New Moon New Rules

Did you know that there’s a new moon? Yes, Wednesday the new moon in Taurus arrived. It’s a mindful moon, one where we can manifest our desires and get clear on our intentions.

You know I’ve been struggling with the whole Gen X rules and feeling that spark to begin again, so this makes perfect sense to me. And while I mentioned I was raised Catholic in an earlier post, and I do believe in God, in the power of prayer, I do not even identify as a non-practicing Catholic anymore. I’m just me – spiritual Janie. But that’s a post for another day.

I sat down last night with a clean slate and darkened sky, full of hope and renewal with pad and pen to allow the thoughts to flow as to what I wanted in my life. And the funny thing was that much of what I wanted is here even though it’s in a different form than the Gen X rules that are still ingrained in me. How’s that for a laugh?

But exploration of this new chapter in my life is calling so I’m not just sitting on my laurels (another Gen X no-no) and doing nothing about it. And I don’t want to really plan it out either because I feel I’ll be missing out on other opportunities and possibilities and limiting what could evolve. So I think I have to find my way, slowly but surely.

  1. Eliminate the voice in my head as to what’s acceptable and what’s not (according to parental GenX rules)
  2. Release the fear that people will talk about me because they already do. Ha!
  3. Embrace the goodness within and strive to help more people.
  4. Be more accepting of my kids’ independent choices and erase the ‘but you should’ from my vocabulary. I know I have passed along the Gen X rules to them and the ex and his family are even more entrenched in that cemented ingrained thought process and it’s put a huge strain on all of us.
  5. Rise above the melee in my mind as to all of it.
  6. Concentrate on my kids and me and allow the freedom to be me out there instead of just here on the blog and with close friends.
  7. Me is just authentically Janie – a work in progress – hoping to support and be supported by kind, caring people. I love sharing in hopes that perhaps my experience will help someone else and I know I’ve been helped by all of you when you share your wisdom with me.
  8. Live my best life in a peaceful, kind manner.

How about you? What would you like to manifest?

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

My Gen X Truths Have Crumbled

I’m in my 50’s (hence the blog name) and I’m a part of Gen X. Are you? Today I want to chat about how what I was taught that was important seems to have gone by the wayside and how I feel about it.

And I’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to comment below!

Growing up for me, it was work hard, be a good person and go to school. There was no question that I had to finish college and get my degree. Once I did that, it was get a job within 2 weeks of graduation and I did. Work hard. Move up the ladder. Make sacrifices that will hopefully pay off down the road. And I did it all without question because it was how it was in our home. What was expected and nothing less was tolerated.

Date. Find a good man who has a future whom you love. Marry. Buy a house. Have children. Stay home to raise them while he works. You (women) are to take care of everybody and everything because he’s working (and even when I worked I was still expected to do it).

Raise good kids who get good grades and are into sports. They have to be productive and community service oriented. Raise them Catholic so they learn religion and discipline. No hanky panky kids. Don’t get into trouble at school. No drugs, no drinking, no bad grades, otherwise it reflects badly on the parents (especially Mom).

And as the kids get older, put some money away for a vacation/retirement home so that you can enjoy yourselves once the kids graduate from college. Make sure they get their degrees because they need them for work. If they don’t get their degrees and good paying jobs, it looks bad on you (the mom) because you were home with them.

Well…it didn’t turn out as planned, did it? Divorced. Kids live with me. One has graduated college, but is delivering pizzas because he can’t find a job. The other one made it through a few college semesters and now is a stock boy at a grocery store and says he might go back to college, but isn’t sure.

However, on a side note, they’re good people. Because once we divorced and I got back on my feet, I parented them differently. I’ve blogged about it before. Not that we’re on equal footing here, because I’m still Queen Mum Janie, but my sons and I work together as a tribunal when something goes awry.

Life didn’t turn out as I planned, nor how it was supposed to be according to my parents and the generational rules which I was raised on. Tomorrow is part 2. I’d love to hear what your rules were…

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Fear

Last night the fear had me in its talons. Locked in a cage, cemented by the endless horrific lists of ‘what if’s’ that stealthily swirled in my brain. So much uncertainty lately with outside forces that make life harder than normal to succeed. And I succumbed.

What do I have to fear? Financial insecurity. Deadbeat Dad who writes mean email responses essentially cutting me off at the knees with his narcissist sword. Worries about where we are going to live since the landlords want to flip and sell where we’re renting. Endless web searches to no availability (or too darn expensive) rentals or even house buying in my low budget price range had me practically hyperventliating even though I have supposedly until December. I’m a planner. Can’t you tell?

Then there’s the national news about the gas pipeline, the financial state of our nation and yesterday I signed off on my taxes only to owe again which I completely don’t understand.

And don’t forget this freaking virus and pandemic. I haven’t had the shot and I don’t want it. But everyone’s insisting. I don’t have time to be laid low for 2 or 3 days possibly. And I’m not sure I really trust the whole thing. I’d like to wait a bit. I had thought of getting the J&J but then that whole thing about the blood clots came up in women my age. I don’t have enough information on any of them to make a good decision and I don’t have the interest, nor attention span to research. So I’m just being careful. And worrying…

I’m tired of shouldering everything on my own. I want someone to just walk with me for awhile. Someone whom I could trust. I’d like to lay my burdens down and nap.

And the grocery store prices are increasing. Have you noticed? Gas prices have gone up too. I am feeling the financial squeeze like a python around my neck. And I hate it. I’m stymied. Feeling stuck, but there’s that piece of me that knows I’m responsible for my kids and me so I have to get it together. Figure it out. Find a solution.

Kick the fear to the curb. But it’s not budging.

Thanks for listening. I can’t be the only one feeling this, can I?

Posted in divorce, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day

This post goes out to all of you who celebrate or are celebrated on Mother’s Day. I hope that you have a peaceful day filled with love, laughter and hugs. I know we’re all on different paths, but I want you to know that I see you. I celebrate you. And I’m sending you a hug because I’m a hugger and sometimes we just need a hug.

Being a Mom isn’t easy. For as many books as we may have read, we’ll never do this very important job perfectly, no matter how hard we’ve tried. We’ll put our hearts and souls into doing our very best, but remember. We’re human. We make mistakes. We get tired and frustrated and sad. But what I’ve seen from all the Moms I know is that we keep getting back up. We may fall down, but we try again. And we’re so critical of ourselves when things don’t go well for us, for the kids, for our lives. And we don’t have to be.

But then again, we get back up. You can’t hold us down for long because in our minds and hearts, we’re responsible for our kids and we want them to have the best we can give to them and in giving them the best of ourselves, we hope to role model tenacity, resilience, love.

So today, may all the Moms unite and be grateful for what and who we have in this very moment. Count your blessings. Reach out to others who may need a little extra love today. Sometimes motherhood needs a village of friendship to make it through the day.

Sending hugs.

Posted in finding happiness at 50, inspiration, love | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

The ex is back to lying again and this time, there’s something smelly going on. It’s not a rarity for him to lie, nor for me to catch him in his lies. That’s something I’ve been doing for years now even though I’m certain he’s gotten a few past me. But I really don’t care about his lies, unless they affect me directly or the kids.

While most of his lies don’t affect me directly, except when he lies about having or not having a job and the salary of it because that’s part of our divorce agreement. Otherwise, I will admit to finding his absurdist lies amusing when he thinks that nobody realizes he’s lying.

I’ve come a long way from the woman who trusted and believed him unconditionally. I thank my lucky stars that I woke up, took off the rose-colored glasses and looked at the reality and not what I’d been conditioned to seeing.

Narcissists lie about everything. Whether it’s a teensy lie that doesn’t affect anything or a big whopper. It doesn’t matter. And they don’t keep track of the lies which is a whole other issue. What they don’t think of is that people compare notes and that there are a few among us who are watching and following along.

He’s been lying to my kids for ages now and the things he’s saying are not good which is why I’m now being more vigilant again because his story doesn’t add up. It has to do with his finances which affects us because of the divorce. I’m bracing myself for something that I probably won’t like financially.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. You’ll get more information that way because they love to brag about themselves. Just take everything and divide it a few times until you find the kernel of half-truth. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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Cranky Gen X Observations

Scrolling through Facebook this morning, it seemed like every Mom had something to say about their kid. While I don’t share photographs of my kids on social media, it made me think about how different we are from our parents and even our kids.

Examples:

“My Evan won the track meet!” – followed by 4 photos of him and one 5 minute video of Evan running.

“Darla painted this picture! Isn’t she the best artist ever?” – followed by a badly focused photo of said painting held by the 5 year old granddaughter.

“George signed with University of Z!” – followed by a photo of George looking uncomfortable with a handwritten poster that read “Congratulations” in different colored markers.

And all I could think of was that my Mom, nor any of her friends, would have posted any of our accomplishments on social media for they always thought it was in bad taste to brag…and air dirty laundry so Mom certainly wouldn’t have approved of my blog. LOL

Perhaps I’ve woken up a bit cranky this morning. I didn’t sleep very well last night so maybe it shows. But what the heck? Here it goes…

Why does anyone want to watch 5 minutes of Evan running? Really? I don’t even know your kid because we’ve met through mutual friends. Sure I’ll throw a LIKE on the main post, but why do you think it’s necessary to add the video? I’d love to know who actually watched it and didn’t just LIKE it to be nice.

Darla looks tired, like she’s spent a day at Grandma’s and needs a nap. I don’t think she’s really going to be an artist, but who knows? Because we’re friends, I’ll probably LIKE and write something nice because little kids need encouragement. And maybe you need validation.

“Congrats to George” is what I’ll probably write since just a LIKE doesn’t seem like it would suffice. In the back of my mind I wonder how long she had to plead for George to take the photo and hold the sign that his sister probably begrudgingly wrote (or my friend did). The side of George I know isn’t one to acquiesce for photos, let alone be memorialized on his Mom’s FB wall in an embarrassing way.

Oh, I am grumpy, huh? I’m sorry. But seriously? I can barely stand social media anymore because it seems it’s ramped up to a ridiculous level. Do you feel this way too?

“Look at me! – Look at my perfect meal! My perfect family! My toes in the sand because I’m on vacation! It’s my grandkid’s birthday! 35 years ago today it was my Gramp’s last birthday!”

Seriously?

Or the “Buy my new cream! Donate to XYZ fundraiser for my birthday! You’re invited to like my page!”

I don’t know why it irks me so today, but it does. If you’ve made it this far in reading my cynical post, please give me a giggle and share in the comments a FB post that irked you so that I don’t feel so badly. Come on…you know one….or two….or…

Posted in #womenofacertainage, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Mother’s Day Update

Thank you to all who reached out and supported me. Your understanding and kindness were so appreciated! I loved the cheeky ideas for the ‘old bat’ and the much needed giggles helped! You all are amazing and I feel so blessed! Thanks for being you!!

So the kids came home and I didn’t say anything. It’s hard when they return because I never know what shenanigans have gone on at their dad’s side of the family’s house. But when there’s a hitch somewhere, it usually comes from there.

I am assuming my kids talked about it on the way over to their Grandma’s house because the next day, I was told that their dad and Grandma were asking if they were coming to family dinner on Mother’s Day and telling them that they had to tell their Uncle because he was making reservations. The kids didn’t say anything until the Uncle arrived and he asked them. But how kind that he told them that there was no pressure to go considering it was Mother’s Day and they’d probably want to be with their Mom and that it was completely understandable.

The kids took that opportunity to kindly say no and as it was told to me, “We said thanks for inviting us. We’d love to see you, but we’re staying with our Mom that day.” To which their Uncle told them that it was fine and he would see them again soon.

I tried not to leap into their arms to hug them when they told me. But probably the look on my face said it all. I didn’t cry, but I tried to play it off as being cool with whatever they had chosen. But you all know that I wasn’t cool at all and in fact was hurt and upset. But since they chose to stay with me, I was grateful. And they knew it.

I’ve since made early dinner reservations at our favorite restaurant for Mother’s Day. They were both happy to go and my heart is happy too.

I think it’s that they’ve not had the role model of how to honor your Mom. The ex didn’t honor his (I did) as I was always the one who was in charge of everything family – presents, cards, etc. When we were married, he’d get a card and have them sign it for me if he remembered. When the kids were younger, there was always something that came home from school that was special, so that made it easy. But that was it because we spent Mother’s Day with his family every year because the matriarch required our presence.

So now that they’re on their own with me and he doesn’t see fit to acknowledge me, this was where we were. But it worked out in the end and for that I’m grateful. 🙂

P.S. I made the early dinner reservations at the same time they were to be at their Grandma’s house so that there would be no mistaking whose time it is. Yes, it works for our schedule and maybe is a bit petty…wink wink.

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Mother’s Day

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. While I hadn’t thought of what I wanted to do, apparently the ex has invited our kids on Mother’s Day to dinner to celebrate his mother (their Grandma) and his family.

Seriously??

The worst part is that his entire family will be there so all of my kids’ cousins whom they haven’t seen in months will be there too. And my kids want to go…

Can you hear my little sob from there?

Alone on Mother’s Day…because they’d prefer to be with their cousins and the ex’s family because it’s more fun…and because they live with me.

And I get it. I do. But it still tugs at my heart. Because I know that witch of an ex-MIL is thrilled that again she has my kids on a holiday. There’s zero compassion from them towards me. She delights in my kids choosing their cousins (the ex’s family) over me. She tells people this, so that’s how I know. And it stinks.

I can’t make my kids stay here with their Mom whom they live with 24/7 citing “it’s Mother’s Day and you can’t leave me alone by myself and go off with them.” Because it looks bad on me. Even though they shouldn’t be put in that position. But they are. Every single holiday.

Part of me is thinking, ok, let’s have lunch and celebrate Mother’s Day together and then they can go off to see their cousins with their dad’s family. That way, I have a little me time, maybe pamper myself, take a bubble bath without interruption….and not have to cook dinner! But the thorn will be that the ex’s mom will make sure she highlights that my kids are not with their mom (me), but instead with her. She announces it every holiday.

Can you see how as the ex-wife of a narcissist, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree because the ex-MIL is a huge narcissist! Bigger than he is…

Can I say how much I truly, truly dislike her?

Then again, it would warm my heart if my kids didn’t fall for the ‘come see your cousins’ carrot dangled in front of them only on holidays. Because they all live close by, but only get together when it leaves me alone on a holiday.

Any advice is appreciated. I’m just feeling sorry for myself.

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Ricochet Rabbit

I just saw that I haven’t written in 6 days! Yikes! I don’t know where the time has gone. I feel like I have ADHD, even though I don’t, because I have a lot going on here at Chez Leeds. Nothing traumatic mind you, just a lot of stuff and I feel like Ricochet Rabbit – ping ping ping!

Do you understand the reference? Does it make sense to you? 🙂 Now you’re showing your age (as am I)! LOL

Lately a lot of my friends and I feel like we’re being triggered with old wounds. Lots of stuff is coming up to be released with many emotional ties. Body image stuff from childhood and feeling older than when we last dated (which for many of us is decades ago) is surfacing. Being hard on ourselves when we look in the mirror I guess is normal, but it’s tough to deal with when you’re contemplating dating again.

One friend is online dating now. I often wonder if guys when they’re online dating after being divorced feel like inside they’re in their 20’s too. Because we seem to feel that way. And while none of us are so shallow as to only look at the photos, we are all so old! LOL Big laugh please. Because we are old…

And many of us are searching for something different this time. We’ve been wounded and have healed. We know what we don’t want, but what do we want is still undetermined.

I don’t think we need to have a list (although some friends have made very specific lists). I just don’t feel that way. I don’t want a checklist to have to manage when the time is right. I’d like to let it unfold and see how things go.

Sure, my friends are talking about ‘manifesting a man’ because if you’ve been on TikTok at all, you’ll see all those people talking about Grabavoi codes to manifest what you want. But that’s not me necessarily. I feel like when the time is right for both the man and me, we’ll know. It’s just maybe that I haven’t met him yet or that we’re not healed enough at this time.

But I find it interesting how people go about dating again after divorce. Everyone’s got their own set of rules, standards, and thoughts about how it should go. How a person speaks about what they want often is a clue into their past. What they say about the ex is important. Their manner in approaching someone too makes a difference. Do they come on strong and pursue or do they allow things to go at their own pace?

I know that Covid changed online dating a bit (according to my friend). While I’m not ready to ‘get back out there’ and put myself online, there is a piece of the Spring season that’s making me thing a bit more. But I know it’s not time for me yet. I have too much going on.

How are you doing?

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments