Monday, April 29, 2013

Cooking for 2 or 3

I have fallen into a rut! I used to cook at home at least 4 nights a week, Fridays were always dinners out or pizza and then I ate at my parent's house a couple night a week.

Lately I have been eating out WAY too much and it is showing in my monthly finances. So, I am making a few changes starting with meal planning. This week my brother and I are getting the grill involved! He grilled us some steaks last night and I made 2 veggies to go with the meat. Nugget helped me pick some fresh sage yesterday and we will be using it to make some delicious pork tomorrow night and Thursday I am planning on making a grilled chicken to go with some yummy salads.

BAM! We are back in action! Maybe the sunshine is helping with my motivation :)

For all you sinlge parents and parents in general I suggest you invest in some fresh herbs. You can buy them pre-planted at most stores with flowers/plants or you can grow them from seeds. I have two big potters out on my small cement patio with sage, rosemary, oregano and basil. Meals are so much easier and better tasting. take any meat add EVOO or butter, herbs and a little lemon or other acid and you are good to go!

  • Pork, butter, lemon sage
  • Cilantro, lime, EVOO (or veggie oil)
  • Basil, tomato, balsamic
I could go on! It is summer, get the grill going and enjoy!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Still not dating.

On some days I wish I could find my most recent ex-boyfriend, the only man I have dated since my divorce, and show him that I meant what I said the day I broke up with him. I really wasn’t ready. I REALLY just wanted to have time to be independent. There was nobody else and he did nothing wrong. I was just not the right girl for him and it was not the right time for me to be with anyone.

Almost a year and a half later he still comes to my mind, because I know I really hurt him. Being dumped with no real clear explanation only makes you analyze yourself and most likely it is not in a good way.

I am still not dating. I still have very little desire to do so. I do get hungry for affection, but it passes quickly. There is nothing wrong with this, and that is what I keep telling myself. Many of my single mom friends are getting married again or are in serious relationships… it makes me think about myself and where I am in regards to love/relationships/men… I still stand by my previous statements, that dating just sounds exhausting. So another day will pass and I will focus on my responsibilities and my wonderful child. I will wait. I am not waiting for a prince to save me, a sign to communicate to me or anything else magical. I am just waiting for myself, all of myself to be ready. Love, a forever kind of love, it is just too important to rush into before I am whole again.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It is not easy.

I get asked quite often by women and men alike how hard it is to be a single parent. Most of the time they are in a bad relationship or are in a rough patch in their marriage… They want to hear one of two things;

1) It is much easier than people make it out to be! I mean really, anyone could do it!
2) It is soooo hard. Don't do it! Stay with your partner no matter what!

Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but it just is not that simple. Unless I believe someone is in danger I will never tell someone to leave a relationship. It is not my call. I am more than willing to listen and offer my experience, but my life is not the norm.

My experience being a single parent has been hard. I have less free time than my mommy friends. I have less money for entertainment. My energy level is usually pretty low and of course I am tethered to my child more than a person with a co-parent. All of this may make people think I hate being a single parent, I don’t. It is hard. Some days it is VERY hard. This is why I would never flat out recommend taking this route unless you have tried every possible path to recover your relationship or if you and/or your child are in danger.

I love my child and I like my life. It has been a lot of hard work and will continue to be.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Not so Natural Disaster.

While walking through the halls at work this morning I had a random thought enter my mind. It was inspired by an episode of Mad Men… they were discussing a company called London Fog, and then there it was. The realization of what it is really like to go through something awful, what truly happens to a person emotionally at the point impact. Of course it is common for a person to say they were “in a fog”, so common in fact that I do not think it registers what that means. I can only speak for myself and others who have shared their own experiences with me, but I find every little insight can be helpful.

From the moment I opened the door to the police on that day almost three years ago till about March, 2011, I was in the fog. This fog is like that that follows a terrible storm, the smoke and smog that follows a meltdown or explosion and surrounds you with a terrifying quickness. The image that sticks in my mind is after the Twin Towers fell and the dust and rubble surrounded all those nearby… or maybe a tsunami... When I opened the door to see the crew of police it was like that 2-3 seconds before the cloud hits you. You see it coming, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. Then you are trapped. You are almost blind. You can’t breathe.

It is so easy to be lost. There are those who give up and live the rest of their lives in the cloud, or those who try so hard to get out, but are just unable to. Then there are those who get out and find the sun again. I was one of the lucky ones who can say I feel the rays on my face again. It was a lot of hard work, but some of it was luck also. So, now I get to my advice:

• Don’t panic. Never make a move without thinking it through! If you were really in a fog or tsunami, every move would count. You would not want to go running and flailing through the unknown. It is dangerous and a waste of energy. There are hazards in tragedy as well. You have lost your sight in the fog, so use your other senses. Before you say yes or sign any paperwork, read it of have it read by an attorney/trusted neutral party. It is more than ok to grieve. It is not ok to take your pain out on others or yourself.

• Don’t ignore. You can’t pretend that everything is fine. Of course your personal tragedy should not be the only thing you ever talk about, and you shouldn’t spill your guts to everyone you meet, and remember to keep professional at work. However, if you are constantly pretending that everything is fine and it will fix itself, you stand to lose a lot. Especially when it comes to financial and legal manners you need to get your ducks in a row.

• Move forward. I have said it before, I am saying it again. Push yourself daily. At first it may be a battle just to get out of bed, take a shower, get out of the house. Set yourself small goals and push yourself forward. Standing still for too long will bury you in the debris and going backwards will put you into the burning embers.

• Protect yourself. Get a lawyer, a therapist or other professional that fits your particular situation. Stitch up your wounds, care for yourself and prepare for aftershocks and future battles.

• Keep your cool. Aside from panic there is also anger and overreaction. Do not let this take over. Saying things you do not mean (or even things you DO mean) to the wrong person can be bad for you. Posting your anger online could be giving someone else ammunition. In a divorce/custody situation the other party may fight to keep you in the darkness and the brink of self-destruction. Don’t help them. It will also surprise you how clear your head can be when it is not tied up with anger/vengeance. You will be able to navigate and feel your way through the fog better, I promise.

• Rebuild. When you find yourself in the clear or close to it, make sure you begin to rebuild your life. Make sure you build a stronger fortification than the first time… but for every reinforced and armored wall you put up remember to place a door… the object is to be smarter not to cut yourself completely off.