tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday coffee and blogging... I keep staring at this blank space, trying to find the words, make my fingers type... Because I know I need to...

I'm still suffering from an emotional hangover from the celebration of life yesterday. I'm drained. Sad. Exhausted. Depressed.
I spoke at the ceremony, and sang. I don't know how I did either. It was a long day. A nice ceremony, followed by food, music and mingling. There was karaoke and a band. Norton would have loved it. We were there for several hours. I sang a few times throughout the day, begrudgingly.
I'd like to share what I said at the ceremony yesterday...

"I was going to try to get up here today and just wing it, but this morning I realized I wouldn’t be able to do that, so I wrote some things down instead.
I met Norton (that’s what I’ve always called him, Norton), almost 20 years ago, at a little karaoke bar in Bangor called The Heritage. We were both singers, but neither of us were just karaoke singers, we both had a gift, and I think that’s what really drew us to one another. From there on out, and for quite a time, Norton, myself, and my best friend Stacie were pretty much inseparable. We were always together at karaoke, and we were always together at Norton’s apartment. Ed was usually hanging with us as well. And Norton’s poor roommate Brian had to deal with us at our afterhours gatherings... I’m Sorry Brian.
Over the years, Norton came to see me in my bands, and I would go to see him in his. Or we would go together to see someone else’s. And there was always karaoke. There were boyfriends and husbands, girlfriends, jobs, I had children, life went along, and Norton and I always remained in close contact, and always saw each other when we could.
Last week I was going through my old photos, and I found so many of us.. so many of him. Him and I, him and Stacie, us at karaoke, us at Halloween parties, us at his apartment, him and I and my mom, when he came to see me at work, him dancing with my sister at one of my gigs, him and I singing together with "Fishwhistle"…so many photos. So many memories.  We certainly had a wonderful couple of decades together.
That gift that originally brought us together developed into a friendship that I can’t really explain. I know Stacie can relate. And maybe some of his other female friends can as well. It was just super close, so close that our significant others were probably a little (or very) jealous of it. I know a few of mine were over the years. But we were just that close… Well, that, and Norton was a terrible flirt! He was quite charming, that one. But seriously, we were just so close, and there was no denying it. You just couldn’t. We just loved each other. We were best of friends, and more than that. It’s hard to describe the connection that we had. And I know that that’s not specific to me. Every one of you in this room would probably say the same thing, it’s hard to describe the kind of special connection you have when you’re dealing with such an extraordinary person.
Norton and I loved each other. And it was unfazed by time or circumstance, and it was genuine, and it was real; and we never refrained from telling each other, and showing each other, always, all through the years. I will miss that love in my life, so much, but I will always remember it, and be grateful for it.
And now, I’d like to sing a song, for Norton, for all of us who loved him. I could have chosen any song about love, or friendship, or memories… But instead I wanted to sing a song that Norton always sang. He had many signature songs over the years, but this was one I remember him singing all the time, and I loved it when he did. I’ll try to get through it as best I can."
I sang "If You Could Only See", by Tonic. And somehow, I got through it.

As I sit here, I keep looking at Norton's microphone. He used it in his band "Fishwhistle" all those years. It was framed in a shadowbox and gifted to me yesterday. That nearly brought me to my knees. It is probably the greatest gift I've ever been given. It now sits on one of my shelves, along with a couple of photos of Norton and I, that they had enlarged and framed for me as well.
Yesterday somehow made this nightmare really real.
It's real now, he's gone, and now we have to live with it.
I cannot find solace in the well-meant words of people who say "he'll always be with you", or, "he lives on in your heart"... Because the fact is, he isn't, and he doesn't. I don't have him anymore.
He's gone. And there is no comfort for that.

Anyway...

The bar.
9 days till auction. 9 days, and I'm starting to freak out.
As I've said before, my bosses will attend the auction and bid (and I'll be there observing, gnawing at my nails and pulling my hair out). But they are aware of the building's condition and needs, and they are financially wise; they know what they are willing to pay for it. If bidding goes above that amount, we are done.
I've been sending out resumes, just in case.
But what skills do I have? No college degree, and I've been tending bar for 15 years. It's not like I'm highly qualified for a full-time office job. I don't know what I'll do. Take a couple of lower wage jobs (no experience or degree required), most likely. Probably retail or something like that. Maybe, or hopefully, a serving job of some kind as well. Two or even three jobs. Work as much as possible to make ends meet.
9 days and I'm freaking out. I could be unemployed in 9 days. With a mortgage. A car payment. A mound of bills. Yeah, freaking out.

Anyway...

The boy just completed all his driving for driver's ed, and we'll be going to DMV tomorrow to get his permit. Holy hell. Holy HELL! He'll be wanting to drive my car everywhere we go now!
Shit.
Does this mean I have to call my insurance company and watch my premium go through the roof?
Shit.

Speaking of the boy... Nothing's changed there. Nothing ever seems to. I'm beginning to think it never will. This is how it will be with him from here on out. And that sucks. He still doesn't stay with me. But he does still visit me often. Drives through the trail and comes over to visit. Sometimes only for a few minutes, sometimes longer.
It's premature empty nest, and it hurts. I have to start letting go at some point. I just don't know how. And I don't want to. It's too soon. It's not fair. The fact that my son left me this early, is not fucking fair.

Living alone hasn't been the greatest thing I've ever experience. Some people enjoy it. Some find it liberating, or empowering. I don't find it either of those things. Sure, some would say it's best for me, considering how "nazi" I am about things (as Dawson would say). Yes, I want things a certain way, yes, I'm somewhat inflexible, yes, I'm a little OCD, yes, I'm a bit of a neat freak, yes, I'm a little controlling... But, but, but... I could adapt, change, adjust, compromise. It sure would beat being alone all the time. And I certainly don't look forward to more of it. But I guess I'll have to deal with it.
Sigh.

My cat, whom I thought was lonely and bored and needed a playmate, absolutely hates the new kitten. It's been just a bout a week. I know it takes time with cats. It could take a month. It could take longer (but hopefully not). She hasn't killed him yet. They can be in the same room together. But if he gets near her, she attacks. Not harmfully, really, just a warning attack. And she's basically miserable all the time. Walks around hissing and growling, all the time. She's so unpredictable now that you can't pet her, because most of the time she's going to bite you. She's really pissed. The kitten is persistent, though. He follows her around and keeps trying to make friends. And she keeps getting angrier.
I'm hoping this will work itself out. I'm still convinced that she was bored and lonely and needed a friend (like me). She just doesn't know it yet. We shall see.

The band is trudging along. Nothing good comes easy, and that proves itself once again with this band thing. We're having bass player issues already (jeezus, deja vu?). We have options, just maybe not exactly what I had in mind. And, being the "nazi" that I am, not up to my expectations.
It's so much work. Is it worth it? I hope so.

The boy just stopped in for a few minutes. His now typical surprise, brief pop ins. It seems I live for those now a days.

I look back on my last blog and see how positive and upbeat I seemed. That was nice. It must have been a good day. Granted, there are more of those good moments then there used to be, but there are still a fair share of bad ones. It's still a constant struggle.

I suppose, I should go try to do something. Not sure what.
Vacuum? Make myself go for a walk? Watch Netflix? Look online for a job?
Something.

Be well.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

So  much happening lately, so much to blog about. And yet I haven't written for almost three weeks.
Maybe it's just more of the same.
More of a country divided, violence and terror, mass shootings, a world on the brink of nuclear war, friends and family turning against one another over protests, amendments and political viewpoints...
Whoa. Back up. That shit's way too heavy for a Crista blog.

So anyway...
Coffee and blogging. At 4 pm, because anytime is a good time for coffee.

The bar... Oh, the bar.
Twenty days. Twenty days till auction.
The bosses will attend and bid. We all have our fingers crossed. And toes. And legs. And arms. I'm not the praying type. But jeezus, I've been praying my ass off.
I can't imagine what it would be like for there to be no Brookside. I also can't imagine what it would be like to have a house payment, a car payment, and a mound of bills, with no job. So yeah, praying my ass off.

As most of you have seen on Facebook, I lost one of my very close friends last week. I don't know what to say about it. I had a hard enough time keeping it together at work over the weekend. Every day something makes me think of him and I start crying all over again. His services are next weekend. I have chosen a song to sing at the celebration of life. I don't know how I'll do it, but it's important to me that I do. That's what him and I did; we sang. That's what drew us to each other nearly 20 years ago, and it's what we did together in the most recent of times. I miss him so much. I still can't believe it's real. My heart is broken.






Anyway... Onto lighter stuff...

I decided not to get a dog. Sigh.
As much as I want one right now, I'm just too busy. And last weekend I met the sweetest maltese. She was with the rescue I was working with. And she was all ready to come home with me... And mom wanted me to get her, said she'd dogsit all the time. And it all sounded great, but I just know how busy I will be with work and the band. Damnit.

