There’s a very simple way to get past the ugly cry face. Cry everyday. I do it. At work behind my monitors, in the car, especially in the car, in the shower, in bed. I’ve probably been crying more or less every day for the last year. When you just cry when the feeling hits you, you don’t build up a flood and thus avoid the “face”.
The last 12 months have given me many opportunities to practice this. It’s been a year of firsts without my dad, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, birthdays, the Greek festival…
I didn’t make the connection till I lost my shit when I got back form CO at Ryan’s that I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and sad and anxious, I’m tapped out. Accepting that Aunt Theresa is gone and now as we approach Father’s Day, and the anniversary of Dads death I feel depleted. My reserves are gone, I can’t be strong right now.
In less than a month will be the anniversary of that fateful Tuesday we took the kids to Billy Beez, Margaritaville and then an emergency stop at the green playground. That day, what seemed like 12 ambulances screamed by and Emily looked at me and said, “I don’t have a good feeling about this…”. That day we packed all the kids with no seat belts or car seats into the car to make the 3 block trek back home. That day my aunt Theresa intercepted me on the front lawn and hugged me and said “it’s the worst thing that could happen” when I asked what was going on. i didn’t realize he had in fact died in the driveway until we got to the hospital. the EMTs pretty much sugar coated the situation and gave me the hope i needed that something would be done at the hospital that allowed me to drive there.
i can only assume that my emotions might be getting the best of me in the next few weeks. more opportunities to perfect my cry face.
i recently had the opportunity to celebrate a dear friends upcoming nuptials in puerto rico. i jumped at the opportunity. i have never been to PR. here are some interesting things i learned/observed.
1. you don’t need a passport to travel there
2. their currency is us dollars
3. between the hours of midnight and 5am you don’t need to wait at red lights. this cuts down on “the carjackings”… i am glad we didn’t hear this until the day before we left. i think i would have been unnecessarily scared had we heard it at the car rental place.
4. verizon cell phone service doesn’t work in Rincon.
5. i think i have a “puerto rican” body. all the dress shops i noticed in the towns touted dresses with that dress cut i love, empire waist, flare skirt…
6. renting a place is kind of better than an all inclusive deal. it was certainly cheaper..
7. as with all foreign places, there are always other food options than the local cuisine. what we did eat of the local food was pretty damned delicious. mofongo is what i particularly enjoyed. it was mashed green plantains, heavy with garlic, and then topped with whatever – i had vegetarian, naturally, it was broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, all smothered with a brothy-butter. so good. and so garlicy.
8. lamborghinis are so effing loud. there was a douchebag that had one (amongst many other luxury sports cars he was happy to tell us) that he brought to Tamboo and just would move parking spaces all night. when it was time to leave, he was so loud. i’m pretty sure there is nowhere on that island he can drive that car faster than 40 miles an hour. he was a douche.
so this weekend i turned 40. they call it mid life. i somehow feel like i’m quite past mid life. i don’t think anyone in my family has made it past their 70’s yet.. i don’t know if it was the gravity of this birthday, the hormones in the birth control that i’m taking, or that i’ve been missing my dad so much lately, but i have been very sad in these last couple of weeks. pretty much every time i am alone in my car i break down crying.
i really have no reasons to be sad though. my family and friends went out of their ways to surprise me with a HUGE party. there were people at this party that i’ve not seen in 10-15 years.. to say i was shocked is an understatement. i’m beyond blessed to have so many people that care about me enough to be so generous to celebrate with me. i think i’ll be paying this forward for a very long time.
One of the better investments I’ve made in the last few years is in regularly seeing my therapist. I’ve been seeing this guy on and off (much more on lately) for at least 4 years now. He is quirky, but I always take something away each week. Lately he’s given me these couple of tidbits…
1. “The honeymoon period” – I was emotionally expressing some guilt I was feeling in not physically being around that much lately at Caths house. He was quick to explain that in dating the honeymoon period is critical to the long term health of a relationship. He said its memories from those moments that you reflect on that sustain the relationship when times are harder. Similar to the bonding moments that parents have with their newborn children. He urged me that it was necessary to have those moments.
2. “falling in my lap” – tonight I mentioned that things are going so well in my life right now and how it makes me a little nervous wondering when things are going to fall apart, and that I feel a little bit like this new relationship has fallen in my lap. He cut me off immediately and pointed out all the work I’ve been doing on myself and getting my life in order to be ready when the right relationship came by. He said this opportunity has definitely not happened by chance, and that I’ve worked very hard to make it happen.
**tangent** Reflecting on what I’ve made happen makes me think of the service I went to in Portland years ago where basically the message of the sermon was “god makes everything happen, don’t be over proud of what you accomplish, give god credit, HE made it happen”.
It’s entirely possible that I am misinterpreting the message of that sermon, but it still makes me irate thinking that anything good (or bad I suppose) that happens to me is not something I should feel accomplished or proud of. I probably should look that message up, I think I saved the program from that service because I was so dumbfounded, I have to be misinterpreting that lesson… **end tangent**
Anyway, those 2 particular nuggets of advice were ones I don’t want to forget, so what better way to preserve then than sharing them with the world. ;)
time is the one thing you can’t stop and in less than one month it will bowl me over and i’ll be 40 years old. whoa.
i can’t say i regret anything as i reflect on where my life is at this monumental point. i do have a wish list for the future though and i’d say i’m in the best position yet as far as accomplishing these things in the next decade, if not sooner.
1. More passport stamps. i’ve already got a trip to Puerto Rico in the calendar, but Chile (Easter Island), more France, maybe Germany (Dresden), Australia, New Zealand.. i’m coming for you. also more cruises, that one last year was outstanding.
2. More visiting friends and family. i’m fortunate to know so many people scattered across this great country, i need to work in some vacations for visiting.
3. Eliminate credit card debt. i’ve been working on this since April 2013… and to date, i’ve eliminated over $17k. i’m counting that as a huge success and hopefully can bang out the remaining $5.5k before i turn 41. :) if my math is correct, this *should* be attainable.
4. Get married. this isn’t an immediate need. hell, i’ve waited this long.. children are no longer on the wish list, and since i’m only getting married one time, i am going to make sure it’s right, so i have all the time in the world if i need it. also.. falling in love has given me some confidence that this is an attainable goal.
5. Make more art. I have not prioritized painting, drawing or printmaking in recent years and that is rather sad. i’d like to get back into hand making my christmas cards again at the very least.
6. Play more games. Playing games and having game nights really is joyous. i need more of this in my life.