June 2010


Re-reading my interview with Andrea Syrtash from yesterday (which, I am still uber-geeking out about, because it was a great interview, and she retweeted my tweet and said my blog was fab – um, how cool is that, seriously?!), there are so many points that I absolutely love that she makes.

But my main – and biggest – takeaway from her comments is about releasing.

Release “the type” in your head.

Release what they may “look” like.

Release (generic) ‘must-haves’ (as in, good job, driven, etc, be more specific).

Release…looking.

That last one always gets me….because I know I need to let go of this feeling of control I think I need (or I think I have, for that matter) to find love. I guess the phrase ‘find love’ is almost an oxymoron of sorts because you don’t really ‘find’ love, do you? It finds you…you just become…in love. When it’s meant to happen. Not on your own timeframe. Not when it’s convenient. Not when you think it’s supposed to happen.

When it’s meant to.

As in, not-in-my-control.

Being Type A, that’s a tough one for me to accept, but on the other, it feels a little like a relief. Just live. Just enjoy. And when it’s meant to, it’ll happen.

Whether it’s ‘organic,’ whether it’s online…it just doesn’t matter, but I feel good knowing that it’ll happen. I take comfort in that, because I believe it.

~~

It’s funny, as I was sitting at dinner tonight with Pete on my patio, I was looking at him and thinking, ‘wow, I was married to him…only a couple of years ago, yet it feels like forever.” I was sort of flashing through our relationship in my head, as we talked about various things, and it made me feel happy that we shared a great thing for so long, and we still do, yet differently. I don’t see him “that” way anymore without a shadow of a doubt, and that’s okay, it’s not sad, it’s not ‘weird,’ it just is. Releasing…in a way…and knowing that whenever I fall in love again, that he’ll be supportive of me (and I of him). And that, to me, is amazing.

~~

And a comment BDFF said to me today was this…and it’s a moment I want to capture and remember and thought you’d all enjoy reading it too:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love the people who treat you right.. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

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Well, I am just beyond excited to “interrupt” my daily blog posts to share with you an interview I had the pleasure of doing with Andrea Syrtash (follow her @andreasyrtash!), author of “He’s Just Not Your Type” dating & relationship expert, life coach, and contributor to Yahoo and Oprah.com;, among others, and the on-air host of ‘On Dating’, produced by NBC Digital Studios. She was also just on ABC News for a segment on her book – way cool.

HOW exciting is that? Little ‘ole me, just blogging away each day on my life, dating post-divorce, and re-learning who I am and where I want to go and I get presented with this fantastic opportunity. Clearly, I am excited, could you tell?

So, without further ado, here is the interview – and keep reading, for my very first giveaway at the bottom!

  • What is the biggest pitfall you see women falling into when dating “the wrong type” – is it settling? being too rigid in their dating “must-haves?” having their expectations set too high/too low?

Most of us are creatures of habit and do what we know and date who we know – we tend to play the same role in every relationship. We have to stop being victims in our dating lives and start looking at our pattern. Women are exceptionally intuitive and we often don’t listen to our instincts. In the book, I’m trying to show women how to make new conscious choices in love that are based on their core values and gut feelings.

  • When you suggest daters go out of their comfort zone to find the right one, what do you mean? Can you give an example? Would it be similar to something I just did recently, in terms of dating a man that was 11 years older than me (this was HUGELY out of my comfort zone)? Or dating someone completely opposite of any of their dating “must-haves?”

Yes – exactly! I don’t think we should date someone a decade older just to do it...but I’m guessing in your case, you pursued the relationship with him because you felt a connection with him. Even though it wasn’t the ‘easy’ option, I’m guessing you followed your heart and that’s why you dated him. Dating the non-type isn’t about being less picky or settling, it’s about being more open to the fact your match may come in a different package than you imagined. None of the women in the book feel they settled. They’re with partners who were outside of their comfort zones, but who brought them to their highest potential.

