The difficulty of trying to relax.

This morning I decided I was going to have a "sick day". I've kind of been running around in circles since last Friday, doing my best to relax, but then doing laundry, vacuuming, organizing, running random errands, etc...

Today, after running a couple of errands, I'm calling in sick. I'm laying in bed, watching a movie, possibly eating some chocolate, and giving up on adulting.

The boyfriend has been trying to convince me to do this since last Friday...but it just Like I should be pounding the pavement, calling all contacts, making a list of everything that needs done and get it all finished ASAP.

So today, after stopping at the grocery store, and chatting with a ninety-five (and a half!) year old, who walks every day with her morning mall-walk group and still drives herself, I decided that yep, I'm going to have a day where I just relax. And go for a walk later on.

But first, we needed a coffee, and Mags needs a little break from the other two, so we went and had an iced coffee on the patio.

Maggie doesn't need an excuse to chill, so I'll try to copy her and relax in the sun, or in the bed, or on the couch for the rest of the day.

The odd celebrations of our life

Some celebrating happened on Friday and Saturday night (both nights with steak...guess I needed me some red meat!).

(Also, side note, the meal below is from Good Foods. Click on this link to find out more about it. It's amazing, affordable, and makes you look all fancy).

The first huge celebration, is that little Maggie, is doing just fine. I didn't write about it, but two weeks ago, she was hit by a car.

I know. It was terrifying. I'm not all together sure how it happened (other than a car hit her), but I found her on the road, eyes closed, bleeding from the mouth. I gently picked her up, started talking calmly to her, and then the lady that hit her drove me to the vet hospital. She was able to understand her words (like treat, walk, squirrel, etc), but she couldn't open her eyes and she was still bleeding a bit. I was grateful that I would have these last few moments with Maggie, since she was alert, and then I gave her to the vet, and she brought me Maggie thirty minutes later and Maggie was licking my face (since I was sobbing), and the vet told me she had an eye injury and had bit her tongue.

This tiny little creature somehow got hit by a car, and she walks away with an eye and tongue injury. Miracles happen every day. She had to stay for observation and more tests, but she left with a clean bill of health. She's not 100% herself yet, but she is well enough to stand her own ground with Ashby's dogs.
The fact that these dogs are in such close range to each other is another miracle....They can now be left on the same floor of the house (as long as we are home) and seem to interact together in a safe and healthy way - although at one time or another one of them gets jealous and kind of becomes an asshole. :)

And lastly, we are dismissal at work. For a year or so, I have been trying to weave my way through a chaotic and sometimes toxic work environment. I wanted to find a new job before leaving, but the choice was made for me, and although I can't say it's a super comforting feeling at the moment, it was truly affecting my mental and physical health....and now I have time to look for the right job - not just the right job for right now.

Ashby has been there for so many ways, and I'm happy he's here to support me. I've had a lot of ups and downs since Friday morning....but I can't believe I've met someone so caring, strong, kind, generous and just all around wonderful. Our love, our laughter, and how we have incorporated our lives together in such a short a very wonderful thing worth celebrating.

I might not have a job.  I might not know what will happen tomorrow. However, I know I am loved, I know I am safe, and I know that better things are around the corner. I panic every here and there...not knowing the future...but as long as I have this guy by my side, life is still pretty wonderful.

Ride with me

Lately...I’ve had a few…well, ok, more than a few moments. Many moments. Where I ask myself, Is this really my life? Is this…what real happiness feels like? 

With all the changes in my life the last few years (plus struggling with my depression), I have had happy moments, happy days, happy weeks. I think that I laugh regularly.

And maybe looking back something felt missing…but I didn’t truly realize it. I felt alone….a lot. But…I was also..kind of used to it.

Now…I feel like I’m on the fourth day of a really great vacation that just blows your mind and you think to yourself…Wow, how did I get here?

My life is far from perfect. I have family, finance, work, and other life concerns/worries… and I’m scared to say it out loud. But I am. So. Happy.

I met this man…who is so wonderful….in so many ways… and I think…was all this hard work leading up to this? If so…it was worth it. 
Yep, we’ve only been together for two months. Two short months. But two months where everything just…feels different.

I have gone and seen my shrink twice to…discuss if I’m having some kind of mental illness symptom or something…because I was in disbelief that…I could really be this happy….and it could be this easy…and that I could experience true happiness.

I still cry. I still have bad days. I am not in some euphoric state. 

But I sleep well (finally. I think I’ve been having trouble sleeping for two or more years).
I feel well in my skin (or as well as I can right now).
I wake up most mornings and go downstairs to a wonderful man, with the best smile that I’ve ever seen… (we are not living together….but Maggie and I spend a lot of time there). 

I have so many moments…where I look over at him, or I’m sitting in a quiet area, or when I’m driving in my car…and I think…whatever did I do to deserve this happiness? 

I did a lot.
I fought when I was too tired to fight.
I kept going when I was at my weakest.
I walked in faith when I had none. 

And just when I want to overthink things, or doubt the reality of the situation….he plays this song for me. 

Stay tuned. 

La la la la la la loooove

I was prepared to write this long post, about relationships, love, and whatever, but…I’ll keep it simple.

Time will tell, but it’s highly probable….that I have met my match.

The perfect mixture of funny but serious, witty, smart, goofy, gazillion-dollar smile, kind, thoughtful, handsome, TALLER THAN ME…I could go on and on…

And on. And on.

And yes, its early. And yes, things are moving quickly. But…as I’ve heard…sometimes when you know…you just know.

I’m hesitant to put it out there…that I “just know”. But…this relationship feels like…nothing else I’ve experienced.

I’ve met his family. I’m hoping to bring him to meet my family in the summer.

