It’s been a great weekend (so far), including a super-fun wine-tastic night with a couple of my friends (including BSF) and today, I’ve declared it a day of “me” to do whatever I want. And it feels really good and just what I need to re-set myself for the week ahead.

However, it’s also given me time to think…about being alone again…about dating…about CBE (just a smidge, though I know it was the right thing to do)…about wondering when it will be my time to find my perfect-fit man…and I am realizing that this thought process sounds pretty familiar, and I’m declaring it the dating “cycle.”

Similar to other cycles where there is a sense of loss/ending/grieving, I feel as though the dating cycle (for me, at least) goes like this – you date, you struggle (in a way) with “sharing” your “alone time,” you adjust to it, you dig it, something happens and you break up, you realize it was the right thing to do, but you also re-adjust to being alone again, and face the reality that you are in fact, starting over…again.

I’ve gone through this before, just once, with brainy blonde, and this “cycle” isn’t nearly as strong for me, which I’m glad for, and realize it speaks even more to why things with CBE weren’t meant to be (and the reality that I think I cared more for BB than CBE). However, I just feel constantly reminded that I am in fact, alone, and realize that I may continue hitting some dead-ends with my dating forays, which I have to accept as part of my journey. And usually, I can do that pretty well, and get excited at the prospect of meeting new people and seeing what happens, and then other times, I just wish I could take a quick peek at the future and see who that person might be and when it may happen for me.

And then I picked up “It’s Your Time” and started to feel better. Joel’s words always hit home, no matter what, but today, it was the uplift I needed. The reality check, too. The chapter I’m reading right now is called “New Seasons of Increase” and it focuses on shedding the negative not-going-to-happen attitude and allowing God to work. But, you need to allow it and release it, in order to receive that increase. An excerpt:

When those negative thoughts come telling you that it never will change…learn to announce your faith in a new season of increase: I can hear the sound of abundance. I can hear the sound of health. I can hear the sound of restoration. I can hear the sound of promotion. I may be able to see it, but that’s okay. I can sense it down inside. I know my set time for favor is coming. I know my hour of deliverance is on its way. I may have a lot of turmoil, but the bottom line is, I got a feeling everything is going to be all right.

Well, if that doesn’t scream keep the faith, I don’t know what does. Everything is going to be all right. And I totally know that, but sometimes the mind is a powerful thing, and is so easily swaying, isn’t it?

And I think part of this whole dating “cycle” for me is that I tend to romanticize or have selective memory over whatever dating foray I am mourning, and just think of the moments that were good, and not the frustrations or reasons why I’m better off alone right now. Don’t we all, right? (I hope I’m not the only one that does that! Maybe it doesn’t help that I’m also currently watching The Wedding Date and really wishing Dermot Mulroney was one of my chemistry.com matches. Heh.)

Despite going through a down moment in my dating “cycle” I’m feeling happy. I’m feeling hopeful. And I’m feeling excited that, despite not having a man in my life right now, I have a hell of a lot of life to live right now and am looking forward to every moment of it, whether I’m alone or not. (and for now, I can just pretend Dermot Mulroney is going to come a-knocking on my door, right?)

I got a feeling everything is going to be all right.

Last night’s episode of Joel Osteen’s sermon was great – and I was feeling really optimistic. Key word – WAS. An excerpt, and then I’ll explain the “was” part:

God always finishes what He starts in our lives; He will always take us from Friday to Sunday. The Fridays in life are our darkest hours when it seems like the end. But just like Christ was resurrected from the grave on Sunday, God desires to resurrect our lives, our marriages, finances, healthy families and dreams.

I’m really trying to stay optimistic and not let this situation break me down, but the more we look into our options for selling our under-water home, the worse things look, and the longer and harder the process and outlook look. I feel like I am inching towards my Friday – my darkest hour – when I thought I was past that dark time. The pain and sadness of divorce is gone, but now, the pain and frustration of trying to deal with our screwed up mortgage system is really wearing me down. I know I need to just put my trust and faith in God, knowing He will come through for me, but it’s hard. I know I’ll get through it, but it’s just one of those days.  Deep breaths, baby steps, family and friends support and God will get me through, I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

For this week’s quote Friday, I’m focusing on strength. As mentioned earlier today, my Nonna is sick and I’m trying to pull all my strength and faith in God that she will pull through. Today’s quote:

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

Giving up or giving in is not an option – and I am constantly reminded of that on a daily basis. It always frustrates me when I can be so strong one minute, and when something really bad happens – like my Nonna’s situation – or the frustrations with the divorce process really start to get to me – it is SO easy to just fall back into weakness and spiral downward. But, that habit needs to stop, and the more I write about positive influence, like God, and ministers like Joel Osteen, the more I gain strength and inch towards “winning” and conquering the hardships that cause me to falter or be weak. I AM strong, I am proving it, and sometimes I just need to remind myself of that.

