This is the new-age dilemma. Some version of this conversation has been going on for days amongst my friends.
If you are my daddy or my kid, don’t read on from here. And if you do, well it’s your own fault. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I know this is an age-old dilemma for women but I think it gets worse as you age. As a single woman, how can you have it all? This is the catch-22….you like being single; you like sex; you want to be classy. For whatever reason, these 3 can’t seem to co-exist. Toss in online dating and the MANY conundrums associated with it and you have the modern day grown woman’s dilemma.
Now I get that I am a grown-ass woman and I can do whatever the heck I want to do…one of the great plusses to being single. However, I also don’t want to take on the life of a nun either. And being classy is a state of mind….so logic should say, “do what you want; you don’t answer to anyone.” I think this may be a product of my southern upbringing.
My BFF and I have had this ongoing discussion for a while now because can we (women in general) separate sex from a relationship? I’m not sure it’s possible. The men I’ve discussed this with don’t seem to have this problem. They have “boxes” for things and evidently they’re not related to one another at all. This videoexplains it perfectly and it’s quite comical.
Another friend contends that we (me particularly) are placing too much pressure on men to be in a relationship too early. In all fairness (to me), this is Amy’s position and she’s kind of a hippie anyway. But the question remains, can older woman have a man-toy without then changing the rules on him and wanting a relationship of some sort? And should class (or lack thereof) be tied to sex within a relationship as opposed to sex without a relationship? And most importantly, why aren’t men having these issues?
It’s easy to tell others what they “need to do” isn’t it? I think as a mom and teacher, that (whatever “that” is) is in my gene code somehow.
But if I’m honest, I have a lot of things I “need to do” about my own life. And what gives me the right to judge other people’s choices when I can’t even get my own life under control. And I’m not sure I want it “under control” anyway…how boring would that be!
And the reality is…no one has all their crap together…and if they say they do, they’re lying. We all put on a public face that makes it appear like we do but if we are LIVING…we are evolving…we are changing. And change is messy. If you do have it under control, you are stagnant…and that’s a place I never want to be.
I think self-reflection is good. The problem is it’s hard to be truthful about our flaws. And real change requires that real hard look. So in the spirit of self-reflection, my new goal is to take “what you need to do” out of my vocabulary. It will be hard. I’m bossy by nature. But that doesn’t make it right.
So feel free to correct me when I try to tell you what you need to do with your life when I don’t even know what I need to do with mine.
In this age of Fakebook and InstaLIE, everyone’s life looks better than yours. It isn’t. It’s distorted reality and it’s impossible to live up to a lie. And why would you want to? So examine your own life and vow to judge less, love more, and just be a little more kind. ‘Tis the season and all…it’s a great time to start while others won’t be suspicious!
“Can you believe this is your life right now?” This from my friend, Lisa, who was “helping” me pick out cruise excursions for my summer trip to Alaska. Actually I was forcing her to cull through everything fabulous, talk it out, and narrow down the choices. Good friends…find them and keep them.
But she’s right, my life is in an amazing phase right now. So, why is contented-ness such a phantom to me? I have a great job, great friends, a home I absolutely adore, my health (for the most part), and enough income to finally travel…at least enough so that I can actually budget for travel anyway.
I’m an over-analyzer so I recognize that I’m not necessarily unhappy or unsatisfied…just always searching. For what? I have absolutely no idea! In my head…whatever “IT” is currently resides in Alaska. That trip is really a dream come true for me.
I could never have imagined my life would be like this. It is really good. And calm. No drama. No real world worries. So what the hell is wrong with me??? I know logically that peace comes from within. Did i get the gypsy gene?
Is there a peace gene…and if there is and it’s attached to the skinny gene, I’m gonna be pissed!
I suck at relationships! It’s true. I’ve had great men, not so great men, and downright awful-for-me men. I suppose everyone that gets to my age has the same batting average but people do find a life partner sometimes. I’d like to think I’m a smart girl. I have a career, my own money, and I take a shower everyday. So, why can’t I do it?
There was a time when I blamed it on the men…but the reality is if I’m honest…I am the common denominator. Now I know what you’re thinking…she has used a math metaphor…this is bad! Since I try to find the good/positive/funny in most things, I’m going with I have just answered the age-old question of “how will I ever use this math in my real life???”….well, there it was!
Now, back to my inability to find a good man. Way, way back, my ex-mother-in-law said “she’s as independent as a pig in mud!” My immediate reaction was, “did she just call me fat?” So, I wonder if I am TOO independent? Do men find that “not needy at all” quality off-putting? I find they like it…at first…and then it becomes less endearing.
I’ve had this discussion with several of my gal friends. A couple of them have mastered the balance and a couple are in the same boat as I am…drifting aimlessly in a sea of potential catches…waiting for the collision.
Now, logically I know that I don’t need a man to be whole. But it would be nice to have someone to travel with; have dinner with; and share my life with on a regular basis. I’ve done online dating (that is its own blog altogether) and I’ve tried every other route, but it never seems to move forward.
