Life Lessons

Finding Space

 Kitchen Table work space

Kitchen Table work space

I moved in to his place in September and completely out of my place in November.  

I got rid of most of my furniture, only keeping a few pieces I love.  I put up a lot of my artwork to make it feel more like “my place” too.

I lived alone for almost 7 years.  I moved in to a home with 3 other people living there, plus a couple of others coming in and out.   I set up a few altars around the house to make it feel homier.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I can’t seem to focus on my coaching practice or my writing practice or my creative practice.  Finally, in a conversation with my best friend the other day, I put my finger on the issue.  I haven’t been able to find my space.  Space in our home to write or create; space in the coaching world – what do I have to offer that is unique; space in my brain to focus on more than one thing at a time.

I guess I wasn’t thinking about the challenges involved with moving into someone else’s space, someone else’s life…just the good part of being together.

It’s been seven months and I’m still trying to find my space in all of this. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is no place I would rather be but it’s harder than I imagined to find my space, my rhythm, my mojo, my motivation, when there are always people around.  Maybe it’s my tendency to procrastinate, maybe it’s my tendency to be easily distracted, maybe it’s because I’ve been so focused on making this relationship work and my busy teaching schedule that I just want to chill out when I’m home.  Or maybe, it’s all of these things combined with the need to find space.

Since I moved in, I’ve tried hard not to disrupt the rhythm of everyone else in the house.  I want to be accommodating to his work schedule, working overnight and then napping throughout the day.  I try to be quiet when I come home between teaching and read or play on my phone.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to spend my down time.  I guess I’d liken it to hibernation mode.  I come home from teaching and cocoon myself on the recliner (that I have claimed as mine) and sometimes don’t move until I go back to teach.

 {I wrote the first part of this post in a coffee shop one week ago.  I’m finishing this post from “my” recliner}

{I wrote the first part of this post in a coffee shop one week ago.  I’m finishing this post from “my” recliner}

Lately, I’ve been getting myself out of the house and into the park for long walks.  Getting out into nature helps clear my head and also gives me some space I crave.  I’m still working on finding, or maybe it’s creating space, in our home. There’s a room in the house that I’m hoping to make a guest room/my sanctuary but right now it’s housing a pinball machine, a bunch of guitars and a storm trooper.

Pinball.JPG

While writing this blog post, I realized that it's not just about finding physical space but also mental and emotional space.  I also realized this is a constant search.  It's about finding space wherever you are and sometimes making that space.  

I would love to hear your thoughts on this...

In a Funk

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and was in a funk.  Have you ever had that happen?  If you’ve never been in a funk, good for you!  When I say a funk, I mean this general malaise, feeling down but not knowing why.  I don’t want to confuse it with depression, that’s another subject.  Basically, I woke up and could not find a smile, could not find motivation, could not find the joy that day. 

When this happens, I try to find the reasons why.  What is causing this funk?  Why can’t I pull myself out of it?  Why do I wear my emotions on my sleep?  Why can’t I just fake it until I make it? 

I examine what is going on in my life, in my friend’s lives, in the world at large.  Did I get enough sleep?  Did I have a bad dream?  What is the root cause?

The last funk had so many causes.  It started with a bad dream where I discovered my boyfriend had a fiancé.  Poor guy…I woke up pretty upset with him.  Luckily it was just a dream but it didn’t improve my mood.  All day, I was examining what could be the deeper cause. 

Perhaps it was because several friends are dealing with death and grief.  A mother gone too soon, a sister gone after a tragic life, a father teetering in between here and there, another family member taken so suddenly, family members dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  Perhaps it’s the general state of our world. 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there has been a lot of crazy stuff going on and it made perfect sense that the funk descended.  Now, what to do about it?  Sometimes I feel like I need to ‘fight through’ the muck and put on a happy face but does that really work…maybe, for a short period of time.  What tends to work for me, is to sit with it, be in it, work through it, take a nap, read a book, watch mindless tv…basically, don’t fight it.  I have found the more I fight it, the longer the funk lasts. 

The big lesson, I seem to have to learn over and over again, is that life will knock you off your feet and sometimes you need to lay there for a little while before getting back up.  Get back up when you’re ready, and if you need someone to help you off the floor, give me a call. 

