A New Job and A Wedding (not mine)

It has officially been a week since I started my new job so I thought I’d share my first impressions with anyone who might be interested. Besides the fact that I get to work in the same building as one of my very best friends, thus having a lunch buddy most days, I am actually enjoying work at a huge company. I wasn’t sure I would as I have mostly worked at medium to small sized companies, but there are many amenities a larger company can offer. For instance, there is a different restaurant that brings food for purchase every day of the week, so you don’t have to leave the building. There is also a parking garage that keeps my car cool during the day so that I am not scorched when I leave work. There are elevators for ones convenience although I take the stairs to avoid that dizzy feeling I get in elevators. And there are vending machines on every floor!

Ah, but these are just the little things (having my BF there is not a little thing, for the record, just everything else I wrote about). The best parts of my job are not having to answer the phone and being able to complete a task without being interrupted. Listing to my music (instead of the classical station ALL DAY LONG) or podcasts with the use of ear buds, effectively creating the “my own little world” effect (LOVE this). And for the administrative part of my brain, I get to sort and organize docs all day long. Sigh! I guess you could say, “So far, so good.” I am curious though about the end of the year when my contract is up and what my journey will look like then. But I am REALLY trying to stay in the now.

I briefly mentioned my friend Leslie’s wedding last week but I want to take some time to GUSH all about it. It was beautiful, warm, colorful, fun and delicious! Everything seemed to go as planned. B and I had the privilege of shooting the wedding and got to witness the inner workings. I have a new appreciation for the assembly of a Saree. It’s amazing how quickly and efficiently the women that outfitted Leslie were at making a beautifully designed dress out of one LARGE piece of intricately decorated fabric and safety pins. In a hotel room filled with 12-15 people you could have heard one of those many safety pins drop. Everyone was mesmerized by the process. In the end, Leslie looked like a goddess!

And what better location for a goddess than a museum! The NC Museum of Art to be exact. The intimate ceremony took place in one of the gardens outside the museum with just the immediate families present and included a “ring warming” (which I loved). The party that ensued not long after included a wonderful pallet of tastes, colorful garments and lively music EVERYONE could dance to  (Drummers accompanied the DJ = WOW!). However, it was the people who attended and the two amazing people we were there to honor, that made the wedding what it was. AWESOME! Now, to capture all that in a 6-10 minute video…shoo, B has his work cut out for him!

L&V back

OMG I Sound Like My Mother!

I remember the first time I heard my mother’s voice come out of my mouth. All at once I understood. I was being initiated into a secret society I didn’t remember pledging to and wasn’t sure I wanted to be a part of. But it was too late!

My twin toddlers undoubtedly did something that I had told them MANY times not to do and inadvertently opened Mommy’s flood gate of “THAT’S IT”.  If you ask me what those exact words were that formed in my brain and leap off my tongue, I would not be able to tell you. It wasn’t the words exactly, but the way in which they were said. They had her tone of voice all over them. Despite all my pronouncements as an adolescent (as most adolescents do) that I would NOT be like my mom when I grew up, I had indeed inherited some of her traits. And to my surprise it wasn’t as upsetting as I thought it’d be. Quite the opposite actually. In that moment of clarity I finally got her! And with it came a deep sense of appreciation.

For most of my childhood my mom was a stay-at-home mom. Not because she wasn’t a strong-willed independent woman (if you know her at all you’ll know I’m not lying), but I believe it’s what she and my father thought was best. I am so grateful that they did. There was a security that came with my mom always being there. She was able to be involved in our school activities. She made sure we had healthy social lives. She baked…not everyday but there wasn’t a Christmas that went by without our kitchen becoming a cookie factory so she could give trays of cookies away to everyone and their neighbor. She encouraged us creatively with messy projects. She was (and still is) a great story teller. And boy could that woman get mad! And quick! What I didn’t realize then, but do now, is the amount of work and brain drain that goes into being active in your childrens’ school activities, social lives, baking, messy projects and even making up stories. It’s exhausting! No wonder her fuse was short.

There is another side to sounding like my mother. My mom is always ready with an encouraging word. If you ever read the comments on this blog you’ll know what I mean. I don’t think there’s one post she hasn’t commented on, each more encouraging than the last. I love hearing her converse with her grandchildren (which I just got to do last week when she was visiting). There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that she thinks they’re the shiznit! It’s a trait I hope people will see in me as well. That and her compassion for others. She’s always been easy to talk to. She was, and still is, usually volunteering for one organization or another.  And I can’t tell you how many times we had people staying with us for a week or two until they got on their feet. My friends knew they had a place to go and my mom would accept them with open arms. She just had 3 rules: 1. No drugs, 2. No sex and 3. Don’t leave the toilet seat up. I’m pleading the 5th on whether or not those rules were upheld.