All of us should have a ‘must have’ checklist….I just think some of the checklists we are currently using don’t reflect what’s most important to us. I’d rather you write, ‘I must have someone who is driven and hard-working’ instead of ‘I must be with someone with a good job’ (since as we know, ‘good jobs’ come and go!)  I have a bunch of checklists in ‘He’s Just Not Your Type’ to help guide the reader to what is at the heart of her ‘must haves’.

  • What is the one piece of advice you would give someone to find the right person?

Don’t just look at who the guy is – consider who you are *with* him. If you’re a really good version of yourself, that’s one indicator that you’re with the right person. Also, know the difference between a good person and a good partner. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you must consider who that person is as a partner.

(Woops! I gave 2 pieces of advice, I know).

  • Do you have any thoughts on dating “organically” vs online and if that “matters” when finding the right one?

I don’t think we should have just one approach when looking for love or our chances of finding a connection are smaller. I would never say ‘only date in the real world’ or ‘only look online’. I think it’s important to find balance, try a few things and see what works for you. I’ve met so many people who say ‘It’s not natural to date online’. It’s true it’s not natural to date online (I don’t believe in e-relationships!) but it’s very normal and natural today to *meet online Technology has changed the way we do everything, including how we make connections. There are over 40 million Americans dating online (that’s about half the single population) and most of us know someone who has met someone through an online dating service, so it’s still a viable option….

Wow – SO much for me to comment on – and I plan to, in coming posts. She has some fantastic advice in so many ways, not just for those that are dating, but for those that are IN relationships or marriages – some food for thought across the board. Think about it…I know I am.

As for the giveaway – please feel free to comment on why you’d like a copy of the book by Friday, July 2, and I will pick someone at random to get a free copy! I’m so jealous of my own giveaway – imagine that 😉

~~

On a side note – Nala’s doing well today – thank you so much for all of your comments! Still waiting on blood work results…stay tuned. Meow (that was Nala saying hi, for those of you that don’t speak kitty. Wink).

Coming off such a great weekend, and some wonderful moments spent with Nala (and Kayla), family, and friends, this morning was met with a thud.

First?

I woke up to about a zillion bug bites on my legs from Saturday evening’s festivities (okay, not a zillion, but uh, 29 – yes 29 – on one leg alone! I feel like a leper!) and needless to say, super duper itchy and downright painful. I debated pants to cover them up, but the heat here (upper 90s) and the itchiness of pants led me to a dress, even though I felt ridiculous walking around the office all day. But, I digress.

Second?

I woke up with a whammy of a cold. I think it’s a cold this time. Last week, I thought it was strep, then the 5-day sore throat went away during my San Jose trip. Then I got a weird cough thing. And that sort of went away. But now? I feel like my face could explode. It’s the end of June, people, colds should be outlawed. Just sayin.

Third?

I talked to the vet first thing this morning, and that’s when the thud truly hit me (the first two were apparently just “warm ups”). He told me we should try the extensive blood work next, which I was prepared for, but then he started talking in terms like “shortened life” and “symtomatic therapy” until she’s no longer comfortable, and I felt hopeless all over again. After a weekend where I felt hopeful, that perhaps something was helping her, I felt defeated all over again. It was a rough start to the day, a day that only got worse as that was all I could concentrate on, until my appointment this evening. I feel like I have this huge weight on my shoulders, my heart feels heavy, and I just feel overwhelmingly sad. It’s as if I am waiting to exhale, yet I don’t know when or how that will be possible…especially without sadness and pain as part of that ‘exhale.'”

Fast forward to my vet appointment. I was greeted at the door by Nala, hungry and “normal” so I fed her before taking her to the vet, which almost made me feel worse for taking her, since she seemed so much herself. But I took her in, and she was whisked away for the blood work (I HATE when they take her from me, she looks at me through the carrier, like, ‘mom, why are they taking me and why aren’t you coming?!” and it kills me every time). She was brought back 10 minutes later – 10 very long minutes – and she wasn’t a happy camper anymore. She had blood taken, urine taken, and was given more fluids.

