2015 wrap up

I know everyone has been inundated with posts about some blogger’s year in review. This one will be no different. But this post is more for me than anything or anyone else. I felt the need to go back and see how far I’d come from 2014 to help me set new goals for 2016. 

I’d worked on a vision board in 2014 and 2015. 

2015 Vision Board

 
So here’s what I’m proud of in 2015:

  • I survived separation from my husband of 9 years. (I’d like to be divorced by February 2016.)
  • Not only did I survive but I’m better than before.
  • I reached my goal weight of 137 lbs, beat it by 4 lbs at the peak of my fitness routine and then roughly stayed at it the majority of the year (until the holidays hit!) I’d lost almost 30 lbs since I started in August 2014. (My goal is to lose again those darn stubborn 5 lbs!)
  • I blogged on a regular basis and have gained a number of great friends, garnered outstanding support from said friends and allowed myself to use it as a therapeutic and positive outlet.
  • I saw my therapist, DD, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Don’t know what I would’ve done without her. Her advice has been golden.
  • I online dated. I spoke to a number of guys, enjoyed the flattering not attention and went on dates with two different men. Both were wonderful but one particularly stood out. My Captain.
  • I found amazing love with Captain. Go figure. Sounds so incredibly sappy. If you’d asked me if it was possible after being with the same man since I was 21 yrs old (I’m now 35), I would’ve laughed at you. But Captain was too incredible to ignore and was everything I could ask for. I didn’t think it was possible to find someone so good hearted and fall so deeply for that person. 
  • I ran a half marathon and just completed another one January 2016. 

    Miami half marathon

     
  • I did my 10 mile race in Paris!
  • I did two mud races! The Rugged Maniac and just recently did a  Spartan (sprint) race!
  • I traveled a good bit. This has always been my passion. I just kind of let it flounder once I had kids. I went to Disney three times, Austin, TX, Key West, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and the Romantic Road in Germany, Steamboat Springs, CO
  • I went snorkeling and fishing!
  • We sold our house in Virginia and did well. I put that money towards paying off all my debt. I’m broke now but am debt free.
  • I began budgeting myself and am in control of my own money. (Grayheart handled all finances when I became a stay at home mom.)
  • I did laser hair removal for my legs, bikini and underarms. I figured that was my treat to myself rather than going the typical get-your-boobs-done route. 
  • I re-arranged furniture and changed decor in my house. Out with Grayheart and in with things that represent me. 
  • I started substitute teaching and really enjoy it. I might consider teaching as a new profession. (I’ve been offered a few jobs since I’ve been here but I’m waiting til next fall to start anything serious.)

My 2015 focus was about finding myself because I really felt lost when my husband left me. I made it a goal to figure out what made me happy – besides motherhood – and make more time for myself.  

 I don’t know who exactly I am yet but I know that I’ve determined I’m stronger than I ever thought. There are sad moments but I think I am overall a happier person. I don’t feel as if I’m being weighed down by another person. 

As a result of this me time and healthier living and a more interesting life, I think I’ve become a better mother. I have more energy and appreciation for my time with my kids. I cherish every second with them since I’m not with them 24/7.

   

My journey will continue since I feel like the investment is paying off. I hope to have an even better 2016 and am excited about completing my next vision board!

Thank you all again for helping me through this year. There aren’t enough words to describe how instrumental the WordPress community has been to my healing.

In peace and love,

Athena 

XO

  

    I have a boyfriend 

    I’m late on this…

    Captain spent New Year’s Eve and day with me and the kids. 

    We had dinner together, lit sparklers and watched a movie together. The kids had a great time and it was a nice, easy evening. It was one of the first times Captain had spent a lot of time with my children. (We usually keep it at a couple or few hours at a time to not overwhelm anyone.)

       
     

    The kids really like him. He’s sweet and playful with them and he’s their shiny, new toy. Spending a couple of days for long periods of time really went over well with them.

