I’ll be 47 in just over a month… Forty-SEVEN. Where did the time go?
The strange thing? I feel like I am just starting my life. I’m just starting to live.
I have the rest of my life ahead of me and there is nothing holding me back and nothing that I cannot do. I find myself dreaming… and you know what? dreaming is okay… even if my dreams don’t come true. It is fun to think about what is possible. It is even more fun to have someone to dream with.
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière
I hit the reset button in 2009, and while it was by no means the “easy button“, the effort and sacrifice have been well worth it.
In the process of losing everything, I found myself.
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. ~Anna Quindlen (born July 8, 1952) is an American author, journalist, and opinion columnist.
Fred and I were listening to the TV this morning (or maybe it was yesterday morning) and there was a therapist talking about how to repair a “broken” relationship. As I listened to the steps that were outlined, I realized that Fred and I practice those steps every day.
Our relationship isn’t broken and I believe if we continue on the path that we are on, it never will be.
The key to a great relationship is to not let it get broken in the first place.
I guess it is never too late to learn a valuable lesson and in that, every experience is a learning experience. I’ve taken a negative experience (a failed marriage) and turned it into a learning opportunity and a lesson for what NOT to do this time.
I wrote a love letter yesterday.
I tell Fred that I love him everyday and I do my best to demonstrate that love through my actions, but I felt the need to write those words on paper… a visual and permanent demonstration of my feelings. He is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me.
Some of the pointers given in the TV interview included;
- being able to love yourself,
- setting realistic expectations,
- making time to spend together every day – including time to talk without being interrupted,
- being compatible and finding things you like to do together,
- being kind to each other,
- being honest,
and something I felt was really important
- make it new and fresh every day.
We talked about what we heard and we both agreed that we do these things regularly. Relationships don’t have to be difficult, but they take work in the form of attention.
One thing that I constantly work on is not taking anything for granted. I am very fortunate that the man who I love and adore works equally as hard at keeping our relationship healthy.
We love spending time together. We enjoy doing things together – even things that are not always fun.
We can be together quietly and just “be” together without having to be “together“.
We have joint interests but we also enjoy separate activities (although I really do prefer doing things with Fred rather than without him).
But most of all, we respect each other; we talk, and we don’t take our relationship for granted.
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~ Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer.
I wake up every morning and go to bed every-night totally in love with the man next to me. I’ve never been happier or more full-filled.
For the first time I can be me… I look forward to the future – whatever that will bring. I’ve grown so much in the past couple of years that I can’t imagine that I was ever anyone different from who I am today, but I know that I am, and it feels great!
- You Said You Would Change! (psychologytoday.com)
- Caring (wrotebyrote.blogspot.com)
- How Keep A Good Relationship With Your Partner (expertscolumn.com)
- 7 Vital Choices for Happy Relationships (tinybuddha.com)
I can’t believe how little time I am spending on my blog. I’ve actually found that I am receding into my own little world again… too exhausted to even turn on my computer.
I actually had to make a point of getting on here tonight and as I stared at the screen, wondering what I would write about, I realized that I have let myself get bogged down in the every day trivial pursuits.
Seems like life is whizzing by at light speed and I cannot believe it is already February, almost March… where has time gone?!?!
So, what have I been up to?
Mainly working – seems like I am working A LOT. Not only am I working my regular “day” job, I am spending time with Fred working on the F/V Taku (one day on the weekend) and when I am not doing that I am trying to keep up with bills, laundry, house chores (which is NOT going well), car maintenance…
My day job is mentally exhausting but sedentary.
The weekends on the F/V Taku are hard. I don’t know how Fred does it day in and day out 6 days a week. It is hard, hard work.
My brother made a smart @ss response to Fred about my being responsible for the torch this past weekend… we had a difficult job of removing the very old tar paper from the hull of the boat. Fred has already removed the outer skin and is working at replacing the rotted wood, packing material and fittings.
See, I didn’t burn the boat down…we (Fred really) scraped a good deal of gunk off of the hull… about 10′ by 4′ of area. We still have to chip out the cement and rotted packing. It is crazy! Today Fred started demolishing the house – he has plans for a bigger and better living area. Currently at about 100 sq feet, we may go up to 101 sq feet (hahaha)…
Did I mention that I am still working on simplifying my life and getting rid of material goods – really not getting very far on that endeavor.
Taking care of myself
For the past three weeks I have been getting up at 0500 and going to the gym. While I haven’t lost very much weight (just about 4 lbs so far), I am still working to win that Fat Boy Lo. I am feeling really good. My body fat percentage is going down and I am toning up. So even if I don’t win the motorcycle I am making progress toward being healthier – and in the process I am getting in shape for my hiking trip this fall in the Grand Canyon. It feels good to be active again.
Fred and I have been working diligently on our budgeting and financial goals. I really didn’t want to declare bankruptcy but after the divorce I really didn’t have any other options. The bankruptcy is scheduled to be final in March. One step closer, continuing to move forward.
We’ve been following a financial plan and budget. We talk about every penny that we spend – together. How refreshing! He’s absolutely wonderful, in all aspects of our relationship.
I truly believe that all things come to their end, or beginning, in their own time.
Life is so awesome right now. I knew that if I sat back and didn’t focus on all of the crap I was dealing with, and how “unfair” it all seemed at the time, I would be set free – able to enjoy my life. Finally.
There is just no sense in wallowing in the past. I have so much future to look forward to.
The best thing that I have done these past few months?
Let it go!!!! I’ve let it ALL go!!!
I am no longer angry or resentful. I wasn’t even phased by a snarky message sent to me by the WASband a few days ago (never mind he isn’t supposed to contact me AT ALL!)
No need to respond. I don’t have to acknowledge or expose him, he’ll do that on his own.
What’s next? I am interviewing at the end of this week for a different position in the organization where I work. I am learning new things every day. Challenging myself in new ways. Loving my life.
Life is so much easier when you have someone by your side who shares your dreams and goals.
One thing that I have learned is that I am not going to take what I have for granted. Relationships take work – but they shouldn’t be hard.
The WASband was notorious for “stupid” and/or insensitive (read racist, biased and ugly) comments during our marriage – I can’t imagine that he’s changed this behavior since our separation and divorce.
I haven’t written about him for awhile… haven’t even thought about him… but as I was engrossed in today’s activities with the IDLE NO MORE Prayer Circle I couldn’t help but reflect on just how stupid he really is (and be thankful that he is no longer part of my life – at all).
The first stupid comment he overused was the “little Sue” comment. He thought this was an insult. I am my mom’s “mini me”… we are alike in so, so many ways. Personally, referring to me as her “mini me” is far from an insult.
My momma is AWESOME! and when I grow up I want to be just like her… well, maybe a little less forgetful and a little more organized, but otherwise, YES, just like her! So far, being less forgetful and a little more organized, is going to be a challenge. I’m already displaying “momma” tendencies.
The insults really started flying when I became involved with the Native community in Juneau, AK.
This was the start of an awakening for me.
I can only imagine the fear the WASband must have been feeling as he realized that he was losing control over me.
His next “stupid” comment was repeated over and over to his “friends” – with a sneer and a tone… she’s “gone Native“.
Again, with a superior tone that implied that this was some type of an insult… as if being “Native” was bad.
Really? No wonder he is a WASband…
Canoe Journey opened me up to a completely new way of looking at things. My participation in “native” events has allowed me to be exposed to people and history and culture that I would never have had the opportunity to experience. And you know what? I LOVE IT!
This doesn’t mean that I don’t value and respect my own heritage and upbringing. I do. I’m a Heinz 57. English, French, Swiss, Irish, Dutch, German and who knows (really) what else.
I’ve also experienced, at times, discrimination directed toward me because I am not born “Native”. However, Fred will jokingly say that I am 100% Native (by injection). He cracks me up! I so love that man! His mom told me that I am more Native than some of the Natives that she knew… I took that as a compliment.
The most important thing that I have come to realize is that we really are ALL ONE PEOPLE.
We share ONE PLANET.
One of the WASbands favorite things to do was to point out the blemishes of everyone around him, and I do mean EVERYONE!
Even his “friends”. I used to just snicker when he did this – pot calling the kettle black, EVERY SINGLE TIME! It is too bad that people didn’t call him on it. What a sad and lonely life he must live.
Every person, family, group, community and nation has issues. Whether alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, poverty, racism, mental illness or any other type of issue/stigma, those issues are not limited to one group or culture.
For every sarcastic, rude or stereotypical comment the WASband made about “Natives” he failed to realize that he was describing every negative characteristic about himself.
He did a very good job of convincing me that it was time for me to move on.
I have been blessed to be accepted into the Native community. Blessed to have so many friends, and now family, that I did not have before. Blessed to have a man in my life that I absolutely love and cherish.
So, if “going Native” is a “bad” thing, I’ll do it and be thankful for the opportunity.
And after today’s event, I am happier than ever to be a part of a wonderful community of loving, caring and sincere HUMAN BEINGS.
- ‘Make Me Asian’ App Sparks Online Backlash (wnyc.org)
Had a big day today. Not my proudest moment but a necessary step in moving on with my life.
As hard as I tried to keep the creditors at bay and pay down the marital debt I ended up with (I was working it to the end), I was unable to do so. I admit defeat.
I tried the “debt management” program. I’ve been using only cash for the past 24 months.
I have sold nearly everything I could possibly sell to keep up with the debt, there’s nothing left. Nothing…
The divorce has left me financially devastated and a reduced income has added to the issues.
I had my 341 Meeting of Creditors today. Sigh… one more step in putting the divorce behind me.
I have to say that while people will tell you that bankruptcy is a horrible experience, compared to my divorce process, it has been a piece of cake. Though I do not recommend it.
If anything this has been a humbling experience that has required that I really delve into the underlying issues with regard to my finances and spending.
I know how I got into debt.
I agreed to the “fair and equitable” distribution of marital “property” as part of the divorce.
I am a grown-up. I am dealing with it.
Learning a new way of thinking about money:
Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you get away with poor spending/saving habits. I’ve had to account for every debt and for every penny that I have spent over the past 24 months. I’m still on the hook for some of the debts, they will not be discharged.
