Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Single Girl Snippet: How You Know You Have Good Friends

Excerpt from telephone conversation between close friend (C) and me (M):
C: Hey, you got a second?
M: Yeah, for sure.
C: So, your new guy...
M: Yeah?
C: Ok, so he seems really nice and all. But..
M: Mmmhmmm?
C: I Googled him.
M: Oh.
C: Look, obviously what you do is up to you. I just wanted to make sure you were aware.
M: Thanks.

And this is how you know you have good friends.

It would be a easier to not call up your friend in another city after Google-stalking the guy she is casually seeing. However, that's not what my friend did. And for that, I am very grateful. It means she cares. It also means that there are people looking out for me to help prevent a second round of "I married a knucklehead."

Naturally, I had to do my own Google stalking. Then, I had to have a serious heart-to-heart with Sam. All I will say on the issue is that sometimes Google doesn't give you the whole story. That said, Sam is aware that I see the issue in question as a bit of a red flag. So, we've agreed to spend a bit of time getting to know each other, and plan to revisit the issue should things move in the direction of an actual relationship. Conversely, he doesn't need to know all the gory details of my marriage and divorce (which, thank God, are not available via Google) at this time either. Everyone has their baggage.

Monday, 29 October 2012

How to Inadvertently Start Dating Again

First, I apologize for the lack of blog posts this month. I had intended on spending the month simplifying my life, but I actually made it more complex. In the midst of the complexity and chaos, something had to give. Unfortunately, it was the blog. However, that said, I realized I miss blogging. The exercise forces me to reflect on my personal growth journey and move forward, rather than stagnate or spin my wheels in anxious circles. So, I'll try to update things more frequently in the future.

So, the question on everyone's mind, it seems (based on all the emails and texts I have been receiving), is where have I been this month. The answer is twofold. First, I have been clocking in an ungodly number of hours at my job. Second - and, to be frank, the real reason blogging got the boot for a few weeks - I met a boy.

This is the story of how I inadvertently started dating again.

You all remember Sam, I'm sure (the Sam stories are apparently some of the most popular posts on this blog). In case you don't, the story in a nutshell is that my coworker's roommate hit on me at a party over the summer. More recently, my coworker reintroduced us on the pretext that we both wanted to learn to dance and should therefore take lessons together. I told Sam I didn't want to date anybody, was getting divorced, blah, blah, blah... He said that was fine and suggested we be friends.

THEN, I had a super crappy day at work. Like the kind of bad day that at the end of my career I will look back on and be all like "Whoa, now THAT was a bad day!" I got home from work much later than expected. It just happened that this was the evening Sam was supposed to drop by for tea to discuss dance lessons. Sam offered to postpone when he realized I was running so late. I said I was really busy that week, so better just to leave our plans as they were (Confession: in my head, I was thinking "I don't want to give up another weeknight over this"). I walk in the door, change into yoga pants, a camouflage workout shirt, and a hoodie. In my head, this was not a date. I was tired and grumpy. I was in my own apartment. I like yoga pants and hoodies.

Sam came later than I had said was the minimum time I needed to wolf down some dinner before he arrived ("I wanted to make sure you were comfortable," he later said). Now, unlike yours truly, Sam arrived freshly showered, nicely dressed, smelling really nice, and had a bottle of wine in hand. Dance lessons never came up in the ensuing conversation, and the evening didn't entirely end on a platonic note. Ok, I just realized that sounds way more suggestive than what actually happened. He kissed me. That's it. And you know what, it had been a long time since someone had kissed me. It was nice. We agreed to see each again.

The next couple of weeks established a pattern of evening visits involving tea at my apartment with me in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and him nicely dressed and freshly showered. He eventually told me that he was willing to tolerate the yoga pants, but that the camouflage workout shirt had to be reserved for workouts only. I guess this is fair.

And so, it's been about a month now. I don't think this is my Mr. Right, but he really has been a gift in my life as a Mr. Right Now. I'll write more about lessons from Sam in weeks to come.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Single Girl Snippet: Pinch Hitting for the Husband

As some of you may remember, when I moved into my current apartment this summer, I went on a fierce independent furniture-assembling spree. There were shelves, coffee tables, a bed, and a rather large sofa.

