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My Favorite Day

This is it.  January 14th, 2015.

Who has had to wonder?

If you were asked “what was your best day ever?”

Today I had a shocking announcement that I didn’t expect, respect and love from my work family, amazing quality time with my son AND my mom stopped by and looked beautiful.

Today is my best day ever.

Let’s start with the shocking announcement.

So – I always have my ipad on charge at work, and IM sometimes with my son and (embarrassed face) collect my chips during the day  for a game I like to play at night.  All I do is take less than one second to ‘tap’ collect every half hour.

I got a ‘ding!’

It was a Facebook announcement.

A life event even.

I went to work today on probably less than 4 hours sleep.  I’ve been sick – I did not sleep well last night, and completely determined to BE at work.

You need to know this.

So … I have been editing myself lately.

Out of respect for the person I wanted to scream about.

James D. Foster.   Remember him?  Look up Drawing the Invisible.

This guy was one of my best friends in the college days.  And, had a crush on me.

And, as stupid as I was, I didn’t know it.

 

He was beautiful and talented and we would watch cartoons at his house and we rode together to school.

I loved him from day one.

I also had at least three relationships while he looked on and stood beside me.

I did not know.

We worked on a comic idea that was a tangent (shock!) off of a short story I wrote.  He illustrated.  He is a fucking AMAZING artist.

One very horrible night – he was beside me.  And wrote poems.  He wrote them and I read them and I was so young and selfish and ignorant that I just STILL didn’t get it.

Then we lost touch.

This was the 80’s.

I NEVER stopped thinking about him.  Not ever.  Not when I was married, not when I was divorced, not when I had a baby, not when I was married again – NEVER.  I searched for him because …

Because you know there’s always there’s this person that means so much to you – who KNEW you and GOT you and – you friend zoned?

Yeah.

STUPID!

Us then

Us then

us then again

us then again

But I realized it sooner than later and my search came up with people with the same name, in the same town I last saw him and it wasn’t him.  But I had fun communicating with them. LOL!

Fast forward.

I found him.

Through an Ex.

He was friends with him.

US now:

(Yeah – he still pulls a face at the camera. lol.)

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(FYI: The pic?  I have the Iron Man ring on.  I’ve been told in the past I look like Gwyneth Paltrow – Of COURSE Iron Man is a nerds paradise – so my nick name is Peppers)

Proof:

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When I initially reached out, I was just SO excited that #1 he was alive. #2 that he accepted my friend request.

I didn’t expect more than that.  I was SO happy to have my friend back in my life.  And at the time, I was in the midst of Rainer time.  My friend?  He was taking a step in a new direction and hoping someone he had loved after I knew him, and had loved him back – might turn into a mutual ‘love’ again.

Timing – definitely off.

Long story short.

Clearly I had hopebreak and not heartbreak over Rainer.  And my friend honestly loves his best friend.

Which, I admire.  I couldn’t love someone who discounted a real relationship with someone else – that would mean they would do that to me.  Right?

But today – after a couple of weeks of bonding about a visit to me he wanted to take – I got the announcement.

Yeah – we’re ‘In a Relationship’ with each other.

He gets that I have no filter.

He gets that I’m feet first, up to my chin.

He gets that I love with my whole heart and will read into everything he says, and everything he doesn’t … AND STILL POSTED THAT!

I was sent home today, by my work family.  Because I am seriously pretty sick.  Seriously under the weather.  And I love them for that.

So I also got to see Nic.  He was grinning and pointing at my ipad.

He needed me to know he saw the ‘Life Event’ and approved.

That natural 20?  Yeah … it was between Nic and James (the post before)

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I was so happy.

We’re all such total nerds!!!!! Into Dungeons and Dragons and Comic Books and The Walking Dead and anything that isn’t mainstream (although, I think probably Walking Dead is mainstream by now no?)

I was happy anyway, let’s face it.  But having my son onboard? C’mon.

I managed quality time with Nic whilst being pathetic and trying to be very engaged on my bed. It worked.  We pulled off the quality time.

So I’m sick, in love, finally getting the fairy tale AND … about to take a nap and my mom shows up.

My mom.

The one who has my whole heart too shows up … WITH … Chocolate, Lemon Curd, Pickled Onions and THERAFLU!

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Bottom line.

Today, I got my Prince – validation that my work family loves me – ULTRA validation that my son loves me (we did a fun question/answer thing) and time with my mom who was checking in on me.

Today … is my favorite day.

And like I said to Nic – “See, sometimes life sucks, then it doesn’t” and that really IS life.

amandajim

And, hey, Micah (one of my BFFS) – I told you first what I hoped for here – and you were happy that I even hoped it.  See … dreams DO come true. x

 

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Plans, Posters and imaginary Parenthood

Gawd – I’m feeling the pressure to write some amazing year-end ‘blow your socks off’ post.  No one is putting this on me – I’m quite capable of creating impossible real and imagined tasks all by myself.

So – I’ll just say this.

I have plans tomorrow.

GASP!  SHOCK!

