It's been a minute hasn't it?
I have a lot of things to talk about so this blog post is going to be all over the place. Ready?
It's November. Finally. Of what has probably been the worst year of my life. No. Definitely the worst. You've been reading along so you know all the whys. But November is a time that I like to use to express even more gratitude than I do on the daily (and I do try to live a life of gratitude daily). And historically I am one of those Facebook Thankful November people. I try to be thankful for things large and small.
But I have been SOOOO busy this month. Work has really been crazy busy. I haven't really had a free moment to myself until just now and frankly it will probably take me several sessions to say everything I want to say. I'm not going to count out the various things I am thankful for but I would like to hit a few highlights.
Last weekend my oldest and dearest friend had a celebration in Austin because she found love again and eloped in October. I have no words to describe how happy I am for her and how much hope she gives me. And to Steve for sweeping her off her feet and showing her how special she is. Susie was GLOWING at the party and every time I looked at Steve he was staring at her with complete adoration. They give me hope.
And Susie's family was all there. I saw Mom and Dad, siblings and their mini me's, aunts and uncles, and even grandma. And even though I haven't seen some of them in years (like double digit years), every single one of them greeted me as if I'd never been away. Susie and her family are not perfect, but they are damn near close. They love each other and they show it...what more can you ask for? And I am so privileged and grateful to be a part of that family.
I'm not crying. You're crying!
Anyway. They mean the world to me even if I don't see them that often or if I forget to say it.
And then there is Chase. I haven't known him long - I only met him this summer - but he is already a dear friend. And when Rob couldn't come to Austin with me fairly last minute...and I can't drive because of my foot...Chase stepped in and drove me so I didn't have to miss out on the celebration. It was a fun little road trip and I think it is safe to say we are definitely closer for it. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
I saw Sabrina and Jess while in Austin and although that wasn't nearly all the people I miss I am so glad I was able to see them both and give them hugs. And get them in return.
My boys. What can I say? I am a doting mother and maybe I see them through "mom goggles" as they put it but how lucky am I? Zach and Xander have been incredibly supportive of me this year. I can't claim to be surprised but it is nice when someone doesn't disappoint you. I've mentioned it before - I don't claim to be a perfect mom. I know I have made mistakes - and will probably continue to do so - but my boys enjoy spending time with me so it must have not all been bad. And again, I didn't do it alone so I can't help but be grateful to Daniel. Obviously not for the betrayal and hurt but he did help me raise two pretty amazing kids and I will always be grateful for that. I just wish he had the cajones to end things better.
If you are reading this, I am grateful for you. I don't know how I would have made it through this year without the support of my friends. I love all of you.
My foot continues to be problematic. I can walk flat footed ok but any twist or pressure on my ankle makes me see stars. I have kept up with the old man style compression sock...I try to leave it off every few days to see how I am healing but my foot just starts to swell back up and throb after a few hours. I should probably go to a doctor but who has time for that?
I continue to be grateful for my job. I might complain sometimes and I definitely wish I made more money but I have a great boss that listens to me and values me. And I get to work from home so I definitely know how lucky I am. And we have been incredibly busy - luckily overtime is available which should help on the wishing I made more money part. Except I couldn't take advantage of the overtime last weekend because I was in Austin. And I haven't been able to take advantage of it this week because I've been busy every night. And frankly the entire rest of the month is not letting up (but it's all for good things).
Rob's birthday was Wednesday so that was obviously cause for celebration. We went out for lobster - his favorite. He has been looking forward to teaching me how to eat a whole lobster.
I don't know how many of you have done that before, but I haven't. I had lobster tail a couple of months ago and that was complicated enough. And there is video to prove it. But man, Rob is hardcore. Not a morsel of meat is left. I think I did ok for a first timer but honestly it is a little messy for me. And too much work!
Today is the funeral/service for my step-father. I don't say that to garner sympathy. I barely knew him - pretty sure I can count the number of times I met him on one hand. But as I said before, he made my mother happy and I am truly sorry for her loss. So no matter how much anxiety I have, I am pulling on my big girl panties and going.
I've tried to prepare Rob as best I can.
OK - that's over and I have to admit it wasn't as bad as I feared. My aunt Juanita gave me a little talking to but mostly I enjoyed seeing Berlin and Sami. I love those girls as if they were my own.
So here's a fact about Rob I don't know if I mentioned before...he loves going to concerts. He also is really into Progressive Rock and although I'm still not entirely sure what that means I know I don't love it. I don't hate it exactly...but I'm just not into it. And definitely not like he is. I generally prefer upbeat music I can sing along with. Even if I shouldn't.
Anyway, he's been to literally hundreds of concerts. I've been to less than 20 probably. I couldn't really afford it in my youth and then once I could afford it the thought of the crowds and the traffic and the standing and the loudness of it all kept me away for the most part. But I am clearly going to have to get over that if I keep Rob around.
Last night we went to the JackFM Retroplex concert - he had me at '80s bands. It was Survivor, Starship, The Romantics, Modern English, and Patty Smyth and Scandal. Except Survivor no showed. But we had great seats and they all sounded pretty good. It was fun. So that was our first concert together.
I am lucky he found me.
Bear with me, I'm going to repeat myself here.
When my world crumbled all around me, all I could see was a bleak, lonely future. If the person I loved and trusted the most in this world could do that to me, how could I ever open myself up to that again? Who could possibly love me? Want me? And I was so sad I didn't see how I could ever be happy again.
And you all told me. I couldn't hear it at the time. You basically (but very nicely and in much better words) told me I was an idiot. Of course I would be happy again. Of course someone would love me again. Of course someone would want me. And of course I would open myself back up.
Because ultimately, in spite of SO MUCH of my life, I am a happy person. And in spite of being beaten down time and time again (is 2019 over yet because come ON), I did find myself being happy again. I started going out. Making a whole new group of friends to add to the incredible ones I already have. Strengthening or renewing old friendships. And eventually I decided to put myself out there.
Because the more I thought about dating, the more intimidating it was. And by intimidating I mean terrifying. I had no idea what I was doing but I couldn't bear the thought of being forever alone either. I tried several dating apps - I told you about them. I was discouraged but I didn't give up hope. I worked on my flirting skills because I have none.
Also, spoiler - I still don't.
I had the most success on Hinge but Rob is the only date I had. And even though I didn't think he was my type, I was wrong. He's kind and thoughtful and smart and funny and caring and we just work. It's barely been 4 months and even though I was scared at first...reluctant (see February 5th) even...it's been pretty fucking fantastic. It isn't perfect - there are still issues to be sorted. But it is as close to perfect as I could hope for in my life right now. I swore I wasn't going to jump into another relationship.
So anyway. Here we are. As I said it has been barely 4 months and neither one of us seems to see it ending any time soon. And I should be freaking out about that but I'm not. I'm still trying to take it one step at a time and enjoy the here and now. But we also talk about the future and what that may look like for us.
So yeah. I'm filled with gratitude for Rob. I am still lucky.