    A couple of days later, my daughter (6 yr old) – out of nowhere – walked into the bathroom and expressed concern about me being divorced from her dad. She lamented that she was worried for me, that I’d be alone, etc. 

     
    So I tried to reason with her and explain that even if I was single, I’d never be “alone” because I always had them and my other family and friends.  That didn’t work. She couldn’t put into words that she meant in a romantic way. 

    So then I tried a different tactic. That one day I’d have a boyfriend and maybe even in the very distant future I’d get married.

    I literally saw a lightbulb go off in her head! 

      
    “What about Mr. Captain?!” she asked with a sneaky smile.

    I was semi prepared for this. 

    So I explained that Captain recently asked me to be his girlfriend but that I wanted their input before I responded to him.

    We gathered my 3 year old son – this is all in the bathroom, by the way – and I rehashed what I discussed with her.

      
    They were delighted to give their opinion. They excitedly supported the idea and wanted to call him right away to say “yes!”

    So once we were done and ready, we piled into the car and called Captain on Bluetooth. (I’d already text him to prepare him for the call.)

    The kids practically yelled it out before I did but we were all happy to share with him that I accepted. I would now be his girlfriend

    Smiles all around… 😊

    *********************************

    It’s nice now to be able to hold hands and show affection in front of the kids. Maybe this time ’round they’ll actually see what a healthy and loving relationship looks like. ❤️

    Captain met the kids

    After 8 months of dating, we made it happen. Captain met my kids on Halloween!

    And it went GREAT!

    He brought them each a little gift to butter them up. They played superhero imagination games together. Then we had a nice home cooked meal at my house together. (My kids behaved like angels! I was shocked!)

    He was such a great sport. My son was Batman, my daughter and I Batgirl and he dressed up as the Joker!

    Kids painting Joker face on Captain

    We then went trick or treating together! The kids were so excited to hang out with him, they took turns asking to hold his hand. (They’re 3 & 6.)

     
    The kids gave him huge hugs before he left and asked him to come back the next day. They commented to me afterward how much they enjoyed hanging out with him and how awesome he was. 

    Captain soon after called me to tell me he had a wonderful time and felt like he loved me even more after meeting them. 

    It couldn’t have gone any better. I am so grateful. (And relieved!) 🙂

    XO – Athena

    My best friend’s wedding 

    I finished spending the weekend in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for my best friend’s wedding. And I had a fabulous time! What a change of pace from my recent travel to Europe

    We stayed at an all-inclusive resort on the beach. Wedding took place there, too, so all the action was in one spot.

    We ate like kings, drank like fish, swam like mermaids and partied like rock stars.  Here are a few pictures around the property.   

      
       
     
    Then the wedding! The wedding! It was phenomenal! Let me just break it down for you guys. Lily, the bride, is Colombian, while Frank, the groom, is Dominican. If you know anything about these cultures, you know they know how to party! The two families get along great as do all of their friends. 

    The ceremony was lovely. And I was so happy for their union. As far as how I felt – from a soon to be divorced person – I felt great. I love these two together and felt nothing but pride and happiness for them. I carefully listened to the vows, though, and soaked them in. If I ever take those vows again, they will be words I carefully live and love by. I will never again have anyone tell me I neglected them after I had children. (Yes, I’m still sensitive about that!) 

        

    The wedding had everyone dancing like crazy! Old, young… it didn’t matter! You were going to shake your tail feathers til it hurt. The Colombians felt it their duty to pass out shots of Aguardiente throughout the night. (This stuff gives you hair on your chest. No joke.) And the Domincians were such a hospitable bunch.

      
      
     
    We then went to the disco and casino and didn’t get back to our rooms til 4:30 am. That’s a late night for Mama Athena! (I won $40 playing roulette, yeah!)

    I woke up the next morning with sore feet, neck hurting, legs tight, back all screwed up… you name it! Totally an indication of how serious my salsa, reggaeton and hip hop dancing was! (Translation: I’m rusty these days. Dammit.)

    Wow. What a restorative weekend. Great quality time with a bunch of my best friends. Sun, beach, pool, eating, dancing, sleeping… doesn’t get better than that! 