What do you do when you get in one of these funks?  I'd love to hear what works for you!

It's all about Choices

People often tell me that I'm lucky to be teaching Pilates and Coaching.  They tell me they're jealous of the freedom I have from a 9-5 corporate job.  I listen politely and then politely tell them it's all about choices.

Let me start from the beginning, I was born in...just kidding.  As a little girl, I dreamt of being a ballerina (who didn't) but at around 16 gave up that dream, I was not coordinated enough.  Around that time, we moved from a little town in Virginia to Northern Virginia, outside DC, the big city.  I got involved with Peer Counseling through a psychology class in my new high school, and decided that's what I wanted to do, be a therapist.  When I was selecting a major in college, there wasn't a hesitation.  Virginia Tech had a great BS in Psychology program but I knew I'd have to get a Masters to become a Therapist (now you'd need a PhD, I'm sure).  I loved my Psych classes and was excited to graduate and pursue my Masters.  

Then life smacked me in the face.  

One week after my graduation, my brother, John, was in a tragic car accident.  One week after that, he died.  My life was totally upended and any plans I may have had, were not even on my radar.  Life changed in an instant and what seemed important yesterday, didn't amount to a hill of beans.  I, along with the rest of my family, were in the throws of grief, which is a whole other conversation.  Needless to say, we were all in survival mode.  My future plans were no longer important.  Getting through each day, each moment, was my only focus.  I started working as a receptionist in the company were I worked through high school, it was a fairly simple job and it paid the bills.  

Fast forward a year, I decided to join my best friend on a backpacking trip in Europe so I quit the job and took off.  Looking back, this trip was a life changer!  During the trip, it was a whole lot of fun with some cultural experiences thrown in, and a few hot Italian boys too!  Upon my return, I took some temp jobs, worked in an insurance agency for a couple years and then received the call that would propel me to my next, or is it first real, career.  My old boss called to offer me a position in Personnel.  For you young kids, that's what they called Human Resources (HR) back in the day.  I started in an entry level position and worked my way up.  I loved HR because I was able to put my Psychology degree to work.  Early on it was more about paperwork and benefits but when I relocated to Pennsylvania and was able to shape an HR department from the beginning, that's where the fun started.  Working with employees to help with staff issues, counseling employees on performance and helping them navigate corporate life, that's what I loved.  I worked my way up to a Director position and loved what I did...until it became too corporate and HR no longer helped employees, it was back to paperwork and benefits.  Then I was done.  I made the choice to leave my high paying job, with great benefits to move to North Carolina and join the family business.

The family business was in New Home Construction and had absolutely nothing to do with HR, although I was able to use my experience when we had to select benefits and company policies.  I needed a change from the corporate grind so this seemed like a great choice.  Honestly, family business is hard.  You can't leave all your problems at the office, they tend to come home with you and can create family drama (more than usual)!  While I enjoyed the people I worked with and dealing with (most) homeowners, something was gnawing at me to pursue other avenues.  For awhile, I thought about going back to school to pursue my Master's in Psychology.  This was also around the time, I started thinking about Life Coaching.  Instead, I ended up enrolling in Pilates Teacher Training and going into the world of fitness.  It may seem like an odd choice, and for someone who was not very athletic growing up, it sort of came out of left field.  Now though, with over 5 years of teaching under my belt, looking back it makes perfect sense.  Working with people, one on one, and in classes too, I'm able to use my background in ways I never thought about back in college.  I often joke with clients that you get two for one when taking Pilates, you get a workout and a therapy session!  

Making the choice to leave the family business and start teaching has lead to all kinds of great things in my life.  Not only have I met some amazing people, a few who have become wonderful friends but I've also met my love (I'll share that story at some point).  Teaching has also lead me to the path of Life Coaching.  It is a natural fit for me.  If you had told me 30 years ago, when I was in college, that I would be where I am today, I would have thought you were crazy.  However, looking back now, I see it all makes perfect sense.  The choices I made along the way, have brought me to this point.  

  • Quitting my receptionist job to go to Europe
  • Taking a temp job when I returned.  
  • Going back to my old company for a job in Personnel
  • Moving to PA and taking a Corporate job in HR
  • Leaving the Corporate world to move to NC and join the family business
  • Leaving the family business to become a Pilates Instructor
  • Getting my Life Coaching certification and starting my business

Each step on the path were the building blocks to my current career.  