Several thoughts occur to me…do you only get so many chances in this lifetime and have I used mine up? If we are doomed to repeat our mistakes until we get it right, I’m gonna need another lifetime. Do some people just settle because they’re tired of looking? At what point will I say, “f-it, I’m done” and truly be satisfied?
For a non-math girl, I’m a bit over analytical.
Wow! It has been a busy few weeks. When I think that less than 3 weeks ago I moved from a house to a small loft, it is remarkable the progress made.
A great friend has shown me how I can make a small space into a statement home. A statement of who I am…with a few pieces that express me and how I want to live. Tonight she drafted her husband and daughter to install the “piece de resistance” to the loft. (Thanks Darrell for standing on a ladder for an hour and Emma for using those cheerleader arms to hold that heavy chandelier while he wired it)!
I’ve always been in awe of chandeliers and I finally have a space with high ceilings to accommodate such a piece. It is nothing short of spectacular!
A couple walls have been painted (another friend) and more than one friend has shown up to help me do all the things I couldn’t.
Don’t judge my pillows…that’s where Lisa and I reclined to watch the light “show” unfold…but notice that beautifully painted accent wall!
Friendship is a funny thing…the give and take of that relationship really works when you’re willing to put in the time. Lisa and I often talk about how having great friends makes for a great life. I can honestly say that the time consciously cultivating friendships will come back to you ten-fold. Make the time. Make the effort. That’s a gift no amount of money can buy.
I have completed the daunting task of downsizing and moving into a much smaller place. It is a very soul cleansing thing to do for your life. I went from a 3 bedroom home with full basement to a 1 bedroom loft…yes, on purpose! These are the things I learned by living smaller.
- You have to really decide what is important to keep and what can go. For instance, I kept pictures but I let go of my kids’ school work. I also got rid of all my school work from college.
- I’m not a big “keeper of things” anyway, so this cleansing was not too bad. It is amazing how much lighter you will feel without having to be the “keeper of things” for everyone.
- I chose to have a few fabulous pieces (furniture) that were real statement pieces and fit the ambiance I was trying to create. It’s a process and I figure I will know if something is right for my space when I see it.
- I had several great antiques that my father had given me over the years and wanted to keep those so I had to find a new purpose for them. That’s been fun.
- Smaller space means you must put everything back where it goes immediately or it clutters quickly.
- Giving up the garage means I might get wet one day! Lol. As my daddy says, I won’t melt.
- I’m closer to work. Closer to restaurants (you know I don’t care to cook). This was an important realization when I thought I wanted a kitchen island in my space…but it’s not necessary because I don’t want to cook. I can use that money for a more practical piece.
- I truly have had more visitors than ever before. And all of them say, “this looks like you!” And it is. I felt at home immediately.
The only downsides:
- I can see the workout room from my couch…some guy works out every night…I don’t like him reminding me that I’m being lazy.
- My tub has no back slope…I can’t lounge in the tub. Why would you make a tub that isn’t lounge-worthy?
- I live in the Carpet Capital of the WORLD and I can’t seem to find a large rug for my living room that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s my new mission. I rarely lose these battles and I don’t intend to lose this one.
- Ordering rugs online is a hassle. And a crap shoot. I won’t even go into what it takes to return one of those babies.
The trick to living in an apartment setting, especially when you’ve come from home ownership, is to find one with great management.
This loft space is in an 1880 textile mill that has been transformed into lofts. It’s amazing. Exposed brick. Concrete flooring. Original wood floors. And the most majestically beautiful 10′ windows that will get your tail out of bed when God intends you to get up.
I had lunch with my friend (Lisa) the other day and she said, “you look better than you’ve looked since I’ve known you!” Of course, I did have a new haircut, new color, makeup on (not a summer norm), and was well-rested from a 5 week beach getaway. But I think it’s the move. I think I feel free. Free to travel. No maintenance (house or lawn). No plants to water. I feel renewed. I like change. I’m embracing the new life.
- Too old for moving.
- Too old to sleep on a blow up mattress. But I did for a week between vacation and the move (see previous complaint).
- Too old for those new-fangled remote access/video tellers at banks. Those that know me well know that I am a stickler for good customer service. A teller on a computer screen just does not do it for me.
Well the house closing is complete. The move is in the books as they say. Thanks to my son and one of his friends, I am completely unboxed. It really feels good to downsize and get rid of stuff. If you know me and read this, do NOT buy me anymore stuff. Let’s find another way to celebrate.
I always marvel at the great friends I’ve cultivated over the last few years. There are a few long term friends but for the most part it has only occurred to me in the last 10 years how truly important great friends are to my life.
My oldest son came by and brought their young daughter and I was terrified the whole time she would fall on my concrete floor and bust her head. My new home is definitely not little kid friendly. She’s a cutie and brings out an adorable side of her father. He is definitely smitten with her.
My friend and painter came by to help me choose some wall colors. He has a great eye and is very meticulous. If you ever need a painter, let me know.
My two closest friends came and visited and offered a different eye to my placement of things in my new place. Isn’t it funny how we have a “place” for things and can’t imagine things in a different role? I will have to say that the close friends I have now are ones that would defend me rigorously to others, and totally call me on my bullshit once we’re in private. That’s friendship at its most productive.
My Daddy will come visit my new place this weekend and we will catch up…really don’t do that enough…I need to be better at that.
School starts back in a couple of weeks and hopefully I will be good and settled by then. Life has finally settled down a little and at least at the end of the day I don’t stink…it has been crazy hot.
Got me a new haircut and color today. Now a manicure and pedicure and I should be good to go…now I just need to find someone to take me somewhere. Lol
My last night at my house…people keep asking if I’m going to miss it. I’ve thought about that in the last couple of days…mostly because I don’t have cable and it’s forcing some introspection on my part.
This is the longest I’ve lived in one location…ever. 10 years. Half of Chase’s life. He seems much more nostalgic about the move than I do but he’s being helpful and supportive…although he’s decided my new condo (historic loft built in the 1880’s) is haunted based only on its age. As long as it’s haunted enough to force adulthood, the spirits are working their magic well.
I’ve been a gypsy my whole life I think. A place doesn’t anchor me. My people anchor me and as I get older I realize how vital those people are to the world I want to inhabit. I’m really excited about this new move…feels like I’m moving into the next stage of my life somehow…not sure why but it just does.
My BFF came by and walked the loft with me so I’d have a visual for the movers tomorrow. Lisa is going through so much chaos in her family right now and I don’t know how she’s getting done what is getting done…but if you’ve never met the goal-setting, check off the list, keep it moving, mentality that is the ball of fire we call Lisa, you’re missing out. Please continue to pray for her brother who is continuing to have difficulty and hospitalized….even while his old house closed today and his new house closes tomorrow and the family is moving 2 hours away. Again, the tornado that is Lisa has it under control. Or at least the illusion of control…and that’s really all that matters.
My oldest friend, Tammie, is also still spending as many moments as she can with her grandmother who is on her last days. She raised Tammie so it’s like she’s losing a parent. This getting old and growing up and dealing with grown up things is exhausting!
Movers in the morning. Hopefully closing on my house on Wednesday. The new adventure starts this week. And then school will start in three weeks and interfere with that adventure.
Things I’ve noted during the move:
- I have a lot of crap I don’t need.
- Downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary stuff is cathartic (listening Dad?).
- I really should dust more. Maybe my ghost cleans.
- Is it rude to leave stuff for the new owners (nice silk curtains that match the walls; shelving in the basement; Waterhose on a nice spinning holder; my alcohol in the freezer)?
- How clean are you supposed to leave the house? Like perfect?
- Are you supposed to tip movers? One is the owner of the company.
My new mattress comes tomorrow and since I’ve been sleeping on a blow up mattress for several days, it will be heaven. The interesting thing will be how I’m going to handle floor to ceiling windows that have only blinds on them…lots of beautiful morning sun but I may have to change my “I hate mornings” way of thinking.
I’m glad you guys are going on this journey with me.
I can’t believe my summer dream vacation is coming to an end. But alas, life moves on. A couple more days and back to reality. Home to a move and back to school in less than a month.
Retrieved my wallet today. All was intact! Yay! And then a great surprise of old friends. My old neighbors (they left me years ago) were in Savannah and came out to visit me on the island. Love them. Truly amazing people and neither ever meets a stranger. We must make a point to see more of each other.
Weather was weird today. Thunder and lightening on and off all day. And then a weird storm blew up…tiu know those storms that cast a strange color light outside…this was it!
The white glowed as if a fluorescent light was on it. Even the sand glowed eerily. But it did run off the many new people that have arrived this week.
Tomorrow fireworks on the beach and then getting ready to head home and back to my real life.
Well I had the day all planned out. Sleep late (watched a movie really late last night); go eat at Macaroni Grill (long ways); and go see Jaws (since it is nearing the end of my stay).
All was going well until I left my wallet at Macaroni Grill and didn’t realize it until I got back on the island. Of course, by then it was gone. Oh no! No money. No cards. Yikes! I called my debit cards and one credit card (thank goodness I only have one) and got them cancelled.
A huge thunderstorm (along with very startling warnings on the radio) blew in. Again, impressive lightening. Resigned myself to whomever got my cash needed it more than me and started the planning.
Disclaimer here…my friend Lisa has been “harassing” me for a long time to not carry my “important papers” in my wallet (social security card, my kid’s birth certificates, etc) but old habits are hard to break. So, of course, I had to call her and tell her she was right! Ugh! (On a sad note, her brother is going through some terrifying repercussions from back surgery…please include them in your prayers).
If you’re a man and you’ve never had to go through changing your name on your drivers license and social security card, you will never understand the frustration. Let’s just say, there is a reason there is an armed guard at the social security office! So I was already bracing myself for the ordeal.
I figured I had been so blessed lately that it was only fitting that I have some strife. That’s where I was mentally when the call came…they found my wallet!!!
The storm passed, literally and figuratively, in that moment.
And then I got a message from a dear friend I haven’t seen in a while and they are in town so I will see them tomorrow. I will still have to make a bank trip (can’t undo the cancellation) and go pick up my wallet, but all is well in Kay-Land tonight.
Maybe my cash will still be there. But if not, then someone needed it more than I did. And I can live with that.