Virtual Valentines 

Since I’m spending today with those people closest to me, I thought I would give a shout out to some of the ‘things’ that are currently brining joy into my life.

My beloved Keurig, 

You are the last thing I think about as I fall asleep each night and the first thing my mind goes to when I wake each morning.  Our relationship is pretty much one-sided, but at least it’s consistently hot. 

To The Best New Show on television; This Is Us: 

Thank you for making us laugh and cry and care about a TV family again.  But most of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to snuggle my youngest son for one uninterrupted hour every Tuesday night.

Dear 2013 VW Passat, 

You came into our life as a complete and utter surprise.  But ever since, you have provided a safe and reliable mode of transportation for R and me.  What a great feeling it is to jump in you for last minute road trips and adventures! Ps. We really love your ample legroom, sunroof, and kickass stereo.    Danke!

 And last, but certainly not least…

Cupid, 

Thank you for your persistence.  No matter how many times I duck your arrow, your aim continues to be spot on.  Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on you.

xo 

 

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving With A Twist

The holidays are one of the many drawbacks post divorce.  A time that once brought me such joy, now consumes me in a tornado of expenses, stress and scheduling conflicts.

This Thanksgiving was mine to spend with our son, R. However, when R’s football coach announced we had a tournament in Las Vegas over the holiday weekend, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it.  Don’t get me wrong, I was just as excited as R upon hearing the news.  Visions of my son and I on a plane, cuddling in a hotel room before joining the team for  Thanksgiving dinner got me all warm inside.   Unfortunately, with the high cost of holiday travel, that vision quickly dissipated.

My ex and I get a long well.  So, I proposed we rent a car and split the costs to make the trip.  He casually dismissed this idea, and informed me he and R were catching a ride with a teammate.  They would be home Sunday and he would return R to me then.  I was crushed. I was mad.  I even cried.  But, knowing him like I do, I decided not to push the issue.

I planned to keep myself busy.  I would spend Thanksgiving day watching my Cowboys game and then head over to my girlfriend’s for dinner.  Friday I had scheduled a second date with a nice man in South Bay.   The remainder of the weekend, I would spend getting the house dialed in for the holidays, in turn surprising R when he got home from his trip.    I could do this. “I got this shit handled!” would be my holiday weekend mantra.

Thanksgiving came and went.  I missed R, but all in all had a good day and I got a lot of shit done (like fixing my vacuum – myself!!).

Friday, I woke early, so I could chat with R before his game.  I sent my ex a text and then our conversation went something like this:

Ex: Wishing this tournament was closer for you and the family to come. Certainly missing that aspect of life right now once again :((((

Me: Me, too..

Ex: Why don’t you rent a car and come surprise your son?  I will split the cost with you.  You can bunk in our room, if you share R’s bed (um, duh- me).

Me: You don’t have to tell me twice!  I will text you when I am on my way!

I couldn’t call my date quick enough to reschedule.  He was less than supportive (future blog post, stay tuned).    I was going to be spontaneous and surprise my boy and watch him play his final football game of the season!

The Ex texted me, as I got into town and told me to go relax at the hotel, since the team was all at Circus Circus.  I was too excited for the surprise and offered to join them at Adventuredome.  It only took about 45 minutes to park and another 30 to find them but when I saw The Ex, he had a Lime-A-Rita waiting for me.  So, we were off to a good start!  I looked around this dome of chaos (Did I tell you how much I really love my son?) and waited for R to exit a ride.  I saw him in the distance casually walking in my direction, his eyes darting around at all the rides and people and then almost as if he felt me there,  he looked up.  His eyes locked onto mine briefly.  Then he glanced away.  After a few more steps, he looked at me again and that’s when his smile consumed every inch of his freckled face.  He ran up to me and opened his arms as wide as he could.  He buried his head into my chest and I held onto him and that moment for as long as I could.

The weekend had every ingredient of a Hallmark Christmas movie.  The first night as we settled into bed, R whispered, “That was a really, big surprise, mom.”  And if that wasn’t enough to give George Bailey a run for his “holiday money”, our football team brought home the championship trophy!  My ex and I got along famously, I didn’t even wince when he rolled in to our room at 1 am Friday night.  Plus, it was sure nice to be able to split all the travel expenses with someone.

We hadn’t spent Thanksgiving together in 3 years.  But when I look back on Thanksgiving 2015, I will be filled with a different version of that “holiday joy” I once had.    It may not have been a traditional family celebration, but it was special nonetheless.

In addition to all the other amazing things in my life, I have to say, I am grateful for My Ex this year.

c.

Twenty or so Thank Yous

A few years back, my dear friend, Julie shared with me her rekindled love of handwritten notes and cards.  She realized handwritten communication was quickly becoming a lost art.  So, she started a crusade (of sorts) to bring them back.  She had just read a book called, 365 thank Yous by John Kralik.  I decided to read it while my husband, kids and I were at our vacation home in Utah.  It was the first book in years, I finished in one day.  The story is a recount of Mr. Kralik’s experience of writing one thank you note a day for a year, what he learned and how his life changed by simply letting others in on how he appreciated them.  I was inspired, to say the least.

It wasn’t long after, I began to see posts on Julie’s Facebook wall from grateful friends, who received cards and notes from her in the mail.  I wanted to do this! But as a wife, mother and business owner, I barely had time to write out my grocery list- let alone 365 letters sharing my feelings.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when I became single.  In November of 2013,  I started a ritual.  I committed to write one thank you card for each day I was at work. First, I made a list of 20 or so people/businesses that had touched/helped me over the past year.  I would write them out on my 15 minute break and pop them in the mail at lunch.  The feedback was rewarding to say the least.  It made me feel good that I could share my feelings of appreciation with others without actually having to engage in a conversation with them.

This is my third year in a row, and I wish I could tell you that I’m up to 365 Thank Yous a year or even a full 30 for each day in November, but my list is still roughly 20.  However, I believe the rewards are just as sweet. This year I have thanked:

An Ex-Boyfriend

The tire shop, where I get air in my tires every other month

A long-lost girlfriend

And even a guy I went on one date with last month.  Actually, he just received the card yesterday and called and left the sweetest voicemail.  I had thanked him for reminding me there were still true gentlemen out there.  The appreciation was apparent in his voice and I don’t think I will ever delete that message.

The lesson here, is never suppress a kind thought.  And once you put those thoughts in writing they will never be forgotten.

Check out Julie’s Blog A Letter A Week