The Rough Road

I started graduate school in February with my alma mater UMUC. All the classes are online, which is how I did most of my Bachelor’s Degree, so I knew that it wouldn’t be an issue.

The way that the graduate program for education at this university is set up you take one class at a time. The classes are 6 credits and run for three months. I’m currently in week 8.

When I started the class, I was thinking to myself that this was going to be a piece of cake! I was taking 4, FOUR, English classes at the end of my undergrad, going through a divorce and finding a place to live and I still passed all of them. One class will be a breeze!

Instead:

See how the room looked around him? That’s my house.

Between class, hunting for a job, dealing with my youngest son’s horrible behavior and a myriad of house problems (like leaky pipes), I’m that guy that just went nuts.

On the upside, I’m pulling an A.

On the downside, it’s 10:22 pm and I’m writing this as I take a short break from working on my next project which is due in a week and for which I have no idea what I’m doing.

Yes, just like them - fabulous, but Clueless

Yes, just like them – fabulous, but Clueless

Yeah, it’s going to be a long week!

But even with all of the challenges and hurdles I have to jump, I’m in graduate school. That’s nuts to me. I never, truly, thought I would get here. I never thought that I would be on the road to earning my Masters in Education. I never thought that I would be able, for various reasons, to take the first step of achieving the dream that I have held since I was 12.

Yet, here I am.

Despite the divorce, three layoffs in the past two years, the fact that my trailer seems intent on falling apart around my ears, my son’s lackluster performance in school and his attitude issues, I am still on the road to my dreams.

reaching for dreamsI could have thrown in the towel, walked away from the kids and gone my own way in life because it was the easy thing to do. People do that all the time (i.e., my ex). But I didn’t. Sure I have had days where I just have curled up in a ball and bawled until my eyes felt like they were going to fall out.

I have had days where I just wanted to walk out the door and never come back. Who doesn’t?

But that’s the cowards way.

I’m a lot of things, many of them not favorable, but I’m not a coward. I’m not afraid of hard work and hard times to reach my goals. I’m not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and doing what needs to be done to make things work out the way I want them to.

socks Except for laundry. That’s why God created laundry baskets, so you wouldn’t have to fold the socks and they could still be considered clean and out of the way.

Where was I? Oh, that’s right. The rough road.

The easy road will seem so perfect. It will be filled with sunshine and light, and unicorns pooping rainbows overunicorn pooping your head. Angels will sing and all will be good.

Until you hit the bump in the road.

Because, it’s a fact, folks. You will always hit the bump in the road, no matter which road you take: easy or rough.

The difference between the easy road and the rough? On the rough road, you will learn to overcome and even greet your fears and your problems. You will develop coping skills that will allow you to not curl up in a ball and cry every single time something goes wrong.

rough roadThe rough road teaches you how to put on your big person britches and move on. It teaches you that a hurdle is just a hurdle and not the end of the road. It teaches you that you have the strength to move forward, even when all seems hopeless.

The easy road may get you to where you THINK you want to be with minimum challenges and everything coming up roses.

The rough road will allow you to prove to yourself, and everyone else, that you are worthy of the goal that you have reached.

And after a trip down a rough road, nothing in the world is sweeter than reaching the star that you had the audacity and courage to reach for.

Do you want some cheese with that whine?

If you’ve read any of my posts prior to this new me blog, then you know that this is not where I expected to be. I never expected to be a divorcee. I never thought that I would be restarting my life at age 40. This is not what I planned.

But I’ve learned something in the past couple of years:

Life doesn’t give a shit what you planned. At all.

I think John Lennon said it best:

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Smart and talented.  Only the good die young, right?

Smart and talented. Only the good die young, right?

I had a plan. I knew that I was going to be married to the same man (not happily, but still), and we were going to see it through to his retirement. We were going to buy a house and settle into a neighborhood and make friends and be happy. Life was going to take us to where we were planning on going. I was going to teach and he was going to do something with his degree (that was vague because he didn’t even know what he wanted to do) and we were going to see our kids off to college and live there the rest of our lives.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, life got in the way.

Life is rarely, if ever, smooth or nice or predictable. Things happen. People happen. People change and make your life different because of it.

helping get up with textIt does no good to whine about it, or throw a pity party or to be unwilling to make the best of the hand you were dealt.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He is a perfect example of being somewhere he never expected to be, ever. A good man, he is, one of the best. He made a mistake and now he’s sitting in jail because of it. He made a mistake and he’s paying the piper for what he did.

