Saturday, March 29, 2014

If We Were Chatting Over Coffee

Since I'm at the beach this weekend (where it's supposed to be rainy and not as sunny as last weekend), I thought I'd pre-schedule a coffee chat as though we were sitting on the patio (or in the living room) staring out at the waves and talking about life.

If we were chatting over coffee this morning, I'd probably ask you all sorts of questions about what you're up to and how you're feeling. I truly want to know what's going on with others, but I've also learned that when people see you as a person of optimism, strength, and generally don't always want to tell them anything else. (Hence one of the reasons I have spent times of being quiet..and why it's been harder to talk to friends at times.) I'm also realizing though that when given the opportunity to talk in a comfortable, safe, and non-advising and non-judgmental setting...the thoughts and feelings pour out and I can probably become selfish and overwhelming.

So first, tell me about you, because I want to know what's passing or solidly remaining in your heart and mind.

When it's my turn, I would probably then tell you:

---about how Anna is shedding like a banshee which means almost daily brushing, multiple times a week vacuuming, and my newly vacuumed car already being coated in her dog fur. On the positive side, this gal (while already being an amazing dog) continues to evolve into an even more stellar companion (well minus her developed belief that she needs to mark her territory every 1/4 mile on our runs :)). I can't transmit the joy she brings though when she shares kisses and snuggles, nuzzles my face to wish good morning, sticks by my side on hikes and while lounging, and greets me with her stuffed puppy in tow upon my arrival home. :)

---about how the cats have a vet appt scheduled for Monday. In all honesty, I've never actually taken them in for a check-up or vaccinations (I know, I know, bad owner), but have wanted to do so during the last year. I had a classmate express interest in a cat and so we're in conversation about trying to rehome Lady to her next week and I want to ensure that she has a clean bill of health before giving her to someone else. I have mixed emotions about parting with this adorable little cat as we've actually bonded more in the last year than in all the years prior. However the truth of the matter is that Lady has transitioned to wanting and needing more attention than in years past and since she doesn't like being around the dogs or the other cat, it has been difficult to equally provide for her needs as well. My classmate and I have decided that if she's disease-free, then we'll transition her for a trial period to see if/how she adapts to a new location. As sad as I am, I do think it could be a good move for her, and selfishly the idea of having three pets instead of four is also appealing.

---about how housemate M got a DUI in February and his response to it has made me open my eyes about how lenient I can be with certain individuals in my life. Having the child and grandmother here has not been a problem thus far, but I also was less than impressed with the effort he put forth and the outburst he had just prior to their arrival. I also have concerns about my ability to sustain a second renter in the home based on the behaviors that I've seen (and his general lack of engagement) in the three and a half months he's been back in the home. In "holding" the room for him to use for his family (and overlooking offers from Airbnb renters), I also realized that I have lost approximately $1000 to this point with the potential of another $600 in May. For me that is a massively significant amount of money and one that in hindsight was not worth "being nice." This coming week we'll be having a "come to Jesus" conversation that might result in his needing to find a new housing option.

---about how finishing 7 last weekend made me remember how passionately I have had a desire to do mission work and adopt internationally...both of which are renewed items in my mind and heart while I try to see how life evolves over the coming years.

---about how it's nice to be shuffling through thoughts and responses to prior values as they arise and trying to discover which ones I want to reapply to myself. As previously mentioned, I'm realizing that a lot of who I want to again be and perhaps partner with (should that happen again) is really pretty similar to who and what I wanted before. Chalk it up to processing like a 30 year old when I was 16 and living like a 16 year old when I was grieving and emotionally lost at 29/ it any wonder that the version I'd decided on at 26 is pretty much where I'm returning to meet in the middle again?!

---about how interestingly one thing that I've felt surfacing for the last couple months is that running and outdoor pursuits is what I do but it's definitely not how I would choose to define myself. If you asked me about myself I'd probably tell you about my job and how important it has become to me to truly live out that which I teach to my students. (In fact one of my best pieces of feed back this term was that I was truly doing that...leading my students by example and showing that it is obtainable even while we're all constantly striving for increased improvements, ie I probably should use more sunscreen, still figure out nutrient loading, etc etc) These thoughts have all been important to me during this process because I'm not entirely sure that I will always be a "runner," "endurance athlete," or wanting to continue backpacking in the summer. I'm still figuring out what I'd like the five year version of myself to be and what I want that to include, but I also think these are important questions to ask myself in case I do want to find a new partner at some point. I don't want to mismarket myself and I also want to ensure that I know myself well enough to choose someone who yes has similar interests but also is representative of the life I want to head toward. I see myself wanting to continue living a healthy life style (and hopefully getting to travel more than the last five years have allowed), but I also DO want a family, to still engage in the things I've come to enjoy and to re-engage in others, but to probably do less non-stop physical demand to my body as well.

---about how in the moments and few days that I've had the house to myself (this week and in December), I'm realizing that I'm getting to the point where I do want to be able to live in my house on my own. At first during the divorce, it was incredibly lonely all the time, and while I do still feel it's a lot of house for just one person (environmentally) and in the evenings I sometimes wish I had that best friend/partner to which I could turn and share the random thoughts that enter and pass through my mind, I'm also relishing the freedom and flexibility of moments alone. I like being able to turn up the radio while making breakfast in the morning, sleep with the bedroom door open, not worry about anyone passing through while I'm reading on the sofa, and while TMI, it'd be great to be able to run through the house naked without having to worry about someone else catching the view! :)

---and about how for the first time in the two years since we initially separated, I just started sleeping on the opposite side of the bed. When the ex and I were first together we actually rotated sides of the bed because it felt fun (well and there were plenty of times that we actually slept in separate beds too), but in the three years of the time in Oregon one side was always "his" and one was always "mine." This is in part because we bought a mattress that was split based on firmness (although we could have rotated it). In the last two years, his side has been dominated by the dogs, who I let start sleeping on the bed to make the king size (needed for his tall frame and his dislike of touching) seem less massive. In my mind it has always been the "other" side of the bed however and this week I'd wondered if part of my sleeping issues might stem from my complete dislike of the mattress. Thus (even though the middle is a bit more rounded), I'm making it my personal goal for the next couple weeks to reclaim the entire mattress as my own--meaning reclaiming the "empty" side..and eventually trying to flatten out and claim the middle. So far the dogs (and now Major thanks to the rain) have had no issues with the disruption to what has been our normal. (And while it hasn't totally helped the at least feels like a step forward in conquering another small mental hurdle.)

I hope any of you who are reading are enjoying a renewing and restoring weekend, and if we were meeting for coffee, what would you share?


  1. Oh man, missing out on $1,000 and potentially $600 seems like a lot to me, too! I hope that your conversation with him goes well because that is a lot of money when things are tight to start with... Your comments about what defines you are really interesting because I haven't really had to think about how to summarize who I am outside of professional situations where I have to give my schpeel about why someone should be interested in me. Running really defined me for so long so I felt sort of 'lost' when that was taken away. I still think it defines me, but not in the way that I need to date a runner - but I do need to be with someone who values an active lifestyle...

    If we had coffee today I'd tell you that my weekend in Savannah was good for my soul. I'd tell you that I am really anxious about the weeks to come as they are going to be hectic and intense, but that I am more hopeful about finding a way out of Charlotte than I was a month ago.

    1. Yea, unfortunately its not likely that money will appear to me, but changes are still on the horizon. I feel the same about potential partners--it'd be great to have someone who actually wants to join hikes, the occasional run, and/or has their own separate outdoor interests too but I also don't know that I want to be with someone who needs their partner to be a lifetime runner, etc. SO glad that your trip to Savannah was everything your soul needed--your time in Charlotte is almost up and I'm hoping & praying a new option will be headed your way soon.