Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snowy Kisses and What If's




It was almost a year ago to the day that I sat in this same booth overlooking the river and the city waiting for his arrival.  I remembered which beer he liked and ordered it along with my drink.  Memories of last year flooded back quickly and how nervous I was then to finally meet the man I’d been talking to and texting for several weeks.   Our conversations were fun, meaningful and had just crossed over to flirty before our first date.  The excitement to meet each other grew because I had to postpone our first date a few times. Unfortunately, the chaos that was my life a year ago made it difficult for me to get away.  When I finally did, we had a great time, had a couple more fun dates, but not as much as he would have liked.  He wanted to spend more time together and he began to grow impatient.  It ultimately became the end of “us” last year.


His life moved forward and so did mine.  I witnessed his new relationship unfold and evolve on Facebook last year.  I felt some moments of sadness and regret seeing his life move forward with a cute divorcee.  As the months went on, my life improved drastically and I had a summer for the record books, happy and free.  I was caught up in a summer romance with a younger man I met and had a goofy grin planted on my face through most of the heat of the season.    My heart was light and I let go of any “what if’s” I accumulated. 


He and I had remained distant friends, and I was saddened to receive his call just before the holidays that his relationship had ended abruptly.   The woman he dated had a mean streak that she had kept under the surface and she lashed out at him, breaking his heart.  I was genuinely saddened for him and shocked that things ended so badly for them.


Tonight, as I sipped on my drink and waited for him, I wondered how this evening would go, would he try to rekindle our feelings or was I playing the part of compassionate friend?  I didn’t know what to expect but I did know I was excited to see him again.   We had a comfort and could be ourselves with each other from the moment we met and I looked forward to catching up with him.   I kept my expectations realistic and was just happy to catch up with him. 


He found me and greeted me like he always did, he said “hello pretty lady” as he swept his arms around me tightly.  He held me close, planted a kiss on my cheek and smiled knowingly at the cold Heineken waiting for him.   As he began to speak, there was a sadness in his dark eyes and he reached across the table holding my hands while fighting back tears.   He asked about my children, new job and we caught up on the past year.   My questions to him were careful, and he began to share his heartbreak with me. He went on to tell me about how his happiness suddenly unraveled and also how the relationship with his children had eroded beyond repair. 


He choked back tears as he spoke but the sadness was obvious in his eyes.  His hands gripped mine tightly as he confided in me that although he hadn’t made his final decision yet, he was probably moving back to his home country to be near his family.   I listened objectively and tried to persuade him to heal the broken relationship with his children.   Now, I was the one fighting back tears because this reminded me of my distant relationship with my father.   I pleaded with him to stay here and mend this brokenness.


I was honest and spoke candidly about his situation.  We both enjoyed the conversation although it was a difficult one, we could be authentic with each other.  The comfort that we felt was obvious and talking with him felt familiar and safe.   As the evening slipped away, we paid our check and left the restaurant.   The evening’s winter chill jolted us as we stepped outside and as if on cue, snowflakes began to lightly fall from the sky.   The trees were lit with white twinkly lights and the flakes of snow seemed to dance in the air as they fell.   He slipped his hand in mine as he guided me safely to my car.  


Once we found my car we lingered over our goodbyes.   I told him that I would miss him and that I hoped he found happiness.  Our eyes met as he grabbed my face and pulled it towards his own as his mouth found mine.   As our kiss ended, my tears began to fall softly down my cheeks.  My face was dotted with melting snowflakes and tears as I struggled to find the right words to encourage him to do whatever he felt was right.   He wiped away my tears and felt guilty for being the reason for them.  His arms held me tighter as I buried my face into his chest and vowed to myself to not cry anymore in front of him.   He planted a tender kiss on my forehead as I searched my pocket for my keys.


I left with a wave and a promise to let him know I made it home safely.   I chose a long route home to see more of the river and to think.   Inside the privacy of my car and the darkness, I started to cry again.   Crying and driving in silence, fortunately somehow my car seemed to navigate itself through downtown.    


As I crossed the bridge, I couldn’t help but think about how things could have been different and how unfair it all was.   I was sure that this man and I would have loved each other if we’d had the chance.  The timing of everything seemed so cruel, so unfair and although I tried, I couldn’t help but feel bitter about it.  Everything was so different a year ago and although we both had feelings for each other, we’d never know what could have been.  This heartbreak changed him and I know it will be a long time before he can be vulnerable again.


