Embracing the Void

Well, this funk I am in seems to be settling in for the long haul.  What is up with me?  I just can’t seem to shake this feeling.

Sunday evening was the worst. I sat on the front step with my iPad, reading.  The kitties were enjoying the fresh air and munching on the grass (only to toss their cookies minutes afterwards – why do cats do this?)

My funk turned into a deep sadness and sense of desperation.  I started worrying that this feeling would never go away.  I was mindlessly thumbing through memes and images and stumbled across this.

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All of a sudden, it makes sense. I’m not saying that it feels any better, but it makes sense.  I keep trying to keep these feelings at arms length and avoid them at any cost. Something tells me that until I learn to truly embrace solitude, it will forever hound me.

My life is in re-set mode.  My nest is empty, my friends are still there, but are probably going through their own stuff as well, some are becoming grandparents (yikes!), some have met new loves and are caught up in that.

Maybe this feeling is greater than me. Like a child being preparing for his first day of school, clinging tightly to the hand of his parent, scared, but knowing this is a necessary step in growth, maybe this is God, the universe, karma, destiny (whatever) way of saying to let old things fall away and to be open to a new way of life.

Change is inevitable in all things.  It’s not easy, but I think if I learn to accept it for what it is, I can keep my eyes and heart open.  I think a person has to fully embrace and accept a situation in order to be able to get through it. Walk with it, hand in hand and then before you know it, it leaves your side and in walks sweet relief and joy once more.

Saw a Great Comedy Last Night

My lovely peeps! Have I ever mentioned in passing how much I love going to the movies?  Tuesday night cheapie movies have always been high on my list of stuff that makes me happier than a bird with a french fry.

It’s such a great way to start off the week.  Mondays are a write off, I’m pooped from my first day back.  Going to a movie on a Tuesday is a little like flipping the bird to the work week/daily grind.  It’s like saying “hey, look at me, not caring that I have to get up early in the morning and that my dinner is popcorn and a bottle of water”.  I’m a rebel, I tell ya.

So getting back to the actual movie.  It was hilarious!  A real knee slapper.  The only trouble is, it wasn’t a comedy.  It was The War of The Planet of The Apes….

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Buzzwords for “crap movie”

 

Oh!..the over acting, the cheesy lines, the lack of originality in the plot.  Do not get me started on Woody Harrelson.  That should have been my first tip off that it was going to be a real stinker. That man cannot act. At all. Remember when he played that half wit on that sitcom Cheers?  Well my friends, I don’t think that acting dumb bit was much of a stretch for him.

Every time his goofy mug showed up on screen, I braced myself.  It was seriously cringe worthy.  I finally lost it after he yelled “SO EMOTIONAAAAL” to an ape.  I burst out laughing and turned to my friend.  “Ready to go?” I asked.  “Yep” was her reply.

First time I ever walked out of a movie theater.  You know it’s a hot mess when I do that.  Gladly, it was only $6 for the entrance.  Still, I could have been doing better things….like plucking my eyebrows or brushing my cat.  For reals.

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Dude, why? Why did you think this movie was a good idea? Why?

 

Monday Weigh-in: 181 lbs :)

Will you look at that?  I’m down two pounds, and I’m on vacation! I have also been having an ice cream cone every other day, minus the guilt trip.  Confession: I have not tracked one morsel of food for over a week.  I have just been listening to what my body wants to eat and using that as my guide.

Mind you, I also have not brought any sweets into the house lately. My stress levels have also taken a nosedive since my beloved prodigal has moved out.  I’ve been super chill. Maybe there really is  link between stress levels and weight gain.

I have just finished the last of my protein powder, so we will see what the next week brings.  Drinking protein smoothies in the morning has been great in taking the guess work out of what to feed myself when I get up and it has kept me full until lunch time.

Either or, I am just happy with the loss. Averaging one pound per week is just fine by me.  I’m hoping that next Monday brings me closer to the 170-something mark.  I haven’t seen those numbers in a good long while.

Happy Monday all.

Staycation Day #4 (Monday)

Bang bang bang bang bang.  That is the sound I woke up to Monday morning.  I don’t know what the deal is on this street.  It’s like a zombie construction worker/independent contractor/renovators apocalypse.