The vet came back in and said he’d have the results tomorrow, and they’d be looking for things that could be affecting her digestion, her kidneys, and viruses like toxoplasmosis. The first two things he mentioned were “new” to me, as he had spoken to the lab and that was one of their suggestions. So, suddenly, I felt more encouraged because those things sound more in line with her symptoms…but time will tell.

What got me most encouraged was when he said “she’s still 6.9 pounds, so she’s steady.”

Um, no.

She’s gained a POUND since we started steroids 1 1/2 weeks ago. She was between 5.5 – 5.8 pounds at the beginning, so she’s gained a pound! To me, that was huge. And he seemed surprised and encouraged (his computer wasn’t on, so he didn’t realize it was under 6 at that moment), but guarded, since he couldn’t necessarily say why that had happened yet, without more of a diagnosis. But to me – that gave me some encouragement and I exhaled slightly. She ate a bunch of treats at the vet (the same treats she turned up last week), and ate like a horse tonight (in addition to snagging some of my grilled chicken) so I am encouraged…I’m still waiting to exhale, and I’m not sure when that will be, but for now, I’m encouraged, and that’s as much as I can hope for or expect right now.

~~

And, a word from Joel Osteen that fits well today:

Father God, today I choose to trust in You. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I release all of my cares and concerns to You knowing that You have a greater plan in store for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

It’s been a weekend of quiet – yet mind-searing memory-like – moments that I want to chronicle here, simply stated, yet some quite powerful for me.

…the feeling of utter support and emotion that I felt reading all of your comments and words from Friday’s poignant and tough-to-write post about Nala. A moment…

…accomplishing my longest run to-date (about 7 miles, I believe, roughly) on Saturday morning, breathing in the salty seabreeze, and fresh, yet soon-to-be-humid air, and being thisclose to giving up about a mile from the end. The rush at finishing and accomplishing. A moment…

…my second trip to the beach this season (two more than the last FOUR YEARS…) with my sister and brother-in-law and “honorary” sister-in-law on one of those top 10 beach days…not too hot, not too cold, nice breeze, simplicity. A moment…

..having an absolute blast at a birthday bash for a friend redefining epic-like parties, with sangria flowing, beer pong (yes, beer pong!) playing, a 21-year-old hitting on me (um, yeah, now that was funny) and a summery evening with great friends (few pics here over at my sister’s blog). This is what summer is all about for me…the mixture of heat, long summery nights, grillin’ food and quenching beverages. A moment…

…laying on my bed this morning, post-workout, next to Nala when she gets up, crawls onto my chest, right up close to my face, starts to purr (something she hasn’t done a lot of lately), and nuzzle/lick/nibbles my hand, her eyes half-closing in a “kitty kiss” and sleeping there, momentarily, sprawled on my body. I whisper softly that I love her, that I know she wants to live, that I will protect her and keep her as comfortable and happy as I can. I drink it in. A moment…

Couch-laying amid an afternoon rain storm and looking around, one kitty at my feet (Kayla) and one kitty in the chair next to me (Nala). Bliss. A moment…

Nals...and stretched out in her glory.Look at that tiger belly!fluffy, rolly-polly Yoda-like Kayla, flat out!

Happy quote Friday everyone. I’m feel drained today after a rough 24 hours, so my quote today is still a positive, hopeful one, but it speaks to underlying feelings I went through yesterday.

And yes, it’s about my sweet Nala.

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’”

As many of you know, Nala has been steady the past week, on her new round of treatment and it’s given me great joy and hope. But Wednesday night, after I got home from dinner with Pete and the following morning, Nala started getting progressively worse. She was lethargic, she became listless and she just looked sick. She looked like she just didn’t want to try anymore, as if she was giving up, as if she was miserable. She wasn’t eating much, she didn’t really want to be around me (she tolerated it, but you could see in her face the look of “leave me alone, please.”) and my heart was breaking.

I went to work on Thursday with knots in my stomach…not wanting to go, but knowing I had to, and worrying steadily that she wasn’t doing well. My mom stopped by during lunch and called me to give me an update, and she didn’t have much better news. She didn’t come down to greet her at the door (as she always does), she didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to be touched, really, and she was just not herself. At all.

I called the vet, and made an appointment for the earliest they had (5:30, effectively meaning I was going to miss the 5K, which was okay with me, obviously, at that point!), and left work early to bring her in. On the drive home, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed harder. I didn’t pray for God to save her, so much as to pray for God to help me make the right decision…if this was “it” I wanted and needed the strength to do what I needed to do. I thought she was giving up, and I wanted to do right by her. I cried all the way home. Jess was with me, and we both cried together. I walked in the door and found Nala by the stairs and pulled her into my lap and she just curled into my arms and laid there, letting me hold her. I cried more and just wanted her to be okay. Kayla was roaming around, with a worried look on her face, saying “mom, what’s wrong?” and that too, broke my heart.

We took her to the vet, and I cried again. I was scared, and I was afraid that she was giving up and this was it. After much talking, and Nala being looked over by my vet, we decided that we would give her more fluids, a B12 vitamin shot, a 24 hour antibiotic, and a new round of antibiotics (this round was what she was on two years ago with a similar problem, so I know this medicine works well for her). The vet agreed that she is sick, and that she may have some kind of virus that may be untreatable, but that there are still things we can – and should – investigate. I’m to call him tomorrow to discuss next steps (he wanted her to have the medicine for a couple of days first, to see how she reacts), but it will likely be extensive blood work to investigate potential viruses, including toxoplasmosis, and go from there.

What I took away from the conversation was, bottom line, whatever is ailing her may be untreatable…as in, treat her as long as she responds, but that she won’t be cured, and that “it” will (see how I can’t even write it?) be the end, at some point. I’m scared and saddened immensely at that thought, but in a way, it is allowing me to have a sense of peace, knowing that we are trying, we are going to help her feel better, and that’s really all you can do, and just try.

Why this quote is so meaningful today is two-fold…I was convinced she was giving up, and I was coping with the fact that I might have to do something that I never imagined I’d have to do with my cuddly, loving 6 year old kitty, but then, throughout the night…she slowly improved. She didn’t eat before bed, but I placed her next to me in bed, she laid there, and slept, and I half-slept, and woke up around midnight, eyes puffy from crying, but wanting to try…

I went downstairs and put food down, and she ate it. Ravenously! And then she woke me up with her famous “face bat” with her paw to my face at 2:30 in the morning, wanting more food. The one time I’ve been thrilled to be awoken that way, and I fed her more, and she ate it all, to the last drop.

And this morning? I woke to her sleeping next to my face on the pillow next to me. A moment. She was “meatloafing” next to my face, and she looked good. She bounded down the stairs past me and she ate a full can and then another half of a can before I went to work. She had energy, she had her spunk, and she was Nala. My Nala.

She was saying, I’m trying…one (maybe more) more time…I want to live, I want to be here, and I’m hungry, so feed me.

As I sit here in tears, more out of happiness that she is “her” again, for now, I am feeling Hope whispering…keep trying, and just take it one day at a time. So, I am, and I am going to drink in the “kitty love” all weekend and just enjoy. Because she’s here, she’s happy, and both of my furbabies are content. So, as they are content, I am content.

Last night I had dinner with Pete (as I noted yesterday) as a belated birthday dinner, and a chance to get together (and score – he paid again – even though it was his birthday recently…how nice, right??).

We went to a local place we used to love going to (not as couple-y as the last place we went, but a place that has delicious food to say the least!) and that I still love going to.

What was significant about this place, you ask?

It was the place we went for dinner the night the shit hit the fan.

The night we “attempted” to act as if everything was okay (this was when we were discussing why he wasn’t happy and the eventual lead to “I don’t want to be married anymore” aka divorce) but about halfway through dinner, I distinctly recall how awkward, forced, and sad it felt. I had a nervous pit in the middle of my stomach, could barely eat, we barely talked, and it was just it…sort of one of the moments I knew where we were headed, and it was making me sick to think about.