(AND, there’s more, I reconnected with an old friend last night and we’re actually going to see each other … hopefully February!)

The way my plans went down was funny in a kind of sad but true way …

Friend: “We should go to dinner on New Years Eve”

Me:  *Awkward ‘deer heard a leaf crunch’ stare*

Friend: “C’mon!  You said you were going to do more

Me: “I did things this year”

Friend: “Those things weren’t this year”

Me: “Yes they were!!! We did like, THREE things this year!!”

Friend: “No we didn’t”

Me: “Yup, dinner, tortoise ….”

Friend: “Oh, yeah I guess it was this year”

 

But how sad is it that ‘We already DID something this year’ was my go to excuse??? LOL!

Now I’m deciding what to wear …

Either this shirt:

unite separately

Or this one??

uncomfortable

Won’t much matter – it’s not like I’ll be counting down to midnight in it.  We’re going to meet at the restaurant at 4:30.  “That’s when OLD people eat!”  she said … I just raised my eyebrows.

We’re not getting any younger.

Bonus, her adorable granddaughter is coming too – who is growing up WAY too fast, just like every other adorable baby ever born.

*sigh*

Speaking of adorable babies growing up too quickly … my son stopped by yesterday bearing gifts.  No it wasn’t a baby.

(But he had me totally scared the other night when he ran to find me in the house and asked “What were you going to name me if I was a girl???”  After I answered, he pounced off.   I took a beat before pouncing after him “Wait!!!! You’re playing SIMS right???  Please tell me you’re playing SIMS!”)

He was.

Phew!

ANYWAY!  He brought me … Nerdvana!  A Jesse Pinkman doll … an Abraham Series 6 Walking Dead doll and … A 6 FOOT POSTER OF DARYL DIXON!!!!!!!  YES!!!!!!!

I put it up last night.  I was reminded of my teeny bopper days.  I remember carefully removing the center fold of my Circus magazine and adding to my expansive wall décor … my long-haired loves. Mostly Nikki Sixx … Swoon!  And Tom Keifer.   Many  staple related injuries were due to those two.

circus

Last night a framed Ansel Adams moved aside for Daryl.

Then I decided to be silly with it … (this is why I can’t leave the house people … I am NOT normal!)

I posted this on Facebook with the caption: “I hate for you to see us arguing, but he did just bring up Carol!”

daryl

Listen, I’ll do the dinner tomorrow … but I think I’m only being fair when I give my friends an out.  I cannot be held responsible for any oddness that may ensue at that early seating. LOL!  May the force be with you Denice – you brought this on yourself.

And HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!  May 2015 be filled with love and light and laughter … wishing you all the very best always!

“As perfect days are few …”

I was driving home from work today, admiring the shadows cast on the mountains by the clouds hung in the sky … and thought “It has been a perfect day.”

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I instantly knew I would be writing tonight.

I have a peace about me today.

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Nothing extraordinary happened.

I am just very aware of how blessed I am.

______________________

I awoke before my alarm – took my time getting ready.

Received an email that ended in ‘In deep love’ from someone special.

And actually smiled at the mess that Nicholas’ birthday had left in its wake.

Yesterday was pretty amazing.  My son said he had one of his best birthdays ever – and it wasn’t because of any material thing.

He spent time with people he loves. During the day, with his first love – Chelsea, they’ll be celebrating 1 year together this month.   Then I arrived home and he was with my mom.

 

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I was aware in that moment that he’s grown.  That he appreciates that what matters are people not things.

______________________

Back to today.

So I’m reflecting on the day – the interactions with my co-workers/friends.

The successful meeting we had this morning, one of the guest speakers being a dear friend who I’m always glad to see.

Happy about the fact that our place of business is going to be of service in the community.

Happy that I was busy, productive.

Happy that I felt genuine joy returning from lunch and seeing the cars of the ‘family’ I work with – knowing I was going into a building full of people I like.

Then how fortunate I was to be driving a car in working order – to have a job to drive home from – to be able to stop off at the pharmacy and afford to collect my medicine.

I was full of gratitude for every little thing.

Grate FULL.

Then I checked the mail.

There was a brown package for me.

It was from a friend I’ve known for years and years.

She had told me a while ago she saw something and thought of me – and asked for my address.

This was in the package.

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Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives.

Years ago, books like those wouldn’t have anyone thinking of me.

I was humbled.

Then I opened it.

Inside was a letter – and a check.

Dear Amanda (+Nic)

The book is for you  – enjoy and pass on.  The check is for Butters.  Took up a collection, please put towards bill to get snip snip done.  Have a great day.’

(I’ll keep her anonymity.)

I’ve been struggling trying to find the ‘extra’ money to have Butters spayed.

I came very close to looking for another home for her.  I’m a firm believer that if you can’t afford to provide for an animal – can’t afford health care, food or time – then you should not have one!

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When Butters showed up in my yard, I went to great lengths to find her owners.  Even using a connection I have at a television station to have her shown on a morning show.

No owners came forward.

I then went to great lengths to find her a forever home.  No takers.

