Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polynomial Expressions

As a part of living my Best Life, I have decided to return to school and finish the degree I put off for so long. When I got married and had children, that “piece of paper” saying I was a contributing, intelligent member of society lost its luster….became less important. Now that I am on my own, the lack of intellectual “pedigree” is a Vegas-sized flashing light beckoning me to come back….come back…

As if my life wasn’t complicated enough……

But….it’s for me….and I have decided to jump back into the world of academia… 40+ years old… How bad can it be??

Registering for classes was somewhat simple. Gone are the endless lines at the registrar’s office…everything is now online. Of course, my transfer credits are not at the number I would like for them to be (who knew that courses like English Composition and Philosophy had expiration dates…) but I figure I will get that all sorted out after I get my feet a little wet.

First on the agenda is taking a math placement test so I can get a math class out of the way. Now mind you, math is not my strong suit… a matter of fact…..the thought of doing math problems makes me break out in hives, but the test must be done and I am determined not to take remedial math.

I enlisted the help of my favorite person….my man….The Man. In my book, having a math degree is one degree shy of being a super hero. Bursting into my living room, cape flying….The Man declared, “Madam….I’ll save you!!!!” The Man began explaining the complexities of Polynumeric-binomial-triconfuso expressions…. I cocked my head to the side….squinted….sipped my glass of wine….and paused…. “You have no idea what I just said, do you?” the Man patiently declared….. I retorted, “If I did, I would already have a math degree…” The Man spent the next hour and a half patiently explaining….re-explaining…and listening to my endless questions of “why are they called irrational?” .. "why is f(x) really “Y”….why don’t they just call it “Y"?” He is a saint…it was past midnight already…I have put in a nomination for canonization with the Pope…..

Why are we frantically studying math at that hour??

Well……ahem….on a whim, I decided that the time to take the test was now and scheduled the seemingly benign math placement test….tomorrow. After all, I am a good shopper (and hence good at shopping math) and the reason I would TAKE algebra was to learn algebra….so how hard could the test be? After scheduling the test, I researched what I needed to know….. Horror of horrors……I was clueless!! Help was needed!! I frantically wrote the following Rescue Me! email to The Man.

Subject: OMG!! I think I need a wee bit of help!!!!!!!

Did a bit of prelim looking at skills needed to “pass” the placement test (and not have to take a stupid remedial class)…..

TO BE PLACED INTO: Math 104, 108, 118, 150, 170

• Add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers and decimals. Check
• Solve simple word problems involving the above operations and numbers. Check
 • Make comparisons and perform calculations with fractions, decimals, and percents. Check
 • Solve multiple-step word problems involving fractions, decimals, ratio, percents, average, and proportional reasoning. Check-ish
 • Solve word problems involving perimeter and area. Check – I think – Perimeter is simple adding and area is height*width – correct?
 • Find square roots. Um………I can define it……but I don’t remember how to find it…..
 • Solve simple equations using a variable. Check
 • Understand order relationships between signed numbers. What in the hell is a signed number??? Are they in counseling??
 • Perform simple operations with negative and positive integers. Those are negative and positive numbers, correct??
 • Know and understand the order of operations. Um… first….drink second?? Maybe – Parenthesis first….then…???
 • Perform simple operations with radicals. Like Osama Ben Laden?? Help!!!!!
 • Factor polynomials and quadratic expressions. Factor?? Quadratic Expressions?? Like Yebese?? (Serbian swear word) Help!!!
 • Solve simple quadratic equations by factoring. I am so sunk!!!
• Perform simple operations with polynomials. Like taking out a spleen?? What is a Polynomial? Are they friendly?
• Solve simple rational equations. Obviously, I do not hang out with rationals….only irrationals….
 • Simplify and evaluate algebraic expressions. :) =good  :( =Sad ;)=Sassy
 • Graph linear equations. Um…..Help!!!!
 • Solve word problems involving algebraic principles. I think I can do this…..

TO BE PLACED INTO: Math 105, 107, 119

• All of the above plus
 • Solve systems of linear equations (equalities) with two variables by graphing and/or algebraic manipulation. Manipulation – aaaahhh something I can finally understand!!!!
 • Manipulate factors to simplify complex fractions. Um….is this to actually GET a math degree???
 • Work with algebraic expressions involving real number exponents. I know that I *should* know what an exponent is….
 • Solve absolute value equations. I am absolutely going to have to take remedial math!
 • Graph simple parabolas. Sounds like something you would need hand sanitizer for….
 • Have a basic understanding of function notation, such as determining the value of a function for a specific number in the domain. What??
 • Show a limited understanding of the concept of function on a more sophisticated level, such as determining the value of the composition of two functions. Conjunction junction….what’s that function…..Ahem....English Major!!! 
 • Have a rudimentary understanding of coordinate geometry. Um – I can find Mexico…..
 • Have a rudimentary understanding of exponential functions and logarithmic functions. I hate math!!!!!

Well….Here’s to growth…..and to exploring things unknown…things undiscovered!! And kudos to the people in my life who encourage me….help me….and even, from time to time rush in….cape flying in the wind…and rescue me from the scary things in life (even if they are just a math problem).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Match Game

It took me almost two weeks on Match to finally decide to come out of my nice, comfy, protective shell…..and actually meet a Match “prospect” in person. This process is much like the game we play as kids… know, the one where you put all the cards face down on the floor and turn over two at a time to find a match. It’s time consuming….it’s frustrating…..but when you find something that looks like a match, you go for coffee. I should have bought shares in Starbucks, Inc.!!!!

Date Number 1

I was a bit nervous….heck I was a LOT nervous!!! The Rebound Guy was the first guy I dated after the divorce…..AND…..before him, I had only gone out on two first dates. I strategized with my girlfriends (who were so excited that I expected to see them incognito at strategic places in Starbucks). Googling first date “rules” seemed to help a bit…what to do if I arrived first (wait to order a drink..) (does Starbucks add liquid courage to their coffee???)….. how long to stay..(be aware of the time--don’t over-linger) what to wear…(nice sweater and a dark pair of jeans…scarf)… whew!!!

DateMan 1 was there waiting for me when I walked in. A moment of fear gripped me! What now?? How do I greet someone I have never met…never talked to on the phone …who is not a business contact but a “date” of sorts?? Pulling myself together, I walked up to him and decided to “wing it.” He smiled and mentioned something about this moment always being awkward gave me a hug and bought me a Grande Earl Grey Tea.

We sat down in front of the fire and the conversation flowed easily. After an hour or so, it was time to leave. He walked me to my car and said what a great time he had. He asked me if we could go on an “official” date and I said “Yes!” Later that afternoon, he texted me a couple of times……the next day he texted me…..and then…….then…. then…. nothing! What the heck?? Okay….maybe he read the “Rules” and was waiting for the opportune moment…..waiting that three day grace period so he didn’t seem too interested…….I waited….and waited…and waited…..calling my girlfriends…my guyfriends….the telephone operator….the founder of….the mailman…. wondering what is the procedure from here on out??

Finally after 5 days, I decided that any guy who was EVER going to date me might as well get used to me being…well…me. He might as well get used to the impulsive….complicated …and sometimes emotional being that I am… I broke every dating rule on the planet and emailed him with the following…..

     Dear DateMan1:

     I had a wonderful time on our date and feel like we had great conversation and a good connection. As you know, my dating experience has been pretty limited and the majority of experience I had was from the 80’s….. so….. in that spirit….. are you interested?? Check yes or no. If yes, then some contact would be helpful…. If no, I had a delightful time and wish you well on your search.  Becky

DateMan1 responded back with the following:

     Dear Becky:

     One of the hardest things to do in dating is choosing. You never know if the one you didn’t choose would end up being the right for you… We had a great connection and I enjoyed our time together. However, I have found a girl that I want to get to know better and I am not the type of guy who can date multiple girls at one time. If things don’t work out, maybe we can get together again… DateMan1

Back to the drawing board!!! Frustration sets in….. on to Date 2…3…4…5..6…

Interesting side note - - I saw DateMan1 on a date this fall.  He was waiting for his date to show and hitting on a girl in my group before the date’s arrival…. He mentioned that he really wasn’t “into” the girl he was waiting on…. But of course, after her arrival he was staring into his date’s eyes and sharing her food…. Suddenly, a year later sitting next to my wonderful, caring man, I felt lucky….so very, very, very lucky!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Adventures on

Last year, after the Rebound Guy and I called it quits, my girlfriends and I had dinner at this cute, quaint Italian restaurant in Broad Ripple. After we had all deconstructed every relationship under the sun, the girls suggested I create a profile on an online dating site….namely Appalled, I announced….”I do not have trouble meeting men…” to which they responded…. “WHO?? Who have you met that is dateable??”

Still….I was not convinced…..not sure that an online dating site was for me….it just seemed so….so….mercenary!! The girls assured me that it wasn’t so….that online dating could be a positive thing…after all, one of the girls actually married her “Match.” Thanking them for their concern, I said I would look into it…..knowing that there was no way in Hades that I would ever do it……

After a lonely night on the couch with my other girls….a box of Tagalongs and a bottle of red wine…….I decided to stick my toe in the water and see what happens. I created a profile….not one of “come hither” or “looking for a life mate..” but one that was a little sassy….a little “I dare you to date me!” The photo I put up was not exactly the most flattering. It was of me waiting at the airport after a looooong flight from Paris….waiting….waiting….waiting…. (hmmm….maybe there is a little symbolism there)….
Looking back, I think I was more curious than anything of just what would happen….

