Tag Archives: writing

a bit of a hiatus

It seems I’ve taken a bit of an inadvertent hiatus. You know how life gets:  one day you’re writing regularly and the next you decide to keep it zipped so as not to jinx something which ends up not working out anyway and then you meet someone else and the holidays are upon you and you keep thinking, “I really ought to blog about this,” and then you don’t get around to it because there are other priorities and you’re out of the habit and life just hurtles on at speeds you can’t seem to get used to…

So…apologies.

We’ve tons to catch up on. Promise. I will be better. I’ll tell you all about the douchey suburban guy and whatnot, and perhaps how, despite every relationship being a mixed bag of sorts, I’m really feeling quite happy and cared for just now.

I’ll wait for your applause to die down…

There.

Off to get my beauty sleep. Sweet dreams, dear readers! I’ve missed you, and I hope you’ve missed me, too.


I am still here

Just busy adjusting to the time change, dating, playing chauffeur for the children’s spring sports seasons and preparing for Sunday Night Sex Talks, Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood on April 7. Doors are at 8. Hope you can make it out!


a message from the universe

I think the universe wants to keep me silent, tossing extra work and minor household disasters in the way of my writing. Cest la vie. Sometimes these things happen and, while I have plenty to say, I’m obviously to keep mum for a bit. 

Relax, I’ll be back shortly.


where am I going with this?

I honestly don’t know.

I thought I had a good concept going with failedatforty.com — a good story and one with potential legs. For example, I could have been “fierce at forty-one,” or “failed to fierce” or “failed to fabulous.”

But, truth be told, I had started dating by the time I thought I’d be ready to do these things. And I’d started to begin thinking about my professional growth again, which meant I didn’t have as much time or energy to spend here. And I didn’t feel fierce at all. I felt…soft. Which was not only unexpected, but also without alliteration.

Unexpectedly soft. That’s how I felt in a relationship with a manly guy with manly man energy. And — I know it sounds crazy — I loved it! I’m sure my guy would have laughed and joked, “soft as nails!” But I know he enjoyed being man enough to match my strong-willed energy. Strong on the inside, soft and flexible on the outside…it was like that thing Joan Armatrading sings about in her song Willow:  “strong, straight, willing…”

So, I’m not sure I feel all that soft anymore, really…neither do I feel fierce. Maybe sometimes. Occasionally fabulous. Perhaps I’m failed to fabulous? I guess time will tell…

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep dropping in, sharing some about thoughts about relationships, dating and being when the mood arises.

Let me know what you think.


2011…the year in review

I’ve been writing this blog for a little more than a year now, with varying levels of dedication. I began in December, 2010 with the notion that I’d write about the crush that helped cement my motivation to end my failing marriage, and that kept me afloat through a good share of the process.

By that time, I’d also had a few other dalliances — and complete misses (as in the case of Chi-guy) that struck me as hysterical. From the dating horror stories I’d heard from girlfriends, I was sure I’d have many tales to tell about my re-entry into the dating pool.

Even as I began dating, and then dating someone exclusively, I’m surprised at how much I’ve found to write about relationships, marriage, commitment and more. It’s been a cathartic experience, one from which I’ve grown. For example, I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately with the challenges of owning a fixer-upper home, but consider that a couple of years ago I was overwhelmed at the notion of bikini line grooming.

Sharing here has also produced a few surprises:

  • My blog was most visited on the day that I wrote a post called Spiritual Soul Mates.
  • The two most popular searches that bring readers here are “failed at forty” and “toe cleavage.” I’m guessing that those looking for the latter are not particularly inclined to come back.
  • Men seem to be intimidated by the fact that I write this blog.

In the past few months, I am delighted to say that I have a boyfriend. I wanted a boyfriend. And it’s so much fun to be in a relationship and to discover another and also myself and to support and be supported as I continue to heal. I also have a demanding full-time job and two children, which leaves me with very little time to write. I promise to stop in when I can…I seem to have plenty more to say.

Cheers to a New Year — may it be even better than the last for all of us!


somebody’s watching me

“I always feel like somebody’s watching me, and I have no privacy.” — Rockwell

I couldn’t resist bringing up the 80s synth pop in light of having learned that my beau has found my blog. This nugget was made self-evident as we were having our exclusivity conversation. He said things like:

It was too great a coincidence that he would mirror back to me my own language, yet I didn’t put it together fully until I’d arrived home. I texted him, “When did you start reading my blog?” and went to bed.

I knew it was inevitable that he’d stumble on it or be curious enough to seek it out, and I was willing to share after we’d gotten to know each other a bit better…

He seemed almost apologetic for having stumbled upon it — and quickly swore that he wasn’t creepy or anything. He told me that he respects me more for having a deeper understanding of what I’ve been through and an intimate window into what probably amounts to excessive introspection. And he even handled my last post fluidly. He understands that I’m writing about me and not about him.

I suppose the lesson in this, if there is one, is that I’m worthy of being appreciated for being myself, even when I let it all hang out, and regardless of what relationship drivel du jour I publish here.

p.s. Hi, Sweetie!


am I over-analyzing all of this?

It was recently suggested to me (by an attractive man) that I might be over-analyzing all of this relationship stuff… I suppose that could be a fair supposition for a reader to make. Here, I’ll share part of my response…

“Indulge me as I share a story:

When I was pregnant with my daughter and began (around the 7th month) to feel the sheer panic that comes with the realization that this lovely little floaty bubble of bliss would, at some point burst, and then a head the size of a cantaloupe was going to come out of (and would likely tear to shreds) a much smaller hole / passageway…I went to the birthing classes and watched the reality birth stories on TLC. One thing I observed was that so many women would, in a moment of contraction agony, utter:  “I can’t do this.” And I remember thinking they were ridiculous! I mean, we’re women, our bodies are MADE for this! I had my doula, my (drug-free) natural birthing plan, my body had been in the best shape of my entire life when I got pregnant, and — even though I was occasionally visited by the sheer terror I mentioned earlier — I was confident that I would be champ at labor and birth.

Fast forward to several hours into labor, when the pain got ahead of me and I could no longer ride it like a wave, and I could no longer relax or rest between contractions…this is the thought that came into my head:  “I can’t do this.” And I thought it for a bit, meanwhile putting on my brave face and trying not to clamp my jaws together on the nearest arm and finally I, too, like those women on the shows, uttered those words, “I can’t do this.” Predictably, everyone around me jumped in with, “Yes you can!”s and other encouragement…but words or encouragement weren’t what I needed. What I needed was to speak my doubt aloud, release it of its power and move on…

I guess my blog is kind of like that. I don’t over-analyze everything…I think it, write it, release it and move on. Yes, there are areas of my life in which I’ve tried to be intentional…and then released those thoughts out into the universe. I’m probably more introspective and self-aware than many, likely more honest and bare…and that’s what I needed to do with this — I needed to explore being honest with myself, being completely vulnerable and to commit to writing all the time. (Frankly, I’ve had enough of this failed relationship introspection already — I’m ready to get out and live again!) Meanwhile, this space is also a great venue in which to cop a bit of a diva attitude that I rarely display in real life. So…if you’re going to read it, please try not to read too much into the very limited view it might offer…

While there are certain things that I’ve shared here that remain true — e.g. I do, at some point…maybe a few years in the future… want to be in a life-affirming, committed relationship — what I think I’m ready for has changed constantly since I began writing about it. One day, I think it would be peachy to find a lover who is willing to explore and share new heights of pleasure, and who might also be a confidante. Another day, I find I’m holding back my natural sensuality because I don’t want to lead with physical attraction, I want to find an emotional connection. And at another time, I think the most lovely thing in the world would be to enjoy a conversation, maybe hold hands, maybe smooch a little (okay, not gonna lie, a make-out session sounds spectacular!). I want adventure! Or a little candlelight and some romance! I’m making peace with all of the different aspects of myself and integrating my energy. I feel lighthearted and playful and whole in way that I can’t claim to have felt in years. It’s wonderful…I’m living in the present moment. And I feel amazing!

My entire adult life has been lived in shades of gray, sometimes with too few guard rails… After being pretty lost for a bit, grasping for anything that seemed solid, while being conscious about what I’m trying to create, I am wide open to allowing things to unfold, to “let go to the mystery”…in fact, I’d prefer to be surprised. At this moment, I have no pre-conceived notions about what my next relationship might be like or how long it will last…I can only suspect (given my parenting schedule), that it’s likely to unfold slowly. And that’s okay with me. I’m navigating moment to moment… Whatever I think I might want in the long run, the only way to move forward is to take small steps — meeting people, going out, having fun…”

Then I wrote that I have fun with him…and to please not mistake reading the blog for experiencing / knowing the woman who writes it.

What do you think of that, my kind readers?


relationship article round-up

I’ve noticed a lot of interesting stuff out there on the inter webs. I don’t have a ton of time for commentary so, for now, I’ll just direct your attention to a few:

Imagine my surprise when I saw this article on trends website PSFK. Evidently anonymous blog The Plankton, which discusses dating from the perspective of a woman as “a plankton on the food chain of sexuality,” has attracted worldwide interest for its unique point of view. As a 40-year-old woman, I can’t say that I consider myself to be at the bottom of the sexual food chain. I have, however, experienced some disinterest that — and this is a gut feeling only — might be attributed to the difficulty in dating a nearly full-time single mother…and that bums me out a little.

This headline on HuffPost Divorce popped out at me the other day:  On Second Thought, Don’t Get Married by Dr. Neil Clark Warren. For those of you who don’t know, the author is the dude who founded eHarmony.com. Americans believe, in large numbers, that marriage is becoming obsolete. Yet millions of couples still marry, and millions more want to, but are not allowed to in most states. I absolutely see both sides of this issue, as I’ve lived it. And I agree with Clark Warren that we don’t focus enough on learning how to choose a mate, build successful relationships and resolve conflict.

Finally, I’m a big fan of Dan Savage and all the work he’s done to share frank, open discussions about sexuality and sexual ethics (not to mention the amazing It Gets Better project and his political activism). In this NYT Magazine piece, Savage talks about covering off on sexual expectations before commitment — think of it like having the financial pre-nup discussion, but about fidelity. It’s actually kind of ground-breaking thinking and while, as a monogamist, it’s still kind of hard to wrap my head around it, it certainly bears discussing — e.g. If one of us cheats, does that mean the relationship is over? Could we forgive, work it out and move on? What might it mean? etc. Good discussions to have before taking the plunge, right?


…and I thought this was going to be funny!

So…when I began writing about all this divorce and dating garbage a few months ago, I somehow imagined that I would be having all kinds of interesting relationship experiences that I could write about, and that I would encounter lots of different men and have countless hilarious tales to tell about these meetings…

And that has not happened.

Why?

Well, it’s dawning on me, as it may have also on you, that working full-time and parenting the other full-time consumes a hella chunk o’ time. And there’s not much left for dating or meeting people or romantic or ridiculous encounters of any time. And, frankly, the filtering part of online dating eats up so much time that I’d just as soon spend some QT with my gals.

So, aside from the whole Chi-guy situation, which is funny on general principle alone, and the humor in which has very little to do with the way I tell the story, I have to face facts:  I am just not that funny! Not that funny anymore, at any rate. Sure, the bright side is that I’m blessed with a full range of emotions and that, overall, writing about all this stuff has been rather cathartic.

Yet all this makes me think back to more frivolous times, when I was light-hearted and delightful and embodied all manner of other characterizations inclusive of lightness, frivolity, fun and laughter…and I wonder, am I not there? What has happened to the witty, vivacious me?

I realize that, at home each night with grammar school-aged children, it’s easy to be silly. Silly is one thing; funny is quite another. And I used to be funny!

Of course, I am thinking about all this because I’ve discovered The Blogess who, as you might have already guessed, is Funny with a capital f! She does, naturally, have a relationship to write about…so no end to the potential for humorous fodder.

Oh, I know that I’m in there (here) all right. The irreverent, playful ol’ gal comes out to play at least every other weekend and sometimes more often. In recalling her (me), I am reminded of how much fun it was to come home to another playful adult during the times things were grand and we were, indeed, mirthful together.

Funny comes much more naturally when it has someone to bounce off of.

(And, yes, I’m fully aware that I should not be ending my sentences with a preposition, Bitch!)


book report: Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve been trying for a long time to review or comment on or find some way to share with you the delightful gooey yumminess that is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed:  A Love Story. It’s been out for a while now and, having appreciated Eat, Pray, Love and had my own reservations and struggles with the whole concept of marriage, I was really eager to dig in.

And yet I cannot make sense of this book for you. I mean, I can tell you that it’s a study of the history and issues around marriage from the perspective of a reluctant bride. Yet there is no way for me to boil it down into a condensed and sensible takeaway because, frankly, there is just too much amazingly juicy history, research, revelation and personal drama — and that’s just in Chapter 4, Marriage and Infatuation. I’m kidding; there are many great chapters. But, in the paperback copy I bought at the local discount retailer (you know the one with the big red bullseye), pages 96 through 134 cover so much — from enlightenment to infatuation, chemistry to philosophy, addiction to personal revelation, vasopressin receptor genes, walls and windows, prenuptial agreement and confessions.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Aristophanes mythical story of why humans so long for union with one another.
  • “I can no longer do infatuation. It kills me. In the end, it always puts me through the wood chipper.” Who wouldn’t appreciate this oblique reference to the Coen brothers’ Fargo?
  • Oh, the wisdom and revelations of the older and wiser on her second time around! The maturity with which the (very necessary, in my opinion) prenuptial agreement is discussed!
  • The listing of her own most deplorable faults, which she shared with her fiancée (as if he didn’t know) to ensure he knew what he was getting in to. I may attempt to do this myself here in this blog.
There is so much more in this book that makes it worth the read, particularly if you’ve tried and failed, particularly if you’ve struggled with the very notion or institution of marriage, particularly if you’ve ever felt bare, broken or vulnerable.