It’s funny how we as humans can have a hard time appreciating someone without walking in there shoes. Becoming a mom myself has been an eye opening experience and I know I have still barely scratched the surface. Both my moms have survived adolescent children, whereas I am just beginning that phase, and there are still so many stages yet to come: college, weddings, grandchildren.  I am fully prepared to be amazed by these two incredible women at each stage as I learn to appreciate them and what they’ve been through more and more. So sounding like my mom.. ain’t so bad!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!

Excuses, Excuses!

I’ve been pretty darn happy with myself for getting a post out every week until last week happened. I went back on my word to myself and anyone else that cares. I would normally blame my laziness for missing a week’s post, but that wasn’t it at all. On the contrary. I was too busy last week. It wasn’t a bad busy, just one that kept me from writing because by the time I’d sat down at my computer my mind was numb with exhaustion. What was keeping me so busy that I couldn’t share even a few hundred words with my favorite people? (Meaning you of course.) Here is a peek at my week and my main reasons for the neglect:

Friday: Worked my second job
Saturday: Full Frame Film Festival
Sunday: Food shopped, Cleaned the house, Arbonne spa party at my house
Monday: Frightened Rabbit concert
Tuesday through Thursday: Being a Mom in the evenings
Friday: Worked my second job
Saturday: Yard work, Food shopped, Finished taxes, Cleaned, took the kids to the park
Sunday: Church, worked my Origami Owl business

I didn’t add my full time job, but you get the picture.

I wish I could say these are the ONLY reasons, but alas, there’s more. Truth is I’ve been a bit unmotivated about writing lately. I feel stuck in a rut and I’ve been trying to find my way out. I’ve got nothing so far. When I started this blog I had a clear vision for it that has gotten blurry. It isn’t like I have one specified subject I write about. I have visited plenty of successful blogs that specialize in weddings, or parenting, or fashion…etc. You know what you’re going to get when you visit these sights. I’ve written about all of the above, minus the wedding stuff, plus divorce and relationships. I’m all over the place! My goal is to come up with a unified theme that will encompass all of life while still focusing on one main idea. Please be patient with me as I work through this and regain my vision.

Step one: Go back to the beginning.
When I remember where my heart was at the  start of this blog  my desire was to share my experiences with others in the slight chance that anything I’ve learned might help someone else. That includes surviving a divorce, discovering who I am and liking myself again (or possibly for the first time), understanding the meaning and impact of friendship, adjusting to single parenthood and finding true love. I wanted to be an encouraging voice rather than adding to the abundance of negativity out there.

Step two: Evaluate the title.
Why “Unforgettably Ordinary”? In my self-discovery I learned that although I’ve ALWAYS felt ordinary and talent-less, I have some really great qualities. In the right environment those qualities flourish and become extraordinary making me unforgettable (or at least I hope so). I’m not tooting my own horn here. I believe this can be true for EVERYONE. I wanted to be able to help others discover what makes them extraordinary.

I can’t believe I used the term “tooting my own horn”!

Step three: Think.
Now I need to take some time and think about where to go from here. Do I set a monthly topic to discuss? Do I continue all willy nilly and go with the flow? Do I only focus on one of the above mentioned topics from here on out? How do I get my lovely readers commenting and submitting their own stories?* etc. etc.

I will keep you up to date on the result of all the hard thinking I’ll be doing this week.

AND while I am being so vulnerable, there is one other tiny little confession I need to make. I do have one more reason for not writing…Candy Crush Saga! There! I said it. I’m addicted!

*As my statement suggests, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on all this? Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you are more comfortable with email, please email me at unfogettablyordinary@gmail.com. 

Confessions of A Recovering Romance Novel Junkie

About 10 years ago I heard a woman talk about romance novels and soap operas as porn for women. While I didn’t care much for soap operas, I was consuming at least one romance novel every two weeks at the time, sometimes even one a week. I didn’t see the harm in them. Most of them weren’t the trashy kind anyway so clearly they couldn’t be considered porn. I just liked reading them because they were quick reads and they made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I would get lost in the intense passion the characters had for each other and the certainty that there was a happily ever after for them. I imagined that was how it really felt to be in love. When I’d finish the book the reality of a passionless marriage and the uncertainty that I was with the right person set in. I couldn’t see a happily ever after in my future. I’d even question if something was wrong with me? Why didn’t I feel that way about my husband? Why hadn’t I ever felt that way about anyone? My belief that being in love was a possibility turned into a theory that there was no way that level of passion could be real in a long term relationship. Of course there is passion and a feeling of infatuation in the beginning of most relationships that’s mistaken for ‘being in love”. This I knew from experience. How many times had I “been in love”  with someone only to lose interest a few months later? It was just something movies and books created and endorsed to sell their products. That perfect love between a man and woman couldn’t really exist!

