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?
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!
I found him.
Through an Ex.
He was friends with him.
(Yeah – he still pulls a face at the camera. lol.)
(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)
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)
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.
The one who has my whole heart too shows up … WITH … Chocolate, Lemon Curd, Pickled Onions and THERAFLU!
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.
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
Chills, ear ache, headache, leg cramps, ok – let’s just say, everything from my hair to my toe nails ached.
My co-workers were refusing to use my phone by mid-day yesterday.
Thought I might just die, but plowed through like a champ and got things accomplished that I’m actually proud of.
I was so inspired by what I had learned and put into action that I told my son today, “It’s been a crazy two days at work, but I did it. And you are smarter than me. So wanted you to know, you can do the ‘thing’ – whatever ‘the thing’ is.”
We argued about who was smarter – then I ended that argument with “Ok, I’m more experienced, but you have natural talents I don’t.”
He did not disagree. LOL!
He just left to play D & D – and asked me to tell someone he was getting married – apparently he ‘rolled a natural 20’. (Whatever that means.)
I passed on the message and went on a little tangent.
I’ve decided I’ve never been heartbroken – and I’m betting a lot of people who think they have … haven’t.
I’ve been what I’m coining ‘hopebroken’.
Investing faith and time and large portions of my life in people I believed in.
People who gave me butterflies – that turned out to be moths.
My heart is not broken.
It’s completely capable of loving.
And the great thing is – my hope is never completely broken either.
I bounce back.
I have too much faith in ‘good’ to just chuck away the ‘hope’ card.
And I am hopeful.
And I am smiling.
Because I have something to smile about – I have a LOT of things to smile about.
And I’ll admit it – I’m such a nerd, I hope to hear one day “I rolled a natural 20”. And I’ll know what that means now, and I’ll smile.
After I finished this post, I was informed a natural 20 doesn’t mean getting married – and I googled a bit … then got fuzzy again.
Look at the confusion! Then I got more info. After IM’ing my son, he said the 20 was: “Lol it was to get out of getting punched in the face.”
That boy needs to use commas in his oral presentations!
I still like the thought behind it. So I’m leavin’ it. lol
I’m musing on my notepad since the internet connection is not connecting at the laundromat.
I was thinking on the way over, of change.
It’s amazing sometimes isn’t it, when we look back over the years, sometimes months or even just days and think ‘If I knew then that things would be so different now …”
Nothing, that’s what.
You’d end up changing the outcome by knowing what it was supposed to be.
That whole seeing into the future thing is not a good idea.
If you knew a job wasn’t going to work out – you might quit before learning a valuable skill you needed for later.
If you knew a relationship wasn’t going to end up being your ‘forever after’, you might abandon it before experiencing new emotions, or becoming stronger for having made mistakes.
A song was on the radio in the car and it reminded me of someone.
I think about exes from time to time – then I segue off onto wondering if I ever cross their minds.
I hope I do.
They all meant something to me and always will.
So back to change …
Since the start of the year I have now been in 3 different jobs, gone from not knowing what life would be like without the constant that is my son, to living alone lately.
The thing that hasn’t changed, and rarely does, are the friends I have.
I was surprised to hear a friend was coming to town that I usually only see once a year, usually Christmas time. It was literally Christmas in July to get to see her for dinner Sunday night!
On the heels of ‘friend Sunday’ came ‘inevitable Monday’ and a pretty rough week.
Work is amazing, I love my new position.
The logo I created was delivered and stuck to our freshly painted red wall … I remember the first time I was published and seeing the paper – yeah, it was a little like that.
I’m blurring so much here – but want you to see the logo at least. I assure you, the wall does not look like a horrid smudge of letters.
We’re still figuring out procedures and I’m still on a crash course of figuring out how to do what I do. This I have no problem with. I adapt. I learn quickly, that was no lie on my resume.
My forte is creation. Creation, progression and completion. Love it.
Needless to say though, even a whole day doing your favorite things can be exhausting.
I found myself coming home and sitting on the couch in a hyper-minded/numb-bodied state every evening.