Some time before he got into trouble, his marriage fell apart. He likes to take most of the blame, but I told him that it takes two to work at a marriage and neither of them were willing to work hard enough. As his marriage was falling apart, he was sent to Afghanistan for a tour of duty there. While he was there, he met a woman.

Love at first sight is wonderful!

Love at first sight is wonderful!

I asked him if it was love at first sight. He said, completely without irony, that it was. He stated that they tried to ignore it, that he was going to try to fix what was going wrong at home. But then his ex-wife left, taking the kids and most of their possessions, and there was nothing left to save.

He decided to give it a go with this “once-in-a-lifetime” woman that he had chanced to meet while at war.

Fast forward and he’s in jail and she’s retired from the military. She moved to a town to be closer to where he is incarcerated and has been having a hard time of it for the past year or so. Things haven’t worked out the way that she expected and it’s harder on her to have him where he can’t physically support her while she’s out there.

He told me that he spoke to her the other day and she said, “If things don’t change soon, we’re going to be homeless!”

Now, this upset me on a couple of levels. First, your love is in jail. This is a shitty place to be. He doesn’t need thelove behind bars extra stress that your whining creates. Also, delivering that last line with a good dose of, “It’s your fault that I’m here!” really sucks. I mean, seriously? Secondly, I asked if she was working. He stated, “No, she’s not. She expected to be with me at my next duty station and be a stay-at-home-mom.”

Um, WHAT?

Seriously? I didn’t expect to be a 40-year-old divorcee living in a damn trailer in the northeast with frozen pipes and no money in my bank account.

But what you expect and what you get are very often two different things.

I’m not ragging on stay-at-home mom’s at all. Don’t get me wrong. But what the hell is wrong with this woman that she has decided that she would rather lament what should have been rather than rolling with the punches and standing up on her own two feet? This woman retired as a senior enlisted from the military. She’s obviously a capable person, who commanded troops. Get off your damn ass and get a job!

And, honestly, making the man that you proclaim to love feel even more guilty about where he is is not fair to him in the least. Stop whining and be a capable woman and take care of yourself.

I just don’t understand that at all. I mean, my situation right now is pretty crappy. Hell, it’s been a pretty cruddy couple of years.

But I don’t have the luxury to sit around and lament my situation. I have to get up and change it. I have to keep soldiering on. If for no other reason than my kids.

pooSometimes, life is big, steaming pile of poo poo. You can either sit there in the fumes and complain about the smell or you can move upwind.

The choice is always up to you. Always.

Sometimes, moving upwind is a lot harder than sitting there in the stench. But if life were easy, it wouldn’t really be

I'll take that mulligan now, thanks!

I’ll take that mulligan now, thanks!

life, would it? It would be some kind of game where you could call “Mulligan!” whenever you screwed up.

But life isn’t a golf game. You can’t sit there and play, “What if?” with you life. Correction: you could. But what would it gain you? How is that moving your life forward?

How is that making you a better, stronger person than the one you are today?

You have a choice. You can sit there in the stench or you can pick yourself up and chose to move forward. Away from that which is toxic, away from things and people that do nothing to help you become a better person.

Remember, the choice is always yours.

Personally, I don’t know of anyone’s poo that actually smells like roses.

Would you like to join me in moving upwind?

How did a booty call turn so bad?

I don’t have a dating life.  I don’t date. 

I have sex.

I have sex with people I find attractive or funny or smart.  I don’t sleep around, per se, but I’m also not monogamous.

Because I’m single and I enjoy having fun.  I mean, I spent 16 years eating really bad vanilla….time to taste what other great flavors are out there!

So, there’s this one guy that I have a standing sex date with at least once a week.  I wish it were more, but our schedules are such that we can only usually manage once a week.  I look forward to it every week.  I never, ever miss a sex appointment with this guy.  EVER.  Why? Because he’s funny and smart and AMAZING in bed.  Very, very amazing in bed.

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy being with this man in bed.

He lives a half hour away, but I gladly make the drive to his house at least once a week (at his invitation…a lady never goes where she isn’t invited) so that we can have racous, yelling, screaming, moaning, orgasmic sex.

And because I won’t have him in my house with the kids there because that’s a complication I don’t want or need.  Just cause mama wants to have fun, doesn’t mean she has to tell her kids about it.

I also don’t have him over when my kids are there because I am, quite simply, ahem….vocal during sex.

Very vocal.

Anyhoo…..

To get to this gentlemen’s house, I have to drive 30 minutes along some very back roads in New Jersey.  I’m talking “don’t stop for hitchikers cause they’re almost certainly axe murderers” back roads.  The kind that the movie producers look for when creating Scream XX or whatever number they’re up to now.

