I’m struggling with something I never thought I would struggle with, and I’m not really sure what to do about it.

Surely I’m not the only one having this conversation with their significant other…and you’d think as a collective whole we’d have figured out a sneaky and/or ingenious way around this impasse by now.

But I have not.

When do you make the transition into official Facebook couple status?

And what do you do when one of you wants to make that move, and the other doesn’t….but both of you are struggling to articulate why?

I’ve been seeing new boyfriend for about six months now. We met in early December at a Christmas party, where we got started talking because as I innocently crossed through the kitchen for another Coke Zero, one of the hosts, who was in the kitchen chatting with not-yet-boyfriend about cars, mentioned that I happen to own a really big truck.

I love my really big truck.

Not-yet-boyfriend also has a really big truck.

We started talking, and ended up heading out about the same time at the end of the night. I believe my final words as we headed to different ends of the cul de sac were “Add me on Facebook, if you want to…” and he said he would. As I was sitting in my big truck waiting for my windshield to defrost, he pulled up next to me in his big truck; because his big truck is a diesel (i.e. loud), I climbed up on the running board so we could talk, and that went on until 1 in the morning or so. When I finally got back into my big truck, it was nice and warm, with a fully defrosted windshield…

Not-yet-boyfriend and I became Facebook friends about ten minutes after that, and by the end of the next week had gone on a real datey-date. I drove home after it hoping he liked me as much as I liked him, because I knew I was screwed if he didn’t…

Lucky for me, he felt the same way. The next week, we had one more amazing date, shared a sweet first kiss at 2am, and then I got on a plane for London to spend Christmas with my best friend. My two-plus weeks in Britain were a series of Facebook conversations with then-pretty-much-boyfriend, and we shared a lot of things with each other in conversations where we talked about what went wrong before and what we really want out of life now that it’s taking a new course. I woke up every morning to youtube links of cute songs and emoticon smiley faces, and that was everything I wanted. So you might say Facebook really facilitated the first three weeks or so of our relationship ((thanks, Facebook)).

That was in December. Boyfriend and I have been pretty inseparable ever since. And because we’re both getting kind of old, we’ve skipped a lot of the drama I remember being part of starting a new relationship the last time I did it. We just talked about what we wanted, and moved forward from there. We don’t really fight as much as talk through things, and if we disagree, we sit down and try to figure out why. It’s refreshing and healthy, and all I could ask for.

And there have been challenges… Boyfriend just got divorced. I will be posting more about dating a divorced guy…for the most part, I find it has actually helped our relationship, because the experience has made him very aware of the consequences of not working through things, and if anything it has enhanced his natural propensity toward being very patient and understanding. I appreciate this.

We have only one impasse…

I’m ready to claim our relationship on the Facebook. I wasn’t when we started dating, and I assumed it would take some time before he was. There is something to be said, I think, for keeping some things private for a while.

But I’m ready now.

He isn’t.

And I cannot find a way out of this conundrum, because neither of us can really explain WHY we feel the way we do. I don’t want to feel like he’s hiding me. He doesn’t want to feel pressured. Who wins this one?

This came to a head for me last week, on boyfriend’s birthday when a random person (who is clearly not THAT good of a friend, or she would know this $#!%) posted on his timeline a message to the effect of “Have a great Birthday with that lovely wife of yours!”

We talked about it. He ended up deleting the post, but the bigger issue for me is…I’m awesome. Shouldn’t he WANT to correct this person, and inform people who don’t know that he does not have this wife, anymore….he has me?

I’ve met his whole family, and I consider that significant. Clearly, I’m important to him if he wants me to be involved with them. But at the same time, these are the people that will support, non-judgmentally, anything that makes him happy. Is he afraid of the judgment that might come with putting our relationship on Facebook? Is it too soon? How long do you wait?

At the bottom of all this, I realize I’m hurt because I feel like he isn’t taking my feelings seriously, and that is something we’ll need to address. But then I feel silly because….how worked up is it appropriate to get over Facebook??

For those of us old enough to remember life pre-Facebook, it seems a little strange that it has become this much of a defining factor in our daily existence. But it has, and if that changes the parameters of what my relationship looks like, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate and set some healthy boundaries on it. But I also think that if Facebook is going to be part of our lives, then it makes sense to try and be on the same page with what we put on there.

