Walking On Sunshine

Ever since my hysterectomy, I’ve had a really tough time with my fatigue. With fibromyalgia, it’s difficult to tell when fatigue is just fibro, or when it is something more serious. I knew that my vitamin D levels were low, but they had come up. After spending so much time recovering from my surgery and not really seeing any daylight, my D levels dropped again, lower than when I started. I can’t really spend time in the sun because of my risk for melanoma. Screwed either way.

My doctor suggested I hit up a tanning salon (hello, if I could do that, I would sit in the sun!). Instead, I decided to look for some vitamin D lights. I did a little research and came across ALZO full spectrum lights. Oddly enough, they are the same lights I use for my studio photography, only smaller. My photography lights are huge, and I need them for shoots, so I don’t like to use them every day. These are only 45 watt CFLs, about 9 inches long. They don’t fit in a regular lamp, but they fit perfectly in my photo light stands. They are inexpensive enough that I can leave them out for every day use and not be freaking out about them breaking.

It’s been about three weeks since I started using them, and it’s glorious. I still need naps and randomly fall asleep, but I’m feeling a ton better. I’ve managed to do a photo shoot with Aubrey, and get some stuff done around the house. I’ve also started my own social media company (TypeSpecific.com). It only takes a few hours a week, and I love having that little extra money and LOTS of extra self-esteem that comes from working and being REALLY good at it. Few people truly understand how awful fibromyalgia is for someone who has never been a stay at home person. I need things to do, or I will literally climb the walls. It’s even worse when I’m too tired to climb the walls. Then, I just want to scream.

Even though I’m dead serious when I say I’m making a tiny smidge of money, it’s enough to pay Matt’s tuition, or buy a couple of tires for Ron’s car, or allow Aubrey and I to go out for lunch. Truthfully, I think my initiative and drive impressed Ron; he’s been just as excited for me as I am for myself. It’s not about the amount of money. It’s about earning it.

It’s amazing what a little sunshine (or in my case, sunshine surrogate) can do.

“And don’t it feel good!”

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Good Morning To You…

My dear friend and favorite Brit blogger, Mummy Big Bum, ever so graciously tagged me in a game of

I love these “get to know me / get to know you” blog games, especially since I have a lot of new followers (and some older followers!) that I don’t know very well. I like to think of my readers as dear friends, who are willing to spend a moment of their time clicking on my site. So here goes:

The Rules of The Game

1. Post the rules.

2. Answer the questions. (You might be wise to answer more succinctly than I have; I got a bit carried away)

3. Create 11 new questions.

4. Tag 11 people with the post.

5. Let them know you tagged them.

These are Mummy Big Bum’s questions that she created for her #3. I will answer as honestly as I can, and I hope that the people I tag will do the same for my questions!

  • Would you prefer to live on a canal boat or in a caravan? I would defiinitely live in a caravan, or as we say across the pond, an RV. Back in the day, I dreamed of being a techno-gypsy. Most software developer contacts were for six months at a time. I wanted to be like Gonzo from the tv show, Trapper John, MD. I thought I could travel from city to city, working for six months then moving on. However, having two children made that somewhat more difficult. Well, it made it impossible.
  • Which comedian would you most like tickets to see? Lewis Black, hands down. He makes me pee my pants every time I watch his specials.
  • What food would you want to be served at your last supper? OMG, gluten, gluten, and more gluten. I would eat Krispy Kreme donuts, cranberry orange muffins from Broadway Daily Bread, Birdman Bread from Broadway Daily Bread, a hundred pounds of bread from Outback Steakhouse, my friend Bill’s New England Apple Pie, a chocolate chip Pizzookie from BJ’s Brewhouse, and garlic bread. Lots and lots and lots of garlic bread.
  • What do you think to the celebrity trend of choosing bizarre names for their offspring? And some of us ‘norms’ following suit? I think it’s child abuse. Personally, I chose my children’s named based on what it would sound like if I had to yell it across a busy shopping mall. It served me well, as I have had to yell it many, many times.
  • Which TV show from your childhood do you wish could be around today for the new generation to appreciate? Kaptain Kangaroo! I loved that show, and Mr. Green Jeans was my absolute favorite. Hm, I wonder if that’s on YouTube?
  • Have you got any fun Easter traditions? Well, when my kids were kids, Easter baskets were like Christmas trees. There were presents and chocolate and chocolate…ooh, and more chocolate. Then we would go to their paternal grandmother’s house were she would hide plastic Easter eggs with slips of paper that had amounts of money written on them, from a nickel to a dollar. There were a couple for each person, with their initials on them. If you found an egg with your own initials, you’d get double the amount of money that was written in that egg. The kids loved it, and even we parents would play. There would be 11 of us out in the tiny yard looking for a couple dozen eggs. In all my ten years spent in that marriage, Easter was one of my favorite holidays for going to my MIL’s.
  • Should I buy the largest shed I can afford so I have the optimum storage facility, or buy something small that’ll be easier to transport if we move house? I’m a hoarder of craft supplies. I would say buy the largest shed you can afford. However, you don’t want it to take over your entire yard…we have three sheds on skids and a playhouse on a cement foundation in a tiny yard. Not to mention that the people who lived here before us built a regulation half-size basketball court that takes up more than a third of what’s left. But assuming you don’t have a basketball court and multiple sheds, go for the biggie.
  • How do you suggest I stop myself devouring the entire contents of my fridge each evening? Eat until 7pm and then brush your teeth. Also, Chromium Polynicotinate (it’s very, very important that you get the Polynicotinate kind) will stop an appetite dead in its tracks.
  • Did you read this post or just skim through in order to find the questions at the end?! I read everything you write, voraciously. You’re hilariously talented, and while you’re not JKR yet, I think you will be in the end.
  • Do you believe in God or have any other spiritual beliefs? Yes, one stronger than all the rest…Jesus said to “love one another.” I think the evangelical “Christian” fanatics like to ignore that bit. I generally believe in the destiny of the Universe, and that things play out the way they are meant to be, even if it’s not what we had in mind.
  • Are there any circumstances under which you would have an abortion/encourage your partner to have one? I did have an abortion when I was 18. I had gone to PP to get birth control pills, but became sexually active in the first month. BCPs don’t work in the first month. I was five weeks along, which really means three weeks of embryonic development, since they measure pregnancy from your last menstrual cycle, and women generally ovulate two weeks later than that. I’m a firm believer in a woman’s right to choose, although I could never make that choice again. I’m so incredibly glad that I did, though, as Matt came along just a few months later. Five years after that, when I got pregnant with Aubrey, my ex-husband wanted me to have an abortion or he said he’d divorce me. Fortunately, I already had the experience of having one, so I was able to really stand up against him on that one thing, where normally he was extremely dominant.  I sometimes think that if I had carried that pregnancy, I would not have Matt, and would likely not have Aubrey, because I wouldn’t have fought against him. So I think that was meant to be, as well. My son is pro-life and my daughter is fanatically pro-choice. I respect both of their decisions, but if Matt ever got someone pregnant, I would ride his ass for the rest of that child’s life to make sure he goes beyond just his “responsibilities.”

So here are my 11 questions!

  1. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate, and why?
  2. Most favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
  3. Would you choose to live in a cheap house in a middle class neighborhood, or an expensive house in a ritzy neighborhood?
  4. Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend?
  5. What is your idea of the perfect pet?
  6. Which is less trashy: a flyswatter or a fly strip?
  7. What is your deep, dark, secret, guilty pleasure?
  8. If you were in the Hunger Games, would you be the first to die, the last one standing, or somewhere in the middle?
  9. If you could change careers right now and do whatever you dreamed of doing as a child, would you?
  10. Do you sneak snacks into the movie theatre, or buy the expensive ones there?
  11. Where would you hide the body?

Now tag, you’re it!

sllg crazy talk

Older – Nawt Wiser (because I haven’t heard from you in ages, Cally!)

Life and Other Misadventures

Staked in the Heart

Moths to a Flame

Peace, Love & Fabulous Things  (these truly are fabulous!)

Attendance Please

Lucid View

The Confused Graduate

Erin Writes

The OCD Diaries

Don’t worry, I won’t be the least bit offended if you can’t get to this (except for you, Sara Lynn!!)…I’m only running a couple weeks behind, myself. However, if you can, it’s fun to answer silly (and not so silly) questions, and spread a little bloggy love along the way.

“Good morning, good morning, good morning to you!”

Start With The Ending

Four days ago, I was absolutely positive that my marriage was completely over. It seemed like neither of us had any reason or inclination to stay anymore. We sat on the sofa discussing things like splitting our debt, when I would move out, what to do with the dogs…all the little things that seem so tiny but add up into a giant ball of marriage. I asked him what it was that he had written for his marriage counseling assignment, “What would be the number one thing that would make him want to stay in this relationship?” I was thoroughly thrown by his answer; he wanted me to be completely engaged when we were together, instead of my constantly worrying about the house, or the dogs, or the kids, or the car, or the million other things that have my attention instead of him.

It took a while of more talking, but my brain finally registered that what he asked for had nothing to do with what he said his major complaint is, which is our finances. I realized that I had no idea what he really wanted, and neither did he.He kept saying he wanted things to go back to the way they were when we were dating, but he couldn’t tell me what he enjoyed about that time. I also realized I couldn’t expect to receive anything when I wasn’t giving anything either. Suddenly, our entire conversation shifted from splitting up to compromising.

As we spent hours and hours just talking, we agreed on the things we both like, admitted the things we’re not so fond of, and started working on making things work. The biggest compromise of all was on home improvement. He hates it, but I really can’t do it all by myself, and he doesn’t want me to pay anyone to do these things, either. We agreed that one day a month, we would spend the entire day working on a room, or a project, or going through a pile of clutter, or whatever, together; the rest of that month, I might work on stuff, but I would stop at 5pm, and I wouldn’t stress about things being done “RIGHT NOW!!!!”

Ron agreed that he would stop calling my craft supplies clutter. That was something that would always piss me off, and I would bite my tongue. It was like the argument we had years ago about winter clothes and summer clothes. Having lived in climates with more than two seasons (hot and hotter), Ron couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t switch out my clothes, storing the off season clothes until they were needed again. I grew up with many a Christmas Day spent running around in shorts and a tank top, and I’ve experienced cold fronts as late as May. In other words, in Texas, there isn’t any way to predict what the temperature (hence the clothing selection) will be based strictly on what month of the year it happens to be.

Craft supplies are a lot like that. I have a lot of different crafts that I do; cross-stitch, crochet, card-making, chain maille, jewelry, collage…and I had no idea how many of them start with C. Anyway, I work on projects based on my mood, or the need for a gift, or for a contest entry. There really isn’t any way to determine what supplies I will need on what day. I can keep them organized (which I don’t), but I can’t really put them in storage. For one thing, a lot of craft supplies are heat sensitive. For another, bugs LOVE things like yarn, glue, and paper as much as I do.

Ron is a very logical person. He is an accountant, which I think says it all. Although I was in the software field for years, I was programming or designing; even within the confines of logic, I was still creative. Even now, I may work in what may seem to be a logic based field (social media), but it has an extremely creative aspect to it (graphic design). Ron has absolutely no need to create. He likes to run around and gather berries, mine gold, and build town halls, but that’s as creative as he gets. So he doesn’t get it. I don’t want him to get it, but I do want him to respect it. He agreed to do so.

It is pretty amazing what can happen when two people completely give up; there’s nothing left to lose, so you might as well be honest. With honesty comes respect, with respect comes compromise, and with compromise comes a relationship that was better than where you started. We still have a long way to go, but at least we both agree to the same path, “together” together.

 

“The secret of a happy marriage,
maybe you should write this down
If you want to keep a love together,
the best way is to end it now
Because when you both know its over,
suddenly the truth comes out
You can talk about your secret passion,
you can talk about your restless doubt

When there’s no pretending,
then the truth is safe to say,
Start with the ending,
get it out of the way
Now there’s no defending,
because no one has to win
Start with the ending,
its the best way to begin.”

To Fall From A Great And Gruesome Height

Today is the first time that I’ve wanted to cry since this whole rock started crashing down the hill. I have staunchly refused to allow a single tear to roll, because I am finished with crying over things that I cannot control. Done. Period.

Up until now, I had essentially dissociated from the entire situation. Call it a protective measure (Freud did!), or coping mechanism, but it had served me well, to a certain extent. However, over the past week, Ron has made a lot more effort to spend time with me…little things like sitting on the sofa and using my tablet to read his forums and CNN, or even a couple of times, eating dinner in here with me. A few days ago, I actually felt comfortable enough to lay down on his bed while he studied for his upcoming exam. That was the first time I had touched his bed in over three weeks.

It seemed like things were getting somewhat better. The problem is that I already have serious trust issues after my childhood and two awful marriages. Before all this, I trusted Ron implicitly. Now…no. One marriage counseling session in, and it seems like the cure is worse than the disease. I can’t say that I was living in blissful ignorance, because that’s far from true. However, at least I wasn’t being actively hurt. Asking all the hard questions, and to be honest, answering the hard questions, is painful. Even worse is hearing the other person’s answers to the hard questions.

At the very least, our marriage counseling session opened the lines of communication. I’m still seeing my own therapist, and during our session yesterday, I explained my dilemma. How do I open up my heart to someone who is not committed to me or to our marriage? But how do I save my marriage without opening up my heart? Hard questions without easy answers. She urged me to tell him how I was feeling; not that he could change anything, but she said that since he’s making an effort, I at least needed to explain why I wasn’t very responsive.

When Ron got home last night (or I should say, when I woke up from my nap), he came in and we started talking. I have enough counseling theory under my belt that I am an expert at using “I” messages; “I feel like…”, “I don’t like it when…”, “I am uncomfortable with…” I told him everything I had practiced saying with Karen, and we talked for hours. Some of it was really good, like when he said that he really enjoyed spending time with me, and that he didn’t know why he had stopped. And then some of it was really bad, like when he said that he didn’t think he would ever be as enthusiastic about me or our marriage as I am (let me state, unequivocally, WAS). The next hour and a half was spent dissecting that statement.

Skipping over the minor details, the whole thing came down to the fact that he doesn’t feel like he’s capable of being as committed and emotionally involved as he believes that I want or expect. Four weeks ago, I would have made excuses (as I have done many times in our past) for him, and said of course I understand, but I love you and accept what you can offer. That was four weeks ago. NOW, I have some expectations.

I do want enthusiasm and emotional involvement and committment. I want to know that I can trust that I don’t have to be on constant perfect behavior and my partner is still going to be there. When things get tough, because dammit, marriage fucking sucks sometimes, I want to know that my partner isn’t going to immediately jump to divorce as the solution. I want my partner to be madly in love with me, madly lust after me, madly care about my happiness and wellbeing. I want to feel safe, protected, cherished. I want to be WANTED. That’s what it ALL boils down to is being wanted.

I do not want obligation, duty, and guilt to be why we stay married. I do understand that marriage brings a certain amount of obligation and duty, but that’s the “sucks” part of marriage, not the reason to stay. Our kids are grown. I have disability income. No, I don’t have health insurance and my medications are many and costly, but I’ve been on my own before and landed on my feet, I can certainly do it again. I am highly resourceful and a creative problem solver. I know that I’m not alone in this world, and that I have friends and family that will be there for me in a heartbeat.

Finally, I asked Ron what HE wants from a relationship. I told him to take me out of the picture, and if he could have his perfect woman, what would she be like? Would she play the same video games he does? Would she only listen to classical music? Would she live her own separate life but be in his bed at 9pm, ready to go? Does he even want a relationship at all, or does he just want someone who is conveniently available for sex? And that is where our evening ended. He doesn’t know, and said he needed to sleep on it, so I left the room.

So what is it about today that finally made me want to cry? Facebook, of course. I subscribe to a page and blog called, “The Purpose Fairy,” which is a sort of life-coaching site. Today, one of their posts was this:

“How I long to fall just a little bit, to dance out of the lines and stray from the light. But I fear that to fall in love with you is to fall from a great and gruesome height. So I asked a friend about it on a bad day, her husband had just left her, she sat down on the chair he left behind. She said, “What is love, where did it get me? Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine.”