The road I take follows the perimeter line of a military installation through an area that the locals call the Pine Barrens.  I follow the permiter line for a goodly amount of time on my left when I’m heading out to his house, and on my right when I’m coming home.  I also find that I ride nearer to the center line when I’m driving to his house, because I think it will buy me a little bit more reaction time if a deer comes bounding out of the woods to my right when I’m headed out to him. 

Last night, I was driving out for my weekly sex appointment (it’s like an apple a day….good for the body and soul) and I noticed that a car pulled out behind me from my left.  Now, I figured that this was a cop and it wasn’t a big deal because I don’t speed on this road at night.  I have horrid night vision and my depth perception is almost nil at night, so I only do the speed limit.  My car is in good repair, with all tail lights and everything working so I wasn’t worried about the cop behind me.

However, I was smoking a cigarette in my car (no, haven’t quit yet….yes, I know) and I thought to myself, “Do I really want to toss the lit butt out the window with a cop behind me in the Pine Barrens?”

See, a couple of years ago there was a huge fire up in the Pine Barrens that had been caused by a cigarette being thrown out the window of a car.  I figured I’d play it safe and I would put the butt out in a water bottle.  So, I reached behind my seat and grabbed a half empty water bottle to put the butt in.  When I looked up from completing my task, I noticed that I had gone just a smidge over the center line and I pulled myself back into my lane with little fuss.

About two miles later, I make my left turn to head over to Amazing Guy’s place.  That’s when the cop flips on the lights.  Well, sheeeeeeeit….

He walks up to the window, just polite as can be, “Ma’am, license and registration, please.”

I say, “Sure, Officer,” and start digging in my large purse for my wallet.

He says, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

I say, “Was it because I went over the center line a little bit?  I was putting my cigarette butt in the water bottle here because I didn’t want to start a wildfire.”

He says, “I appreciate that,” and then goes on to explain that he thought I was a drunk driver and had turned on his camera a ways back so that he could tape me driving. 

The whole time he is talking, I’m digging in my purse for my wallet.

No wallet.

No license, no identification, no nothing.

Well, damn. I look at the officer with a shocked look on my face and tell him that I left it at home, about 4 towns over.  I then hand him my registration and write my address (which is not the same address on my driver’s license….hadn’t changed it yet) on the back of the registration so that he can look me up.

He takes my stuff back to his car and comes back in about 5 minutes.  During those 5 minutes, I contact Amazing Guy and tell him I’m gonna be a few minutes late.  No worries, I’ll maybe get a ticket for not having my driver’s license on me.  Money I can’t really afford, but I’ll take it cause I should have it on me.

Oh, no.  That’s not what happened at all.

My registration had expired in July and I had never gotten the notice because I hadn’t changed the damn address on my license!  The officer tells me that he can impound my car (OH SHIT!) for this, but he’s feeling a bit benevolent and allows me to park it in the Wawa parking lot about 50 yards from where he pulled me over.  He then goes on to list the tickets he could give me:

1) Driving an unregistered car (impound offense)

2) Driving without my license (points offense)

3) Failure to maintain lane (points offense)

4) Failure to change address on driver’s license (points offense)

There were two more he could have given me tickets for, but he only gave me the one for having an unregistered car.  Thank goodness!  I absolutely shook his hand when he handed me the ticket cause he was nice enough to save me a butt load of money and hassle.

I contacted Amazing Guy and had him come pick me up and take me back to his place for some “stress relief.”  Then, he had to give me a ride to my friend’s house because she (amazing woman that she is) agreed to loan me her car today……

All in all, that was about a $250 booty call.

And I don’t get my car back until Friday cause it’s two days before payday and I can’t afford to get my car back on the road until then.

At least the sex was awesome! 🙂

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

 

Pride doesn’t begin to cover this moment

Yes, I’m still alive, contrary to the internet rumors.  I just haven’t had the urge to write.  Life has been hectic, what with school starting and stuff.  But today….today I  had to share.

15 years ago, I had a beautiful baby boy, who we named Jeffrey.

13 years ago, he was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

For the past 13 years I  have fought, kicking and screaming, to make sure that he has the best chance at success that I, and his teachers and therapists, can give him.  This has meant going up against school districts, school principals and lazy-ass case managers who want me to do their job for them.

Please, let me make clear, I know that my son’s education is a team effort.  The therapists, teachers, case managers, principals, counselors, myself and my son make up this team.  We should all work together to make sure that Jeffrey is successful.