       

    Oh, and for the record… If anyone ever needs an ego boost, go to Dominican Republic! These guys are lovers by nature and will make you – as well as every other woman there – feel like you are a princess! 

     

    Déjà vu – Sadness returns. Ugh. 

    I have been in a funk. Excuse me as I rant.

    I go up, I go down. 

    I’m on a down right now.

       

    I feel as if I have been reliving the announcement of the separation as exactly a year ago. The rainy, dreary weather is the same, my kids are back in school, anxiety and depression are sitting on each of my shoulders, and my trip to Paris is right around the corner. 

    It feels like déjà vu. I wake up and I can’t believe this is my life. I’d rather be sleeping than facing the sadness that surrounds me. The weather matches my mood and I can’t seem to get out of it.   

    I do not want to be back with Grayheart. I do not feel the same way towards him. He is a different man now and I’m not even sure I ever really knew him.

    At this second, I’m not even mad. I’m just sad; like my soul is sad. Give me a squeeze and I’ll burst into tears at any given second. I’m that sensitive. I feel like I’m trying to jog while underwater.Last year I was even scheduled to go to Paris with Grayheart and run the Paris to Versailles race. I cancelled the trip three days before we were scheduled to leave because I couldn’t bear the thought of having him next to me in such a romantic city after he told me he was miserable.

    So here I am planning to go on a new and improved version of the trip. But I keep having that sinking feeling in my gut. I have little desire to shop or pack for my trip. I have an emptiness and nausea that I can’t get rid of no matter how hard I try. 

    I am also a shadow of the person I have been over the last several months. I was feeling so strong and happy and carefree. And now I’m moody and sullen.  

      
     I think I’m sabotaging my relationship with Captain. I’ve been pessimistic about it all, needy and just not as fun to be with. We’ve also been apart most of the month due to his work and travel. I keep focusing on our differences (eg. kids vs no kids, he works a lot, he is not close to his family, he’s kind of shy, etc.). And I know that all but the kids thing is totally me just having major insecurities and over-scrutinizing insignificant details. I am so traumatized by Grayheart leaving me that I keep waiting and watching for signs to tell me this guy will leave me, too. Ugh.

     

    I hope I snap out of this. Quickly. I am not typically a depressed person and it’s very upsetting to me that I’m acting so strangely.

      
    Today’s Mantra: This is normal and part of the healing process. (Right?!)

    xo

    Life with Captain – 6 months!

    I thought I’d give an update on my relationship with Captain since a few people have asked me about him…


    Captain and I recently celebrated the sixth month anniversary of our first date.  It blows my mind that this relationship is a result of a good online dating match! It was my first time online dating (he had also only been on a short time) and he was my first date!  I know I’m lucky and that this is not usually the case for most people.  And given how many funny things I came across while I was on Match, I can see why! Lol!

    I’ve fallen pretty deeply in love with him and feel very loved and fortunate to be in such a healthy, easy relationship.  He’s been my support during tough times and nurtured the wounds that are still tender.  Captain is divorced and I think that really helps. A failed marriage tends to really put things in perspective; at least for those who have used it as a learning experience.

    We have opted to wait a bit longer before he meets my kids.  My little She-ra expressed some serious concerns last month regarding mommy and daddy living apart and ever re-marrying.  It was totally out of left field. She was hysterical and it absolutely devastated me.  Grayheart introduced the kids to his whore, Raggedy Ann, shortly before that and I’m certain that affected her.  (She’s been introduced as a “co-worker/friend.”)  That’s a whole other issue… So, I’m waiting on intros with Captain until I feel it’s right for everyone.

    In the meantime, I’m loving this cutesy lovey dovey honeymoon stage!  I really look forward to what’s in store for us.

    Thank you to all my peeps that have been so supportive and positive with this relationship and my divorce blues. The good juju sent my way has really helped.  It means a lot. 🙂

    xoxo – Besitos!

    I’ve resurfaced… here’s an update on what’s been going on!

    I have been working daily and come home exhausted so hitting the computer is often the last thing I want to do.  And my thumbs kill me if I try to write an entire post from my phone!  So I’m going to write a mini update on what’s going on in my life.  I apologize in advance if it’s not the highest caliber of writing or the most visually appealing post.

    • It’s been a birthday bonanza!  We’ve celebrated She-ra, me, my mom, my grandfather’s and Captain’s birthday all in the last three weeks!  It’s been an absolute blast but I’m SO over cake!   
    • Grayheart and I are still on amicable terms.  I know he’s still seeing Raggedy.  I just don’t care.  We’ve been working on our divorce paperwork and the only thing that really has me on edge is the custodial arrangement.  He wants 50/50 and I am terrified of that notion. I suppose it’s a good problem to have… A father that adores his kids. But it’s hard to think I wouldn’t have my kids as frequent as I have them now.  He seems to be open now to different possibilities after doing more research on custody scenarios for such young children.
    • Captain – If there was anything in my life right now that could be described as perfect, he would be it.  We’ve seen each other every 2-3 days, had amazing dates (dinners, paint notes, even just sitting in Krispy Kreme parking lot), gone away for a two day trip together to Disney World and Islands of Adventure  (where he asked me to be his girlfriend), and last night he told me that he loves me.  This man is so incredibly sexy and attentive and genuine and kind hearted and loving… I just cannot believe that I’ve been blessed with a man this wonderful to me.  And I actually really really care for him back.  It’s such a nice, easy affectionate relationship.  I think I love him as much as I am capable of right now.  I know he’s worried that he is a rebound relationship for me.  I would like to think this is not true and that we are just incredibly lucky to find each other.  I suppose only time will tell.  I can say, though, that I am the happiest I’ve ever been with a man.  And it’s an amazing feeling.     
    • I’ve not been running more than once a week so I feel like crap. I’m gonna get back on track though. It’s such a yucky feeling and exercising really helps mind, body and soul.
    • My old job (in real estate) contacted me today inquiring as to whether or not I’d be interested in returning in a part time capacity. Not sure how I feel about this since I have virtually no details. I will do lunch with my old boss next week and learn more.   

    So there you go! I’ve included some pictures of our dinners and outings.  (Feel free to inquire about any of these.). Lots of stuff in the last 3 weeks.  I know that I’m incredibly lucky and have much to be grateful for.

    Today’s Motto:  I’m loved and lucky.  And I really feel like I deserve it.  It’s so nice to be in this phase of life rather than where I was 9 months ago. ❤️ 

    Familial love

    That’s what Grayheart told me he feels for me.

    Tuesday evening we had a talk. It started with a discussion about finances and then he dropped the “I just want to let you know that I did not leave you for [Raggedy Ann]. I was unhappy before she came along.” Then he went on that nothing happened with her until after we decided we were separating.

    Ummm… Well, yes, she’s a symptom and not the full cause. But the blossoming relationship with her gave him the motivation to leave and not try to work things out with me. He begrudgingly agreed.

    Do I believe him? Somewhat, yes. I do believe that their flirtation started when he went on his work trip late August. I do also show that the conversations on his phone (thanks to phone records) started when he confessed his unhappiness and desire to divorce. Does that lessen the hurt? No. Do you think I’ve forgotten the torture of him communicating with her while still living in my house? And poorly hiding it? Hell no.

    And then he told me that he loves me deeply but in a “familial way.” Really? But I knew that already. I could tell his love had changed for me these last few weeks. He gave that romantic love – that infatuation – to her. There were no more longing glances or raised eyebrows when I bent down to pick something up or even attempts to touch me. He fell completely out of love with me and is over the marriage. Makes me feel like I wasted 13 years of my life.

    So I took that conversation and pondered it the rest of the evening. I realized that this is what a break up feels like; it’s been so long since I’ve been through one. The unfamiliarity of rejection and humiliation and loss.
    It just sucks to have to experience it within such close proximity of the heartbreaker.

    I will say that although I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions, the feelings I have are more resentment, hurt, anger and sadness. I don’t pine for him. I think we are truly different people and the relationship was tough from the start. It just ended in such a hurtful way. And, let’s be real, no one wants to be dumped. 💔

    Love sucks

    It’s been a tumultuous several days.

    After having such a fun Friday evening last week, the rest of the weekend was bleh.

    Saturday I overhead Grayheart tell his whore “love you, bye” when hanging up the phone.  Sure I was spying while outside when he didn’t know I was there but I just had a feeling he’d told her he loved her.  He’s such a dumbass when it comes to love.  Always has told his girlfriends he loved them quickly.  Me included, 13 years ago.

    Strangely enough, I felt nothing.  I was empty and hollow inside.  Later, though, I felt like the earth’s gravitational pull was keeping me facedown to the ground.  Wrecked I was.  And ooooh boy, I looked it, too!  I slept practically nothing the night before and had not caught up from partying from NYE.  (I’m not used to this anymore!)  Had a flood of emotions: sad, mad at him, sad for me, resentment, disbelief at my life, anger at myself for my foolishness… pure, deep sadness.  I somehow allowed the last 13 years of my life to be hijacked by someone that never truly loved me.  I just kept thinking that over and over and over.  Torture.

    Sunday was better.  I rested well the night before and that helped.  The day sucked but overall I was just sad and mad at myself for foolishly loving a fool.  I could sense it in him these last few weeks that he no longer felt anything for me.  Why did you fall so quickly out of love with me?  Why is it so easy for you to move on?  Why am I still suffering?

    Monday – My butt got in gear and started calling lawyers left and right!  I was at work just burning up my cell phone, researching questions to ask attorneys, making connections… you name it.  And lots of fantasies about revenge and other useless mental wanderings.  But I felt like I was taking control by getting a start on the divorce process.  Oh yeah, and then Grayheart had the incident in which he cut himself that evening.

    Love sucks.  Love sucks balls.

    PS – My brother recently bought the painting (by Ra Superstar) that I used as my image.  When he sent a picture of it to me, it just made me think how many ways the saying “Love is an Inside Job” can be taken.  I initially was thinking that it meant love from another person but the more I thought about it, I think it means it comes from within you.  It starts with you.  I need to remember that.

    Today’s Mantra:  Love myself more.

    If you snoop, you will find.

    Warning:  There’s some cursing.  I’m angry tonight.

    Tonight I feel sick.  I haven’t felt this level of static in my stomach since Grayheart was living here in November.  I was snooping and found an email that he wrote to a divorced buddy late September of this year.  (This is just a couple of weeks after we had our talk about separation.)  The exchange more or less discussed how divorce sucks but his buddy’s opinion was that the worst part is missing the kids and that women are garbage, etc.  The part that disturbed me the most is Grayheart responded to his buddy that he just couldn’t stand to be around me.  Dude, you just can’t stand being around me?  YOU are the unlikeable one, motherfucker!

    Shame on me for snooping, right?  I knew there was potential to find something I didn’t like and I needed to have my big girl pants on.  Strangely enough, though, it was a good slap in the face for me.  It pushed me from sad, mopey resentment to Bad Ass Angry Mama Jamma.  Just another reminder that he does not love me.  It may hurt but I see clearly at this moment.  You don’t love me, I don’t love you.  You never loved me enough, fuck you. *sticks my toungue out*

    Then to top it off, I found email confirmation that he went to go visit The Whore (Raggedy Ann) in Baltimore this weekend after his time with his family.  He took a train to go see her on Sunday and then flew out from there on Monday.  I saw the train and hotel confirmation.  Stupid motherfucker.  I knew it.  I sensed it.  I could just tell he was somewhere else that day.  I know I shouldn’t care but I do.  Just feels like another jab, another cut.  He’s still with the bitch that stole my husband.  (Yes, it’s not that simple but it really is.)

    God, I hope he gets chlamydia.