Excerpt from a conversation between a male neighbour (N) and me (M) the other day:
N: Is your couch from Ikea, too?
M: Yup. I quite like it, actually. A little tough to put together because the pieces were so big and heavy though.
N: You put it together by yourself?!
M: Obviously. What else was I supposed to do? There was nowhere to sit in my apartment.
N: Why didn't you call me?
M: We had only met once at that point, and it seemed kind of weird to then invite you over to assemble my furniture.
N: You should have called.

One of the many challenges in navigating the transition from 'wife' to 'single girl' are these moments in time when life would just be so much easier if someone with a muscle mass bigger than my own were around. Being fairly stubborn, I generally figure out a way to get around the problem. But, the conversation with my neighbour the other day made reflect on how a) I am prone to making life more complicated than it really needs to be, and b) I am actually surrounded by people who would be happy to pinch hit for the various roles in my life my husband played. The reality is just that in my new life, my best friend, confidant, muscles, shoulder to cry on, advice giver, etc are no longer all the same person. Though it's a bit of a mental gear shift, I'm very grateful to be as well supported as I am.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

More Meditation

October is the month of simplifying and living in the moment. Seems like a good time to learn to meditate. Becoming a bona fide meditator remains an elusive quest. Some of you may remember my first uncomfortable foray into the world of meditation classes. My do-it-yourself approach to meditation at home was also an epic fail - I've been on the same page of Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living for over a month. Recently, I went back to the meditation classes down the street. Last class, all I needed to do was stare at a candle and then share my reflection (initially, we were told the sharing was optional, but then the entire group shared and looked expectantly at me. I'm not sure that my whole "I'm new to this and had a hard time quieting my mind" was what they were hoping for. I thought that sounded better than "I'm going to have stir-fry for dinner" which is what I was really thinking about.) Anyhow, the candle staring was bearable. In fact, I was encouraged that maybe I could learn to even like the exercise. Tonight's class, however, was another dose of radical meditation:

Excerpt from the teacher's instructions (T) and my inner dialogue (I):
T: Ok, everyone come and form a circle with your legs out in front of you.
I: Everyone else here seems to be BFF's. I don't know about this snuggle up in close stuff.
T: Alright, really, come in close. We are trying to form a circle.
I: That was definitely directed at me. Who knew that lightbulb shape wasn't close enough to circle for a pass. Better scoot in a bit.
T: Now look around. Be comfortable seeing your peers. Be comfortable being seen.
I: This is a little too up close and personal. I wonder if anyone would notice if I just stare at the candle instead of making eye contact with all these strangers.
T: Now, close your eyes...
I: Oh, thank God! Finally some relief from all that soul gazing.
T:...And grab the hands of the people sitting next to you while keeping your eyes closed.
I: Ooookay, so we are all snuggled in tight here reaching for each others hands. This could go verrrry wrong.
T: Now REALLY feel the other person's hands...

After the pseudo-hand massages, we all breathed out loudly while chanting a loud Ahhhh. I'm kind of glad I go to these things alone because I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face otherwise.

Anyhow, in spite of the craziness and the uncomfortable feelings, I felt unusually calm and relaxed walking home from meditation class. Maybe this is just the medicine I need.

Anyone out there have experience with meditation? What helped you learn to quiet your mind?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Looks Like It's 10/12/12

If you were waiting with bated breath after October 12th's post, here is the answer as to whether October 12th would manifest my Mr. Right: nope. In spite of the heels, makeup, and a cute dress, the Universe did not provide.

So, ladies and gentlemen, apparently December 10th, 2012 is going to be the magic day. I'll have to put it in my planner. ;-)

Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

Photo Source

Friday, 12 October 2012

12/10/12 vs 10/12/12

A few weeks after separating from my soon-to-be ex-husband, I read The Soulmate Secret. Some of you may recall the collage I created as a result of this book.

Another exercise recommended was to close my eyes and visualize the date I was going to meet Mr. Right. This is what I saw (yes, in big, bold red numbers just like these):






The first two numbers kept switching places. Now, this was back in January. Both October 12th AND December 10th seemed like a lifetime away. However, here we are: October 12th, 2012 is upon us.

Probably a good day to wear heels and makeup. ;-)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Living Life

Clearly, there has been a bit of a decline in post frequency this month compared to previous. The main reason for this is that I have been very busy living the life I am creating for myself. I love my career, and lately I have been working 50-60 hrs/week. I have been going to a yoga class 4-5 times/week, and it's amazing the difference I am already seeing in my flexibility and strength in just a few weeks. I am also socializing more now than really at any other point in my life. It's not uncommon for me to see a different group of friends each of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the weekends I am not working. And finally, I have dipped my toes into the waters of the world of dating (which warrants a post of its own).

And so, with all this activity, my computer time has taken a nosedive. I am debating the direction I want this blog to take. In the early stages of separation, it kept me accountable -- I mean, if I said I was going to do something, then I needed to haul my sorry self out into the world and do it. Now, though I'm wondering if it's time to dial back a bit on the post frequency. We'll see in the next few weeks how things go.

On a side note, thank you to all you faithful readers who started emailing when the daily posts disappeared saying you wanted the blog back up and running. I'm flattered.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Single Girl Snippet: Was He Flirting With Me? Part 3

"Was He Flirting With Me?" and "UPDATE: Was He Flirting With Me?" are two of the most popular posts on this blog. So, it would appear that you, my dear readers, find my dating life (or, rather, lack thereof, at the moment) quite interesting.

And so, I bring to you what I expect to be the final installment in the "Was He Flirting With Me?" series.

Anyhow, as previously established, yes, he most certainly was flirting with me back a few months ago when we first met. (And by 'he,' I mean my coworker's roommate. Let's call him Sam.)

In the update, I posed the question as to whether it was unethical to consider signing up for Latin dance classes with Sam given that I am not interested in pursuing a relationship with him. The reviews were mixed. In the end, I ended up saying to my coworker that he could give Sam my contact info, but that I would likely only be able to fit in dance classes on Sundays. I thought this was restrictive enough that the project would likely fall through. But, truth be told, I actually do want to take dance lessons. And, to be even more frank, after being separated for nearly a year, the idea of having a dance partner is nice. I think we all need human touch. I don't mean necessarily romantic. When you move to a new city by yourself post separation... let's just say that the amount of touch in your life takes a nosedive. So, gliding across the dance floor in the arms of some guy sounds pretty good.

My "Sure, you can give him my info" email resulted in receiving a reply from Sam along the lines of: "Dance is all about commitment and communication, so let's grab coffee and take it from there." I had sort of convinced myself that this wasn't a real set up, that really everything was totally platonic. You know, like my coworker just happened to know of two people who wanted to learn to dance, and they just happened to be of opposite genders. But, even I had to admit that this committed coffee business smelled awfully date-like. So, Sam got my best "I'm going through a divorce, not ready to date, and sorry if I gave you the wrong impression" line. I thought for sure that would scare him off, and that would be the end of that (phew!). It wasn't. So, then I offered to turn 'coffee' into 'tea and cookies' thinking that would for sure make me sound lame (and who wants to date the lame girl who is into tea and cookies?).

Sam was not deterred. Today, when I woke up, this was the email in my inbox:
From my perspective, I met a very smart, cute, and interesting girl at my roommate's housewarming party. And, I just learned that she is looking for a dance partner. I'd like to tag along for ride. That's it. What will come of this? Who knows. I understand that you are in the midst of a divorce, that you're not looking for either a rebound relationship or anything more serious. Friendship perhaps? So, rather than focus on expectations, let's just have fun and leave it at that. I would love to meet you for tea and cookies. Let me know what your schedule is like, and I will work around it.

How could I say no to that? So, I texted him. One text turned into a drawn-out dialogue over the next hour or so. Turns out that Sam does yoga and is into nutrition. He loves to cook. He even thinks my whole gluten-free issue is not a big deal (he previously dated another celiac). I still don't think anything is really going to come of all this on the romantic relationship front, but it's really nice to be treated so respectfully. This guy doesn't really seem to have any ulterior agenda other than maybe hoping that at some point I change my mind about dating him. Refreshing.

Tea and cookies tonight.