This past weekend went so much better than the last few. I experienced happy feelings again. I had fun. With friends. New experiences.
Saturday night, I was planning on getting together with a friend and her family, but really didn’t have any plans set in stone. Another friend called and invited me to the Rodeo/Bull Riding with him and his brother. I decided to tag along…I am so glad I did. It was a fun evening. Nice to be around different people doing new things. We were at the Rodeo and then went to the local bar for a “dance”. Before doing that, I was ready to go home. I was having a nice time, but ready to be alone. However…once we got to the dance, the night changed. I visited with others that I haven’t visited with for a long time. We hit a couple of other spots on the way home and had a great time.
Sunday morning, I got up and went golfing with a group of friends. I’ve golfed twice before in my life (5+ years ago) and was a little nervous to go with this group, but I decided what the heck…just go and make the most of it. I’m so glad I did. I had one of the best Sunday’s I’ve had in a long time. It was a fun group to be around. We ended up golfing 18 holes…I kinda hit a wall at hole 12, but I still had fun. I can’t wait to go again!
It was a good reminder that it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and try new things with new people. You never know what may be in store for you when you do that. For me, it was learning a new sport and feeling the emotion of being happy again.


New normal?

I’m not even really sure where to start today, but I know I need to write, because it makes me feel better. I spent five of the last seven days with my family doing various things…dinner, outdoor concert, visiting, boating, etc. It was nice. But, it was also lonely. It made me realize just how much my life has changed, but everybody else’s stayed the same. Typically in the summer, my weekends were planned from Memorial Day – Labor Day. Go to the cabin every weekend, except those weekends that other things were planned. I liked it. It was predictable. Comfortable. Reliable. Now, I go into each week not knowing what the weekend is going to hold for me.
I’m one of those people that truly does enjoy my alone time, but I also like to feel that I belong somewhere. Lately, I don’t have that feeling of belonging. I’m 40 years old and am tagging along with my parents, siblings, or other couples living their plans. Could I make my own plans? Sure. But, it just isn’t much fun planning stuff alone. Wondering what I’m missing out on. What my kids are missing out on. This has got to be so different for them too.

I was visiting with a friend today about my weekend and she commented that this is my “new normal”. I’m not sure I really like this new normal. I like to make plans, initiate plans, feel like I belong somewhere. Will that happen again? I think eventually, but I also know it’s going to take time and it’s going to take letting go of my old idea of normal and embracing this new “normal”.
I was texting another friend and told him sometimes it’s just easier to be alone and get lost in a movie or a book versus trying to be around people. Being around people can be emotionally exhausting for me. I can handle 2-3 hours, after that, I lose focus, put up my wall, get cold & distant, and need to escape. Is that my new normal? I hope not because it’s not a comfortable place to be.
I realize I need a new normal, I just hope I can find it and enjoy it sooner rather than later.

Quality, not Quantity is what makes Life Good.

I survived my first 4th of July alone and my 40th birthday!
For the last 25 years, I have spent the 4th of July at the cabin on Green Lake…first as friends to Loren’s cousin, then as his girlfriend/wife. This year, I really dreaded my favorite Holiday. It was going to be so different. So lonely.

…But, I have to say, sometimes change is good. I had a good 4th. Definitely different, but good. It was relaxing. I was still able to go boating, still got to see friends, didn’t have to battle the crowds at the parade or the bugs at the fireworks. I had a nice fire at home and did a lot of reading. Were there times I felt alone, sad, lonely, down? Yes. But all in all, it was good. Life is good.

Yesterday I turned 40. Again, not your typical 40th birthday. Not having a spouse to plan a party for you with all your “friends” takes a little of the excitement out of the whole occasion, but it was a good day. I was with my family, and my parents & siblings surprised me with dinner and drinks. Again…it was good.

Being alone these last months have really made me take a close look at my life and what is important. I’m learning so much about myself and what true happiness is. It isn’t camping, boating, partying, going out, and material things. It’s the people that you do those things with, that you surround yourself with, that make those things enjoyable. The people that are closest to you. Without true friends/family, none of those things really matter. Sometimes we are so focused on doing everything possible, finding new “friends” to climb the social ladder, buying new things to try and make us happy. But it isn’t things that make us happy. It’s true friendship, love, family.
When you identify those people that bring that to you, hang onto them. Don’t let them go to search for other things just to keep up with everyone else. It’s not the quantity of friends/things/experiences you have, but the quality that makes life good.

First Summer

The last couple of weeks have been really hard on me. With the start of summer, I’ve been thinking back on my past summers and all the fun times we had as a family. Camping, cabin, boat rides, 4th of July week with Loren’s family and more. I love summer, but have just been dreading it this year because I have no idea what I’m doing to do on my weekends. We have a lot of mutual friends, so I feel like I have to be so careful who I am around so we don’t end up together. It would be awkward for my girls, for us, and for others around us.

This past weekend was the first nice weekend we’ve had. I was fortunate that I knew he wouldn’t be at the lake and I had some good friends invite me with them to the lake both Friday and Saturday. It was nice. Different than before, but nice. The girls had a blast and we actually felt kind of normal. (whatever that may be). The next thing to get through will be the 4th of July week. It’s bittersweet that my camping days are over for now. Last year was pretty rough, but I truly did enjoy the good times. Again, I know I’ll survive it and find new things to do and new people to be with, I just hate thinking about it. Again, really need to just take 1 day at a time and enjoy the present.

I did it!

I love to sit by bon fires! My girls helped me bring up an old Chiminea that I had in our basement and put it out front so I could sit by the fire while I watch them play. That Chiminea had seen better days. After using it a couple of times, I noticed the cracks getting bigger & bigger. I decided it was time to get a new one. As I went to Home Depot, I thought, can I do this, will someone haul it to my car for me, can I get it our of my car, will I be able to put it together. The nice worker helped me get it off the shelf & load it in my car. I got it home & managed to lift it out of my car. I opened the box & spread out all the pieces…it was at that moment, I though, Oh boy…what did I get myself into.
After a few frustrating steps and a few steps that went really well, I was starting to see progress. It wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever put together but in the end, I did it all on my own. I knew I could have called a friend or relative and they would have come and helped me, but I really wanted to do this all by myself. And that I did. Now, I just need a nice night without rain to sit & enjoy my work.

In a Good Place – So Blessed

This past weekend, I was reminded over and over again how blessed I truly am. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such great friends, family, and neighbors.
On Saturday, I ran a 5K and was very pleased with my results. Afterwards, a bunch of us went to a friends house for celebratory Bloody Mary’s. It was a great way to celebrate the accomplishment. When I got home, I was pleasantly surprised that my neighbors had helped me out once again by mowing my yard. It brought me to tears. Then more tears when I noticed my basketball hoop laying in the grass. My first thought was Oh no, the wind blew it over, but then I saw a new hoop and been put in it’s place. (mine had a broken backboard and cracked base). My neighbors took mine down and brought theirs over for me and the girls. They have been so good to me. I don’t know how to repay them.
Later that day, a good friend and his son came over and helped Faith and I put up our trampoline. It was fun to do it together. Again, so humbled by how helpful people have been.
Sunday, I hosted a graduation party in my honor. It was a fun group of people – family & friends. We had a potluck, kids games, bon fire, and music. We danced into the wee hours of the morning. It was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a long time. It was so important for me to host a get together again. I love hosting, but feared now that I was single, I wouldn’t be able to handle it on my own. The cleaning, prep work, organizing, yard work, garage, everything. But I did, of course with help from my close friends. I truly am in a good place and feel blessed each day for the people around me.

Completing an icky job can be so rewarding!

Yesterday, I spent the day cleaning & organizing my garage. It was not a pleasant task…sweeping floor, cobwebs, organizing, going through junk…not my kind of fun. However, at the end of it, it was so rewarding to see the results of my hard work. I’ve never cleaned the garage before. That was always Lorens job. But, it had been driving me nuts and I knew if I didn’t do it, nobody was going to come do it for me, so I grabbed a beer and dug into it. We have a garage cat, so there is lots of cat hair & cat litter that needed to be swept up. While I was doing that, I also swept up a dead mouse – isch!!! I was tempted to drink something a bit stronger at that point, but I resisted the urge.
I swept and vacummed the floors, washed the rugs, went through all of his stuff and put it in a big pile for him to take with him. At the end of the day, it was quite a feeling of accomplishment. I now have a clean and organized garage. I think it’s time to have a party and show off my hard work!garage day