Tag Archives: marriage

Choosing happiness

Somehow I’ve come to be perceived as the epitome of the gay divorcée.  I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but I think this article may provide some insight.  You see, I intuitively do many of the things the article suggests.

Life isn’t always easy or joyful or simple.  What I try to remind myself of is this: regardless of how I’m feeling or whether I’m struggling or not, life continues moving forward.  I can’t control that.  What I can try to manage though is how I’m going to approach the challenges with which I am faced and so, I choose happiness.

Being divorced isn’t something I ever imagined being.  It wasn’t really part of the plan, you know?  I’ve learned, however, that some things are intended to be full length works, while others are merely a series of short stories.  I’m okay with chapters, both in literature and in life.  I suppose that would be me embracing items 4, 6 and 10 on that list.

Since my divorce I have been much more creatively active.  I write like a fiend and both my writing and my photos have been publicly shared.  Somehow I’ve turned into a runner and have become more physically fit than I had ever imagined being.   I guess that’s kind of embodying numbers 2 and 7, isn’t it?  Isn’t there something you’ve been wanting to do or try?  What are you waiting for?

Life’s big decisions can be fraught with fear and what ifs, but I guess I’d rather risk failing at something new than stay in a losing situation.  The unknown can certainly be scary, but if you shift your view ever so slightly, scary might just become exhilarating.  Item 5 – check.

My relationship wasn’t necessarily “bad” but the circumstances didn’t allow me to be the best me I could be, which, I suppose, was “bad” for me.  I think that my ex and I both are being good to ourselves during the times we are childless.  That would take care of 1 and 3 on the list, I think.

Numbers 8 and 9 don’t really apply to me.  My definition of success has never really been tied to ambition or financial accomplishments. When it comes time to memorialize me, all I hope for is to be remembered for having had a nice family and a life filled with love and experiences.  I’ve always been moderate about my indulgences and that has not changed.  I try to remain aware of how my body and mind are responding to what I’m ingesting and adjust accordingly.

Choose happiness.  There’s plenty to go around.

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Filed under aging, ideas, love, marriage, musings, Observations, relationships

Explorations and discoveries

image; s1.cdn.happinessxing.com

In the last few years, my perspective has changed dramatically.  Once upon a time, I believed that all my decisions had been made and the future held only more stagnation.  It was like I was a participant in some organized game with the only object being to “land” on particular spaces in a mostly consistent order. You know, college – travel – meet – marry – have beautiful babies – focus all attention and assets on the growing children – feel alone in the chaos – stay quiet and still.

Once that game ended, I could have easily been cast adrift, but I’m not really a rudderless kind of woman.  Instead, I’ve been discovering parts of myself I didn’t know existed.  Life has changed so much!  I’ve been challenging myself physically and have felt myself being pushed creatively and professionally like never before.  I feel alive every day.

The comforts of yesterday have been knocked off my personal map by new waves of inspiration and excitement and I no longer wake up and wonder what’s on the other side of the ocean. Instead, I look around and see the sky, the sun, the moon, the light, the clouds…all sorts of things which compel me to want to look closer and explore.

I can’t speak for Columbus, but, for me, it is definitely about the journey.

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Filed under aging, holidays, love, marriage, musings

Declaring independence

image: loc.gov

For many, Independence Day has come and gone in an orgy of fireworks, sunscreen and  barbecue.  My holiday was decidedly different this year and it has me thinking hard about independence and what it means in my own life and the lives of my friends.  I suspect I’ll be pondering this long after the fuse on the last of the bottle rockets gets lit.

I spent the 4th with some of my oldest friends in the world – people who have been in my life through graduations, weddings, births and, now,  separations and divorces.  We’ve been witnesses and participants in each others lives for so long that it is sometimes difficult to see the individuals as independent entities. We’re connected so deeply through history and shared experiences that when I’m reminded of the fragility of the relationships we have created, it can take my breath away.

When one is lucky enough to have friends such as these, there’s a certain comfort level that is achieved allowing one to, hopefully, truly be themselves. Sometimes, though, the history of us, and who we have been, can distract from who we are becoming as we grow and stretch in new directions. It can be uncomfortable or disconcerting to acknowledge and accept the changes which must come with sustainable long-term relationships, but when the essential goodness of our friends remains intact, their personal declarations of independence do not detract from the friendship we all share.

Our nation is built upon a foundation of basic beliefs including the timeless assertion that we have certain unalienable rights.  Despite the metaphorical fireworks that explode each time a marriage falters or fails, or a friendship buckles from the complications of couples parting or pairing, I will accept nothing less than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for myself. And, as far as my friends are concerned, I want the very same for each of them.

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Filed under aging, friends, holidays, marriage, musings, Observations, relationships, Summer

10 Reasons why I’m baking cookies for Father’s Day

  1. I never got to bake them for my own father
  2. I like to eat cookie dough.
  3. It’s Father’s Day - not (ex)Husband Day.  He’ll always be my boys’ father and deserves to be honored as such.
  4. He always enjoyed my cooking and baking skills.
  5. The house will smell great.
  6. It’s his first Father’s Day without his own father.
  7. The boys should see their parents continue to do nice things for each other because we’re truly nice people.
  8. I’ve got a surplus of chocolate chips.
  9. He isn’t expecting it and I like pleasant surprises.
  10. The idea of my boys sitting around eating homemade cookies with their Dad makes me happy.

    FYI: My cookies will (unfortunately) not look like these!

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Filed under baking, Boys, family, holidays

Sad, mad and glad

Last week was a weird week in the news. I mean like the kind of week when I almost feel ready to abandon reading anything beyond cooking and fashion magazines so I have a prayer of staying in my happy place. Are they going to print those upbeat type of glossy publications on Hearst’s new press?

Ever since I saw this story on the TU website I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  I understand that these accidents occur with far too much frequency, but for reasons I haven’t quite grasped yet, this one has really had an impact on me.  My God, did you see the car?  It doesn’t seem possible that someone could have survived that crash and I’m left wondering what the future holds for the driver of that vehicle. How many times will he wish for a do-over, for the chance to take it back and do it all again differently?  As a parent, I’m tempted to begin printing out accident scene pictures and the related obituaries and start wallpapering my boys’  bedrooms with the consequences of bad decision-making. I’m scared and my heart aches for the families involved who both lost their children that morning, because I’m certain the young man who was driving that car will never be the same.

And how do you feel about the smoke story?  No, not the Pope Francis thing, this one.  Apparently, Assemblyman Steve Katz, an opponent of legalizing medical marijuana, has no personal problem with getting blazed and speeding up the NYS Thruway – at 10:00 a.m, by the way.  Perhaps he is anti-medical marijuana because he understands it won’t cure the severe case of hypocrisy he appears to be suffering  from.  What a jerk.  Throw him out of office and let him wake and bake on his own time.

If marijuana could in fact cure hypocrisy, maybe Rob Portman has been indulging in the wacky weed, too.  Seems that now that his own son is at risk of being denied basic civil rights because he is gay, Portman has had a change of heart in his consistently anti-gay marriage stance.  I don’t really understand why his son’s life and access to the benefits of marriage are somehow more important than the millions of other gay Americans who have been denied access to wedded bliss.  I’m sincerely glad he’s changed his position, but I’m even more glad that I could never imagine believing that my own child’s opportunities are somehow more valid than those of anyone else’s child.

I’ll go back to my Bon Appetit now.

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Filed under musings, News, Observations, politics, Rant

I’ve got a badge – and a glass of wine.

Another perfect little find from Elissa Halloran's little shop on Lark Street.

Another perfect little find from Elissa Halloran’s little shop on Lark Street.

Well, guess who gets to be the bad cop?  Yes, yes, I know, if the shoe fits, blah blah blah.  Whatever.  Give me a second, please, while I take another swig swallow sip of wine, ok?  Exhale.  Sigh.

You know how kids like to play their parents, especially in divorce situations?  Yes, you do, you must have seen it before. Child, typically a teen, decides that the demise of their parents’ marriage provides them with the perfect opportunity to slack off?  Well, it is a crap situation that requires parental attention and communication…something which isn’t always easily managed as a former couple transitions to a new normal of shared parenting done in an isolated, yet equally invested fashion.   Maybe it’s a natural impulse for a child who wants to ensure that his recently apart parents maintain an open dialogue.  Perhaps it is a symptom of adolescence.  I don’t know for certain, but I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is exhausting and demoralizing.  Ugh.

Most of us are familiar with that cliched police interrogation technique – the whole good cop/bad cop thing, right?  Well, guess which officer I get to be?  I’ve always been the calendar keeper, the planner, the appointment maker, the initiator, shall we say.  I have a knack for making, and keeping, a schedule and taking care of things.  Naturally, it has fallen to me to be the one who checks in on the boys’ grades and initiates contact, when necessary, with their teachers.  And the reward for my attentions from my child who is treading seriously close to the line between living up to his potential and being a rebel without a cause?  Well, let’s just say it  is sort of the opposite of gratitude.

It would be so much easier to be hands off.  I would prefer to devote my attention to celebrating the wonderful talents and capabilities of my children, but it seems that a different type of focus is being demanded at this time.  Well, if I have to be the one who enforces the law in these parts, I’ll do it, with or without the assistance of a deputy.  Don’t you doubt it.

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Filed under Boys, family, Lark Street, moms, musings

Not shaken or stirred, but blended

Q’s favorite Bond

My 7 y/o is currently obsessed with James Bond.  He gave up Star Wars at about the same time that George Lucas sold the galaxy to Disney.   Coincidental?  Perhaps.  If you offer him something to drink, it is completely plausible that he will request a martini, shaken not stirred.  It’s adorable.  Well, to me it is because I’m his mom.  Someone else might find it obnoxious or cheeky, but I’ve always had a soft spot for 007.  And my children, of course.

Over the recent holidays, I did some reflecting on my own memories of the Christmas season and I thought about a family from my childhood who taught me what a blended family might look like.  There was a mom and a dad and a daughter.  And an ex-husband and the children shared by he and the mom.  And the ex-husband’s son from his second marriage.  And also the son from the Dad’s first marriage.  The kids all referred to each as brother and sister and the relationships seemed pretty relaxed and fluid, kind of like a well mixed martini.  They were Italian-American and Westchester Jewish, a combination which resulted in great food and wonderful traditions. I loved them and everything they taught me about family and love and backgammon, truly.

As a divorced parent*, I might one day find myself in a similar position.  You know, blending children and families and friends with a partner.  I’d like to think  I can do it with as much tasteful grace.  I know that none of those relationships was perfect, I mean what is?, but the central thread of children which wove them all together created an inspiring family fabric, a patchwork quilt that gave at least as much comfort as a familiar cocktail, I imagine.  How about you?  Do you have any experiences like this to share?  Grab yourself a cocktail and share, why don’t you?

*I’m not a “single mom.”  The boys very much have two parents.

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Filed under Boys, family, friends, girlhood, holidays, marriage, musings, relationships