Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New - Part 1

Wow, when I said it felt like going on the Real World by entering the beach house, I didn’t know how right I was!  My housemates are awesome. All down to earth, very fun, very good people. I had an absolutely blast this weekend. But, as with all ‘new’ experiences, a whole host of new characters have emerged.  For the sake of timing, I’ll introduce them separately. Let’s start with ‘Out with the Old’ for part 1.

Several friends already know this, but there is a tall, dark and very handsome guy that I saw last year at the same shore bar as I frequented this weekend.  After that, I saw him 3 times in the city, most recently the night of my birthday at the bar where a few friends got together. After staring at him the entire night, convinced we were bound for marriage, I failed to squeak even the smallest ‘hi’ to introduce myself.  So, my friends made me agree that, should I ever ‘run into him’ again, I had to introduce myself.

I saw him again on Saturday at Happy Hour. After a couple of drinks and hearing my friends voices echoing through my head, I pushed my shoulders back, held my head up high and walked right over to him and said ‘Hi, I’m Diana, and I’ve seen you everywhere!”  WHAT?? That was the opening line that came out?? I sounded like stalker. So in effort to make it sound less creepy, I proceeded to list where I saw him!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  He very quickly blew his tipsy stalker off and I went back to my group of friends, ego deflated.

Nonetheless, after my housemates got a good chuckle out of my creepy introduction, I decided that if I saw tall, dark and handsome again at the bar that night, I would fix my creepy persona and let him know exactly how awesome I am.

And I did see him...as I led off with “I didn’t mean to sound creepy earlier, I’m just not that smooth” (because claiming not to be creepy is the best way to prove you are, in fact, not creepy), he very kindly introduced me to his girlfriend, the cute blonde standing next to him!  Record book humiliation!  If it wasn’t so laughable, I’d probably feel awful but after a year of build up, it couldn’t have unfolded in a more awkward & ridiculous manner. Time to close the books to tall, dark and handsome!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What's New?

I leave for the beach house tomorrow.  A new experience.  Just like everything else that has unfolded in the last year & a half that helped to shape Wonder Woman....new.  Little Buddha shared the following with me as we were discussing the anxieties that come with something new when you associate it with stress change, rather than counting the blessings that come with something new when you associate it with opportunity.

adj. new·er, new·est
1. Having been made or come into being only a short time ago; recent: a new law.
a. Still fresh: a new coat of paint.
b. Never used or worn before now: a new car; a new hat.
3. Just found, discovered, or learned: new information.
4. Not previously experienced or encountered; novel or unfamiliar: ideas new to her.
5. Different from the former or the old: the new morality.
6. Recently obtained or acquired: new political power; new money.
7. Additional; further: new sources of energy.
8. Recently arrived or established in a place, position, or relationship: new neighbors; a new president.
9. Changed for the better; rejuvenated: The nap has made a new person of me.
10. Being the later or latest in a sequence: a new edition.
11. Currently fashionable: a new dance.
12. New In the most recent form, period, or development.
13. Inexperienced or unaccustomed: new at the job; new to the trials of parenthood.

I’m not the only one facing something new as we enter into the holiday weekend. Many of my friends are beginning a new chapter in their life, whether it be a new job, new baby, new marriage, etc.  I hope as we each move forward into the new season we consider all of the definitions of new and leave the anxiety-causing, change-objecting stress behind.

What is ‘new’ with you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Kick-off Countdown

The summer is about to kick off in a matter of days and things have been nicely wrapped up as spring passed and I’m ready for the next season.  No attachment to boys, no one spinning my head in circles.  Friends have moved on to new ventures (voluntary or not) and work environment has changed (although not for the better).  So much change for a season that is infamous for change.  And now summer is about to start...infamous for heat, for passion and fun!

This year I went in on a half share in a shore house which means I have my own dedicated bed every other weekend throughout the summer. I share the room with 2 roommates.  The house is filled with 15 young professionals total.  I don’t know anyone well in the rest of the house so it feels a bit like entering the Real World house - who are the roommates? Who are the hot guys? Who are the annoying drunks? And how am I going to feed myself among all of these people?  (ok, I’m pretty sure the Real World cast never worried about how they were going to get fed, however this is a perpetual concern of mine!)

So I am walking into a new house with new people, completely carefree, unencumbered from attachment, past baggage or expectation.  Just me, the heat of the summer and a lot of crazy people!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Karma in the form of a wet basement

I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Perhaps lack of stimulation.  Work environment is gloomy and projects are not currently fulfilling. Nothing going on in the dating world. So I’m bored. And when I’m bored, I decide to stir up trouble. In a harmless, innocent way. So I pulled a harmless prank at work. And within 12 hours was plagued from the guilt of it. We’ll come back to that.

Also, an unrelated incident at work, I got in a disagreement with a coworker that I also consider to be a friend.  I apologized for disagreeing, though I stand by what I said, it was misdirected to say to him.  I don’t want to cause anyone more stress than is already present in this aforementioned gloomy work environment.

After these 2 occurrences, both of which I felt guilty for possibly causing undo stress to someone else, even though that was not my intention, rather an unintended consequence of my actions.....my basement flooded. I’ve lived in the same house for 7 years and it has been bone dry until yesterday.  Water came streaming in from a heavy storm and my carpet had to be pulled up, the padding discarded and $2500 + 3 days later, it should be restored to dry & safe place for Grace to play.  However, I couldn’t help but thinking was this karma's way of reminding me to keep myself in check?  To not let go of my more mature sensibilities and give in to the little kid who likes to stir things up every once in awhile (don’t we all have that part or is it just me)?

One thing I struggled with for the last year (and occasionally still do today) is if the affair/blow up of the marriage was a punishment for sins that I unknowingly committed. Those of sound mind around me have assured me it is no such thing. But sometimes I wonder if I was just a little bit better, would life has turned out differently?  If I hadn’t voiced my opinions to my coworker and if I hadn’t played the prank - would my basement still be dry?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The fine art of managing expectations

I have a good friend who is going through a very difficult time and she raised the point that after years of getting her hopes up, only to have them dashed when the results were not as she had expected, she has realized the key to happiness is to not have expectations.  In my very limited knowledge of Buddhism, I think this relates to the idea of non-attachment.  This got me thinking though, how do you maintain hope while managing expectations?  

Countless times I’ve gotten my hopes and expectations up that something great would happen - either a date would be wonderful, I would be recognized for something good I did at work, a night out with friends would be ‘super fun’, etc. And each time I have an expectation, real life seems to fall short. And each time I do not have an expectation and life just unfolds, I am pleasantly surprised.

So I struggle with where the balance is between hope, expectations, and happiness.  Here is why:
Let’s say you are going out for a night and hope to meet a cute guy (a simple scenario).
  • If you decide to have no expectations, you are essentially saying I’m not going to meet anyone tonight.  Does this then, become a self fulfilling prophecy because you have already set your mind to the fact that you won’t meet anyone?  Or, does it ultimately make you happier because if you meet someone, that is great, and if not, nothing was lost. 
  • Or, if you expect that tonight you will meet someone cool and you do not meet someone, you go home feeling that the night was a failure.
Maybe the fine line is the difference between hope and expectations. Hope that things will unfold in the best way possible (I’m not a fatalist so I will never say ‘meant to be’).  Versus expectations that things will unfold in a specific way, frequently leading to disappointment.  

It is so difficult to detach from the idea of a specific outcome. After all, isn’t that what my expectations of having a family were for the last 8 years?  I dreamt of myself, my husband and our daughter.  Now I have a family, but it wasn’t in the form I expected it to be, and it took a long time to get over the fact that my expectations for my life were not what reality had dealt.  However, my hopes of having a family one day were filled as now I have the perfect family for me - Grace, our dog, myself, my parents, our extended family and our loving friends.  It may not be the mom/dad/child unit I expected but as it turns out, it is much, much better!

This is something I struggle with every day and watch many of my friends do the same.  I’d like to spend more time focusing on my hopes and letting go of my attachment to any expectations of a specific outcome.  I don’t know if this is the key to happiness, but it seems to be one step closer!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Yesterday a few friends and I ran the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia (the nation’s largest 10 mile race).  I felt underprepared for the race, after having only trained 1 day a week due to conflicting schedules, weather, etc.  On race morning my friends and I were all nerves. After the gun went off, we started the run and I was pretty nervous the first few miles - ‘can I keep this pace up?’, ‘will my knee start acting up?’, ‘why is my stomach growling when I just started running!?’.

I knew Grace was waiting for me at 5.5 miles and as soon as I saw her, I was filled with new energy and knew I was running this race for her. Showing her that life’s circumstances don’t dictate who you are, you control what defines you.  I had more energy as each mile past and picked up speed until finally I crossed the finish line in a record time for myself. I felt great - knowing I made it through - all that of the challenges of the last 19 months - I came out stronger, literally!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catching up

It has been a fairly mundane start to the week so I thought it would be a good time to catch up on loose ends.  

Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday with friends and family, and after a year of feeling disconnected, it was a fantastic way to kick off my new year (as well as getting over the first year post-divorce hump).  I can not thank my friends and family enough for making this birthday extra special and ringing in the ‘new year’ in such a wonderful way!

In other news, I’ve stopped communicating with the Dad aka the Ditcher. The email exchange we were having was growing dull and mundane with a running list of daily happening updates. Whereas my initial attraction to him was his wit and intellect.  Take that away and you have...well, email updates you’d send to your grandma. So I stopped replying, as his last email didn’t even include an open ended question. I figured if he wanted to continue hanging out, he’d get in touch, but of very little surprise, he did not.

On the other hand, a good friend told me about this okcupid site which is much like match.com except free (my online dating philosophy for single moms is that it is a must-do because you don’t have time to ‘put yourself out there’ very often so may as well do it from the comfort of your home)!  One of my 4 ‘dull dates’ came from this site. However, last week I started emailing with a band member of a popular band in the 90’s that could be considered a one hit wonder.  While I find his emails to be fairly self centered (again, lacking open ended questions), Little Buddha informed me that this is because guys don’t know what they are doing and it’s in their nature to just write about themselves. Taking this into consideration, I decided to take a risk and see if he wanted to hang out in person.  He said yes but asked what I’d like to do....and that is what I need to think about today, as I can’t do anything as predictable as some of my normal spots but I also don’t want to go too hipster. I need ‘hip without effort’ - any suggestions?

That wraps up the catch up. I’m sorely missing my friends who lost their jobs last week and I think about them every day.  I am also so thankful for all of the love and support over the weekend from friends & family.  So all in all - it’s a bitter sweet week, but isn’t that how it always is?