Shi…ngles

I got shingles, y’all! *slow clap*

It’s kinda fun to say. Shhhh… ingles? Sh-ing-les. Sh-in-gulls. Shin-gals. Shhhhh. Whatever. I got it. 

Apparently, you don’t need to be over 60 to have it. 

Those effers have been living in my nerve cells latent for 33 years and decided to pop in for an uninvited visit this week. Bastards.

I’m annoyed because I’m not stressed and this is usually the cause of onset. I’m actually on summer break from teaching and having a lovely time! 

Only thing I can think is maybe my brain is creeping behind my back and subversively worrying about finances?

Grayheart, my ex-husband, recently quit his long-term, secure job. Why? No good reason. He hated his job and wanted to pursue his business ventures in the restaurant industry is pretty much why. Idiot. 


It’s not my business what he does as long as he parents well and pays for his child support. He will continue to pay his child support as-is but I just don’t trust him. So on a teacher’s salary, you can understand why I might quietly fret? Anyway, I’m pushing it out of my mind and just focusing on the now and not the “what if” of the situation. I didn’t think it was bothering me enough to cause me trouble but it’s possible that my body is just tired of constantly fighting everything over the last 3 years? (This shingles thing is his fault, of course.)

As a side note, Grayheart broke up with Raggedy Ann. I think this is the fifth time? 🙄 (I met her, by the way. Another story, another time. Nothing exciting.) 

Oh! And he then immediately got a vasectomy. I think Raggedy was hinting at wanting her own kids. Lmao!

*Don’t mind me as I snicker at their demise.*


I know, petty. But, fuck, I’m dealing with shingles! Cut me some slack! 

———————————-

So… back to me. Life is pretty damn good right now. I’m heading to the Turks & Caicos in a couple of weeks with Captain. He and I are wonderful! I’m still gushy in love. ❤️ My kids are fantastic and I’ve been doing so many fun things with them this summer! I’ve kept to my resolution of reading a book a month and have been reading the Outlander novels! (And love them!) I’m back to running again after a very long hiatus! And I’ve got 5 more weeks of summer break! Woohoo! Life will be all good again once I’m back to normal. 🙌🏽

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! (Or winter for you Southern Hemisphere folks!) 

😘 Athena 

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Officially Divorced

I am officially divorced.  Grayheart and I went before a judge last week to legally terminate our marriage.

We sat in court and watched the first set of couples (represented by attorneys) go through the process. The judge was very polite and seemed to be quite thorough in his review of each case. He asked questions if he found anything incorrect in their Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA),  child support, or parenting plan. If he didn’t, he sped right through his few questions.

    Is your marriage irretrievably broken? Are you currently pregnant? Can you identify the signatures on the agreement? Were you coerced or forced into agreement on the MSA? Are there any assets that need to be decided here today? Did you and your spouse provide each other financial documentation? Are you asking for a former name to be restored? 

    It’s a fairly quick process. After watching a few, I felt comfortable that ours would go well. But it’s a weird, out of body experience. 

    While staring at the couples ahead of us, I mumbled to Grayheart that although I was relieved we were putting an end to this process, it was still…

    Sad. He finished my sentence without looking me in the eye. I stared down at my feet as I knew my eyes were welling up. I heard the shake in his voice. 

    He felt it. He knew it. It was confirmation to me that our life was not completely based on a lie. And in that small statement, I knew he once loved me. And it shouldn’t matter but it helps. I wasn’t in it all these years because I was totally crazy.

    Once it was our turn to be called up, I’d pulled myself together. The judge asked his questions, we answered, they worked on my name change papers… and that was it. Five minutes. Five minutes?

    Done. 

    Divorced.

    We walked out silently. Numb with quiet shock. What do you really say after that? 

    By the time we walked out of the courthouse, I knew I was going to cry. It’s hard to explain why. I welcomed the divorce at this point. I’m happy it’s over. But it’s truly over. After many years of memories and ties, the only tie we now have to each other are the kids. 