Regardless, I kept reading and the books turned into an escape from my lacking reality. They made me yearn for something I knew I could never have. They became an addiction. Nothing my husband said or did was as good as what I read. I mean, you know it’s bad when you read a romance novel to get in the mood for your spouse! That’s when it clicked. The reference to romance novels becoming porn for women made sense. And it didn’t stop at novels. I would watch any rom-com I could get my hands on. Anything to give me that borrowed high from another (very fictional) characters completeness in the love they’d found.

Did the addiction to fiction lead to the dissatisfaction of my marriage? NO! There was plenty of that before my one a week habit started. But it didn’t help make my marriage any better either. Instead it intensified the dissatisfaction and created unrealistic expectations for my marriage. There was no way my  husband was ever going to say the right things or act the right way because first, he wasn’t built to talk and act that way since he was a real person, and second, because he wasn’t reading the books and had no frame of reference by which to even understand my misguided ideals.

Do I think all women should stop reading romance novels because they create unrealistic expectations for relationships? No. I think it’s a personal decision. For some, it doesn’t affect them the way it did me. I do think it’s wise to understand that the relationships in books and movies are fictional. If they cause an increased dissatisfaction in your committed relationship, it may be time to set aside the media form you are devouring and pay attention to the work at hand (i.e., your marriage).

That said, my habit is thankfully not an issue anymore. And not just because my unhappily-ever-after marriage is over! The desire to read about/watch the love lives of others, no matter how fake they are, is almost non-existent thanks to the happiness I have in my current relationship and my resolve to live my life. I was given a second chance. I know that’s not the case for everyone. However, I am still a firm believer that two people who are committed and choose to work on their relationship together, can have a stronger more satisfying relationship than any book or movie! My earlier theory has sufficiently been proven wrong by my own experiences.  It may be the only time I’m glad I’m wrong (at least that I’ll admit).

That’s it for my ponderings today. Please add your thoughts on the topic of romance novels/rom-com movies below.

Would The Real Knight-In-Shining-Armor Please Stand Up

To say that I’m a scardy-cat would be an immature thing to say but it would also be mostly accurate. When I was a little girl I had a fear of someone hiding under the bed or in the closet. My dad used to roll his eyes when I asked him to check for me, but he did it because he knew it was the only way to make me feel safe enough to sleep. That, and it was the only way I’d leave him alone! I’d love to say that this is something I grew out of, but sadly it is not. I don’t necessarily think someone is waiting to get me anymore but I am easily startled. That’s why when B and I came home the other night and the back doors were unlocked, I kinda freaked out. My first response was to ask B to check the house. His first reaction was to be reasonable…I didn’t like that one bit. Not because I don’t think he had a valid point – find out if there is a logical reason they were unlocked and then freak out if not – but because he didn’t do what I thought would make me feel safe right away. He didn’t check under the beds and in the closets, at least not at first. What if someone was there? Was he going to stab him with a paring knife? Or spray him in the face with Windex? Instead he asked me to call anyone (as in relatives) that may have been in the house and left the back doors open. Once I made the calls he checked the house. Thankfully there was not one hiding out, but it still took me a while to feel comfortable moving about.

I had to process through this new way of approaching my fear. At first it seemed all wrong because my feeling of safety was delayed, but that had more to do with what I was used to than actually thinking through the situation. If we had really felt we were in danger we shouldn’t have checked anything in the house. Rather we should have called the police. B was absolutely correct in this approach. And as much of an advocate as I am for individuality and creativity in approaching a situation, I still fell into the that’s-the-way-we-do-things mentality. Tisk tisk Dyana!

It’s one thing if you have this revelation about yourself once in a week, but twice? Now that’s a whole other beast, and one that need to be dealt with.

The day after the unlocked doors incident, I had a conversation with my ex in which he exclaimed “If anything happens to [the boys] you’re gonna get it!” This was his response to me allowing my two oldest sons to stay home by themselves. It didn’t matter that the reason I let them stay home was because he gave one of them a blue pain relief pill that had he read the bottle he would have realized was a Tylenol PM! I thought if they were home at least my son could rest it off. When I relayed the conversation to B he asked with concern “He threatened you?!” Nah, I thought, that’s just the way he is. However the more I thought about it, yes he did threaten me and he’s done it over and over again for years! When did I accept his threatening me as acceptable? Really?! Again, tisk tisk Dyana!

Well, can I just say that B did the most unexpected and possibly the most romantic thing anyone has EVER done for me? The next day he called my ex to discuss why he felt he had to threaten me and what exactly “You’re gonna get it” referred to. When B told me he’d just had a 45 minute conversation with him I couldn’t believe it. B stood up for me! To my ex! From his recounting of the conversation it went fairly well. He was able to discuss the situation with maturity. In this one gesture of love B has made me feel extremely safe and secure, something I haven’t had in any other relationship. And because of his concern for me, he’s also made me realize that even if “that’s just the way things are”, “that’s just the way he is”, “that’s just the way we do things”, doesn’t make it right! Thank you B for this week’s life lesson!