Well, since I’m up….may as well get the day going.  I spent the morning reading emails and some of my favorite blogs.  Then I made this awesome Meat Moussaka a-la-Weight Watchers style.  Super yummy and low in points and calories.  A girl’s gotta eat..

 

Once done, I headed downtown to catch the jazz-fest.  Oh what a treat for all senses!  This lady in red was doing this all day.  I can’t even image….

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Oh hello!  Not sure what this had to do with jazz, but it was very creative and fun to look at!

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Tourist or festival employee…you decide.

Uhm…..!

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Must have been one helluva party!

The first act I caught was, well…very dull.  I will not mention his name, as I don’t feel right about publicly bashing anyone.  I will say this, however, for a jazz musician, he was very….vanilla….and as the front man, he played…the electric bass.  I don’t get it either.

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Mister Snappy Socks – way more interesting that the band that shall remain nameless.

Montreal is know for its culinary delights.  We have some of the best restos and food trucks.  Last night was no exception, here is just a small sampling of what was available.

There next two acts that I caught were spectacular.  The first was the Johnny Max Band. The lead singer has a very seasoned voice and a very big stage presence.  I even bought their CD after the show.  If you are a fan of blues, you must check these guys out.  Let me know what you think!

The second was Dawn Tyler Watson.  This is the second time I have seen her and what an amazing set of pipes! I was able to squeeze myself into a little spot on the side of the stage.  See? One more benefit of going out solo!

There was also lots of fun to be had for the little ones!  Happy kids = happy parents.

The last act I caught was a band from Brazil called Bixiga 70.  Very big on percussion and bongos.  I think it may have been their first time in Montreal.  They really put their heart into performing.  I listened for a while then head back home.

That was my day in a nutshell.  Good night folks!

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Mouah! Nighty night!

Empty Nest and the Single Parent

I guess I should just come right out and say it.  I feel very….lonely. For so many years my time has been occupied with the care and worry over the prodigal.  It’s not the first time he has moved out, so I should be used to this by now.  It’s just that there are only so many times I can press on the reset button of this nest.

What is the reasonable amount of contact a parent can expect from their adult children?  I have no idea.

Do I want to become one of those mothers that becomes needy and clingy?  Of course not.  I don’t ever want to be a burden.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know by now that my relationship with my son has not been an easy one.  My heart swells with love for him.  It has been just me and him since he was a little tot of two years of age.

As much as my heart swells with love, it also has broken many times at the hurtful words that he has thrown at me.  Ours is a complicated situation.

Part of me is so happy for him that he has moved in to his very own apartment.  The other part of me is a little worried; I have concerns that he may have bit off more than he can chew with the new-ish girlfriend and her little son.

I am a little disappointed and confused at the moment.  His moods are so up and down, at least with me.  We saw each other at a family funeral on Saturday and all seemed fine.  Then Sunday rolled around and he was in a strange mood.

I guess I’m having a bit of a pity party.  The empty nest is leaving me feeling like nobody needs me anymore.  Like I have been forgotten.

When I tried explaining to a friend that I’m having a hard time adjusting, she made light of it, saying I should be rejoicing.  I have my place to myself and no longer have to deal with the prodigal’s mood swings.

Spoken like a typical non parent.  Its so frustrating.  Nobody seems to understand how difficult an empty nest is to a single parent.  I don’t have a spouse to turn to and to dote one or just get to know all over again.

I’ve been watching countless videos and reading on the psychological effect of the empty nest.  There is a little bit of comfort there to know I’m not the only one who goes through this.

Keeping my mind busy seems to help.  I’ve picked up my guitar this past week more than I have since I bought it a couple years ago.  There’s an app called Yousician that I have discovered and I guess that will keep me occupied on the evenings that I am at home.

This is really hard.  If my son were of even keeled temperament, I’d feel fully secure and relaxed that he is just busy, discovering his new life.  With him though, I never know if radio silence is really a form of passive aggression or not.  As much as I love him, this dance has been exhausting.

I’d love to hear from other empty nesters.  How did/are you dealing with this?  Did you have a hard time adjusting?

Happy Thursday all.

The Nest is Almost Empty

Yep, the prodigal will be leaving the nest once more.  I have mixed feelings about it.  Last time he left I felt a great sadness wash over me.  His departure came on the heels of argument.  He was still in school, had a part time job that paid a pittance, and he moved in with his then high school sweetheart and her parents.