That hasn’t always been the case with those that I have had to work with.  But Jeffrey and I have made it through the fires and tribulations to today.

Today is the fourth day of school for my boys.  Today is the day that I got a phone call from the school. 

I got a good phone call from the school 🙂

My son, my autistic son who so many had told me would amount to nothing.  My son whose condition was to be blamed on my “bad blood.”  My son who I was told would never be more than a burden on me for the rest of my life.

My son today was offered an internship at the library on Tuesdays.  He is doing so well in his classes, and his teachers have such faith in him, that he will be allowed to miss a day of one class and half of two others once a week.

I’m so proud of my son.  If there was a word that could convey the happiness and the pride and the amazement at the young man he is growing into, I would use it.  If I could bottle this feeling, I so would. 

I am so happy that I was chosen to be his mother. 

 

“They” said WHAT?

Coming back to work sucks after a vacation!

Just to reinforce the fact that it is a Monday morning, I got called into my boss’s office.

Whenever I get called into the boss’s office and she asks me to take a seat and close the door, you know it’s not going to be good.

This was no exception.

Someone has been spreading rumors.  Someone has been saying that I am screwing some of the soldiers I work with. Someone who doesn’t even work in the same building with me.

Not screwing one, not screwing two, but screwing “some.”

No specifics were given.  No proof was offered.  No names were named.

Except mine.

Now, I’m alright with a little gossip.  I’m new, I’m an unknown, I’m single and I (in my opinion) look alright.  I’m a little flirty, I’m definitely friendly and I have a way with people.  Oh, and the guys talk about my tits.  Yeah, that’s always a nice little piece of information to have….

But what the hell is wrong with people that they have to level an accusation like that? 

There are several reasons that I have a problem with this.  Let me ennumerate them for you:

1) My husband left me for an adulterous bitch.  Why would I do that to anyone else?  None of the soldiers I work with are single.

2) You have no proof.  Unless you have pictures of the proof in my “quivering mound of love pudding,” shut the hell up!

3) Who I screw is none of your business.

4) This accusation could cost me my job.

Yes, that last one is definitely the most serious of the bunch.  “Fraternization” with the soldiers could cost me my job.

Oh, and now I’m the talk of the office, and not in a good way.  In fact, one of my coworkers walked in and had a little discussion with my office mate about me in hushed tones.  How do I know it was about me?  Well, the words, “slut,” “fucking,” and my name all were a little loud.

Plus, I have good enough hearing that, as my mother always said, I can hear a fly fart.

Yeah, that fart would be preferrable to hearing myself referred to as a slut in the office.

I have a three mottos in life:

– “Life life full out and regret only the paths not taken.”

– “Leave no evidence.”

– “Don’t piss in your own pond.”

Now, the last two are especially appropriate to my sex life.  I don’t want to leave any evidence and I don’t piss in my own pond. Meaning, I don’t screw people in my circle of friends or from my job.

Yes, I have sex.  Yes, I have it with different people.  No, I don’t screw anyone that is married.  Period.  Which means that I’m not having sex with anyone at work.  Which means that I’m  not fraternizing.

So, kiss the hell off.

I have to have a meeting with my supervisor’s supervisor so that they can “double tap” the fact that I shouldn’t be screwing anyone at work.

I will be demanding proof and names.  I want to know who I was accused of screwing. 

That way I can figure out if I enjoyed this imaginary sex or not.

Cause this is bullshit.  If you don’t have enough of a life that you have to invade mine, then I’m going to at least have the satisfaction of knowing who my accuser is and who I, supposedly, had sex with.

I mean, if I had sex with someone, I hope they at least picked someone that was halfway decent looking.  It would be even worse if they accused me of having sex with one of the “handsomely challenged” folks I work with.

And if they want to manufacture stories, I’ll point them to WordPress where their fiction may be welcome.

Cause their fiction isn’t welcome in my life or my job.

UPDATEYou can find out about the aftermath of the afternoon meeting here ~

Why make an appointment then?

Appointment:  An arrangement to do something or meet someone at a particular time and place.

I need a hair cut.  I have my hair cut short now (just this morning, one of the soldiers said I reminded him of Jamie Lee Curtis – I’ll take that compliment, thank you!) and it needs to be trimmed at regular intervals. 

Why is the Browns’ football helmet orange?

Otherwise it just lays there like a brown football helmet. 

Knowing that I was going to be busy tonight and tomorrow with trying to get out of town, I thought, “Hey, I’ll go get it trimmed on lunch today.  Then I don’t have to worry about it.”

So, after much hunting and calling of operators, I found the number for the salon on base.  Yes, I use them.  Yes, I’ve been happy with the cuts I get there.  And, as an added bonus, it’s the only salon within 20 minutes of my office.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll reiterate:  I live in BFE, New Jersey.  Not a lot around here.

I make an appointment for 1130.  I leave work at 1120.  This give me plenty of time to get there and check in for my apopintment.  In fact, I walked in 5 minutes early.

Please keep in mind that I only have an hour lunch.

I check in and both of the stylists are busy.  No worries, I think to myself.  I have an appointment.  I’m golden!  I called and scheduled a time for me to come in and have my hair trimmed up so that I would look alright this weekend when I went out with friends.  Those three folks sitting there are no worry of mine, cause I have an appointment.

I held onto that appointment harder than Charlie held onto that damn Golden Ticket.

So, as I stand there waiting, the lady that is supposed to cut my hair walks up.

“I know you’re scheduled for an 1130, but I won’t be able to get to you until 12.  Is that alright?”

Um, what?

Did I not have an appointment?  Did I not make sure that I had my schedule clear so that I could get my appointment in?  Did I not just hunt down your number and call you for an appointment to make sure that I could get my trim on my lunch hour? 

So, no.  That’s not alright.  No, I’m not going to wait around.   No, I don’t have anything else I can do that will eat up that half hour between when you were supposed to take me and when you’re gonna be able to get around to me.

Why bother booking me for an appointment then????

Rest assured that I’ll be telling everyone that your customers aren’t important enough to see by their appointment time and that you don’t even offer a basic apology for your issues.

So, here I sit, without my hair cut.

On the upside, when I checked my mail, I had a check for $100 in there! 🙂

Yeah, that went a long way to soothing my ruffled feathers!

Wow – awesome!

I’ve picked up some new subscribers in the past week or so and I want to give them a big warm Welcome and Thank you for coming over here to check out my crazy life.  I truly, truly appreciate you being here!

I just checked out my stats and realized that I have hit over 500 followers and over 7500 hits.

I’m totally thrilled!

I started this blog as a place to come and talk about the frustrations, fears and anger I had over my impending divorce.  I kept it secret for many months, as I didn’t want the soon-to-be-ex (and always asshole) to find it.

It has turned into so much more than that.

It has turned into another place where I can turn for support and for me to meet amazing new people.  It’s amazing and it’s wonderful and I enjoy being here.

Thank you to everyone here on WordPress who has made blogging such an enjoyable experience.  Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for being ready with words of support or critique.  I have found that the blogging community is one I am proud to belong to.

And that’s because of all of you.

I was given three awards this week and I wanted to accept them here.

First, and foremost, I received the Beautiful Blogger Award from Reading Pleasure.  I came across this wonderful blog through Madison Woods and her weekly Friday Fictioneers.    Reading Pleasure is a prolific reader and a lady that knows her mind and writes from the heart.  I highly suggest that you head over to her blog and take a look around.  You won’t be disappointed.

I received my second Kreativ Blogger award from a terrific blogger, Hello, My Sin is….   I absolutely love his page!  He writes straight from the heart and it gets you right in the heart every single post you read.  I love reading his posts and I definitely think that you should head over and check out Hello, My Sin is….  Again, you will NOT be disappointed.

I received my second Versatile Blogger award from a new blogger Better Than Yesterday.  I guess he’s been reading me for a bit, but he isn’t following yet and I would have probably never stumbled upon him if he hadn’t come here.  I’m so glad he did!  I have been reading his posts and I am impressed with his writing and I feel for his situation, which is so like my own.  Except, of course, he’s a guy.  Head over to Better than Yesterday and read a spell.  You will quickly see what a talented writer he is.

Each of these awards come with rules, but I’m gonna buck those.  I’m not following them for the simple reason that it is so hard to nominate just 7 or 10 amazing blogs.  Each one of the blogs that I read is one that I look forward to daily.  I love to open my email and see that the bloggers I follow have posted again.  I can’t wait to see what they have written.

So, I give each of these awards to all of you.  Every single one of you.  You can pick one or you can pick two or you can take all three.

Because each one of you is amazing.

Each one of you is helping me to become a better person, a better mother, a better writer.

I can’t give them to just some of you.

So, I give them to all of you.

Thank you, to each and every one of you, for bringing smiles to my face, and tears to my eyes.  And for, most of all, bringing joy and laughter to my life, especially when it seems the darkest.

You are all amazing!

With that, I hope that you all had a terrific weekend!

I’ll see you all tommorrow 🙂