My cat is miserable. At least, I think she's miserable. A couple weeks ago I spent two days at Phil's house. Since I've come back, she walks around meowing, ALL. THE. TIME. If she's not sleeping, eating, or being petted, she's walking around meowing. It's actually quite infuriating. SO much that I put her outside. She's not sick. She's eating, sleeping, voiding, not seeming lame, seems perfectly normal. Other than this INCESSANT meowing.
So I think, maybe she's bored and lonely?
So today I went to the Bucksport animal shelter, and picked out a little boy kitty to adopt. He's got to be neutered next week and then recover, then he can come home. Now, Samantha is quite bitchy, so it's going to be interesting. I did a bunch of research and have (I think) chosen the ideal fit for introducing a new cat to an existing cat household- younger, smaller, and of the opposite sex. I have an "isolation room" (Dawson's room) all set up for new kitten, so the two can smell each other, but not get to each other for the first few... days? Weeks? How ever long it takes?
We shall see. He comes home a week from Sunday.

The band is cruising right along. We're learning songs at a pretty quick pace. At this rate, we might be ready to play out in 2-3 months. I'll give it a bit longer, and then start making some phone calls. Start marketing, peddling the band, trying to get some gigs on the books.
I am curious to see if I will still have the stamina to sing an entire weekend. I guess I'm going to have to!

Nothing has changed with the boy. He still pops in to visit when he feels like it. I bring him to and from school three days a week. He still stays with his dad, and not with me. And I am still trying to understand it, cope with it. I miss him so much.

Even considering all the sad and stressful things going on in my life right now, I am still generally in a good place, I think. There are still things to be happy about, grateful for...
Like a man who mows my lawn after working a long hard day, and when he plays guitar it feels like it's just for me, who loves me unconditionally.
Two Bosses who appreciate me, and express it often. A solid and sweet staff of ladies (and Hazen) ;)
My mom; I still have my mom.
Even though the boy doesn't stay with me, I do see him more often than I was.
A sweet, smart, wonderful grown daughter.
My own home, a nice car, my bills are paid (well, for now, all of this, lol)
My health, for now, I have my health.
A really cool group of musicians to get my band back together!

Two months ago, six months ago, a year... I wouldn't have been able to appreciate these things, to feel this way, to see any happiness through my depression. It was so consuming, for so long. I don't know what's changed for me. But I'm glad it did, and I hope it lasts.
Hey, maybe they finally got my pharmaceutical cocktail right!

Oh, just about time to go pick up the boy from driver's ed.

Be well.





Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Every day is like Sunday, every day is silent and grey"...

That's just a lyrical quote. And it's not true. Every day isn't like Sunday, it just seems that way, on Sundays. Sundays are my hard days. I just have to remember that, on Sundays.
There's no job to go to, no work errands to run, no boy to deliver to and pick up from school, no boyfriend around, nothing pressing to do to keep me occupied... There's just a whole lot of nothing.
Sundays suck.

Today I did get to take the boy out for a few hours for some mini golfing and go-carting with mom and my nephew. That was fun. But it ended as all other days with him always do, with me dropping him back off at his dad's, where he prefers to be. I'm so tired of that. I'm just so goddamn tired of missing him. My heart hurts. Still.

It's funny, sometimes I think I'm almost getting used to it, this being alone thing, the empty nest thing, the being ditched as a parent thing.... seeing him only when he swings in for a few minutes, or when I take him to school and/or pick him up, brief visits here or there... I get through every day and night, get used to living alone, being forgotten, go about my life... But there's always a void, an emptiness, a great sadness that's left from him not being here. And it'll never go away.
I never imagined this is how things would be. Especially considering how close we have always been. I never saw this coming. And I'll never understand it. Or get used to it. Or get over it. Sigh.

Anyway...

I fucking hate Sundays.

Things at the bar are status quo. The first priority mortgage on the building is now in foreclosure, and so we wait for that to complete its process, and for the bank to hold its auction. At that auction, my bosses will bid (they know what they are willing to pay for it), and we will all hope and pray that they will be the highest bidders. I don't expect to see an auction until late October, at absolute earliest. And I think that's being optimistic. We could be well into November before the auction takes place. The foreclosure process still has to be completed, and then they have to advertise for three consecutive weeks before the auction, so we have a bit to wait. Hurry up and wait. And stress, and stress, and stress.

I want a dog. Almost so much now that I dream about it. You ever get that way? When you really want something, you start having dreams about it? Anyway... I've been looking and looking and looking. I've been going through the adoption process with one rescue in particular, and I'm not real impressed with the process. Lots of people put in applications for this one dog in particular. I happen to be one of the "qualified candidates". It took a bit to get there, too. A lengthy adoption application, references, veterinarian reference, a home visit... Well, I have more questions for the foster family, and I wanted to meet the dog before I made any final decision. Unfortunately, I was told that IF she's still available when she comes to Maine on the 23rd, then I could meet her. Because if one of the other "qualified candidates" speaks up and says- we want her, then basically, viola, she's adopted and no longer available. So essentially, once you are determined to be a "qualified candidate", from there it becomes first come first served, I guess. Huh.

Anyway...

As it turns out, my life may have just gotten far too busy for a dog anyway. Unfortunately? Fortunately? I haven't figured that part out just yet...
As many of you may have seen from my various social media posts (facebook, instagram, snapchat), I may have begun a new musical venture. My old drummer from Bitter Grace brought a couple guys to our attention recently and we all got together last week to test things out. Now, you know me- musical snob, extreme critic- I didn't go into it with great expectations. By the end of the night I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. It shows promise. As far as I can tell, we're all on the same page as far as level of interest, commitment, etc. We all want to learn, work, and play out. And none of us suck, lol. Sadly, I learned I've lost quite a  bit of my register over the years though, when I attempted to sing one of my all time favorites (and a song that I've been well known for singing for many years). Damnit. Anyway...
We just might have ourselves a Bitter Grace rebirth. Stay tuned.

I dreamt of my dad twice this weekend. It was nice to see him. Sad, but nice. He looked young in last night's dream. It was too short, though. I wish I could have spent more time in it. I miss him so much.

I still miss the lake. But it's becoming a fuzzier memory. It's funny how memories do that; become less and less clear the farther you get from them. Even though it has only been a few months. Maybe it's not becoming fuzzier, maybe it's just becoming less painful.
I'm getting used to my new home. It's not so terrible now.
Although, I can't help but think I won't be here forever. Not for very long. Maybe only two or three years. Maybe I'll relocate once Dawson is out of school. Maybe to a coastal town.
Maybe a place like Belfast.

Time for Netflix, I guess. Get through the rest of this silent and grey Sunday.

Be well.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Sunday, so, coffee and blogging, right? Besides, Sundays are my hard days. It'll give me something to do, right? It'll give me a bit of therapy. It'll pass a little bit of today's time. Although, not nearly enough. There's still the rest of the day to get through. I'll have to figure out what to do with the rest of it.
Sigh.

Still missing the lake. I hate my facebook memories. Nearly every day is a photograph of the lake. I've learned to not look at them, but sometimes facebook starts your newsfeed with one.. "we thought you'd like to look at this memory from a year ago" bla bla bla... No fucking thank you, I really wouldn't like to.
I am still hoping my place's new tenants will suffer some kind of emergency and have to move back to Florida, or something. Just get out. I want my lakehouse back.
Sigh.

I want my son back, too. The kid that used to spend four nights a week at my house, for the last 13 years. That one, I want that kid back. I hardly see him still. And it fucking sucks. I still don't understand. And it still hurts so fucking much.

I post photos every day on the Brookside facebook page. I've saved photos to my phone over the last year or so (happy hour photos, TGIF photos, various bar memes, etc), so every time I want to post one, I unfortunately have to scroll through all the photos on my phone to find them. And so I have to leaf through all these pictures of the lake and my old house, and all these pictures of the boy when we used to hang out together, when he used to actually live with me.
I can't even look at any of them with fondness or happiness.

I keep thinking about getting a dog. I so miss having a dog in my life. I don't miss the dog hair, or having to let the dog out in the middle of the night, or rushing home after work to take care of the dog, or scooping dog crap out of the yard, or all that other stuff. But damnit, I do miss having a dog.
I should have just taken Kaya, the mastiff/lab that I was spending time with and posting pictures and videos of. She was pretty near perfect. But I just couldn't commit. And now she's gone with another family for her forever home. Sigh. I'm so concerned about what is going to happen with the bar. What if I lose my job? Will I be able to afford a dog? What if I have to get two jobs? Will I have time for a dog?
I suppose I need to wait and see what is happening with the Brook before I take that step.

Speaking of the brook... Still status quo, nothing new. We await the auction for the second mortgage (if it's still going to happen.. he hasn't advertised since his very first notice almost a month ago, and it has to be advertised for three consecutive weeks before the auction by law). Although now the bank is also foreclosing the first mortgage as well, so the situation has grown even more complicated. We really don't know what's going to happen. We'll wait to see what happens on the 31st, if there is still an auction for that second mortgage, and what happens there. Go from there. Wait and see. We still believe it's Charlie's intent to get the building. We still hope he won't be able to, and that we will. Wait and see.
Sigh.

And so, it seems I have lost or am in the process of losing everything that gives my life purpose or happiness. The lake, my son, and now probably my job.
And people wonder why I'm not a ray of fucking sunshine and super jolly to fucking be around.