So when someone tells me how lucky I am to have the life I now do, I politely tell them, it's all about choices!

 

Dating after 40

Dating after 40 is way different than dating in your 20's or even 30's.  First, it's much harder to meet people.  In my 20's, it was easy to meet single people through friends, in a bar, at the beach, because there are still a lot of single people in their 20's.  In your 40's it's much more difficult to meet single people.  Of course there's online dating (which wasn't even around in my 20's) and I've met several people who had success going this route, I have not.  I have had more success meeting people through friends and most recently, through the studio where I teach (he's a keeper, but more on that at a later date).  No matter where or how you meet someone after 40, there are some things you need to know.  Ok, really just one thing, after 40, we ALL have baggage!  The only thing that varies is the type of baggage we carry.

I like to classify the baggage in 3 different categories.

  1. Carry-on baggage - these are people who have been divorced for many years and have worked through their issues (for the most part).  They may or may not have kids, their divorce was as amicable as it could be and they have a stable career.  These people are hard to come by but when you find one, it's like finding a unicorn.  You might want to hold on to this one.
  2. Checked baggage - these people definitely have kids, did not have an amicable divorce and were quick to jump into a relationship as soon as their divorce was final (or sooner).  They have done some work on themselves, they have come to terms with their ex-spouse and are able to communicate without too much screaming about the kids.  They have gotten their financial house in order or are on the upswing to doing so.  They most likely learned from their past mistakes and will take those lessons into a new relationship.  Be aware though that old patterns may rear their ugly head...proceed with caution.
  3. Steamer trunks - these are people who have not worked through any of their issues, and they have ALOT! They bad mouth their ex-spouse constantly, they are quick to start dating as soon as they are separated, but they'll tell you they're 'divorced'.  They are either very wounded and need constant reassurance or they're very self-absorbed...and need constant reassurance.  I'd avoid anyone with steamer trunks, but I know you won't listen so don't come crying to me when I turn out to be right.  You've been warned.

You can definitely have success dating after 40, you just have to decide how much baggage you're willing to deal with in the process.  

 

Be Present - Life Coaching

img_7780 Many years ago, I thought about becoming a Life Coach.  Based on my background, degree in Psychology and years of working in corporate Human Resources, it seemed like a  natural fit for me.  I thought about it and wondered the next best steps, talked to friends and then put it on the back burner.  Meanwhile, I decided to get my Pilates certification and started teaching.  A year or so after completing that training, I thought again about Life Coaching.  I wondered if I really needed to get training or if it's something I could just do on my own.  I did a little research, talked to some friends who had been through different training programs and then promptly put it aside, again.  Then at the end of last year, I started to get serious about researching Coach training programs.  I listened in on information sessions and had settled on a program in the first part of this year.  I was scheduled to get a coaching session with one of their coaches and that was going to be the last step before signing up for their training.  Well, that coach never showed up for our call, not a good sign.  In the meantime, I received an email from another training program, Goal Imagery® Institute.  I sent an email inquiring about a phone meeting to discuss the program, and Marianna (who runs the program) responded within minutes.  We scheduled a call for the next day, Friday, with the next training session scheduled for the following Thursday!  After an hour long conversation, I was convinced and signed up immediately!  Luckily, the class got pushed back a few weeks, so I could wrap my brain around embarking on this new venture.

After 6 months of comprehensive and practical training, I graduated from Goal Imagery® Institute as an Holistic Life, Career & Executive Certified Coach.  I am so excited to be on this journey and partnering with clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.

I will be launching a website soon for Be Present Coaching, so be on the lookout. I decided on this name, because to be a good coach, you must LISTEN and BE PRESENT in each moment.  I'm really looking forward to working with many different people from all walks of life.  If you or anyone you know, is interested in coaching, please comment here or send me a message.  I would LOVE to work with you.

If you're still not sure about coaching, here is a great explanation from ICF...

“Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives. Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.” International Coach Federation (ICF)

Out of the Shadows

IMG_6674This photo of Allie starting longingly outside sums up how I was feeling this winter.  Wanting to be outside but yet needing my solitude.  Wanting to hide yet to be seen.  It was a contradiction on so many levels.  I wanted to start dating again but didn't want make to much of an effort.  Then when Spring came, something shifted, I wanted to get out and play more.  So I started the online dating again, started hanging out with friends more, started walking and getting outside more and feeling social again.  Then Summer showed up and I felt like hiding again.  Not that I didn't want to be outside or with friends, but I got discouraged with the online dating.  I saw two ex-boyfriends that got me thinking about my choices in life.  So I went into reflection mode, although I do that all the time, somehow it felt different this time.  I unsubscribed to the dating sites, I stopped dating anyone and cleared out my social calendar.  I sat by the pool by myself, avoiding the social activity happening on the other side.  I needed my solitude.  This past holiday weekend though, I went down to the pool and actually felt social.  I met new neighbors, I reconnected with some old neighbors, one even told me he was happy I was out of hiding, and I really enjoyed myself.  I even met some single neighbors, so we'll see what happens there.  I feel more open to possibilities, more open to life, and more open to love... Then yesterday, I had a past life reading which was fascinating to say the least.  And if you don't believe in that stuff, that's cool, but I do and so am totally blown away.  I'm still reflecting on all of it...a Revolutionary War soldier (for the British), a French courtesan...all had interesting lessons.  The first life was the most incredible though and that is the woman I have been working to reclaim, without even knowing it!  I'm not going to share too much about her but just knowing that she was a strong, intuitive, secure Elder woman who was an equal with the men in her tribe, well that gives me an inner strength.  She was a storyteller too which of course has me thinking more about my writing.  The more I reflect on her, the more I see myself coming out of the shadows and reclaiming that part of me.  I feel like I've been hiding too long...it's definitely time to let go of the fear, trust myself and live THIS life to the fullest.

 

49 Lessons Learned by 49

FullSizeRenderI turn 49 today and quite honestly that number is so strange to me.  My mother is supposed to be 49, not me!  I sure don't feel it and most people tell me I don't look it either, whatever that means.  As I reflect on the last 49 years (ok, really the last year), I think about all of the things I've learned.  Some lessons have taken a lot longer than others!

  1. BE PRESENT!  Enjoy each moment.
  2. You need to learn to be happy being alone, before you can be with anyone else.
  3. Do not expect anyone else to make you happy, it's an inside job.
  4. People aregoing to judge you and it's none of your business (one of my favorite quotes ever)!
  5. You are never too old to learn something new or change your career path.
  6. You must be honest with yourself in order to be honest with anyone else.
  7. You must deal with sorrow in order to know JOY.
  8. Dating in your 40's is HARD!
  9. Do not make someone a priority if you're only an afterthought (not the exact quote but still another favorite).
  10. Do not settle for anything that does not fulfill you.
  11. It is way better to be alone than lonely in a relationship.
  12. In a relationship, don't settle for anything less than you deserve.
  13. But...be realistic about relationships...they're not easy!
  14. Be kind to yourself.
  15. Don't ever say anything to yourself that is demeaning or degrading...you wouldn't say it to someone else, would you?
  16. REMEMBER...You are doing the best you can with what you know at any given moment.
  17. Dance whenever you feel like it!  Ask my classes, I dance all the time!
  18. Sing at the top of your lungs...in your car...alone...you sound great!
  19. Listen to music, as loudly as you want, until your neighbors complain.
  20. Accept people where they are, not where you 'think' they should be.
  21. Accept Yourself where you are too!
  22. Learn from your past but don't dwell in it.
  23. Have FUN with whatever you do, even cleaning the house...yeah I still don't do this one!
  24. Nurture your friendships.
  25. Express gratitude every day.
  26. Light candles for no reason.
  27. Celebrate the people in your life.
  28. LAUGH loudly and often.
  29. SMILE at everyone you meet, you may change their day.
  30. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them, even strangers.
  31. Don't judge other people, you have no idea what is going on in behind closed doors.
  32. Keep your body and mind active.
  33. But some days, chill on your couch and binge watch Netflix.
  34. Jump in puddles barefoot; don't ruin your nice shoes.
  35. Buy nice shoes, you are on your feet all day and your feet will thank you.
  36. Get massages, facials, pedicures, etc...you deserve it.
  37. Change the oil in your car regularly.
  38. It's not the end of the world, if your house isn't clean or the laundry isn't done before you go have some fun.  It will all be there tomorrow.
  39. Experiences are more important than stuff.
  40. Your thoughts DO effect how you feel.
  41. You have to create the abundance in your life.
  42. No one can FIX your issues, you have to do it yourself.
  43. Movers exist for a reason, hire them.
  44. Don't have expectations of anyone else - this is a hard one!
  45. Life is too short sometimes but then in other ways, really long!
  46. Pets are family members, period.
  47. Loss is part of life but it really sucks.
  48. No matter how long someone has been gone, you'll always miss them.
  49. Life is a PRACTICE.

So here I am entering my 50th year on this planet and while I've learned so much, I know there is so much more to learn.  I look forward to the new lessons yet to come.  And I would love to hear some of your life lessons!

Online Dating Part Two

Two years ago I joined an online dating site.  It was quite eye opening.  You're basically shopping for a date.  Once I got into the flow of it, I had a few first days and I think one second date.  During the whole online thing I met someone through a mutual friend.  The online dating stopped.  Now here I am two years later giving it another shot.  Several friendsphoto encouraged me with 'why not, what do you have to lose'.  And it's true, what do I have to lose.  I'm ready to find love so I need to be open to it in any form it may take.  It is challenging to decipher the guys who are serious and those who are just trolling.  It's like a job, sorting through profiles, emails, likes, winks, etc.  But I've decided to just go for it. There are several guidelines I have set for myself.  When I'm interested, I'm going to send an email and if he responds, we'll see where it goes.  If he's not, move along.  No hurt feelings.  When someone reaches out to me and I'm not interested, I'm going to tell them right away.  No need to string anyone along or settle for anything that doesn't feel right.

Who knows what will happen.  Maybe I'll meet someone online but maybe I'll meet them in the grocery store or coffee shop or walking down the street.  I will be sure to share more here.

Vulnerability...Rocks

photo When I wrote the draft of my last post, I had an introductory paragraph that explained why I was writing the post.  My lovely friend Amy edited my post and suggested I eliminate that paragraph or move it somewhere else in the post.  She thought it would be much more powerful to open with the line...I have herpes.  I got a huge lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach but I edited the post and hit publish before I could overthink it.  However, when I shared on Facebook, I did alter the way I shared it.  I was still nervous about having the first sentence show up in my FB feed.  A minute later, I changed my mind.  I knew that if I was going to be vulnerable and not care what other people thought I needed to put it all out there.  But when I went back to FB, I was already getting comments and they were AMAZING!  I actually started crying...happy tears.  The comments were so supportive and encouraging.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was blown away by everyone who took the time to comment on my FB post and my blog.  Then there was the email I received from the student who gave me the extra push I needed, after reading my post...

That's awesome to hear! Thanks so much for your reply back. I went to your site and read your latest blog. Wow. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to post, but I think that you did a very honest, a very brave, and a very important thing. Not just for you, but for others as well. I hope that it has lifted a weight off of you, and I hope that it will help you to open up, as well as reciprocate.

Thanks so much for writing and for sharing the Safe Sex guide! I really enjoy your blog, and you have a wonderful talent as a writer. Good things will come from this. Best of luck with everything in your future.

I also received many private messages from other people who have dealt with the stigma of herpes.  They shared how they were ashamed and weren't putting themselves out there for fear of the reaction from a potential partner.  I had conversations about other "shameful" things people have done or experienced.  It was as if the clouds had parted and the light was shining in.  People who felt they couldn't share with anyone, could now share and I imagine it lessened their fear, made them feel less alone, and that they didn't feel like they needed to hide in the shadows anymore.  This is what I hope they felt by telling me their story.

My wish is that we can all continue to share our stories without worrying about what anyone else thinks.  We can let the light in, be honest with each other and support each other...hold each other up.  That is my wish for all of us.

"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

 

A Stigma

photo I have herpes.

Just writing that down is freeing and terrifying at the same time. I’ve shared this information with my dearest friends and I don’t have a problem discussing it in person, (although I do tend to change the tone of my voice when I say it, herpes, like a whisper), but telling the world at large is a bigger deal.

