Hibernation Officially Over!

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It’s been a long time, friends.

Although it’s not officially spring, it feels like winter is finally over.

I’ve spent the long, dark months with my nose to grindstone trying to keep up with the nineteen wonderful five year-olds in my class.  I’ve crawled home every evening, exhausted.  No energy to do anything more strenuous than watch a little Netflix, drink a little wine and snuggle the little dog.

I finally feel (somewhat) on top of things.  (Sunshine recharges my batteries, and I’ve been basking in the soothing rays for the past few weeks.)

Stay tuned for more adventures!

Giving Thanks

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This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for so much.

First in my heart will always be my darling boy, who has grown into a kind and thoughtful man who (thankfully) doesn’t seem to share my penchant for anxiety.  The dog is a close second–shh, don’t tell her that!

I have a job I’m learning to love.  (Teaching kindergarten is my superpower!) My little students are exhausting but exhilarating.  In just a few weeks of school, they’re already learned so much.  Everyday we’re together, they make me a better teacher.  If you’re not inspired by a room full of five year-olds, you’re beyond help.

I have a cozy little house with enough closet space and room for friends.

My fridge is always full, and between Netflix, my overflowing bookcase and a couple of Soduko books, I’m never bored.

Best of all, I’m looking forward to the future.  (I’m already planning where to put the Christmas tree!)

It’s been a tough road, but I came through the darkness, and I’ve reached the light.  (And the divorce is finally final!!!)

And Penny…she’s just thankful for the electric fire.

 

All I Want for Christmas is…

075Dear Santa,

As you’re no doubt aware, I haven’t been on the naughty list for ages.  I don’t ask for much, but there are a few things on my list this year.  I understand you’re somewhat busy making toys for deserving children, but hopefully with all your elfish resources, you’ll be able to grant my Christmas wishes.

  1. “Permanent” hair colour that’s actually permanent.  I know you and Mrs. Claus have embraced the grey, but not all of us are there yet.  Surely your beauty elves can develop a hair colour that lasts.  (While we’re on the subject of hair, how about a product that actually tames frizz???  Having seen you at various shopping malls through the years, I know this is an issue you struggle with, too.)
  2. Downton Abbey.  C’mon–bring it back for another year or five!  TV just isn’t the same without Carson and the gang.
  3. A divorce.  Please, please, PLEASE bring this never ending sh!t show to an end.  I can’t do another year of this!
  4. Wine in a can that tastes good.  I’m enchanted by the concept of wine in a can, but surprisingly, it always disappoints in the taste department.

Sincerely,

Nanette

Why Not?

009I’m not going to lie.  I’ve been a bit down lately.

It’s hard to meet people in this new town.  The cottage has lost its appeal.  The new job is both busier and newer than I expected.  (Don’t get me started on the technology challenges!)

And the divorce…

It’s like a threatening shadow looming over me, hiding the sun.  It’s making me wilt, and I worry that I’ll never bloom again.

What’s a sad and lonely bookworm to do when things get to be too much?  Scour the self-help shelf of the nearest book shop, of course.

I ordered a Brene Brown book.

The lady at Talewind Books recommended Why Not? by Cathy Code while I wait for it to arrive.

Why Not? is an easy read.  I finished it in one afternoon.

Cathy Code, who went through her own divorce (along with a catastrophic fire, traumatic childhood experiences, sudden death of a beloved partner…) is relentlessly optimistic.  She shares her personal experiences and includes “think positive/it could be worse” exercises at the end of every chapter.

I like the message.  I just don’t know if it’s really me.

I’m not as optimistic as Cathy Code, so a gentler approach would probably resonate more with me.  (Think:  “Your life might not be a total disaster” rather than “Everything’s going to be wonderful and you will survive and thrive!!!”)

When I reached the part about Code’s fabulous post-divorce social life and the two amazing men with whom she had deep and satisfying relationships, I felt like a loser–not the outcome I was hoping for when I went the self-help route.

Sigh–back to the drawing board.

Cleanliness is Next to…Impossible?

006I’ve started wearing clothing like jeans, sweaters and leggings more than once before washing.

I might brag I’m doing it to prolong the life of my clothes, which really don’t get that dirty after one wearing.

I could say I’m doing it because I care about Mother Earth and the environmental impact caused by too-frequent laundering.

Or…I could be honest and admit I hate going to the Laundromat so much that my standards are slipping.

The last time I went, an elderly lady paused next to me as she wheeled a cartload of laundry by.

“I’m on a well,” she whispered.

“Sorry?”

“I’m only here because it was such a dry summer.  The well’s so low I have to conserve water.”

