The Reason for the Season

The reason we allow all the craziness to descend on our lives for a good solid month is that there is a reason for it.  Buried under all the commercialism lies the meaning of Christmas which is to celebrate the gift God gave to us long ago- the birth of His Son Jesus.  Without Jesus there wouldn’t be any point to life let alone this month-long extravaganza!  I read a great blog post today on a site I follow Becoming Minimalist (http://feeds.feedburner.com/becomingminimalistcom).  It is not specific to Christmas but it is a great post about celebrating the little things along the way on our journey to wherever it is we may be going.  This time of year means different things to each of us and each of celebrates differently.  There is not one way to do it all that we should all look to emulate.  Enjoy what the season brings to your home and to your heart.  Enjoy the steps along the way.  It makes the journey worth taking.

On Celebrating the Little Steps

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/2011/12/21/on-celebrating-the-little-steps/comment-page-1/#comment-63700

Enjoy the Christmas story.

http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/christmas/christmasstory.htm

Michele

I’m Tired

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I’m tired of always running late.

I’m tired of the attitude my kids have when I even mention my beau, chores, or anything else they dislike.

I’m tired of my ex.

I’m tired of everything always falling on me.

I’m tired of what seems like insurmountable debt.

I’m tired of my leaking roof.

I’m tired of always needing to make so many decisions all the time.

I’m tired of being tired.

It may seem like I just need to take some time for myself and refresh, and while that may help, the issues will still be there when I return. What I need today is just to vent and make some room in my soul.  That’s the therapy I need today.  Thanks for listening and the shoulder.

Michele Bailey

When You Least Expect It

 

 

 

 

 

How many times in this life have good, and probably bad things happened when we least expect them?  I think it is when we are trying too hard for that great thing to happen or to avoid something really scary and bad for us that the exact opposite of what we want happens.  With my beau R, I journaled frequently so that I would always know ‘where I was at’ with things.  I didn’t want things to go awry without me knowing!  Well that unfolded right under my watchful eye!  I have been seeing someone that I met online for several months now.  After our first time out, I continued to see him for no particular reason. He lives about 4 hours from me and has driven nearly every day he has off to see me.  He cannot usually stay with me as my kids are usually home, but he stays in a hotel close to my house.  I have dated some others all the while I was seeing him every week.  I almost broke things off more than once just because I didn’t see a future for us.  Well a couple of weeks ago I realized I had pretty strong feelings for him.  Things between us have gotten more intense.  I find myself missing him now during the time he is away.  We are texting more in between visits.  I really saw no future for us when we first met and I think that is why I didn’t really invest much or give a lot of thought to things.  We did have a good time every week when he came up, though.  He is kind, loving and cute.  He is good to me.  I wasn’t expecting to develop strong feelings for him and it has caught me off guard.

Waiting

 

 

 

 

I am approaching 3 months now since I lost my job.  Am I retired?  Nope.  I wish I was independently wealthy, though, as I keep plenty busy with life and my kids.  I can appreciate the lack of motivation people can acquire when in this situation.  I have worked my whole life excluding when I was having my children.  Sometimes it was a little less than full-time, but not much less.  I have gotten used to not working and have enjoyed my time off.  I have found a job and hope to start by January 1 at the latest.  Hopefully my credentialing will go through sooner, but that this is the projection date I was given.  Though I am thankful to have found a job, I am not looking forward to the commute.  It is 3 hours away!  I will have to spend a considerable amount of time there and I dread not being home with my kids.

I have been seeing someone who, also, doesn’t live close by.  He lives 4 hours away in the opposite direction of my new job.  He has been doing all the driving for our time together, which I so appreciate.  I really didn’t think things would evolve at all.  We had fun and that’s why I continued seeing him.  I have developed feelings for him, though.  I was just focusing on having fun when we were together.  I never thought about all the “what if’s.”  Now I find myself caring quite a bit about him.  I know he feels the same way.  I’m not sure if we can overcome the things I thought from the beginning were barriers, but time will tell.

School is in full swing and we are almost finished with fall sports.  I have 3 in high school and 1 in college.  I know the next years will fly by, so I am just holding on tight and relishing all I can from the short time they are at home.  Next thing you know it will be Christmas.  Yikes!

Silence

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“A Daughters Walk” by Jane Kirkpatrick is an account of a mother and her eighteen year old daughter who walk from Spokane to New York. If they complete the walk by a certain date they will receive $10,000 which is enough money to prevent foreclosure on the family farm. They do complete the walk, but arrive 2 weeks after the deadline and so do not receive the award money. The book describes their journey and the aftermath of it on them and their family.  It was a difficult journey getting there as well as a difficult one returning home, since they did not have the money they had planned on. They do manage to get home and discover their family is very angry with them for what they have done.  The daughter moves out of the family home and the mother and daughter essentially become estranged. The remainder of the siblings and her husband forbid the mother from ever speaking of the trip. If she even references the trip, her second eldest child, now the eldest living at home, reminds her she is not to talk about it. For the peace of the family, she remains silent about her journey for the rest of her life.  She did keep a nice journal, as she hoped to write a book. Its heartbreaking to see the person she becomes in order to have peace in the family. The mother at the beginning of the book is a completely different mother in the latter half of the book. The eldest daughter acts more like the lady of the house and pretty much determines the household rules and orders her mother around.  At the end of the book, after the mother has passed away, the children find the journal and take it to the fire pit to burn. They have absolutely no understanding of  the impact the journey had on their mother. They didn’t care and some even laughed about it. They were only concerned at how her being away from home  impacted them.

I can’t imagine being silenced for the remainder of my life on any topic or thing because someone commanded it of me.

I had a huge fight with my kids recently. The short version is they don’t like me dating. The read some chat messages between me and a guy friend that were somewhat sexually charged.  They were very upset and nothing I could do or say was going to make them feel better. They were unhappy when I had one steady boyfriend. They don’t like me to casually date several different guy’s either. The looks on their faces told me what they thought of me. I shouldn’t be acting like this. I am a mother not a teenager. I suddenly felt like the mother in my book. She went a long with her husband and children’s order to never again speak of her journey. It kept the peace in the family and home. I guess she felt she had no other choice. I think sh,e also, felt she deserved to be punished for what her family went through when she was gone. Something about this book reminds me of how I’m feeling right now. I feel like I have to do what my kids ask in order to keep the peace.  Oh, they want me to be happy. They just cannot understand all the needs and desires that I, a female/person and not just their mother, still have.

This post-divorce dating and male/female interaction is way different from when I dated prior to getting married.  I’ve only been on a handful of dates but have guy friends I talk with regularly. I enjoy having them as friends.  When you’ve been married and divorced, the desire or urgency to get married again is much lower. I feel like I can date whoever and however many I want. Or just have a friend with benefits. This seems to be a common thing, too. Though my kids read a chat message that was not meant for their eyes, they are only aware of the couple of dates I’ve had. They don’t know I have friends with benefits as well.

Should I acquiesce to the messages I hear from my kids?  Or is it possible to have friends, romance, or even love after divorce?

Blessings…

 

Rejection

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The secretary handed me my messages just as I came out of the room.  One of them was to return a call to a colleague. The other was that the VP of our group (my employer) was waiting in the lobby for me. I didn’t have a good feeling about the message and what they could possibly want. One member of our 3 person team had been in earlier in the day, crying and packed up her things from our shared office. I knew something was up. I just wasn’t sure what that something was.

We sat down in the atrium, a public waiting room down from my office.  A father and his two children approached and  sat down.

Surprised, he asked “Do you want to go some place private?”

“Is it necessary that we are in a private place?”  I asked. “We could use my office”

“I didn’t know you had an office. Yes. Lets go there.” 

I am not surprised that they don’t know I had an office. The VP guy is new and temporary. The HR gal is new. Its her first day.

“We have decided to go with a different model of care and are not renewing any of your groups contracts,” he said. I cannot believe what I’m hearing. Despite what I should have taken as a warning sign earlier, I just never considered that this was what was coming.

“Am I being fired?”

“Oh no,” he assured me.

Really?  Sounds like it to me.

Over the past couple of years it seems like I have faced rejection more times than I care to admit. Of course my divorce is the numero uno of all rejection. Leaving my job of 15 years shortly after comes in after that. It was a huge source of support for me. Professionally it didn’t get much better than that. I found myself facing another huge loss.  A few personel changes mixed with my post-divorce behavior and haze, I found myself no longer welcome. I was asked to resign. After 15 years it had come to this? 

Things had changed at work and in my marriage but I was too late to salavge either one.

I feel like screaming out as loud as I can “I really am an ok person. Please don’t send me a way. Why are you doing this?” 

Will they realize they’ve made a mistake?  I haven’t had anyone ever come back and say they thought they’d made a mistake. I know I can’t rely on this to make me feel better. I know it would though.

I will have to strap on my big girl boots and get back in the saddle though. Life is funny that way. It keeps moving regardless of what you are going through. My kids still need their mother. They still need to be provided for. I need to find whats meant to be next in this life of mine.

Blessings….

Michele Bailey

Summer Fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I am once again single I have reposted my profile on the dating site where I met R, okCupid. I like this site pretty well. I like how it asks questions and helps you get an idea of the kind of person they are. Once I had my profile up and had looked around I noticed that I was seeing many of the faces I’d seen there before. I suppose its not reasonable to expect there’d be a whole new crop of men perfect for me!  I was now curious about the other dating sites out there. I had done Match before so decided not to go that route.

Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, and Rich Men are the dating sites that seem to be the most popular. I am curious what sites you all favor?  Do you prefer one over another?  Why?  I’d love to hear some critiques on these sites!

Happy fishing!  I wish everyone much love and happiness this summer!

Michele Bailey

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

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Tonight your mine completely but….
Will you still love me tomorrow?

I have had this Supremes song on my mind for a couple of weeks now.  I wasn’t quite sure why or what I should do with it. I started this post a while back but I since I wasn’t sure why I had this song on my mind, well the post never really materialized. Not too much time later, my relationship with R ended. Maybe my doubts about our relationship were what drew me to this song. I will say I wasn’t devastated but I was hugely disappointed and sad. I saw so much potential for us that just never was able to be realized. My beau who loved me one day decided the next he doesn’t.  Is this even possible?  He didn’t actually say “I don’t love you,” but his actions spoke louder than anything he could ever say. The short version of what happened is that we were supposed to go away for the July 4 holiday. I needed to have the details of what we were doing so I could arrange and plan around it. When he wouldn’t committ to doing anything specific or even discuss it with any interest, I finally told him just to surprise me. Well the morning of the day we were to leave he was not feeling well. Again. I hadn’t doubted his nearly constant declarations that he didn’t feel well up to that point. The frequency of this complaint had me at thatmoment wondering how much truth there could be to what he was saying. Was it more like he felt a little bad but painted a bigger picture for me? How could someone just feeling like crap all the time?   There were actual medical reasons for him to feel bad but I still wondered. Anyway, so our plans were off for the weekend. Shortly after he told me he had just gotten up and was still feeling bad I decided I would just go over and see him. When I texted him that I was coming he responded saying that he was “downtown with his moms friend.”  Ok. So he goes from being in bed until noon because he was sick to being dowtown an hour later. I was a little upset!  I texted him back saying. “Forget it. I give up.”  I sent another couple of texts saying I didn’t appreciate being lied to and that all I asked was for him to be honest with me.  This seemed to be a theme in our relationship. The theme being that whatever we planned would somehow not work out and usually it was because he was sick. I knew we time would be limited over this time period and suggested at one point that maybe we shouldn’t see each other for a while.  He was very upset by this and so I had retracted the suggestion thinking maybe I was overreacting.  So I gave him the opportunity to break it off but he clearly didn’t want that.  We have to spend time together to have a relationship. He just couldn’t make the time. Whether he is truly as sick as he proclaims I’ll never know.

The text stating he “was downtown…” was the last time I heard from him. I sent several messages total and he didn’t respond to any of them.  It does look like he tried to call somewhere around that time.  I called him back once but he didn’t answer.  He basically went ‘no contact’ overnight. How is it that guys can just “turn it off?”  It completely baffles me. How can he love me one day and the next choose not to talk to me?  As far as I can tell there is no one else. So I’ve been left again for no one.  I’m feeling pretty discouraged and thinking I really suck at relationships.  I’m wondering if it was something about me, something I did or if it was more about him. I feel bad I wasn’t more understanding of him being sick, but then again, he could have broke it off saying he was not well enough to pursue a relationship. Instead I spent most of our relationship getting my hopes up that next time, next week he’ll feel better.

I guess love is not possible right now. 

Michele

Pomp and Circumstance

The first part of  June was spent celebrating the graduations of three of my children. I had two graduate from 8th grade and one from high school. Just hearing the Pomp and Circumstance’ graduation music nearly always brings a tear to my eye. I have a similar response to the wedding march.  Graduations and weddings signify such huge life changing milestones.  My brain has made the association so that just hearing the music causes the reaction. When I was actually the graduate and the bride I didn’t have the appreciation of the significance that I do now. I guess that is life experience.

There are other things in life that when I hear or see them a certain emotional reaction is stirred. What are some life’s moments that you have a predictable reaction to? 

Michele Bailey

Patience

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I am not a patient person. Over the years I have learned to be more patient and am certainly a whole lot better than I was when I was a child or young adult. Similarly, I’ve been described as spoiled by some in my family when I was growing up.  I always hated hearing people say this. It was usually meant to be a negative explanation of me or my behavior. I hadn’t been called spoiled for many years until I heard my ex tell me he thought I was spoiled. After 20 years of marriage he decided I was spoiled?  I will clarify that my ex certainly didn’t spoil me. He said my wanting of things or my attitude about it was why he thought I was spoiled.  

Are spoiled and impatient the same thing?

I do know when things aren’t going my way, it’s hard for me to sit back and let things just unfold. I know I need to rely on God and that is hard sometimes. Instead of Him as the Pilot with me as the Co-Pilot, I act as if it is the other way around. Lately, I have had a hard time with R being away. He has been out-of-town at his daughter’s house (8 hours away).  He went there for a doctor’s appointment, then waited for the results of the studies, had another appointment and then a whole week had gone by. He’s not coming home now because its his other daughters graduation. So the latest is he’ll be back Sunday, which will make it just over 2 weeks since we’ve seen each other. I think whats hard for me is not only the length of time but the not knowing when we will have time again. We do talk and text everyday.  I’m not sure if this is makes it easier or not!  It makes me miss him more. Am I being impatient or am I just spoiled? 

A couple of weeks before all this craziness started, I told him I thought maybe we should take a break during this time. Both our parents were going to be in town and we both had graduations (his out-of-town) and the associated activities and family visiting. I looked ahead on my schedule and saw that there were few, if any, opportunities to see each other.  When I told him this, he turned and looked at me and I think he said something like “and just not talk to each other?” He was truly shocked by what I had just said.   I explained that I knew we were both going to be very busy and maybe it would be best for now. I believe at the time I was being truthful. I mean I wasn’t suggesting this in an attempt to achieve another outcome all together (aka, Passive Aggressive?). He was quite upset by my suggestion. At first he wouldn’t say anything.   He got up from the sofa and walked around the house, pretending to be doing something.  After a few minutes, I went to find him. He was in the laundry room  leaning against the washer, head hanging.  Quiet, but clearly upset. I felt so bad.  I really hadn’t expected his response. I didn’t mean to hurt him and I told him this.  I just thought it might be best for now. He couldn’t really speak he was so taken a back. I retracted and said things didn’t have to change. He just hugged me.  As he came toward me I saw the tears in his eyes. My heart broke.  We just held each other for a good while.  We will just get through the busy times ahead.  

Fast forward and we are now in the midst of this time I knew was coming.  As I watch the busyness of our current schedules play out, I have been tempted, again, to just break things off. Now it feels more of an attempt on my part to control the situation and make the circumstances not what they actually are at this moment. I did send him a long e-mail telling him how I was feeling. I basically said that I felt like he doesn’t have time or room for me in his life. I knew this time was going to be busy and that there’d be little time for ‘us.’  Should I miss him less because I knew this?  Am I just trying to control things?  Trying to get my way?  Did I think or hope unconsciously he’d change the way things are right now and come running home?  That’s what I wanted…for him to come running back right now!

I just try to put it all out of my mind. Its easier to pretend he doesn’t exist (not sure if I really accomplish this).  I mean I can’t just think about him all day long!  If I allow myself to think about him or the situation too much, I might find myself doing something else. I have to do something.  It’s hard to just live with the feelings of missing him and wanting things to be different. I certainly don’t want to write an e-mail or letter I may regret. Or even say something in conversation that I’d regret later. I’ve been down that road in the past. 

I always want things my way. Doesn’t everyone?  I suppose there are those who never want their way.  Have they turned off that inner voice or desire for the things they want?  Or are they just more patient?  Not spoiled?  

How am I choosing to fight this demon?  I am trying to remember to seek my Lords leading instead of my own. You would think I would have learned by now that my way is not the best! 

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Be patient. Don’t push and twist for things to go my way. Relax, sit back and know the Lord has great things planned for me.  Sometimes it’s good to just be, even if the feelings can be uncomfortable. 

Blessings.

Michele