Heat

The end of summer nears. Children squeal in the late afternoon, but the day ends sooner and so does their laughter. The sun sets and people retire, preparing for the next day; they don’t linger as long in the yard.

The temperature feels oppressive, the sun beating on my pale skin, making me feel flushed and dizzy. My body yearns for the breeze and I find myself lifting a handful of curls to cool my neck.

My mind feels full lately, so much to think about; so much to worry about. I try not to be consumed, by my demons, by the worries, by the heat.

Progress

I had to think about the last baby shower I attended.

There was one at work, but it was more of a lunch where I brought balloons and handmade onesie cookies. There was no big show, no games.

The last one before that, well, I can’t really be sure to be honest. I know I’ve sent baby gifts, and I know I attended quite a few christenings, but it’s been years since the last real shower.

I remember a time when I couldn’t make it more than twenty minutes or so without excusing myself outside or to the restroom. When every small outfit held up for admiration caused a quivering lip. When even the invitation caused tears.

Tonight, I sat with a beautiful, funny, talented group of women. I may have had a couple of moments where I wavered and wanted to run, but for the most part, I felt included. I wasn’t the only one without kids and no one asked me if I had any or when I was going to. Nobody made me feel like the childless barren one. I tried not to get stuck in my own negative loop either. I met some new faces, saw some familiar ones and tasted some wonderful dishes courtesy of these awesome ladies (who happen to be food bloggers).

I sniffed a little on the way home, and I was sad for a moment over the shower I never had, the babies who never made their appearance, the bump that never popped. I thought about the nursery that never was, and the family I just couldn’t make happen no matter how hard I tried.

My pregnancies were lost. My infertility treatments were a bust. My adoption failed. My heart broke.

My heart has started to recover.

Life didn’t end. Life goes on. Progress is made.

looking ahead to December

I know we’re months away from the holiday season, but I got a call over the weekend from my mother.

My dad’s extended family still gathers together on Christmas eve to celebrate, even though the family has grown and multiplied. The original 7 kids all had kids and their kids have kids (well, except my parents who are still yet to be blessed with grandchildren, much to their chagrin). But, the aunt and uncle who have hosted this since my grandparents passed, have decided this is the last year. Much debate has been had, but no one is taking it over.

So, this year, a tradition going on since my father was a child, will end. The darkened living room, the radio and tree lights on a timer, the huddling in the kitchen waiting for Santa to stop by will be the last time.

My mother asked me to come home.

Two years ago, I spent Christmas in NY without D, though I didn’t go to Christmas eve, since I got in at midnight. I didn’t go home last year. I haven’t been to this family event since 2007 actually. My mother wants me there since it’s the end of an era. I can’t blame her, since this is the last big Christmas, I would like to be there.

As I was before though, I’m torn. D cannot travel at the holidays, the time off is blacked out around the holidays. So, if I go to NY, it means I won’t get to spend the holiday time with him. I also can’t take much time because of the new job, so I’d be traveling the major days everyone else is, the 22nd to the 26th. I don’t even like to think about how expensive this trip would be.

I want to make a good decision, but I have a hard time committing to one.

colliding

Unpacking dishes I used to entertain on, party dresses I once celebrated in. Containers of photos and books and mementos; It’s like a twisted sort of Christmas opening boxes that contain surprises.

It’s a weird sort of feeling, my life in NY with my ex colliding with my life here with D. Funny all the things you forget about what once was. Bittersweet to look at some of this and not think of how much has changed over the last several years.

things I learned on the road

Solo roadtrips are good for thinking; and bad for thinking.

Fast food still isn’t my friend, and I wish there were better options available.

Rest stops are sometimes cleaner than truck stops.

There are great people in the world, that will help you anyway they can. (Thanks Nina!)

Lot lizards like clothes with easy access.

Driving 55 while other people are going 80-85 makes you realize how slow that is.

It only takes one idiot to cause a wreck that will cause delays in both directions for an hour.

Driving with an empty trailer is noisy.

A shower is so welcome after a long day on the road.

You won’t even complain much about your crappy hotel room TV not working and the A/C being busted when you’ve driven 14 hours and stopped 3 places with no vacancies.

If you sing in the car three days in a row, you’ll be a little hoarse.

5 hour energy shots are a little gross, but probably helpful.

It might just be stuff, but it’s sentimental stuff and you’ll be glad you have it, even though it cost a lot of money and time to bring it home.

flaws

Lately,  I’ve been really hard on myself. I used to be busting with confidence and self-love (and no, not just the kind that involves mechanical help) and I used to talk about how you should embrace your inadequacies, your imperfections, that they made you who you are.

There is this voice in my head shouting “bullshit”.

This voice sounds like a little girl. I’ve never quite determined if she’s the younger version of me or some amalgam of girls who teased me back in the day. She tells me all the things wrong with me.

I decided I need to shut her up. Maybe not once and for all, maybe I can’t make that kind of impact right now. But, I can kick her in the teeth a bit and hope she’s quiet for a while. It occurred to me that if I take the time to list all the flaws, all the things I think are wrong with me, then they have no power; or at least, no voice.

So, in no particular order:

  • I am loud
  • I am fat
  • I struggle with my compulsions
  • I am short
  • I have a lumpy scalp and awful dry skin (thanks Utah!)
  • I am klutzy
  • I am too bossy, too assertive
  • I have gray hairs; and a wavy curly texture that only looks bedhead-ish sometimes, and otherwise looks sloppy
  • I am great at starting projects and not so great at following through
  • I am emotional
  • My teeth are not white enough for working in the dental field
  • Sometimes I snort when I laugh
  • I spend too much money on lingerie and paper
  • I can be a heartless bitch
  • I freak out about getting sick again
  • I get sad around babies and all the activities that surround them
  • I am not as accomplished as I would like to be
  • I drink too much coffee
  • I crack my knuckles and pull at my cuticles
  • I steal the covers and thrash a bit when I sleep
  • I cannot drive without singing
  • I am a slow driver, 5 above the limit is often my limit
  • I am stubborn
  • I’m a people pleaser
  • I’m a smartass
  • I’m a ball of anxiety at times
  • I don’t let people in

This may not be up for long, surely won’t stay published forever. For the time being, I’ll hope getting it off my chest and out of my head helps.

flirtatious

I knew I was feeling better last week when there was a playfulness to me again.

I was ready to make jokes and catch the twinkle in someone’s eye, capitalizing on my ability to make them laugh with me. I enjoy the way that makes my day easier. Makes it better. I like the the twittering that makes me smile, smirk, laugh.

I like the unexpected. I like the flirtation.

I’ve noticed here in Utah, it’s not always acceptable. Some are happy to participate, but random flirting, even friendly conversation can be viewed in a harsh light.  I don’t get too much flack, some people don’t realize I’m flirting. Occasionally, I get a woman looking at me sideways as I speak to a man in a flirtatious tone, though we’re both strangers and she is as well.

I notice D has a much harder time being friendly. I don’t even see where his friendliness crosses into flirtation, but women sometimes respond as if he is making a play to get them into bed. It’s a little ridiculous, really, when a woman gets offended because he made a little conversation in the cereal aisle.

I don’t think flirtation means that I want to have sex with you necessarily. It can. I have had flirtatious encounters lead into something more naughty, but sometimes flirting is just flirting.

I do it with D, I do it with cute ladies and sweet guys out and about, I’ve been known to do it anytime. It’s like a muscle, sometimes I flex it, sometimes I leave it still. I try not to help myself though, for it makes my life a little easier at times, and I don’t think I abuse it.

Who doesn’t love to be made to smile? Why wouldn’t you want to be the cause of that?