It was probably one of the worst nights leading into the eventual end to our marriage, and for awhile, I just didn’t go back to this particular restaurant (though now I do, and have replaced sad memories with friends and family).

But last night? It was fun, we laughed, we caught up, we joked, we recalled that fateful night, and exactly where we sat. We decided to shake that memory off and replace it with better ones, like last night.

Quite the juxtaposition.

We talked about his birthday this past weekend, and how much fun we had two years ago that same weekend for his mom’s 50th surprise party (a party that my entire family came to as well, two states away), and “did you ever imagine that two years later, we’d be divorced?” Of course, the answer was no, but then we talked about how glad we both are to be where we are together, in our evolved relationship into the friendship we have now. Something that many (okay, MOST!) don’t understand, but something that works for us.

We talked about Nala (he came by to give her a hug on the way to dinner and noted she seemed a little plumper. She is, but today, she is lethargic again, so I have a call in to the vet. Of course, I worry and think the worst, but her antibiotic ran out and it’s super humid and hot here, so I am hoping it’s just a combo of that. Stay tuned…), and our jobs, and summer vacations, and dating (both of us are sort of in stalemate situations, not a heck of a lot happening in that department, but it’s all good).

I’m glad we got together again. I’m glad we caught up. I’m glad we erased that horrible night from our memories and replaced it with a warmer, nicer, more enjoyable one.

And I’m glad we’re friends.

~~

On a side note, hop over to I Used to Have Hair/Canadian Bald Guy’s blog today…he’s on a quest to visit his daughter and is hoping for some help. If you have anything to spare, it’s a good cause. I donated (and yes, donated, not loaned, CBG!) because I never quite had a great relationship with my own dad, and to see how much he wants to foster that with his daughter is refreshing and inspiring and I wish them all the best.

Wow. Two days since I have blogged. I guess I didn’t realize I’d be as busy as I was in San Jose, but I was. And I feel so very behind in my bloggy reads, and my own blogging.

I’m feeling busy – like, whoa (see, I knew I’d tie in that blog title somehow!) – and a little all over the place – again – so, I bring to you, my random musings and updates du jour:

…I was amazed at how many comments and thoughts my blog on Sunday elicited. And, to be honest, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the possibilities that lie ahead. I hope to make one of these ideas come to fruition in my quest for simplicity and change.

…Nala is improving! I was really nervous to leave her for my trip, but she had great care (thanks to mom and Jess/Scott!) and the medicine seems to be helping. She’ll be on it for another week and then we’ll go from there, I think. Thanks for all of your support, concern, and kitty prayers. They’re working.

…not much new in the world o’ dating at the moment (goes back to being busy ‘like whoa’ partially). Southern Boy is still around, sort of, but his schedule isn’t quite jiving with mine, we’ve both been traveling, and as I mentioned in a previous post,  I’m not sure what he’s “in it for” – casual dating or longer term. If he’s out for something strictly more casual, then perhaps not meant to continue, but we’ll see. Door’s still hanging open at the moment. Few other prospects in Chemistry.com (which is still such a disappointment to me!) and OKC…but nothing to write home about…yet. 😉

…I ran my longest run on Saturday – about 6 1/2 or 7 miles – go me!! I’m slowly starting to increase my runs since the Wicked Half is just a couple of months away (eek!), and I’m feeling good, day by day. I’m running a 5K tomorrow as well, good race practice.

…what else? Oh, things with me and Pete continue to go well, and I’m constantly reminded at how well we just “get” each other, and get along. This is what was meant to be, between us, and I’m glad. Looking forward to dinner tonight with him, to catch up (belated birthday dinner, in a sense, as well, as his 30th birthday was on Sunday).

that’s about all I got today folks – just some random one-off updates…happy reading, if I haven’t put you to sleep with my ramblings today 😉

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