tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's been almost two months since I've written.
A lot has happened.. is happening. A lot I can't write about. Some I shouldn't write about.
I guess that's why I haven't.

The ice has finally left the lake; it doesn't look like a frozen tundra here anymore. I love seeing the open water. I am hoping that it will bring me peace in the coming months.

My life is about to be turned upside down. I have some time to prepare, but not much.
And these are one of the things I can't talk about. Not yet. And that's eating me alive, of course. But not nearly as much as the situation itself. I have spent many a night crying myself to sleep over it. Almost every night, actually.
I keep telling myself I've been through tougher things, I'll persevere, it'll all be alright...  But all the reassuring self-talk hasn't helped much.

As most of you know, I somehow got myself roped into providing a (temporary) home for a dog who was on his way to the humane society. He's sweet. Cute. Fun. But he also reminds me why my life is not conducive to having a dog in it. It has become more of a stressor than anything, and I need to get him placed. And my cat is absolutely miserable.

My personal life feels like a mess, as usual. Well, not externally, I guess. It probably looks pretty normal from the outside. But on the inside, I'm a mess. But hey, what's new, right??
I've gone back and forth in "relationships" so many times in the last couple years, it's almost like a ping pong game. Or tennis. Yeah, tennis. Life-40, Me-Love. (Oh, I do like that ironic play on words).
I'm trying, again. Yet I find the same situation exists that did before. Life circumstances, differences, challenges, that don't go away, no matter how much you try to pretend they could. And a past that still haunts me.
How I wish... for one of two things... A; I can find something consistent and lifelong that I can emotionally invest in, or, B; I can just completely turn off my need to have a life partner.
I don't ask for much, right?

At some point over the last couple years, I adopted the idea (or at least tried to) that I didn't need anyone in my life, as long as I had my son. I know, weird. Norman Bates' mother syndrome? It's really not as weird as it sounds, really...
I just felt that, as long as the boy was in my life, I didn't need anything else. He would be my only priority. I would live for him. Oh hell, I do live for him.
My daughter is grown, and takes care of herself (for the most part). I see her on occasion, but not as often as I would like to. But my boy is still home, well, part time. And aside from him, there's not much else in my life that gives it purpose.
But, he's spending more and more time now at his father's. It's painful, but I am trying to understand it... He feels closer to his brother when he's there. He has been having a very hard time coping with his brother's death. He internalizes, still. He gets through each day. Appears normal. But I know him, and I know that inside he is struggling, so much. I wish I could bring him peace somehow. And I am still coping with my own pain and anger, at life, for giving this to my son. Anyway... aside from that, dad has all the toys; four wheelers, dirt bikes, snowmobiles... And his youngest brother is there, and needs him. And I'm trying to accept the fact that he's simply grown closer to his dad than he is to me.
And so, as he grows apart from me (which is happening now at a lightening fucking speed), what am I left with?
Absolutely. Fucking. Nothing.

I know, I know... I should get a hobby or two. Join a gym. Go out. Make new friends. Meditate.
Or some shit like that.

What day of the week is it? I can't even tell. Usually the boy comes home on Sunday nights. He hasn't yet this week. So it still feels like Sunday. But it's not, it's Tuesday. At least, I think it's Tuesday.

And since I've brightened everyone's day with my garbage, I'll try leaving you with something positive, uplifting, motivational...

"When life gives you lemons... keep them. Because, hey, free lemons."

"You might have been given a cactus, but that doesn't mean you have to sit on it."

"When shit happens, turn it into fertilizer".

Etc, etc, etc... Blah, blah, blah.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Well, it's only been a few weeks since my last blog (instead of a month, as had been the trend). Once again, nothing much has changed.

