Small victories are still victories.

Today, in deep water aerobics class, I was able to reverse soccer kick and touch my left hand to my right foot.  It may not seem like much, but it means a lot to me.  I don’t have the flexibility I want to have in my hamstrings and quads.  My quads are pretty strong, but they’re not loose.  But it was awesome when I finally was able to touch my foot!

I’ve been eating more consciously, and making better decisions.  I bought and roasted three zucchinis and 1 huge parsnip this week.  DELICIOUS.  I’m down 1.4lbs from last week.  Just about to break a major milestone and I couldn’t be happier about that. I’ve also returned to healthier lunches during the week instead of frozen pizza or grilled cheese.  It’s easy to make my own bangin’ honey mustard, so I do that, cut up an avocado and tomato and slap that and some turkey on white bread or make lettuce wraps.  So good.

This week, I’ve exercised 5 days in a row.  And tomorrow will be 6!  I’m very proud of myself for hitting it this hard.  It’s helped that I’m now babysitting for my great-nieces.  They’ve helped give me a routine that makes me get my ass to the Y and then, when I’m done working out, we all swim together.  They’re happy, I’m getting fitter, and we’re in the water.  All good things.

Yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment with my new doctor.  She diagnosed me with a sinus infection, which sucks, but she’s also putting in my refills for my antidepressants and thyroid meds.  I discussed coming off my a/d meds and I’m currently on a half dose from where I was and feeling fine.  I really hope I’m able to get off of them for good.  And that I can have me some healthy, happy children.

Who can say if your love grows? Only time.

It’s always good to cross another thing off the bucket list.  🙂

I’m also working on crossing another off.  Been working on my splits.  They’re coming along slowly but surely.  I’d forgotten how good stretching and exercising feels.

Lots is changing, moving forward, and I love it.  I finally feel like I’m coming back to myself, and relearning who that is again.

Tonight, I went out to a poly meetup in Memphis.  That was a LOT of fun.  I met 6 other like-minded, awesome people.  There was great food (mmmm, middle Eastern), hysterical conversation, and just general camaraderie with really cool people. They host a few other meetup groups in Memphis, and I might wind up going to this really fucking awesome looking place if I go to another one of their meetups.

Today I spent the day looking after my niece’s daughters.  I did aqua zumba, then took them swimming, did laundry, some dishes, talked to some important people.

Sunday’s sermon at church was AWESOME.  It was very much a message I needed to hear.  It boiled down to the fact that even though the woes of the world are always with us, we must choose to keep moving forward, share our lives and gifts with others, even if we get hurt along the way, and truly believe in love and connection.  Amazing how applicable that lesson is in my life at the moment.

Big day, awesome weekend, and good stuff in general.

So. much. to think about.  Luckily, it’s mostly all wonderful.  I am hella blessed and grateful.

Take off your victim pants.

This week, I finally finished reading It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt.  My friend Angie recommended it a few months ago when the separation became clearly a pre-divorce.  As I thumbed through the book in Barnes & Noble, it became clear that it was both humorously helpful AND also covered divorce under the “breakup” heading.  Basically, it’s for women coming out of any “significant relationship.”  The writers speak about their breakup experiences, both including failed marriages, and also draw from surveys, submitted “psycho confessionals” to give you perspective, and bunches more.

What’s funny is that I started reading it possibly a few months too late.  It might’ve been more helpful to read it right after the split, when I was wallowing in misery, self-doubt, heartache, and depression.  However, it was cool reading it now, because I got to see all the things I did right by instinct (or really good friendly and family advice) and also got some help on how to turn this breakup into a “breakover.”  (Cause breakup + makeover = breakover!)

There were also some things in there that were helpful, even though I’m feeling more positive, healthy, and hopeful now.  Since I still have a bad sweet tooth, it was good to read the practical advice that s/he’s “not at the bottom of that pint of ice cream.” Also, no matter how much you may want to, “you can’t sleep through a breakup.”  Which means I joined the “Tame Your Sweet Tooth” challenge on SparkPeople, and have started going to the Y.  5 times this week!

Another favorite was “messy bed, messy head,” which I’ve blogged about before, but never have never seen it put quite so succinctly.  So I started making my bed.  With the awesome quilt I adore and the pretty new sheets I got at Dirt Cheap.  And I’ve made it for two days in a row so far.  And it feels pretty good to see a neatly made bed when I come into my room.

The premise of the book makes a good point.