I nodded as she waited for me to explain why I was using a public washing machine.

“I’m here because I married a man who wracked up debt with a secret internet shopping habit, and my life is topsy turvy while I struggle to extricate myself from his financial mess.”

Nah–TMI.

“It was a dry summer,” I agreed.

 

Don’t Be a Wimp!

Nobody respects a cream puff unless it turns up on an afternoon tea trolley.

The same goes for push overs, wimps and wuses.  They get steamrolled by more aggressive personalities.

Sadly, if you’re not willing to stand up for yourself, you’ll be screwed over.  If you’re going through a divorce, the person doing the screwing will be the one who once vowed to love, honor and cherish you.

So, to all the ladies who are supposed to receive child support:  if the ex doesn’t pay or doesn’t pay the full amount, please, please,  PLEASE don’t just let it go.

I did.  I figured since my Boy and I were getting by, I didn’t need to raise a stink to collect the full amount from the Sailor.

Big mistake!

Why is it such a big deal to let child support slide if you’re not using the Food Bank to feed the kids and you have a roof over your heads?

  1. You’re actually short changing your children when you let unpaid child support go.  That money was awarded for your kiddos’ comfort and security.  You’d never steal money from them, so why would you let some deadbeat effectively do it by withholding child support?
  2. It costs money to raise happy, healthy children–lots of money.  The Cash Fairy isn’t going to step in and help just because your ex isn’t meeting his/her parenting obligations.  You’ll see your own savings for things like retirement or the kids’ post secondary education dwindle as you cough up more and more to meet the child support short fall.
  3. Don’t assume everything will even out in the divorce because karma will be on your side.  Hello!–an ex who will screw over his kids isn’t going to be bothered about treating you fairly and respectfully.  It’s much easier to fix the financial messes as they happen, rather than hoping to collect years of unpaid child support retroactively.

 

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On the Road Again–Sigh

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As an introverted 50-something, I feel like I should be settling in and hunkering down for the next stage of life–retirement–woo hoo!

Instead the big dirty D has thrown my life into a tizzy, and I’m starting over in a new community.

How did this happen, you ask.

The Coles Notes version is that I left my Sailor once before. After a wobbly start, my Boy and I made a new life for ourselves.

Then the Sailor started hanging out at my house…every weekend. He pretended to be responsible and mature. And slowly, he wormed his way back into my life. (Don’t judge me–single mothering is hard!)

In a truly spectacular display of poor judgment, I sold my house and put all my cash into a “retirement” home for the Sailor and me.

My Boy and I moved in with the Sailor… and his web tightened around us.

It was all good in a zany “I Love Lucy” way until I started catching the Sailor in lies that made the bile rise to the back of my throat like the start of an ugly migraine.

We’d been down this road before. I was sure he was a changed man.

Wrong! Repeat after me, my pretties, people don’t change!
What was that–People DON’T change!

A few months into our new, improved life and marriage, I learned about his BS (Big Secret).

Realizing I’d rather live in a tent under a bridge than stay with him…I became a long-term tenant in a vacation cottage in my new town.

Remember I said I sunk all my money into our future retirement home? Fun fact–I can’t access any of it until this never-ending divorce is done and dusted. I’m stuck in this weird housing limbo, worrying about how I’m supposed to change my driver’s license and car insurance when I no longer have a fixed address.

The rest of my little family?

My darling boy’s at university. He makes me proud to be his mama everyday.

The Sailor alternates between trying to squeeze every penny out of me (that’s right–he’s demanding a huge payout from the home I bought) and asking me to come back to him…’cause everyone knows trying to screw over a woman is the key to winning her heart.

He has never apologized for his BS or made any effort to resolve it.

I Do…Until I Don’t

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No one gets married planning to divorce.

It’s a pity, really.  If we went into it with our eyes open, aware that we’d likely be untying the knot in a decade or two, it might not be such a jarring shock.

As I navigate this process (and believe me, it is a process!), I’ve learned a few things:

  1. Getting married is way easier than getting divorced.  It’s more fun, too, and the clothing options are better.  No one loves a fancy dress more than me, but I’ve yet to find an occasion to wear a divorce gown.
  2. Divorce lawyers cost as much as a buffet dinner for your nearest and dearest at the local Lions Club.  You’ll spend all your money on this special “life event,” but there is no wine and no one brings you presents.
  3. Dogs are not just man’s best friend.  They are woman’s, too.  (Forget everything Marilyn Monroe ever told you about diamonds!)  Unlike your lying bastard soon-to-be ex-husband, your dog will never let you down.  Treat her well.