Most days, I really don’t think about it, but as soon as I start dating it’s like a dark cloud that hangs over me. Even though 1 in 4 people have herpes, there is still a stigma attached. Anytime I hear a joke about herpes, I cringe. And, of course, anytime I start dating someone I feel the need to share this information almost immediately. Maybe it’s a test to see how compassionate or honest or brave the person is. Will it change the way they look at me? Will they want to move forward?

The man I fell in love with last year…he asked questions, did his research and we had a very loving, active, safe sex life. But my latest dating experience was different. We met through a friend; he was intriguing so I was interested. Since he lived a bit of a distance from me, we talked quite a bit on the phone and it seemed we could talk about anything. On the third date I told him about the herpes. He had married young and was married for twenty-five years, so he had not had any exposure to any information about herpes. We discussed it further; he did some research and was surprised to find out how prevalent it is. It did not, however, deter his interest in me. When we finally did have sex, he still had some questions, but we used protection, and all was good. Or so I thought. While we were still lying in bed, his fear began to mount. He brought it up, we discussed it again, and I explained that herpes does not define me, it’s something I have and something I have to deal with but if we were careful, he wouldn’t contract it. He still felt afraid and needed to try and wrap his head around it. I said that was fine, to take his time.

It’s been over three weeks now, without any communication at all from him. It is disappointing, but I know I’m in a good place because I am not letting this deter me in any way. Honestly I don’t blame him for his fear. A herpes flare can be very painful but there are ways to minimize them. There are prescription drugs available and I take a Lysine supplement every day that boosts my immune system. I’m also experimenting with essential oils. The oil that has been known to help with flares is the Melissa oil. How funny is that?!

So now you know the most personal thing you could possibly know about me. I’m hoping that this post will resonate with some of you and may help anyone who is dealing with some sort of stigma, whether it’s herpes or something else.

I have been debating discussing this topic for a while now but I was afraid of what other people, including you, would think of me.   But I kept waking up, writing the post in my head. Then recently, I received a random e-mail with the title “An idea for your site” and this opening sentence, “I hope I've found the right person to contact. In doing some research for a project in my human sexuality course, I found your page here…my project is based on spreading awareness of important sexual issues in our society. I've chosen this comprehensive guide on safe sex as the focus for my project.” I’ve also been working really hard in letting go of worrying about what anyone else thinks (a daily practice, I must add). And this is the ultimate test in not worrying about what anyone else thinks.

For those of you who are single, married, in a committed relationship, whatever your status and are concerned about STD’s, here a link to reference site I was emailed as part of a class project. The only think this student asked was for me to share the link on my site. I’m still not sure what made him choose my site but it was the catalyst to me sharing this information.

If you want to start a dialogue or have questions, I’d be happy to do that too. In the meantime, I am hopeful and confident that there is someone out there for me who will accept ALL of me.

Some Days...

photo Some days...

  • the road seems long with no end in sight and then you remember, there is no destination, just the journey
  • you get a phone call with news that someone you love is in the hospital, side effects from chemo forcing her to bed rest...and you can't quite process it all
  • you get a sudden wave of sadness thinking about a lost love, even though you've moved forward, at least you think you have
  • you watch the news and your heart hurts from seeing all the pain in the world and yet you still think love is the answer
  • the clouds roll in and as hard as you try you can't outrun the rain
  • your mind tells you tears need to fall and yet they don't seem to come
  • you get complimented on your teaching and it makes the long days totally worth every second
  • you push through the day with little sleep but plenty of energy then the next day you get plenty of sleep but can barely make it through the day
  • you focus a little too much on the scale and not enough on how healthy and strong you are
  • you are so grateful that you didn't have surgery because now your back feels great
  • you realize you are so lucky to have this life.

 

Taking it Lightly

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Part of the reason I moved to this new apartment was to meet new people and hopefully start dating again.  Since my break up last year, I've had exactly one date who was a friend of a friend and it was clear from the get-go that neither of us had any interest.  So last weekend when I ran into one of my neighbors and he clearly expressed interest, it was refreshing and totally flattering.  We've hung out a couple of times and while there is an attraction, it won't go any further than friendship (with a bit of flirting thrown in).  Why?  Because I've made a rule that I will only get involved with someone who is totally single, already divorced or if they are separated, then it's only a matter of signing on the dotted line.  I've had a bit of experience with men who were separated but not divorced and it never ends well.  He's only recently separated and clearly not in a place to be dating, so we'll stick with rule on this one.

I'm hoping to meet more new neighbors and maybe one of them will turn out to be more than friends, we'll see.  Just the other day, one of the girls in the leasing office mentioned that maybe I should get lost on the fourth floor because someone new moved in that I might be interested in.  Haven't met him yet but I may just have to hit the wrong button on the elevator.

This move has been the right one for me.  And even if my dating life doesn't improve, that's ok, my social life has and spending time with friends is way more important anyway.  Although I think I may wander up to the fourth floor just for fun.

 

Settling In

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It's been a really long time since I've written here.  There are various reasons for the absence, one of which is that I moved and have been settling in to my new home.  It is totally the opposite of where I lived before.  From a 100+ year old house to a brand new apartment.  You would think it would be challenging getting used to all the new sights and sounds.  Some of my neighbors are loud but somehow I find that comforting.  I was a bit isolated in my old house which is exactly what I needed at the time.  Now, the social aspect of this new home is exactly what I need.  I'm loving all of the great amenities here and my apartment is beautiful and I'm slowly meeting new people.  I'm within walking distance of work and the pub and the coffee shop...convenient to everything.  There's still a lot of construction going on so I've gotten used to their 6am start time.  I figure the earlier they start the quicker they'll be done.  I overlook the pool which is going to be beautiful...when its finished!

Moving can be stressful, which it definitely was for the first couple of weeks.  Now I'm loving it but I'm still trying to find my rhythm.  It seems that I can only focus on one big goal at a time.  The past 2 months, I've been focused on my health and fitness.  I have totally neglected my writing.  I'm even enrolled in an amazing course, The Conscious Booksmith, that I periodically check in on but I've put off actually doing the work.  I know that I need to do the work, I'm not sure why I'm not.  I'm trying to sit with it all and not beat myself up and do what I can when I feel the time is right.  This, I'm sure you all know, is not very easy to do.

So as I sit here on my balcony, listening to various construction machinery at 7:30am, I'm just letting it all flow.  Taking one step at a time, starting now by writing this post and hoping that sparks more writing.

"We can choose to start over in this very moment, there is no need to wait for a new year or a new month or a new week." - Madisyn Taylor, Daily OM

 

Moving Forward...I'm Ready

IMG_5524 Almost three years ago, I moved into this house.  I walked in and fell in love and knew I had to be here.  And for all this time, that tire swing has hung in the tree.  Then one day on a whim, I decided to look at a new place to live.  I've been feeling the pull to make a change and as soon as I saw these brand new apartments, I knew it was time.  That evening when I got home, the tire swing was on the ground, it was a sign.  This house has been a exactly what I've needed, a place where I've learned to be alone, a place where I've fallen in love and healed from heartbreak.  Now its time to move forward to a new home.  It will be the complete opposite of where I'm living now.  Going from 100+ year old house with a yard to a one bedroom brand new apartment in a big community will require some adjustment, but its time for a change.  I'm ready.

For just over a year, I've been dealing with chronic pain, starting in my low back and radiating down my left leg.  I've tried chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture and even resorted to a cortisone shot but nothing has worked.  Even pain meds do nothing.  I finally relented and had an MRI to discover a herniated, bulging disc, was referred to a neurosurgeon and decided its time for surgery.  I've never had surgery nor been a big fan, but decided if it could eliminate this pain with little downside, then its time.  Time to move forward pain-free, I'm ready.

Exactly one year ago today, I met him.  What a difference a year has made.  He helped me re-open my heart, broke it wide open and now I'm ready to move forward, find love again.  I actually have a date tonight.  It seems weird on this day but its time to start again.  No longer afraid to fall and get hurt because I know I can get back up.  I'm ready.

I'm ready...to start again, for little changes and big ones too, to move forward.

Trust

IMG_2335 Every year, for the past several, I have selected a guiding word for that year.  Some years it takes a lot of time and thought to select my word.  For 2014, the word actually came to me at the end of 2013.  TRUST became a big issue for me after my breakup and is my guiding word moving forward.  This year has already tested my trust.

*Trust in my instincts and my choices.

