Well, today certainly wasn’t the way I figured Monday would shape up.

I had another date with boy #9 tonight (I think that makes it #5, right?!), sort of unexpectedly. We talked about it as a possibility last night, since it’s been a week since we last met up, and I told him I’d let him know today, depending on how much energy I felt I’d have, considering this weekend’s events pretty much wiped me out!

But, I woke up without pain or aches, and was pretty energetic, and I DID want to see him again (sooner than Friday, which is when we are getting together, anyway), so we met up for dinner. It was supposed to be a later dinner – around 8 – because he volunteers at a local shelter on Mondays and plays with the kids, to keep them occupied. How great is that? Anyway, it got canceled (water leak at the center, apparently), so we were able to get together earlier, which was nice (since my caveat to him was that it had to be an early night, since the last few were 2 am’ers, WAY past my bedtime! LOL!). Well, it’s after 11 now, so while it’s earlier, it’s not that early 😉 But, no complaints from me…I’m really enjoying spending time with him and getting to know him more.

For example, he’s adopted. So is one of his brothers. A tidbit I didn’t know before (or, that his mother is one of TWELVE children! Quite the large family!).

Another – he’s gone sky-diving.

He’s just very interesting, has a lot of “layers” and I am enjoying peeling back the layers and figuring him out.

But I can’t quite figure him out…a *smidge* frustrating, but only because it’s hard for me to NOT know someone’s quirks right away, or figure out their moods, or truly know where I “stand’ with them. I know it’s still early, and there’s plenty of time for that, and that’s a huge part of dating (and/or the start of relationships – figuring them out), but I still wonder “what’s around the corner” or “what’s next.”

…but that also makes it fun and exhilerating.

I’m having fun. I’m glad we’re continuing to go out on dates. I’m not going to go as far as to say we’re “officially” dating – because I’m not really even sure what that label means – yes, we are going on dates, but beyond that, nothing is defined, and that’s okay for now. I’m good with that. We’ll see what happens.

One day at a time.

I know, I know, I’ve been writing a lot about men, and dating lately, but I’m in one in the “starts” phase of the “fits and starts” phase I tend to waver back and forth between, so it gets me thinking. Constantly (remember, I’m an overthinker by nature, after all!).

So, a few topics spring to mind today. First, another question brainy blonde asked me on our date last week:

“do you feel the need to ‘sow your wild oats’ now that you are single after being part of a couple for so long?”

Again, I had to think about that for a minute. I guess I HAVE been “sowing my wild oats” to some extent (at least in my definition of it! Not in terms of going wild, dancing on bar tops, or anything like that – though ‘never say never,’ right?! ha!). I’ve gone on a bunch of dates, I’ve had some fun GNOs, I’ve gone bar-crawling, I’ve hit my “mecca” of wine country, and, more personally, am going out on a limb and trying new things that scare me, but will be a hell of a lot of fun in the process. I’m having fun, I’m challenging myself, and putting myself out there – that’s my definition of “sowing my wild oats” and I’m satisfied with it!

~~~

Second topic of the day…as I head into potential date #2s with boys #9 and 10 (and perhaps boy #8 and/or #4!), I’ve been taking stock in the types of guys that I’ve been drawn to and again realizing, DO I have a type? I don’t really see many similarities between any of the boys I’ve dated so far and it makes me wonder two things – WHY and WHAT – why haven’t I gone after “like”  guys and WHAT am I looking for? I generally know what I want, in a handful of qualities, but looks-wise, and personality-wise, I’m all over the map! I guess I’ll know “it” when I find that mixture of what I want, and maybe I haven’t found it yet (though, one date with these guys really doesn’t tell me enough, probably, either, so I won’t draw a conclusion just yet!). I read a great article on I’m Divorced Not Dead about this very topic:

Sometimes I wonder, is it just me? Do most women HAVE a type of man they like?  Or does every woman have so many colors to her soul that trying to find a match in today’s sea seems overwhelming?

A part of me thinks that at this stage of my life, I should KNOW what I want in a man; or at least, I should be much clearer!

I guess I’m not the only one, and it’s probably VERY normal, but something I have been pondering lately. Guess we’ll see where these next dates go and eventually, I’ll probably have a clearer picture. For now, have fun, see where it goes – that’s my motto!

I’ve really been digging a lot of what The Quest for T has been blogging about lately, so I thought it was only fitting to use today’s quote Friday to “borrow” a quote she used recently on her blog. It goes a little something like this

“Life is not what you see, but what you’ve projected. It’s not what you’ve felt, but what you’ve decided. It’s not what you’ve experienced, but how you’ve remembered it. It’s not what you’ve forged, but what you’ve allowed. And it’s not who’s appeared, but who you’ve summoned. And this should serve you well, beloved, until you find, what you already have.”
~Notes from the Universe

This quote SCREAMS perception to me, and I just love everything about it. It IS all about decisions (often, over feelings, or driven by feelings), memories (post-experience), and, for me, most importantly – not what you have forged but what you have ALLOWED – I equate this to letting it all go and just BEING, and taking it all in, to in turn, learning from it and becoming something even more kick-ass because of it – what is this it? It’s LIFE. It’s HURDLES. It’s CHALLENGES. It’s PAIN. And, it’s HAPPINESS. It’s all of the above. And that’s what I’m doing…I’m living it, and learning something new every day, whether I realize it or not at the time, and I’m just really enjoying that, it’s been a continued amazing journey for me and every day brings a new revelation. Can’t really get much better than that, can it?

Happy Friday everyone!!

So, it’s been a fairly quiet week in the world of online dating – and I’ve actually welcomed it. While I believe there is a date looming with boy #8 (as soon as I kick this cold I’ve been battling), and I’ve dabbled a bit on match.com and OK Cupid, I’ve gone back to being low-key about it, not overly stressing and taking my time….sort of goes back to what Someone Said Goodbye said to me in a recent post – “remember..the destination gets here sooner than you think..Enjoy the journey.”

So, that’s what I’m doing – enjoying the journey, as I set out to do! I get myself so tangled up in the ups and downs, the fits and starts, and the (many!) false starts, that I don’t end up enjoying the experience for what it is – an experience. Not the be all and end all, not (necessarily) the path to the next love of my life, but an experience. It’s stretching me into new boundaries, forcing me out of my comfort zone and helping boost my confidence, so I should embrace it, and that I will. Mark my words – and – PLEASE – if I start overthinking again, someone please “virtually” slap me?! K thanks 😉

On another note…haven’t mentioned CSB much lately, and though I see him twice a week for my spinning classes, I haven’t talked to him much in depth. Well, we chatted (maybe a wee bit of flirting?!) a bit more tonight, and damn, he really is still the holy grail of hotness. Just sayin. 😉

As I sit in the Oakland airport, waiting for my flight, I’m reminiscing about what a fantastic trip it was, and also some observations/learnings from this enlightening vacation.

First, a few learnings and observations:

  1. There’s definitely something to be said for taking a “selfish” vacation – don’t take selfish to have a negative connotation here, but as I mentioned in an earlier blog this week, theoretically, I probably should have saved my money and not come on this trip, so soon after a lot of financial “events” if you will, but I firmly believe there is a time and a place to take a trip even when you think you shouldn’t. I’m so glad I went for it (and honestly, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought and I didn’t feel stressed or too restrained with what I spent, which felt great!), because I would have regretted not doing this for my 30th birthday, and for ME. This was totally a ME trip, and I enjoyed every second! If you ever have the chance to take that “me” trip, even when the financial forces may be pressing against you, please go for it. You won’t regret it in the long run.
  2. Take a vacation with a mix of couples and singles is a good mix – though the group of us was somewhat heavier on the couples side vs. the singles side, the mix of people was well-balanced, and I didn’t feel overly sad about being single or wishing I wasn’t alone. I didn’t really feel alone, and I was so glad to experience this trip with those that came.
  3. I value my alone time more than I thought – renting a house was the best decision for this trip and 95% of the time, I was glad to be surrounded by everyone. But, there was a tinge of wanting to just be quietly by myself to regroup. I guess I value that far more than I thought!

And, now, a few of my favorite things from this trip:

  1. Springing for the wine club at Field Stone Winery – I was hesitant to go for a wine club, only because it is a bit costly, but after visiting a few wineries and cross-comparing prices etc., the wine club at Fritz was actually really good, and I REALLY enjoyed the mix of whites and reds we tried. My first shipment (“fall”) is already on it’s way, too, which is so exciting!
  2. Being introduced to a slew of new wines I never new existed: Pinotage, Petit Verdot , Zinfandel (for some reason, didn’t realize there was a red zin!) and Meritage…just a few of the new wine blends I tried (and purchased!).
  3. Re-capturing a love for white wine and champagne – I tried some REALLY good white wine at J. Winery – Sauv Blanc, Pinot Gris, and a DELISH Rose Brut…so much so that I purchased a few bottles and can’t wait to try them!
  4. Visiting as many wineries as we possible could – in addition to J., and Fritz, we visited William Hill, Louis Martini, Gallo, Kokomo (just for the name alone, Kokomo!), Bella Winery, Simi Winery and Field Stone Winery. There are so many wineries in Napa and Sonoma, I could definitely go back over and over!! Planning on it!
  5. Experiencing Healdsburg – what a fantastic little town nestled right next to Sonoma! It was very cute, had some funky shops and not one chain restaurant anywhere, which was way cool. There were a few delicious bakeries, including Downtown Cafe and the Flying Goat (YUMMY scones!) and the views were breath-taking. The house we rented was tucked right into the side of a mountain, with a super windy, topsy-turvy road to get there (and 60 steps up to the front door!). Awesome choice.
  6. Some amazing tours – we had two awesome tours at William Hill and Louis Martini that were unforgettable. We got to see the inner workings of both, where they bottle the wine, how the process works, and we got to taste the grapes off the vine. At Bella, we also got to tour their caves where they keep the wine, and taste wine FROM the tank (that was crushed and tanked TWO days prior), which was pretty funky (I won’t lie, I was a little afraid of how it would taste, but it was pretty good!) and from the barrel (a mix of zin and petiti syrah), and had a broader tasting in their special wine-tasting room that was lit with candles. I felt like I was in a scene out of the board game “Clue” (I’ll append a pic when I upload them when I get home! It was so funny!).

So, there you have it, a few musings, a few observations, and four-ish unforgettable days of fun, wine, and experiences of a lifetime. If you ever have the chance to go, GO. So worth it.

Day one of my Sonoma/Napa wine country trip and I can easily say that hands down, this is already turning into the best thing I have ever done for myself!!! Today’s quote – one of my all-time favorites, captures the essence of the last 15 hours (since it was 5 am ET by the time we actually got here – needless to say, VERY tired!!):

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away”

This place is absolutely amazing in so many ways – the landscape is incredible, from rolling hills, to deep valleys, to vineyards upon vineyards whereever you look. With all of the financial stuff I’ve gone through this year, this trip is probably something I should have – or, correction, normally WOULD have – passed on, but it’s these moments in life that truly make up your life, and the money becomes so inconsequential (not to mention that this trip is actually really not nearly as costly as I thought!). I’m here with one of my sisters and my brother-in-law, a friend from home, and a few friends that now live out here (who I know through my sister and brother-in-law) – so it’s somewhat of a interesting group of people, and it’s just so fantastic! I feel free, I feel alive in so many ways, and I already feel so rewarded by this wonderful mecca of paradise. Wow. Amazing. Breathe. Taken. Away.

More tomorrow…

Like I wrote on my Facebook status tonight, I’ve *almost* never been happier to see a week end than I have this week, I’ve been wishing and hoping for the week to end. It was an intense work-week, combined with a massive amount of packing, boxes piling up and overall chaos and when I don’t have any sense of organization in my personal OR work life, I tend to get super stressed out. That was me this week. ALL week. And then I came across this quote and wanted to take all the complaining about the week to end:

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”

Wow. If that doesn’t say “stop rushing,” I don’t know what does!! Sure, it was an insane week, but there were plenty of bright spots – including date #1 with boy #7 (this was by far, my best date so far, and we’ve already discussed date #2, but I am refraining from further details until it actually occurs!), and oh, I don’t know, the pending sale of my house and fresh start in my new townhouse hovering!

I have a lot more milestones coming up, and coming up fast, that I need to take a step back, BREATHE, and stop rushing through it all. Sure, I can’t WAIT to move and unpack all the boxes and get settled, but part of the fun of it, is experiencing the move itself, de-cluttering, buying new fun things for my new home, and arranging it just as I want it.

And, after that, I still have a LOT more to look forward to – including the big 3-0 celebration with my sisters, family, and friends, and after that, WINE COUNTRY! So, this is my reminder to myself – stop rushing, take a step back, and breathe it all in. Cheers!