Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I'm going to be 40 this year. I'm going to be 40 in 40 weeks.

I keep talking about my plans for the end of the year (my birthday is December 27th) and how there will be "40 days of transformation." A lot of yoga. Reading. Meditating. Levitating. Time with friends. Time with family. More yoga.

But what I really want to do is get this whole business of transformation going right now. And it occurred to me yesterday, why can't I? I glanced at the calendar and counted out 40 weeks, which put my little finger just days of ahead of my 40th. It's perfect.

To be clear, I'm not looking for perfection. There are some areas in my life; some very dusty and dark corners that I want to poke into. With some gentle curiosity perhaps. Blow the dirt off, look carefully and find the gleam that I know was once there.

And yes, I could do this at any time in my life. But why not now? Doesn't it make sense to enter a new decade with a cleaner slate? A whiter canvas in which to take all my new-found colors and whirl them wildly and with complete certainty, at a surface that I know is ready for big and bold changes?

I definitely know that I don't want to be this person when I'm 40. The last five years have been my time to react, adapt, push back. I kind of think of my life since 35 as being in the spin cycle of the laundry. You know how a large sweater can twist everything up and cause the whole washer to basically turn inside out on itself? That's how I've felt much of the time.

Just because I'm turning 40 and I'm willing to do a little work in the soul department, I know I'm not entitled to a free ride into the next decade. I know what I have to do is very, very hard. I know that I've made decisions that I'm still feeling the aftereffects from. I know that my biggest challenge, going forward, will be to make decisions that create balance and harmony in my life and to avoid outcomes that make things so off-kilter that I can hardly stand to be in my own skin.

I know. Harsh. Difficult. Not at all appealing.

But so necessary right now. I feel it in my bones. I feel it in my heart. The time is so right; so right now.

Week 1 of 40. Here I am. 40...here I come!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Mr. Great is not real.

Oh, he's real in the sense that he's a guy with a lot of yucky history who likes to escape his day-to-day world with a nice girl who will indulge his plans for the very very very very short-term future ("Let's meet for dive bar drinks...in 30 minutes...at 11pm!") and ("Napa this weekend, perhaps?") only to toss out Napa for dinner in Sacramento at said girl's favorite restaurant.

But wait, that didn't happen either.

However, there still are the U2 tickets that he promised...

Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

Bottom line is this is one guy who can't touch into reality for one single second. At least not from what I've seen. And here's how I know.

All week long, I've waited for Mr. Great to step his yogi self up to the plate and say something to the effect of, "Work's a killer. It's busy with the kids. I'm overwhelmed. I'm sorry to keep flaking on you. I'm sorry I haven't called you." Gosh, I would have even taken a measly, little, impersonal text."

Silence. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Meanwhile, my friend who introduced us sent me a message: "How's it going with Mr. Great??" Insert smiley faces. "I haven't heard from either of you..." More smiley faces.

Back to my story.

So all week I'm waiting on Mr. Great to throw me the smallest of bones and to let me know that he's interested and a letter appears in my inbox, yesterday, from a guy that I went on a date with earlier this year. I didn't think that we had any chemistry and I let the communication lapse. He called me on that. He also told me, the in the letter, that he was "real." He used the words "secure," "old fashioned," "values," "integrity." He definitely put himself out there in a way that was very, very real and very, very admirable.

It was a long message and I won't go into the detail but what occurred to me was: I've been waiting for this from Mr. Great. Even some semblance of this. I NEED REAL.

I love a good lesson and I got one this week. Mr. Great can have all the adversity in the world and believe me, he has his share, but it doesn't make him any more real and authentic and honest and forthright than anyone else.

As for my candid date who popped off on the email yesterday, I wrote a long thank-you to him today. I apologized for being less-than-real and for participating in communication that was "less than stellar" by his account.

Interestingly, my best friend and I have almost the same heart-to-heart conversation each day; our constant mantra being "keep it real." She pulls me in when I start to veer from reality; I give her glimpses of what escaping will be like some day for her. We are a wonderful balance that way. I'm grateful for that accountability. I definitely want to be someone who is real especially when it comes to relationships and this week's events were a good reminder of being real and being, for lack of a better word, a coward.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


How much slack do you give to a guy who keeps flaking? How much slack to you give to a guy who has a late wife, a blind daughter, a pre-teen daughter, a time-consuming job and a life that looks its turning inside out on itself each day?

I want to give Mr. Great the benefit of the doubt; I really, really do. But he's making it so damn hard.

He never showed up for yoga this week. Too tired from work. He checked in at the end of the week to see if we could get together on Saturday. I got ready on Saturday night, only to get a call at the VERY last minute. He carried on two conversations: one with me, one with his younger daughter. He'd been working all day, despite the fact that it was Saturday, and his daughter had just arrived at home, obviously very much in need of some attention from her dad. I told him to go give her that; that we could connect another time. Not a big deal.

Except that it is. A big deal. And I'm tired of waiting on him to throw me just the teeniest little bone.

His friend, our friend, the woman who introduced us, sent me a text this weekend: "He genuinely likes you..."

I don't feel liked right now. I don't know how much benefit of the doubt you should extend to someone - regardless of their circumstances - but I do know that when it starts to feel like you're the only one holding the space, maintaining the hope and generally keeping the interest alive, it's probably time to cut your losses (which, thankfully, are very few) and move the hell on!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm stuck. In several different ways. So I'm going to use this post, today, to try and un-stick, unravel, and generally undo the some of the not-so-great patterns that I've found myself falling into as of late.

