Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jealousy Rears Its Ugly Head

Margaret Mead, the famed American cultural anthropologist, once said, "Jealousy doesn't prove how much you love someone, it proves how insecure you are." Those words have never rung more true than at this point in my life.

My husband and I have been married for over 17 1/2 years, and together for over 19. For the better part of our relationship, this man I share my life with has seemed completely indifferent when it came to who I was friends with. I felt completely free to speak to whomever I wanted, without any kind of recourse, or general flack from him. His behavior (or lack thereof) actually had me believing that he didn't truly care about our relationship, which led to distance, which led to the "bad patch" we hit last summer.

My husband is a good, decent, kind man. He's a great father and a good provider. He's never strayed, doesn't do drugs, doesn't drink, or harbor any other vices that a wife could be concerned about. But still, we were at a crossroads in our relationship, and were stuck in a horrible rut that seemed to be taking us down a path of sadness, heartbreak, and ultimately, separation.

I've always believed that God's hand is in everything that happens in our lives, and there are no accidents, because at the same time this revelation began to unfold in our marriage, a former boyfriend of mine surfaced on Facebook, and made a beeline onto my friends' list, and into my life.

At first, I was thrilled to reconnect with him. He was my very first boyfriend, and I'd always held a special place for him in my heart. But, when reminiscing turned into "what if" and "what could be", I realized I had come face to face with a MAJOR, possibly life-altering decision.

Once I realized this, I did what I always do when faced with a difficult problem -- I went to my best friend for advice, and talked to my husband about everything. We had several closed door conversations about us -- our past, our present situation, and the possibilities for the future. He was obviously upset with the way my thoughts were carrying me, but in the process of our many, MANY talks, he peeled away his own onion layers, and admitted to me that he was incredibly jealous of this guy, and would like nothing more than to have him out of my life for good.

Initially, that was easier said than done. I was happy to have my former flame back in my life, especially since I'd thought and wondered about him for all those years. In my mind, this person was just a friend, and I was more than a little annoyed that, if my husband couldn't trust him, he could at least trust ME.

Once we began really opening up to one another, we miraculously discovered that we still really loved one another, and were both hoping to reconnect but were at a stalemate as to how. This "interference" with my former boyfriend was ultimately the catalyst we needed to rekindle our feelings for one another, and make us wake up and realize how valuable we are to each other and how lucky we were to have each other.

The friendship with the former boyfriend fizzled out some when he finally got it through his head that I was never going to fulfill his "fantasy" and leave my husband AND my children (can you even imagine?), and run off into the sunset with him. Yes, he and I still chat, but only on rare occasions. I have to admit, if I had it to do all over again, I would never have reconnected with him in the first place. The sweet, handsome young man I dated has turned into someone that I'm not sure I really like, and it has blown all of my wonderful memories of the two of us completely apart.

My husband now immediately shares with me when he's feeling a pang of jealousy, or when something bothers him in terms of a budding "relationship" I may be developing with someone. It's become difficult at times, especially since I'm a member of the committee planning our high school's 30th reunion, and as a result, I'm happily reconnecting with a bunch of folks that I went to high school with. I've noticed it's hard for my husband to adapt to the fact that the woman who had only one or two close friends, and focused mainly on him, is now having conversations with lots of people on a pretty regular basis. I think, in some respects, I've created a monster with him. He's now telling me OFTEN that it bothers him when I talk to people so much, and that he's frequently reminding me "... you told me to let you know when it bothers me, so I'm letting you know." Ugh.

In one respect, I think his jealousy is sweet. I'm HIS, and he's not willing or able to fork me over to someone else very easily. But, on the other hand, I like all of these re-established friendships I'm experiencing, and would like to continue talking to my former classmates from school without feeling guilty or scrutinized. It's a fine line, and I don't know which steps to take to prevent falling off completely.

I'm glad my husband and I are a happily married couple again. We're MUCH better than we were a year ago, and neither one of us ever wants to go back to that dark place. But, at the same token, I'm remembering the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it." I wanted a husband that was more present and more attentive, and boy, have I got him!

So, I have to deal with the whole jealousy thing and try to figure out what the happy medium is. In the meantime, I'll keep reminding myself of another one of Margaret Mead's quotes: "Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Old, Cold, and Hoping to be Sold

Hello out there in Bloggerville!

Again, I've whisked off to la-la land, leaving my poor little blog to collect dust and amass cobwebs. It's amazing how much life happens to you while you're busy making plans.

Time has marched on. We are all older. The boy is now 16, and is finishing up his Junior year in high school. He's begun his quest for college, and for a part-time summer job, but has yet to search out a girl. I must admit that my Mama's heart is happy, on all three counts. :)

The oldest girlie is now 12, and has immersed herself head first into the world of 'Tweendom. She's struggled through her first year of middle school, complete with a heavier workload and raging hormones, and has emerged relatively scar-free. Her glory has reached new heights (pun totally intended), because she now gloats over the fact that she is taller than her Ma. It doesn't matter whether she towers over me or not... as long as she understands that I still rule the roost.

The little has just about wrapped up her first year in elementary school, and can almost notch Kindergarten off of her preverbial belt. There were some real growing pains for her, too... going from the fun, carefree days of preschool to the more grounded work that is Kindergarten hasn't been easy on her, either emotionally or academically. Admittedly, she's had her fair share of meltdowns and trauma, and has required some extra assistance in the way of reading and spelling. But, I can say that she's still a sweet kid who's happily making lots of new friends, and her school work is getting better each day.

So, as we find ourselves in the middle of spring (with the increase of sunshine, but not warmer temperatures, as I sit here typing this while bundled up in my winter robe and slipper socks!), I'm content to watch my children move forward into the next phases of their lives, knowing we've all overcome the struggles of this past year and have learned and benefited from the experiences.

Not only have I worked diligently to better my children with their academics, I'm also pitching myself out into the workforce. I've decided, more as a necessity, but also as a hope to dip my toes into the working world with the eventual outcome of diving into a full-time gig, to begin searching for a part-time position. I'm narrowing my application options to those jobs that truly sound interesting, fun, and accommodating to my kids' schedules. I've applied for a bunch, and will continue to look, and I'll hope for the best. Let's hope someone out there will want to buy the bundle of goods that this old lady has to sell.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Living Life Like Laura Ingalls Wilder

For the past several days, we had a water ban in certain parts of Massachusetts. Apparently, a HUGE water pipe, which fed millions and millions of gallons of water into quite a number of cities and towns, corroded completely. The water, which was supposed to siphon off into all of the MWRA communities, poured into the Charles River instead (at the rate of a MILLION gallons per hour), and left all of us who live in those communities with contaminated water for two days. It was safe for showering (unless you had open sores), and flushing... but no drinking AT ALL.

A water boil order was immediately put into effect, which meant that any water used from the tap needed to be brought to a running boil for at least five minutes before it could be consumed. We had all four burners going constantly, filling up every available pot we had with water, and (once cooled) pouring it into clean containers for use.

The hubs also went on a mad search for bottled water. He came up empty at two different stores, before finally finding some cases available at Market Basket, where he got caught up in the process of forking over cases of Poland Spring gallons to those waiting for the pallets to be brought out from the stockroom. He finally broke free from the mass confusion, and brought home two cases of the precious liquid for our own consumption.

We lived like pioneers for the past several days, using the purchased water for cooking and drinking, and reserving the boiled water for washing our bodies, our home, and our dishes. I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder last night, as I filled up the bathroom basin with some previously boiled tap water, adding some recently boiled water to it to warm it up, before using it to get washed up for bed last night. I was expecting Pa to come bursting through the door at any minute, telling us the crops were ready for pickin', and we should all get our bonnets on and get a good night's sleep, 'cause it would be a busy day in the fields tomorrow!

Thankfully, we were brought back to the 21st century pretty quickly. The corroded pipe was fixed, the water supply was diverted to the "reserves" held in other locations, and the water ban was lifted this morning. Who would have thought that washing one's hands under the tap would bring such joy?

I'll tell you one thing... I won't be cooking pasta, making tea or instant coffee, or a serving of Cup-of-Noodles anytime soon! I'd be quite happy NOT to boil another pot of water for a long, LONG time! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Illusions... or delusions?

Some of you may be friends on my Facebook page. If you are, you may have noticed (or even participated in) the huge "dispute" another FB member and I had last night. With all of that back and forth, it left me reeling. And, after all was said and done, and the dust had settled, I still couldn't help but feeling that she missed my point entirely.

You see, this person has a home business, and is a salesperson (and spokesperson) for a very nature-based, holistic line of products. And, although I can fully understand her rationale for being so devoted to this line of products (her son became very sick because of toxic poisoning... which she claims was the result of using "traditional" OTC medicines and products), I do not understand, and will not accept, her incessant need to shove her opinions on these products down other people's throats. What you believe in is YOUR belief. Leave it at that, and move on.

Apparently, she couldn't do that. And, in not being able to do that, she also found it completely necessary to bash MY abilities as a mother in the process. It seems that she equates the "holistic approach" to healthier living as the be all/end all in terms of mothering status. Therefore, to her, I'm scum of the earth because I let my children ingest old-fashioned, over-the-counter medicines and products.

I beg to differ with her, but I feel, in my heart, that I'm a REALLY good mother. I put my children's needs above my own ALWAYS, and they are well taken care of, nurtured, and loved. I'm constantly receiving compliments on how great my kids are -- what good kids they are, and how respectful and caring they are. And, just imagine... they are all that (and more), despite the fact that they eat a cookie or two once in awhile!

I understand her opinion about wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. But... we all know the old comparison about "opinions", don't we???

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ramblings in the Rain

It's been raining here in Massachusetts. ALL DAY. Wind driven gusts of rain have been pummeling the windows. It makes me want to curl up in a ball, under my covers, in the warm comfort of my bed. It makes me want to watch documentaries, cooking shows, and reality TV about life in the ER. It makes me want to keep all of the lights off, even when it's completely dark out. It makes me want to read loads and loads of books. It makes me bored. It makes me antsy. It makes me indecisive. It makes me inactive.

Although I'm not a big fan of the heat, I do really like the sun. It moves me, both emotionally and physically. It gives me the kind of energy I need to be a productive human being. Instead of this laggard, hunkered-down mass I turn into when the water and clouds cover the sky.

Maybe I have S.A.D.??

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beauty (and Art) is in the Eye of the Beholder... Isn't It?

Last night, right before the little and I were both getting ready to hunker down and snuggle in my bed together, she produced a picture of me that she'd drawn. She explained to me that, in the picture, I was telling her to go clean up her room.

The detail was amazing, especially for a five-year-old. In her rendition, I had long, curly hair, ears (which she could have left off, for all I care... I'd hear less of the arguing and whining that way!), an open mouth (all the better to bark at you, m'dear), two front teeth (didn't see any others inside my mouth, but at least there's a couple there to gnaw on food with!), a tongue (not forked, I'm glad to add! :), a round body (like I said... the detail was amazing... unfortunately for me!), two arms, two hands WITH five fingers each, two legs WITH feet, a belly button (I found out later I was NAKED in this particular picture...whatever!), and according to my budding artist, "your big boobs". Gee, thanks!

I held back my laughter, while telling her to go show the picture to her father. The hubs took one look, and HIS first response was "What's that on Mommy's stomach?" When she explained it was my navel, I could have been blown over by his huge sigh of relief. Apparently, the humongous chest area was of no concern to him. He was making sure there wasn't even a whisper of another bun in Mama's oven!

I don't know what it is about this particular child, but she's got almost a borderline fascination with my "girls". I'll be so glad when she grows up enough for nature to take its course, and give her a set of her own. Maybe then, she'll leave mine alone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bad, Bad Mama!

So... I dropped off the blogger wagon. Again. It's just amazing how much LIFE can happen, in the blink of an eye!

As some of you already know, I've gotten hooked on Facebook. Between catching up with everyone on there, and doing everything else I need to do on a daily basis, I'm afraid I neglected my blogging terribly. Hopefully, this will be another "rebirth" of sorts (just in time for Easter!).

It took us practically hitting him with a brick upside the head, but the boy has really buckled down with his schoolwork this year, and is bringing home excellent progress reports and report cards. The hubs and I always knew he had it in him... we just had to basically threaten to pull him out of the school that he loves to get him to quit goofing around!

At almost 15 1/2, he's now just about 6'2". I can't help but wonder if there are times, when I take the kids out together, if some folks mistake him for my partner instead of my son! Gone are the baby cheeks, and cherub face. It's been replaced by hairy cheeks and mature face! On the one hand, I'm glad he's growing up, and finally beginning to break out on his own a little bit. But, of course, it still saddens me that my "baby" boy is a thing of the past!

The oldest girlie is also a tall one... at 5'2 1/2", she's almost as tall as I am (and never passes up the opportunity to remind me!). She's just as beautiful and sweet as ever, and even though she's definitely starting to show signs of "womanhood", she's still very much a little girl in spirit and behavior.

She's three months shy of graduating from elementary school, and then.... off to MIDDLE school in the fall! And, I have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach about it as I did when the boy went off to middle school. I know she'll be fine, and she'll handle the transition well. I also know that I'M probably going to be way more of a mess than she will be!

The little is also going to be experiencing a transition this coming fall. She'll be leaving preschool, and moving on to Kindergarten. I met with one of her preschool teachers yesterday, to go over her mid-point evaluation, and was so filled with pride, hearing about her tremendous progress. Miss Maritza told me that she can't get over how far the little has come, and just how much she's matured and grown, since last year. I know what she means. There have been times, during one of our conversations, where I've stopped short, and realized I'm talking to a FIVE year old! She's so articulate, and so detailed in her conversations!! :)

So, come September, I'll have one child in elementary school, one child in middle school, and one child in high school! It's going to be a new challenge, trying to juggle all of their schedules, but I'm sure we'll quickly get the hang of things.

Once the little goes into school for a full day, I'm going to seriously persue a part-time job. I've been rooting around the job listings for the public schools in my area, and sending in resumes for positions that look interesting, and meet my needs. Hopefully, one place will think I'm the perfect fit for them, and I can start working soon! Don't get me wrong -- I love being home with my kids, and knowing that I'm their primary caretaker. But, I started working when I was 16 years old, and it's so difficult for me to not contribute something financially to the household. I just hope I can find a job that doesn't demand too much of me, so I can ultimately have the best of both worlds! :)

As for the hubs and I... we're still going strong. On St. Patrick's Day, we'll celebrate the 18th anniversary of our first date. There are times when I can't believe we've been together for so long, and there are other times when I feel the time just flew by. I feel so blessed and so grateful to have him in my life, and I'm so glad he chose me to spend the rest of his life with. If we were to go back and do it again, and if he asked me out on that first date, I wouldn't hesitate to say yes.

That's enough of an update... for now. I sure do hope I make this blog thing more of a habit in the future! ;)