower. So we got everything moved in and things looked good. Unfortunately, it came to an end today. And though I’m disappointed, I’ll survive. Mostly because I always do.

Back to the timing thing. I’ve been sitting at my desk feeling sorry for myself today. But then I heard the new Nickelback song. It’s called Gotta Be Somebody and here is just some of the lyrics…

Gotta Be Somebody – Nickelback

This time, I wonder what it feels like

To find the one in this life, the one we all dream of

But dreams just aren’t enough

So I’ll be waiting for the real thing, I’ll know it by the feeling

The moment when we’re meeting, will play out like a scene

Straight off the silver screen

So I’ll be holding my own breath, right up ’til the end

Until that moment when, I find the one that I’ll spend forever with

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there

Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares

Someone to love with my life in their hands

There’s gotta be somebody for me like that

Cause nobody wants to do it all on their own

And everyone wants to know they’re not alone

There’s somebody else that feels the same somewhere

There’s gotta be somebody for me out there

Talk about perfect timing. Put a kink in my “I’ll be alone forever!” pity party. LOL! I’m still going to be touch and go for a little while, but I have faith that everything happens for a reason. So I’ll keep my eyes open, work on that positive thinking (which has been HARD today), and wait for the next specially timed event.

Have you noticed things happening at just the right time in your life? Do you believe in fate or that some things are meant to be? Do you have a special song that reminds you things aren’t so bad? And if you hate Nickelback, don’t tell me cause I love them! LOL!

Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

on August 26, 2008

This is going to be a big slush fest so prepare yourselves. I debated about posting that last blog (look down…not at your lap, at the blog below this one) and worried it would come across once again as me whining. But then I thought maybe someone else could be going through a similar experience and by reading my blog, could see that they weren’t alone. I also admit to the selfish idea that putting all that down in writing would be therapeutic and help me feel better. I should have known better.

Not that typing that didn’t get it all out, but that the help wouldn’t stop there. I want to thank everyone who offered support, advice and understanding. Those who shared their own experiences, either in email or in comments, and those who were just here. I have been lucky enough to virtually meet the most amazing women (and the amazing Q!) in the last couple of years. I will never regret getting bored one hot July night and wondering onto the Eloisa James (then sans Ms. Quinn) Bulletin Board and entering this crazy world.

I can never thank you enough and I only wish I could give all of you the hugs you deserve. Some of you I have been lucky enough to hug in person, some I will soon, and yet others I just know I’ll get to eventually. At least I hope so. For now, you’ll have to settle for this giant, slobbery, virtual kiss [MWAH!!!] .

For fun, how did you find your way into this giant online community we’ve built? Would you have ever imagined a virtual family like this? I know I didn’t. But I’m sure glad I found all of you!


on August 19, 2008

For some reason, I experienced about 12 to 14 hours of temporary insanity today. Well, it started last night and continued this morning. For the first time in my life, I had an anxiety attack. The real thing. And as I told one of my friends who has these things all the time, it’s no wonder she has to be medicated. Seriously, I would have done anything for medication this morning.

I would love to say this is all due to PMS. I’d even feel better about it if it were. But it’s not. It’s pretty much due to a combination of life and my own procrastination. You see, I have a great deal on my plate right now and this weekend something else got added. Something new and out of the blue and it threw me off balance. I’m all about balance. Honestly, I’m a control freak in some ways. A laid-back control freak if that’s at all possible.

Last night when I laid down to sleep, something happened. My heart started racing and though I was so tired my eyes hurt, I couldn’t close them. I laid there staring straight ahead, voices and thoughts racing through my mind. Then I had trouble breathing. In the buzz and confusion I somehow figured out it was an anxiety attack. And I have NEVER had an anxiety attack.

All the things I need to do by Sunday came flying at me. And then the fact that there’s more to do than time to do it in made matters worse. Throw in relationship confusions and upheavals on several fronts and the room started to spin. I got up, moved around, got some water, but nothing helped. Then I came up with a tiny solution to one of my problems and felt better enough about it that I fell asleep.

Now, this is the really weird part. As soon as I woke up, the attack was back. Only worse. I thought I was having a heart attack in the shower. A heart attack mixed with an Asthma attack since I couldn’t catch a full breath for nearly twenty minutes. I actually spent the entire time while drying my hair yelling at the person in the mirror that she is NOT crazy and this is NOT how she behaves. She must have listened somewhat because I was breathing normal when I left the house.

Thankfully, I work in my own office so I walked into work (wearing sunglasses to cover the tear-swollen eyes) and closed my door. The adrenaline rush lent a hand to getting several tasks done and out of the way. A good talk with a co-worker helped and then reading an article about a woman dealing with breast cancer gave me some much needed perspective. Trust me when I say, the causes behind this hissie-fit were no where near the level of cancer. Thank goodness and knock on wood other than painful knees there were no health related issues at all.

Sometime after lunch I made the conscious decision to take my sanity back. And I have been SO MUCH BETTER since. But now I wonder how to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Am I reaching some new phase of womanhood where dancing too close to the edge can actually send me over it? Is this some hormone overload or just normal emotional overload? As a very practical and rational person, I’m not happy to say I didn’t recognize that woman in the mirror this morning.

What I Want

on July 2, 2008

I’ve been preaching this positive thinking thing for a while. I’m no Pollyanna, but I’m close. My mantra is, “If you expect bad things to happen, then bad things will happen.” It’s sort of a longer way to say, “Have faith!” What people might not realize is that I haven’t always been this way.