Like the time that passed, he was slipping through my fingers and there wasn’t a damned thing I can do about it.   Finding love can sometimes be like catching lightning in a bottle, you can have every possible variable in place, yet if the timing is off, it’s impossible to capture it.  It’s just past the tips of your fingers - no matter how far you stretch to reach for it.   Love can be as fragile and precious as a perfect snowflake but no matter how much you ache for its beauty to last, it just can’t.

Thank you for reading and I hope you find AND keep love.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Smooches,

The Single Mom

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Work, Naked Time and Flaming Bags of Dog Poop





I’m still looking for the license number of the semi-truck that mowed me over a couple of months ago.  Whew it truly feels like I’ve been run over because life has been chaotic, exhausting and I’ve missed having time to write and sort it all out.  I started a new job this fall and have been working in an office fulltime AND working my freelance marketing jobs.   My schedule has changed dramatically and I’ve been overwhelmed adjusting to it while trying to learn a new job and managing to keep everything going at home.  


It has kept me out of trouble (mostly) and it’s a job with physical activity, so it has taken me awhile to catch up, physically and mentally.  I wake up early to my freelance work so that I can be at my job at 9:00 am.   I’ve been so exhausted that I usually drop from fatigue shortly after coming home at night.  “Dating” or anything that resembles it has been mostly unrealistic these past couple of months. 


To be honest with you, I’ve been bitter that I have to work such long days to provide for my son while my ex doesn’t.   I also still have my teenage son every day and night, so having time to date and have private time (i.e. naked time) is unrealistic.  It’s all I can do most days just to get through and while the desire is there for a passionate kiss, arms around me, or a special “naked hug”, it’s not likely to happen. 


I have been talking to and even briefly seen a couple of men from my past, one of whom things started to seem like they may be working out (finally).   Things were going well, we were connecting, the passion was back and all was going well until it abruptly ended up like a flaming bag of dog poo on the doorstep.   Unfortunately, he abruptly lost his job and had to switch gears to focus on his job hunt… thus the flaming bag of dog poo.   You know, life can be like that: one minute you’re on the front porch bathed in moonlight, sharing a stolen kiss, and the next you’re stomping a flaming paper bag of dog poo.  Yup, I think we all can relate. 


On top of that, I’m not bitter or anything that my ex recently remarried or even has time to have more than an hour a month of “naked time”.  Nope, not bitter at all.   I’m also not bitter that said “naked time” isn’t stolen moments rushing between dropping off a child or having to cancel a date last minute to stay with a sick child… nope not even one lousy ounce of bitter, uh huh. 


I’m totally not bitter or cranky and not becoming resentful because I have to work myself to exhaustion while my ex gets to watch everything on Netflix three times over just because he’s bored… and let’s not even talk about “naked time” that I can’t have.  


I had an emotional meltdown a few weeks ago when I had to cancel two dates in a week because of mom responsibilities.   It really isn’t fair that all the responsibility to parent is on me but I’ve come to accept that it’s my reality now.   The bitterness and anger started to eat at my soul and I had to dig deep to realize that I had to start letting it go so for my own happiness.  There's no universal formula to deal with the aftermath of divorce because there are so many different situations and they can change drastically through the years.  

I can feel good that down the road, I’ll be close to my kids and my ex has squandered these years with them.  I tell myself there will be a lot of time for me to date in a few years, I just hope that I still want to and I still have my teeth -- or at least most of them when the time comes.   




As far as dating, it’s been a frustrating, ok sexually frustrating… there, I said it… situation lately.  The rub is that while we I was seeing the man this fall (Mr. bag of dog poop)  exclusively, we still weren’t quite ready to meet each other’s kids.   This would have made it a little easier to see each other, but our love was thwarted by the now obvious romance killer, ie the bag o’ poop.   


The current circumstances have put the kibosh on this relationship.   As far as me, I know my life is going to get easier and I’m grateful that things are falling into place.  In fact, I’m incredibly excited about the future but as always, ever on the lookout for the bags-of-you-know-what!


Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


Smooches!


The Single Mom







Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Four Key Steps for Finding Love as a Single Mom






Dear friends,

So as you all know if you've only read me once or twice, I basically suck at love.   Yup, there I said it.  I asked my friend, Honorée Corder (author of The Successful Single Mom) for some much needed help.  Here are her 4 steps for finding love, I'm going to take her wise advice.  Please enjoy her piece about her journey to find love again and her great suggestions!

Smooches,

The Single Mom
The Art of Finding Love As a Single Mom


My philosophy on the art of dating is quite simple:


Dating is an opportunity to ask for what you want, say what you’re looking for (your purpose for dating), date lots of people (as many as you’d like), have fun and enjoy the process, have almost zero expectation, and remain unattached to the outcome.


When you engage in the art of dating from the right place physically, mentally and emotionally, you actually stand a better chance of ending up with the person who is the best fit for you sooner. Much sooner.


If you’ve been searching for “the one” and beating your head against the wall, crying yourself to sleep, or lamenting to your BFF how “a good man is hard to find,” well, stop it. You will only get what you want when you make up your mind about what that is, and get smart about your search.


I write all about my journey to finding my husband of five years, my Mr. Wonderful, in The Successful Single Mom Finds Love! Before I found him, before I got smart, I had to kiss a lot of frogs, cry too many tears, and spend countless hours and dollars on men who didn’t deserve the time it took to write this sentence. I want to save you some time, aggravation, heart-ache and babysitting dollars. Are you ready? Then let’s get started.


Ask for, and Get, What You Want


Remember: There is someone out there who wants for you to give him what you want to give and who will give you what want you to receive.


Your role in this process is to speak your truth (state your “purpose for dating”), and sort and keep sorting until you’ve found the person you’re going to date, live with, marry, have children with, all of the above, or none of the above.

Oh yes, and you probably will want to enjoy the process. Therefore, decide right now that you’re going to begin this process when, and only when, you can commit to yourself to enjoying the process and not before.


I make it sound so easy, right? Actually it’s simple, but I recognize it’s not necessarily easy because of the way we are wired and because of the way we’re used to doing things.


Here’s your new dating process:


1.                  State your “purpose for dating” all the time. Tell everyone within the sound of your voice what and who exactly you’re looking to find. They may have a brother, son, nephew, cousin, co-worker, or neighbor who sounds like a good fit. You just never know where your Mr. Wonderful is going to come from.


2.                Have fun and enjoy the process. What’s the point if you don’t have fun and enjoy the process? When all of your energy is wrapped up in “finding,” you won’t be “enjoying.” Inject fun into the dating that you do! Go to new restaurants, indulge in new foods, try miniature golfing, go hiking, learn how to SUP (stand-up paddle), learn a new language, train for a triathlon. All of these activities put you in front of people, many of them new people.


3.                Have no expectations. What if you could just go on a date and the only expectation you have is that you’re going to have a conversation (maybe even a good one) and a nice meal? Wouldn’t that take the frenetic energy out of the date? The energy that holds expectation and hope and even a little bit of crazy? Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, yes it would. Nod and smile, so I know you’re with me, okay?


4.                Don’t be attached to the outcome. Don’t worry if “he’s the one,” just do your best to have a good time, enjoy your dinner and movie, flirt your ass off, and then wait and see what happens.



There are two other love-finding tips I want to share with you.


First, do what you haven’t been doing: go on more dates or dress differently. Go out with your girlfriends, or even take a weekend away by yourself. In other words, do the thing that scares you the most when it comes to dating. Shake things up. Shake yourself up! You deserve to try something new and get a new, great result.


Second, save yourself for the best fit, i.e., you deserve the best. So no settling! I mean it: this part is where I insist you not settle. Good enough is just not good enough.

This process isn’t about finding Mr. Perfect. He just simply doesn’t exist. This process is about finding Mr. Perfect-For-You. My husband isn’t perfect (pretty darn close), but he is perfect for me. We compliment each other so well, and that makes our relationship harmonious, most days, anyway.  I’m so clear I’m not perfect, but he swears I’m perfect for him. That’s a pretty great feeling, a feeling you, too, deserve to have.

Bio: Honorée Corder is a Personal Transformation Expert, Keynote Speaker and the a best-selling author of The Successful Single Mom book series, The Successful Single DadPaying4College: How to Save 25-50% on Your Kids College EducationPlay2Pay: How to Market Your College-Bound Student-Athlete for Scholarship MoneyTall Order!, and the upcoming Vision to Reality.


Learn more on her website 
here. Visit her Single Mom blog here and her Personal Transformation blog here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Going Deep




Today I’m going to be painfully honest with you and it scares me to admit what I’ve been feeling.  I started this blog as a leap of faith almost three years ago, I honestly didn’t know if I was a good enough writer, funny enough or had anything to say that mattered.  I always wanted to write and leave a legacy of words on the world in my own way.  I wanted those words to make you laugh, inspire, teach, entertain and sometimes even touch your heart.    

While none of those goals changed, my circumstances did, drastically.   I can’t even read some of my first posts today because I don’t know who that woman was, she sure isn’t much like me today.   Ouch, I can’t believe I really wrote that and haven’t backspaced it yet.  Yikes.    When I began writing this blog, although I just got dumped and fired I had no idea that life was about to suck even more.

I’ve written some about these hard days and I don’t want to rehash a bunch of that stuff, but to review, life got increasingly more challenging after I started writing this blog.  What I’m about to say sounds corny, but I truly think some of those experiences shaped me to be a better writer.  While they sucked on ice, I’m also grateful for them because they helped me go deeper and have more to share.

This time in my life forced me to realize that if I was going to inspire YOU, then I had to get my shit together first and put good stuff in my dome.   It was a downside of having an audience, in a small way I felt responsible to put some good crap in your heads, my writing had to have more substance than high heels, lip gloss and making out.  It had to.   Fortunately, I’ve attracted an intelligent audience who likes to be entertained and wants some depth with it.    I realized that this blog couldn’t just be a cheap lap dance, but it could still be sexy.  

In the beginning, I was naïve.  I thought I write these fun little dating tales and it would be fun for both of us.   I’d eventually end up meeting someone terrific who would worship me silly and you would clap and cry tears of joy.  Eventually, I’d bore the crap out of you as all I had to share was our boring trips to Home Depot to pick out tile.   Spoiler alert: that shit didn’t happen, now did it?   Nope.    Almost three years of dating and writing and I’m closer to going cat lady crazy than shopping for tile. 

The last two and a half years have been extremely difficult to endure.   There were many nights I went to sleep hoping I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.  I didn’t know how I’d get through another day, let alone another week. 

The two reasons my life has become so challenging  were financial struggles and that my ex stopped being a parent to the boys.   Before this, I could at least count on being a wild and crazy bachelorette every other weekend and having some time to catch my breath.  Now, I don’t have that at all.  It’s been harder to have a life, be a good mom and to maintain a job, to be quite honest with you.   I hate admitting this but I need a break from being a mom, a weekend, an overnight, anything.    I feel like a failure for thinking that let alone writing it, but it’s the truth.  I don’t feel like I’m my best and therefore not able to give my best to the boys. 

In some ways I also feel like I’ve failed you, my reader.   I want to be writing happy, sexy posts consistently.  Heck, I’ve barely been able to write at all.  But hey guess what, life isn’t always what we expect and I know you understand.   But I’m hard on myself, harder than I’m sure you are.  

Another reason I feel like I’ve failed you is because I haven’t found love.  I haven’t written that perfect walk into the sunset, holding another hand.   Sometimes, I wonder what is wrong with me but lately, I’ve realized that it goes deeper than that. 

This deep dive into self-improvement and all my hardcore personal development, especially this year has caused me to pull away from many potential relationships with men and be more picky about who I truly let in.  Yet, I can date more casually for fun, more for the experience of meeting new people, but it takes me much longer to get attached.   I’m also starting to look at why I’ve attracted a certain type of man into my life and then why I was even more of a dumbass and slept with that dude, over and over again.  

A lot of my answers lie on my own shoulders.  I realized that I’ve welcomed men into my life who had some kind of handicap that would keep us from becoming too serious.  Ouch, that’s pretty painful to admit.   A great example of that is the most recent man I dated this summer,  who was much younger.  I wanted companionship but I didn’t want him crowing my life.   The fact that he was younger was a built in hurdle, so that we wouldn’t become extremely close.   What is wrong with me? 


I haven’t truly loved anyone since “The Reader”.  You don’t know how hard that is to admit, especially since he may still read my blog sometimes.   On the other hand, the time that has passed since being involved with him has shown me that although losing him from my life was painful, it was absolutely for the best.   Today, he’s not a man I would be attracted to; I’ve changed so much, it’s almost staggering.  

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten as close as one can to falling in love, without completely falling over the cliff.    Truthfully, I’m scared of the weak little girl I am after a difficult breakup, so scared in fact that it keeps me from fully immersing into love.  So my choices are simple, I either let someone in partially or I stay disconnected totally until I find someone worthy of taking the risk.   I’m meeting a lot of men and flirting, but haven’t met anyone who is worth risking my sanity.

I was very fortunate this year to find a book that has drastically shaped my life and my future.     I highly recommend, The Successful Single Mom for anyone going through a difficult time in life.   It’s an excellent book for a single mom or anyone actually who needs a jump start in life and career.  I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with the author of this book, slobbering all over her, thanking her for writing this book.   Her advice literally changed my life for the better,  I use some nugget of wisdom from her book every single day.  It also forced me to look harder at myself, my inner circle and my thoughts.  I’m truly a better person for reading this book.  

In the next few weeks, I’ll share an experience this summer that has made me swear off online dating, at least for now and more from my dating life.  As always thanks for reading and for all your encouragement, it really means a lot!  

Smooches,

The Single Mom
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