Day 1
6am……I wake up….check my email….and holy holy cow!!! Emails--lots and lots of emails!!! This was completely unexpected…..and a little strange….I had created my profile at 11pm….do these people work??

5pm…checked again…more emails….great!! Not lonely anymore!! I have people to email with… talk to… be e-flirty with!! Life is good!! I have fan mail!! Yay!

Day 2

Return emails……check out my “winks” and wonder why some people wink and some people email….is there a difference?? Is one method better than the other?? I wish I had a guidebook as I am suddenly clueless as to the “rules” of the game.

Day 3

What??? They want my phone number??? Really??? Why?? I am not sure I’m comfortable with strangers being able to call and text at any time…. My phone is the most important part of my being… is with me 24/7/365…. No way Jose!!

Day 4

Getting some hate mail…..from those whom I initially responded to (I always thought anyone who takes time to email me should get some sort of response…but the emails grew insistent and a little bit cr-azy and I stopped responding).  Obviously on Match…. Response=Interest…. Holy cow!! This is sooo complicated!! I was just being nice….and encouraging…not playing games.

Day 5

Meet?? I am not ready to meet anyone…. I want to email them a bit first to see if we click.  Called my guyfriend wondering what the heck is up with this meet thing…. why are they so insistent??  They don't even know me.  He informed me that, “Becky…’s called because they want to meet somebody….it’s not called or” Somehow, I thought the time frame would move a bit....well....a bit slower.  Obviously…..I am much too guarded for this type of process….. Meeting a stranger I have emailed once or twice and who already wants to date me seems a bit……well….odd.

Day 6

Emails……avoiding phone conversations……avoiding meeting in person….. but...I like fan feels good to my wounded little heart...  Realized I can see who has checked out MY profile….. reconciling the list of viewers with the list of winks and emails…… asking myself….. why didn’t this one wink….or email……why didn’t that one like me?? Suddenly, I felt under a microscope……and finding myself irritated at people who judge the worthiness of a person based on a few arbitrary parameters (this coming from the woman who is looking for a man at least one inch taller than her X….)…..

Day 7

Sigh…..this is so very time consuming…..

Day 8

Friday night…..why are these people on Match?? Why aren’t they out meeting people?? Oh….wait…..why am I on Match and not out??  Added some better pictures… Thinking I should actually meet someone in person and resolving to do so…

Day 9

Fan Mail!!! Yippee!! I have found the one….well….the one I have decided to meet in person….for coffee….I have had hundreds of one-on-one networking meetings…so this should be no different……. Famous last words!!!

******To Be Continued*******

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Colors and Hues

In my year of blogging, I’ve spent a lot of time writing about my journey as a divorced woman - - a journey of discovery….in discovering who I am and who I want to be. My mission is to be as transparent as I can appropriately be.  Recently, I've discovered that there is one place where I have not been so transparent - - both in my blog and in my life. I have hidden a painful place so deep inside me that it doesn’t see the light of day. These forgotten fears/emotions/hurts are like weeds…..waiting dormant until the opportune moment (or in my case, typically the most inopportune moments).

Why bring up something that is past history?? Why dredge up old feelings?? Is it appropriate?? Is it helpful?? Will I look like a victim?? Well…’s time. As the old Randy Travis song says…..I’m digging up bones…..exhuming things that are better left alone.  It’s time to let those things see the light of day.  Left in the dark, they subtly color my feelings…..cast a hue on circumstances…distorting them ever so slightly….and then….my coping mechanisms kick in and I want to run and hide…..walk out….leave the room…..end a relationship……or better yet….hide in my anger….or in my harsh words.

My ex-husband’s affair with a close girlfriend shattered my world….it pierced the illusion I had that our marriage was good and was strong - an illusion I completely bought into. People would ask me, “How could you not know??” or simply state, “you must have known on some level.” Those words pierced my heart even deeper… could I have not known?? I am pretty perceptive……how did I not pick up on it?? How did I not see it?

In truth, the x and my friend were very good in their deception - - they lied, they manipulated, and they were careful….very careful. I felt like such a fool! I lost trust in my X, I lost trust in my friends, and most devastatingly, I lost trust in myself….in my gut.

Their affair caused me to feel:

Less of a woman - - I was not enough for him….emotionally….physically.  My friend seemed to be all I wasn’t - creative….beautiful….tall…..model thin body… with an air of “please rescue me..” The hardest part was his explanation...... “Becky, it wasn’t about the sex…..I just liked her better….she is my best friend.” Ouch!! The sex I could attribute to a midlife crisis (a Porsche would have been better)…..but the emotional connection screamed simultaneously….. “You aren’t enough” and “Becky, you are just too much!!”  

Alone - my friends had to pick sides as we were all “one big happy family” and now they had four very unhappy people in a big mess. In one fell-swoop I lost my husband, my girlfriends, my position as a pastor’s wife, my support group…. People would call……. but sometimes I wondered if it was more for the latest gossip than to actually support me.

Angry - so.. so very angry - angry at God for allowing this to happen….angry at myself for allowing it to happen…..angry at my life…..angry at my house out in the country isolating me……just freaking angry! I wanted to build a big bonfire and burn every memory we had together!! Instead, I took apart my beautiful king sized four-poster Rice Bed,…put it in the basement…..threw away my sheets, pillowcases, and comforter…. and slept on the floor.

Afraid - what would happen next?? Would anyone want me again?? I felt like a chipped and broken tea pot on the clearance aisle at Home Goods….unwanted…..headed to the Island of Misfit Toys….lost in oblivion…… I was ashamed....ashamed of telling people that my husband had an affair.....ashamed of what it seemed to say about me as a a wife.  Like Hester Pryne....I felt like I had a big A on my chest for all to see and for all to judge...and I didn't even commit the offense.. 

How would I support myself?? Where would I go?? What would I do?? My fear paralyzed me for a good year….I couldn’t function…I couldn’t think….all I could do was sit on the floor and cry. Nights were scary.  I was used to having a man in the house. Living on a 650 acre farm….every noise….every creak terrified me….screamed to me that I had no one to protect me.

Lost…….so…so utterly lost…..and hopeless….feeling unattractive ….unloved. My ex was more worried about the “other woman” and what she was going through than with taking care of his wife whom he had promised to love and to cherish….. I had spent 16 years with him….does that not count for something?? Everything I had worked for…sacrificed for… my carefully built home was damaged. I had made the decision to stay home with my family for 11 years….to take care of them… to love them. Everything I knew was about being a wife and a mom and about running our small businesses…..Now what??

After about a year of being a victim….feeling powerless…..I decided to get up….put on my big girl boots….be strong…..and create my life the way I want it. I pushed all thoughts and fears into the recesses of my soul...never to see the light of day again.  The problem is….. the issue can be…. that I never…ever want to go back there again! I don’t want to be in a position where I don’t know….can’t see….or just am not aware that the love is gone. I am like a sentry - on guard - searching out possible threats….creating scenarios in my head of danger…..and allowing beautiful things to be colored with shades of fear.

Those colors and hues affect my relationships....even the relationship I have with my children - - I am terrified that they will find me lacking just as my X did - - that their lives are forever changed.  I know I am not the mom that I used to be...with family quite honestly, it makes me defensive....very, very defensive. 

In 30 days, it will be 5 years since the discovery of my X’s affair and it is finally time to face the scary things…. to know them… to allow the hurt to come to light… be open and not hidden….and be a beautiful part of who I have become…not to wallow and get stuck…. but to acknowledge where I have come from and what I have gone through….. acknowledge it…. respect it…. And not be afraid of it.

So this is the year of Reclaiming.  Reclaiming my hope.....reclaiming my life.... Restoring the things that were lost...that seemed forever gone.  Last year was about finding out who I want to be - - this year is about remembering who I was.....and more importantly....remembering the beauty and not just the pain.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wallowing in Happiness

Sometimes, I just wallow……I have a bad day….a bad week….a bad year…. I open a bottle of wine……pour a pot of earl grey tea……devour a box of tagalongs….and cry on the shoulders of my girlfriends…..and they understand me… me…and support me. But sometimes I wonder……am I allowed to wallow in happiness?? Better yet….do I allow myself to wallow in happiness.

T.S. Eliot wrote in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have measured my life with coffee spoons.” Do I do that with happiness?? Do I measure it out with a teaspoon?? Not too much…..just a small bit will do…..after all, I don’t want to be obnoxious….to brag….to set myself up for a fall.

Why is it that when I am happy, I downplay it all? Why do I hesitate to share it to the full extent? Will others accept my joy as much as they accept my pain? If I share my excitement for the future……will I look like a fool if it doesn’t work out??

I have found myself mulling over this a lot lately. I have noticed that I measure out my happiness….my success… joy. I am quick to point out my failings. When someone walks into my house, I make sure to point out how messy it is…..when someone compliments how I look, I am quick to acknowledge those few pounds I’ve gained. It’s not that I can’t accept a compliment with a simple, “thank you.” Oh, I can do that…but in my head, I tick off the things they didn’t notice….or that they just didn’t share.

So, I think I am going to practice the art of happiness……or better yet….the art of sharing my happiness. Truth is… this point in my life, I am happy…I have such hope for the future. My hope is not about a certain relationship (although that is going very, very well)….my hope is about where I am going….what I am planning….. For the first time in my life, I get to plan the life I have always wanted and it is exciting. At 40+ years old, I no longer care about the shoulds and want to focus on the coulds.

So for today…..instead of wallowing in the muck and the mire of a crazy life…..I choose to roll down hills of flowers…to lie on the warm earth… the clouds and dream of possibilities…..and best of all, learn to share….to share my success….to share my joy…and to share my hope of good things to come!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

THe Rebound Guy

Last week I had a two hour lunch with a girlfriend - - oh how I LOVE two hour lunches….especially those that include a nice bottle of wine!! These girlfriend lunches are times to share our hearts….our experiences…our hopes for the future.

On this lunching occasion, the conversation gravitated towards relationships (I know…shocker….girls…lunch…wine….talk of boys)….specifically of rebound relationships.

The rebound relationship is just that…..a rebound relationship….that relationship you have when you are not quite ready and quite healthy enough to have a long-term relationship. It is not necessarily a negative experience…..and sometimes it is even important.

Rebound relationships can tell us that we are likeable just as we are….that we are important….good enough to care about….beautiful….wonderful. Some would say that we should find these things on our own without involving another person. While that may be true….it may not be reality.

My rebound relationship was somewhat unexpected. I can remember countless conversations with my girlfriends about whether or not we were actually “dating” or just friends. I had not planned on being in a relationship - - I had been married for a bazillion years and the prospect of dating scared the bejeezus out of me. Our relationship taught me a lot - - mostly that I could communicate with a member of the male species without breaking dishes…..hanging up the phone….or slamming doors. The relationship taught me that I could breathe….if only for a moment….and enjoy life. It taught me that I could be liked for myself and not have to apologize for who I am.

In the end, the relationship was not to be long term……our lives were going in two different directions. Although we were compatible and had lots of fun, our differing expectations of life eventually drove us apart.

I can remember being so brokenhearted….so distraught….so determined that this relationship could work. Stepping back, I see my determination was more about being able to hold ANY relationship together than holding THIS relationship together. See….I was desperate to show to myself (and to my ex, if I am completely honest) that I am capable of having a healthy, happy relationship. That was of the utmost importance to me. I was determined this was not going to be the cliché rebound relationship……. In the end, if my rebound guy wouldn’t have been firm with the terms of our break-up, I would have walked on nails….swallowed my pride….tried to become someone I am not….simply because I wanted to stay together. Holy Cow….that was just like being married to my X…..

It was so difficult…..I thought I was going to be alone forever. My girlfriends consoled me….my guy friends took me out…they would tell me things about myself that I could not see….I became even more determined that I was not dating material…..that I had no interest in a dating relationship (see last year’s posts)…… I had to take some time to figure out what I wanted in life….to see who I am….to learn to make myself happy (and quite honestly, learn what makes me happy).

So as the holidays are approaching, I see many relationships turning to survival mode - - oh my goodness….I have been there…..”just give it until after the holidays….” “but we have plans for Thanksgiving at my parents so we can’t break up now…” “but I will never find someone who will do those things for me….” “but,,,,He might propose…” and on and on and on and on. Girlfriend (and guyfriend) don’t loose sight of yourself……don’t loose sight of the fact that some relationships are simply ones of transition. If you find yourself holding on to something that just isn’t working……let go. Loosen your grip on the relationship…..allow it to float away….see what it is that your need in a relationship AND what you bring to a relationship. Don’t hold on to something because of fear… fear is the opposite of love.

It’s a scary thing……realizing that you are in a rebound relationship…..but don’t let your pride…or your fear keep you from happiness…..

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


When life rains down on you, put on your galoshes and dance in the rain.

When I was a little girl, I loved to wear my galoshes. I had to walk to school every day…..and I loved the rainy days….those days meant for my clear, domed umbrella and….of course, my galoshes. No puddle was unexplored…unsplashed….no curbside river was left untouched. In my galoshes I was invincible……..unfettered by the rain.

Fast forward three and a half decades…….I am standing in the home of the X….watching my bride-to-be daughter give direction to those of us setting up for the wedding….she is so beautiful…and excited.

The wedding-weekend weather seemed a bit sketchy…..cold…and rainy….so I packed my cute black galoshes with bright red cherries just in case the reception tent became a muddy mess (yes, I was a girl scout….always prepared). So……on Friday, there I was standing in the home of the X….or more appropriately CLEANING the home of the X….the home where I raised my children…my dogs….my horses….my cows…it seemed that my X was neither a boy scout nor a girl scout as he certainly was not prepared for 160 people to descend upon his home in 24 hours…….but *ahem* that’s why he is the X. But in the end, I love my daughter more than I want to see my X squirm so I cleaned…and cleaned and cleaned… (I am expecting a nomination for sainthood from the Pope any day now)….. and not surprisingly, without an ounce of gratitude or even a simple thank you from the X…..

The stress level begins to mount……

Having a house full of people was a great distraction to me that weekend…..I got to cook….to entertain….to open wine bottles I’d been saving (gotta love that Rockpile Zin…..yum!)…. It also gave me an excuse to show up for the wedding just in time to help the daughter into her wedding dress……she was absolutely stunning! The most beautiful bride I have EVER seen!!!

The X’s house is full of people…’s cold outside…..very, very cold outside…so as people arrived, they gravitated to the house instead of the outside chairs. Thankfully, we had prepared a separate room for my family and me to get ready for the wedding. I plugged in my curling iron and slipped on my red Jessica Rabbit dress (I hadn’t intended to dress as the “Hot Mother of the Bride” but try finding a red semi-formal dress without vavavoom!). I slipped into the powder room to put on my makeup. Suddenly, someone burst into the room….all bouncy with a high-pitched over-the-top girl greeting… was an old “friend” of mine (you know….the one I wrote about in my last blog…the one who ditched me to hang out with my X)……I tried to match her excitement… give her the benefit of the doubt… reconcile my feelings with how she was greeting me……I hugged her back and resumed making myself forever-photo ready.

Walking into the dressing room, I noticed my curling iron was unplugged… things had been moved…..and saw that my “friend” had taken over my space. Furious, I walked back out of the door……heart pounding…..palms sweating…..and stopped in the hallway…wondering what to do. The home was now completely full of people and there was nowhere for me to go……what to do…what to do…… It hit me…..I am the Mother of the Bride… Turning around, I opened the door and walked back in (Pale Rider playing in the background of my mind)…..I firmly but calmly ask my old friend to please find another place to get dressed…and told her how I felt about her ignoring my emails and Facebook requests. Did she hear my voice quiver? Did she have any idea how awkward this was for me….did she even care?? Now I feel like a jerk……I am stressed to the max…..I need a drink….well….maybe drinking isn’t a good idea…..

Pulling myself together, I head to the center of the house where friends and family were congregating. There was a sea of people and all seemed a blur….noise all around me…..people all around me…..stress….stress…stress……I look around and saw a familiar pair of warm brown eyes watching me….loving me….waiting for me….. The Man puts his hand on my shoulders and I breathe a sigh of relief. This is going to be okay……

The wedding was beautiful……my daughter is now a Mrs. and we head to the reception. Although I won’t bore you with all of the crazy details of the ceremony, photos, and reception blunders…..I will tell you that I now call it National Lampoons Wedding Week….as there was craziness after craziness after craziness….but like Clark Griswold’s Christmas decorations…..all turned out beautiful.

Sitting in my chair at the reception, drinking a glass of fine red wine….I reflected on the day……wondering how I was going to get through the rest of the evening with me on one side and the X on the other…..with His and Hers family and friends on either side of the dance floor. Then…….I remembered…..I had brought them after all……my cherry galoshes are under the gift table….waiting. I looked at the Man and said, “It’s time for the galoshes.” Slipping them on was such a freeing moment…….galoshes with a stunning red dress……that is soooo Becky Pruitt…… I grabbed the Man’s hand, stepped out onto the dance floor and splashed in every puddle life gave me that day.

Monday, October 5, 2009


So……my feelings are hurt…..really, really hurt. I am not sure why - after all this time - that they are still hurt, but I cannot lie….it smarts!

Going through separations and a divorce with the X was very difficult……and it is expected to be difficult. It’s hard to live with and love someone for 16++ years and suddenly let go. That is expected and a “known” factor. The unexpected, however, was the friends who suddenly disappeared from my life as a result.

I understand that this is common……I understand that people feel they have to choose one person over another…..or that they may refuse to choose and leave both parties behind. It is understood in my mind, but that message has a hard time traveling to my heart. I invested myself in my friends…..I cared for them…..and allowed myself to be transparent enough for them to take care of me in return. We cried together and played together……learned together and laughed together. What happened????

My friends leaving was almost as devastating as my X leaving. Given…..the X and I were together way longer than my friends and I were…..but in all reality, I can see the things I did to put a wedge between myself and the X…..I can see how I hurt him…..deeply at times…..I remember (cringingly) the fights, the hurtful words, the drama that happens at the end of a marriage…..and (although I don’t like it) I can see why he felt he needed to leave. But my friends…..what happened?? It seemed as if they were there one minute and then they were gone….poof….out of my life forever. Why? Well….I KNOW why……the uncomfortableness…..the busy-ness…..the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome…..and the inevitable….”I just like the X better…..we have more in common…..” Ouch!! Really??? You want to pick HIM?? Really??

Now some say that if my friends left, then they weren’t really my friends. While this is a comforting thought…..I have pretty much dismissed it out of hand. How many times have I gotten busy with my life and left friendships to wither in the dust? How many times have I not known what to say and then said nothing at all? How many times have I lost contact with someone I really connected with? Did it hurt them? I think it did…. Sometimes people suck (myself included). People miss the mark. They hurt people they care about……and…..sometimes…..I think they simply stop caring. Ouch!

So…..I have tried to get back in touch with one said friend. I email her from time to time and have even sent a facebook friend request. It’s been sitting around…..unanswered…..until I checked last night…..and it was officially ignored. Ouch! I racked my brains……what in the world did I do?? How did we go from close girlfriends….to casual friends… “I can only be friends with your X?”

How I want to fix it!! How I want to internalize it and make it somehow a result of my actions……so I can fix it…..and make everything right…….

But….the lesson for me today is not to fix……not to take on guilt that is not mine to take……and like my Man always tells me….to be sad and be okay that you are sad….period….no fixing… need to force the rainbow….no tying it all up with a big pretty red ribbon. In other words….be real…..and allow others to be real in return. It doesn’t have to make sense…it is what it is.

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Punt or Not to Punt

Another week, another guest blog. I love reading the perspective of others! It keeps me encouraged on my own journey.....

This week, The Man steps in and gives his perspective. I am confident that after you read his post, you will instantly know why I love this man!!! He is so fabulous!!

For those reading on Facebook, remember to check out my official blog page at Enjoy!!

Football is finally back. Monday’s workouts at the health club are
always more robust with the ESPN highlights adding a needed adrenalin rush to offset the usual Monday reluctance to get back into the swing of things. Time to warm up on the elliptical, watch precious footage of Jessica Simpson’s ex-boyfriend losing in their new gazillion dollar stadium (with a scoreboard costing more than the old stadium), and crack open the latest Sports Illustrated.

While considering how the makers of the mammoth Dallas scoreboard failed to do some basic math to determine how high it should be in order to be missed by a punt, I found a story of a high school coach who did some statistical analysis and determined that punting was a mistake.. not just sometimes, but always.. . His team has not punted in over 2 years, and they don’t plan on punting.. ever.. They don’t bother trying to return punts either.. In case you are wondering if this is an act of sheer lunacy, his team won the 5A State Championship.. in the glorious state of Arkansas, home of your friend and mine, the Divorced Diva (which seemed like my lightning bolt from the sky to finally write a guest blog in this space).

Here is an example of some analysis the coached used to make his decision:

"If Pulaski has a fourth-and-8 at its own 5-yard line, Kelley said his explosive offense likely will convert a first down at least 50 percent of the time. If it fails to convert, statistical data from the college level shows that an opponent acquiring the ball inside the 10-yard line scores a touchdown 90 percent of the time. If Pulaski punts away (i.e., a 40-yard punt with a 10-yard return) the other team will start with the ball on the 38-yard line and score a touchdown 77 percent of the time. The difference is only 13 percent."

So simply put, the risk/reward ratio favors not punting, even in this extreme example.

Now, before the objectors storm the gates.. Yes, this team has an explosive offense.. Yes, it’s high school and the punters are not that great.. and yes, there are exceptions to this ‘rule’.. Having said that, the question still remains.. why is punting the ‘rule’ and ‘going for it’ the exception in today’s game, and not the other way around? Even using the most strict statistical analysis, the bottom line is that at every level of football, coaches and teams do not ‘go for it’ as often as they should.

The answer.. according to the article.. briefly put is ‘saving face’. A coach doesn’t want to have to face an administration having risked it on a fourth down and failing.. So instead of choosing an opportunity for victory, the coach and the team may fall short of their potential at best, or die a sure and slow death at worst..


Do any life applications come to mind when hearing this? If ‘going for it’ on 4th down can be likened to winning the game of life and relationships by having love, intimacy (knowing and being known), truth, trust, openness, vulnerability, understanding, etc.. and punting were likened to ‘throwing in the towel’ and temporarily or permanently giving up on those things, what does it mean to go for it, even on 4th down? When do we play it safe and punt, hoping to not lose ground, instead of going for it, to actually win the game?

Every Sunday on ‘my weekends’, I drop off my boys after spending 5 days with them. Every time, it’s hard, and I usually cry. If and when I talk to my girlfriend around that period.. I usually mention it.. I don’t know if it’s a flaw, and I am surely not trying to impress her, but I know it’s sharing a very real piece of how I am feeling, in real time. For all I know, it may be getting on her nerves by now, so it’s risky.. It would be much safer to not even bring it up, and there was a time I wouldn’t have done so. For you, it may not even be equivalent to a 4th down. For me, it’s like 4th and 10 at my own 30 yard line.. a risk.. And I’m still not sure it will get me the first down.

After months of dating, there comes the inevitable argument(s)(some of you out there only have 1 per relationship, so please bear with us who don’t get it yet!). She feels bad, really bad for her stuff, and her part, and is sorry and says so.. and there are walls between us.. I see my part as clear as day, but hey, why mention it? It’s safer to keep it out of the conversation. After all, I would have to admit that I was wrong about something I defended so convincingly before. Goodness, talk about risk! 4th down, 15 yards to go.. Just punt.. play it safe! I can just be really forgiving you know (and isn’t it nice that she will offload some of my guilt)! Should I let her know and admit that I totally blew it.. again? Should I let her know that I struggle in this area, and it might take a while for me to get ‘better’ at it? Shhh Punt! … she will never know!

The ‘defensive’ and ‘safe’ move, makes it harder to win… when winning is defined by things that make a relationship truly successful (intimacy keeps coming to mind – knowing and being known).. Revealing our true selves (especially our flaws) usually feels risky, and hiding our true selves usually feels safe, but in actually, the opposite is true! Honestly, from my experience, it seems more like every time I punt, it gets returned for a touchdown against me, and whenever I ‘go for it’, I make at least a first down, and sometimes even score a touchdown..

Now I will be the first to admit, that ‘going for it’ doesn’t always ‘work’ in the way we might want it to, or think it should.. For example, in a previous relationship much of my ‘openness’ and ‘vulnerability’ seemed to ultimately backfire (relationship ended).. But truth be told, the situation and risk taking revealed our incompatibility, resulting in the ending of a relationship that wasn’t meant to be.. a winning play in the grand scheme of things.. My hope and desire is that I would live more and more in a way to win the game, and less and less to save face, or to play it safe.. punting less, and going for it more..

Well.. you may be facing a 4th and 5 at the 50 yard line.. Are you going to punt, or go for it? What’s your play coach?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thoughts from the Daughter.......Ken and Barbie

In the spirit of having my blog, The Divorced Diva's Guide to Survival, be a true guide to survival - to give a true perspective on divorce and getting through the process, I have asked a few people to guest blog their experiences. My daughter, a lovely, complex, competent, young woman has agreed to share her thoughts............

It is 3am and I have been writing paragraphs and pages only to scratch them all out. I was asked to write a piece about being a child of divorced parents quite some time ago. It has been one of those things that you put off so long that it’s all you can think about. How do I write about my experience of my parent’s divorce? How do I write about something that still has an effect on me?

Every little girl dreams of meeting Prince Charming. We imagine it, we draw it in pictures, and we enact it with our Barbie and Ken dolls. The term “happily ever after” is taught to us all throughout our lifetime. Like when you have your first serious boyfriend, you think it will last forever. Then the next week you break up, your world is shattered. I had this crush on this guy when I was a freshman in high school. He was the first guy I ever truly liked...and surprise! He liked me too! So we get to talking and have lots of mutual interests. But one slight problem...I was not allowed to date. In my mind it wouldn't matter...he liked me I liked him...end of story. We were going to be together forever yada yada. Well that very next week he was into another girl. Sad story. The same goes with watching your parents get divorced. Your whole life, you see these two people together, walking through life with you, and you think it will be that way forever. When you find out that it doesn't exist anymore...this ideal of happy is just as much of a sad story as that first boy crush your freshman year of high school. It changes your perspective on everything.

I am getting married in 26 days. Two-six. Terrifying. These two opposing views of how relationships work make the prospect of marriage hard. I love my fiancée, he loves me…but what if it’s just a Barbie and Ken? I grew up knowing a happy set of parents, but then things happen and it doesn’t work. It creates doubt in my mind. My perspective has been changing...and I didn't ever believe that I would ever truly be comfortable getting married. However, the closer that wedding date approaches...the more calm I am. Marriage can happen for all of us.

Despite all of the doubt that past events can create for the future, the future is just that…still in the future. It is unknown and undecided. It is ready to be written. Natasha Beddingfield had it right in Unwritten:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
the rest still unwritten

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Being a Single Parent is Hard……

This weekend, I overheard a conversation between two ladies speaking of a woman they knew who was divorced. The ladies commented on how sad it was that this woman was not the parent she was when she was married. The woman (I’ll call her Sue just to give her a name) used to be “all about the kids.” Sue was a great mom who doted on her children, was creative, fun, and an engaged parent. Now that Sue is divorced and dating, her life has changed a bit……..and her “poor, poor children” don’t understand why mom is not available 24/7. The ladies continued their observation with the *shocking* statement - Sue now wants to have her ex take the kids every other weekend so she can spend time with her new boyfriend instead of splitting every weekend with her ex.

As I eavesdropped on the conversation, I felt a surge of protection for Sue…..I’ve BEEN there….I’ve DONE that……and I wanted to jump in the conversation and give these ladies some perspective…..

I too am not the parent I once was. My divorced friends with children have admitted to the same. Although I was never the perfect parent, I always tried to be around my kids…to have dinner at the table most nights… make breakfast on the weekends… have food in the refrigerator (a complaint I hear often now). I stayed home with my kids, planned parties, built fires outside, made cookies, played games, had fun family vacations, went shopping…..and had THE best holiday experiences.

