Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It has been a rough week. There are no two ways about it: TGI Friday’s fizzled out for no discernible reason. An executive threw a 20-page document across his desk at me at work while yelling “obviously this is too complicated for you”(clearly he didn’t know who he was talking to). Topping it off, my ‘team’ at work planned a happy hour to get together with someone who recently left and conveniently forgot to invite me (ouch!!).

I have that weak feeling in your stomach that you get when you are being yourself and are still not warmly received. It may be the case that I’m just running into people who don’t jive with my vibe (that sounded a lot cooler in my head), but it doesn’t stop the sting.

Pema Chodron’s quote for this week arrived just in I am feeling ‘resentment about how it’s all working out” for me - and missing the beauty in the things that are working out wonderfully (like my beautifully re-done living room, new appointment to the township’s economic development committee, and upcoming trip to London).

Meditation begins to open up your life, so that you’re not caught in self-concern, just wanting life to go your way. In that case you no longer realize that you’re standing at the center of the world, that you’re in the middle of a sacred circle, because you’re so concerned with your worries, pains, limitations, desires, and fears that you are blind to the beauty of existence. All you feel by being caught up like this is misery, as well as enormous resentment about life in general. How strange! Life is such a miracle, and a lot of the time we feel only resentment about how it’s all working out for us.

A Simple Formula

“A mathematical formula for happiness:Reality divided by Expectations.There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.”
- Jodi Picoult

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pulling It Together and Falling Apart

On Friday, I had enough of the Waiting Game and pushed the envelope a little with TGI Friday’s to get a better gauge of what was going on. Though he said he wanted to hang out again, he did nothing to follow up and it became clear that one way or another he isn’t up for what I was hoping for!

I deemed Friday a pajama day since I work from home every Friday and have the luxury of staying in my pajamas - I really wanted a date to mope about 3 dates come and gone and to process a semi-traumatic event at work which I won’t dive into right now.. I stayed in my PJs straight into the evening and back to bed (you may think it is gross, but once you try it, it is pretty awesome).  By Friday evening I was in my PJ’s watching Will & Grace when I texted a couple of close girlfriend announcing I must be the president of Loserville. Much to my amusement, they wrote back saying that is what they categorize as a good night and one asked what channel Will & Grace was on so she could tune in!

Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling everything together and sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart - sometimes in the same day.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Waiting Game

That unsure time after you have a first date when you aren’t sure if the other person is interested or if a second date is coming, I affectionately call “The Waiting Game”.  I was telling Little Buddha how that old familiar anxious feeling of wondering what TGI Fridays is thinking and if he wants to see me again was setting in.  Despite positive signs on the first date, I haven’t had a consistent experience after a good first date - some guys come on super strong, some guys take their time, and some randomly disappear.  I informed her I am patiently waiting for him to ask me out rather than me chasing him (as we control-freaks default to doing).  Little Buddha astutely asked the following questions, to which I answered in capitals:

“Is it that you automatically assume that it’s a dig on you? YES
They are not asking so it’s you that’s done something, it’s you that’s not appealing, it’s you that isn’t good enough??? YES
Is it not patience, but panic? YES”

I laughed out loud when I received her questions because she was dead on. I reverted back to my familiar path of thinking that it must be a reflection of me. It is amazing the amount of scenarios your mind can run in a few minute window, calculating the odds of what will happen, the effects of what has already transpired and predicting his next move.  I’m sure there is a better use of my brain than this!

Pema Chodron’s quote for this week more eloquently describes this experience:
“Not acting on our habitual patterns is only the first step toward not harming others or ourselves. The transformative process begins at a deeper level when we contact the rawness we’re left with whenever we refrain…..We allow ourselves to wait, to sit patiently with the urge to act or speak in our usual ways and feel the full force of that urge without turning away or giving in.”

So now I am catching myself and redirecting my thoughts to more positive places - though I need to do this about every 10 minutes when my patience runs out and the panic sets in!  How do you fight that panicky feeling?  How do you get through the Waiting Game?