I bought a new (well, new to me) car. Ugh. I think that's a good thing. I do love it. I've always wanted a Ford Edge. Now I've got one. I sold my truck less than 24 hours after posting it online. I guess I should have asked more money for it! It's funny, the night I sold it, I cried all the way home. Silly, right? Maybe I am just intolerant to change. Maybe it was the finality of it. Maybe it was just hormones. Who knows.
I am worried about the new car payment in the budget. I think it's doable. I guess it doesn't matter now, I'm stuck with it. Gotta make it work. Again, if I quit smoking, I could easily afford it.... I ponder, as I light another cigarette...

A facebook friend of mine posted a few days ago- "It's 4am, and I'm heating a can of peas in the microwave, because I'm 27 and I don't know what I'm doing with my life"...
I almost responded- "Get used to that feeling, kid. At 43 you won't know either."
But I didn't.

We got a cat. The landlord finally approved, yay! The boy and I went to the local humane society. We adopted a beautiful, long haired, seven year old coon mix. She's turned out to be super sweet and loveable. It really is a great match. She adores the boy; she goes up to bed with him every night.
And she's a whole lot easier to manage than a dog.
Speaking of dog.. Flash is doing wonderfully in his new home. He absolutely adores the older man who is his new owner. He loves the other dogs on the farm, and gets to run with them every day. I get photo and video updates on facebook. It really was the best decision for all of us.

Today the boy is going to tryouts for a spring basketball league. It'll be the first time he's participated in something like this. He has several friends who have done it for a few years. The games are every weekend in southern Maine. The costs associated with it are pretty extraordinary; $300 to join the club, $38 tournament fee every weekend, plus hotel stays. I'll split the costs with his dad, and I'll probably get a hotel room in South Portland every Saturday night. Ugh. Good thing I put my tax return in savings.
I don't much care about the cost. I want him to be able to do this. He needs this.
Again, thank gawd for tax returns.

I had a fun time last night hanging out with a few of my customers/friends at work. It was actually one of those "good vibes" kinda nights. Everyone was happy. Laughing, singing along to the jukebox, playing pool, cracking jokes. I even played a couple games of pool, myself.
I felt included, well, mostly. Or at least, it was the closest to it I've felt in a while, I guess. I have such a hard time relating to people. Fitting in. Belonging. Or whatever. I'm rambling.

The other day, my favorite grumpy customer came into the bar. He was a bit more reserved than usual, so I asked him- "Are you fussy today?" He said- "Well, I'm a little depressed". So I asked why. "Because I read your blog!" he responded.
Although it was quite funny, it was a bit serious as well. I asked him how he stumbled upon it, and he said- Google. Lol. Gotta love Google. We talked a little about it. He said he'd learned a lot. He also wondered why I write so publicly. My ex-husbands always wondered that, too...

And it made me think...
Why do I?
I blog for therapy. I blog because I love to write. But why do I publicize my life?
Maybe, just maybe, so that people like him, my customers, my friends, my acquaintances, and even strangers, can know me.
I have so few close ties in my life, so few people who actually know me. One was my father, and he's been gone for almost four years. Although quiet and sometimes distant, he knew me. One was my ex-husband, and he's mostly gone, still around, kinda sorta (but that's another blog)... And maybe two close friends; but as friends go, life happens, time goes on, people become busy, ties loosen.
And I feel like no one really knows me.
But why on earth is it so important to me that someone does?
I don't know.
Maybe because I know that someday (hopefully later than sooner), I'll be gone from this world. And I'll want to be remembered, known, by someone. By anyone.
Maybe, if someone knows me, I won't feel so alone in this life.

"Running after you, I don't know where you are
And I can't seem to get you, but I want you to know me"
~Days of the New, "Weapon & the Wound"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Again, it's been a month between blogs. Just seems to be the way, doesn't it?
And again, nothing much changes. Well, a little. Not much.