I miss those times….a lot…..and many times I wish I could turn back the clock and make things work just to have that life back……but I can’t.

If I were to be brave enough to butt into that conversation, I would have spoken of how lonely being a single parent is…….where you once had another adult to unwind with at day’s end, now you are a parent 24/7. Where you once had someone to share the load with….you are now exhausted. Being a single parent is hard because you are torn between parenting your child and wanting to build new relationships…..and that takes time….time to spend together… is such a tug-of-war. Although some people would say that raising the children comes first (and I do agree in principle that it does)….what happens when the kids leave and the parent is left with nothing? As a 40 year old woman, that is a scary thought. My friends who are the same age feel the same. Do we really want to be 45 or 50 years old and THEN looking for someone to build a relationship with….really??

Although I do realize that the totality of my life is not whether or not I have a man in my life…….it sure is nice when you find that person… starts to feel a little “normal” again…..

Dealing with the X factor is another difficult thing about being a single parent. Nevermind the typical miscommunications and differences of opinions----one of the hardest things for me to hear is, “well, Dad said I could…..” Lordy, lordy….my temperature starts to rise….blood starts to boil….and the kettle starts to sing….. Suddenly, I feel as if I am in a competition with the X and he is winning (I so hate to lose). Now that my kids are older, it has gotten very difficult to refrain from spilling my guts over how I really feel about that…..and I am embarrassed to say that there are times that in the heat of “competition” I have been too quick to point out the flaws of said father figure in order for myself to look better…….and….it has backfired every time.

Truth be told, every time I hear those words, I am ushered back to the end of my marriage and the feelings of rejection that I felt. When my children say those things, I desperately want them to see me in that good light….to have me be their hero… know how much I want to do the best thing for them….even if it isn’t the most popular. I want them to see how I struggle with being a good parent… I agonize over every decision… inexplicably tired I get (and therefore how grouchy I can be sometimes). But those things are hard to show your kids without sounding like a big nag and without sounding like a guilt trip.

Now that my kids are both adults, it has gotten even more difficult in some ways. They get to choose who they spend holidays…..weekends…… with. Hearing, “I’m going to stay with Dad for my time off….” or “I am having Thanksgiving with Dad..” pierce my heart. Of COURSE I want them to spend time with the X, of course he needs holidays too (ish)……and I understand in my mind that this is a good thing…….but I want to be selfish and keep them all to myself. In truth……it is just hard.

So……I chickened out of my impulse to butt in to the conversation…..Sue will continue to be the fallen star of the parent world….but I resolved to once again be transparent in a place where I would rather keep private….and share (even in a small way) my personal struggles hoping that it is an encouragement to those on this same journey.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Horizons by David Gray

I heard this song on Pandora this morning and I just had to share the lyrics.....they touch my inner being so much and are just so true for me.....

I love the dichotomy of love.....or maybe more specifically, the dichotomy of self.

My favorite part....

So I'm gathering all the remnants of beauty
From this wilderness in spin
And now I'm gonna light my own flame
'cause I'm charged with the radiance of the dawn
That's been so long breaking

I love the phrase, "remnants of beauty..." it's like one of the beautiful quilts my grandma and great aunts make......remnants cut into flowers, stars, and little Dutch girls.....elaborately sewn together with a beautiful colorful thread......placed on top of a muslin sheet....and wonderful secondary designs quilted over them by hand with small, deliberate stitches.....designs that can only be seen from the otherside...the side not usually seen by the initial look....designs that can only be seen underneath......that is my life.....remnants of beauty from hurt, disappointment, words......they are shards of hope left in the aftermath....some big...some small.....but beauty nonetheless....remnants sewn together to create who I am.....a beautiful, imperfect work of art.

Enjoy the lyrics...

"New Horizons"

Weight on my shoulders
But I'm walking so tall
Out into the new horizon
Wonder in everything
No matter how great or small
Howlin' like the midnight
Howlin' like the midnight sun
And this ain't no pale reflection
This is the real thing
New horizon
New horizon within

And your heart ain't yours to control
No matter how tight the reigns
Love will find it's own direction
A time to reap, a time to sow
And many a time to cry in vain
But now the time to celebrate
The glory of this imperfection
Same thing that's scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

Things come too easy, I get suspicious
Things come too slow, I get bored
If it don't work out I get superstitious
But if it does, oh my word

So I'm gathering all the remnants of beauty
From this wilderness in spin
And now I'm gonna light my own flame
'cause I'm charged with the radiance of the dawn
That's been so long breaking
Now there ain't nowhere
There ain't nowhere I won't write your name
There's a time to search for understanding
Sometime you just gotta sing
New horizon
New horizon within

Baby there's no need to get precious
When you know that everything must change
Complacency, it can be so vicious
Turn this love into a cage

Same thing that's scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

Monday, August 24, 2009

Indy Fringe Festival Reviews

As Posted on Smaller Indiana:

Indy Fringe Day 1

The Cask of Amontillado

Wine…..revenge…..intrigue…..opera…..costumes….Edgar Allen Poe…..what more could a girl want in a Fringe Festival show?? The Cask of Amontillado promised to be a fun diversion for the Man and me on a Saturday afternoon.

It’s interesting to me that operas are one of my favorite things….although they are typically somewhat tragic. The Man and I have the discussion often about tragic music (which he likes) and happy music (which is my preference). I once asked him to sing a happy song for me at Karaoke to which he sang Nirvana. Gotta love a witty man!!

This was The Man’s first opera and our first Indy Fringe show. I was both a little nervous and a little excited to try something this much out of the box.

The opera started with a couple of fun arias written (I suspect) to use more time and to allow stragglers to wander in without disrupting the show. The cast was talented and the opera followed Poe’s story almost to a “T” (I looked it up when I got home). The singers were engaging and believable as their characters.

Wine….wine…wine……a gentleman knows his wine….

The story is about a man, Montressor (don’t you just love that name….it sounds just like a villain of an 80’s hero cartoon) who was slighted by the proud, popular wine loving Fortunado and plots to avenge himself while acting as Fortunado’s friend. Montressor plots to lure Fortunado to his wine cellar with a promise of a rare find….a fine, fine sherry….Amontillado.

Montressor being the sly dog that he is, uses Fortunado’s pride in distinguishing wine and competitive spirit to get him to leave his friends during Carnival to come to his home. He hinted that he knew nothing about the wine, but had foolishly paid full price and mentioned that another friend had unsuccessfully tried to determine the wine. Whenever he spoke of whether the wine was authentic, Montressor would sing, “…doubts.” Fortunado, of course, jumped at the chance to taste the unusual wine.

Down in the cellar, Montressor proceeds to trick Fortunado…chains him up in the corner…..and lays brick after brick…row after row… essence burying him alive.

While I would love to judge Fortunado harshly for changing his plans simply to taste a wine……I can recall several moments in recent history where I was ready to leave a party and my good friend, W, would say….”but I was going to open an A. Rafanelli”…..and all caution was thrown to the wind. Like Fortunado, wine can be my downfall.

Being an opera lover, the performance was entertaining. As a matter of fact, I started thinking it is a wonder that more Edgar A. Poe’s writings don’t make it to operatic form…..the elements are all there…..but…..whether or not The Man truly enjoyed it, I can’t lie…..”I….have…my….doubts…..”

Nonetheless, it is a worthy show with talented artists! Check it out at


Indy Fringe, Day 2

The Man and I head down to Mass Ave to check out something a little different than Saturday’s Edgar Allen Poe Opera, The Cask of Amontillado. We decided that the end of the weekend and the quickly approaching Monday needed a good shot of laughter and Tortillo was just what the doctor ordered.

Scooby Doo meets the snack food industry…….meets Batman and Robin…..including a quirky but hilarious “guest star appearance” of a psychedelic English rock star janitor.

I was expecting light fare….a comedy…..but the incredible wit in the script took me by surprise. See…..I’m not usually much of a comedy girl…..seriously. Put me in front of a popular comedy, Madea Goes to Jail, Police Academy, whatever, and I squirm like a redeck in an Opera House. It just doesn’t jive with me…’s not my style. It’s not that I don’t like to laugh……it’s just that I usually don’t in this type of entertainment. That said…..I laughed…and laughed….and laughed. I peeked over my shoulder at The Man and he was absolutely cracking up!

Maybe it was the similarity to my beloved Scooby Doo Mysteries (with a little adult humor….well…a LOT of adult humor)…the snacks….the goofs…..the over the top villans….the surprise “pulling off the hat” endings…..the guest star. Whatever it was…it added together to make a delightfully witty feature.

The guest star was my favorite! The Man and I spent most of the time admiring his shirt…and watching his sideline antics.

All in all, I would recommend Tortillo….it’s a great laugh….and, in my opinion, a great Fringe show to bring a date.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preparing for Disappointment

What If? By Coldplay

What if there was no light.
Nothing wrong, nothing right.
What if there was no time?
And no reason or rhyme?
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side.
That you don't want me there in your life.

What if I got it wrong?
And no poem or song..
Could put right what I got wrong,
Or make you feel I belong?

Let's take a breath, jump over the side.
How can you know it if you don't even try?

Every step that you take
Could be your biggest mistake
It could bend or it could break
But that's the risk that you take.
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there in your life.
That you don't want me there by your side.

What if? What if my heart gets broken? What if I fail? If I “buy into the magic,” I will be more hurt if it doesn’t work out. The heart has to be protected…… reasoned…… desire for something amazing has to be held at bay until we are “sure.”

When my kids were little, we took them to Disney for a week. Being somewhat skeptical by nature, the X and I made a decision to “buy into the magic,” to allow ourselves to get excited about all that is Disney for our kids’ sake. So…..we looked for every character, wore mouse ears, skipped down the sidewalk and otherwise embarrassed our kids. You know what….we had a BLAST!! You know what else……Disney without the “magic” can be it’s own level of hell in Dante’s Inferno……lines, silly music, grouchy people. Allowing ourselves to be a kid again and to feel excitement set the tone for the entire trip.

Relationships are that way. Divorced people have a tendency to hold back emotionally (and honestly, so do a lot of single people). Although we may, “commit” to a relationship (and maybe even WAY too soon) we are still preparing ourselves to be disappointed. We were in love once and it hurt a heck of a lot……so love has somehow lost its luster….lost its shine….lost its magic. We are sometimes unwilling to let the relationship move at its own pace without feeling like we have to plan and control every move…every step. We cannot seem to “buy into” the thought that the other person is really “into” us without wondering at every step if there are signs that we aren’t seeing….reasons why we are not right for each other……preliminary yellow caution flags that may or may not precede a red relationship-ending flag.

What would it hurt to allow yourself to embrace the romantic….the magic…the feelings that go deep?? Do we honestly think that if we hold back and the relationship ends that it won’t hurt?? Really?? It’s gonna hurt……it’s gonna hurt more being in a relationship devoid of desire - - the desire of the heart.

John Eldridge writes this in his book Desire:

Most of you will by this time have lost a parent, a spouse, even a child. Your hopes for your career have not panned out. Your health has given way. Relationships have turned sour. We all know the dilemma of desire, how awful it feels to open our hearts to joy, only to have grief come in. They go together. We know that. What we don’t know is what to do with it, how to live in this world with desire so deep in us and disappointment lurking behind every corner. After we’ve taken a few Arrows, dare we even desire? Something in me knows that to kill desire is to kill my heart altogether.

Desire is the source of our most noble aspirations and our deepest sorrows. The pleasure and the pain go together; indeed, they emanate from the same region in our hearts. We cannot live without the yearning, and yet the yearning sets us up for disappointment—sometimes deep and devastating disappointment. One storm claimed the lives of eight of Krakauer’s companions in the Everest disaster of 1996. Should they not have tried? Many have said they were foolish even to begin. Do we reach for nothing in life because our reaching opens us up to tragedy? Because of its vulnerable nature, desire begins to feel like our worst enemy.

Desire…..allowing yourself to desire…to be vulnerable….to invest in the lives of others…truly invest. It’s much like being a kid again. Children have the innate ability to imagine the possibilities… experience great joy… run with no holds barred. What happens when Peter Pan grows up?? He forgets….he explains away…..he is skeptical.

So….what does that mean for me?? It means buying into the “magic” of life…of relationships…allowing my heart to grow….to love genuinely….to be “all in…”

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rescue Me....Nah!!

Growing up in Arkansas, I was enthralled with the story of Petit Jean Mountain - - of how the mountain got its name. Grandma had an old Arkansas history book on her bookshelf and on those hot, muggy summer days, I would pull out the book and read the story over and over again.

There was a French nobleman, Chavet, who gained permission from the king to explore the new world in the 1700’s in order to stake a claim to the land for himself. Chavet was engaged to a young woman named Adrienne Dumont (who is a kindred spirit!!). When Chavet told Adrienne he was off on this new adventure, Adrienne asked that they be married immediately so she could go with him. Worried about her safety and comfort, Chavet told her that he wanted to check out the New World first and if it was safe, they would come back together and be married in the New World.

So……Adrienne cut her hair, dressed up as a boy and gained employment on her fiancée’s ship as a cabin boy. She gave herself the name of Jean. Jean soon won over the hearts of the shiphands with his(her) sunny disposition and they affectionately called him(her) petit Jean.

The ship traveled up the Mississippi and up the Arkansas River to the foot of the mountain. Native Americans met the ship and welcomed the visitors. They invited them to stay atop the beautiful mountain all summer long. The Native Americans fell in love with petit Jean with his(her) spirit and joy for life.

At the end of summer, the ship was preparing to depart for France. The night before departure, petit Jean fell ill. His(her) body was wrecked with fever, convulsions, and sometimes delirium. Jean’s true identity was discovered and she begged for Chavet’s forgiveness. The departure was delayed and the nobleman, shiphands, and Native Americans did everything they could do to help Adrienne, but her sickness became more and more grave. Adrienne asked to go to the top of the mountain where she liked to sit and look over the river. The Native Americans built a stretcher out of deerskins and bore her to the top - to her favorite place. She died at sundown. Her grave still sits in my favorite place on the mountain. As a kid, I loved to sit there on top of the rocks and look over the whole world.

Adventure…………importance……..these are things that stir my heart. Female characters such as Eowyn, Cora in Last of the Mohicans, Sacagawea, Queen Elizabeth inspired me - - they were both beautiful, capable and oh so wonderful.

When I was young, I wanted to either marry Bo Duke (sigh), Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller of course) or Little Joe Cartwright (yes, it’s true). I wanted a part in their great adventure……in their life….in their family. Every day seemed to bring great adventure. I would practice my skills climbing trees, swinging from branch to branch…..rolling down the car windows and jumping through them….moving cattle from one place to another. As a teenager, I learned to drive on an old dirt road and loved nothing more than to fishtail up a hill in my Ford Galaxy 500 pretending that getting up that hill in lightning speed was of the utmost importance (sorry Dad!).

Where did that girl go?? I think I lost her for a while…..but she’s baaack!!!

The X and I had a different sort of relationship. I would characterize it as more of the Desi/Lucy show. I would get myself in all sorts of mischief and complicated situations and the X would enter the scene and in frustration and exasperation, holler “Lucy!!!.” (I think he actually did use that name from time to time)….. He would come home, flour all over the kitchen from the food processor……..animals would be out……paint would be in my hair….whatever. I would look a bit sheepish and apologize……bat my eyes and promise to do better and he would forgive me…..roll his eyes at my tendency for the complicated…..and know that I would never change. The X came to my rescue many, many times from my adventures……

BUT……looking at my life now….do I really WANT to be rescued?? Really?? Do I want a man who will come running in and save me at the last minute (while I am kicking myself for getting in this predicament….again)?? Really??

What I want is not a rescuer - - I want a partner in crime…..someone to have my back while we storm the gates of hell with a water pistol…..someone whose eyes will brighten at a crazy idea and say, “let’s do it…” I want someone who will declare at 11:00 at night that he really wants to cook some wonderful creation with our bounty from the garden…..right now!! Someone who will listen to the sounds of my heart…the desires of my heart and not think they are silly or unattainable. I want adventure----even in the mundane.

Rescue me?? Nah…..let's get out of our predicaments together!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Let's Do the Time Warp.....Again

It's astounding, time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll
But listen closely, not for very much longer
I've got to keep control

It’s a Jump to the left….and a step to the right…….

We all know the dance……some of us all too well. Hearing that song ushers me back to the first time I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show at age 16. I had never experienced anything so fun and interactive in all of my 16 years.

The Time Warp……..that place where our body is in the present, but our mind and emotion are in the past…..a sort of “Back to the Future.” I know the Time Warp well…….

It happens with my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, old classmates……that place where I am an adult but somehow am stuck in perpetual childhood/adolescence in someone’s mind. How often have I said, “I am 40 years old, I think I can handle it…..” How often has my OWN child said, “I am 20 years old, I think I can handle it….” It’s the Time Warp.

Relationships are much the same. We get stuck in a certain “time frame” with others and use that point of reference to judge actions, motives, and even outcomes. The X did that to me during our marriage and it was so very frustrating. No matter how hard I would try to tweak those annoying traits of mine, he was still ticked off at past behavior. Progress was seen as failure because I hadn’t “arrived” yet….I hadn’t completed the inner journey to fix the problem (if only I had a Star Trek transporter to put me where I needed to be).

Honestly, I do the same with him. If he is late with something, I assume he is still being irresponsible….if he shows confidence in something (even HELPING me fix my plumbing), I see it as proof that he is still arrogant. If he is busy…….well, holy cow….he is still busy… I won’t even go there…….

We tend to see each other through the lense of “experience,” however, that is not conducive to reacting appropriately to each other’s change. When I trained horses, I always looked for the, “smallest change and the slightest try.” In training, if I overlook the “tries” the horse becomes dull and unresponsive. Conversely, when I reward the smallest try (by a simple release of pressure), the horse becomes eager to try again, try more quickly and the desired outcome of our partnership becomes easy and seamless.

In horse training, I have to be willing to always start at level 1. If I know that it will always take level 54 to get my horse to do something, and start there, I am taking away his ability to better himself. In human terms, if I know that I have to really get on Junior’s case to mow the lawn and I start at that place, we will never have the benefit of finding that good place to work together….that place of partnership. Capiche?

So for me…..I am looking to find those places with the X where I can work with him as a person instead of the X-husband….to see where he really tries and to really appreciate those things. Life is just so much better that way!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gotta Have Game Time

Gotta Have Game Time

Fundamentals are so important. Basic skills of a sport laying the foundation of good play should be studied and practiced. However, they cannot be perfected unless there is some game time. Little Junior has had somewhere around 14 years of sports experience (and therefore Mom has had 14 years of sitting-in-the-stands-watching experience). I’ve noticed there can be holes in both the foundation of fundamentals and the perfection of skills if there is an imbalance of training and game time. I’ve seen kids thrown in the game without training of fundamentals. They typically emerge with bad habits that either (1) limit their abilities (2) hinder their progress or (3) set them up for injury of themselves or others. Conversely, I have seen kids practice fundamentals over and over, taking lessons, doing drills without being given much game time. They (1) get discouraged and quit every sport they try or (2) get so nervous in the game that they forget their skills and end up out of the game…..again.

Relationships are much the same. You have to have, “game time.” To perfect lessons learned and skills developed, you have to get in the game and allow yourself to play through the stress. The game shows our gaps and the gaps of the opponent. The game is fluid….it’s always changing and causes you to tinker with your skill and style at a second’s notice.

As The Man and I have reached the place where we are thinking of ourselves as a couple and not just “hanging out,” I have been surprised that all of the bad habits I have “gotten over,” start to reappear. This reappearance (much like the reappearance of a once thought dead soap star) has alarmed me and has set the stage of a few tense moments in the past few weeks. Listening skills I knew were perfected seemed to float out the window in the heat of a debate, encouraging words disappear from my vocabulary, once eradicated expressions of, “fine” and “whatever” have reappeared with a vengeance.

What has happened? Why have I reverted to old relational habits? I have been practicing, learning, trying……… why are they back?

After a conversation with The Man about soccer….it hit me. He was talking about kids and sports and the need for game time. The Man spoke of the importance of playing under the stress of a game and how it changes everything. Split decisions have to be made - - last second modifications based upon the other player have to be done. He said that nothing can compare to the lessons learned in the game.


It’s not that I haven’t learned new habits…….it’s not that I haven’t changed my playing style……however, I need “game time” to perfect those skills (as does he). The stress of a relationship - how much time is spent together, unmet or unrealistic expectations, hurt feelings, differences of opinions….all these things put into practice the lessons we have learned. Sometimes we will fail…..sometimes the old habits will come back.....sometimes the game is just hard….. If we take our toys and move on….if we quit playing…if we give up…..our skills will never be perfected. It takes time….but in the words of my horse trainer, Linda Black…..”I take the time now so that I don’t have to the time later.” In other words, if I allow myself extra time now (even if it is inconvenient) to work through issues and not sweep them under the rug, they will not keep reappearing…..getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Quite the converse! If The Man and I take the time now to work through issues that come up in our relationship in a healthy way, those issues will get smaller and smaller and smaller until they are but blips on our radar.

Besides……it’s much more fun to play the game than merely practicing our skills or watching others play!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stories Like These....

Last weekend, I was in Albuquerque for a wedding….. My girlfriend’s son (who is my daughter’s age by the way) was getting married. Of course, I was feeling quite old as I have watched him grow up since he was a goofy, lanky red-headed 11 year old……

I arrived on Thursday afternoon and the final countdown for the wedding was underway. There were still outfits to buy, presents to wrap, relatives to entertain, and last minute changes to consider.

Of course with that…….their great dane was at the animal hospital (she had gotten bitten by something and had a severe allergic reaction), their oldest son (a groomsman in the wedding) had gotten food poisoning and had to go to the ER, a grandfather fell of the step at the wedding, outfits didn’t fit quite right……and other miscellaneous drama that is too complicated to mention... There were times when I looked over at my friend and admired how much grace and beauty she was showing under all the stress. At one point she looked at me and wondered how she was going to get through the day as crisis after crisis appeared. In a moment of inspiration, I told her, “stories like these make for good memories.”

The second the words fell off my lips, I knew that I was, “onto something.” Perspective…. I love that word…perspective. In the midst of transition, crisis, stress, change, we can decide how the events affect our lives……will they stifle us, make us bitter, cause fear or be seen as an opportunity for the next story to share? Will we cower in fear of the next crisis because we feel like we can’t take ONE MORE THING…or will we play with the hand dealt with grace and joy. Will we add it to the list of “what is wrong with our lives,” or will we learn from our mistakes and move onward.

When I was 12 years old, I lived 4 blocks from our elementary school. My best friend and neighbor, Susan, and I would ride our bikes to the school all summer, play on the playground, learn new bike tricks and generally entertain ourselves for hours. The driveway for the school was a large hill. At 12 years old, the hill grade seemed akin to Pike’s Peak. We would fly down the hill, riding our 10 speed bikes with no hands…no feet…..wind in our hair, laughing…….

On one such ride, I was talking with Susan and laughing - riding no hands and no feet, practicing my steering by leaning one way or the other. I didn’t notice a small ramp placed in the middle of the school drive. My bike hit the ramp and I was launched through the air in slow motion. I landed on the asphalt and skidded for what seemed like miles on my left leg. My wound was atrocious…..I had to walk my bike home and could barely walk. The scars from my wipeout are still visible 28 years later.

This week, while remembering the events that summer, I asked myself, “Did it stop me from riding my bike?”.….No… “Did I get fearful every time I got on my bike?”…..No. “Do I explain to everyone around me while riding my bike that I was a skateboard ramp victim and am working through my fears?” Heck No!!! What did I learn from the accident? I learned to PAY ATTENTION… be more aware of my surroundings….to still throw caution to the wind and ride with joy while understanding that there can be dangers ahead.

Our stories shape us, teach us, impact us……..but they are simply that…..stories. Our collection of life stories are what give our lives color….what makes us unique. To latch on to one story and forget the rest is a grave injustice to the beauty of our lives. Embrace the trials, share your successes, laugh, cry…….and when the rain pours down, let it wash over you……while splashing though the puddles in your pink galoshes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Women Need a Little Adventure

April and May have been the months for adventure for me. I have been to California Wine Country, the Kentucky Derby and festivities for the Indy 500. This past month has been full of friends and good times….. exploration….discovery……not of some deep truth within myself……but discovery of fun…adventure… things.

It is so easy to get bogged down in the every day….in the commonplace……and sometimes I think we need to change things up a bit for a fresh perspective or to simply hit the Reset Button.

Women need adventure. To rephrase a concept from Stasi Eldridge’s book, Captivating - women need to feel like Pocahontas leading Lewis and Clark on a great adventure. Now, I am not saying that we all need to go camping or travel in a canoe for months on end. What I am saying is that we need to do things out of the ordinary…..explore (whether it be a new country or simply a new restaurant in town….or heck…even a new nail polish color). We need to get beyond ourselves for a moment (or a week) and get our heart pumping with excitement - - to rediscover laughter. Life gets just too serious sometimes.

As I write this, I am eagerly anticipating my day with The Man. We are going on a bike ride together on a beautiful, sunny Saturday. It’s a little mini-adventure…..a time to get away from the “usual” and do something a little different… build a memory.

Make some time to do something different - even just for a day. Trust me…’s worth the effort!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Currency of Trust

Pocket change…..quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies… adds up over time…but it does take time… John Maxwell equates trust with pocket change. You put in nickels, dimes, quarters when you build trust… take out nickels, dimes, pennies, quarters…when trust is somehow compromised either intentionally or unintentionally….in big ways and in small ways. Trust is a fluid thing…I think….it ebbs and flows…it builds….and diminishes. Lately, I have been thinking of trust as a beautiful fluid work of art - like the ocean…always moving….but beautiful nonetheless.

The idea of the Currency of Trust has been mulling through my mind for about a week or so. It started with me asking myself the questions, “Do I trust?” “When do I trust?” “How do I trust?”

If I trust someone in one area….is it reasonable to think that I will trust them in ALL areas?? I found myself chiding myself for not trying hard enough to trust…..and then I remembered currency….. $10 will get me farther in Southeastern Arkansas than in New York City….US currency may be strong in some areas and not in others. It’s the ebb and flow…..building….and cashing out.

My next thought was of the cashing out process…..what exactly is it that diminishes trust….even for a moment? Does it have to be a breach of trust..or can it simply happen when I am asked to trust in an area that I am uncomfortable? Over the weekend, I shared a story with The Man about my “ancient history.” My knees were knocking my mind was racing. I was telling myself that this is NOT a good thing…..this is a scary thing equal to the monster under my bed… The Man was supportive and completely non-judgmental…but days later, I found myself questioning…..some of the trust pocket change had been spent…..BUT it is an investment, not a loss.

I realized that when I allow myself to use some of that trust pocket change and allow others to draw out of my “account,” the rewards can be great. It is an investment in the future of our relationship - a chance for trust to grow.

Some people simply say that they aren’t trusting people because of their past. They need a constant stream of pocket change put in their account……but here is a thought…..if you hoard your change in a bucket….all you have is change in a bucket…..but if you allow yourself to invest trust in someone…..a business partner, a relationship, a sibling, a child that trust will grow….it will build. Will you be disappointed?? Absolutely without a doubt….but as you grow your bank of trust with others, you will see your relationships change.

So….where does that leave me???? Where is my point of growth?? To trust where I have not trusted before…to allow myself to be vulnerable in areas where I may fail…..where I may once again cry my eyes out… let the past be the past, learn the lessons I needed to learn and let go and trust. Who knows……it may lead to something beautiful inside myself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Importance of The List

Walking through the door after my first post-marriage date, I felt a sense of excitement….of exhilaration….of “Holy Cow…what do I do now???” I had all kinds of questions (mostly about whether or not it was a date or just “hanging out”) and ju-ju-bees inside me….so I did what all women do, I called my best girlfriend, G, and shared my excitement….dissected every move….every word….every nuance (it’s what we women do)….

