May 2010


I’ve been ruminating on a post all day today, in follow up to my post yesterday (check out Shannon’s almost-identical post yesterday, freakishly similar, guess sometimes our collective bloggy minds are in the same place, since I read a few others today that had similar themes) when I came across a blog from the Dating Optimist on your “pretty (love) place” and it was dead-on.

An excerpt:

I was listening to an old Astrud Gilberto album yesterday when I heard a song that really spoke to me. It had such a powerfully optimistic message that I want to pass it on to you. The song is called “Lugar Bonita,” which means “Pretty Place.” While I’d heard this song tens of times before, this time I was really listening to the words and I was moved by her optimism. These are the words of a woman moving forward on a path, not knowing exactly what’s at the end, but knowing it will be a pretty place, a happy ending. You can be this woman! (And guys, you can, too!) It just takes saying these same hopeful words enough that you really believe them.

While I don’t know where my “pretty place” will lead me, or where my happy ending will be, or when it will be, I love this, because it’s so true, and it gave me more hope and pushed me back into my usual optimistic self. Not to say that I wasn’t heading there anyway today, because I was. I enjoyed a pretty solitary day today (and a thoroughly enjoyable solitary evening last night. Me. wine. movies, and a fun chat with IntrigueMe!) and realize that I’m okay.

I’m more than okay. I’m great, I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m doing a little better financially (thank God for second jobs!) and I’m optimistic about finding love in the future. It’ll happen, I know it will, and taking this attitude, being a little more chill about it releases me from the anxiety I’ve been building up ever so subtlely in my mind. And honestly, knowing that I’m not alone in this, this want for a relationship, for love, for companionship, is oddly resassuring. Sometimes I guess I’m just surrounded by couples and those in love, that I lose sight of the fact that there are many of us in this world (and even in my own social circles) that are single, and are happy despite that, even if they too are in want of the elusive relationship.

So, I think I can be in my “pretty place” without the love piece…because I feel like my life is pretty right now, I’m in a happy spot, and  when I look around, despite that missing link, it looks pretty, well, pretty.

So I ask you, what’s your pretty place?

First, I must say, if this long weekend were a man, I think I might just marry him…or maybe just date him, not sure I’m quite ready for that level of commitment ;-P It’s absolutely gorgeous, I’ve spent the last two days enjoying time with friends, the beach, and some wine (of course) and there’s still one more day left in the weekend, what’s not to like, right?

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Yet, when I woke up this morning, I felt a rush of lonliness mixed with a little sadness.

Why?

Well, a mix of things, I think, one of which is totally PMS-driven (ah, those hormones love to swing my moods to and fro!)

The other thing? I miss my house and my pool/yard more than ever. Let me rephrase that…I miss having A house and pool and yard, not necessarily my past house, given it was ridden with memories and the past, something I am still glad to have walked away from. It put me into a bit of a funk, but I worked out, let my mind drift, and felt a little bit better afterwards, but it’s still nagging in the back of my mind. What do I really miss? I don’t necessarily miss what I had, but I do miss the stability, groundedness, happiness, and couple-ness of having a marriage. Maybe I didn’t appreciate what I had (when it was good) as much as I should have, or maybe I’m just looking at it now too idealistically, but what it does point to is this…

I miss being in a relationship.

Plain and simple.

I know that’s not a huge revelation for anyone, because to you, it may seen I’ve been itching for that since I started dating almost a year ago (damn, time flies…). But truly, I haven’t missed that all too much, I’ve enjoyed being on my own, enjoyed dating, even through the ups and downs, but a big part of me now just misses being in a relationship, being in love, and the stability and happiness that comes with it.

And maybe part of missing being in a relationship is the start of summer (unofficially) this weekend. While I think there are many, many fun reasons to be single in the summer, I also think being in a relationship in the summer is a lot of fun too.

Maybe it’s the third-wheel factor in the summer…it just feels more pronounced for me. Friday night, for example, I was having drinks with some of my Group Kick friends, and I looked around and realized I was the only single in the group, and not only the only single, but the only unmarried too. Double whammy, a little bit. (And, I was secretly hoping ‘pretty boy’ would be there, a playful name referring to a friend of ours that has hung out at this particular bar recently. We went to college together, and our internships, and well, I kinda think he’s cute. Was sort of hoping for a run-in, but no dice).