*Trust in other people.

*Trust in the Universe, Divine Order, my Angels and Guides

*Trust that its ok to let go and let other people help.

*Trust that everything is going to work out as it is supposed to.

*Trust that I'll find the strength when needed.

*Trust that this is temporary.

Where has Summer Gone?

IMG_1402 Its the end of July and I'm sitting here pondering what I've been up to since my last blog post.

I've been working, of course...teaching Pilates and now TRX...and I really love working with our amazing clients every day.

I've spent a few days at the beach with family that I only see once a year at the beach...we need to do something about that!

I've gone for a motorcycle ride just to get ice cream in the country.

I've been eating out and enjoying alot of wine...and its evident on my waist line!  At least its good wine...and good company!

I've been falling more and more in love with my boyfriend every day.  The more time we spend together, the more I want to spend together.  Oh don't get me wrong, we are still navigating this relationship thing and the challenges that come with it but I couldn't ask for a better man to help navigate.

I've been paying attention to the signs.  Like when "Freebird" plays at the exact moment I'm on the verge of getting upset about something...its my brother reminding me to chill the "F" out and let it go!  And he's really been sending me the signs lately.  There's the feather I found on the beach after taking our family photo...a sign from either my brother or grandmother reminding us that they are there.  I love getting these little messages.

I've been 'voxing' with my girlfriends and getting to know them even better.  If you haven't checked out Voxer Walkie-Talkie (iphone app)...do it...its an awesome way to keep in touch with your friends especially if they are spread out all over the country!

I've been spending more time BEing in the moment instead of trying to keep busy DOing things.  As my boyfriend wisely said one lazy weekend...we need to spend more time being and less time doing.  Its kind of sticking with me.

So what have you been up to this summer?

Moving Slow

Slow Burn If you've been a frequent visitor here, then you know about my dating shenanigans.  You read about the 7 dates in 10 days, the blow off via text message and then deleting my online profile.  During the online dating trial, I met someone through a mutual friend.  She'd been trying to get us to meet for about a year and we both, separately, kept saying no, just not ready.  When we finally met, in the midst of a bunch of first dates, I thought he was nice but would just be a friend.  Someone to grab dinner with or a glass of wine, with no pressure.  Fine by me!

Well the more time we spend together, the more we learn about each other, the more we like each other.  I can't remember the last time things have moved slow and developed naturally, no forcing, no trying to race to the end, just taking things one day at a time.  I really like the pace and I really like him, more each time we get together.

I honestly don't know where things are going and I'm not getting ahead of myself.  I'm trying to be present in each moment and enjoy it for what it is.

Leaning In

Sailboats on Jordan Lake, NC taken from a helicopter On Sunday, I went for my first ride on a motorcycle (and helicopter for that matter) in a very, very long time.  As we went around curves in the road or made a turn, I didn't even think about it, my body just leaned into it.  Because that's what you do on a motorcycle, you lean into the turns and the curves.

I keep thinking about how I can embrace this in my life.  Lean into it, instead of fighting it or doing things that I think I 'should' or 'should not' be doing.  See how it feels to Lean In, to embrace THIS life in THIS moment.  Don't look too far into the future or back into this past.  BE in the moment and lean into it.

On Being Alone

IMG_0710 Most days I enjoy being alone.  I like coming home to a quiet house, well except for one very whiny cat.  I can eat the almond butter out of the jar without worrying about double dipping.  There is no one home waiting for me so I don't have to check in with anyone if I'm going to be late.

And yet, I miss having someone to check in with if I'm going to be late.  I miss coming home and having someone to share my day with and to hear about theirs.  I love my quiet Sunday mornings but they would be more enjoyable with someone here to share coffee and read the paper side by side.

If you've been reading lately, you know I decided to do the whole online thing to get back out into the dating world.  I have since decided to deactivate my online profile.  It was beginning to feel a bit 'yucky', for lack of a better word.  I may go back to it but for now, I'm taking a break.  I was beginning to see old patterns emerge, feeling a bit like I was desperately seeking someone.

So for now, I will come home to a whiny cat, eat my almond butter straight out of the jar and enjoy by Sunday coffee and paper solo.  I know I will meet someone...it will happen at the right time...until then, I am just fine being alone.