I grew up in a family constantly looking over their collective shoulders. Very superstitious and very negative. There was always some disaster waiting around the corner for us to walk by so he could pounce. And if some misery did befall us, it was never due to our own actions or choices. Nope, it was the Universe conspiring against us.

A few years ago, I met someone who had a completely opposite view of life. He changed my life in many ways, but one of the best things he did for me was teach me to have faith. And I’m not talking religion. I have that kind of faith as well, but this is more faith in the Universe or Karma or whatever other force you want to imagine.

My mantra comes straight from my friend. He certainly said it to me often enough. The clincher happened when I followed his advice and noticed a real change. When I stopped waiting for the other shoe to fall, it didn’t. When I stopped expecting things to go wrong, they didn’t.

Now I have another friend who has gotten on this positive train with me. We’ve put a new plan into action where we are not only thinking positively, we’re writing it down. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.

I started writing my “What I Want” list today and found it’s harder than I expected. First, you have to know what you want. If I knew that, I probably wouldn’t need the list. Determined, I started typing and what I want sort of just showed up on the page. It’s a good list. Not too crazy, but no lowering of standards. That’s good for me. Since the list is quite personal, I won’t share the entire thing. But I will share the last bit because I figure it’s likely what most people want.

I want the courage to set my goals high, to accomplish those goals, and to push others to reach their true potential. I want to show my daughter how important it is to live, to laugh, and to love, but most of all to love herself. I want to be as healthy as I can be and to love myself enough to do what it takes to stay that way.

Do you believe you’re a positive person? What do you do to keep the faith? Have you tried making a list like this and if not are you willing to try? What are some of the (not so personal) things you’d put on your list? And I think we can all agree World Peace is on all our lists so we’ll call that a given.

on October 15, 2007

Goodness, it’s been way too long. Let me see if I can condense recent events…

New Jersey Writer’s Conference
Incredible. Those ladies put on one hell of a conference and I can’t imagine ever missing it. I can’t say I long to ever drive in NJ again but once a year I can probably handle. The workshops were great, the people were warm, welcoming and supportive. The speakers made us laugh and cry, the agents/editors were gracious and encouraging, and the weather was even perfect. Hot in October in New Jersey. Who’d a thunk?

The two coolest parts were meeting Sherrilyn Kenyon (who is incredible beyond words) and having dinner with Eloisa James and Julia Quinn along with the other Bon Bons. I met people I’ve talked with online for more than a year and spent time with a couple of my CRW chapter-mates. The trip was a success and I’m more than happy I went.

New position. It’s very odd when so many things fall into place at one time. Curious about my future with the company, I consulted my boss on a Thursday regarding my next move. She explained if I could wait until after the first of the year, I’d be all set. No problem. Within the next two days, two employees put in their notice and within two weeks another one would leave suddenly. I now have a new job (admin assistant), a new office and I’m SO excited to have work to do. No more playing at work. Ok, so I’m writing this while at work. Maybe *less* playing at work.

Life in General
Hectic and crazy as ever. Two college (online) course, one major ecourse and a child playing softball. Don’t forget about the full-time job. Oh, and attempting to write a book. Can we say “tired”? LOL! I think I have my school stuff under control for now, I’m still way behind on the e-course (probably won’t catch up until some time in November!) but the softball team gets better with every game. Isabelle loves it and I’m enjoying coaching first base. Well, until those little girls hit me in the knee with the ball – that wasn’t so fun. The pretty purple bruise has now turned an ugly yellow-green. I managed to get a request for a partial during the conference so I’m trying my best to get the first 3 chaps cleaned up nice and pretty. Wish me luck!

So, other than the visit to the people ER and the animal ER all in one night this weekend, we’re all caught up. Not to worry, Wee One and I are fine. It’s much too long a story to go into but suffice it to say, I don’t want to experience a night like that ever again. *g*

Anyone else attend a conference lately? Get a new job? Stretch yourself to the brink of exhaustion? It can’t be only me…

I stole this from Hellion who stole it from Sin…

on July 9, 2007

Finish the sentences….

1. I’ve come to realize that my last kiss was…probably the best kiss I’ve ever had.

2. I am listening to…the movie The Upside of Anger on the tv in the living room.

3. I talk…way more than I should. Unfortunately, I rarely say anything constructive.

4. I love…my daughter Isabelle but chocolate and peanut butter might run a close second.

5. My best friends are…coming to see me in a matter of weeks and I’m so excited I can’t stand it!

6. My Car is…an adorable little S-10 that I love.

7. My love life…just took an interesting turn for the better.

8. I hate it when people that your natural hair color? Duh.

9. Love is…scary as hell.

10. Marriage is…scarier.

11. Somewhere, someone is thinking…life really is pretty damn good.

12. I’m always…getting into something totally out of my control.

13. I have a secret cheesy crush on…Gerard Butler but I don’t think that’s much of a secret to anyone.

14. My closet is…filled with clothes I never wear.

15. My cell phone…glows with pretty blue dancing lights when it rings. I think it’s cool.

16. When I wake up in the morning…I spend the first few minutes trying to figure out if there is anyway for me to stay in bed.

17. When I go to bed at night…I’m usually way more optimistic about tomorrow than I should be.

18. Right now I am thinking about…last night.

19. Babies are…the greatest thing in the world.

20. I get on myspace….only when I want to check up on an old friend.

21. Today I…got home very early (or late depending on how you look at it).

22. Tonight I will…try not to think about last night.

23. Tomorrow I will…play on the internet and hopefully get some writing done.

24. I really want to…be happy. Is that too much to ask?

How about you? Want to face the inquisition? Come and play. Any or all, it’s up to you.