I could not bring myself to take her to the pound, a definite death sentence.

So, 3 years later, we’ve been her ‘better than the pound’ solution.

But I’ve hated, simply hated that I haven’t been able to have her spayed or provided her with shots!!

It all came to a head a while back – I was frustrated when I had to chase her down the street when she jumped our frail fence.  I panicked.   She can’t get pregnant!  She hasn’t had her shots!  What if she is injured?!

Of course she wants to jump!  Of course she wants to play with other dogs!

I knew all of this and felt SO inadequate as a pet mom.  She deserved better I concluded.

That conclusion was shared with my friends and clearly made an impression.

______________________

So here I am, having my ‘perfect day’ added to by this amazing person – and then I see her Facebook status.

And apparently something has happened.

Her recent status alluded to that and ended with “May the journey we all travel be peaceful as perfect days are few and sometimes far between.”

This friend, who managed to make my perfect day end on such a sweet note is not having a perfect day.

She wrote inside the book ‘Because you just never know! Pay it forward’

To her I say, “I will.  I promise you I will.”

And I ask now for anyone reading this to just take a second and send love and light into the universe to all those in our hearts, on our minds – and in the world.

Holding the plank – and wanting more

I held the plank last night.

In correct position, and with my arms shaking – I held on.

And when I got home, I started to get undressed when I noticed that the work I’ve put into my body these past weeks, is showing results.

I originally took a photo of my stomach for myself.  When I looked at the picture after I took it – I noticed my arm.  I was shocked.  And excited.  And I was sharing that!

I posted it to my Facebook wall, completely ecstatic that my goal of achieving tone was being realized.

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I have other goals.

Other desires.

And what I tried to convey in my last post – was that I am trying to allow myself to want those things.

I found myself feeling on the precipices of a breakthrough – of starting to feel like a woman – in my prime – of wanting more for her.

At the same time, feeling very much confined to my hamster wheel and with no resources for even a change of cedar chips.

I needed to talk it out with someone.

So I did what I am only now learning how to do, I spoke up and reached out.

_______________________________

I had the most amazing conversation with one of my best friends.

I miss her.

This is the friend who wore a ball gown one casual Friday.

The friend who smeared cake on her own face just so she could turn around at the right moment and say “What cake?”

The friend I danced to P!nk with – and swooned over  Dave Matthews with while we sipped Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.

The friend who was there for me during a devastating chapter in my life.

I love her.

She fought cancer and won.  If that wasn’t enough to make her my hero, she’s bold and authentic, funny and smart, balanced, human and oh so loving.

She also happens to have the maiden name of my mother.  First, middle and last.  The odds of that are bonkers.

So I told her early this week, “I need to talk.  I need a friend.”

We had a time planned, but then another friend needed me.  The thing about true friends, is that there is no explaining, no awkwardness, just ‘can we talk another time?’

Yes we could.  This weekend.

So I called her with tonight with “Are you home yet? What about now? What about now?”

No.  She wasn’t home.  But now was a good time.

She then proceeded to blow my ever so ‘undeserving’ mind with:

“It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful.  It’s okay to acknowledge that you obviously have needs on many levels that are not being met.”

_______________________________

The thing about getting older, is that the window of opportunity for any significant life change gets smaller.

The older we get, the more likely we may become ill – become lonely – become someone we didn’t plan to be – and there are only so many do overs.

That is reality.

But so many times, ‘reality’ becomes an excuse for not trying.

As she said “We have to candy coat reality a little bit at least.  To make life less bitter.  We have to be able to dream, to want things for ourselves.”

This is true.

I can think of a million reasons why I can’t take a big step and make the little girl I used to be proud and excited again.

But all it takes is believing anything is possible and allowing myself to want something for myself.  And that is NOT selfish.

I don’t know if I’m brave enough yet.

I don’t know if I believe enough in myself yet.

But I’m getting there.

If I can just hold on … even while I’m shaking.

Caramels

I sometimes sit and watch people and cock my head in wonder.
Other people confuse me.
I don’t understand you.
Not because I don’t care or because I’m incapable.

But because I am unlike you
and like you …
but mostly, I feel so very unlike you.

But I am empathetic.
Sympathetic.
I feel you.

If I saw a discarded sweet box in your garbage can, I would buy you caramels.

I just never quite fit in.
Or understand the rules.

I seem always to be the girl who says too much,
feels too much,
thinks too much.

I laugh too loud, emote too publicly.
I cannot hide my exuberance or my sadness.

I have a giant world in my head and heart!
Colorful, fantastic, dark and macabre
Consistent extremes
Always there – always.

I have conversations with you in my head.
“Do you want to just watch movies and eat cake?”
“Yeah! Sure!”
“Can you bring cake?”

I share some of my world with a few
On my terms
And occasionally I’m pulled from my comfort zone because i want to please you.

My special friends are always there
They don’t expect me to be like them
They embrace the parts of my world I show them

Real people tucked inside my head
Characters in my internal play
Scenarios imagined – scripts written
And we eat my caramels
and share your cake

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