I've recently made the hard decision to let Flash go. And not to just anyone. I didn't advertise, I didn't actively seek a new place for him to go. But I did know a family who owns a farm in the area who recently lost their aussie. Maple Lane Farms, in Charleston. I've known some of them for several years, I met them through the boy's dad, years ago. It's a beautiful farm, and a wonderful family. Flash will get the work and activity that he needs, and the attention. Maybe we'll even see pics of him during their team penning and sorting events. :)
Half the time here he's crated (I'm always working or busy doing something). He's not getting what he needs. He's bored. He's antsy. Between the boy being gone three days a week, and my busy schedule, he's not getting the attention he needs either. And that's my fault. Not only was I mistaken when I chose this breed, I was probably mistaken when I chose a dog, period. My life might be lonely, but evidently it's still too busy for a dog. Sigh.
He goes to the farm tonight after I get home from work. I'll cry, no doubt. I'll miss him, and yet I won't (the little bugger did drive me crazy). Just chalk it up to one more failure on the Crista list.

Maybe I can get a cat. They're less work. They don't require me to be home more than I possibly can.
Then again, the landlord won't allow it. He didn't allow animals at all. I had to email him my prescription for a service dog and all kinds of other paperwork in order for him to allow Flash. (Yes, as Maine law stands, a service animal can be either an animal trained to perform specific tasks, or an animal prescribed by a physician to mitigate the conditions of a disabling condition. A psychological one. Yes, I'm a bit crazy. :)
I've pitched the idea of a cat to him via email. I haven't gotten a response. I don't expect one.
Maybe I'll just get another friggin fish. The last one died a couple months ago.
Well, maybe I should just get a stuffed animal. That might be best.

Pipes are frozen this morning. I probably could have prevented that if I'd left my water dripping overnight. But I was a dummy and neglected to do so.
This house has been a nightmare all winter. Using up propane at a rate that I can hardly afford. And yet it's always cold in here, always. No insulation and the lake wind. The pipes freezing up often. Did I mention the cold? Grrrrrrr. It's always so damn cold in here.
But I hate the idea of leaving the lake. I love it here during the summer. I just love it. There is nothing, NOTHING like waking every morning to sit beside the water. Or coming home after work to it. It's been my dream, practically all my life.
I don't know what to do.
There's still the option of buying that trailer near the boy's dad's house. I haven't been in it yet, the owner still hasn't made time to start the repairs to it. Which is fine, because I need more time to decide anyway.
I'm torn.

Work is good. Tough time of year, but we're squeaking through.
I love my little bar. I hope it's "my little bar" for a long time. But I worry. What's new, though? I worry about everything.
I wish I could stop worrying...

Speaking of which, the boy is doing ok. He still has days when he's obviously not, but some days are ok. He's still a changed kid, unfortunately. I suppose he will be for life. And for that, I still hate the universe. I hate it for giving this to my child.
Basketball is over for the year. Despite the problems with the coach, he enjoyed the season. I hope he isn't jaded by this experience; I hope he still tries out for JV next year.
He wants to get into motocross this year. UGH.
As if I don't worry about him enough as it is.

That dog drives me crazy. But it's sure going to be lonely around here. Again. Still.
Story of my life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I haven't really written anything in over a month. That's unusual, I suppose.
Nothing changes really, so even if I did write, it would all seem like the same material. And nothing much has changed in the last month, either. But I felt like writing. And so, on with it.

We made it through Christmas. My boy made it through.
It was quite strange this year. Trying to feel celebratory, embrace the holiday spirit, etc, etc... But it just wasn't the same. Sadly, it never will be.
My heart broke a little more over the holidays for him and his family.
But we made it. They made it.

Financially I certainly didn't come out unscathed. I overspent, as I do every year. This year probably considerably worse. It's amazing the amount of shit you'll buy in effort to bring a smile to your child who has suffered so much pain.
I don't care about it. Bills will be paid late until tax time. Merely an inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

Although I do have much to think about, as always...

