Tag Archives: whine

The Year of Me

Wow. That sounds kind of narcissi20160520_143643-1stic, now that I see it in front of me. “The Year of Me.” Who does that?

Well, I do. Or I will, soon.

It’s not what you think – I’m not going to go all self-absorbed on the world, caring only about MY wants and MY needs and MY chocolate. This is something different.

A few years ago, a friend and former coworker had the “Year of Chris.” She has two daughters, and twin grandchildren, and a husband, but she spent the year doing things that made her happy – or being happy doing the things she was doing. It was awesome. And I was jealous.

Having been a single mom since 2002 (you have no idea how much I HATE playing that card, seriously), there had been relatively few “Days of Me,” so the idea of taking a full year? That was amazing. That’s what dreams were made of.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a bitter, angry person. In fact, I’m actually quite happy. I laugh a lot, I smile a lot more, I enjoy the “todays” because they’re so fleeting. I enjoy life – I truly do, and I am honestly happy doing the things I’m doing. Do I wish I had more money to enjoy it more? Sure. It would be nice to have extra to be able to go more places and do more things. But do I let it get in the way of enjoying today? Not in the least.

But this year is going to be different. Kind of.

My big dream has always been to go to Ireland. I’m third generation Irish-American, and there are still some distant relatives I’d like to go meet. And let’s be honest – Ireland. It’s beautiful. Flights aren’t horribly expensive, and if I (and however many friends and family members care to join me) stay in an Airbnb place, lodging won’t be too bad, at all. So, I thought, set it up. Make a plan. Do it.

In 2017, right smack almost perfectly in the middle of the year, I turn 50. It’s not a frightening number to me – 20 years ago I was terrified of 30, but 50 sounds almost exciting – but it’s a milestone and I want to mark it as such. So, sometime in the Year of 50, I’m going to Ireland.

But what about the year leading up to it? I don’t really want to spend a year in wait, saving every penny (though I’ll be saving several), waiting for the calendar to turn the right amount of pages so I can go on my adventure. Plus, I’ve loved my 40s, absolutely loved them. This has been the most fun decade by far – even with scraping to get by, failed relationships (which made for some pretty funny stories, I gotta tell ya’), and the loss of my favorite canine companions. My 40s have been great, I can’t just let them end on a whimper.

No, what I’m going to do in the year between 49 and 50 is allow myself to do the things I haven’t made time for/didn’t save for/made excuses for over the last several years.

I’m going to Phoenix to stay with a cousin I don’t get to see very often. I’m going to go to one of my college football games and try to connect with some college roommates and friends. I plan to go to Chicago. I’m going to go see an Iowa Cubs game. I’m going to go to the movies. I’m going to go sit on a friend’s balcony and have drinks. I’m going to do things for me.

I think we all need to take a year for ourselves. Just not this year – this one’s mine.

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Why didn’t I think of this?

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends and fellow wine lovers (she was an admirer long before me – I’m still in the “getting to know you” phase of my wine relationship) introduced me to this guy (well, via his videos) and I love it. Matt Bellassai works at Buzzfeed, which has got to be one of the coolest jobs ever, and then gets drunk at his desk one day a week and posts a video of him whining about something.

Um, hello?? Totally what I should be doing.

I’m incredibly jealous of his job. Why didn’t I think about this? I clearly used the whine/wine reference when naming this blog oh so many years ago. It probably has much to do with my fear (?) of being on camera – including webcam. And the fact that I just didn’t think about it.

Damn.

Anyway, enjoy Matt – maybe we’ll get lucky and have a guest merger – Pour Me Some Whine About It.

 

 

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The thing about breakups …

Note: This is not a quest for sympathy or well-wishes. I greatly appreciate your thoughts, but one of the reasons I put this post off for so long is because I made it through the hard part. – Molly

Let’s face it, breakups suck. No matter how amicable, how cordial or how mutual they are, they still suck. Injured heart

Sometimes, as with my recent breakup, the more amicable they are, the more they suck. Rather than having that anger/distrust/rejection/fury that comes with a cheat or a liar, you have … nothing. Hurt and sadness. As we were putting an end to our 2 1/2-year relationship as a couple, we were still telling each other how much we loved each other. We made the obligatory “let’s be friends” promise, but unlike most times those words are spoken, I think we actually meant it. We severed our romantic ties a little more than two weeks ago, but we still chat often.

That’s probably because we really are friends. In the 29 months that we were together, there were no fights – no angry words, no yelling, no arguments. There was one topic on which we disagreed, but conversation – although tears were involved – was just that: conversation. What we did do in that time frame was build a great friendship.

Still, the breakup – like any – still sucks.

Breakups suck because of unfulfilled plans. There are so many little things we were going to do – go to the Quad Cities to see a ball game, go to his favorite breakfast joint before it closed, have the first Christmas in his new place, get all the kids together on Christmas Day to see the final installment of “The Hobbit.” Then there are the bigger things: next summer’s vacation (sadly, the breakup came just two weeks after we had a fabulous vacation in Denver); a “someday” trip to Ireland; trips out east and out west. Many of those I can still do on my own, if I want, and some of them I will. Most, though, I probably won’t.

Breakups suck because, as adults, they’re not just between two people. Two whole families broke up. My daughter created close bonds with his daughters and their children. My son became good friends with the guys in his family. We met and loved each others’ friends. I felt like we were one big family – I loved his kids and grandkids and enjoyed all the time we spent with them. I had a great relationship with his mother, and my parents loved him like they never loved anyone else I’d been with.

Breakups suck because, eventually, you begin to see the holes, the places that the relationship wasn’t as “perfect” as you thought it was. I knew we weren’t perfect, but I honestly thought we’d be riding off into the sunset together.

And breakups suck because the landscape has forever changed. Where once there may have been a clean slate, there is now a “record.” A broken heart mars the playing field.

But breakups are also a time of growth. I don’t regret having given him that chunk of my life – despite the one issue that persisted, it was a very joyous time of my life, where I felt loved and cared for and comfortable. Incredible new people are now a part of my life, in some big or small way, because of him. I learned things and went places I’d never known before. And I pushed myself because of him – not because he asked me to, but because I wanted to be a better person for him, and for me.

And for those things, I will always be grateful.

* * *

Note: Snark will return with the next post. I promise.

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What kind of writer doesn’t take a laptop – or even paper – on vacation??

20140803_111838I really wish I was back in the mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be home. Home is, after all, where the heart is. And where my dogs are. And my job, my bank, my son (since he didn’t go with us) and the rest of the family.

But the mountains … oh, those beautiful mountains.

We – my daughter, boyfriend, and his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter – went for a five-day vacation in Colorado (well, four in Colorado, one in Nebraska) and it was heavenly. Not only because it was the first real “vacation” I’ve had in many years, but because of the locale, the scenery, the company and just the time away.

But those mountains … there was just something magical there.

We spent one entire day leaving Denver proper and heading out to the mountain range – first to Red Rocks Amphitheater (a must see if you head that way) then to the summit of Mount Evans. I spent several years growing up in Alaska, so I’m no stranger to the beauty a mountain view provides – but it’s been 30+ years since we left and I’ve not been up-close and personal with the mountains since.

I had been in the mountain air for mere minutes when I first thought, “I should have brought my computer. I should be blogging this.” Then we climbed to the amphitheater seating at Red Rocks and saw people running the trail, running the seats, doing yoga, jumping from bench to bench doing squat jumps – even football players running the stairs carrying a teammate on their backs. Then came the sound checks for a concert later that evening. Again – “I should be blogging this.”

It was a common theme: The young longhorn sheep that made us stop on our ascent to the summit of Mount Evans. The dizziness I felt from being up 14,000 feet above sea level. The mountain goat that greeted us at the peak. The sometimes-scary 14-mile drive up the mountain. The zoo. The Cubs game (my first-ever time seeing the Cubs live and it was in Denver!). Even the trip to the “weed store” just to say I did.

At one point Mark even said out loud just what I’d been thinking: “What a great place for a writer – sit up in the mountains, write a chapter and then go pour a cup of coffee to get ready for the next.”

Yep.

I couldn't resist getting out of the car and joining them on the hillside - just to see if they'd let me. They did!

I couldn’t resist getting out of the car and joining them on the hillside – just to see if they’d let me. They did!

The blog ideas were flooding my brain, just waiting to get out, and I didn’t even bring a notebook to write them down the old-fashioned way. I went to three different convenience stores to see if they had a small notebook – nope. Not a one.

Once we left Denver and stayed overnight in a hotel in Lincoln, Neb. – we were going to visit the Strategic Air Command Museum in Ashland the next day – the lady at the front desk loaned me a notebook.

About 15 minutes later, Mark found a notebook in the trunk of my car, under all of the suitcases. Figures.

Now I’m home and am thankful to that lady at the hotel in Lincoln – as much as the blog ideas were flooding my brain in the mountain air, they seem to have dissipated back in the humidity of Iowa. That notebook allowed me to write some of the highlights, so I can still get that one written. Kind of.

But I guarantee it would have been better if I’d had my laptop with me when the thoughts were fresh.

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August 9, 2014 · 6:01 pm

Resolutions for all of us for 2013

NewYearsEve1As 2012 closed a final, slow, methodical close with no sign of zombies, Mayan ruination or other earthly implosion, I set about making my annual New Year’s Resolution list. Sure, there’s the one about weight loss (I view that one as more of a perpetual goal – aside from a few years post-divorce, that one’s been on the list every year since I was 12), there’s one seeking financial stability, then one for health and happiness.

While I fully plan to work toward my own resolutions, there are many I hope we as a collective can accomplish as 2013 passes.

1. Forget about Lindsay Lohan. I don’t mean as a person; if we see her sick and homeless on the side of the street, by all means, stop to help and give her a couple bucks or give her a ride to a shelter or doctor’s office. But really, the only “celebrity” she has anymore is due to her bad behaviour. Seriously, take away a few mediocre made-more-for-younger-audiences movies from her youth – “Mean Girls,” “Parent Trap,” and “Herbie Fully Loaded” – and what does she have, really? I mean, why do we even care? It’s bad enough that we pay attention to the misbehavings of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen, but loathesome as their behavior may be they’ve both earned a name in the entertainment industry by being top-dollar actors and directors. (Although I really am no longer a fan of either man …)

2. Let’s just live and enjoy life without worrying about the ‘end of the world.’ I know there are a lot of superstitious people out there, but absent a group of scientists alerting the world to an incoming monster meteor or some such thing, no one really knows when or how the earth will end. Even those studying global warming say it’s nothing our generations will see. So can we all simply relax and enjoy life and work to make things better, instead of preparing for a mythical end?

3. Flash mobs are soooo 2008. Like any good thing, too much of it can ruin it. It happened with “Rocky” and “Karate Kid” (c’mon,  admit it – the first one was good), the more you do it, the weaker it gets. There’s still a surprise element with flash mobs, but the uniqueness of them has gone the way of diet soda and online banking – they’re everywhere. Let’s give it a rest for a while, maybe it will come back.

4. Stop viewing single parenthood as the downfall of American society. Sure, it’s not ideal, but it’s a common fact of life in this age. And there are many of us who, quite frankly, do a pretty damned good job. We not only hold down jobs but have thriving careers. Our children not only stay out of jail but they work and volunteer and do good things. We pay our own way. We don’t “milk the system.” And we have brains and voices and opinions that deserve to be heard.

5. Stop caring about who is sleeping with whom and who is married to whom. Seriously. It’s none of anyone’s business. Period. And this goes for everything – celebrities, politicians, same-sex couples. There are so many more important things to worry about than anyone’s sex life.

6. Start a movement to get the word ‘ginormous’ removed from the dictionary. It’s not a word, it’s a goulash of letters, two words mixed together to make one word that means the very same thing: gigantic + enormous = ginormous. It’s idiotic + stupid = idiopid.

7. Give more. Help others in need. Give more time. Give more money. Give more ideas. Volunteer. Brainstorm.

8. Be happy. You may not always be able to control the circumstances, but you can always control how you let them affect you.

 

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