I go back and forth with this is-summer-better-single-or-not thing in my head quite a bit, at least lately, and I don’t really think there’s an answer to it, because, like I said, there’s plenty of “pros” for both, I just think for me, it points to wanting what I don’t have right now.

And when I was explaining this (in part) to my sister, she said “I just want you to be happy.” And I responded, “but I AM happy.” Because I am, truly. Life is great, I’m in a good spot emotionally and mentally. It’s summer. I have lots of fun things planned in coming weeks and months. It’s just that tiny nagging at me, the alone-factor, that nags ever so slightly more now and again, and right now, it’s nagging.

I know my time will come. I know you all will reiterate that. Or say that I should stop looking. Or stop wanting. Or just to enjoy what I have now. And I am – sorta kinda, all of these things.

I’m not really looking. Sure, I’m on chemistry and OKC, but I’m not really actively looking through them too seriously. Yet, I may have a date coming up…more on that later (It’s the not looking, I swear). I may have a couple of potential “organic” dates brewing. Maybe. That’d be a first, and I’d welcome it. Again, more on that later (c’mon, this post is getting ridiculously long!).

So for now, writing this all out…I guess I’m still okay being on my own. It’s just the time of year where it’d be nice to at least have someone around, at the beach, or at cookouts, or whatever it may be, to have by my side. It’ll come. I know it will, and for now, I’ll enjoy the social butterfly-ness that I’m trying to cultivate as much as possible.

Happy Quote Friday everyone!!

It’s a special kind of Friday, because not only is it a long weekend, but it feels like a different weekend, a weekend ripe with possibility…I don’t know why, but it’s just my gut…AND it’s also special as my sister just found out that she too passed Group Kick certification!!!

So, on that note, a fitting quote for today feels like this:

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

With Group Kick certification under my belt, plus a fantastic trip to Bloggers in Sin City that meant more than “just” meeting a bunch of fantastic bloggers, it signified to me just how far I have come since that fateful day in October 2008…I’m a ridiculously different than I was then (at least in my eyes), and it feels light years away in many respects, and I think that has to do in part with doing just what this quote says – buck the play-it-safe route and just go for it. That goes against anything I used to believe in, and now, it feels exciting, challenging, scary, and fun, all rolled into one.

And now that I have gotten through some of these new and exciting challenges, it makes me itch for the next challenge.

What shall I do?

What do I need to conquer?

What do I want to conquer?

I have a few thoughts on what exactly I want to do, professionally and personally, and I know I will be blogging it out, to some extent, and for others, I may bide my time, see what happens and then blog about it…so you’ll just have to wait and see 😉

On that note, have a fantastic long weekend for those lucky enough to have the time off…as the unofficial start to summer is about to begin, I’m ready to live it up…ridiculously excited to do so. Cheers (almost!)!!

…and do something daring, will ya?

It’s been a funky week so far, getting back into routine, and work, and working out, all while trying to combat the cold-from-hell, but as the week is coming to a close, and the long weekend is upon us, I’ve been randomly collecting a few of my favorite things at the moment, and I figure they’re worth sharing, because they scream happiness, inspiration, hope, and fun…and since I’m all ‘puppies and rainbows,’ they’re itching to be blogged about 😉

On the plane to Vegas, I ripped out a few articles I was reading and tucked them away. One of them was an interview with Sarah Silverman and “7 things worth repeating.” A couple of my favorites:

Sweat a little every day. Organize your apartment, do your laundry, play basketball or nuzzle with another person (me: does a kitty nuzzle count? Cuz that’s all I got right now. Heh.

Sarah’s mom’s advice on heartbreak: ‘it hurts, but don’t put up a wall…take a risk and fall in love – it’s worth the pain.” (me: YES, YES, YES! Completely agree)

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Another article I was reading was from Marie Claire, and it was on “the science of sex” and it focused in part on a book called “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage,” which focused on what qualities comprise lasting love.

It talked about chemistry, literally, whether chemical connections play into dating, love and marriage, and validated that a little more for me, both literally (chemical balances, hormones etc) and also noted that chemistry does play a role in whether there is a love connection, and while I didn’t need to read that to know that for me, personally, but it still validated it even more for me. Chemistry doesn’t mean sexual or romantic feelings solely, either, it’s the whole package. It’s there, somewhere, I know it. Where, when, how and who? That remains to be seen…but it’s out there somewhere.

