Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday is my thursday

So today is the Thursday of my work week since I'll be flying to Omaha Friday for a few days.  I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and family, as well as watching the Nebraska homecoming football game with my brother and his wife.  Good times!

I got offered the firm tickets for the Nationals baseball game tonight.  I accepted happily with plans to take BF, as he's a big Nats fan, but has somehow never been to a game!  The firm seats are, of course, pretty awesome, and I was looking forward to him getting to enjoy the game from a pretty sweet spot. However, much needed rain is looming over our area, and it's supposed to roll in round one mid-afternoon, but with the bulk of the rain coming later this evening.  Best forecast I've heard is for the rain to hold off for a few innings of the game before settling in, but it's such a gamble.  BF will have to park at a Metro station, take the train in, which involves a transfer (and he's not a Metro professional like me, LOL), and meet me in the city for the game.  I'd hate to have him go through all that hassle just to have it rain two innings in!  Guess we'll see.

In unrelated news...I'm currently trying to convert two of my girlfriends to WhatsApp.  It's a messaging app that I use to talk to BF all the time, as well as a couple other people.  I love it way more than all the other messaging apps for whatever reason, and I'm pushing it hardcore with these two for one reason:  group messaging.  They both have iphones, and I'm Android.  For some reason, our group texts are a mess for me, and it shows up as a group text and an individual text in a separate tab, and it's annoying.  Group texting is so much easier on WhatsApp, so I'm trying to convert them. I'd like to convert EVERYONE to it.  :-)

All personnel luncheon at work today.  It's the same old thing they love to get every other month, but I can't complain too much since it's a free meal:  Peruvian chicken, rice, salad, fruit and cookies.  At least I didn't have to worry about rummaging something up at home!  My cupboards are pretty bare, and since I'll be gone for four days this weekend I didn't feel motivated to shop much.  My grocery store trip last night was mostly soup and crackers for Thursday and a few Greek yogurts.  :-p

I'm not super motivated today.  I feel like I'm just waiting for the firm luncheon to start!  Guess I should do something....

Monday, September 22, 2014

Relationship Report Cards

In the eight months and change that I've been dating BF, I've had to re-learn a very basic life lesson that I'd forgotten in my few years of singledom.

Relationships are hard work.

It's not the sexy thing to say.  It doesn't play into the rom-com version of relationships where you have one issue that's resolved with a pretty bow in ninety minutes.  It also goes against a very popular notion that good relationships are easy.

I've heard both arguments:

1) Good relationships are easy.  They won't feel like work.

2) Good relationships require work to remain good.

So which one is right?  I'm not going to pretend to have some sort of expertise on the matter.  My personal inclination is that both are true to a degree. All I can really speak to are my own experiences. They can be summed up as follows, with a work rating of 1-10, 1 being no work, 10 being work all the time:

  • Ex-H:  We started dating when I was 19, and he was the first person I ever dated, kissed, and so forth.  We were full of good intentions, and I was in love with him.  Ultimately, I think we married too young without getting enough experience under our respective belts.  I realized after the fact that we were probably better off as really good friends for the last half of our relationship at least.  Ah, the joys of hindsight. WORK RATING: 5 for me.  I put in a good amount of effort, but I didn't know any better than what I had in front of me, so I didn't fight it too hard until the very end.  2 for him.  He was so damn passive.
  • M:  He was a rebound in many ways, the exact opposite of Ex-H, and a casualty of timing.  We started dating just a few months after Ex-H moved out, and it was an emotionally volatile time for both of us.  That relationship relied heavily on a need for someone to save us from ourselves, and it suffered because of it.  WORK RATING: 8 for me.  It was either giddy good or sobbing mess bad, and more often than not, the bad outweighed the good.  5 for him because he tried, but he could step away more easily than I could.  
  • Angry Ex:  I ignored all the red flags in the beginning, and they ended up being the same things that caused us to break up two years later.  I loved him, but it was a very unhealthy relationship.  I'd never felt so bad about myself as I did when I was with him, and the relationship was codependent and weird.  WORK RATING:  10.  It was work.  From the first month to the last.  I put all of my energy into making him happy, then making us okay, and nothing was left for taking care of me. 3 for him.  He talked a good game on rare occasions, but never actually put the work in.  The burden always fell on me to fix everything.
Now I've got a new relationship to add to the list, and we're heading towards matching and exceeding the length of the shortest of the bunch above.  I'm years older and hopefully somewhat wiser, but here's my summary of this relationship:  It's good, but it can be hard.  It's not effortless.  It's not without it's struggles.  It doesn't feel awesome every second of every day of every week.  But damn, I wouldn't trade it for any of those other relationships for the world.  The difference is reciprocity.  I would honestly say that the WORK RATING for both of us is probably a 4*, but with an asterisk to indicate that it feels like such a HEALTHY 4 comparatively.  We have disagreements, mostly misunderstandings.  But EVERY SINGLE TIME, we have sat down and talked through them, and come out on the other end better for it.  I may have cried, we may have felt a bit lost, but we always, always come together to sort it out.  

I've never had that before.  The difficulties seem so much more manageable when you're not the only one working to resolve them.  The misunderstandings clear up so much more quickly when you're both taking a second look.  

BF and I are not perfect.  We have our moments where he drives me up a wall and vice versa.  But I spent ten days straight with this man on a vacation, eight of them with no one else around, and I DID NOT GET TIRED OF HIM.  I was happy to see him every morning, and happy to fall asleep next to him every night.

He listens to me.  I see the proof of that in our interactions after a misunderstanding, and I'd like to think he sees the same from me.  We are both trying, even though we are at times woefully out of practice with relationships, and have been operating as independent creatures for a long time.  It's hard to shift out of that solo position after being in it for so long! There are growing pains that crop up periodically, but we're still here.  I still feel in love with him, and I still see the possibility of a future with him, but we aren't rushing anything.  He makes me laugh, we have some interests in common, but not all, we like to be together, but don't need each other to survive.  

In summary, this relationship is good, even when it's hard, even when it feels like I'm stretching my relationship muscles in new and unfamiliar ways.  At the end of the day, I think it's a healthy relationship, and I'm grateful for that.

Maybe good relationships never feel like work.  Maybe good relationships require work.  I don't really know if there's a universal truth.  I hear people sometimes declaring that "My significant other and I never fight".  Well, I can't say that about my relationship.  But I also know that for me, that means that I'm not sitting on hurt feelings or powering through lingering past offenses.  Things upset me, things upset him, and we address them within a fairly timely fashion.  That's us.  That's what I know for my life and my relationship. 

More power to the people who really do never fight.  Maybe they just get along that well, who knows!  For me, it's not that easy, and that's okay.  I actually don't mind the work I'm putting into this relationship.  For one, like I said, reciprocity.  Huge difference.  I'm not alone!  And for two, I see the work as a sign of the growth I've experienced since my last relationships.  I see it as a sign of me fighting my history, my old bad habits and patterns, and choosing to be better.  To be different.  BF feels the same per some of our post fight/misunderstanding/rumble situations.  I have to say, I'll take it.  I like knowing that people in general are capable of change with thoughtful, mindful consideration, and I like knowing that I'm one of them.  I've earned all these relationship stripes, both good and bad.

Eight months, nineteen days.  :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

vacation download

So vacation was fantastic.  :-) I had ten days off from work for the first time in over a decade, and it was glorious.  Friday and Saturday of the first weekend were spent with BF and his daughter.  We went and saw Ghostbusters in the theater, which was super fun, as that's one of my all time favorites.  BF's daughter left that Saturday evening, and we mostly spent the time getting everything situated for our morning departure.

The drive to OBX was not bad.  I'd never been through so much of Virginia, and I'd never been to North Carolina at all, so it was an interesting drive at times.  The actual beach trip was fantastic.  We grilled.  We mini golfed (twice).  We did the paddleboats, dined out at local restaurants, spent time at the beach and in the ocean every single day.  Lounged on the varying decks of the beach house, reading, talking, relaxing.  We utilized the hot tub, mostly late at night once it had cooled off enough to be bearable.  I ate way too much fudge and way too many donuts from this amazing donut place that makes fresh, hot donuts made to order.  We went to all the little shops, and I found unique jewelry (2 rings, one pair of earrings) and my Christmas ornament for this year.  I got a touristy OBX hat for the beach to protect my pale scalp.  And because we are who we are, we watched football.  ;-)

It was a gorgeous place to spend a week.  I managed to avoid getting sunburnt thanks to my diligent use of sunscreen, I got good sleep, I roasted s'mores and we laughed and talked and kissed and were closer and it all felt amazing.  I didn't check work email once!

I was so sad to leave a week later.  I felt like I was letting go of this glorious little moment in time where I was unencumbered by work, bills, chores, obligations.  It was just all my time to do with as I pleased.  The day we left was gray and drizzly.  We'd had a gorgeous week of weather, so it felt like we were leaving at just the right time.  We left early on that Sunday morning so we could get back in time to watch NFL football.  Sidenote:  Both of our teams lost!

I stayed at BF's house until Monday evening.  Monday was mostly lazy.  I slept in until 10 and then we had leftover pizza for lunch, and ran a couple of errands.  Lazy afternoon, and once rush hour traffic was wrapped I headed home for the first time in what felt like forever.

Took me ages to unpack the car of my things.  I spent the evening unpacking my bags, doing a tiny bit of cleaning in my apartment and zoning out to some DVR.

Tuesday brought me crashing back to reality, and when my alarm went off I was right back in the grind of things.  It was a hectic day catching up on things, going through all the emails and fixing what was missed in my absence.  It was totally worth the chaos, though!

Including a few pictures.  :-)
View one evening at sunset in Duck, the town we stayed in

Porch swing moon gazing


Jockey's Ridge State Park---a desert in the middle of the OBX!

Beach.  :-)