Date Recap: Mr. Madrid

I went out with Mr. Madrid last night. We met at a hip corner bar in his very hip neighborhood.  The type of bar where people aren’t trying to be hip, they are more carefreely irreverent, though most are young professionals.  

He walked in and I had to adjust to what he looks like in real life versus what I remembered late night at a bar. He is good looking in a low maintenance, I don’t care way. He had a small -ish tattoo that was just peeking out under his button down shirt - ok that was hot stuff.

We started talking right away and the conversation was oddly intense. Maybe that is what happens when two young divorcees get together or maybe that’s what happens with two self-proclaimed weirdos hang out.  We covered a variety of personal topics in a very engaging conversation. And although it was definitely oddly intense for first drinks, it was not uncomfortable or intrusive. It was interesting to hear his stories (born overseas, moved to USA during grade school, lived overseas during college, has traveled to many, many foreign countries, including Rwanda!  What are the odds I meet a guy who has been to Rwanda?!).  He told me upfront he was a weird guy, and he was right. But I sort of get my weird girl way.

That being said, the bottom line is that he is ‘every guy I’ve ever dated in college’. Smart, interesting, and a lost soul (at least for the moment).  So he makes for good company, but not really potential dating material.

At the end of the night, he said he had a good time and we should hang out again. I agreed (even if it is as friends) but didn’t expect to hear from him again. I was surprised to get a text from him the next morning saying he will have to rent a zipcar or ride his bike out to the burbs to pay me back for making the trip into the city (of course, he doesn’t own a car...what self-respecting, city-dwelling, hip, start-up-company dude does?)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Date Recap: “TGI Fridays”

I went out with an old friend whom I recently bumped into at a bar in Philly. We worked together 13+ years ago at TGI Fridays in Towson. At that time, I remember him being the super cute host and I would think of reasons to stand near the host stand or to talk to him. Toward the end of the summer, we became better friends and kept in touch when we both went back to college (near each other in the Philly area). Shortly thereafter we lost touch and then there is a big question mark for about 13 years until I recognized him at a bar last weekend.  He lives in Philly now and we went to dinner/drinks over the weekend.

I walked into the restaurant and “TGI Fridays” was sitting at the bar, he turned to look at me and I felt myself blush - he is so handsome. He was cute. He is now somewhere past hot toward ruggedly handsome. Oh wow. I had to immediately suppress my geek-out instincts which usually get the best of me.  The line between dinner with an old friend and a date got very blurry very quickly.  I did a quick inhale to try and clear my mind and walked over with my most dazzling smile (complete with hip swagger) and greeted him (albeit with an awkward hug...he was so handsome that it made me nervous to hug him).  We proceeded to talk, eat, and drink for the next 4 hours.  We had some things in common and some differences of opinion but in a way that made it fun to talk about and catch up.  At the end of the night I was feeling pretty good from a couple of drinks and he was looking even better than when I first walked in (thanks to a killer smile which creates those really hot lines around the eyes ala Pierce Brosnan).

At the end of the evening, we walked outside and he kissed me!  I almost fell over. Again, I had to do a quick inhale and try to pull myself together - play it cool, Wonder Woman, play it cool. He walked me to my car and we discussed getting another drink but decided against it. Instead he kissed me again (this time I swear I swooned, but quickly recovered and gave him the best ‘you are damn lucky to be kissing me’ kiss that I could muster).  He asked me to text when I got home so he knew I was home safe.

I did as he requested and he replied that he was wired and we should have gotten that last drink - I took that to mean he had a good time!  I didn’t hear from him the next day but he did text yesterday to see if I was out and about (if by “out and about” he meant the symphony, then yes, I was. However, I think he was referring to watching football).  Unfortunately no asking for a second date yet.

I’ve been saying all year that I just wanted one really good date. The evening that you wish would go on forever, followed by the kiss that stays with you for days. I’m really happy to say that I had just such an evening.  Let’s raise a glass and cheers to more to come!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Marathon of Charm

This weekend I have three (fake) dates lined up.  It is crazy how it is consistently follows a pattern of either pouring or a draught on the dating scene.  At least their is the reassurance or knowing that when there is a draught, it will poor again. And then it poor, a draught will follow with time to recoup.

#1: I was at a Festival in Philly on Sunday and saw a guy that looked familiar. After staring uncomfortably for a few minutes, I walked up him and said, “Is your name <X>?” and he said yes. I asked, “Did you work at TGI Fridays in Towson about 10 years ago?” (it was more like 13 but who wants to sound that old?).  His eyes got wide and he replied yes!  I informed him that we used to hang out years and years ago and he couldn’t believe his eyes!  We caught up for a few minutes and agreed to get together soon. He texted that night and asked me for drinks!  While this is clearly in the (fake) date, it would be nice to have a good guy friend to hang with sometimes.

#2: On Saturday I made plans to hang with Mr. Nice Guy.  I invited him because we always have fun and he is refreshing to be around. It is hard to describe exactly why, but he is very low drama combined with open honesty so it makes hanging out easy and fun.

#3: A couple of weeks ago I met a guy in one of my fav Philly spots. He and his friend approached my friend and I. We talked for a while - he was the first guy I’ve met in a long time who I wanted to extend the conversation with. We left in a sort of awkward manner  (in a big group goodbye) and he didn’t ask for my number, and I didn’t think he really had a chance. Since I am rather blase about dating prospects, I took a risk and googled his friend (who has a european name and runs a start up in Philly...not that hard to find). I emailed his friend and politely asked if he would pass my number to his friend.  I received a text from the guy of interest within an hour.  After a few weeks of missed timing and a bit of flakiness, he informed me yesterday he got a job offer in Madrid and said we should get drinks soon (he will hereby be known as Mr. Madrid)  I wasn’t sure why Mr. Madrid would still want to get drinks (worst/best case he will be annoying and he will move to Madrid and I'll never seen him again. Best/worst case he will be really cool and he will move to Madrid and I'll wish we could have hung out again). He persisted and asked to meet for drinks on Monday night so I agreed (against my better logic).

I am gearing up for a ‘marathon of charm’ that is in reality an exercise in ego boost (since there doesn’t seem to be real potential with any of them). I’m already doing my stretches, picking out outfits and getting my beauty rest to prepare for the marathon. Luckily I have highlights scheduled on Friday so I should be polished and pretty to kick off my weekend of drinks! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Divorce Connections

When I went through my divorce, I had one or two friends that had been divorced and under very different circumstances. As you well know from previous blog posts, I frequently have what I call “island-syndrome” - where I feel disconnected from everyone else, as if my experience has isolated me from others.  However, in recent weeks I have been told about two other divorces. I offered to lend an ear or some friendly advice in hope that these women would feel like they have a bridge off of their particular island to someone who understands. And it feels good to know that all of that pain is transforming into bits of hope and love to others.  I hope this blog has helped others feel a little more connected as well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Daily Playground

I haven’t been posting much since I have mainly been involved in the daily grind of things. But that’s just it - the daily grind. I go to work, in a negative environment where everyone is unhappy, come home feeling deflated and pick up Grace, who is a ray of light unto herself, but also very demanding and needy (rightly so since she is 3!). I go to bed shortly after she does and wake up to repeat the next day. I’ve been trying to focus on the positive points of light that that shine through (either the dark or sometimes just dreary or cloud day), but to be honest, the daily grind really wears me down. It takes away energy and motivation and gives little back.

So how do you turn the daily grind into a daily playground? How do you keep that fresh-eyed perspective that glowy people seem to have?  Working in a negative environment has been particularly challenging because my thoughts naturally react negatively to it.  So I decided that thought I immediately can’t change the environment, I can shift my perspective. I am trying to remember to consciously shift each negative thought onto a new positive path. Hopefully re-training my natural reaction to go from being negative to seeing the positive (or at the very least the humor!) in each situation. And we all already know this is the key to turning the daily grind into the daily playground.  Yet it is so hard to do!  What do you do to keep each day fresh and rejuvenating among daily pressures and demands?