“It’s called a breakup because it’s broken…And starting today, you’re not the kind of woman who settles for broken or hangs on to damaged goods, be it a radio, a pair of shoes, or a relationship.  Your life is not a yard sale.  It’s time to get rid of all the broken stuff that you’ve been lugging around for days, months, and maybe even years, and make the bold decision to start looking for stuff that works.  The bright, clean, simple, easy, runs-so-smoothly-I-don’t-even-have-to-think-about-it kind of works.”

I also fervently loved the sentiment that “real love doesn’t require a strategy – but getting on with your life does.”

One of the strategies that I want to adopt is to “decide that [I am] going to do something every day that makes [me] feel stronger, better, and gets [me] out into the world.  Make a list of places to go, things to do, people to see, errands to run, art exhibits to attend, rock shows and movies you want to check out, or go dancing or take a cooking, knitting, or tae kwon do class.  Then pick one every day and do it.”

So that’s what I’m doing.  Running errands, exercising, babysitting, doing dishes and laundry, eating better, looking for a job, reading, staying in touch with friends and family, and just generally trying to “burst through this experience with dignity, grave, strength, and a whole new set of windows.”

Just keep swimming.

Finally, I defeated all the demons and got in the pool.

 

  • I don’t have the right swimsuit.  So what?  Use what you have until you can get a better one.  You have a swimsuit and a Y membership.  You’re very lucky.  Now GO FOR IT!
  • I’m fat. Aaaaaaand tell me how not exercising is working out to reverse that.
  • The lifeguards will think I’m ugly. Who the hell cares?  They’re in their teens and early twenties.  Why do you want/need approval from them?
  • Other people will think I’m fat and ugly.  Again, who the hell cares?  They’re strangers.  Who are going for the same reason you are: fitness.  And as my friend Angie pointed out, everyone is usually too busy worrying about themselves nad their own bodies to really judge you.
  • I don’t have time.  Really?  REALLY?!  You were laid off, you moved away from your old life to start over, and you don’t have time to…start over?!  Can the pity party, chica, and move your ass!
  • I’m scared.  I know.  But you’re going to do it anyway and rock it!

 
And I have!  Three times this week, I’ve gone to the Y.  Twice I’ve done 45 minutes of laps and 15 minutes of stretching to work on doing a split.  The other time, my sister and I hit an aqua zumba class!  Bad bathing suit be damned, I rocked it out and feel so much better for it.

Singing songs about dreams about hopes about schemes…

Yesterday was quite lovely.  I went to my new church and the service was very poignant and fitting.  It spoke of sacred spaces and how, while they are definitely important, what really makes a place sacred is the connection to the people in it.

I’m really quite happy to have found this church and have even started making friends!  After the service, I introduced myself to the pianist.  She played beautifully during the service and I had to compliment her on that.  While we were talking, I asked about joining the choir.  She said there really isn’t a formal audition process.  They’re very open and welcome anyone who wants to sing and have been very blessed to become known as the “awesome little choir.”  Then she introduced me to a few choir members, who invited me to lunch.  The place we went to was Middle Eastern!  YES!  I found a Shawerma joint!  Whooooo!  Anyway, we talked for a few hours and I wound up driving one of the women home because she lives 5 minutes from me!  This was especially awesome because the church is in Memphis, so finding someone who lives near me in Mississippi was really awesome.  When we got to her place, she invited me in to talk a little.  She reminds me a lot of Maureen, which is also AWESOME.  She told me that the choir has sung songs from Wicked (YES!) and has traveled to Transylvania to sing with our sister church there.  (SO COOL!)  I also learned that she’s part of the book club and knitting circle at church.  HOLY….really?  Awesome.

I’m beginning to rebuild, slowly, slowly.  But still.  Rebuilding is good.  I like it.

 

Adventures in solitude, indeed.

There are times when life hands you some unexpected shit.  Take me, for example.  Last year, I thought I was fairly happily married, would be trying to have a child this year, and was actively directing a play by a dear friend while maintaining co-directorship of the burlesque troupe I founded.  My health was fairly good; I was on the paleo diet and loosing weight.  By all accounts, things were good.

