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    Entries in Mindee (125)



    Technically I am in my home.  The mortgage to this house has my name on it.  It’s filled with my stuff.  My husband, two of my kids and all of my pets live here with me.

    But it really, really doesn’t feel like home.

    I miss Lincoln.  I miss my friends and my house and the city itself.  Real restaurants and stores and just the familiarity of recognizing everything as I drive along.  I miss having memories attached to my surroundings.  This new town is nice and the people have been friendly but it’s all strange and uncomfortable.  

    I just want to go home.

    I want to go back to my house in the north end of town. It wasn’t a perfect house, but at least I knew it’s faults and peculiarities and how to deal with them. I want to walk the familiar route through my neighborhood where I know the people in the houses I pass and their stories.  

    I want to shop in the grocery store where I know where everything is.  I want to see the faces of friends and neighbors in the aisles and I want Jerry - who has bagged my groceries for over 10 years - to smile and tell my I’m looking good today.

    I want Reagan to be able to stop by and do a load of laundry and eat my food while we watch Say Yes To The Dress.

    I want Faith to be her happy, sociable self again.  Not this sad child who misses her friends and her school and her dance studio and clings to my side like she hasn’t since she was very small.

    When Hayden leaves for college in a few weeks, I want it to be a few miles down the road - not 9 hours away in a different state.

    It’s good to go through hard things - it’s where we learn and grow the most.  But it also kinda sucks and today I’d rather not.  Probably I shouldn’t even publish this particular post because it’s pretty pathetic, but this is where I’ve chosen to record our history and so I will so that when I look back at this time I’ll be able to (hopefully) see how far I’ve come.



    Profit From Pain

    I was thinking about pain this weekend.  There are all kinds of pain: physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, people who are a pain in the rear …

    You get the idea.

    I make it a point to avoid pain.  Because it hurts, and I am notoriously wimpy.  I do not like to hurt.  Not one bit.  But then I thought of all the times I have experienced pain, and each and every time I have learned a lesson.

    Some of the lessons were simple.  Things like:

    • Wear sunscreen.
    • Do not do an hour of Pilates if you are 44 and have not exercised in six months.
    • Stop eating the cake when you are full.
    • If you are a freshman in high school, it’s not such a good idea to tell the girl who is part of a gang to “Sit and Spin”.

    Actually the cake one is a lesson of which I am aware, but apparently have not really learned yet because I continue to eat the cake after I am full.  

    Other lessons have been more complex and layered.  Examples include:

    • Spend time with those you love while you can.
    • Know when the relationship is more important than the argument and treat it as such.
    • You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking.
    • Look for the best in others and the worst won’t bug you as much.
    • I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs.
    • I am NOT responsible for yours.


    These are all important life lessons which have come from pain and I am grateful to know them.  Which, in turn, should make me grateful for pain.

    Being grateful for pain.

    I don’t think I am quite there yet.

    I do think I face pain better than I used to though.  I am more willing to walk through a storm if I have to, because I know there will be a reward on the other end.

    Which still doesn’t mean I like it.  

    Do you think that maybe one of these days I’ll actually become a person who learns things the easy way? Like by reading a book or something?

    It seems unlikely.

    Until I do, I guess I am glad that pain at least comes with a purpose.




    My New Job And An Old Movie

    Today was my first day at my new job and I am highly encouraged.  I met a lot of people.  I think some of them were named Linda and I believe there was a Mark or two.  And a Daisy.  There was definitely a Daisy.  Just don’t ask me to match any of those names to faces.  

    Of course it’s miles less entertaining than the office of a middle school but everyone was friendly and I figured out a few things on my own which is encouraging.


    I have a thermostat all to myself.  After sharing a thermostat in an office full of women who were never all at the same temp at the same time, my own thermostat feels like a luxury.

    It’s the little things people.

    On to more important subjects…

    This weekend I used guilt to coerce invited my daughters to watch Steel Magnolias with me. I looked at it as an educational experience.  The movie covers cinematic history, Southern culture, feminism and 80’s fashion.  All important subjects for the modern young woman to study.

    There was also the matter of the fact that I forgot about a locker room scene where several young, male bare butts are on display.

    Biology? Check.

    I had forgotten just what a good movie Steel Magnolias is.  Those actresses were flawless.  Each scene was better than the last.  And that graveyard scene where Sally Field loses it?


    This movie was released in 1989 when I was Reagan’s age.  The first time I saw it, I related to Julia Robert’s character and I was definitely touched, but this time?

    This time I related to Sally Field and I started sniffling in the first ten minutes.

    I just can not imagine that journey as a mother.  Don’t even want to imagine.

    I thought it was interesting though how I’ve come full circle on that movie since it was released but the story absolutely still holds up.

    And I will never, ever get tired of the magnificent 80’s hair and the “blush and bashful” wedding.


    As for my girls? I think Reagan liked it.  She cried in the right places.  Faith, on the other hand, fell asleep.  It was criminal.  I think that her penance should be watching Terms of Endearment with me next week.

    In case you missed it when I posted it on Facebook the other day, here is my menu for the next five weeks, including links to 18 recipes.  Enjoy.


    To Do

    I have two weeks off until I start my new job.  My preference would be to spend those two weeks eating cookies and watching HGTV.

    But then I couldn’t yell at the kids for sitting around all day, eating me out of house and home.


    This new job requires that I work a real schedule as in 8-5 every single day.  As much as I complained about having to be at work at 7:15 the last two years, it was totally worth it to be home by 4:00.  How am I going to cook real dinners? Have time to stop at the grocery store? Get Faith to dance on time?

    I know.  Most of the adults in the country work this schedule and manage just fine.  I’ll figure it out.  But until I do, I’m in planning mode.  Before I start working I want to:

    1)  Get my yard looking beautiful.  In three weeks I am hosting a rehearsal dinner for 50+ people for my best friend’s oldest son.  (Which seems impossible as he was just born a couple of years ago.  I know because I was there.  He is the only baby other than my own that I watched enter the world so it’s a pretty clear memory and could not possibly have taken place 21.5 years ago.) Right now my yard is completely covered in Cottonwood cotton.

    Not much I can do about that but hope it disappears before the party.  Serving a meal with cotton as a condiment isn’t uncommon around here, but not my first choice.

    2) Come up with a game plan for preparing the food.  The menu is relatively simple.  We are going to grill marinated chicken and serve it with a green salad and Roasted New Potato Salad. Some nice rolls on the side and a brownie sundae bar for dessert and we are good to go.

    I just have to figure out a time schedule to get it all done on time.

    And recruit my family into helping me.

    And have a minor anxiety attack.  You’d think this is optional, but it’s not.  I have yet to host anything major without one.

    At least my anxiety is predictable.

    3) Plan a month’s worth of menus for my own family.  The getting home at five and having to make dinner right away thing is seriously worrying me.  I’ll feel a lot better if I have the menu for the next month planned out along with grocery lists.

    4) Paint Reagan’s former bedroom and Rich’s office.  They both need it desperately but both have to be cleaned out first.  Realistically, this isn’t going to happen in the next two weeks but I’m adding it to the list anyway so I can feel guilty about it later.

    5) Come up with a chore list for Hayden and Faith.  I know that once I start work and am not here to wake them up and then nag them all day that they will probably sleep till noon and then lie around until 30 minutes before I’m due home and rush to get chores done.  But at least they’ll get done and I won’t be here to see the lazy part.

    It’s an ambitious list and just writing it has worn me out. 

    I think I’d better go watch some HGTV and recharge.


    How To Stop Thinking

    It’s been a year and a half since I contacted my lawyer and had her cancel the court date.  A year and a half of healing, rebuilding and moving forward.  It’s been a good process with measurable progress and at this stage I feel like I can say that as a couple, the issues have been resolved.  As a family, I don’t know that we will be able to say that for a long time.  For the kids I want to leave open the possibility that damage was done that they may need to discuss in the future.  What happens when you’re a teen may play in to how you process relationships as an adult when you have a new, more mature perspective on what happened.

    So this is a discussion topic that shall remain open, indefinitely.

    However, I have found that I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about it.  Initially, thinking about painful events is part of the healing.  Coming to terms with the pain is a process that, for me, involved:

    • Figuring out what part I played in the unraveling of my marriage and then working on how to change the behaviors I have that are destructive.
    • Asking for, and receiving, forgiveness for my actions.
    • Processing through the things Rich did that hurt me.  
    • Forgiving him for slights large and small and really meaning it.
    • Choosing to believe that who Rich is now is not who he was then.  Choosing to believe that just as I have learned and grown through this, that so has he.  Choosing to trust.

    This took a while and for me, being who I am, involved thinking through events over and over from every angle and then doing it again.

    And again.

    Until I had built a habit within my brain of going over the past hurts.  This habit, in case you’re wondering, is not at all productive.  In fact, at this point I have to say that I can no longer blame Rich for any hurt I’m feeling.  He has more than paid for what he has done, made amends and is loving me the way I’ve always wanted to be loved.  So if I am still hurting over past events it’s because I keep dragging them through my brain unnecessarily.

    When dissecting the past starts doing more harm than good, it’s time to stop.

    The first step was recognizing that I had created a bad habit.  This was difficult because at the beginning of the healing process, thinking through this junk was necessary and productive.  Recognizing that the habit had moved from healthy to unhealthy took me a while.  Once I did, I had to figure out how to to stop it.  I found this article that has some great suggestions.

    Well, except for “dancing” and “explore nature” because I can not see how looking ridiculous or getting dirty and bug bitten are going to help anything.

    I had already incorporated quite a few of the others and found them to be helpful but it was a suggestion I found somewhere else that has had the best results.  The idea was to wear a rubber band on my wrist and when I found my mind wandering into unsafe territory I was supposed to snap the rubber band and say “Stop!” out loud.

    But I don’t like wearing rubber bands.  They make my wrist feel claustrophobic and generally clash with my fashion choices.

    So for the past three weeks, observers may have seen my slapping my own wrist and telling myself to “Stop!” when my thoughts go down avenues they shouldn’t.  

    I’m sure it does not look at all crazy.  

    After I do that, I force myself to think about something in the immediate.  Things like grocery lists or what I need to accomplish in the next 20 minutes or creating a to-do list for the weekend are good distractions and usually help me to jolt my thoughts off of the well worn paths.

    As hard as we have worked to get to this new stage, I want to fully enjoy it.  I want to be in the present and look forward to the future.  It’s time to let go.