Friday, December 7, 2018

"I could fall in love with you..."

I'm listening to a book that's the second in a series where all the heroes are hockey players. I'm enjoying it, even as a person who doesn't watch hockey, but then the hockey isn't really the point of the story. And, the woman are all normal women, like kindergarten teachers and publicists. They're fictional women that real woman can identify with. The genre of romance novels where the male lead is some kind of athlete all go this way and are quite fun.

Anyhow, I'm about three quarters of the way into this book when the hero turns to the heroine and admits that he could fall in love with her... that he's already falling in love with her. *swoon* As a romance novel junkie, I sort of live for these moments. Especially since in this book, the hero is an emotionally closed off widower with a sweet little girl.

But it's not the usual "I'm falling for you" line that got me, it's the way it was said. He said, "I'm could fall in love with you... I am falling in love with you." That's almost a direct quote, but it stirred up a memory from a long time ago, back to my own happily ever after and something Matt said to me when we were brand new, almost 20 years ago. It's one of those things that just stick with you.

We were laying on top of the ugly floral comforter in the uncomfortable bed in a small Best Western in Waco, holding hands and staring at the ceiling, talking about everything. It's the way we were back then, we never ran out of things to say or topics to discuss. We had just come back inside after he had a cigarette and flopped down when he turned his head and looked at me. I smiled at him. I can still see the look in his brown eyes, like he was seeing something for the first time. He said, "I could fall in love with you... I already am." His voice was so quiet and serious. Everything about that moment was so perfectly... perfect.

It was a lovely moment that's forever etched into my memory from a time when most things were pretty tumultuous for me. I had a soon to be ex-husband, a divorce that wasn't at all friendly. Things were generally a bit ugly. On top of that, Matt and I had known one another for almost a year, but in person we'd only just met. We had almost instantaneous chemistry and we had fun together, but that moment was the one where I knew that we would be together, and not just for a little while.

No matter how difficult life was then, that one perfect moment was everything. It's still everything, even after all these years. It was a defining moment in my life and decided a lot about where I am today. And, well, it was pretty damn romantic. ♥

Around about 2000 or 2001

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Reflecting on 2018

With 2018 nearly over, I've been reflecting on how this year has been for us. And, honestly, it's been pretty full. We've both been working, of course, but both of our jobs have made a pretty big leap this year, too. For the first time in a long time, we've had a really good year.

After losing one of our best friends at the very end of last year, I wasn't sure this year was going to be a good one. And, we've had some challenges this year because, well, that's life, but it's been more good than bad for the first time in years. Around about this time of the year, I'm generally looking back and calling the year a wash, or worse. That's usually how I end each year, by reflecting on how rough the year has been. Not so this year. I never liked calling the year a bad one, so I'm happy that I don't have to do that again this year.

At the risk of jinxing it, because I tend to be a little bit superstitious, this year has been pretty great.

My husband spent much of the year on a big project at work (the exact nature of which I can't really say) and it was a huge success. He took several long business trips, too, which left me a little lonely around the middle of the year, but it was very much worth it. He's tirelessly dedicated to his job because, well, he loves it. That's priceless to me, that he has a job he's amazing at and that he loves.

For me, this year brought a job promotion. In October, I got a promotion that has been so amazing. I am absolutely loving my job, which is an adventure every day. Like my husband's job, I don't so much want to talk about what we do exactly, but being promoted has been wonderful.

Other than our jobs, the year has had some ups and downs. A good year doesn't mean the year has been flawless or without struggles. It hasn't. Take for example our sweet little dog, Chewbi, who just about died a few months ago. The good news there is that he's totally okay now, but for a minute it was very close. So, that he's okay is a serious win. We also took a road trip down to St. George in June and, though it was very brief, we got to see my folks.

To end things in the best way possible, we've been getting quite a lot of snow a bit early this year. Since we moved to Utah three and a half years ago, we've never failed to have a white Christmas, which we both really enjoy. Being from California and Texas, neither of us grew up with snow. While we're pretty tired of it by around about March, we enjoy having the snow for Christmas and the New Year.

I'll come back closer to the New Year to set some goals for 2019. I'm not sure I like the word resolution, because I never can keep New Year's Resolutions. So, I'm sticking with calling them goals. For now, as long as nothing terrible happens between now and the end of the year, 2018 is going to go down as a good one.

First snow, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On work and blogging...

Almost exactly a year ago, I started working at home. I work for a great company, that treats its employees pretty darn well, and working at home is amazing. But, I'm finding there are a few drawbacks. Like, I don't have much to say these days. Without talking about my job, which can be very interesting on any given day, I don't really have much to share. Since many a person has lost their job by talking about said job, even in the abstract, I don't really want to go there.

So, I'm trying to figure out how blogging fits into that. If I don't have anything going on, or anything particularly interesting to say, what will I do with a blog? I'm struggling, though, to let it go because I've been doing it since 2003. That would make this my longest running, ongoing hobby.

There are days I want to use this blog to talk about my mental health, because I think it's important to get those thoughts out there. The problem with that is that this blog would devolve into a seriously depressing place, even for me. Nothing good going on in my head a lot of days and I'm not sure it would be productive to stew in it.

I've considered using it to share writing and writing prompts, because even though I don't publish or talk much about what I'm doing, I'm still writing. A lot. But, I'm not sure I can do that and feel comfortable... which is also why I don't publish. Extreme anxiety overrides any sort of drive to share.

I don't really know what will become of it, so stay tuned. I just don't think I can let it go just yet, even though I rarely write here these days. What I really want is to start writing here more. We'll see.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Gone to the movies...

For the last month, every time I sit down to write, what comes out is a whole lot of ugly. I have several saved starts where I got halfway done and realized I could or wouldn't post what I'd been writing. I'm not in a good place right now, I'm not able to sleep, and even when I do sleep I wake up every hour. Overall, I'm having a rough time.

But, today, I had a small victory and thought I'd try to write about that instead of the ugliness. A milestone, of sorts. I actually managed to go out to a movie alone today. While I know that sounds like a small and somewhat pathetic thing, for me, it's pretty huge.

As an agoraphobic who also suffers from generalized and social anxiety disorders, I struggle to leave my house alone. I struggle to go to Walmart or even to just go out to put gas in my car. I do okay when I'm not alone, when my husband is with me, but I suck at alone. To make things worse, I tend to catastrophize, imagining the absolute worst possible outcome in every situation. When I can't sleep, the whole situation becomes so much worse.

So going to a movie alone, that's a negative... until today. Today, I actually did it. I went to see Skyscraper alone. I spent a good portion of the time worrying about being in the theater alone. I spent some of the time obsessing about whatever worst outcome could possibly occur. I don't usually go to movies, even when I'm not alone because my anxiety won't allow me to forget the short string of theater shootings that happened in the last few years. But, once I got into the movie, I was able to relax a bit and really enjoy the experience.

By the time I walked out of the theater, I felt pretty good about the whole excursion. An excursion that had been prompted by a fit of emotional upset about being home alone, miserable, while my husband's in another state spending his day off having a good time with his co-workers. Shortly after coming home and having lunch, the emotional turmoil had mostly returned, but for that little bit of time, I felt pretty good about having actually accomplished this small thing.

Deep down, I still feel pretty good about it. Seeing that I'll be 40 years old in less than two weeks, it was long past time to get this thing done.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Some things never change...

When I was a teenager, my favorite thing to wear was jeans and t-shirts. I favored pony tails and skipped the make-up most of the time. Flip-flops were my shoes of choice. I wasn't exactly a tom-boy, I just wanted to be comfortable.  And, because I, like most other teenagers, wasn't all that comfortable in my body I sought to be comfortable in other ways. And, I liked the way I looked in jeans and t-shirts.

This was somewhat of a friendly battle between me and my mom. She wanted me to be more girly. She didn't tell me what to wear, exactly, but thought I should wear make-up and do something with my hair, maybe wear something with flowers on it once in a while. When I began to attempt to attract boys, I tried to make more of an effort, but I never was very good at being interested in things that would make me "prettier."

Twenty-five years later, not all that much has changed. I'm still not all that interested in things that would make me prettier. I care about being comfortable, just like I did when I was sixteen. I thought this was likely (thankfully) one of the only things I have in common with my younger self. As I considered it, though, I think I may have sold myself a bit short. Maybe there is a little bit of who I was way back then still lingering inside me, deep down.

When I was tossing on my Deadpool Taco's t-shirt and jeans this morning, hair in a messy bun, no make-up, I realized this was exactly something my teenage self would have worn. It made me smile, but it also made me think about the things about us that change and those that remain the same. My mom's favorite saying is "the older you get, the more like yourself you become." I never understood that when I was a kid--grown-up mumbo-jumbo, if you asked me. But, as I've grown older, I don't just understand it, I both believe it and don't. I have a relationship with that particular bit of wisdom.

In some respects, I've become so much more who I was always supposed to be. In others, I thank God that I've changed so much that my former self is unrecognizable. Still in others, I've grown into someone my teenage-self wouldn't necessarily approve of. I think this happens to everyone, we're all a big ol' ball of hopes, dreams, and disappointments that make us who we are today. I'm able now, though, to step outside my comfort zone and do things I never could have back then. Maybe that's the difference between being an awkward sixteen year old girl and a 40 year old woman. The ability to differentiate between comfort and hiding. The ability to put yourself out there because you have to, or need to, or just want to.

I still want to be comfortable. I'm older now, but I'm still wearing my jeans and t-shirts. I imagine I always will. But when I leave my house, I usually wear make-up now, too. I straighten my hair so it looks good and try to be generally presentable. Not so I can be prettier, attract men, or look more my age, but because when I look better, I feel better and have more confidence. That's something my teenage-self didn't much understand or care about. I just try to do those things while wearing what will make me most comfortable.

Then there are times when comfort still wins over looking/feeling good and I leave the house wearing slippers.