To start with, I'm not sleeping. At all and despite enough medication to knock out all of Carmichael and parts of Fair Oaks. Last night, I never fell asleep. Not for one minute. I watched the clock with every passing hour, knowing full well that I was going to be a really unhappy camper today. Which I was. Am. I gotta get some good rest. SOON. I "SOS-ed" my sleep doctor for help. But I really think that I need to "SOS" something on my cognitive level that's keeping me from getting decent rest.

I might not be sleeping well because I've developed some bad habits around my bedtime which is not good for someone with a delicate sleep constitution like mine. But I wrestle with this one because how can I have a fun, healthy social life when I have to be in bed at 9pm taking deep, full breaths and letting go of the day? Twice this week, I went out for drinks instead. And dearly paid the price.

I was doing SOOOOO well on curbing the emotional eating. Then I had a little backslide. Then a bigger one. And a couple more. But I'm trying to cut myself a little slack on this one because overall, it's much better and I know that this will be my torch to carry for the rest of my life. There has to be some forgiveness in the accountability. Otherwise, I'd be miserable all the time. I'm working on that. It's a definite work in progress.

My Mr. Great caused some serious cuticle chewing on my part this week. So I decided to set him free. On our fifth date last night, as he was telling me about how he's "scared" because he "likes me a lot" (I'm using quotes here because aren't these such typical sentences for a male???), I surprised myself by saying, "Well, that's YOUR issue. I can't help you with that one. I guess you have your own choices to make relative to this." That was that. I didn't tell him why he should like me. I also didn't go home with him when he asked. Why would I? I know I like him. I know I like him a lot. But I'm not going to invest any more energy and subject my cuticles to more chewing until there is a little more assurance from him. I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I've hit the highlights of this mountain of stuff that seems to be sitting directly on my shoulders right now. It's kind of amazing how when I write it out like this, I can start to feel - and to see - that it's quite possible to find a little peace even in the midst of fatigue and uncertainty. I'm already feeling the lessening of the physical effects of a sleepless night and the boost of a day with purpose and I know I can shore up what I need to - in terms of energy - to see myself and my family through to the end of today. For now, that's all I need.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I can't think of a better title for this post.

Dating after the age of 35. Dating as a single parent. Dating single guys with kids. It can all spell disaster, despite how you add it up.

I'm about to drag out my old copy of "The Rules" for a quick refresher on how to do this. Or add "He's Just Not That Into You" to my Netflix queue so that I can give myself a painful reality check. Or swear off dating for good. Wait, I already did the third and it didn't do me any good because so-and-so thought that I'd be great with Mr. Great even though I was in dating exile. That's how she and every other person I talked with describe him, "Oh, Janeen. He's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO great!"

Really? Because this, this moment, as in, RIGHT NOW doesn't feel so great. I mean, there's been a glimpse of greatness - here and there - and those times are beyond great. But then I get pulled back and I have to be very honest and real with myself over whether or not Mr. Great is ready to be great with me.

My friend said today, "This isn't about you. You ARE great. If anything, most guys fall for you too quickly. They know the real deal when they see it. This is about HIM."

It felt better to look at it like that. In the meantime, can two canceled dates be salvaged by tomorrow? 7pm Tuesday. Third time is a charm. Or three strikes, you're out. Which way will it be, Mr. Great?

Friday, March 5, 2010


When Ben's gone, I miss him terribly. When he's here, there are times when I'm counting the minutes until his dad comes and gets him. Like now.

He has been with me since last Friday. Kevin's been in Maui. Ben came down with pneumonia last weekend and missed school for half of the week. His nights were filled with feverish discomfort and coughing fits that were so intense that he gagged. Good times.

The ER doctor suggested a new, more potent round of antibiotics this time around which I readily agreed to. The upside is that the bacteria was gone in record time, as was the temperature. The downside was that my son turned into Lucifer and has been a complete shit since the meds hit his system.

Once Ben began to feel better, he took full liberty to unleash his nasty, medication induced behavior on everyone. He pushed his pizza across the table and screamed for a full 30 minutes about how awful it was and that he would never touch it again. He called me in the bathroom to clean up and waited behind the door, only to slam it into me. He unbuckled his seatbelt in the car, while we were on the freeway, and then taunted me with how far he could pull the strap. He passed by the television that my mom was watching, backed up, paused and then slammed his fist into it.

What. The. Fuck. This is not my child.

Kevin finally crawled out from whatever pukka shell he's been hiding under to let me know that he's home from Maui and indeed, all ready for Ben on Sunday.

We have more one more day. Fortunately, we're going on a road trip to my dad's and there will be lots of Nintendo time, while Ben fantasizes about all the great toys that Grandpa will buy him. And by this time tomorrow, I'll be one day closer to my much anticipated and way overdue day of rest.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Life has been anything but centered lately. Chalk it all up to lack of sleep and sheer exhaustion.

Ben's jet lag segued into a cold which escalated to pneumonia and landed us in Urgent Care on a beautiful Sunday morning. Last night was the first night that he's slept a full night with me since his return from Italy.

I had my own sick day on Monday. I was tired beyond belief and I think my body did the ultimate shut-down. I missed a day of work and a day of life in general, since I didn't leave my bedroom.

I'm really trying to stay peaceful and as balanced as I can, despite having a sick child and an absentee ex (he's in Maui).

It's interesting. I'm continuing to spend time in quiet reflection, letting the answers to my many questions come as they will. And they are; coming, that is. Such perfect clarity on so many things that I was so unclear about.

I can't say that my entire life is crystallizing before my eyes but there are parts that are becoming clearer every day and I love that my intuition and my willingness to surrender are finally serving me in ways that I never thought possible.