On top of the exhilarating chaos that is the birth of a new company, we had ‘sabotage day’ or ‘Cablegate’ as I am thinking of it now.
Our suite connects to the old company we all worked for. It was sadly closing while we were opening. A very emotional thing to watch.
I get attached to people and routines. After 3 1/2 years, to see the people I care about slowly leaving, while an office that once thrived emptied to nothing but a shell – well, it wasn’t pleasant to say the least.
Our office parties, the holidays we shared, the smell of Thanksgiving turkey, the sounds of laughter – phones ringing, microwaves beeping, deliveries arriving – the hustle and bustle, Gone.
All gone now.
It was down to just the Broker this past week – and a trickling of agents bringing out the last of the items going with them.
One morning I arrived to the news that the keys to the mail box were missing and all the drawers had been left open.
Did I know where they were? No, I did not.
Also the internet was down.
No problem, I told the Broker he could use our WIFI, I would give him the code.
I finally made it into our suite only to discover that our internet was not working either … nor our phones.
The utility closet that houses the cables and technical ‘things’ is located in the old office.
And it was locked.
And that key shared the key chain that had gone missing.
A locksmith was called out and after summoning the internet technicians out too, the long and short of it is that someone had come in the night and left a final ‘F-you!’ for us. (Yes, we have a very good idea who it was – no, we have no proof)
Equipment lay on the floor of the closet and various pieces hung from the wall. Then, discovered hidden in the ceiling, the recently cut wires that connected our suite to the outside world.
The police were called – locks were changed and a temporary fix was made to attach cables to the frayed ends of the severed ones.
A lot of talk about karma came up. I’m of the mind that anyone angry enough or capable of such a crime already has to live with themselves.
We were back up and running and were not going to let that set-back have anymore power (or lack of) over us than it deserved.
Friday arrived and I was ready for a relaxing weekend.
I climbed out of my car, came through my gate and opened the front door.
And was greeted by – silence.
Butters was nowhere to be seen – or heard. And trust me, my hairy manatee is an excitable girl. She wriggles and whines and leaps at my return.
I had locked the door so she couldn’t be out?
Then slowly, a small noise and as I set my purse down, she limped out of my bedroom.
She hadn’t eaten – hadn’t taken a drink from her water bowl. Her tail hung between her legs and she moved gingerly.
I dropped to the floor beside her and started an examination – and to my horror, she let me.
I’ll try to describe her exuberance … I can’t get a leash on her in any time under 20 minutes. Trying to get her to stay still for her collar after a bath is like trying to hold back a herd of children at the Disneyland gates.
And she lay there – letting me probe between her pads for burrs – press her leg to test for warmth or tender spots.
I could see nothing out of the usual.
She then left me to lay in the bathroom. Not limping. (Perhaps she had just been laying awkwardly on it before I got home?) Now she was listless, shivering and unmoving.
I checked her ears, her eyes, her gums, her stomach … all the while wondering “What will I do? How will I afford to get her care??” And telling her – “Don’t you leave me.”
My eyes welled with tears as I reached out to the online community for ideas.
My friend that ‘always knows when to show up’ threw some clothes on and abandoned her Friday night after her own long week, and headed over to be with us.
Butters perked up a little.
“Maybe she’s depressed.” Said my friend.
She had a point.
Life as she had known it had changed too.
From having the run of the yard all day to being shut indoors – and the absence of her boy. Big changes for a little canine world.
Perhaps she was just depressed.
By the time my friend left, she seemed to have perked up. I stayed up with her until after 1 a.m. to be sure.
The next morning she was herself again.
Just like that!
I quickly went to the grocery store returning with lots of dog treats – cleaned the house and just as I finished Butters barked at the front door. (Music to my ears to hear her vocalize by the way.)
In walked my friend holding coffee and polystyrene boxes.
“I brought brunch.”
We sat across from each other and shared half of each box. Butters was treated to some bacon.
“My heart is smiling at my stomach right now,” I said. “This is right up there – top 10 happiest moments.”
And it was.
My dog was okay, my friend had showed up and the food was amazing.
Before she left I added, “You’re her favorite person that comes over.”
“I’m the only person who comes over.”
I had to laugh at that.
Point well made – but things change. Could be in a few months that I don’t even live here anymore.
But I can count on who will walk through my front door.
I can always count on my friends.
And I don’t want to know the future – because I might miss something getting there.
Until next time –
I had horrible dreams last night – meteors crashing to earth and creatures coming out of a mire – of course, I was trying to photograph them. I’m always taking photographs in my dreams.
And then I dreamed of an abandoned kitten in a desk drawer – I rescued it.
Other than that, I tossed and turned mostly – denied my dog’s request to go outside and tried to snatch some sleep back that was taken from me.
When I got up, I looked up the significance of meteors – and was surprised to read that they represented success in a project. I then looked up kitten …
‘To see a kitten in your dream represents a transitional phase toward independence. You are ready to explore new things that life has to offer. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes innocence and purity.’
Well, let’s be realistic, I had to assume the first interpretation applied to me.
Got ready, fed the dog, caught up on the news, packed my lunch and went to work.
I spent approximately an hour there before I received a phone call telling me I was laid off.
Just – like – that.
I liken the collecting and packing of personal items at work to that of a child packing to run away.
It’s usually done under emotional and stressful circumstances and you end up leaving important things behind and taking things you don’t need.
It wasn’t until I was driving home, realizing my key chain was one key lighter, that I remembered I forgot to grab my lunch.
There really isn’t much time to say ‘good bye’ or to leave a place properly when you’ve been asked to leave.
And this isn’t my first redundancy rodeo. This is the second time this year I’ve been laid off.
Let’s make that clear. I give 110% in all I do.
I won’t share the reasons or the company – just suffice it to say, changes were inevitable, I just didn’t expect I was on the chopping block today at all.
Blindsided by that damn kitten.
I am blessed though.
I am feeling positive.
I have proven to myself that I am capable of rising from the ashes and making the best of a situation, and this time will be no different.
I am not a ‘why me?’ person – I am an optimistic, realistic ‘why not me’ person.
And I have learned many lessons over the past few years and one of them is that you just stay in motion and keep showing up with a smile on your face and your hard work and attitude will be noticed.
And it was.
I am very fortunate to have some options that I am weighing.
I am very fortunate to have a healthy son. Loving family. Amazing friends.
I have my sight, my hearing, my voice – the use of all of my limbs and am pain-free.
And all I have is today.
With a determined eye to the future and a willingness to change and learn.
I fell asleep last night wondering if musicians get goosebumps or tear up when they play their best songs live. I thought this after getting goosebumps and tearing up to this.
Comfortably Numb, live.
I drifted off to sleep having been wished ‘Happy Birthday’ from 3 countries in which I was already born – and with David Gilmore and Roger Waters echoing in my head.
9:30 p.m. I hear my son coughing violently in the kitchen – then:
Nic: “Don’t mind me – just choking”
Me: “Obviously you’re breathing”
Nic: “ha ha. Don’t rush out to check on me or anything”
Nic: “That’s my mom!” (as if he’s got a crowd he’s informing of this. “That’s my mom ladies and gentlemen”)
I smile and close my eyes.
10:30 p.m. Eyes back open. My son is church mousing around in the kitchen, the house shakes. He has inherited my delicate elephant stomp.
12:04 a.m. Awoke from a dream involving two special friends from the past and a mystery man – we’d gone on a crazy roller coaster and then to a Depeche Mode concert. Ended up on stage and of course, I was taking photos.
2:00 a.m. Butters stands beside my bed, breathing on me. I try to ignore her.
2:30 a.m. Butters stands closer – breathing more heavily. I get up, let dog out and leave front door open for the dog and any and all serial killers to have easier access to me while I returned to bed.
4:00 a.m. Seriously??? Dog is nowhere to be seen, so what the hell has roused me this time????
5:00 a.m. Peer at clock with gritty, tired eyes … too tired to roll them in anguish
5:30 a.m. I give up.
Didn’t have that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling as I scooted out of bed and wobbled to the bathroom.
I always at least have that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling first thing in the morning (well, on birthday mornings anyway, not every morning obviously)
I guess 45 is the cut off for that pink frosted feeling.
Son sleeping, dog still outside.
I microwave a cup of yesterdays coffee, because I’m too lazy and uncoordinated to make a new pot.
Shower cap in hand, towel at the ready, I sit and wait for my alarm, because I have no clue how to turn it off prematurely.
6:00 a.m. Shower. I ponder while I’m in there.
Why do men have the best razors??
Seriously, considering the skin footage we women have to shave compared to men – shouldn’t ours be cutting edge? (No pun intended) and don’t give me that ‘But men have to shave their delicate angled faces’ crap, because you know as well as I do that women shave a hell of a lot more ‘delicate’ places and we have curves and angles too!
I will only buy mens razors.
7:10 a.m Dressed – still sipping my microwaved coffee – my mum calls and sings at me from the dog park.
7:20 a.m. I’m milling about the house now … always ready early – always restless.
I spy a banana in the fruit bowl that looks like a duck. I think perhaps it was bored, in there all alone – and decided to morph in order to have some fun.
I decide I like that banana instantly.
I give Butters two of her biscuits and then proceed to tip two vitamins in my hand and pop them in my mouth – along with dog biscuit crumbs.
*sigh* I’ll count that as breakfast.
7:35 a.m. I decide to plant a kiss on my sleeping sons cheek – he’s shirtless in bed with a sunburn
Me: “Hey naked … I’m outta here”
(I’m sure he’s got ‘Happy Birthday’ planned to exit his mouth later.)
Out the door I go.
I hope for a really amazing song in the car – no luck. I end up pretending to know the words to a new Shakira song and sing out of key.
7:45 a.m. Arrive at work.
I unlock the door … notice the ‘Happy Birthday’ sign place above my desk has fallen off of the wall. I put it back up after I disable the buildings alarm. Then I wonder if that’s self-appreciating or just helpful. Decide it doesn’t matter, my OCD needs that sign back up where it was.
There is a birthday card on my keyboard.
A little while later, another card heads my way in the hands of my sweet friend Ruth. A tiny ribboned box perches atop it.
The card cracks me up.
This is it:
The little box opens to reveal a teeny tiny necklace. This friend knows me well. I love ‘little’. I love delicate. I love the necklace and she stands behind me and puts it on.
Friend: “Now we’re married.”
I’m thinking I could do a lot worse. She’s amazing. And she knows my humor and taste.
We would be bound to have a long and successful union – except she’s still madly in love with her husband.
The broker comes through the door with the most adorable tulips – and yes, they’re for me.
I’m feeling spoiled – and it’s only 9:15 a.m
10:48 a.m. Finally got a Happy Birthday from my son.
He has accompanied his girlfriend to the dentist and the following instant messages ensued:
Him: I just saw a turtle wet a fallen flower
Me: It would have been funnier if it HAD wetted it
Him: Lol, well the flower just fell from a nude into the water, and the turtle ate it and went underwater, So I guess he did. Lol
Me: I don’t even want to know why your ipad confuses ‘bush’ with ‘nude’ lmao
Him: lol, oh no.
Him: Happy birthday by the way
We have the strangest conversations. I hope he doesn’t eat the duck banana before I can point it out to him.
Yeah sure, I could show him a photo – but it’s so much better to meet a duck banana in the flesh … peel?
My boss takes me to lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We sit outside and chat. The view is gorgeous. I enjoy her company. We shared a room on a business trip to Phoenix a while ago – and over 8 hours in the car together. I like her. That’s the true test you know, a long car ride and sharing a room successfully.
I have the Mahi-Mahi wrap with wasabi and soy – SO good.
First meal of my 45th year, other than that dog biscuit crumb I had for breakfast.
You know, I never thought I’d make it to 30, let alone 40 … and now I’m half way to 90 for crying out loud!
And 90 is doable. Considering my little and delicate nannie just celebrated 91.
If I wore her on a necklace, close to my clavicle, she might see 101.
Home now, my parents have just left – and wouldn’t you know it? A pink frosted thing came with them.
I’m too full and too tired to eat any of it – but after the first 12, I did catch a glimpse of that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling.