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Wiping the Gunk Away: A 10 year reflection of being single

Have you ever felt the need to wipe away the energies of the day? I’ve felt it a lot lately. And sometimes, like today, it is a reason for me to take a shower at 3am and eventually go back to sleep instead of waiting and starting my day.

What do I mean by “energies of the day?” The thoughts that won’t go away. The feelings from listening to others or hearing the news or reading the reactions to any of the above. I want to clear the brain and reset (and actually sleep). Today, I find the need to write first.

One of my reflections lately has been about my birthday. The last post  came before my birthday. Now that the odometer has officially flipped over, I am almost two weeks into a new decade. A friend ahead of me in the same year reassured me that it would be ok and there wouldn’t be zombies after me, or anything like that.

The other reason I have thought a lot about this birthday is because as an adult it has always been my effort to celebrate, especially for decade birthdays. Ten years ago I was still married. My (ex) husband had a decade birthday first and made a fuss about celebrating. When my turn came around – nothing. Our anniversary happened to be in October a couple of weeks later. My ex not only had to work, he didn’t offer to make plans over a different weekend, which is what we previously had done. The marriage, at least from my point of view, was rocky for many reasons. After the anniversary discussion I decided that I was finished. Instead of celebrating a relationship, I went apartment hunting, happy, at least, that I’d be returning to Kalamazoo. By the end of October I had moved (with the cat) and (re)started single life.

I moved several times since first returning to Kalamazoo. Some moves I chose to do while others I had to. For example, when the landlady died and the family wanted to make sure the house could be included as part of the estate. I had time, as long as I hurried up.

Moving this year is not something I expected. I actually have enjoyed living in a studio and made it feel cozy. I guess it had been more cramped than I realized, though. When the opportunity to move upstairs came along, I jumped. I could’ve moved to a bigger studio, too. I was only interested in the upstairs apartment. So for the last two weeks of September, I figured out where things generally would go and moved (with some help) upstairs to an apartment with three or four times the space. It seemed “right sized” – not as big as when I rented entire houses, and still bigger than the studio.

What I have noticed is that there is a different feeling when you have the space to move around. I will still be downsizing things. I believe my brain is also trying to download things. Maybe things that I didn’t completely have the room to put it in. Or the words to express. Or lost when in places too big. So, here I am at 4 in the morning, reflecting. I feel cleaner from writing as much as from showering. Just like that first move to the single life, this feels like a transition, too. Like there is more happening than the fact of organizing from a move. It’s probably been happening, and I am at a point where things slowed down enough (I mean, it IS 4am!) that I can acknowledge this change.

I have to say that I am excited. I also want to note that the last 10 years, even the parts more recently, seem like a long time ago (yes, in a galaxy far away, too). It’s experience, yet right now and whatever is coming up is what seems exciting and I don’t even know what that is. Have you had any similar experience?

Thanks for reading!

Stacy

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Sand, Wind, Sun and Rain

20160721_121224.jpgI’m not really sure what it is about this summer that has been different. It’s been really weird – at least socially. I mentioned this before, since it has been a thing I have noticed all year. The summer has seemed extra long, though. What I have been excited about is yoga on the beach. I went a couple of times in July, with different instructors. One of them I have known longer than the other and she is also the first yoga instructor I ever went to, around four or five years ago. We ended up being the only two in the car and had a nice chat, plus a great class and lunch with the other ladies. On top of that, the rain held off until we were paying our lunch bills. Perfect timing!

The last time I went to yoga on the beach I rode with two instructors. It was another great day for yoga, with the lake in front of us, and the lighthouse to the right. After class, I asked if there was time to walk to the lighthouse on the pier. It turned out that both instructors wanted to join in on the walk. The trek across the beach towards the pier was normal – dodging kids and frisbees and smooshing any sand castles. Once on the pier, though, it was like a bonus class utilizing the architecture that was there. Although I did participate, I watched more than anything. Sometimes, my participation was a suggestion. If I thought I could do the pose, then I did try. It still felt uplifting just to be a part of what started as a request to walk to the pier. By the time we returned to our original “classroom,” the sky had become more overcast. We ended up leaving after we heard thunder a couple of times. Credit to the guy by the concession stand near the bathrooms who turned out to be more accurate than the weather forecast. His friend was creating sidewalk art that he claimed would be washed away within an hour. I hope she took fb_img_1469133408219.jpgsome pictures before that happened!

Yoga on the beach has been a great summer activity (thank you, if any of my instructors are reading this!). What I have really missed is seeing friends who I am used to hanging out with throughout the month, again, probably because it is summer. I was really glad when one of them decided to celebrate his birthday at a baseball game and it ended up being a group of 12. It was fun to celebrate with the birthday friend AND see people who I knew, too. The forecast and the skies threatened rain. Luckily, that didn’t happen last night.