What I really don’t understand is that boyfriend claims he is fine with posting pictures, and with status updates, and even said it wouldn’t bother him if I posted on there in a status that he is my boyfriend…..so if that’s the case, why not just update it?? He can’t have it both ways…Facebook can’t be so unimportant it doesn’t matter, but important enough he wants to set limits on how our relationship looks on there because he clearly cares what people are going to think.

….right??

I’m still trying to wrap my little brain around this one.

At times like this, it’s important to focus on the positive. Boyfriend and I are incredibly supportive and understanding of each other in general, and I’m confident that at some point we will work our way through this. The challenge for me is doing with with my big girl panties on, and for him it’s going to be acknowledging how he really feels about his relationship to Facebook, which I think he’s still fighting a little bit.

Watching some cars get smashed in the sunshine this weekend might prove to be incredibly cathartic. And maybe I’ll get a good profile picture out of it.

That’s all for now. I have to go check my Facebook and get to work…

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Happy Friday!

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Today is going to be a good day. I can already tell. Mainly because I’m still at home in my yoga pants, sipping coffee, with fresh air coming through an open screen door. It’s a little after 9am, sunny, and already about 70 outside.

Perfect.

I gave my students the day off from class to enjoy the sunshine. It’s supposed to be rainy and back into the 60s next week, so I figured we should take advantage of the opportunity. It was a win-win really…I gained instant popularity points, and I also get the day off to work on my dissertation.

I’m finding teaching to be a challenge this summer…enrollment is down across the college, and it’s a very fine line to try to walk…I NEED all my students to stay enrolled or I don’t get paid, so I feel like I have to take it a little easier on them than I normally would. But ethically, it’s still really important that they learn something, so each class day is a search to find that balance.

Today I just want to focus on the positive. It’s a beautiful day. I’m going to watch the last two episodes of King of the Hill in my Netflix queue and drink some more coffee, and get to work on this dissertation chapter I’m cranking out. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be 82, and probably warmer in Lewiston where I’m headed with the boyfriend for a demolition derby and a full day of redneck entertainment.

Winning. 🙂

Starting Over

Posted: May 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m back.

Really.

I know I say that a lot…but really.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve posted on here. That was unintentional. But sometimes I guess you just need a break from things.

The last year has been….interesting. It has been amazing and devastating. I have both loved and hated many things about it, and it’s time to start catching up on them. In retrospect, my melt-down-disaster year is probably what everyone wanted to read about, but sometimes I think it’s just better to focus on the positive and the lessons than the chaos.

A lot of things are about to change for me. I’m getting ready to move to a completely new city. I have no idea what my life will hold after this time next year. Everything is up in the air and uncertain and that is both wonderful and terrifying. I will fill you in on all of it.

I have a new boyfriend. He is amazing. I will fill you in on that too.

Most importantly, I have learned a lot in the past year about picking up pieces of things you didn’t realize were broken and moving on. In the past year I have cracked and broken and completely melted down…but I also survived and grew and changed for the better. I learned a lot about myself, and the kind of person I want to be.

Priceless.

I’m Alive. I think.

Posted: May 31, 2012 in anxiety, healing, OCD

I know, I know.

I fell off the edge of the planet.

Just for a little while.

It’s been a crazy few weeks.

Insane.

So much to write about…it’s hard to know where to start.

I’ll try to play catch up.

I made some big changes this month.

I ended a relationship that has been the cornerstone and central focus of my life for the past six years (give or take a couple of weeks where this boy and I hadn’t really decided if we were officially “dating” or not).

I packed everything I own into U-Haul boxes, secured them with brown tape, marked the sides with a bold-point permanent marker, and moved it all to a little bedroom at my brother’s house. (Thank you, brother, for the free storage space).

I packed everything that was left (minus the cat) into a few more boxes and moved into a single bedroom in a tiny apartment with a roommate I’d never met.

It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t seen very much of her, come to think of it…

So now, after six very up and down, roller-coaster kinds of years that have included some of the happiest and most miserable moments of my life, and after that same amount of time spent envisioning rings and flowers and white dresses, I suddenly find myself alone, without most of my belongings, without internet (the horror!) and without a plan for what I’m doing with my life.

It’s liberating and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

It’s been incomprehensibly difficult and strangely easier than I thought it would be.

It’s been mixed with laughter and tears and a lot of second-guessing myself along the way.

I doubt it will get any easier for at least a little while.

There are still a lot of things up in the air, and a lot of things to question. If there’s one thing I really, truly suck at, it’s navigating through the world when I don’t know what’s coming at me next. I blame the perfectionism, and the OCD, but really this is just how I’ve responded to life in the past and it’s hard to change that now, even though doing so is going to be a big step in changing how I move through the rest of my life.

My therapist thinks this will be good for me.

My brother thinks I’ve done the right thing.

My friends all say I’ve made the best decision I could have made under the circumstances.

My mind tells me I did what I needed to do.

My heart, on the other hand, is just confused and hurt and sitting in my throat.

Good inspiration for songwriting, right?

Strangest. Day. Ever.

Posted: February 12, 2012 in disappointment, perseverance

You know those days when you kinda sorta wish you’d just stayed in bed, because they just keep getting weirder and weirder and snowballing into a giant vortex of insanity that sucks you in and makes you want to go just a little bit crazy (if you weren’t there already)?

That.

That kind of day.

I slept in until 10 (which was lovely) and reveled in that extra time in bed, since it was raining outside and I was snuggled up with a pile of blankets and a purring kitty cat. I had a pretty boring day planned, beginning with a visit to a tax professional and continuing on to a mini-mission to find a pair of black ballet flats to wear for my choir performance next week. It turns out, the only black shoes I own are attached to 4 inch stilettos….

In the course of getting my taxes done, it turned out I was getting screwed by a stipend for a grant I worked on over two years ago, and for which I did not receive a 1098-MISC until well after April 15th last year. I thought I could just claim it this year, since I didn’t receive it until after taxes were due last year…but apparently that was a very wrong assumption, and now I not only owe a giant lump sum in actual taxes, but additional hundreds of dollars in penalties, and some change on top of that for having the tax people fix it for me.

Awesome.

I may have cried a little in the tax lady’s office.

…okay, more than a little.

It feels like when you’re poor, the universe just conspires to keep you that way sometimes.

But what can you do, besides fix it and move on?

I learned from this that I’m never doing my own taxes again, because “fast free and easy” really just means “you pay more later.”

Tax drama over (for the day), I picked up a buddy and headed to the mall to search for shoes. I ended up finding a pair in under 10 minutes, so we scurried across town for dinner. There was crazy traffic and no parking anywhere, which was odd for that part of town on a Saturday evening, but we braved it because the Mexican food at this place is addictive. As we were leaving, I had a strange desire to stop into a coffee shop on the corner…but we kept walking.

I got home, and then discovered a tweet from Buddy Levy….that he was at the coffee shop giving a reading.

By that point, it was an hour and a half after the reading started, and half an hour before it ended. It takes about 15 minutes to get from my house back to the coffee shop in question, so after a few more tears of frustration (it’s been that kind of a day…) I threw my shoes back on and jumped back in the truck, and drove through the rain, back into town, trying not to think too hard about what would happen if things didn’t go the way I wanted them to, and hoping this would be a good time to introduce myself.

I emailed Buddy Levy a few days ago, because I want his input on a project I’m working on. He was nice enough to email me back, and we’ve been discussing a time to meet. I thought an informal introduction at a coffee shop might be a nice way to get the process started. And demonstrate to him that I’m not crazy. Because I imagine he gets some of that.

I got lucky this time around, and scored a sweet parking spot right out front. There were two more readings, so I got to listen to those (I haven’t been to a fiction reading since I was an undergrad, and this reminded me that I actually miss them…note to self). When things settled down, I was able to wander over and introduce myself, and actually got to spend a few minutes chatting with Buddy Levy about my research and how I hoped his insight might be helpful. He was really nice about it, promised to answer more questions, and gave me a fist bump. Score!

Add that to the resume…

I headed back to my truck, where I promptly bumped into my choir director, who was looking for a local music venue. I flashed back to playing there with my band, gave him directions, and headed home to contemplate the strange, strange state of my life as of February 11, 2012.

I’m going back to bed.

It is done.

The actual SmartLipo procedure, that is.

The healing process is just starting, and it hurts. And itches. And is generally pretty swollen, bruised, lumpy, and gross.

But it will get better, and I will be better for it.

I was planning on detailing the days immediately leading up to the procedure, but they didn’t really include anything special, aside from avoiding alcohol (which I’m pretty good at anyway), drinking a quart of water a day (which I’m decidedly not very good at, though I’m committed now), and picking up my prescriptions (which turned out to be the only part of this whole process I’d classify as “affordable”).

I picked up my prescriptions on Monday:

All these bad boys cost me a whopping $12.76. Thanks, insurance!

On Tuesday, I went to all my classes like normal, and then boyfriend and I headed up to Coeur d’Alene, which is roughly a two hour drive. We got into town about 8pm, and headed to dinner at a roadhouse type joint I’d been wanting to try for a while. I had some delicious pulled pork and grilled shrimp, and a sweet potato, which sadly I did not photograph. Sad, because it was epically delicious. I’ll snap a picture on a return visit. Promise. Then we checked into the hotel, which was a little dated, but contained a lovely, suite-sized bathroom and comfy king sized bed:

All this, and a view…

We spent the evening watching bad reality TV, and I took my first dose of antibiotics, and first shower with the requisite Hibiclens anti-bacterial wash as instructed. Hibiclens basically smells like rubbing alcohol/hospital hallways, is red, does not foam, and leaves your skin feeling dry and tight. Which was kind of a bummer, since no lotion is allowed in the 24 hours before surgery. But if it prevents infections, I’m all for it:

And yes, I politely wiped off the tub after staging this photo.

The hotel also provided this center-less soap, which at first I thought was kind of ridiculous, but ended up actually really enjoying:

In the morning, I got up about 6:30, called for room service, and took my second Hibiclens-required shower. I picked the hotel because it was the best deal, but mostly because it came with room service. Because I do not do mornings (willingly) and getting up to drive somewhere sounded like a lot of work. I had some delicious French toast crusted with almond flakes and drizzled with a huckleberry compote:

This cost half as much as the room. Seriously. So either the room was a *really* good deal…

After breakfast, which was counter-intuitive to have before a surgical procedure, I dried my hair and gulped down my handful of pills about 45 minutes before I was supposed to be at the surgeon’s office:

Two painkillers, two anti-anxiety/muscle relaxers, and one anti-nausea pill. Done.

Then I had some free time to kill, which I used to pace around nervously and take pictures of my old tummy in the mirror. Because while it is (finally) going away, it will always have been a part of me:

Sweatpants are sexy.

We finally headed out to the doctor’s office and got there promptly at 9:15. At that point, I was still marveling at how I didn’t quite yet feel the effects of the medication, and wondering what it was going to do to me, since taking 2 substantial doses of Ativan is essentially what I presume crack would be like. My awesome nurse, who rotates between calling me “sunshine,” “girlfriend,” and “sweet pea,” settled me into a cushy chair to wait. About five minutes later, I informed her I was going to vomit. My French toast had turned a marvelous blue color (no pictures of that). That was the point where I realized the drugs had kicked in and I no longer cared what was going on around me.

Somewhere in all of this, I donned on my extra-sexy disposable panties and robe they gave me (I assume the nurse was involved in the process, but honestly, I remember very little), took some pre-op pictures, and walked down the hall to the surgery room. The nurse put some little covers over my eyes, and for the next three or so hours, I recalled vague snippits of conversation, saying “Ow” a few times when asked if I needed more local anesthetic on my tummy, and at one point the surgeon noting they’d taken out a liter of fat.

SmartLipo didn’t really hurt too much while it was happening. I could vaguely feel the instrument under the skin moving around, but by that point, the Ativan had done it’s work and I could have cared less. It took me a full 24 hours to realize that two of the incisions are about an inch up from my lady-parts. Do no remember the surgeon being down there…

Eventually, they stood me up, assessed, laid me back down, took off some more fat, and called it good. Then the nurse had me stand and balance against a counter while she zipped me into my compression garment. Which, I might add, is crotchless and has simultaneously become my best friend/worst enemy. My bra was very bloody and gross from things running up my back (this is normal, apparently), so we took that off, and she took me to the recovery room to hang out for a little while until I was coherent. Boyfriend had apparently been at the grocery store for most of this time, and him and the nurse chatted about the medical benefits of orange juice and saltines while I munched on some of my own saltines, apple sauce, and apple juice. When I was mostly back on the same planet as everyone else, the nurse helped pour me back into my clothes and the doctor wheeled me out to my truck in a wheelchair. I remember thinking at the time that it was odd for the actual doctor to do that, so bonus points for him.

Back at the hotel all of 5 minutes later, I curled up into bed and promptly slept for the next six hours.

I woke up long enough to direct boyfriend to purchase me a mushroom-swiss burger and salad (they said to eat whatever I wanted…) and went back to sleep until he got back from picking up dinner. By that point it was about 8pm. I ate about half my burger (which was delicious, and everything I was hoping for), took one painkiller, and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I got out of bed (which hurt a lot), and we checked out of the hotel before heading to the surgeon’s office for a post-op check up. We pulled into the parking lot at the same time as the doctor, headed up to the exam room, and I got to change into another fashion-forward pair of disposable panties for round two of picture taking. This time, I got a sweet print out of before and after shots. The doctor said everything looked good, the nurse changed my bandages and dressed my incisions (I have four of them, one below each side of my ribs and two about an inch above my ladyparts), gave me instructions for my first post-op shower (which couldn’t happen for 48 hours), and boyfriend and I headed home.

Somewhere along the way, he decided it was necessary to go to Harbor Freight, so we drove back through Washington, which was a terrible idea, because Washington’s idea of road maintenance is to not do it. Bumps were not my idea of fun, but I survived. We swung into Target for a few minutes so I could buy some boyshorts (these, I’ve learned, are the post-op undergarment of choice, because they fit nicely over the compression garment, which is crotchless). Limping around was actually a nice change after not moving for 24 hours. We swung through Hu Hot Mongolian grill for lunch (win, as I could get mostly veggies and a giant 7-up zero with cherry!) and then drove the rest of the way home. Where I promptly went back to bed for the rest of the day.

On Friday, I waited for boyfriend to get home from work so I could shower and wash my compression garment. By hand. It took forever to dry, which sucked, because while I was ecstatic to get it off for a while, by the time it was dry three hours later, I was achy and ready to put it back on. They recommend you buy two for this reason, but at $100 a pop, I couldn’t justify it for something I’ll only wear for two weeks of my life. The nurse said that was okay…

I was only allowed in the shower for 15 minutes (I’m not good at short showers…sue me…I had enough 2 minute dirty-water ones when I was a kid to make up for it) and boyfriend had to stand there the whole time to make sure I didn’t pass out, as per the doctor’s orders. I was really sore and limpy the next day (turning over in bed, standing up, and bending over are decidedly not fun), and I have a strange sore/numb sensation on my stomach that I’m not a fan of, but it’s supposed to go away in 6-8 weeks. All in all, the experience has been pretty manageable, and I’m able to get around the house now without too much discomfort. I’m applying cold for an hour or two each day to help with swelling and taking it easy. And hanging out with my cat.

Pictures of the results, coming up…

The Best Chicken I Have Ever Made

Posted: January 26, 2012 in weight loss
Tags:

I experimented with a new recipe tonight.

I loved it.

Boyfriend loved it.

I’m pretty sure you will love it.

And it’s mostly made in the slow cooker, which makes it super easy and perfect for busy work days. Besides the slow cooker, the whole thing is made in one skillet. If it means less dishes for me, I’m in.

It’s a spin on one of my favorite Mexican dishes, Pollo a la Crema. Healthy style.

Pollo a la Crema

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cans fat free reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tsp each chili powder, paprika, red pepper, celery seeds, dried cilantro, garlic salt, onion powder, and hot sauce

24 mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 tomato, finely diced

2 cups fat free sour cream

1/4 cup Philadelphia Cooking Cream

3 tablespoons Smart Balance Light

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Place chicken breasts in a 4 quart slow cooker, add half the spices, and pour in chicken broth. Set to high and allow to cook for 5-6 hours, until chicken is tender and flakes apart. Remove chicken and flake by pulling apart with forks. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Slice mushrooms and saute over medium heat with Smart Balance and olive oil until tender. Add tomato, 1 cup of reserved chicken broth, and the remaining spices. Stir in cooking cream and sour cream and cook until well blended, about three minutes. Stir in flaked chicken and an additional 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Makes 6 delicious servings.

Tip:

Use the remaining cooking liquid as part of the water for a side of rice.

Okay, so maybe in the future, this plate needs more veggies on it. But tonight, I just wanted to revel in this delicious, creamy, sauced-up, tender, amazing chicken with sides the way it comes at my favorite Mexican restaurant. It was everything I hoped it would be.

And at 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus points per serving, it’s a no guilt dinner that leaves me with plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week.

Perfect.