I’ve been singing this song a lot this week.

Hello, how are you doing today?
I hope I find you feeling healthy.
I’m so glad our paths crossed this time today
on our way into the night.

Oh, we find love. It’s hiding here,
in the shadows, in the darkness.
Baby, it’s you and I could bring it to the light.
Love, when I approach the tears they fall like rain, you tell me.
Baby, your heart into a thousand pieces dashed.

Stop, only old and wise, with clouded eyes,
You can’t see what I can, I
Blindly throw my faith to the face
Of the next pretty girl that comes my way.

So here we are all of us stand around.
We’re leaning heavy on each other.
Always wondering what is it lies behind
The worried eyes of one another.

I believe it’s love, it’s hiding there
Inside you and inside me.
Baby, the two of us can bring it to the light.
Love, when I approach the tears they fall like rain, you tell me.
Baby, your heart into a thousand pieces dashed.

Stop, only old and wise, with clouded eyes,
You can’t see what I can, I
Blindly throw my faith to the face
Of the next good thing that comes my way.

I say it’s love, it’s inside here,
It comes on out, share it with some.
Baby, you and I could bring it to the light.
Love, when I approach these tears they fall like rain, you tell me.
Baby, your heart into a thousand pieces dashed.

I believe it’s love.

Granny – Dave Matthews Band

I typed this from memory. xoxo

my mental health day

I woke up this morning around 5:30 am and immediately checked my phone to confirm what I already knew deep down. I saw a CNN headline that said “President Trump” and I figured I was in for a really crappy day. D was awake too, and we decided that we wanted to skip work and spend the day together. So that’s what we did.

The rundown –

  • Laid around, fooled around, and finally crawled out of bed to go pick up breakfast, which we brought home and ate while watching CNN. We watched Hillary’s concession speech. I cried. Then we took a bubble bath together.
  • At one point this morning D was like, “Do you want to get married today?” and I was like, “No, we should follow the original plan, but can we get a kitten?” The answer was no. Marriage…yes. More cats…absolutely not. Hahahaha. I realize I have given no context for this conversation, but I promise it wasn’t as random as it seems.
  • We went to lunch where we did a bit of day drinking. I ate my feelings in the form of buffalo wings and cheese fries. Mmm.
  • We were on a mission this afternoon to find a mirror for our bedroom. We started at Ashley, but that was a bust. We happened upon a Kirkland’s and found exactly what we were looking for and for an absolute steal. Btw, that place looked like Christmas had thrown up in it, which was actually awesome. D told me I have to control myself until Thanksgiving, but that I can go apeshit after. *squee*
  • We made what ended up being¬†one of three Target trips. I can’t even remember why we went to Target this first time, but I know I ended up leaving with a new Swiffer Sweeper and I was quite pleased. (This is who I’ve become…sigh).
  • Went home to hang the mirror and saw a dude pull up in a Charter Cable van and I totally flipped out. I ran out there to chat him up and he told me he was installing services for the neighbor and I was like OMFG WTF¬†I can has¬†internet now?!! So I immediately call Charter and the rep who answered was like, “Yeah no we don’t offer service in your area.” I ran outside with my phone and was like, “Um…I’m standing next to the tech who is installing services at the house that is literally next door so that is unacceptable.” After much bitching I got it resolved and…WE WILL HAVE INTERNET ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON OMFG YES YES YES YEEEEEEESSSSS.
  • Okay I think I have that out of my system for now.
  • D was like, “If Trump hadn’t won, we wouldn’t have stayed home today, and we still wouldn’t know that we could have internet.” But to be honest, if Hills had won¬†I may very well have stayed home because I would have gotten drunk as a motherfucker celebrating last night.
  • Anyway…so¬†then D hung the mirror which looks amaze and then he’s like what if we go shopping for more shit and I was like yes please and so we did. We ended up at another Kirkland’s (in Chesterfield) and bought sconces that look so good. Pics later. I’m so pleased with how our bedroom is coming together. It’s one of my fave rooms ¬†in the house. Next weekend we are getting new bedding!!!!
  • We picked up the kids and came home. What I expected to be a really shitty day was actually a fantastic¬†one and I’m so very grateful.
  • Now? Hang with the kiddos until their bedtime. Then Breaking Bad & reading.

gotta blog it out

  • I’m sad and disappointed. I have today to figure out what I’m going to say to my kids tonight about this…about why half of our country supports hate. My son thinks Trump is a literal monster, so I need to defuse that situation. I need them to feel safe and loved.
  • I never want to hear again that women and men are on the same playing field. Not even fucking close. Misogyny is alive and thriving in this nation of ours. Being a bigoted, racist, sexual predator is preferable to being female. That much is clear. Thanks for letting me know where I stand, guys.
  • Congratulations, white people. We did this. I hope you’re happy.
  • D and I have been up most of the night. We are both bummed and a bit shocked. So we have decided to stay home today and have a nice day together.
  • As bummed as I am, I’ve gotta say there are some real gems on social media today.
  • Oh and stop saying you’re moving to Canada. Canada doesn’t want your ass. STOP. Stay here and help clean up the fucking mess. We have four years to get shit done and then vote this motherfucker out.
  • I still believe love trumps hate.
  • For what it’s worth, I do very much hope that Trump surprises us all and is a good (or at least not a horrible) president.
  • Peace out. I’m going to go hang with my man.

thanksgivings past

As we approach Thanksgiving, D and I have been talking about all the Thanksgivings we have spent together. It made me want to do a recap post.

