Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hope, Health and Happiness

I don’t get too much in depth on this topic on the blog because it is difficult to talk about, but I do use control weight as a way to feel I have control over the tiny slice of life that I just might be controllable.  It gets worse with my anxiety and it eases up as I relax.  

Recently (since April), I’ve gained 8 or 9 pounds. It is really uncomfortable. When I think about it, I cringe and and tense up, snapping at anyone who suggests “it’s fine, you were thin to begin with”.

I wonder if anyone will like me at the new weight. I wonder if I need to change my pictures so the old ones aren’t misleading (though my theory is that if the outfit still fits, then the picture is legit!)

This week, the Counselor congratulated me on tolerating the weight gain. “Tolerating” is a good word for it. I am not embracing it. In fact, I’m not happy about it at all, but I’m not going into full blown restricting mode, so therefore I’m tolerating it.

Here is the good part: I switched up my normally carb/sugar heavy diet (i.e. I usually eat like a 5 year old without a parent) and added much more protein, fruits and some veggies (which is a significant increase over no veggies!). Since doing this I have more energy. It is easier to keep a positive perspective on things. I don’t get exhausted quite as easily. And that is my ultimate goal for this year (which I didn’t know at first, but has become abundantly clear): build up my reserves so I’m not constantly running on empty.  

Previously I was running on empty after expending the smallest amount of energy on dealing with an event. Now I’m building my reserves - surrounding myself with energizing people, doing things that I want to do, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.

So I’m tolerating the weight gain for the greater good of hope, health and happiness.  (I need to remember to re-read this blog post daily as I cringe each morning and need to reassure myself this is for the best.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Living on My Island Again (Friday Matchmaking Attempt Recap)

I’m not one of those people who just wakes up and rolls out of bed to start another day. Most of the time I either wake up panicky or I wake up excited for the day - 100% of the time I wake up with a stomach ache (my body’s go to reaction of being worked up in one way or another). I’m not good at just plain old waking up. Today I  woke up sad.

Last night I set Buen Maestra up with ‘The Teacher’ that I met on back in February. Though I think he is a bonafide nice guy, I do not think we are a match. He’s probably closer than most but it isn’t there.  Buen Maestra deserves a really wonderful guy so I set them up based on their similar dispositions (gentle, unassuming, optimistic).  The night went ok but I was left feeling like I don’t belong, yet again.

The feeling is isolation is so common and frequent that I’m embarrassed to write about it too much at the risk of sounding whiny or pathetic.  Half of the time I’m writing this blog out of pure, honest emotion and experience but the other half I wonder if I’m writing it the way that I want to experience things, not admitting to the pain that is just under the surface. Or maybe I secretly know that the pain just under the surface is there for everyone so it doesn’t need to be said outloud. Either way, I digress and will continue with my sad morning story:

Grace went with her father for the day/night to his hometown and I opened up the trusting lounge chair and soaked in the sun. I am someone who needs a lot of light. I bask in it, soak it in, I literally can not get enough of it. In fact, I feel that I lived in the dark for so much of my life that I’m redoing my living room to be as light as the way that I’m shaping my life to be.  But today, even the light wasn’t melting the sad.  Until I started reading “Carry On Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed”.  Immediately I was moved by Glennon Doyle Melton’s raw honestly about the human experience of being vulnerable and open and forming connections with others who, when exposed themselves, share the same experience: life is hard.

Right smack at the beginning, Melton says, “Because the way of folks is brokeness, the only way to live peacefully is to forgive everyone constantly, including yourself”.  Oh yeah, forgiving myself. I had forgotten about that as I was berating myself for being not fun enough, too open, too tired, too much like a grandmother at age 34.  So I forgave myself in that minute for not being perfect and remembered the only thing better than being perfect is being genuine.  Melton refers to herself as ‘a work of art in progress’.  Beautifully put!

She continues to talk about the hole within herself that she tried to fill in various ways (the same hole I was feeling that I fill with shopping, eating, controlling what I eat, exercising and other small OCD habits such as aligning everything perfectly to ensure nothing will go wrong in life).  She says, “That’s how you can tell you’re filling yourself with the wrong thing. You use a lot of energy and in the end, you feel emptier and less comfortable than before”.  Wow, is that ever true. You could even substitute “hanging out with the wrong person” to measure the health or toxicity of a relationship in which you are investing.

Breathe. Air. Light. Health.  Reading this book brings me back to center. Maybe I am on an island but there are bridges to everyone else’s islands as well. I loved the book so much I sent a copy to Buen Maestra rush shipping so we can read and reflect together. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why I Hate Bars

Why I hate bars: it is an exercise in validation without taking any of the important characteristics into consideration.

If you meet someone, you feel desirable.

If you don’t meet someone, you feel like there is something wrong with you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I heard an inspirational message this week about believing - that we resist saying we believe something because we can’t be certain of it.  But if you take the definition of believe to mean ‘to trust’ then you don’t need to be certain of something to believe it, you just need to trust it.

