holidays


I feel that I have hardly stopped since Snowdown. Last week was a recovery week and I was so tired and last weekend was catch up  at home. I have had a lot going on and have hardly had any down time at home. I hate when I have blog posts running through my head all day and I can’t get them down. I am going to try and get to some of the ones I have thought of the past couple of weeks. My big one was Valentine’s Day. It has never been my favorite “holiday” but I still always would have liked acknowledgement. Before marriage, it seemed I was always single on Valentine’s Day. Too often, a boy/man would break up with me just prior. During my marriage, I learned that the ex was not romantic at all. I would have been happy with a nice dinner, a flower or bouquet, anything even remotely romantic. He didn’t give flowers often because HIS MOM didn’t like getting flowers. I LOVE getting flowers and he knew this.  Occasionally, I would get a card or something but I learned to not expect us to do anything romantic for anything. I would suggest weekends away, even to somewhat local places so we could save money. I would suggest things all the time and he poo-pooed them all the time. The last few years of the marriage, it, of course, got worse. Six years before the divorce, our middle child was given a dozen roses at school by a boy that liked her. They were not dating. They were beautiful and I was so happy for her. We put them  in a vase and had them prominently on display. A few hours later, the ex came in, threw a single rose on the table and said, “here is your VD flower.” Wow. I just wanted to cry and shove it up his ass.

He filed for divorce on January 14th and here in Colorado, your first court date is one month later. Yep, I went to divorce court for a divorce I didn’t want on VALENTINE’S DAY. I still cannot believe they do that. There are some days that divorce court should not happen. I was a mess. I had a severe anxiety attack. The people in the courthouse sent me to Adult Protective Services downstairs to make sure I was okay. It was terrible.

Since then, I have tried to not let that day completely ruin Valentine’s for me. I could find a romantic man that enjoys doing things for his gal. My first one single was great. A guy I was dating and I went skiing and he reserved a table for us at the restaurant at the top of the mountain. I had no idea. He knew that I was having a hard time and he was so sweet. He and I were not ready for a relationship at the time. We were both the first dates after 20+ year marriages. We were good for each other and he helped me a lot. I hope I helped him. The following two years I was dating ex/bf bff and R. Exbff and  I went on a cruise right afterwards and R and I had a great date. They both gavve me flowers. Last year I was single but still received flowers from someone that was interested. I don’t know why but this year hit me hard. I was single and feeling very alone. Maybe because there have been no prospects since ice cream man. I have no idea. For the most part, I have been doing well but the days leading up to and on Valentine’s Day last week, I was getting grouchier and moodier. I cried a lot and just wanted someone to hold me. I had someone tell me to just ignore it but when yo are walking up and down main street with every window having ads for Valentines, every radio station, TV station ad is about love, it is hard to ignore. The person that told me this is basically a hermit.  I was so ready for the day to be over. I got off work and went to my car and see R drive up. He gets out of his car and tells me that he failed. He was holding a bouquet of flowers that he was going to put on my car anonymously.  He told me that he knew it was a hard day for me. I just wanted to cry. The man says there is something missing in our relationship and that is why we aren’t dating but it is obvious that he really cares for me. Why won’t he accept my heart? I would give it willingly. Oh well, he made my day better and I do know that he loves me, just not enough.

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Before I was married, my mother used to host a party on Christmas Eve. She didn’t do it very long but I enjoyed it and when I got married, I continued the tradition. When the kids got to school age, we changed the date so it was a Saturday before Christmas. For many years, it has been the highlight of the holiday. I have baked for a month prior to the party. Cookies and breads galore.  A few main dishes, side dishes, chocolate fountain. For many years, we had a pool table (the ex got rid of it two months before he filed for divorce- I gave in to make him happy) We have  dart board, air hockey table. When the kids were younger, we let them have one friend spend the night every year. One young man has only missed a couple of these parties since he was about five. He is twenty now. We have had as few as ten people come and as many as sixty come and go. We have had clear skies and almost blizzards but it has happened every year. Every so often, during my bad years, I would threaten to cancel the party due to stress but was always glad that I didn’t. The event was always one of my favorite nights of the year. After the divorce, I almost stopped but the kids still really wanted it to happen. Some of the best ones have been the past few years. We pulled out the karaoke machine, board games, and just enjoyed the time BUT it has been more and more difficult for all the kids to be here. The middle one has been late or missed due to work for years. She won’t be able to be here at all tomorrow. My son has to work  and miss the first few hours. The eldest is driving down tomorrow and has no idea when she will be here. I have been working so much as have the kids so hardly anything is ready for tomorrow night.

I made a decision today. This is the last one. I basically cancelled it today. I told a few people to still come. Tomorrow I will clean house and make cookies. We only have a few old time guests coming, including that young man. Next year, my kids and I will not be hosting this party. Our lives are so different now. They have jobs, boyfriends or girlfriends. I am trying to date. I love our party but no longer want to make this a have to event every year. We may choose to do something smaller from time to time but no longer will we have a date set in stone for a year. No longer will  I spend a ton of money and time on this party. The kids will be free to go hang with friends during the holiday time when they are in town and their friends are home, too.I will have the freedom to go with a boyfriend (if I have one) to other events.

It has been a good long run. I have hosted this party 25 times in 27 years. There are many things that I will miss but it sometimes is good to change traditions. I wonder how I will feel next December when I do not have a party to plan and prepare for. Only time will tell but I imagine that I will be more free with money and time and that will be good.

I thought that he had. I thought that the holiday season was ruined for me forever. I used to be one of the crazy holiday loving people that so many people complain about. I would think of the Solstice, Saturnalia, Christmas and just feel bright inside. I loved the music (even the religious ones), the colors, the lights, the cooking, the food, the giving, the receiving, even the crowds. I would wear my Santa hat every day. I felt so alive during the holiday season. The holidays were not always good with the ex-husband. He was a bit of a scrooge and made things more tense than they needed to be but I still loved it every year. That is UNTIL…….

He filed for divorce two weeks after Christmas. We had been having problems for a few years but that Christmas was one of our better ones. He even gave me great gifts. I was sure that things were getting better. I thought that maybe he loved me again. Even our oldest told me that he really loved me and thought things were better for us all.

I felt so betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt that the entire holiday had been a lie. I have not looked forward to it for years.  I have put off the decorating as long as possible. I have dreaded putting  up the tree and seeing the ornaments that remind me of various things in our marriage. I had thought about cancelling my annual party. I went through the motions for my kids but would have been perfectly happy just skipping the celebrations.  I actually have had good Christmases in the past few years but I still dreaded them. BF/ex-boyfriend has been with us for a couple of them.

This year, for some reason, I am more myself. my kiddo/roommate was working today and I brought in the decorations, put on the music and almost finished decorating the house. Last night, I went to Noel Night  in town with my nephew. I am excited for my party. I am excited for the holiday season again. I enjoyed singing the songs while I decorated today. I have my holiday back. I have no idea what changed for me this year but I am happy  about it. This has always been my favorite time of year. I definitely do not have any more money this year, things are not perfect but I can enjoy all the things I love about this time.  I am lucky that all three kids are choosing to spend the holiday with me this year, too. Now I just need snow to make it as perfect as it can be.

I had such a great birthday. The celebration culminated last night and now it is time to recover. The actual day was fabulous. I went to town and got my hair done. I like getting highlights and hadn’t done so in a long time to decided to spoil myself. Got a nice cut and felt beautiful. Afterwards, I went to Starbucks to get a coffee and read a bit when one of my friends that was joining me for dinner texted me. She had gotten into town early, too, and needed to blow time. We live in the adjoining town about 25 miles away. She joined me for coffee and then we went to Ex-bf/bff house for me to finish getting ready. The  fun was ready to begin.

We headed back into town to meet the rest at the restaurant. We get seated and are waiting for the rest of the group to show up when an older couple walk in, each carrying a yellow rose. They come over to me, wish me a happy birthday and hand me the roses. I had no idea who they were. Then someone else came in with a rose, then another. Eventually, I realized that my friend and his girlfriend (she had stayed outside) were doing this. I ended up getting 50 flowers delivered to me by random strangers on the street. I had not expected (nor really wanted gifts) but everyone brought something. Ex-bff gave me a backpacking tent. R came and brought me a bottle of one of my favorite wines. My girlfriends gave me a journal, candle, travel mug, and a flask filled with rum. My kiddo came in after work and brought in a Baskin Robbins cake. The crew paid for my dinner (also not expected) and then we all had cake. I was real surprised to have a friend that moved away show up unexpected. She was in town and did some stalking to find out where I was. I felt so loved. I realized that I will never be alone here. I have family that are not related. Next time that I feel down or lonely, I know that I can call each of those people and probably others. After dinner, most went home but four of us went out on the town. We hit a few bars and the pool hall.

The next day, I went to Ex-bf house and we went down the river in our duckies. I will admit that we did fool around a bit. I was tired and took a nap and he joined me. He wanted to give me the physical attention for my birthday, too. I fell in love with him on my birthday three years ago. I did realize that I am truly over him though. My romantic feelings aren’t there for him at this point. I do still love him and wouldn’t mind if we found our way back to each other but I realize that until HE is emotionally healthy that I do not want him.  That was very eye opening for me.

I have continued to celebrate all week. My mom and sister came down to bring my nephew his things and we had a great time together. We even ended up at the same restaurant one night and the bartenders had ice cream brought out to me and everyone sang to me. If this past week is any indication, this year will be a great one. A big part of that is my attitude. I love that I am finally comfortable alone. I keep turning down dates because I have something else I would rather do. I have come a long way in four years. My divorce was final August 23, 2013 so I also celebrate my Freedom day during my birthday every year now.

My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

Here I am sitting in my den with my dogs, alone, on a holiday. The kids are at work. There are events going on, of course, but I really didn’t feel like going to these alone.  This is such a family day. My friends are with their families and I have my dogs. I guess this is a good day to get some  things done around the house and get some blogs written.

It is funny how most of the time I am not lonely anymore. I am truly content being alone most of the time.  can do what I want, when i want. Read, watch TV, take a walk, ride my motorcycle. Eat dessert for breakfast. cook if I choose, I really do enjoy the freedom BUT there are times that it is super lonely and things that I really miss. I miss family meals. For twenty-three years, we had a sit down meal almost every night. We would laugh, talk, share our day, dreams, etc. I miss that so much that it sometimes hurts. Now I get that rarely. I eat by myself most of the time. I am most  lonely when my emotions are high. When I am super sad or excited about something, I miss having a partner to share things with. I miss having someone to run things by before a decision is made. I do not miss them telling me what I can do but advice and a helpful ear is definitely missed. I miss having someone to share fun and bad times with. I miss having someone that is my best friend in all ways. Good thing that my pup listens well. 😉

Today I am lonely. I wish I had someone to BBQ with, to drink a beer or two with. To snuggle with and watch fireworks. Instead, I am home….alone….. and will be until I go to bed. I tried to stay up and positive today but as the day goes on, it is getting worse. Oh well, this is now my life. I need to get used to it.

This day has always been such a difficult day. Before I was married, it seemed I was always alone during this holiday. When you are single, this is a day to remind you how alone you really are. When you are in a relationship, it can be good or bad, depending on the relationship and your partner’s attitude towards the holiday. My ex-husband was not a romantic man at all. He would give me a card from time to time. I think he gave me flowers a couple of times in our marriage. He told me he didn’t give flowers since his mother didn’t like getting flowers. I love getting flowers and let him know that very early in our relationship. I got to where I hated Valentine’s Day. I even got to where I dreaded our anniversary and my birthday (which I love normally) because I always felt neglected. He was a man that never seemed to appreciate anything that I gave him. It was difficult to give him gifts so I got to the point that I dreaded trying to give him anything. One of our last Valentine’s Days together, he came home, threw a single rose on the table as he walked by and told me “Here is your VD flower.” Such a romantic gesture. I just sank inside. Four years ago, I spent the day in divorce court. I couldn’t believe they did that on Valentine’s Day. I was a mess. That has definitely made the holiday more difficult.

Since the divorce, I have been trying so hard to get over the emotional damage from my marriage. My first Valentine’s Day after the divorce, I went skiing with a guy I had gone out with a few times. He made reservations at the restaurant at the top of the mountain to surprise me. He knew my history and he was so romantic that day and definitely made it easier. The next year, I was with the ex-boyfriend getting ready to go on a cruise. Last year, I was dating R. I don’t think we did anything special but this holiday has been better the past few years. Here it is again, around the corner and I am single as can be. I have been feeling a bit down about men and love and seeing all the ads for the local specials. I actually signed up for speed dating that night.

This afternoon, I received a message from A asking for a date for dinner on Monday. I said yes and that would be nice. He told me that since he had to work on Tuesday, it would be our Valentine’s Day date. I was very surprised. He does not know my history so it makes it extra special. I am confused though by his actions. One week, I feel he isn’t interested and the next, he does this. I think he is a very sweet man. I wonder how he actually feels about me. At least, I will have a nice dinner with a good looking man for Valentine’s Day and the speed dating the actual night should be interesting.

 

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