Too fast? Maybe. Rushing? Nope. I’ve been enjoying every minute with this match man.

Risky Business

As I may have written, when I visited Alberta at the end of last year, I really had a lot of time to think. I decided that 2018 would not be a year like the last few. I would not fight so hard to win the battles that didn’t matter. I would accept what/who/where I am and make changes along the way, without being so harsh on myself. I also decided that I would go for full out love and partnership -  and if I didn’t get it, I wasn’t going to waste my time with someone that wasn’t prepared to offer it.

In fact….I knew that the person I was with was unable to offer what I needed….for quite some time now… I was…effectively morning the relationship before it had ended. Not the best sign….but sometimes you just do what you can do.

Not too long ago, I ended the relationship. I thought it would be harder than it was….but the situations as they were….it was a relief. At least if I was at home feeling lonely – it was on my terms. The relationship….had disintegrated beyond recognition, and neither him or I could carry the weight. I wish I could say we have stayed in close contact, that we will stay friends, but right now, I don’t know. I am only one in the breakup and I can only control how I deal with my side of things.

For one reason or another, this guy at work and I had been chatting a bit over the last few months (exclusively about our dogs!) and he seemed interesting enough, but I didn’t really know a lot about him. Actually, I knew a lot about his dogs but little else. One day, after I felt like there was some weird tension between us, he ended up walking out at the same time as me as we left work, and he asked me for coffee. I was SHOCKED, I had no….idea…I wasn’t thinking about dating and thought that I would be single for a long time…since I was setting the bar pretty high.

Coffee somehow got turned into brunch (I even got up early on a Sunday to meet him) and brunch turned into a three hour meal. His personality surprised me, it was refreshing…almost as if I was talking with someone that grew up in my hometown or something. We made tentative plans for another time….and then the sparks continued to develop and fly like crazy. We had a meal out during the week (where I was so nervous all I could choke down was some soup), then we had a big Saturday night date where we both dressed up and smelled pretty and then went to see a light show in a basilica.

While we were waiting for the light show to start, I started to think how I would have bought myself tickets to the light show regardless if he was there or not (I’m used to doing things alone by now), but that….it felt so much more….complete sitting next to this big handsome guy with the best smile ever, with his arm around me….and then something clicked.

I have been limiting myself….in so many areas of my life. While I can’t change everything all at once…I can change what is right in front of me (or sitting beside me, with his arm around me, smelling so fantastic). I was just going to go for it. Everything feels fast but natural. Instead of coming up with some rule book of what should take place after x dates or x weeks or x months….I’m following my heart. Which I don’t think that I’ve ever done. I’ve always….been guarded, felt like I had to build walls around me….but this time it’s different.

We have since spent quite a bit of time together….and everything feels…meant to be. Not used to hearing me write/talk like this? ME NEITHER. I don’t just take these risks. I don’t just put myself out there. But…this time?

This time…I’m fully smitten. I don’t know if it’s “smart” or “cautious” or whatever….but I don’t care. I’m ready to see where this path takes me….and if I feel like I’m willing to risk it all.

Right in front of my eyes to start this without sounding like a crazy.

Well....I've always been...sensitive. Emotional. Unpredictable. My feelings are strong & uplifting like an air balloon ride or drown me like the fly in my drink. 

At some point in my life, I made sure that I was SOOooo busy (work, training for some race, school, socializing, etc, etc), that I didn't leave any room for my feelings. This technique worked SO awesome, until it didn't. 

I have been on anti-depressants the majority of my life (and have no shame in telling you - finally), but something was out of wack. Long story short, pills weren't working, therapy wasn't working, personal development wasn't working... and VERY long story long, things are now....starting to work out. 

Maybe it came with age, maybe it came after years and years working on my problems and myself...who cares. Things are changing faster than I can keep up with. 

But...I'm haven't allowed myself to experience joy the way that I used to. 

I have continually kept comparing myself to the "Nicole of 2008", or "Nicole of 2010".. but I'll share a little secret with you. It's 2018. If I had stayed the same....well, that wouldn't be very good. Everything changes, everyone changes, and all I can do is just hope that the people in my lifeaccept me for who I am today.... and if not, well, it's been nice to know you, but I've got shit to do. 

So no more comparing. (Ok, *trying* to not's a process). 

I sat for awhile on Saturday, trying to think of a list of things I can do that bring me joy. I couldn't think of anything. Nothing....created that spark. I felt guilty. 

But then I stopped feeling guilty. Why don't I take a risk and skating? Maybe I'll fall in love with skating (unlikely). There's something out there that I love. I just have to find it. 

Or...even better...

I just have to see what's in front of me.

Completely random moments. That were joyful. That passed through my sieve of a brain once I had a bad day. 

Yeah - for sure I need to work to create more moments of joy - but I need to learn to see those joyful moments when they arise. 

I know it sounds like I'm thinking too much. Analyzing the crap out of this. But...that's how my brain works. All of the melancholy or shitty moments....they don't add up to the funny, fun, or joyful moments...I just let them overpower those memories. 

I am obsessed with one line of a poem I read (it was pure coincidence - don't think I'm some smart chick who started reading poetry...the last time I read a poem prior to this was in school...). 

We must risk delight.
We can do without pleasure,
but not delight.
Not enjoyment.
We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. 
Jack Gilbert

Basically - the world is rough out there. We gotta take the challenges and keep pushing through them, cause shit's going to go down no matter what. We can focus on the moments of joy and keep striving for them - or we can accept mediocracy. 

I've experienced a deep, long depression, with little respite. It might happen again before I die. But until then, I need to keep taking the I can experience their outcome. And quit focusing on what wasn't. What isn't. And what may not be.