tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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!!!!


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.


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.


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

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.

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.