In sharing my thoughts on how much I liked him, G gently reminded me to keep my head in the game and suggested that I make a list. Being a lover of lists of all kind…..I thought this would be a fun diversion…..little did I know how much it would shape my philosophy of dating. G told me to list qualities-attributes I felt I needed in a potential life partner. Wow…that was thinking far ahead!! Honestly, I just wanted to go out and have a bit of fun and feel beautiful. Her words mulled through my brain for the next few hours…..questions of, “What do I need?” “What is important to me?” “ What type of man would I both respect and stay engaged with?” At 3am on December 11, 2007, I wrote my list in my journal. The List included things such as Close to Family, Likes to Dance, Passionate about God, Has Close Friends, etc.

The List has been an important conversation topic between my single girlfriends and myself. I have encouraged them to make their own lists….to really figure out what is important to them. It’s like networking - Who do you want to meet? Who is a good client for you? Narrow it down.

My suggestions for The List:

Positive attributes only - you can’t prove a negative…. ie: “doesn’t stay out late with his friends every night” isn’t a good list item (maybe he goes out every other night or every weekend or just simply doesn’t include you in his activities and you still have the “problem” that you are trying to avoid)- rather, look at the positive attribute you are wanting.

Keep the list somewhat short - the list does actually need to narrow down the field, however, for the list to be useful it can’t narrow down every single male in America.

Only put the important/necessary qualities on your list - not how tall, what kind of job, how many siblings, etc. It’s not a “wish list” but rather a target list. Although it may seem trivial to others, not dancing is actually a “deal breaker” for me…’s one of my favorite things to do and I spent many years with someone who would not dance….. therefore, it is on my list.

Make your list personal - who cares if everyone else in the world thinks a certain attribute is important……this is YOUR list and no one else has to see it. You are unique and your list should be as well.

Go back and re-read The List from time to time when you are dating someone. Trust does forget. I honestly thought The Man would have a few of the attributes I so carefully thought out. However, when I re-looked at The List, he had almost all of them nailed down (yay!).

So…..what happens when you meet someone amazing, but they aren’t a fit? For me, when I find someone I have “chemistry” but doesn’t jive with my list, I put them in “The Friend Box.” There are many people I like hanging out with…but I don’t have to date them. If I really like them and they aren’t a “dating candidate,” I don’t simply move on and forget they ever existed……I invite them into my life as a friend and enjoy their company. If you look at it in networking terms, you are building an annuity stream of possibilities by building relationships rather than trying to “sell” yourself to everyone you meet. This is how I met The Man….through a great guy I have become friends with over the last year.

The question looms, “why date someone who is not a match for me?” Divorce is very lonely - being single is very lonely. There are times when I just wanted to feel special no matter who the person is…. Eventually, though, I realize this is not a healthy way to go about things - it is actually a recipe for disaster.

I was at a networking event at the end of a very long, tiring day. A glass of wine was definitely in my future! As I walked by the appetizer station, I saw the fried ravioli and made a bee line. Normally, this would be a total “yuk” for me…they weren’t really warm….nor were they particularly appetizing…but there I was piling my plate full. I was tired….hungry…..and stressed. I found myself eating every single one of the cardboard-tasting, cold, fried ravioli squares. I was momentarily comforted - - it met an immediate emotional need. Later, I felt terrible….not just because I ate something not on my diet “list”…but I felt sluggish from all the carbs…and knew that this was not a healthy choice.

Dating is like that - we make unhealthy choices to date people who are not a match for us simply because we want to feel special…..wanted….loved….beautiful….. We are tired from all of the dating…the rejection…the dashed hopes and just want to find someone….anyone. In the end, we are hurting ourselves by setting ourselves up for failure….and even by missing a golden opportunity because we are “with someone” and are no longer looking.

Is The List the “end all-be all” - - no way!! They are guidelines in the true Captain Jack Sparrow sense of the word. But The List can be an important tool to remind ourselves that we hold our opportunity for happiness in our hands….we can exchange our long-term happiness for short term comfort…..or we can invest in non-dating relationships and in those people who will be a true match. The choice is ours.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Over the last week through conversations with friends and people reading my blog, I have come to the conclusion that I have made divorce sound a little too fabulous. Although my journey has been a time of self-discovery and great learning,I am simply playing with the cards I have been dealt…..making the best of a difficult situation…..creating a mosaic with the broken pieces of my life.

In all honesty, divorce is the hardest thing I have ever had to do - - it’s like a death - - like losing your best friend because of a fight - - because of issues that could not be resolved. Divorce brings feelings of loneliness and frustration - - feelings of being unwanted….of being a trinket that is casually tossed away….easily forgotten. No matter if you were the one to leave or the one wanting to stay, there is a grievious moment (or moments) of realizing the person you were going to love forever has moved on with his life…that your relationship will never be fixed…that it is done….forever. Before the divorce…..during those last moments of marriage this moment seems to be one of glorious freedom… reality…it’s like taking a bite into a beautiful fruit and realizing you have a mouthful of rotten, spoiled, nasty fruit……and you want to hurl.

Many people who are married and who are unhappy see divorce as a way to become happy….a way out… be themselves….to be fulfilled…to finally find “the one.” I submit to you that if you are unhappy and unfulfilled when married…….you will become an unhappy and unfulfilled divorcee -- that is unless you do some real work on the inner you and see what you need to change in yourself…..but those things take time and, in my opinion, happen as a way of survival from the trials of the divorce process.

Divorce is lonely. There are so many times I want my old life back. As I sit on my couch this Sunday morning, my eyes tear up as I think about how different things are now….. I just got home from going to church….alone….again. My son is gone on spring break so the house is quiet….again. There is no one to fix Sunday morning breakfast for….there is no one to wake up to and plan our day… My house is quiet….so I am never home. My fabulous girlfriends and amazing guy friends are a tremendous source of joy and support…..but I can’t exactly snuggle with them on the couch on a Saturday night.

I have built a good life….one full of friends, social activities, learning, joy and happiness. At this point, my X is a stranger….someone I don’t have a true connection with - nor do I really want to. I wish I could have talked to that independent, impulsive, passionate young woman who was newly married…..I wish I could have taught her how to be a good wife….a good partner…..a good listener….a good friend to her husband. I wish she would have learned those lessons before the bitterness set in…..before the hurt….before the Grand Canyon was created.

Yes, I have spent a lot of time creating the life I have always wanted - - but I would give anything to have spent that same time and energy creating the life I always wanted with my husband. I don’t write about these things much because I honestly don’t want to dwell on what could have been….on what I don’t have. Holding my marriage together after the affair was not an option I was given… I am playing with the cards I was dealt…..sitting on the edge of my seat hoping that my hand is a winning hand…..I’ve bet all I have…it’s sitting there on the table. Each hand that I win creates a bigger stack of chips for me….enables me to take more and more risk. Sometimes I win….sometimes I loose…..but I am determined to keep playing…even when the stakes are high.

Divorce is not fabulous……but it is not the end of the world…..

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hitting the Reset Button

A few days ago, I was running down the path near my house. Running consistently this winter has been a struggle for me and I am determined to get back on track (my tight jeans and higher numbers on the scale have been quite the incentive). The problem is I am somewhat impatient….okay….I am VERY impatient and I tend to push myself too hard and then pay for it days later.

As I was running, I was getting all of the aches and pains that come from non-use - - my knee started hurting, then my shin, then my big toe, then my pinky toe, then my hip….you get the picture…..all at mile 1. I kept telling myself to just push through….keep going……keep running….one foot in front of the other. My shoulders started to sag and my mind was getting off track. My run was turning more into a shuffle of sorts….trudgery…..hell.

Now I am ALL about pushing myself through the hard times, but I was worried that I would end up injured and not be able to run for a few weeks….so I simply stopped running and began walking. The tape in my head began playing right on cue, “Becky, you need to run…..Becky, you are wimping out…..Becky, you will never get back in shape this way….Becky, you are a total loser…” Remembering my mantra of meditating on all that is beautiful, of good report, noble, and praiseworthy……I turned my thoughts to the positive and told myself that it was okay…that I would run tomorrow…or the next day. I reminded myself getting back on track would take time and there was nobody on the running path judging me….. (although I swear that somehow people are keeping tallies on my running habits as they drive by….but that is subject to another blog and possibly some heavy professional analysis)….

So….walking down the path, I shuffled the songs in my iPod to find something fun. Lo and behold, I felt like running again! My feet were light, my pace was good and no aches and pains. The Reset Button was hit. In allowing myself to regroup, I set myself up for success. In stopping my negative momentum, I was able to direct my energy positively. In the words of my horse trainer, “You can’t go through a pile of manure and come out smelling like a rose.” His point was when things are just falling apart, don’t keep moving in that direction because you feel like to you have to go through it……stop for a moment, regroup and then resume - get out of the mire and onto success.

As I ran back to the house, I thought of how important the Reset Button has been in my survival of divorce. Being able to be in the midst of an emotional crisis and allowing myself to stop and regroup has kept me emotionally healthy. By allowing myself to emotionally stop, I have been able to gain perspective on situations - to look at them with new eyes. When I charge through and become emotionally reactive things fall apart.

So Divorced Diva’s Rule number 3: When you feel overwhelmed, stop - - hit the reset button - find a killer song on your iPod, and start again at your own pace. That way you’ll end up smelling like a rose instead of the other alternative......