    And it’s not a bad thing. It’s just a major thing. 

    I sobbed the whole car ride back home. It was my final goodbye…. it felt right to exorcise that last demon. 

    Farewell to old me. ❤️

    Hello from the other side…

    🎶 Hello, it’s me… I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet. 🎶

    A bit dramatic, eh? 🙂

    Hello, friends! I’m alive. And well.

    I’ve missed my buds here. I hope you all have been wonderful. I have given you guys much thought during my absence. I just have been avoiding blogging much in the same way I’ve been avoiding any additional responsibility in my life.

    Let me apologize in advance. This will be a longish post. I’ll try to be considerate of your time… 😉

    I am officially a 2nd grade teacher! And, boy, was that an overwhelming change in my life! There wasn’t much training so it was more trial by fire than anything. But I’ve been rocking it. I love it. I love the students and where I’m at. I am by no means the perfect teacher but it’s an incredibly refreshing change from property management. It’s a job that allows me to be a parent and have a life. It’s been a challenge, of course, adapting  to such a busy schedule after having been a part-time worker bee the last 3 years. But it’s nice to feel like my mind is being exercised and I’m earning a real paycheck. (I’m much poorer than ever, though! Man, teachers get paid squat! Lol!)

    My kids are great. They’ve handled the transition well. They complain I’m not around as much but everyone in the family steps in when I can’t. 

    Halloween 2016 Power Ranger style!

     Grayheart and I have had some serious heart to heart conversations… he’s apologized and cleared up some things from the past. He and Raggedy Ann have been on and off plenty and are currently off. He did try to make his way back “home” but I rejected those attempts. He is my past and will never be my future. Clearing the air has helped, however, and we get along better. He still annoys me, of course, but it’s less tense. Win for everyone.

    I’m not divorced yet but we are filing very soon. Paperwork is done, agreements are in place, and I’m insured with my full time job so that’s no longer a worry. =)

    As for my love life… Captain is still the most incredible boyfriend ever and never ceases to amaze me with his love. We’re about 3 months shy of hitting 2 years together and it just continues to get better with him. I don’t want to jinx the relationship, but I do think he’s my happily-ever-after. ❤️


    As for my personal hobbies… I’ve not been running as much but I have been exercising regularly. I’ve had great out of town trips since I last checked in here. Disney trips with the kids and friends, New Orleans and Virgin Islands with Captain, and a trip to Cuba and Barcelona scheduled for this winter. (Yes, I will get to see where my family is from and am thrilled at the thought!) I’ve also been reading a book a month, I’m proud to report! 



    Now, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I’m giving the Cliffs Notes version of my life the last several months. I had quite a cry last night and can get overwhelmed with life and parental responsibilities. But I’m wise enough to know how much I have to be grateful for.

    I hope you guys had a beautiful Thanksgiving. I look forward to catching up and hearing how you each are! I’m trying my best to catch up on your posts…


    Besos y abrazos!  ðŸ˜˜ 🤗

    Athena ❤️

    Date Night with my Daughter and Ellie Goulding

    I took my 7 yr old daughter to her first concert this past weekend! We saw Ellie Goulding perform on the Delirium Tour.

    This is an album we love to jam to and when I heard she was coming to Miami, I immediately bought us tickets! 

    Here’s some of the fun from the night. Loved Ellie’s performance and loved the quality time with my lil gal! We danced the entire time we were there! 

    My sweet girl was pretty tired by the last few songs. After a long day of school and the chaos of the concert, 10 pm was just too late for her. She fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. 


    Such a fun night! One of the best and most meaningful adventures I’ve had with my daughter. ❤️

    xo

    That dreadful F word… Finances

    I spent a good part of last Thursday afternoon sobbing over an argument with my ex. Grayheart and I got into a conversation about our divorce paperwork and financial declarations. 

    (Backstory: Grayheart and I lived in Virginia when we married. We then moved back to my hometown, Miami, to be close to my family. We rented out our home in Virginia and bought a home in Miami. We sold our VA house late last year and put a portion of the earnings away for the estimated capital gains tax. This money was put aside in our joint savings account with the agreement we wouldn’t touch it.

    I’ve never been worried about Grayheart not being financially responsible. (Roll your eyes now.) So I didn’t really keep tabs on the money. 

    So when he filed our 2015 taxes, he advised that taxes came in a bit over what we estimated by a few grand and that he put that overage on a payment plan that he’d pay. Didn’t think much of it. 

    Two weeks ago I get a letter from the IRS. I wondered if I was being audited!

    Nope.

    The IRS confirming the $800 per month payment plan! (Omg!) I inquire further with Grayheart… and then he starts gas lighting me!

    – I told you about this!

    – It’s no big deal. Don’t see why you’re making such a big deal about this!

    I used the money. Yea, I told you! 

    Where’d the money go? To pay your mortgage and child support!

    I was so pissed at him, I hung up on him. 

    He later apologized, of course, and said he was juggling a lot of balls and thought he told me. Bullshit

    I drop it. Still thinking it was like $4K over what we’d put aside. And that he’d only used a portion of the savings.)

    Fast forward to last Thursday now:

    Me: I’m very concerned that you won’t have the extra $800 per month to pay the IRS. And my name is attached to this!

    Him: Why? Have you ever known me to be fiscally irresponsible? 

    Me: You’ve been lamenting that you have little money to pay your own expenses while paying child support and my mortgage. How long exactly is this $800 supposed to be in place for? 

    Him: Uh. Well, as long as it takes to pay $20K off!

    Me: (I literally lose my shit) WHAT THE FUCK?! TWENTY GRAND?!?! You spent ALL the money we put aside??!!

    He patronizes me, gaslights me, tries to act like it’s no big deal.

    But we all know it’s a big deal. Who wants to be on the hook to the federal government for that much money? Something I had responsibly put money aside for yet was not consulted on how to use it!

    I hang up on him because I can’t even think at this point. His attempts to trivialize the conversation were too much for me to handle.

    Ten minutes later I get an email from him:

    I paid the tax bill on my personal credit card. Receipt attached. I was trying to avoid the $300 convenience fee and the interest charges on my credit card, but I’ll pay it.

    You no longer have a tax liability. And you no longer have to worry about how I am going to pay it. The only thing you need to worry about me paying is the child support payment. Which after rent, is my #1 payment priority.

    All that crap for it to just… be over.

    I cried and cried. 

    He solved my problem at this point. But it was bigger than that. He didn’t consult with me, he’s in debt, this is a major stressor which could cause him to have a heart attack… no one here is winning. Had he just spoken to me about it a while ago, we could have strategized a solution. 

    Then add in my frustrations on being manipulated and patronized, my disappointment with him, my uneasiness over the financial mess and the divorce-really-sucks-ass blues, I was a blubbering mess for hours. I hadn’t cried like this in quite a bit.

    So as much as I try to keep a really positive attitude about it all, there are times when things hit me and I can’t recover as gracefully as I’d like. I bounced back the next day and have been fine since. But man oh man, am I looking forward to the day we don’t really have these financial ties to each other.

    And yes damn it! I will get divorced soon! Lol!

    xo

    (Sorry for the long post. Thanks for hanging in there while I vented!)

    Weekend in Rewind – Swing dancing, Siblings & Sand

    Hey friends! 

    I hadn’t done a Friday Night Fun post or Weekend in Rewind in quite some time. It was such a nice weekend, I just had to share!

    My brother was in town visiting from LA and he had not seen my kids in almost a year so they were stuck to him like glue! 

    Here’s an awful face swap of my daughter and bro that is so scary, she nearly cried when she saw it! LMAO!

    For the record, my kid nor my brother look anything like this disaster! lol!

    Friday night was a good friend of mine’s bday. And she wanted to go swing dancing! Didn’t have to tell me twice!