I need to get back to school, and soon. I can't tend bar till retirement age. Who wants to look at a 65 year old bartender? Nobody, that's who.
Since I can't decide what I want to be when I grow up, I'll probably just go for something practical. I am looking into the administrative associates degree at Beal. That'll be easy, inexpensive, and it'll give me a refresher in office work (which I used to do years ago). And, it'll make me hire-able for work like that.
Classes will have to be part-time. Very part-time, considering my schedule at the bar. I'll have to figure it out.
I've got to do something. I'm not getting any younger

I sure could use a newer, more reliable vehicle. I'm just not sure how to budget a car payment. The easy answer would be to quit smoking. Unfortunately, I really have no desire to. Regardless of the health risks, the finances... I just don't want to. I don't drink, I don't gamble, I don't do drugs... I have that one vice (well, besides coffee), and I don't want to give it up. Silly, I know.
Perhaps I could cut back on my dunkin coffee spending. There's at least half a car payment monthly.
Blarg. That sounds like a bad idea, too.
Damn addictions.

I have another big life/financial decision to make soon as well.
I stumbled upon a trailer for sale in west Glenburn. It's in a nice park out that way, on a huge lot. It's the last home on the street, actually, so it's quite private. The lot rent is very inexpensive. I always said, when I ever move again, it'll either be because- A: I met prince charming, and I'm moving in with him (which is certainly NOT the case, and doesn't appear to be in my near [or far] future), OR, because, B: I have a chance to own something, OR- C: so I can be closer to Dawson's dad's house.
Well, here's my chance to own something. And let me start by explaining, I'll never be an actual "home" owner again (No house on it's own land. Too much maintenance). Not to mention, and probably more importantly/accurately, I'll (unfortunately) never credit-qualify again, or be able to afford it on my single income.
And coincidentally, there is a trail that goes from this park directly to Ben's property. I can't get much closer to Dawson than that.
It's owner financed, and I will have to negotiate the terms (I'm not crazy about them). He is still in the process of overhauling it from his previous tenants, and it won't be ready for probably another month or so.
Dawson really wants to move there. We have friends that live in the park, and his uncle as well. We know everyone in the area. And it's so close to his dad's. Just a couple minute snowmobile/four-wheeler/dirtbike ride. Or walk. It's literally just around the corner.
Logan had some comical, yet wise words... That's all great, but remember to do what YOU want to do, not just what Dawson wants to do.
I hate the idea of leaving the lake (at least during the summertime). It's been such an experience... My dream come true, really (again, at least in the summertime). And if this were happening a year from now, when I've had just one more summer to enjoy lakeside living, I would probably just jump on it. But alas, timing never works in my favor. Or maybe it does. Here's my chance to own a little place. Not land, but at least a little place. Be super close to Dawson. To quit renting. Financially, even with the costs associated with mobile home living (I've lived in trailers before, I know all the positives and negatives that come along with it), it will still be a fairly substantial savings.
So much to think about. Sigh.

I tried to do the socializing thing this weekend.
Friday night I went to a bar up north, primarily to check it out for a customer of mine who recently took it over. I observed, offered some advice, and turned down a job offer.
I ran into a childhood friend (I'm originally from that area). Her parents and my parents were best friends growing up. We reminisced about the time they moved us across country to California. The old days when our parents played in bands together, etc etc.. It was nice.
I met up with a girlfriend whom I haven't seen in ages. That was nice, too. While I wasn't observing, we chatted and visited. And it was funny, though, that we both felt out of our element.
Saturday night I attempted to stay after work to hang out for the playoff party. And I did so, for a bit. One of my customers said something quite funny- "Let me guess, you've got the couch to get home to, pajamas, the dog, all so you can write a long facebook post about being alone."
Yup, that sounds about right.
I'm not sure when I lost the ability to "be social". I guess it's been a slow process. I've tried to go down to my "old stomping grounds" in Bucksport, hang with people there. I've tried to stay after at work and hang. I haven't gone out dancing to a live band in quite some time (I miss that. But there's really no one to do it with anymore. Everyone is busy).
And maybe, over the years, I just got too used to doing all of that with a partner.
I wonder if I'll have one of those again someday?
Probably about as likely as owning a home, drinking less Dunkin, buying a new car, or quitting smoking.

Well, I guess it's time to head to work to do some computer programming.
Be well.