Thanksgiving 2012

This was our very first Thanksgiving together. Just the two of us. I was living in a townhouse in Ballwin. D came over with bottles of Bordeaux and Riesling, and made fun of me because I had a bottle of sweet red wine. Ha. I ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Maggiano’s, which was surprisingly delicious. We ate dinner and watched television. We ended up watching 28 Days Later, which D had never seen. We talked about divorce, and our kids, our fears for them, etc. There may have been some tears. Despite that, it¬†was a really great night. I’ll always remember it.

We look like babies! OMG. This was just a matter of days before my bilateral mastectomy, so I was a bit of an emotional mess.

Thanksgiving 2013

This year D had Freya, but I didn’t have Jackson. ¬†I came over to his place and helped him make dinner. It was slightly awkward because Freya was so shy and everything still felt very new and sort of strange. In fact, the morning started off a bit rough because when D’s ex dropped Freya¬†off she (the ex)¬†was crying. I felt so very sad for her that day. We rallied though and the¬†three of us played Mario Kart. D and I made dinner.

Frey looks so young in this pic. I miss those little girl bangs. Sigh.

Thanksgiving 2014

This year I had Jackson, and Freya was with her mom. I was living in an apartment in the city. D came over and spent the night. I ordered food from Maggiano’s again, upon D’s request. He got a big kick out of having a catered Thanksgiving dinner. ¬†I remember I didn’t have a phone, because I had broken mine and was waiting on a replacement. We ate food and lounged around watching movies. I think we watched Contact and Close Encounters of the¬†Third Kind. D fell asleep on the couch.

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My brother had just died the week before so I was still working through that. I remember I was quite sad, but also so thankful. Thankful to be alive. Thankful to be with my two favorite people. Thankful to have such a wonderful life.

Thanksgiving 2015

I made arrangements with the ex to change our custody schedule so that D and I would have the kids on the same holidays as much as possible. So this was the first Thanksgiving where we had both of the kids. It was awesome! Jackson and I went over to D and Frey’s place. The kids played together (Minecraft!) while D and I made a big dinner. It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. Everything felt very comfortable and normal.

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Thanksgiving 2016

This year it will be just the two of us again. We’re looking forward to making Thanksgiving dinner in our new home! We will miss the kids obviously, but we both agree that we are looking forward to it just being the two of us this year. There will be wine, yummy food, movies, and sex. I can’t wait.

eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die

This week D has gotten bad news regarding two people he was friends with back in the day who have died way too young. I can see him struggling with how to accept that this can happen to people his age. After all, death is something that happens when you’re much older, under the “proper” circumstances. You’re born, you live, you grow old, you die. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

We never know when we will go or when a loved one will be snatched from us. If you want to do something, do it now. If you love someone, tell them. Be who you want to be right fucking now. Because life is short but sweet for certain.

I love you, David. Always & forever. I’m sorry for your losses. xoxo

if you don’t, don’t.

I had a sort of epiphany last night and I feel kind of silly because it’s like: Duh, Jenn! Seriously…duh.

Earlier this week a couple we are friendly with asked if D and I wanted to go to an event this Saturday night. I told her I needed to talk it over with D, but she was like oh I’ll just put you down. Um…okay. I was feeling pretty awkward about the situation and didn’t particularly want to go because the male half of this couple tends to get aggressive when drunk. By “aggressive” I really mean he follows me to the bathroom and starts groping me then doesn’t want to take no for an answer. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. Obviously. But otherwise I really like them.

So I was venting last night to our best couple friends about how I wanted to get out of it, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I guess we would just go and blah blah blah. Our friends were basically like: Fuck that noise. Just don’t go. You aren’t comfortable with the situation so just tell her you aren’t going. I was like yeah but what reason should I give her, and my friend is like: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE HER A REASON. And I was like holy shit…I don’t. I don’t have to give her a reason.

I felt like such a fucking moron for making such a fuss (in my mind) about hurting someone’s feelings and making up bullshit excuses, when really I should just be like: Thanks for the invite, but we have to pass.

So that’s what I did. And it felt amazing.

If you want to say no, say no. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about anything. These are things I tell my own friends, so why can’t I take my own advice? From now on, I will.

Thanks to Ann & Rob for being awesome…as always.

And this pic just feels very appropriate. Haha –

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honestly

Nov. 3: If you could be completely honest with no regrets, what would you say and to whom?

I was tempted to skip this prompt, since NaBloPoMo is all about writing every day and not so much about following the prompts. This prompt makes me feel weird. A big part of me has plenty I’d like to say to several¬†people, but most of it is snarky, petty shit, which is exactly why I don’t say it. I make every attempt at being a kind person, the bigger person, and not ever going out of my way to hurt someone’s feelings. Obviously I fail at this from time to time, as nobody is perfect, but I do strive to be this sort of person every single day.