    Trés cool… Took me a bit but I started to get the hang of it. I’m signing up for lessons I loved it so much! 🙂

    Wanna hear the crazy part about this place? First, it’s called Toe Jam Backlot. So it’s a weird name. Second, it’s where I went out Dec 2014 my first night out post separation and cried my damn eyes out. It was neat to reflect how I felt at that low point. Hard to believe that a year & a half later I was actually swing dancing with strangers in the same spot and having a ball! Major victory here for me. 


    Saturday was really special because my mom, stepfather, grandparents, siblings and kids spent the day together at the beach. Getting us all on the same schedule is close to impossible so it was meaningful to spend an entire day together. We drove down to a little beach in the Keys and then had an oceanfront dinner. 


    And, finally, on Sunday we did a bunch of family fun stuff with the Healthy Kids Race and playing outdoors.


    It was a fabulous weekend! Hope yours was, too!

    xo

    Athena

    Vows to Myself

    Once my ex-husband, Grayheart, decided he was “miserable” with me and left our home after 13 years of being together, I decided I needed to make serious change to my whole self. 


    As I reflect back on things I could have done better, I often think about how I let myself go after I had kids. I’ve never been a vain person. I never really cared about being the prettiest or skinniest or most fashionable. I was always the goofy, fun, funny gal. 

    But when you are a twenty something year old, it works for you. You don’t have to try to be pretty; you have youth and vigor going for you. When you’re an overweight, graying, cranky, thirty something year old mama… you better think again!

    No longer are you considered fresh faced if you go sans make up. Nope. Now you look tired. 

    You’re no longer a carefree, rebellious, Sporty Spice type if you wear tanks, cargo shorts and sneakers… Nope again. People then think you are a sloppy, part time trucker and not the sophisticated woman that should be next to your professional man’s side. 

    And oohwee! Do not let that white hair show! It was whimsical when I had premature silver strands at the bubbly age of 21. Not even slightly cute when my washed-out-resting-bitch face accompanied roots that made me look like I was part skunk. 

    Frankly, I hate the whole dog and pony show because I am very low maintenance. But I’m not a girl that’s naturally pretty without putting effort. So I had to make some changes. Why? Because I needed to look in the mirror and smile back at a person that appeared to care about themself. (I was so disgusted with myself I used to avoid looking in mirrors.) And, let’s be real, who the hell wants to date anyone that looks like someone’s leftovers?!  


    So I made myself some vows January 1, 2015:

    • I will not leave the house without earrings, perfume, mascara and lip gloss.
    • I will make better attempts at doing my hair. I shoot for blow drying it weekly. (Which leads me to always having my hair down rather than in a ponytail for Captain.)
    • I will NEVER wear huge Tshirts to bed for my partner. 
    • I will wear either a sexy nightie or nothing to bed with my partner.
    • I will always make an effort to look pretty for my partner. 
    • I will not wear saggy butt jeans. (My sister hated those Old Navy jeans that stretched and sagged after half a day’s wear, lol!)
    • I will exercise at least 4 times a week and keep my weight to something I’m confident and comfortable with.
    • I will always greet my partner with excitement and love when I see  or talk to him on the phone. A smile is the best thing to wear, right?
    • I will keep my nails manicured and feminine.
    • I will always be nicely groomed. I did laser hair removal so gone is the lack of shaving legs or bikini area or underarms! (Whew! What a relief that was! As a Cubana, it was a full time job grooming! Lol!)
    • I will maintain good posture.
    • Finally, I will (try to) sleep more. 

    Nothing too crazy here, right?


    I am my worst critic. Like, baaaad. I’m not saying this has solved any of my deeper issues but it has helped. Part of feeling good is looking the part. And it has forced me to give myself attention rather than always focusing on everyone else. 

    Since I’ve been doing this list, I see the difference in how I carry myself. I am happier and more confident. I’m still a work in progress but now I don’t cringe when I see my reflection. 

    Thank you for the awakening, Grayheart. This became my re-birth.

    xo