I loved waking up to the sound of the rain today and hoped that it would stay all day. The rain is such a relief from the humidity. That didn’t happen, and I felt stir crazy in my apartment. Since the bus runs on Saturday, I decided to go to the grocery store for a few things. As I was getting ready, one of my friends messaged me. I thought she was at home. It turned out that she was at the same store I was heading to, and she also rides the bus! We found each other in person for a minute, did our shopping, then met again on our way out to ride the bus back together. Funny thing – she doesn’t usually go to that particular store location, and we both ended up there. We chatted for a little bit after we both made it home, then I decided to be productive. Well…here’s proof of my attempt at productivity. Yes, it is a Saturday night. I don’t mind that writing (and listening to music) and possibly reading are how I will end the evening, as far as I know. What’s up with you?

Cheers,

Stacy

 

Serendipity

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The Combination Lock has been spinning wildly lately, or so it seems. When it lands on a path, is it completely by chance? Many discussions have been coming up revolving around this idea, and, specifically, “Serendipity.”

When I hear the word “Serendipity,” I picture a female, similar to the one above.  Who is Serendipity and what is her purpose? According to the dictionary:

      ser·en·dip·i·ty
noun /ˌserənˈdipitē/
serendipities, plural

  1. The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
    • – a fortunate stroke of serendipity
    • – a series of small serendipities

The first time I remember acknowledging Serendipity was earlier this year while reading the book club book “The Start-up of You” by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. The authors, also the creators of Linked-In, discuss how building relationships and putting yourself out there gets you to where you want to be, and not in a forced way.

Songwriters performing on stage.

Theoretically, based on behaviors, this can lead to noticeable milestones. An important one to me is having been a part of the Chili Pepper Songwriting Club for a complete year. The first time I attended was August 2012, and I haven’t missed any yet. I connect as a writer and I enjoy the music. They support me as much as I support them. One way or another, it is an inspiring place to be and I cannot imagine friends from the group not being a part of my life. In fact, I made a friend at that first visit who I haven’t seen in person since. We also connected as fellow writers, and have continued with chatting . Hoover Damn is good at telling it like it is. Are you curious? Then effing check out his writing!

Whisker Kitty

Another milestone is the increase in Twitter usage. In fact, the first link for this post on Twitter will be the 1000th tweet. I didn’t even know I was coming up on that number, and a friend mentioned it to me. Thanks to Kzoo Enrique for paying attention out in Oklahoma! Now anyone who follows me gets to see the constant cat pictures. A cat only does so much, yet there is always another picture to post. If you happen to be my friend on multiple social media platforms, then you’ll probably get an unlimited fill of seeing Whisker Kitty.

Stacy with a lakeshore background

One of the reasons I increased my Twitter usage after two years of being on it was because not only did a friend make it sound interesting (thanks, Little Red Reviewer!) it was a way to help further with increasing blog traffic and other postings. Plus, I actually like to skim through the stories and see what conversations are going on. It’s fun!

Group after Yoga at breakfast

All the people previously mentioned I have met in person, at least once. The goal of increasing posts and utilizing Twitter is to be out in the “Blogosphere” more. Thanks, again, to Little Red Reviewer to guiding me. The main method of gaining more followers is to go looking for what is of interest, sincerely commenting and, if desirable, following the posts. When there are new followers, the blogger receives a notice. When there are comments, conversations are started. One of my favorites has been Comm Before the Storm, which happens to be authored across the border by a Canadian blogger. I’m always excited to see what she has to say on her own blog as well as what she thinks of my posts. It’s one of several I follow and I find sitting and reading these something to look forward to during the week.

A group gathered at the event.

Similar to the unplanned breakfast gathering after Yoga, relationships are being built through in-person and virtual conversations. When there is overlap within the community, faces are familiar from one event to another and through social networking in-between. What better way to look forward to seeing people than as friends at an event or within organizations that are of mutual interest? This particular one showcased the summer cohort at Starting Gate. I was happy to see some of the people who hadn’t been around since the springtime. The other benefit is that the mutual interest many times means mutual support. The question is, will any of the variety of groups mentioned here overlap outside of the main community? I connect them together whenever it seems applicable and I believe Serendipity does, too.

Brtthday gathering

My Yoga instructor pictured in the previous breakfast group states that the car I own is appropriate because I am a very focused person. Maybe that’s how I figure out some of these connections. What does any of this have to do with Serendipity? She is the focus of working on what I enjoy with who I want to be around and the reason there can be milestones to celebrate. The milestone in the picture above? A 40th birthday party celebration and most of us met through the Kalamazoo Jaycees.

How has Serendipity been a part of your life?

Thank you for taking the time to read (and like/comment on) my post! I look forward to reading your stories and continuing the conversations.