Where We All Stop and Acknowledge We’re Awesome

Idleness is bad for most people, and it’s really bad for me at this time. I was able to accomplish things yesterday and it really helped my mood. My 2013 taxes are done and I dropped them off at my bankruptcy attorney. He now has all the paperwork he needs to proceed.

I went right from the AARP tax place to the pool because they were only blocks apart. I swam again for a bit over an hour and as I exited the pool, the same female lifeguard from yesterday said to me, “Getting stronger everyday. That’s awesome!” And I said, “Thank you. I’m trying.”

When I got to the locker room I thought, God bless her family for raising such an amazing young woman. She doesn’t need to say a word to me and the fact that she bothers to is awesome. I’m going to praise her to the management of the pool.

When I swim my mind is extremely active. I think about my husband, marriage, health, parents, daughter, the future man in my life, and I concentrate on my stroke technique and attempt to keep a rough lap count in my head.

Sometimes I feel that I’m alone in the universe as I swim. What other indoor activity can you think of where you are given such a large personal space in which to move? There were times yesterday where I was the only person in an eight lane pool.

I’ve thought more than once, that if my life were a True Life TV movie, it would show me doing laps in the pool with the pages of the calendar flying off the screen ending with me coming out of the pool at the end, a new person, a svelte, trim, smiling and confident me.

Knowing that this lifeguard notices that I work out everyday is special to me. She may wonder what my motivation is but it’s heartening to know that she’s impressed by my dedication. I know I should feel proud of myself for that, and I do, but I pepper the pride with stupid thoughts like, “why’d you let yourself go in the first place?’

A commenter mentioned she had written a letter to herself acknowledging all the ways in which she is strong and capable and I think I really need to do that. I’m the sort of person who needs to read something like that almost daily, or I tend to forget. I really do have that goldfish mentality when it comes to my accomplishments.

Writing a letter to myself is akin to remembering to speak to and about myself as though I were a friend. I would encourage a friend. I would bolster a friend. I would sing my friend’s praises. I need to be my own friend.

I’ve asked my husband to keep most of his communication to email or text because he really overreacts when we speak on the phone. I can’t believe how fast we end up arguing. He wrote that he hopes I’ll have the document from his attorney today where he stipulates that half his settlement will come to me because he wants me to quit “accusing.” I am aware that HIS instructions to HIS attorney can be changed at any time, so I am also having a free consultation with a divorce attorney later today.

He also said that he could devote some time a few days a week to get my website up and running and if I could handle that, without causing him stress, to let him know. I wrote back that I would be patient.

I really need that website to give me something to do everyday. I believe it may end up being my future business.

I know he’s helping me out of guilt, but I’ll take it. I pay his mobile phone bill every month so believe me, we’re even. Well, hardly, but you know what I mean.

The helpful advice I’m getting in my comments is really blowing me away. There are so many intelligent women out there who have valuable insight to share. Learning what works for other women and knowing I’m not alone is helping me immensely.

My poor mom. The only way she knows how to show my father she loves him is to cook for him, but he’s not into it and doesn’t care. And every day is such a chore talking about what they’ll have and when. Her latest idea is that they will eat their biggest meal at midday, and I said that’s great. That’s what “they” say you should do. And then next thing I know I’m in the kitchen chopping vegetables for her vegetarian chili at 11 a.m. (A recipe she got from the newspaper).

She tried to get me involved again today and I had to tell her to just think about herself and dad, that I need to spend as little time as possible thinking about food (plus I don’t want to commit to being home for our big meal everyday). Dad told me later that he would like to do that too. But mom won’t have it. I feel sorry for him when she makes something I know he doesn’t care for when he’d so rather have a peanut butter sandwich. But no one can really communicate with mom.

Speaking of mom’s that are a piece of work. Yesterday afternoon I went to see August: Osage County. SPOILER ALERT. The acting is great, but it should not be billed as a “dark comedy” because it was so lacking in comedy that I’d call it just dark. I generally like to go to movies where I’m entertained or enlightened, not to witness broken families fight.

The woman played by Meryl Streep felt like my own mom but on steroids, and I got depressed because Julia Roberts’s husband was leaving her for a younger woman. Then it ends with everyone going their separate ways and nobody even had an epiphany. I could have done without it. I’ll take Thor or The Hobbit over realism any day. Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch as a rather simple Oklahoman? Sacrilege!

It must have been emotionally exhausting and depressing for both Meryl and Julia to make that movie.

When I left the theater, which is only blocks from my old apartment, I fought the urge to drive over there and spy. But I forced the car the other direction and went to buy some cooked chicken instead. I’ll be grateful if he leaves the area after he gets his settlement.

I did write to my stepdaughters, but I was very careful how I worded the note. I said that as it turns out, their daddy and I will not be getting back together because he has someone new in his life but I hope they’ll still consider me their stepmother. The younger one, the one I’m closer to, responded with “Yes, I had heard that.” And of course I felt wounded and then knew why I should not have written to them. I think they will keep in touch, at least I hope they will.

Their lives have been incredibly hard and the only constant for them is their grandmother, who insists they call her by her first name and dyes her hair platinum. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the truth is she’s tired and has been needing her son to step up and take responsibility for his daughters for years. He doesn’t even attempt to support them financially. It’s a disgrace. They do love their father, though, they talk for hours on their computers. These girls are really used to being let down so they never get their hopes very high.

I’m so glad that I had an impact on their lives. The older one reads voraciously, thanks to me. I bought them dozens of books. The younger one is an amazing artist because I sat her down and taught her what I knew. She had the talent already, I just set her free. And she surpassed me years ago. I’m certain that art will be a part of her future. Before we left London last year, we took them to the London Comic Con and they were exposed to a whole new world. They’ve since gone back with their mother they loved it so much. I also made sure we went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. They never would have done these things if I hadn’t been in their lives so I’m grateful for that.

I was far from a perfect stepmother, though, and I wished I had behaved better. The girls are very loving and forgiving and for that I am grateful.

I’m still struggling with letting go of the intrusive negative thoughts I have and figure it will take practice with the new (ACT) skills I am learning. When I think of my husband and his new love, I just want to shake the thought (literally) out of my head and replace it with white noise instead, like static on the old TVs. I’m trying to go easy on myself though, since I’m just a novice.

There is sun shining through the window, a rare thing this time of year. I’m just waiting for my breakfast to digest so I can get to the pool to swim.


4 responses to “Where We All Stop and Acknowledge We’re Awesome

  1. I wish someone would comment on my swimming!! No matter how hard I try I’m not getting anywhere.

  2. Awww! Have you been going to the pool? (Looking good, Flissh!)

  3. He He He thanks. I know my swimming is getting better really. (I’m training a lot for my first tri and swimming is my weakest part) I’m very envious you can swim for so long.

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