With that said, there is something I’d like to say to a person (or maybe persons) who shall remain nameless, and that is this:

When the glass is always half empty, or when nobody ever likes you but you can’t figure out why, and you are always the victim of every bad thing that has ever happened in your life, you should take a good look at yourself and realize that there is one common theme holding all of these threads together: you.

 

bravery

Nov. 2: When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?

To be brave is to¬†endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear. I have always had a difficult time seeing myself as brave. But when I think back on my life, I can think of several situations in which I was. That’s not to say that I wasn’t scared, because I was, but I put forth a facade of fearlessness and pushed forward.

This isn’t a recent example, but it is the one that comes to mind:

Back in 1999, I was 18-years-old, and staying at home with my parents for a while, trying to save up money to move to California. I was working two full-time jobs at the time. I was constantly exhausted and almost never home. The never being at home thing was actually a blessing, as the situation in the home was dangerous. I had two drug addicted parents, one of whom was physically abusive, and three younger siblings who were completely out of control. I stayed out of the way as much as I could. I was anxious to get out of there and start my own life. 

One night I got home, and my step-dad was making the rounds, which is how I referred to his tendency to go from person to person in the house to berate and/or physically intimidate or abuse them. This was all completely normal, and typically I would ignore it. My previous attempts at intervention were never well met by any of the parties, even those whom I was attempting to help. So I typically just kept to myself when I was at home. 

This particular evening I listened to him make the rounds. He started with my mom. I heard a loud thump and peeked out into the hallway where I saw him choking my mother and telling her that he would kill her. After a few seconds of this, he approached my little sister who was like 13 at the time, and started in on her. He told her she was a stupid, ugly, lazy piece of shit. He then went on to tell her, “You are the stupidest person I know.”

I don’t know what it was about this comment that pushed me over the edge, but it did. I totally lost my shit. I raced out into the kitchen and started going off. I screamed and raged at him. I told him that, in fact, he was the stupidest person I had ever known, and that he was also a bully, piece of shit, crack-addicted scum bag, among other things. He stepped right up to me and his nose was touching my nose. When he talked, he was spitting all over me. He said, “I should knock you out right now and teach you a lesson.” I said, “I wish you would because I’m not going to break. I will press charges against you and make sure you end up in jail where you belong.” We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds. Eventually, he went back and sat down at the kitchen table. I simply said, “That’s what I thought,” and turned around and walked out.¬†

The cops had been called. I’m still not sure who called them, whether it was the neighbor or one of my siblings. When Ferguson PD arrived they ascertained the situation, got all versions of the story, and eventually placed my step-dad under arrest for a number of outstanding warrants he had around the Saint Louis area. As they cuffed him, he looked at me and said, “You better not be here when I get back.” I replied, “Don’t worry, I’m leaving and I won’t be back. By the way, I hope you fucking drop dead.”

After he was carted off, my mother looked at me, crying, and said, “Jennifer, why do you always have to cause trouble?”

I packed my shit and I left that night. I moved to California two days later. I never went back to that house. 

This isn’t the example most would use to illustrate¬†my supposed bravery, as few people know this story. I suspect most people would say enduring breast cancer treatment. As most already know, I had a bilateral mastectomy, 8 rounds of chemo, and radiation back in late 2012, early 2013. I don’t see that as an act of bravery, however. Cancer treatment was simply something I was forced to endure if I wanted to survive. Is something still considered brave if you don’t have a choice? This is something I’ve spent some time contemplating, but I’m no closer to an answer.

 

when i’m feeling blue…

Nov. 1: When you’re having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?

I have, thankfully, been having far fewer bad mental health days in the last year or so, but it still comes up from time to time. Whenever I’m having a bad mental health day (or just a bad day in general) I like to do the following:

  • run: that runner’s high is the shit. running always helps!
  • take a bubble bath (by candle light)
  • aromatherapy (lotions, candles, sprays, oils)
  • listen to soothing music
  • journal/blog it out
  • smoke weed and watch dmb videos and/or it’s always sunny
  • color and/or draw
  • read: reading is my favorite escape from reality.
  • clean, organize, and make to-do lists: this makes me feel like i’m in control.
  • watch cat videos (yes i’m that person)

Today’s topics –

  • I’ve had a few difficult professional conversations today, but they all ended up going quite well.
  • D gave me his cold.
  • I have a tension headache. The pain in radiating down my neck and into my shoulder.
  • Being in a book club is hard when you’ve read like all the books. Every single month for the last four¬†have been repeats.
  • There was so much making out this past weekend that my mouth is sore and the skin around it is irritated.
  • I wish people would stop pretending like cauliflower is an acceptable substitute for rice and/or potatoes.
  • D’s ex sent him an email today that made me smile. It seems his parents are on her shit-list too, and rightfully so. Fucking assholes.
  • I’m addicted to washi tape, and stickers. I put them¬†on everything.
  • This completely worthless post must come to an end so I can go meet with another client.