I had to complete Pre-Filing Debt Counseling.
There was a meeting of the creditors today where I had to declare under oath that the information I provided was true, in front of a room full of people, all in similar situations as me.
I just completed the Post-Filing Debtor Education tonight.
In my mid-4o’s I am essentially starting over.
I didn’t really expect to feel any amount of “relief” today. It is just another day.
Fortunately, I have a wonderful partner by my side who is committed to assisting me with this “financial” makeover. It feels good and I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Something else that I am doing is taking my financial education seriously. I have been doing a lot of reading and the system/program that makes the most sense for me at this point is the Financial Peace University/Total Money Makeover with Dave Ramsey.
It just makes sense. Not easy to do, but I’ll keep plugging away at it because I know that it will work.
Have you ever had to declare bankruptcy? If so, how did that change your habits? What are you doing differently? How do you manage your finances?
Related articles (not necessarily endorsed by me… just some more information for you)
- Bankruptcy During & After Divorce | eLocal (elocallawyers.com)
- Free Gifts From Dave Ramsey: 2 Downloadable Audio Books (Through January 31st) (hip2save.com)
- Handling Your Debt Problems When Dealing with a Divorce (debtconsolidationusa.com)
Well, I posted WordPress’ perspective of 2012 so now it’s my turn to share my perspective on 2012.
2012 was a big year for me. Big, BIG, BIG
Here is a recap of the biggest events in my life for 2012
My daddy passed away – Miss you papa
Left Alaska and moved back home with my mamma and the love of my life – happy to report that the predictions of some that living at home with mom wouldn’t last (bets were 1 week and the other was max – 9 months) – phhhhffffft, we are having a ball. Mom, Fred and I could be described as the three stooges. Lot’s of laughs around here.
Lost my 23 year old furry man… He’d been through it all with me. RIP Sammy… aka “Shitty B’kitty” 03/09/2012
Mom fell and broke her neck… that was a roller coaster but she’s doing well and we continue to yuck it up on a daily basis.
But it wasn’t all bad. I did after all get my first motorcycle and I rode it!
I finished one job and started a new one. Enjoying the fact that I took a job where and work stays at work.
I got busy in June with a new “adventure” – the F/V Taku. I work my regular job during the weekday and spend the weekends with Fred working on the fishing tender.
June was also a month for self-reflection… a lot of self-reflection. The divorce kept getting uglier and I just kept plugging along.
July & August -
No posts in these two months, had to focus on breathing and getting myself out of bed. Yes, I was depressed and just trying to cope. Thank goodness for Fred, my mom, my family and my friends.
My highlights of those months… working with Fred on the F/V Taku
Who would believe that it took me nearly a week to post about my divorce being FINAL!! Woot Woot! It was actually final on August 30th, 2012 but I didn’t post about it until September 8th… probably just wanted to make sure it really happened.
October was pretty awesome but sad too. I officially received my Tlingit name but had to say goodbye to the best mother-in-law that I wish I had… or as close to being the best mother-in-law as I would ever have.
I attempted to focus on everything I was thankful for in November, but in all reality, I am thankful everyday. My life is so different from what it was and I am so very happy. I have a great life.
We had a huge issue with getting our last box of goods shipped from Alaska, thankful that I am persistent and thankful that I am learning to stand up for myself. I can be kind and firm, no need to be bitchy. No one is going to step all over me again… NO ONE!
The highlight of November? A visit from the kids – man I really miss them!
Well, I’ve only posted once so far in December, and this post will be post #2 (and I had better hurry or it will be the first post of 2013!)
December was a very busy month. No time to spare. It was the first Christmas without my dad but it was a good one. The family was together and happy. Just what he would have wanted.
The highlight of the month? Getting our portraits taken for my mom. It was the only thing that she asked for, the only thing that she wanted. A picture of her kids. Four out of five isn’t bad… we were so rowdy that the photographer had to ask us to settle down (not really), but we were laughing so hard we were crying.
We added name labels to a copy of the photo as a cheat sheet for mom… Hello, my name is…
I love my family! They absolutely ROCK!
2013 is going to be a great year. I can feel it. I don’t make resolutions, but I am going to continue to work toward fulfilling my LIFE LIST.
This is the first year that I am truly FREE of the past and it feels good!
The best part of this NEW year? Having my guy by my side… LOVE HIM SO, SO MUCH!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE! 2013 IS GOING TO ROCK!!!
Week 11 – Week of 10/04/2012
Weekly Weight – Loss/ + Gain: 0.0
Total Weight – Loss/ + Gain: +13.2 since February 26, 2012
Total Inches Lost: No measurements
56117 steps taken
91 floors climbed
24.55 miles traveled
Trip Planning Notes: Still no planning…
The grand kids have been in town for the past week. I was able to take time off from work and that allowed me to get some extra steps/mileage in this week.
I earned a new award! See there is something to be happy about… even if I am at my heaviest weight EVER!
I really enjoy my job, but it is so sedentary. I have to make a conscious effort to get in physical activity.
I’ll just keep plugging away…