Do not get me started on how NOT on board I was with this.  In my mind, this was not how you are supposed to start off your life.  As a parent, it embarrassed me that my son was living there, rent free, with 24/7 access to their daughter.  These folks barely scratched out a living for themselves and now they had an additional mouth to feed.

As predicted, it did not work out.  No too long after he moved there, he started nit picking at little things and complaining.  Their relationship came to an end and since he was still in school and broke, he returned to the nest in November of 2016.

He finished school, worked through his depression and feelings of isolation and started feeling better.  True to form, within about two months, things started turning sour here.  I won’t bore you with the details again, but it can be found in a previous post.

So, take off part 2, is on the horizon in a couple days.  He will be moving out with is new-ish girlfriend and her little son.  This time, I’m not feeling sad.  As much as I love him, I have come to realize that my one and only beloved son is a person with a difficult disposition.  In his mind, every cruel word and feeling of entitlement is justified and deserved.

In a way, some bridges have started to burn between the two of us.  My need for kindness and peace has begun to outweigh family ties. I love him dearly, warts and all. That will never change.  I am just too tired to continue to try to show him how his actions not only hurt others, but himself as well.  The day of live and let live is upon us.

So, I’m releasing him out into the world, wishing him the very best.  He will remain in my prayers, but my days of constant worrying are over. I have to trust that I’ve given him the tools to survive out there and allow him to learn by his mistakes and to grow independently as an adult.

He has hinted a couple times here and there that he needs this, that, or the other thing for his upcoming move.  Once upon a time I would have jumped in and saved the day.  No more.  Now I’m offering suggestions or simply saying nothing.  My job is done.  I know I have been a good parent, even if he does not think so or find fault in every little thing.  I could not have loved more than I have.

It’s a good thing parenting does not come with a manual, folks. If so, I think many of us would have stopped populating the world.  It is a SCARY ride at times with no guarantee of what the outcome will be.  All we can do as parents is do our jobs with love….and a steady supply of wine and/or chocolate!

Stay tuned for more news on the flight of the prodigal.

 

Monday Weigh-in

Well Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!  Stepped on the scale and am happy to report that I’ve lost a little more.  The reading this morning was 181.8. Yes!  I know, it’s small potatoes, but it’s something.

This past Saturday I signed up and attended a Meetup group outing.  I am not at a loss for friends, but honestly, they just do not have the same motivation to go out there and move.

We were supposed to go for a light hike followed by kayaking. We took a wrong turn on the trails and ended up walking a lot longer than anticipated.  We started walking at 11:30 a.m. and finally finished at 3:30 pm.  Ugh…..I was parched and exhausted and famished and I swear, was ready to just scream “I give up!!!” and lie in the middle of the fields until the next thaw.

Kayaking did not happen.  I did not have one ounce of energy left in me.  My two co-passengers (I volunteered to offer lifts), who were much younger than I also felt the same.

So after downing what seemed like one million litres (or gallons if you’re American) of water, off we went back to the city.

I was so sore the next day, but it felt great to move and it all paid off.  I’m glad I went, because true to form, I’m getting bored with the gym.  I only average one day per week, which is why I won’t waste money on memberships any longer.  I buy passes.  Some argue it might be more expensive, but to each their own.  Unless I am ready to go there four times a week, it’s not going to happen.  I used to spend a lot of time at the gym and I’m over that. It felt like a chore. Yes, I do have commitment issues on many levels.

I took a peek at the pics snapped on our outing…sigh….I should not have done that.  I look like a hippopotamus in athletic gear.  Gosh I so want to lose weight.  I cannot stand what I look like.  There were some there bigger than me, lumpier, squishier, but my eyes always zero in on all my imperfections.  I hate it.  I hate that the outside does not match the inside.  Why can I be accepting of other people that carry extra weight, but bash myself constantly over it.  They seem so comfortable in their bodies and I clearly am not.  I hide from cameras.

Also, do cameras really make a person look wider?  Stay with me on this, I’m not being delusional.  A friend of mine just completed a Spartan race.  She has lost a ton of weight, but on her race pics, she looks so much heavier than she really is.  What’s up with that?

Happy Monday, all.  Keep smiling!