cheers to the independent girls!

I spent time with a girlfriend over the weekend with whom I have a few things in common. We’re both divorced; our relationships fell apart right around the same time in our lives (roughly 40, and with children at about the same ages) — the difference is that she’s a decade older, and so her divorce has been final for far longer.

And here’s what I noticed about our interactions:

  • We met at a beach, and she’s clearly more comfortable with her body / in her skin. I suspect some of this has to do with her being more fit than I am, but women have a bad habit of being self-critical regardless of physical condition — so either that’s maturity or a natural self-assuredness or perhaps it’s just that she hasn’t had someone making negative remarks to her in the past decade. Surprising how long it can take to banish that voice!
  • She is completely self-sufficient and free. Her children are both college-aged, independent, working and, while they’re living at home for the summer, they help with the grocery shopping and such, too. She doesn’t have to think about picking them up from childcare at a certain time…how nice!
  • She looks amazing and nowhere near her age — and she doesn’t wear makeup. Maybe I should try going au natural? I rarely wore makeup (before that last corporate gig where everyone seemed to be in a fashion show), and I’m big on letting my inner beauty shine through.
  • She is so over the ex, the divorce, etc. I start talking about my past relationship, and I find myself becoming snarky, bitter, resentful or angry. I’m thrilled to know that, at some point, all of that baggage will just be gone.
  • She’s bought herself a fabulous car and has had a great deal of remodeling done on her house — clearly she is comfortably in the driver’s seat in her life. Sometimes I still feel as though I’m looking around, waiting for some man to magically appear in a tool belt to take care of things.

As I wrote in my last post, I am getting better about these things. I am stepping back into full accountability for everything in my life — my happiness, my home, my car, my career, my parenting and all my decisions. And I am beginning to feel fulfilled again regardless of whether there’s a man in my life — I can live happily without.

I am also committed to being myself, flying my freak flag and letting the men (and women) who are intimidated or turned off by that to opt out of my life. It’s okay; they’re doing me a favor. I am (to take a phrase from John Randolph Price’s The Abundance Book) my source and my substance.

Independence Day status report

Today, Independence Day to be exact, seems like as good a day as any to report on the status of my own independence…and I do have some good news to report:

Today I felt that old, elusive feeling…the feeling I recall feeling at thirty (a decade ago), after I’d purchased my first condo and luxury car, knowing that I was self-reliant and could allow myself abundance. I felt a glimpse of that in-the-flow, abundant feeling, completely fulfilled, with no need of anything more than what I have here; complete in and grateful for all that I am and all that I have.

Wow! Seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way, and recognizing it brings the realization that I’ve spent too much time in the past couple of years feeling inadequate, damaged or lonely… in a word, like a failure.

The hidden message or blessing in this is that I don’t feel like I need a man in my life to be complete. At some point, I’d love to find a co-conspirator and partner, but right now I feel happy to be single me, happy to be a mother to my littles and simply filled with joy at being present.

Sure, I’m still dealing with some lingering pain, loneliness and resentment…but even acknowledging that is an act of further letting go, further allowing myself to heal.

And here’s where I come back to the dating thing. At this very moment, I don’t care if I date any time soon. Sure, I’d love to go out and have some fun — and to have someone fun with whom to have fun. But I do have those people — I have girlfriends. Many of the men I’ve met online have proven flaky and seem to not have taken the time to heal themselves. I’m not saying that as a judgment, because I’ve been pretty wishy-washy, too.

What I am saying is “do the work, people!” It’s worth it to heal yourself and be whole before you try it all over again.

a little glimpse into the mind of me

As if those of you who follow or find me here don’t get enough drivel, I thought I’d share a story about how I managed to welcome into my yard one of my favorite things…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this story begins with a watch:

I got one of those emails, you know the ones, where they send you the fabulous shopping deal once a day and you have to pounce immediately or someone’s already bought the designer handbag calling your name…in any case, among the fab finds for this particular day were watches.

The fact that my computer and my mobile phone and all manner of other devices seem to remind me of the time ad nauseam notwithstanding, something inside my head thought, “My, now this is a handsome watch! And on sale for just $245! Now this is for me! I would actually wear a watch if I had this one!”

I went so far as to share the link with a friend, with whom I happened to be on the phone, so that he could view, admire and share my appreciation of this fine specimen of Swiss engineering. He concurred that it was, indeed, a stellar timepiece.

And then, even as we talked, I realized: This watch is not going to make me happy, lovely accessory though it might be! I get enough of the time…it’s there on my computer screen, there on my phone. I am regularly reminded of the time already…too often, in fact! Do you know what would make me happy? A hammock! Now that — which at the time struck me as a fair opposite to a watch — will make me happy!

Moments later I was on another website, perusing styles and happily adding a hammock, stand and hardware to my shopping cart. Days later, my backyard was in bidness!

So you see, if you find me occasionally off on tangents or difficult to follow, just imagine what it’s like being inside this head! It can be whack, but it’s an awfully fun ride.

p.s. In case you were wondering, a hammock does equal happiness!