It also talked about expectations and whether setting them too high in love and marriage is the kiss of death. Research from UNC notes that it’s actually the opposite…when you set expectations too low, that’s when relationships and marriage fail. AMEN.

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Winning bets that yield fun things like this – is that a cute magnet or what? Seriously, it makes me smile every time I open the fridge. Thanks my bloggy friend!

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Quotes like these. Can you read them? This is also on my fridge, and I read them every single day. (told ya this post was random, or if I didn’t, you can probably figure that out by now!)

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DOMS. Or, delayed onset muscle soreness. After 4 days of NOT working out (yes, I know, this is *crazy* for me…) while in Vegas at BISC, I was desperate to get back to that particular part of my routine. Despite my better judgement, I did a couple of crazy back-to-back weight workouts (upper and lower body) that I am completely paying the price for today, 2 1/2 days later. I’m limping, I’m aching, and I’m having trouble standing up after sitting for awhile.

So, why is this one of my favorite things, you ask?! Because it means I’m back to my workout routine, of course, and DOMS scream (no pun intended…) that the workouts are working. Told you I’m a little bit crazy, right? And that I have the cold from hell? Yea, in hindsight, probably not the best idea, but I’m embracing it, mmk?

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Long weekends!!

I am stoked for this weekend, truly. I have a weekend packed with fun plans, with my Group Kick “family” tomorrow night (celebration is in order, if I do say so myself!), my brother-in-law’s annual birthday bash on Saturday, and the beach on Sunday and/or Monday, likely. Life’s pretty damn good, no?

So, there you have it…some of the things I’m digging at this very moment. There are some more potentials brewing, but for now, I think this list is plenty long. I hope you all got a laugh out of this, perhaps share some of these favorites, and all have a fantastic long weekend welcoming the official start to summer, my most favorite season ever.

I PASSED MY GROUP KICK ASSESSMENT!!!!!

I want to shout it from the rooftops…I am elated, ecstatic, relieved, proud, and excited, all rolled into one. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, with all of my frustrations and struggles with Kick since my sister and I began this journey in December (wow, six months sure does fly, doesn’t it?), but was thrilled (and a teensy bit floored) to see the email this afternoon saying:

CONGRATULATIONS! You have passed your Group Kick® Assessment and now join a dedicated, professional and committed team in delivering Body Training Systems® (BTS) programs. Attached are your Group Kick® Certificate of Completion and Assessment.

Becoming a Group Kick® instructor means that you have access to a comprehensive education system to support you and your club in creating WOW! experiences to get more people MOVING!

When I look back at where we began, we’ve both come a long way, and I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments and doing this together. Jess posted a great list of things she’s learned from this experience, and I’d echo all of them…and add to that list the ability to be patient. While I may not always appear to wear my “patience pants” (I know more often than not, I can’t find them in my closet!), with Kick, I’ve tried to bide my time, take it day by day and always keep in my mind that the goal – for me – is to pass. Not to *necessarily* get a class, but to pass. I think my sister has struggled with this a little bit more than me because she WANTS a class badly, and that has added more frustration for her, stresssing over that piece, rather than just the passing piece. However, I think most recently, she’s become pretty “zen” about it and I’m proud of her for that, and I’m proud to make her proud, because that makes me happy (could I have said “proud” one more time in that sentence? heh.)

So, I say bring it…bring it ON, whatever the future holds in my Kick career….BRING IT...I’m ready to kick some!!

As I sit here feeling even worse today than I did yesterday (convinced this is the cold from hell!), I figured I’d post a few pictures and a few last thoughts (and for some fun quotes of the weekend, check out Mel’s latest blog for some funnies) for my Bloggers in Sin City mini-series finale 😉

A few final thoughts:

  • It’s truly amazing to meet people that I’ve shared my life with (and theirs) through blogging over the past year and a half, and to be talking about our lives now vs. then, face-to-face. I can’t explain it, but it just felt awesome, and I truly believe I’ll be friends with some of these girls IRL now as well as through our blogs.
  • We are who we are – everyone I met that I’ve read their blogs are exactly as they are in their blogs…and I love that. Sometimes the “in-person” doesn’t translate from online, and I was afraid that might happen, or there might be awkwardness, but there wasn’t any, it was picking up where we left off, as if we’ve been friends forever. VERY cool.
  • I finally got my designer purse – Coach – living up to my Vegas expectations…but didn’t get to do a few of the other things I wanted to do, like jump in a fountain (guess I could have), or see a Cirque de Soleil show (tix were sold out, BUT they are coming to Boston this summer so I plan to go then!)
  • I continue to amaze myself at traveling alone, and not being overly scared or intimidated by it. It may seem like a simple thing to some, but for me, this is huge, and I am proud of how far I have come. Each and every day. I never take it for granted. Being independent will always feel like a huge step forward for me.
  • I really want to get that blog family reunion going for a “part II” of Bloggers in Sin City, with all of you “family” that I’d love to meet (Quarter for Her Thoughts, INRIS, Snark, T, Nicki, Diary of a Divorced Guy, Lil Devil Mama, Student Mama, etc) and of course those that I already have (Shannon, Mel, duh, of course)
  • I never want to take 5 plane rides in 5 days. Ever. Again. Just sayin.

Now, for some pics!

Great way to "recognize" everyone at happy hour - through twitter handles!

First night out with the roomies! Mel, me, Akirah and Shannon

Goofing off at Zeffirino with some other fun bloggers, including blog newlyweds Erika and Betterment of Man.

One of my fave shots, with Shannon, outside of the Bellagio

our "offensive" t-shirts, aren't we cute? This was at Planet Hollywood.

Group shot i our costumes!

Final dinner out, at Paris.

As I sit here, socked with a nasty cold (must have been traveling on 5 different planes in 5 days that did me in, huh?) and I look through the pictures of Bloggers in Sin City that I took and others took, I realize more and more what an amazing experience it was. I am letting it marinate a little more before I share some of my learnings (stay tuned for that tomorrow), but for now, more of my recap of the second half of my trip.

Day 3/4:

Day 3…started with a fantastic morning by the pool with a “poolside” mixer to get to know everyone more, complete with reserved seating and reserved couches/bed thingies to share. It was awesome to have a roped off section to lounge in because the chairs were always packed with people no matter what time of day, and we got prime seating right in front. We spent much of the morning there, and I had some great conversations with some of my favorites (roomies Shannon, Mel and Akirah, of course, as well as others throughout the day), and got some time to lounge and just let my mind run free. After the week and a half earlier of stress at work and traveling to San Jose, it was just what I needed (that and fruity cocktails, let’s be honest).

The evening was SO much fun. It was the “I just came from a theme party” bar crawl (that actually ended up staying at one location – Planet Hollywood) and my roommates and I chose to dress as though we came from an “offensive t-shirt” party. My pick? Notsooffensive, but still funny: “Good girls just never get caught.” Mel’s, however, was the funniest, but also probably the most offensive: “Save gas, ride a handicap.” Even she admitted it was toeing the line 😉 We hung out at Planet Hollywood for awhile and then decided to hit an, um, “adult” location (let’s leave it at that, shall we?) and that was ridiculously fun. It was just a few of ladies, and we got a comped limbo bus, complete with strobe lights, music and dancing poles (mm hmm!). So fun. It was probably our latest night out too, 2 am perhaps?

Day 4ish?

Saturday, our last full day at BISC was spent poolside, and then during the evening, we chose to stick to ourselves as a group and have a fancy dinner out at a french steakhouse at Paris. It was so fun getting dressed up, going out to a nice dinner and recapping our favorite moments of the trip. It was also a time where we really got to know each other that much more…I shared my full story of divorce with the group (some of them had most of the details, but for others, it was brand new). It was just good to really get to talk to each other about our lives, what we love about blogging and just totally relate to each other (and I’m convinced, Shannon, if you lived here, we’d be BFFs! 🙂 ) The night ended meeting up with some cute boys (half accidentally) at a burlesque show back at our hotel…let’s just say Shannon now refers to one of them as potentially TW4, if that’s any indication.

All in all, it was a fantastic long weekend, but as with any travels, I am always so happy to be home. I crave routine, my own food, and well, sleep. So, I sit here now (with Pete actually…we used to watch this show religiously together!), enjoying the summer-ish evening, watching the series finale of 24, my most favorite show ever…there will be tears

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