This subtle shift in meaning has big impacts. How many places have you resisted believing because you weren’t certain? But trusting comes more easily. I can trust that things will work out, that I won’t live my life feeling isolated, that I am enough.  I may not be 100% certain about them right now but I trust them and therefore I believe.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mr. Mixed Signals

For the weekend Grace headed to her father’s hometown for the weekend and I headed to the shore for my last long weekend away.  Two gorgeous beach days were rejuvenating however after going out Friday night, my spirits were dampened upon seeing the judgemental and surface-level way guys were treating the girls at the bar. Though I’ve experienced this all summer and each time it has chipped away at my hope of meeting a match, it was really driven home this weekend when a friend acknowledged ‘this is not a place where personality counts’.  Upon hearing that, I knew I needed to change my perspective. Although the beach is a place where tons of single young professionals converge, they are not coming with the goal of meeting someone special, they are coming with the goal of having fun for one night.  

As luck would have it, old friends decided to meet up at my house on Sunday so after a day in the sun on Saturday, I decided to drive home Saturday night to prep for the get together on Sunday.  I stopped in the city on the way back to have dinner with a good friend and then ended up meeting up with Mr. Nice Guy (introduced in July 2012).  He was out with a friend for drinks and the three of us had a great time. The highlight being that a gay guy who I was chatting started to leave and turned back around and said “by the way, you are gorgeous” - WOW! Compliment of the summer!

Back to Mr. Nice Guy - He was very complimentary during the evening (oh boy did that feel good).  Then he said “I have to ask, are you dating anyone?” to which I replied “no, I met some clowns and decided I’d rather spend my free time doing what I enjoy than doing on these dates, but if I met someone who turned my head I would gladly go out with him”.  I asked if he is dating, to which he replied “no, I decided last week that he needed a break from dating”, followed by a long sigh (apparently the proverbial dating-waters were rough for him as well).  He referenced missing hanging out with girls just for fun and I acknowledged that is a drawback of not dating, but I wondered if he was testing to see if I was up for noncommittal hangouts. Then he inquired if I met and married a man who didn’t have kids and wanted one, if I would have more.  Hmm, isn’t that an odd question? I answered honestly: that if hypothetical didn’t have kids, I would have more. But if he did have kids, I probably wouldn’t unless it was very important to him because it would already be very Brady Bunch with our combined existing kids.

As we walked to my car he gave me a very long, close hug. He ran his fingers through my hair and looked in my eyes.  It appeared he was considering a kiss but instead he asked to hang out over Labor Day weekend when we will both be at the shore.  Admittedly, on my part, my hug wasn’t nearly as warm as his, as I always feel I have to keep my guard up around him for fear my heart may melt. And a warm, long embrace is heart-melting material!

So was he testing the waters to see if I’m up for ‘fun’ only?  Why was he asking about my long term aspirations?  Or was it all merely meaningless conversation while standing in line at a bar?

I hereby declare Mr. Nice Guy to be known as Mr. Mixed Signals going forward.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why it Doesn’t Matter When the Boy You Gave Your Number to Doesn’t Text

Alas, I did not hear from the cute boy I met on saturday night - the one who bought me a drink and I gave my number to his friend to pass to him - never got in touch. Rather than letting the instant feeling of rejection set in, I made a list of reasons why it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t text:

1) He spends the bulk of his time taking obnoxious selfies.
2) He is too busy taking care of his herd of cats to remember to text an alluring stranger.
3) His hair product causes short-term memory loss.
4) His girl friend who took my number has a secret crush on him and never passed it along.
5) He has issues holding a conversation with an awesome girl.
6) He’s gay. (let’s be honest, we all hope this conclusion is true when the admiration of a cutie isn’t returned).
7) Insert your theory here: ____________

Monday, August 12, 2013

The art of drunk texting and other nuggets of wisdom from girl’s night

I hit the town with Buen Maestra on Saturday night to visit a few of Philly’s hot spots and see who was out and about.  After our second drink (which constitutes downright tipsy for me), we decided it would be a good idea for her to text a guy who she hasn’t heard from in a while, but would like to reconnect with.  After a meeting of our minds, we came up with a short text that was an open question with limited punctuation “Hey hot stuff how are you?”, our inebriated reasoning being that 1) it needs to be a text that elicits a response 2) including the comma after the greeting and before the question would show too much thought 3) the question mark at the end was imperative to ensure it didn’t come off as thoughtless. Well, in the moment it seemed genius. In reality, unfortunately, it did not receive a response (yet).

During the same evening, I spotted a very cute boy across the bar. As he went to the bar to get another drink, I summoned my inner courage and walked up to order my water, casually mentioning to him that the beer I just had was a great selection. This opened the door and he said it was a great beer and offered to buy me one!  Jackpot, I thought, I hooked a boy!  Except after the beer came and we exchanged a quick cheers, he walked away to return to his small group of friends who had obviously come together for some sort of reunion.

While we “occupied” his group of friends (stood close enough to promote casual contact if he walked by), Buen Maestra spied to give me the play by play. Unfortunately, shortly after that the group decided to leave and in a last ditch, semi-desperate, semi-tired-of-missing-potential-opportunities, I tapped his friend on the shoulder and inquired if he was single (yes) and asked if I could give her my number to give to him (yes).  I typed my number into her phone and crossed my mental fingers that he would get in touch.

Yet again, this was a genius plan in my head at the time, but yet again, it failed to bring about the desired result - no text from the cute boy. Oh well...I am glad that I ‘put myself out there’, but at the same time I need a little time to recoup and lick my wounds because ‘putting oneself out there’ takes an enormous amount of energy and bravery and it takes some time to build those levels back up again!

Friday, August 9, 2013

“Any formula for living that is too cramped for the human situation cries for rethinking.”

When your options are either
to revise your beliefs
or to reject a person,
look again.

Any formula for living
that is too cramped
for the human situation
cries for rethinking.

Hardcover catechisms
are a contradiction
to our loose-leaf lives.

(Gerhard E. Frost, Seasons of a Lifetime)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


An absolutely beautiful blog post on the Huffington Post entitled, “The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’” by Rachel Macy Stafford details what an A-type personality mom learned from her ‘Noticer’ of a daughter.

“She was a Noticer, and I quickly learned that The Noticers of the world are rare and beautiful gifts. That's when I finally realized she was a gift to my frenzied soul.”

This rings so true for Grace and I and I am thankful everyday that she notices, because it causes me to notice too.  This is well worth the read for any Type A person who has the gift of having a Noticer in their life:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Getting Out of the Path of the Storm

I am proud to say that this weekend I exercised the advice to get out of the path of the storm - not once, but twice!

After going out with the Hip Dad, I knew I wasn’t much interested but decided there must be something wrong with me because he is a ‘nice guy’ with similar interests, therefore I should be interested in him. I had hoped a stronger interest and associated attraction would develop as we starting getting to know each other, but after not hearing from him except to schedule and then execute planning phone calls for a second date, the lack of interest became even less until I realized the stark truth: He may be a nice guy but he is not a match for me. I nicely let him know that I think he’s a great guy but I don’t feel this is a match and don’t want to take up his time, concluding with wishing him the best of luck in his search.  He responded and said he understood and asked to be friends (a great response!)  
Lesson learned: Just because a guy is ‘nice’ doesn’t mean he is a match.

Also, over the weekend I had a run in with the Boy on the Street. After somewhat blowing me off the first time he saw me, he stopped and chatted for a few minutes the second time he saw me. He followed that with a few short text messages indicating he had returned to his room at his shore house and said “you know where to find me”.  WTF!?!  If that is an invitation, it is hands down the most inappropriate and lamest ever.  I politely declined, citing that I would prefer an invitation for a drink before a late night invitation to someone’s house.  He said ‘ok fair enough’ and I never heard from him again.  
Lesson learned: Don’t waste time on a bad guy.

Overall, the weekend was a win! I’m patting myself on the back for making two great decisions by being true to myself. And by doing so, an amazing thing happened - in both situations, I instantly felt lighter and happier!  As synchronicity would have it, Gretchen Rubin posted a similar sentiment on her Happiness Project blog this week, “Secret of Adulthood: It’s Easier to Prevent Pain Than to Squelch It.”

Thursday, August 1, 2013

You Aren’t Strong than the Storm, but You Can Move Out of Its Path

A response to yesterday’s blog post “Why am I chasing the Unavailable guy and running from the Available guy?” from Little Buddha:

I see challenge written all over this.  And, I don’t see anything wrong with a challenge.  Challenges always teach you something.  However, the boy challenges that you go after seem to be on the “destined to be energy suckers” challenges.  Even though Hip Dad doesn’t pose a challenge right up front, it doesn’t mean they are not there.  Ride it out and have a little fun with it.  Boy on the Street, well, I’m sure he can find someone else to suck the energy out of, so ask yourself if you have the energy to spare and if you do, do you want to give him the freebie?  It seems like you are still raising the bar way too high for yourself.  You think you should be able to take it all on.  Take the beating, the hurt, the neglect and be strong enough to overcome it.  They say on that NJ commercial – “We are stronger than the storm”.  No, not really, the storm was stronger than NJ which is why they had to rebuild.  You are not stronger than the storm, you are the foundation and storms can destroy everything but the foundation.  NJ could rebuild on that foundation.  But, NJ couldn’t move out of the storm’s path.  You can.  It’s tiring to nail up all those boards in the windows then take them down only to do it all over again.  Be strong enough to view the storms for what they are and make the choice not to weather them.  Yet, be strong enough to have a little fun with the storms that allow you to get wet, cuddle in the dark with a candle, watch the lightening and listen to the thunder AND rebuild a little of this or that to make it even nicer than it was.