As I browse through some of the blogs I’ve started following, I have a few thoughts I wanted to share – ramblings, if you will – on this fine Sunday afternoon.

First, I feel compelled to salute the end of the “Diary of a Jaded Soon-to-be-Ex-Husband” as he has written his last entry in the journey of his divorce. I have thoroughly enjoyed his posts as they are refreshing yet real and give me hope that I too will find some solace in the end of this. I have every confidence that I will, and some of his thoughts and writings really inspire me and give me hope. To you, Soon-to-Be-Ex, best wishes in your future and I really can’t wait to hear more about your next blog incarnation. Cheers!

In other ramblings…I’ve been reading Chaz’ Journey Back, and similar to some of my past posts, he did an awesome post on feelings and the idea that “I feel this way, therefore, it is this way.” An excerpt:

More often than not, I have found that I am able to push through the tough feelings when they show up.  And show up they do.  More often than not, I can take a “ya, ya, whatever” attitude and just continue on and let the feelings do as they wish.  It is hard, it is agonizing sometimes.  But it gets easier and I always feel better in a short while.

After I push through, and the positive feelings follow, I always wonder what it was I felt bad about in the first place.  Which further convinces me that the feelings were unreliable in the first place.

I post this because I had an agonizing day this way.  I had some things to accomplish and the feelings were all over me.  As dark and hurtful as I can remember in a long time.  I wanted to quit and say just screw everything and take the day off.  I didn’t.  And now, a mere 3 hours later, lots has been accomplished and I am energized to face the next thing on the list.

So, so true! I too get into a funk and it is tremendously difficult to pull yourself out of it, when all you can think is how bad things are, how upset you are, and how much things suck. And then, when you pull out of it, you feel SO much better and realize how out of control your feelings can get. Just another reminder that in the grand scheme of things, life is actually pretty damn good, and could be a LOT worse, so why fret?

Now, let’s hope I can carry these positive thoughts throughout the work week. Wish me luck!

I came across a great blog post from the Life After Divorce blog on “7 ways to rediscover your true passion after divorce.” One of the ways is to discover what makes your heart “sing:”

What really matters to you? What do you feel is your true purpose in life? If someone asked you that question, how would you answer them?

Why is it so important to be clear on what your life’s purpose is? Knowing your purpose, will give you a true sense of who you are and why you were put on this earth. It gives your life direction and helps you make clear and easy decisions concerning that direction. It’s your compass! Without a purpose, can your life be compared to a piece of driftwood? Floating endlessly in whichever direction the tide decides to take it and ending up on any beach with no will of its’ own. When you live your life based on your purpose you are living in integrity with yourself and are in alignment of who you really are in all aspects of your life – body, mind and spirit. Take this time to focus on what really matters to you. Feel the true passions that exist in your heart and write them down.

Funny, if I were asked what makes my heart sing when I was with Pete, I would have probably said Pete. And that’s it. I think I might have been a little too focused on our relationship being the one thing that makes me happy – sort of similar to what Snarkbutt Divorced said  – you can’t get it all from one person – and it’s so true. You CAN but you shouldn’t. And I’m learning that – because what makes my heart sing is my family. It’s my close friends. It’s my faith. It’s the little things – the smell of the lake in Maine, the sounds of peepers chirping during warm summer nights, laying on the couch with a great book and a quilt – the list goes on and on 😉

The fact that I can feel my heart sing again makes me happy, because at my darkest moments this winter, I couldn’t even look at pictures of myself that I’d taken during girls nights and family gatherings. Why? Because I lost my spark, my eyes didn’t sparkle and my heart certainly did not sing. It wept. And it’s singing now and my eyes are starting to sparkle, and I’m coming out of the darkness.

Okay, so that was a cheesy headline, buuut it got your attention, didn’t it? After yesterday’s renewed sense of self and blog post, I must confess I slid backwards a little bit.

Backing up (no pun intended…), I have a cold that I’ve been trying to kick for a good week or so now, and we got about 12 inches of snow that needed to be cleared from the driveway. Working from home yesterday, I just stared at the snow and was really dreading going out to snowblow. I was having a “girly moment” where I just felt it wasn’t my “job” to snowblow the driveway and wishing I weren’t in this predicament where it is now my responsibility to do. I braced myself and went out and snowblowed – freezing my butt off, but getting it done – and was a grump the rest of the afternoon.

In rehashing my snowblowing experience with my mom today, she took a minute to remind me that when we were young children, she was in the same predicament, and had to clear the driveway herself, keep the fireplace stoked and going, and run the house, as a single mom, and though she didn’t like it, it made her stronger and she did it out of responsibility for our family. It is true, and I felt a smidge sheepish after, because I am a grown woman, I can certainly snowblow my stupid driveway, and I was making a big deal out of it in my head, when it’s just something I need to accept and cope with.

So, with that said, snowblower, hear me roar! I have conquered you, and I will conquer other such home responsibilities with renewed vigor. Thanks Mom! 🙂