I made the mistake of bringing the boy to my ex-husband's house this last week in an attempt to promote a relationship between them and his step-sister. He does miss them a lot, his step-father particularly, unfortunately. And unfortunately that only opened the door for confusion, for everyone. And hopes for the boy. I probably should have known better.
(Not that it matters, the ex never did make any attempts to maintain a relationship with the boy all those times we split. I don't know why we'd expect him to now.)
Today the boy stopped in and asked me what was going on. I told him I didn't know, but that basically he was doing what he always does (without specifically stating that that basically means inviting me to ride the emotional roller coaster again, but, the boy already knew that's what I meant). I also told him that no matter what, that doesn't mean that he can't continue to maintain a relationship with him. To which he replied- If he's going to mess with my mother's emotions, I don't need to.
He may not stay with me anymore, but I guess he still feels protective.
And, by the way, no, I'm not getting on the ride.

In the midst of all this bullshit in life, I did have a really nice weekend.

Work was really good this week, take out, nights spent in, my giant lawn was mowed (which to me means a lot) but I also actually went out; for real, no kidding! There's even video proof! Lol...

I went out Friday night with a few friends, and actually had a very, very good time. I got up with the band and sung. I needed that! I danced most of the night; I needed that too!
I also met a potential new band-mate. Yes, you read that right, a potential new band-mate. My old drummer has brought a couple guys to our attention. Really talented, serious guys, who want to get something going. And so, Bitter Grace (if I have any say in the name, Lol) may experience a resurrection. We shall see. I'll keep all my fans posted!
At one point Friday night, all us girls were out on the dance floor, and one of my friends noticed that I was all smiles. She brought it to my attention, and then I realized it too. I was literally smiling the whole time. She asked me what I was smiling about... In that moment, I didn't really know. But I recall quite specifically now, considering it. I was on the dance floor with a few girlfriends, dancing and listening to great music by one of my favorite local bands, looking across the bar and meeting eyes with a man who has been nothing but good to me for two and a half years (regardless of our circumstances or what I've thrown at him), and in that moment, I wasn't thinking about any of the shitty things going on in my life. In that moment, I was... happy.
Although in the moment all I could think of was- "maybe it's the meds!"
If only I could have bottled that feeling, to save it for moments like Sundays.

I need to weed whack and push mow a few spots, that should help eat up some of this day. I could walk down to the mailbox. I need to vacuum, but that doesn't take long. I could read my book, that usually helps these moments, if I can stay focused on it. I could scroll through the pages of Petfinder for the millionth time.

I need to do something, though. Get off this computer, out of this chair and get occupied, lest I fall victim to the Sunday blues.





Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In case you couldn't guess, this will most likely just be another blog about the bar, the boy, and the lake. So if you've already heard enough about all that, you should probably hit your browser's back button.

The bar. Sigh.
The public auction for the building is the end of this month. This auction is very confusing. I've had to try to explain it to everyone who asks. The auction is actually only for a second mortgage on the building (the mortgage that's in foreclosure that's held by Charlie). Whoever bids the highest is buying Charlie's second mortgage, and then still has to pay off the first priority mortgage held by the bank. My bosses will attend and bid, and we will hope for the best. But we still assume that Charlie will bid the full amount (yes, on his own foreclosure) so that he can then pay off the first mortgage and own the building. That is what his attorney told us when they finally turned down our offer to settle.
He has been made aware that if he ends up owning the building, we will dissolve the corporation and the Brookside will cease to exist, and he will be left with nothing but an empty building., but he still seems to want it. I believe it must be some kind of personal vendetta at this point for him. It certainly wouldn't be a wise investment on his part. But who knows. I think the man is probably crazy.
We can only hope that he isn't able to get financing for the first priority mortgage, and we don't get outbid at the auction, or that somehow, we are able to purchase the first priority mortgage from the bank.
We are still hoping for a miracle.
I say we... But I'm a realist. A cynic, really. I don't believe much in hope or miracles.

I spent all my savings on the down payment for this place, but I've been putting a little bit of money away for the last couple months. Plus I got a small deposit back from my rental. I was so proud for being able to squirrel away so much in such a short time. And it looked like a lot, until I realized I've enough in savings right now to pay all my bills for one month of unemployment. I've got a lot of bills. Shit. One month.
If the auction is the end of this month, and then assuming the buyer (assuming it's not us) closes with the second mortgage and the bank in about 30 days, we've got about a month and a half, maybe two months in business.
That's not much time to try and save more.
Shit.

And what do we do about an income? Do we job hunt? I know I want to stay on right until the bitter end. I know we've all promised to. I also know that the other girls have other jobs or working significant others. I don't. I don't have anything but this. When it's gone, I have nothing. We'll all apply and qualify for unemployment. But it will take time to start coming in. And it'll be a fraction of what we claim, and will only be a tiny fraction of what we actually make (tip income). So it won't be nearly enough to sustain.
We're screwed. Or more accurately, I'm screwed.
I did put my resume in for two different jobs this week. If for some reason I get an interview, I'll hope that they'd be willing to wait to take me on after the business closes. That's IF I get an interview, and IF they'd hire me. Both positions I'm a bit unqualified for. But I figured, what the hell. Might as well throw in my hat. I've got a few years of management experience now and I come with excellent references.
I hate the thought of job hunting again. For so many reasons.
Anyway...
Sigh.

I miss the lake. Every. Fucking. Day. So. Fucking. Bad.
When I don't have work to keep me occupied, I literally cry off and on all day. It's awful. At home, at the grocery store, at the bank, at the drive thru at Dunkin. It's beyond my control. When I'm home it's worse. It's all day. I can't stop it. I don't remember a time when I've been this terribly unhappy. I wish every day that I could turn back time and change my decision to leave. I daydream every day about the new tenants not working out and me being able to go back. It's not healthy. It's all I can think about. I've talked to my old landlord. He knows to contact me as soon as one of his properties opens up again. Even if it's the one across the street from the lake, where I first started. I'll go back. I'll sell, re-assign my owner financing, or just walk away, and go back. Crazy, I know. But I would. I am so miserable.
Who knows. Maybe someday I'll feel settled here. Happy, even. Maybe someday I'll learn to love it here, and won't want to leave. Somehow.
Or maybe someday I'll end up with a husband and leave here to live with him.
All kinds of things could happen.
Although I admit, that last one is probably pretty unlikely.
I belong on the water.
Someday, somehow, I will get back to it.
Until then, misery.

I still don't see the boy much. So, no lake, and still no boy.
At least when I lived at the lake I had that to entice him. To swim, to fish, go boating. Now I have nothing to offer. And I don't see him a whole lot more than I did before. Maybe a little, but not much.
The only difference here is that he stops by for just a minute while he is out riding the trails. Usually once or twice a week, only for a minute. Does a wheelie on the lawn, says I love you, and he's off again. It's really only a minute or two, here or there. A couple times I've asked him to come for dinner and he has. He stays for about 45 minutes and heads back to his dad's. Once last week he bribed me into picking him up late at the fair by saying he'd spend the night at my place. I was so excited. I thought maybe it would make him see that staying here wasn't so bad. He came home late and I took him back to his dad's early. I'm not sure it accomplished anything.
This isn't quite what I had in mind. Maybe someday he'll want to come home again. This is his home, too. I am his home. He just doesn't see it for some reason. And it breaks my heart. He truly is all I have anymore. I still don't know how to cope with losing him, too.

I have been primarily alone for a couple years now. Yes, I have seen someone, but they live away, and have a life and kids and lifestyle, all separate from my own. We have been together, but separate. It has always been the way. And as long as it lasts, it always will be.
I haven't had a real "partner" for two and a half years.
I often wonder what my life would be like if I did. Would I be so miserable if I weren't alone?
Of course there are things I miss about having a partner. The friendship. The togetherness. The coupling. Always being together, always having each other. Never waking or falling asleep alone. Spending your days and nights together. Doing things together, or nothing together, every day. Yes, you can be lonely in a relationship. But in a good and healthy partnership, this awful loneliness doesn't exist. Maybe I would be happier if it didn't.
Who knows.

I was going to go to the lake yesterday. I shaved my legs, put on shorts and a tank top, got my folding lawn chair out of storage... But I couldn't. The only landing is the one where you can look across the cove and see my old house. I just wasn't ready for that yet. And so, I didn't.
I still think that maybe I need to spend some time with the water. So yesterday I decided that today I would go to a beach. I don't know of very many (even though I was born and raised in Maine), so I would just go to the one that I know. The one where my father last gave me away. Even given the circumstances, it's still one of my fondest memories. I was happy then. I loved life. Everything was perfect. I had my children, my family, my father...
But it's cold and it's raining.

Maybe I'll just stay home and try to escape in a book.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I turn 44 tomorrow. Holy shit. Where has the time gone? Where has my life gone?
I could get all philosophical here, I want to, but I won't. But I will say... the time has flown by. My life has flown by. One minute you're in your twenties, living it up, having the time of your life, struggling with the woes of youth... the next minute you're aging faster than you ever realized, and your life is close to over. It's bizarre. Time flies. Life flies.
But I digress.

I dreamt of the lake again last night. I still do, every night.
At least I don't wake up crying in the morning anymore. Not all the time, anyway. I still long for it, mourn. I'd still move back if I possibly could. I continue trying to accept my decision and move forward, but it's still a work in progress.

I still don't see a whole lot of the boy. I have seen a bit of him by default lately. He had to come here on Sunday to meet his sister to do some algebra homework for summer school. The week before, he spent two nights here because his dad was out of town. But generally, he still stays at his dad's. He hasn't really popped over to visit much lately. I'm hoping that will change.

I keep telling myself I didn't give up the lake for nothing. It wasn't just for the boy. It was for me, too. Even though I loved the lake more than I even knew I did. I gave it up for home ownership. For a future home for myself. For not having to search for a rent somewhere when I'm older. For stability.
At least, I keep telling myself those things.

There are all kinds of things I'd like to do with my savings. I'd like to buy a pool. I'd like to have my lawn treated (there are an abundance of ticks here), I'd like to buy more plants and trees for my property, to "make it my own" and to pretty it up a little, I'd like to make improvements to my fire pit area, buy some outdoor furniture, the car needs a brake job...
But I don't dare spend any of my savings, with the bar being up in the air.

We still have yet to hear from Charlie on our offer. He has had our proposal for a week and a half now, and still no answer and no counter offer. And he has yet to post the notice of public auction yet as well, even though he could have posted it since July 9th. I have to assume he hasn't posted the notice yet because he is considering our offer. At least, I hope that is why. We all wait on pins and needles. A few of us, including myself, with our lives hanging in the balance.

I continue to consider the possibility of getting a dog. Many of you saw on facebook that I had a doggy visit last week with a friend's dog. She was so sweet and easy. But so big and drooly and sheddy. Lol... And I wonder, if the bar closes.. How would I afford to feed her??? How would I afford any dog, let alone, one that big? Part of me thinks I would be better off with a small dog. One that eats less, poops smaller, a non-shedder would be nice, one who's easier to travel with... One like Pixie, the one I got when I first moved in with Mom. She ended up staying with Mom when I moved to the lake. She was/is a sweet little dog. Maybe I'll start stealing her from Mom on occasion. Mom said I could.
I just don't know. Maybe I'm just not ready yet in general. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly take care of myself. Although, I bought a bunch of dog stuff (dishes, toys, chews) while I was shopping yesterday, and I don't even have a dog. What the hell... Who knows.

I had better go get ready for work.
Be well.




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'll try to make this as positive as possible... Ok, that's a lie.
But I do have a bit of a story to tell about a little bar on the corner, so stay with me, if you can stand the negativity.
Besides, my psychiatrist only sees me once every two weeks for 30 minutes, and that's primarily to handle my meds. And I haven't been seeing my therapist lately, so this blog is all I've got. So, on with it. Get comfy.

I miss the lake.
I dream about moving back almost every night. And every morning I wake up in tears. Over and over, sleeping and waking in the same repetitive torture.
Call me crazy if you will, but if it didn't work out with his new tenants, I would probably sell this place and move right back.

It certainly hasn't proven to be the answer I was looking for with my boy. Not yet, anyway. I mean, I have seen him a few times, and more often than I was seeing him, but it's only been for brief moments. He stayed here for two nights the first week I moved here. The first night, begrudgingly, because he promised he would, and the second night was a surprise, who knows why. He came for a short visit with a friend. He came over to do some algebra homework. He came over yesterday for a couple hours. He was planning on spending the night, maybe even a couple, since his dad has gone out of town for work for a few days. So by default, I might get some overnights with him. I was so excited. But then, at the last minute, he decided not to. Even when his dad is out of town, he still won't stay with me. That hurt. I can't possibly express just how much. I cried all night.
Losing touch with him has been the most painful thing I've ever experienced.
And leaving the lake, in an attempt at "getting him back", has proven to be unsuccessful and even more painful. I gave up one love for another. And it has yet to be worth it. I don't know if it ever will be. Right now I'm just left with nothing.

I've tried and tried to see this in a positive light. Tried to "retrain my brain". Think of all the positives. How I own my own place now. How it will benefit me in the future... I mean, really.. If I look ahead, who wants to be 55, 60, 65, and searching for a place to rent, that you can afford? I'll have this. It is affordable. It'll be paid off by the time I'm 53. And the lot rent is minimal. And the lot is lovely and private, the last in the park, so it's almost like having my own land, kind of. It'll be low cost, low maintenance living, and it's mine. All positives, right? And besides, nothing says I have to stay here. Because it's so nice, and it's location is so nice, it would be easy to sell if I ever want to move on.
But it's so hard to see the positives right now. All I can see is the fact that I'm still missing my boy. And the lake. :(

In other news... As many of you can see from my facebook posts, I am having a visit right now with a potential new doggy friend. A couple friends of mine have a dog that they've been considering rehoming due to their lives becoming super busy, and they heard I was looking, so... We all thought it might be a perfect coincidence.
She has been with me a couple days now, and has proven to be super easy and super sweet. And my cat who typically hates dogs has decided that she's ok. She was actually caught (on camera) rubbing all over her the other night. That was shocking. She's hopped in the car with me and delivered the boy to basketball practice and summer school and to his dad's, and gone to the bank, the pharmacy, and pretty much all over town. She loves to ride. She hung around the yard with me while I put plants in the ground, she slept in bed with me (and what a bed hog!). As I'm writing this she's laying at my feet. She's easy, sweet, friendly to everyone she meets... She's pretty close to perfect. So, what's my hold up? I don't know. Am I ready? Am I ok with dog hair and drool everywhere and poop in the yard? Am I ready to be tied down to caring for something other than myself and a cat? (Not like I have a very happening social life). And what happens if I lose my job in a couple months and can't afford to keep her? Because, there is that possibility...

You see, the little bar on the corner is in trouble. And we've been trying to find a way to explain it to our customers for some time now. So why not start here.
A long time ago, the lady who owns the building that we do business in borrowed money from a man named Charlie. Charlie placed a lien on the building. He eventually took the lady to court and filed a foreclosure suit against her. Charlie ended up winning that suit and was granted a civil foreclosure. Her right of redemption ended on July 9th. At this point, Charlie is now able to begin the process of conducting a public sale of the property. If there is an auction, bidders will be bidding on his mortgage only, and the sale will still be subject to the Credit Union's first priority mortgage. So essentially, at the public auction, he is only selling his interest in the property, his second mortgage, so to speak. Which is an astronomical amount.
As far as we know, it is Charlie's intent to bid for himself at the auction, and outbid anyone there (which would be no one other than us, because who the hell would want to buy a second mortgage on a property???). We assume that he intends to outbid anyone there, and somehow try to pay off the credit union as well, with the intent of walking in and taking over the Brookside as it stands. Well, that's NOT going to happen. Both the credit union and ourselves have recently made that pointedly clear to him. The Brookside isn't part of the deal. He'd be buying the building ONLY, and NOT the business. And we've recently reiterated that to him in a proposal we sent to him. We offered him a settlement in lieu of foreclosure. In that proposal, we made it clear to him that the business was NOT going to transfer with the sale, and that his interest was in the building ONLY. No business, no inventory, no licenses, no equipment, no utilities, no nothing. Not to mention, probably no customer base. Just a building. We are in hopes that this will sway his way of thinking. We now hope and pray that he will agree to our proposal and accept our offer of settlement. And then we would finance his second mortgage (our offer), and the first priority mortgage with the credit union, and become the final and sole owners of the Brookside. And when I say we, I actually mean Matt and Annette, not me. I just say we, because it feels like we have been a team through all of this.
Although I don't believe in the power of prayer, I guess it can't hurt. So if everyone could keep the little bar on the corner in their prayers and thoughts... It has been in existence far too long, as long as I've been alive... too long to see it come to an end. It's a legacy, a staple. It is home to so many customers, and a living to several employees, me being one of them. I'm still hoping that it will turn out in our favor, but we just don't know.

What will I do!?!? A house payment, a car payment, all these bills, and no money coming in... file for unemployment (which won't be anywhere near what I actually make), search high and low for a job that will pay me what I make now in order to make ends meet, who knows how long it will take me to find a decent job... And so much for going back to school.. I don't know what I'll do... And because of my down payment on this place, my savings is gone.. I'm not prepared.. I'm so afraid.. And that's a gross understatement..

To have  all of this weighing so heavily in my mind, added to everything else in life right now, is entirely too overwhelming. I feel like I can't possibly cope with it all. Losing my boy, losing the lake, losing my job, my sole source of income, and quite possibly the only thing I have left that gives my life any meaning...
It's too much. It's just too fucking much.

Well, I guess I should go. I have to deliver a pair of sneakers to basketball practice because the boy forgot them in my car. Even though he doesn't want to hang with me, I'm still a sucker for doing shit for him. That either makes me a good mom or a pushover.
Whatever.

Be well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's Wednesday. I've been in the new house three days now. Three mornings waking up to no lake. And a lifetime more of them to come.
I've had a very hard time with the transition. I cried all weekend at the lake before the move on Sunday. I went to the lake house to clean it yesterday and cried the entire time. Every time someone asks me how the new house is, I start crying. I'm on the verge of tears, always. I miss the lake.
I am hoping I'll be at peace with my decision soon.

On the upside, my boy spent two nights with me already this week. It has been over a month since I've had him overnight.
He promised he'd spend the first night with me in the new house, and he did. It was tense for a bit at first; he missed his dad. But then it passed, and the next day he actually decided to spend another night. It was so nice having him around again, I have missed him so. He really likes the new house. And I think the idea of his Dad being practically next door is a big part of what makes him so comfortable. His uncle Matt lives here in the park too, and a few of his Dad's close friends are in the area as well. It is home to him. I hope it will become home to me soon, too.
When he left last night he gave me a a few very long hugs and promised to come back again very soon.
So, on the upside, there is that.

I keep telling myself I made the right decision. Talking myself through all the reasons why this was the right thing for us, for me...
It's mine, I own it. It'll be paid off in a few years. It's affordable, low maintenance living in preparation for future retirement age. I'll see my son more (I already have seen this in effect). It's close to mom. It's far less expensive than renting. Oh, and.. it's mine.
But living on the water always was my life dream. And I was living it. And I gave it up. And I am in mourning. Seriously. If I could stop crying, that'd be great. Jeezus. I fucking hate being a girl.

Speaking of which...
I saw my shrink again this week. She suggested adding an anti-depressant to my current cocktail. I was actually going to ask for it if she hadn't suggested it, so we were already on the same page. We have to watch it closely though, as bi-polars don't always react well to stimulants. Hopefully it helps. Pretty soon I'll be a walking pharmacy.
Sometimes (a lot of the time), I wish I were an alcoholic, or an addict of some kind. Just so that I had some kind of substance to help me get out of my own head once in a while.
I hate my father for drinking himself to death, but god damnit, I can almost understand why he did.

Anyway...

The damn cat keeps getting outside. She's like a little escape artist. Scooting out by you as soon as you open the door. She was doing it at the lake too. There she'd scoot out by you, or she'd push the screens out of an open window. Here I worry about living in the country, and something getting her outside. She spent our very first night here outside overnight. I worried so. But she finally came back around the next morning. Damn cat. I've been able to keep her in since, but it's just a matter of time before she gets out again. Damn cat.

She's not going to be very happy if/when I bring a dog home. She hates dogs. She'll especially be wanting out then. I'm supposed to bring the new dog home this coming Sunday. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Will I be happy about it? Will it be added stress in my life? Will I regret it? I have been looking forward to it for weeks and now I'm hesitant. Is it just because I'm depressed about the move? I don't know. I am worried. I worry about everything, though. I worry about and overthink absolutely everything.
And not that I am preparing for the worst, but this is a different kind of scenario, and in this particular situation, if it doesn't work out for some strange unknown reason, the dog can always go back to her original home. Again, not that I would want that, and I'm certainly not expecting or preparing for that (and not that it would be ideal for her, I know).. I want it to work. I am planning on being her new forever person. But it's nice to know that there is that insurance, so to speak, just in case.
Again, I overthink absolutely everything in my life. Of course I would overthink this. Beat it dead into the ground until it becomes something enormously overwhelming. Why wouldn't I? It's what I do. Sigh.

Anyway...

Work has been a little more stressful than usual lately. My one happy place in life, damnit. That's what happens when you're short-staffed I guess. I've had to pick up a  night shift, which I absolutely abhor, for a couple reasons. First, it's way past my bedtime. I'm used to being in pajamas by 7 and in bed by 10, at the latest. Secondly, bar patrons are way different at night. When the sun sets, the level of crazy goes up, and my tolerance level goes down. Lord help me.
Lord, Universe, Buddha, whomever, whatever, please, please, please, let me hire a new bartender , STAT.

Anyway...

I'm sitting here alone in the new house for the first time. Dawson was here the first couple nights, and Phil last night. But they're both gone, and now I get to see how it feels here alone. I'll be alone until Phil comes back on Friday, for one night (he's only around a couple nights a week), or until Dawson pops back in for a visit. I'm so glad I was able to have them for company the first few days here. This transition has been hard enough as it is, going it alone would have been awful. Now to see how it will feel being here alone, as I will be a lot of the time...
Guess this'll help me figure out how much I'll need that dog, won't it?

Be well.

Friday, June 16, 2017

It's Friday. Yesterday I thought it was Friday, but today is actually Friday.
Once again, without the boy here, the days are difficult to keep track of. That hasn't gotten any easier.

Not having the boy around hasn't gotten any easier, either.
Although I do see him whenever I'm at the new house. If I'm there unpacking, or cleaning, or painting... He'll spin over on his wheeler or dirt bike... I'm hoping that trend continues when I'm fully moved in. Hopefully he'll even stay over. We shall see.
He came over to the lake last weekend for a day, when it was really hot. It was so nice to have him for the day. Logan came over too, and mom as well. It was so nice to have my family together for the day. I went to bed happy that night.
Then there are the nights I cry all the way home from work, because I miss him so much, and I'm without him, and alone. Nights like last night.

Speaking of which... The new meds don't seem to be doing a whole lot, at least I don't think so. It's hard to say. I guess I never really can tell. Maybe they're helping a little. I'm still on a moderate dose. We only just went up on the dose and added a second med a week ago, so maybe I need to give it more time. Sometimes I hate the idea of being medicated. But the low has been pretty fucking fierce this year, so I know it's needed. There are some days I can't get out of my head, and it's hard to get through a work day. Yesterday it was noticeable to my customers, and I can't have that. Keep trying.

Leaving the lake is going to be hard. I do love living on the water, so much. I've dreamt of living on the water my whole life, and now I've lived it. There really is nothing quite like waking to the water every morning, or coming home to it every night from work. And even though it's been my dream, I still know that I'm making the right decision, for a lot of reasons.
This little place will be my own, I'll own it, even though I won't own the land (that almost relieves some of the headache). It'll be paid off by the time I'm 53. It'll be inexpensive, low maintenance living. It's super close (basically next door) to Dawson and his dad. It's a good investment. It's right down the street from mom (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad, lol). The pictures don't do it justice... you don't think "trailer" when you see it, it's really beautifully redone and very spacious. And since it's the last spot in the park, the lot is amazing and huge and quite private.
And it's all ready to move into now. I was going to rent a uhaul this Sunday, and then I realized it's Father's day. I suppose I wouldn't be able to scour up much help on Father's day, most everyone probably has plans. I suppose I'll wait until the following Sunday. Hopefully I can get a few bodies to help me out.

Speaking of Father's day, I miss my dad. So much. This month is tough. It's Father's day month, and June marks the month of his rapid decline and his death. It's been four years this month. The month I received the phone call and the voicemail from him.. nothing but breathing and grunting... I called 911 and flew to the house to meet the ambulance... From EMMC, eventually to Brigham's in Mass, and then ultimately back to EMMC to die. I'm still so angry with him for drinking himself to death. And I miss him. So fucking much. June is tough.

As most of you have seen on facebook, I've had an opportunity to pick up a second job managing another bar up in Howland, in addition to managing the one I already do. They'd pretty much be willing to pay me whatever I ask for, including travel time, so I keep seeing dollar signs... But then again, I realize I would be working every day of my life. If I think I hardly ever see my son now, I'd definitely hardly ever see him if I took it. And there would be no doggy best friend for me. There'd be nothing but work. But that money, though...
I had a two and a half hour meeting with the owners this week. And for the first couple days afterwards, I was convinced I was going to take the job. I spent a few hours on a detailed management plan and a salary request. And then later in the week, I spent an evening at the new house, working around in the yard, watching the boy popping wheelies on the lawn... and then realized- these are the simple things I'll miss if I take this job. It was about that moment that I pretty much decided not to take the job.
I make a meager living, I barely get by. I would LOVE to not have to worry about bills, to have a little extra, for once. But I don't want that at the expense of losing what little time I have with my boy, or having a doggy friend, like I've wanted for so long, or spending time alone... basically, having extra money at the expense of losing the very few little things I do enjoy in this life. It was a very tough decision to make, but I think I've made it.

Speaking of jobs and bars... While "interviewing" with these owners, I realized something.,.. I'm a walking contradiction. I claim to hate people (especially drunk people), and I complain about this industry almost every day. And yet, I've been doing this for 15 years, and I'll do it until I'm too old to do it anymore. Because, I think I love it. At least, I love it where I am now, and I probably love it in general. Even though I also hate it. I love my little bar. And I love my regulars. I love my staff. I love my bosses. I hate it, and I love it. See? Walking contradiction.

I suppose I could start getting ready now. I've been up since 4:45. That's another thing I've been struggling with lately- waking at about 4:30 every day. Not sure why. Every day, for the past couple months. It's ridiculous. The new meds knock me out fairly early at night, usually by 10 at the absolute latest. Most times earlier, sometimes as early as 8:30. But this rising before the sun every day is getting old. I'm not one to go running or get a lot accomplished in the morning, so I'm mostly just bored.

But now I have to get ready. Heading to the dentist for the third time in two weeks. For the same damn tooth that just keeps breaking. It's mostly bonding now at this point. And it's one of the few I have left. I might as well just suck it up and get dentures. Nooooooooo!!!!

Anyway...

Be well.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Well, it's Wednesday. No, Monday. Wait, it's Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday.
As usual, without the boy here, it's awfully hard to keep track of the days.

I have seen him off and on over the weeks. Short visits at the new house, at a tennis match, dinners out, or picking him up super late at school after a tennis match up north. He's spent the night with me once in the last two months. It was Mother's day. I'm still trying to cope with this new situation, him wanting to be at his Dad's. As I've always said, I suspected eventually it would come. But I guess I always thought he'd still stay with me once in a while. But he hasn't, really. And it sucks. It sucks, bigtime. I guess I never thought I'd be doing the empty nest thing before he was even grown.

Yesterday I was working at the new place and just getting ready to leave when he texted me- Are you still there? Don't leave yet, I'm coming over. And so he showed up on the four wheeler and we hung out for a few minutes. He loves the new place. I've got all the curtains up, some furniture in place, and a lot of decorative stuff up. He says he can't wait to start staying there.
I can't wait, too. Although I am paid up here until the end of the month, and I love the lake, I am anxious to feel settled in. I've never been good with limbo. I'm going to try to get more serious about getting stuff over there over the next couple weeks, There's not a lot I can do by myself with my car, but I'm doing it. Little load by little load. I'll be renting a Uhaul, not this weekend, but next. I work every Saturday, so Sunday June 18th, if anyone is available to help lug stuff, I'd be forever grateful.

Last week my shrink upped my Latuda and added in Topomax. I hope for some relief. No, happiness is not a choice. Not for all of us. Sometimes (most times... all of the time), some of us can just be thankful to get through each day, hoping to wake up to something better. And then we don't wake to something better, so we just get through that next day, hope to wake to something better, again. And so on, and so on. Soon enough, the "hope to wake to something better" leaves us, and we just go on getting through. We don't enjoy life, we endure it. I can't explain depression any better. I don't have the words for it.  I'm so tired of "happiness is a choice". So fucking tired of it.
I'm anxiously awaiting my next high. I don't care if I shop away all of my savings, or buy a new car, or obsessively dive headlong into a new hobby, or write the manifesto, or do something else ridiculously stupid. I'd just like the manic back, please.

Although, I did ride along in a benefit ride this weekend. Instead of being a shut in. It was new and different, and something I wouldn't normally do. I actually enjoyed myself. Surrounded by people, some friends, some acquaintances, some I didn't know. It was fun being a part of something. Being involved. And in the end we all landed at my second home, the bar. It was nice seeing so many people come together for a cause. And it was nice to be a part of it. So often I feel like I don't belong, to anything, or anyone, or anywhere. In life, in general. But Sunday I felt like I belonged. To that group, to that day. I belonged in/to life. Involved. For just a day, enjoying, and not enduring.


Anyway...

I am anxious to get my new dog. The boy isn't quite as excited, though, lol.. I told him yesterday and his response was "oh lord", accompanied by a hand slap to the forehead. Although, with as little as he's with me, I guess it doesn't really matter. She'll be my companion, my co-pilot, my sleeping buddy, my walking partner (hopefully, as we could both stand to lose a few pounds, lol). As most of you have seen on facebook, she is a beauty. She's a lab/mastiff and she's super sweet. She belongs to a couple of friends of mine. They weren't actively looking for a home for her, but they have recently found their lives super, super busy, and they feel she isn't getting what she needs and deserves. And then they heard that I was looking for a new best friend. Coincidence? Maybe. I am honored that they would think of me, because they wouldn't let her go to just anyone, they weren't even sure they wanted to. But when they heard I was looking, they thought it might just be the perfect arrangement for everyone. And I think it just might be.
I had been thinking long and hard about the Great Dane that I was visiting with, and as much as I know she needs me, I had to be sure the dog was the right fit for me, too. As much as I'd love to help her (and her family), she wasn't right for me, and that made me not right for her.
I'm excited to bring Kaya home to the new place.


Anyway...

I've been getting the singing bug lately. It never goes away, really. I miss performing, I really do. But I guess I'm too old for that now. I'll just have to settle for "caraoke" :)  I've been using the Smule app lately to get my fix, and posting on facebook. I guess it's second best to performing for people live. Gives me a fix, at least a little bit. Here's one from YouTube. You can find all my others there, too, if you're bored.  :).


This week at work I complained about "please" and "thank you". Words that we all too often forget to use. In my line of work, we don't hear it all that often. I am guilty of forgetting, too.
There are the select few customers who will say either or both, almost all of the time. There are also customers who don't, but they order so politely, usually with a smile, that "please" and/or "thank you" are implied. And for all of those people, I am thankful.
And then there are the people who feel entitled to being served by their bartender... They order with a a tone and an attitude, and a look on their face that says- you should know what I want, you've served me so many times you should have it memorized and ready at the bar when I walk in, you're supposed to read my mind. Like- duh, yeah of course I want a bud light, Jeezus.
And for those people, I am not so thankful. Those are the people who make my job, and my day, a lot less tolerable. And sadly, it's not just strangers, it's often regulars. Folks, your bartender is a person, a working stiff just like you, with feelings, who deserves as much respect as any other person. Please remember that.
When the cashier asks me- "Did you find everything you were looking for today?" My response is (almost) always "yes I did, thank you". Try it out, it'll make their day, and it'll make you feel a little more human, too. 
Or maybe, when you order your next bud light, maybe say please, or thank you. Or at least order it without your self-righteous sense of entitlement. 

Ok, I suppose I have to go plank and pack. Neither of which I am looking forward to.

Be well. Please. *wink



Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's Sunday, so, on with it.

It's been a long week. Tiring. Exciting. Stressful.

I picked up an extra shift this week, which was good for the wallet, but bad for my (already screwed up) sleeping pattern. I'm definitely out of practice for night shifts. My blinks were getting longer and longer by 9 o'clock.  By midnight I was already half asleep. Pretty sure I sleep-drove all the way home. And even though I went to bed at 1:30am, I still got up at 5. Geez.

Speaking of work... This week I had several "ahhhhh" moments. Not like a surprise ahhhh, more like a content ahhhh. Moments where I've looked around and thought, this is my second home, this is my second family... This place, and these people, how I love them so. (even as much as I complain about this industry, and about how much I hate people)... I've made so many connections here. I am happy here. At home. And I am thankful for that.

This week also found me closing on the new place. I was very excited, but also verklempt. Overwhelmed, saddened. Leaving the lake is bittersweet. I will miss the water, so friggin much. I'm looking at it now as I write this. The sun is shining, the lake is calm with just a bit or rippling from the breeze... It's so beautiful. Calming. I will miss it so. And I have felt at home here, at peace.
But onward to new adventures... to home ownership, to hopefully seeing my boy more often. And hopefully I will feel at home, at peace, in the new house.

I've also been going back and forth on this whole dog thing... To get a dog, or not.
I know, I had Flash. But Flash was an extraordinary breed, who required far more than I could give him. He was a decent companion, but he required more than my busy/lazy life could provide. Yes, I'm busy, but I'm not that busy. And when I'm not busy, I don't want to be outside throwing frisbees all day long, or running, or hiking, or any other kinds of activities needed to satisfy a herding dog. I knew it when I adopted him, but I still convinced myself it could work.
And in the end, I made the hard decision to do what was right for him. And now he's training to herd cattle, running free with two other dogs every day, getting all the attention, love, and activity that he deserves. He's ridiculously happy.
And there I was again, dogless.
Then there was Ivan the shih tzu, who I was guilted into providing a foster home for. Some would say- why didn't you just keep him? Trust me, I thought about it. But I knew that Ivan was not the dog for me. If and when I get my very own dog, it's going to be a big lazy dog (Ivan was pretty low maintenance, but he wasn't big). I've raised Danes for nearly ten years, I've always loved the large/giant breeds. And I primarily live alone now, so I want a big dog who will fight off a big bad guy if need be, lol... I've just always loved big dogs, and that's what I will have, at some point.
As most of you have already seen on facebook, I've been visiting with a Dane lately who needs a new home (through no fault of her own). She is super sweet, and seems to be a very good dog, although she does have her issues. I don't think they're issues that can't be worked with, though. Because the family is under contract with their original breeder, they are abiding by that contract and going through the breeder for the adoption. Unfortunately, I am not impressed at all with what she proposes for a contract. I drafted my own and presented it to her, but she still insists we use hers. If we can't come to an agreement, it will be a moot point, as I won't sign to her terms.
I'll be meeting with a friend's dog this week as well. They don't need to place her, and aren't actively looking for a new home, but they are super busy, and feel she would be better served in a home where she will get more love and attention. We'll see how that goes. Coincidence? Maybe.
(With all these visits, I feel like I'm on the doggy love connection)
I do want a dog. I'm busy a lot of the time. Am I too busy? I don't think so, I don't think it can't be managed. I long for that companionship, so much. I thought the cat would provide it for me. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that a dog will provide it for me. Who knows. I know that I'm lonely.

I do see someone occasionally, and the boy is with me once in a while (once in a great while, lately, unfortunately), but primarily, I'm alone. And even though I am lonely, I have developed a bit of a fondness for being alone. I never thought that would happen.
Being alone means that I can go and do, whenever, whatever I want. Or whatever I don't want. I don't have to consider someone else's needs and/or desires. I can sit on my couch for 6 hours in my pajamas and binge watch Prison Break. I can go out dancing whenever I want (although that's not very often, but I can if I want to). I can stay home when I want to. I can eat whatever I want, get as many cats as I want (or a dog), watch whatever I want on tv, leave somewhere (or stay) whenever I want, sleep in the center of my bed, decorate as I want, leave my laundry everywhere if I want, buy whatever I want...  Anything... I can DO. Whatever. I want.
There is something to be said for that kind of freedom.
Yes, it's lonely. It's still really friggin lonely. But it is tolerable. And sometimes, enjoyable.
The only downfall (other than the loneliness), is... what happens if I ever do have the chance for a real life partner? Will I be able to? Have I grown too accustomed to being alone, to my own ways of living... How can I go back to anything else?
I guess I'll just have to make sure he's a pushover. Although, that's nothing new for me. :)

I miss my boy. So friggin much. He's only stayed one night with me in about six weeks. As I've said before, I always suspected he'd eventually get to a point where he'd want to stay more with his dad, but I just wasn't prepared for it. Sigh. I miss him so. Life is pretty empty without him around.
I'm hoping that I'll find him visiting more often once I'm in the new place. That was a big part of the decision; the fact that there's a trail that runs from it straight to his dad's house. If you're a child of divorced parents, what could be more ideal than having them practically next door to each other?
I'm going to the new place today to start painting and cleaning, He's already said that he'll come over on the wheeler and take me for a spin through the trails. That's a start.  :)

I'm torn, Although I want to suck up as much time on the lake as possible, I want to go get settled into the new home as soon as possible, too.

Well, I suppose I should go eat my package of bacon so I can get going for the day. I have painting and cleaning to do, and a four wheeling date with a cute boy.





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday... What the hell day is it?
It's Thursday. It's my Monday. First day back behind the bar for the week.
Without the boy here, the days still kind of meld together. It's hard to tell one from the other.

I've watched the sun rise over the lake for days. I've been waking between 4-5 every day. I don't know if it's the changing of the seasons or what. If I go back in my facebook timeline, or in this blog, I think I'll find a pattern of it. I wake before the sunrise this time of year. It's part of my "mood pattern" too, I just haven't figured out that piece yet.

The sunrise was especially beautiful today. The sky was so pink, and the sun was red. And it all reflected off the water.
I sure am going to miss that.
As most of you know from my facebook page, I have decided to leave the lake. I had the opportunity to purchase a mobile home in a lovely park here in Glenburn. Coincidentally, there is a trail that leads directly from it to the boy's dad's house. And yes, that was one of the primary factors for the decision. In my boy's mind, having his parents within walking distance of one another is the perfect scenario. If you're parents are divorced, what could be better than having them practically next door to each other? I don't go into it assuming he'll stay with me any more than he does (it's been one night in five weeks), that would just be setting myself up for disappointment. But I do know he'll buzz over once in a while on his four wheeler, or dirt bike, or snowmobile. And knowing that his parents are that close to each other brings him joy and peace, and in turn, it brings it to me as well.
My heart belongs to the lake, but it belongs more to my boy.
It's a nice home, very spacious, and completely remodeled. And the park is very well cared for and quiet. I have the last lot in the park, so it's quite private. The payment is very economical. Even with the lot rent, it's a fairly substantial savings from what I am paying now for rent. And it'll be paid off in ten years. It'll be easy, low-maintenance living. I'll be 53 when it's paid off, with only a small lot payment and utilities to worry about. And besides, I'll own it. It'll be mine.
I'll be leaving the lake in just over a month. I'll soak up as much time with it as I can. At least I was able to realize my dream of living on the water, even if only temporarily.

I saw my psychiatrist for follow up this week. I think the new meds are helping me dig out of my hole. I'm not sure. Could be just an upswing in the moods. We'll give it another two weeks and then decide whether or not to up the dosage. Hopefully I'll actually stay on this one this time. As most of us "afflicted" people do, we tend to get to a point where we think we're just fine, and we don't need meds anymore. Then suddenly we land ourselves in a depression that we can't get out of, or we do something to up-heave our lives and the lives of others, something that hurts ourselves and/or our loved ones. Then we say, oh shit, gotta go in search of help again. It's a vicious circle. One that I'm trying to quit. For real, this time. Or so I say. Until I think I'm "well" again. Sigh.

At least I've been able to avoid the potential life pothole I was headed for in matters of the heart. As I said in my last blog, I'm always practical, except for where that's concerned. Practicality wins the day this time, though. It's funny how much we will accept and forgive "in the name of love". Too  much. All too often we give third, fourth, fifth chances, when a second wasn't deserved in the first place.
Why has it taken me so many years to learn this? Who knows.. But at least I have. Better late than never, right?

Oddly, I've also begun to feel a little better about "being alone". Is it the meds? Is it a mood change? I'm not sure. But being alone isn't always lonely. Sometimes it's just what I need. Most times, it seems. I've realized I like my time. My space. There is something to be said for living for yourself. Doing what you want. Not doing what you don't. Not answering or explaining anything to anyone. No one but the cat, anyway.
I'm trying to balance it more with being social, as awkward as that may be for me. I can't completely become a hermit, as much as I might like to. Don't get me wrong, I pretty much still think that people suck. But not all of them, and not all of the time. I'm trying to give them a chance. And myself.

Speaking of living alone, and buying my own home...
This means that, if I deem my life accommodating enough for one, I can get a dog. Whatever kind of dog I want. No bending the arm of a landlord or husband or boyfriend to allow one. No having to choose a small breed, or one with less hair, or one who slobbers less, or whatever.
Will I go back to a Dane? Not sure. It'll be some kind of big dog. For protection, for companionship. We shall see.

I suppose, I should go get ready for work. And peopling.

I wake to watch the sunrise
It’s pink over the water
There’s an empty beer bottle on the counter
Next to my coffee cup
It belongs to the body in my bed
The warmth begs me to come back and lie down
But the sky is so beautiful
And the coffee tastes lovely
And this moment is mine
~CGJ



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sunday coffee and blogging... Wait, it's Tuesday.. Tuesday coffee and blogging...

Without the boy here, it's very difficult to keep track of the days.
It's been almost four weeks since he's spent the night here with me. I've seen him a small handful of times over the last month. Easter, for a short dinner visit. A couple dinners out, at his tennis matches, or when he needed me to drop off his ROTC uniform...
I always thought there would come a day when he'd want to be at his dad's more often. His dad's is the fun house, lots of toys.. four wheelers, snowmobiles, dirt bikes. He doesn't feel "emotionally challenged" there; he can cope with his feelings by burying them. It's a bit more, how do you say, "relaxed"; fewer rules and restrictions, more freedom. And perhaps he feels closer to his brother there. And perhaps they need him there for that same reason. But I need him, too. Probably I need him too much (Norman Bates's mother syndrome). I suspected it would come. I just didn't think it would be so soon, and I wasn't at all prepared for it.

Logan has been gone for some time now. She'll be 22 this month. And with Dawson gone most of the time now, the empty nest has fully set in.
And now, without children and without a partner, I've truly become alone.
I think I already mentioned in a previous blog, that living alone isn't empowering, or liberating. At least not for me.
It's just.. lonely.

According to the advice of others, there's all kinds of things I could be doing to enrich my life, to reinvent myself. Get a new hobby or two. Meditate. Walk. Knit. Read. Write more. Spend time with friends (If I even have any). Join a gym. Join a group of some kind. Get out more...
Perhaps once my new meds kick in, and I've climbed out of this "down time", I'll find something that I enjoy. For now, though, I lack the interest and/or motivation. For anything, really. But, it'll pass. It usually does. I just have to wait it out. Get through it.

And yes, as always, I'll go on to speak frankly about being bi-polar, about borderline personality disorder, the depression, the anxiety. It doesn't bother me, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed.
I met with a new psychiatrist last week whom I really liked. She's my age, she has two kids, both boy and girl, both my kids ages. She was very laid back, yet also professional. Seeing her is much more personal than receiving treatment at Acadia, where you feel like you're shuffled in with the rest of the crazies, given a prescription, and shuffled out.
Anyway... After trying a multitude of medications over the years (Zolaft, Depakote, Topomax, Abilify, just to name a few..), perhaps the Latuda will help.
The changing seasons are always more difficult for me. I'm not sure why (I hear it's that way for a lot of other bi-polars.. fellow bi-polars, raise your hands, lol). Spring and fall usually find me changing jobs, starting or quitting school, having an affair, getting a divorce, obsessing over some new hobby or activity until it becomes unhealthy, binge drinking, up and moving to a new place, draining my savings until I'm poor and destitute, or some other life altering behaviors... (I don't imagine I can fly, it's not quite as sensational as they make it out to be on tv). That's why I'm always hesitant. Over the years I've learned to cope, to "stay in place". Don't start anything new, don't leave anything old, don't change my mind, don't change direction, don't do anything. Is it just "my time"? Am I making a mistake? Will I regret this? Unfortunately though, that overcompensating also becomes a source of angst. In anything in life, making a decision becomes one of the most challenging things in the universe. And so many times, I just stay in place. Stay stuck. Do nothing. Fighting with yourself constantly, is exhausting.
Exhausting is a good way to describe it all.
Being afflicted this way is exhausting. It's not a joke. It's not a scape-goat. It's not a myth. I don't like to call it "mental illness". That seems too heavy. But it's real. And it's exhausting.
The moods (and please know that bi-polar moods, or BPD moods are not like what you experience every day), the anxiety, the depression (and oh, at times it's so fucking crippling), the highs (although sometimes the highs are quite nice, that's why we hate Depakote), the roller coaster... it's all. so. exhausting.
Not to sound morbid (and no, I'm not suicidal)... I used to be cursed with what I liked to call "mortality anxiety". I was always afraid of dying. I am not a religious person,  so I don't really have the afterlife to look forward to (although at times I surely wish I did). But lately, the last several months or so, maybe a year even, I seem to have tamed that mortality anxiety. I seem to have come to terms with dying. And simply because, it'll finally be a release. And everything won't be so exhausting anymore.
Again, please don't freak out. I'm not going to go walk into the lake and not come back out. It was just a realization I've come to over time, and thought I'd share.

I once read a quote that said- "Life is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured". And yes, that makes sense, but it's a pretty far reaching goal. It's not very realistic. And if nothing else, I'm cursed with being a realist. Although, I'm also still slightly hopeful. I'll keep enduring, in the hopes that maybe something will bring it purpose, enjoyment, enrichment, fulfillment. At least once in a great while. Hopefully. Until I can be not so exhausted anymore.

Random insert (and another thing I've discussed with the psychiatrist, and will pursue with my new primary care provider)... I was thinking about my kids. Trying to recall something from when they were young. And, I can't. I can't remember anything. I can't remember what their faces looked like when they were young. I can't remember things we did, or places we'd been, or moments in their lives.
And I've always known I can't recall memories like other people can.
I don't remember things. When I say "I don't remember things", I guess I mean, I can't remember anything in my life beyond, oh, about the last five years or so. Nothing.
The memories I do have are photographs. I'll think I'm recalling a memory, but then I realize I'm recalling seeing a picture of something, or someone, or a place, or a happening. Oh, I remember the birth of my eldest! Wait, no, I remember the picture of it. Hey! I remember my first wedding! Wait, no, that was just a photograph. I see the pictures as memories but I can't remember the actual moments. I don't remember any of it, at all.
It started some time ago, almost as a joke, when my friend would recall something and say- do you remember when we did... (this, or that, or whatever)... And I'd say, ummm, no, I don't remember. How do you remember it?
Unfortunately, I've had that same damn conversation with pretty much everyone in my life. With my daughter, my friends, my mother, my ex-husband(s)... hundreds of times.
I don't remember the things I've done. I don't remember my children when they were growing, I don't remember anything. I certainly don't remember anything about being young myself. At 6, 16, 26... Did I even exist?
I know it sounds crazy. It sounds crazy even as I type it. My short term memory is pretty flawless. But my long term memory? Well, I seem to not have one at all.
And I haven't even really talked to anyone about it until recently. Because recently, I've come to accept that it's probably not normal. And I should probably talk to my doctor about it, instead of stuffing it, burying it. Perhaps my son gets some of his coping skills from his mother after all.

Anyway, back to reinventing yourself, enriching your life...

I'd like to say that going back to school is something I'm doing for those purposes, to enrich my life, reinvent myself. But it's not. It's an obligatory necessity (as is pretty much everything else in life). Essentially, I need to prepare for employment between the time I'm too old to bartend and the time I'm dead. And going back to school, even if it is just Beal, just an associates for administrative professional, will do that. It's practical. It's doable. It'll prepare me to be employable in that time frame, that space between bartending and death.
I know, exciting stuff. Practicality trumps excitement. Such is my life.

Practicality trumps excitement. I guess that's my life motto now (at least it is while I'm "managing my moods"). Someone please engrave that on my tombstone, or my urn, whichever.

I haven't always been practical. Unfortunately, the one area in which I'm never practical, and always reckless, are in matters of the heart. And that habitual behavior has turned my life (and the lives of others) upside down, on more than one occasion. Probably more than ten occasions. Probably even more than that...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was in love with two men. It was several years ago. I won't go into detail; it's a tale too long to tell. But if you've been reading this blog over the years, you are probably already familiar with it.
Anyway... Back then, the girl described that "love triangle" as one of the most painful experiences of her life. She wrote- "There's a reason love triangles only exist in the movies or on tv, because they are too painful for reality". And so, she had to choose. Because, let's face it, she couldn't have both. Even though she couldn't help but love both. But she had to choose. She had to sever ties to one or the other, much like choosing to lose one of her very own limbs. She had to carve out half of her heart.
And she did. She lived through it, though she lost half of herself in the process. But life went on. And she hoped and prayed she'd never, ever have to do something so painful again.
And yet, here she sits.
Well, my second ex-husband didn't always make sense, but he did always say- "life is about circles". Perhaps he was onto something.
I must have believed it at one point, I have the tattoo on my back to attest to that.

Speaking of ex-husbands... I recently heard that the maximum amount of times you can marry in the state of Maine is 5 times. I'm over half-way there. Damnit, there goes my hopes of collecting ex-husbands and becoming the next Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps I should move out of state?

Anyway... I suppose I should get off this computer, put down my proverbial pen, since I've rambled now for nearly two hours, drank five cups of coffee, and smoked half a pack of cigarettes. Do something productive. Rake the leaves, vacuum the house, do the dishes, take out the trash, make some candles. Go talk to the cat. Decide on my next ex-husband. Something.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Just some random crap that I needed to get out by "putting on paper"... I mean, it is Sunday coffee and blogging time, right? Even if it is coffee at 8pm.


You don't truly appreciate everything you have, until the ability to provide it for yourself it is at risk.

And, regarding the aforementioned statement; fear is truly crippling.

But even in general, fear is SO powerful. Fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, of heartbreak, poverty, illness, war... Airplanes, heights, boats, electricity... Jeezus, I could go on all night.

No matter what their age, 15 or 45, boys will always have the innate ability to break your heart.

Living alone is not empowering or liberating. It's just lonely.

Some people are truly interested in you. In your day, your feelings, your life. Some people are just curious. Or bored.
Know the difference.

I miss my son. So f&%king much.

Facebook is the new free dating site. Better, even (or worse), than Plenty of Fish. Just post your "single" relationship status publicly and highlight your best selfies. Voila. Keepin' it classy. Best of luck to you.

The passage of time truly does help you to forget about someone. My (lack of a) relationship with my sister is evidence of this. As close as we once were, I hardly remember it now. That should be sad.

Sometimes I think that the secret to sanity is forgetting. Being unaware. That's why so many people drink, or do drugs. I could only be lucky enough to become an Alzheimer patient. Forgetting, being oblivious, not caring, just might be the only way to stay sane. Being aware is a curse.

But I haven't forgotten my father.
The longer I'm alive, the more I experience in this life, the more I understand why he self-medicated with alcohol. I may be devastated and angry as hell that he let it kill him, but jeezus, I get it. I always said we had similar minds. And no wonder he drank as he did. I often wish I were an addict, just to be able to get out of my own head, even temporarily.

I complain about having to be nice to people all day at my job. The truth is, I enjoy what I do. And I enjoy (most of) my customers. However, there are a few I could live without. Even punch in the face, if I could. The non-tippers. The lousy tippers. The customers who think (and sometimes even say), "oh, you just tend bar, you don't really work". The customers who look down on you for what you do, who think that their 9-5 professional job is so much more important. The ones who treat you as just a servant, and act as if your only purpose is to attend to them.
Again, I could go on all night.

My customers/friends are funny. The other night after work, one of them was joking around with me... Saying that I was going to go home, eat my bugles, and be sad. She said she often worries- will this be the day that Crista walks into the lake and doesn't come back out? As off color as it was, it was funny, we all laughed, I laughed.
And then I cried all the way home. And most of the night. As funny as it was, she was right. Although, I skipped the bugles and opted for ice cream.

Seriously, though. I'm truly tired of being this damn sad all the damn time. It's exhausting. Pretending not to be is exhausting, too. Everything is exhausting. Maybe it's time to consider meds again. Jeezus, I hate that idea. Maybe I should just start smoking weed with the rest of the population. It is legal now. Maybe I should see what all the fuss is about.

Let's talk about Netflix.

I'm currently addicted to a show called "Sense8". It's really good. You should check it out. It's sci-fi, but realistic. It's intense. Lots of character development. Very cool story line. Original. And the sex scenes are pretty good, too.

Anyway... I've got to get back to my show now. It's very important, you know. Important stuff, watching Netflix. Wicked meaningful.
And besides, the cat needs me. Not really, but I like to pretend she does.