Reality, when faced with honesty instead of blind hope, paints an much more mercilessly fucked up picture.  The marriage(s) had been failing possibly even before they begun, as my husband and wife were a better match for each other than I was to them.  I tried.  Dear god, did I try.  And they, in their own ways, tried, too.  Sometimes, I think we might’ve nearly killed each other in the process.  Towards the end, things were calmer, but that’s probably because in hindsight we emotionally separated before we actually talked about doing it. It’s over now.  The divorce papers should be in the mail to me.  My life needed to and is in the process of starting over.  As I left New Jersey for Mississippi, I wasn’t sure about much of anything except needing to get away.  Polyamory left a bitter taste in my mouth, but I didn’t know if it was circumstances or that I couldn’t do it anymore.

I’m not quite ready to have a child yet since I’m still on my anti-anxiety/depression meds.  I’ve been thinking long and hard about whether I should go off them or not to have a child.  If I really need them, it might be more selfish to go off them to subject myself and anyone around me to the hormonal imbalances and subsequent mood swings plain, old pregnancy brings, let alone what might still be my grab bag of emotional and brain chemistry issues.  On the other hand, I might could soon not need the meds.  I’ll only know once I try.  But clearly…not ready to have a baby from my womb meats yet.

Thankfully, the play went off brilliantly and was received quite well by most I spoke to.  The thanks go to Jeff for a great script and to the amazing cast I had the privilege to work with.  A few of the people in the production are now very close friends and it also helped me re-establish a friendship with someone very dear to me.

Burlesque…I don’t know what to do about burlesque.  The troupe is in extremely capable hands and is thriving from what I can see.  My future with it is uncertain.  I don’t know how much time and effort I can dedicate to it, and it deserves so much love and energy.  Plus, last year was harder on me than I realized.  Putting on a character as I was losing touch with myself took it’s toll.  Right now, the pendulum has swung wildly away from glamor spells of my old religion, of the multitude of characters I’ve created for stage or work or my relationships, and is now seeking out who the hell Genevieve is, what she wants, and where she’s going.

In the process of that, I’ve done a lot of food self-medication to get me through the dark times of separation, losing my job, and moving halfway across the country away from almost everyone I’ve ever known.  It was time for me to take a giant step back, examine my life, and figure out the next part of.  In short, I needed to have some “adventures in solitude.”  Turns out, that’s the name of a New Pornagraphers song.  My friend Jamie posted it to my FB when I wrote about how finally, my passion was back.  Great song, and very fitting to where I am and where I’ve been.  It’s also great to have my passion back.

Revelations can come at such unexpected times.  As I I was emailing a dear friend about polyamory, and the simple reply I intended was nonchalantly pushed out the window by something…alive, breathing, invigorating.  Passion took over.  I got out my poly bible, “The Ethical Slut.”  I found my copy of “Opening Up.”  As I explained why it made sense to me, what the pioneers of the ethical slutdom had to say, I realized that the question of whether I was polyamorous or not anymore was really being answered in what I wrote.  It wasn’t “this is what I used to believe.”  It was very strongly, clearly “this is what I believe, this is what works for me, and just because my first primary poly relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try for it in the future.  Along the same lines, I recently pointed out to the same friend that poly shouldn’t be blamed for the demise of my marriage(s) any more than monogamy or heterosexuality should be blamed for the demise of his previous relationships.  It’s not the style that’s the problem.  As long as it’s practiced honestly, actively, and happily it makes a lot of damn sense and works really well.

Writing about it really put it in perspective for me, and I’m profoundly grateful for that clarity.  When I was finished with the email, I also realizing how much passion I have in advocating for polyamory and also for sexual freedom.  I need to do something with this, but I don’t fully know what yet.  My sister and I have talked about collaborating on an erotica series.  I have some unfinished manuscripts floating around that desperately need attention.  I’m near a major city, so I think I should check out if there are any organizations I can join. It’s so fucking wonderful to feel invigorated, to find an important piece of my own puzzle.

It’s fun to stay at the…

Or rather, I just joined the…YMCA!  So much love for that place.  They have an “Open Door” policy which helps people who have low income join for way less than the normal price.  Also, there are THREE POOLS!  One indoor lap pool, one small indoor class pool, and an outdoor pool with splash park and water slides!  Wheeeee!  There are many water aerobics classes and even some dance aerobics I want to try.

In other news, I think I may’ve found a church that feels like home.  After much spiritual searching through my life that included a few visits to a Lutheran church, a Dianic Wiccan circle, a few Pagan covens, solo Pagan practice, and some other stuff I’m probably forgetting, I found a church that seems to be serene, welcoming of all walks of life, and very inviting.

Now I just have to get my ass to both!