Beach Birthday

I had an AMAZING birthday. All I wanted was to sit on the beach and watch the sunset. 


What I got was much more. 

My kids, Bean, his two boys and I met up at the beach. We had a picnic for dinner and then played in the surf and sand for hours, tossing around a frisbee and football. 


And of course there was sunset. 



Just an all around awesome day for which I am SO grateful. 

No facebook – Month One

Before shutting down my account, I asked whether I should let people know that I was leaving and make sure they had my contact info, but I realize the people I follow most on Facebook, are also the ones whose lives I am very much involved in. I figured these people have my cell number, we text and send pics etc and they physically know where I live. Plus, I remembered reading an article on Thought Catalog or some similar outlet which said announcing your Facebook departure is seen a dramatic, attention-seeking thing.

With ^this^ in mind, I just shut down my account. I didn’t just freeze it. I downloaded a copy of my entire feed and completely left. Adios.
DO YOU KNOW that people I talk to on the regular believe I had blocked them from my Facebook account – for no ascertainable reason? Seriously! My best friend even, told me she was going through a lot of medical shit and could have really used the support. I certainly apologized for anything I had done to contribute to that feeling. That’s not cool. For the life of me though, I couldn’t understand it because we had been texting and snapchatting, etc. Apparently though, I missed the posts.

This was not a solitary incident either. Even family members assumed that I blocked them.

I do not understand this. 

Bizarre. 

And I quote …

​We are exactly the same. We are individual pieces of a scattered puzzle and we are just a little lost down here. We are all desperate for reunion and we are trying to find it in all the wrong places. We use bodies and drugs and food to try to end our loneliness, because we don’t understand that we’re lonely down here because we are supposed to be lonely. Because we’re in pieces. To be human is to be incomplete and constantly yearning for reunion. Some reunions just require a long, kind patience.

Today was a good day

Today was the day Bean and I took a giant leap into a future together, with kids in tow.  He brought his boys, BB (8) and Max(6), over to my house for the first time to have a early 4th of July shindig, with my Pickle(21), Jedi (16) and Diva(14). It reminded me of high school chemistry. We put all kinds of different stuff together and waited for the reaction. 

My Dad went out of his way to make Bean’s boys feel like a regular members of our clan and I love him so much for it. He got all 5 of them super soaker water guns and thus, allegiances were made to water war. My kids acted like kids. None of them batted an eye or balked at the idea of child’s play. The big kids helped the little kids with strategy and ammunitions, while Bean and I prepared food. Then we all ate together, kept casual conversation going that entertained all parties, followed by a bonfire, smores and fireworks. 

It was a much needed good day for all parties involved and I am grateful for it. 

side sick

Ive been sick the last couple days. 

Lots of sick after having the audacity to eat steak at a wedding Saturday and again Sunday while having Fathers Day dinner with my Dad.  Bad move…

The being sick seems to have passed while the feeling sick hasnt OR I did not absorb enough anti-depressant during being sick. Sigh. 

It’s usually hard to tell until you’re drowning … tumbling down the rabbit hole. 

Kids have been quiet, doing the lazy, teenager summer schtick. 

Dog is still low-key dying *sniff*

BOY friend is out of town. Family vacation. Which feels a little weird to type… 

It’s strange to know so many intimate details of someone’s life and yet … not know them intimately, in that way.

                         See, it’s weird. 

Wait … is this the rabbit hole?

As ominous clouds gather

It’s been threatening to rain/storm all day, literally and figuratively speaking. 

Figurativively, Im trying to cope, calm the storm inside my wild breaths and not lash out like I normally do when someone backs me into a corner: CLAWS OUT. The bottle of wine, Im working on finishing on my own would tell me Im going to need a better coping mechanism. Fuck. Whatever. Look, when someone tells you they would like to have a therapy session with you so that they can “relay things” to you with an assured “support person” to be on hand for you after said things are relayed, I think most would agree is ominous. Not something I would normally sign up for, but I am doing it for my mother. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. There has just been far too much anti-climatic drama in our family since my sister got pregnant. I have been cut out and my Mom, whom would deny this if ever asked,  was placed in the middle.  

I got a call last March. I missed that call while I was driving and attempting to follow voice navigated directions, it went to my  voicemail. Over a year has passed and I still wonder: What if I had only received that call? What if I had not needed direction that night. I pulled into a CVS and listened to the voicemail. It was my sister telling me that she was pregnant. Happy tears rolled down my cheeks as I couldn’t even gather myself to listen to the other details, so I hung up and called her right back. Straight to voicemail. I let my elation and joy unfold in a voice message. I hang up and call directly back to my own voicemail to completely listen to the whole message. Sister says she is due in September. She said that since she was past the first trimester, as well as her and my brother in law, (DC),  wedding anniversary was coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, she and DC were planning a Facebook post to tell everyone, but she had still wanted to tell me formally. It tasted like the real thing, but looking back on that last word: formally I have to wonder if this was EXACTLY all she meant to do was to formally tell me she was pregnant. 

Fine, we can have a formal only sister interaction, hell, even if begrudging this seems likes a civility that our parents, who have invested so much here could have holidays with their children and grandchildren without the drama, but no, that couldn’t be what she meant because I wasn’t ever formally or even informally invited to either of her baby showerS, friends and also family, out-of-town with my Mom’s entire side of the family and where was Stephanie?  

Did anyone ask?  I digress…

Whatever is to be said, and I steongly feel, I already know but am trying to delude myself into believing there must be something more. What I do know is that there is just absolutely no excuse that will dismiss the great injustice I feel. 

To be continued …

if-you-cannot-love-her-stormy-weather-she-isnt-the-woman-for-you .

Men are analyzers.
When we’re not feeling our best or something isn’t working, we try to figure out what’s wrong. We think the situation through. We calm ourselves down and look at problems systematically. We look for root causes or missing parts or broken pieces. Then, after identifying the cause of the issue, we usually come up with some sort of solution.
We decide, after thinking on it for a day or so, that we need a new fan belt, more vitamin C, or some vodka and a 50 dollar bet on the number six horse. We apply the solution and, before we know it, the car is running great, our sinuses have cleared up, and we’ve blown off the steam we needed to blow off. Problem fixed—except for the hangover.
Issues start when we try to approach our relationship problems in the same way, when we try to project our way of doing things onto the women in our lives.
It might look a little like this:

~

We come home after work or go to her place after school. The moment we walk through the door, we notice her foul mood. Frustration is built up in her furrowed brow. She is a storm cloud ready to crack. Even the room seems to have darkened with her anger. Her wrathful silence is so foreboding that we find it repulsive. A primal part of us might even be a little afraid at these powerful and dark emotions.

“What’s her problem?” is the first question that pops into our heads.

We immediately go into problem-solving mode. We assume there is a specific cause. We assume there is a singular issue that can be addressed that will fix the situation. We rack our brains, but can’t think of anything. Did we forget a birthday? Forget to call? Not notice a new haircut? We can’t figure it out, but no matter how much we ask her what’s the matter, she constantly tells us it’s nothing.

Why does she have to be so complicated?

We sit with her in silence. Maybe make a few more attempts to find out what the problem is. Maybe she lashes out at us because we keep asking, and we don’t really know what’s going on. Maybe we make the terribly silly mistake of telling her to calm down. Eventually we walk out, telling her we’ll come back when she figures out what her issue is and can talk it out like an adult.

At this point, we’ve not only failed our woman, we’ve failed ourselves.

We’ve wrongly assumed her situation is the same as a bike with a broken chain. We’ve wrongly assumed it’s as simple as finding the right piece we need to fix it. We’ve wrongly assumed, like all the other problems in our lives, that it’s our time to take control of the situation.

Like a ship’s captain that finds his vessel has strayed off course, we attempt to change her direction. We’ve tried to steer her, but our woman is not a ship. We are not her captain. She’s the ocean that we’re sailing in—vast and mighty. If we try to wrestle her immense waves we will lose every time. We will drown. She might not even know she’s doing it, but she will swallow us.

Our job is not to be the captain, or even the ship. Our job is to be the rock standing strong on the shores of the ocean that we love. Our only job is to be there, and to be there for no reason other than our love for her waters.
Like any other body of water, there will be days when she crashes against us. Wave after wave, it might feel like the ocean will never again be calm. When her tide is high we may feel like we’re about to drown. Sometimes she hits us so hard we think we might crack. But if we remain full and abundant in our love for her, and constantly present in our masculinity, it will pass.
Her waters will quiet. She will once again lovingly caress us, her waves gently lapping at our ankles. She will completely open her heart in response to our stubborn love. She will trust in our strength, and feel safe in showing us the depths of her dark and healing waters. She’ll let us dive into her completely and we will taste her salty kiss. She’ll show us just how much we have to learn from the mysterious gifts she has to give us.
Until, of course, another storm brews on the horizon. But, our job as the rock never ends.

So if you cannot love her stormy weather as much as you love her sunrise , she isn’t the woman for you. If you cannot find humour in the situation and her need to close up, lash out, or walk away, you’re not the man for her.

If when her waters get rough you cannot give your unconditional love to her, you’re treading in an ocean too deep and powerful for your swimming abilities. It is better for you both if you find a smaller pool to dip your timid feet in, and for her to find a man willing to embrace her inherently wild and endlessly passionate nature.
Author: Michael Giorgi 

The Mystery 

Having met you later in life,there are no memories of

young romantic love,

high school roller skating parties,

college weekdays longing for your touch.
No memories of experiencing together

life’s first tastes of freedom

or the innocence of believing that

we had all the time in the world.
I never knew your young body nor you mine;

those days when I looked radiant in the morning.
When life finally brought us together

We stood before each other

In the stark reality of all we had become.

Too mature to hide

Yet secretly wondering

If the other would stay

And if love was worth the trouble

After all this time.
Piece by piece

We removed the layers of life

Shedding off what no longer served us

Until we discovered a place deep inside,

Beyond judgment, expectation,

Or what anyone else thought
Where we found only pure light.
Smiling, we instinctively knew

We had everything we needed

For the rest of the journey.
Now

With you by my side

I can see the light in your eyes

Reminding me

Of who we really are.
Forgiveness has never been so easy

And love so real.
Having met you later in life,

The knowledge that our time here is limited

Grows stronger with each passing moment.
Instead of running,

I pause and breathe.

Hold your gaze.

Feel your energy.

And open my heart to the mystery of life. 

Author: Christy Sperrazza

Note to Self

1. This isnt a fairy tale, it’s real life and you will create the ending. 

2. Never start a relationship with someone in a desperate state.  When you are lost at sea, any port will be the right port. 

3. If you want to give something a shot, then have the patience to wait this out, let the dust settle and start with a solid foundation. That’s faith. 

4. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Take the time to sit down and write a plan of action. Review your best/worst case scenario and plan for both. 

5. Seek help. Professional help. A counselor who can help you work through the issues BEFORE creating a volatile scenario for you or your children. 

6. Actions speak louder than words – ALWAYS. Pay attention to what they do, not what they say.  

7. If someone wants a future with you and your children, they should be doing everything to show up as a complete person, not in pieces that you’re going to put back together. 

^^remember that if nothing else^^

Friends First

Sometime around New Years I signed on to a dating site. I took the time to write a very detailed “About Me” section and then, I was overwhelmed by the response. 

So overwhelmed that I didn’t respond to any messages and I shut down the profile. After a long discussion with my (longest) male friend about my experiences over the past year and my expectations moving forward, his advice to me was: “Slut it up, Stephanie”.

It sounds way worse than the intended message, which was that I needed to end my streak of serial monogamy and just go on a TON of dates, embrace my passion for meeting and learning new people, listening to their stories and getting to know them. It is one of my favorite past times and something I set aside as my depression turned me inward. He was absolutely right. I know what I want and need in a man, but not every man can handle me full on. I have learned that the answer is NOT becoming smaller to make him more comfortable, but I wasn’t sure what the answer actually was. 

Then I began to grow curious and inspected my relationship with this man and why it had lasted 25+ years. Yes, we dated in high school, but even denying a marriage proposal didn’t end our friendship. <— THIS IS THE ANSWER. 

Why is it that when we go into dating that we automatically focus on finding love, instead of friendship? Why do we get so anxious about our worth in a complete stranger’s assessment? Why are we waiting for returned calls, texts and affections to determine our relationships fate? When we don’t hear from a friend, why do we reach out and ask if everything’s ok, instead of thinking “They don’t like me. I wonder what I did wrong?”. 

Turns out upon closer inspection, my longest lasting, most fulfilling relationships were with my friends. The ones who love me just as I am and unconditionally. Those friends have become my tribe, my family. I love my friends. 

Shouldn’t love be … friends on fire? 

Just think about the difference that could make in our lives by approaching romantic partners with a friends first philosophy. 

I’ve started trying. 

I reactivated my account and changed my status to “Looking for: Friends”. I weeded a ton out and also saved myself a whole lot of time just by this one simple click. The results amaze me. Ive been on more quality dates with more like-minded individuals in the last two weeks, than I have in my entire adult life. Im making new friends and I love it. 

Perhaps a prospect may indeed start a fire, but in all honesty, I am able to fully enjoy and engage without reservation outside of romance and because Im already certain that I am a friend, accepted just as I am, Im daring greatly without the fear of anything being swept out from under me. 

Friends first. I highly recommend it.